Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Musings : A few thoughts on beauty routines

With all the recent talk about #bareface, almost and no-make up looks and a general tendency towards  going natural, I thought it was time I give you guys a piece of my mind about the whole deal, as big little-to-no-makeup user.

I've been meaning to do a post on beauty for a while now, especially skincare, which seems like such an elusive subject.

I've been battling acne for the longest time possible, trying different gels and oily skincare products, until reading this post by Garance which caused a major change in my routine - I traded cleansing gels for cleansing milk. Which proved to be a great improvement - I have very few breakouts and my skin is generally happy and pretty even.

Except for a very brief time in 7th grade when every girl in middle school was obsessed with Avon products, I was never much of make up user. Probably the fact that my excessive use of eyeliner lead to some pretty severe conjunctivitis is also part of my reduced use of make up.

I do have naturally dark brows and eyelashes, so I never plucked them or used mascara really. My skin is fair and easily flustered, so blush was never on my list either.

What I do use now is a bit of concealer for the redness around my nose and chin and occasional breakout, coupled with either red lipstick or lip gloss, but usually just a very greasy lip balm.

I bought my first Sephora lipstick (Make Up Forever) some two years ago and it expired long before I even got to use it properly (you can see the tube is pretty much full). I had to throw away my expired almost-full bottle of foundation for the same reason.

I don't use make up on a daily basis, unless I go out to some party or opening or I have to take photos for the blog/shop.

My first ''adult'' make up cost me about 50 euros (70$) at Sephora for a tube of lipstick and foundation (the aforementioned one).

Like why are these things so pricey?? 

For a while I was making do with this little foundation/concealer combo a friend from the States gave me (called RedPoint )  which I really liked texture-wise and was pretty much the right amount I needed in like a year of use, except that the shade was much darker than my skin tone (which you can tell in older close up photos) but pretty much was doing the trick on shoots.

So next time I had a shoot scheduled, I just said fuck it, I'm just gonna buy drugstore shit! How bad can it be??

So I bought this Maybelline concealer stick ( FIT me) in the lightest shade I could find; I still spent a hefty 10 euros (15$) on it, which is pretty ridiculous to me. I mean I could get Sephora brands for just double the price!

While I was happy with the shade, the quality is pretty poor - it's very dry and no matter how much moisturizer I use as primer, it still bunches up weirdly within a couple of minutes. Was much happier with my old MakeUp Forever foundation, then again I don't wanna spend 30 euros on a bottle I'm just gonna use 1/4 of.

I went for another Maybelline lipstick at about the same price range, but I couldn't test it in store ( oh Sephora!). Compared to my old lipstick, the texture is much lighter (I wanted a matte crimson shade), covers you less and needs to be frequently re-applied.

As for the gloss, I just use an American Apparel one I bought on clearance that works pretty well but doesn't smell that nice (my 14 year old strawberry flavored gloss user still rules over this topic).

I haven't done any extensive gloss research (unlike my frequent Sephora lipstick sampling), but I would like a nice red that smells like berries also and doesn't have glitter in it - does that even exist??

As for my skincare routine, I use a gentle milk cleanser, either L'Oreal or Nivea, combined with a Nivea tonic water and whatever eau thermale spray is on sale at the pharmacy.

My biggest frustration is in terms of eye cream and moisturizer - I'm 26, I don't smoke, I don't have bags or lines under my eyes, all I need is a damn eye cream that will nourish my skin and prevent dark circles without fighting wrinkles OR having some tinted anti-dark circles action. Is that too much to ask??

So far i couldn't find the perfect anti-dark circles cream that's NOT tinted (probably because that doesn't exist), but I've been fairly happy with my La Roche-Posey moisturizer.

As for a general moisturizer, upon using various samples from the pharmacy, this A-derma Rheacalm has been pretty great. It's very rich and soothing.

I'm also pretty lazy when it comes to sticking to it, but I would like to start using an SPF cream during the day, try more homemade facial scrubs and natural ingredients masks at least once a week.

My plan now is to get a different day moisturizer with SPF that's NOT a BB cream - you can't imagine how hard that is! Is like everyone is trying to get you to put more stuff on your skin! Like I don't want to use foundation AND still take care of my skin, thank you very much.

This one from Kiehl's sounds pretty good, but I haven't tried it yet. Maybe I should just ask for some samples before taking he buy plunge?

What are your beauty routines? Where do you stand on this whole beauty industry mirage? Are you a make up addict or subscribe to the #bareface?


  1. I'm so clueless about makeup. I do use it, but I have no idea what I'm buying. I could totally use some customized expert tips :)

  2. I've never heard of cleansing milk- that sounds really interesting! and i usually just fill in my brows and put on a few licks of mascara, but i cannooot get over red lipstick. i always feel naked without it- i have a drawer overflowing with plum, berry, and cherry colors :)

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  3. Thanks for this post! I'm really glad when beautiful girls like you write in their posts thatn they don't really put a lot of make-up. I'm a redhead and I always thought I should cover my pale skin, acne changes, add some blush, mascara to my light lashes... But now, just because I'm lazy, I sometimes leave my skin untouched - just a little bit of mascara. The foundation is actually a problem - i hate putting it on, but I like to have it on to feel secure. Why is that?!

  4. Lovely blog and lovely pictures! :)