The Secret Recipe: Foundation Better Than Facetune

There is only one recipe that I will be dishing out this holiday season, and that is the secret sauce for flawless foundation.

Your sweet mother doesn’t simply toss a turkey in the oven & call it a day… No, she preps, primes, glazes & garnishes the $%*# out of that bird before it’s proudly served and showcased on her finest Mackenzie Childs china. I’m a lot like a Thanksgiving turkey in the sense I have to be plucked, prodded, and stuffed for hours with meticulous preparation before I am ready to be served to the world. I think the only difference, is that my gravy comes in the form of a beaming Skin Frosting highlight. But the outcome is the same: delicious, juicy, white meat. Too far?

Tonight is Thanksgiving Eve, the biggest bar night of the year. It is a night where we all annually gather at the local watering holes in our hometown & have an unofficial high school reunion. Tonight is the night where you are guaranteed to see every person you’ve ever dated AND hated, so it’s quite essential that you look your absolute hottest & remind them all that they still aint shit.

After finalizing the last finishing touches to this makeup equation, I put my secret “flawless foundation” recipe to the test, and here’s what happened… A straight male referred to my skin as “GLOWING,” unsolicited.

Allow me to explain.

On Sunday, I partook in a boozy brunch with my best guy friend. I will be accepting girlfriend applications for him in the near future… {young, handsome, Harvard Business grad, CEO, will fly you around on his jets, supply unlimited cocktails, and is hands down THE funniest human} The year was 2012, the day: 4th of July. The moment he jumped off of the “Leightstar” mega-yacht, backwards, with a sailors cap on, an American flag in one hand, the other plugging his nose as he pencil dove into the Pacific {he claims he was taking a tequila shot, not plugging the nose- I beg to differ, I know what I saw…} I knew that he was destined to become one of my great partners in crime. We’ve been besties ever since. He is the Sebastian to my Katherine, the Serena to my Blair. What this man also is, is a true asshole. Okay wait. Let me back it up for a minute. He’s sweet as apple pie… But as my platonic male bff, he will not hesitate to dish me a heaping dose of brutal honesty.

9:30 AM on Sunday AM
*I pick up first ring, per usual*
BFF: What are you doing?
Me: Coding my blog, you?
BFF: Annnnddd boner GONE…
BFF: Wanna go to brunch?
Me: Yup, be at your house in an hour and a half.

I had one crisp hour to prepare to face my most frank critic. I hadn’t seen him in months, and although I’ve been LIVING for my current “single but not quite ready to mingle” glow-up, I was nervous. Could I handle the truth? Although he keeps getting older, the girls he hangs around keep getting younger… Would he think I looked older in comparison? Weathered, perhaps? I’m at my lowest adult weight, thanks to my keto-ish diet, but what if my scale was a liar and the body aesthetic really was subpar? Was my outfit chic? Hair glossy? Teeth resembling that of “Hollywood Brights” veneers? I needed to find out if my tried & true tips that I hawk on this very site were working…

So I followed my formula, whipped up a pretty, soft, daytime glam look, strapped on my black thigh-high boots, and hit the road. As I seamlessly got through the guard gate without a single question asked {PERK: If you look nice enough, you can get through security & Gone Girl the shit out of him without any warning} I skkkkrt’d up the mountain, then up the winding driveway that so many ladies before me have Insta Storie’d, and finally strutted up to what Jade & I affectionately refer to as, “The Stairway to Hell” aka the front door. I dramatically swung it open, ready for my grand entrance, but nothing but the picturesque Paradise Valley panoramic view was there to greet me. “Hellooooo…?”

When I finally found him {without a glass of Pinot G in hand, which is how I prefer to be greeted- for those who are taking notes} I couldn’t believe the gleam in the eye, the full head to toe checkout, and warm welcome… What was going on in this terrorist’s head? Was he about to tell me that I looked like a steaming pile of garbage? That maybe we should brunch at the local Denny’s so that he wouldn’t be seen with me?

“EG!!!!!!! You look GREAT!!! So chic! I love this!!!!”

Okay, the outfit of a burgundy ribbed crewneck bodysuit, dark high waisted jeans, and black otk boots passed the test. The full coverage look was risky– not quite the aesthetic of the Dolly Parton Jr’s that typically run around Scottsdale, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination.

A bit later, grabs my waist… “EG! This body! Where did it come from?!?! Looking SNATCHED!”

Eating nothing but Trader Joe’s chili lime chicken patties & hardboiled eggs was paying off. This was good news. Sidenote: Where did he learn this word?

But truly, guys… The compliment that really takes the cake, the one that I value above all else, something that takes time, dedication, and a SECRET SAUCE, came next.

As we sat across from each other, swapping our juiciest gossip + funniest stories, he paused. Of course I had positioned myself in the perfect lighting, but I must argue that that wasn’t where this compliment stems from.

“Erika… You seriously look GOOD.”


