my beauty routine

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My beauty mantra has run the gamut over the last few years. I’ve attempted to mirror celebrity influencers 12-step tricks to the perfect contour and condensed my look to the Glossier-inspired “rub Vasoline and rose water all over your face for an I just woke up like a newly born fawn” look. Neither really worked for me, but after many a YouTube video tutorial, too much money spent on cult skincare products, and my new 20-minute getting ready rule I think I’ve finally nailed down my “look.”

My little sister got me hooked on “Beauty Gurus” on YouTubers in college and I have since amassed a few drawers full of superfluous ~product~ that is slowly taking over my apartment.

The bottles and creams, powders and lipsticks quickly became too much for my medicine cabinet and limited bathroom counter space, pushing my partner’s bathroom accoutrement to a few square inches of space. He inadvertently encouraged my makeup hoarding by allowing a brand new vanity into the middle of our living room. Since then I have continued to collect every sample, drugstore steal, Sephora sale haul all while trying to maintain a minimal desk aesthetic. I'm hoping this round-up of must-haves will inspire a purge of my loot.

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I’ve made my way through plenty a foundation, between never-ending bouts of acne and trying to reverse the the damage done by years of sunbathing sans protection. I’m pretty loyal to Urban Decay’s Naked Skin foundation, but after trying La Mer’s absurdly expensive fluid foundation for my wedding, I may be a convert.

I’ve found piling on powders actually doesn’t do much to combat my extra oily skin. So I usually stick to a bronzer and blush. Since I put myself on a no new makeup purge, I’m trying to use up what I have. Today that’s my Hourglass bronzer in Nude Bronze Light and L’Oreal blush in Baby Blossom.

My eyes really only get attention if I have minutes to spare in the mornings. And after getting a new french press as a wedding gift, I’ve traded in my eyeshadow time for coffee. If I do have time I can always get a simple, work-appropriate look with my Anastasia Modern Renaissance palate. However I never miss mascara. L’Oreal Voluminous Lashes mascara is a game changer. RUN don’t walk on this one.

I always finish with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. It makes me look less greasy and gets rid of the cakey look powder sometimes leaves you with.

Here I am wearing the above, including the Too Faced liquid lip.

Here I am wearing the above, including the Too Faced liquid lip.

I never forget lipstick. I am all over the place with lip favorites; I devote an entire drawer to the stuff. A few of my Fall/Winter favorites are Smashbox’s Out Loud is a great orange red. Urban Decay’s Sell Out is my favorite “nude.” My favorite “work” color is Chanel’s Mademoiselle. (This is also my favorite gift to give.)

This was fun! Let me know if you want a similar skincare/hair post.

lip service

abbey crain

Most people say my voice does not lend itself to my southern roots. My “Alabama” only comes out after drink number two or after talking to my parents on the phone. But I like to think I carry my roots with me in other ways, only sometimes is it visible. I always say “thank you” and “yes sir” to cab drivers. I never turn down a Coors Light. And I (almost) always wear lipstick. My bright red makes me feel powerful at work; my dark burgundy sexy on a night out; and my orangey-red untouchable, even in jeans and a T-shirt.

I believe my association of power and confidence with lipstick comes from watching powerful women in my life look closely at themselves in the mirror while they apply their favorite color, stand back, and admire their work. With that swathe of pigment, their coat of arms, they can conquer their day, their date, or whatever comes their way. Watching that intimate moment is seeing a woman love herself, wholly satisfied.

My earliest lipstick memory is watching my mom swipe on a pink-ish brown tube of Clinique lipstick in her bathroom. While she dabbed foundation across the planes of her face, I would dot lotion mimicking her design. She’d then add a touch of color from the iconic green tube to my exaggerated pout. It made me feel untouchable, giddy with confidence. I also remember playing with a bright pink chewed-up nubbin of  Lancome lipstick at my grandmother’s house. She reserved the freebie just for us in the “play” makeup drawer. It would end up streaked across my forehead, splotching across the bathroom towels and tissue boxes. I remember looking at my work and feeling beautiful, like a movie star.

Today my roots showed up in a burgundy lip so blood red it would scare away menopause. I suppose I've got my Mama to thank for it.

abbeycrain

Today my favorites wax and wane, but a deep red always seems to compliment my skin. Here’s a few products in constant rotation.

Dark Red-Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Crimson Crush (because duh)

Nude-Too-Faced Melte Matte in Sell Out

Medium Red-MAC Chili

Orange Red- MAC So Chaud

abbeycrain

date night

Getting ready in the morning and gussying up for a night out are my most favorite ways to relax and center myself. I love to warm up a cup of coffee or pour a glass of wine and sit down at my vanity to apply my makeup, usually to the sound of familiar tunes. There’s just something about the therapeutic massage of a luxurious moisturizer and the gentle coaxing of each eyelash into position with mascara that completely mesmerizes my senses and takes my mind off of my regular stresses. It’s a restorative way for me to start my day or prepare for a night of intense entertaining.

So when C surprised me this past wekend with a staycation at a hotel near Central Park, my first thought was not of the delectable cuisine we would surely try, or the extravagant sheets we would cuddle beaneath, but the king-sized hotel bathroom that awaited me. Its wide marble counter tops, flushed with the perfect overhead glow, the spotless bathtub was anticipating my arrival.

He suggested we both take backpacks to the hotel since we would be taking public transportation to our destination, but I knew that better than to squeeze my spread of makeup and skincare encouragement into the front zipper pouch of a Jansport. C likened my filled-to-the-brim-duffel to a child who won’t leave the house without his entire collection of Legos. What can I say, a girl needs her Legos.

I set out each tool, cream, bottle and compact neatly on the counter and excitedly began my transformation. I even bought fake eyelashes to try for the occasion. (spoiler: they were so much fun and looked pretty good if I do say so myself). I took close to two hours soaking in the tub, applying masks, moisturizer, makeup, sprays, every superfluous step carefully executed. All the while C watched the coveted cable in the room over, every so often commenting on my slow progress.

The evening climaxed with wine and cheese and pasta at an amazing Mediterranean restaurant the concierge promised was only filled with locals. I checked my makeup a few times in the bathroom and documented my face in the dim lighting with a commemorative selfie. After stumbling back to the hotel, I less than methodically attempted to clear away the work I had so painstakingly applied and collapsed into bed; my belly full of good food and my heart filled with good company.

I’ve never tried my hand at beauty blogging, but here’s a rundown of what I use when I want to go over the top with my getting-ready routine. These products have all been in my lineup for months except for the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder which was kindly gifted to me by Influenster. I however, fell completely in love with this no fuss powder that kept my makeup in place and oil free all night.

Maybelline Cushion Foundation This is actually the best full-coverage, lightweight foundation.YSL Touche Eclat for under the eyes

Wet ‘n Wild Color Icon Blush and highlighter (this is hands down my favorite drugstore brand. These were both $5)

Laura Mercier baked radiance bronzer

Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder

L’oreal Carbon Black Mascara

Tarte Tartelette palette (literally contains every color you need for a complete eye look)

Mac Fix Plus setting spray

Glossier Balm Dot Com in Cherry

YSL Touche Eclat