It’s finally spring!
Well, I’m writing this while looking at the dull, grey sky outside my bedroom window, but technically it’s finally spring and that makes me happy.
I’ve always liked spring as a season. The air feels fresher, you get those odd bursts of sunshine, and everyone seems to perk up a bit. I always seem to gravitate towards slightly lighter make-up, too — a little less eyeliner, paler shades of pink on the lips.
(Although on days like today, when the clouds are getting darker and darker every second, I might still be drawn to my favourite berry lipstick.)
Today I thought I’d share the products I’ve been using regularly now the weather is brightening up a bit. As always, everything is cruelty-free and I’ve noted which products are vegan where possible — just look for the (v).
I was gonna write this step-by-step style, but NARS Orgasm is my current make-up obsession so I just had to start with that! I received a mini Orgasm blush with a Feel Unique order at the end of last year and I can definitely see why it’s earned cult status. It’s a gorgeous, glowy shade of pink that lasts all day, and the slight shimmer means I can skip highlighter. I’ll be investing in the full-size version when this runs out.
I’ve been using Nanshy’s Blush & Bronze* brush to apply it. At first I thought it’d be too big but actually it covers the apples of my cheeks really nicely and helps to blend both cream and powder blush out in a really natural way.
I always start with the PHB Ethical Beauty Pressed Mineral Primer* (v). I’ll have a more in-depth post about this going up on Sunday but basically I can’t see myself using a liquid one again. The translucent powder mattifies my oily T-zone and leaves my skin feeling smooth and ready for make-up — without the use of silicones.
As always, my foundation of choice is NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia. I’ve had this bottle for months and months now, mainly because I’ve been using less and less as my skin clears up. (It’s in date, don’t worry!) I still adore it for its glowy, medium coverage but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about finding a cheaper alternative. I think I’ll be going down the natural route because most of the high street foundations I’ve found contain dimethicone, which my skin hates. Any recommendations?
My under-eye concealer of choice is currently Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Fair Neutral. This tube is still going strong since I bought it last summer, even though I use it every time I do my base. The thin consistency is light enough to sit comfortably under the eyes but pigmented enough to cover dark circles, and it’s illuminating without being too shiny.
For blemishes I’ve been trying out an old buy from Lily Lolo, the Mineral Concealer in Blondie (v). Believe it or not, this is actually too light for my skintone and I just can’t get it to work for me.
The level of coverage is excellent — it covers my acne scars, which I love, and also my freckles, which I’m less thrilled about because freckles are cute — but it’s just a tad on the white side and it makes me look ill.
If you are, by some miracle, paler than me, then this might be the concealer you’ve been waiting your whole life for, especially if you’re also prone to oiliness and breakouts; the mineral formula is both gentle and mattifying. A domed brush like Nanshy’s Large Blending Brush* will buff the powder into the skin in a natural way. (This brush is actually meant for eyeshadow but it also works for this.)
I always do my eyebrows, even if I don’t bother with anything else, and I’ve been relying on another firm favourite, NYX Brow Pomade in 03 Brunette. My pot is getting a little bit dry now, but it still applies well — I use the Eyeliner Brush* from the Real Techniques eyelining set — and blends out nicely with a spoolie. (I’m using the brush on the end of a GOSH Eyebrow Pencil that was too light for me.)
The love of my liquid liner life is theBalm Schwing. I can tell it’s running out (I’m sensing a theme here) but it’s lasted about a year, so I have no qualms about investing in a new one. I’ve been using it to define my upper lashline and draw tiny baby wings on the edge of my eye, because I can’t be bothered to faff around doing bigger ones. It’s a proper black shade and stays put for hours.
Now: mascara. (Oh, and I curl my lashes every time. The pair in the picture are from Superdrug I think?) NYX XXL Lush Lashes Mascara gives you volume and length, and the brush just the right side of big/too big. I’ve even repurchased it, which is something I rarely do with mascaras.
Lip scrubs last forever, don’t they? My love for Lush Sugar Plum Fairy (v) hasn’t diminished in the slightest; I’d also recommend Mint Julips (v). Both of them exfoliate gently and smell (and taste) bloody amazing. I follow the scrub with a lip balm. When I’m at home I tend to reach for Fairypants Vegan Lip Balm in Margarita (v), which I keep by my bed at all times.
Now for something pink! I like Fairypants Vegan Lip Paint in Dorothy (v) for a sheer hint of colour, or Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick in Kim K-W (v) if I want something more opaque. I thought Kim K-W might be too pale a shade but nope, there’s just the right amount of warmth in there to stop you looking like a ghost (or like you have foundation lips). It has the usual moisturising formula and staying power you’d expect from Charlotte Tilbury, too.
What are your favourite make-up products at the moment? Let me know in the comments!
(v) = vegan
Note: This post uses affiliate links. Although NARS was a cruelty-free brand at the time of writing, they have since decided to sell their products in China as of June 2017 and therefore are no longer cruelty-free.
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travel, gin, and the Oxford comma.
I write about ethical & eco-friendly living, minimalism, and mental health, as I muddle through one step at a time. Enjoy!