Ten months ago, at 40, I became a first time mother. As a marketing executive turned entrepreneur, I’ve always spent 80% of my time at work. The addition of a baby has been quite an adjustment. I’m still working like a machine but have had to tweak (okay, maybe more than tweak) my routine in order to accommodate the even greater deficit of time that a baby throws into the mix. In short, the no makeup look has become an absolute must for me. My repertoire consists of eight steps (but can be cliff-noted a bit — just skip step 1A and 4A).
Ironically, makeup is the least important part of the no-makeup look. What separates the women from the girls is investing a handful of minutes, every day, to establish a consistent self care ritual. Not everyone is going to cleanse, apply two serums, a moisturizer, face oil and under eye cream … like I do — yes, two serums. That said, the secret behind an authentic no-makeup look is having beautiful, healthy skin to build-on. If you make the commitment to nurture your skin upfront, you’ll save a ton of time and energy in the long run. Seven to eight minutes is all you’ll need.
Don’t have a skin care regimen in place?
Start with a cleanser and moisturizer. These should be used in the morning and at night before bed — even if you’re exhausted and can’t be bothered. If you’re in your 20s or early 30s, you might not need more. Once you have your basic system down pat, especially if you are 35+, try adding a serum and under eye cream. Here is a simple step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Wash your face!
Sounds easy enough — right? But at night, after a long day, the thought of taking your clothes off before climbing into bed may be daunting enough, let alone dragging yourself into the bathroom to wash your face and remove your makeup. The good news is there are multi-tasking products out there and they save loads of time. Why use four products when you can use one? Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm is an award winning, quadruple-threat spa in a jar. This British import is a moisturizing, deep-cleansing, exfoliating, makeup-removing cleanser, mask and leave on overnight treatment (I also use it as a lip mask) that doesn’t strip the skin of its essential oils.
The key ingredient, moringa, is a superfood that contains nine essential amino acids, Vitamins A & C, Iron and Calcium and is packed with protein and antioxidants. Medical research has revealed that it not only calms inflammation in many tissues of the body, including the skin, but also helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol. I also brew a tea, daily, made from ginger, moringa and lemongrass. This concoction is known as Bush Tea on many Caribbean Islands and is often the first remedy administered at the onset of a cold, flu, headache … well, anything. I am a big believer in holistic beauty — take care of your insides and it will reflect on the outside.
Step 1A: Serious Serum
If you are going to go for the gold and incorporate a treatment serum into your skin care ritual, Sapelo Skin Care Spring Tide Serum is an excellent choice. Truth be told, it can be used as a stand alone treatment product. It contains high concentrations of a potent cocktail of proteins, peptides, amino acids, active Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamins A and E, as well as Selenium, Magnesium, Copper and Zinc. The magic ingredient is a 5% highly blenderized, unfertilized, organic Norwegian Salmon Roe Extract. This extract stimulates growth in the dermis boosting the skin’s ability to build collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. In other words, it works.
Step 2: Hydrate
I happened upon an exceptionally high-tech line of cosmeceuticals in Switzerland called EVENSWISS, which is backed by 30 years of scientific research. This revolutionary anti-aging (or pro-aging — I’m actually ok with calling a spade a spade) skin care line utilizes cutting-edge signaling technology along with pure concentrations of a unique patented complex to promote the skin’s elasticity by sending signals to cells in the deepest layers of the dermis. These signals stimulate cells to produce increased collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, literally regenerating new healthy skin cells.
EVENSWISS Rich Regenerating Cream, the star product of the line, is an ultra light formulation ideal for sensitive, reactive and/or dry skin as well as pregnant women. Pregnancy can interfere with normal cellular activity and send skin into a tizzy. EVENSWISS’ moisturizer nurtures and repairs stressed skin.
Now for the NO-MAKEUP cakewalk
Step 3: Mascara application
The type of mascara you use is much less important than how you apply it. I happen to be using Le Volume De Chanel right now. I also like Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Very Black. The trick is combing your lashes before and after you apply mascara with Tweezerman Folding ILashcomb. It separates and elongates lashes so you don’t wind up with what I call spider clump lashes. ILashcomb has metal spokes – so be careful! Finally, place your pinky finger right under your lower lash line, horizontally and blink your eyes a handful of times. This will remove the excess mascara so it doesn’t run or work its way into your under eye highlighter later on.
Step 4: Lashes and brows
If you have beautiful, thick, long lashes, they can never be voluminous enough and if you are in need of a lash and/or brow boost, you MUST try Jessica Johnson Classic Beauty Brow and Lash Conditioning Serum. Just apply a light coat above your upper lash line and/or on brows before bed.
This is the real deal and it not only spurs hair growth but conditions as well. I have tried a number of reputable, over the counter lash serums only to have an allergic reaction. I had no sensitivity with this conditioning serum and it really works.
And for the finishing touch, I use Brenda Christian Perfect Brow Gel to shape and set my brows. I have curly brows that need serious taming and Perfect Brow does the trick. Its feather light formulation is the only gel conditions brows without leaving a hard, sticky, wet-looking residue.
Step 4A: Under eye cream
You’ve now finished your mascara application. What’s next? Take a damp Q-tip and sweep it across your under eye area to ensure that no mischievous mascara flakes have set up house there. Sweep the area again with a dry Q-tip to soak up excess water. At this point, I apply an under eye cream.
(Skipping this step? Go straight to step five.) If you prefer more of a serum-like texture I recommend EVENSWISS Rejuvenating Eye Complex. If you are partial to a creamier formula, try Emma Hardie Age Support Eye Cream. They are both fantastic and you will see results.
Step 5: Under eye highlighter
Apply an under eye highlighter focusing on the area under the inner eye and then sweep out and dab to blend. It’s important to pick the right shade. Right now I’m using Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat in Luminous Vanilla. I am fair skinned and prefer less coverage. The Touche Éclat line has shades to fit every skin shade and coverage preference. If I develop a blemish I use a dab of Touche Éclat to camouflage it as well.
Step 6: Powder bronzer
For the finishing touch, sweep Institut Esthederm Sunshine Care Powder over the apples of your cheeks with a medium sized blush brush. It provides just enough color to give you a healthy, sun kissed glow and the small compact is wonderful for travel and gals on the go. It’s a handbag must have.
Step 7: Lip gloss
I almost forgot the lip gloss. Lancôme Juicy Tubes are my old stand-by. I know they’re old school but they keep my perpetually chapped lips moist and the colors are ultra shimmery — which I love. Marshmallow Electra is my favorite color.