Vanity: Lipsticking Vicariously Through Others
I've always had some interest in makeup and beauty. As a little girl, I obsessively collected Bonne Bell Lip Smackers and would sneak into my mom's makeup bag and put on her lipstick. My first "real makeup" was a Bobbi Brown gift set bought for me by my wonderful grandmother. When I was in college, I stumbled upon MakeupAlley.com, and my interest in makeup (and my collection) grew rapidly.
My favorite products change all the time, and I tend to fall in love with a brand, buy a ton of it, then discover a new brand to go wild over. But I also have a rule for myself when it comes to how much makeup I have: I only keep things that I truly love and will use. The rest I blog sale or give away. When I have too much, I just neglect it, and the clutter bothers me. I am constantly buying and editing my collection.
One philosophy I live by is "less is more". I find that a well-applied, simple face of makeup is always ten times more flattering than haphazardly piling it on. In general, I love products that create natural, "my face but better" looks. Some of my current favorites are from Becca: the Luminous Skin Color, Shimmering Skin Perfector, Beach Tints, and palettes. Becca products seem to create the most beautiful yet subtle looks. I've also been loving Dior lipsticks, Laura Mercier shadows, and Tarte blushes. I wear a "full face" of makeup maybe three times a month.
Lipsticks are probably my biggest addiction. I tend to prefer sheer to medium coverage lipsticks with a satin or slightly glossy finish. The majority of my lipstick collection is variations of natural colors, but with hints of rose, berry, and red. I also love neutral shadows. I gravitate towards bronzes, taupes, and nude shades. When I want to get a bit crazy, I'll use plum, navy, or forest green--that's colorful enough for me! Becca, Guerlain, and Laura Mercier are my favorites for shadows at the moment. All three of those brands have beautiful, complex neutrals.
Although I'm lazy when it comes to makeup, I am vigilant about my skin care routine. At night, I start by removing my makeup with Origins Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil. It removes everything and helps to balance my skin. Sometimes I follow up with my Clarisonic and Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash--it just depends on my skin that day. I will then apply Alpha Hydrox 10% Enhanced Cream. This takes care of any flaky patches and keeps my pores really clean. As far as my morning skincare, I usually use a damp washcloth and apply my sunscreen (unless my skin is particularly oily, in which case I will cleanse). I also use Kate Somerville Exfolikate and Makeup Artist's Choice peels as needed.
I buy almost all mid-end and high-end products. I used to impulse buy drugstore products, end up hating them, and feel I wasted money, so I cut myself off. The exception is Maybelline Full n' Soft waterproof mascara, which I love to pieces and have gone through countless tubes of.
This project is greatly indebted to the Top Shelf section of IntoTheGloss.com, which was my inspiration, and to every beautiful person who participates. This article has been slightly modified for clarity and length.