Maria Dueñas Jacobs


"Because we have beauty sales in the office and every thing is a dollar, I just get a bunch of stuff and I’m always trying things out. So, half of my products are from Glamour and then I go to Sephora and Bloomingdale’s for things that I know I love and that I’m brand-loyal to. Like, the Dior Hydra Life tinted moisturizer, which I’ve been using for a while. Now, because I’m paler, I use shade #1. But I always use a different moisturizer underneath it that has SPF 15 because my husband, Jordan, is a plastic surgeon and always stresses how important it is to have SPF—always. Eye moisturizer, too—he says it’s super important to moisturize the eyes—at nighttime and daytime, and to use a different moisturizer than the one I’m using on my face. Right now, I’m using Mario Badescu Ceramide Herbal Eye Cream. Or this one: Hydroxatone Hydrolyze Advanced Under Eye Formula. But it’s really whatever I find that says 'eye cream,' because I’ve heard that the formula for eye creams are actually different than face ones. Then on top of that, I use Hydra Life, which has SPF 20 in it—it’s sort of like a foundation, only it’s a lot thinner. It smoothes out my face and gives me a more porcelain feel, somehow still making me feel like my skin can breathe and isn’t too covered up.

I don’t wash my face really; I use wet cleansing cloths, the Pond’s Original Cleansing Towelettes. I wash my face only when I’m in the shower, but at night, I use the Pond’s for my eye makeup and all of my tinted moisturizer and anything else that I have on. And then I do my moisturizer. It just cleans out my face completely and I like the smell and it makes me feel I’ve, like, cleaned thoroughly. It bothers me when I wash my face and mascara runs down my eyes. It freaks me out and I just don’t like it. So, using those towels I feel l like I have more control over what I clean. I’m fortunate to have pretty good skin, but I do occasionally get pimples, and I use Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Vanishing Treatment Cream, ‘cause it really works.

Overall, I think my makeup always has a bit of a dewy look to it, so everything I use feels a little creamy. I’m obsessed with YSL Crème de Blush Cream Blush, for example. And the Vincent Longo Creme Concealer in Amber—which I’m super brand loyal to—is super creamy as well… I use concealer for under my eyes, redness around my nose, chin, and on the side of my mouth, which I learned from makeup artists—‘cause it brightens it. I’ve probably tried every brand of concealer because sometimes I’ll be like, ‘I really need to find something else,’ but I always end up going back to Vincent Longo. It really is the best I’ve found. I like to apply it with my finger; I feel l like it gives me more control, and I like the feel of the makeup. And that way, I can smudge it and move it.

Actually, a really good tip that I learned from Violette when we made our video was to use Q-Tips—which I never used before. Now I use Q-Tips to take off any extra moisturizer that I have on my face where it creases, and then, also, she told me about wetting a Q-Tip with your tongue and then going in and around your eye to clean up eye makeup.  Another really good tip: using an eye pencil super close in between the top lashes so it doesn’t look like an eyeliner, it looks more natural and just makes your eyes pop. For eyeliners, I like anything that smudges easily, so the MAC pencils are good—or when I want to make more of a cat eye, I’ll use a liquid eyeliner, like Stila’s.

I’m not particularly loyal with mascaras; I just use a ton of different ones—Clinique Extreme Black High Impact Volume or MAC Haute & Naughty—every day; I keep collecting them. On most days, I’ll use the MAC pencil in Coffee above my eyes, and then fill my eyebrows with a marker: the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color in Medium. Then, on top of that, just to keep everything in place, I use Speed Brow by Benefit, which just kind of keeps everything in place. I’m big on eyebrows—I think they frame your face and doing them makes a big difference. My whole thing is that I like to wear makeup, but I like it to look natural. And since I’m not so good at applying makeup, I try to find anything that’s idiot-proof or a bit of a shortcut—I think that’s what you get with a marker as opposed to a pencil. So, I just fill in the holes or patches, smudge it, and seal it with the Benefit stuff. Your brows don’t look that different, just darker; I love it.

