My “Look Like You Got Sleep” Makeup Routine

*Here’s the post I was working on for Friday before I got hit with a stomach bug- really interesting when you have an infant and many of you probably know.

The other day I had a crazy morning- early morning nursing/entertaining Henry, then styling and doing a photoshoot at the house followed by client meetings and work.  Needless to say I was frazzled and rushing, and in between the shoot and getting to the office I stopped to get lunch quickly.  While in the restroom I was washing my hands and looked up in the mirror and literally jumped back. I blurted out loud, with other people in earshot, “Holy shit, I look awful!”  I had managed to forget to put makeup on that morning, which admittedly I think was a first in a while.  And MAN, did it make a difference. Especially now that I’m not getting  eight solid hours of sleep and many nights, falling asleep before washing my face.  When I got home later that evening Andrew said “Honey you look really tired”, and I told him I was always tired, I just have a good way of faking NOT looking tired most days!

No matter if you are a mom or not, I bet you are tired and frazzled too. Maybe not everyday (I hope not) but with this crazy pace we live at these days,  we all have had those days when you look in the mirror and think “I look like I just got dragged down the street by a bus”.  I’ve had those mornings a lot lately, even though (knock on wood) we have a pretty good sleeper.  I’ve streamlined my daily makeup routine to essential items that I think help me look awake, even when I’m not- so I can avoid scaring the ever living daylights out of myself in Panera bathrooms.

Step 1:  After washing, moisturize liberally with a super-duper hydrating cream (especially in winter).  Anything with hylaronic acid will help plump up your skin and eye cream with caffeine will shrink bags a bit.  My favorites for face moisture are La Mer (I buy a jar every winter),  L’Oreal Revitalift Triple Power (so good for the price!) and Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Deep Moisturizing Balm and for eyes I love the illuminating Origins Ginzing.

Step 2: Now it’s time to cover blotchiness, dark circles and any spots.  I have recently started using Estee Lauder Doublewear foundation because it really evens skin tone AND stays on all day. Like, it actually does- it doesn’t just say it does and then fail at 4pm. For a less expensive option I like L’Oreal Lumi which has a little more “glow” to it.  When I’m feeling extra tired I like mixing in a drop or two of Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector to my foundation for a bit more light to my face (it’s glowy, not glittery). Skip this if you have breakouts as it will just, well- illuminate them. :) Now for the tired gal’s most important item- concealer. I still am pretty loyal to Cle de Peau in beige (one very expensive stick does last at least a year- and I use a good amount of concealer!)- the other one I really like that REALLY covers is Laura Mercier’s High Coverage Concealer.  I make sure to dot this around the corners of my nose and crease of the chin as redness in those areas make you look more fried.  After that, adding a swipe of cult fave Touche Eclat highlighter to the undereye and outer corner of the eye  helps lift and brighten.

Step 3:  I prime my lids with Benefit LemonAid to eliminate lid redness and make my eyeshadow last a little longer.  Following that I fix my brows up with the best brow pencil/ brush there is, Anastasia’s Brow Wiz. I’ll add a fresh pop of color to the cheeks with Sephora’s Gel color (love the Dahlia and Waterlily)- this stain lasts all day too and keeps your complexion looking bright not dusty (tip- blend it quickly as the stain sets pretty fast!) Over that I dust my long time love, Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze for a little color and glow.

Step 4: Then I dust a pale neutral shade all over the lid and browbone (like in this Nars compact in Bellissima) and put the medium taupe shadow on the lid.  For a little extra definition I’ll add a dark taupe or plummy brown shade to the outer corner and crease (which I didn’t in the pic below because we were just going to my parent’s house).  Then I’ll pop on a couple coats of this Dior curling mascara and a swipe of Bobbi Brown’s Nude gloss and GO.

Pretty much all the products talked about here on my face (car selfie style- please pardon the face that I have not gotten my eyebrows waxed in over 10 weeks… yikes!) It’s a natural look and simple and easy enough for every day.  When I have a meeting I’ll add a little eyeliner (I like Laura Mercier’s Cake Liner with a thin angled brush for that) and wing the edge a little to open the eye a bit more.


(scarf via Two Penny Blue (who is hiring in three positions!!!) , earrings via JCrew (old)- similar here)



  1. I use the benefit lemonade and one of the foundations you use (l’oreal). I will say that one of the things that has made the biggest difference in my natural complexion is using organic virgin coconut oil instead of moisturizer… And I used to use only the best from the cosmetics counters including la mer. I also use Weleda one step cleanser and toner and earth science facial scrub. You can get all these products at whole foods. It’s interesting because I used to get break outs once and a while and my skin was frequently dry. The new regime has made my skin glow and I haven’t broken out in over a year. I also look substantially less haggard. I also take turmeric which reduces inflamation and switched from coffee to green tea. You will be amazed at the results! Thanks for the tips. Going to check out the make-up products I’m not already using.

