The Airport Express – The “No Makeup” Makeup – Natural Makeup Essentials

The Airport Express – The “No Makeup” Makeup – Natural Makeup Essentials

posted in Beauty, Makeup by

Low maintence.

I am not that…though I wouldn’t really consider myself high maintenance either.

Here’s the thing. I like makeup. I always have. I probably always will.

I’m not a no fuss, no muss kind of girl – As much as I would like to be at times. I’ve always been jealous of those sunny blonde (or brunette, take your pick) surfer girls who have perfectly beachy hair and bronzed skin who don’t need to wear a lick of makeup to look great. Cute hippy surfer girls also fall into this category for me. And even if they don’t actually surf, they look like they could and would rock at it and look cute afterwards too. I’ve tried surfing and I look neither cute while doing it nor cute afterwards.

Photo cred: Dale Huberts

Photo cred: Dale Huberts


Yes, from personal experience, a snotty, salty face, does not a cute Leana make! Not to mention my adoration for sterotypical French girls and Swedish girls who also seem to look great without a spot of makeup. Alas, all of these things I am not. I am a Canadian-born Chinese girl who over-plucked her eyebrows in junior high and still lives with the consequences (a special shout out to Rapidlash for helping me get my brows back on track!).

Even my ‘au natural’ days – like the days I used to spend living and volunteering on an Irish farm, involved some level of primping. A touch of concealer, blush, brows and curled lashes and yes, just a little swipe of Smith’s Rosebud Salve which I carted with me on the long plane ride from Canada. I’m not sure if anyone would even know the difference if I didn’t spend the extra 15 minutes in the morning freshening up my face, but I didn’t do it for them, I did it for me.

Actual photo of me milking a cow in Ireland

Actual photo of me milking a cow in Ireland


When I got married 8 years ago and my husband and I were getting ready to go to Maui for our honeymoon, we didn’t have a lot of time in the morning to get ready before our flights. And my husband, knowing my propensity for primping, told me to just do the “Airport Express!” I love this term and have been using it ever since.

The Airport Express is my “no makeup” makeup. This look usually involves a touch of concealer around the eyes and nose, a bit of shadow to define my barely-there brows, a smudge of a neutral brown shadow on my lids near my lash line – usually with my finger, a quick curl of my eyelashes and a sweep of lipbalm.

Everyone has their own version of the Airport Express and I can imagine many of them being less involved than mine (and some perhaps more?). Though for interest’s sake, I wanted to share my version. In fact, my Airport Express, may even be someone else’s version of everyday or even a dressed-up day!

No matter. We are all different and I’ve come to accept and admit the fact that I indeed have a “no makeup” makeup look. If I ever appear bare-faced around town, I likely am not.  I do actually enjoy going au-natural, but this is usually reserved for the evenings in the comfort of my own home. And this is not because I can’t or won’t go completely barefaced when out and about (because I definitely have on the odd occasion), it is because I prefer not to.

I’ve experienced too many women out running errands, who’ve stopped by a makeup counter while I was working just to ‘pick something up’ and catch a glimpse of themselves in the mirror and shrivel back in horror or smoosh their face right up to the mirror and proclaim how terrible they look. Here are a couple things I know: 1) Mirrors are everywhere, and 2) Fluorescent lights are NEVER flattering.

Knowing these two things, and just because I like spending a few minutes in the mornings taking care of myself; on my ‘natural’ days, I do myself the favor of implementing the Airport Express.

Here are some of my favorite products for this:

MAC products can be purchased at MAC locations and other items Sephora.

MAC products can be purchased at MAC locations and other items Sephora.


1. MAC eyeshadow in Corduroy or Cork. Doesn’t matter which color really. I use either one depending on my mood. I will smudge a bit on my eyelids near my lash line (sometimes on both the bottom and the top) and then use the MAC 266 brush (below) to brush a little color into my brows.

2. MAC #266 brush

3. For days I need something longer lasting on my eyes, I use either MAC Groundwork Paint Pot or the aptly named Quite Nautral Paint Pot underneath shadow or instead of shadow applied with my finger.

4. MAC Studio Finish Concealer. I have used this concealer for over 15 years, and yes, perhaps I need to branch out, but it does work for me!

5. Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Balm. It is thicker in texture so I don’t need to reapply often and it has the nicest natural hint of color.

6. And if I am particularly blotchy, I may lightly swirl a bit of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural on my cheeks.

7. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler.  (The best!)


And there you have it folks, secret’s out. :)  So what’s your version of “The Airport Express”?






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2 Comments on “The Airport Express – The “No Makeup” Makeup – Natural Makeup Essentials

  • haha.. Im always packing up until the last minute and making my flight by with a couple minutes to spare so never get a chance to get ready at all before a flight…I’ll have to try some of your routine though on a natural day! You mentioned rapid lash…have you tried it for lash growth?? I was thinking of trying it as my lil short half asian lashes are a real downer lately and I find if at least I got lashes I dont feel the need for makeup much. I have read some neg reviews on peoples lashes falling out after using it for awhile though… so kinda scared me off the idea… In a few blogs I heard of fyisiko which is a lash serum that is suppose to be much more natural and less chemically…. I was thinking about giving that a try – heard anything about it? Their site looks pretty mediocre/ less professional so it makes me a bit hesitant but lots of positive reviews out there if they are real and unbiased….

    Love your site – I learn lots!! Thanks!

    • Hi Jaclyn! Thanks for reading and commenting! Yes I did try Rapidlash for a while on my eyelashes. I liked the results. My lashes didn’t necessarily get much thicker but they definitely got longer. But then someone else who was also using Rapidlash mentioned to me that she noticed that she was getting darker circles with it (which I hadn’t noticed at the time)- and then all of a sudden, I began to notice darker circles on myself! I’m not sure if it was in my head or not (it could’ve been!) but I stopped just in case. But when I was using it, I didn’t notice any unusual loss of lashes. It is supposed to condition your lashes so they grow longer than normal but like your normal lashes, they do fall out eventually. I also noticed that when I did lose a lash when I was using the serum, they grew back pretty quick! I think the thing is with any lash serum that you have to keep using it if you want to keep the results. I noticed results for sure and I’ve been using it on my brows for almost 2 years now. It’s made a huge difference for me there. I buy the tube at Costco (for about $50) and it lasts me several months. I looked up Fysiko and there seems to be even more mixed reviews than Rapidlash and some of the blog reviews were sponsored posts (meaning the company sent them the product to review and the blogger may or may not have been compensated). It could be worth a try but it also does seem a little pricey.

      I hope that helps! :)


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