Hi, friends! I wanted to share this article that was written by my amazing sister in law Shubi, who is a bad ass hardworking flight nurse (cool, right??). I love hearing about people’s different makeup and skin care routines, of course, but even more so when that routine has been adapted for a job or lifestyle that is TOTALLY different from my own! Shubi is an inspiration, and I cannot wait for you to this this post. Be sure to leave her a comment if you find it interesting!
Ok… take it away, Shubi!
Cue Madonna’s Vogue playing in the background, Anne Hathaway’s montage of beautiful designer clothing, every hair perfectly blowing in the wind, Christian Louboutin’s, and long eyelashes that perfectly compliment bright red lips. Instead of Anne Hathaway however, it’s me, gracefully walking down a sidewalk one perfectly executed step of my high heels in front of the other — Like. A. Goddess.
But just as my flawless alter ego lowers her Tom Ford aviators and steps out into the sun, a loud crackling voice interrupts and stops her in her high heel tracks.
“Are we ready to lift off?…Good to go, clear right…Clear left…Ok, we’re taking off.”
You see, I am part of a helicopter EMS crew that transports critically ill patients from remote hospitals or from the scene of an accident to larger city hospitals and trauma centers. It can be grueling work. If you want an idea of what the inside of my helicopter is like, sit inside of a closet with stacks of medical equipment, a patient on a long, thin stretcher beside you, and your crewmate in front of you knee-to-knee… oh, and make it about 109 degrees. We are working our BUTTS off to stabilize this patient and transport them safely to a hospital.
As a flight nurse, my uniform consists of a helmet, a fire retardant flight suit, black leather work boots, and a survival knife. A far cry from Prada.
Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do and I love who I am. I am a strong and beautiful woman. When I’m locked in and focused, intensely working on saving the life strapped in next to me in my helicopter; I’m strong. When I have my hair blown out and my make-up looking flawless; I’m beautiful. Us hard working women, we should feel strong AND beautiful.
In this line of work, it can be tough to maintain a beauty regimen; the suit is HOT, and um… helmet hair! Don’t even get me started on that. Sometimes, after a tough call, I kind of just put my head in my hands and rub my makeup all over, everywhere. Since starting this job, I’ve experimented with several beauty and makeup products which help protect my skin, give me a splash of color, and add a feminine touch to my flight suit and work boots. I can’t wait to share what I’ve found with you, whether you have a job similar to mine or not!
My skin takes a beating out in the heat and blazing sun. I do my best to pamper it, though, because I LOVE my fair, porcelain skin.
Belif: The True Cream Aqua Bomb
This is a gel aqua based cream. It contains absolutely zero synthetic or environmentally unfriendly ingredients. It contains “Lady’s Mantle” which is an herb that is supposed to help combat dryness and dullness, two major problems I’ve been having with my skin when it’s exposed to the harsh Nevada dirt and sun.
Why I love it: It’s so incredibly moisturizing and since its aqua based I cannot tell one bit that it’s there. It leaves behind absolutely no heavy or oily feeling like most super hydrating creams (I hate that heavy creamy feeling on my face). Its light, refreshing, and the gel texture is so cooling on my skin.
Before you go out and purchase this, make sure you know your skin type. You can take Natalie’s skin type quiz here to help you determine what types of products and makeup works best for your skin type. This is an invaluable resource! Just because this works on me doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.
Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater
Natalie recommended this spray when I started this job. I found my usual makeup routine was failing the test and my face was getting very dull and tired looking. Poor skin! We have all these pockets on our flight suits and we are supposed to carry medical supplies and survival equipment…which I do, but I also carry this. This spray *IS* for survival!
Why I love it: After we drop off our patient, our crew parks for a few minutes in the hospital’s EMS lounge for a breather. While I relax my body, I refresh my skin by spritzing some of this onto my face and hair. It’s refreshing, hydrating, and smells ever so softly of gentle roses.
Supergoop! PLAY Antioxidant Mist SPF 50 with Vitamin C
This spray is fantastic! I use this as my face sunscreen and it doubles as a defense against my dreaded “head in my hands rubbing all my makeup off ” reaction after a long flight.
Why I love it: It has a refreshing scent and it leaves my skin feeling tingly and invigorated. It’s also not as heavy/oily/sticky as regular sunscreen. It does have a little bit of that sunscreen feel, but it’s totally bearable… and I’m very anti anything sticky or heavy feeling on my face, so that’s saying a lot coming from me!
Don’t know what SPF is right for you or if this one will work? Check out this article here SPF: Which SPF Is Best?
Primers are KEY for withstanding the heat and the stress. Not sure which primer is right for you? Natalie wrote up a great Primer in Makeup Primer you can read here.
Make Up Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer
Yes, another brightening product. This is one of Make Up For Ever’s ‘radiant’ shades of primers. I love to have a bright, fresh, awake, glow… especially since sometimes I’m dead tired from flying patients all night long. I work 48hr shifts and we can be woken up for a call at any time.
Why I love it: This primer is like an instant “wake up” in a bottle and it really gives my powder lasting power, too. It’s a little bit moisturizing, but it doesn’t go on heavy at all.
