Friday, December 26, 2014

My Makeup Must Haves {And Skincare Story}

Ya know, I'm a little hesitant to publish this post because I feel like makeup and skincare are so not my areas of expertise.  I've worn basic foundation, mascara, and lip balm forever now, but after running into some problems with my skin, I've done a lot of experimenting and now that I've finally found a routine that works really well for me, I thought I'd share with y'all.  My makeup is always fairly natural and minimal, but it still counts as something, right?  Here we go.

Let me preface by saying that if you really are having problems with your complexion, going to the dermatologist is an option you should really consider.  You can apply all the concealer and foundation in the world and your skin may look okay, but nothing is going to feel better than really clear and healthy skin.  I struggled with my skin for about six months before I finally caved and asked my mom to schedule me an appointment.  I was really apprehensive and even a little embarrassed to talk about my breakouts at first, but to date it's been one of the best decisions of my life.

My doctor started me with five prescription medications: a cream and a pill each morning and night and a wash for when I showered.  It seemed like a lot at first, but it eventually became a part of my daily routine.  It's been about nine months since my first visit and I've changed my medicines up a little bit since then, but I still have two pills and two creams that I use each day.  My skin was super dry at first, but after it got used to my products it went back to normal.  I can now say that I have the best skin I've ever had and have even been able to eliminate concealer from my makeup bag because I just don't need it.  I've gone from not wanting to leave the house without foundation and concealer to being completely comfortable with going all natural.

When I asked my dermatologist about which makeup products to use, she told me that her makeup bag was a mixture of Clinique and Neutrogena.  After trying out several different brands and products, I've found out that her combination really is perfect.  Here are my makeup must-haves!

{As I'm sure we all know, cleansing and moisturizing are probably the two most important steps in skincare.  I use a Neutrogena wash each morning and night and apply a moisturizer each morning before I start on my makeup.}  

I always prime with Neutrogena Shine Control primer.  I especially love this product because it has rice protein which really helps absorb oil all day.  I distribute a pea-sized amount of the cream over my face, making sure to cover the shine-prone areas on the sides of my nose, top of my cheeks, and on my chin.

After my primer dries, I apply Clinique Even Better liquid foundation with a flat foundation brush.  My Clinique lady taught me to apply with only one side of the brush so I can use the other side to blend and smooth my foundation and always stresses the fact that a little goes a long way.  One bottle of this lasts me about three months.  I always used to have trouble matching my shade and strongly recommend making an appointment to have you skin tone matched.  The Clinique counter at Belk matched my shade in about fifteen minutes and gave me a couple samples to take home and try for a week before making my purchase.

I finish my face with Neutrogena Shine Control powder.  Just like the primer, it has rice protein to help absorb oil.  I use my favorite EcoTools large powder brush to spread it across my face.  It comes with a small sponge, but I've found that applying with a brush makes it look smoother.  My favorite thing about this powder is that it goes on invisibly over makeup, which means there's no shade matching!  I keep one of these and a small powder brush in my purse for during-the-day touch ups.

I always go nude with my eyes.  I just got the Elle Nude Eyes palette for Christmas and I absolutely love it.  I use basic brushes from Ulta to apply a subtly-sparkled nude tone all over my lid, a warm brown shadow in my crease, and blend a super light ivory shadow down from my lower eyelid to brighten up my eyes.

After that, I use Neutrogena Healthy Lengths mascara in Carbon Black on my top lashes only.  I love it because it has Vitamin E and Olive Oil, so it nourishes and strengthens my lashes while I wear it.  It's not waterproof and washes off very easily with my basic cleanser or makeup removing wipes.  Surprisingly, I never wear eyeliner.  Most people look great in it, but my eyes are tiny as it is and it just makes them look dark and squinty.

Finally, I finish up with Neutrogena MoistureShine lip gloss.  My go-to shade is Natural Boost.  I love the shiny look, and it never feels heavy.

If you're still reading at this point, hopefully you're not laughing your tail off at me trying to talk cosmetics!  Anyway, what are some of your makeup must-haves?  I'd love to know!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Melissa- I loved this post! It sounds like we have a similar makeup routine, nice and basic! I got a great nude palette at Estee Lauder in a Belk store. At the time, they had a promotion where with any eye care or makeup purchase, you get a free Lilly cosmetic bag (and I can't say no to that) so I bought some eye stuff and found that I loved it. Thanks for this post!