Quick Makeup Routine: 7 Beauty Bag Essentials

Always looking good means being prepared -- whether you’re at work, out on the town or just running errands. As a makeup artist, I’ve learned that a little bit can go a long way in giving your face a refreshed and healthy glow. While I can’t carry my giant roller-bag of beauty products with me everywhere I go, I can stash the absolute essentials in my purse. From concealer to facial tissues, here are the seven things I never leave the house without -- along with a few tricks for making them work magic.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 1: Eyelash Curler

This device is a great investment because it lasts a long time. (Just replace the pads every three or four months.) It’s also a cinch to use, even for people who aren’t comfortable wearing eye makeup. The payoff: Curled lashes make your eyes look bigger, open and more awake.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 2: Lip Gloss

This is a foolproof way to add some pop to your face and moisturize chapped lips. Go for something glossy with a slight hint of color.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 3: Facial Tissues

Keeping a pack of tissues handy can save you from beauty blunders, like smudged mascara, and help you remove excess lotion or toner. You can also use them to wipe off sweat on a hot day or after a workout. Remember: Using your hands can spread dirt and clog pores, unless you’ve just washed them.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 4: Facial Moisturizer or Spray Toner

It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, inside and out. Dab moisturizer -- don’t rub it in -- over dry spots, or spray a little toner on your face, to get a fresh, dewy look. Remove any excess by lightly patting your face with a facial tissue, which is gentle on delicate facial skin.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 5: Concealer

The only way to cover dark circles, red spots and pimples, concealer is my No. 1 one must-have. In my opinion, it’s even more important than foundation. If your makeup job needs freshening up, start here: Apply a tiny bit of concealer on your fingertip and pat under the eye. It will brighten your whole face immediately.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 6: Loose Powder

This helps set your foundation (if you’re wearing any) and even out skin tone. I like to dab off excess oil with a facial tissue and apply a bit of powder in the midafternoon or evening to freshen up; it helps soak up any oil that has accumulated throughout the day.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 7: Eye Shadow

I always carry one compact with four or five shades of eye shadow, from dark to light. The lighter colors serve as a highlighter when you want to pump up your eyes, while the darkest ones act as eyeliner when you want to go from day to night.

Now that you’ve stocked up on these essentials, you have everything you need to look fresh all day and night. Here, my tips on freshening up and transforming your casual day makeup to something more eye-catching:

To Touch up Midday

If you want to freshen up after lunch or before a big meeting, the first step is to quickly clean off any oil or makeup that has run or melted into the creases around your eyes. Wrap a facial tissue around your index finger so it’s fully covered. Then, starting at the inner corner of each eye, work your finger around the bottom lashes to the outer edge, wiping out any loose or oily residue. Give your top eyelids a quick sweep too.

Next, refresh your makeup: Spritz your face with toner or apply moisturizer, add concealer and powder, and re-curl your eyelashes. You can also add a fresh coat of mascara if you have it with you.

If you wear lipstick, chances are you’ll need to reapply by midday. Here’s a trick for helping your color stay put and preventing it from bleeding off of your lips: Apply a coat of lipstick like normal, then take a facial tissue and pull it apart so that it’s just one-ply. Put that layer of tissue over your lips, and then over the tissue, dab a little bit of loose powder. The powder’s color won’t leak through the tissue, but it will help your lipstick set.

To Go From Day to Night

Headed straight to dinner after work? Give yourself a bolder look. The easiest way to do this is to play up your eyes with eyeliner or the darkest shadow in your eye shadow quad compact. With the eye shadow brush, carefully apply the shadow to your waterline, at the base of your bottom lashes. Dampen a facial tissue and quickly sweep under each eye to clean up any excess shadow that’s flaked off, and you’re good to go!

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5 Makeup Routine Tips to Look Great After the Gym

Squeezing in a workout during lunch or before dinner is good for your body, mind and overall health. But it’s not so great for the makeup you carefully applied this morning. But don’t let that stop you: With my quick makeup routine, you can look just as pretty and polished when you leave the gym as you did when you arrived -- all in time for your next appointment.

Gym Makeup Routine Tip No. 1: Work out without.

As a makeup artist, I don’t leave the house without at least a little bit of coverage myself. But when I exercise, I keep it minimal: a bit of concealer and a coat of mascara at most. However, if you’re coming straight from work, chances are you’ve got a full face of makeup. Unless you want it running into your eyes and clogging your pores, it’s smart to do some makeup removal.

