Beauty Editor Chronicles: I Did My Makeup Using Only Products I Found on My Desk
I test-drive tons of new products every month, and it takes a lot to impress me. It takes even more to inspire a permanent deviation from my set-in-stone routine. But considering I'm a beauty editor—and therefore have access to tons of exciting products on an everyday basis—this is slightly depressing. I can do better, I thought to myself recently, and after giving my product-strewn cubicle a cursory once-over, I decided enough was enough.
It was time to break away from my routine and replace every single one of my trusted go-tos with new-to-me finds. A brief disclaimer: As a self-confessed control freak, something as minor as a sunset-hued eyeliner can make me a teensy bit clammy. But I was determined. The only question? Of all the products I had at my disposal, how would I choose what to use? (Ask anyone who's ever gone with me for an ice cream cone—when faced with too many options, I choke.)
To prevent myself from overthinking things, I decided my best bet was to approach my desk with a fresh set of eyes. After finding a product to match each of my normal steps, I gathered my haul, rolled up my sleeves, and got to it. Miraculously, I was thrilled with the results, and all three editors who sit next to me complimented my appearance within seconds of arriving at the office. (When equally picky editors compliment your makeup, you know you've struck gold.) Keep scrolling for the products I used straight from my desk.
I was recently gifted this dreamy, creamy blush-bronzer-highlight hybrid palette from Violet Grey, and couldn't wait to break it out for a trial. I'd actually never personally tried anything from the brand but had heard magical things—especially regarding its lipsticks. (Seriously, Kosås, call me.) Therefore it wasn't all too surprising I fell in love with this compact.
I usually go for punchier shades of blush (I adore anything from Nars and Hourglass), but this earthier combo was pure gold—and perfect for a quick application job at my desk. (Truly, I never thought I'd love such a neutral color.) Plus, with prettifying ingredients like marula, rose-hip seed, grape seed, green tea, and myrrh, I felt good about massaging it into my finicky skin. Truth be told, I wasn't a huge fan of the highlight side (only because I like a more saturated shimmer), but the bronzey blush was super-blendable and will be a new staple for me.
To put this in perspective, I pretty much never wear eye shadow; my daily eye look consists of a catty swipe of jet-black liquid liner. In other words, this rich metallic shade of reddish brown was a pretty major departure for me. I've always loved the velvety application of Urban Decay's eyeliners, and this color went seamlessly with the minimal makeup look I was going for while offering some contrast to the blue of my eyes. I'll definitely continue swiping this one on. Oh, and in case you're wondering, the end result is actually a lot less metallic (read: flashy) than the packaging would lead you to believe. If you're not in the mood for black or a bold swipe of colour, I can't recommend this intense bronze enough.
I never use brow gels, pomades, or anything that has the potential to wind up looking goopy or too severe against my pale skin and light blonde hair. I have pretty dark brows, but they aren't super full. Therefore, fine-tipped brow pencils in Blonde or Taupe are the only products I'll usually touch with a 10-foot pole. However, Amanda has been talking nonstop about this formula, I've loved everything else I've tried from ModelCo, and this was the only brow product sitting at my desk. So gel it was! Skeptical though I was, this product immediately impressed me. The tint was super subtle, but it did effectively beef up my brows. The colour was just right, and again, my co-workers immediately asked what I used on my brows. Of course, Amanda took one look at me and knew it was ModelCo. Overall, it gets an A++.
I'm completely obsessed with Rodin's lipsticks. Like, obsessed in a way where I question if I'll ever again wear any other formula. They offer the prettiest pigments and luxurious application (thanks to high-quality ingredients like jasmine oil, neroli oil, rose flower wax, lavender flower wax, apricot oil, and argan oil), and they basically make your lips look and feel like a supple, slightly glistening pillow of colour. They're worth the investment, and not to sound like a broken record, but Amanda told me my lips looked amazing. (Needless to say, she's now committed to borrowing my stash of Rodin lippies.)
Normally I'm not a lip-gloss girl, but this iconic tube from MAC is one I can tolerate (and even like) on occasion. Plus, it was sitting right next to my mouse and looked tempting. Since the rest of my makeup was pretty subtle and shimmery, I figured I might as well swipe some on, and it really complemented the dewy formula of the Rodin lipstick. It's a little tacky, yes, but again, it's quite possibly the most iconic lip gloss ever. And call me superficial, but I'm drawn to cult favorites. My one qualm: It comes off super easily. (I actually mistakenly snapped the above photo of myself after drinking my morning coffee, and the gloss was no longer detectable.)
I bring a travel-size version of this cult-favorite mist everywhere I go only because it's one of the only face mists I don't find revolting. As the grand finale of my deskside makeup experiment, I spritzed it lightly over my entire face to keep my work in place for the remainder of my day. It smells lightly herbaceous and lovely, and I'm convinced it just makes the end application look better all around. ■