My daily make-up routine: Jess

Hey! I’m Jess, one of the four Smudged girls. I’m 23, and I work in marketing. I have a fear of foundation (like a full-on fear). I’m pretty low maintenance (I think) when it comes to make-up. Unless I’m dressing up, then I want fake eyelashes and everything! These are the products I use every day so that I look vaguely presentable for work, and not like a zombie.


Step 1: Essence Concealer


When I first bought this 3-in-1 Essence concealer a friend of mine had a good laugh at me and said she couldn’t wait to see my green and pink patches (this is what it looks like, its not listed on the Essence website unfortunately). I had it in my make-up drawer for about six months before I even tried it. My concealer that I was using at the time (can’t even remember what it was) ran out, it was a bit of a make-up emergency and I HAD to use it. I have quite a lot of pink pigment in my skin, so the green part of the concealer is ideal. The light pink part of the concealer is for the dark circles under your eyes – this is a huge help to me and it really illuminates everything and makes me feel better about the black holes that live under my eyes.The normal concealer colour works pretty well with my skin tone, which I think is just luck. I honestly can’t even remember how much the concealer cost me because I bought it so long ago, but I think it was about R20 or so – gotta love Essence. I apply this concealer with my fingers because I’m low maintenance and shit.

Step 2: Garnier BB Cream


Ok, I’m pretty low maintenance and I’m kinda petrified of foundation. You know those girls who have faces that are a different colour to their necks, and the ones with the orange faces? THAT is why I’m so scared of foundation, and I’d rather not wear any so that the orange-face can never happen to me. When I was in Thailand last year I saw so many BB creams and I was really tempted, but I didn’t know enough and didn’t want to spend my baht on something that I wasn’t too sure of. When Garnier launched their BB Cream in South Africa last October I just had to try it. They only launched three shades: light, medium and dark (three shades for the entire South African population? eeeeeek). I apply the BB cream with my fingers because foundation brushes intimidate me and I feel like a bit of an idiot who’s pretending to apply fancy foundation when it’s just BB cream. I use the Garnier BB Cream in Light.

Step 3: Brow highlighter


[Disclaimer: I just had to ask the girls what to call this part of my make-up routine. Don’t judge, I totally know what I’m doing]
Months ago Beth came to my flat and tried to teach me the ‘big girl’s make-up tips’. She came over and shared her wisdom with me, and I think I learnt more in that one night that I ever knew before – I even took notes. One of the things I took away from that evening was this amazing thing called brow highlighting. When Beth showed me this she used some special light highlighter/eyeshadow thing, and I thought that I had to buy this. Then I thought about the money I had left for the month and I just couldn’t do it. Luckily, while looking through old makeup I found something that works perfectly. Because it’s pretty old I’m not sure what brand it is, or even how much it cost, but it definitely does the job. And yes, sometimes I apply this with my fingers, deal with it.

Step 4: Eyeliner


I am NOTHING without my eyeliner. I can probably count on one hand the amount of people who have seen me with absolutely no eyeliner, it’s not a pretty sight. My favourite eyeliner at the moment is this one from Accessorize, and it’s only like R80. I adore it, but my friend Katie tried it and she hated it, so I guess eyeliner is quite a personal thing? It’s one of my essential products, it probably ties with BB cream and I definitely cannot live without it. I prefer a pencil/kohl to a liquid, especially during the week for work. I save liquid for when I’m hitting the town on the weekend.

Step 5: Mascara


Ages ago, the four of us from Smudged got together to do a make-up swap. We swapped things that we didnt like/use with others and I got this mascara (Great Lash by Maybelline). Beth had it for a while and didn’t like it so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m very happy with it, and it’s also great on my lower lashes which I’m happy about. It lasts me the whole day, and doesn’t look too heavy for work. I have to admit though; if I’m actually venturing out on the weekend then I need mascara that is a bit heavier, so this is just my work-week mascara. For going out I use something like Cat Eyes by Maybelline.

Step 6: Lip balm


Blistex is the best lip balm ever. Thats all I have to say about this.

Step 7: Highlighter


One of my favourite products ever. I think this is the third time I’ve bought this product of amazing-ness. I’ll be writing a full on review of this later on the blog, but for now I’ll just tell you that this product is the kind of magic that makes cheekbones appear out of nowhere. Take a second to process that information. Beth is also a bit of a magician when it comes to constructing cheekbones. This is Shimmer Waves from the Body Shop and I don’t think I will ever deviate from this. It really makes all the difference.

Step 8: Lipstick


During the week, I’m all about minimal effort and looking smart but natural at work. My aunt gave me this MAC lipstick when I turned 18, I remember looking at the natural shade and thought YUCK and hid it away at the bottom of my makeup drawer. I only found it again five years later when I was packing up to move out. I had a quick rethink about the shade, I still wasn’t sold so I just put it back in the box and moved it over to my flat. When Beth was trying to educate me about the basics of makeup (as mentioned earlier) she showed me a beautiful neutral lipstick that she loved and I actually kinda liked it. It was from the Body Shop, and I even wrote down the number so that I could buy it. THEN, I remembered my MAC lipstick and was so excited that it was a similar shade. Moral of the story – be a hoarder. Well, it’s something like that. (If I’m feeling a bit more fun I’ll use my bright pink lipstick from Ralo)

And now for the really scary part: Before and After. Eeeeeeeeeeek.

Jess-(before) Jess-(after)



  1. I love how low-maintenance you are! You look lovely before, too :)

    Jess xo

    1. Thank you :)

  2. Laura Barnes · · Reply

    Love it Jess! So refreshing from the usual makeup blogs where it would cost you 6 months salary to afford all the products!!

    1. That’s such a kind thing to say! Keep your eyes peeled, we’ve got a lot to share and love feedback. If you’ve tried something and think we should do a test out and review it, send us an email and we’ll try and get something up in the near future :)

  3. […] My daily make-up routine is now up on Smudged. You can go and check it out here. […]

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