Style Essentials: A New Makeup Routine

Today, Estelle is joining me on the blog to talk about why she decided to shake up her makeup routine and what her new beauty and skincare essentials are! 


About this time last year, two things happened that changed the way I bought makeup. One: it was early enough in the year that I was still thinking a lot about new year’s resolutions and my finances. Two: My eyes were tearing up a lot and when I realized it wasn’t allergies or dust in my new work space, I decided maybe it was time to replace my old eye shadow palettes. It did the trick, and also got me thinking about how I’d been using my makeup in the last year.

And the answer was pretty simple: I wasn’t wearing much of it. For someone who used to be so obsessed with eyeshadow and eyeliner, my new routine was basically: a bright lipstick, a swipe of mascara, and a bit of BB cream and blush. Did I need to keep shopping at Sephora for these items or could I return to my original makeup haven — the drugstore! — and be satisfied?

Well, a year later and thanks to Rachel’s blog hospitality, I’m sharing my results here.

I’m a bit of a lipstickaholic. My makeup bag was once overflowing with Benefit and MAC but my year of drugstore buys has led to so many amazing new products (NYX for example). When you like to try a sampling of things, I’m happy to see I can drop by my local drugstore and be satisfied with my purchases.

Drugstore favorite: Covergirl’s Kitty Kat Matte ($8): I cannot get enough of these. The color lasts for a long time and they just pop so nicely — even a light pick like Sphinx.
Sephora splurge: Tarte Butter Lipstick ($17): The packaging, the feel, the color — this is one great lipstick.

BB Cream
A third reason for trying this little experiment is that I’m sure my long-time BB cream (this one) had changed their formula and wasn’t working the way it should anymore. I don’t like heavy foundation which is why I’ve always steered toward BB creams. I like my freckles! Sure, not the best for acne coverage but still doable and moisturizing. I spent so much of last year using the BB Cream from Burt’s Bees. It landed on so many Best of lists, and, in the end, I decided it wasn’t right for me. The smell was a little off and while it was moisturizing AF, the coverage wasn’t great. (Plus there wasn’t enough shade selection.) in the end, I elected to go back to Bare Minerals Original Formula ($28.50), and bought their Complexion Rescue tinted moisturizer ($29.50) for when I was in a rush or needed extra coverage. So far, totally satisfied with this splurge. I’m sure there might be a great equivalent in drugstore brands, but frankly, it’s harder to find YOUR COLOR when you can’t sample products (and shouldn’t) in a department store.

Nothing STICKS to my skin. Fragrance, blush, you name it. I tried my hardest with Revlon’s cream blush. Gorgeous color but it would only last half the day. I ended up giving it a toss and sticking to an old standby and then, by total surprise purcahse, the BareMinerals Ready Blush, has great color and staying power. Win!

Drugstore favorite: Milani Baked Blush ($8)
Sephora splurge: Bare Minerals Ready Blush ($24)

This is another one. I’ve tried COUNTLESS mascaras. I’m still working on finding the best one for me. I’m also pretty sure the constant heat in my apartment leads to mascara not lasting as long as it should. While I’m so-so on many, I did not have a good experience with Cover Girl Super Sizer Fibers. I threw it away after two days.

Drugstore (almost) favorite: Maybelline Mega Plush ($8)
Sephora splurge: Too Faced Better Than Sex ($23)

Eyeshadow Palette
Those of you who made it this far were probably fans of the huge Urban Decay eye palettes too. They are works of art, and I loved them so much but I kept them for too many years and didn’t wear out enough of the colors. (Part of the reasons my contacts felt so crappy.) So the search for something new began:

Drugstore favorite: Covergirl TruNaked Palette ($12) — I love this so much that I want the other ones too.

Skincare products
Right around the time I started blogging, I had a hormonal acne breakout that made me embarrassed to leave the house. It was the first time I invested in heavy foundation makeup since I started experimenting with makeup in my teens. Thanks to my Clarisonic, a change in diet, and time (I’m sure), things are much improved but every decision I make on cleanser and moisturizers feels so temporary. My moisturizer for half of 2016 was Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizer Cream. It did its job for awhile but my skin still felt thirsty. My latest combination has been Yes to Carrots moisturizer (a true winner for $15), Yes to Charcoal soap ($5), Alba Botanica Daily Detox Foaming Cleanser ($5) for my Clarisonic, and (perhaps the biggest revelation) Alba brightening night cream ($14)

AND MY BIGGEST RECOMMENDATION: Lush Face Mask in Mask of Magnaminty or Cup O’ Coffee ($15 each). Game changers. I do this once a week, and my face and spirit are so thankful.

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So what did I learn here? As much as I love Sephora and trying fancy brands, I can (mostly) get what I need from drugstore products. My wallet is fuller, my face feels great, and this whole “exercise” (much like past book buying bans — you hear me out there) has really helped my commitment to thoughtfully shop.

Share your makeup / buying hacks below! I can’t wait to hear. (P.S. For more, Magan and I are slowly dipping our toes into blogging again at Rather Be Reading Blog — so there’s books but life stuff too.)


Thanks Estelle for being on the blog today!
Now, I have a bunch of new products to check out!

1 comment

  1. I absolutely agree about drugstore products! I definitely like using a lot of them (especially since I don't wear a ton of makeup). Also, I absolutely LOVE the Bare Minerals BB Cream - it's my favorite too!


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