Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dumping out my makeup bag...

I've got a confession.

I'm a free sample addict.  And a buy this get a free gift, addict.  And a "hey it's your birthday, make a purchase and get this little sampling of many lipcolors for free" addict.  And a reward points addict.

I didn't used to be this way but about four years ago, when we began reassessing our life choices, I realized that my choice to spend $27+ on mascara from Lancome wasn't perhaps the best choice for me.

(No judgement here whatsoever, if that's you girlfriend, because I'm nothing if not a gal who can truly appreciate an amazing tube of mascara.  I'm just saying.)

However, I almost feel ashamed at the total amount I would unwincingly drop on hair and beauty products.  I've come along way with much room for improvement, I'm sure.  That said, I've tried to invest in products that either last a long time... or don't cost much.  I've figured out what I like, what I'm willing to spend just a tiny bit more on because I can make it last, and what I can actually get at a grocery store for a fraction of the cost.

That said, I'm going to tell you what I actually use... and what I use whenever I can get my hands on a trial size or free sample. This is the real deal and I didn't even clean out my makeup brushes for ya. 
These are the current contents of my make up bag.  (Which is a large ziplock bag.  I should probably get a make up case or something but it always gets dirty and I'm sure to get a freebie with purchase at some point so I'll bide my time until then.) Some items can be found at the grocery/drug store and the rest can be found at Sephora.  (I love Sephora, and the more you order, the more reward points you build up that you can use toward other items.  It's a nice system.)
I wash these a minimum of once a month.  I use shampoo and warm water and it works like a charm.  They need to be washed right now but I'm ignoring that task so I can blog about them instead.  (Invest in good brushes, wash them regularly and they will last you for years.)
FACE: I have just switched from my summer makeup (Almay smartshade CC cream) to what I wear the rest of the year. This will typically last me anywhere from 4-6 months and I've tried many less expensive variations but I always come back to this one because none of them last me as long, or work as well.  I wear the original Bare Mineral makeup in "fair" and the Mineral Veil lightly dusted all over.  That smaller sized pot contains Bare Minerals "warmth" and I bet I've had that for at least two years.  I often use it in the summertime as a blush.  Lasts forever.  (All purchased at Sephora)
EYES: These are my current eye shadows- Loreal Wear Infinite Shadow in "seashell" (on the left) and "Satin Tutu" (on the right.)  The Revlon 4 piece shadow collection will last me forever because I only wear it occasionally.  The color is "Addictive." (All purchased at my grocery store)
Have I mentioned that I'm a little obsessive about mascara yet?  I was desperate to find something that was remotely comparable to my favorite Lancome product.  This one is, and I kissed a lot of mascara frogs to find this prince, let me tell you! I truly, truly love this mascara... maybe... even MORE than the expensive Lancome brand. It's Maybelline Falsies in "Black drama" and was purchased at my grocery store.
LIPS:  About once a year I purchase a tube of Bare Escentuals Buxom lipgloss in "Dolly."  Best color ev-ah... The other day as I was claiming my online birthday gift from Sephora, and using up my accrued reward points, I saw a collection of many lip colors for the same price, so I got that instead. (Most of these came from that.)  Let me tell you something...  It was like Christmas had come to my house that Saturday morning when the UPS man stepped off his truck.  I saw the little box in his hands with the Sephora icon and I stood at the door waiting.  (My man did not get this excitement in the very least, but I'm guessing you will.)
I love #1 because it's light and goes with everything.  (Grocery store)
I love #2 because it's slightly dramatic- though a tad drying. (Sephora)
I LOVE #3 because it's soft and shimmery and neutral.  (Sephora)
I could EAT #4 because it smells like sugar and tastes like sugar and it's light and shimmery like chapstick and not at all like what you think the color will look like. (Sephora)
I forgot to take the cap off #5.  My bad.  (Target)
#6 is okay... it's a little too orange on me.  I think.  I can't decide. (Grocery store) 
#7 is nice but wears off quickly.  But pretty while it lasts! (Grocery store)
#8 has my heart forEVER and I shall cry when they stop making it.  Plus it makes your lips feel plumpy.  (Sephora)
#9 was one I would never have purchased for myself but really pretty for every day or on top of another color. (Sephora)

CHEEKS: This has been a standby for years.  It's a good color if you like a hint of pink, or if you have fair skin like me.  I love cream blush because it's so easy to get the look you want, rather than 1980's shoulder pad wearing, career woman cheeks.  Do you know what I mean?  Plus, you can purchase it the next time you run into the store for a gallon of milk.
SKIN:  My nighttime routine-and I know I should probably add some hefty things to it now that I'm almost 40!  I love Aveeno. My night cream consists of whatever Marshall's has for $4.99.  I'm not kidding.  I'm sure that's a bad plan but they carry high-ish end items at low costs and I like that.

