Quick ‘n Easy Makeup Guide for Clinic


Work appropriate makeup

I’m going to start this off with a disclaimer: I am by NO means an expert on makeup. But because I love sleeping, I believe I have mastered the art of getting ready in < 10 minutes in the morning with a basic makeup routine for everyday use. I started posting a few clinic selfies on Instagram over the last month and I was asked to do a tutorial on clinic-appropriate makeup. I’ve posted on my basic morning skincare regimen (only 3 steps!) before but this post will focus on something a little different: my quick and easy morning makeup routine.

Just a few words about “clinic or hospital-appropriate” makeup. You absolutely do not have to wear makeup if that’s not your thing; many of my co-residents don’t wear makeup on the daily and they look beautiful. If you like putting on makeup and that’s part of your routine, just make sure you’re not going overboard. I would say keep it simple and go for the natural look. This means steering away from wearing really dark colored eyeshadow, super thick eyeliner or so much mascara that your lashes look like furry spider legs. You’re seeing patients not getting down in a club. All of this should be common sense – dress professionally in the hospital or clinic just like you would in any other profession. On a semi-related note, I also advise against using perfume if you work in medicine, because your patients may have allergies to fragrances.

My residency makeup regimen varied differently depending on the level of training. For example:

Internal medicine intern year makeup routine:

5 am: alarm clock rings

5:10 am: stumble out of bed in the dark and pull on scrubs while half asleep

5:20 am: put on sunscreen half the time (let’s face it, some days I never saw sunlight) and if I’m feeling extra perky, eyeliner on the top lid. Look longingly at the makeup that I no longer ever put on, sigh, and head towards the hospital.

Now that that period of my life is behind me…

Clinic selfie during lunch!

Clinic selfie during lunch!

Dermatology residency makeup routine:

7:00 am: I wake up and immediately hit snooze.

7:10 am: Get up, pick out my outfit and get dressed in the dark so I don’t wake up my hubby (who is a very light sleeper — more on sleep hygiene here)

7:18 am: Brush teeth, put on contacts. I don’t wash my face in the morning unless I used medication on my face the night before like retinoid cream or a super thick emollient like Nature Republic steam cream. Now’s the fun part!

Step 1: Moisturizer + SPF: This is the most important step, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a dermatology resident! Moisturizing and protecting against the sun are the best things you can do for your skin to look young and prevent cancer. I use one of two things that combines moisturizer + sunscreen to kill two birds with one stone. Most days I use the Cerave AM moisturizer with SPF 30, and when I want a bit of extra protection or coverage, I pat on Lancôme BB cream on my cheekbones and nose where I have freckles.

If I want to smooth out any red spots or if I want extra coverage over my pores, I absolutely LOVE the tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier. I use my fingertips to apply this to my forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin, and it really evens out my complexion without looking chalky. The only drawback is that it only contains SPF 20, so I need to apply extra protection on top of that, usually in the form of a powder like Bare Escentuals SPF 25 Mineral Veil.

I’ve also heard really great things about YSL ink foundation with SPF 18. My friends tell me it provides great coverage but feels like feathers (their words exactly, actually). That is on my to-try list!

Some of these products I mentioned:

Step 2: Eyeliner: Every girl has one makeup essential she uses daily, and eyeliner is my thing. I rarely ever leave the house without eyeliner on! My regimen is liquid eyeliner on top, pencil on the bottom. I do this because liquid is too hard to apply on the bottom lashline since my eyes water like crazy, and I’m all about efficiency in the morning. I choose liquid eyeliners with a firm applicator which makes it so much easier to apply. My favorites as of late are the Eyeko Visual Eyes liquid eyeliner, the Benefit They’re Real Push Up liner, and on the more affordable end, the Maybelline Master Duo Glossy liner. The Eyeko one is great for everyday use in a more matte black, whereas the Maybelline is a glossy shiny black. The benefit of the Maybelline one is the applicator is designed to make either thin or thick lines so you can make your look as dramatic as you want. The Benefit and Maybelline ones are more smudge-resistant in the New York humidity.

Step 3: Mascara. I have been using Latisse for over a year now and it really works (here is my post on my experiment with Latisse, the only FDA approved medication for growing eyelashes!). Since I’ve “invested” in my eyelashes now, I feel it’s worth the time to put on 1-2 coats of mascara for some extra flutter. Currently on rotation for work: Fiberwig, the #1 bestseller in Japan and Benefit They’re Real mascara. These mascaras do a great job of accentuating lashes without looking too clumpy or dark, keeping it classy instead of trashy for work.

I rarely use blush nowadays since I’ve developed a flushing condition called rosacea when I moved to NYC, and I don’t usually use lipstick because nothing annoys me more than my hair blowing into my lips and sticking there. #girlproblems

So that’s it! My super whittled down getting ready routine that can be done in 10 minutes flat. What does your morning regimen look like?


1 Comment on Quick ‘n Easy Makeup Guide for Clinic

  1. Elsa
    February 26, 2016 at 8:37 pm (2 years ago)

    I think you should try some eyebrow powder.


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