Trying out new beauty products on your skin can be frustrating and expensive. I have slowly made the transition to all natural beauty products (some organic, some not) that do not contain chemicals, parabens, and strange preservatives. With some helpful guidance from Sarah of The Curated House, I set out to buy and try products that would work as well as the products I had come to love.
I can’t wait to share my new favorite products with you.
If you missed my post on oil cleansing, I recommend checking it out. I have been oil cleansing in the evening, every three days or so since 2011 and I still love the method. It’s inexpensive and it balances out my combination skin. I used to be frightened of using anything with oil on my skin, but now I know that washing away every speck of oil only causes your body to produce more oil. My skin used to get oily at the end of the day or I’d wake up with it oily. Not anymore!
On the days I do not use the oil cleansing method, I use Trader Joe’s Spa Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil to cleanse in the evenings. It has a very watery consistency, so take care to cup your hand under the pump or it will squirt you! Also, avoid getting this in your eyes, because it will sting. It isn’t as moisturizing as the oil cleansing method, but it works great for a quick wash and does a good job of removing my eye makeup with some gentle rubbing over my eyes and eyelashes.
This 100% Cold-Pressed Organic Argan Oil goes on my face every single day. I actually don’t cleanse my face in the morning anymore. It’s still fresh from the evening before. I get my hands a bit wet and then shake a few drops of argan oil in the palm of my wet hand. Then I rub my hands together and gently pat all over my face and neck. I pat it all dry with a clean towel.
Now it’s time for the luxury items. Tata Harper has a line of all natural skincare and aromatherapy products that are made in small batches in their lab in Vermont using herbs and flowers from their farm. These are the first products I’ve ever tried for their anti-aging properties. I was slow to choose because I was really in no rush, but wanted something full of great stuff for my skin. I use Tata Harper’s Rejuvenating Serum after I cleanse my skin in the evening. Just a little squirt that I apply lightly over my face and neck right after I wash my face. Then I use a tiny bit of Tata Harper’s Restorative Eye Creme to pat under and around my eye. Tata Harper’s products have a pretty strong floral scent and usually that is not for me at all, but it smells like real flowers and I love it. They make my skin look really fresh. Both products look and feel like light lotions, but they are not meant to moisturize. If your skin feels a bit dry, moisturize with a few drops of argan oil before applying the Tata Harper products to your face. I found out after purchasing that they will send out 2-4 one time use samples to you for a $5 flat-rate shipping fee. That’s a great way to give these products a try before making the investment.
Left to right: Kabuki Brush – similar // Chanel 4 Blush Brush // Prescriptives Foundation Brush // Mac 208 Angled Brow Brush // Alima Pure #36 Pointed Crease Brush // Alima Pure #39 Large Shadow Brush // Alima Pure #35 Eye Detail Brush // Tweezerman Slant Tweezers // Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
I have gathered these brushes over the years and if you take care of them, they will last you a long time. I try to wash my brushes once a month with a little bit of mild soapy water until the water runs clear. Then I gently rub the brushes on a dry paper towel to remove any excess color. Allow to dry on a dry paper towel overnight.
I bought this kabuki brush from an Etsy seller a few years ago and her store is no longer open. It’s a soft, short brush that is great for a finishing powder over your foundation. This Alima Pure Kitten brush is similar. I wanted a great blush brush and asked my Mom to buy me this Chanel 4 Blush Brush several years ago. It’s a little fancy and works like a dream and has held up nicely. I used to prefer liquid foundation and this Prescriptives Foundation Brush has always been a champ. I currently use it to make sure my under-eye concealer and foundation are blended properly. I’ve had this Mac 208 Angled Brow Brush forever and it’s great for filling in brows. I recently acquired the Alima Pure brushes and I have been really pleased. The #39 large shadow brush is soft and I use it to put an all-over natural color on my lid and then I usually add a crease color with the #36 pointed crease brush. Finally, I use the #35 eye detail brush to apply a powdered eyeliner wet or dry. Tweezerman tweezer and Shu Uemura eyelash curler are great must-have classics.
