How to create an effortless work-from-home makeup look
We’ve all seen those post-apocalyptic movies in which the protagonist discovers they’re the last person on earth. They invariably move into a bunker and devolve into a wild-haired, rag-wearing troll doll. But that was never going to be me. Oh no. I had big plans to move into a glittering department store and pour myself into a ball gown just because I could. Being obsessed with cosmetics, I’d hit the beauty counters and delight in dolling myself up – every single day. Or so I thought.
A quick fast forward to 2020 and I found myself under lockdown in Singapore, essentially trapped in a friend’s apartment, but all on my own, save for her ridiculously handsome but disparaging cat, Beans.
While I couldn’t go anywhere, I still had work to do so I got down to business. But as the deadlines flew by, my self-care totally spiraled. Why wash your hair every day if nobody is going to see you? Why dirty up a new set of clothes if I can just live in the same tatty dress day in and out? Mascara? Pah. And that was fine. Until the day I landed a new client and needed to meet with them – regularly and (gasp!) sporadically – via Zoom.
All it took was a quick glance in the bathroom mirror to realize I’d become the hollow-eyed poster child for the ‘end of days’ bunker person I’d reviled.
On the plus side, however, it drove me to hastily perfect a quick and easy work-from-home (WFH) makeup routine that I’m only too happy to share.
Conceal and perfect
I’ve had a long-standing love affair with Catrice Camouflage Cream (in the pot, not the tube) because it really does hide a million flaws and fast . Redness around the nose? Gone! Panda eyes o’ death? Buh-bye! Just that alone and suddenly you’re you, but better. My other “quick trick” for perfect-looking skin is MAC Studio Fix powder foundation. You can literally apply it in a matter of seconds with a large kabuki brush. Still, while powder foundation can leave you looking flawless, it can also make you look “flat”, especially one camera. To return the depth to your face, pop a little blush onto the apples of your cheeks.
Let’s talk eyes
Nothing makes you look more polished than a perfectly-groomed brow so don’t neglect them. If you’ve been born with those that are lush and full and only require a slick of gel to fix them in place, God bless you. Mine, however, require the attention of Elizabeth Arden’s Beautiful Color Brow Pencil. It’s a brilliant multitasker as it includes a spooly brush to help shape them plus a powder and pencil to fill in any gaps.
To keep things simple, I don’t mess with eyeshadow. Instead, I apply a few slicks of Lancome Hypnose waterproof mascara. Just two quick coats adds lots of budge-proof volume and survives the ultimate perk for anyone working from home – a face-down-on-the-couch midday nap. Still, if you feel naked without eyeshadow, pass on fussing with multiple colors and blending in favor of washing a single neutral shade over your entire eyelid.
Lips that last
I used to be a huge fan of lipgloss and these days I barely touch it because I’m often having to pop out the house or accept a delivery which means wearing a mask. Ideally, you want to find something that adds a bit of color but doesn’t transfer or smear which is why I’m now a big fan of Clarins Water Lip Stain in Rose Water. You can literally slick it on in the morning then forget about it.
Ultimately, creating a great WFH makeup routine meant finding just a few products that helped me achieve maximum glam with minimum effort. It had a nice side-effect too – looking more put together helped me feel capable and productive in a way that saw me get more things done. But did my newfound polish garner the approval of the effortlessly dashing Beans, he of the eternal cat-eye and ravishing Persian main? Nope. He’d go on to pee in my suitcase and barely acknowledged me when I finally waved goodbye. But at least I made my exit in makeup and without a dash of troll doll in sight.
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