UPDATE: This story was originally published on August 24.
Most days we moisturize, mascara-ize, rinse, and repeat
. So, when we come across an A.M. routine that's a bit
more elaborate, we can't help but be fascinated. Think: hair-wrapped high ponies, multiple fragrances in rotation, and literally thousands
of brightly packaged products to choose from. We're talking about the founder and editor of Beauty Banter
, Sarah Howard. Her primping prowess is no surprise, since she was born into a makeup family (her father once owned Make Up For Ever and now runs Pierre Michel salon). And she puts it to good use, with a love of all things blushed, bronzed, polished, and perfumed
Knowing us, you know
we had no choice but to tap her expertise for an inside look into her day-to-day get-perfect process — and find out where we should splurge (peels!) and skimp (yep, our beloved mascara). Now, we just need her Céline bag to stash all our new go-tos…
Photographed by Mark Iantosca
What would you say is your signature beauty look?
"Natural, air-dried hair with a loose wave and a subtle smoky eye. For day, I just go with some mascara and a lip stain. I'm also having a love affair with blush — any color, really, but a pink cheek really gets me smiling."
Chloé dress, vintage Armani denim shirt, Isabel Marant booties.
How does your makeup change from day to night?
"For night I definitely bump up the eye drama. I love to play with lines —a cat eye, a thick line, a line under my lower lash line. I'll also do more color on my lips, although I just noticed that I don't necessarily like the way color photographs on me. I'm pretty much a tried and tested patron of the dark eye and light lip look."
What is your absolute favorite product?
"That's like asking a mother who her favorite child is, I can't answer!"
You have tons of products — any favorite brands?
"Tom Ford is a new favorite, I am having a moment with his eye quads and eye pencils. Both have great, wearable pigments, and the pencils are so malleable they glide on with such little effort. I have always been a fan of Laura Mericer's tinted moisturizer — it's probably my longest relationship to date. Shiseido and Maybelline each made these great gloss/stains this past season and I am BIG into the staying power of stains — both have some incredibly dynamic color choices. RMS is definitely a favorite, I cannot live without the Uncover Up or the Living Luminizer. And, Rose-Marie is a true artist.
In terms of skincare, I love Amore Pacific Moisture Bound products, Sanitas Vitamin C Serum, and PTR Laser Resurfacing Eye Cream. I am also a huge fan of the PTR Retinol Moisturizer with SPF. It contains Zinc, which is imperative for sun exposure. But, I am always looking for new brands, I love discovering that amazing gem that is still being made in someone's home, like Kate Logan's bath oil."
What's the one step in your beauty routine that you can't live without?
"Any cleanser or moisturizer that is a bit behind the scenes. Also eye cream and Bioderma Crealine H20. That's two, I know, but I cannot live without either."
What beauty trends are you looking forward to this fall?
"The dark, plum lip — it reminds me of the '90s, Nirvana, and my disdain for high school. Although the way it was displayed on the runway was without that terribly tragic thick lip liner (thankfully). I love how elegant a dark mouth looks with a clean and pale complexion."
What's your signature scent and what does it say about you?
"I rarely ever wear perfume. But I do love rosewater. I just did a collaboration with the site Honestly... WTF where I taught their readers how to make DIY rosewater
. It's fun and smells so beautiful and clean."
Do you have any easy beauty tips for our readers?
"My favorite tip ever is to use Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream (or Aquaphor for the budget-friendly version) to fix any beauty mishap. From adding a glisten to cheekbones and décolletage, to coating lashes for a faux mascara look, to moisturizing cuticles, and applying to teeth when wearing red lipstick. It literally is the ultimate multipurpose product. I use it on my eyebrows every night before bed to moisturize and tame them to grow in an upwards direction."
Balenciaga T-shirt, vintage skirt.
Where did you learn your encyclopedic beauty knowledge?
"Growing up in the industry, I always asked hair dressers and makeup artists questions. And, it was a lot of trial and error on myself and my friends!"
Who do you admire, as far as their hair and makeup goes?
"Sienna Miller, I think she always looks so fresh and natural. I absolutely adore Penelope Cruz's hair and skin coloring, but when it comes to the red carpet, nobody works it with more versatility than Diane Kruger. She can be contemporary one day and Old Hollywood glam the next, and that is really what the art of makeup and hair is all about."
Sergio Rossi heels.
Is there one beauty trend that just doesn't work for you?
"A long bob. At this year's Oscars, quite a few ladies wore this trend — Cameron Diaz, Anna Farris, and my personal favorite, Rose Byrne. I think it looks stylish and chic, but I don't have the facial structure for it. Besides, I have too much fun with long hair. But, I do wish I could play with a blob (long bob) for just a day."
What is one product worth splurging on, and one that you should buy cheap?
"Splurge on a face treatment like an enzyme peel, you can skimp out on mascara. Most of them contain loads of alcohol anyway, so they have a very short shelf life — thus you will have to continue to repurchase quite frequently. And, to be honest, some of my favorite mascaras are drugstore finds!"
Which product do you never leave home without?
"Fresh Sugar Treatment SPF 15 in Plum and Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream"
What is one trend you'd like to see fade out?
"Grunge. I am really excited to see beauty make a return to elegance. I have no problem with the no-makeup-makeup look, in fact, it can be quite beautiful, but I'm not a fan of greasy, stringy hair, two-day-old eyeliner, and clumpy mascara. Every woman should own a hairbrush and an eyelash separator (and use them!)."
What's the riskiest beauty move or haircut you've ever done?
"Bangs when I was 13. I had a crazy cowlick and I looked ridiculous. Not for me."
Vintage blouse, Levi's jeans, Givenchy/Eddie Borgo and Anita Ko bangles, Rayban sunglasses, Chanel handbag.