Makeup is equal parts amazing, wonderful, fun, ridiculous, expensive, worth it, and yeah, sometimes time-consuming. There’s no way around it — well, there is, I suppose, and you can honestly opt to simply not wear it (no one is stopping you) but sometimes it’s just fun to get a little dolled up. Inspired in part by this wonderful tutorial on how to do your face, and a conversation with a friend in which I had to explain that yes, even the “natural look” takes work and product to achieve, I polled my friends, coworkers, and the good people of Twitter about what their favorite products were for everyday use.
What did I learn? Well, not anything I didn’t already know, but it’s kind of eye-opening when you see it all laid out: We spend a lot of money and a lot of time on our faces. Like, a lot. (Which makes sense, because makeup is a multi-billion dollar business.) Is it a little sad that we feel compelled to do this to ourselves every day? Yeah, kinda. But it’s also empowering, because we’re taking it within our own hands to help ourselves feel like our best selves. Beauty is only skin-deep, sure, but the self-confidence we get from it is priceless.
I’m really lazy about doing my makeup, and I typically do it at the gym after I work out in the morning, so it’s imperative that I use as few products as possible — nobody wants to be schlepping an entire Caboodle after spin class. I’ve talked about these three things before, but Maybelline Dream Pure BB cream is a new update from the Dream Fresh BB cream, and it works really well while also canceling out the redness my skin is prone to. Too Faced Size Queen mascara gives me really obnoxiously long lashes with only a few swipes. (I had to practice a little to keep the mascara from getting on my eyelid as the brush is so big, but I got the hang of it.) And in the world of My-Lips-But-Better stains, I have yet to find a color better than Revlon’s Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm in Victorian. It takes me about five minutes, tops, which is great because the sooner I can get out of that locker room and make my way to coffee and breakfast, the better.
My everyday go-to is simple and cheap — H20 Proof Liquid Eyeliner by Wet ‘N Wild. I’ve not only worn it for full days straight without smudge or reapplying, but it’s also stayed on while I’ve gone surfing for a few hours. I accent it with a simple light brown eye shadow from Victoria’s Secret, Sephora mascara, and oftentimes one of my many red lipstick shades. In the morning I use Burt’s Bees Apricot Scrub or nothing at all. My face dries out so I will only use face wash or wipes once a day. Keep it simple, and have a cat eye — that’s all I need.
I use Ongrien soft grain scrub in the shower while my skin is warm. Then I use Ongrien glycolic toner and Ongrien moisturizer after the shower. Then, I use a light foundation (Urban Decay), plus Fleur Visage tender biege powder, bronzer, and blush from the Urban Decay Flushed palette, but all of it very light. Then, Fleur Visage lengthening mascara, brow fill using the Urban Decay brow palette, and, a bold lipstick from various cosmetic stores. It’s simple, easy, and only takes maximum 10 minutes.
Maybelline Baby Lips Berry Bliss Lip Balm: I never leave the house without it! Applying it at the start of day and keeping it around all day means that my lips stay moisturized and soft. It applies a thin coat and stays on for most of the day. The crazy flavors are an added plus to an everyday must have.
Rimmel BB cream: it’s the makeup that doesn’t feel like makeup at all. Applies easily, and the shade blends well with my skin tone to give a fresh and matte finish. While it doesn’t cover up all blemishes, it allows for natural skin tones, and rosy cheeks to shine through — giving it a natural, nude look.
Marc Jacobs fragrance in “Daisy”: It’s a fresh fragrance that takes me from day to night. It’s really light, floral and subtle. Suitable for work, play and everything in between.
I’m a weird combination of a product junkie, but way too laid back to care about doing things a certain way or doing a bunch of steps everyday. Exfoliator is my alpha and omega for this reason. I use Origins Modern Friction, it works wonders getting deep shit out of my pores and my face looks better instantly (it’s also gentler on your skin than most and *karma bonus* it’s not one of the majority of exfoliators that cause pollution because they uses tiny plastic beads). My hair savior is coconut oil after a shower (or Kerastase oil if you’re rich). For makeup — NARS tinted moisturizer (as a foundation) and blush; Smashbox pots for the eyebrows; and a mini Chanel quad for eyeshadow mostly because it starts my day off by making me feel fancy.
