I’m so excited to share my #CottonStemBeautyCapsule with y’all! These are my favorite products that I go back to time and time again from all different price points, and I’ll show you some of my quick and easy techniques from my beauty routine! All in all, it takes me about 10 minutes to do the entire thing, and really….that’s about 8 minutes too long somedays! 😉 At least that’s what Baby tells me. He he. Anyway, I hope this is useful to you, and let me know what you think below!
**NOTE: I am not a makeup expert by ANY means, and I know all face shapes, skin types and beauty budgets are as different as can be. Only sharing what works for me, because I love learning about new products and techniques from others, too!
(*Not a sponsored post, FYI. Just what I use and love!)
Part One: Prep, Foundation and Contour Makeup
1. Moisturize and SPF it up!
My very favorite basic moisturizer is St. Ives Collagen Elastin Moisturizer in the big tub. I love the creaminess and how it doesn’t leave my face feeling greasy. It feels moisturized and lotioned for a minute, but then it just feels….good! Not sure how else to describe it! 😂 I’m so helpful, yes?! Anyway, I’ve been using this stuff for probably six or seven years, and I keep going back. Since turning 30, I’ve started trying out different anti-aging blah blah creams, but I haven’t found one I just love. This St. Ives stuff isn’t really a fancy schmancy anit-wrinkle situation, but for yummy basic moisturizer, it’s a win in my book!
Next I apply a bit of facial sunscreen with broad spectrum SPF yadda yadda. I like this one from Neutrogena because it’s formulated for a face–not super heavy or greasy! Both of these prep products are pretty inexpensive, too. WIN.
So here’s the thing about makeup for me: I don’t like a lot of it. Now, don’t get me wrong: for dates or church or girls’ night out, I’ll get a full face going…but on the daily? Not really for me. I might be in the minority, but I really don’t want to look all that different after a face of makeup. If someone ran into me withOUT makeup on (which…is often 😂), I don’t want them to be shocked beyond belief at how different I look without it.
I want to look like me…just well-rested. 😉
During the summer months, I either use a light BB cream or just a tinted moisturizer, because who wants to sweat off a face caked with heavy makeup? I want to feel like I’m barely wearing anything on my face, and these lighter formulas help spruce me up without COVERING me up, if that makes any sense. However, I canNOT find a BB cream or tinted moisturizer that I just love and want to return to. However, I do love this next product.
Now, I’d say this Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector that I very much love is sort of between a tinted moisturizer and a full-coverage liquid foundation. And, to take it a step further in the summer, I’ll just thin it out a bit with a tiny dollop of the St. Ives Moisturizer or the Neutrogena SPF to sort of DIY it into a tinted moisturizer. That’s one little secret I’d try out sometime: if you love love love your full-coverage foundation but want to go lighter in the summer BUT can’t find a BB cream or tinted moisturizer you like, just thin out your liquid foundation a bit! Boom. Tinted moisturizer that you know you’ll love. 🙌🏻
I apply my foundation, whether full strength or DIY’d into a tinted moisturizer, with a Bdellium Tools brush number 957, working small pea-sized amounts into my skin in outward, circular motions. I like this brush because of the flat head of bristles which are some of the softest and least shed-y that I’ve used! I love this line of brushes all around! Also, I apply a bit of the makeup to my neck as it is ALWAYS so much lighter than my face. This way, things are a bit more balanced.
3. Highlight and Conceal
Y’all know how much I love NYX Butter Gloss if we are buddies on my Instagram, and I also really like their line of NYX HD Photogenic Concealers! Now…bear in mind that I do not really like HEAVY concealer. I want my freckles to show through and I want to still look like No-Makeup Erin…just a little more polished/well-rested. 😉 This NYX formula covers well without being cakey or too thick, and I like to mix their Yellow with either Light or Medium depending on the time of year and my skin tone. I have redness in places, and the yellow helps to tone that down!
I start by dotting under my eyes and down the side of my nose to sort of form a pie-piece shape. My redness is really centered around my nose, so that’s why I bring the concealer down that far. I like to sweep it up to my temple to sort of draw the eye upward using the shadow and light techniques of highlighting and contouring. I’ll put a few dots under my brow bone, down the center of my nose and on my chin.
