Wearing A Makeup With A Mask On: How My Entire Beauty Routine Has Changed During COVID-19
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
I haven’t been able to get my regularly scheduled Botox, so I need a serum that works overtime to plump fine lines without making me break out. This one checks both boxes.
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
This step is a new one for me: Instead of layering my usual foundation-concealer-powder under my mask, I slather on a layer of acne cream. It keeps my sensitive jawline in check.
Mask Makeup Routine: Serum Foundation
Ilia’s Serum Foundation is supposed to replace all my other skincare products — and if I wasn’t so obsessed with my 12-step routine, it definitely could. It blurs dark spots, leaves my skin dewy, and — if I decide to put any foundation on the lower half of my face — won't pill under my mask.
Mask Makeup Routine: Concealer
NARS's Radiant Creamy Concealer is hands-down the best one I've ever come across. It not only makes me look like I've gotten 10 hours of sleep, but blurs any dark spots without caking — even under my mask.
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
I haven’t used bronzer since Hula reigned supreme back in the mid-aughts — I’m a blush woman through and through — but I’ve picked it up a bit in quarantine. I like that you can see a touch of contour even when I have my mask on.
Mask Makeup Routine: Highlight
Kjaer Weis's creamy highlighter formula is perfect for lending a dewy glow: I tap some on the area where my mask meets my cheekbones, as well as on the inner corners of my eyes.
Mask Makeup Routine: Brow Pencil
I switch between It Cosmetics Brow Power and Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz depending on the day. They’re both fantastic for filling in sparse brows.
Mask Makeup Routine: Brow Gel
To lock them in place, I brush 'em up with Glossier’s Boy Brow in Black.
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.
Mask Makeup Routine: Eyelash Curler
I curl my lashes before I use mascara, which keeps them from getting clumpy. This one from Dior is a perennial favorite.