I’m obviously not a beauty blogger or expert in the field, but so many people have messaged me on Instagram asking for a beauty tutorial / favorite products. I’m finally giving in and posting my must-have cosmetics. If you’re lucky I might try sharing my routine on Insta stories later in the day, we’ll have to see how it goes! My sister and family are arriving today, so I’m hoping I can squeeze in a little time. In the meantime, click through to see what’s in my cosmetic bag for skincare, beauty, and hair.
S K I N C A R E
I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to skincare. I don’t love spending a ton of time doing things to my face, so I only use a few products these days.
Before I jump in- I added a new technology to the blog that makes shopping roundups even easier! You can still click the links below the image, but now you can also click on the product within the image and it will take you directly to that product source. It’s really pretty cool! Test it out and let me know what you think.
- Cleanser // I recently discovered this cleanser and it has the BEST scent. I seriously want it in a perfume. It leaves my skin feeling super smooth and refreshed.
- SPF moisturizer // The step I never ever forget is sunscreen. I can’t tell you how important it is! If you take nothing else away from this post, please remember my little PSA to wear sunscreen. Take it from a stupid girl who used to tan during high school and college. Last year I had a scare with melanoma. I had to have a minor surgery to remove a cancerous spot on my back and now I’m left with a 3″ reminder scar. All of this to say- this is the most important step in my beauty routine, by far. This sunscreen is top notch and it’s also a moisturizer… you can’t beat two-in-one.
- Clarisonic (with oil control brush head) // I honestly can’t live without this thing. I’m going on five years as a Clarisonic devotee. My face doesn’t feel clean without it.
C O S M E T I C S
I’ll start by saying, I don’t wear makeup often. I work from home and have tried very hard to become comfortable in my own skin over the past couple years.
I’m happy to admit- I’m in a much better and confident place! Therefore, even when I’m out grocery shopping or running errands, you’ll probably see me sans makeup. However, like anyone else, I do like to make myself presentable for client meetings, the occasional date night, or events with friends.
- Cosmetic Brush Set // This brush set is my favorite. I’ve had my brushes for years and they’re holding up so well.
- Foundation // This foundation is by far the best out there! It’s silky, luminous, and never looks cakey. If you like full coverage, it’s buildable too. I apply this with my fingers… it’s that easy.
- Primer // I’ve been using this primer for over four years. It’s light, smells great, and has good, natural ingredients. It makes applying foundation much easier, while smoothing my giant pores.
- Bronzer // I don’t actually use this as bronzer… well sometimes in the summertime- but it’s rare. I actually use this as an eyeshadow. It looks super natural and is flattering with any look!
- Lip Stain // This lip stain is my go-to light to medium color. It’s matte and stays put for hours. My favorite shade is 105 Rosewood.
- Concealer // I don’t wear concealer often, but if I’m super tired or have a blemish- it’s a must for dark circles and acne. This covers up anything. Seriously- anything.
- Blush // I’m not going to lie… if I was stranded on an island, I’d want some blush. It gives me instant cheekbones. The Jouer brand has the best colors and they last forever.
- Highlighter or Eyeshadow (in half baked) // This compact is actually eyeshadow (from the Naked 2 Palette), but I use it as eyeshadow AND highlighter. It’s seriously the best highlighter color. I also like that one product doubles for two things.
- Setting Powder // I’m obsessed with the setting powder… it gives you a natural glow without looking sparkly. It also keeps everything in place.
- Brow Gel // I usually don’t do anything to my brows, but if I’m going for glam, I’ll slap on a little brow gel for added dimension. This cheap stuff is the best of the best.
- Eyeliner // This is my go-to liner. It lasts for hours and hours! You can also get a super thin wingtip.
- Matte Lip Stain // This drug store lip stain competes with the high brands and lasts longer. I have it in two colors: voyager and escapist.
I do two makeup looks (basic, I know)… a natural look, as well as a ‘full face’ glam sort of look. I will say, over the past year, I became seriously allergic to mascara. Therefore, the past 3-4 months I’ve been wearing natural lash extensions that help to shorten my routine tremendously while giving me a look that seems like I have mascara on. I also had my brows microbladed in 2016- you can read about that here.
For natural makeup, I only use the following: primer, foundation, blush, a little highlighter, and the lip moisturizer.
My ‘glam’ look (if you can even call it that), consists of pretty much everything you see in the above image.
M A I N T E N A N C E
I don’t really love the word “maintenance” because it sounds time consuming and like a big hassle, but there is something to be said about maintaining your skin- even if you don’t have a ton of time. If I could offer one piece of advice or my favorite product for this step, it’s makeup remover. I remove my makeup every single day I wear it… no matter how late it is or how tired I am. You better believe I scrub it off and wash my face. Nothing grosses me out more than sleeping in makeup.
- Lip moisturizer // This lip moisturizer is SO good. It got my dry, peeling lips through two years of accutane and I still use it.
- Face oil // Lots of people ask about wrinkle prevention. Sadly, I’m past the age of having youthful skin that bounces right back, but I don’t have a ton of time or money to commit to preventative products / measures. I worked on the packaging for this company, and I just dab a little luxe face oil around my eyes / wrinkle areas a few times a week. I swear it works wonders and one product is so much easier than a multi step system. My client has the best skin in her middle age using her own product, so I thought if it works for her, surely it will work for me.
