Jergen's Self Tanner, Grace & Stella Rose Spray, Nutrogena Face Sunscreen, Kate Sommerville Goat Milk Cleanser, and Vaseline laying on top of a photograph of a woman from the torso up wrapped in a towel with red sunglasses and a towel on her hair.

No Makeup Makeup days

I’m not in the habit of doing my makeup everyday; haven’t been since junior year of high school when I lost all motivation to wake up at 6:15am to do it. However, I do find doing my makeup to be sort of meditative. It gives me a sense of control and routine and calms my social anxiety before heading to the pregame. (Remember going out to bars?? Good times…)

During this fun little “unprecedented” time we’ve got going on here, I have unsurprisingly not been doing my makeup all that often. The past few weeks have been the most stressful of all my quarantine time and my skin is in full revolt, so pampering myself and having a little makeup day felt necessary. I’m considering my recent routine to be the “no makeup-makeup look.” I’m not talking about how when straight men were asked to identify which celebrities weren’t wearing makeup and they all chose the ones who had smokey eyes but didn’t have lipstick on. (Alternatively if the first is too niche: I’m not talking about a 90 minute process of “natural” contouring)– this is actually light and minimal. The best part: it makes me feel good.

Interested? Scroll on down for the breakdown:

Kate Sommerville Goat Milk Cleanser

My sister gave me this cleanser because she found out she had a sunflower oil allergy and wanted to rid her bathroom and pantry of it. Obviously it sucks that she developed an allergy to a key ingredient in every brand of pita chips– c’est tragique, I know. But, I hit the motherlode when she sent me the skin care and snacks that were suddenly making her rashy. (Wow, the makers of sunflower oil should sponsor me; I’m really selling this).

Good Ole Acne Products

I was an early bloomer to say the least, and alongside the other joys of puberty, I thankfully started going to a dermatologist. Most of the acne products I use are ones prescribed by my doctor, so it’s hard for me to suggest exact products to friends. However, the active ingredients are important an part of skin care. (Some of mine are over the counter and they usually have lower concentrations of the active chemicals than prescription ones would.) Personally, I use an OTC Benzoyl Peroxide wash on my body and a prescription sulfur-based wash on my face.

Grace & Stella Rose Spray

It’s hard to put into words my affinity for rose water. Gimme a spritz and my skin rejoices, revering me as the goddess and beacon of health that I am. I have tried several brands of rose water/toners and even have made my own before and have not gone wrong yet. The alcohol-free ones have been the best in my experience.

Self tanner

Let’s move on to the most complex one: self tanner. I am not as hypersensitive to skin damage and potential cancer as some of my friends, but I am weary of over-doing it in the sun. Time in the sun is healthy and necessary to get the vitamin D your body requires (trust me, I’m a pro at being vitamin D deficient at this point), but the amount of sun it takes to get a natural glow isn’t necessarily healthy for your skin in the long term. Because of this, I like to use sunscreen when I go outside and self tanner at night to give an artificially achieved, but natural-looking glow.

I make sure to find a shade/use an amount that matches what color my skin would naturally look like after time in the sun. I am almost always all a “you do you, boo boo” kinda gal, but when it comes to certain beauty choices like tans, it’s imperative to understand that the effects of your choices are deeper than just looking like a Cheeto for prom.

When I was reflecting on my routine for this post, I thought a lot about the connotation that intentionally darkening your skin holds. Our society is chock full of double standards and several of are in favor of cherry-picking from the culture of BIPOC. Your skin color, tone, and way it reacts to the sun is not in anyone’s control, but choosing to treat features of a race like an accessory to be taken off the shelf at your leisure is. Blackfishing is a very real issue,so if you are someone who uses tanning products I would encourage you to research and reflect, and if you are tanning your skin in a way that fetishizes dark skin, then maybe reevaluate your priorities and work on your inside a little more than your appearance. Here’s a link that I found helpful:

Face Sunscreen

Like I said, I try to incorporate sunscreen into my skincare routine, but it’s not as simple as a quick spritz. Everyone’s skin reacts differently to sunscreen, but I find that even some face sunscreens can be too oily and pimple producing. I like Neutrogena’s sport face lotion. It’s SPF 70 and oil free. Chicago summer can be pretty gross and sweaty, so a sport lotion adds an extra layer of protection.

Close up of a mug with the words "A cup of Joy" etched on it on a white desk. Covergirl concealer, Mascara, and an eyelash curler are in the mug.

Eyelash curler

My secret to life is putting my eyelash curler in my bra before using it to heat it up, ensuring a stronger curl. I don’t know where I learned this trick, but I’ve been doing it since I can remember. Given the way it mysteriously popped up in my brain long ago, I’m guessing I got it from a stolen copy of my sister’s Seventeen magazine subscription circa 2008. I stand by it *insert shrug emoticon*

Covergirl Simply Ageless Instant Fix concealer

Close up of a mug etched on a white desk. The cup holds makeup products featuring Covergirl Simply Ageless Instant Fix Advanced Concealer Cache-Cernes Avance.

My main insecurity on my face is my under-eye bags. Mine are hereditary and worsened by allergies. My glasses camouflage them pretty well, but I still think about them way too much. Once freshman year of high school, I made the fatal mistake of going makeup free to school. Some rude boy told me I looked sick and asked if I did a line of coke that morning. 🙂 Needless to say, any semblance of self esteem went straight out the window that morning. I’m totally over it 7 years later, though, I swear.

Magic Anti-redness Correcting Primer

Close up of a mug etched on a white desk. The cup holds makeup products featuring Magic Anti-redness Correcting Primer Base Correct"

The color wheel is a magical tool and comes in handy frequently when it comes to correcting blemishes and like it says in the name, this concealer is magic too. Red and green are across from one another on the color wheel just as orange and blue are. If you were to mix green and red paint, you would get a brownish color because it’s really the combination of red, yellow, and blue. When it comes to evening out your skin tone, using the opposite color of your trouble spot is key. If you have purpley dark circles under your eyes, go for a concealer that’s more yellow, if it’s redness from acne, green is your best friend.


As any ex-Catholic school gal will know, if you wanted to wear any sort of makeup to grade school, you’d have to get pretty creative…trust me, a swipe of mascara and people (teachers & 6th grade boys) will notice. Enter the parochial school approved “lip gloss”: Vaseline. I put that ish on everything. Call me what you want, but Vaseline is my moisturizer, eye makeup remover, lip balm, the works.

Voluminous Superstar XFiber

Close up of a mug etched on a white desk. The cup holds makeup products featuring a purple tube of mascara with the words "Voluminous Superstar XFiber."

This mascara is the final, and optional, touch. I switched over to this product after a friend of mine told me her method includes using two separate mascaras. The beauty of the Voluminous Superstar XFiber is that it is two-sided with one curved brush and that’s hour-glass-shaped. The two sides have different consistencies that complement each other and allow for a natural lengthening look. I love dramatic long and thick lashes too, so it’s important to me to have a versatile mascara that I can use in varying amounts for different results.

TL;DR version:

The full-on no makeup-makeup process.

Products mentioned throughout:

Let me know what you think about my process and what products you use to pamper yourself!

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