Do I have to start each and every blog post with a warm, welcoming message like “Hi!” or “Welcome back!”? I hope not because that will get
annoying repetitive. This is one of those things that fall under the awkward blogger issues you experience before you really know what you’re doing or how to interact with your 54 loyal followers #celebstatus. It’s like when you’re the last one to show up at an event (story of my life) and all of your friends are already there. The punishment you receive for being chronically late is having to greet each and every single person in attendance (if you’re from Long Island, that’s comprised of air-kissing on the cheek and simultaneously saying “hi.” Kill me.) So off you go, lugging your handbag over your shoulder trying not to bump anyone’s drink while you make your way around the room. Sorry, I don’t care if you’re Audrey Hepburn…there’s no graceful way to do that. Anyway, just know that I’m really excited you’re here, even if I don’t express it individually every time.
So, as you’ve gathered from my previous posts, I have a few
life sucking health issues that are currently and rudely interfering with my, well…whole entire life. But, I’m turning lemons into lemonade and using my time to blog about things that I love and anything cosmetic certainly falls under that category. Even though I (thankfully) don’t have health issues that have drastically changed my physical appearance, I definitely don’t look as ‘healthy’ as I did a year ago. Anything that hides the fact that I’m running on a few hours of sleep and have limited blood-flow to my essential organs face is a friend of mine! Fake it ’til you make it.
Through the years, I’ve refined my make-up routine and products. I started with Bonne Bell in middle school, Maybelline and Covergirl in high school, and MAC and anything I could afford in college. I finally settled on a pretty great mixture of drug-store and “luxury” label makeup in my twenties. However, my beauty routine took a non-existent nosedive once I started feeling really sick in October. I’d like to think that this period of
nightmareish hell reflection is beneficial to my beauty routine as I’ve had time to really assess what I love, what I could live without, and where I could streamline the process (always looking for ways to save my spoons!)
When it comes to
anything in life cosmetic products, I toggle between my God-given nature thinking that ‘more is better’ and the minimalistic lifestyle I’m trying evolve into. I recently did a huge clean out of my makeup stash and only kept things that I loved or wanted to give another try. Even though I’ve been hanging onto MAC Candy Yum Yum for two years because I read a blog that told me I needed to have it, I’ve learned that I am not Beyonce and my pale-toned skin looks ridic in hot pink neon lipstick…trash bin. What was left over were the tried-and-true products that would help make getting ready less of a fuss, cut down on time and energy, and would make me look alive like a better version of myself.
As I’ve mentioned on Insta and in my previous post, I am currently in New York for a month. Although I wish I could’ve packed every product I own (again, trying really hard to get rid of the ‘more is better’ mentality) I had to bring the bare minimum. I’ve rounded up the basics of my
going out in public every day look to share with you and added in a few extras for good measure. This routine should take no more than 5 (okay, maybe 7) minutes and will have your non-Beyonce self screaming “I woke up like this!”
Laura Mercier Flawless Face Polish– I received a sample of this from Sephora and have really been loving it in the morning when I wash my face. It creates a good canvas for makeup application which is why I’ve included it in my routine. This face polish has a creamy consistency with very fine microbeads so it exfoliates the skin and leaves it feeling clean, soft, and refreshed.
Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream– This is a makeup must have. I was using Peter Thomas Roth CC cream but wasn’t loving it. I saw this product in several beauty tutorials and each of the beauty bloggers raved about it. Initially, I was a little turned off by ‘Acne Solutions’ on the label because typically, acne products have a tendency to cause excessive dryness but this was not the case at all! This BB Cream is a combination of a moisturizer, suntan lotion, and foundation in one, cutting down on time and products needed. It leaves my skin so soft and moisturized and has amazing coverage despite how lightweight it is. It will not clog pores, cause breakouts, and looks extremely natural. I’m obsessed. My only disagreement is that I would not consider this a “cream” by any means as it has a very watery consistency. You have to shake the bottle before each use, squeeze a little onto your fingertips and pat it into the skin. A little goes a long way so this bottle will last a while. If there’s one product I would say you need to get, it’d be this one.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer– The holy grail of concealers. After years of trying a ton of drug store and luxury concealers, this one was recommended to me and it was truly love at first test. This product has great coverage (which you obviously want in a concealer!), has a good variety of colors for every skin tone, and is amazing for under eye circles because, as the name states, it’s radiant! It brightens the skin and doesn’t crease or wear off throughout the day. Love, love, LOVE.