I actually have an alarming number of beauty products — some more complicated-sounding than others. I discovered Anja Rubik’s beauty regimen on Into The Gloss and next thing I knew, I was buying most of the products she mentioned — it all happened so fast. I use La Roche Posay eye makeup remover and thermal spring water spray, Burt’s Bees rosewater toner, Dior milk face cleanser and La Prairie skin caviar face cream because I’m an asshole.
For makeup I put on face cream, then maybe a pinch of primer, Anastasia eyebrow gel, the Urban Decay brow box, and a little blush. If I’m feeling fancy, then I’ll smear on some NARS’ “Lola Lola” eyeshadow.
I only wear makeup every one out of seven days, but when I do, I’m pretty simple. I wash my face with Cetaphil and use what’s probably French diaper rash cream to moisturize at night. The one thing I do every day is wear moisturizer with sunblocking and anti-wrinkling properties (Nivea Q10). On the rare occasion that I manage to “put my face on,” I use Garnier BB Cream (more sunblock!), this insanely luxurious Makeup Forever HD Loose Powder that makes me look like a porcelain doll’s ghost, a beautiful Chanel blush that’s been discontinued, and gobs of any black mascara — usually a sample from Sephora — that I can find. If I’m feeling really ladies-who-lunch-y, I have some Cargo eyeshadow from 2004 that I put on with my finger, and a swipe of Blistex Medicated lipbalm followed by biting my lips repeatedly and compulsively on the train so that they turn pink.
I wear makeup every day because I have stupid acne scars I need to hide, but I’m so used to my process that it takes only a few minutes to complete. My daily “face” is: Urban Decay Naked foundation, sometimes applied with their awesome airbrush brush and sometimes with my fingers. I use Laura Mercier powder foundation to set it and give a little extra coverage, but it’s lightweight so I don’t look cakey. I use brow powder in a taupe shade on my eyebrows, apply bronzer to my cheeks, temples and nose with a big fluffy brush. I blend that out with a smaller, clean brush so it doesn’t look streaky or fake. Then it’s highlighting powder from Hourglass, one of my holy grail products, applied with their special brush to my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose. Mascara – always Lancôme. Most days I do a red lip, but that’s usually in the car on the way to work. The whole shebang takes ten minutes max. My hair is too crazy in summer to heat-style, so I let it wave naturally or tie it up in a braid or a low, messy ponytail. The last step is ALWAYS perfume. I’m naked without it.
My beauty products are always really random, but I swear by these two things: this Benefit under-eye concealer, which I’ve been using for the past six years; and this Vanicream lotion, which has like medical-esque packaging and seems like it should be connected to Vagisil but ISN’T — and it is honestly the number one product I use.
I only wash my face when I take a shower, which is about once a week. I use drug store apricot scrub to exfoliate and then finish with Oil of Olay Reginerist regenerating serum right out of the shower. It makes my skin feel soft but tight, yet not greasy like typical moisturizers. For makeup I mostly use bareMinerals products, which I find are easiest on my skin and have completely curbed the lingering acne I carried into my mid-20s. Eyes are the most important thing for me: I swear by the fact that anyone looks more beautiful with their eyebrows filled in; they frame your face and give your whole look definition. I use Bare Escentuals’ Brunette Brow Kit. It comes with the perfect little angled brush, brow powder, and this awesome clear gel that holds runaway hairs in place and also doubles as an awesome way to slick back flyaways on a bad hair day. The other big thing is mascara. I use two: first, L’oreal Double Extend Lash Extension Effect in Blackest Black, and followed by Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies in Very Black. Wearing so much mascara probably makes me look like a kewpie doll or a baby prostitute, but I don’t care. My lashes are 1,000 miles long and I am not sorry. Trust me, though, you need both. One for volume, one for length. Then I spritz on a combo of Chloe perfume and Moonlit Path body spray from Bath and Body works, and I’m out the door.
