My Five Minute Makeup Routine for Sleepy Mornings

If you didn’t know this about me, I’m a full time grad student and intern. That means, sleep is precious and I often don’t get nearly enough. I have many late nights, usually filled with work events, fellowship seminars, and mountains of papers to write – So. Many. Papers. All those late nights, plus just being a terrible sleeper in general, means that getting up in the morning can be super hard for me.

While I’m usually good about getting up when I need to, even if I’m exhausted, we all have those mornings where another 15 minutes just sounds too good to resist. And on those mornings, it’s necessary for me to rush through my makeup in order to get out the door on time. So with that, here is my no-fuss-in-a-rush-out-the-door routine:

1. A glowy primer

I find that a glowy primer is so helpful in making your skin look alive and awake. When I’m feeling sleep deprived, I notice that my skin starts looking dull, sallow, and overall lackluster. A primer with a little glow is just enough to bring it back to life.

Recommendation: Becca Backlight Priming Filter. This gives just enough glow without looking over the top (in my opinion) and really helps you look more awake than you really are.

2. Just concealer where you need it

When I’m really looking to head out quickly, just concealer will do. While I usually go for a light layer of foundation, strategically placing concealer where I need to is faster and gets the job done. I place it under my eyes, over any leftover acne marks, and on any areas with redness. Blend it out with a makeup sponge, and voila!

Recommendation: Ulta Full Coverage Liquid Concealer. This is such a great concealer! Full coverage enough to hide everything you need it to, but it doesn’t look strange worn on it’s own. Sometimes when a concealer is full coverage and worn without foundation underneath, it can look stark. This blends beautifully into the skin, doesn’t crease much, and hides what it needs to.

3. Brow gel

Ain’t nobody got time to fill in their brows when you only have a few minutes. Even on a day I’m not in a rush, I have little patience for filling in my brows with a pencil. Most days, I brush through them with a tinted brow gel to hold them in place and give them more definition and shape than they have naturally.

Recommendation: Essence Make Me Eyebrow Gel Mascara. This brow gel has fibers in it that make brows look fuller, while also keeping them in place. Plus, the teeny tiny wand makes it super easy to use!

4. Mascara

For me, mascara is a non-negotiable step of my makeup routine. Especially when I’m looking tired, mascara makes the biggest difference in helping make me look awake and alive.Two quick coats of a mascara that builds quickly, and I’m good to go.  

Recommendation: Essence Lash Princess Mascara. Like I talked about in my post about my favorite drug store mascaras, this Essence mascara does everything I need it to. It separates, gives volume, and adds length.

5. If you’ve got time: bronzer

Bronzer is optional for me, but if I’ve got a space second I’ll throw some on. On days like these, I make sure to choose a bronzer that’s super easy to work with and that I can be a little sloppy with. I’ll use one that blendable, not too pigmented, and looks natural.

Recommendation: BareMinerals Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer. This is a newer discovery for me, and I’m so glad I picked it up! It’s everything I described above, plus it has a little bit of a sheen to it. Super user friendly and quick to apply.

6. Lip balm

Last step is to throw on a lip balm or gloss – and that’s it! I like to pick something glossy, sheer, and mistake-proof. Mornings like these, I definitely don’t have the time to mess around with something like a liquid lipstick. It also helps that my preference pretty much any morning is something glossy, sheer, and mistake-proof 🙂

Recommendation: L’oreal Colour Riche Shine Lipsticks. I just picked one of these up yesterday, and I’m already in love! They’re sheer, glossy, easy to apply, and feel so comfortable on the lips. It really just feels like you’re wearing a super comfortable lip balm with some color to it. I need to get more shades!

And there you have it! There’s my quick guide to getting out the door on time, yet still looking put together by the time you get to work.

Tell me, what are your favorite products for busy mornings? I’d love to hear your recommendations! I’m always on the lookout for new, easy products!


Top 5 Favorite Drugstore Mascaras

If there’s one makeup product I can’t live without, it’s mascara. And concealer. And a brow gel. But never mind, back to the mascara.

