Here’s the thing: if you’re the girl who genuinely enjoys beating your face with the beauty blender and baking powder every morning, more power to you. Genuinely. But because of the necessities in my morning routine (which involves Sculpt and eating breakfast), time had to give somewhere. And that was my beauty regimen.
Now, before we get too deep in the weeds about superficial stuff, just know that I've got two solid things in the pipeline for y'all: one is an interview with my dear friend Ali Anwar, who founded, owns and operates his own wealth management firm. He also has five degrees. He's also a director in the sales & marketing department at Texas Instruments, a Fortune 200 company. Oh, and he's 25. Does anyone feel inadequate yet? Me too. Anyway, he have a lot to learn from him.
I'm also working with my friend Haley Loflin to collaborate on a piece for young women who want to get into investing but don't know where to start. This has been on my mind a lot lately (let's make our money make money, shall we?) and she's a little bit of a self-taught subject matter expert. I felt like if more women (like me) felt empowered with knowledge of the basics, they may be more apt to start.
But until then, makeup.
This is the makeup look for the woman who would sooner wear nothing at all than spend time bronzing—for when you want to look clean, polished, and put-together, but you don’t give a shit if your coworkers think you’re a 10 out of 10. (Maybe you are without makeup. I am not.)
This is also a solid alternative if you’re running pitifully late for something or have errands to run but feel like you need to get yourself a little ‘together’ first.
I have this theory about the ideal beauty routine. I call it the ‘deserted island’ state. It’s the concept that we should all strive to achieve a beauty regimen so low-maintenance and attainable that when we’re all inevitably faced with Gilligan’s fate someday and stranded on deserted islands, we still look hot. Anyone else? No? OK. Cool. Still up for discussion whether or not spending four hours in a salon chair for a full highlight would pass the deserted island test, but I don’t think I’d like the answer.
In short, I’m all about optimization of time and efficiency of effort—let’s get the biggest bang for our buck (both literally and figuratively). In my opinion, these are the three products in a makeup routine that offer the best return on investment.
So, I love experimenting with different foundations. I swear, there could be one that gave me a 10.0% APR and I’d still probably be like, yeah, but Estee Lauder just came out with something I really want to try…
Right now I’m obsessing over the brand essence of Glossier because I love the “you, but better” idea (and their product copy on the website is honestly killer). I have yet to purchase anything from them, though, because I get sketched out by trying entirely new makeup online without even seeing it in-store. Anyone into Glossier that can vouch for their products? Let me know.
The Clinique “Even Better” foundation is something I had in my vanity anyway that holds similar promise. It has SPF (bye, wrinkles, I’m over you—I don’t want to be tan, I want to be 23 forever), offers normal coverage, but still looks dewy enough to where your skin actually looks like skin. I don’t think anyone would look at me and be like, Wow, so bare-faced, but I also think I could say I wasn’t wearing foundation and people would probably believe it.
I also like it because its price range is in the mid-twenties, rather than the high thirties, forties, or fifties like most of the other foundations I like (Estee Lauder Double Wear Light and Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet, to be specific). Another feather in its cap (granted, this is purely based in social proof) is that it has over 2,000 reviews on Sephora, over 1,000 on Clinique's website, and over 1,000 on Ulta's website, and still maintains a rating in the high 4s. Anything that's widely loved is usually a universally solid choice.
I need foundation because my skin has such a naturally pinkish tone to it. I always look like I just came off a ski hill. I think it’s just residual redness from being on Accutane five years ago, but who knows. I’m sensitive, OK?
I didn't wear makeup to work for a couple weeks as an experiment with morning time and I literally had a coworker stop me in the hall to ask me if I was OK because it looked like I had been crying (red face, dammit). And alas, this 3-minute process was born.
First, I wash my hands and wet a cosmetic sponge (yes, one of those “vitamin E” sponges that come in the packs of 48 for $1.99). I get the whole attraction to Beauty Blenders, but as I mentioned before, #Accutane—I am a psycho about transferring bacteria onto my face, so using a fresh sponge daily makes me feel better about covering my face in product.
I get the sponge drenched then wring it out so it grows in size but retains its moisture. This fills the sponge with water so it’s porous but doesn’t just soak up all your foundation first (because it’s full of water). It blends it a hell of a lot easier, too.
Then I dab the foundation literally all over my face and blend it until it looks even and there aren’t any streaks. Here’s the fun part: no concealer or powder. I know, so naughty.
By 5 p.m., I definitely look a little shiny, but again—I’d rather look a little shiny (in the beauty industry, the word is ‘glowy’) than totally mattified. That’s just personal preference. I think shiny skin looks younger. (Again, #23Forever.)
Next step is a cream blush.
So we’ve evened out our skin tone and lightly toned any redness or dark spots with the foundation, but now it’s time to add a little life back in. I’m a big fan of cream blush for makeup like this because, again, it looks very natural.
I love this one from Revlon because it was at the drugstore for around $10. Can’t beat that. I use a stippling brush to swirl in the product, soft-smile at myself creepily in the mirror, and tap it on my cheeks. Done.
I use the color “Smitten” because it’s natural but still noticeable (nothing like a blush that’s so faintly colored that it looks like you’re brushing on more foundation! #value!).
Lastly, time to make your eyes visible to the world. I curl my lashes with a drugstore eyelash curler then use the L’oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara. I love the mascara-only look because, if applied correctly without clumps, it furthers the “Is that girl even wearing makeup?” ambiguity. Once you throw eyeliners and eyeshadow into the mix, you’ve blown your cover and made your hot girl disguise evident. * winks *
OK, and pro tip on the mascara—the “Carbon Black” color is super black, but it bleeds onto your skin. I don’t know what’s different about that formulation, but I swear, when I used to use it I’d have raccoon eyes from my greasy-ass eyelids. I just buy the regular black (or black brown) color instead and it doesn’t transfer the same way.
And, my friends, there you go—a tried-and-true three-minute work makeup situation. Obviously if I’m going “out” out or to anything where I’m dressed up, I’m definitely going to put more on (bronzer, powder, lipstick, etc.), but for sitting in a cubicle and staring at a computer screen, this has always been great.
All things beauty.