Every weekday morning, I wake up with the best of intentions. The night before, I set a couple of alarms, in hopes that I will wake up on the first one, and have peaceful morning. On the list of things I aspire to do every morning, in addition to sitting down and eating breakfast, doing some light reading, and of course getting myself and my daughter dressed, is also giving my face a light beat, depending on my mood. Wearing makeup to work is not an essential, but those quiet moments alone with myself in the morning are ones I really value. Call it self-care. In addition, knowing I look somewhat how I imagine myself in my head, is a confidence booster.
However, more often then not, I wake up after a few snoozes of my last alarm, and my morning is a blur. When I’ve finally made it into the car, work, or anywhere I catch myself in a mirror, I shriek in horror! I could have sworn I looked normal in my bathroom mirror at home. Thus begins the hurried scouring of my purse for random beauty items to spruce myself up. After one too many mornings like this, I realized that as a wife, mother of a toddler, and full-time, in-office employee, my dreams of waking up early and primping were just fantasies. It wasn’t going to happen! I had to do something different.
To look presentable (at least for my tastes), I knew that I didn’t really have to go through every single step of makeup application for work, as I would if I was going out to dinner or to some fancy event. At work, I just want to look alive and look like I care. It’s an added bonus if I also look reasonably pretty. Thinking about the items that really made the most difference in my appearance, I bought myself a makeup bag, and came up with these five items to keep in my purse at all times for quick way to look polished. Every woman – whether she has a family or not – has those moments where she needs to get it together on the fly. The items below are guaranteed lifesavers when you’re in a beauty pinch.
A beauty product conceptualized in early Egyptian times to decorate and accentuate the eyes, mascara is a sure way to instantly brighten up the face. Even if your lashes are normally invisible, with the right mascara, you can have the darkest, blackest, and longest lashes. A lashed eye can give an overall soft and feminine vibe to the face in just two minutes. My rule of thumb when applying mascara the more the merrier!
Hand and hand with mascara is eyeliner, one of the most versatile cosmetic products out there. With the array of eyeliner types, you can give the eyes so many different shapes and play with tons of effects. If you’re in a low-key type of mood, a simple line close to the lid will do. A eyeliner pencil with then tip is great for this. For a little flair, a cat eye with a short wing is my go-to. And on those moody days, where you really wanna be left alone, a smoked out and smudged rim around the eyes is perfect. They call the eyes the windows of the soul, and eyeliner can serve to be the blinds, the curtains that adorn those panes.
I’ve probably tried every liner out there, but some of my favorites to use are the Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon ($25, Marc Jacobs Beauty) for waterproof, long lasting pigmentation that glides on the eyelids and even along the waterline; and the Flyliner Longwear Liquid Eyeliner ($20, Fenty Beauty) for a sleek, sharp, black liner that will definitely stay on until you physically remove it.
Blush or Bronzer
Blush is a product that many people shy away from. Perhaps for fear of going too crazy with it and looking like you’re overheating, perhaps for some other reason. I’m here to tell you that you have nothing to be afraid of. Blush is one of my favorite products, especially for a quick on the go look, because with just a *teensy-tiny* bit of it, your face looks like a light has been lit inside of it. Many look to highlighter for glow, but blush adds a glow that isn’t physically glittering. When applied properly the glow of blush, or a natural bronzer, can resemble that of a flushed face after a workout or that rosiness of a pregnant woman’s cheeks.
My all time favorite blushes to date are Format ($24) and Sweet as Cocoa ($17) blushes by MAC, especially because the shades are natural, yet sprinkled with a little shimmer. I also enjoy using the Sunlit Bronzers by Becca ($38, in Maui Nights) for a really subtle color, to take the tired look out of my skin.
Sheer complexion product
The cosmetic market is filled with all types of foundations and creams and powder, all with the intent to create the perfect complexion. When we’re on the go, though, we don’t have time to go for perfect. We have to go for what is both easy and effective. Sheer complexion products are great because they give you freedom to apply them quickly and messily. BB and CC Creams, and other items like them, can make small blemishes and discoloration disappear less noticeable and usually blend with little to no effort. In summer, you may have to blot a little more, but I say it’s worth it for the payoff.
My favorite sheer products to use are MAC’s Studio Face + Body Foundation ($30, Macy’s) for a glowy to natural effect, and Your Skin But Better Oil-Free CC Cream ($39, It Cosmetics) for something more matte.
The last item on our list is something that everyone probably already has. Lip gloss is a must have that’s as easy to apply as your favorite chapstick or lip balm. Granted, we need those products because they keep our lips from cracking, but gloss adds a little shine to the lips that in turn lights up the whole face. When you’re wearing gloss, you definitely look like you have somewhere to go.
My favorite glosses actually combine the effects of a lip balm with the glossy effect that lasts at least an hour. Two (out of many) that I use religiously are the Hi-Fi Shine Utra Cushion Lip Gloss in Shadowheart, a shade that is great for dark lips ($20, Urban Decay), and the Gloss Bomb ($18, Fenty).
Happy shopping, ladies!
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