There were a few months in quarantine when my approach to makeup could be summarized as, "What makeup?" Like my blouses and "real" pants (i.e., anything that buttons or zips), my makeup remained unused on the shelf. It didn't take long before I noticed blemishes on my chin and brow clearing, without the addition of foundation. Over the past few months, I've started to return to makeup and jeans—but, encouraged by my skin's reaction to going without, I wanted to find products that didn't just hide blemishes but treated them. In my research, I found an entire arsenal of products that function as skincare first, makeup second, and are truly the perfect compromise, for a subtle WFH glow that nourishes while helping me look pulled-together for video calls. Read on for my favorite products—and a Reel of how I apply them:
Primer: Dr. Loretta® Urban Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 40 ($50): This sunscreen has long been a favorite of mine, with an unmatched rosy sheen that smoothes over imperfections and creates a natural glow that makes the high cost worth it. And the coconut oil and marine peptides hydrate your skin, while the zinc oxide creates a safe barrier between your face and the sun.
Tinted Serum: ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint (I use 'DIAZ ST7') ($46): I'm a huge fan of ILIA's mascara, but after Emily recommended their tinted serum, I was convinced to buy this product—and it's among the hardest working on this list. Not only does it function as a sheer foundation, thanks to the tint, but it provides an additional layer of zinc oxide, and is packed with all sorts of good, nontoxic ingredients: hyaluronic acids, plant-based squalane, and niacinamide, which collectively plump and hydrate your skin. It also comes in over 30 shades, so you can find the color perfect for your skin tone!
Concealer: Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer ($7): I use natural beauty products whenever possible, but it was hard to ignore the rave reviews of this product that multitasks as a concealer and a spot treatment (it contains salicylic acid, which helps fight acne, and the beta-hydroxy acid dissolves oil to unclog pores and fight black heads). I alternate between Neutrogena's cover-up and ILIA's True Skin Serum Concealer.
Mascara: LashFOOD Ultra Rich Volumizing Mascara ($20): I found this product after realizing there had to be a mascara that aids in growth while applying products—and it does! LashFOOD's Volumizing Mascara contains herb extracts that improve lash length and thickness, similar to other serums and lash conditioners.
Brows: RevitaLash Cosmetics Hi-Def Brow Gel - Soft Brown ($32): My brows and I have been on a journey together, and while I swear by neuBrow for growth, I haven't been able to justify the higher cost during quarantine—and this tinted gel from RevitaLash holds my brows in place, while conditioning them.
Under-Eye Treatment: Rose Glow & Get It Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm ($30): This product is brilliant and effective as an under-eye brightener. It contains caffeine to help reduce the look of dark circles, but also rosehip oil (a retinol alternative rich in vitamin C), and natural hydrators like rosewater, with a pretty barely-there rosy finish.
Lip Balm: Jane Iredale LipDrink® Lip Balm in Pout ($17): The first time I applied this lip balm, it immediately reminded me of a similar one that a German friend of mine used to use (random, but it was good enough that I remember it a decade later!). While it comes in multiple shades, I favor the barely-there pink that looks like a better version of my natural lip color, while offering UVA and UVB protection and nourishing them with vitamins C and E.
Lip Balm with SPF: Kosas Lipfuel ($18): For outdoor activities, like skiing or hiking, I always add a swipe of this Lipfuel, which is super hydrating, contains SPF, and looks so pretty on, even when I don't have any other makeup on (aka, if it's the weekend!).
Shine-Boosting Styling Cream: Virtue® 6-in-1 Styler ($32): I've been adding this lightweight cream to my hair after I shower, whether I plan to heat style it or not. It makes it smooth and shiny, while strengthening and repairing it with vitamin B5, aloe extract, and keratin.