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Remember back in the days when you had absolutely no idea how much work it takes to look flawless like Kim K and Kate Middleton? Having to wake up two hours early to pick out your outfit and slap a fresh new face on every morning before your three-hour lecture is an absolutely horrendous nightmare. Don’t you just wish that there was a secret makeup trick that is time-saving, flawless, natural and long-lasting? Well… I sure am not fat, nor 100 years old, but I might be your Fairy Godmother for the day. ;)

7:30 AM: Cleanse, Enhance & Moisturize

Yeah yeah, you have heard this a billion times already: clean your face, moisturize your face… but are you really using the correct cleanser and moisturizer for your own skin type? One can not simply just use a bar of Dove soap and expect it to work magic! There are countless products out there in every price range for every skin type. Go to Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart and ask for some testers to try them out for a week first. You will eventually find the products that are just right for your skin!

For cleanser, I highly recommend the liquid facial soap by CLINIQUE. This line includes products designed for all skin types, ranging from Extra Mild to Oily. Priced at CAD22 for a 200ml pump bottle at Sephora, this product has lasted me for over a year now and is absolutely worth my endorsement!

After drying your freshly awakened skin by tapping (not rubbing) it with a fresh new towel, it is time to bring out your serum and moisturizers. There is a myth that students in their early 20s do not need serum because they are simply too young. I am, and have always been, highly against this statement. You are never too young to start protecting and nourishing your skin, just like how you are never too old to stop eating butter! You might not need the serum that is designed particularly for anti-aging and wrinkle-lifting, but there is definitely nothing wrong with using serums targeted for repairing, hydration and revitalizing.  

I started using Caudalíe’s Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum and Origins’ GinZing Energy-boosting moisturizer two months ago; I have to say that I absolutely swear by them! Applying both in the AM and PM, I have noticed some big changes with my skin. My skin feels very much hydrated 24/7, needless to say due to the magic of Caudalíe. Dark spots, acne scars, redness and skin complexion in general have improved significantly compared to before, thanks to the GinZing moisturizer. (The citrus smell is an absolute delight as well!)

7:40 AM: Primer! Primer! Primer!

For any of you out there who do not instinctively use primer before you put on any makeup, I shame you on behalf of your poor skin cells. Primer is so important because it not only covers up big pores for aesthetic purposes, but it also locks in that layer of serum and moisturizer which protects your skin from absorbing too many bad chemicals from your makeup.

Many would argue that the best primer/primer water is by SmashBox or Benefit Cosmetics. However, for students who are on a budget and in need of something that you can generously apply onto your skin before putting on makeup, I find that the Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser by Maybelline New York is a perfect alternative. Comparatively, although slightly oilier than SmashBox or Benefit, I can’t complain about this product at all!

7:42 AM: Tummies in, Powder up!

Yep, you read it right: powder right after putting on primer. Many have called me crazy for this makeup procedure, but I absolutely love and swear by it! Before I explored this trick, I noticed that my skin would get somewhat oily and cakey in the afternoon, at around 3 or 4PM. This really bothered me because at this point, there is practically no easy way of revitalizing your makeup other than taking it off and redoing it. Powder’s main purpose is to set your makeup and control your skin from producing excessive oil. By applying a THIN layer of powder right after primer, it ensures that your skin will have a slower cycle of producing oil throughout the day. This trick works extremely well for people with oily skin. If you have dry skin, do not worry about this step drying your skin out, because the next step is going to ensure that this does not happen!

I personally prefer compact powder for its neatness and easiness to apply. During the day, simply pop it out and dab it onto your face to control shininess quickly and easily. I recommend this Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder that I have been using for over a year now. Not only is it highly affordable, it also lasts for a very long period of time. There are a number of shades available; however, this specific line lacks darker shades in general.

7:45 AM: “Foundation”?

This might be another shock to you, but for this makeup trick, we are not using any foundation at all! We are going to use this Sephora Collection Make No Mistake, High Coverage Concealer.

When you first test out this product, you will notice that it is very highly concentrated and thick. It only takes a tiny droplet to cover a large portion of your skin with lots of blending. However, compared to its sister product, Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum, your $18 will get you a tube that has not only more product, but also an amount that will last you much longer.

Since this is a much thicker concealer, it is recommended that you first warm it up by thinning it up on the back of your hand. Next, we are going to mix a drop of your moisturizer in with this high coverage concealer. By doing so, you are not only creating a coverage-alterable tinted moisturizer, but you are also balancing out the potential dryness from the first layer of powder you just applied.

I recommend using a moisturizer that only targets hydration and does not have other added ingredients to it, hence why we are using a different moisturizer than the Origins GinZing. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is one of the most popular hydration face creams on the market, and I have been using it for the past two years. While mixing the two products together, you can control the coverage freely by adding more or less face cream to it. The final mixture should look like the picture below. Generously apply this mixture onto your face and target any dark spots or circles with more products accordingly.

Blend, blend, blend! Whether you prefer using a blending sponge, foundation brush, or simply your fingers, the key is to blend all the products together well and leave no streaks or markings on your face.

7:55 AM: Final Touch

You are almost there! Pat another layer of powder onto your entire face with some extra focus on your t-zone, since this is the area that produces the most oil on your face. Be careful not to go overboard; an appropriately powered and clean face is the key to your flawless, long-lasting, 100% natural look for any school day.

8:00 AM: You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile!

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