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I am definitely feeling the irony in posting about makeup. I have never claimed to be any sort of beauty expert . . . quite the opposite, in fact. But I sort of enjoy reading about what products others like, and what their go-to makeup routine is—especially if they are not a huge makeup expert. I mean, if I head to your blog and see 5,000 tutorials on all sorts of fancy knock-your-socks off makeup looks, I’ll probably just be intimidated and click away and watch videos of kittens on youtube instead.
I’ve thought for a while that maybe it would be fun to post my own daily makeup routine. This definitely will not be fancy—I own precisely 2 upscale department store makeup items, and if I’m being honest, I’m not entirely convinced they were worth the extra money. I love drugstore beauty products, and I like to spend somewhere in the 5-10 minute range doing my hair and makeup for the day. I mean, really. I’m at home with a 3-year old and an infant 99% of the time. I don’t have loads of time to spend getting ready in the morning, but I still want to look put together and prepared for the day. I’ve noticed my day always goes better when I spend a little time getting prettied up in the morning, so I need a routine that’s quick to power through in the morning, and lasts all day without needing any extra attention or touchups later on.
I’ve used some of these Neutrogena products in the past, but I also tried a few new-to-me ones specifically for this post, and obviously, you saw the disclosure at the top—this is a sponsored post, so I’m using all Neutrogena products today, instead of my typical mash-up of beauty brands. This is indeed my normal day-to-day makeup routine, and although some of these products are not in my usual line-up and were new ones for me to try, I promise, I’ll share my real thoughts and opinions on them. Deal? Deal.
Pregnancy did good things for me in the complexion department (and I thank my lucky stars that this was the case, because I know it could have just as easily wreaked havoc on my face). I have never dealt with terribly bad acne, but up until my pregnancy with Forrest, I would always, without fail, have at least a few zits here and there at any given time. That cleared up awesomely while I was pregnant, and my skin has stayed reasonably decent ever since (hallelujah!). All this background is to lead into my beauty routine step 1: moisturizer and foundation. I don’t feel like I need (or want!) very heavy-duty coverage, so I like to kill two birds with one stone here by mixing my moisturizer and foundation together in my palms for a really smooth, really lightweight coverage. Everyone’s been in love with those BB creams for such a long time, and although I’ve never found one I really like, I guess this is sort of my homemade version. I generally pump out 2-3 pumps of moisturizer into my palm (I’m using Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture with SPF 15, which goes on remarkably lightly, and I liked it quite a lot). Then I pour out roughly that same amount, if not slightly less, of foundation on top of it (I’m using Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 20 in Natural Ivory, and I love how lightweight it feels).
I rub my palms together to mix the two, then work it in all over my face, starting with my nose and working my way out across my cheeks, up onto my forehead, and across my chin. If I have any extra on my hands after getting the coverage I want across my face, I’ll apply whatever’s left under my jaw and down my neck. Combining the moisturizer and foundation maybe speeds things up by the teeniest factor, but I mainly do it because it glides on so smoothly and makes my skin look very even and fresh and dewy. I’ve never liked the matte, powdered look, and I love that my skin looks so fresh and healthy when I use moisturizer and foundation together and apply them at the same time.
Next up, I use a little blush, and I am not including a photo of this step because I looked like an enormous doofus in every shot. I can only take so much embarrassment on this blog, you know. If I’m feeling extra ambitious on any given day, I’ll toss on some eyeshadow, but most of the time, I skip it and just use eyeliner instead. I have actually been unhappy with my eyeliner for months now, but I haven’t found a replacement yet, so I was excited to try the Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliner. I love how smoothly it glides on, and the chocolate brown is a really nice color—it’s deep enough to make an impact without being too harsh, and it’s very smudgeable (this is both a pro and a con—it smudges nicely when you want it to, but also smudges off quite a bit as the day goes on). I like to pencil it right into my upper lash line, getting as close to the lashes as I can, then I go over the line again, thickening it towards the outer edges. I try to keep things more subtle along my bottom lashes—I work the eyeliner into the lash line, then run my finger back over it to make sure it’s soft and subtle and not a sharp, harsh line.
Mascara is consistently my trouble product when makeup shopping—my eyelashes are a pretty okay length, but they are as straight as straight can be (to the point where they actually point slightly downward, and I have to hold them up and out of the way on my eyelids in order to apply eyeliner and mascara on my lower lid). Finding a mascara that won’t weigh them down and undo my attempts to curl them has been a lifelong struggle (woe is me, my life is hard). After curling my lashes, I tried out Neutrogena’s Healthy Volume Mascara, a product I’ve used in the past but was eager to try again. It goes on wonderfully and smoothly (no clumps whatsoever), and is one of the most natural-looking mascaras I think I’ve ever used. It is probably too heavy for my wimpy, straight lashes, and I couldn’t convince them to stay curled with it. If curling wasn’t an issue for me, I think I would have found a new favorite mascara—the search continues (I am more than open to suggestions!).
One of my silliest beauty complaints is my lip color. They are exceedingly pale, to the point where they are hardly even a different shade than my regular non-lip skin color. A petty complaint, I know. So I like to slap a little color on them, and I have really loved using Neutrogena’s MoistureSmooth Color Stick. It goes on so smoothly, and feels moist and glossy without being overly slick or wet (a lip product pet peeve of mine). The color I’m wearing here is Watermelon, and next time I’m at Target, I’ll be picking up Berry as well—I had a hard time deciding between the two, and when I got home and used it and realized how much I liked it, I immediately regretted choosing just one color instead of grabbing both.
And that’s it! From start to finish, this little routine takes me about 5-ish minutes, and I like feeling like I’m pulled together without looking too made up. If I call it a natural look, that makes it sound like I’m keeping things minimal as a stylistic choice and not because I don’t know how to do anything fancier, right?
I’d love to hear some of your favorite drugstore products—is there anything you find yourself coming back to again and again?
If you’d like to try any of the Neutrogena products I used here, make sure to take advantage of this special offer at Target!
Also, perhaps you would like to know that Target and Neutrogena have teamed up to bring a Target Beauty Concierge event at select Target stores around the country this month! Event begins August 24th. Limited quantities available. Check with your local Target store for Beauty Concierge day and times.