Current Daily Makeup – MOTD

I typically wear makeup about 5 or 6 days a week – workdays M-F and usually one weekend day.  Lately I’ve been using the same products when I do quick makeup in the morning.

After skincare:

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil Free Moisturizer – I love the consistency of this. It is moisturizing but not greasy or heavy, contains 20% non-nano zinc oxide as the physical sunscreen, smells slightly citrusy, and retails for $29 for 2 ozs – one of the more affordable non-toxic face sunscreens on the market.
Fitglow Vita-Active Foundation in VF1 – I use two pumps and using my finger, dot it all over my face.  I then use a face buffing brush to work it into my skin.  I use a damp beauty sponge afterwords to blur any brush lines
Fitglow Beauty Eye Bright/Kat Von D Lock-It ConcealerW3LL People Bio Correct Concealer – I am trying to use up my Fitglow Eye Bright and the Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer – both are OK.  I can’t personally use the Eye Bright by itself – I always have to layer another concealer on top of it.  The Kat Von D concealer is good but a bit drying and somewhat difficult to blend.  I have a sample of the W3LL People Bio Active Concealer and really like it but my dark circles peek out after 3 or 4 hours of wear.  Next, I might try the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer…
Tarte Smooth Operator Pressed Setting Powder – under eyes to set concealer, around sides of nose

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz  – I use Taupe, and it’s the only brow product I’ve been able to find that is a close match to my eyebrows without having red tones.  The tip is precise enough to fill in my brows where I need it the most.  I like this better than the ABH Brow Definer because it gives more control of exactly where I need the product to be.

Everyday Minerals All Over Shimmer – for days when I want a subtle glow, I use a light dusting over my entire face
Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer – this is perfect for fair skin, and is more of a neutral toned bronzer that isn’t too orange and isn’t gray, either.

Jane Iredale PurePressed Blush in Cotton Candy – a pretty neutral rose shade with incredibly subtle shimmer
Anastasia Beverly Hills Renaissance Eye Palette  I can do neutral or smoky and anything in between with this palette.  For a very simple everyday eye look, I use Tempura all over, and Buon Fresco blended up to my crease, with Cypress Umber on my lash line.  There is some fall out, but the shades are gorgeous and blend very easily

Modern Minerals Moonstone Highlighter – So beautiful, so creamy and easy to apply
W3LL People Expressionist Mascara – an old favorite
Kosas Rosewater Lipstick – a beautiful everyday light-medium rose color with subtle mauve undertones, fantastic formula and wear time

What are some of your no-fail, go-to everyday makeup products?

Pretty, Glowing Highlights: A Swatch Comparison


Years ago, before the face highlight market exploded, I always wondered how model’s skin in magazine photos looked so young and dewy, like they were just naturally glowing.  Now I know that makeup artists use highlight and nearly all makeup brands have at least one type of highlighting product in their line.

Right off the bat I’ll say that I am absolutely not a fan of highlight that “can be seen from outerspace”.  For me, makeup is primarily about enhancing natural beauty and not about looking perfect or over-the-top or doll-like.  That’s just me, no judgment on others, but it does indicate what types of highlighters I like – glowing and natural.  No disco-ball aspirations here.

Here are my quick-takes and swatches of the highlighters of which I’ve had either full-sizes or samples of in the past year.  These are all cruelty-free, and mostly natural with no nasty toxic chemicals.


W3LL People Bio Brightener Stick (retail $23.99 USD) – This one has the simplest application – just swipe on and gently blend.  The color is the lightest of the highlighters I’ve sampled/owned, a pale white-gold with shimmer.  It’s a cream highlight, but it’s not heavy or greasy.  The consistency is more of a dry cream base.

Everyday Minerals Powder (retail $15 USD) – They have discontinued the product I actually own, but I’m pretty confident that their All Over Shimmer powders are an equivalent product.  These are more of a translucent glow that you can apply all over your face, if you wish (somewhat akin to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders), or just on the high-points of your face.  As it can be used all over the face, the powder is very fine and very subtle but rather gives a nice glow.  Especially nice type of product for those on the oily side or prone to breakouts who do not want to use a cream product or something very shimmery.

ColourPop Lunch Money (retail $8 USD) – The consistency of this cream highlight is similar to a mousse texture – fluffy, light, and creamy.  The color is beautiful and is in the middle as far as impact – it packs more punch than an all-over powder, but is a bit more subtle than something like W3LL People.  I really love this highlight, it’s a soft pale golden hue that works really nicely with my fair complexion.  It’s not a green brand per se, but the ingredients are decent enough that I’m OK with using it on occasion.  The price point is great, too.


