Sunday, February 15, 2015

Three Minute Face

I love makeup and I’m kind of a product junkie – I have drawers full of shimmery, creamy, goopy magic. I love to play and experiment, but for my everyday look I’m quite low-maintenance. With the right products, it takes me about three minutes to look polished and (relatively) awake -- perfect for working from home, casual office days, and running around on the weekends.

Here's what I use in my speedy-but-effective routine:

The Essentials...

I try to remember to dab on a little bit of this first thing in the morning. I absolutely LOVE this product -- makes my skin SO soft, it is really the first moisturizer that I enjoy using. If you're a Bravo fan, you might remember Jennifer Lopez raving about this on Watch What Happens Live. I always take celeb recommendations with a grain of salt, but since this product isn't crazy expensive, and since Jennifer Lopez's face looks like, well, perfection, I thought I'd give it a whirl. Because this is a bit thick I think it would work best as a night cream, so I'm exploring other, lighter options for day (any suggestions?). But for now, this is working fine to prep my skin for makeup.

And I promise, most days I also add this great sunscreen. It is a kind of an interesting texture, much runnier than your average sunscreen, but it provides great coverage for this Snow White afraid of frying in the Florida sun.

In my 20s, I used tinted moisturizers to help even out my skin and give me a polished but not overly made-up look (Laura Mercier and Stila are favorites in that category). In my 30s, I've moved to BB creams. They provide just a bit more coverage and apparently they are good (or at least, not terrible) for your skin. I think this formula by Dr. Jart is incredible, particularly for fair skin. A little goes a long way – just one or two pumps covers my whole face, and I blend it with a foundation brush or even just my fingers. It looks natural all day, and it just covers the little imperfections -- redness, dark spots, blemishes, all of it.

I can skip almost every step in my makeup routine, but the one product I never skip is eyeliner. It’s just my favorite, and I feel it makes the biggest difference in my face. The shape of my eyes makes pencil liner almost impossible (it transfers to my upper lids within minutes), so for me, liquid liners were kind of a revelation. This L’Oreal formula was one of the first I tried and it’s been my absolute favorite for years.

The applicator is a bit unusual in that it’s a true brush, almost like a nail polish brush, which makes it easy to keep your line thin or really lay it on thick. If you're new to liquid liner, I think this is also easier to get the hang of than felt tip applicators. And the staying power is phenomenal – it lasts through a sweaty workout or a long workday. I’ve tried plenty of pricey liners, but I always end up going back to this drugstore bargain.

I’ll be honest, I think we are living in the Golden Age of Mascara. There are truly hundreds of REALLY, really wonderful mascaras on the market – you almost can’t make a mistake. If you ask 10 different women for their must-have mascara you’ll get 10 different answers, and they’ll probably all be awesome. For years, I’ve been loyal to L’Oreal Voluminous. It goes on easily and does a great job of lengthening and thickening (it is a great dupe for the fantastic DiorShow), and it stays on all day. And it is cheap. CHEAP! I often find it on sale at Target for around $5 and grab a few tubes so I can stash them in my purse, gym bag, wherever.

Oh, and definitely curl your lashes. You know the trick about warming your curler up with your hair dryer, right?

If I'm really pressed for time I might skip cheek color, but this is my favorite one to dab on when I do want a natural flushed look. The Multiple is a best-seller for Nars, but I particularly love their matte version. Cream blushes are so forgiving -- I just use my fingers to dab this on the apples of my cheeks, there is truly no skill involved. This might seem a little pricey for blush, but after a year I've barely made a dent in mine -- I am pretty sure this tube will last me the rest of my life.

I dot this on along my brow bones and then across my cheekbones (it makes a little heart shape!) and then blend. It's the lazy girl's contouring and looks pretty when the light catches your face.

If I Have Two More Minutes...

I'll dot my favorite concealer under my eyes. This formula is quite opaque, so it is ideal for covering dark circles. On bad days, it can feel like instant Photoshop.

I'll also use this brightening pencil on the inside of my lower lash line to make my eyes look wider and more awake (and maybe dab a little in the inner corners, too).

And maybe I'll make a half-hearted attempt at putting something on my lips (usually just a good chapstick, like this Nivea one). I love lipstick, but I'm honestly too lazy to put much on during the day.

PS -- Isn't that makeup bag the cutest? Forever 21 has some great ones right now!


  1. This looks like a great routine! And I've heard amazing things about Dr. Jart's BB cream! I try to keep my makeup routine to 5 minutes or less during the week!

    1. Thanks! I've been really happy with the Dr. Jart brand (I've tried a few formulas, all great). When I first started experimenting with BB creams, someone suggested sticking with a Korean brand since they really perfected this product. Apparently American companies removed a lot of the good stuff from their versions of BBs. I can't say for sure whether that's true, but it sounds pretty believable (we do tend to ruin good ideas that we try to "borrow" from others!).