Much like the rest of the world, I spent the first few weeks in quarantine being grateful for my health and the fact that I no longer had to leave the house, let alone put on makeup or fuss with my hair. Despite years of preaching quite the opposite to both myself and my friends, it turns out I do get dressed and wear makeup for other people. Weird. And now, after months of being bare-faced, I almost enjoy putting on makeup — even if wearing makeup with a mask on feels, well, different.
I’ve also spent the better part of the last four months trying to recalibrate a standard I’ve come to take for granted. Usually, when I think of my face, I think of it with makeup on: skin tone evened with foundation, imperfections blurred with concealer, eyes widened with a healthy few swipes of mascara. But as my new routine set in and I no longer put on makeup to go outside — or take it off only when I knew I wouldn’t be leaving again — I began to look at myself in the mirror sans makeup almost as an exercise in familiarity. Now, putting on makeup feels like a treat, rather than the standard by which I judge my face.
That said, there’s still a few changes to my routine; wearing makeup with a mask can lead to breakouts and irritation, and if nobody can see what’s going on under my mask, should I even bother applying makeup there? (Not no.)
Ahead, my new beauty routine in a post-COVID world, plus the products I use when I’m wearing a mask.
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Mask Makeup Routine: Face Mist
A good face mist is almost as good as a cup of coffee. I used to keep three or so at my desk, and now, I’ve begun to accumulate them on my bedside table. I like to use them throughout the day, but I truly look forward to my first spritz of the morning or right before I put on makeup. I like Barbara Sturm's Hydrating Face Mist and Caudalie's Beauty Elixir.
Mask Makeup Routine: Serum
Mask Makeup Routine: Sunscreen
One of the biggest changes in my masking skincare routine is that I no longer use an additional moisturizer when I know I’m going to be wearing a mask, as it can feel heavy and stifling under the cloth. Instead, I waver between Dermalogica Pure Light SPF 50 and Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50 all over — with a double layer on my forehead.
Mask Makeup Routine: Salicylic Acid
Mask Makeup Routine: Serum Foundation
Mask Makeup Routine: Concealer
Mask Makeup Routine: Powder
One thing I’ve started doing now that we’re masking: powdering my chin. I used to only use it on my T-zone, but a little powder on a Beautyblender straight to the chin keeps me from getting too sweaty under my mask. Even better: If I do decide to wear foundation, this powder keeps my makeup from transferring better than any primer has.
Mask Makeup Routine: Bronzer
Mask Makeup Routine: Highlight
Mask Makeup Routine: Brow Pencil
Mask Makeup Routine: Brow Gel
Mask Makeup Routine: Eyeshadow
To be frank, I’ve never worn eyeshadow in my life — save for one truly heinous department store makeup counter experience for my boyfriend’s prom back in 2005. It scarred me enough to have me swear off palettes and pots of all kinds. But now, that’s all anyone sees. This palette from Chanel is all I need for a subtle brown smokey eye.