We’re starting a new series called The Beauty Files, where HelloGiggles editors and contributors share what exactly they put on their faces, and why. We want to take you on this voyeuristic journey because we believe makeup means something different for every single person — applying makeup is a conscious, intimate decision we make almost every single day, and there’s usually a method behind the madness. Join us every week as we spill the beans on beauty products, and feel free to submit your own Beauty File. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
I don’t wear foundation, I can’t contour, and when I attempt a cat eye, it looks like I did it while riding the spinning teacups at Disneyland.
I love makeup, and I have enough of it to fill a baby pool; I just don’t like it to look like I’m wearing much. But take one glance inside my medicine cabinet, and it’s clear where my product loyalty lies: skin care. If you gave me a stick and told me to choose between a piñata filled with lipsticks and one filled with moisturizers, I’d go moisturizer every time.
Before I dive into my product diary, here’s what my skin and hair and rest of my face looks like on an average day. *Note: I’m definitely wearing makeup here. I’m in no way billing this as a “makeup-free selfie.”
And this is about as “made up” as I go:
Bless that golden hour flattering light.
Morning: 7:30 a.m.
I sleep with my laptop next to me on my bedside table, and I’m sure there are dozens of studies proving this is one of the worst things you can do. Okay! After answering emails from bed, I make my way to the bathroom and spritz my face with Caudalie Beauty Elixir. I’m a big fan of face sprays, and it’s always the first product I use in the morning. It’s like an angel slapping me in the face. I love it.
I think face sprays are one of the most underrated products. I’ve been using Caudalie’s religiously, but some others I love are: La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water, L’Occitane Peony Perfecting Mist, and Avene Thermal Spring Water.
I slather on some Fresh Rose Hydrating Gel Cream and follow up with Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, which brightens and tightens to prep my skin for makeup. Like I said, I rarely wear foundation, so I skip that time-suck of a step. But the pièce de résistance of my makeup routine is my under eye concealer. I’ve recently discovered Onomie Bright Concealing Elixir, and it changed my life. I smear it under my eyes and dab away with my BeautyBlender.
Next, I apply some Benefit Posietint to my cheeks. Benefit is the first non-drugstore brand I ever bought, so I have a soft spot for it. I curl my lashes with Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler, which I bought this summer at C.O. Bigelow in New York City after my CVS one fell apart in my hands.
I love shadow sticks because you just smudge ‘em on. I use Jouer Crème Eyeshadow Crayon in “Baroque.” Then I do two coats of Chanel Le Volume Mascara. I don’t replace my mascara nearly as often as I should, and I’ve found this formula lasts the longest without getting all crusty-crust.
8 a.m.: I rarely sit down for breakfast, but I was sent some chocolate sea salt granola from Purely Elizabeth and it’s delicious, so I’m being a real live human and eating breakfast. I apply NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in “Sex Machine” post-granola.
As for my hair? I just run a brush through it. I was given a Mason Pearson brush for Christmas (which is basically the Cadillac of hairbrushes, something I never would have splurged on myself), but now I’m hooked. Then I finish up with Sachajuan Ocean Mist Spray.
Finally, I spritz on Byredo perfume in “Inflorescence.” It makes me feel like I’m twirling in some Dutch flower field, when I’m actually in my cramped, tiny-ass bathroom.
11 a.m.: I sit in the sunniest spot in the office, which can get so intense during the late mornings, sometimes I feel like my hair is going to burst into flames. I always keep a bottle of SPF out on my desk. Today I’m using Avene’s SPF 50 formula, which I love because it’s lightweight enough to use over my makeup.
Afternoon: 3 p.m.
I had cranberry tuna salad for lunch, so I’m reapplying lip gloss. I constantly (and subconsciously) reapply lip balm throughout the day. I have two favorites: Rodin Lip Balm and Blistex Lip Medex, which is kind of like going up to the bartender and saying, “I’ll have either a glass of champagne or a can of Mountain Dew. I can’t decide.” Rodin is fancy-schmancy and $34, and Lip Medex is $1.69 at Walgreens. But they both tie for my favorite.
Evening: 8 p.m.
After dinner and drinks at Gracias Madre, I get home and head straight for my Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes and then hop in the shower. I know this is an unsexy product to have an affinity for, but I really love bar soap. There’s something retro about it that I like. I’m very into PLANT Apothecary’s Be Gentle organic bar soap right now.
After I get out of the shower, I turn on Lorde’s “Green Light” (on repeat) and start into…
My nighttime skin care routine.
I only wash my face once a day at night. I like to use a non-fussy, almost clinical cleanser: Cetaphil. This stuff makes me feel squeaky clean without stripping my skin.
A few nights a week I exfoliate, which I’m doing tonight. I used to be afraid of exfoliation, because I have textbook sensitive skin. But then an aesthetician recommended Yon-Ka Gommage to me, and it’s been a game-changer. You slather it on and then rub it off with your hands a few minutes later. So satisfying.
Next up, toner. I use Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel, which is my #1 drugstore recommendation. I use it as a toner, but it’s also great for reducing redness during breakouts.
Then I follow up with my Caudalie system: Caudalie Firming Serum, Premier Cru The Eye Cream and Premier Cru The Cream moisturizer. Yes, it’s pricey and prestige, but Caudalie’s products have taken my moisturizing routine to entirely new heights.
Sometimes my routine ends here, but tonight I’m trying a lip mask. I’ve always thought those lip masks things are a scam, but I had a bit of an Amazon Prime blackout and bought some Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lovely Lip Patches. It smells like Jell-O and is so slippery I have to lie back on my bed to keep it on my face. I’m not sure if it did anything, thb, but it makes for a good Insta story selfie?
I absent-mindedly apply moisturizer all over my body while I fire up my HBO GO and watch Big Little Lies. Tonight I’m using Kopari’s Coconut Body Oil. Jared Leto is an investor in the company, so that’s fun.
11:30 p.m.: The final step of my beauty routine has nothing to do with my face or body. I’ve become obsessed with Sandoval Love Spray. It’s an “interior aromatic,” and I spritz it on my pillows and comforter before I get into bed. The jasmine and rosewood scent is so calming. And inside each bottle is a rose quartz crystal that has been charged in the full moon. I’m not even into all that moon and stars shit, but I swear to you, it actually helps me fall asleep faster.
Now, there’s no way to say this without sounding like a prissy little diva, but I’m photosensitive and need to wear a silk sleep mask at night. I pull on my Shhh Silk eye mask for some literal beauty sleep, and it’s goodnight world.
Indulge in beauty-themed voyeurism by reading all of our past Beauty Files here!