My Daily Face Painting Ritual

These are all the items in my daily face painting toolkit.

(To my male readers, this one’s about makeup. It’s a girl talk day. You’re welcome to read along or stay tuned for my next post which I hope will be more gender nonspecific. At any rate, I appreciate y’all too!)

One of my earliest memories is lying on Granny’s bed watching her standing in front of the window in her slip putting her face on. Now Granny didn’t wear a lot of “face paint” but she did wear some. Religiously. Every day. Her daily beauty routine basically boiled down to powder, rouge, and lipstick. Minimal. Necessary.

She had a little wicker table in her room right by the window. It’s best to put your face on in natural light. On the table was an array of rouges, all pink, all nearly used up. There were several tubes of lipstick. There was a box of Coty face powder and a big puff. It’s really all you need.

The other day I wrote about lipstick, red lipstick, and my post-not-flu-flu makeup routine. Y’all seemed to enjoy it and the ensuing discussion on Facebook about your favorite lipsticks. Today I thought I’d share with you all the products I use for my basic everyday face painting ritual. Like Granny’s, it’s very basic but with a few things that Granny didn’t use.

After I shower and moisturize (if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: eye cream is your friend), I start wtih Dr. Jart’s Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment. It’s Sunday-dinner-on-the-grounds-congealed-salad green and the consistency of a mud mask, but believe it or not, it eventually rubs in and somehow masks all the red blotches and a few freckles too. I was skeptical when I first tried it, but trust me. It makes your skin look and feel luminous. Plus, it’s got sunscreen in it, and if you live in Alabama, sunscreen is essential. Otherwise, we’ll all be looking like wrinkled up old hags way before our time.

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My basic, everyday look. And yes, I’m still wearing the Add-a-Beads Daddy gave me when I was in the 6th grade.

Next, I pat a little Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector guess where — under my eyes. You want to find a color that’s pretty close to your skin tone. Maybe even a little on the darker side. If it’s too light, well, you’ll wind up looking like someone whose office may or may not be oval or a racoon in reverse. Either way, it’s not a good look for you. I also dab a little around my nose where it tends to be red and if, God forbid, I have an “eruption,” as Granny would call it, I smiggle a little on there too. Let me just take a minute to say how much it galls me to still get the occasional spot even as I near the half century mark.

Moving on.

The next thing I do is smile at myself real big in the mirror and dab a little Glossier Cloud Paint cream blush onto the apples of my cheeks. You have to smile to find your apples (I learned this in Seventeen magazine a million years ago), plus it always improves my mood to smile at myself whether I feel like it or not. I use a color Glossier calls Puff. It’s really pink, but I’m here to tell you, bright pink flatters every single skin tone. I’ve tried to contour with flesh tones and all that. You may not know this, but I also paint, so I’m good with blending color and light and shadow and blah blah blah. But all that flesh tone just makes you look … fleshy. Pretty much like you should be lying on a satin pillow and the lid is about to close down. Pink make you look alive and healthy and flushed with excitement and joy. I know which one I prefer.

One of the best discoveries I’ve made in recent years is translucent powder — truly translucent. I use Sephora Beauty Amplifier Smoothing Translucent Setting Powder. It’s white, like cornstarch, but it doesn’t make you look ghostly. I used flesh-toned translucent powder for years, but this is truly a game changer. It sets everything in place but doesn’t give you a cakey, matte look. I dust a little over my whole face, including my eyelids. It brings everything together and gives you just enough blur to hide a stray freckle or, dare I say it, age spot.

Then I focus on my eyebrows. Ladies, pluck those strays and maintain a little shape, but don’t go crazy. You don’t want to wind up drawing your eyebrows on in a line every single day of your life. I’m always reminded of a Sunday school teacher I had who drew on the most glorious eyebrows. They started with a little teardrop in the center by her nose then arched way up into perpetual surprise then came back down almost to the corner of her eye. It was something to behold. But I don’t think you really want eyebrows that attract attention away from Bible study, now do you. Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper is what you want. There’s enough color to fill in the weak spots and it’s got enough gription to keep the rest of your brows from looking like caterpillar legs. Smoothes them right into shape and keeps them there.

Then I put a little Clinique High Impact Mascara on my eyelashes. Because I’m pretty fair, I use Black/Brown. I’ve also started focusing mainly on my top lashes and then mostly on the outside ones. And I don’t use any eyeliner at all. Now I spent years circling my eyes in black eyeliner. Years. When I was a teenager in the ‘80s, I couldn’t gob enough eyeliner on my face. I get it. It’s a thing. But the older I get, the older I think it makes me look, so I’ve given it up. Sometimes for dress-up, I’ll dab a little dark shadow along my top lash line, but that’s about it.

Then I spritz on a little Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit. I love all things citrus-smelling, and this is a nice, light fragrance that won’t offend your co-workers or linger too long in the elevator. It’s not sickly sweet or obnoxious. In the summer, especially, it’s very refreshing.

Finally, the pièce de ré·sis·tance, the lipstick. Like I said yesterday, I’m totally into red these days. I have three favorites: Zuzu Vino De Amor, Urban Decay Zealot, and Urban Decay Sheer F-Bomb. Red lipstick makes everyone look good, and it makes you feel good. Get you some red. Don’t worry about looking like a floozy. Don’t worry if your lips are too thin or too full. Don’t worry that you’ll have to reapply periodically. Once you start wearing red, you’ll never want to wear anything else.

There you have it. It sounds like a lot, but you can have all this done in just a few minutes. Then you’ll be ready for your closeup, all day every day.