Get ready for some fun makeup tips from an unlikely source. Nina proves that you can be stylin’ no matter what your job is. She works in logistics…try making that glamorous. She does, though, on a daily basis. But why bother with gorgeous makeup and a polished outfit, you might ask, when your job is all warehouses and schedules and deliveries and inventory? Most of us would show up to work in sweat pants for that. Nina says she does it for four main reasons: it improves her day, it keeps her creative and helps her face challenges, it keeps her mood up, and it helps her share good vibes:
“I think of makeup as a way to add color to my day, not just my face. Plus, I always give myself new goals and dreams and find that the best way to handle the challenges that come with dreams (and with logistics!) is to face them head on. And who wants to do that, right at the start of each day, looking all worn out already…how will you be able to face your challenges that way? I believe in a makeup routine. It doesn’t have to be runway-worthy but it does have to help you look fresh. Makeup is a great way to express your creativity, too, and I find creativity helps me innovate at work, for my job. I also find that great makeup helps one’s mood. You don’t want everyone to know that you’re having the worst day. I want to feel good and share that good feeling, and one way to do it is through the face. It’s what people see instantly and it communicates so much even without a single word being said.”
Lucky for us, Nina’s generous with her talents, regularly doing makeovers in the office to perk us up faster than java. We sat her down to get some of her best makeup tips.
EFFICIENCY IS EVERYTHING: Nina’s Two (Just Two) Skincare Must-Haves for Any Makeup Look
Logistics is all about efficiency. Nina might have fun with different makeup shades but these two skincare tools are her mainstays.
1. Grandma Minnie’s The Big Brave Boo Boo Balm
This is on top of my list and a regular item in my makeup kit. Why?
It’s perfect as an eyeshadow primer. It increases the vibrancy of any eyeshadow color that you’re using, particularly with light hues. Plus, no more eyeshadow touch-ups — and with the work I do, I just don’t have the time for it!
Limitless lip gloss colors in one jar. I don’t need a dozen lip glosses to have options to match my moods or my makeup. I just take a bit of whatever eyeshadow or blush color I want and mix it in with some Boo-Boo Balm and, voilà! Instant, custom lip gloss!
Frizz-tamer. I don’t naturally have straight hair that’s gorgeously “frizz-free.” So I take a very small amount of Boo-Boo Balm, rub it between my palms, smooth it on top of my hair, and my hair’s as neat and polished as if I’d had it styled. So I guess it’s a makeup AND hair must-have!
2. Armada Post-Procedure Barrier Cream 50+
This might seem unusual since this Sun + Light Screen is usually recommended for care after facial treatments. But it’s a must in my makeup routine. I use it just before I apply my primer and concealer. It’s part of “prepping” my face for makeup. I find it makes all the makeup last so much longer, and it enhances the colors of the blush and the highlights,
Another huge plus, it’s a sunscreen, so my face is safe from harmful UV rays (and I love doing and instagramming makeup in the sun because natural lighting is the best) as well as melasma-causing indoor lights (so important as I’m in front of the computer for so many hours each day). Gorgeous makeup while sacrificing my skin? Nope!
NINA’S TOP MAKEUP TIPS
We asked Nina for a rundown of her daily makeup routine — what she considers her musts for facing the day’s challenges — and to share with us some of her favorite looks:
1. Highlight The Important Stuff
You might have noticed that warehouse and office lighting aren’t the best, making skin look sallow and sucking the panache and personality out of even the most vibrant of shades. We learned that Nina consistently looks radiant because she does to her face what she does with her shipping contracts: she highlights the important parts. Instead of neon marker, Nina swears by Skin Bloom Blush in Luminous because of its flexibility. She taps just a bit of Luminous on a large powder brush, and taps the brush again to remove even more excess powder, then does a very light sweep on top of eyebrows, just above the arc, extending outwards towards the sides, down to just below the lashline. Tip: “The highlight should form a letter “C” on both sides of the eye. Then, more blending. I’ll take our smaller Blush Brush and add Luminous on the bridge of the nose as a contrast to the darker contouring on the sides. Dotting Luminous on the inner corners of the eyes really helps to wake them up. I’ll do this before adding any color.”
2. Try Colors As Bright As Your Ideas!
Bold, poppy colors are like bringing your own sunshine to work. For these looks, says Nina, “I never forget to use Boo-Boo Balm as a primer to keep the colors vibrant all day. I dab a tiny amount of it on eyelids as a primer before eyeshadow. If it’s too shiny, I just pat a tissue lightly over the eyelids to remove excess. But don’t rub it out, it’s so important!” Playing with bold colors is really about getting comfortable with…play. If it’s fun, you like it, and it makes you feel great, anything goes! One thing that’s important to remember when using vivid shades is that your skin should be clean, clear, and simple. Nina uses Skintangible as her primer “because it’s not only gentle on my skin (my skin gets itchy after wearing some primers for more than 4 hours) but it also makes my makeup last longer, again eliminating the need to re-touch.” Nina then uses two Skin-The-Bluff Concealers. She starts with a shade that’s slightly lighter than her skin tone (shade N2) on darker areas of the face as well as under the eyes, on the sides of the mouth and a bit on the eyelids. “Blend, blend, blend,” she reminds us, “with the wonderful full coverage of this concealer, you instantly see the difference.” She then uses Skin-The-Bluff in a darker shade (N3) to contour. Nina shares that one of her greatest fears was contouring, feeling like it was the exclusive domain of professional makeup artists. But practice makes perfect and after challenging herself to try it every day, “contouring eventually became part of my daily make-up ritual. I use a foundation brush to line the sides of my face just before the hairline, towards just under the hollow of the cheeks, then the jaw line. Tip: You’re forming a bit of a letter “E” on both sides of the face. Then blend, blend, blend! Line the sides of your nose, from the hollow of your eyes downward, then continue to blend it out.” Finish by taking a powder brush to So Fine Pressed Powder to set the look and keep the face matte and fresh-looking.
