- A makeup bag with a few old and unsuitable products
- Unsure what colours or formulas worked best for her skin
- Option-paralysis caused by insane amount of makeup out there.
I asked her a few key questions to help plan our trip. These are good starting points for anyone who’s ready to embark on a makeup overhaul.
- What’s your budget?
- How much time do you want to spend putting on your “face”?
- Are you aiming for a day-to-day look, or something fancier?
- What are your favourite things about your face? What are you slightly less in love with, or feel is an area you’d like to downplay?
- Any other concerns/issues? (e.g., allergies, animal testing, etc)
The answers to these questions will immediately help to narrow your focus and make shopping easier. Under the “other concerns” category, because Alyssa is an environmentally conscious gal (with a sweet baby who likes to nibble on his mama’s face), she wanted to choose products that were as natural and toxin-free as possible.
Armed with our plan, we met up after work to hit the Sephora and the Shoppers Drug Mart.
|Let's DO this thing!|
Here’s what we came away with:
- Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay tinted moisturizer in shade 02 (Sheer, light, “slap it on and go” coverage with SPF 20. Alyssa has AMAZING skin and didn’t need anything heavier. This can replace her daytime moisturizer.)
- Josie Maran Argan Color Stick in Rosey (This Allure magazine “Best of Beauty” winner blends easily, has a natural, buildable colour, and can be used on lips as well.)
- Tarte SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay waterproof eyeliner in Fig (This can be applied in a thin or thicker line, and has a built-in smudger on the end. It should last all day without touch-ups.)
- Bite Beauty High Pigment matte pencil in Bramble (Is there anything more gorgeous than a redhead with a deep red lip? This is the quickest way for Alyssa to get an evening look.)
- Korres Lip Butter in Pomegranate (sheer, “sproingy” colour balm for everyday tint and shine)
|Now that's how we fill a bag.|
For those of you who are scared of Sephora, I want to tell you—don’t be! We rounded up the products we wanted to try, then sat down with a Sephora Colour Expert (aka, nice guy who works there and wears a toolbelt filled with brushes). He tried all the products on Alyssa, making sure the colours were the right ones for her, and showing her how to apply everything. This way, she got to try a couple things she wasn’t sure about and see the makeup “in action” before buying. The staff are there to help, so don’t be shy! (I think I’ll do a post soon about how to be brave at the makeup counter...)
|These people have been sent from the future to help you.|
Then we popped over to the drugstore (because there’s no reason to spend thirty bucks on mascara, truly!) and purchased:
- Maybelline Define-a-Lash Mascara in Brownish Black (A good basic mascara that gives definition and length while still keeping the look natural. Another good choice is L’Oreal’s original Voluminous mascara.)
- Maybelline Define-a-Brow brow pencil in Dark Blonde (My favourite brow pencil EVER at any price—soft enough to blend, but firm enough to stay where you put it.)
What it all adds up to is a ten-minute routine that brings out all of Alyssa’s natural beauty, but still lets her look like herself. And a couple of weeks later, she reports that everything is going well—she’s using and loving her new makeup, and is getting lots of compliments. She also says she might be ready to try adding another eyeshadow colour…so my evil plan to turn everyone into a makeup monster is working! Mwah-ha-ha!