Modern Minerals Moonstone Cream Highlighter (retail $30 USD) – This cream highlighter was launched exclusively through the Beauty Heroes subscription box.  As of this writing, I am fairly certain that it can only be purchased through the Beauty Heroes online shop.  Moving on, this has been my favorite highlighter since I received it several weeks ago.  The formula is so silky, spreads over the skin like butter, and leaves a gorgeous gleam that is the Goldilocks of highlights – not too subtle, not too obnoxious.  Looking at the swatch on my arm, it looks as though it would be too dark of a highlight for my fair skin, but it works really well and is beautiful.  One caveat, I really dislike the packaging.  It feels cheap and looks unattractive – but what’s inside is worth it.

Silk Naturals Homecoming Queen Highlight (retail $4.50 USD) – While *technically* this is listed as an eye shadow, look through the reviews and you’ll find people who sing its praises as a highlight.  It is absolutely gorgeous.  This is pushing it in terms of subtle highlighter for me, but it’s not completely over-the-top.  It is such as beautiful pale gold color, and the price is unbeatable at $4.50 for a full-size (which is the eye shadow portion of product…but, for the price, who’s going to squabble?). As an aside, in the top photo Homecoming Queen is shown pressed in an eye shadow pan – but the product actually is sold loose and I pressed it myself.  (Want to know how to press your loose eye shadows?  Look here.)

Fior Minerals Sweets Ignite Illuminator (retail $24 USD) – This cream product is unique to the others I’ve tried in that it is free of shimmer and sparkle.  It’s purpose is to give skin a luminosity.  The color is a soft rose.  I don’t prefer it over my other highlights, but it would be a nice option for someone who really loves rose-toned highlights and doesn’t want shimmer and sparkle.

RMS Beauty Master Mixer – (retail $38 USD) There was a huge hoopla surrounding the release of this multi-use product earlier this year – understandably so, because RMS Beauty is hands-down one of my top all-natural beauty brands.  This is too dark on my skin when used as a traditional highlight.  To be fair, Rose-Marie Swift absolutely calls this a multi-purpose product and not strictly a highlighter.  However, when reviewed strictly on its merits as a highlighter, it would only work for someone with darker skintones than me.  When I tried to use it to highlight, I just ended up with rose-gold streaks on my cheekbones.  That wasn’t really the look I was going for.  It has other functions, thankfully, and would work for a sheer flush of color for the cheeks, as a subtle lip tint, or gorgeous gloss over the eyes.

And just for the record…Kjaer Weis Highlighter in Radiance (retail $56 USD) – I had a sample of this highlighter earlier this year.  By far, this was the highlighter I most wanted to try.  However, I was really disappointed in what it did for my particular skintone.  When it was lightly applied, it didn’t really show up or make an impact at all.  When I built it up more heavily, you could see it, but it looked unnatural due to the slight lavender undertones.  On others, it seems to work really well…but on my fair skin (neutral to golden-leaning undertones) it just didn’t work.

What’s your favorite non-toxic highlighter?  I really want to pick up RMS Beauty Living Luminizer next!


Finding Clean & Natural Product Deals: Part 3 – Affordable Natural Brands

I really appreciate clean, natural, non-toxic brands that try to keep their products affordable.  Although luxury brands/products  might be fantastic ($125 face serum, I’m talking about you), I have a family, and my budget isn’t of “the sky’s the limit” variety. You know what I mean?

These are a few more affordable clean/natural brands I’ve personally used or heard a lot of great things about:


100% Pure – I really like their lotions for spring/summer/fall, and currently use their eyebrow gel in Taupe. Some of their products are carried at Ulta stores.

Pacifica – I’ve used their mascara and lipstick (pretty good!) and they have some products available at Target.

Everyday Minerals – I used EM makeup almost exclusively for YEARS (until I had to switch to a cream based foundation).  They have great quality at very reasonable prices.  Adorable website, too!

Silk Naturals – I’ve been obsessed with their eyeshadows lately, though they have a full makeup line.  Their prices and selection of eyeshadow are AMAZING for clean beauty. I plan on doing a review of their eyeshadows soon…

Brija – A green beauty You-Tuber started this line and shares my name.  Her eyeshadows are so fun, although she has lots of makeup items for sale.

The All Natural Face – I’ve never personally purchased any of their products, but have heard their quality and prices are good.

Honeybee Gardens – Another line I have yet to try, but I’m interested in their eye and lip liners.



Zoya is the only brand of 5-free nail polish that I personally know of that is under $10 a bottle – I’m sure there may be others out there, but this is the only one I have tried. They are also carried at Ulta!  And they have a fantastic range of colors and finishes.



Acure is my top pick for affordable (yet still fantastic quality) skincare.  Their products are top notch and won’t make your wallet cry.


