Over the past year, I have become increasingly obsessed with YouTube beauty vloggers, soaking up their tips and trying them out for myself. It has helped me move out of my rut and gain more confidence. A number of people have suggested that I go through makeup routines on my blog because I use only vegan products. While so many brands test on animals--NARS, Estee Lauder, Cover Girl, Revlon, MAC, Clinique, the list goes on, unfortunately--there are so many that do not. This walk-through includes both high and low end brands. The best place to show your support of cruelty-free products is with your money in corporate America, so I'm happy to share some of my favorite brands and products.
For my face, I used the NYX BB cream in 02/Natural, just a pea sized amount. If I'm wearing my bangs down, I don't bother putting makeup on my forehead, aside from a little powder to soak up oil. I used a kabuki brush to set it with the NYX stay matte but not flat powder foundation in 02/Nude. NYX is by far my favorite for foundation, even compared to more expensive brands.
While putting on my foundation, I avoided my eye area because I have very dark circles and I like two concealers (yes--multiple!) and use highlighting powder to set it. I want to negate my dark circles, so spreading foundation and powder will not get it as bright as I want. The Too Faced Absolutely Flawless Flexible Coverage Concealer in Perfect Nude is a godsend. It's my favorite, and I have tried EVERYTHING. It's a tiny tube, but you only need a small amount. Using my ring finger, I dot on a sparse, even amount on my under-eye area. Next, I take a highlighter powder and dab it over the concealer to set it. Any HD/highlighter/translucent powder will do. After that, it's still a little dark, so I build it up, either with that concealer, or the Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (I'm not sure of the shade because the sticker fell off). The main reason I use two is because the Tarte concealer did crease on me and didn't give me the coverage I needed. It works great as a second layer, though! I finish it off with more highlighter, and my base is done!
I am am amateur when it comes to contouring, but I try! I love the ELF contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in St. Lucia. The bronzer a dupe for NARS' Laguna and is really gorgeous. Using a contour brush, I run the bronzer in the spot below my cheekbones to give the impression that my cheekbones are more prominent (like a shadow is falling over my cheek). I also run it along the circumference of my jawline and a little on my temples and either side of my nose. The blush goes sparingly on my cheekbones, along the side of my face and not too high up. I use the highlighter on the bridge of my nose, above the blush and around the under-eye area. If it looks too blocky, I take my Everyday Minerals kabuki brush and blend it all so it is seamless.
For my brows, I used the Youngblood Brow Artiste palate in Dark. After I brush my brow hair with a spooly, I line the top and bottom with the light brown and filled in any gaps with the dark brown using a small, angled brush. I set it with the brown wax. I try not to over do them. I already have color (brow tint) on my eyebrows, so they tend to stand out without adding too much makeup. Under my eyebrow I use a highlighter to show the arch a little better and hide brow hairs I haven't plucked yet! This time I used the Benefit Watt's Up stick.
I normally don't do lip liner, but I decided to try it. I chose a wine colored pencil (by Youngblood, but it's been discontinued) and outlined my lips, then applied a creamy lipstick--Wet 'n Wild in Light Beige Frost 510A. This stuff is 99 cents and worth twenty times that much! I love their lipsticks! Then I lightly filled in my lips with the same wine-colored pencil. I've been mixing a lot of darker shades with reds and neutrals, and I really like the results. I use a little more of the Benefit Watt's Up highlighter in my cupid's bow to accentuate my lips.
Moving on to eyes, I use the Walking on Eggshells eye shadow trio from Wet 'n Wild. It's my favorite! I believe it contains dupes for other high end shades, but I'm not sure what ones (NARS, maybe?). I use the light pink all over my eyelid and the brown color in my crease, and in a V shape on the outer end of my eye to give a subtle smokey affect. If it looks too blocky, again, I will use a brush to blend it. I used a tiny bit of the off-white on my inner eye corner. After that, I tight-line my eyes with the Smashbox Timeless Eyeliner in Onyx. Then I take my ELF Essential Expert Liquid Eyeliner in jet black and create a cat-eye. I am not the best with making a symmetrical cat-eye, but the tip on the wand is so small that if you make a mistake, it's usually not too hard to correct it. I like building them up because I'm just not that great at making them perfect in one swoop. I top that off with my favorite mascara, Better Than Sex by Too Faced. I do two coats on the top and one along the lower lashes.
So there you have it! This look takes me about 20 minutes so it's not an everyday process for me. These products are all really amazing and completely vegan.
*You can see in this picture the eyeliner is not even on both eyes. Damnit! I later fixed it, but I still like this picture.
AM&A's was a Buffalo-based department store chain founded in 1867. Known for its Victorian-style Christmas window displays, it had locations in downtown Buffalo, Lackawanna, Cheektowaga, and Tonawanda. It closed its doors in 1994 after Robert Adam III, the grandson of the founder, died and was acquired by The Bon-Ton.
I couldn't resist taking photos of these old advertisements, walking through downtown Buffalo on a nice fall day last year, and wondering what the shop was like in the height of its popularity.
In retrospect, it all seems so much more romantic than my own department store experience growing up. Shopping at JC Penny's in the 1990's for three to four new school outfits, choosing from three variations of Arizona Jeans before picking up my sneakers for that year, converse or Roxy, it all seemed so sad.
But I like it this way, the nostalgia of a time that I never encountered. The love for a bygone aesthetic.
If you enjoy this blog, please feel free to donate to my PayPal account. It is very much appreciated!
All photographs and writing are © 2018 Melissa Meyer. Duplication of this material without express and written permission from Melissa Meyer is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melissa Meyer and msmelissameyer.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.