Workday makeup routine

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I have mentioned in previous posts (here and here) that I work as a consultant for a technology company, in a very conservative and male dominated environment. The majority of my colleagues are 30-40 years my senior, meaning that my work wardrobe and makeup have to be very very conservative and toned down. I have showed you what makeup products I love, but I wanted to share my everyday makeup routine that takes me a maximum of 5 minutes that can be used in any work environment (with a few fun product updates!)

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Step 1: Foundation and Concealer (Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer + concealer)

I am a big advocate of high quality face makeup especially if you have skin that is prone to breakouts. Laura Mercier has tinted moisturizers that are light and provide just enough coverage. The under-eye concealer I am holding doubles as a blemish concealer and has a great waxy consistency that lasts through my 14 hour days.

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Step 2: Contour (product I use: Bare Minerals Bronzer)

Contouring was something that I learned from a YouTube beauty guru, Carli Bybel. She showed a tutorial of how she does it and I found that incorporating a few simple steps into my everyday routine made a big difference in keeping my face looking alive all day. First, I take a bit of strong-pigmented bronzer and with a narrow brush, drag a bit of it along the sides of my nose as shown above. Next, I take a bit and pull it along my cheekbones to create definition.

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Step 3: Basic eyeshadow (Maybelline eyeshadow expert wear quad)

Strong eyeshadow colors are the biggest mistake I see newbie workers make in my office. They wear colors like oranges or strong blues and greens and it just reads as unprofessional. I found this Maybelline palette a few weeks ago and it has been my go-to through the week. The soft blue acts as a base and the purples are layered to bring out my green eyes without being overbearing.

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Step 4: Mascara (L’Oreal Telescopic in Carbon Black)

I cannot stress how important it is not to walk into a workplace with crazy long eyelashes. Fake eyelashes are not ok and neither is 3-4 coats of mascara. One coat to open your eyes and help you look awake is all you need.

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Step 5: Light/nude lipgloss or lipstick (Revlon Super Lustrious Lipgloss)

Finish it off with a light or nude lipstick to tie everything together. I prefer a not-to-glossy gloss as lipstick tends to stain everywhere and often appears on my teeth. Not a great impression! This gloss is longwearing and is a gorgeous coral shade that has me longing for Spring.

What is your work makeup routine? Are there any products you love and would recommend?

The importance of a great hair-do + my product favorites

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Andrew Marc leather jacket, Gap sweater, J.Crew ‘pixie’ legging, gifted scarf from Mom, Hunter boots, Dooney and Bourke bag (old but love this Michael Kors option)

If there is one thing that can make me feel complete and put together regardless of what i’m wearing, it is a great hairstyle. On a day like this one where the weather was terrible and I wanted to do nothing but lay around in sweats, getting up and simply blowdrying my hair made me feel sexy and pretty. To achieve the sleek, clean look I have in these photos, I rely on a few key products and hair accessories.

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Naturally my hair is curly and frizzy. Sometimes this works just fine, but most days I need to put a little elbow grease into my hair to make it look presentable, especially for work with clients. My preferred hairstyle is wavy with body and bounce, as pictured above.

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My method of achieving this includes a large round brush, tons of styling products to tame frizz and give extra body, and some clips and scrunchies to sleep in to keep the style for multiple days.

My go-to products include: Keratase Elixer, Chi Shine Infusion pray, Elnett hairspray, Matrix root lifter, Tresemme heat protective spray, any large round brush (I prefer something coarser like this one), clips, scrunchy to prevent creasing and keep the style.  I apply products 1, 4 and 5 before blow drying, 2 and 3 after for shine and hold. With these products and a little work with a blow dryer, I achieve shiny, manageable hair that has me feeling confident and sexy.

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Do you feel better when you have a great hairstyle?

My Top 10 Beauty Must-Haves

I don’t claim to be a makeup or beauty expert by any means, but over the years I have found 10 products that work incredibly for me year-around and give me the flawless face look I am searching for. The best part about these products is that they are all relatively inexpensive, and blend well to my skin regardless of the level of tan (admittedly, I never get too dark). See the bottom of the post for the full list of products and where to buy them!

