Morning: I’m jealous of people who start their day with meditation and yoga and some beautiful cup of matcha. That would be my dream. My reality is haphazard—definitely not Instagrammable content. I used to set an alarm clock but now I can depend on my almost two-year-old or four-year-old to wake me up. At least one of them is up by 6:15. They usually run to our room blowing raspberries and yelling “wake up sleepyhead!” or they’ll holler at the top of their lungs for my husband or I to get them. Little divas. They’re lucky that they’re cute. Being a natural night person, it’s definitely doing nothing for my beauty sleep. Thank goodness for products.
I have maybe 10 minutes in the morning to get ready on a good day. I know some women who only splash water on their face in the morning, but I must be the type to sweat in my sleep. I’m very into cleansing balms lately because they’re such a lovely ritual. The Soveral Angel Balm and Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm are two of my current favorites. I put it on dry skin and then hop in the shower. Because I’m always short on time, I try to accomplish what I can in the shower. I then put a warm washcloth over my face so it steams out my pores a bit before washing it all off.
Two or three times a week, I’ll do a mask before I even get in the shower. I like the M-61 Fast Blast 2 minute vitamin C mask or the Innisfree Pore Cleansing Mousse depending on how my skin is feeling. I’ve learned over the years that it’s worth it to spend more on face cleanser and shampoo. These two categories of products are often given short shrift. People will spend more on moisturizer and conditioner but the truth is, if you perfectly cleanse, you will have a more balanced base to begin with and probably won’t need all those fancy moisturizers.
My favorite shampoo is ridiculously expensive but it’s so gentle and conditioning that sometimes I can skip conditioner altogether. It’s the Glacial White Caviar line from Miriam Quevedo. Both the Cleansing Balm and the Hydra Pure shampoo are amazing. For conditioner, the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair mask smells terrific. If I need hardcore conditioning, I’ll use the Leonor Greyl hair oil as a pre-shampoo treatment. The top French hairdressers are always saying conditioner isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It kills volume for starters. So it’s better to coat the ends and mid-lengths with an oil before you shampoo so you’re not over-washing the driest parts of your hair. It works, although it’s a routine switch that I’m still getting used to.
For body, my favorite combo is pure argan oil right out of the shower with my Ellis Brooklyn Myth body milk on top. Myth leaves this perfect warm, enveloping kind of fragrance without being overbearing.
I am always trying out product for work so my beauty counter is ridiculously jammed. My preference is for products that have cleaner formulations as opposed to 100% natural for the sake of being 100% natural. Give me a preservative over mold any day. But though I’m an avid label reader—being a beauty editor for almost a decade and then starting a beauty company will do that to you— I also try to keep an open mind. I’m for moderation and balance and having fun instead of being preachy about it.
I liked my routine today, which I’ve been doing some form of for the last month: I spritzed my face with an Aloe spray by Odacite and followed that up with the Phloretin solution by Skinceuticals. I prefer the liquid solution over the gel formula because many gels contain too much silicone in them. There’s nothing wrong with many silicones—they can create a protective layer on the skin and can be great against harsh elements— but the problem is that many beauty companies will abuse the ingredient and put it in everything. It’s the same thing with vitamin E. A little vitamin E can be great, but so many products have it now that you have to be careful with how much and how often you use it. Anyhow, after the Skinceuticals, I like a couple drops of the Clarins Booster Energy Serum in my tinted moisturizer. The W3LL People Biotint is so good and has mineral SPF. I largely phased out chemical sunscreen several years ago but then all the info about how certain sunscreen chemicals kill coral reefs came out so now I’m extra careful about any sunscreen I put on.
Now makeup. Before kids, I used to do this “barely there, but I actually put in a ton of work” beauty look. No longer. I particularly like products with “radiance” or “illumination” which is just beauty codespeak for looking slightly less tired. The Tata Harper Illuminating Eye Cream doesn’t do much as an eye cream but it’s an incredible highlighter. I use it in the corner of my eyes on the brow bone, tops of cheeks and cupid’s bow. And, as if that isn’t enough, I’m almost always wearing shimmery eye shadow. I start with the Nars eyeshadow primer which is incredible for giving eye makeup staying power. I’m particularly unfaithful when it comes to eyeshadow palettes though. I use ones by Urban Decay, Kevyn Aucoin, Nars and Dior. I also like some of the Tom Ford super glittery solo shadows that come in these cool chrome containers. Rare is the day that you’ll find me without eyeliner. I use a liquid on top, purely for staying power reasons and less so because I’m getting arty about it. MAC’s liquidlast can get me through the day and even into the night.
Mascara, I’m currently liking Diorshow Pump n Volume Waterproof. If you hate clumps, this is not for you. But if your lashes are puny and you want to avoid flaking because you have contacts, then this is your jam. My brows are also sad. If I don’t pencil them in, I look like Givenchy circa 2009 (as in, the models with bleached brows). I’m currently testing new Nars super thin brow pencils. I believe they’re out later in the summer but so far, I really like them. They give a realistic hair look and have respectable staying power. I have yet to find a more natural or cleanly formulated blush that doesn’t just slide off my face. My favorite is a powder one by Chanel in Hyperfresh which looks too bright and intimidating in the pan, but is beautiful on. I do some bronzing or contouring, but I’m starting to phase it out more. I have a Tom Ford one that’s on the more golden side or if I want subtle then I’ll do the Charlotte Tilbury Bronze and Glow palette.
Day: I have an embarrassing amount of lip products in my bag at all times—I currently have a pinkish lip gloss by Pat McGrath, Kosas lipstick in Rosewater, which is my staple, Jane Iredale lip tint, Cle de Peau lip gloss and Lucas Papaw ointment. I believe there are a couple Huda Beauty lip pencils in there as well if I was being completely honest. The crazy part of all this is that I’m even a bit lazy about putting lip product.
Night: If I’m being good then I’ll do a double cleanse. I tend to mix it up. I might do the Tatcha cleansing oil first and then one of the cleansing balms. Klorane also makes this wonderful waterproof eye makeup remover. For nighttime, I favor oils over creams. I’ve been using Soveral Midnight Oil lately. I’m also a big fan of the Marie Veronique for Ayla, Dara’s oil. Sometimes I’ll skip the oils altogether and do a sleeping mask. I have no idea what’s in the Amore Pacific Time Response sleeping mask, but it feels great going on. I also do this mask before I’m going on a flight. Or if I need some light peeling action, I’ll do the Glow Recipe watermelon sleeping mask. With the Jolly Ranchers scent and baby pink color, it’s a little tween on first impression but it gives really nice, noticeable results the next morning. Hey, when it works it works.