Beauty and the Mask
How are you adjusting your beauty routine to accommodate the masks that most of us have to wear when we go out? Are you experiencing problems with makeup or your skin? Keep reading for a few of Alice's tips and observations.
Masks are a doozy. I know, because being an esthetician, I need to keep mine on at work, so I wear a mask all day. With half of our faces covered, we're bound to adjust our self-care routines. Here are a few of the changes I've made to mine:
Switch to eye makeup. This is a huge one for me, because, prior to the pandemic, I wore makeup that focused on highlighting my skin's complexion first, lips second, and the eyes were dead last. It was a rare day that I did more than curl my lashes, swipe on mascara, and use a finger to smudge on some bronzer (the same that I used on my face) onto my lids. For special occasions, I would focus on lips, and then maybe add some eyeliner. And, oh boy, has that changed! My lipsticks, lip liners, and glosses are all in a bin in storage right now, and I'm not wearing blush or highlighter anymore. It's all on the eyes now.
I've had to get reacquainted with a lot of eye products, as well as purchase some new stuff because a lot of my products were expired. It's been a fun ride, though, and here are some of the hit products I've come across that are easy to use and are, so far, surviving my 10 hour days in masks:
Eyelash extensions are a must right now! The masks are covering half of your face, so your eyes are your only mode of expression at the moment when you have a mask on. I've never been pushy about extensions, but this is the time to just take the plunge and get them done. What kind? I'm finding that I used be a fan of either kind before the pandemic, but the volume lashes are incredibly beautiful and sexy now on women wearing masks. I'm very well aware of the very serious reason that we have to wear masks now, and I don't mean to make light of it, but the last gal I put a fresh set of volume lashes on looked like Scheherazade, but just with a mask instead of a veil. And who doesn't want to look like Scheherazade?! (Lashes also look great in Zoom meetings, FYI.)
For a universally flattering palette that's 100% age appropriate for someone like me who's almost 40, Honest Company's Get It Together Eyeshadow Palette has been a dream to use. Flattering colors, super blendable and easy to use, and can be used for day or night. It also comes with an instruction card to help guide you through the various looks you can achieve with it, which is super helpful for the makeup-challenged and impatient people like me! And, for $19.99, you can't beat the price. (Honest Company is also a clean beauty company, so that's a plus!)
I've all but given up on lip makeup, but I do use this water-based tint from Victoria Beckham Beauty. The Bitten Lip Tint won't smear against the inside of your mask. Like all tints, though, they do catch on the dry skin on your lips, so do make sure to exfoliate and moisturize your lips the night before to keep them soft, so the tint applies and catches evenly. Also, Victoria Beckham Beauty is another clean beauty line! $34
If your mask is melting off your eye makeup because of the hot air coming up out of them and you need an eyeliner that will NOT budge, consider Lancome's Artliner. It stays put, but it is a liquid liner, so do pay attention when you're applying it. If you want to try it, please consider purchasing through Ulta, as they were responsible to their employees during shutdown. (Tip: If you're worried about precision, instead of black, opt for brown, instead. It's a lot more forgiving.) $30.50
What about skincare concerns? Skincare shouldn't be trendy, and what was good for your skin before the pandemic should still be good for it now. However, there is just one area that perhaps deserves some extra attention, and, again, it's the eyes. When you have your mask on, all eyes are on your eyes.
Before I continue, I just want to clarify one thing. I will be primarily recommending products that I carry, but please don't mistaken that to mean that this blog is a place where I make sales pitches. I am listing them because I use them. (I only carry products that I would use personally, after all.) You can easily take my pointers and apply them to other brands that you already love. I also promise that if I find a product that I love that I don't carry, I will absolutely share it.
So, without further ado, here are some of my skin tips for mask wearers:
If you aren't using products specifically for the eye, it's time to start. A great eye cream is a must. I alternate between the iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex and Epionce's Renewal Eye Cream. Both fortify the thin, delicate skin of the eye area, are anti-aging, and the Renewal Eye Cream especially has a beautiful, luxurious finish. If you don't think you're ready for an eye cream, try an eye serum, like iS Clinical's Vitamin C Eye Serum, which is lightly hydrating and firming.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Adding a hydrating serum, like iS Clinical's Hydra-Cool, is a fantastic way to fortify the skin. Masks are hot, and heat makes the skin dry. Look for something with hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, or glycerin. Another great one is PCA Skin's Hydrating Serum, because it's a blend of those hydrators.
Your lips are another area that will get dry under a hot, steamy mask, so remember to moisturize them! A lot of us are going to also be foregoing lip gloss, etc., while we wear masks, so the lips will dry out even faster. I've personally been turned off by anything sticky or goopy, since I don't want that getting all over the inside of my mask, so I've been leaning on Epionce's Lip Renewal a lot. It's in my purse, it's at my work, half of the time, it's even in my pocket! It's lotion-like texture keeps my lips soft, moisturized, and I don't feel like I'm making a mess inside my mask!
Got crow's feet? Expression lines on the forehead? Put on PCA's Exlinea serum. Not only is it antiaging with peptide power, it has neuroinhibitors that actually mimic the effects of Botox to relax crows feet and expression lines. In fact, it's nicknamed "Botox in a bottle" for that reason.
If your masks are rubbing your skin literally the wrong way, consider upping the protection factor with either Epionce's Medical Barrier Cream (a crowd favorite) or iS Clinical's Shield moisturizer. Both were designed to be used on skin after procedures to help it epithelialize (heal over). They're also both very elegant formulas that can be worn during the day that won't feel like petroleum jelly. (If you have mask burn, please also consider switching to a gentler, moisturizing cleanser, like Epionce's Milky Cleanser.)
Guess what else people will see? Your neck. During isolation, I was obsessed with my neck. I have a line across it that I blame technology for (yes, I have "tech neck"), so I decided to invest in neck cream. At first, I tried Revision Skincare's Nectifirm, which was nice, but it did make my neck itch ever so slightly. (The skin on the neck is more thin and more sensitive than the skin on the face.) Then, I switched over to PCA Skin's Perfecting Neck and Décolleté, which has been a dream for me ever since. Doesn't hurt that it's also not as expensive as Nectifirm.
With all the hand-washing that we're doing now, don't forget a good hand cream. My favorite is Epionce's Renewal Hand Cream. Why? Let me tell you a quick story about that: Once upon a time, there was a girl named Alice who needed hand cream, but she was crazy picky. She found something to hate about every hand cream she tried. It was too tacky. It was too heavy. It was too light. It wasn't moisturizing enough. It left too much reside. It smelled "too natural." It was too heavily fragranced. But, then, she tried Epionce's Renewal Hand Cream, and it was the only one that didn't trigger her picky sensibilities. Therefore, by virtue of being the only hand cream that I've actually finished more than two tubes of, it's the one that I recommend! (I've actually gone through more than just two tubes, but you get the point.)
Stay safe out there, friends! Hope to see you all soon, but if you're unable to come see me for any reason, reach out on IG @bluebellseattle.com. I also do Zoom consultations if you need some help with your skin! Take care of yourselves!