I would like to preface this post by saying that I am not a makeup professional in any way. I wear minimal makeup on a daily basis, but even so I have found many amazing and not-so-amazing products over the past few years. I also experienced quite a bit of acne in my early teen years, and have found a few products that help to make your skin as healthy as possible. My hope for this post is that you might find a new product to try that will fit your skincare or makeup needs. 🙂
My Makeup Bag
I purchased this makeup bag at a local homewares store, and I absolutely love it. It has a coated interior, which makes cleaning it very hassle-free. I also love the design…dogs and bicycles are two of my favorite things!
After years of dealing with acne and scarred skin, I have found the right combination of products that prevent breakouts, moisturize my skin, and keep it protected from harmful UV rays.
This moisturizer is called the alba Botanica even advanced daily cream with sea lipids. I found this moisturizer while browsing through a health foods store, and it has been one of the best products for keeping my skin even and protected. It is also an all-natural product, with no harmful ingredients or animal testing. The price is average for a moisturizer at about $12, and it lasts for months.
I cannot emphasize the importance of sunscreen enough. Most people wear sunscreen only in the summertime, and rarely apply it to their face. The UV rays from the sun are actually quite harmful in the winter (especially if reflecting off of the snow), and sunscreen helps to protect your skin from all of the harsh elements. Sunscreen can also double as a makeup primer. I usually apply my sunscreen after my moisturizer and before my makeup. I use the TIZO3 Age Defying Fusion Facial Mineral Sunscreen (tinted) in SPF 40 Broad Spectrum Water Resistant. This sunscreen is on the pricier side ($39 from most retailers), but it lasts for months and is definitely worth the splurge.
I use a BB cream in place of a foundation because I prefer a lighter coverage, if needed. BB creams are perfect for hiding any redness or irritation, but don’t feel heavy or noticeable. I prefer to use the BB cream from The Body Shop called Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream (Suitable for Blemished Skin). This BB cream not only reduces the appearance of blemishes, but it helps to heal them! I have made the mistake of covering blemishes with makeup to make them less noticeable, only to have them get worse and harder to conceal. This BB cream hides most of the redness, and the tea tree oil fights the blemish to allow it to heal. Ideally, blemishes should be left alone to heal but this is a great solution for outings or special occasions. Additionally, I bought this in December 2014 (for $18), and still have most of the bottle left!
I have tried countless blemish treatments, with varying degrees of success. From harsh chemicals to all-natural products, I have tried them all (well, almost). In recent years, I have discovered that all-natural products actually treat blemishes better than products with intense chemicals in them. My skin would always be irritated after using products with harsh chemicals, which defeated the point of using the treatment. I recently stumbled upon the Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick, which looks very fancy but only costs $10. It is a roll-on formula that is a perfect spot treatment for blemishes or irritation. It has all-natural ingredients, and works wonders for even the most troublesome blemishes.
These are my go-to makeup picks of the many products that I have tried over the years.
I wanted to start with the makeup item that was the most difficult for me to find. I have been wearing makeup for three years, and have only just discovered a mascara that is problem-free and affordable. I decided to try the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara in Black Pearl, as it has received raving reviews. I was very skeptical (most mascaras I have tried clump and make my lashes look awful), but as soon as I used this mascara I knew it would be a keeper. It applies evenly, and does not clump or create “spider lashes”. Adding multiple coats still gives your lashes a natural look, which is my main goal with makeup. I do not have the waterproof formula (that is quite hard to remove, even with makeup remover), but this formula holds up to water quite well. You can find these in most stores for around $6, making it the most affordable mascara that I have used.
I have also used many eyeliners, with varying results. Now that I live in a humid place, I prefer waterproof formulas that are long-lasting and easy to apply. For this reason, my go-to eyeliner is the Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in Blackest Black. This eyeliner has a retractable applicator, meaning that it won’t break if dropped or crushed. It also comes with a sharpener and a smudge end. This eyeliner wears comfortably for 12 hours (even in harsh weather conditions) and does not noticeably smudge. It is also very affordable, at just under $5.
I never used to use an eyeshadow primer, but it works wonders for creating long-lasting makeup looks. There are very expensive ones such as Urban Decay Eyeshadow Potion ($20), but there are very inexpensive ones that do the exact same thing. I prefer to use the Elf Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer in Sheer. This eyeshadow primer makes my eyeshadow last for about eight hours, and only costs $2.
I have found two sets of eyeshadows that have beautiful shades for inexpensive prices. I am someone who prefers nude colors, though I do like to have more bold colors on hand for special occasions. I use the Maybelline The Blushed Nudes eyeshadow palette for most of my everyday looks. This palette has been compared to the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette ($50), and only costs $10. The color payoff is slightly less, but I prefer this to very intense color payoff. All of the shades are blendable, and can be combined in a variety of ways for any occasion.
I have also been using the NYX Prismatic Shadows in the colors Fireball and Girl Talk. Girl Talk is the perfect neutral base color (with some shimmer), and Fireball is an intense color that is perfect for special events. These eyeshadows have incredible color payoff (a little goes a long way!), and only cost $5 each.
I use powder on days when I need to keep my BB cream in place, and on days when the humidity makes the air feel like you’re walking through a cloud. I love the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Translucent because it is affordable (less than $5), and lasts for a very long time. The powder gives a matte finish (when applied lightly) for up to five hours, and can be touched up every so often.
I only own two makeup brushes, but they are high quality and perfect for powder and BB cream or eyeshadow application. I use the Real Techniques Multitask Brush and Domed Shadow Brush. These are inexpensive for their high quality, at around $9 per brush. I cannot express how soft they are, and how easy they are to clean! The bristles never fall out, and they are beautiful with easy-to-hold handles.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s post! I thought I would write about something different, and I hope that this was helpful! What are your go-to skincare or makeup products?
© The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.