Lisa's 24-Hour Product Diary: Inconsistency Is Key

Photo: Lisa Fischer

I am hesitant to reveal my secrets here. I am nervous that once this product diary is finished, I will have shattered the illusion of effortless glamour that I like to pretend I project. (Please, just let me have this.)

In reality, my beauty routine is wholly inconsistent. I would like to tell you that I hopped on the skincare bandwagon and take excellent care of myself and drink enough water and think carefully about the products I am putting in and on my body, but that would be a lie. Instead, I turn to the most accessible (cheapest) version of whatever tools I require in order to attain my aspirational aesthetic of knockoff Winona Ryder. I often forget to use many of the products for days, if not weeks at a time.

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That said, I don’t see that changing anytime soon, so I might as well own it. Perhaps I will be ashamed enough after publishing this to turn over a new leaf, but probably not. Oh well!

My naked face.
Photo: Me

Morning: 7:45(ish) a.m.

I begrudgingly emerge from my crypt and start my morning.

More often than not, my first step is to wipe off the makeup I forgot to remove last night. Sometimes I even wake up with my glasses still on my face from when I fell asleep watching TV the night before, but luckily today is not one of those days.

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I wash my face with Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser, which I certainly do not remember to use on a daily basis. I brush my teeth with Crest Baking Soda & Peroxide Whitening Toothpaste and throw on some Degree Motion Sense Deodorant. I have no scientific reason for choosing these products. When I stood dumbfounded in the aisles of CVS, they called out to me spiritually. They were also probably on sale.

After I put my contacts in, it’s time for the fun part: makeup.

By no means am I a beauty guru—I’m not even sure that I use all my products the way they are intended to be used—but this has always been my favorite part of getting ready. I love the routine of putting my face on every morning and watching myself transform from a babyfaced girl into a woman who can occasionally pass for her actual age. I almost never leave the house without some makeup on. Another victory for the patriarchy.

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My workstation, featuring my favorite mug, a gift from my extremely considerate father.
Photo: Me

I start with Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer, which I remember to put on 1 out of every 10 times I do my makeup. Then I apply Fenty ProFiltr Foundation in 150 and cover that with itCosmetics CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder in Tan, so that I look slightly less like a wintertime ghost.

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In The House Bunny, Anna Faris’s character posits that “eyes are the nipples of the face.” I believe this to be true. After I fill in my brows with Benefit Ka-Brow! Cream Gel in 4, I draw on winged liner as best as I can with Maybelline Line Stiletto Ultimate Precision Liquid Eyeliner and line my waterline with NYX Waterproof Extreme Shine Eyeliner. Yesterday, I couldn’t find this pencil and used a black lipliner instead. Oops! After that, it’s two coats of L’Oréal Voluminous Feline Noir Mascara.

The staple products.
Photo: Me
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Once I’ve cycled through several thousand outfit options and settled on The One (a daring white t-shirt and black pants), I decide to add lipstick to create the illusion of professionalism. I use Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink in Visionary. I own this lipstick in several colors and feel confident that it could be used to identify my remains after a nuclear war, or at the very least stay on reliably during my many coffee breaks throughout the day. Then I top it all off with Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, which I remember to use about as often as the primer.

I did it!
Photo: Me
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I would describe my hair’s natural texture as moderately wavy, if not pseudo-curly. Typically, I do absolutely nothing to it but this morning I have some time and I commit to the curl with a Conair 1” curling iron that I’ve had since I was 13. I wait a few minutes for the curls to settle and shake them out while dancing to Weezer’s cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” at 8:30 a.m., much to my roommates’ chagrin, before spraying it with Aussie Hairspray in Flexible Hold. And we’re out the door.

“NIGHT”: 12:00 a.m.

I come home a little late and a little wine drunk, but that’s okay. It’s Thursday (Friday now, I guess).

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I resist the urge to immediately jump into bed and instead wipe away my makeup with Beauty 360 Cleansing Makeup Remover Towelettes. (Two days in a row? The shame must already be working.) It takes me a couple extra minutes and some elbow grease to take off the lipstick, which still looks relatively untouched after 16 hours.

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I hop in the shower and wash my body with one of the 15 artisanal bar soaps my mother gifts me every birthday, Hanukkah, and Valentine’s Day. I prefer the ones with oatmeal for extra exfoliation. I have no idea what the other ingredients are but this one smells like chai, which is nice. I shave with a Gillette Men’s Razor because I refuse to pay an extra $3 for a pink one.

I don’t wash my hair every day or even every other day, so I skip that step tonight. However, when I do wash it, I use Herbal Essences Body Envy Shampoo and Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner. I always shower at night, because my pseudo-curly hair takes hours to dry but does not react well to blow-drying and therefore must dry overnight.

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The masks in question.
Photo: Me

Tonight I’m feeling fancy, so I take out my contacts and do a face mask. I bought a pack of 40 masks from the Japanese market near the GMG office. While I have zero idea what is in them because I cannot read Japanese, they were recommended to me by a friend who also does not speak Japanese but does know a lot about skincare. It’s fine.

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Ten minutes later I remove the mask and finish the show that I started when I put it on. This time, I do fall asleep with my glasses on.

What can I say? I did my best.

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