"Tell me what it takes to let you go...out of the house looking like that?"
For anyone who travels a lot for work, beauty products that help combat the stressors of life on the road are necessary. For anyone who has kids, beauty products that help combat the stressors of life are also necessary.
So today, I'm combining my two lives—travel life and mom life—and centering it around the beauty products I use to appear halfway decent, whether I'm doing a hotel site tour after an 11-hour flight in a time zone eight hours ahead or whether I've spent the morning running around yelling at children to get their shoes on before taking them to school.
In both instances, I still want to look natural. As if I woke up like this. Or as if I have a soft Snapchat filter on my face. I also want to look perky, even if I feel like crap on the inside. And lastly, I don't want anything that requires a separate brush or tool to apply.
Also, there is something inherently satisfying in reading about new products to try. It's the modern-day equivalent of picking up a copy of Seventeen magazine in 1992 and strolling down the aisles of CVS finding which new creams/lotions/sprays to try. Even if you don't agree with the products, you still enjoy reading about them. And honestly, there's not a lot of stories like this on the internet these days.
But first, let me explain my past history with make-up.
When I was about 10 years old, my oldest brother (18 at the time) once told me, "Jules, promise me you'll never wear make-up when you get older." Um, ok. Older brothers are/were more important than parents. So I entered my pre-teen years thinking that guys didn't like when girls wore make-up but at the same time, it was becoming obvious that I needed to wear make-up on some days. I won't revisit all the skin atrocities here but my peeps who were once pre-teen girls know what I'm talking about.
For a few years, I did the "barely there" make-up cover-ups (usually with powder and spots of liquid foundation) along with lots of layers of scented "kissable" lip balm. Then at the end of junior year in high school, my mother showed me how to apply liquid eyeliner and I suddenly became a new person. Not a girl, not yet a woman but I loved how the eyeliner made me look and feel. Strong, sexy, and confident, even if I was none of those at the time.
In college I continued some light experimentation with make-up, a darker lip color (definitely not for me), proper use of eyeshadow (I was using all the wrong colors of course), and the occasional body glitter. (It was 1999. Forgive me.) After a few attempts with sun-in, I realized professional highlights were a necessity. I had my eyebrows waxed a few times but I quickly learned that plucking only where I needed was a better, prettier, less crazy-looking route.
The major beauty discovery for me after college was dry shampoo. I can't even remember how I discovered Klorane but I found it and it's been my bestie ever since for all the reasons every already knows. Even cooler, I could order online from Amazon and it would be shipped to my apartment! (This was 2001.)
Still, the most amount of make-up I wore for "going out" then was tinted moisturizer, under-eye concealer, a golden eyeshadow, black eyeliner (top lids only) and maybe mascara. Oh and Chanel lip gloss in some pinky-nude color. That routine continued for more than 10 years. Until last year. (One exception: on my wedding day, I wore fake eyelashes, blush and a little bit of color on my lip. I also occasionally applied brown pencil eyeliner. Oh and for a random TV appearance they put eyeliner on my bottom lids.)
But after two kids and two autoimmune disorders, coupled with an extreme fear of aging that's been magnified by the huge focus on beauty in our social media-obsessed culture, I decided I needed to up my game.
Also, I realized that I like looking like a pretty human on most days.
These are my standout products that I use almost everyday, with the exception of the face mask, which is once a week. When I go to real events and not just school drop-off, I use a few more products, namely the Givenchy Blurring Foundation, Stila liquid eyeliner, Clinique chubby blush stick, Stila lip primer, Givenchy lip pencil and lipstick and mascara (I am still looking for a good waterproof one that doesn't flake.)
Yes, this is a shitload of products. I can hardly believe it. But compared to the girls on The Bachelor or a Kardashian, it still looks like I hardly have make-up on. Which is fine. I just want to look like me, but like, a little better.
