Julia’s Not-So-Natural Look

Now that I’m in my late twenties, I’m noticing some subtle signs of being in my late twenties and hurtling towards my thirties. The wrinkle across my forehead doesn’t really bother me. The dark undereye circles really do. As we’re planning and attending weddings, I think we’re all more aware of these things.  Or it’s just me, but you are all too polite to say so – right?

Anyway, I thought I’d share the tricks and products that work well for me, and maybe you’ll give me your tips in the comments too.

For my everyday go-to-work look, I don’t put a ton of effort into eyeshadow, blush and lipstick.

This is me – although when this photo was taken I had not yet found the miracle mascara.


My dermatologist tells me that it’s okay to cheap out on skincare, for the most part, as long as you keep up the habit. She says that cranky, breakout-prone skin does well with gentle products and the occasional chemical intervention. She practically forced a particular brand of moisturizer on me, which comes in an enormous, no-nonsense container. My mornings and evenings look like this:


Cetaphil cleanser, DML lotion. The Cetaphil is gentle enough to remove eye makeup, which is a nice shortcut.


In the evenings I pierce a vitamin E capsule and dab it around my eyes and lips, then swallow what’s left. My mom swears this is good for my skin, hair and heart. She has great skin, so I believe her. In the mornings I do SPF instead.  Tip: do the backs of your hands too, and keep an extra in your bag to reapply throughout the day.  No age spots, please!


I find tinted moisturizer to be forgiving, since you don’t have do a particularly good job blending it. A dash of powder holds it all together. I really like Clinique Almost Makeup and powder. They don’t make me break out, and the amount of pigmentation is just right.


I use Smith’s Rosebud Salve all the time.  I know it’s just pink petroleum jelly, but I like it. I rarely wear lipstick to work (unless it’s red and matte) but this little tin is constantly in use.


Here’s my splurge: mascara. Recently I fell in love with Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes! Not for the cute case (although it is cute) but for the actual mascara.  One coat, and you have slightly-better-than-natural lashes.  Two, three, or even four coats and you can build thick falsies with a little finesse, and no clumping.  I even wear it on my lower lashes.


Other mascaras I have tried and liked, but not as well: L’Oreal Voluminous (lush, but flaky), MAC Plush Lash (lush and doesn’t flake much, but the fat brush sometimes gets mascara on my lids), and Lash Fusion XL(good for loooong lashes, but not much volume.)

I find that translucent powder is the trick for keeping mascara from giving you raccoon eyes. It must be translucent, because for this to work you have to make sure there’s nothing for mascara flakes to stick to – that means a heavy coat!  Use a cotton ball or a clean foundation brush, and swipe a liberal amount under your eyes – then go back and buff lightly with a powder brush until it disappears.


Translucent powders I’ve liked: Laura Mercier and Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil. Those are the only two I’ve ever tried — they last so long, I haven’t needed to shop around!

Your turn – what are your favorite everyday products and tricks?