Current Makeup Sitch.

By: Jen Shoop

It’s been awhile since we talked cosmetics ’round here — and that’s for a good reason: I have been v. pleased with my skincare and makeup routine, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Still, I scattered reviews of products and so forth over the last few Magpie Polish posts, so I thought I’d do a full rundown of my current daily routine:

I start the morning by washing my face with Tata Harper’s regenerating face wash.  I did a full review of this wunderproduct here, but the short story is that I prefer a face wash with a mild exfoliant in it, and this stuff is magical.  A dermatologist once told me that daily exfoliation is too hard on your skin and advocated for Cetaphil, a bit of advice I promptly discarded; my skin is too oily!  I need the exfoliation!  I then apply Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum, which instantly brightens and illuminates my skin — it’s like turning on the lights.  I wait a minute for that to settle in and then apply L’Occitane’s peony perfecting cream, which smells like heaven and leaves skin dewily moisturized, and Sunday Riley’s autocorrect eye cream.  I usually shift gears and make the bed or chase after mini while I let the moisturizers absorb.  Then I apply Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer — it balances out the skin but looks super natural, and it has SPF.  If I need more coverage, I apply Shiseido’s wetforce sunscreen and then Too Faced’s Born This Way foundation.  One non-negotiable for me nowadays is wearing sunscreen on my face every single minute of every single day.  I’ve already noticed the permanent damage sun has had on my skin from youthful summers — shame on me! — and am determined to protect my skin and prevent additional sun spots and wrinkles from developing.  (#ThisIs34.)

I should interject here and add that I almost always change into my thin cotton robe (on super sale!) or Eberjey rompers (also on super sale!) when getting ready in the morning.  I know it’s an extra step to switch out of pajamas into some other intermediary outfit but I hate being hot or cold or sweaty while getting ready, and these are so comfortable and breathable.

Next — I always apply concealer under my undereyes and on any blemishes — my mom gave me a tube of YSL’s All Hours concealer and it’s very thin — almost liquid-like — but surprisingly opaque; I like that it blends easily but covers the deep black circles a year and a half of motherhood have left under my eyes.  My other go-to is Cle de Peau’s concealer.  I have tried legitimately every concealer out there and I believe that this is the absolute best.  It’s sickeningly expensive but it lasts; I re-upped my supply a month ago and feel relieved to have it back in rotation.  If I am taking my time, I’ll set the concealer with Laura Mercier’s secret brightening powder, but most of the time, I’m in a rush to extricate mini from a tangle of cords or prevent Tilly from eating my breakfast, which is sitting, cold, on the dining room table.  If I’m in a real hurry, I’ll use concealer on my eyelids to even out the tone and call it a day, but if not, I’ll dot a little of Laura Mercier’s eye basics in linen on my lids, and that’s as far as I go in terms of the eye shadow situation.  Next I’ll apply a brush of Guerlain’s bronzer onto my cheeks.  A makeup artist recently told me not to layer blush over bronzer (it looks too overdone, in her opinion) but I still do it, and frequently — except for in the mornings, when I’m short on time.  In the summer, I’ll just wear bronzer; in the winter, I’ll swipe on Bobbi Brown’s blush in Pale Pink.  Both the Guerlain bronzer and Bobbi Brown blushes are value buys — they last forever.  I swear to God I’ve had the same bronzer and same blush for over three years, and I wear one or the other — or both — daily.  You do the math!  They’re like self-renewing infinity magical unicorn powders.

Last, I layer on Chanel’s nourishing mascara base (this stuff has been selling out all over the place!) followed by Diorshow mascara.  Mascara is my ultimate desert island beauty product — I feel naked without it and I love a heavy hand with it.  One of my older cousins is absolutely stunning — like, the prettiest version of me imaginable — and was a model and beauty pageant queen in her teens.  I always hung onto her every word when it came to beauty and self-care, and I remember her telling me, when I was twelve or thirteen: “And then I put on a ton of mascara.  I like it extra-goopy.”  I’ve followed suit ever since.  I didn’t know I needed a mascara base until I tried Chanel’s formula, and I’m hooked forever.  It sort of plumps and separates and thickens the lashes, and then you go in there with the Diorshow and it’s LIGHTS OUT.  (That’s not the right superlative, but you get my point: DRAMA!)  I’ve had three people ask me whether I wear false lashes in the last month, since starting this two-fold routine.  The other trick?  A makeup artist told me not to just swipe the mascara up through my lashes, but to wiggle it on back and forth from the root up.  It really works in terms of separating all of the lashes so that you don’t wind up with clumpy stumpy lashes.

OK, that’s more than enough on lashes.