Bare Minerals Mineral Veil Powder– If you’re looking for a sheer, matte powder to set your makeup while minimizing pores and giving an airbrushed finish (no big deal), this will fit the bill. I brush a little bit (with this) all over my face after applying the two products above and it does the trick. However, I will say that although I don’t have any complaints, I don’t know if there’s anything special about it that would make me purchase it again. I’m trying to finish each product I have before purchasing a similar product but as soon as the Mineral Veil runs out, I’m grabbing this.
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter– I don’t use the product every day but if I want to look a little more awake, I either add a little bit to the Nars concealer under my eye area or apply it to the highs of my cheekbones where the light would naturally hit. I have the color ‘light boost’ which has a yellow undertone but want to try ‘radiant rose’ which has a pink undertone. This is a quick and easy product if you feel like getting a little fancy.
Urban Decay Naked Flushed– My sister gave me this palate while I was getting ready for my rehearsal dinner and I fell in love. The compact includes a bronzer, highligher, and blush so it’s great when you’re on the go and the slight shimmer gives a pretty, dewy look to the skin. I was pretty tan for my wedding and it looked really great back then and I’m
translucent pale now and the colors still look natural. I usually skip the bronzer and highlighter during the day and just add a little blush (with this brush) to my cheeks to give me some life color. (I can’t be in the heat/sun unless I want to call the concrete my bed and skin cancer also runs in my family. I’m okay with the Bella Swan look now!)
Anastasia Brow Wiz– I just started using eyebrow products within the last couple years and out of the few products I’ve tried, this is definitely the best for me. It’s a thin pencil so you can make hair-like strokes and is waterproof so it lasts all day and night. I will say that I don’t love spending $21 on my eyebrows but I’ve tried several times to find a less-expensive dupe from the drug store unsuccessfully. They do say Anastasia is the goddess of eyebrows so in this case, I’m sticking to what works for now!
Chanel Conditioning Lip Balm– I really like this balm and it’s great for everyday use but don’t think I’ll be repurchasing it. I was looking for a replacement to my MAC lip conditioner ($16) that was sadly discontinued and although this product does keeps my lips nice and hydrated, I don’t need to spend $36 on a glorified chapstick #ballinonabudget.
MAC Lip Glass– This color, Bubble Tea, is discontinued but C-Thru is a close comparison. I love the slight hint of pinky-nude shimmer this gloss gives to my ‘bare’ lips (worn over the above) and it’s also great over other lip color. I will admit that I don’t love how sticky it feels at first and how my hair is always getting stuck in it when the wind blows! I’m really trying to love lipglosses as I’m not really a lipstick person but the jury is still out.
L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara– I watched a Jessie James Decker (major girl crush) makeup tutorial last year and she swore by this mascara. Naturally, I put down my iPad and
drove ran to the CVS down the street to purchase it. This is the second one I’ve purchased and although I love the super-black color, I find that it causes my lashes to get a little clumpy. You also cannot add a second coat to freshen your look before a doctor’s appointment night out as the texture gets very stiff and those annoying little black flakes fall all over your face. (It’s okay JJD, I still love ya though.) My favorite mascara ever is Maybelline Full N’ Soft. I have been a loyal fan since the seventh grade and it has never let me down. I sadly left it back in D.C. (separation anxiety) but will gladly switch back to it upon my return! My lashes stay soft, full, and clump-free all day and you can layer on another coat or mascara with ease. (I love adding a coat of this to amp them up a bit.)
I am aware that a lot of these products are on the pricier end and am in no way only advocating the use of “luxury” makeup. As I mentioned, I had to pack my essential products and I’ve found that these are the products that work with my skin the best. For example, I’ve tried tons of drug store concealers and just never found one to work as well as some of the higher-priced options. As far as mascara goes, I really try to save money and purchase drugstore brands being I don’t think the quality is all that different. You have to find what works for you and your budget! I’m really trying to invest in my skin now that I’m getting older and sometimes that equates to paying a little more and cutting back in other areas. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any makeup recommendations, please leave them in the comments below! Thanks for reading!