3. Find The Spark In The Simple
Day makeup needn’t mean dull makeup. Nina’s job is about details and fine print, planning, and coordinating many moving parts, which can get repetitive — but she always finds ways to make it fresh and exciting, and to celebrate milestones. Even her subtler looks have punch. She’ll play with golds and browns then add a pop of floral on the lips. Or, as in the more natural look she did for Jacky (bottom right), she’ll use very subtle earth tones on the eyes but extend them out in a soft wing. A reliable way to add spark to any look (even if you have no other makeup on at all) is lipstick. “I like Subtle Shine Lipstick because you get the best of both worlds: it’s not too shiny, not too matte…just the right mix to plump up lips beautifully! Some of my faves are: Alizarin, Bittersweet and Rosette.”
4. Smoke That Deadline
A smoky eye can work in the office if it’s balanced by less intense shades on the rest of the face (such as with Nina’s pale lip on the upper left), uses more vibrant tones like metallic sea greens and blues (upper right) or is a lovely mix of sweet pastels and soft grays (like her makeup for Rhea, center). A surprising trick she shared is the importance of blush with this look. A strong eye and light lip can make the complexion look extra pale. No blush at all or too little can quickly turn hard-core-goth or groupie-walk-of-shame…not a bad look but it might raise some eyebrows at the board meeting. Too much blush can be…too much. Like, I-also-do-balloon-animals too much. Skin Bloom Blush is a great option because of its buildable color. Just a little bit — even of a vivid pink like Georgia, shown above — on a large brush swept gently over the apples of the cheeks (smile in front of the mirror to find them) gives you the perfect amount of color and a soft, flattering glow. Nina’s go-to shade? “I love Bellini because it gives me a soft, pinkish radiance. For a day makeup, just a little gives my face a natural-looking glow, while for a night makeup, I just have to add a bit more to make the color pronounced.”
5. Blend Blues Into Bliss
Some days, the mere idea of another 130-page contract can be enough to bring on the blues. We’re not kidding when we say makeup can be a mood-lifter. Go on the offensive and work from the outside-in, use glam to fight gloom…quite literally, grab those blues and blend them into bliss. Like Nina does in the photos on the bottom half of the photo above, try a palette with hues of opportunity and hope — like the Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duo in Sea & Sky — then give yourself some roses (on lips and cheeks). Or, try Nina’s sand-and-seas look (top and right) with the Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duo in “Hello, Sailor!” Using our eyeshadow brush, sweep the Duo’s blue shade on the outer lid. Apply the lighter color on the inner third of the eye, as well as on the crease and upwards towards the brow bone. Blend well. Dab Skin Bloom Blush in Luminous on the inner crease to intensify the color and highlight. Finish with a pretty coral on lips and cheeks and soon you’ll find yourself feeling more gracious than grouchy.
Here’s the thing, ANY job can get boring. In part, we have our brains to blame: they’re too danged efficient. The more we do something, the better we get at it, the more mindless it becomes…which is how we create habits. The downside to this incredible efficiency is that repetition can become boring and habits, precisely because the brain is so “addicted” to efficiency, are hard to break. Regularly changing things up, experimenting, trying new things…in other words innovating…can breathe new life into a job (and into one’s style, fitness, food, and pretty much anything else we can think of). Guess what fuels innovation? Creativity. It’s not always easy to nurture — especially if your job’s in something like accounting, systems…or, yes, logistics. Getting imaginative with makeup is a great way to express yourself, flex the artistic side of your brain and keep those creative juices flowing. We suppose you could work in an hour of oil and pastels after hitting the gym but, unlike makeup, you can’t do that while getting dressed. Our Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duos are great for experimentation, as Nina’s color-blocking and two-toned eyes above show— and we don’t know if it’s her daily makeup play but Nina’s certainly one of our most creative, innovative thinkers, constantly coming up with new ways of doing things. Grab a few of your own and go nuts. Try them in new ways, like in stripes or waves. Or mix shades from across palettes. Some of Nina’s faves include the duos of Dallas, Shaken & Stirred, Life’s a Beach and Think Pink. You’ll hit, you’ll miss, but you’ll be shaking things up and trying new things every day, which is energizing all on its own.
Follow Nina on Instagram for more of her adventures in makeup!