Minimalism

Paring down my makeup collection

I’ve been paring down my makeup up collection significantly over the past two years. The older I get, the less makeup I want to wear. I prefer to focus on taking very good care of my skin so that I don’t need products to cover it up.

Most of my makeup is made by Pure Anada, a Canadian company that sells vegan products with minimal packaging. I have the compact featured in the image above, which has a magnetic base. You buy items such as powder foundations, blush, and eye shadow that come in metal bases that you place in the compact to customize your mix. The refills come in cardboard containers that are infused with wildflower seeds that you can plant.

My entire makeup collection consists of the following items:

Eyebrow pencil: Pure Anada sells a loose eyebrow powder, but I’ve learned the hard way that loose powders around the eyes don’t work for me, as I invariably get some in my eyes. I have thin brows that need filling in. I prefer to use a pencil that you can sharpen, as this creates minimal waste. I use the Taupe eyebrow pencil by Annabelle, another Canadian company.

Concealer: I use concealer around my eyes. I use prescription eye drops that cause ocular hyperaemia and the darkening of the skin around my eyes. As a result, I need a concealer that has high coverage, is waterproof and won’t cake. The best concealer to meet my needs is Bye Bye Under Eye by It Cosmetics in Light Nude. The container is small, but you use very little, as the concealer is very concentrated.

Eyeliner: I use eyeliner sparingly. Most people think I’m wearing eyeliner when I’m not because I have a naturally dark lash line, especially on the lower lashes. I’m very lucky to have long, thick lashes. I will sometimes wear a very thin line on the upper lid. I use the Brown Pureline eye pencil from Pure Anada.

Eye shadow: I own only two shades, and I wear only one at a time. I couldn’t be bothered with contouring the eye area with 2-3 shades. My irises are almost black in colour, and if I wear too much around the eyes, they stand too much in contrast with my pale skin. I have the following shades: Harmony, which is matte lilac grey, and Mirage, which is a grey brown.

Mascara: Mascara is a must for me; it’s my proverbial desert island item. I use the KVD Go Big or Go Home mascara in black.

Blush: I don’t particularly like to wear blush, but if I don’t, I often get asked if I am feeling well, or told that I look tired. I use Sweet Pea pressed blush from Pure Anada.

Arrowroot starch: Yes, I know this sounds a little strange. I stopped wearing foundation over the past few months, as I got tired of staining my COVID-19 face masks. I’ve found that my skin looks better if I don’t wear foundation. I wear sunscreen every day (SPF 50) regardless of weather, and reapply it during the day; I would prefer not to do this over a layer of foundation. I wear sunscreen if I’m staying indoors, too, since UVA-A can penetrate windows. I’ve been wearing sunscreen daily since I was in my late teens, and I avoid the sun religiously at all times, which means my skin is in good shape with little discolouration. I do like a matte look to the face, however (sunscreen can add a sheen). The best translucent powder I’ve found is arrowroot starch, the plant-based starch that is used as a thickening agent for foods (similar to corn starch). I buy it in bulk and carry some in my handbag in a small container. It imparts no colour on the skin, but makes the skin look polished.

Lipstick: Lipstick is a difficult area for me, as I am very particular about what I wear. I hate lip glosses, as they always travel around the mouth. I don’t like satin lipsticks for the same reason. Because I’m pale, I need to avoid lipsticks that are too close to my lip colour, as otherwise I look too tired. My lipstick of choice is Gabriel Cosmetics in the shade walnut.

And that’s the extent of my makeup: 9 items. I have only two brushes: one for eye shadow, and one for blush and arrowroot application. Everything fits in a small bag and I use every item that I own.

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