Regardless of whether I’m going more natural or more glam with my makeup look, I am always wearing mascara. I have smaller eyes and I find that a good mascara really helps make me look more awake and accentuates my eyes.

Considering I’m also a girl on a budget, I pretty much only buy drugstore mascaras. High end ones don’t seem worth it to me! I go through mascaras pretty fast and even if I didn’t, I still replace it every 3-4 months. Spending $30 on a product I’ll only toss in a few months seems like a waste to me. Maybe one day when I have the budget 😉 But for now, here are my top five favorite affordable mascaras:

Photo by Bryan Schneider on

L’Oreal Lash Paradise

  • Like I mentioned in my 2018 yearly favorites, this is my absolute favorite mascara! It makes your lashes look so full and fluttery. It can easily be built up without looking clumpy, it’s super black, doesn’t flake or smudge, and gives amazing volume and length. What’s not to love?

Maybelline Lash Sensational

  • This is such a great mascara! I love this one for separating your lashes in particular. It also gives a lot of volume and length, but in a way that provides more separation than the Lash Paradise for instance. I find that the curved wand also makes this really easy to apply. This is always my go-to in the drugstore. Maybelline does great mascaras no matter what, but this is the best in my opinion.

Essence Lash Princess

  • This mascara also gives much a pretty look to your lashes. Once again, a lot of volume and length (can you tell what I like?), but there is one downside to this: it smudges. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but this smudges a lot on me, which is such a shame considering that actual products is really nice (and the cheapest mascara mentioned here!). There are a few different Lash Princess mascaras, but the one I like in the green tube.

Covergirl Super Sizer

  • This is a mascara that completely surprised me. Looking at the wand of this, I thought “there is no way.” But I had heard some good reviews and it was on sale, so I grabbed it. And I am so glad I did! Though it doesn’t look like it would do much of anything, this wand actually made my lashes super long and separated. It didn’t do as much in the way of volume as I usually like, but I loved the overall effect of this.

Maybelline Total Temptation

  • Another favorite of mine! I found this to be similar to the Lash Paradise, but drier. While I thought the dry formula was great for building volume without looking clumpy, this got dryyyy pretty soon after I opened it. I think it only lasted me for two months before it was gone, which is pretty unusual for a mascara. Other than being gone quickly, this was great. It’s worth trying out if you’re interested!

What’s your favorite drugstore mascara? I’m always on the hunt for new ones!


Anyone else love finishing things? Whether it’s finishing leftovers, using up toothpaste, or finishing a makeup product, I looooove the feeling of using something up entirely. Kind of weird? Maybe, but that’s just how it is.

This is why it makes total sense that I love the idea of project panning!

But…what is a project pan? In case you’re not familiar with a project pan, it’s essentially where you try to hit pan or entirely use up your beauty products. Think of it like a challenge for the determined beauty lover.

While I’m constantly tempted to buy new products, sometimes I need to reign it in and focus on what I already have. Project panning is a great way to really focus on what you already own, truly get to know how products perform, and get your money’s worth. After all, might as well use the makeup before it goes bad!

This month I’m taking on my first ever project pan. I’m hoping to use up or hit pan on these 12 products by the end of the year. I’ll be doing quarterly check ins to update you on my progress!

Want to see what I’m panning? Check it out below:

  • Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer – Okay, so I’m slightly cheating on this one. As you can see, I’ve already hit pan (which took forever, by the way!). Now my goal is to finish this bronzer up. This one is intimidating to me, just because it took me so long to even hit pan. I think it’s because the Butter Bronzer is a very densely-packed, creamy powder that it can take a while to make even a small dent. But I’ve had this in my collection for a long time and it’s time for me to use it up!
physican's formula butter bronzer
  • Rimmel 25 Hour Lasting Finish Foundation – It’s hard to tell in the bottle, but I think I’m about half way done this foundation. Even though I’m pale year-round, this shade is my palest of pale, so it’s my goal to use this up before summer’s here. I also don’t love this foundation (it can make my skin look a little powdery and dry), plus I don’t even think they make it anymore.
rimmel lasting finish 25 hour foundation
  • Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Foundation – Unlike the Rimmel foundation, this is one I love! But I’ve had it for a while and I want to use it up before it goes bad. Once again, hard to tell in the bottle, but I think I’m at least half way through, if not more.
wet n' wild photo focus foundation
  • Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette – This was my first high-end palette and I think it’s still my favorite. While I don’t think I’ll ever fully finish this up (has anyone fully finished up every shade in a palette?!), I would like to hit pan on at least one color.
too faced chocolate bar
  • Maybelline Fit Me Set + Smooth Powder – Another slight cheat. Like the Butter Bronzer, you can see I’ve already hit pan on this one. However, unlike the Butter Bronzer, this powder is much easier to go through. By the end of the year, I’d like to finish this up!
maybelline fit me set + smooth powder
  • Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N9– This is a mini that I’ve had for a while now and I just want to use it up! I’ve been trying but somehow it’s still here. I’m hoping that by putting it in this project pan, I’ll actually get through the whole thing. While I like this shade, it’s not my favorite. It can look a little dark on me for everyday wear, in my opinion.
  • Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick mini in Lovesick– Another mini! I’m not a huge liquid lipstick lover. I think they’re really convenient for certain occasions (like weddings, where I don’t want to have to constantly worry if my lipstick has worn off), but generally I do not wear them on an everyday basis. If it’s a particularly comfortable formula, maybe; but I still like a shine to my lips. This mini has been in my collection a while and it’s a beautiful color. Time to use it up in 2019!
  • CoverGirl Colorlicious Lipgloss in Give Me Guava– While the other two lip products might take a little more effort for me to get through, I don’t think this gloss will be hard at all! It’s a nice light formula and a beautiful nude color. Though the formula is comfortable and not sticky, it doesn’t last on the lips for a long time. More re-application = faster to pan 😉
  • Becca Backlight Priming Filter – I am so close to finishing this one! It’s one of my favorite primers and I probably only have about a quarter left in the bottle. I’d like to get through this one fully before it goes bad on me. It shouldn’t take too long to do!
becca backlight primer
  • Elf Baked Highlighter in Pinktastic– Getting through a highlighter is incredibly ambitious, I know. You only need such a small amount, especially if you’re like me and prefer a more subtle look. This highlighter actually fell and broke a while ago and that’s why the top is gone. The bottom layer is all that’s left but that’s still a lot of highlighter! While I don’t think I will entirely use this up in a year, I’m hoping I can get pretty close.
elf baked highlighter
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeliner in Nude – I’m putting this in my project pan because I literally never remember to use it. I don’t line my waterline often because I feel like it makes my eyes look smaller. A nude eyeliner is actually supposed to make your eyes look bigger and more awake. I think that maybe because I’m not used to reaching for an eyeliner for my waterline, that this one has gotten completely neglected. Also, it’s not my favorite formula. It can get a little clumpy almost, which is weird for an eyeliner. Regardless, I’d like to use it up and get it out of my collection.
rimmel scandaleyes eyeliner nude
  • Rimmel Soft Kohl Eyeliner in Sable Brown – Another Rimmel eyeliner! These just aren’t my favorite formula, but they’re here and I’d like to get my money’s worth. I like the brown one better than the nude one actually, but I generally go for black on my upper lash line. This could be a good option for lightly lining my bottom lash line when I just need a little something. We’ll see how far I get!
rimmel soft kohl eyeliner brown

And that’s it! Those are the 12 products I will focus on incorporating into my makeup rotation in order to pan or use up this year. This is my first time doing an official project pan, so I’m excited to see how fast I can actually get through these products, or if I’ll even remember to use them!

2019 Beauty Goals

Happy 2019 everybody!

I hope everyone is off to a happy, safe, and healthy new year. The beginning of the year is always the time when people buckle down and focus on their goals and resolutions. Whether it’s hitting the gym more, giving up sugar (more on that from me in a future post), or spending more time self-reflecting, we all have goals that we try to prioritize at the start of the new year.

While I could get in to my personal goals for the year, I thought it would be more fun to focus on something slightly different: my beauty goals!