I would say eyebrows and lipstick are most important to me. I still really love Medieval from Lipstick Queen—I discovered it for my wedding; I used it on my wedding day and now I carry it every single day in my purse because, like everything else I love, it’s super moisturizing and dewy. Plus, it has a really nice color that seems sort of natural, it almost feels like Chapstick. I’m also using Elizabeth Arden Ultra Lipstick in Brick, which is a true red. It’s matte and I would never really wear it on its own, but what I do is apply it, smudge it with my finger, and then blot it to seal it. I’ll do that in the morning, and throughout the day, I’ll apply Lipstick Queen, because the Elizabeth Arden will eventually go away. And of course I love Labello. Every time my family goes to Europe—to Rome or to Madrid where we have family—we always buy a ton of the red Labello.

In general, it's crazy how makeup can make such a big difference. I didn’t start wearing makeup until I was probably 21 years old. And I was like, ‘Why haven’t I been doing this?’ [Laughs] I realized that it’s awesome and that I could accentuate the parts of my face that I liked. It’s crazy how you can really make yourself look better. And it’s the same things I use over and over in daytime but for night, I just pile it on more… Maybe I’ll just wear more eyeliner, but it’s the same eyeliner…etcetera. When I travel, I just take the smallest little pouch with like four things in it. But it made a big difference, realizing, ‘Oh, I have a good eyebrow shape, so if I just fill it in it will look even better’… ‘I’ve got nice cheekbones, if I put blush in them you can see them more’…things like that. It took a little while for me to understand it because the whole makeup thing was super intimidating.

The one thing that I can’t use is eye shadow. I’ve tried so hard and I just can’t figure out how to use it! [Laughs] I’ve, you know, read all the magazines, looked at the pictures, and looked at all of the Allure step-by-steps of how to put eye shadow on, but I just can’t do it well. The closest I’ve gotten is smudging my pencils. I’ll use a different color pencil as eyeliner—like purple or navy or something like that—and then I’ll smudge it around with my finger. Just saying all of this out loud, I’m realizing that I’m really into using my fingers and smudging things. [Laughs] I don’t have any of those—what are those triangle things called? Sponges? Blenders. Yeah, I don’t have any of those.

For my hair, I’m pretty low-key I guess. I use Pantene 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner. Maybe because I’ve used it for so long, using a shampoo and a different conditioner seems like too much time. I also just use bar soap—classic Dove. I do always add some Moroccan Oil after my hair dries—I love how it smells. For me, the trick is I don’t brush my hair. The only time I brush my hair is when I step out of the shower, and then I just brush it out and then air-dry it and that’s it. My hair always is better in the winter than the summer. I think the coldness keeps it from frizzing and makes it flatter, and it dries so much better.

I don’t really wear perfume. I have a lot because, over the years, I’ve accumulated them, people have given them to me, you know. I mean, once in a while, I’ll remember that I have them and I’ll put one on. But sometimes fragrances just smell not like me. I’m still searching for the perfect fragrance that doesn’t overwhelm me, because I would hate to be the girl in the elevator that smells like perfume. I just don’t like that. So, if I wear any, I just dab it behind my ears and do, like, one quick spray and hope that that’s not too much… But I do like when people tell me that I smell nice. [Laughs] When people say that, though, I always feel like I’m wearing too much. It’s kind of like when you’re wearing bright shoes, everyone is going to say, ‘I like your shoes!’ Just because you have to comment about them because they’re so bright."

—as told to ITG

Maria Dueñas Jacobs and her British Shorthair, Frankie, photographed by Emily Weiss in Rye, New York on November 10th, 2012. Maria is wearing a vintage sweater and Essie Clambake nail polish. 

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • HannaJournelles

    The pictures are the bomb!

  • Nomadic D.

    Now coveting so many new products: the dior hydra life, the vl concealer (so sad sephora doesn't carry longo anymore!) and that speed brow stuff all sound great. Helps that she looks like a real natural beauty, of course. But those sound like fairly universally friendly and foolproof products!