What else?  Nowadays, I skip on the eyeliner because someone told me (sob!) that, on most people, wearing eyeliner after 30 years is aging!  Gah!  We can’t have that.  But when I do wear it, this stuff is the absolute best; it dries matte!  I also love RMS’ living luminizer when I’m looking a little dull and tired, but I often skip it in favor of time saving.  But the final non-negotiables for daily wear?  Glossier boy brow (it’s so easy to apply and it totally frames and finishes your face) and a swipe of Sugar lip balm in petal, which adds just enough color but moisturizes, too.  (And I can apply it without a mirror.)

For hair: I wash it every other day and have been using Bumble and Bumble’s Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner.  Both Mr. Magpie and I are obsessed with it.  It smells clean (gender-neutral!), a little goes a long way, and it leaves hair full and soft.  I then blow-dry it with the products I mentioned in detail here.  (Brushes are a key ingredient!)  I’m also a devotee of plain old Dove bar body soap.  We buy it in bulk.  It smells like my childhood and I like the way it makes my skin feel — squeaky clean.  Afterward, I apply Fresh’s Hesperides body lotion (it smells like heaven) and Tata Harper’s body balm to my feet.

Every couple days, I apply either Tata Harper’s resurfacing face mask or Origins’ rose clay mask.  But when I’m in a bind, I still swear by m61 powerglow peel pads.  They are ridiculous.  I like to use them before I’m heading out for a night — I’ll swipe one of these all over and it’s like, “new face who dis” when I look in the mirror.

Before bed, I take everything off using micellar water and then clean it with Tata’s cleanser.  I apply Origins’ Night-A-Mins refining oil and cream.  It could be a placebo effect, but I’m pretty sure my skin’s never looked brighter or younger than when I’ve followed this ritual religiously.

Man oh man, what it takes to care for this 34-year-old body!  I wish I were one of those women who only wore aquaphor and mascara and cleansed her skin with cetaphil, but alas, I am not…

The only other additions I’m contemplating right now are this sulfur mask, as I occasionally break out along my jawline and that is not so cute at all, this illuminating moisture balm (love the nude/clear color), this instant confidence stick (a “magic eraser” for skin?! — so intriguing!), and this volumizing lip and cheek tint.  I love anything that can do double duty.

What’s on your radar?  Any other wunderproducts to share?

P.S.  Most of these products are covered in more detail in this roundup, along with a couple of other additions/must-haves.

P.P.S.  Also beautiful?  THIS!!!!

P.P.P.S.  I’ve had this question a couple of times: how do you keep your cosmetics organized?  I use these cubes under my sink.  (This is similar.)  I keep my lipsticks in this.  But if you don’t have the space for that kind of stuff, I was thinking that these — which I use to organize our paper/office supplies — could also be a good idea.  Use one for skincare, one for face, one for lipsticks?  Etc.

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21 thoughts on “Current Makeup Sitch.

  1. You’ll never get me to give up my eyeliner! For daily use, I use a pencil and only line my upper lids – without, I look completely washed out (as I don’t use mascara every day due to allergies). Otherwise, I haven’t much of a makeup routine, though I do want to get out of my rut and experiment more – you’ve provided some good leads!

    1. I hear you on the liner! I felt so weird not wearing it the first few days. I think it works well for me in the summer when I want more of a natural look anyway, but…evenings? Fall? Liner it is.


  2. Love reading beauty routines! How is the texture of the shiseido sunscreen? Does it dry matte? I’m always on the lookout for a great sunscreen. Shiseido also has a great mascara base that holds a curl really well. I never tried the Jillian Dempsey lid tints but she has new cheek tints. I just got one in the shade Bloom and it’s nice. Also trying out the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter… a sort of illuminator/highlighter product that people are dying over.

    1. Hi Mary! The Shiseido is a little thick TBH — it takes a little elbow grease to really blend it in, but it does blend eventually. I think it’s because it’s “wetforce” meaning that it cannot be displaced/removed by water, so it’s even more ideal for swimming/sweating/summer activities. I believe they have a version that is without the “wetforce” so it blends a little easier. Still, NO SUN GETS THROUGH THAT SHISEIDO. I swear! It feels a bit like a mask.

      Good to know on the Shiseido lash curler, and I’m very intrigued by that Tilbury stuff! Have been hearing about it all over!

  3. Love the comment about your cold breakfast! I feel ya. I’ve got my SAHM routine down to toner, moisturizer, sunscreen, brows, eyeliner, mascara, and blush. Mascara is def the key though…My lashes are really light colored, and no matter how much wiggling I do at my lash line, if I don’t wear liner it looks like my lashes are kinda floating off my lids! Hope it’s not aging me but oh well if it is! I try to use all “clean” beauty items and am still on the hunt for the perfect clean mascara. I was also in search of a clean version of Bite Beauty lip mask, and finally had an aha moment when I noticed the lanolin from my brief breastfeeding career was still in my medicine cabinet. It is just the right consistency and stays put all night. Mom win 🙂

