Over the past year, I’ve been crafting my own skincare and makeup routine. I was the girl who was lost in the drugstore beauty aisle and befuddled in Sephora (backstory here, here, and here). I was never adept at experimenting with makeup, so I mainly used what I had from a trip to the Clinique counter with my mom in 7th grade. While the simplicity of this approach is appealing, as a 30 year old woman it had become an outdated way of caring for my skin. After a good bit of trial and error and lots of tiny samples, I’ve gotten to a place where I’m happy to report I have a uniform to call my own.
What’s your skincare routine?
The Cerave line of products has become my go-to, thanks to my dermatologist. A year ago, I was using an acne face wash leftover from my college days, and it dried out my skin was actually creating breakouts. Now I hydrate my skin, which eliminated a lot of blemishes. I use a mild hydrating cleanser to wash my face in the shower. Then I slather on the facial moisturizing lotion over my face, neck and chest. I like the feel of the PM version best, but I’m getting used to the AM version too, which includes SPF 30 for sunny days. Then I layer on the skin renewing serum with retinol to minimize fine lines. I also am hooked on the Cerave moisturizing cream for my whole body and the super rich night cream.
Do you wear makeup?
On a “snuggle day” at home with my kids, I skip makeup altogether. If I’m going out (especially in the winter), I’ll take 2 minutes to put on a swipe of Tarte blush, Revlon eye liner in brown (since I have blue eyes) and I’ve gotten hooked on filling in my brows. My lashes and brows are blond, so it helps to add some contrast to my face. I already owned the Naked2 palette for eyes, and a friend recommended using the “tease” color to fill in my brows. It works, but I’d love to upgrade to Boy Brow from Glossier at some point. The only makeup I use on my lips is Fresh Sugar lip treatment in Rose. It goes on like an ultra smooth chapstick and does wonders for my lips, plus it has SPF in it. I keep one in my makeup drawer and one in my purse.
When I’m dressing up for a date or for church, now I have a go-to look. My favorite product find in the past year, hands down, is Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. It’s lightweight, with built in SPF and the tint gives just the right healthy glow to my skin and tones down any redness. It’s been a game changer. In addition to my usual blush, liner, and brows, I also like to layer on eyeshadow from the Naked2 palette (this video was really helpful, although I don’t put on as much shadow as they do), Full ‘N Soft mascara, and Sonia Kashuk highlighter stick in sparkling sand on my cheek bones and temples.
Once I had practiced a few times with the new products, I got it down to a rhythm and now I can do my makeup in about 5 minutes. At night, I take it all off with these favorite wipes. I love having this little part of my life figured out, so I can look put together without having to think about it.
When do you feel most beautiful?
Probably after a yoga class when I feel strong and glowy, like I can conquer the world.
Do you have a signature scent?
Yes! Years ago, I randomly spritzed on a sample of Marc Jacobs perfume in the airport’s duty-free section. The entire plane trip home, I got totally hooked on the smell. Instead of a spray bottle, I prefer a rollerball. It’s cheaper, and perfume can chemically deteriorate if it sits for too long, plus spritzing always makes me sneeze.
Bath vs. Shower?
What do you do to style and care for your hair?
I embrace bedhead! Ha, seriously though I mostly just wash it, don’t comb it, and let it air dry or sleep on it overnight.
After each of my pregnancies, I’ve lost a ton of hair. This is normal, and it does grow back, but it’s probably done more damage to my self-esteem than I’d like to admit. My hair is pretty thin already, so it feels so noticeable. I’ve gotten bangs in the past to help cover it, and that helped but growing them back out is a beast. This time around, I decided to just go with it, and bedhead has helped disguise a lot of the re-growth. Occasionally I throw in a few curls with a curling wand.
In high school, I used to bleach my hair constantly to recreate the blond hair I had as a kid. Plus, I had a legit hair-do mimicking Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail. I loved it, but it almost feels like a different person than I am now. Did I tell you I was a cheerleader too? Anyways, my husband really encouraged me to embrace my real hair color, and now I’m totally hooked on being a brunette. I only get my hair cut once or twice a year and keep it at long layers. I love being low-key about it. Someday, I’ll probably start getting my hair colored like my mom, when grey hairs start popping up, so for now it feels like a luxury of youth not to need it.
What nail polish do you wear?
I only paint my toes, thanks to waiting tables and chemistry classes when nail polish was forbidden. It just feels weird on my hands. I switch back and forth between my two favorites – Essie in after school boy blazer and wicked.
Are there any beauty trends you’ve tried and quit?
Last year, when I was experimenting a lot, I tried using oil for lotion and it was a huge mess. I even tried coconut oil for pulling, and that was a no-go too. Lipstick isn’t my thing, and it’s a bit of a turn-off for my husband, so if I want the effect of lipstick without the feel I wear this instead.
Do you have an overall beauty philosophy?
I want to be beautiful on the inside, even more than the outside. That’s what I want to pass down to my daughter as well. I hope she spends more time working on having a kind and generous heart than on having a beautiful face. It will last so much longer. She always loves to watch when I am getting ready, and we talk about how makeup is a fun thing we get to do, but beauty is much bigger than makeup. Practically in terms of products, I like to keep it minimal and natural, and a little bit imperfect. It’s more interesting that way.
Thanks for reading! This post was inspired by Cup of Jo’s series, Beauty Uniforms, where I found an incredible amount of inspiration and practical advice from real, beautiful women.