In the dream world I live in inside my head, my makeup bag would never be big enough to hold all the products I’d love to have. And a suitcase isn’t really that practical to take with you on a day or night out when you might need to reapply, so we all have to settle for just a bag.
We are in an ever growing world of beauty bloggers and flawless Instagram queens, and it’s so easy to feel inadequate when you feel like your makeup looks good in the mirror, yet as soon as you take a photo you recoil in horror at the state of your face. I usually try to fight that feeling by buying as many different products I can possibly get my little paws on.
My makeup collection used to be quite big until I read two of Marie Kondo’s books; “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, and “Spark Joy”. The concept being that decluttering your wardrobe, bookshelf, makeup, and skincare, etc, and keeping only the things that spark joy will leave you with a house full of just the things you love and that make you happy. This really resonated with me because I admit that at times I can get lost in the more material things, so I immediately started decluttering using her method. I did this before I started blogging so I don’t have any photos of the before and after, but I think I pretty much halved my entire collection, at least, and I felt so much better for doing it.
I recently decided to have another makeup clearout, but this time I was only going to keep the products that were cruelty free. I’d been doing some research and speaking to a friend about it and it really bothered me that the majority of the makeup I owned had been tested on animals. I won’t go into too much detail here, but if you want to read my post about my journey to cruelty free makeup click here. Though I did keep a couple of non cruelty free products that I use regularly and couldn’t bring myself to part with until I find a good cruelty free alternative that works for me.
So here we are. Here are the products that are currently in my makeup bag:
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer: Honestly? This is the only primer I’ve ever liked. Admittedly I haven’t tried that many up until now, as the ones I have tried haven’t worked for me at all so I kind of lost faith in the idea of a primer. I don’t use it everyday as the foundation I have works really well for me and a lot of the time I don’t feel like I need a primer underneath, but when I’m going to be out for long periods of time this is a product I always use. Smashbox also sell colour correcting primers too which I really want to try, as well as the oil-free version of this primer.
Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Oily/Combination Skin: This is one of the products I kept that unfortunately isn’t cruelty free, which is such a shame because it’s the only foundation I’ve found in years which actually stays on my face (better than Estée Lauder Double Wear). I’ve been using it for a fair while now and I was so disappointed when I found out that Revlon tested on animals, so if you know of any affordable, cruelty free foundations which has as good coverage and lasts as long as this one, please hit me up!
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation: I got this foundation for my wedding day and I was so pleased with how beautifully it applied, and that it stayed on all day. I first got a sample when I was lipstick hunting and after trying it once I completely fell in love with it. Weirdly though I find it looks much better, and stays on a lot longer when I apply it with a silicone sponge as opposed to a beauty blender. It’s expensive, there’s no doubting that, so I only use it on special occasions but this is definitely my high-end staple of foundations.
Makeup Revolution HD Pro Powder Contour – Light Medium: When it comes to contouring I’ve only recently spent time learning how to do it properly and effectively. I’d used Hoola and Dallas from Benefit before but I couldn’t get on with the tiny brushes they provided so it never looked how I wanted it to. I really love this Makeup Revolution palette because it has 8 different shades so you can really build the darker shade in your contour areas. I use the lighter colours to set my foundation and the darker ones to contour gradually and I really like it. Also I bought it last November, used it pretty much everyday and I’ve only just hit pan on a couple of the colours.
Stila Heaven’s Hue Highlighter in shade “Kitten”: I’d heard so many good things about this Highlighter before I purchased it, and I am happy to report that they are all true. (And I promise that the fact that it’s called Kitten isn’t the only reason I bought it). It’s so beautiful when it’s on and quite subtle which I like, as some highlighters can look quite over the top when applied. It’s so silky smooth I just want the flowy dress equivalent so I can bask in all the rose gold glory like the basic white girl I am.
Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter – Golden Lights: I love this as a cheap and cheerful highlighter. I’ve used it nearly everyday since November and not hit pan as of yet, and I just love how much of a golden summer glow it gives me. Would definitely repurchase.
Urban Decay Naked Palette: Ignoring the fact that I’m currently lusting after their newest Heat palette to go with my green eyes, of the UD palettes I own, the original Naked palette is the one I always come back to. It’s absolutely perfect for any occasion, whether you want an everyday natural look or a dramatic smoky eye the Naked palette won’t let you down.
Smashbox Limitless Waterproof Liquid Liner Pen: Hands down the best eyeliner I’ve ever used. It’s so easy to apply and glides on so smoothly it’s unreal, and it’s waterproof and lasts all day – what more could you want!? Also I love that it has the versatility to either to an understated, thinner look, or a bolder cat eye flick, depending on your mood!
Barry M On Point Precision Eyeliner: This is the more affordable alternative to the Smashbox liner which I tend to use more for everyday wear. It has all the same pros of the Smashbox liner although I would say that the Barry M liner dries out a bit quicker. But, at around a fourth of the cost I’d say that’s a small price to pay.
Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara: I was initially using the L’Oreal Miss Baby Roll mascara which was amazing, but after I did my non-cruelty free clearout I thought I’d try the travel size version of the Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara which I’d had in my makeup bag for a while. Turns out, it’s amazing! It’s so silky and the big seller for me is how easy it is to build the layers up without it clumping at all. Apparently it isn’t waterproof but I haven’t actually found it to be a problem. When it runs out I will definitely be purchasing the full size version.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz: Definitely the best brow product I’d ever used. Again, this was a purchase for my wedding and I’m so happy I found this amazing product. It was a toss up between Brow Wiz or the Dipbrow Pomade, and after doing a bit of research people were saying that Brow Wiz is better for those of you with beginner to intermediate skills, and the Pomade is better for those who have really perfected their brow skills. I would love to try the Pomade at some point, but Brow Wiz is amazing for everyone, and much more portable than Dipbrow would be.
Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick in Kim K W: Another wedding purchase, and I just had to get the shade of my namesake! To be fair, I feel like I need every single one of their lipsticks and I shall make it my mission to do just that, especially after I got rid of the majority of my lipsticks after finding out they weren’t cruelty free. To read a bit more about why I love this lipstick, have a read of my post about most recent beauty favourites here.
What’s in your makeup bag? I’d love to hear your recommendations!