beauty

My 7-Minute Minimal Makeup Routine

Happy Friday, hustlas. It’s a beautiful day to feel beautiful.

If you’ve been following me on the ‘gram you may or may not have noticed that I’ve recently been dipping my toes into a glowy but super natural everyday makeup look. I say dipping because it wasn’t long ago that I was “one of those girls” that “didn’t have the time” or “energy” to “put on a face” “every day”.

*Yawn* x1000, because that “not like other girls” narrative is sooo 2013. NEWSFLASH TO MY PAST SELF: using makeup does not threaten your authenticity.

So I’ve been doing it.. applying a little makeup whenever I’ve felt like it (but never out of obligation). Whether I’m interviewing at a medical school or just walking down the block, I’ve turned my minimal makeup routine into a mindful self-love practice. I didn’t think it was possible.

Mez On The Move Everyday Makeup.JPG

So because I’ve gotten a few DMs asking about the products I’ve been using on my eyes, lips, and face, I thought I’d round it all up in one place for your easy shopping convenience. It’s minimal-ish enough for any formal meeting, or interview *sigh, the patriarchy* but it’s never ever basic ;)

F a c e

  • Moisturize. I use EltaMD on most days but because it’s winter and the wind is killing me I rotate in this thicker moisturizer whenever I feel like it. Done.

  • Perfecting Skin Tint for the everyday, “no makeup- makeup” win. It does enough to make me glow a lil somethin’ somethin’ without making me feel caked up. Apply with hands when I’m extra tight on time but I prefer to use a damp BeautyBlender to keep my fingers off of my face. Also, they recently added more shades for my #melanated mamis and THAT is something I can stand behind.

    • For those of you looking for more coverage, this is not that.. but I did mix it with my Sheer Glow just the other day and (on my momma) it looked GOOD.

  • A couple dabs of concealer under the eyes are enough to make me feel like 8 hours of sleep. I’ve been loving Glossier’s because it’s thinner and dewier than the average (which I can appreciate). And because I think matte finishes are so 2018 (LOL) this product is all that and a bag of chips, in my book.

  • My roommate put it best the other day: “I want my face to look wet.” Queue all of the highlighter. I’m pretty sure highlighting sticks were made for 7-minute makeup routines and I don’t think I’m ever using a powder highlight again. I use Revlon’s highlighting stick for my day- and night-time looks (because I’m ballin’ on that #drugstorebudget) but I’ve been eyeing Flesh’s for a while now and my roommate swears by it.

  • Bronzer is optional. Blush is not. Blush everywhere.

smaller_D9CCABF8-6E6B-4505-A71D-55F209160F09.jpeg

Eyes

  • On most days I’m not feeling like eyeshadow and my eyebrows are finally growing back in after a threading disaster. Who hasn’t had one? So MASCARA- I’ve been using this blue and white tube of “The Edgiest” by Estee Lauder but I couldn’t find it online so you’ll have to search your local drugstore.

Lips

  • My inner 7th grader is screaming at the re-rise of lip gloss. Now, I would argue that it never left Harlem or the Bronx, like hoop earrings and acrylic nails, but *sips tea* I digress. Glossier’s lip gloss keeps my lips poppin’ like I’m Lil Mama, but on interview days I stick to the OG lip product all time.

smaller_IMG_0819.jpeg

That’s it! I’m no beauty expert but I do love the products I’ve been using and I truly think they are great for those of us #BLESSED with sensitive, acne-prone skin. If you have any recommendations or products you love, please sound off in the comments because your girl loves to spend money she doesn’t have.

Wishing you the dopest weekend of all time xx

// Get my monthly 'On The Move' newsletter here. //

// Follow along on Bloglovin' and never miss a post here. //

// Pin this post and read it later here. //

My Struggle With Acne and 5 Skincare Tips

Six months ago, if you’d told me I’d be writing a blog post about skincare I wouldn’t have believed you. My skin has been the bane of my existence since the summer of 2013. In high school I suffered the occasional breakout and complained about them like nobody’s business, but the summer before I was set to “start my new life” in college I was struck by the worst acne I have ever experienced.

It was no longer confined to my T-zone and had worked its way onto my cheeks. It was big and red and painful. And to make things worse, I was the only person in my family not #blessed with poreless, butter-soft, Puerto Rican skin. My acne sent me into a hole of self-consciousness that made meeting new people uncomfortable. I was embarrassed.

