As recently as freshman year in college, my beauty routine was very simple. My nightly skincare routine consisted of using a makeup wipe, a cleansing face wash, and a moisturizer just before hopping into bed and planting myself face down in my pillow. My morning makeup consisted of foundation, concealer, tone correcting powder, eyeliner, and mascara. That’s right, no blush, bronzer, or highlighter.
My days experimenting with makeup started in a cliché way, playing with my mom’s blush, lipstick, eyelash curler, and silvery eyeshadow pigment. Later, in middle school, I learned more about makeup from a friend, who helped me figure out which products would work best for me.
I specifically remember having two e.l.f. cosmetics eyeshadow palettes, one for a smoky, cool-toned look and another for a more natural look. I also remember smudging green eyeliner on my waterline to compliment my blue eyes (it didn’t).
Around the halfway point in high school, I had acne on my cheeks that left me with hyper pigmentation and a lot of texture. During this time, my makeup routine went from being an optional thing for mornings with extra time, to a necessity for a feel-good day. I began buying expensive foundations that would keep my face flat and matte. I thought a good foundation would fix my imperfections and it did give me high coverage, but my face lost any dimension.
Two years ago was when I stopped limiting myself to “flattening” products and started to really craft my makeup look by first starting with a good skincare regimen and next adding in makeup products that would add some life back into my face.
I got hooked on investing in skincare and makeup products and I had a couple of friends who indulged my newly found interest (s/o to Marissa and Karin). We’d accidentally end up in Sephora a half hour before it closed, leaving us scrambling for swatches. We sent each other YouTube videos if a product we knew one person was interested in was being featured in the video. We dropped too much money, but had the best time doing it.
While I was living with Marissa and Karin, I learned a lot about what their skin issues were, which parts of their makeup routines were dreaded and which were celebrated, their favorite brands, best techniques, etc.
Also around this same time, I started reading Into the Gloss after being told about their beauty line, Glossier. Into the Gloss, the beauty blog and foundation of the franchise, features the beauty routines of many, from celebrity stylists to their own creative team.
I’m addicted to the site’s “Top Shelf” series. I’m not sure what is so fascinating to me about people’s beauty regimes, but I’m hooked.
I’m a journalism major, so obviously, I have a healthy dose of curiosity, but I find that I could talk for hours with someone about their must-have products and how they transformed their skin from dehydration to dewy glory. There are few subjects I could talk for hours about.
There is something personal about beauty routines.
They are uniquely crafted to provide a sense of comfort and confidence to the user who handpicks the products. The serums people choose tell me the qualities they are insecure about or would like to prevent. The brows tell me how assured you are, how bold.
To speak for myself, I use the “Buffet” serum from The Ordinary that targets fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and texture. I also use Hyaluronic acid to replenish my skin because it gets very dry during the cold seasons. I do all of this because I’m insecure about my uneven texture and tone and I want to brighten and plump my skin whenever possible.
For brows, I go for a sculpted square look that is slightly bold, but I don’t like them very dark and I keep them feathery by using a brow gel that allows me to brush my brow hairs upward. I do this because I want my brows to look effortlessly put together. This also happens to me my life goal: to appear and someday actually be, effortlessly put together. The brows say it all for me.
I’ll leave you with that brow metaphor and say this: you don’t have to be a beauty fanatic or spend your savings to get quality products that make you feel unique, healthy, and your best self.
For me, skincare is what makes me feel these things the most. I love the glow I get after putting on my moisturizer or spritzing my face with rose water. It just feels good and turns into me exuberayting confidence and that is what I really think keeps me addicted to learning about beauty routines and beauty shopping itself.
When I invest in myself, when I see my face looking healthy and no longer dehydrated or bright red, I feel a high, like I just solved a puzzle. The puzzle being finding the right products to give me that inner looking glow, of course.