Hello there 🙂
I am plagued by boredom. Leave me behind Before the pandemic, I had a low-key makeup routine that relied on the usual suspects: tinted moisturizer, bronzers, a touch of blush (I have rosy cheeks, of course), mascara, and a good ol 'brow pencil. It was a routine that I knew and loved. But when remote working became the norm, I decided to focus more on my skin and less on makeup. My thought process was simple – the better my complexion, the less I would have to rely on other products to make me feel good. In theory, it's smart and I'm still behind my thinking, but after almost a year I've realized how uninspired I've felt. Light lips didn't do it for me. Neither were dramatic eyes. Not even a full glow! I think all it took was the New Year and our February cover shoot with Daisy Ridley to get me excited about makeup again.
Of course the clothes are good, but the glamor is Really Good. From the gelled, pulled-back hair to the over-contoured pink cheeks, there are big '90s vibes and I'm totally here for that. What can I say? After all, I'm a 90s baby. Instead of just admiring the look, it was the first time in a long time that I felt the need to make my own mind up. It might not be perfect, but I felt damn good! So if you want to calm your beauty boredom and flex your makeup muscles, follow the instructions below.
First things first, I like to start off by rolling a cold jade roller over my skin. I usually only put mine in the freezer for an hour before using it. Probably the most important step is to make sure that your face is well hydrated. I'm picky about my moisturizers and hate it when my skin feels sticky, but the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream ($ 64) never fails me. It's thick yet light and makes my skin look and feel fresh and plump. I add a healthy dose of it all over my face before applying my complexion products.
I rarely wear a foundation and pull out Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk ($ 44) only for events or special occasions. I usually stick to the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer ($ 46) for everyday use, but sometimes when I'm feeling particularly crazy I mix the two because it gives the most beautiful, natural finish. That's what I did here: I put a few drops of both on the back of my hand, mixed them up, and applied them directly to my face. I would almost always put my fingers over a brush because they help the product melt better into my skin. I went back with a wet Beautyblender Original ($ 20) to make sure everything was mixed in and looked natural.
This was already a lot more coverage than I normally wear, but I still felt like I needed to add some concealer in places where my discoloration needed extra help, mainly under my eyes and above my eyebrows. I just wiped a concealer right on these areas and tapped it with my ring finger. I'm pretty obsessed with the Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer ($ 34). The coverage is so, so good and I love how buildable it is.
The focus of Ridley's makeup look is on blush – a flush of "I just went for a walk in the freezing cold season". It looks healthy and has a natural color, but a dramatic application. Instead of just focusing on the apples of the cheeks, it goes down to the temples, and that's exactly what I tried (keyword: tried) to do for myself. I chose a cream blush and powder because I kind of love how it gives a "juicier" look. I chose the Nudestix Cream Lip + Cheek Pencil ($ 26) to have better control over the amount of product applied, especially since I was planning on layering it. I wiped the paint at the very top of my cheekbones and blended it in with a dampened Beautyblender Original ($ 20) with gentle push and pull motions. I used the narrow part of the sponge for more control and the larger part of the sponge to remove excess product. Next, I added some MAC Mineralize Blush ($ 30) in a really pretty light pink shade that exactly matched the color of the stick above to set the color in place and add a little more dimension. I alternated between brushing and tapping with a large brush.
Now the eyes. I used one of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic multi-finish ($ 50) eyeshadow palettes (a color scheme that has now been discontinued, sorry!). I really love these palettes because they aren't overwhelming – they come in seven shades of different finishes – and each one is super pigmented. I started with a matte gray that I tapped all over my lid, starting in the middle and working out. At the outer corners, I swirled the brush around in small circles and made a V shape along my creases and the top lash line. Since I wanted a bit more shine, I put a shimmery taupe shadow on it which made it feel funnier. I just tapped the brush and mixed it in until I was happy with the shine. I'm pretty excited about the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara ($ 27). My eyelashes are sensitive, but this product has never caused irritation and just makes them look luscious. I used the wand over my entire lash line but applied a few extra coats to my outer lashes to open my eyes even more.
I'm totally obsessed with the Merit Brow 1980 ($ 24), a voluminous pomade that really makes my brows look so full and so plush. The color is spot on and I can't recommend it enough. I brushed the hair down with the spoolie, making sure to coat each hair. Then I brushed them up and down. I repeated this until I landed on the shape and volume that I wanted.
And finally the lips! I applied a balm first to add some moisture and make it easier to use. I used the same NudeStix Lip + Cheek Pencil ($ 26) that I used on my cheeks because I wanted the colors to match. It's shade love and it's the most beautiful, perfect pink. I'm probably an outlier here, but I prefer to tap my lip products instead of wiping. The paint sticks better and doesn't make my lips so flaky. Finally, I sprayed on some setting spray to get everything in place.
There you are guys! This is my very own take on the glamor of our February cover shoot. It couldn't be perfect. It couldn't be that dramatic. But damn it, it felt really good to be back in the makeup game.
Read the full February cover story with Daisy Ridley here.