I am the proud owner of a fairly large makeup collection. I keep track of it all on a Google Docs Worksheet; this allows me to quickly peruse my products in each category to decide which I will go for that day. It is a lot of fun picking out how I will mix and match highlighters and eyeshadows and lipsticks.
However, when on the go, I am looking for the easy button – something I won’t have to think too much about, something that will always deliver, no matter the occasion.
Today’s post is on my current makeup staples which do just that.
I always start my makeup with eyeshadow. This is because eyeshadow typically takes the most time and also I tend to make a mess with it. My face looks like a fifth grader’s art project once done so I need to wipe off any fallout before putting on my face makeup.
I give myself a minimum of half an hour in the morning to get ready for work, an hour on a good day..But sometimes when I have that dreaded 7:30 a.m. meeting to get to, even that half hour is being eaten up by my skincare routine, ironing my clothes, shimmying into my clothes, etc. In situations like that, I need be extremely efficient with my makeup.
For my eyeshadow, I usually look for singles that don’t need to be blended, layered, or otherwise tweaked too much. Such as:
Emme Cosmetics: Unexpected, Frozen Berries, Pink Lemonade (left to right)
These are satiny and muted but provide just enough color to act as a jewel in a natural look.
Each 26mm pan is CAD$6.49. The descriptions of each from the company’s website:
Unexpected: A metallic duochrome finish; a light green with a berry undertone.
Frozen Berries: A metallic duochrome finish. A color description is not available; however, this can best be described as a light berry with a pink / gold undertone / shift.
Pink Lemonade: A metallic finish with a gold sheen. A beautiful red / orange / pink with a golden sheen.
I find that these shadows are very natural. They do not offer a blazing pop of color in one swipe, which is perfect on workdays where I am rushing, want to look professional, and do not have time to fix mistakes. The duochrome effect is definitely there but not apparent enough to immediately draw the eye – and potentially distract people when I am talking to them.
My staple eye primer is by Eccentric Cosmetics. This is a small, Australia-based indie company on Etsy; their High Intensity Eyeshadow Primer is CAD$13.54 for 8s. This is a silicone based primer; in addition to locking down my eyeshadow, this is also incredibly moisturizing. My eyelids are dry and tend to get flakey and crepey when I am wearing too much eye makeup (which I usually am!). Regular primers tend to exacerbate this effect; I generally need to moisturize with petroleum jelly before I put on regular primers which I do not need to do with the Eccentric Cosmetics primer.
For my face, a staple is my Dr. Brandt Pores no More foundation primer. This is CAD$55 at Sephora for a 1oz tube. Yes – it is pricey. For someone with large pores, this is absolutely worth it. It mattifies and smoothes skin in addition to blurring over the pores in my forehead and under eye areas.
I tend to have sensitive skin and find some foundation primers to be too sticky and greasy and also cause breakouts. This one does the job (very well!) but also feels feather light on my skin with no clogging.
Next up: foundation. I experiment with different types of foundations in the search for the perfect airbrushed look. I wear foundation everyday but cannot choke my skin with layers upon layers (as long as I want to avoid breakout junction). No matter what type of foundation I am wearing, I prefer to use only a pea to a dime sized amount for my whole face. A staple foundation that I have been wearing for years is the Bare Minerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15.
I have been using this as long as I have been regularly wearing foundation – around the time of my 30th birthday, I realized I no longer felt comfortable going into work with only BB cream which adds light color but doesn’t do much for the unevenness and bumps. I went to Sephora with an open mind and was introduced to Bare Minerals.- I walked away with a starter pack and never looked back.
This foundation is fantastic because it is light and silky, minimizes imperfections, and melts into my skin. It provides full coverage but does not give me a waxy Barbie doll face – it brightens but in a my-skin-but-better kind of way. This is perfect for those days where I am going for a natural look – where I want to look like I slept very well and had just the right amount of coffee in the morning. It also lasts forever because you really do not need too much.
