Last Updated on September 5, 2023 by Kristen
When I started working full time last year, I got into the habit of putting on makeup every morning—not exactly revolutionary, but it kinda felt that way after two years of almost never wearing makeup or leaving the house thanks to the pandemic.
I developed a basic routine that worked for me in terms of feeling (and hopefully looking) ready for life, and it takes less than 10 minutes.
After being laid off I’m not attending as many video calls, but I still take these steps just to feel ready for anything every day without putting forth a lot of effort. Having visible eyebrows, knowing I’ve got a bit of sunscreen in my foundation, evening out my skin tone (and muting that persistent, annoying hyperpigmentation), putting a little life in my cheeks, and throwing in a bit of skincare while I’m at it makes a difference in my mood whether I’m doing a Zoom interview or running to the store because we ran out of coffee, again.
It’s 10 minutes out of my day, so I’m calling it worth it. In case you’d also benefit from an easy, everyday makeup and skincare routing, below is the whole thing in reel form, plus a list of my hero products and how I use them.
1 . Clé Cosmetics Vitamin C Elixir, $48
This has been step one of my routine for several months now. The bottle is nearly gone, and my skin tone is more even and its texture is smoother, and it lasted about three months.
I’m fairly agnostic when it comes to moisturizers—anything that hydrates will do, with a few caveats. It must be sustainabile (glass bottle, paper packaging, etc.), be made with clean ingredients, and it must play nicely with my makeup. This one checks all the boxes, and it has a shimmery (but not glittery) finish that’s great for no-makeup days.
I have used many, many face oils in my 55 years, and this is the one I always come back to. It’s a multitasker, with a blend of omega-3 fatty acids, 14 easily-absorbable seed oils, algae extract and astaxanthin, which combined hydrate and plump your skin. But, truth be told, it’s the scent I’m a sucker for—the fresh combination of jasmine, neroli, and rose, makes me look forward to using it day and night.
4. Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint, $38 (down from $48)
Damn I love this stuff. I’ve been using it for a few years now and I’m hooked. It gives me a little color, a decent amount of coverage, and a lovely glow. Plus, it contains sunscreen and lots of good stuff for your skin, including hyaluronic acids, plant-based squalane, and niacinamide. You also might want to snap it up at this outlet price while it lasts!
This product’s viral Instagram ads got me to try it, and the way this concealer actually concealed dark circles and hyperpigmentation on my face without looking cakey has me permanently hooked. I recommend getting a shade slightly lighter than your skin’s true match to achieve a brightening effect.
I’ve tried regular pencils, gels, and brush-on tints, and this is the product I’ve returned to again and again for its precise application and attached spoolie for blending. The taupe shade is perfect for my graying brows, and it comes in a variety of shades. Plus, you can’t beat the price!
I like this curler because it separates the eyelashes and does a good job of curling them. Plus it’s black and pink and looks cute in my makeup bag.
8. 19/99 Colour Setting Powder, $22
This weightless translucent powder is the ingredient I didn’t know I needed in my makeup routine. The brands sent me a sample, and it made me realize that while I love the glow my Ilia serum gives, I actually like some parts of my face to be matte, like under my eyes, my forehead, and around my mouth. It’s also perfect using with a brush for setting lipstick and eye color. And it’s little, so it’s easy to pop into any bag!
I’ve become a tubing mascara devotee in recent years, and after trying quite a few (scroll below for others I like), this one is my favorite. It stays put even after a full day of swimming with my daughter (including “cheerleading” stunts for which I launched her off my shoulders), and it comes off easily with mild soap and water.
Laura Geller makes makeup specifically for older women, so it’s a brand I trust. I’ve been using a cream blush that I found at Ross (!) that’s unfortunately been discontinued, but when it runs out this powder is next on my list. It comes in the prettiest colors, and the touch of bronze is perfect for summer.
This is my nude lip holy grail. It took me about 50 years to find it but better late than never! Everyone’s perfect nude lip will be different depending on your skin tone, of course, but if you want to try this one, this is the perfect way to do it. Mine is the original Pillow Talk, but it comes in two other shades as well.
They call this stuff “Pink Himalayan Texture Infusion for Hair.” I call it magic—I’ve seriously never experienced a hair product that so quick whips my waves into a perfectly imperfect situation. It also adds amazing volume, and the scent is BEYOND. I can’t say enough good things about this brand—it’s committed to real sustainability and clean ingredients that really, really work. This is not even an affiliate link, that’s how obsessed I am.