Monday, May 2, 2011

About face | My daily routine

Looking good isn't only about what you're wearing, but it's also about how you look. I've written about hair briefly before, but today we're talking make-up and skin care, ladies. There's a reason many magazines cover both fashion and beauty--they work together to create your whole look!

While I mainly write about clothing here, I do take care of my face as well, to complete the look. So I'm going to start adding some beauty content to my blog as well. To kick things off, here is a quick look at my daily routine, from morning to night. I went through a pricey Clinique/MAC/Sephora phase back when I was young and had few financial responsibilities, but more recently I have found great staples from my local drugstore, Target, and Ulta that produce the same (or better) results.

Since I wash my face pretty thoroughly at night, I alternate between just rinsing with water and using cleanser in the morning. When I do use cleanser, I alternate between Queene Helene Oatmeal 'n' Honey scrub (1) and Clean & Clear Morning Burst Shine Control Facial Cleanser (2). (Are you still following? That breaks down to about two scrubs and two morning bursts per week.) The scrub is extremely fine and gentle on the skin, while the other cleanser just has the moisture beads that pop. Afterward, I always use Olay Complete moisturizer for combination/oily skin (3) with SPF...always SPF. Time: 2-3 minutes.

My make-up routine will probably seem a bit complicated to some, but it's actually super easy. I start with Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse foundation (1) which is nice and light, and then use L'oreal True Match concealer (2) to cover up any red spots. For blush I'm currently using Maybelline's Dream Mousse blush (6), although I also keep this NYC powder blush on hand for days when I want a bit more color. I put a very very very light dusting of L'oreal True Match powder (5) on top to set the makeup without ruining the matte dewy finish. A swipe of Sonia Kashuk Brow Gel (3) keeps my eyebrows in shape, and I swear by Maybelline Volume Express Classic waterproof mascara in very black (4). This stuff does not budge and makes my lashes look amazing (or at least I think so). On weekends this routine is basically chopped in half. Time (weekdays): 5 minutes.

After I've put my face on, I use one (or maybe two) of these eye products for some color or definition. Sugar's Day Job eyeshadow palette (1) is appropriately named--I've worn all these colors to work before (although for the green and blue it's usually very lightly). When I'm not feeling a full lid of shadow, I swipe my NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil (6) across the lids for a light bronzy sheen. Other than that, I usually stick to a small arsenal of eyeliners: Sephora retractable waterproof eyeliner in gray (2), Cover Girl Perfect Blend Eyeliner in taupe (3), Jordana brown eyeliner (4), and Cover Girl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in purple (5). Sometimes I don't use any of these. Time: 2-3 minutes.

My evening routine is as complicated as my morning routine is simple. I use Almay moisturizing eye makeup remover (1) to get the waterproof mascara off, and then wash everything else off with Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Cleanser (5). I pat some Boots No. 7 Sensitive Hydrating Eye Cream (3) around my eyes and use Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment (4) on my t-zone. I don't often look pimply, but my pores clog easily and this gentle salicylic acid formula is as much preventative as it is treatment, so I use it every night. I finish with a pretty liberal slathering of Olay Active Hydrating Cream (2). I love moisturizer. Time: 7-10 minutes.

Of course, no beauty routine is complete without the right tools. I'll confess--I'm a fingers gal when it comes to makeup application. But I wash my hands much more often than I wash my brushes, so there. Some tools I do swear by, though, are my Ecotools Kabuki powder puff (1), Tweezerman Slant Tweezer (2) for my DIY brows, Sephora lip brush (3) which I use for eyeshadow, and Revlon eyelash curler (4), a must when you have straight lashes like mine.

I didn't include any lip products above, because that part of my routine is less, well, routine. I usually don't put anything on in the morning because I know it'll wipe off by the time I eat breakfast and have my morning coffee. That's not to say I don't have the collection of lip products and use them, but that's another topic for another day.

What are your beauty standbys and how long is your routine? What other beauty topics would you like to read about?


