Tuesday, January 25, 2011

About Face

If there is one place where I somewhat regret the amount of money I threw away on products, it's makeup.  I bought at least two tubes of drugstore mascara to test it out; I spent a lot on foundation; I spent a lot on lipstick; and I spent quite a bit on blush and concealer I didn't even wear (I'm not convinced any color actually came off the blush palette and onto my cheeks.)  Then I spent more money at Target trying to get the right blush and eyeshadow.  The reason I spent so much on blush was because after the campaign, I left my makeup in a hidden corner at my parents house and couldn't find it until long after the wedding.  It would absolutely have been cheaper to pay a makeup artist to do my makeup, except that I hate having strangers touch my eyes.  Anyway, this post is about the cheaper makeup that I purchased, and the cost saving tips I'm passing onto you.

Here's the weird thing: I'm not convinced that any of it works.  I simply don't think to check my makeup after four hours to see if it has stayed on, so I'm not totally sure that my makeup didn't smudge or come off, but it did stay on through pictures, which is, I suppose, what matters.  
This is one of the last shots I have of me, and it looks like the makeup held up pretty well, except my lipstick which I should have reapplied at some point, but just didn't care about.  

For starters, I used a lot of Mrs. Rainbow's tips in her Ace Your Face post.  The best tip she offered?  
Rainbow pointed out that this has the same formula as the Smashbox primer, and, not in the mood to spend a lot more money, I picked some of it up.  First of all, it works really well as a primer - it makes my face feel really smooth and flawless, and it helps my mineral makeup stick especially well - but the best part is, it works really really well to prevent chafing.  I usually would have used Body Glide for my feet to keep blisters away, but my Body Glide wound up being somewhere that I couldn't get to when it was time for me to change shoes.  So I used this stuff and it worked like a dream - I didn't blister at all, and my feet barely hurt by the end of the night.   

I also ordered the silica spheres which are the same as the Make Up For Ever finishing powder.  This stuff goes on so clear I'm not totally sure that I'm wearing it.  (Hence the part where I'm unsure that it actually works.)  

I bought new brushes for the wedding, and while I was going to buy new brushes from Ulta, I wound up going with Eco Tools:
via Amazon
I love this brush.  It's crazy soft, and I love that it's bamboo and also cruelty-free.  I also love that it was half the price of the other brushes I was getting.  I recently made the mistake of using one of my old makeup brushes and it scratched my face and I vowed to use it never again.  I also got a tilted eyeshadow brush, which works pretty well.  Once I have a job, I think I might get the 5piece travel set.  

Before the wedding, in a frenzy over losing all of my makeup, I had to go out and buy new eyeshadow and blush (since the sephora blush didn't work).  I went with maybelline for those but I don't really recommend them - I really like the Ulta Eyeshadows - they stay on for a long time, they're subtle, and they don't crease.  I also picked up a lipstain by Revlon which at $7 was much cheaper than the Stila one I almost bought, and worked just as well.  

I hope this was somewhat helpful.  Honestly, if you don't know much about makeup, you should really just hire a makeup artist.  I thought I would get more use out of the stuff I bought after the wedding, but I use the mascara, the lip gloss (which is amazing and I want more of...right, no job), and the primer.  That's all.  (You probably should buy your own mascara and lip gloss anyway, to touch up on the day.)  Sometimes I use the Make Up For Ever foundation, but I don't really like liquid foundation - when I do use it, I mix it with primer and lotion like Rainbow recommends, because that helps make it feel a lot less heavy.  I will also say that my friends who had makeup artists looked absolutely stunning on their wedding days, to the point where you said, "is that really so-and-so?"  Which I didn't think I wanted, but in retrospect, it might have been nice.  What I really should have done was committed to spending a decent chunk of money on makeup and gone to a makeup counter and had them do a complete makeover, rather than buying things in bits and pieces and hoping it all went together on the big day.  
Photo by me - my vanity with my current makeup supplies - I love the Ulta minerals kit for everyday wear, and I still love the Neutrogena dual eye palette I bought for our first engagement shoot - it is perfect for work.

One last note - I bought foundation, blush, concealer, and face lotion all at Sephora.  I normally find them too expensive, but the customer service is top notch and they sold me the wrong shade of foundation, then took it back after I had used some of it and let me exchange it for the right shade.  That is the kind of customer service that is worth the higher priced products, at least to me.  

All photos by Prema Photographic


  1. I'm doing my own makeup and you are making me nervous! But I'm trying to be realistic and not go spend a bunch of money of things I won't use again. Against all reasonable makeup standards, I am skipping foundation. The Horror!

    I definitely plan on checking out the Neutrogena eye palette you keep mentioning and either the chafing gel or the Bodyglide. I have no idea what I'm going to do about mascara though — I don't want to buy a bunch of them but you can't exactly test drive different mascaras without buying. Ugh.

  2. Honestly, I'm not so sure the foundation was necessary - but I would wear moisturizer and then translucent powder, to avoid shine in photographs.
    Mascaras, I recommend either the CoverGirl Last Blast or the Maybelline Falsies - my bridesmaid used the Falsies and I was totally jealous of how amazing her eyelashes looked. I used last blast and it doesn't smudge and it's easy to have be either thin or really heavy - so I wear a single coat for most functions, and then a really heavy coat for special occasions. Oh, and don't forget to curl your lashes - invest in a good eyelash curler - mine is the Shu Uemura $17 one and it's amazing.
    Honestly, practice a lot. My mistake was probably having my bridesmaid do my makeup rather than doing a makeup lesson somewhere and then practicing until I had it perfect.

  3. Thanks for the tip about the anti-chafing stuff. I've never used primer but was planning on splurging on some for the wedding, and now I don't have to spend as much!

  4. Thanks for the tips! I'm honestly torn between the desire to do my own makeup because I always have and the desire to have a professional who will know how to make my eyebrows look pretty instead of Spock-like (Mr., not Dr.).

  5. I bought the Falsies. I don't know if it was because I put it on late in the day and already had makeup on, or what, but I didn't think it looked good. It seemed to be super clumpy. But I'll give it another go.

    I definitely plan on practicing. I also might need to get a new eye lash curler, because the one I have (Covergirl) doesn't do anything.

  6. your blog is BEYOND helpful and funny. love!!