I realized the other day that I haven't blogged about makeup in a few months and that isn't for lack of new things to swatch and share. But given my preference for shades of champagne, tan and brown, there's nothing really exciting to show you. The current makeup trends revolve around products that I'm not really interested in for the most part - holographic highlighters, glittery eyeshadow, unicorn-themed items. Not my cup of tea, thank you. There's also the other side of the spectrum - the "cool girl" no-makeup-makeup look courtesy of brands like Glossier and Milk. I prefer this over the former category but I'm not really a less-is-more kind of person when it comes to makeup. I'm either rocking a bare face or several layers of product.
Anyway, all's that to say that I have some makeup things I want to rave about that aren't trendy at all but I think are still worthy of a place in my everyday routine. Let's get on with it!
I mentioned my Artis Oval 7 brush last year and though I really enjoyed it throughout 2017, I didn't pick up more because the price is too darn high. A few weeks ago there was an Artis sample sale (for those in NYC, keep an eye on 260 NYC) so I scored a few more brushes for bargain prices. I picked up the Oval 8 (pictured above) which is about double the size of the Oval 7 for only $16.75 (regular price $67) and a set of the Oval 3, Oval 6 and Linear 1 for $33.75 (regular price $105). I haven't washed the brushes in the trio yet but I've been alternating between the Oval 7 and 8, depending on which is clean, to apply my base makeup and they're both awesome. They're super soft and dense brushes so I can get really good coverage without having to apply several layers of product and my skin doesn't get irritated since there is no buffing. Highly recommend the Artis face brushes but wait for a sale or an amazing GWP at SpaceNK.
Since we're on the topic of bases let's talk about the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion (I have shade 23) which I've been reaching for quite often in my cushion rotation. If you're not familiar with Sulwhasoo, it's the luxury brand under AmorePacific. I think of them as the Korean SKII which you can find at high-end department stores and Beautylish. I've heard of their Perfecting Cushion but balked at the $60 price (it comes with a refill so it's $ tag. I ended up finding it at Changi Airport in Singapore in a duo pack for a decent price so I took the risk of buying two of these without having tried it. I'm glad to say I like it a lot, especially for the dry season. This cushion can be built up to medium coverage and has a blurring effect on the skin. My pores look a lot less noticeable when I have this on. While it's still on the pale side, I like that this cushion doesn't run pink. It looks natural yet very polished and luminous.
I finally finished up my Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder which I've used for forever. Looking back at my blog history, I picked this up in the beginning half of 2014 so I've used this consistently for at least three and a half years! Crazy how long it takes to finish a loose powder. I've now switched over to the Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder which I got on sale for $20. It looks like they're discontinuing this powder but you can still purchase it at Macys for now. Even though there are a few different shades of this powder, it's so finely milled that I find it hardly gives any coverage, which is not necessarily a bad thing when I'm already wearing a foundation with good coverage. I like this powder for smoothing out my skin and keeping everything in place, which it does.
I don't think I've ever featured the Kevyn Aucoin Contour Book Volume II on the blog which is insane considering how much I use this! This value-packed palette includes the brand's famous sculpting powder and candlelight highlight in both the cream and powder versions (and full size to boot). I love the cream and powder contours (but have been exclusively reaching for the powder version lately) because they have the perfect amount of coolness to give your face a realistic sculpt. The highlighters are also lovely but a bit more subdued and recently I've been on a more blingy highlighter kick. The four eyeshadows are really just a bonus in my eyes and the three darker shades make a lovely neutral eye combo. I've been reaching for this everyday I've worn makeup for the past month and brought this out to LA for a week-long work trip so I didn't need to pack a separate shadow palette. It's also a bargain at only $65 when the contour powder alone will set you back $44.
For blush it's been hard for me to put down the Clinique Cheek Pop in Nude Pop as you can tell from how much I've used it. For light skin tones you really can't go wrong with this shade (see a more true-to-color view of it and swatched here). I'm confident this is actually a blush I will finish at some point which would be a first for me.
When I want a more amped up highlight than what the Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight offers, I've been opting for the Dior Nude Air Luminizer Powder in 01. It seems like every blogger has some version of this highlighter and for good reason. The packaging and imprint on the powder is gorgeous and the shimmer is the perfect level of shine. The hard-pressed gelee formula means you never pick up too much excess product. Love on all fronts!
I subscribed to the Allure Beauty Box in January because every box contained a full size Sunday Riley serum but what really stole the show was the Beauty for Real I-Line 24-7 Eyeliner in Whiskey. I've never heard of this brand but this pencil eyeliner is phenomenal. It's creamy, pigmented and lasts all day on my eyes. It's also affordable at only $14 as well and if you purchase more than one on the Beauty for Real site, the price per liner is lower. Per the company's website, these are made in the U.S. and cruelty free.
I'm probably the last beauty blogger to get my hands on some of the By Terry Ombre Blackstar Stick Eyeshadows but I finally added them to my collection when Cult Beauty had the holiday trio on sale. I'm thrilled the trio featured three of the most popular and wearable shades: Bronze Moon, Misty Rock and Blond Opal. Given my inclination towards bronze and taupe shades I expected Bronze Moon and Misty Rock to be my favorites but it's actually been Blond Opal that I've been using the most so far. It's a lovely wash of champagne over the eyelids and it works well as a base for powder shadows. Now that I've tried the By Terry shadows I think they're essentially the same as the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eyeshadows but 1.5 times the price. So go for the Laura Mercier ones unless you can find the By Terry Ombre Blackstars at a discount.
I didn't feature some of my makeup routine essentials like undereye concealer, mascara, and eyebrow products because those have largely remained unchanged since my previous makeup routine updates. I'm hoping to do dedicated makeup product reviews with swatches and before-and-after photos soon so watch this space!
What's been on your makeup menu as of late? Are any of the products I featured ones you love as well?