My makeup mantra is different from my approach to skincare – In comparison to my skincare routine that I find very relaxing, my makeup routine stresses me out, because by the time I’m done with my skincare, I am usually running late, with just about sufficient time left to grab a quick bite, and head out of the door for work ASAP (and possibly snuggle with my dog, Sasha, and take conference calls at the same time – my mornings are a mess!). So, I try to keep my makeup routine as quick as possible (5-10 mins max). While my skincare routine is 100% natural at this point, I’m still working through many old makeup products (especially lips and blushes). Since I don’t wear much makeup, it’s difficult throwing these away and spending a bomb switching to 100% natural – although I do want to get to that point by end of year, if possible.
My skin is far from perfect, with quite a few acne marks around my cheeks and chin, but my makeup philosophy is “less is more”. I strive for a natural look, and prefer products that are quick and easy. After I’m done cleansing and moisturizing, here’s the routine that I usually follow on a work day.
All pictures below have been left untouched, to show the real color shade.
1. Apply Sunscreen/BB Cream – I am currently using Andalou Naturals Brightening All – in – One Beauty Balm (Sheer Tint) with SPF 30. This is a very recent addition to my routine, but it’s working quite well for me. I absolutely hate applying sunscreen, and since I spend the majority of my day working in front of a computer, and only about 10 mins driving back and forth from work, I have mostly been able to get away without sunscreen. But I’ve read lots of articles online saying that there’s no point applying brightening products, if you don’t wear sunscreen. So…here I am, because I love my brightening products, and will do anything (as long as it’s natural) to get rid of my hyper pigmentation. This product has SPF30 with 20% Zinc Oxide (one of the highest concentrations I found so far), and as a bonus, the sheer tint of the BB cream evens out my skin tone quite nicely. It doesn’t hide all my marks and spots, and is quite oily – almost can’t touch my face at this point, without the application of a finishing powder. So far, it hasn’t caused me any breakouts, and stays put on my face all day. Will write a more detailed review later, after I’ve properly tested it.
2. Under Eye Concealer – I won a $75 Kjaer Weis Gift Card in their Instagram Giveaway, and used that and a little bit of my own funds to purchase the Foundation (Shade: Velvety) and the Mascara. I don’t like a full face of foundation (looks too artificial/made up to me) for daily wear, and instead, use this as an under eye concealer. The product has just the right amount of slip to quickly conceal my under eye dark circles – I use my fingers/hands for application because it’s much faster than using a brush (sorry for the “unprofessionalism”). Also, the warmth helps blend the product better. It does crease a bit and needs some adjustment every couple of hours, especially under my eyes, where it settles in the fine lines. I’ve also used this once as a full face foundation, and had no issues spreading the product, and it caused no breakouts. The key is to ensure your face is properly exfoliated and moisturized prior to the foundation application. The shade Velvety was the darkest shade KW used to carry when I ordered this, but they’ve just released an even darker shade, Delicate! Luckily for me, Velvety is a perfect match. Will write a more detailed review later, after I’ve properly tested it.
3. Finishing Powder – Currently using the RMS Beauty Tinted “Un” Powder in Shade 3-4. I decided to go for this primarily because of the short list of ingredients – only two (Silica and Iron Oxides). And the beautiful packaging doesn’t hurt, of course. An extremely finely milled powder, that takes away all the oiliness/heaviness of my Sunscreen/BB cream. It doesn’t completely mattify, but takes away that oily shine, and leaves my face with just the right level of dewiness. I use the Eco Tools Buffing Brush (from the limited edition) to apply the powder all over my face, and the Eco Tools Concealer Brush (from the same limited edition) to powder my eye area. The powder is really light and you could easily layer 3-4 layers. I stick to 1-2 layers – this is sufficient to take away any oiliness caused by the BB cream/sunscreen. Some of you asked on Instagram if it can be used as a foundation – The tint in this powder is very light and nearly not sufficient to work as a foundation, but it slightly blurs out the unevenness and diminishes the appearance of pores. I haven’t used loose powder in years, but had to add one to my routine, because of the addition of sunscreen (why am I making my life complicated?). It’s definitely a bit of hassle to dispense an adequate amount of loose powder – I usually give the jar a couple of shakes. I am keeping the puff as a “guard” to prevent the loose powder from getting into everything. More detailed review to follow later.
4. Eye makeup – I started using the Kjaer Weis mascara a week or so ago. The wand is quite easy to maneuver, the formula stays put all day, and gives a decent amount of volume and lengthening effects. I apply a single layer to both my upper and lower lashes. It doesn’t slide or transfer, and stays put all day. I gave up on mascara for a really long time, because I hate losing lashes during the cleansing process – I still lose 1 or 2 lashes even though I use the gentlest possible oil cleanser. Any thoughts on how to avoid this? Regarding the cost of this mascara, I think the huge upfront investment should pay off long term since the refills are so much cheaper (and I can always wait for an offer!). The KW packaging is just so pretty and hard to resist. I am keeping my KW makeup in its original red cardboard packaging, even though eventually, I’m pretty sure they’ll end up getting dirty. At least I can avoid the scratches this way.
I usually like to add a black eyeliner to my upper/lower lids if I can spare a minute, and for this, I am currently using Tarte EmphasEYES Waterproof Clay Shadow in black. It is completely matte, and doesn’t smudge. Tarte is not 100% natural, but I am okay with this formulation. Besides, I still have a huge collection of gel and pencil eyeliners from “dirty” brands, that I’m working on finishing up!
5. Blush – Because of the tinted sunscreen and finishing powder, I need to apply some blush, to add some color to my cheeks. I had almost stopped using blushes due to my breakouts, but slowly adding them back to my routine. The one pictured above is Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush in “Antique Rose”. I rotate this with my other “dirty” blushes, and some other samples from Tata Harper (Very Vivacious) and Vapor Organic Beauty (Courtesan). Even a tiny sample lasts me a long time — so I find it hard to justify spending a lot of money on full sized blushes, especially when I still have super expensive blushes from NARS (gave most of them away, but still have some that I couldn’t make myself part with) and the like.
6. Lip – Currently loving RMS Beauty Lip Shine in Bloom. The description says it’s a “super sheer pink shine”. It gives me the famous “my lips but better” look! Since the color is so subtle, I don’t have to worry too much about my lips clashing with my eyes or cheeks. It lasts for about 2 hours I’d say, before needing a re-application. Since the lip shines come in wide mouthed pots, I prefer not carrying them around with me (really don’t want to dip dirty fingers in them). So, for touch ups, I rely on whatever sample or gloss or lip tint that has made its way into my travel makeup purse. I was lucky enough to bag all four RMS Beauty lip shines during their VDay offer earlier this year. I think I’m all stocked up in the lips department (still have so many lipsticks, lip tints, glosses etc. from other brands that need using up).
Anyway, so this is my short and sweet makeup routine. I could skip the under eye concealer and my black eyeliner if I have absolutely no time, but the tinted sunscreen, tinted powder, and a little bit of mascara are essential for looking presentable.
Do you have a simple 5 minute routine? Please do share!