It would be an understatement to say I like makeup. Fun fact: I used to work at Sephora in college and then at MAC Cosmetics as a makeup artist in grad school. Makeup has always been one of those things I just genuinely enjoy. I loved doing makeup for customers who normally went barefaced and showing them how a little blush here and a little lipstick there could be a fun addition to their own beauty routine. Nowadays, it continues to be a fun little hobby of mine.
One of the questions I get asked on my Instagram account is for a tutorial on my daily makeup routine. I’m not too great with videos (so awkward) so I put this blog post pictorial (?) together showing how I get ready on a typical morning. Some days I do a little more and some days less but on average, this is what you will usually catch me doing at my vanity table Monday through Friday.
Most of the products mentioned here are ones I talk about in my favorite makeup products , non-makeup beauty staples and must have makeup brushes post. If you’re interested in a little more product detail, feel free to check those out!
Part One: The Base
Start off with a clean, dry face (hello freckles!) that’s been primed for makeup. I use Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer and just apply it with my clean fingers. At this stage I also apply a thicker concealer like MAC Studio Finish to any blemishes I want hidden.
Next, I apply my foundation. While I am obsessed with the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, I really wish it came with a pump. That would make application so much easier! But I haven’t found another foundation I love as much so I deal with it. What I typically do is hold my finger over the opening and shake it a bit to get the foundation on my fingertip. Then I apply the foundation in little dots all around my face. Using a stiff buffer brush, I use dabbing motions to blend the foundation into my skin. I typically use the Marc Jacobs Face Brush or the Morphe M439 .
Next up is concealer. I use Tarte Shape Tape concealer and I apply it in a “V” shape underneath my eyes. Then I leave it like that all day for dramatic effect. KIDDING! I use my Sigma F86 tapered kabuki brush (or my Real Techniques Sponge when I have more time) to blend out my undereye concealer.
To set my concealer, I use my Kat Von D Shade + Light palette and a small tapered fluffy brush like the one shown above (left) from Real Techniques. To set my foundation I use Charlotte Tillbury Flawless Airbrush Powder with a large powder brush from yet again, Real Techniques.
Part 2: Brows & Eyes
Before I start on my eyes, I fill in my brows. My brows are my least favorite thing to do but also one of the steps I feel makes the biggest difference so I guess I gotta do what I gotta do. I use a MAC angled brush and either MAC Quite Natural Paint Pot or Anastasia’s Brow Pomade on my brows. Paint pots weren’t actually intended for brows but since they’re so long wearing, it totally works out well for me. It lasts through the work day and an evening workout. A win in my book! After filling in my brows, I set them with Anastasia’s Clear Brow Gel to lock it in.
I typically use anywhere from one to three colors on my eyes. It usually depends on how much time I have in the morning and how defined I want my eye look to be. The first thing I do is use a fluffy blending brush (MAC 224) to blend a little color into my crease. I use back and forth windshield wiper motions to get the most natural blended look. Any medium toned matte brown shade will work for this. Some I use and love are: MAC Always Sunny, MAC Soft Brown, MAC Texture, and Makeup Geek Creme Brûlée. Some days, this is all I do in the way of eyeshadow and then I call it a day. Like when I sit down to get ready and realize I have less than ten minutes for both my makeup and my hair. Good times!
When I want a little more definition in to my eyes I add a slightly darker shade in my outer corner. This step is not completely necessary but I like to add it in when time allows. I use a stiffer brush (MAC 217 or Morphe M433) for this since it deposits the color a little more precisely but still allows me to blend. Doing this usually ends up looking like I tried harder than I actually did since it’s such a simple step that has big impact. Colors I use for this are: MAC Swiss Chocolate, MAC Saddle or Makeup Geek Frappe. Lastly, I pack a matte cream color to my lid with a flat shader brush (MAC 239). This gives even more definition to my eyes by creating a more stark contrast between my lid and crease. I typically use MAC Vanilla or MAC Blanc Type on my lids.
The last couple things I do before applying mascara are optional little steps that I feel make a big difference. I like to add a little highlight on the inner corner of my eye with a pencil brush (like a MAC 219). I usually use a neutral color with a little sheen like MAC Shroom. This helps to make my eyes appear larger and more awake. To define my eyes even further, I then line my waterline (inside of the lower lash line) with dark black pencil.
Time for mascara! I use a Shu Uemura lash curler before brushing on my mascara. I’ll admit I’m a little high maintenance when it comes to mascara. I use one for my lower lashes and one for my upper lashes. For the lower lashes I use Maybelline Lash Discovery because the brush is teeny tiny and coats all the little baby lashes I got going on. For my upper lashes, my current mascara obsession is Lancome Monsieur Big. It lengthens, thickens, doesn’t get clumpy and holds my curl all day. One issue I have found with my lashes lately is that my mascara will smudge just a teeny bit on my upper lid. This happens with almost every mascara I use. I have found that since using the Grande Lash MD Serum, this is a problem I have been having now that my lashes are little longer. Not an awful problem to have I suppose. Nothing a quick check in the mirror or a switch to waterproof mascara can’t rectify. If you’re not into using a lash serum though I HIGHLY recommend Lancome’s Cils Booster XL lash primer. It definitely makes a difference and gives a little oomph to short thin lashes.
Part 3: Bronzer, Blush & Highlight
My Kat Von D Shade + Light palette makes another appearance for bronzer. I use a Morphe M523 brush to apply bronzer right under my cheekbones, across my hairline and on my nose and chin to give my face more contour and dimension.
Almost done! For blush I most often use a peachy pink or bronze color. Some of my faves are from MAC in the colors Melba, Margin, Warm Soul, Modern Mandarin and Style (shown above). I also love Tiger Lily and Wild Honey from Becca. I use a Morphe E4 angled brush or a Real Techniques blush brush to apply the color to my cheekbones
To highlight, I use a Morphe M510 or M501 brush to apply my highlight to the top of my cheekbones. I usually add a little down the bridge of my nose and on the cupid’s bow of my lips. My favorite highlighter is Champagne Pop from Becca but I also love Opal (also Becca) and MAC Whisper of Gilt, which is a more golden highlight.
Part 5: Lips & Final Touches
One of my favorite lip colors as of late has been Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Wifey. The color is a “my lips but better” shade and the formula is awesome and not at all drying like other matte lip products. It also lasts for hours without needing a touch up. Another color I keep on regular rotation is MAC Honey Love. It’s a matte lipstick that is a lighter, more nude version of Wifey but in a lipstick formula.
Finally made it to the end! Once my lips are done, I set my makeup by misting my face with a little Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray and I call it day! Whew! Typing all this out made me feel like I spend 3 hours in the morning but it really takes me less than 20 minutes to do both my makeup and hair from start to finish. Not too bad if ya ask me! When I have less time I just adjust my routine accordingly. This has been my go-to look for the past year or so. It’s polished yet still simple which is perfect for a typical day at work! What are some of YOUR favorite go-to products for your everyday looks?
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