As I mentioned in my last post, I recently expanded my makeup collection. When I started wearing makeup at about age 18, I stuck with the basics -- mineral concealer, foundation, and blush. And really, the only one I used consistently was the foundation. I shied away from wearing more makeup because I wanted to avoid the artificial "made-up" look at all costs!
However, recent reflection and reading left me wanting to improve my skin care regimen and makeup routine. I became optimistic that I could use more makeup without the dreaded artificial look, and so set about finding products that would meet my criteria.
What are my criteria?
- Natural. First and foremost. Anything that I slather on my skin undergoes a rather vigorous inspection of ingredients. I usually check the Skin Deep Database; while it doesn't have every product I look up, it does give me a good starting point (plus, even if it doesn't have a specific product, you can still look up individiual ingredients).
- Economical. By economical, I do not mean "as cheap as possible." My first criteria kind of precludes that possibility, since I've yet to find a truly natural product that's as cheap as a Walmart store brand! But while I'm willing to invest a little in my skin, I can't afford pricey night creams or luxe lip colors! Fortunately, I have found products that fit into my budget. I paid much less for my natural products than I would have spent at Sephora, and I can still feel good about what I'm putting on my skin.
- Minimal. I don't want five different moisturizers, a dozen eye shadows, and three concealers -- because that means I have to store them somewhere. This helps with my second criteria, because I'm not buying endless variants of the products I already have. I expect my products to multi-task as much as possible (I don't want one moisturizer for my eyelids, one for my cheekbones, and another for my chin). Plus, fewer options means that I spend less time deciding what to use every morning!
Before we go on, I should warn you that words like "highlighting" and "contouring" do not exist my makeup vocabulary. Really, what I want is a "no makeup" look that takes a few minutes to achieve with a bare minimum of products and tools. I'm talking a little blemish cover (when necessary) and a relatively even skin tone. So for those of you who are artistic or actually have a clue about how to apply makeup, my little show-and-tell will probably be useless.
Also, my goal in applying makeup is to try to enhance what my face already has going. I do not want to drastically alter my appearance! I remember my husband mentioning that he stopped by a family friend's house as a teenager, and almost didn't recognize the makeup-less woman who answered the door because she normally wore quite a bit of makeup. I don't want to feel like I need to "put on my face" whenever I appear in public. I also don't want to feel smothered under layers and layers of products. I want my children kissing my cheeks, not my makeup! Just for the record, I'm not suggesting I'm an authority on how much makeup one should wear; this is simply my personal preference.
With that in mind, here's a look at my current collection of products:
The only products missing from this picture would be my Reviva Labs Rosewater and the mineral makeup compact I keep in my bag -- I took these pictures while "modeling" my new makeup bag, and my 8oz. bottle of rosewater was a bit large for my bag! I'll have to put some in a smaller bottle for travel purposes.
And here are my brushes:
|From left to right: eyeshadow brush, eyeliner, eyebrow brush/lash separator,|
blush brush, and complexion brush.
Yes, I have a very minimal brush collection! I do have one concealer brush from Everyday Minerals that's not pictured. The rest are all inexpensive e.l.f. brushes available at Walmart, but I've been quite satisfied. My makeup routine is simple, and I've found that this is all I currently need. I was skeptical about the eyebrow brush, but have actually found it quite useful -- I have rather thick eyebrows, and the little brush keeps them tamed. I rarely use the lash separator side.
Now, on to specific products -- I'll provide links to the specific items I purchased, as well as the prices I paid (often less than the price listed in the link, as prices change and I had a coupon code when I ordered):
MOISTURIZER: CSI Argan oil -- $7.29
I'd not used Argan Oil as a moisturizer before, and I must say that I love it! Even though $7 for 1 oz. is cheap compared to high-end products, it seemed a bit spendy to me. However, a little goes a long way, and I'm thrilled with the product itself. It leaves my skin smooth but not greasy, it has no odor, and I love knowing it's gentle enough to use on my face. I think I can find it slightly cheaper next time, if I buy a 2 oz. bottle. I use this twice daily, before makeup application in the morning and just before bed.
MAKEUP PRIMER: Reviva Labs Makeup Primer -- $10.88
This was another product I'd never tried before, but I'm quite smitten now. A pea-sized squirt is more than enough for my entire face, and it has such a lusciously smooth feeling! However, I won't be purchasing this product again because it contains Vitamin A palmitate. Sadly, I didn't look up that ingredient before buying it! I think I'll finish the bottle, but when it runs out I'll probably replace it with 100% Pure Primer. I use this daily under my makeup.