Now, I should preface this by saying that everyone’s skin is different… and what works for me might not work for you. But I do believe that the tips I’ve included below have profoundly changed not only the appearance of my skin, but also my relationship with it.

IMG_3087.JPG
IMG_3085.JPG

So here are five skincare tips that I have personally implemented to clear things up and out of my pores:

1) OUT WITH THE HARSH. IN WITH THE GENTLE.

No more benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid for this girl! I know these ingredients are supposed to be the holy grail of treating acne but they hurt me to use and leave my skin irritated. I now use this cleanser once or twice daily (after workouts and/or before bed) and it leaves my skin feeling clean and calm!

2) TONE. MOISTURIZE. REPEAT.

My product arsenal is limited. In the AM: I splash my face with cold water, tone with Dickinson’s or Thayer’s Witch Hazel, and moisturize. In the PM and/or after a workout: I wash my face with my papaya enzyme cleanser. I’ll double cleanse with micellar water when I’ve worn face makeup. And then I tone with a problem skin toner. I’m honestly not sure if using a different night toner is necessary but Shea Moisture has been holding me down so I’m not going to change it anytime soon.

This is no beauty blogger’s #shelfie but these products have been getting it done.

This is no beauty blogger’s #shelfie but these products have been getting it done.

3) PASSIVELY TOUCHING YOUR FACE, YOU NEED TO CUT IT.

I ride the subway and hold on because the A train is no joke as it speeds from 125th to 59th. I open the door to a cute little café packed with people and laptops. I wipe my hand on my jeans because it’s raining out and the door handle was wet. I order a coffee and hand the store clerk my credit card. Then I sit down and pull out my laptop which I take with me everywhere. As I begin to work I rest my cheek on the same hand that touched the subway pole and seat and door knob and credit card. And then I act surprised when I develop a pimple on said cheek.

Stop touching your face. Seriously.

4) YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.

The biggest change I’ve made since taking my skin more seriously is dietary. Although I’m not vegan and don’t completely identify as plant-based, I drastically cut back on meat and dairy earlier this year and it has made a world of difference. Now, I know this might not be what you want to hear but I do believe that a lot of the hormonal imbalances we experience (aka ACNE) stem from what we put into our bodies as much as they do from what we put on them. I now know that my skin is very sensitive to dairy, grease, and refined sugar. It hasn’t stopped me from indulging in sweet treats and french fries on occasion but knowledge is power.

Post-extractions in August 2018. It doesn’t look great (I was still struggling with a lot of acne) but it does get better!  NOTE: If you struggle with hyperpigmentation, consult a derm before exploring this option.

Post-extractions in August 2018. It doesn’t look great (I was still struggling with a lot of acne) but it does get better! NOTE: If you struggle with hyperpigmentation, consult a derm before exploring this option.

5) EXTRACT, REGULARLY.

I was never one to pop pimples because I am terrified of scars and have no idea how to do it properly!

Even recently I’ve given myself an abrasion or two trying to pop my own white heads. Lesson learned: quit while you’re ahead.

Instead, I now see an esthetician semi-regularly for extractions (Hi Vee!) and I’ve learned a lot from her because she notices changes in my pores even before I do. So in I go, every month, to have her clean those bad boys out.

This tip is a luxury and I am certainly very lucky to have a friend that knows what she’s doing. Invest what you can. If you don’t have $200/month for full-blown facials (I SURE DON’T) opt for “just extractions” which are much more affordable. I would 100% recommend consulting an expert dermatologist or esthetician… or a combination of the two. Whatever is within your means.

Finally, please know that acne is not the end of the world! I truly wish I had spent more time addressing the insecurities that came out of my struggle with it. Instead I let a few red bumps on my face impact my social life and self-confidence.

I now choose to understand my acne as a signal that something I’m doing is throwing my body out of wack, and instead of being bitter about how my sister can eat and do whatever she wants and never develop a clogged pore, my skin cares enough to put that warning right where I can see it! :) Take it one day at a time, be consistent, and be kind to yourself.

All love always xx

9D55560F-CFFE-4E23-8B6C-FA2EA5C5CFDE.JPG

// Get my monthly 'On The Move' newsletter here. //

// Follow along on Bloglovin' and never miss a post here. //