We've all been there- it's 3:00 pm and you catch your reflection in a decorative mirror in the reception area or you glance up in the bathroom mirror after a hectic day for the first time and all you see is creased concealer under your eyes, shiny spots, or dry patches of caked makeup. Disaster! Even if you managed to keep your makeup in place all day, you may find yourself in another makeup disaster at 3:00 pm- you get an email or a text about a happy hour event or receive a last minute invitation to a dinner party and you need to spruce yourself up fast. For all of those inevitable makeup fiascos, what should you have on tap in your desk drawer?
One of my best friends starts her fancy new job last week (congrats, A!!) and, over lunch, she asked me what she should have in her drawer that she could use to freshen up her makeup during the day without having to go through an arduous touch up routine. So, for you minimalists out there, here are the essentials:
These three skin types may experience a build up of oils to a certain degree during the day. This can occur in small patches (around the nostrils, on the chin, corners of the eye) or in a large area ("T" zone, whole forehead, etc.) and can be really annoying to discover right before a big meeting. Here's what you should have:
- Blotting Papers
- Any brand will do- you just need something to absorb the oil without removing half of your makeup with it. Try ELF Shine Eraser (here), Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets (here), Boscia Blotting Linens (here), or Sephora Three's A Crowd Pleaser Sheets (here).
- Translucent Powder
- Once you have cleared away the excess oil, you'll need to reset the makeup you already have on so that you have a finished look. To achieve that mattified, finished look, you'll need an oil absorbing powder. Try ELF Studio Translucent Matifying Powder (here)(my personal favorite!), Palladio Oil Absorbing Rice Powder (here), or Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder (here).
- Many of these powders now have tinted versions, so if translucent powder adds a white cast to your olive or tan skin, try a tinted version.
- Don't rub the powder all over- use a dabbing motion with your powder puff to pack the powder in. This will prevent a streaky finish and will allow for optimum oil absorption.
- Once you have a matte finish, you'll need to bring a little dimension back to your face. Add a quick swipe of a light, natural colored blush and add a light sweep of bronzer into the outer perimeter of your face and blend it into the hollows of your cheeks. Stay away from blushes and bronzers that have shimmer in them; you want to avoid adding shine to a face that is already prone to producing its own shine. Try ELF Studio Blush in Pink Passion or Mellow Mauve (use a light hand!), NYX Cosmetics Powder Blush in Bourgeois Pig (dusty pink) or Silky Rose (plum), or Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Color in Rose Bloom.
|Elf Pink Passion (L) and Mellow Mauve (R)- this was the best shot I could get!|
These three small items will get you looking polished in less than five minutes and won't take up precious desk space. Want to elaborate on these three simple steps? After step 3, spray on Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray and let it dry. This will set everything you just did and add an extra layer of oil absorbing power!
These skin types are prone to dry patches that attract any powders on your face like a magnet, causing them to settle in cakey deposits around your face. Dry patches suck any moisture and oils found in your makeup and can cause these unsightly disasters. Here's what you should have:
- Refreshing spray/Moisturizing Setting Spray
- You want bring back moisture to the spots that have completely dried up. Try Evian Mineral Water Spray (here), Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray (here), Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (here), ELF Mineral Revitalizing Mist (here), ELF Makeup Mist and Set (here), or Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist (here).
|My personal favorites: Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spay, ELF Makeup Mist and Set, |
and Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist
- Beauty Blender/Makeup Sponge
|Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Orchid Hush (L) and Peach Satin (far right) |
and NYX Cream Blush in Natural in the middle.
- Cream blush
- Your goal is the exact opposite of your friends in the first category- you want to add moisture back. The best way to add a dewy finish to your skin is with a creamy blush- the texture will allow you to blend easily and will help you avoid that dry, chalky finish of a powder blush. Try Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush (here), NYX Cosmetics Rouge Cream Blush (here), Sonia Kashuk Créme Blush (here), or Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée (here).
|Swatches left to right: Peach Satin, Natural, and Orchid Hush|
Want to add more radiance? Dab a cream highlighter onto the tops of your cheekbones. Try ELF Essential Shimmering Facial Whip (here), ELF All Over Color Stick in Spotlight (cool tone) or Golden Peach (warm tones) (here), L'oreal Studio Secrets Magic Lumi Highlighter (here), Benefit's High Beam Luminizer (here), Josie Maran Argan Illuminator (here), YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch (here).
|ELF All Over Color Stick in Golden Peach (L) and Spotlight (far right) |
and Benefit's Moon Beam (unfortunately, discontinued)
|Swatches from left to right: Moon Beam, Spotlight, and Golden Peach|
I'll dedicate another post to extra beauty items for those of us that want more than just the essentials to freshen up- I can't go anywhere without my ridiculously overstuffed makeup bag and my emergency drawer at work is the makeup bag's second cousin. What to do if your hair decides to freak out in a morning rain storm or DC humidity? Stay tuned!
These items are pretty easy to keep tucked away and are easy to use for quick touch ups. If you have more suggestions, leave them below!