When it comes to makeup, I have never been a “more is more” kind of gal. I keep it simple. In my opinion, everyday makeup looks should enhance your natural beauty, not change or manipulate anything. I think it’s because I grew up doing stage make up for dance competitions, plays, and pom squad performances. Doing anything remotely that dramatic for real life just felt a like a LOT. Because I spent a lot of time putting on makeup to play a part or a character, it took me a long time to learn how to do my makeup in a way that feels like ME. That’s why I wanted to share my quick, daily no-makeup makeup routine that makes me feel like the best version of myself in just a few minutes!
First thing’s first- skincare! I wash my face every morning and every night, and staying consistent with this has been the biggest game-changer for a glowy makeup look because it’s actually my SKIN that looks good. And the less makeup I need to wear to cover up blemishes or discoloration, the more natural it’s going to look. My morning skincare routine is short and sweet. It’s just 3 easy steps: cleanse, treat, SPF, and that’s it! Nothing fussy, but it’s a quick refresh to start the day!
Just as a little note- my skin is pretty sensitive and falls more on the dry side. Because of that I tend search for products that are moisturizing and have more of dewy or radiant finish, so if that sounds like your situation, the products in this post are for you!
Once my face is clean and ready for makeup, I go in with my favorite undereye brightener to make me look more awake in my pre-caffeinated state. There are two I reach for depending on how much coverage I happen to need that day. The lighter one is the Bright Fix by Fenty Beauty in the shade “Golden Ivory”. A little goes a long way, so one tube will last quite a while. Having dry skin, I also love that it doesn’t get dry or flakey during the day. I usually apply it with my finger and then blend it out with a sponge.
If I really need some extra coverage, I go for the Smashbox X Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector in the shade “Medium”. I apply it with my ring finger and blend it with my finger as well. It really melts into the skin well with the warmth of my finger.
Like I mentioned before, I’m not really a foundation gal. I usually reach for a tinted moisturizer, serum foundation, or CC cream that will blur imperfections, provide hydration to my skin, and mask any redness in my skin that day. Below are the products in each of those categories that I love the most!
First up, is a tinted moisturizer. For the last year, I’ve been using the Saie Slip Tint in Shade 3.5. The formula what you’d expect from a tinted moisturizer and contains hyaluronic acid for an extra dewy finish. It is also rated SPF 30 because it contains zinc oxide, and broad-spectrum sunscreen! It makes for the perfect complexion product to bring with you on vacation, but also works great during hot summers in the South. I just use my hands to apply it and will sometimes but it out with a brush for a natural finish.
For a serum foundation, my favorite currently is the new Saie Glowy Super Skin Lightweight Hydrobounce in shade 8. It is 85% skincare and 15% pigment, so it has sheer but buildable coverage with a radiant finish. The formula is very runny, just like a skincare serum, the best way to apply it is to take 1/2-1 pump on your fingers and gently press it into the skin. I also like to buff it out with a brush to make sure it’s blended well.
My favorite CC cream is the IT Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation in the shade “Light”. I reach for this when my skin is irritated or has a little extra redness. Because of its color correcting properties, it does a great job of hiding all that. You can apply it multiple different ways, but I like to go in with a beauty sponge so I can add more coverage in the places I need it and keep it light in the places I don’t.
If my skin is feeling extra healthy and I want to go for the most natural look possible, I love using The Minimalist from Merit in the shade “Linen”. It’s super unique in that it’s not really a concealer or a foundation, but you can use it as both! I like to use it on blemishes, and on places that need a little help. It’s rare that I find a stick foundation that works on my dry skin, but The Minimalist is definitely a winner for me. I apply it directly to my face and buff it out with a brush.
No matter which of the above complexion products I choose, I always set it with powder on my nose and under my eyes so that it stays all day. My favorite is the Rare Beauty Always an Optimist Radiant Setting Powder because it actually has a radiant finish without being glittery.
For some color, I have been obsessed with the Merit Flush Balm in the shade “Beverly Hills”. It is incredibly moisturizing unlike most cream blush products I’ve tried. It’s got a dewy, buildable finish that can be as natural or dramatic as you’d like. I just apply it directly to my face and either blend with my fingers or a brush.
On days when I want a little extra glow, I’ll sweep a bit of Merit’s Day Glow in Cava on the high points of my cheeks and the tip of my nose. Because it’s a stick formula, you can put it exactly where you want it. Plus, it gives that lit from within look without looking glittery.
This is my favorite part of my routine, and probably where I spend most of my time.
First up is brows. My brows are quite bold on their own, so I rarely fill them in with a pencil. I like to keep it simple with a tinted gel. I have tried every brow gel under the sun, and the Kosas Air Brow in the shade “Medium Brown” is my absolute favorite. It’s buildable, and the formula leaves your brows feeling soft and natural instead of crusty. I also love the tapered brush which is my main complaint with most brow gel products. It separates all the tiny hairs perfectly and is also the perfect size.
For a shadow, I keep it very simple with a swipe of the Jones Road Just A Sec Eyeshadow in Bronze on each eye lid. I just use my finger to apply it. Each shade is shimmery and gives such a bright-eyed, daytime look. It looks great over the top of any eyeshadow look as well.
Next I take a brown eyeliner pencil and place a thin line along my top lashes and along the outer third of my bottom waterline. My current favorite is the NYX Professional Makeup Retractable Long-Lasting Eyeliner Pencil in Brown.
Last up is mascara. My go-to is the Rollerlash by Benefit Cosmetics in Black. It has a curved brush for spreading out every single lash, and the formula isn’t flaky or clumpy. It also comes in a waterproof formula! I jump around to other mascaras, but I come back to this one every single time.
Usually at work I will wear a simple balm to keep my lips moisturized and protected. But if I’m out about and want some color, I reach for a few different things.
If I need something that will last all day, I always go for the Chanel Le Rouge Duo Ultra Tenue. I started using this about 2 years ago, and it is my absolute favorite long-wear lipstick! My daytime shade is Tender Beige because it’s the closest to my natural lip color. It’s a two-step application, so be sure and let the lip color dry completely before applying the gloss. It leaves a satin, barely-there finish when it’s on.
For a more classic lipstick, I love the Merit Signature Lightweight Lipstick in the shade Baby. It’s hydrating and has buildable opacity so you can customize your look. They also make a lip oil called Shake Slick and it’s perfect for adding some sheer color with a focus on hydration or adding over the top of any lipstick for some shine.
All broken down, this sounds like a lot of steps, but it takes me no more than 5 minutes! It’s such a time saver in the mornings when I’m getting ready for work, and it also is a great regimen to travel with since there are not a lot of liquids or brushes involved. Thanks so much for reading along and supporting this space. Hopefully this post was helpful! I know makeup can be overwhelming, but it should be fun and as simple or complicated as you want it to be. I hope you give one of the above products a try! Let me know what you think in the comments below!