Like many women born before 1990, my first exposure to makeup came to me in the form of my mom's Clinique Bonus Time castoffs. Barely there blushes and stubby mascara samples, zipped up in a colorful fabric pouch. I dutifully used their Clarifying Lotion in my teens, but made sure to time my stock up schedule to align with that Bonus Time.
When I moved to Pittsburgh for college, I discovered Sephora, and my bank account was never the same (or safe) again. On quiet Saturday afternoons when I'd gotten over my previous night's hangover, I'd make the stroll over to the Shady Side location and peruse for new eyeshadows that would distract me from the fact that I really should've been doing problem sets or securing a summer internship.
Today, I can proudly say that I'm a Sephora VIB Rouge, Birchbox Ace, Glossier Rep, and a slew of other labels that really just distract from my compulsive shopping habits, but also give me some validity about being a sort of beauty expert.
Master Beauty Blogger I am not, but here's a peek at what my daily makeup routine looks like:
Start Out with a Solid Base
After my 8-step morning skincare routine (more on that to come...), I have to prep my skin for makeup. I feel like primers aren't 100% necessary for everyone, but I learned long ago that my eyeshadow starts to crease and my foundation melts off without it. I'm head over heels for NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base - it blows Urban Decay's Stay Don't Stray out of the water.
I smooth my skin with Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. It doesn't have a mattifying or pore-erasing effect like Smashbox primers do, but it also isn't loaded with pore-clogging silicones. I'm not a huge fan of Hourglass packaging, though; it looks beautiful but their airless pumps tend to clog and the hole in this tube's orifice is too big for the viscosity of the primer. C'est la vie...
Conceal Conceal Conceal
I've seen makeup tutorials where you apply concealer after your foundation base, but I like to do it first - I feel like you can focus on any imperfections first and then you end up using a lot less foundation. But maybe that's just me!
I like to mix and match my concealer, depending on what I'm trying to hide, how my skin is feeling that day, etc etc.
Glossier Stretch Concealer (in Medium) has been a must-have for me ever since they released it. It's smooth and creamy and blends really well with my skin. I love to use it to touch up throughout the day, as it blends really well and helps to revive any makeup that faded.
I bought NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer because I felt like I had to - all the ITG girls were doing it. It has great coverage, though, and is nice and blendable and layerable. I feel like I got a color that isn't quite right on me, but since I usually wear it under foundation, this isn't too terrible.
I used to rely on Benefit Erase Paste all through college, and I heard that Bo-ing Brightening Concealer came along to replace it in their product line up. I have it in Light-Medium, and I use it to do any additional touch ups after I apply foundation.
Tarte Double Duty Shape Tape is relatively new to me, and I got it for the same reason that I got the NARS one (self-imposed peer pressure?). I like it a lot, though, and works well as an undereye concealer for no creasing. I like to blend it out with a Beauty Blender, while I apply the others with my fingers.
Better than an Instagram Filter
I have a few different foundations in rotation right now, but the one that I rely on the most is Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint in Ivory. I worked with a sales associate at Blue Mercury to pick it out when I wanted to stop using drugstore foundations, and while I was initially worried about how light it was. It's hydrating and very blendable, and plays well with the Hourglass primer. I'd thought of this as more of a summer-weight foundation, but I'm still enjoying it even though there is several inches of snow on the ground today. I apply it with a Beauty Blender, which I try to clean every few days.
Adding Some Color
Once I've created an even base, I like to go in with some color to make myself look somewhat awake. I've been a big fan of Glossier Cloud Paint and have now abandoned NARS Orgasm powder blush to a dusty drawer. They're just so easy and blendable, and I have yet to feel clownish when wearing them. I like to mix Dusk and Haze, as Haze has a lot of pigment and Dusk can add some contouring with its brownish hue.
So many beauty editors call out Benefit Hoola as a must-have bronzer, and while I of course bought it, I think it's too dark for me. Maybe it's because I live in Vermont, but Hoola Lite is a lot more approachable and a lot less Kardashian for me.
All About Eyes
I can barely tell a cut crease from a cat eye, so most days, I stick to a standard eye makeup look. Starting with the NARS primer, I add a layer of L'Oreal Infallible Paints to really make sure I have that base there. These liquid shadows come in pairs of subtle and intense, and I really like the softer colors.
Next I do a thin line of eyeshadow on my top lash and just into the corner to give a little bit of depth, and I've been doing that with last year's Holiday edition Glossier No. 1 Pencil. I'm just praying that more makeup is in the pipeline for them because I'm almost done with this limited edition color.
I top that off with a subtle bronze shadow from the Tarte Tease pallet, which I purchased mostly because of its small size and not too crazy colors. I've been using Buxom Lash Waterproof Mascara for years. It never gives me raccoon eyes and lasts all day, but I'm able to get it off with makeup remover at night. A few months ago, it disappeared from Sephora's website, so I started hoarding them when I found them in stores. Thankfully, they're back in stock and it was all a false alarm.
Finally, I fluff and shape my brows with Glossier Boy Brow in Brown. I never knew I needed a brow pomade until Boy Brow came into my life, and now I have 3 in my back up drawer at all time so that I'll never run out.
I used to expect that my makeup would slowly disappear over the course of a day, but then I realized that you actually have to set it to make sure it sticks around. These days, I spray a few mists of Urban Decay's De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray, let that settle, and then dust Glossier Wowder over my forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin to make sure that all of my hard work lasts for at least 8 hours. Then I do a swipe of Glossier Gen G lipstick (my favorite is Leo) and run out the door, invariably 15 minutes late to my first appointment of the day.
P.S. Everything featured here from Glossier was purchased by me long before I became a rep - I've just been obsessed with them for a very long time!