My love affair with makeup started when my mother’s best friend gave me my first Mac lipstick. It may not be the case then but I certainly felt transformed each time I apply the buttery formula on my lips.
It was only when I started working that I had access to troves of cosmetic products. What started out as powder and lipstick in university transitioned to more and more products piled on.
Putting on ‘my face’ took a lot of time and toll on my skin. It came to a point when I stacked products to cover up blemishes and enlarged pores caused by excessive makeup use without a good skincare regimen.
Recently though, I have been making a conscious effort on applying less makeup and devoting my time instead on making sure that my face is well-cleansed, moisturized, and protected.
“Your skin is still young. You don’t need a lot”, my mother would often tell me each time I call her to talk about my makeup discoveries. She would also share that when she was in her 20’s she only put the barest essentials to look put together.
Her reminder would always go to the other ear until recently.
In one of my travels with Greg, he would often note how heavy my beauty kit is. “I’ve grown my beard waiting for you to finish”, he’d quip after my long-ish time in the vanity.
All those considered, on top of my wanting to delineate special occasions with a different makeup look, I worked to pare down my lengthy routine such that it still allows me to feel confident that I won’t be caught dead looking like I have given up on life. After all, I still have my limits on how bare I can go.
I am sharing this with respect to my current age and occupation. A new routine might be called for as I age and take on a different role.
This look would take you throughout the day while running errands, going to classes, or working. I would warn that this will need modification for other appointments like a job interview, date, or night out.
Each part I outlined below I have grouped per area on the face and will require several products.
This is the most crucial step. When you go out into the world, I believe that it is as important to put your best foot forward as it is to do what you can to protect yourself from the world’s harmful elements.
Manila sure is a busy city and can be fun to live in. But the sun and the pollution can clog pores and cause premature aging to the skin.
That said, don’t even think about putting on your eyebrows without doing these first. Your skin and mine are different so it helps if you know your skin type.
Find out whether your skin is oily, combination, sensitive, or dry as this will determine what products are right for you.
Invest on a visit to the dermatologist to be sure of your skin type and the ideal skincare product for you. Know that while these are quite tedious at first, they are the rinse-repeat type of routine that only need some getting used to.
- Cleanse your face using an appropriate facial wash. I use Hyalure because it is soap-free and gentle on my skin.
- Tone. I have an oily T-zone and need it to remove excess oil. (Required reading about toners: Do you really need to use toner?)
- Slap on moisturizer to help keep your skin hydrated (aside from the mandatory 8 glasses of water a day).
- Use sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful ultraviolet rays that may cause skin cancer. Sunscreens also protect your skin from sunburn and early skin aging. (Read: American Academy of Dermatology: Sunscreen FAQs)
- With a powder puff, you may dab a bit of baby powder on your face to minimize the shine. Finally, you may use a powder brush to dust off excess powder.
Additional reading: Skin care tips: What to do every morning and night
- Eye area
After you have thoroughly prepped your skin, you may now proceed to the eye area (hurray!).
Using a spoolie, brush your eyebrows upwards to see the natural shape of your brows. If you see stray hair, groom your brows with tweezers.
With your eyebrow pencil, lightly trace the arch of your brow up to your brow tail. Fill in the sparse area of your brows with the same pencil. Unless your goal is to look like Elphaba, remember to be light and gentle on your strokes. Leave the brow head alone for now.
Take the spoolie again and use it to distribute the product across your brows by brushing upwards starting from the brow section just above your brow bones. Your spoolie will have some product on it now. Use that to fill in your brow head and the section preceding your arch. If there are small patches left, lightly fill them in with your eyebrow pencil.
- Lashes & Eyes
Curl your lashes and apply your favorite mascara on both your upper and lower lash. I have thin lashes so I would take to Maybelline’s mascara (Lash Sensational) to improve its volume. I find the wand of Maybelline’s Lash Sensational effective for completely coating even the tiniest hair on my lower lash line.
A little bit of shimmer opens up your eyes and makes you look more awake. My favorite is Etude House’s Bling Bling Eye Stick for its sheer formulation that looks great with just one swipe.
If you feel intimidated by the shimmer, you can also use powder blush to give your eyes a hint of color. You can use your ring finger for this all while being gentle in dabbing the product across your lids.
Optional: if you look especially tired that day, brighten up your eyes by lining your waterline with nude eye pencil.
- Lip & cheek
Add flush to your cheeks using cream or powder blush. Smile and lightly apply the product on the apples of your cheeks. Less is more. Complete your look with lip balm, gloss, or sheer lipstick.
Top everything off with a smile that comes from the heart and you’re set for the day. Carpe diem!