Haircare –

Acure again here, as well as Desert Essence Organics (what I’m currently using), Juice Organics, and The Honest Company.  I’ll soon be doing a review of The Honest Company’s haircare, which are the only hair products I use on my daughter.


Home/Cleaning Products

The Honest Company again, Seventh Generation, Dr. Bronner’s, and Planet are all nice options for home and cleaning items.  I personally am smitten with The Honest Company’s products.  The packaging is adorable, the quality is great, and the prices pretty reasonable.

What are your favorite brands for clean, affordable, non-toxic products?

Current Autumn Makeup Look


I’ve amped up the moisture for fall and have tried to incorporate a bit of pretty color.  Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean when can only use drab neutrals!  This is a typical makeup routine for me lately.

Coola Face SPF 30 Matte Tint – After my moisturizers and serums have had a few minutes to sink in, I apply this mousse-like tinted sunscreen to my face.  I have never in my life enjoyed a facial sunscreen like this one.  The texture is beautiful, the hydration is just right, there is no cloying scent, it doesn’t break my skin out, it gives a light coverage, and the color is the best I’ve come across for my fair yellow olive-toned complexion.

Christopher Drummond Duo-Phase Hydrating Concealer – I truly love this concealer.  I apply it under my eyes to cover dark circles and around my nose to cover redness.  I use a damp Beauty Blender and it just melts into my skin.  Hydrating is right – there is no settling into lines at all.  I  set this with my pure silica powder, and then it stays all day.

Alima Pure Maracaibo Bronzer – After using Tarte’s Park Avenue Princess bronzer for a while (which I do like), I wanted to try Alima’s highly rated powders, but was unsure which to try.  I ordered samples of the Sombra Contour Powder, Maracaibo Bronzer, and Mauna Loa Bronzer.  The Sombra is just a little too flat and ashy on my skin, and Mauna Loa is much too dark.  Maracaibo, on the other hand, is a beautiful matte bronzer with just enough warmth to add depth to my face without looking fake.  I really enjoy this.

Aster + Bay Beet Root & Hibiscus Stain – This is my favorite makeup product right now, and I’ve talked about my love for it here.  This stain is seriously gorgeous on the cheeks.  It is a sheer berry and gives the skin a sexy sheen.  The fact that it is hydrating, has good longevity, and is all-natural just makes me even happier.  You can use it as a lip stain as well, but I just use it on my cheeks.

W3LL People Bio Brightener Stick – This was formerly called Universalist Multi-Use Colorstick #2.  This creamy highlighter is gorgeous on the cheekbones.  It really does add a little indescribable something to the face – just a pretty, glowing, youthful dusting of magic on the skin.

100% Pure Eye Brow Gel in Taupe – I love the cream texture of this eyebrow liner.  It is a pretty decent match for me.

Pacifica Stellar Gaze Mascara in Supernova – I’ve been going back and forth between this one and Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes, but my current tube of the Tarte has been flaking like crazy all over my face.  I’m so frustrated that I want to toss it, which is saying a lot for me because I don’t waste products.  It’s possible I just have a bad tube, so I won’t write this mascara off yet. This Pacifica mascara is very nice, buildable, doesn’t make my lashes dry, and doesn’t flake at all.   However, I like my lashes more dramatic than this can really produce.  I’ve decided to try W3LL People mascara next.

Everyday Minerals Mineral Eyeshadow in Laptop – This is my favorite eyeshadow of ALL TIME.  And they discontinued it!!  I’m always searching for a dupe but I don’t know if I’ll ever find one.  This one is a shimmer eyeshadow with a light brown base, plum tones, and silver shimmer.  It’s seriously gorgeous and gives something along the lines of a Victoria’s Secret subtle-but-sexy eye look.  If you know of a similar eyeshadow color, please tell me!

Tarte SmolderEYES Eyeliner in Fig – This deep plum eyeliner is just gorgeous.  The tip is fat, which makes it very easy for me to apply.  My eyesight is not so good in my right eye, so eyeliner application can be tricky with a thin pencil.  This one glides on so easily.

Ilia Lipstick in Neon Angel – I know.  Bright pink lipstick in autumn?  Paired with plum eyeliner?  But hold on – I don’t apply this at full-strength.  Applied lightly, it gives a feminine pop of pink that actually looks beautiful this time of year.

Lotus Wei Infinite Love Mist – I always finish with a few mists of a hydrosol or rose water on my face.  Lately I’ve been using this after my makeup is done. The scent is incredible – one of my favorite scents ever.  So much so, that I plan on purchasing the Infinite Love perfume.  These are not just accidental flower combinations – they are formulated to work on your mood as well. This one just makes me so happy and feel so loved.

Do you use any of these products? Any recommendations?  Favorite natural eyeshadow?  Share with me!