Retirement Remedies: Affordable Make-Up Basics

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.


Anonymous said...

Boy am I out of it...I never heard of primer.... :( :-) I think it is about time my granddaughter took grandma shopping and gave me makeup lessons for this century!! lol lol I walk into the makeup department even at Target and the selections amaze me and also I will admit completely confuse me! 20 year old granddaughter though understands it all !! { I USED to too!! } Thanks for the wakeup call Terri. Maybe my face should reflect my new clothes looks!! !!! More fun ahead...... :-))))) Sarah

doe853 said...

How fun this post is Terri. I used to love playing with makeup. Noe I seldom wear it around the house and even out, not so much. My husband doesn't care and it is not too common in Vermont for people to dress up often or wear makeup. Being from n.j. Originally, this used to drive me crazy bu I have gotten used to it and quite lazy. I should start again, it does make you feel better about yourself. ����

Lana said...

This is a fun post!

I have used Clinique foundation for I think 30 years. It has changed over the years but I like that they do my color for me and match me to the right foundation as my skin has aged. It does cost about $25 a bottle but it lasts about 6 months so I am fine with the cost. Concealer and blush are always Almay and the rest is pretty much deals at Publix on Covergirl. I quit wearing mascara years ago because it just drives me nuts and I finally decided that I could not wear it if I didn't want to! I cleanse with a handmade organic safflower oil soap that I get from Sungold, 55 bars at a time. It is our only soap. I have moisturized for at least ten years with fragrance free Lubriderm lotion. I put on make up every morning right after my shower. My family thinks I am sick if I do not.

I was horribly allergic to perfume for 25 years and even though I could wear it now I cannot bring myself to do so because so many others are allergic to it and I know how it is to suffer. This is not meant to heap guilt on anyone's head! We are totally fragrance free in our home so this drives what I buy. After so many years of being so we just do not like fragrances.

doe853-When we visit our son in Boston I always think that the women in your area are so beautiful because they do not wear make up and just seem so 'real'! In my area of the south it is considered frumpy and I wish we could change our attitude about it.

Karla Neese said...

We use several of the same products!! I've really slimmed down and simplified my makeup collection and routine the past year or so. I used to just love makeup and loved mid-high end stuff that was not in my budget. I finally got wise and realized I could find products I loved just as much (some even more) at much, much lower prices.

I do not currently use a concealer. I have tried several but they tend to make the darkness under my eyes look even worse so I have learned it's just not for me.

I use the same Rimmel primer and really like it! I'll have to try the Elf brand as well. Like you, I use the untinted.

For foundation, I tend to jump around a lot. Currently I'm using two that I switch back and forth on - an NYC Smooth Skin foundation and an NYX Matte Not Flat foundation.

I use the same Fit Me powder and find that it is a very nice color and coverage without feeling heavy at all.

For blush I have a few random items but they are all powder blushes - a Tarte blush in Coral left over from higher-priced days, a NYX corally-pink blush, a Maybelline Soft Pink and a CoverGirl naturals (one of those with multiple colors you swirl together) and I think the last one is my favorite. I also have an NYX matte not flat bronzer but I don't use it very often.

For eyes, like you, I tend to just do an eyeliner or swipe of shadow on my line and mascara. I love that Carbon Black Voluminous mascara. I keep trying others but always go back to that faithful L'oreal tube.

Lipstick I'm rather hit or miss with. I have mostly the same colors - I tend to go for a warm pink tone because my skin is warm toned by my lips turn everything brighter pink than what's in the tube. So I stick with neutrals on just about everything.

Thanks for sharing these goodies with us! I love looking into friends makeup stash!

Lana said...

I just remembered something late in-laws were over one day and after they were home my Southern Belle MIL called my husband and asked if I was sick. He said I was not and why and she said it was because I was not wearing lipstick! I learned to always have my makeup on and refreshed so that she would think I was okay. Crazy but that was always her world and the way she lived.

Anne said...

I also never heard of "primer" except when painting the back fence. :D But I'm assuming it is what we used to call foundation or is it just moisturizer?

Anonymous said...

I know I am out of the loop on lots of things. Glad to hear others don't know what primer is either? Is it foundation? Haven't heard of several of those brands. Where I live few women wear makeup, unless they work in an office or some related job dealing with the public. I do like makeup and jewelry so do wear it quite often, but often I am the only one in the group who does. Quite often I have found cosmetics, nail polish, ect at the dollar store. Gramma D

Anonymous said...

I used to wear it all. But the older I've gotten, the more that was left by the side of the road until I don't use any now. The gal I worked with was an AVON dealer and she made fun of my lipstick one day and that just did it. I have no makeup self confidence anymore. My two claims to "beauty" are earrings and coloring my hair. My hubby doesn't care, dare I say even notice?! Smile. I hated having lashes that clicked against my glasses. Oh so many reasons to just give it up. My barn probably needs painting but it isn't going to get it. LOL Pam

Anonymous said...

I actually loved using makeup and jewelry and dressing nice. It seemed natural and just the way I was. That is years ago. Hubby did not like much makeup and over the years that went to only blush being used. Add marriage and kids and not having women friends, money etc and I lost my way so to speak. Oh I dressed nice enough but not with much flair or things that made me feel like me. Kind of blah basic dressing. I never went the pajamas to town look or anything like that but still I knew I did not feel like the way I wanted to present myself. Well I do more now!! Thanks Terri! So now I am ready to add some makeup back into my routine and go the next step! I am glad you wrote this post and got me thinking now about putting more polish to those new outfits I put together!!! :-))) Sarah

Rose Cole said...

Great Minds think alike! I always wear a primer and have consistently used L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB cream as my primer. It goes on white then changes color to adjust to your skin tone. genius! You can wear alone or wear other makeup over it. Most of the time I wear it alone. You can just barely see my freckles peeping through and I like that. Sometimes I use Josie Maran's argan infused pencil concealers and face powder for more coverage .Her product line is a bit expensive but you get skin benefits from the argan oil and I like that there are no parabens and other nasty stuff in her products.I find that as I get older less is more for sure!

a8383 said...

Good morning,Great topic! And how about cleansers/ moisturizers/ etc? I have dark circles under my eyes that nothing covers well without making me look like a racoon. I know some of you gals will have suggestions! Thanks Angela

Julie Baker said...

Tru Blend fix stick by Covergirl is really nice. I had been using a very expensive version by Dior. Ran out,so I tried the Fix stick you mentioned and am quite happy with the results. Thanks for the tip.

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