Now let's talk for a minute about that Philosophy Miracle Worker for the eye area.  Oh my heavens.  It's crazy expensive and I've never actually purchased the real deal... but each time I can take a sample, or purchase a trial size I do back flips.  It's amazing.  I have been known to saw tubes in half just to get every nook and cranny of this stuff.
My day routine- a light moisturizer with SPF, (Loreal Revitalift) an inexpensive eye cream (Elizabeth Arden, also found at Marshall's.) and then I love using an eye brightener or concealer.  My favorite product is (not pictured) Stroke of Light by Bare Minerals.  It's $22 a tube and gives me heart palpitations just thinking about that price.  I have been fairly content with Loreal's true match or Maybelline's Instant age rewind.  Neither are quite as wonderful as the Stroke of Light, but together they don't cost as much, so there you go. Compromise.
EXTRAS: All of these items were gift with purchases or redeemed with Sephora reward points, and I like them all!  That pore cream is in a pretty beat-up tube.  I only seem to wear it in the winter and I've had it for at least a year.  The foundation primer makes my face feel silky smooth and I am making it last as long as I possibly can, only wearing it on special occasions.  The illuminator is Watt's Up- a highlighter by Benefit and came as a birthday reward/surprise.  I haven't played around with it much, but it's a fun one for date nights and holidays.  (You rub a tiny bit over your brow and cheek bones.  So pretty.)

Since we're talking about makeup and beauty tips today, make sure to check out the video Almay and BlogHer shared with us last week for girls night out makeup tips.  I've actually attempted the cat-eye look Kate shares, and was pretty pleased with the results.  Sometimes I take a simple thing and make it overly complicated so it's always nice to know a regular woman like myself can try a fun new look like this one

What are you favorite beauty products?


  1. I commented earlier! I said you are adorable. And I'm an addict too. Anything to help freshen the hot mess of me;)

  2. I love this post! It's so fun to see what other ladies use and recommend!

  3. What a fun post! I really wish we lived closer and not on opposite coasts! I would love to take a trip to Sephora with you! I love Bare Minerals and Tarte! I used to be a Mary Kay consultant years ago, and since then I have had trial and error but I find Bare Minerals and Tarte to be paraben free, reasonably priced and work well for my light skin tone. And I totally love the freebies too!

  4. I am a hot mess in the makeup department. Maybe I should give the Sephora a try. Hmmm ...

  5. one day i'm going to try bare minerals. it's such an investment that i'm so nervous to try! but i trust you. i bought falsies because of you - that was like a whole year ago - and i still use it to this day! : )

  6. I used to be a100% benefit gal with the exception of Maybelline eyelash curler and the little pink tube of mascara with green top but holy moly I receive a gift card for my b day from Nordstrom and went straight to the Bobby Brown counter love her stuff. I would never give up my eyelash culer.

  7. What a fun and informative post!! You have beautiful skin and fabulous lashes so thanks for the tips! Susan

  8. Since Bonne Bell's headquarters are located right here in Cleveland and since I used to work as a makeup artist for them while in college, I got hooked on their eye makeup remover. Nothing, and I mean nothing, works better than this product in removing mascara! Thanks for sharing all your faves, too!

  9. Great post on what make up you use. I echo another commenter in that you do have beautiful skin.
    So, you may not believe this but I actually don't wear make up. I know , crazy , right? I used to buy Mary Kay years ago, but then it started to irritate my skin. Not to mention it was expensive. This was just their cleansing system. I once broke down and bought something similar to the bare minerals stuff. It looked great, but ended up getting a bad reaction to it. : (
    So the only time I wear make up is if we are going for an evening out for my husbands work. Formal type event. I will wear B&B cream. , do a smoky eye and put on some lip gloss and that's about it. LOL, all the make up I own probably could fit in a ziploc sandwich bag.

  10. i should prob fly over and let you do my face....i have zero ability for doing hair and make poor girls look like ragmuffins with stupid hair all the time and as for make up...i do moisturizer, coverup...blush and curl my lashes...this 39 yr old needs a make over by you! hee hee

  11. Very great and informative post. You got a very beautiful face