Stuck inside and feeling like makeup is the absolute last thought on your mind? Perfectly understandable, but before you throw in the towel when it comes to your makeup routine, a few professionals share why a few cosmetics can go a long way in these trying times. After all, “wearing makeup has everything to do with self-care,” says Sèbastien Tardif, celebrity makeup artist and co-founder of Veil Cosmetics. “It’s the little things like a bit of concealer to hide under-eye fatigue that automatically feels uplifting.”
Even in normal times, makeup has transformative properties beyond simply enhancing your looks. Think of color and its impact on our mood. “The best example is waking up on a gray day. Don’t you feel like crawling back into bed?” asks Tardif. A simple counter to that bleakness: Add color. “In those situations, you put on a bright top, a nice lipstick or a flush of color to make your skin look like you just got back from a wonderful vacation,” he says. And those pops of color instantly brighten your mood. That same idea applies especially when emotions feel “gray.”
Celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg, who counts Lauren Graham and Julie Bowen among her clients and started Jamie Makeup University virtual classes to help women express themselves during quarantine, points to makeup’s innate ability to build confidence. “I think [wearing makeup] is about feeling your best, whether you’re headed to a big night out or just staying in. Whatever makes you feel confident—whether it’s a full face or just some mascara and lipstick—that’s something you always deserve!” she proclaims. Logic follows that during difficult times, such as the current moment we’re enduring, makeup could serve as the ultimate confidence booster. “I do believe that your feelings on the inside can impact and reflect you on the outside—and vice versa,” Greenberg says. “Whatever beauty look makes you feel great can really help your mind match that great feeling.”
We commonly think of self-care rituals as newfangled spa treatments, meditation and yoga sessions, but self-care most certainly includes the simple act of swiping on blush or mascara, stresses Tardif. “Because this pandemic might have altered your lifestyle and how you interact with the outside world, it’s really important to try and find ways to feel pampered, to show that you care about yourself and to boost your morale—and that includes applying makeup,” he says. Setting aside a moment to apply makeup in the morning can act as much-needed self-care—and can set the tone for your day.
When we’re not venturing far beyond our doors, routines easily fall by the wayside. However, beginning your day with a routine can have a healthy impact on your emotional state—and makeup can play a role in that ritual. “It’s that psychological part that reminds you that you’re ready to start your day once your makeup is done,” Tardif says.
“We’re all trying to find a new normal, and the more rituals and routines you hold onto, the better you feel,” adds Greenberg. “My makeup routine makes me feel like myself. Plus, applying makeup is sort of meditative and calming, right?”
Don’t worry about what your day holds; even if it’s as little as answering emails or taking a walk around your neighborhood, Tardif says applying makeup readies you mentally for whatever the day brings. Plus, he adds, should you be called for an impromptu video conference, you no longer can go into “excuse mode” over not having your makeup done!
As day melts into day, your creative spark can dwindle. “A lot of us feel stunted right now. We’re restless, we feel helpless and we need as much as we can to feel creative, entertained and calm,” Greenberg says. Makeup can re-ignite that spark. Prior to the pandemic, Greenberg fielded loads of makeup questions from her fans, but one consistently topped the list: How do I master a look that I’m too afraid to try? The time to give experimentation a try is now, Greenberg says. “You have so much extra time right now, and no one is going to see you. Why not take a risk with a new makeup skill?” she asks. “You’ll feel so accomplished, creative and, of course, gorgeous … Plus, it’s hard to be mad when you look in the mirror and see gorgeous glitter lining your cat-eye.”
So, what products should you add to your repertoire that won’t overwhelm you? Greenberg suggests incorporating a primer, like Cover FX Blurring Primer, into your makeup regimen as a first step prior to applying foundation (she prefers IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream for it’s anti-aging and SPF properties); it supplies a nice canvas for you to begin your makeup journey—plus, it adds a soft-focus effect for Zoom calls or FaceTime. Both Greenberg and Tardif point to blush as your new best friend thanks to its ability to add a youthful flush to the skin—especially when you’re viewed on a computer or smartphone screen. “I favor using a cream blush as it doesn’t draw attention to wrinkles and fine lines the way powder does,” Greenberg says. Tardif recommends Veil Cosmetics VELVET Lip & Cheek palette, which can be mixed-and-matched and features a soft gel texture perfect for mature skin and lips.
And while many brick-and-mortar stores remain closed, Greenberg encourages supporting small beauty brands as much as possible by sourcing their products directly from their own websites, rather than buying through large e-commerce sites.
While makeup might be taking a backseat for you daily, working it into your routine definitely has its benefits. Think of it like making your bed, says Greenberg. “One you make your bed, you start your day with an accomplishment. In the case of makeup, that accomplishment is bringing out your most confident self,” she says.