Makeup in Coffee Shops: Harlem Edition (Video ‘Tutorial’)

As a conscious New Yorker, I think a lot about the people around me, their habits, their securities and insecurities. In high school, I started watching makeup tutorials on YouTube and had a small (discontinued) beauty blog. When I moved to Manhattan, I loved the effortless look of the women around me.

But since 2010, YouTube has become a sea of contour with waves of highlighter. I found a refreshing, new take on getting ready from one YouTube who does her makeup in New York coffee shops

I’ve always wanted that “I’m trying but not really” look, and I found solace in the french makeup artist turned YouTube beauty guru (is that what we’re calling them these days?), Violette from violette_fr. Her skin is well-taken care of, and her looks draw inspiration from Renaissance art, classic movie stars, and the world around her.

I love the mood that coffee and cafés give to her videos, and though my meager first try is (in my opinion) sub par, it was a fun experiment.

The benefit of putting on makeup in public is that you use less. The pressure of people looking at you, the natural lighting, the caffeine; it all culminates in minimalism. Once you realize that no one cares what you look like or what you’re doing, it’s easier to be you, to feel enough like yourself to want to look life yourself.

So, for this ‘no-makeup makeup’ at Caféine cafe on 115th street, I used very natural-looking and mostly organic products.

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 12.36.43 PM
I’m not naked.


There was a time when I used a lot of foundation and concealer, but as I got older, stopped eating dairy, and my skin finally cleared, I only use concealer where I need it, and powder where I don’t want to shine.



Pacifica Transcendent Concentrated Concealer: Natural  $16.99

bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Foundation Powder: 01 Clearly Porcelain $28.00


I tend to only use eyeliner not eyeshadow, most days I wear black but today I ran a light, sparkly brown color along the upper half and lower third of my eyelashes. I don’t usually wear mascara because I feel like it always melts off my face.

–I also tamed the caterpillar brows with some tined brow gel.

Mineral Fusion Eye Pencil: Touch $16.99

NYX Tinted Brow Mascara: Black $6.99


Using your lipstick as a blush is the best trick I ever learned.

It adds an element of cohesion to the look that mimics the natural undertones in your skin. That’s to say, you lips naturally match your cheeks, with or without lipstick on.

Even if I wear a bold, red lip, I like to dab the color off of my mouth and onto the round part of my cheeks, blending it up towards the cheekbones.

Kosas Lipstick: Undone $24.00

That’s pretty much it. I’m no makeup artist, just a humble coffee drinker and lipstick lover.

–Grace Guarnieri



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