  1. interesting!!.....well, i take a lot of care of my skin..first of all my eating right!!!...try to avoid fried food at all costs, especially in summer

    then a good cleanser & toner(usually from the Body shop) and ofcourse a good face cream and body lotion.
    for make up.. usually i only do up my eyes & lips...only when i have to attend meetings/workshops/conferences..i go in for full face make, concealer etc etc....
    and oh matter how less and more make up im putting..i never forget the perfume!!!....
    my routine is pretty short actually..i guess 10-15 minutes every morning and evening

  2. Wow, it really does take a lot to be beautiful, huh? It seems like a lot, but we can't purchase new skin so we must take care of what we are given! Great routine, love the Oil of Olay too.

  3. I'm so glad you are adding beauty to your blog - I think it's a great idea.

    My AM routine takes 15-20 mins and night takes about 5-10, depending on how patient I am to let each product dry. It would probably take a full blog post to list my beauty routine! I'm 30 and I gotta use a lot more makeup than I did just 5 years ago. I use mostly Clinique & Benefit products, with some Tarte thrown in.

    I use Queen Helene scrubs too, but I use the Mint Julep, it's fantastic and I love the price. I use the Sugar Day Job palette too! I got it two years ago at Sephora and it just broke last week (didn't help that my husband "gently" tossed my makeup bag under the sink). I've been looking for a new one b/c it is my favorite palette and just found them on eBay for $9.99. Snatch them up before they're gone!

  4. As much as I try, I'm just not willing to put more than 2-3 minutes into my makeup in the mornings, so my morning routine consists of putting on moisturizer after my shower (I swear by Aveeno's Ultra-Calming Moisturizer with SPF 15), and then a thin layer of Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer right before I leave the house. If I have meetings that day I'll put on mascara and blush, but both of those are cheap drug store brands from several years ago...

    My night time routine is actually one of my favorite parts of my day, the first thing I do when I get home from work every day is wash my face. I use Aveeno daily face scrub (I know, I'm obsessed, but they are the only products I've found in the last few years that don't cause me to break out), and then put on more moisturizer. Washing my face is really relaxing, I'll actually give my face a quick splash at work with cold water when I'm feeling stressed!

  5. I enjoyed reading this post! This is a great topic to add to your post! I also previously liked your posts about what to eat in the office or the cubicle makeovers. Lots of fun ideas on your blog!

    Am I the only person who does her make up at her desk? It is hard enough getting me and the kids dressed, clean, fed, and out the door with all the items we need for school/work/etc. So I drop everyone off at school and complete getting ready in my office. It only takes less than 10 minutes, and I can do it while listening to pandora! :)

  6. Are your 2 and 3 labeled improperly in the first picture?

    My entire face (beauty) routine is 2 minutes in the morning and 0 in the evening. I did use a daily face wash twice a day but I got bored with it. I go through a few months without using it then start again.

  7. @shooting star - what a great point! what you eat (and drink) definitely affects your skin. I'm not so good about watching what I eat, though. :P

    @lynn - heck yeah! But really, I think my routine is longer than most. And I don't mind going without makeup on weekends.

    @rachel - uck, I hate when eyeshadow palettes break up. :( Funny that we have the same one. :) I really like Clinique facial products, too, but I find the Olay still works for me for cheaper.

    @keisha - I love Aveeno...their body lotion is the best for my eczema-ridden skin.

    @caroline - thanks! i hope to work more beauty in on a regular basis, so hopefully there will be more. Sometimes when I am running late, I'll toss my makeup in a bag and do it in the bathroom, but I'm salaried and usually don't have meetings right away in the morning, so if I'm 5-10 minutes late it's no biggie (but I usually make it up on my lunch break or after work).

    @colleen - apparently so! Haha. I'll just swap the numbers around in the text. :P I'm a little jealous of your skin...if I don't moisturize within 5 minutes of washing my skin gets really dry and tight and starts to hurt. :(

  8. yay, glad you're still using the sugar eyeshadow palette i gave you!

  9. @ step - yes! it's the best. So many perfect colors. I haven't had to buy eyeshadow since you gave me that!


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