I’ve never had (and probably never will have) the privilege of calling myself an expert in the world of beauty. After all, it takes a lot of effort and research to achieve the level of knowledge and skill that editors and the savviest of makeup and skincare shoppers possess, and I don’t see myself putting that work in any time soon. What I do have going for me, however, is relatability and access. Like many others, I’m that girl who wishes she knew all the things about achieving a flawless face situation but has no patience for YouTube tutorials or extensive investigating. Luckily, though, I’m surrounded by experts whom I get to shortcut to for answers. How do I look glowy? Who makes the best highlighter? What color are my undertones? What even are undertones? These are all questions I get to ask our resident beauty gurus at the click of my keyboard, and I can’t say I don’t take advantage of it.
Funny enough, however, today’s story isn’t about all the amazing products or application tricks I’ve picked up over the years. In fact, it’s actually quite the opposite because, since about mid-March, when New York suddenly entered a period of quarantine and life as we know it changed within a matter of days, I’ve had to use very little of them. Turns out you don’t need that many makeup products to stay home, go for walks, and socialize distantly behind a mask! Nevertheless, the few items I have found myself using have really become the heroes of my vanity.
Just using one or two of them gives me the pick-me-up I need when I’m feeling uninspired at home, and as a set, they help me achieve a simple and natural look on those rarer occasions when I do go out. Curious as to what they are yet? Below you’ll find a breakdown of the only six makeup products I’ve really found myself applying since March, along with my pick for each section and the recommendations of Who What Wear’s very own beauty editors, Erin Jahns and Courtney Higgs. Just keep scrolling to get started.
A boost of color to my lips is always the first (and sometimes only) thing I’ll use when I’m sick of feeling so plain. I opt for something easy to use and natural-looking, so it doesn’t stand out too much on my bare face and needs no touching up or maintenance.
I can’t help but give my eyebrows a little brush when I wake up every day, just to keep them in check, but when I want to take things one step further, I use a thin pencil just to subtly fill in some gaps here and there. It’s easy but makes a big difference when the other half of your face is covered by a mask.
Now, for really special occasions, I treat myself (and those who will see me) to a quick application of under-eye concealer. It’s one of those things that you don’t really realize you need until you put it on and see the difference.
Luckily, I still got the chance to work on my annual tan this summer, and nothing complements sunkissed skin like a bit of highlighter. I own a few different kinds, but the one I’ve been using lately is the one that’s the sheerest and most low-maintenance.
Ever since I started using brown eyeliner a few years ago, black pencils have become somewhat of a distant memory for me, and I especially couldn’t imagine using something so stark during these overwhelmingly casual times. I love a brown liner because it enhances my eyes without looking too overdone, so whenever I really want to “dress up,” I dust off my pencil and go for it.
The icing on the cake? Mascara. Even the most simple and natural makeup looks wouldn’t feel complete without it, and if you stick to something that’s not too extreme and, of course, isn’t clumpy, you almost forget it’s on but it definitely makes a major difference.