  • Phil

    That tata harper cleanser is divine really, especially when you mix it with the Jurlique Herbal Recovery mask. I think she knows about this combo too :)

  • fairytalesandcoffee

    I want that cute little fur ball. Maria Duenas Jacobs is the poster child for how being born with great beauty genes means that you can wash your hair with a crappy brand like Pantene and use any ole product lying around and still lool like a million bucks. This girl is gorgeous! I love seeing her in her mag - they have featured her a few times as a "real" person.

    • Lori Santos

      Haha! My thoughts EXACTLY! She and the kitty are perfection!

      Thanks fir this one Emily.

  • leinti nti

    AAA++++ just for the beautiful cat

  • Azrakun Blue

    She is so lucky about her hair! It's becoming harder and harder to maintain my hair as the age progresses...

  • Sophie Lewis

    stunning photos and such an adorable kitty! Such great info in this post

  • Bonnie Clyde
  • Laura Anne

    Hmm I've always used powder, but i'm interested in trying cream ones... can you do an article on comparing them? I would love to hear your thoughts! Xx.

  • Heather Haber

    This is just flat-out wacky. She's wrong about eye cream....if your face moisturizer doesn't irritate your eye area, there's no reason you can't use it there. Meanwhile, using spit in the eye area? Not so sure if that's a great idea. Also, as far as washing the face...if there's ever a time to do it it's at the end of the day, what with the makeup and the accumulation of pollution. I can understand a pre-moistened wipe in the morning, but at night, I just don't think it would be thorough enough. And Q-tips to take off extra moisturizer? This sounds like one of the uses the back of the Q-tip box tells you about, one of those things you would never, ever do!

    • Catalina Gómez

      I cringed with the spit thing too. I'm not being squeamish, our mouths are FULL of bacteria and if you make a habit out of doing that, one day you'll have the right bug in your mouth to give you a horrible eye infection! If she had said to wipe your cheek, or eyebrow or sth else, fine. But NOT the eyes.

      I've had one eye infection in my adult life, and it was by far the worst type of infection I've EVER had. And I thought yeast infections were bad... Nope.

  • Dip It Black

    Such a beautiful girl!
    And that cat is too adorable!
    Love animals :)!


  • Elizabeth Windsor

    Accomplished and gorgeous with a cute cat and a plastic surgeon for a husband? Not fair! :) seriously, a classic installment of top shelf here. Excellent.

  • Couteau

    What would you call her complexion? I say it's complex:

  • Joanna Coelho

    Gorgeous feline features, both woman + actual feline.

  • Andreamendez11

    I see some white eyeliner in the first picture. She doesn't say where she puts the Mac coffee pencil at just "above her eyes" where exactly does that mean? In place of eyeliner or in her eyebrows or...?

  • kellidanielle

    I'll admit I came for the top shelf, and stayed for the kitten. SO cute!

  • monica noir

    She better sleep with one eye own with that kitty around and I agree with everyone else,Maria is gorgeous. She has one of those sweet doll like faces.

  • Melody Rood

    That cat has some wandering eyes in the first picture. I can't stop giggling at it.

    And YES to Medieval by Lipstick Queen.

  • MaartenGubbens

    Thanks for the post. I'll be back later for some great reading...
    Natural skin Care

  • Denisa

    Really great pics and great post. Have a ncie day.

  • Lou

    I love these photos, they are amazing and you look soooooooo pretty. :)


  • Catalina Gómez

    Other than the bad BAD idea of putting spit in your eyes (see rant above), I love this. I totally agree with her about creamy products. I always think most women over use powders in fear of a shiny face, but I think you don't need to powder your whole face to avoid the oily look. Powdering the more oily areas alone is enough, leave the rest to glow! Creamy blushes are the best, dewey cheeks make such a huge difference in making your skin look fresh, young and healthy :) I love Bobbi Brown's 'cause you can also use it on the lips. I also love MAC paint pots for dewey eyelids.

  • ramayana mello

    When is ITG going to interview Sofia Coppola? I'm waiting. ;)

  • Kat

    NOt fair! This girl is .....come on..... gorgeous

  • Lily

    Oh my ! She's astonishly beautiful !

  • ModernGrace

    I'm convinced that the most beautiful women believe the same as her, that less is more. I am so tempted to use the Pantene 2 in 1 now, haha.

  • Cecilia Xu