14 Makeup Products That Are Like Loungewear For Your Face

If you’re the person who stopped wearing makeup the second we all starting social distancing, hats off to you and what I assume to be your impeccably clear and glowing skin. For the rest of us who need to put on a BB cream to feel human again (and to cover the stress acne that only seems to worsen every time we open Twitter), maybe you’re looking for the same thing as I am: loungewear makeup.

I’m talking about foundations that glide on like the pair of worn-in sweats you stole from your college ex-boyfriend. Mascara that’s as mindless to slip on as the UGGs you wear to walk the dog for the 19th time. Concealer that's as soft and breathable as an Alo Yoga set. Are these items as crucial to the state of our world as adequate PPE, accessible tests, and an eventual COVID-19 vaccine? Not in the slightest. Do they help some of us feel a tiny bit better when we’re overwhelmed by the state of just about everything? Maybe a little.


In fact, experts agree that maintaining a makeup routine can restore a sense of normalcy and purpose when your life feels unmoored; the thing is, there’s only so much effort I’m emotionally capable of exerting at the moment, and a flawless cat eye doesn't factor in. So, I polled the Refinery29 beauty team for the makeup products they wear when they want to feel good — with little to no energy required. Check out their favorites, ahead.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Eyebrow Gel

“One of the few upsides of battling crippling depression my entire adult life is that my bare-minimum makeup game is unimpeachable: It’s all about brows and blush, baby! (And a little concealer where needed, typically under the eyes — my current favorite is Kosas Revealer.) This tinted brow gel lasts all day and looks completely natural, and the tiny microfibers fill in sparse areas so they look full and even. I find that most brow gels just ‘sculpt’ rather than actually make brows look thicker, but this one goes the extra mile.” — Rachel Krause, deputy beauty director
Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel$24.00 $12.00 Buy

Ilia Color Haze Multi-Use Pigment In Waking Up

“I am not the kind of person who can roll out of bed, swipe bright lipstick on a bare face, and immediately take on the world; in fact, I think putting on a bold lip when I’m feeling less than my best actually makes me look more haggard. But a little color is always a necessity for looking alive when you’re pale like me, and this multi-use cream is the only thing I need to get that high-functioning look. A couple dots of the warm nude shade on each cheek, a sheer layer on my lips, and I am just about ready to add video to the Zoom call.” — Krause
ILIA Beauty Waking Up$32.00 Buy

Glossier Skywash In Pebble

“Another thing about being very pale: You can see my veins through my eyelid skin!!!! In addition to being uniquely horrifying, the bluish-purple color also has the effect of making me look a lot more tired than I am. Most everything I put on my lids creases, including concealer, but this liquid-to-powder shadow never, ever does. The wash of barely-there color is the best thing I’ve tried for looking put-together in an instant, and it’s so easy to just sweep on, blend with a finger, and never worry about again.” — Krause
Glossier Skywash in Pebble$15.00 Buy

Kosas Revealer Concealer

“Because I’m not leaving the house these days, my foundation and tinted moisturizers have been collecting dust. But the one thing I always wear — even if I’m only seeing my dogs and my own reflection in the mirror — is this new Kosas concealer. The consistency is like the classic Nars Creamy Concealer, but it's a teensy bit lighter in texture and has an added brightening effect. After I've put on my moisturizer, I’ll use the doe-foot applicator to dab it over my dark circles and any pimples or scabs, and it sort of just covers the skin in a thin veil of coverage without looking or feeling like makeup. It never creases, oxidizes, or turns matte during the day.” — Megan Decker, beauty writer
Kosas Revealer Concealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer$28.00 Buy