“I think it’s your skin… it’s like GLOWING. Or maybe you just packed on the makeup today? Idk. You just look really good.”

Me: * shrugs * Probably just from drinking lots of water…


So we brunched. We laughed. It was a Sunday well-spent. Somewhere between my second grapefruit basil martini & publicly humiliating myself by having my friends film me on Insta stories “droppin it low” tongue out, Cardi B style, I was sure that my look had lost its lustre. But alas, I am thrilled to report that I have cinematic evidence of me giving a full fledged lip-synching performance to Mariah Carey “Always Be My Baby” exactly 7 hours after applying my war paint, and the glam still looked BOMB. So, you see, this secret recipe not only stands the test of time, but also alcohol. Lots of alcohol. If you are a reader of this blog, I hope that is something that you’re looking for & can truly appreciate in your life.

K, so here’s the tea.

TRUST THE PROCESS! Your makeup is NOT going to look bomb if you don’t PREP to the gods. My full skincare regimend can be found here

Honestly, thinking about applying makeup without out a beautiful moisturizer & primer is barbaric and gives me fucking hives. I’d rather… Well… Let’s just say I’d rather do a LOT of terrible things, before I had to go to a significant event with a face full of dry, crusty makeup. Just like the cooking analogy earlier, if you want your makeup to turn out a MASTERPIECE, you must follow the proper steps.

& Here’s how you do it…

  1. Double cleanse {don’t forget the facial massage!}, exfoliate, ice roll, & quickie dermaplane {this is a fuzz free zone}
  2. JetLag Mask {quarter sized & rubbed in} let it sink in for 10 mins. Don’t rinse! I’ve said it once & I’ll say it again, this mask is the MVP and has made THE absolute biggest difference in my makeup.
  3. FakeBake Coconut Oil Serum on the neck & decolletage! I swear THIS is the best snatched neck//jawline game changer. Also, as psycho as this sounds, I feel like the pretty tan glow reflects on to your face! Blend your foundation into the neck {always} & BRONZE UP! Your tits are the window to your soul. Give her a tan, give her a shimmer & watch his eyes glimmer {I hate myself}
  4. GlamGlow Glow Starter Moisturizer. Hydrated AF, so creamy, smells like a creamscicle, “glow starter” is the most perfect name, as it truly does get the pretty skin party started. K, I just really can’t beat their very own description, “delivers a rush of hyaluronic acid, plus vitamins and green tea for energized and moisturized skin. Added illuminating pearl particles help make you look instantly more radiant (as if that were possible), blurring and reflecting light, so that all lighting is good lighting.”
  5. Smashbox Photo Finish : a nice little squeeze to REALLY fill pores and get a blank canvas, silicone finish makes makeup GLIDE on & sit perfectly on top of the primer
  6. Too Faced Born This Way Foundation : “Golden Beige” w/ damp Beauty Blender. I swear to you, this is the absolute best foundation of ALL time! Infused with so many sexy, skin nourishing ingredients, like coconut water & hylauronic acid, which keeps you hydrated and smooth.
  7. Mac Studio Fix Powder all over : #1 BEST KEPT SECRET FOR FLAWLESS, SOFT, VELVET SKIN THAT STAYS ALL DAY. It wears SO beautifully & you won’t ever need to touch up!

Good luck to you all on your conquests this evening! May you all be dubbed the “Hometown Hottie” of 2018 & have everyone buzzing about how gorgeous and snatched you looked, while the wretched haters text about you under the Thanksgiving table as they drown their jealousy in a plate of green bean casserole and pumpkin pie like the basic bitches they are!

As for me, will I be able to stay true to my goal of CAPPUCINNOS > COCKTAILS tonight, in attempt to keep it CUTE and not sloppy? Probs not. So follow along on my Insta Stories @erikagarrett for a glimpse of the ratchetry that IS Old Town Scottsdale, and come back tomorrow for my post all about how I found the ever-coveted Stuart Weitzman Highland OTK boot’s IDENTICAL TWIN for less than $100!

3 Responses
  • Kim
    November, 27, 2018

    May need to try the tanning serum!! That foundation has a beautiful finish but just doesn’t last on my oily skin, no matter how many primer precautions I take lol.

  • Natasha Kalita
    November, 30, 2018

    Hey Erika!
    Just wonder about the Mac Studio fix powder. How do you apply it? With the pad or a powder brush? If a brush, which one? I’m really working on upping my skin game and I’m going to purchase a bunch of your suggestions tomorrow!
    Also….is the Drunk Elephant bronzi drops the only type of self-tanner you apply to your face? I see you use fake bake on your body, but what on your face to match?
    Thanks so much, girl!!
    Natasha xo

  • Aislinn Lowe
    December, 23, 2018

    I loved this! And I’m actually shocked I’m leaving the first comment cause there was a LOT of value in this post. Keep them coming EG! <3

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