Foundation primer, under eye concealer, tinted moisturizer. These three products take me from “I just woke up and i’m exhausted” to “i’m fresh and ready to go!” The primer sets everything for all day, and the concealer is my secret weapon to get rid of a stubborn pimple or under eye bags. Pro tip: I use the concealer as an eyeshadow primer as well.

1. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

2. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer in SC-3

3. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in “Blush”

Tarte setting power and Sephora blush. Setting powder keeps everything in place and not sticky or wet. Blush gives me a nice peachy glow without being orange like bronzer.

1. Sephora Blush in “Rose Glow”

2. Tarte “Smooth Operator” Finishing Powder

These three colors are the ones that make my Hazel/Green eyes pop the most while still being appropriate for work depending on the intensity with which I apply them. Sephora makes amazing eyeshadows for cheap and I love the color options.

For days when I want to be more glamorous, Revlon red lipstick is my go-to (applied heavier for more color or softer for a more pink tint). Smith’s rosebud salve is the best lip balm hands down, and Revlon lip glosses are perfect for a bit of everyday color.

1. Revlon ‘Colorburst’ Lipstick in “True Red, 090”

2. Smith’s Rosebud Salve

3. Revlon ‘Super Lustrous’ Lipgloss in “Coral Reef, 170”

Just a few of my favorite products. I would love to see your go-to’s for year around beauty!

Full product list:

Smashbox photo finish foundation primer, Laura Mercier secret camoglouge concealer, Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, Sephora blush, Tarte setting powder, Sephora eyeshadows, Revlon lipstick, Smith’s rosebud salve, Revlon lipgloss

Not Listed: I also loooove L’Oreal Telescopic mascara and use it daily.

Review: J.Crew Wide-Calf Harper Leather Boots

Nordstrom sweater (similar), Gap skirt, SPANX tights, Nordstrom belt (similar), J.Crew Harper boots (ordered up to a 9.5)

Traveling so much for work means that my wardrobe has very little consistency. I spend the work week in different cities around the country and my weekends in Charlotte, and as such have a closet that looks more like a mismatch of items than anything cohesive or weather appropriate. But if there was one item that transitions well from the chilly (albeit dry) weather of North Carolina to the freezing Winters of the Northeast and beyond, it is the riding boot. Boasting calves with a nearly 17″ circumference  finding a pair of boots that fit my feet, narrow ankles and wide calves has proven nearly impossible, until now.

J.Crew is one of the few retailers that sells wide-calf boots. I have tried a number of other pairs over the years and never found them very comfortable or of particularly great quality. During their last 25% off sale I decided to try again with these gorgeous side-zip Harpers, and couldn’t be happier with the purchase.

First and foremost, the leather is of amazing quality. I can see them lasting for years and being incredibly supple and molded to my foot shape over time. The sole is 100% leather and the gold zipper detailing and snap closure above are also of top quality.

The boots have a 17.5″ calf circumference leaving just about a 3/4 of an inch of extra room for me at the top. This doesn’t bother me at all as I have never liked the look of boots that were so tight they appeared painted on. The leather of these is stiff enough that they stay up on my calf regardless of the extra space. The toes are a beautiful almond shape and very comfortable for all day wear. If leather isn’t your thing, the boots also come in a gorgeous suede that also looks so supple and comfortable. One final note, I did size up from my normal 9 at J.Crew to a 9.5. I wanted a bit of extra room for thicker socks, but upon receipt have found that these boots do run slightly small. While i can tell that the size 10’s would be much too big, the 9.5 leaves just a smidgen of extra room for thick socks.

In other, completely random news: I purchased my first clip-less curling iron and loooove the result. I have naturally very frizzy, curly, and unruly hair and on days when I don’t want to blow dry or straighten it into place, this iron makes my natural waves bouncy and frizz-free. I highly recommend the iron I purchased and particularly love the quickness with which I achieved this look.

Have you found any wide-calf boots that you’re loving?

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