“My first memories of makeup were playing with my older sister and my mother’s makeup. My mother would let me organize all of her makeup for her and I would go find little cardboard boxes and decorate them so she would have her lipstick box and her eyeshadow box with drawings on them. I especially remember sitting and watching my sister apply all of her awesome 80s makeup to try and be as Molly Ringwald as possible. I was allowed to start wearing makeup when I hit 6th grade, which may be early to the rest of the world, but my mother thought makeup was incredibly fun. She was an actress in Hollywood in the 60s and loved her false eyelashes and thought glamor was fantastic. On that note, I was allowed to experiment and play with makeup at a young age. I grew up in Houston, Texas, so hair and makeup were a big deal. It was definitely about the “done” look and I started wearing makeup in the early 90s. I wore more makeup when I was 12 and 13 years old than I would ever dream of wearing now as an adult. I remember buying an eyeshadow palette that had 4 or 5 colors of every shade of purple and blue and trying to wear all of the colors at once, with coordinating purple eyeliner. That was big. It was Texas, so I was also born with a curling iron in one hand. I was very, very good at using my curling iron and did my hair the exact same way for a really long time, until one day, Harry Josh was kind enough to show me how to do Gisele waves for myself.
I went to Washington University in St. Louis and I was a photography major, so I was in the arts schools. My hair was many, many different colors, changing at least once a month. It was every length from really long to an inch and a half long – an attempt at a pixie cut. I was very Duby Hairy when I graduated college. My makeup changed so often, whatever I felt like that day. I experimented with a lot of different colors, for example, trying to figure out what color my eyebrows should be to match my newest hair color. I’d bleach them, tweeze them. My college photos should be burned at some point. When I moved to New York, my hair color stabilized. It was the same style for a long time and the same color when I was a little kid. It’s the color I try to now match and the same color of my 3 year old. The first couple years in New York, I spent a lot of time thinking about my makeup before going out. It’s like your amour in the city and how you look is different from everybody else. I think I’m pretty good with eye makeup and I spent a lot of time perfecting the inside of the eye, eyeliner. Now my routine and look is much more simple. I definitely have a standard look that I wear to the office everyday. The older you get, having good skin is more important and it’s a feature I would rather highlight. I spend more time about my skincare than I do about color. I really love playing with lipstick, more than anything else. My lipstick color changes the most, when it comes to my daily makeup look. Going from a very bare, lip-balmed lip to a really bright fuchsia stain. My eyes tend to stay the same with a little black, liquid liner and mascara. I’ve been wearing the same color blush for a decade now, so it’s really all about changing up my lip color.
In a perfect world, I think my hair looks a lot more like Bridget Bardot than it actually does, but the girls I always think are cool tend to look or be very French with that undone and effortless look. Whether it’s Jane Birkin in the 60s or Emmanuelle Alt and Marion Cotillard, it’s that very laid back, cool, are-they-wearing-makeup look that really appeals to me.
I don’t carry a full makeup bag everyday. There are a couple products I carry with me in my purse, but when I do carry a full makeup bag, it is a Kate Spade nylon bag that has really awesome photos of the New York City skyline, which I love. It’s semi-indestructible and from Gilt, of course.
Le Mer Hydrating Infusion: I always have a little bottle of this with me. I am obsessing over my skincare now, so I don’t leave home without this. I use this as a base.
Kate Sommerville Oil-Free Moisturizer: I apply this over my La Mer Hydrating Infusion.
La Mer SPF 30 UV Protection Fluid: After growing up in Texas and I am super duper paranoid about wearing lots of SPF everyday. I never leave the house with anything less than 30.
Dr. Jart Beauty Balm with SPF 45: This has replaced wearing foundation for me, unless I’m doing a television segment or a really big event. I just wear my beauty balm everyday instead.
Make Up For Ever High Definition Powder: This is totally transparent and looks so deeply white in its little tub, but it really sets everything well. Sometimes the beauty balm can look a little too dewy, so I use this to set it.
Tom Ford for Estee Lauder Powder Brush: This is from many years ago, that I’ve saved and use all the time. I love it. The brush is just so beautiful. Everything that Tom Ford does, the aesthetics of it, are just perfect. It’s the most elegant little brush and it fits into every bag perfectly, because it’s so tiny.