  4. Your prior post inspired me to make sure my skin is protected (especially during the summer and when travelling to sunny climes!) so I have been using Shiseido’s Ultimate Sun Protection Spray on my face. I’m attached to my moisturizer and it does not have SPF which is so important now!
    As for makeup, my secret weapon is MILK makeup Luminous Blur Stick. It is a mattifying primer in a stick format with a bit of pearl sheen to it. I wear it on a fresh moisturized face along with some mascara and call it a day.
    My question is what do you think about a “bare” face at the office? My environment is relatively low key but I don’t want to look disheveled…

    1. I’ve heard SUCH good things about that blur stick — I might make a trip to Sephora this afternoon to play with it, actually…

      Re: bare face at office. Personally I think it’s up to the individual; I had some colleagues who never wore a bit of makeup and it was their “look” and completely expected and appropriate. I had others who wore a full face. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong there — I would say whatever you are comfortable with!

  5. Check out EltaMD’s sunscreen. It’s fairly thin, dries within a couple minutes, and easy to apply. I’m pale and use the tinted version with no problem. My dermatologist swears it’s the best facial sunscreen. I apply multiple layers a day and my skin hardly feels like there is anything on it. I also have a Peter Thomas Roth powdered sunscreen that I use to reapply SPF before leaving work.

  6. love this roundup! I am so intrigued by your two-step mascara sitch. Do you find the micellar water is enough to remove all of your eye makeup? I am a recovering last extension addict and have gotten so out of the habit of wearing mascara but really need to start again. I just feel like I can never get all of it off at the end of the day.

    1. Hi! I hear you. I find that I need to use either Bobbi Brown’s Instant Long-Wearing Makeup Remover ( or those little pre-moistened Almay pads to get everything off. Sometimes I’m lazy and just use the micellar water to get the majority of it off, but you really do need to get in there if you want a completely cleansed lash line. That’s the one downside of it all.

      Ugh, lash extensions. Literally the best thing in the world. I wish I could wear them all the time, but they are BRUTAL on the lash line!

  7. I just ordered the Chanel mascara base. I, too, love lots of mascara on my lashes, so I am excited to try this out!

  8. I love reading about beauty routines (hello, ITG Top Shelf!) and yours is no exception. So much good info here! Though I am one of those only-mascara-and-lip-gloss people, I fear that that routine is ALSO aging now that I’m 34, too. (Meaning, it’s easier to get by on little makeup when you’re young and naturally dewy!) Thoughts?

    I remember getting Guerlain bronzer as part of the beauty closet sale at the magazine I worked for when I was 22 (you could pay like $5 or $10 at the door and take whatever you wanted!) and it lasted … longer than I’m wanting to admit (like for the better part of my 20s!) Such a good product. And I do use Boy Brow as well — love it. I just ordered Glossier Lash Slick on the back of a few reviews I’ve read … excited to try it out!

    1. I’m with MK on this. I do wear only minimal make-up when I can get away with it, but I have to disagree with the advice that eyeliner ages you. I only STARTED wearing eyeliner when I turned 30, haha. Now I feel like it’s more of a desert-island product than mascara these days. I will only use eyeliner on top, though, and I’ve found liquid liner easier to apply right in the lash line. I also make sure not to pull on the skin in that area while applying…which is probably why I I’ve opted for liquid liner as it goes on smoother, and has a bit more impact. I do want to try the two-step mascara process, though! Then maybe it’s enough without the liner. One or the other? So many thoughts… 😉

      I also prefer blush and bronzer together – I don’t wear either very often, but when I wear bronzer, I often feel like I need to soften it a bit on the cheeks with a swipe of blush.

      I’ve really wanted to try the Cle de Peau concealer, but the price tag and the fact that I don’t know which shade to choose deters me. I did just pick up Tarte Shape Tape concealer as I’ve heard good reviews about it, too.

      1. I know — decisions, decisions. I think you could totally do the two-step mascara process AND the liner and it would look amazing.

        Cle de Peau! Next time you’re at Nordstrom or Neiman’s, stop by to test out the colors…and then eeeeevery so often Neiman’s does a promo where if you spend $200 you get $50 off, and you can stock up on all your beauty essentials and throw a CDP concealer in there and you’re basically only paying $20 for it 🙂

    2. You know — there’s this look I’ve seen on some 30-something women that I totally admire: it’s the minimal makeup, let my natural skin and wrinkles shine through, and it’s completely beautiful. I saw a lot of this in the Hamptons, actually — at least in Sag Harbor! The women were put together but tended to appear make-up free, ready for the beach, lowkey. I think that if you feel comfortable and confident wearing mascara and lip gloss, you should stay in that zone! I’m on a different wavelength; I don’t feel confident unless I have at least a couple of products on! xoxo

    3. Totally agree with you re: feeling comfortable and confident as the most important element, no matter how lengthy one’s beauty routine. Love this sentiment!

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