Thrive Instant Brow Fix Semi-Permanent Eyebrow Gel

"It has been months since I've had my eyebrows professionally tinted, so my brow hairs are starting to show their natural color: a fair strawberry-blonde that almost blends into my forehead. Until I can get back to see Joey Healy in his NYC studio for a little touch-up, I've been using this tinted gel by Thrive Causemetics to fake a darker brow. The tint is a believable dirty blonde, and the brush is skinny and precise, so a few brush-throughs help add a little bit of depth to my arches without looking like I did my brows." — Decker
Thrive Causemetics Instant Brow Fix Semi-Permanent Eyebrow Gel™$24.00 Buy

Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm in Summer Melon

"This is my favorite your-lips-but-better balm. The shade is this glossy, cool-toned pink that definitely feels more like a creamy lip balm than a dry or pigmented lipstick. Though the sheer watermelon-y tint doesn't last for too long, it definitely keeps for the entirety of a 50-minute Zoom conference if I'm not snacking or drinking." — Decker
Honest Beauty Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm - 0.14 fl oz$8.99 Buy

Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation

"For days when I crave light coverage, this is the stuff I reach for. The fluid-like formula feels so hydrating on my skin, yet offers soft, dewy coverage that instantly makes me feel like I have some extra spring in my step." — Karina Hoshikawa, beauty market writer
Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation$42.00 Buy

Benefit Cosmetics 24-Hour Brow Setter Shaping & Setting Gel

"My brows are naturally very dark and very thick, so I can typically get away with just brushing them up and out — no pencil or gel required. I've tried virtually every clear brow gel and mascara out there, but I keep coming back to this one. The wand has a two-sided comb that evenly coats my brow hairs without depositing too much product, and the gel never leaves my arches feeling dry or crusty." — Hoshikawa
Benefit Cosmetics 24-HR Brow Setter Shaping & Setting Gel$24.00 Buy

CoverGirl Trunaked Queenship Shadow Sticks

"I am fully obsessed with these affordable shadow sticks. They're so easy and fun to apply since you're basically using a chubby crayon on your face, and the color payoff is just as good as the pricey stuff. My go-to shade is Leading Lady, a burnished bronze that I can wear as an everyday neutral or build up to smoky status." — Hoshikawa
COVERGIRL CoverGirl TruNaked Queenship Shadow Sticks$9.99 Buy

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream With SPF 50+

"This CC cream is truly the high-end yoga pants of makeup: It's incredibly light and comfortable, without showing off every line and dimple underneath. After four weeks inside my apartment, I've recently started wearing Medium Tan, which is a half-shade warmer than my usual color. It makes me feel glowy and golden, and no one can see the rest of my body on Zoom to think otherwise." — Cat Quinn, beauty director
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+$39.50 Buy

Maybelline Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush in Rose Flush

"There is only one rule to looking good on Zoom, and it is the Touch Up My Appearance button. Second in line is blush. I almost never wear it in my normal life, but now that my days are spent in front of the computer, it's the one thing that makes me look and feel alive. This super-soft formula goes on like butter, and even gives lips a pretty tint, too." — Quinn
Maybelline Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush$7.99 Buy

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara

"My eyeshadows and liners have been relegated to the bottom, bottom shelf in my bathroom next to my VO5 shampoo and loose packets of Crest Whitestrips. But this mascara has now taken a right-hand position to my moisturizer. Just a few swipes makes my eyes look brighter and less tired — and, as a result, makes me feel a little brighter and less tired — and that makes all the difference." — Quinn
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara$23.00 Buy

Milani Color Statement Matte Lipstick in Matte Kiss

"I adore this lipstick and wear it often. It's the perfect texture for comfortable staying power. It doesn't feel dry, flaky, or require the same application prowess as a liquid lipstick. I simply smooth it on, straight from the bullet, then buff a little extra into my cheeks to brighten up my whole face." — Lexy Lebsack, senior beauty editor
Milani Milani Color Statement Matte Lipstick, Matte Kiss$4.74 Buy

Maybelline The Falsies Volum- Express Mascara

"One of my favorite mascaras of all time. This formula beefs up lashes without clumping and never flakes, but, somehow, washes off clean with most face cleansers." — Lebsack
Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Mascara$6.99 Buy
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