Early Autumn All-Natural Makeup


It still warm, but technically it’s Autumn…that’s what I’ve always known and referred to as Indian Summer.  It isn’t cool enough for scarves and lattes in the afternoon, but I like playing with some of the warm tones and colors that I haven’t used in months, like gold, mauve, and plum.

Here’s what I came up with – above photo, a more subtle autumn look, and then below, adding a bit more color to the look to amp it up for nighttime. The only difference between the top and bottom photo is that in the “nighttime” look, I added more of the eye shadows to deepen the eye look and swapped the neutral lip color for a shimmery plum lipstick. Honestly, I feel this look could work really well for holiday makeup, too.  That lipstick, though a bit out of my comfort zone, is just so festive to me.


Here is a list of the all the products I used:


Face Color:



Because camera photos can tend to wash out colors, I wanted a shot of the makeup in lighting that was a bit warmer – the kind of lighting you’d have in a restaurant, for example.  Below, this kind of lighting more accurately shows the warmth of the look.  That bit of gleam on my cheek is the RMS Beauty Master Mixer, which does not work for me as a highlight, but used as a blush topper in this look it was so beautiful.


I pressed the Silk Naturals and Modern Minerals eye shadows – I am not a fan of loose pigment eye shadows in individual pots.  It’s so much more convenient to keep them pressed in a Z Palette.


These shadows give the nicest warmth to the eyes.  If you like warm browns, Crème Brulee and Cocoa Bear are both warm-toned browns.  They are so nicely pigmented and blend very easily.  There is shadow kick-up from the pans, but not a big deal to me. Lola is really the star – it is a gorgeous rose gold shimmer shadow.


The 100% Percent Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Glazes are one of my absolute favorite lipstick formulas – they are so creamy and moisturizing yet still manage to have excellent pigment and staying power.  Coquette is a neutral everyday pink.  This is the only Red Apple Lipstick I own so I can’t speak to the line as a whole, but I’m very impressed with this lipstick.  I received this shade, Plum Sexy Crazy, in a subscription box (that I no longer subscribe to) and although I never would’ve purchased this shade on my own, I’m surprised by how much I like it.  It is incredibly appropriate for both autumn and winter and just beautiful.  It has a golden sheen to it that is not something I would ever gravitate towards, but having this shade has definitely opened my eyes to stepping out of my comfort zone with colors and finishes.j

What are your favorite makeup products for fall?

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!


Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em? My Recent Natural Beauty Samples

makeupsamplesBecause many non-toxic, clean beauty brands are considered luxury green brands – i.e. relatively expensive – I always like to sample products before I purchase a full-size.  Sometimes this helps me find products I love and am willing to purchase full-sizes of….but sometimes I find that the products don’t work for me.  In fact, there is only one product from all these samples that I would potentially purchase a full-size of in the future.  I purchased five samples from Bella Cuore for $25 and received good sized samples within a few days of my order.  The rest were complementary samples received in a recent Integrity Botanicals order.  Read on for my experiences and thoughts on each product, from RMS Beauty, Kjaer Weis, and Jane Iredale.

sampleswatchesPhotos above and below are the same exact swatches – the photo above was taken in indirect sunlight, and the bottom photo is in direct sunlight.  Swatches, top to bottom: RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-up in shade 00; Jane Iredale Glow Time BB Cream in BB1; Kjaer Weis Foundation in shade Lightness; Jane Iredale Active Light Concealer in shade #3; RMS Beauty Master Mixer; Kjaer Weis Dazzling Bronzer; Kjaer Weis Radiance Highlighter


Here are my thoughts and experiences with each of the products:

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up in shade 00 –  This is the product out of the group I’d be most likely to purchase in a full-size.  The “Un” Cover-Up is very pigmented and emollient.  It is great for multiple uses – it can be best used as an all-over medium-to-high coverage foundation, or as a spot concealer for blemishes or red spots.  It could also be used under the eyes, but I don’t like using it for that purpose because it is too thick and I like a more liquidy under eye concealer.  I really like this product and have been using my sample for spot treatment of red spots here and there.  In comparison to the Kjaer Weis foundation, this one is more of a yellow undertone and is more moisturizing.

Jane Iredale Glow Time BB Cream in BB1 – This shade is by far one of the lightest foundation shades I’ve ever come across.  Typically, I’m always a match for the lightest shade of a company’s foundation.  However, BB1 is too light for me.  I cannot use this at all, which is disappointing because I’ve heard such great things about the formula.  I’d love to try one of the darker shades that would be a better match for my skin tone.

Kjaer Weis Foundation in shade Lightness – I actually really enjoyed this foundation (you can see it on me in one of my Instagram photos here).  However, it is a little too drying for my skin.  When first applied, it was gorgeous, but as the day went on, it showed signs of wear – breaking up a bit and accentuating dry patches.  This may be perfect for me from July-September, but for most of the year, it’s not hydrating enough.  However, it really is a beautiful foundation!

Jane Iredale Active Light Concealer in shade #3 – This concealer was nice as far as moisturizing my under eye area.  However, as far as coverage, it isn’t heavy-duty enough for my dark under eye circles.

RMS Beauty Master Mixer – I was so excited to try this, based on all the hype and positive reviews.  You can see from the swatch on my arm that it looks like a rose-gold bronze shade on me.  I cannot use it as a highlighter – it did not look flattering.  I did try it as a blush topper, and it’s OK for that purpose.  Overall, though, I wouldn’t purchase this because it’s just not my personal cup of tea for my skintone.  However, I fully plan on buying the Living Luminzer once I finish my current highlighter.

Kjaer Weis Dazzling Bronzer – I liked this bronzer, but I don’t like it as well as RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer.  The Dazzling Bronzer has a drier texture and a warmer undertone.  In contrast, RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer is creamier, easier to blend, and has a more neutral undertone that can more easily be used as a slight contour.  I’m going to repurchase the Buriti Bronzer once the heat of summer is over.

Kjaer Weis Radiance Highlighter – This is, by far, the product I’ve wanted to try the most.  I’ve been excited to try it for months.  When I finally got my sample, I was really disappointed.  This highlight did not show up well at all on my skin.  That seems odd considering I’m fair skinned – but this is the issue: lightly applied, the highlight wasn’t very noticeable on me – and more heavily applied, it looked unnatural.  I just couldn’t make this work for me, though I will say it is beautiful and would be great on someone else.

Given my experiences with these products, I really love being able to sample makeup products before committing to a full-size.  It is often far too difficult to tell from photos online what foundations, concealers, highlights, and bronzers will look like and feel like once applied to my particular skin.  I’m grateful that there are online shops that are willing to include samples with purchase or samples for a reasonable cost.


What are your experiences with all-natural makeup samples?  Have you ever gotten a sample of something you thought you’d love, only to find it did not work for you at all?  Let me know in the comments!