Along with prepping my wardrobe for fall, late August/ early September is also usually the time when I re-think and update my make up routine and product kit, to make sure it works well with my style concept for the upcoming season, my lifestyle and any plans I have for trips, etc. I usually do this in three steps:
- detox existing product kit
- define a go-to look for the upcoming season
- find an optimal combination of products to create that look + variations (using mostly products I already own, but also a few new additions)
detox The point of the detox is to get a complete overview of what I have and what I need. I take every single product out of bathroom cabinets, boxes and drawers and then look at everything individually, get rid of dried up mascara tubes and any other product that’s past its use-by date. I also sort everything I haven’t been using much in recent months into a little pile to give away to friends.
look(s) After the detox, I think about how I could tweak my existing make up routine to make it fit my seasonal wardrobe a little better. I’m not hugely adventurous when it comes to make up so for me this usually just means switching up little things like my go-to lip colour or incorporating some new eye shadows into my routine. This fall I want my make up to be a bit deeper and more muted and that’s reflected in my choice of products, which I’ll talk more about below. My skin is also a lot drier during fall/winter, so also I always change my face products from oil-free and powder-based to a moisturising liquid foundation or tinted moisturiser plus just a light layer of finishing powder.
products Only once I have pinpointed the exact look I’m aiming for, I start figuring out which products would be best for the job. For me that’s really the best way to make sure I only end up with products I will actually use and not get distracted by pretty packaging or fun-looking limited editions for example. This season, the number one thing I realised was: I don’t need a lot of make up products. I wear make up almost every day, but I only really switch up two parts of my routine: my eye shadow/liner and my lip colour. For these, I need a few options that I can choose from, but for every other part of my make up (blush, mascara, face products, etc.) I only need one perfect version.
That's why this season I’ll only be working with ten different products: One foundation, one concealer, one pressed powder, one cream blush, one eye shadow palette, one brow pencil, one mascara, one eye pencil and two lip products. Together they give me plenty of options to choose from, much less choice anxiety and of course a nicely clutter-free bathroom counter :)
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation SPF 15 in warm ivory
Bobbi Brown is hands-down my favourite brand for foundations, mainly because they offer shades that are a) light enough for my skin and b) yellow-toned instead of pinkish or grey. I don’t wear foundation every day (only for work meetings, evening events and special occasions) but when I do, I want something that’s medium-coverage, long-lasting, doesn’t cling to dry patches, doesn’t feel too heavy, does not give you a white cast in flash photography and doesn’t look mask-y or unnatural. The formula of this ticks every box.
RMS “un” cover-up in 11
RMS Beauty is one of my favourite discoveries beauty-wise this year. All of their products are organic and have a super short ingredients list. The “un” cover up is basically a concealer, but because of its specific formula it can also be used as a foundation and eye shadow base. It has a strange (in a good way) texture that is super pigmented but easy to blend and thin out at the same time, so you use it spot conceal but also just to even out your skin as an all-over base. On days when I’m not using my Bobbi Brown foundation, I just apply some “un” cover up around my nose and under my eyes and I'm done.
Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in Soft sand
I use this to both set my foundation and add a bit of extra coverage when I’m just wearing the "un" cover-up.
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in pale pink
I’ve always been a fan of cream blushes, but I’m really picky when it comes to choosing shades and have tried pretty much everything out there from the Nars multiples to Benefit’s Benetint (which I like but is too much of a pain to apply, I find). The Pot Rouge in pale pink mimics the colour my cheeks naturally turn when I blush pretty spot-on, does not contain any shimmer particles and is super easy to blend. Despite being a cream blush this stuff has good staying power and can also be applied over a powder base, so I usually stick it in my bag and re-apply a little at night if I’m out all day. I also wear this on my lips (top right picture), although I usually have to put some lip balm over it because it does not really moisturise.
Urban Decay Naked Palette 2
The addition of the Naked Palette is probably what has made the biggest difference to my make up kit all around. I don’t wear too many different lip colours or complex eye make up looks, but I do like having a range of eye shadows to choose from that I can wear as a liner on my top and bottom lash line or as light wash all over my lid. The Naked Palettes seemed like an almost too obvious choice, so I did quite a bit of research to see if it was truly the best choice in terms of shadow quality and shade range. In the end I decided it was :) The palette has all the shades I could ever want for day and nighttime: I use Foxy as a base and to blend, Verve and Bootycall as light all over washes, Tease, Suspect, YDK and Pistol for medium-depth eye looks and Snakebite, Busted and Blackout as liner shades or for nighttime looks. The only shades I haven't worn at all yet are Half Baked and Chopper because they are a little intense and warm-toned for my skin tone right now, but I'll definitely wear them this spring/summer season.
ILIA Pure Mascara in night fall
ILIA is another one of my favourite organic brands which, by the way, I all get via Amazingy. The pure mascara doesn’t clump and stays put, but is still easy to remove and therefore much gentler on the eye area.
ILIA Tinted Lip Conditioner in Lust for Life
This fall I plan on wearing a lot of red, burgundy, black and cream, all very classic fall colours that I felt would be complemented well by a deep red accent lip. I looked high and low for something that’s deep and burgundy but sheer enough to be suitable for daytime and keep me from looking too Narcissa Malfoy. The ILIA Lip conditioners have a similar texture to the Clinique Chubby Sticks, which I’m a huge fan of, plus they are completely organic and, like all of ILIA’s products, come in a super sleek, minimal packaging.
Clinique Chubby Stick in Chunky Cherry
My favourite lip product ever, a clear bright but sheer red, that I just habitually reapply throughout the day :)
KORRES Eyebrow pencil in medium
My brows are dark in comparison to my hair colour but unfortunately pretty sparse, so I definitely need to fill them in. I mainly chose this pencil because it's truly ashy, despite being medium in colour (most brands seem to add progressively more red to their brow shades the lighter they get).
& Other Stories Eye pencil in vicuna taupe
This is a relatively light taupe shade that I use to define my lash line on days when I'm not wearing eye shadow.
MAKE UP ROUTINE AND CURRENT GO-TO LOOKS
Now that I have my 10-piece kit set, I pretty much go about putting on my make up the same way I decide what to wear in the morning: I put on my "basics" (base, blush, brow pencil) and for the rest I mix and match, depending on my plans for the day. One day I'll wear a light wash of Verve all over my lid + my trusty chubby stick in chunky cherry (like on the bottom left pic at the top of this post), another day I'll wear nothing but the "un" cover up, some eye brow pencil and the pot rouge (top right picture).
For nighttime I'll usually reach for the ILIA lip conditioner + one of the shimmery shades of the Naked palette or I'll add Tease (a matte taupe-y shade) just to my lid, like on the picture below.
Since everything in my (mini) collection is already perfectly tailored to my skin tone/type and style, I really have quite a lot of options to choose from, despite owning only ten products.