This year I’ve made it a priority to finally figure out what I’m doing with my skincare and makeup. I really have felt clueless about makeup and skincare my whole life, but with a little effort it’s something I can figure out. My goal is to have a streamlined beauty uniform that feels like “me” and will work for years to come. I’m 31 with 3 kids, and hadn’t really adjusted my makeup drawer or skin care since I was an acne prone college student who got her makeup done once at a Clinique counter. It’s time.
To recap, I started by compiling a ton of research and narrowing down to my style. I wanted to focus on my skin first, then adding on makeup to create a natural, rosy look. A minimalist makeup bag with the essentials was my ideal for everyday. I started experimenting with some new skincare products since my skin has become a lot drier. The acne line I had been using wasn’t helping my skin anymore. I’ve found some products I really love and have gotten into a habit of taking care of my skin first. In the same lines, I started drinking smoothies to help with what’s nourishing my skin from the inside. I can’t believe how much I crave moisturizing my face and drinking a smoothie now that I’ve gotten the routine down.
So, today I’m going to share a little update on my makeup drawer. This is kind of a midway progress report. There are still a few things I’d like to update. More on that below…
Step 1. Skin.
In the past, I only used blush and added spot concealer if I had a blemish. Foundation always felt heavy and like a mask, so I avoided it even after I had a lot of breakouts in college and would have benefited from some coverage. Ever since trying out a free sample of Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in Nude, I’ve gotten hooked on the way my skin still shows through, but a lot of the redness is neutralized. I love it, plus it is a great multi-tasker since it includes SPF and a moisturizer. The sample lasted a long time, so I felt comfortable investing a little more money than I’m used to on a product that really helped my skin look its best.
Sonia Kashuk’s chic luminosity highlighter stick in Sparkling Sand is another recent addition that I’m now hooked on. I blend it on the tops of my cheekbones and right above my top lip. It gives you a natural glow.
Then I use a Neutrogena concealer stick on any blemishes. I’m not a huge fan of this stick, because it doesn’t blend in very well. I’m on the hunt for a new concealer.
Finally, I use some blush on the apples of my cheeks. I’ve been using this e.l.f. compact ($3!) since finishing a fancier blush from MAC a couple years ago. (Note: the e.l.f. blush works SO much better if you also use the matching brush.) But I had my makeup quickly done at the Nordstrom counter last month, and the makeup artist said for my dry skin a creme blush would be a better choice since it would blend easily with my tinted moisturizer. So, I’m saving my pennies for Laura Mercier’s creme cheek color in Oleander, which is the prettiest shade of pink.
All in all, I still feel like me when I’m done with these steps but with that rosy, glowing skin I was hoping for.
Step 2. Eyes.
Since I have blue eyes with blond lashes and eyebrows, a little eye makeup can go a long way.
I’m so glad I invested in this Naked 2 eye palette by Urban Decay about 3 years ago, since it is still going strong. It comes with a really good brush. I use the “Tease” shadow to fill in my brows and the other colors as eye shadow and highlighter. (In fact, if you wanted to, you could use “Bootycall” to replace the Sonia Kashuk highlighter above or vice versa.) As part of my research this year, I stumbled on this how-to video, which I found really helpful even though I’m going for a more pared-down look.
Next I add eye liner and mascara, which I’ve been playing around with lately. Brown is always my go-to color for both, since it complements blue eyes and doesn’t look too harsh. I hadn’t worn mascara in a long time, and I don’t like to spend a ton of money on it since you should replace it every few months to avoid bacteria growth. Maybelline’s Full ‘N Soft mascara has been a winner, especially with this tip to do 30 quick strokes, instead of just one or two. It makes a huge difference! For eyeliner, I wanted to try a gel since it claims to stay on longer, but I accidentally bought one at Target that you had to use a sharpener with. So I switched to Sonia Kashuk’s twist-up longwear liner and I’d say it’s ok, but not great. I’ll be switching back to Revlon Colorstay when this one is used up.
I liked that e.l.f. eyeliner and shadow stick in Shadow Smoke shown above, since it was the only way I’ve ever mastered a smoky eye (see it in this post), but I really haven’t used it since. So, I pitched it to keep a more minimal makeup drawer. I’ve done this with a lot of old makeup and samples I was hanging onto. They ended up just being clutter, and I’d rather just have a go-to look that works all the time.
I’d still like to add a new eyelash curler, and I’m thinking about this Kevyn Aucoin one, which has great reviews.
Step 3. Lips
Well since this photo was taken, I’ve thrown away the NARS lipstick since Zach really hated it and it dried out my lips. Plus, my favorite, favorite thing for my lips was in my purse. It’s the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rose, and it’s subtly rosy, has SPF, and keeps my lips really soft. I do like the Passion color which has more pigment to it (shown above), but if I had to pick only one it would be Rose.
The Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm in natural mint & shea butter was a sample I tried (still going strong since December!) and it’s awesome. I love using it at night when I put on my night moisturizer to stave off chapped lips.
So, I have a little shopping list going forward, but I feel like I’ve made so much progress since January! It’s exciting to see it all come together and to see how much faster I’ve gotten at my routine. I definitely have it under 10 minutes now. I’ll probably share one more post going forward of my final, pared down makeup essentials. How’s your makeup bag looking these days? Any essentials you absolutely love? Anything you’d love to clean out or improve on?