An exercise that I have found incredibly useful at keeping me excited about the makeup I already own is creating a monthly makeup bag. Monthly is an arbitrary time I chose for myself, based on my own knowledge of my attention span, so if you chose to do this feel free to do what works for you! The beauty industry is constantly churning out the next best thing that we just have to have. A lot of people are genuinely addicted to that little burst that you get from buying a new product–this applies to a lot of industries. The beauty in particular, is very predatory when it comes to this. Many people self-soothe with consumption. We live in a culture that is driven by consumption that consistently enforces this ideology to the point where it’s easy to not even question it. It’s the norm at this point, but it doesn’t have to be if you take some time to be mindful. Overcoming these urges are hard, trust me, I still fall into this habit often, despite trying my best not to.
The habit of “shopping my stash” as it’s commonly called in beauty circles has been really useful to me in combating these urges. Get a cute bag, preferably one you already own, and grab products that you want to wear on your face for whatever set of time you chose. The idea is that you use this bag for your everyday makeup for that set of time. Pretty simple, right? Some notes I have to make the most of this:
- Keep your options somewhat limited, you don’t need to be rotating five different mascara’s.
- Learn to let go of things, if you find yourself never adding an item, or wishing you had chosen another, you can de-stash that item
- For nights out or special occasions, deviate from the bag. I find that this really encourages me to further shop my stash.
- Change up the bag every new time period. If you had two blushes that you always use in the bag during one time period, choose two new ones for the next bag. Challenge yourself to use those items you own that aren’t “safe”, you might be surprised by how much you love something once you get used to seeing it on your face!
Every month I’ll be posting my bag, telling you what I loved about my choices, what I de-stashed, and what I discovered about my tastes. I also want to note that I’m not posting this to encourage you all to run out and buy whatever I feature, despite the mini reviews I’ll be adding. Shop what you already own and take these reviews as information for the future when you’re doing some conscious purchasing! Onto the contents of this months bag.
Embryolisse Lait Créme Concentré $28 is a staple in most professional’s makeup bags for a good reason. It’s an incredibly basic, hydrating face lotion that makeup (most makeup) sits on top of incredibly well. I keep this in my bag for when I need to do my makeup long after my skincare for the day is done. I have to have freshly moisturized skin when I apply foundation, it’s just a tick of mine. I love this for its affordability–the big tube is $28 and seriously lasts forever–and how basic it is. 4.5/5
Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade $18 is one of my favorite brow formulas. I expected to hate it because I am furtively against the insta-brow, but it’s actually really effective at creating a natural looking brow if you know what you’re doing. I use the thinnest flat eyeliner brush I can find to fill in the arch and tail of my brow, and I run whatever is left through the mid section, avoiding my front of my brow, because fuck that gradient shit. I refuse. My one greatest wish in life is the death of this squared off, gradient, opaque looking brow that’s popular right now. It’s heinous. Not chic, guys, not chic at all. 5/5
Burberry Light Glow Natural Blush in Dark Earthy No. 11 $42 is another product that I am planning to keep in my bag until it’s finished. As you can see, I’ve hit pan. I love this product because it’s so versatile. I use it in my crease as an eyeshadow all the time. Almost every day, actually. I use it as a contouring blush, which is it’s actual intended purpose, in the upper hallows/lower part of my cheekbone for minimalistic looks. It’s slightly warm tone means it’s not great for realistic contouring, but I love the effect. I do wish there was more product in the pan seeing as it’s very pricey. 4/5
Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation $42 I’m pretty sick of how expensive foundations are, but I’m resigned to the fact that my pale golden/yellow skintone is almost impossible to match. Estée Lauder double wear is one of the best foundation formula’s I’ve ever used. I was definitely skeptical at first, considering it’s such a heavy-duty foundation. I thought it would look caked up and heavy on the skin, but it’s actually incredibly light and the formula is a thin fluid. It sets to a satin/matte finish that looks like normal skin. It doesn’t settle in to lines or highlight dryness. It also mixes incredibly well with other foundations, illuminators, moisturizers, and oils. I always mix an oil into my foundation because I have really dry skin, and this foundation doesn’t break apart like others can when I do that. The shade range is also incredible. 5/5.
Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminating Wang $28 will probably be featured in one of my upcoming empties! I’ve decided to keep this product in my bag until I finish it. This is a creamy highlighter that looks dewy and natural on the skin. It’s one of the rare highlighter sticks that isn’t cream-to-powder. It;s basically RMS in a tube, but a better color with more glow. I love that this doesn’t move what’s underneath if you pat it into the skin. This is great for heavy makeup or if all by itself on a no-makeup day. It’s so brightening, full of great all-natural ingredients, and hydrating argan oil. I’ll be really sad to see this one emptied, because I know I can’t purchase another while I still own so many more highlighters. One day we will be reunited. 5/5
Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Stoned Rose $34 is an essential nude for anyone with pale-light/medium yellow or gold-toned skin. I have the most difficult time finding a nude that doesn’t make me look like a corpse. Matching undertone’s is incredibly important with lipsticks, but especially with nudes. Yellow and golden-toned skin color’s need to have some warm pink mixed in with their nudes. If you don’t you run the risk of turning that beautiful golden undertone into jaundice-ville. No thanks. I’m not a huge fan of most of the products I’ve tried from her line, but the lipsticks she puts out are consistently some of the best and my favorite. The colors are always super flattering. I often feel off when I wear a lot of lipsticks because something just doesn’t suit my face about them, but that never happens with her lipsticks. The formula of this is an opaque cream that lasts a pretty decent time. If you eat or drink on an absorbent cup you’ll need to reapply. 4.5/5.
Marc Jacob Twinkle Pop Stick Eyeshadow in Volver 402 $28 wins the award for stupidest name, but also best inner corner highlight. The stick makes it super easy to place the highlight strategically in the inner corner without spreading the way a powder can, it also locks into place and lasts all day. These have an almost wet, cooling feeling when applied which is lovely in the morning on tired eyes. As someone with hereditary dark circles I’m never without an inner corner highlight. This one is bold, but that’s the look I like. If you’re into the more subtle, natural inner corner highlight I would skip this one. 5/5.
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder $38 is expensive as fuck for a powder, but it’s the only one I trust to actually smooth and blur pores, while keeping my face in place without looking flat or dusty, cause bitch you never want to be dusty! (I try to keep the writing here professional, but dammit I have a personality!) Bonus because this huge container lasts me a year so the CPW is actually very low when you get past the initial investment. 5/5
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer $25 has been my under eye concealer of choice for years. It’s been a real love of mine despite the creasing (it’s an incredibly emollient formula). The shade range is wonderful and the brightness this can give under eyes is unmatched. My only issue is that it does not set well, even with powder. It goes from beautiful, illuminated, awake eyes I can only dream of, to a caked, dull, mess when you powder it. It’s heartbreaking. I’m loathe to say that this might be my last pot, because my days are longer now and I need a concealer for my under eyes that I can set and trust to stay all day. Shape Tape here I come (I’ve tried so hard to avoid it)! 3.5/5
YSL Touche Eclat Radiance Perfecting Pen $42 le sigh. The greatest natural illuminating pen there is. Have you ever loved a product so much you wish you could drown in it, and yet, still known it’s not worth it? Because that’s where I’m at here. I live for this pen and its creamy radiant life giving effect. But it’s just simply not worth $42. Maybelline makes a pretty solid dupe and that’s what I’ll be using when I finish this one. If they made these refillable I would be repurchasing in a heartbeat. I use this to fill in smile lines, lift my cheekbones, and to clean the edges on my contour. For rich people 5/5! For people who think $42 is wild for a highlighting pen with only a little product: 2/5. P.S. THIS IS NOT A CONCEALER.
Sephora Collection Coconut Lip Balm $6 I really like this, but it’s nothing special. I use it to prep my lips before I start my makeup and it works well. Probably wont repurchase even though it smells amazeeeeeing because I have a ton of lip balms to work through.
La Mer The Renewal Oil $130 is another hell no to a repurchase solely because of the price. Above I mentioned how much I love to mix an oil into my foundation and this is the one I’m currently using.
It’s incredible, but unfortunately has silicon in it. Second ingredient listed actually, which is quite disappointing for something so expensive. It gives a really nice glow to the skin and I love the way it looks pressed onto the cheekbones over makeup. I’ll be replacing this with something from Herbivore Botanicals, I’m still deciding which oil I like best from them.
So that’s this months bag! Quite the long post, I’m infinitely grateful I’ve decided on the monthly bag at this moment. Let me know if you guys decide to try this out for yourselves. I’m really loving not having to riffle through my drawers every morning.
FTC: this lil widget garners me a small commission if you chose to purchase through it. They are not affiliate links and I am in no way sponsored. All of this shit is stuff I bought myself after doing my usual research, and all opinions are my own!