While this is hardly a fashion blog and not likely to turn into one, it has certainly been my focus of late about how to look my best on a budget. That being said, it's understandable that as I put on my makeup today I couldn't help but note some basic items that I consider my 'go to' items. I do have other make up items but they don't stay in my cosmetic bag. They move in or out depending upon my mood/season/desire for change. My basics stay pretty much the same. I thought you might be interested to know what I use and why/how.
I start with a concealer stick. I have one that is from Cover Girl and is in crayon form. It is the TruBlend FixStick. I have some sun damage to my skin from years of time spent in the sun without sunhats or sunscreen. While the damage is not horrid, there are some dark spots I like to tone in a bit. I put this on first in summer and I'll share why in a moment. In winter, it goes on over my primer.
I like the coverage it gives me for dark spots, but I do blend it into the skin. I don't want to look patchy. You can also use as a highlighting tool (though I don't) by putting it on over the top of your makeup. I prefer to use it just as a concealer.
I really like using a primer to smooth and moisturize the skin, while at the same time giving both protection and a mattifying effect which helps control shine. While in hospital I had no face care items with me and it was too tedious to even think of telling John where it was all located. I did have my makeup bag (eventually) and I used the primer as my sole skin care item for nearly a week. My skin improved during that time, after almost a week of neglect, and I'm even more sold on using that face item than I ever have been.
Currently I am using a Rimmel product, Fix and Perfect Pro, but I like E.L.F. face primer very much...It just tends to go rather quickly. The Rimmel does last a little longer. It comes in tinted and untinted formulas. I prefer the untinted.
In summer, I tend to mix a dab (and it takes a very small amount) of the primer with a small amount of foundation for a sheer coverage that is just right for summer skin. My skin takes on a light tan almost the moment the sun brightens in warmer weather and while I will wear a foundation in winter time, I just don't want that extra heaviness on my skin in summer. Mixing a small amount of primer and foundation gives me just the amount of coverage I want and need without looking made up.
The foundation I'm currently using is Revlon Photoready Air Brush Mousse Foundation. It comes in an aerosol type can, is a foam and lasts for quite a long time. My current bottle is over six months old! Of course, I don't wear makeup every day but I do use it two or three times most weeks, so you can see it's really quite a good bargain.It takes only a little. I apply with my fingers because a sponge type applicator tends to absorb it and I have to use more. My fingers don't soak it up. I often swap foundation (and powders) about summer each year for something a shade or two darker, but this year there's been no need since I have that slightly wan look from my recent illness, lol.
I then use a cream blush from Eyes Lip Face, ELF HD blush. I am at an age where I just don't want a glittery blush on my cheeks. It's not flattering and seldom has the intensity of color I want. Katie helped me find this blush last October (bought at the same time I bought the Revlon foundation) and I shall have to replace it due to age long before I use it all up. I use a pin point amount and I mean just a pin point sized amount, smash and blend that pin point between two fingers (one of each hand) and then pat onto my cheeks. It's a lovely blush, with real color and no mica to make it shine. It goes on smooth and light and it looks natural (provided I don't use too much) all day long. I can't imagine ever using another blush and I mean that sincerely. In a pinch, it would also make a lovely lip stain with a gloss over top.
I finish off my face by using a powder foundation. My current compact is Maybelline FIT me! pressed powder. I use a big brush to lightly powder my face and neck and set the makeup I've just put on. Then I use a contoured soft eyeshadow brush to apply the powder to my full eyelid/brow bone area. It is the base for eye makeup for me. I really like that 1950's sort of look and copied this from the magazines of that era.
At this point I generally use a Cover Girl powder shadow in a dark brown (Brown Smoulder is the matte shade I am currently using) and an angled liner brush to line my eyelashes. This product is truly a multi-purpose one for me. I will use this shadow as a liner for my eyes, and on dressier occasions I'll use in the crease for a smoky look. I sometimes use a wet fine liner brush to add a fine line near the lashes (over the dry liner) to create a cat eye look. I use another firm angled brush to fill in my brows and give them definition. In a pinch, a light smudge can be used as a contour shadow under my foundation. I get a lot of mileage from this one shade!
Finally I finish off with mascara. I love the L'Oreal line of mascaras. I typically purchase Voluminous because I can buy it just about anywhere, even locally, so when I am out of mascara it's just a matter of running into town. I much prefer black and even the Blackest Black colors though I am a soft brunette. It just really gives my eyes the extra definition they need behind my glasses.
I do wear lipstick when I make up but the colors vary. In summer I lean on corals and a color from Rimmel that is a rich brown called Kasbah, which tends to be my go to color.
In winter I like to use berry colors and occasionally a softer red. This is one area where I am fickle and not at all set on one color. I generally have five or six lipsticks in use at all times!
So really the six products listed above from concealer to mascara are my makeup basics. They average about $7 each. I like to start fresh each New Year by cleaning out my makeup bag and replacing all the items, (I didn't do that this year since I have blush and foundation from October!) for about $45, which I don't consider a hefty expense. I'll replace items as they are used up throughout the year. I will suggest you get a good set of make up brushes. I have a set from ELF that includes a blush brush, eyebrow brush, two liner (thick and thin) and a soft contoured shadow brush. I am pretty sure I paid under $10 for those brushes and they have been in use for a couple of years.
While I find perfume a joy, I don't care to have a lot of fragrance in my face products and one of the reasons I like all of the above mentioned items is that the aromas are light and pleasant and fade quickly. I did note a review on the Cover Girl site stated the concealer has a waxy crayon sort of aroma. It does. It's easily masked by the other products though and has never been a problem to me personally. I happen to have a broken vein at one nostril where I apply concealer and I never notice the aroma once I put on my full makeup.
I hope you find this information helpful. I am not in any way being paid or compensated to promote these products, simply letting you know that an affordable makeup regime is possible and sharing what products I've found to be worthwhile.