I've approached the age where skincare really matters: I'm young enough to still prevent damage and wrinkles, but old enough that I also need to focus on softening the lines I've already started to develop. Fortunately, I've given my skin a good deal of attention and protection since my early twenties, so my mid-thirties skin has only called for a bit of tweaking to my routine here and there. I should also note that I really like my mid-thirties skin! I also kind of love those little lines around my eyes when I smile...I'm generally happier and more comfortable than I was in my twenties, and I love that it shows on the outside.

I have a strong inclination toward a simple, natural-looking everyday face, which is how this makeup/skincare routine was born. I occasionally tweak individual products based on SPF, how my skin is looking/feeling, or if a new product has piqued my interest.

I am not a morning person by nature. I tend to get my second wind around 10p, which means early morning wake-up calls are extra tough. Therefore, my more intensive skincare treatments tend to happen before bed or on the weekends. My current morning routine takes about 5 minutes to apply, makes me feel put together, and has me out the door in a jiffy. On those occasions when I want to look a little more polished, I'll add some eyeliner, shadow and lipstick. I have some great standbys when it comes to those products as well. (Spinoff blog post topic!)

Before I get started, I think it's important to note that I'm at a place in my life where a full face of makeup isn't practical or particularly appropriate. I work in a hospital OR setting, so I spend my days in scrubs, a surgical cap, and 75% of the time I'm wearing a face mask. Though I imagine my makeup routine will always be natural-looking, the future may hold a more polished daily look depending on where life takes me over the next few years. We shall see.

1// Clarins UV Plus Broad Spectrum Sunscreen // I have used their untinted formula for about 6 years now and absolutely love it. The SPF 50 is bomb, and my foundation glides right on over the top. Gosh I hope they never stop making this product.

2// Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium // When I first tried this product in a sample size I wasn't super impressed: one brow would be darker than the other, there would be a glob that took valuable time to try and wipe off, or it left a flaky look. I can't remember why, but I gave it another try and now I use it every day. I scrape any excess product off the wand and apply in sweeping motions. With rare exception it gives me even, natural results. Though I discovered brow products later in life, I instantly feel put together when my light brows are more defined. Sonia Kashuk's Tinted Brow Gel also gets very high marks. I still have a tube and use it on the weekends or when the mood strikes. I used it for many years and would absolutely go back to it if I fell out of love with my current brow gel. 

3// It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara // This is a newer find (I've been using it about 8 months), which replaced the Covergirl Professional Remarkable Mascara I used for the better part of a decade. Covergirl's mascara gave me beautifully defined lashes, but took several coats to build up to adequate coverage. I gave the Superhero mascara a try and realized a one coat mascara actually exists! A single tube lasts me about 3 months, making it worth the increased cost, and I think it gets better with time (i.e. as it dries out slightly). 

4// Urb Apothecary Lips Cheeks Tint/Blush Stick //  I picked this up at a boutique in Portland and instantly fell in love. It offers a natural flush of color and a pretty dewiness to my cheeks. It blends easily and a single tube has lasted me the better part of a year. I love it when products made by small  businesses beat out big market products...and this does, hands down.  

5// TONYMOLY Panda's Dream Brightening Eye Base // This product is reserved for those days when I have a few extra minutes or want to look extra spiffy. Even though it's not a part of my every day routine, I included it because I really like it and use it often. It helps blur dark under eye circles and makes me look more awake. I apply it directly to my finger and pat it around my whole eye area. I wore it last week to my grad school interview and it perked up my tired post-travel eyes. After I apply it, I pat some foundation over the top to even things out.

6// It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream in Medium // Like their mascara, I'm fairly new to this product. I was looking for a bit more coverage from my foundation, and was pleased with the high SPF (which is my top priority). I apply this with my fingers, but may switch to a brush at some point if I want to make it extra flawless. I alternate between this and their CC+ Illumination version, and like them both. It goes on smoothly, a little goes a long way for me, and even a small amount covers any and all skin imperfections. (I like my foundation to look like I'm not wearing foundation but just have naturally even skin.) The Illumination cream is pretty, but I occasionally notice a couple glitter pieces on my face which catch my attention in the mirror. I'm not a glitter-wearing kind of girl, but it is not enough to bother me (or I simply don't care at 5:30a). Before this I wore Bare Mineral's Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream for 5+ years and loved it. It offers more sheer coverage and is a genuinely lovely product. I used up the last little bit I had left last weekend and was sad to see it go. I'd always consider going back, but I'm liking that extra bit of coverage at this phase of my life.

7 // Smith's Rosebud Salve Trio // I picked this trio up a couple years ago at Anthro and started carrying it in my scrub top pocket. I apply it throughout the day and it keeps my lips smooth + makes me feel a tiny bit more put together. I'm on my second trio and love all 3 flavors: Strawberry, Original and Minted Rose.

8 // Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream // I'm not great at wearing eye cream, especially in the morning. These days I'm noticing more pronounced crow's feet, and have started making more of a consistent effort toward nurturing the skin around my eyes. My eyes are super sensitive, and I wear contacts, and normal eye creams creep in and blur/irritate/sting my eyes. In my experience, Clinique's eye creams stay put and this is no exception. It helps de-puff and my foundation glides on without tugging. I apply it to my finger and gently smooth it around my under eye every morning. It soaks in quickly, so it doesn't add but a few seconds to my routine.

That's it! On the average day I use 6 products and it takes about that many minutes. Tips? Product suggestions? Tell me everything. 

Side note: In all the years I've dabbled in blogging, this is my first white-background-product-collage. And it only took me an entire Saturday afternoon! Thank goodness for all those tech-savvy tutorial writers out there willing to share their wisdom. I'm woefully behind the curve.

Side, side note: #notsponsored (ever)

A Simple Morning Routine (+ product reviews)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017