My shade is Medium Tan; it is available at Sephora for CAD$36 for 0.28 oz.
For my concealer, a staple right now is the Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid in Peach (masks Circles / Spots). This was originally marketed to my at my local Sephora when I went in frustrated with my dark circle issue. Lots of late evenings at work, fitful sleeping – not very good for the skin.
The sales associate at Sephora suggested that I use this underneath my concealer. However, my disdain for the plasticky wax Barbie look means I like it just fine on its own – it provides enough coverage for my dark circles without being obvious about it. I still look like a human with shadows and dimension on my face, just a more refreshed human who wasn’t chugging cup after cup of coffee until 5 p.m. the day before.
Given that this isn’t actually a concealer, the formula is runny which means it can get kind of streaky. I dab it in with my fingertip which also warms up the product.
The Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid is available for CAD$35 for 0.16oz at Sephora.
My next piece of arsenal in the fight against large pores is the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Poreless Finish Airbrush Powder. This is something I recently discovered at my local Sephora (CAD$32 for 0.23oz).
I use this in a targeted fashion right after I apply my foundation – I pat it into my trouble spots only (under-eye / cheeks / forehead).. The powder is quite white so overapplication can cause dullness. I also find that this is quite powdery so I end up wasting quite a bit of product (cloudy puffs around my face); although, this can likely be minimized with more careful application. I also find that the puff provided with the product is not the best applicator; a beauty blender works better. The formula is somewhat drying; I usually pat on petroleum jelly over the drier spots once done. Despite these minor quibbles, this product does the job – and I use it everyday.
Once I have my foundation set, it is time for some color. My staple blush at the moment is the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush. My two favorite shades are ‘Concept’ (warm coral with a satin finish) and ‘Paaarty’. I cannot find a brand description for Paaarty but it is a dirtier pink / mauve with a matte finish.
The Tarte blushes are CAD$38 for 0.2oz at Sephora. I received minis of both these shades through the Sephora rewards program. I am still working my way through the samples but will likely purchase the full size product when I run out.
The Tarte blushes are my easy button as they deliver enough color with one swipe to give me that rosy, on-the-go, energized look – without looking overdone. I am not a big blush person in general. My staples are bronzers as I love to contour and carve my face. Therefore, I always look for natural, neutral blushes that enhance instead of overwhelm my look – and these Tarte blushes deliver in spades.
Here is a photo of Concept (Credit: Temptalia):
Paaarty (Credit: Tarte Cosmetics):
And finally the lips: one of my favorite features on my face (in close pursuit are my eyebrows). For the workday, I am always looking for products that promote longevity. As I am rushing between meetings and even as I am sitting behind my desk fielding phone calls and messages from my team, from clients, and from partners – touching up my lipstick is generally the last thing on my mind.
The Sei Bella Perfecting Lip Pencil in Raisin provides a great bedrock to bolster color. I always use this (to line and to partially fill in my lips) when I am wearing a creamier formulation of lipstick. It also buttresses the color within its lines so I don’t have to worry about streaks and smears.
My last staple product for March – this is something I covered in an earlier blog post on my favorite rosy nudes for work – is the Jouer Cosmetics Long Wear Lip Creme. This is available for US$18 for 6ml on Jouer’s website and you can also buy it on Beautylish.
My favorite, no-brainer nudes for work are Naked (matte cool peachy pink), Terra (matte neutral deep ochre), Rayanne (matte cool grey nude), and Dulce de Leche (matte cool nude).
This is the best liquid lip formula I have ever tried – it is long-lasting to the point where I typically need to scrub it off at the end of the day to get rid of the color. The formula can be sticky when you first apply it but it dries down fast. The only downside is that it can be kind of streaky – when in a rush, I simply swipe it over both lips, press them together, and clean the edges with a Q-tip. I also find that this formula doesn’t accentuate the wrinkles and bumps on my lips – the formula is thick enough to conceal and smooth over.
That is all for today, folks! Do share with me what your favorite makeup staples are.