I got into the makeup game later in life. I didn’t wear foundation until my 20’s and I had no idea how to create an eye look beyond one shade until my wedding make up trial! But a few years ago I stumbled into the YouTube beauty community, fell down the rabbit hole and never looked back.
There are some amazing YouTuber’s out there who are phenomenal at tutorials and have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to products, ingredients and how to find the right product for you. I credit most of my knowledge to this amazing group of people. I’ll link some of my favourite beauty YouTuber’s below if you’re wondering who gave me the confidence to actually go INSIDE that Sephora.
But as is the danger of YouTube, I started buying EVERYTHING because it’s all so beautiful and fun. But I was buying things that I didn’t use or even like that much simply because everyone was raving about it. So eventually I sat down and ruthlessly went through my makeup collection.
If I didn’t use it, out it went.
What came out of that process was realizing what was really important to me when it comes to makeup and how I like to look. I found that personally, I’d rather invest in fewer items I can count on and always know that I am going to love my makeup look.
So when I sat down to write this favourites post I thought, “Jenn. If you could only have five items to get through life with, what would you choose? What is the most important to you when it comes to your daily look?” That’s how I came up with this month’s beauty favourites that hit all of my top concerns – skin, brows and lashes!
So friends, without further gilding the lily and no more adieu, let’s get into it!
I didn’t even know about primers until I was almost 25. I swear. I had no idea that such a product existed that could not only minimize your pores but mattify your skin as well! Or if you are a drier skin type there were luminous and moisturizing primers! The possibilities were endless. I thought maybe it was a gimmick but trust me when I say that after putting in the leg work I’m a believer.
My skin tends to be combination leaning to the oily side and I have very visible pores on my nose that are really emphasized as my foundation wears down throughout the day. (thanks to the oil…see the predicament this girl is in?) I’ve tried a lot of primers ranging from drugstore to high end and the best one I’ve found to suit my combo skin is the Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment.
This primer smooths out my skin, fills my pores and calms a bit of redness although that’s not it’s main job. I do find that it prolongs the wear of my foundation and further more my foundation looks smoother and more skin like on top of such a smooth base. Plus the anti-acne treatment is a nice bonus because despite what your mother tells you, sometimes you don’t grow out of acne!
I’ve been struggling with finding the perfect foundation for years. As a woman with oilier skin it can be hard to find a foundation that offers mattifying properties without being TOO matte. Many foundations either offer a matte coverage that would give wall spackle a run for its money or they are catered to drier skin types and are dewy, luminous and a little too moisturizing for this gal.
So my hunt was to find a foundation that offered a more natural matte finish along with medium coverage that lasted all day. I work early, long hours and part of my day job involves a large amount of physical labour so your girl SWEATS at work!
Now some people may ask why I even wear foundation on the daily to a physical labour job. Well because it’s my face and I like it that way! It makes me feel badass to know that I can unload trucks of heavy boxes and crates while having a poppin highlight and a perfectly arched brow. But with that in mind, I need a foundation that works as hard as I do. That foundation for me is the bareMinerals BarePRO Performance Wear Liquid Foundation.
This foundation offers medium to full coverage (I find it to be fairly buildable) while allowing your skin to breathe AND keeps you looking naturally matte all day long. A huge pet peeve of mine is feeling like I’m wearing a mask and this foundation doesn’t do that for me. It feels nice and light on the skin. I don’t feel gross, oily or cakey by the end of a 10 hour work day and it offers a nice shade range. There are 30 shades total and while I don’t think they go nearly as deep as they could I do think that the undertones offered are a huge bonus. I am half Latina and half Caucasian which means that I’m not incredibly tanned but my undertones can be tricky to sort out.
Finding a foundation as a woman who comes from two very different backgrounds each offering their own unique skin tones has been incredibly challenging. Most of my life I’ve just made do with what was offered or mixed two or three shades to find my best one. However 2017 was the year that I think brands finally started listening and offering better options for more skin tones. I think I’ll write a post on this specific topic at a later date and when I have it completed I’ll insert a link here but for now I digress!
