It’s funny: While I’m at a point in my life where I’m into beauty products more than ever before, I’m consciously using a lot less of them. I still probably use more beauty products than the average woman—it’s simply part of my job. But I’m definitely becoming more selective about the products I use regularly. I’m a 33-year-old working mom, and I value simplicity and effectiveness. Since entering my thirties, I’ve noticed quite a few changes in my skin (more dryness, dark spots, fine lines—the works). Following my pregnancy (and a serious lack of sleep), I’m now chasing around a very active toddler at all times. Bottom line: I really need help looking rested.
I’m also struggling with the ever-present pressure to look young. It’s something I think about often, especially now that I’m raising a daughter. I don’t want her to see me obsessing over my looks or constantly chasing my youth; I want her to see a woman who’s proud of her age and wears her wrinkles like a badge of honor. Of course, this is all easier said than done. I find myself stressing about how the skin on my neck is starting to feel stretchier, or how the grooves around my eyes are deepening, or how every new pimple leads to a stubborn new dark spot. What’s really been surprising is the way that too much makeup now looks worse on me than no makeup at all. This is not because I have perfect skin (I don’t!); it’s because extra product now settles into lines and wrinkles I didn’t have before, making me look older than I am.
Here are a few things I’ve started to do (and hope to do):
- I use face masks once a week. I’m not sure any of them actually make a huge difference in my skin, but it’s just a routine that feels good. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated after removing the masks. Currently, I love the Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack and Tata Harper Moisturizing Mask.
- I try to drink tall glasses of water throughout the day and use intense moisturizers before bed. I’m obsessed with hydration—my allergy-prone, dehydrated skin needs it.
- I am trying to get back to the gym three times a week and to limit my wine intake to three times a week. Successfully doing both of these things would probably make me feel more youthful and look less tired—but that’s another post entirely!
- I wear a lot less eye makeup. I enjoy makeup and still like to wear some—it makes me feel like I’m going into an office, even when I’m just working from home. I used to love wearing intense dark liner for a cat eye or smokey eye, but nowadays this can make my eyes look heavier, smaller and more tired. I want my eyes to look as fresh and awake as possible; a swipe of bronze-colored cream eyeshadow and mascara usually does the trick. I also always do my brows—I like to define them since the rest of my eye makeup is simple.
- Instead of applying foundation and concealer everywhere, I try to limit them to problem areas that need a bit more love. (For a while, I had been sort of caught up in the way that so many YouTube beauty gurus slather foundation all over their faces. I have to remember that I’m probably 10 years older than most of these girls.)
- I always wear a pop of color on my (very pale) lips! It complements my simpler eye makeup. My skin contains yellow undertones (which sometimes makes me look like I have jaundice—not a good look), so lipstick is a lifesaver! I tend to look best in bright pink shades.
- I still use bronzer, blush and highlighter, but I’m trying to apply them more subtly. Less is more!
Some of my current favorite products:
Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint: Lightweight and effective, this product is perfect on days when I only want a little bit of coverage. The tint makes me look like I’ve been sitting in the sun rather than staring at my computer screen.
Clarins Instant Concealer: I love this concealer’s smooth consistency. Also: A little goes a long way, so it’s worth paying a bit more for.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz Mechanical Pencil: I use this awesome pencil to brush up my brows and add a bit of color and definition to them.
RMS Beauty Eye Polish in ‘Solar’: Most days, this is all I use for eyeshadow. I love its smooth texture and natural formula. Once it sets, it stays put.
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer: A great product for adding a healthy-looking glow.
almay One Coat Nourishing Thickening Mascara: I bought this after reading an article in Allure magazine that said it was a good mascara for sensitive eyes. I’m still not sure if I agree.
e.l.f. Essential EX-tra Lip Gloss in ‘Marc 22114’: This hue is quickly becoming a new favorite of mine.
e.l.f Studio Blush Palette: This is a great on-the-go palette.
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