Do you have 2 hours?
No! Just kidding. It doesn’t take me 2 hours, but it is a process. I mean, one thing I’ve learned along the way is that you can’t just slap a sh*t-ton of product on your face and expect it to look “natural.”
There’s definitely an art to getting the skin to look smooth and not so fussy, and I’m always tweaking my steps and products, but here are the broad strokes for my current routine…
For me, the first part has to be primer. I’m a big believer in primer. Bobbi Brown’s Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm and Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing — those are the two I’ve been keeping in my bag and using daily.
After primer I go in with some combination of lightweight medium to full-coverage foundations, which I mix because it’s difficult for me to find one color that matches my skin. Plus, you know, your skin is always changing (Bobbi Brown’s videos emphasize this). I may have gotten a little more sun yesterday, so I might have less noticeable yellow tones in my skin today and more pink or red. Or maybe I didn’t get enough sleep last night (happens often), so I look super tired.
Lately I’ve been mixing two or more (usually two) of these three together: NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, L’Oreal True Match Lumi, or the new Diorskin Nude Air Serum SPF 20.
And I don’t go heavy with this combo. I use as little foundation as I can — just the faintest amount — because it’s the next step that really helps get that more “flawless” look, or as close to it as I ever get. I take a small amount of that same foundation mix and add a full-coverage concealer, which I then use on my cheeks, around my mouth and around my nose.
Under-eye circles are a totally different story, though, and I’ll get to that in a minute.
I set the foundation combo with a powder, and one I’ve been loving lately is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. But I don’t just slap it on there willy-nilly. I take time to blend and buff it in so it doesn’t look like it’s sitting on top.
And that’s basically it for foundation.
I handle my under-eye situation separately, and I know it sounds involved, but I try to use as little of each product as possible to keep the area from looking cakey.
This time again, I start with a primer, and I’ve been using one called Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer.
Then I blend a trace, faint amount of NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer into the inner corners. After that’s blended out, I set it with a product that I’m not sure many people know about (heard about it from a friendly makeup artist) — Trish McAvoy’s Line Refiner.
Basically, it — and it’s kind of hard to explain — smooths and settles everything down so it looks less cakey. Then I set that, very lightly, with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural.
Aaand that’s it for dark circles.
Now, this is my overall process for pictures, but, you know, I’ll modify things along the way when I don’t have time for everything here.
Like, if I’m in a hurry, I won’t use two primers. I’ll just use one primer. I won’t custom mix things. I’ll just use one foundation. Sometimes I’ll skip powder. The steps are very fluid.
How long this all takes depends on how pressed I am for time. If I’m dilly-dallying, heck yeah! — you can always tweak more things, and the whole foundation process can take up to 20 minutes.
Without dilly-dallying, though, 10 minutes. Yup. But I have all my crap laid out in front of me. I have it all where I need it to be, so I’m not reaching into different drawers or whatever. When I sit down to work, I have everything prepared.