1. Hydrate Your Body
2. Hydrate Your Face
3. Blend a Smooth Base
4. Top Notes
5. Eye Magic
6. Ambiance

products left to right:  jo malone cologne in blue agava and cacao, $60;  philosophy hope in a jar extra-rich moisturizer for normal to dry skin, $42;  smash box studio skin 15 hour wear foundation, $42;  diptyque vetyver candle, $60;  voss still water,;  mascara wands, out

1. Hydrate your body -
To quote the great model Derek Zoolander voicing an Evian commercial as a half-man, half-mermaid; "moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty." Silly as this scene is to watch, it does hold a sea of truth. The key to radiant skin is drinking plenty of water.

2. Hydrate your face - 
If you have dry skin like I do, you'll appreciate finding an excellent moisturizer. I learned through much trial and error the best emulsion for my distinct needs. If you happen to fall into my category—the kind of skin that drinks up a face elixir only if it is of a light consistency, full of the right nutrients and free of unnecessary additives, with a slight hint of a refreshing aroma; long-lasting, but without leaving a greasy residue—then I highly recommend trying Hope in a Jar from Philosophy. I use a dime-size dab after washing twice a day, and it has transformed my skin.

3. Blend a smooth base -
Foundation is everything. This is something I take to heart in my beauty regimen, not only as an earthquake-country Californian. The rest of your makeup relies on the consistency and effectivity of your foundation. Without it, everything else will be sub-par in application and achievement. Foundation is again one of the parts of a beauty routine that varies greatly from person to person: skin tone and quality are two big factors (some lucky people have such great skin tone and quality that they look impeccable even foregoing a foundation!), but so also is the variable of personal taste in the theatricality of makeup; some like a lot, some like a little. (I play for the team of foundation, mascara, and chapstick only, with exception to special occasions.) Everyone is different and beautiful in their own expression.

4. Top notes -
Have you ever heard of olfactory recognition, the connection we make between smells and memories? This is something I often think about when choosing a scent. I choose certain colognes (yes colognes, I don't usually care for perfumes) for particular outings or to make certain impressions, and I also have a day-to-day signature scent for work. I do this because of the memories or feelings I associate with each scent. I enjoy being very cognitive about my scent selection process, and because I think much on this cognitive-olfactory connection, I choose to wear the scent that I most wish to associate with the memories I will make. 
When you're dabbing on a scent before you go out, thinking about how much you enjoy the smell, how lovely it makes you feel—that feeling will become more deeply re-established each time you catch a hint of it in the air around you, and you'll glow with the memory associated to it.

5. Eye magic -
Want in on a little-known secret that beauty products capitalize on? When it comes to mascara—the trick is in the wand. Of course, the commixture of ingredients in your brand of mascara does define, in-part, if your solution will be beneficial to volumizing, waterproofing, etc., but it's the wand that lends the biggest hand in the application of said effect. Find a shape that best fits your needs, and test it out with a formula you already own to see the difference. (Sephora offers a great pack to experiment with here.) I personally prefer a silicone wand that lengthens and volumizes (silicone because they are washable and reusable, making them more environmentally-friendly.)

6. Ambiance -
Much like scents affect your mood, so do your surroundings. Pay attention in part to where your beauty regimen takes place—are you surrounded in good lighting, pretty things, music that makes you happy? Take a moment to evaluate the space you create for yourself. I like to light candles and zen-out while I wisp on my mascara. Allotted the ample amount of time each day, I'd spend my prepping by the same means I did in college; happy tunes blasting, with makeup application done between dance breaks and lip-sync intervals. Setting the stage of your look, and your day, starts with how well you revel in your beauty.



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