Do you have one of those friends who always looks like she just stepped out of a salon? Her makeup is flawless and her hair has never looked better. How do they do it?! I’m going to find out in this new beauty routine series, and the first friend that comes to mind is Stephanie. She can pull off red lipstick, has glowing skin and looks good in every photograph. And the great news is that she is going to share her affordable tricks with us!
Stephanie and I were roommates in Italy years ago, when I met Marcello. We spent so much time together and in our spare time we spent more time together! It’s not overboard to say I treasure her. She is so clever, multi-talented, quick-witted and fearless. She makes the most mundane things fun. I would love to get into our adventures in Italy, and one day I will, but today we are talking about her amazing beauty routine.
Stephanie is aa graphic designer for a home decor manufacturer and you can find her on instagram here. She is wife to Sean, mama to the cutest toddler, Eleanor, and also has a baby boy on the way!
So let’s get started!
I’ve tried a bazillion mascaras over the years, from expensive designer stuff to to everything the drugstore offers, and I always come back to this classic. It’s never steered me wrong and the price point ($4-6) can’t be beat. It’s not clumpy, makes your lashes look top notch, and goes on easily.
I don’t even remember how I ended up with a little travel bottle of this stuff, but I used every ounce of it before buying the big can. This is the best hairspray I’ve ever used! The smell isn’t terrible or overwhelming, it holds like crazy, and leaves a nice shine to your tresses. I often loosely curl my shoulder-length hair with a small-barreled straightener, spritz with this stuff, and then scrunch and tousle a bit. The fact that it can make my full head of fine hair stay curled for hours is a total game-changer for me.
I’ve been wearing liquid eyeliner for more than a decade at this point, and despite my love of it, I will be the first to admit that rarely do my wing tips match from one eye to the other! Hopefully no one notices? But I love that it lasts all day (instead of sliding off of your face by happy hour) and gives a slightly retro style and precise definition to your lash line. It is a mess to take off (or if you start crying or walking in the rain), so I recommend a good makeup remover.
TIP: bring the line within a quarter inch of your inner eye corner, but not closer. In my experience that is an area I touch without thinking about it and I end up smearing a too close line.
Once I figured out to define my blonde eyebrows, my makeup world completely changed. It’s not that my brows are naturally super light, just that adding a little definition to them makes your entire face look so much more polished and put together. And for me, the mother of a precocious toddler with a demanding career, I need all the help I can get! This is one of the few staples I’ll put on to go out with a “bare face,” if I feel so inclined.
What is your daily beauty routine?
• Splash of cold water to wake myself up.
• Wash hands (always do that before applying makeup!).
• Apply my makeup. I go in this order:
NYX color concealer on blemishes, if any (gently apply the green color to red blemishes with a cotton swab, then use other end to blend in and the color that is closest to your skin tone to dot on top)
Eyeshadow (usually a neutral color palette, always applied with my fingers rather than brushes). I put a light color over the whole lid and a mid-to-darker brown/grey in the crease and corners.
Eyeliner (if any that day)
>> Click on the product in the image above for direct link (affiliate).
After a shower I do the following:
A few spritzes of coconut water toner on face
Antioxidant serum over whole face
Moisturizer over whole face
Shea cocoa butter over body
Coconut face toner: I buy this Coconut Toner from New Seasons/Whole Foods usually.
Serum: Antioxidant serum is something I’m not 100% settled on yet, brand wise. There’s a great one at Trader Joe’s that’s a fraction of the cost of others that I like just fine. I’m currently using one by Aveeno that’s good too! It costs like $15 more at the store than on Amazon I’m just now discovering, so maybe that’s where I’ll purchase it from here on out! Both make your face feel super smooth and soft, and should be paired with a moisturizer.
Facial moisturizer:Trader Joe’s moisturizer is great! Again, Trader Joe’s face products are a bargain and a quick Google search will show you how many other people are discovering this.
Shea cocoa butter:Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter
I recently received a couple jars of Glam Glow Supermud Activated Super Charcoal masks for free (which is a steal since they’re $60 a pop!), and have now gotten into the habit of using this on Sunday nights before the work week kicks up again.
I actually try to take time for myself on Sunday evenings just to reset and relax before Monday returns. After the kiddo goes to bed I lock myself in the bathroom with some relaxing music, a glass of wine, cold water, or mug of tea, and draw a bath. A local shop here in Portland makes amazing bath goods, and I’m obsessed with the Wood & Smoke bath salts, which the owner describes as “sexy campfire” in scent. I will often put dried flowers or herbs in cloth tea sachets in the tub too, and light a candle or burn some sage. I set up my beverage, book, and candle on a stool next to the tub, and then strip down and dry brush my whole body. It’s done wonders for exfoliation and making my skin more radiant!
Then I relax in the tub, read, sometimes write in my journal, and often end up meditating toward the end just to settle my mind before bed. Taking time for self care, especially for something so seemingly indulgent as this, is soooo incredibly important! As women, especially mothers, we often put ourselves last, and I’ve found my mind to be so much more at ease with the world if I take time like this to sit, reflect, look within, learn, and set goals. I think this is the most important beauty routine of all!
What are things you never spend money on?
Shaving cream: Soap is totally fine!
Shower poufs: I’m convinced they just hoard bacteria anyway.
A full bottle of perfume: The mini rollerball perfumes you can find in bins at Sephora for like $15 fit in your purse and last forever! Nirvana Black by Elizabeth & James is my favorite.
Manicures:I am terrible about chipping nail polish and will walk around with sad, chipped nails for weeks for no good reason. On the rare occasion I do get one, it’s either for a special occasion or to manage cuticles and make things look kempt and pretty.
Lip gloss: My hair always gets stuck in it, it’s gone within minutes it seems, and I never want anything that shiny.
Where will you spend a little extra?
Quality, hand-milled bars of soapEyebrow waxing: $10 every couple months for shaping does so much more than I can with tweezers!
Pedicures: Partially because I want the full-meal deal in foot care, partially because it’s me taking time for myself outside the home!
For me I’ve found that a good cut saves me so much time, money, and stress regarding my hair! I don’t like to spend a lot of time styling it, and I even shower at night so I don’t have to blow dry it!
Make sure to communicate your level of styling dedication to your stylist — if they’re good they’ll know how to help you out in that area! With a shoulder length cut with lots of layers, this allows my hair to look perfectly undone without much effort. Many mornings I just lightly tame whatever happened overnight with my hands, and THAT’S IT.
I use this tousled texture spray to make it look a little more intentional some days, and if I wake up and it’s looking a little curly, I might add a few extra curls with my small-barrel straightener. Super neat hair has never been my thing, so this has helped me even more as my career has advanced AND that I’m now running after a toddler in the morning!
I should also add that I only wash my hair every two to three days. I find it’s a lot happier when I’m not stripping it of its natural oils every day, and honestly it saves me time and money in the end! If my hair is a little dicey I use a hair powder on my bangs and roots like this lovely one. If it’s a little more dire, a dry shampoo like this Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo is my favorite out of many that I’ve tried over the years. Plus it gives great volume so my messy day 3 updos look way more artsy and intentional than I’d have you believe.
Be sure to follow House Mix on Pinterest and Instagram! I share a lot of ideas and frugal tips on Instagram (especially in stories) that don’t develop into full posts here.
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