School has officially started to hit full swing for me, and that means I am getting way less sleep than over the summer, and thus my laziness has increased tenfold. As much as I like wearing no makeup at all, my under eye bags just make me look tired and unkempt. I really just want to feel good about myself without looking overdone as I'm walking out the door in the morning. I've started to call my morning routine "The 9 AM Project" because it's almost a race against the clock to see how early I can wake up and how efficiently I can get ready before I have to leave the house and get to class before 9 am. My goal this semester is to build my reputation as well-dressed and always put-together, which I have somehow kept up (at least in appearances, with the help of a lot of caffeine after my summer cleanse), and that always necessitates some tips and tricks to keep things simple and easy while providing reliable results! I've realized that wearing a full face of flawless makeup in college is almost impossible, but also impractical. I don't want to look like I've relied on caked on makeup to look glamorous when I don't really have people to impress in my small, 10-person Italian class or 300-student Media Studies lecture where I'm lost in a sea of other faces who are all living the same rigorous lifestyle. All of this mumbo jumbo has led me to start falling into an everyday routine for my makeup that's easy, simple, natural, and practical so I can keep it up since it only takes about 10 minutes on average to slap on in the morning. Taking care of yourself is an important step to keep sane and healthy among all the stresses of academic life - especially at university, when you can't escape the bubble - and I feel like being able to walk out of the door with confidence is one of the key steps in keeping myself happy and motivated for the rest of the day!
1. BaseFirst let me introduce you to the base products I use. I really like BB cream as an alternative to foundation for school because it lightly evens out my face without giving much coverage (to keep with the whole natural thing), and I feel like it just helps powder stay better. I've been using Etude House BB Creams for a few years now and I really all that I've tried. I then dab on some of the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser Concealer for my under eye circles to make it look like I've gotten way more than just 4 hours of sleep, and will add some Revlon Colorstay Blemish Concealer for extra coverage. I also put this around my nose to diminish the appearance of pores and on whatever spots may have come up (from stress-studying or those late-night munchies...). I finish off with the Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder, which gives a natural matte finish (almost soft and suede-like) and makes my face look flawless without foundation while letting my freckles still show. I like this way more than the cult favorite Rimmel Stay Matte because it gives a little more coverage and leaves such a lovely finish. It does look a little less natural when applied over foundation, but dusting it on over a thin BB cream with my trusty e.l.f. Kabuki Face Brush leaves my skin set for the rest of my makeup!
2. BlushBlush is one of my favorite products ever because it can really help liven up the face. I like going for natural colors that are a bit redder in tone to mimic a really natural flushed look. As much as coral cheeks are fun for the summer, my favorite kind of cheek is when they look rosy like you've just walked through a brisk wind in in the fall time (which is also why I don't bother with bronzer). Two of my favorite rosy blushes are the Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Plum Wine, which is a creamy formula that works really well when applied with the Real Techniques Stippling Brush, and Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush in Berry Shimmer, which is so super pigmented I just tap my Real Techniques Blush Brush in it super lightly and swirl it around the package casing top to evenly apply around the brush before taking it to my face so as not to overdo it. When I'm feeling a bit more subtle and less girly with the cheeks I pick up my Sally Girl Square Blush in Flushed, which is also super pigmented and insanely pretty... and a steal for only 99 cents!
3. EyesPart of my not looking overdone for class mantra is keeping it super simple on the eyes. I usually just go for a simple wash of color to add some depth (which is why I like using slightly darker-than-nude browns) and will occasionally use the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Yogurt as an inner corner highlight for a dewey effect, though I also like blending it in across the lid for a super natural eye sometimes. I wear NYX Eye Shadow in True Taupe as my matte eye option, but my favorite go-to product these past few weeks has been MAC Sable. It's got a plummy undertone that makes my hazel eyes pop and look effortlessly smoky and draws attention to my eyes without looking like I've used makeup as a distraction. It's a buildable color, so using a light hand I like to wear it a little lighter all over the lid and bring it down about 2/3 in on my lower lash line.
4. Lashes and BrowsAny mascara will do in pulling together a look, but lately I've been trying to use up my Maybelline The Falsies mascara so I can go back to my all-time favorite which is the Covergirl LashBlast Volume. I make sure to use waterproof because there's no telling when I'll be sweating from sitting squeezed like sardines in a 300-person lecture, running across campus, or maybe there will even be a freak rain storm... I just like to keep 100% sure that my mascara stays put! I also have discovered the importance of proper brow upkeep. They really do frame your face and since I have really dark brows to begin with going out without them looking somewhat tamed is a no-no. I'm indifferent to the NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil (mine is in Charcoal), but it's the only one I've got right now since I can't seem to find the Jordana Brow Powder that I've been meaning to try anywhere! I also keep my little caterpillars in place with some Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Clear, since it serves the same function as any other brow gel in keeping my little hairs nicely aligned.
5. LipsI'm really bad at keeping up with lip products, as in remembering to reapply when I think it's fading off and whatnot, but that's why I like products that stay for a while (at least to last me through a good chunk of classes throughout the day) and also moisturize! A natural lip is best for school but I like having both a light option and a slightly my-lips-but-better option, and since my lips are somewhat pigmented (I guess?) the Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie has become my ultimate go-to! When I'm feeling a lighter look I reach for my new Maybelline Color Whisper in Petal Rebel which leaves a nice light finish that lasts surprisingly long for such a delicate color. They're great for putting on right before I leave the house because they stay a while and also fade evenly throughout the day so I'm not left with a mess of patchy lip color by the time I get home.
6. PerfumeThis isn't really a necessary step, but one of my favorite compliments is "Ooh, you smell so good!" I'm still in the midst of searching for a signature scent, but I've been using Marc Jacobs Lola for about a year now and I love it. Spritzing some on always makes me feel really put-together and enveloped in girly goodness. I think perfume is special because smelling nice things puts me in a good mood and knowing that I've got that special something around me when walking past people just adds a spring to my step.