Hey, hey, heyyyy. It’s Friday, it’s above 70 degrees outside, and it feels like a great day to talk about makeup. So that’s what we’re gonna do.
(She says as she sits at her desk with zero makeup on. Gray shirt tucked into gray sweatpants like a lady.)
The truth is, I love makeup. It’s fun to play with and it makes me feel good, which is a win-win. I buy a lot of it. This is not the most practical investment as I work from home and tend to go about my business barefaced, but whateva. When I do venture out into the world, I like to put my best face forward, dammit!
I’m obviously always down to try new products, but I’ve really perfected my “5-minute face” over the past few years using a handful of trusted essentials I can’t live without. I demonstrated this extremely glamorous process on Instagram (I saved the Stories to my highlights should you wish to watch at any point), but I thought I’d run down my essentials here for your future reference/voyeuristic pleasure.
I’ve linked to all the products below—most are available via Mecca Sephora—but I’ve also added a bunch of them to my Amazon store should you wish to shop there instead.
And now, without further ado, these are the things I use to get pretty…
Dr. Perricone No Foundation Foundation Serum. I hate foundation. Always have, always will. I don’t like anything that feels “heavy” on my face, and given that my skin is on the dry side, most foundations read as cakey on me. Plus, girlfriend puts so much time and effort into skincare, I want to let my natural face SHINE, dammit. With that said, I still like a little somethin’ somethin’ to perfect my face, and that’s what Dr. Perricone gives me. This weightless serum melts into my skin, evening out discoloration and minimizing my pores. Plus it has SPF 30, which I need because my moisturizer doesn’t contain sunscreen. Safety first!
Josie Maran Vibrancy Foundation in Juicy. This is the only “real” foundation I own, and I break it out when I want a little more coverage. It’s still on the very light/minimal coverage side of the foundation spectrum, and it leaves my skin looking even and dewy. I prefer glowy over matte, which is why this formula with argan oil agrees with me, but if you have oily skin, I’d steer clear of this one.
Beautyblender. I use this beloved sponge (it kind of looks like an egg with one pointy tip) to apply my foundation. It helps everything go on super smoothly/evenly, and the tip makes it easy to get all up around your eyes. I clean mine every single time I use it with the Beautyblender solid cleanser, which is slightly neurotic, yes, but also keeps me from breaking out. I wet the sponge, rub it in the cleanser, then squeeze and rinse under running water. I do this a few times until the water runs clear and the sponge looks clean.
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-2. I’ve experimented with a TON of concealers over the years, but I always come back to this one. It’s great for concealing all manner of face sins (zits, dark circles, redness around the nose, etc.), and you only have to use a teeny-tiny bit. And it comes with two shades that you can blend until you get the perfect match for your skin tone.
Welleda Skin Food. Soooo, most wouldn’t label this intense hydrating cream “makeup,” but it happens to be my personal highlighter of choice. I dab a tiny amount on my cheek and brow bones and it gives them a dewy glow that I dig more than any powder or stick highlighter I’ve tried. The best part is that you can pick up a tube of the stuff at Whole Foods, or on Amazon for like 12 bucks, and it will last you forever. Seriously. (I also use it on my winter dry hands, and I’ll often mix a little bit in with my body moisturizer when I want my chest/arms/legs to look extra slick.)
Sephora Collection Colorful 5 Eyeshadow Palette No. 6. I’ve been using this basic a(nd gloriously affordable) neutral palette for years. I use the nude/pink-y shade all over my lids (it’s not overly shimmery, but it still makes your eyes pop) and then swipe a little bit of the pale brown in my crease for definition. I’m a savage and just use my pointer finger as a “brush.”
Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen. I’m a subtle winged liner kinda girl, but getting it right is a challenge. I’m miserable with a brush, which is why I love this liner. It’s basically a thin felt tip pen that’s easy to use, stays put most of the day, and lasts me a solid 3 months or so. Not gonna lie, it took me a looooong time to perfect my technique (and I still have to redo one eye at least 25% of the time), but practice makes perfect. Don’t let fear of Ozzy Osbourne eyes hold you back from your winged liner dreams, people.
Clinique High Impact Mascara. I have super sensi eyes, and Clinique is one of the few brands that doesn’t irritate them. This mascara doesn’t clump (one of my biggest pet peeves) or run easily, and it still gives you great volume and length.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer in Ebony. I have strong brows, but as a makeup artist once told me, they’re “a little patchy near the arches, honey.” I brush up my brows with the spooly side of the definer, and then use the retractable pencil with a thick, triangular tip to fill in any holes in my brows. The formula is pretty creamy, so it looks very natural.
Glossier Boy Brow in Brown. I’m crazy about this tinted gel, which I swipe on as the “finishing touch” to tame my wild brows. It holds them in place and gives them great color, BUT I always scrape the spooly along the side of the tube multiple times to remove most of the gel. Otherwise it’s too much gel/pigment for my brows.
I like a pale rose lip on the daily, and I’m currently rotating between two different products:
Glossier Generation G Lipstick in Like. This semi-sheer matte lipstick is perfect for daytime. It’s not transfer proof (so I leave lipstick marks on glasses all over town), but whatever. I usually dab some Aquaphor on top for moisture and shine.
YSL Volupté Tint-in-Balm in Call Me Rose. This is a super sheer rose lip tint that also happens to be decently moisturizing. Win-win.