'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.