LIPS: Honeybee Gardens Luscious Lip Gloss (Eternity) -- $6.47
I don't like wearing lip color, since my lips naturally have some color. I regularly use balm for moisture, but I do like having a gloss for a more dressed-up feel. I'm quite satisfied with this gloss (it has a lovely peppermint taste!), and will probably purchase it again in the future. I wear it about once a week.
MASCARA: Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara (Espresso) -- $7.19
Mascara was another new product for me, primarily because natural options have not really been available until recently (at least in my budget!). It has one or two ingredients that are iffy, but nothing higher than a "4" in the Skin Deep Database. I'm not concerned about it for occasional use. As far as the product itself, I've not had enough experience to be a good judge, but I'm personally satisfied. I haven't had clumping issues, and I like that it's easy to remove (but no smearing problems, either). It's a keeper. I use it about 4-5 days per week.
CONCEALER, FOUNDATION, AND BLUSH: Everyday Minerals -- approx. $5 - $12 each
I've been using Everyday Minerals ever since I started wearing makeup, and have yet to find mineral makeup at a better price. They used to have fantastic deals in by-gone days, but even now they're still quite affordable. I have the mint color corrector (my original large size! It lasts forever...), multi-tasking neutral foundation, and a blush in a shade similar to this. I'll probably find a different concealer when mine runs out (in about 10 years, by my calculations *wink*). I really like mineral makeup because I feel that I can easily control how much I put on. That's a big plus when you're trying to achieve a natural look.
As I mentioned before, I am not educated in art of makeup application. And quite honestly, that's okay with me. I use a complexion brush to dust on a light layer of foundation, a blush brush for my blush, and call it good. I use foundation and blush daily, and concealer as required.
EYESHADOW: Honeybee Gardens Chai ($4.58) and Flirtatious ($5.21); Cocoa powder
Yet another new product! I really don't apply my eyeshadow properly, since I just pick a color and dust it on my eyelids. But it works for me, and I'm quite pleased with the Honeybee Gardens eyeshadows. The cocoa powder was just a thought, and it seems to work just as well as the others! I wear eyeshadow 5-6 days a week.
EYE LINER: Honeybee Gardens Eye Liner (Belgian Chocolate) -- $5.66
More Honeybee Gardens! I'm quite a fan of their products now. I'm still learning the finer points of eye liner application, but so far, so good. I went with a brown eyeliner instead of black, because I felt it wouldn't stand out as much. I also bought a cheap $1 e.l.f. eye liner set at Walmart in order to get the sharpener! I use eyeliner daily, on about 2/3 of my upper lid only.
EYE LASH CURLER: Trim (?) -- $2.88
I can only dream of long, curly lashes. And while I admit I've mocked eyelash curlers in the past, I'm rather fond of mine now. Even something so simple can make me feel a bit more put together, and it takes less than a minute. I use it about 4-6 days per week.
SETTING SPRAY: Reviva Labs Facial Spray Rosewater (not pictured) -- $4.58
Now, I realize I could have made rosewater myself, but I decided to try it out before I invested the time and effort. The Reviva Labs Rosewater has a few more ingredients than I'd like, so I'll probably look for something simpler next time.
As for the rosewater itself, though, I'm sold! I've never like the scent of rose in the past, but apparently that's changed (fortunately). It's remarkably refreshing, and I've noticed that my makeup seems to stay put longer (and look better, to boot). I use rosewater once or twice daily -- a schpritz or two right after I apply makeup, and another after I moisturize at night.
TRAVEL COMPACT: Honeybee Gardens Powder Compact ($7.28) and Honeybee Gardens Pressed Mineral Powder in Supernatural ($6.92)
I was quite excited to find an affordable powder compact! Both the compact and the powder cost less than $15, and I'm very satisfied with the products. I keep the compact in my purse for touch-ups or last-minute application. The mineral powder stays put with a clever magnet, so it's easy to replace (though I have a feeling mine will last quite a while).
And that's that! I'm quite content with my little collection, and find that I enjoy the simplicity of having only a few options. This is akin to my recent wardrobe makeover -- when I have less to choose from but I love what I do have, I'm ultimately happier. Even when I use everything in my makeup collection, I don't feel unnatural or artificial. While makeup is not a necessity to me, I've found that applying it in the morning (even if it's just foundation, blush, and a bit of eyeliner or mascara) makes me feel more dressed and intentional.
I'm curious -- what's in your makeup kit? I'd love to hear about your tips and favorite products!