Wicked Beauty: A ‘Good Enough’ Face

Wicked Beauty by Phyllis Bourne for Wardrobe Oxygen

My name is Phyllis, and I’m a hard-core beauty junkie.

An overflowing cosmetics bag and make-up littered vanity attest to this fact. Yet, most days my face does not.

I feed my addiction regularly. There’s nothing I love more than filling department store and online shopping carts with flawless foundations, eye shadow palettes and mascaras promising extraordinarily long eyelashes. In my mind’s eye, I see myself in front of the bathroom mirror gliding a new liner across my eyelids to form a sultry cat eye. I imagine brushing on a limited edition bronzer-blush duo to give myself the prettily flushed cheeks of the airbrushed models in magazines.


Then my alarm clock goes off. After hitting the snooze button several times reality sets in. All I have the time or the energy to do most mornings is grab a lip gloss from my overwhelming mountain of make-up and hurriedly swipe it on.

Every year I vow to do better, but like most New Year’s resolutions my intention to paint on a perfectly made-up face each morning rarely lasts beyond the first week of January. However, I started this year prepared. I’ve pared down my make-up collection to my favorite items, reducing a mountain of make-up to a hill, a very big hill.

Next, I selected five products – tinted moisturizer, concealer, lip gloss, mascara and blush. Together they’re what I call my good enough face. The result can’t compare to the flawless looks of social media make-up divas, but the products take less than five minutes to apply, cover a few flaws and leave me looking fresh and polished.

Again, good enough.

As a multi-published author with looming deadlines and hundreds of blank pages to fill, I’ve learned that sometimes I have to let go of little picture perfection and embrace big picture good enough to get the job done.

So this month consider giving a five product, five-minute face a shot. I’ll bet when you catch a glimpse of your reflection during the course of the day, you’ll find your good enough face – got the job done.

Phyllis BourneA Harlequin romance author and former newspaper crime reporter, Phyllis Bourne writes to feed a growing lipstick addiction. When she’s not at the computer, she can be found at a cosmetics counter or her favorite hair salon spending the grocery money. She lives in Nashville with an understanding husband, who in one kiss can discern the difference between department store and drug store lip gloss. Check her out online at www.phyllisbourne.com.



  1. Little Red
    January 14, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    Ha! I’ve got way more make up than I can use up. Foundation gets worn once a year max. Eyeliner/eyeshadow a few times. Lipstick gets worn on fairly regular basis though. Way more tubes of red lipstick than is necessary. But I never let it stop me from buying it. 😉

    • Phyllis Bourne
      January 16, 2015 / 10:10 am

      Little Red – you can never, ever have enough lipstick! It’s my absolute favorite beauty product!

  2. Linda R
    January 14, 2015 / 5:02 pm

    I dislike going out in public with a bare face (we Southern women love of makeup). I have a 5 minute routine for workdays like you do, Phyllis. Moisturizer, consealer, Bare Minerals Matte foundation, a swipe of eye shadow and lipstick. Most lip glosses and lipstains “melt” away in a few minutes on me but I have found that Clinique High Impact lip color lasts. If I have 10 minutes I add blush, mascara and fill in my thinning eye brows.
    Glad to have you aboard, Phyllis!

    • Phyllis Bourne
      January 16, 2015 / 10:10 am

      Thanks, Linda! I’m also a fan of Bare Minerals foundations. LOL! And when I have an extra minute I fill in my thinning – and graying brows!

  3. Natalie
    January 14, 2015 / 2:01 pm

    I need some recommendations for concealer. Anyone?

    • Phyllis Bourne
      January 14, 2015 / 2:52 pm

      Hi Natalie!

      I like NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. Goes on smoothly, no creasing.

      • Natalie
        January 15, 2015 / 12:41 pm


  4. Jayneway0317
    January 14, 2015 / 1:33 pm

    Back in the 00’s, I had this same problem with scrap book stuff. Oh the pretty paper! I bought and bought and never made a single scrapbook page! LOL. (I did make few cards here and there.) I eventually gave it all away. Glad I’m not alone!

