Know what I love? Stuff that works.
I feel like I spend a disproportionate amount of time trying to find things that DO what they say they do. And you know, I’m not raising kids or brokering world peace, but my time is still valuable. I mean, I’m not in my twenties anymore…I’m only going to stay wrinkle-free and immaculately bosomed for so long, and each moment I spend in the grocery aisle debating which glass cleaner will make computer-generated birds fly into my French doors is a moment I’m NOT slipping roofies into the bourbons of easily-entrapped elderly rich dudes and frankly, I just can’t live with that.
Another thing I love is “The Natural Look.”
No really, I do. Mine are some very lazy bones and although I am perfectly capable and willing to wear a full face of makeup when it is required, for the most part, my day look involves nada in the way of paints and powders.
I subscribe to the French technique –it sounds fancier than just saying I’m lazy– which is relatively little in the way of actual cosmetics, but a serious skin care regime. Honestly, if you’ve got great skin and a well-shaped, flawlessly groomed brow (and if you’re me, a draconian position on unwelcome facial hair) you should –theoretically– be able to wake up, wash your face, moisturize and be ready for your close up.
Here are the exact products I use and love:
I’ve got big ole eyelash extensions comme ça, so keep in mind you might want to add a slick of mascara –or better yet, lash tinting– for a natural-but-polished look.
(oh what, you thought it was all glamor? This is mid-exfoliation, yo! And you say I don’t love you.)
Here is what I use for skin care:
I was looking for something that didn’t require rinsing as I can’t get my eyelashes wet for 24 hours after a fill when I bought these by mistake. Happily it was one of those rare mistakes that work out in my favor. My skin –which had been suffering– noticeably improved within a few days. Each pad has a little scrubby side and a lathery side. The scrubby side is perfect for gentle exfoliation, but when I want something a bit stronger –about once a week– I pour a little rice flour onto the pad and scrub it into my face. Rice flour is an excellent and dirt cheap natural exfoliant. It doesn’t get super sudsy (see picture above) but has a nice little lather that rinses off easily.
This isn’t the best moisturizer/radiance serum I’ve ever used –those awards go to Sisley, Chanel and Caudelie– but it’s the best one I’ve found for under $90. My skin tone is more even and brighter, and the lotion absorbs quickly, which is nice because “glowy” is a good look for me, “greased up like Charleton Heston” is not.
I use this before bed, on top of my Aveeno moisturizer. Again, it’s not the best I’ve ever used but it’s the best for under $90, and it’s not markedly less effective than my $200 cream. This is some thick goop though, so a little bit goes a long way. While I wouldn’t say it’s greasy, it stays on the skin longer than I’d like for day wear so this night cream really is better just at night.
Really any old clear mascara should do to run over your brows to keep them nicely shaped for the day but I like giving my money to Cover Girl because I appreciate they use plus-size Queen Latifah and other women of color in their ads. Next week (I hope) I’ll show you how I do my brows when I’m wearing makeup, but usually it’s just the clear mascara and a very good waxist.
This is the perfect lip gloss because it just brings a flush of blood to your lips. I’ve never noticed any real lip plumping, but I’ve got a big mouth (hush, you know what I mean) so I’m not sure I’d notice it if it did. Incidentally, if you don’t have high coloring in your cheeks, a little bit of this on your fingertips and rubbed into your cheeks like a cream blush should do the trick.
So there you go, the five products I use every day to get a fresh, polished natural look. If you decide to try any of them –and I highly recommend them all– be sure to let us know!