“I commute from Baltimore to DC every day. Suffice to say, once you commute for around three hours a day—well, that means I’m an expert at a streamlined morning beauty routine: primer, concealer, bronzer, and blush. Then, a quick blending of eyeshadow. Total time? Probably five minutes.
I start out with Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer. This primer is a magic potion that somehow preps my face with a smooth, even finish. Next, I use Laura Geller Real Deal Concealer in Medium. I’ve toyed around with a lot of concealers, but I’m sticking with this brand for the long run. I dust my cheeks with Too Faced bronzer in Beach Bunny to help set the concealer and add a healthy glow. Then, I top off my cheekbones with Nars blush in Luster.
For my eyes, I use the Too Faced Natural Eye Shadow Collection. It features nine shades in a fool-proof, portable box that’s easy to tote. I’ll actually apply my liner on the top lid twice with the Smashbox Limitless Eye Liner in Onyx once before blending a smoky base and then after the base is blended. For my lips, I swear by the C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve. I apply that first, then a matte color by Maybelline in Coral Crush for a bright look. If I want to go glossy, I’ll top it all off with Smashbox Reflection High Shine Lip Gloss in Watermelon.
For a night out, I always just reapply—a little more contouring, a little smokier for the eye. Back to my beloved Smashbox—I use the Natural At Night palette this time to emphasize a darker eye. Hair products… this is where I cut corners. I use Dove products and a curling iron to style my hair for a bit of volume. I use Big Sexy Hair Spray if I add a curl.
In the evening, I’m really adamant about having clean skin. Washing my face takes the longest out of everything—even longer than getting ready. I also use Proactiv and swear by it. Each night, I scrub my face with a hot, wet washcloth, usually with Johnson’s Baby Wash. If my face feels dry, then I’ll use baby lotion in the morning. I have really sensitive skin and am a huge fan of baby products for the face.”
What are your top beauty tips?
“I buy my products in bulk. I know what looks good on me. If I like a certain shade of gloss, I’ll buy five to ten of them and stock ’em. The point? I leave some at work, some at home, some at my boyfriend’s house, and so on. That means I can skip toting around a makeup bag and transferring items.
Invest in high quality products. You’ll save money because you won’t be reapplying all the time and the quality of pigment is higher.
Invest in a high-end set of makeup brushes. A quick makeup job is feasible with great products; a quick job not so much with average ones. Why would you apply high quality makeup with cheap brushes?”
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve gotten?
“My mom’s advice: ‘You’re stuck with your looks, so learn to love ‘em. Embrace who you are as a person, accentuate your features… but most importantly, love yourself. The most attractive woman on the outside can become the ugliest person if she has no depth or confidence. You know those stunning, stunning people you meet… and then they speak, and you find them heinously unattractive and stupid? A healthy dose of self-esteem and intellect makes anyone beautiful in my book.’”
Lisa Cleary is an Assistant Editor at LivingSocial, health columnist for NBC Washington and blogger for The Huffington Post.