I love the Sephora brand lipstick in a shade called The Red, a true fire truck red. Someone once told me that a tube of lipstick is the cheapest way to buy happiness, and they were right. It set me back $8 and is now my go-to product. You don’t need much else with a bold lip, so I do a thin line of Urban Decay’s Glide-On Pencil in Zero (black), which I’ve bought and replaced twice a year since my freshman year of high school — it’s THAT GOOD — and a nondescript mascara which I don’t feel like disclosing, because I honestly don’t like it very much. I also like NARS’ blush in Deep Throat, which gives a really nice, natural flush that’s not too pink. If I’m running late and don’t have time for makeup, I’ll just use Neutrogena’s Deep Moisture Day Cream. It makes my skin feel like it belongs to a goddess, and not a person who always forgets to wash off her makeup at night and use sunscreen at the beach.
My essential beauty products are my Clarisonic because my skin is a hot mess; some really good moisturizer (I love everything by the brand Caudalie, it’s very gentle and never greasy feeling). I always have on lip stain, Diorshow, some neutral-colored eyeshadow, and tinted moisturizer if my skin is really not working with me.
Lancôme Effacernes Waterproof Undereye Concealer: stays on all day and completely erases the bags under my eyes
Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush: isn’t overpowering, I pick any color with a bit of sparkle/shine to it to pop out my cheekbones
L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara: AWESOME mascara, makes my lashes look super long, never, ever clumps. I’ve been asked multiple times if my lashes are fake (and they’re not!) when I wear this mascara.
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine in BOY (the name of the color): very natural look, glides on easily, basically serves as a super expensive Chapstick.
Clinique’s Instant Life for Brows: LOVE this product, fills in eyebrows to give them a natural fullness on one end, the other end is a shine used just underneath the eyebrow to give your eye shape an extra pop
L’Oreal Precision Liner (The Super Slim by Infallible): the is my favorite product of them all. It’s a felt-pen liquid liner almost full proof to giving you the cat-eye liner-look.
1) Dab some of the Lancome under eye concealer to cover the bags under my eyes, and use to cover up any obvious blemishes around face.
2) Use the Chanel blush mainly on cheekbones, but just a bit on the nose, chin, and neck line.
3) Draw skinny cat-line using the L’Oreal precision liner and use the L’Oreal Voluminous mascara on top eyelashes and a little on bottom. Make sure mascara is even.
4) Use Clinique brow shaper VERY lightly for a natural, full eyebrow look.
5) Be generous with the Chanel lip shine
My moisturizer is Pond’s cream, foundation is Makeup Forever because it’s got great coverage but it isn’t thick or cakey and matches my skin tone really well. My powder is Bare Minerals, eyeliner is Stila and bronzer is Nars. (But my biggest beauty secret is The Face Shop’s Real Nature Mask Sheet in Green Tea. You have to have a good base.)
I used to be a makeup glutton. For years I didn’t leave the house until I had contoured my way into a completely new face. I don’t do that anymore, so I’ll tell you exactly what I use now for a day-to-day, barely-there look, but I’m also going to tell you what products I used to use that are FANTASTIC if you wanna do it up.
On my skin, I use Neutrogena tinted moisturizer, on my eyes I use Diorshow mascara, and then just chapstick. However, these are some of the things I used to use and do that I cannot recommend highly enough:
1. bareMinerals foundation, bronzer, etc.
2. Trick of the trade: heat up your eyelash curler with a hair dryer or a lighter for a few seconds, test it on your finger to make sure it’s not too hot, THEN curl your lashes.
3. Neutrogena MicroMist sunless tanner (seriously gives you amazing color with no streaks or mess.)
4. Smashbox Brow Tech.
5. Hair secret: learn to curl your hair with your straightening iron. You just have to twist a 1″ iron as you run it down your hair. I used to (and still do) divide my hair into a few big sections and it takes me 5 minutes to look like I just had a blowout.
Most of my go-to everyday beauty products are classic items you can find at any drug store. I use Cetaphil and/or Neutrogena for facial cleansing and moisturizing in the morning. At night I typically use Aveeno’s Ultra Calming face wipes to take makeup off if I’m too lazy to properly cleanse. I stick with those products because I’ve used them for forever and they keep my skin looking healthy and blemish free. I’ve been obsessed with LUSH’s Mint Julips lip scrub ever since I discovered it and I love combining that with LUSH’s Honey Trap lip balm before bed or in the morning to keep my lips super soft and moisturized.