Bronzer and I have had quite the journey together. We’ve been through an orange phase, a glittery phase, one unfortunate mishap that ended in an orange glittery combo (I wish I could say I was in my teens but I was 25 and the hotel lighting made the product inside the compact look much different then when it was on my face in broad daylight!) and of course a phase where I was SO heavy handed that I should have just put on a fake tan and called it a day. But we’ve reached an agreement. I finally learned the right shade I need and I stopped using a brush that was larger than my face. Incidentally I use the Real Techniques Multi-task Brush, though I have only been able to find it in a set and not sold individually.
Now the same way that finding a foundation with a natural matte finish is challenging, so are bronzers. There are many glowy bronzers on the market, shimmery bronzers, glittery bronzers (beware the glitter!) and then there are matte bronzers. I will always choose a matte bronzer over a shimmery one however what I’ve learned about myself is that I like a little radiance – NOT glitter or shimmer. But a little glow to the skin never hurt anybody. The bronzer that has actually changed my makeup game (and perhaps my life) and makes me feel like a bronzed goddess is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Nude Bronze Light.
Now. I have a confession. This bronzer…is the most expensive bronzer I’ve ever purchased. It’s insanely priced. HOWEVER, I love it. I absolutely love it and I think that I would pay for it again and again. This bronzer is so finely milled and the powder is SO smooth that it blends into the skin perfectly allowing you to achieve a naturally radiant sunkissed glow. Which is exactly the type of look I’m after. If I had to give up blush and highlight in order to keep using this bronzer…I would do it. That’s how much I love what this does for me.
With that being said I am realistic enough to recognize that $63.00 Canadian is a LARGE sum of money for a single make up item so here is my alternative! The Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer is a beautiful bronzer from the drugstore that offers a similar matte radiant type finish.
It’s higher priced for drugstore make up however it really is a fantastic product. I just happen to love the Hourglass one a bit more but prior to purchasing that I did go through multiple Butter Bronzers and I think it’s a lovely option as well.
My eyebrows and I have STRUGGLED to build a harmonious relationship for years. They are short but thick so that means I’ve got a lot of brow at the front and no arch in the middle or tail at the end! Last year I got my eyebrows microbladed and it was the best beauty related decision I’ve ever made! Check out the amazing work of Kacie Rainey if you’re in the Edmonton/Red Deer area! But microblading is a semi permanent pigment put into your skin rather than an ink so don’t worry that you’ll have sharpie brows, it’s completely natural looking! But it can fade at varying rates depending on your skin type, skin care routine and even your own body chemistry. I also found that when I was using a more full coverage foundation it covered up some of the microbladed brow so I still use a pencil to help perfect things. (on the upside at least I knew that foundation really was full coverage!)
I’ve tried nearly every drugstore brand brow pencil and a large portion of brow pencils offered at Sephora and hands down my absolute favourite is the L’oreal Brow Stylist Definer.
I don’t find the pencil too creamy or too waxy, the tip is fine enough to make hair like strokes and the spoolie on the opposite end is a nice shape to comb through the brows. I find it to be extremely comparable to the incredibly popular Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz which is another great option but double the price of the L’oreal pencil and I personally find the shades and undertones more appealing in the L’oreal line.
As much as I’ve struggled with my brows, so have I with my lashes. My ideal mascara offers me both length and volume while not being too clumpy, resists smudging and flaking and I don’t want to spend over 20 dollars on it . It sounds like a lot to ask from one mascara and to be honest I think it is for a lot of brands. But one brand has done it. They’ve provided length, volume, minimal clumping, smudging and flaking while staying under the 20 dollar mark! It’s the L’oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara.
Some say this guy is a dupe for the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara however I’ve never tried that one because it breaches that 20 dollar mark that I refuse to go over. I will wear mascara every day that I leave my house even if I don’t put on any other make up which means I tend to fly through mascaras so paying for high end versions isn’t something I love doing. But this L’oreal one is absolutely beautiful if you love that full, voluminous look!
The great thing about makeup is that there is SO much to try out, get creative and experiment with! Whether you’re a cosmetics veteran or a makeup newbie don’t forget – makeup is FUN! It’s meant to make you feel GOOD! If a bold lip makes you feel great then rock it friend! But if it makes you feel self concious then go for that nude lip, or heck do what I do and grab a fantastic lip balm instead!
It’s all up to you and there are no wrong ways to feel beautiful. Let me know what your favourites this month were in the comments below!
Also! Don’t forget to check out these amazing YouTuber’s!
Until next time friends, keep living that beautiful life. ❤