Using a Real Techniques Expert Face brush, I gently blend in the two different colors to create a nicely balanced tone on those areas of my face. These brushes are great and I’ve seen them recently at Target, so woo hoo!
4. Easy Contour
I know sometimes the terms “highlight and contour” can sound intimidating, but they really are pretty easy once you sort of get in your groove. Up above was the simple and quick “highlight” part of the technique, so now let’s talk about the contour. And when I say contour, I do not mean bronzing…so different, but sometimes people use one product for both techniques, and it ends up look sparkly in places it shouldn’t really sparkle. Here’s what I mean:
The biggest difference between contouring and bronzing is in the placement and the product used. Bronzing adds an overall glow to the skin, and most of the time bronzers are made with a bit of sparkle and sheen in them For contouring, you really want to use something with no sparkle and with a matte finish. You’re trying to create shadows on your face, and shadows don’t sparkle! 😉 Let me show you:
Think of the places on your face that are naturally shadowed, like below your cheekbones, or places that would get a little darker than others due to being touched by the sun, like the top of your forehead. Those are the places I like to apply this flat, matte skin-shadow-colored Too Faced Chocolate Soeil contour powder in Light/Medium! This is the most expensive product so far, but you guys….I’ve tried EVERYTHING ELSE. 😂 Nothing else has come close to beating this product as far as natural skin-shadow-tone goes, plus…it smells like chocolate. How can you beat that??!
Not only do I use it to deepen the shadow under my cheekbones (which then in turn makes them more pronounced when combined with the highlight we already did on the skin under the eye), I also touch the top of my forehead where the sun would hit it, and I run the thinnest, lightest little line down the sides of my nose to sort of contour it a bit as well. Blend each contour area very well–no one wants a harsh makeup line. It should just look like a shadow!
The brush I like to use for this step is the IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe dual-end brush–I’m all about products that do double duty AND take up less space in my makeup bags, and I can use one brush for two steps! The wide end is used for under cheekbones and top of forehead, while the other end contours the nose…and does something else that I’ll save for my next post. 😉
5. Highlight Powder…for a bit of natural glow!
To add a bit of natural glow to my skin, I use Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone, and, while it is another of the higher priced products I use, I have never found a better highlight powder! Sometimes these types of products can look like children’s makeup with large flecks of glitter or they can be so chalky that they end up sitting on top of the skin in an unflattering way. This Becca powder is so so finely grained and it creates just a perfect, natural, dewy touch to the skin–I keep going back!
I like to just barely touch the places on my face where the light would: tops of my cheek bones, and…a couple more places I’ll show you next post… 😉 This product basically just makes it look like you are always well-lit on the outside and also sort of lit from within! It’s my fave!
To apply, I use another dual-ended brush by BareMinerals, applying just a light amount to the cheekbones. I’ll show you what the other end is for in the next post of the #CottonStemBeautyCapsule series soon!
6. Blushing Blush!
The final step for this first part of the beauty series is blush! I’m obsessed with this blush, Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso. It’s the perfect glowy, peachy-pink shade, plus…it’s cheap! Win win! 🙌🏻 I like to apply blush on my cheekbones only going downward until juuuuuust before the apples of my cheeks. I feel like when I apply heavily to the apples of my cheeks, it looks good when I’m smiling and my facial muscles are raised…but then when they drop into resting position, the heavy blush does too, almost causing my face to look droopier than when I apply it juuuuuust a bit further out towards my hairline. Does that make sense?
I use another brush by Real Techniques, the Blush Brush, and I love that tip is just slightly tapered to help control the placement of the blush. We don’t need our entire face getting a peachy sheen, just riiiiiiight down the cheek bone stopping before the apple.
There you have it! Prep, foundation and contour from the #CottonStemBeautyCapsule, done and done! ✅ I’ll be back soon with eyes and lips…can’t wait to share with you all!
Oh, and before I go, LOOK at these cutie makeup bags I’ve been using! 😍 I can’t handle these, you guys! I use one for products and the other for brushes, and I’m smitten. These are from Southern Farm Co [HERE]…check out her cute shop!
So….whatcha think about the beauty capsule so far?! Anything you hadn’t tried before? Anything that I should try? I’d love to hear from you in the comments, and stop by to say hi on Instagram and Facebook, too! I appreciate y’all reading and giving up time to say hello!