Before you change into your workout clothes, wipe off any makeup around your forehead, cheekbones, nose, jawline and chin. Carry a pack of facial tissues with you -- facial tissues are less rough and irritating and better for your skin than the towels and tissues at the gym -- and dampen them with makeup remover or soap and water.

You should also run a tissue around the creases and corners of your eyes to remove any makeup or oil that has already come off. Leave the rest of your eye makeup intact, unless you think you’ll sweat so much it’s likely to run and irritate your eyes.

Gym Makeup Routine Tip No. 2: Take care of your hair.

Pin back your hair, including the bangs that hang over your forehead. This will prevent oil on your hair from mixing with sweat on your forehead -- a surefire acne trigger.

Gym Makeup Routine Tip No. 3: Wash your face afterward.

Contrary to popular belief, sweat is actually good for the face: It opens your pores and lets your skin breathe. It’s the dirt and oil that get mixed in that spell trouble for your complexion. The best way to stay clean is to wash your face ASAP post-exercise, whether it’s in the shower or over the sink with a pre-moistened facial wipe.

Gym Makeup Routine Tip No. 4: Moisturize and reduce redness.

After a sweat session, it may feel like lotion is the last thing your skin needs, but it’s important to replenish the moisture that was lost. It also gives your skin an even base for applying makeup. I recommend a tinted moisturizer because it may help reduce redness and give you some coverage if you’re in a rush. Wipe off any excess lotion with facial tissues.

If your exercise flush lingers, moisturizer alone may not cut it. Instead, invest in a green-tinted corrective primer that will camouflage the ruddiness and uneven skin tone. (For similar reasons, surgeons traditionally wear green scrubs to offset the color of blood stains.) Swipe on neutral lip gloss rather than something red, and opt for bronzing powder instead of blush.

Gym Makeup Routine Tip No. 5: Eyeball your eyes.

Don’t forget to give your peepers a quick once-over. Even if you left your makeup on, chances are it may have smudged or faded.

Pumping up your eyes is another way to draw attention away from a still-flushed face.

Now’s a good time to add a new sweep of eye shadow, re-curl your lashes or add another coat of mascara. Since the rest of your face is finished, keep it clean from falling eye shadow by folding a facial tissue in half along the crease and holding it in place along the cheekbone while you touch up your lashes and lids.

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

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3 Makeup Application Tips for the Holidays

When it comes to holiday makeup, sometimes less is more. You don’t need to pull out every trick in the book to look fabulous. Instead, consider simplifying your routine by playing up one favorite feature: Make your eyes, cheeks or lips the center of attention. Not only will you ramp up the glamour, but you’ll also cut down on your prep time – so you can get out there and enjoy the season.

So before your next fete, consider my tips for makeup application:

Tip for Makeup Application No. 1: Bold lips
Nothing says glamour like a beautiful dark lip. Whether you prefer a true red or rich merlot, start with a lip liner for precise, smudge-proof lips. Choose a matching shade and line your lips; then fill in with the lipstick. Blot with a tissue, and then swipe on another layer.

For a pretty smile, I recommend applying a teeth-whitening strip beforehand. It brightens your teeth a shade or two, creating a greater contrast with your lip color. And to avoid going overboard, keep the rest of your face minimal and clean: Think subtle eye color and neutral cheeks.

Tip for Makeup Application No. 2: Lush lashes

Fringing your eyes with long, thick lashes makes your entire face pop. I recommend picking up a strip of false lashes at the drugstore. If you’re nervous about application, consider a few single lashes. You can place these at the outer corners of your eyes for a full fringe.

For an even more dramatic look, line the inner rims of your eyelids with a black waterproof eyeliner. More fair-skinned people can use a brown shade. Then dab a light frosted eye shadow in your tear duct and right beneath the brow bone. This will illuminate your eyes, making them appear even bigger. Finish off the look with a few swipes of black mascara.

Tip for Makeup Application No. 3: Pink cheeks
Pink cheeks create a pretty party glow. The biggest mistake that I see is women tend to choose a shade that’s too dull or dusty for their complexion. Consider a bright pink: Even though it may look intimidatingly loud in the package, it swipes on sheer. So you get a beautiful flush instead of a neon stripe. I recommend heading to your local cosmetics store and experimenting with different shades.

To apply, brush onto the apples of your cheeks (the area of your cheeks that rise when you smile). If you want a shimmery look, finish by swiping some iridescent powder right on along your cheekbone in the shape of your face.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

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Makeup: When to Splurge, When to Save

It’s a common beauty dilemma: Should you shell out $30 for that name-brand lotion or $3 on the drugstore stuff? When it comes to products, there’s a time to save and another to invest in the long-term. Follow our savvy shopper’s guide, and both you -- and your bank account -- will continue looking good.

