My makeup regimen begins with Clé de Peau concealer, which comes in a handy stick form. I dot under my eyes and on any pimples, then blend with my fingers. I know what you're thinking: $70 for concealer? Not only is it worth it—the texture is creamy, it doesn't sink into your wrinkles, and yet it manages to reflect light and make you look fantastic, no matter how little sleep you got the night before—but it lasts forever. Case in point: I am just coming to the end of a stick I bought in 2011. Yes, as in two years ago.
Next is Laura Mercier foundation powder. I know everyone and her mother raves about Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer, but if you've ever seen me without makeup (and I'm sorry if you have), you'd know that my pores need the big guns. This powder has sheer but buildable coverage, giving my schnoz a starlet-like airbrushed quality. I apply it with the sponge that comes with the compact.
In spite of an overplucked period in the '90s, I have pretty decent eyebrows, so all they require is a quick coating of Benefit Speed Brow, which comes with an indeed speedy mascara-like wand.
One of my least favorite things is when you read an article (or watch a video) on natural makeup that requires like six different eye shadows and four different brushes. I use one item, and it comes in pencil form: Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow. I like 28E, which is a pearly beige color, kind of like the natural shade of my skin but a little more glowing. I smear it directly onto my eyelids (it's like a big crayon!) and blend with my finger if necessary.
I'm blonde, and in spite of having brown eyes, if I don't wear eyeliner, it strangely looks like I don't have any eyes at all. Thus you will rarely see me (pun intended) without Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in matte black. This is my favorite eyeliner in the world—it stays put all day, it doesn't smudge, and it comes off easily when you wash your face. If they ever discontinue it, I will cry inky black tears.
When it comes to mascara, I generally grab a tube from my never-ending swag stash, but in the rare times when I run out, I will gladly pay $9 for L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes, which has a nice, non-clumpy formula that thickens lashes and doesn't flake.
Every once in awhile, I get a knowledgable makeup artist; one told me that I shouldn't wear blush—my skin is naturally quite flushed—and instead I should use highlighter on the tops of my cheekbones with bronzer in the hollows for contouring. As annoying as it is to use two different colors, Nars The Multiple is a genius product, and also comes in blush-ier shades too. It has a lovely creamy texture; I smear Copacabana on my cheekbones (and also on my brow bones) and Laguna for contouring, then I blend with my fingers*.
Last but not least, lipstick, which is inherently an item you can put directly on your lips. (I always laugh at makeup artists who tell you to use a brush. As if!) I am forever in search of the perfect my-lip-color-but-better shade; lately I've been alternating between Nars' Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita and for an even more bare look, Dior Addict Lip Glow.
So that's it—like I said, a lot of products to make myself look like I didn't use any, but the whole routine takes about five minutes, no brushes required. Added bonus: more time for sleeping in!
*As you may have noticed, I'm a big fan of blending with my fingers. To be completely honest (and to probably sound a bit paranoid), makeup brushes kind of gross me out, thinking of all the germs they carry. I figure my hands are always clean, but for smudging purposes, Q--Tips and cotton balls work well too, as does the miraculous (and washable) Beauty Blender.