I just read the top shelf of the ephemeral beauty Emma Watson.  She is so wise beyond her years, most likely because being the smart one in Harry Potter seems like a very empowering role for an impressionable child actor to play. One can't help but feel like if you must have child actors, then the least you should do is have them play smart, adventurous, who refuse to be left behind or underappreciated. Roles which will shape them as much as they shape those of us who watch them. I clearly love Hermione Granger, but I digress.

Back to the point of the story. In her interview she tells
ITG that:

The object for me when applying makeup is you should be able to see as much skin as possible. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve embraced my freckles much more and I want to be able to see them. When we were filming Beauty and the Beast, I insisted on keeping my freckles as a part of the movie. There are so many young girls who are going through puberty who really hate having them, so I felt the need to say that I have them and that I think the look of natural skin is beautiful. I didn’t want to get blanked out!

I too have struggled with my freckles, only realizing how gorgeous they are unfettered by makeup much later in my self-love journey. I still get advice from medspas to try to chemically peel them off my face, an appalling concept that makes me cringe even as I type. Embracing freckles is a challenge, even if it shouldn't be. I too lack the urge to be blanked out, to blanket my skin in heavy concealer, to banish my beauty marks. My dad used to tell me each freckle was a kiss from an angel. (He also told me everytime I kissed a boy I would lose a freckle - if only he knew how much I hated them as a teenager!)

With that in mind, here is the makeup routine I do almost daily. It makes my skin look bouncy, glowing, dewy, and glazed. It banishes occasional redness, gives ample coverage for inevitable blemishes, and when I do it right looks like I am wearing nothing at all.


Glow starts from within. So first I do a quick hit of micro/nano current - using my Ziip and/or my Nuface - to stimulate the muscles in my face and draw healing circulation into my facial skin. I also do the lip plumping, I am so addicted to that tingle you guys. I follow that up with some serums - right now it's Super Pure on my chin, Super Bounce on my cheeks, and this crazy amazing Niod Copper Amino Isolate Serum that I can't even bring myself to write about because I don't want y'all to get addicted to a $60 serum like I have become. After all that liquidy, serum goodness has worked it's magic it's a tiny dollop of Priming Moisturizer Rich everywhere I'm not acne prone. Seriously, pea sized amount this stuff is so rich. I also found this amazing anti-puff undereye cream which my miracle derm recommended, and which, after 6 weeks of regular use, has actually made a noticeable difference under my eyes.


I want a little bit of color correction, and some mild blurring so I apply Skin Tint in medium with my fingers. It's got a thin watery consistency so the heat from the fingers really helps to smooth it on. It's also very buildable, so I try to start with the sheerest amount possible and then add more if needed. On top of that goes a few drops of Photography Fluid, which looks super shimmery but goes on like nothing and just smoothes everything out. Light refracting, they call it. Next is concealer for acne on my chin, and around my nose. I finish the look with a "contour" (gah I hate that term) which in this case means a swipe of Haloscope in Quartz on the bridge and tip of my nose and upper cheekbones, then a swoop of Haloscope in Topaz under cheekbones. Sometimes for more definition I will use a super sheer, matte brown contour, but then I buff the heck out of it with a beauty blender. I'm pretty sure all this rubbing and patting and smoothing and massaging of my face is why I love makeup so much. Seriously, when else do you spend so much time lavishly smearing potions and gently stroking your own face? This is not magic, it's science. And on days when for whatever I eschew make-up, I am inevitably crankier. Clear empirical evidence here.


I know common wisdom dictates eyes then face, but I like a little smudge - I think here is where my inner french girl really shines through. I draw a super thin line, right up against the lash line, with a liquid eyeliner that has a marker tip. The one I like is this Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For,  because it contains lash growth ingredients ala latisse. I think of it more as treatment but it does thicken up the lash line very naturally. After that I curl using this magic curler from Violet Grey whose name I can never remember, but it gives the best, most-natural bend and doesn't look too done. After that it's two coats of mascara, I'm currently using this french brand that my secret online makeup group told me about. It's the only tubing mascara I have ever liked but it is a wonder. Plus it has a chic, ballet inspired name.

Then it's brow time. I am trying so hard to get that super cool, feathered brow thing. First goes the boy brow in clear - brush up up up. Then I fill in sparse spots and thicken up a bit with this super thin pencil, which my best friend got me as a present. I swear on our friendship it is the best I've found to not make your brows looked blocked it. It's easier to apply then you might expect  -you kind of flick it up in short little strokes where you want it to look like there's a little hair. I actually got a little lazy here and just smudged it around a lot and it still looks very feathery.


Listen, I know this isn't technically make-up but it's so face adjacent I cant just leave it off the list. These earrings were a big, huge splurge for me but I took advantage of the euro being way down and used a discount code, and saved up for them because look at them. They are like wearable modern art for your face, and I swear they enhance your cheekbones. Like how do earrings do that? I don't know. Best guess the roundness of the globes makes the squareness of the jaw and cheekbone more defined. Best theory. Second best theory; witchcraft. That said, here's some options at a variety of price points that might similarly work to this effect:

J.W. Anderson Sphere Drop Earrings (what I'm actually wearing, not what I paid for it)
Lord & Taylor $26 option with only one ball and kind of a wire hoop thing
Very similar Kate Spade knockoff in gold on sale for $56