    1. Love this post, always great to hear about products that I might not know about, so, thank you! I recently discovered Hourglass products at Blue Mercury (the one near us at The Street!). They are fab, particularly the Veil primer. The salesperson tested it on my palm at first and it was like magic. You can even wear it alone when you need to run out the door fast and it totally evens out your complexion. I’ve also been using their Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint as well (an ingredient you mention above). Really, really great products for a working mom!

      Also, have you ever tried Surratt Beauty from Barney’s (also online at Sephora)? Also a new discovery – they have the best eyeliner ever that is so quick and easy to apply.

  2. Erin, I love when you do these posts! Question: how do you apply the Sephora gel stain on your cheeks? A brush or your fingertips? Do you think it would increase risk of breakouts? TIA

  3. You look great! Thank you for posting this! I am always looking for new ideas & used some of your past beauty suggestions and loved them. I too use the brow wiz and it makes such a difference to tame those bad boys!

  4. I love this! Thank you! My makeup routine needs a lift. Thank you for taking the time to post. I don’t know how you do it!!!

  5. This is REALLY helpful. Question – who does your brows? I’m in the Boston area, and my person was WAY too aggressive last time :(

  6. Fun fun post! I ALWAYS love a good make-up and skin care post.One product I can’t live without for dark circles and trust me I am really dark under the eyes being blonde and an allergy kid, I got the plague of dark circles. I love benefits Boi~ing. It is amazing and a product I have bought over and over. I did a blog post on it and many of my readers came back and thanked me for the suggestion after using it. You might like that one too. For a glowy look I love Laura Mercier’s illuminating primer, another forever for me. Thanks for the suggestions I just might be trying a few new things. I am truly a product junky. OH! and Bobbi Brown is always my choice for color, she has great products.

    1. YUP! Another good one! My mom loves that one and I’ve used it too- totally full coverage goodness. And you are right, the Laura Mercier Illuminating Primer is awesome too (another product my mom loves!)

  7. How long does it take you to do all this? I think it’s time to start wearing foundation and cover up everyday. With 3 kids rushing out the door for school, I need something super quick! What are your top 3?

  8. Love this! I’m not a mother, but I’ve suffered from insomnia for years and am always a bit concerned about the bags under my eyes. Thank you, Erin!

  9. I love the lumi foundation and i have tried lots of expensive ones. There is a lumi shimmer product that I mix in with my lumi foundation, fyi. It is not glittery but rather shimmery and adds a bit more glow so sounds similar to the Becca. Thanks for the post! Lots of good stuff to try!

  10. Since you are on the topic of beauty, my question I always want to ask you may seem more appropriate! How do you get your teeth so white?!! They are gorgeous!

  11. I so needed this post! My makeup routine has become lacklustre to say the least. Especially my brows! Will definitely try that Anastasia Brow Wiz. It looks amazing. Love your natural yet polished makeup look. Great post :-)

  12. Your cute sense of humor and that huge smile is all you need. Keep goin’, mama. :) Your honest presentation endears you to all of us!!!! ;)

  13. Oh man you look gorgeous! I need this and I don’t even have a baby… will try it :)

    Sent you a mail about online education – just a head’s up in case you didn’t get it (I know things must be m.a.d!)

    Sarah :)

  14. And 1, 2, 3…cue someone bellyaching about how expensive La Mer is. :)

    Totally agree on Cle de Peau – I have mega dark circles and its the only thing that really works for me and stays put.

    My skin care splurge is SK II cream – I can’t always swallow the price, but if I won the lottery I would slather it over my whole body because its that good. Clinique is my everyday option. They get the job done and are reasonably priced.

    Im still searching for the eyelid primer that really makes shadow last on my oily lids….

  15. You don’t mention Chanel at all and I’m wondering if you think it’s not a good product? I use mostly Chanel but you have me second guessing this. Thanks, Erin.

  16. I tried out La Mer for the first time when I saw your post about going to LA a few years ago and the makeup artist swore by it. I love it, nothing is like it! My skin got really dry because of the cold and dry winter, and I put a few drops of Nude ProGenius oil on before the La Mer and whoa hydration (no breakouts, either, and I’m super sensitive).

    I’m going to try Lemon Aid right now!

  17. I’ve been using Moroccan argan oil this winter and love it. Got it at my grocery store (Wegmans) for just $12. Usually I get rough patches on my face during winter and so far my face is still smooth. Yay! Thanks for all of this. Might have to try some of these products.

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