Unlike with clothes, if I had unlimited funds, which I don’t (thanks, cost of childcare!), I’d be spending all of my pennies on skincare and beauty products, trying all kinds of things, which I love. Despite my super minimal routine and bathroom shelf, I’m an unabashed beauty junkie. I’m far more interested in it than I am in fashion. And while I lean heavily toward green beauty, there are some products I’ve found I simply really love that don’t fit that bill.
Recently I was chatting with some moms about their morning routines and they ranged from waking up at 4:30 am (!) to exercise and drink lots of alkalized water, to rolling out of bed at 8:30, splashing water on one’s face and walking across the street, in sweats, to drop off the kid at school or daycare.
Neither of these are my realities, but it did make me pause and consider my routine, which I’ve streamlined to be minimal and efficient—for me, and so I’m sharing it with you. I’m happy to share my evening routine, which is slightly more involved, but is generally pretty minimal and streamlined.
I wash my face with water in the morning; I prefer to cleanse it at night. I have dry skin and I have found that washing it with cleansers in the am makes it feel dryer throughout the day. If I go to bed without taking off my make-up, which shouldn’t happen, but let’s be honest, sometimes I’m just too tired to deal, I’ll wash it with the Whole Foods version of Cetaphil, which is gentler on my skin and doesn’t contain parabens or other harsh cleansers.
To moisturize, if it’s really cold and dry out, I apply facial oil first. In an effort to be more budget-conscious and more naturally-driven, I have been using organic almond oil (a few drops will do it) and it’s been wonderfully nourishing and moisturizing. I follow with a moisturizer with an SPF. The one that’s been working well for me is No. 7 Lift and Luminate with SPF 30. It also contains subtle luminizers, which makes my skin all glowy and healthy, like I just came from vacation. I lightly dab it under my eyes, too. One day, I’ll find a daytime eye cream I actually like. Until then—minimalism!
Here are the 4 make-up products I wear daily. The entire process takes about 2 minutes, because I am lazy and rushed, and because I firmly believe that less is more.
Mascara – from time to time I’ll try another brand and I always return to Maybelline Full ‘n Soft – it makes my eyelashes look full and fanned out, but it never clumps and never looks super unnatural or dramatic. If you’re looking for drama, this may not be for you. But this is the only mascara that has delivered on the zero-clumping promises, and I’ve tried just about every mascara under the sun.
Under-eye concealer – I’ve genetic under-eye circles, so even if I was getting 10 hours of sleep a night, I’d still have them and they’d still look horrendous. So, under-eye concealer to the rescue. I’ve been a loyal Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in #2 fan. It’s creamy and has great coverage that is somehow subtle yet does the trick for my racoon eyes. I’ve heard Ilia has a great creamy one, too, so when I run out of this, I’ll give Ilia a go.
Blush – I am super-duper pale but I’ve a lot of yellow in my skin, so I just look washed out without any blush. I’ve worn blush since high school and been super subtle about it (I just need a sheer wash of color). Ilia has a great creamy blush stick (that can also go on your eyelids and lips!) – which I dab on gingerly and blend. The color I like is All of Me.
Eyebrow pencil – in middle school I got into shaping my eyebrows, and well, went a bit far with it for awhile. These days, I do minimal plucking (just a few stray hairs here and there), and I fill my eyebrows in (so they don’t look blotchy) with a Laura Mercier Soft Brunette pencil.
And that’s it. If I’m feeling fancy, I add some lipstick or lip balm. My go-to’s are: Ilia in Crimson & Clover and Arabian Knights, Stewart and Claire lip balm in Old Fashioned, or just plain ol’ Aquafor, which I’ve been spooning into a contact lens case and carrying around (the other lens receptacle contains my favorite hand cream).
Oh, and in case you’re wondering where is foundation in this whole equation: I never wear foundation and even when I attempt tinted moisturizers of any sort, I look too made up and not quite like me. The idea is to look like the best, healthiest, glowiest version of me, so I skip it.