For the past few years, I’ve been trying new products in my ongoing quest to discover clean makeup that works with my over-50 combination skin. As a formerly acne-prone person, I’m still getting used to not being afraid of moisturizers and surprising myself with my newfound love of a dewy finish.
Until my mid-40s, I banished anything remotely shiny from my arsenal. My younger self would have called it greasy. But these days, I shock myself by adoring serums that leave a glowy finish.
Any makeup I use also needs to be easy with a capital “E.” Midlifers, myself at the top of the list, do not have time for complicated routines. (That’s why I was so excited about our super easy smokey eye tutorial for over-50-somethings. Still, I’m not interested in rocking even a simple smokey eye for a daily daytime look.)
For everyday wear for work, running errands, and the occasional brunch date, I’m interested in a minimal, natural look that, most importantly, takes less than ten minutes. And finally, I’ve cracked it! I even timed it: 8 minutes and 42 seconds.
Here are the products I currently use on the daily, plus the step-by-step, simple process for when I want to look awake and (slightly more) put together.
Ilia’s Super Serum Skin Tint has become an all-time favorite of mine. It’s not cheap, but I’m willing to splurge because it’s like a million products in one. It not only provides the perfect amount of coverage (I’m not a fan of heavy foundation, so if you’re looking for that, this might not be for you). But it’s also a sunscreen that shields skin from UVA, UVB, UVC, blue light, and pollution.
Additionally, it contains hyaluronic acid, plant-based squalane, and niacinamide. It improves your skin, which means you’ll likely need the product less the more you wear it. The skin tint also seals in hydration, plumps the skin, and boosts antioxidant efficacy by 200 percent. Plus, it’s silicone-, fragrance-, chemical screen-, and oil-free, non-comedogenic, and safe for sensitive skin.
I’ve seen people on social media use just a few drops. But I find that to even out my skin tone and ensure that sun protection, I need six to eight drops. I put it everywhere, even on my neck and eyelids. Maybe I’m overdoing it, but honestly, I love how it looks, and I’m okay with that.
2. Getting Lippy
I’m super late to the game on this one—Pillow Talk was a social media phenomenon a few years back. But tardiness aside, this product is absolutely amazing. This particular shade is seriously plumifying for my skin tone. It comes in 16 other shades, so you’re sure to find one that works for you as well. The application is also silky smooth. It doesn’t bleed into the lines around my lips, and it lasts a long time. I just love it, period.
3. Lips, Cheeks, And Eyes (Oh, My)
Where do I begin with Ilia’s Color Haze pigment? To put it simply, I have fallen in love with this multi-use wonder. The instructions indicate that it’s for lips and cheeks, but I also use it on my eyes. (Full disclosure, I didn’t do that for the featured image for this article. So, add 15 seconds for that step.)
This product stays pretty dewy on the cheeks, and I find that it blends quite well with the Super Serum. It tends to dry more matte on the lips. And for lips specifically, I love the “Before Today” shade, pictured above. (It comes in four others, so there’s something for everyone.)
4. Best Brows
I’ve tried a lot (and I mean a LOT) of brow pencils, and the NYX Micro Brow Pencil is the current reigning champ. I’m into the color, the super slim pencil, and the handy attached brush. It goes on easily, and it stays on until I take it off.
Surprisingly, this find was a drugstore purchase that I bought on a whim while traveling when I’d forgotten my brow pencil. I was in a rush and not focusing on clean ingredients as much as I normally would, but I was pleased to discover later that NYX is a cruelty-free brand that is continually working to increase its vegan offerings.
5. Conceal And Reveal
Kosas’ Revealer Concealer is another favorite product of mine that’s not just makeup; it’s also a skin treatment. It contains caffeine and pink algae to brighten, arnica and pro-vitamin B5 to soothe, and peptides and hyaluronic acid to plump.
I use it under my eyes and around my nose and mouth to camouflage dark and red patches. What I love most about it is it doesn’t settle into creases and blends perfectly with my Ilia Super Serum. My only complaint is I love using it so much that it tends to run out before I’m comfortable throwing down another $28.
6. Totally Tubular
I discovered caliray and its Come Hell or High Water Volumizing Mascara while researching another story about tubing mascaras. I loved the beachy branding (I’m a sucker for cool labels). But I was really sold when I discovered that caliray was founded by Urban Decay’s founding partner Wende Zomnir and is committed to clean ingredients and eco-conscious practices.
The vial is made of 100% recycled ocean plastic, and that pretty branding is painted on with low-impact inks. The box is 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Now that I’ve been using it for a few months, I can report that the tubing technology makes this mascara more waterproof than anything I’ve used. Plus, removing it never creates raccoon eyes. It comes off in tiny pieces that are easy to wipe away. I’m a total convert and will never, ever go back to regular mascara.
So, there you have it: an easy, under-ten-minute natural makeup routine. Do you think you can beat my time?