The Pretty Pastel Beauty Secrets that Refinery29’s Jen Mulrow Swears By

As a beauty editor at Refinery29, Jen Mulrow has dozens of products come across her desk every day. So how does she figure out what she really, truly swears by? Her method: weeks of good old trial and error to see what sticks in her daily routine. After starting out in the beauty closet at Glamour, where she got to see the comings and goings of the beauty world (and organized a veritable “encyclopedia of products”), Jen was hooked. Nowadays, her favorite game is trying to name the beauty products she sees on TV, just by looking at the packaging or shape. And she’s allegedly pretty good at it! She looks to anime and film for style inspiration (her go-to theater is the Metrograph), and loves to try on different personas, though she finds herself identifying “more with Sailor Moon” than the “bombshell, Brigitte Bardot type”. So dedicated is her experimentation, in fact, that she once bought a pair of chunky Fila sneakers, and instantly found herself transforming into Sporty Spice. “I suddenly had track pants,” she reveals, “and my friends were like, who are you? You’re so sporty now!” But soon enough, Jen was back to her natural state of Baby Spice—she feels most comfortable in soft shades of pink, and is drawn to a light, ethereal pastel palette, both in her beauty routine and in her closet. The bubbly, ever-curious creative loves to play around with her style, but here she shares her prettiest beauty Swears that have stood the test of time.

Pat McGrath Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner

I like to do a cat eye every day. With all the pastels I wear, it’s nice to have something sharp to contrast with all of that, to really bring it all together. I like to play up my eyes more than my lips, so I experiment a lot with that. I’ve tried a ton of different liners, and it usually ends up above my eyes or I’ll have rat eyes at the end of the day. This one goes on super wet and smooth, but once it sets, it’s like a tattoo. It does not move all day, and it’s also the blackest black. It has a fine point but a long tip, so you can lay it flat and it works well with you that way.

St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist

This is amazing, I’ve been using it all summer. You can spray it on your face, either to set your makeup or go completely makeup-free. And it gradually, over the course of 7 or 8 hours, gives you this really natural, tanned glow. It doesn’t get on your clothing or your hair, since it only reacts to your skin, so you can be super generous with it. I like to spray it all over my face, maybe every 2 to 3 days because it lasts a while. And people always ask me if I just got back from vacation, or like, "you look like you got some sun" I’m pale and Irish, so I don’t actually get any sun, but with this it’s super natural.

Canmake Cream Cheek

This is a Japanese drugstore cult favorite, but you can find it on Amazon. It’s the softest, moussy-ist, consistency. I’ll actually use it on my eyes, too, or even on my lips. It comes in a bunch of different shades. It just gives me that impossibly light pink—a lot of nudes and pinks can look a little too rosy and brown for me. I like a really exaggerated, diffused light pink.

Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Balm

This is a very sheer, moisturizing lip-balm-slash-lipstick, but it has a really nice baby pink finish which I like. It just feels like the most luxurious lipstick ever, with the little lips in the balm. It’s one of those things that I’m always excited to carry around with me in my purse. It also lasts long and just gives a very light wash of color that’s hard for me to find with even in the lightest pink shade of some lipsticks.

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

Depending on my mood, I like to go really subtle or really larger-than-life. But this luminizer is a consistent pick for every day. It has coconut oil, so it goes on smooth, and it catches the light in such a nice way without being glittery or too much. I like to put this on my cheekbones, under my brows, on the bridge of my nose, and cupid’s bow. I think highlighter can work for any age, as long as you know your face and how much you can handle. It’s so good for bringing out your favorite features.

Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Bronzer Perfect Tan

This is the perfect bronzer for me, because it’s not too orange or warm, which I think in contrast to my skin can look really obvious. It has very neutral, maybe even gray, undertones. It works very well with your skin, and I use it either as a very light contour on the outsides of my face, or all over if I want an extra glow. And the palette itself is just massive, so it’s going to last me over a year probably! I use a big fluffy brush with this, and just swirl it all around.

We think you deserve to buy only awesome things. We've asked the most discerning women out there to share what they honestly, truly swear by so you can get on with life and find your next favorite product, faster (and without all the sponsored BS).