When it comes to foundation, I have only one true love.
Lancome – Dual Finish Multi-Tasking Longwear Powder Foundation
When Natalie did a make-up bag overhaul for me last fall, she introduced me to this powder foundation. I am adamant about not using heavy cream foundations on my face, I just hate the way it feels. At the same time, I want a soft and subtle coverage that lasts. Impossible right? No! It’s been my go-to foundation since that life-changing day at a Sephora in Monterey Bay, CA.
Why I love it: It goes on super quick with the included make-up pad and you get really great coverage. I don’t need to keep layering it on to get the coverage I want. I found that I get an even softer air brushed appearance if I use a Kabuki, but this takes a little longer and requires a couple of passes to get to my desired level of coverage. It is also true to its name and definitely provides long lasting wear.
These are the things I reach for after applying my foundation!
Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Color Balm
This blush is made from an oil free gel, so it goes on nice and light while still providing a nice subtle rosy cheek. You know how girls always ask if you could only put on one make up item what would it be? Mine is blush. What’s a smile without a sweet rosy cheek?
Why I love it: It’s super quick and user friendly. I smile big to puff up my cheeks and then a quick swipe on each side, blend, and done. Simple and pretty! It lasts long enough, though I’ve found it’s not the best option for “out on the town” blush. It’s subtle, which is good for work, but for nights out, I like something a little more dramatic.
Make Up For Ever Eggplant Matte Eyeshadow
I have kind of big eyes, which I love, but if I don’t add some definition to them I feel kind of pale and washed out. Make Up For Ever’s shadows are just super pigmented which make them last all day.
Why I love it: I chose this purple color, which is so pretty! I found that with a single soft swipe of my eyeshadow brush, I get a perfect subtle pop of color in just a few seconds. If I want to dress it up outside of work, I spend a little more time with it and add a good shadow primer. It gives me a super dramatic and vivid color. It’s so versatile!
Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long Wearing Formula
This mascara claims to last 24 hours through humidity, rain, and heat. Considering that the inside of my helicopter can get upwards of 100+ degrees, I needed this mascara to live up to its promises. It didn’t disappoint. It’s hard to explain how it works, but just trust me, it does.
Why I love it: The first time I used it, I did notice that I didn’t get long dark dramatic lashes, but it did have a nice subtle coverage that added definition to my eye and made my lashes pop just enough. I tried so many different mascaras while product testing for this blog (and trying to find my perfect go-to work makeup routine). After just one flight, most left me looking like a raccoon. When I tried this mascara, I noticed at the end of the day that I didn’t have any dark under eye shadows and when I wiped my cleansing cloth under my eye there was no eye makeup residue! When I washed my face, the mascara kind of just flaked off. Love it!
After giving you all my $20-40 dollar makeup bag recommendations, here’s a $3 item that I can’t live without. There’s no place for lipstick or lipgloss in this line of work. Gloss is sticky and messy and li stick is just a bit too dramatic and won’t last without touch ups. A good chap stick is essential.
Why I love it: This one gives a nice, natural reddish color to my lips and it has a very fine small amount of glitter that adds a nice shimmer. It’s also moisturizing and cracked dry lips have been a problem in the Arizona/Nevada summer heat. The SPF is an added bonus to protect my lips from the harsh sun when I’m running around on a highway at the scene of an accident. It also fits perfectly into my sleeve pocket on my flight suit, so it’s always there when I need it.
Here’s how I take it all off at the end of a long day…
Dark Angels Face Cleanser: LUSH Cosmetics
This has been my go-to cleanser for a few years now. It’s a mixture of charcoal, avocado, black sugar, and floral oils which are exfoliating, detoxifying, cleansing, and moisturizing.
Why I love it: I have very few problems with blemishes when I’m using this product consistently. It also leaves my skin feeling soft, even though its texture and the charcoal would make you think it can be drying and abrasive. It’s not at all. I notice after I wash with it that I have a nice bright complexion. In fact, it leaves my skin feeling and looking so radiant that it has even inspired some no makeup days!
Overall, my work makeup routine can be completed in as little as 5 minutes if I’m in a rush. The products are all user-friendly and convenient while still adding good coverage and pops of color. My look is subtle and natural, but it leaves me feeling radiant and beautiful.
So, if you are a hard working gorgeous lady who wants to add some shimmer and shine to compliment your uniform, I urge you to try out some of these products! Or, use them as a guide to test out others that will fit into your daily routine. Either way, get out there and be a STRONG, BEAUTIFUL women!
I also highly, highly recommend picking up a copy of Natalie’s book, Be Your Own Makeup Artist! It helped me so much as I was developing my own makeup routine, and she also covers some skin care essentials in it, too! It’s literally like having her in your back pocket whenever you have a question or need help knowing how to apply your products, how to shop for products… you name it. Seriously, get her book!!
Thanks for following along with me in my “day in the life” of a flight nurse who just wants to put her best face forward! I hope you find a new favorite product based on my suggestions! Leave me a comment below and let me know if you did!
Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.