Let’s Play Makeup

Ulta Haul

I don’t talk about it much here on my blog, but one of my biggest guilty pleasures is makeup, hair products, skincare, and general beautification ritual paraphernalia. Skincare is something I’ve been into for years. Pretty much since I graduated from college and became terrified of turning 30 someday. Makeup and hair products, however, are a relatively new interest of mine.

I’ve worn make up since middle school, and I would say that I’ve always had a sort of satisfactory level of prowess when it comes to makeup application. Though I clean up pretty well, I’m not a super pulled together person on a day-to-day basis.  Sometimes my “face” for the day consists of powder, mascara and lippy.  I’m ok with that for the most part.

Recently, I’ve been having a little more fun with makeup. I hadn’t really experimented with higher end product lines or different “looks” until I started watching YouTube videos a few years ago. Oh how I wish YouTube had been around when I was a teenager.  Thank goodness that it is around now, and that there are teenagers and 22 year olds who will show you how to use a curling iron, apply eyeliner etc.  I feel like I’ve gotten a bachelors in girlyness from an online university.

I recently popped into Ulta to pick up a few things I had run out of, and while I was there I made some impromptu purchases. I thought y’all might be interested to see some of the products I’m using…

Pictured above –

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Gel Cleanser: I’ve used products in the Neutrogena Oil-Free line off and on for more than 15 years.  I kind of thought that by the time I needed to worry about wrinkles, I wouldn’t also need a salicylic acid cleanser, but oh well, I do. This is cheap and does the trick. Sometimes I buy the grapefruit scented version, which is nice. I use this morning and night.  In the evening I use my Clairsonic mia with this cleanser.  That’s not the extent of my skincare ritual. Trust, there are many many other steps… but that is for another post.

Loreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara: Loreal Voluminous is one of the mascaras I keep coming back to.  I try lots of different mascaras – I get sucked into the gimmicks.  I feel like mascara, more so than other product categories, has really interesting technological innovation so I’m always picking up a new one when I run out of whatever I’m using. New brush styles, different formulas, four times the length etc. Lies.  Usually lies.  I typically don’t enjoy waterproof mascara, but I find that days when I’m taking lots of photos with my DSLR that regular mascara smudges like crazy.  I asked twitter how chic lady photographers combat that issue, and Rachel from A Southern Fairytale recommended this product.  It’s very challenging to remove at the end of the day – but it stays on like a champ and I get zero smudges even when I’m shooting outdoors for hours.

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo: If I had to name one product that has made the biggest impact on my life after adopting it, it would be this one.  Dry shampoo is crucial for me.  My hair is nearly waist length, so I try to wash and blow it dry as infrequently as possible to keep it healthy looking. This product helps freshen up the roots and add some volume back so that I can stretch a style for several days between washes.  I’ve tried several different brands, and this is my favorite.  Love the smell, love how finely milled the powder is and that it doesn’t leave any visible residue if used sparingly.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain, shade Romantic: Other than the absolutely ridiculous mouth full of a name, I quite enjoy this product. I wear red lipstick often, It’s part of my signature look I suppose.  In the summer, I find that lipstick doesn’t hold up very well to the heat.  What’s nice about these is that they are moisturizing like a lip balm without being too glossy (I think glossy red lips are a tad vulgar. I prefer matte or satin finish red lip products).  Once the lip balm has worn off, your lips are left with a nice subtle stain effect.  This is ideal for if you’re heading out to happy hour and want to look fresh without worrying about getting lipstick all over the rim of your champagne flute.

Urban Decay Shadow - "Pistol"

Urban Decay Shadow, shade Pistol: I considered purchasing the Naked 2 palate while I was playing around in the makeup section. I have the first Naked palate, and I like some of the shades in Naked 1, but a lot of them are too sparkly or dark for my taste.  I swatched the Naked 2 palate and didn’t feel like I HAD to have it.  I did really swoon over the shade Pistol in the palate so I opted to pick it up in a single shadow format. It’s a lovely shimmery grey with warm undertones, I don’t have anything else like it.

Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer, shade Light Golden: Hmmm wish I could say I thought this product lived up to it’s name.  I do not find it amazing.  I find it kind of gloopy.  Bummer, it wasn’t cheap.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush - "Exposed"

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush, shade Exposed: I love this blush and have it in several other shades. I actually had this shade too, but dropped it on the tile floor a year or so ago and it completely shattered.  I’ve since seen on Pinterest that you can put broken powder compacts back together using rubbing alcohol, not sure if that works.  Anyways I digress… Love this subtle tan-ish rosey shade.  I have very oily skin, but this blush holds up all day.  I highly recommend you try it.  The other shades I have are Tipsy, Amused (favorite!!!), and Blissful.

Eco Tools Retractable Foundation & Kabuki Brushes: The Eco Tools line of brushes are well made, inexpensive, and attractive.  The kabuki brush has been a favorite of mine for a while, but the foundation brush is new to me.  I know it wont be my go-to foundation brush, because I am head over heels in love with my Sigma F84 angled kabuki for applying liquid foundation.  This will be a good option for my travel or gym make up bag.

Tarte NeutralEYES II

Tarte NeutralEYES Volume II palate: This was on sale.  Haven’t used it yet, might give it a go this weekend. The top row of shadows are matte, the bottom row is shimmery (but not nearly as shimmery as Urban Decay shadows).  I think this will be a great palate to throw in my travel make up bag.

Some old stand bys and some new things I’m experimenting with.  We’ll see if any of these become staples in my regimin. Have you tried any of these products?  What are some of your must have items?

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5 Responses

  1. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but my two can’t live with-out’s are MAC eyeshadow in creme brulee (yay for neutral shades) and GLO minerals eyeliner pencil in Twilight Blue (it’s black with just a tiny hint of navy to pop some color). That Tarte palate looks fun – thanks for posting – you just inspired my weekend!

  2. Shelby says:

    Elizabeth, I am now dreaming about getting a bachelor’s in girliness via YouTube. As of yet, I’m still lacking the GED…I’m a L’Oreal Voluminous fan, and also find the waterproof mascara lasting days. I think I had it on all June one year.

    Do you have any favorite products for redheads?

    • elizabeth says:


      Let me know if you need a list of the right people on YouTube to listen to, will gladly share my secrets. Just pretend they are TED talks. Being pretty is significant and meaningful and good for society. Right?

      Favorite redhead products: foundation that covers blemishes but lets our freckles show through= Neutrogena Healthy Skin (has SPF too). Brow pencil that is an appropriate shade for a non brunette or blonde = Maybeline Eyestudio brow pencil in Auburn. Peach and green eye shadow, fishtail liner and red blush are a must. Naturally.

      • Shelby says:

        Ooooh, who are your YT favorites? My mom would fully support your premise that being pretty is significant and meaningful and good for society, and as her offspring, I therefore am obligated to agree.

        I am going out right now to purchase some peach/green eyeshadow and tomato red lipstick, but I’ll put the brow pencils and foundation on my short list!

  3. Carolyn Gebhard says:

    I totally want a list of the best you tube tutorials, please. Wouldn’t know where to begin.

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