BIODERMA SENSIBIO MICELLAR WATER: This has long been a French pharmacie staple. I bought it a few years ago and had to use Google Translate to understand the directions. Essentially, you just wash your face with this instead of water. (I always do a little rinse anyways.) It's gentle and works well, especially if you use it as an eye make-up remover. Previously only sold in France, Bioderma is now available in the U.S. This version here is for sensitive skin but I find the regular version is just as gentle too.
DR. PERRICONE CHIA SERUM: As anyone with "mature" skin or hoping to prevent the appearance of mature skin will tell you, oils and serums are the way. This is my favorite one that I keep coming back to. It's expensive ($85 a bottle) and I always manage to knock it over and spill the precious contents. Once, I woke up in my hotel room after a boozy night and found it all in a puddle on the sink. I almost cried. So be sure to tighten the cap after you use it. I put it on after washing my face and before my moisturizer.
KLORANE DRY SHAMPOO: You already know about this one. I've heard you should also use it before a workout and before going to sleep to keep your hair looking fresh. Well, fresher.
SOFT HAIR ELASTICS: I can't use the stretchy tight ones anymore. I much prefer these. Hair in a bun + gold hoops = No one will focus too hard on your sweatpants and Uggs.
NAKED SKIN COLOR CORRECTING FLUID: A side effect of one my strange autoimmune disorders is telangiectasias, which is basically little red spots on your face. I have a few around my nose and it bugs me to no end. I apply a bit of this green stuff on the spots and then follow-up with a concealer.
GIVENCHY MISTER LIGHT CORRECTIVE PEN: It's a pen and it's a concealer and so I will die for it. I pray they never discontinue it. I use it on my spots and under my eyes.
NARS ORGASM ILLUMINATOR: Hee. I get a kick out of saying Orgasm on my face. But after my concealer, this is the other product I would die for. It makes you look alive again. I never go anywhere without it. It's in my bag at all times.
HOURGLASS ILLUSION HYALURONIC SKIN TINT: If you're over 30 and you don't live in a tropical area, you need hyaluronic acid. This doubles as your dose of of hyaluronic acid plus a tinted moisturizer. I will say, you only need a little of it. I actually mix in a little drop with my Cetaphil moisturizer (that's my daytime moisturizer and I find it works the best, better than the expensive creams) and put the Orgasm on my cheeks after that. Then concealer. Then lip stuff. Bonus: it has a little bit of SPF.
NARS VELVET GLOSS LIP PENCIL: These lip pencils are indispensable. I have four of these in essentially the same color, although they have different names. They aren't liners. You just glide them on your lip for color. I haven't yet tried the matte kind because I'm a 90s bitch and this matte lip world is so scary to me.
KORRES LIP BUTTER: This was another recent purchase that I read about in the Wall Street Journal. I really do like it and the Jasmine color works well for the non-make-up look I want to achieve. It's much creamier than the lip pencil so it's definitely needed. Note: I have three different lip balms, glosses or pencils on me at all time. Look in any one of my bags, or even my car, and you will find three. I swear.
SK-II FACIAL TREATMENT MASK: This is a recent discovery and I bought it entirely because I saw it on the Daily Mail being touted by Jennifer Lopez's make-up artist who was giving tips about how to look great after a plane flight. The mask is expensive but it really makes your skin look different in a refreshed, glowing way. You can use the mask a few times too. I do 20 minutes and peel it off, put it back in its space bag, then in a Ziploc bag to use at least two more times.
SMITH & CULT NAIL POLISH: I really dislike nail polish on my fingers. In my late 20s, I always had a nice manicure. But after kids, I was just grossed out by it. Lately, I've come back around and like a little glitter on my nails. (My feet are always polished though.) I picked up Smith & Cult at the Spa at the Four Seasons Las Vegas (their nail bar is the best in Vegas) and loved the fact that the brand is 8-free, meaning it's non-toxic. I use one coat of this sparkly color called, Vegas Post Apocalyptic.
That's all. Shout-out to the moms who see me on the regular and are like, "You use all this to look so plain?" Yup. You really don't want to see me when I just wake up. Seriously.
SHARING IS CARING! Send me your favorite trusted beauty products. I will most likely order them from Sephora within one minute.
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