It’s been a while since I’ve done this, yeah? With the season changing, I figure it’s time for another installment of What Anna’s Been Putting All Over Her Face Lately. A lot of you have asked about my skincare regimen, but honestly, I don’t think I have that part of things figured out well enough to make many recommendations. My skin is very finicky, and it reacts badly to lack of sleep, stress, too much wine, etc. I’m still looking for a perfect solution.
Here are the products I LOVE and use all the time (in the order I use them, more or less):
Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Hydrating Gel
I only use this at night a few times a month, otherwise it becomes ineffective. Used sparingly, though, it is an excellent chemical exfoliant. I wake up with soft, glowy skin every time I use it. I wish that meant I could use it every day and get the same result. Alas, that is not the case.
Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion SPF 30
I’ve been using this sunscreen/moisturizer every single day (every season; rain or shine) for years. It softens without being greasy, it doesn’t sting my eyes, and it offers very good protection against sun damage.
DERMAdoctor Wrinkle Revenge Rescue & Protect Eye Balm
I’ve written about this wonder-product before (the packaging has since changed, and the price is lower to reflect the smaller size), and my feelings about it remain the same. Sometimes I need to supplement it with something more moisturizing, but I swear by Wrinkle Revenge for keeping the skin under my eyes smooth.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (Nude)
I don’t know how I lived without this stuff for so long. I started using it at the beginning of the summer, and every time I skip a day and try something else, I regret it. For something so sheer and light, this tinted moisturizer goes a long way in terms of coverage. It feels nice going on, too.
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage (SC-1)
I’ve tried every concealer known to humans (and animals, too, probably, though I suspect they tend to worry about these things less than us people do), and for any kind of spot, blemish, capillary, or redness, this is the BEST. I apply it with a synthetic taklon brush.
BECCA Compact Concealer (Praline)
I have dark circles so matter how much sleep I get, so I never go without undereye concealer! I’ve had this little pan for several years now, and I keep coming back to it after trying other products. It’s taken some trial and error to get the application right, but patting it on with my finger after moisturizing well seems to be the best method. I’m still not 100% convinced this is THE ONE, but for now, I have no complaints.
Pixi Sheer Cheek Gel (Flushed)
I used to be able to buy this at Sephora, but I think the whole line has been moved (in the US, at least) to Target—though sadly, it is not a bargain brand. I like to use this as a color boost under my powder blush. (I love blush.)
NARS Cosmetics Loose Powder (Flesh)
I switched from pressed powder to loose recently, and NARS and I have been getting along well. I dust this powder on lightly with a Stila #8 powder brush (I had it for years—sadly, it appears it has since been discontinued). So far, so good!
NARS Cosmetics Blush (Orgasm)
I know, I know, everyone loves this blush. And with good reason! It’s an excellent color for fair skin—it gives a noticeable, rosy flush without looking muddy or brown, which is the problem I have with most blushes. It has just the right amount of shimmer to give your face a little glow without looking like you have glitter on your face. My advice with blush is to apply way too much. (Again, I love blush.)
Too Faced Cosmetics Lockdown Eye Base (Bondage)
This cream shadow is a replacement for a product I fell out of love with, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. The packaging on the UD primer is frustrating (unless you saw the thing in half, you can only access 1/3 of the product), the primer itself dries out quickly, and it was making my eyelids too dry. Lockdown serves the same purpose, but without the drawbacks—it keeps my eye makeup from creasing, looking greasy, or fading. This particular shade, Bondage, doesn’t add much color of its own; it’s more of a very sheer, slightly-glimmery wash. I use it over my whole lid.
Bare Escentuals Glimmer Eyecolor (Pussycat)
BE eyeshadows are great overall, but this is my favorite one. Pussycat is a deep, neutral brown with subtle gold flecks. It’s a loose powder, but it doesn’t end up under your eyes during application. I usually apply it dry for sheerness, but you can also dampen your brush and use it for a “foiled” effect. Stays put all day!
Make Up For Ever Star Powder (Pearl Gold)
I don’t use this every day, but it’s nice for going out (or on days when I’m just feeling fancy). I put a little bit in the inside corner of my eyes, and just a wee smidge on my browbone. I’ve had a tiny jar of Star Powder for years, and it never seems to diminish in volume.
Urban Decay Cosmetics Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner (Spandex)
Okay, I admit it—I LOVE GLITTER. (Almost as much as I love blush.) This isn’t as scary as it looks, though. I don’t use this every day, but when I feel like putting black around my eyes, this is my favorite liner. (Hard Candy used to make a black glitter pencil that was even more amazing, but that line has become a discount Wal-Mart brand, sadly, and the pencil has gone the way of the dodo.)
Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil (Medium Ash Brown) and Clear Brow Gel
I’ve had this pencil for about five years now, and it never gets any smaller. It’s the only brown brow pencil I’ve found with absolutely no red or blue tones at all. I just use a tiny bit each day—just enough to fill in a couple of light spots. I’m not big on over-grooming my brows (though I do pluck strays every single day). The brow gel is great, too. I know it seems crazy to spend 20 bucks on glorified clear mascara, but it really is better than anything else I’ve tried.
Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume Couture Mascara (Rich Black)
In just a few months’ time, this mascara (along with the rest of the Max Factor brand) will no longer be available in the US, and I will probably have to move to Europe for that reason alone. Seriously. This is the BEST mascara ever. I make that claim as someone who has used a whole lot of mascaras. It keeps the curl, it doesn’t flake or smudge, and it adds fullness without being fibrous. I keep trying to switch to other brands to prepare myself for the impending trauma, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about starting to stockpile. SIGH.
Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss (Black Honey)
Former readers of Absolutely Vile will recall my obsession with Clinique’s Black Honey Almost Lipstick. After years of use and many, many tubes of it, though, it suddenly starting turning orange on me within minutes of application. I don’t know if they changed their formula or my body chemistry changed, but I had to find something else. This gloss (in the same shade) is the answer. It’s the perfect color for everyone. Everyone! Unfortunately, it’s exclusive to Sephora, so it’ll probably be discontinued at some point.
Adobe Photoshop (CS4)
Let’s be real here. If I have a pimple or dark circles under my eyes or whatever in a photograph, I’m not going to just leave it be. Why would I? This is the reason why the geniuses at Adobe invented Photoshop: to make us look good. I encourage everyone to learn use the Clone Stamp and the Healing Brush to their best advantage. With a little practice and experimentation with various tools and layers, you can also learn to fix uneven lips, fluff-up eyelashes, hide roots, and, of course, add more blush.
And yeah, since you’re wondering, I pretty much look like Diane Ladd in Wild at Heart when I’m done “putting on my face”.