Friday, January 4, 2013

Beauty Routine-Part 1

 Every girl has a morning process she goes through to get ready
I do my best to remain low-maintenance when it comes to clothes & makeup (because my hair, unfortunately, is a PROCESS)

Here's what I do for the face... 
I wash/exfoliate 2x a day in the summer when heat and humidity are high, but in the winter months, I only use a cleanser at night.  
During the dryer seasons, morning face washes simply involve a splash of warm water followed by a thin layer of moisturizer.  

The toner is another once-daily step in the winter. I love this product.  So much so that I also use it to treat my chest & back, which have proven to be tough spots in my early thirties--especially after a run. 
True to their word, this toner does not over-dry your skin; it just leaves you feeling thoroughly clean and fresh. 

I have been using this face cream for as long as I can remember. Our mom also uses it, which is actually why I started. I wanted to be just like her when I was little, so I copied parts of mom's morning routine before school. 
Oil of Olay is reasonably priced, and a little goes a long way, so you don't have to restock too often. Not only can you get this cream oil free, it also has SPF in it--double bonus. 

Since the day I turned 30, I decided I had entered the "night cream phase" of my life. I brush a drop of this around each eye every night after washing and toning.  The left over cream is (cautiously) tapped on my eyelids. 

A splash of warm water, dab of Olay soaked in and it's makeup time!
This concealer(in "soft ivory") has been my go-to for a few years now. While not making me look like a walking airbrushed magazine ad, I do believe this product does its best to hide those pesky dark, tired under-eye circles.  Blemishes are also well hidden with this makeup.
After all of the unpleasantries are covered, I buff my face to (near) perfection with this beautifully light foundation (color: light ivory). 
Confession: I used to be SO AGAINST foundation. I was convinced that I'd  look like an old lady with a caked on face, like so many young girls do. 

But then a great friend/makeup guru helped me see how non-scary and helpful foundation can just have to find the right product. 
And this is it. It costs about 12 bucks, but it's well worth it. This stuff lasts forever. And it's SPF 19. Done.
Using a large brush, I swipe this semi-shimmery bronzer onto all of the places that tend to glow with a sunburn. 
Kind of a weird way to explain it, but once you try it, 
you'll know what I mean...
Think about all of the spots on your face that are really warm after a day at the beach...hairline, sides of your face, near your ears, a bit on the tip of your nose, maybe a touch on the chin...
not too much, keep it natural looking.  
Don't worry, I'm not forgetting the cheekbones--they're 
saved for the blush. 
The plum/purple/rosy-brown tones have been my eye shadow favorite ever since I sparked up a chat with a Clinique lady at Macy's.  She said that with my light skin, blonde hair and gray blue eyes, this color scheme could do a lot for me. The dark stays snuggled close to the eyeline area, while the lighter shade takes center stage.  This eye shadow is from Sally Beauty Supply.  It costs $7 and the color is "Jumpin' Java" . 

This shadow is a bit more sparkly than the jumpin' java.  I wore this (with dark raisin accents) as my wedding makeup.  It goes on looking like a natural, creamy rose color, rather than appearing too pink.  I can't say enough about the color  (#819 "precious"), but I must admit, if you use too much, small pieces will fall into your eye, and for contact wearers, it can be excruciating, so be careful! 

I've noticed that some girls' signature looks require eyeliner; I'm not a member of that group.  My eyeliner goes on when I'm in the mood to make an extra effort. I do wear it to work a lot, but if I'm in a rush, I can do without. I feel lucky that I like my look either way. Day time color, shown above, is  "Raisin quartz" by Almay.  This color is recommended more for green eyes, but it does amazing things for the shadow color combo I've chosen. When I'm more dressed up or just really want to be noticed, I wear black or dark brown. 

My good friend from Chicago, Grace, taught me this makeup routine that is now a daily ritual for me. (She is the aforementioned "makeup guru".)

 One evening, after a LOT of wine, she decided that we needed to schedule a trip to Target to find the right products for my new look.   
We had so much fun finding all the key players, and I learned so much in the process.  

 Grace created a romantic pink glow for my wedding day face. 
I was so calm knowing my look was in her hands. 

I finish with a blush that Grace gave to me (and I still use to this day). 
The shade is "glee" by i.d. Minerals makeup.  
Brush a small amount on the area where you'd 
pinch your cheeks for color.  

 I'm not loyal to any one mascara. 
(I think I'm using the one above right now...Cover Girl something...).  
I just purchase black in whatever sale or brush shape strikes my fancy when I'm at Walgreen's. 
I will say, however, that I rarely leave the house without a stroke or two swiped on...otherwise the blond lashes get lost on my face.

Finally: LIPS. I almost never wear lipstick--even gloss is a rarity for me. I'm always drinking something (coffee, water, tea, wine) so color wouldn't stay on me anyway. My lips only require a few exfoliating scrubs with a toothbrush (also adds plumpness & color) and a generous  scoop of good ol' petroleum jelly for shine.

So, this is how I try to prepare myself to leave the house each day.  If I'm going out on the town, I simply create a slightly more intense line of eyeliner, increase the amount of the dark shadow, perhaps tap the bottom lashes with mascara, and add a swipe of tinted gloss.  I'm not a fancy person, so there's not really a "Nighttime Courtney" version of me. 

I'm no longer afraid to experiment with makeup. Since I don't have Grace in town to accompany me to Target on a whim, I've been seeking advice from one of my new favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess 
(thanks, Meggie!).

Now that's when I'm in the zone. 
Genetics have forced me to become the hair guru. 
Stay tuned for Part 2...

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