Splurge or save on … trendy color?
Scoring today’s makeup trend for a few bucks means you won’t feel guilty when you must have tomorrow’s “it” shade. Consider shadows, glosses and nail polishes from drugstore brands, such as Wet N’ Wild and E.L.F.

The catch: These steals tend to have less saturated pigments than their pricier counterparts, so you may need to apply more than one coat. To make shadows last, apply a primer or creamy foundation on your lids first. Also top your nails with a fast-drying clear polish to prevent chipping.

Splurge or save on … blush?
Splurge. Cheap powder blushes often contain larger particles from ingredients like talc, which can result in streaky, caked-on color. Pricier formulations, like those by Nars, impart an even distribution of color and smoother finish.

Splurge or save on … face wash?
Save. Ask any dermatologist what she uses to clean her face, and 90 percent of the time she’ll name a drugstore brand like Cetaphil. Why? These well-known brands have big budgets for research and development. The result: Their products have effective formulas that cleanse and remove makeup with little irritation. Similarly, lower-priced moisturizers can deliver hydration without breaking the bank.

Splurge or save on … foundation?
The key to wearing foundation is to look like you’re not wearing any makeup at all. Some inexpensive options can cake on and settle into fine lines and pores, which may lead to breakouts. Prestige brands, like Armani Fluid Sheer, not only have more shade ranges and varying degrees of coverage, but they also provide a lighter feeling finish. For the best investment, head to your local Sephora or department store. Ask the consultant to help you find shades that match your skin tone. (Note: You may need to switch up the weight or color, depending on the season.)

Splurge or save on … removers and blotters?
No point in spending extra for blotting papers. Instead, absorb excess moisture with a tissue; just gently pat it across your face. Bonus: These tissues also double as makeup removers. Dab the tissue into a petroleum-based makeup remover and swipe across your eyes, lips and cheeks.   

Splurge or save on … brushes?
Toss those free-with-purchase makeup brushes. Invest in three to four pro-grade, synthetic brushes, which will last longer. They also distribute color, powder and foundation more evenly, thanks to their larger surface area. Keep them bacteria-free and wash with a gentle baby shampoo once a month; set to dry on a few layers of tissues.

Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

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5 Winter Beauty Tips From a Celebrity Makeup Artist

Even if you love a winter wonderland, your skin may not. The chilly, dry air and shorter days can bring on a dry, dull complexion. In my job as a celebrity makeup artist, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you appear glowing all year long.

The secret is having the right products to create the perfect look. Here are the five that I swear by:

1. A healing ointment. A tube of Aquaphor does triple-duty against chapped skin. I always have a tube on hand to soothe dry lips, hydrate rough patches of skin and soften cuticles. It especially works wonders if you apply it before bedtime. I always have a tube on hand.

2. Tinted moisturizer. Many women make the mistake of reaching for a heavier cover-up during the winter, believing that their pale complexions need extra coverage. But this can lead to a caked-on look. Instead, I recommend a light tinted moisturizer: It hydrates and brightens at the same. The result: Dewy skin that stands out in the crowd. Simply use a shade or two lighter than your summer color, and apply with a sponge brush. Then pat off any excess product with a tissue.

3. Exfoliating scrub. To achieve fresh-looking skin, you need to slough off the top layer of dead cells. That’s why I recommend using a gentle exfoliating scrub once or twice a week; a drugstore brand, such as Aveeno or Neutrogena, does the job. Just don’t go overboard. Exfoliate too much, and you’ll strip the skin of its protective oils.

4. Bronzing lotion. Who needs the sun for a sun-kissed tan? I love applying a sheer, shimmering bronzing lotion before a holiday party or event. I like Scott Barnes Body Bling Moisturizing Shimmering Body Lotion, which gives you a glowing tan without any streakiness. Simply rub on your neck, chest, arms and legs before heading out, and wash off when you get home. Just remember to wipe your palms with a tissue after application.

5. Cream eye shadow. A no-fail way to achieve a holiday evening look: Apply a cream-based shadow. This product contains extra pigment, which creates a dramatic effect with little effort. Finish with an extra swipe of powder eye shadow, and blend in. When it comes to creating a fun look, don’t be afraid -- play around with it! Remember: If worse comes to worse, you can always wipe it off with some makeup remover and a tissue and start fresh.

Photo by Valerie Elash on Unsplash

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