Mornings are filled with cups of coffee, catching up on the latest in your social media feeds, and maybe a pre-office workout—unless you’re a beauty editor. We are a product-loving bunch that are so passionate about our morning routines, we’re guilty of setting our alarms early just to make sure enough time is carved out for each step of our skin care and makeup. So how does InStyle’s beauty team get ready to face the day? Read on to follow along our editors’ morning skin care and base makeup routines and hopefully pick up a helpful tip or two!
1. Selene Milano, Senior Beauty Editor
I really don’t wash my face in the morning. I just splash cold water on it. I always start with SPF. I use SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion defense Sunscreen SPF 50 ($34; dermstore.com) or Peter Thomas Roth Max All Day Moisture ($42; sephora.com). If my skin is feeling really dry I will add Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream ($100; nordstrom.com). Then I’m off. I do school drop off in no makeup.
When I get to my desk, I feel like I’ve lived an entire life already. I prep my skin with Glossier Priming Moisturizer ($25; glossier.com). I only discovered priming my skin in the last few years and it’s made such a difference. It’s lightweight, never sticky and really smooths out my complexion. Lately I have been using Charlotte Tillbury Magic Foundation in 5 ($44; nordstrom.com). I mix it with just a small squirt of the Estee Edit Flash Illuminator in Morning Light ($28; sephora.com). Next is my most important step – the concealer. My two favorites are Cle de Peau in beige ($70; nordstrom.com), which I apply directly under my eyes. Lately I’ve been getting into Glossier’s new Stretch Concealer in medium ($18; glossier.com). It sounds strange but my last step over all of my makeup, I dab Orlane B21 ($120; bergdorfgoodman.com) on my t-zone and cheeks. It kind of mixes everything together for a really dewy, blurred effect. Also, the Orlane is very active and keeps my skin hydrated throughout the day.
2. Sheryl George, Beauty Editor
In the shower, I use a gentle scrub to get my skin glowing (Sonia Kashuk Resurface Gentle Exfoliating Wash, $15; soniakashuk.com) and to remove any flakes. Post shower, I like to mix together my Elta MD Sunscreen (UV Clear SPF 46, $32; lovelyskin.com) with a bit of hyaluronic acid ($69; pestleandmortarcosmetics.com) and Dr. Brandt Power Dose C vitamin C serum ($69; drbrantskincare.com). This mineral sunscreen goes on completely invisible, even on my dark skin, and it gets a boost of a moisture and antioxidants from the serums I cocktail it with. Then I apply my base: I typically skip foundation for daily wear and instead just apply concealer. I like Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29; sephora.com), and I apply it with my Beautyblender sponge ($20; sephora.com) on any trouble spots, like my under eye circles and any blemishes. Lastly, I spritz a little Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist ($24; jurlique.com) so my skin looks dewy and hydrated.
3. Marianne Mychaskiw, Associate Beauty Editor
I have breakout-prone skin, so I’ll usually start my morning by washing my face with Erno Laszlo’s Anti-Blemish Cleansing Gel ($45; dermstore.com). After I dry off my face, I’ll pat a few drops of the the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence into my skin, and follow with Kenzo’s Kenzoki Belle du Jour White Lotus Serum ($105; sephora.com) all over. I’m honestly the worst at applying eye cream, but when I do remember, I’ll use Givenchy’s Hydra Sparkling Eye-Reviver Gel ($49; barneys.com). Once all of my skincare is done, I move onto makeup. I’ll blend on two pumps of Laura Mercier’s Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation ($48; nordstrom.com) over the entirety of my face – it’s really fluid, so just a little bit goes a long way – and I’ll jam a damp BeautyBlender ($20; sephora.com) into Bare Minerals’ Concealer in Tan ($20; bareescentuals.com) and buff it over any areas that need extra love. I’ll set everything with the Physicians Formula #InstaReady Filter Trio Powder ($15; physiciansformula.com), which, in addition to making it look like I’m wearing a Valencia filter, also has SPF 30 infused into the formula—handy, since I always seem to forget. To finish (finally), I’ll do some slight contouring with Benefit’s Hoola bronzer ($29; sephora.com), and highlight my cheekbones and cupid’s bow with Anastasia’s Glow Kit in Gleam ($40; anastasiabeverlyhills.com).
4. Dianna Mazzone, Assistant Beauty Editor
Since I’m typically in a time crunch in the morning, I let my nighttime skin care do the heavy lifting and keep it simple with my daytime routine. After cleansing in the shower with Eve Lom’s cult-favorite balm ($80; sephora.com), I swipe my face with an exfoliating pad—I’m completely devoted to First Aid Beauty’s lactic and glycolic acid-laced Facial Radiance Pads ($30/60 pads; sephora.com)—before applying a layer of SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator ($178; skinmedica.com). (It’s a moisturizer/primer hybrid that smoothes skin texture and keeps my flaky forehead at bay throughout the day.) Finally, I blend in NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 in Terre Neuve ($44; sephora.com) which evens out my slightly-pink skin tone and, of course, delivers my daily dose of SPF.
5. Didi Gluck, Contributing Beauty Editor
I cleanse with Shiseido Future Solution LX Extra Rich Cleansing Foam (a little goes a long way) ($55; nordstrom.com), tone with La Prairie Cellular Softening and Balancing Lotion (I just don’t feel totally clean unless I use it) ($170; nordstrom.com), apply BeautyRX Ultra Nourishing Eye Cream (allow to sink in for a few minutes while I brush my teeth) ($85; beautyrx.com), and moisturize with a mix of Nerium Age-Defying Day Cream (nerium.com) and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare CC Cream SPF 18 in Medium (this way I get extra hydration plus tint and sun protection) ($36; beauty.com). After I’ve finished with skin care, I cover under eye circles and redness around nose with Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick ($42; lancome-usa.com).
6. Erin Lukas, Beauty Writer
I’m not a morning person so I like to streamline my routine as much as possible without sacrificing any essential parts in skin care, and keep my more in-depth regimen reserved for night. I usually only cleanse before bed, but if I wake up and my skin looks and feels really oily, I’ll apply Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($10; drugstore.com) and rinse it off in the shower. If my eyes look extra tired, I’ll dab Dermalogica Intensive Eye Repair ($56; dermalogica.com) on my under eye area to plump it up. Next, I apply a layer of Glossier Priming Moisturizer ($25; glossier.com). This moisturizer-primer hybrid really helps makeup stay in place throughout the day and also hydrates your skin so you have an amazing dewy, glow. I’m prone to red, hormonal breakouts so I dot Smashbox Color Correcting Stick in Get Less Red ($23; sephora.com) on any blemishes or spots that I want to give a little extra TLC to before applying concealer. After color-correcting, I blend NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla ($29; sephora.com) over any blemishes, dark spots, and my under eye area using my fingers. This concealer is super lightweight but packs enough pigment to cover my worst blemishes without a cakey finish. Finally, I blot MAC Cosmetics Select Sheer Pressed Powder in NC15 ($26; maccosmetics.com) all over my face to help set everything and make it last throughout the day. I’ve been using this powder for years so it’s more out of habit, but I like that it completely doesn’t matte out your complexion when you use it.