The Beauty of Travel: a Q&A with Jenny Patinkin

Meet Jenny patinkin: Beauty expert and Author of  Lazy Perfection: The Art of Looking Great Without Really Trying

Meet Jenny patinkin: Beauty expert and Author of Lazy Perfection: The Art of Looking Great Without Really Trying


To feel like a local when you travel, it helps to look the part. That means packing a smart yet casual wardrobe, stylish accessories, and for us ladies, multi-purpose beauty products. The tools and tricks I love and use in my daily beauty regime - and on the road - came from fellow Chicago native and professional makeup artist Jenny Patinkin.

As a graduate of Jenny's Lazy Perfection Beauty School and owner of her makeup brushes, I love keeping up with Jenny as she shares the best in beauty through media appearances and her social networks. With the recent launch of her new book, Lazy Perfection: The The Art of Looking Great Without Really Trying, I was thrilled to connect with Jenny about her approach to beauty and how the globe-trotting women in the Compass & Key community can look and feel beautiful while on the road.

C&K: We love your line of makeup brushes. Can you share a bit about yourself and how Lazy Perfection came about?

Jenny: I personally don’t like to wear a lot of makeup because I think it looks more youthful and modern to keep things simple. That was always how I approached my own beauty routine, but until I started working with private clients who also prefer a simple-but-sophisticated look, I hadn’t put a name to it. Once the name of my Lazy Perfection aesthetic and philosophy was in place, the makeup brushes were a natural next step since I do feel very strongly that getting that fresh, natural look starts with high quality, super soft makeup brushes. They don’t over grab product from the pan and lay down a light, smooth layer of makeup without having to spend a lot of time blending and re-blending to make it look like you’re not wearing a lot.

Lazy Perfection Petites Set in Pink, $65

Lazy Perfection Petites Set in Pink, $65

C&K: How can “lazy perfection” apply to our beauty routines while on the road?

Jenny: Multitasking beauty products are the ideal Lazy Perfection travel tools. A makeup brush that can be used in more than one way or a compact set like my Petites, a cream blush that can also be used on your lips and lids, or an eye shadow palette that will give you lots of choices and combinations are all so compact to carry and easy to use.

C&K: Summer has arrived. What expert tips can you share for a makeup look while on a beach vacation?

I like to keep the skin pretty clean on the beach – it’s more about sun protection for me than makeup - so just a tinted sunscreen is a good option. A touch of waterproof gel liner and waterproof mascara with a lightly filled in brow and an SPF lip balm, and you’re good to go. If you want to add a bit more glamor, you can use the SPF lip balm on your eyelids and the tops of your cheeks to create a subtle glow, and adding a touch of a lip and cheek stain will give you a bit more color. Too much makeup on the beach looks very out of place and can melt away pretty quickly, so it’s always better to keep it simple.

C&K: What travel destinations are you excited about, and why?

Jenny: Aspen in the summer is my happy place. I like the fresh, clean air, and nothing energizes me more than a gorgeous view, the extra oxygen you get in a forest, the sound of leaves rustling in the wind and the crunch of stones or pine needles under my hiking shoes. Plus, the arts, dining and intellectual pursuits at The Aspen Institute create a well-rounded experience. I’m not much of a sitting-on-the-beach gal, to be honest – I prefer to be out and active.

C&K: We’re constantly looking for ways to pack light. What three beauty essentials do you always have in your carry-on bag?

Jenny: I always keep a multi-purpose balm with me to use on my lips, to hydrate around my eyes, to soften my cuticles and to tame flyaway hairs. Herbivore Botanicals is my current favorite.

A creamy concealer is probably my favorite makeup product. I use Amazing Cosmetics Hydrate around my eyes to brighten them up, on my nose and the sides of my nose to fill in pores and on my eyelids, forehead, and chin to neutralize redness. Keeping the center part of the face free from discoloration makes the rest of the face look even and pretty.

Juice Beauty Phyto Pigments Cream Blush in Seashell is a gorgeous peachy/pink color that looks good on pretty much everyone. I use it on my lids, cheeks, and lips to bring a little life to my face when I’m a jet-lagged mess.

Herbivore Botanicals Lip Conditioner, $22

Herbivore Botanicals Lip Conditioner, $22

Amazing Cosmetics Concealer Hydrate, $32

Amazing Cosmetics Concealer Hydrate, $32

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Cream Blush, $24

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Cream Blush, $24

C&K: What is your favorite piece of advice to share when it comes to beauty and travel?

Jenny: Keep your routine simple – you don’t want to spend more time in the hotel getting ready than you have to when there’s so much to see and do. And always have some sort of extra sun protection with you, like a hat. Creating your own shade as much as you can is going to keep you cool and really save your skin.

C&K: Compass & Key walking itineraries encourage wandering. Do you have a favorite area (neighborhood, street, etc.) to wander in Chicago? What are your go-to spots?

Jenny: I enjoy walking around in Bucktown and Wicker Park (on Damen and Milwaukee Avenues). It’s a very young, hipster neighborhood where trends are born, so I like to see what everyone is wearing and how they are styling themselves. And my favorite beauty boutique, Credo, is opening there this summer, so I am very excited about having all their clean beauty products available in Chicago.

I also enjoy the Michigan Avenue/Oak Street area for high-end designer shopping at Barneys, Hermès, Saint Laurent and Brunello Cucinelli. And a glass of rosé with a plate of tuna crudo outside at Fig & Olive is so chic and luxurious.

And in the evenings, it’s really fun to wander around the Fulton Market/River West area where there are some of the most exciting restaurants in Chicago. If you haven’t had a cocktail at Aviary or something to eat at Roister, then you are missing out.

Special thanks to Jenny Patinkin for sharing these fabulous beauty tips and destinations in Chicago. Her new book, Lazy Perfection: The Art of Looking Great Without Really Trying, is available now from your favorite bookseller. Pick up a copy in time for your next vacation!

All photos courtesy of Jenny Patinkin