Goal #1: Wear more eye makeup

This is a beauty goal that I really want to work on this year. I love doing my eyeshadow and I always gravitate towards eyeshadow palettes, but for some reason I just don’t wear it that often! I’m currently in graduate school and working at an internship placement three days a week. I find that either I’m too rushed, tired, or lazy to put it on in the morning, or I feel that it’ll look overdone for that day. Regardless, I do like having my eye makeup done, and I enjoy the process of putting it on. I’d also like get better at it and improve my skill! That’s why I’m deciding that this year I’m going to do more than just throw on some mascara in the morning. While I’m sure it still won’t be an everyday thing for me, I’ve got to add eyeshadow into my routine more!

Also, I’m working on perfecting my winged eyeliner this year. While I’m not a fan of a huge wing, I do love the look of a little mini wing for everyday. Just something that’s barely there 🙂 Recently, I picked up the Revolution Beauty Renaissance Flick Eyeliner and I love it! The easiest liquid eyeliner I’ve used by far. It has a felt tip, it’s very black, doesn’t smudge, and makes creating that tiny wing so easy. Great find, now I just need to use it!

Goal #2: Remember to wear perfume

I love perfume, even though I only own two (Marc Jacobs Daisy and Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline). However, the reason that I own so few is because I never remember to put them on! I can’t possibly justify buying more if they won’t get used. I don’t know why it is that I can’t remember to use them; I think maybe I need to move them to a different spot in my room that’s more front and center. That way, I’ll actually remember to put them on. And hey, more perfume use means more reason to go out and buy another. That’s how that works, right? 😉

Goal #3: Branch out and try new brands

I feel like a lot of us are guilty of sticking to our comfort zones. I’m completely the same way, even when it comes to makeup. I absolutely love trying new products, don’t get me wrong. However, I tend to stick to the brands I know and hear about. Often, when a product comes my way from a brand that’s unknown to me, I’m hesitant to buy it. At this point in my life, I need to be discerning about the products I buy. Money isn’t growing on trees for me, and I want to make sure that I’m getting the best bang for my buck. I know other people are the same way, and that’s even why I started this blog! But I need to be much better about exploring brands and looking for those hidden gems. Just because a product isn’t talked about online or on Youtube doesn’t mean that it’s not great! I want 2019 to be the year I push myself out of my comfort zone and start taking some risks with the brands I try.

Goal #4: Dabble into K-beauty

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now! K-beauty is so interesting and I would love to start exploring this more. I only own one K-beauty product, the Missha BB Cream (and it’s so good!). I’ve had such good luck with this that I’d love to explore other K-beauty brands and products. Particularly, I have my eye on Kaja (though it’s only K-beauty inspired, I know), Touch In Sol, and JOAH.

Korean skincare is also something that’s fascinated me for a long time. I’ve looked into the 10 step Korean skincare method after seeing how beautiful and radiant people’s skin looks after using it. While I’m not sure I’ll incorporate everything into my routine, I would love to try an essence. SKII’s Facial Treatment Essence has amazing reviews, but that is a price tag I cannot afford! I have heard that the Missha Time Revolution Essence is a very similar dupe. Have you tried this out? What do you think?

Other K-beauty skincare brands I’m hoping to test out this year are LANEIGE, Dr. Jart+, and Glow Recipe (their watermelon products probably smell amazing!).

What are your favorite K-beauty brands and products?

Goal #5: Mask more

This is such a simple goal, I don’t know why I don’t already do it! I always mean to throw on a face mask – it’s an idea that I bookmark for later that night, but somehow I just don’t get to it. Ideally, I’d like to use a face mask twice a week. I feel like it would give my skin the little push it needs to clear it of impurities. Three of my favorite clarifying masks right now are the L’Oreal Detox & Brighten Clay Mask, the Origins Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay Mask, and the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay mask (that one is super strong!).

That’s it! In addition to my personal goals, those are my beauty goals for 2019! Pretty simple, right? Let’s just hope I remember to stick to them 🙂

What are your goals for 2019?

Do you have any beauty goals?

Let me know in the comments!