I was seven years old and sneaking into my mother’s bathroom, trying tubes of Mary Kay mascara and slipping my hand in her purse for her L’Oreal lipstick, hoping she wouldn’t notice. I’ve always been fascinated by makeup. It’s color theory and shadows and lighting and painting on your face – what isn’t to love?
Over the years, I’ve traded my mother’s discarded Mary Kay for drugstore brands & horrible breakouts, and later for brands I’d see on youtube tutorials (thank you to all the makeup content creators who have taught me so much over the years). As I entered my twenties and had a little more income, I started investing in quality skincare, which lead to me rethinking the makeup I was putting on my face.
It didn’t (and still doesn’t) make sense for me to carefully choose my skincare ingredients, only to cover it in some of the very scary makeup ingredients out there. So this led me to the world of clean makeup. Is it perfect? No. Is it better? Yes. I also appreciate the lighter hand and skincare-as-makeup approach you’ll find with most clean beauty lines. And the formula is just as beautiful, if not better, than the less clean alternatives.
Here’s what I’m using and loving currently:
- Tinted SPF moisturizer: Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 (For events when I want full coverage, I love the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. While it is my very favorite full-coverage foundation, it is not considered clean makeup so I’d recommend saving it for special occasions).
- Contour: Face Trace Cream Contour Stick in Biscuit
- Blush: Merit Flush Balm Cream Blush in Beverly Hills or Stockholm (Also excited to try this in Chilly)
- Highlight: Merit Day Glow Dewy Highlighting Balm in Cava
- Concealer: Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer and Daytime Eye Cream
- Powder: Kosas Cloud Set Baked Setting & Smoothing Powder (use this with a light hand)
- Eyeshadow: Ilia Liquid Powder Eye Shadow Tint (I personally take a very simple, single-color approach to eyeshadow, but if you prefer more colors, this palette is excellent)
- Eyeliner: Liquid & Pencil
- Mascara: Ilia Limitless Mascara (I have tried so many mascaras over the year, and this is the one)
- Lip Oil: Merit Shade Slick Gelée Sheer Tinted Lip Oil
Note: I tint my brows and don’t worry about filling them in, and use this (not-clean-but-very-affordable) eyebrow gel. But there are some wonderful clean-beauty eyebrow products out there!
Note 2; You may notice a lack of lip color suggestions. Here’s the thing: I’m a blush-as-lipstick (try blotting a cream blush on your lips if you haven’t yet) and a Target lipstick gal for the most part. I’ve tried the fancy formulas (and will always return to my tried and true fancy red lipstick), but I lose too many to justify paying for all the fancy lipsticks when I have so many other ones I love and can toss in any given back. Some ‘drugstore’ favorites are Neutrogena revitalizing lip balm (in Sunny Berry 30 and Fresh Plum 60), L’Oreal Paris Glow Paradise (blend of a balm and a lipstick and lots of colors), Covergirl tinted lip balm in Cherry-ish, You’re the Pom, and Bliss You Berry!
If you have questions about application, colors, or products, ask me in the comments!