The Perfect Makeup Combo.

I’ve FINALLY found the perfect makeup routine for a stay-at-home mom who still wants to look somewhat pretty on a day-to-day basis.

To preface, I have what I think to be common skin problems. I have combination skin (both oily and dry, sometimes more of one than the other), I’ve started the aging process, I have dark circles from lack of sleep, and I get the occasional breakout. My goal for my new makeup routine was to look as natural as possible while having as little of steps as needed. I think many people’s goal is to look like the best versions of themselves, as quickly as possible. And I think I’ve finally figured it out.

After doing some research on products I wanted to try, I headed to our local Ulta and decided to begin there. I wanted to go somewhere that I wouldn’t be pressured to buy all products from one particular brand and I would be able to find my perfect shade. Upon arriving, I find out I have to pay $60 for a makeup artist to actually help me find my correct shade in all the products I wanted to try. Since I’m not made of money and I think that’s completely ridiculous, I decided to help myself to their samples in order to find the perfect shade for me. Now, when I say I helped myself, I mean I took like 10-12 samples at a time with me to the mirror. Did I mention I had a very wiggly 16 month old with me? Anyways, about 20 minutes into my self makeover, I realize an employee keeps following me wherever I’m going. Which is fine, it’s the holiday season and I probably looked sketchy with all these samples. But a couple of minutes later, I hear this same employee tell someone she’s “watching me,” which I didn’t appreciate. I’ve worked in retail and I know the protocol for what you do if you think someone is shoplifting, and I’m pretty sure I never learned to get behind a person and announce that they’re being watched. So, I headed straight to the checkout line with whatever I had in my cart and went on my way. That night I was still so upset I had my husband go back to the store, return everything I had purchased, and tell them what happened and why I would never be returning to that store. Sorry Ulta, but if you thought I was shoplifting, why didn’t you offer to help me find what I was looking for so you could keep an eye on me instead of just following me and watching me struggle? Oh right, because I didn’t pay $60 🙄…silver lining though, I found my perfect shade in the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, so I was able to order that from Nordstrom.

Over the next couple of days, I continued my research to find the best tinted moisturizer, best all over powder, and best blush/highlighter. Personally I think drugstore mascara is just fine, and I’ve never been an eyeshadow/eyeliner type of girl. Seems too complicated. So I made a list, and started ordering from Nordstrom. About a week and $850 later, my packages arrived and I was ready to start my makeover.

(Seemed like a lot of money for not so many products if you ask me, but I knew it would be worth it.)

I started with a tinted moisturizer. From all my research I discovered that this one product can kill 3 steps in one (moisturizer, sunscreen, and all-over coverage). So I decided it’s a must have! I ordered the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (regular, oil free and illuminating), the Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturizer, the NARS Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturizer, and the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream. Each of these I ordered in about 2-3 shades, depending on how many they offered and what their websites said my “shade” should be. It came between the Laura Mercier Illuminating one and the bareMinerals one. Both had the perfect amount of coverage, didn’t feel oily, had the perfect shade (didn’t look orange), and felt weightless. In the end, I chose the bareMinerals Tinted Moisturizer because it offered the highest SPF and I just liked the texture better (feels like a mousse, not a heavy cream). It’s defined as a “tinted gel cream that comes in 16 shades and is a mineral-based formula that combines the properties and benefits of a BB cream, CC cream, and tinted moisturizer and also contains hydrating, good-for-your-skin ingredients like marine botanicals and mineral electrolytes.”

Nordstrom ($30)

Next step, the under eye concealer. From my trip to Ulta I decided the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer was pure magic. After years of using the Bobbi Brown Corrector under my eyes, I didn’t think I’d like something that came in a cream, but I was completely wrong. Also, $30 seems like a ridiculous price to pay, but I’m hoping I can make it last. I’ll be able to share more on that later on.

Once I found the perfect shade, this stuff literally blended perfectly and COMPLETELY covered my under eye circles. It was also the perfect texture. It didn’t gather in my wrinkles, didn’t cake, and seems to last quite a while. I’m officially sold!

Nordstrom ($30)

Next on the list, all-over powder or a finishing powder. I tried the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, the bareMinerals Mineral Veil, and the Estēe Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Powder. Two of them being a pressed powder, and one being a loose powder (bareMinerals). To my surprise, I loved the bareMinerals Mineral Veil. The pressed powders had a little too much coverage, even when I used a brush, and they just felt a little too heavy. The Mineral Veil is perfect though! The reviews said it, but now I’m a believer. It’s weightless, minimizes my lines, and adds the perfect finishing touch to the tinted moisturizer and concealer.

Nordstrom ($23)

Next item that took absolutely no research because I already own it, is the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow’ Face Sculpt & Highlight. I received this as a gift when I worked at Bergdorf and have loved ever since I tried using it. I only use it for special occasions or when I want to use a little something extra, but it’s a really great item to have. The bronzer is great when I need to add some color or sculpt my cheeks, and the highlighter looks great over my blush. At $68, I’d wait to see if you can find it on sale. I’ve had it for over a year and plan on it lasting a while longer!

Nordstrom ($68)

Lastly, the perfect blush. I’ve been using Bobbi Brown blush in perfect pink for as long as I can remember. But I’ve wanted a little something extra. So I decided to get the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick compact. I went with the rose quartz color because I decided it looked best, but honestly all 3 colors looked great! It adds the perfect amount of color and shimmer that I was looking for.

Nordstrom ($48)

So I finish all of this with a little eyelash curl, some mascara, eyebrow gel by Elf, and some Aquaphor or chapstick and call it a day. On days we don’t leave the house, I just wash my face and put some moisturizer on. But on all other days I like to throw this on, and it just makes me feel better about myself. I’ve been doing it for a little over a week and I can honestly say it takes no more than 4 minutes and doesn’t look like I’m wearing anything at all. Mission accomplished!

I’ve also tagged Nordstrom in all the links because that’s where I chose to purchase all the products, but most beauty was on sale when I did that. I’ll keep a look out for the pricier items to go back on sale, because no one wants to spend that much money on makeup!

Thanks for reading!



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