- Masks // I’m a big fan of masks. I try to do one of the boscia masks at least once a week. They make my skin feel and look amazing! I get the variety pack that comes with 3 different options: charcoal, green tea, and brightening. I like to have options and they’re easy to travel with!
- Cetaphil wipes // I use these gentle wipes to remove my makeup or clean my face at the end of everyday. When I do wear makeup, I’l remove it with a cetaphil wipe. Then I use my clarisonic and cleanser to wash my face.
That’s really all I have in place for skincare maintenance. I like to keep things super simple and quick.
H A I R
Hair is the easiest category for me. I use a handful of products and that’s it- they’re my tried and true favorites- and they work.
- Hair towel // I know these things seem so stupid, but I swear I can’t use a regular towel on my hair anymore. Make fun of me all you want- they’re convenient and they work! My mom got me hooked in high school and I haven’t looked back.
- Shampoo // Hands down my all-time favorite shampoo, and it smells fantastic.
- Dry shampoo // Aerosol dry shampoos make my hair feel gross for some reason. Almost dirtier? I like this powder kind from Aveda and it has the best scent.
- Curling iron // I’ve had this curling iron forever. I actually think I stole it from my mom years ago. It’s not fancy, but it works well. Wands are confusing to me and I can’t get the hang of them, but this ole thing does the trick!
- Conditioner // This goes with the shampoo and they work together so well. This stuff can get any tangle out… even the toughest ones. You only need a TINY amount.
- Hairspray // I like this in the medium hold. It doesn’t smell like hairspray! It’s amazing, light, and makes my hair shine, all while holding it in place.
- Hair milk // If there is one product from this roundup I’d tell you to buy- it’s this. I can’t even explain it- I guess it’s sort of like a leave in conditioner, but not really. It is a GAME CHANGER. My hair is thicker, fuller, healthier, and shiny these days, all because of this stuff. It smells insanely good and if I could bathe in it – I would.
- Wet brush // Cheap wet brushes are my jam. I hate tangles, I don’t really know how to dry my hair properly (bye round brush), and this thing does the job. I like the feel of it too.
I swear Davines products have turned my hair around. It’s thicker, fuller, and healthier than ever before. I can honestly tell a huge difference. Believe it or not- my hair is really fine and it’s hard to get good volume. I feel like between all of these products, they’re the key to it looking good.
Alright, hit me with questions in the comments! Like I mentioned in the intro, I’m certainly no beauty expert, but I do what works for me. I know these beauty related posts are few and far between these days, so hopefully this will tide everyone over for another year or two! Haha! If you’re not into cosmetic posts, don’t worry… I’m back with interior content tomorrow.
NikiOctober 10, 2017 at 5:37 pm
Okay, so many thoughts on this post. Firstly, love it. I love when a blogger whose main focus isn’t beauty does a beauty post, they’re always so great and this was no exception. I used the Davines Oi line as well and I wasn’t thrilled with the shampoo and conditioner (I’ve switched to Innersense, which I like better), but the “All in One Milk” is amazing and a definite repurchase. Also their Alchemic line for color correcting is the best I’ve ever used. Question, have you tried Bite Beauty’s Agave Mask, and if so, how would you compare it to the Amore Pacific Lip Treatment?
SarahOctober 10, 2017 at 8:01 pm
Thanks so much, Niki! My hair stylist told me once I run out of Oi shampoo / conditioner, I should try their Alcemic color line… I think I’m sold after reading your comment. Thanks for that! I haven’t not tried the agave mask. I’m pretty obsessed with Amore Pacific products because they feel and smell SO good.
NikiOctober 11, 2017 at 4:24 pm
It’s a great line, you won’t regret it. I love the Amore Pacific line too. I know it’s ridiculous, but they’re eye cream, it’s the dual one, I can’t think of that exact name right now, but it’s $150 I think, is amazing! I just can’t justify spending that so from time to time I go online and buy the sample packets.
HeatherOctober 16, 2017 at 7:44 pm
Great post. Makeup is so intimidating to me, so I tend to stick to a few products that I know won’t make me look like a clown. Thanks for the products tips…I might branch out.
What about your lash routine? I know you mentioned in your Insta Stories that you wear lash extensions. Do you wear mascara on top of extensions? I have been thinking about getting a Lash Lift since my lashes grown straight down!
SarahOctober 16, 2017 at 8:22 pm
Thanks, Heather! I’m the same way. I don’t do anything to my lash extensions. After becoming allergic to mascara, and almost a year after suffering through it and doing without, I finally opted for natural looking lash extensions. I get them filled every 4-5 weeks and I do absolutely nothing in between… no mascara, etc. In fact, I threw away my mascara and my eye lash curler. I haven’t used them in months and it’s been amazing. My lashes also grow straight down and they’re dirty blonde in color (not ideal). Hope this helps!
SarahDecember 18, 2019 at 1:54 pm
Hi Sarah! I love those black makeup brushes. The link doesnt work anymore though, would you mind telling me where I can find them? Thanks so much!!
SarahDecember 18, 2019 at 7:02 pm
These are my new favorite, Sarah! They’re very similar to my old ones from this post: http://bit.ly/2QR9qjF