NARS Blush in Orgasm: I wear this daily. Always. This blush is flattering on everyone but the nice thing for me is, I’m fairly pale and I have olive skin and sometimes it’s a little tough to find cosmetics that go well with those undertones. I don’t want to look too olive or too overly made up, so this blush has great color with a little shimmer and it adapts with any lip color. Which I think is also tricky, when it comes to blush.
Benefit Instant Brow Pencil in Light: I never leave the house with applying brow pencil. I have naturally blond eyebrows and eyelashes, so I need a little color otherwise they’ll look faded out. I do a 1950s strong brow, with a definite eyebrow arch and this pencil is perfect because it’s nice and creamy. I fill them in using very short brush strokes without going too heavy. I like a little definition and a little bit of color, but not like I used a crayon. I try to keep everything relatively soft and not too defined.
theBalm timeBomb Concealer in Medium: I can’t do anything without under eye concealer. This has to be the most heavy duty under eye concealer I’ve ever purchased. This covers everything, stays on, and allegedly you can sleep in it and has anti-wrinkle properties as well. I also like The Balm because the founder of the company is a pug owner, just like me, so we have to stick together. If you’ve ever seen her packaging, there’s a little pug head on it. It’s very cute and she’s very nice in person.
Hourglass Calligraphy Liner Pen in Ebony: This is a pretty straight, top line from the inner rim to the outside. For going out at night, it becomes a flicked-up cat eye, but for work, the line stops at the end of my eyelash line. I think this eyeliner from Hourglass is semi-miraculous. I’ve worn it in the rain, to cardio classes, and it doesn’t wear off. On that note, you need really good eye makeup remover at the end of the day but it stays put for a full day.
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler: I don’t think I’ve ever talked to a makeup artist who didn’t love it. I should probably replace the little rubber inserts more often than I do, but it’s pretty handy. I don’t hold the curler down for long. Just a press down and release.
L’Oreal Voluminous Lashes Mascara in Black: I wear mascara only on my top lashes. I’m always changing mascaras. It’s the one part of my makeup routine that I will try anything of. I will try any mascara anyone tells me is good and I try to change every 6 weeks. I do not hold onto my mascara, I’m fanatical about it. This mascara from L’Oreal, however, I really like. It’s readily available, affordable, and it stays on nicely, doesn’t flake, and the color is good. It also doesn’t get too clumpy, which I appreciate.
Beauty Blender Sponge: I use this faithfully to make sure everything is blended in. It’s really good at getting the nooks and crannies around your nose.
Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector: This lip balm is my base line when I’m running out the door. I use this most days and it has a really nice light color. It’s also very moisturizing, without being too sticky. I love the applicator and the felt tip is really nice. It’s a very chic lip balm to take out of your purse. It’s a bright pink tube but it’s a very light pink lip balm.
YSL Volupte Sheer Candy: I also use this lip color a lot. It’s a very sheer, bright fuchsia-almost-pink. It’s very cheery color and it brightens up your face immediately. I think it tastes kind of fantastic and you end up eating a little bit of your lipstick everyday. The texture is just beautiful. Something that sheer with so much pigment that it leaves a little bit of a stain on your lips, is really gorgeous. Even if you don’t re-apply during the day, you still have a little color on your lips, which is always nice. It’s a great day color.
Tarte LipSurgence in Lively: I use this lip stain if I want a more dramatic lip and it’s definitely more of a nighttime look. I would say this is more of a fuchsia. It’s a deep, dark hot pink and you really have to keep the rest of your face neutral to wear it. It lasts forever and being matte, it’s very wearable and your lips don’t feel dry after wearing it.
Urban Decay Naked Palette: This palette has 10 or so different eyeshadow colors and I tend to use a mix of color for a golden eye. I don’t wear smokey eyes or any heavy dark makeup, at this point. I prefer a lighter, brighter, more awake looking eye with a cat eye on my top lid. I don’t do a bottom liner all that often.
Hourglass Oil Free Foundation: When I need a little more coverage for television, for example, this color matches my skin and it wears really well. It doesn’t feel like I’m wearing a face of makeup. This foundation is breathable while still providing full coverage. To set the foundation, I apply the Make Up For Ever HD powder.” - Melissa Liebling-Goldberg, Editorial Director, Women’s at Gilt.com