My skin has been plagued with issues since childhood. Up until my high school years, I had some pretty serious eczema that afflicted the back of my neck, the back of my knees, and my elbows. I’m talking patches of dry skin that oozed puss when I scratched too hard. You’re welcome for that sexy visual. On top of all that, my skin scarred very easily. So, I’d scratch, scratch, scratch and get dark scars everywhere. Kids would see my mangled legs and neck and ask if someone was beating me at home. Kids can be so sweet sometimes.
Fortunately, everything cleared up by junior year of high school: I got my braces off, the eczema cleared up, I got contacts, and I didn’t need my back brace for my scoliosis anymore. Oh yes, the boys were kicking down the door to get at me.
It was during this time that I started a makeup routine: foundation, blush, eye shadow (I’d brush on a hint of silver) eyelash curler, and brow powder. I’d follow up with the curing iron to flip in the ends of my hair and rubbing a bit of Vaseline on my eyelashes for a glossy, natural look.
This routine became too lengthy and during my college years and well into my twenties, I kept it low maintenance: I’d brush on some Bare Minerals foundation, blush, dab on some concealer and called it a day. My hair was never styled – simply washed, conditioned, and air dried.
I was comfortable with my routine even though it was lacking.
Then one day a few months ago, I came home from work and noticed that my skin looked particularly rough. Sure, it was the dead of winter and the frigid temperatures were not doing my sensitive skin any favors. But it was more than that; I noticed that Bare Minerals was enhancing the fine lines I’d developed around my eyes and no matter what I did (put less on, put more on, used a new brush, etc.), it looked cakey.
It was time for a change.
I haven’t changed my routine in nearly a decade (my twenties are almost over!) so I felt really overwhelmed. Kim had introduced me to primer a few years ago, so I started by replacing my Bare Minerals Prime Time with something more substantial (thicker, more moisturizing). After doing some research, I chose Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturize. I’d switched from my YSL concealer (too sheer) to Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer several months ago and really liked that Tarte was much heavier. Sephora had a very limited choices in terms of mineral makeup (I didn’t want to completely leave my comfort zone) so I chose Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder.
Behold, my current makeup routine:
1. Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer – So far, I like this stuff. Its thick, moisturizing, and I don’t need to wear primer under it. I’ve read that its supposed to be buildable coverage but I disagree – it covers well but doesn’t get more opaque the more you slather on.
2. Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer – A little goes a long way with this concealer. Its thick, creamy, and covers well. No complaints here.
3. Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder – First off, the brush it comes with is crap. The hairs fall out and stick to your face. I use it as a blush brush because well, it was free. This stuff is definitely more hydrating than Bare Minerals and leaves my face looking smoother. So far, so good – the coverage is decent. Also, you turn the container to crush the makeup cake into powder, which is pretty cool and oddly satisfying.
4. Bare Minerals Blush in Papaya – My sisters bought this for me from the Woodbury Commons Outlet and it gives me a pleasant glow that lasts until the end of the day.
5. E.L.F. Eyebrow Kit – Truthfully, the main reason why I purchased this was because it cost $3. It’s pretty good though – lasts throughout the day. I’d ditch the brush it comes with though. I use one I already owned.
6. d.j.v. beautenizer Fiberwig XL Mascara – The best mascara ever, in the history of mascaras. It simply will not smudge; humidity, crying, water, and sweat have nothing on this awesome mascara. It goes on smoothly, attaching small fibers to lengthen your lashes and stays put until I wash it off with my regular cleanser (Boscia Detoxing Black Cleanser).
I like to use Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel (gift from Kim) morning and night; it brightens my skin and keeps it moisturized despite the environmental conditions. I also add some volume to my hair using a Cortex straightener (half the price from Marshall’s). This has added 20 minutes to my routine but it’s worth it to feel fresh and polished every morning. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered that I’m worth the extra time.
What do you use in your daily beauty routine? Can you recommend foundation that covers well?
Kim has wanted a certain phrase tattooed to her inner arm for a few years now. Tonight, she pulled the trigger.
We went to Smith Street Tattoo Parlour. Luckily, Dan was free when we walked in. He patiently listened to her requests and looked at the pictures she brought. Then, he drew some samples. After getting Kim’s feedback and changing a few things, she was ready to go. Since this was her first tattoo, she was so nervous! Dan was very nice and patient – he didn’t rush her at all. Come to think of it, everyone at Smith Street Tattoo was really nice.
Smith Street Tattoo is spotlessly clean. Kim spotted hospital grade cleaning wipes that can’t touch human skin and can kill MRSA. These guys are serious about a sterile working environment.
Dan created a stencil from his drawing and put it on her skin.
Once the stencil got Kim’s stamp of approval, it was go time. They say your inner arm is one of the most painful places to get a tattoo. They are right. Kim practically broke my fingers.
It was quite cool watching Dan expertly etch words into my sister’s tiny arm.
About ten minutes later… behold! Obviously this was before Dan wiped off the extra ink and applied the bandage. I can’t take a picture of the final product because it needs to be wrapped up for 24 hours.
We celebrated her new body art with watermelon and mango paletas from Sley Deli. They are the best.
I highly recommend Smith Street Tattoo Parlour. The staff are really nice and not hipster snobs at all. Since I’m sure people are curious are prices, Kim paid $100 + tax + tip, which translates to about $128. Considering the area and quality, I’d say she got her money’s worth. For reference, she was quoted $175 and $200 for the same thing at two different places in the Park Slope area.