    • Phyllis Bourne
      January 14, 2015 / 2:48 pm

      You are definitely not alone, Jayneway0317! I gave away a boatload of yarn for the same reason. Now I only let myself buy for one project at at time.

  5. Kianna Alexander
    January 14, 2015 / 12:17 pm

    Love this! I also own a lot more makeup than I use, and I’m always buying more. I have the worst problem with mascara- I have sensitive eyes and wear glasses, but I demand long, thick lashes, so I’m forever changing brands…sigh. I still like Maybelline Lash Discovery for the tiny brush, though.
    I have dark marks from old acne, so while I work on fading them, concealer is a must. I’ve tried BB cream, but I crave the coverage of foundation so usually put on a bit- right now I’m using Dream Matte Liquid. Then it’s eyeliner, mascara, and a gloss or lipstick. I’m just now getting into lipstick after wearing nothing but gloss from high school through my 20s. I avoided red for a long time but I really like Revlon Deepest Cherry.

    • Phyllis Bourne
      January 14, 2015 / 2:46 pm

      Kianna – My holy grail mascara was discontinued, so I’m also on the hunt. Have you tried layering two different mascaras? For example, I love Maybelline’s Stiletto mascara for length, but will usually pair it with another mascara to add volume. And I also love that little brush on Maybelline’s Lash Discovery! I haven’t tried the Dream Matte foundation, but have heard good things about it.

  6. Nihongo Dame Desu
    January 14, 2015 / 12:16 pm

    For me, it is tinted moisturizer or light foundation, powder, blush, mascara, and pencil liner. Three or four minutes. And I sometimes cheat and add a neural lip while I’m at a stop light.

    • Phyllis Bourne
      January 14, 2015 / 2:39 pm

      If I’m doing a six item face – I add eyeliner too! My neutral lip is a pink gloss – Bobbi Brown’s ruby shimmer.

  7. January 14, 2015 / 10:15 am

    Absolutely the best message to give “good enough” face. I literally do not have more than 5 minutes to give to my face and my go is tinted BB cream. Great post.

    Accidental icon

    • Phyllis Bourne
      January 14, 2015 / 10:43 am

      Thanks, Accidental Icon! I reach for Maybelline’s BB cream most mornings. It’s foolproof and gives my bare skin a just right touch of polish!

  8. DC Celine
    January 14, 2015 / 9:19 am

    Allie, you have to stop connecting people. Phyllis and I have already discovered so many things in common. Now? I’ve got a bit of a reverse situation. I’m not a junkie, and am often tempted to go bare. I’ve learned to build a “good enough face” with my few products. Because without it, I look like death warmed over. So on goes the eye cream, the jojoba oil, the BB cream, the concealer, eyeshadow, mascara, and blush. Sometimes I do eyeliner, and I *always* have red lips available in my bag. Sometimes I remember to put it on.

    • January 14, 2015 / 9:25 am

      LOL I love that the two of you have connected! I pared down my look last year, but with the arm I started getting back into makeup to feel better/draw attention from my arm. But I’m back to my basic face. BB cream and tinted moisturizer don’t make me feel finished, but I can do concealer/foundation/touch of yellow powder/blush/mascara/liquid liner/Revlon “Romantic” balm stain in less than 5 minutes because I’ve created a habit and rhythm. If I go out I’ll get more creative or daring (like *gasp* eyeshadow!) but I’m okay with my good enough face, and it is quite freeing!

      • Phyllis Bourne
        January 14, 2015 / 10:19 am

        Those Revlon stains are everything! I keep at least two in my purse at all times.

    • Phyllis Bourne
      January 14, 2015 / 10:17 am

      I know! We just click! I thought I was fine bare faced (despite having a mountain of makeup), until I noted the reactions to my 5-min face. The comments weren’t about make-up, but along the lines of ‘you look nice today’. I think it also give me a subtle confidence boost.

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