Beauty 101: Let’s Get Real


I’m still “sort or/kind of/no really” freaking out that I actually put this post out there. But…I think it’s pretty important to see the world through a non-photoshopped lens, and more importantly, to see yourself. Maybe it’s all my years in beauty advertising, where we’ve tsked tsked over photos of some of the world’s most famous supermodels…before we retouched even them into an unreal perfection. Or maybe I’ve finally come around to not just accepting but embracing the face I see in the mirror every day. I’ve earned those lines and even those dark circles, through hard work and the gift of living. So watch out world… here I come.


What you see here is my everyday more-than-10-but-less-than-15 minute skincare/makeup routine. Because let’s get real, I’m not going to head to an important meeting (or the grocery store) bare-faced. For me, I’ve learned it’s not about concealing but revealing the best real you.

First things first. I roll Clinique’s All About Eyes Serum (literally) all around my eyes as soon as I get up. Formulated with caffeine, antioxidants and soothing botanicals, this instantly cooling rollerball helps massage away bags, refreshes and hydrates puffy eyes.(Tip: This is great to use when you fly!)

Because I like to work out in the mornings, the rest of my skincare routine waits until I shower. I don’t actually wash my face in the mornings, but I do like to gently rub it with a dampened washcloth. It’s a bit of gentle exfoliating that gets the blood flowing, too.

Next, I apply eye cream. These days I’m using First Aid Beauty 5-in-1 Eye Cream. It smoothes, firms, brightens and nourishes while imparting a subtle glow to the eye area (take that, dark circles!). It’s also free of the chemicals and additives many other products are not. After that, it’s Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF 15, which I have been using for…forever. Formulated with Retinol, ProVitamin B5 and Vitamin E, it’s been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And it provides must-have broad spectrum sunscreen protection. It’s also been named to the Allure Beauty Awards Hall of Fame…for good reason. Plus it’s super affordable and available at every drugstore chain.

My total makeup look starts with smoothing a pea-sized dollop of  Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer allover. Instead of traditional foundation, which can look and feel heavy, I reach for Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20. (Here, Oil Free but I switch to Hydrating come the cold weather.) This is another product I’ve been using for years. It really gives your skin a fresh, healthy, no-makeup look with a soft hint of enhancing color. For me, a pea-sized dollop smoothed allover does the trick. Now to tackle those dark circles and any redness or discoloration. For that, YSL Touche Eclat is the gold standard. I know I’m being silly in my pic here, but this is seriously the wonder-working weapon no beauty arsenal should be without. It’s a luminizing pen that brings light and radiance to the skin, immediately erasing any signs of fatigue. I dot on all around my eyes, then gently pat in. (Travel Tip: Don’t leave home without it!)

Forget rose-colored glasses. I want rose-colored cheeks. And I get them with Bobbi Brown Blush in Nectar. Her Natural Kabuki Brush is perfect for buffing it on. Now for the eyes. I’ve only just started using Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick, and I’m already asking myself why I waited so long. On one of my Sephora expeditions, I was lucky enough to have one of the brand’s reps show me how to get the best results. First, brush your brows down with the spoolie brush end. Then with the pencil end use short, light strokes to follow and fill in along your natural brow arch. Last, brush brows back up and into place. Davis Factor, the photographer and Smashbox Founder, says “I look at eyebrows first because the right brows frame the face and can make you look younger.” I’d say he’s spot on. Next I curl my lashes, which really opens up your eyes. I like Shiseido and Tweezerman. For my lashes I love Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara in Jet Black. Because it lengthens and glosses, it’s perfect for everyday. Lastly, I slick on Korres Lip Butter in Guava (another great product I am never without), then follow with lipcolor. These days I’m loving Dior Addict Lipstick in almost any shade!

So that’s it. Every day. Hope I have’t scared you away…While I considered naming this post Naked & Afraid, truth be told I’m neither.

I’ll share how I take this look from day-into-night in an upcoming post. And trust me, it’s super simple. Do you have any makeup tips or tricks or fave products you’d like to share?

All Photos by Lydia Filosa and MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.



5 thoughts on “Beauty 101: Let’s Get Real

  1. M-P: You turned me onto Clinique’s “All About Eyes Serum” awhile ago and I’m crazy for it. I don’t leave home without it! Now I have some new products to try – THANKS!!!!

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