On Selfies, plus My Basic Makeup Routine

The other week, I did something I hadn’t done before: I posted an unobscured selfie on Instagram. This was actually a bit of a bold step for me. I’ve always been shy about showing my face on the Internet, and I’ve been insecure about how I look in photos in general. But I finally decided that if I’m going to write at all about beauty and aging, even a little, I should share my face so people can look at the person whose sharing beauty tips.

Selfies are a bit of a fraught subject in today’s world. There’s a camp of those who consider them purely narcissistic and vain. But I am uncomfortable with sweeping judgments and absolutes. Desiring to share one’s face is an intensely human thing. People have had their images taken for as long as history records. But for as long as history has recorded, there have been those who meet the recording of images with fear and suspicion. Now, I might not think that my phone has now captured my soul, but there is something intimate about capturing a picture of your face and giving it to another person.

Today, I wanted to talk about portraits in another light, too. As an actress, I have to have an up-to-date head shot to share with directors, either at an audition or before an audition. And as someone who was not considered a beautiful child and has an uncertain relationship with photography, head shots are near bikini waxing in levels of trust involved. So I’m happy that I have a friend who’s not only willing to do my head shot photography for free in exchange for my help where my talents lie, but also happens to be pretty damn good at getting pictures of my that look good.

So when he said he had equipment that needed testing and suggested I come by to get my head shot updated this week, I jumped at it. That it was a Tuesday evening after a full day’s work worried me, but I have my beauty routine down enough that I can do it quickly. This was a bit of an expanded beauty routine, as I shared on my Instagram story, because I was blow-drying my hair. I usually either air-dry or put my hair up damp on most days. But head shots require hair down and shiny and smooth, so I blow dry.

That, of course, left less time for makeup. No worries. I timed my makeup routine and it took six minutes. So I thought, in addition to sharing a selfie from the photographer’s studio, I’d also share my quick, 6-minute makeup routine.

First of all, my makeup always starts with good skin care. This isn’t counted in the six minutes, but it’s pretty necessary and not too involved. I started by washing my face with the Glossier Milky Jelly cleanser, which is my current morning cleanser. I’m still testing it, but you’ll get a review soon. Then, I did my hair. After doing my hair, I swiped with a cotton pad and some Thayer’s Rose Petal toner to remove any sweat. Blow-drying hair is hard work, after all, especially when you have a great deal of hair. From there, I used a dropperful of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum to make sure my skin was hydrated and plumped up. Then, I topped with a dab of CeraVe Baby Moisturizing cream to prime my skin. I let that sink in for a couple minutes while I sipped some tea. After all, I’d woken up at 5:30 that morning and was starting to drag a bit by 7 p.m.

Alright, now it’s time for the makeup. I start with Cover Girl’s Clean Matte BB Cream in Light/Medium. I dot it on my face and then buff it in with a Real Techniques Face Brush. It gives light coverage and a matte finish for camera. With the weather cooling down, I’ll probably switch to something a bit more hydrating for every day, but the Clean Matte has been wonderful over the summer. Then, I conceal with some Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Sand, under my eyes, around my nostrils, and on any lingering spots. From there, I pat some Nyx Rouge Cream Blush in Tea Rose on my cheeks.

Eyes are simple: I line my eyes with a dark brown liner, the Sephora Waterproof Retractable liner, and then soften the line with the built-in smudger tool. Then, I add a coat of Maybelline Great Lash waterproof mascara on my top and bottom lashes. A swipe of a neutral pink lipstick finishes the look, in this case Revlon Butter Lipstick in Berry Smoothie.

So there you have it: six makeup products and six minutes to head shot readiness. And the effect is basically “Me, but better.” Of course, the photographer edits his shots, but I thought the unedited selfie I shared above would give a good idea of the gentle evening and enhancing that I ask of this makeup routine than the final, retouched portrait.

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