My friend Sarah is a highly-talented and most sought-after makeup artist. She’s at the top of her game, but was literally stumped when a bridal magazine asked her, as part of an interview, to provide her favorite products to the magazine readers. She asked me, “What should I say?”
Sometimes artistically-gifted people are not the best communicators, but more often than not, my makeup artist friends are lobbed the same, boring old question so many times that they develop a type of cerebral numbness when they hear that familiar refrain: “What are your favorite products?”
Often, the products are so seemingly common and ever-present in our repertoire, like petroleum jelly or tweezers, that we overlook them entirely. And sometimes, it’s not the product itself, but its application. In other words, it’s not what you use, but rather, how you use it. To be honest, most of your work is already done if you have great skin and nice, shapely brows. Here’s my carefully-curated, most-eclectic, top favorite, oft-overlooked, most-wanted *generic* beauty products for great skin and shapely brows, in all price points, with insider tips on how to use them. It’s an unassuming lineup.
Most-Wanted: Petroleum Jelly
I learned this trick from Tyra Banks. It’s similar to Slugging. If you’re not familiar with slugging, you simply slather your face with petroleum jelly as a final step before bed. It doesn’t have to be a specific brand in my opinion, just any petroleum jelly. The claim is that this drives your night cream and serums even further into the dermis. However, because I don’t particularly appreciate climbing into bed as sticky as a gecko, and because I’d rather focus on retaining water in the dermis, I prefer Tyra’s method of Slugging-On-The-Move.
I usually slug my face first thing in the morning, before I get on my treadmill. This helps to prevent trans epidermal water loss while I’m working out and as a result, after I treadmill my skin looks more dense, more pliable, more radiant than ever! Try slugging before a glamorous night out or prior to a photoshoot. Celebrity makeup artists, like my friend Sarah and Australia’s Rae Morris, swear by this. Merely splash or spritz your face with water, pat almost dry, then slug your skin with about a tablespoon of petroleum jelly. Allow the occlusive layer to physically penetrate for a few minutes or, as I often do, for the duration of my workout. Cleanse as usual, and you will glow like never before, even if you only have five minutes to spare! And the greatest thing about this trick is you don’t even have to hit the workout circuit. I like to multitask while I slug, so I usually exercise because the petroleum jelly prevents you from sweating while you work out, thereby retaining even more moisture in the skin. But it’s not necessary; it’s just my preference.
Here’s the secret to great tweezers: Use them. Regularly. That is the real secret to tweezers. You don’t need the most expensive tweezers in the world, or implements that were hand-crafted in Switzerland and specially-calibrated for your optimum hair removal experience. You just need a great magnifying mirror, some excellent lighting, and plenty of time for evaluation. Objective evaluation is your most important element for a successful brow arch. Take your time because each and every hair can make a difference. Find your rhythm and get in a zen spot when you tweeze, don’t rush.
I think Beauty Secrets’ Lady Tweezers, $1.09 each at Sally Beauty Supply, above, are too cute for words. And they make a great gift! They’re a playful way to pluck. Pick out the dame you like the most! (HINT: I’m second from right!) Wink!
Most-Wanted: Eyebrow Razor
One of my pet peeves is that of excess facial hair in all the wrong areas. It makes skin look muddy and grey, it catches on powders and makeup. Thank God for the birth of the very clever eyebrow razor! Cosmetic mogul Eve Pearl perfected this tool, but I don’t think she makes them any more. Nowadays these little angled razors you can find anywhere, but I really like Arches & Halos at Target, $9.99, due to its neat and tidy tri-fold configuration, just like Eve Pearl’s prototype. This invention is a mainstay in my kit and is definitely one of my most thrilling of cheapest thrills!
Nothing but nothing makes you look older or more unkempt than a beard of facial hair or wayward peach fuzz. Shaving is the contemporary hair removal method of choice for soft, downy facial hair. Trust me, you will not get stubble. If you’re still wasting money on waxing, there’s a cheaper, easier, more convenient, painless way, and that is shaving.
When practicing hair removal on the face, remember to pluck coarse hairs with tweezers first, then shave off the downy fuzz with your angled brow razor. Shave in the direction going opposite the hair growth. This exfoliates the skin while it removes the hair closest to the skin’s surface.
Most-Wanted: Micellar Water
Oh how I love my leggings and my micellar water. These are my desert island necessities. Leggings and micellar water. I don’t use any one particular brand of micellar water. I buy it wherever it’s convenient — at the beauty supply, or Target, or sometimes off of Amazon. For lazy girls, and girls who love comfort: Micellar water is where it’s at! Skip the sink and opt for micellar water on a cotton instead. Simplify, simplify, simplify!
And speaking of simplifying, I’m going to break down micellar technology for you in its simplest terms. Basically, micellar water is composed of lipids suspended in an aqueous solution, and these molecules have a unique capacity to mix with both water- and oil-based solutions alike. This ability allows micellar technology to work like a magnet, mopping up oil and debris, makeup and sunscreen, thoroughly and without issue. In fact, micellar water gets the job done so completely and thoroughly, gently, and all without harsh scrubbing and detergents. It’s cheap and easy……not ordinarily a good thing. But in skin care, let’s face it, cheap and easy is refreshing.
And that, my friends, is an unassuming lineup of my most-wanted generic beauty products for great skin and shapely brows! And you’re done!