These are the products I use to even out my skin. My skin is fair-to-medium with pink undertones. It is important that your skin is properly moisturized before this step! Add a few drops of argan oil to your wet face and dry before applying makeup, if needed. I start with RMS Beauty’s Uncover Up as concealer under my eyes or where it is needed, using my ring finger to gently blot under my eye. It smooths on perfectly and I’ve heard it works wonders on mature skin with fine lines, too. Then I use Vapour Organic’s Luminous Foundation in shade 120 by wiping my middle finger across the stick and smoothing it over my skin. It smooths on beautifully and offers a nice amount of coverage, too. My eyeshadow does not stay in place if I do not us a an eyelid primer and I tried several before I found this one. The Vegan Eyeshadow Primer does last me all day, but sometimes I need to touch things up if I’m going out at night. I use to have the stick applicator, but now it comes in a small jar to swipe over the eyelid. I grab my Prescriptions foundation brush to blend it all together and make sure I have a nice even look. A powder finish helps the primer stay put.
Using my soft kabuki brush, I dip it lightly in RMS Beauty’s Unpowder and swirl it into the lid to get an even layer of powder on the brush. I swipe it lightly over my face, including my eyelids, to set everything. It does seem to improve the performance of my eyelid primer . The Living Luminizer is great for adding highlights to the tear ducts (my favorite way to open and brighten the eye), tops of your cheeks, over your brow bones and down the middle of your nose. It has a lovely brightness that isn’t teenager-ish and sparkly. It adds an instant natural glow.
Both Vapour Organic Beauty and Saffron Rouge (the company I linked to for the RMS products) have 30-day money back guarantees if the product doesn’t work for you.
Both the Vapour Aura Stain and the RMS Lip2Cheek work for both cheeks and lips. The Crave is a slightly deep orange-coral and Smile is a soft, bright coral. The colors online looked a bit off to me, but I think the photo above is a very good representation of the color you can expect. I use them primarily for cheeks, but have tried them both with good results as lip colors, too. They are lovely if you like oranges and coral, like me. I don’t wear lipstick that often, but I’ve heard that Ilia Beauty lipsticks and lip crayons are amazing.
The Alima Pure Matte Eyeshadows are wonderful. My hair is dark brunette without any red in it, and I was told to try cocoa for my brows. It is perfect! They have lots of shades for whatever color your brows are. It goes on easily with my Mac brow brush and stays all day and night. This color also makes blue eyes pop when a little is applied to your lids.
I was looking to replace my favorite Nars shade and wanted a pink/coral shimmer blush. Both Freja and Guava were my favorites. Freja is a bit more pink and Guava is a bit more peach, but both are lovely. Apricot is pretty matte peach and I love using a bit on my eyelids. I also purchased a sample of Sahara (not pictured), which is a beautiful peachy bronze, perfect for olive skin. Alima has a great variety of matte and shimmer blush and they offer a $1.50 generous sample size in addition to their full size blush. It’s a great option as you decide which shade is right for you.
Alima Pure offers a 30-day money back guarantee for full size products.
Left to right: Alima Pure Matte Eyeshadow in Fleur // Alima Pure Matte Eyeshadow in Bramble // Alima Pure Matte Blush in Apricot // Mixology Makeup Eyeliner in Plum // Dr. Hauschka Volume Mascara in black
I like to keep my eyeshadow matte and neutral. Alima’s Matte Eyeshadow in Fleur is a perfect pinky-nude for all over the lid. I also apply it right under the brow for a lifted brow look. I forgot to add my next favorite Alima Matte Eyeshadow in Camellia to this photo, but it is a pale neutral pink, but brighter than Fleur, that I like to use on the lid and a bit into the crease with the Alima Pure #39 Large Shadow Brush for a natural look. If I want a little more depth, I will add Alima’s Matte Eyeshadow in Bramble into the crease with the Alima #36 Pointed Crease Brush. It’s applies pinkish/brown, but looks a bit lavender in the container. I purchased a sample of Alima’s Matte Blush in Apricot (like I mentioned above) and I plan to use it this summer on my cheeks, but I really love it on my eyelids.
I tried several eyeliners in pencil and powder form and it proved to be a pretty big challenge. I found that the powder eyeliner I purchased a while back from Etsy was the longest lasting of all the liners I had tried. I have the dark plum shade, which is dark and a little shimmery and goes well with my blue eyes. There are lots of other shades, though. I apply the liner with my Alima Pure #35 Eye Detail Brush.
This mascara! It is my favorite mascara of all time. Lancome used to be my favorite and I cycled through a bunch more looking for something less prone to hardening and clumping after the first week. I bought the Dr. Hauschka Volume Mascara two months ago and the formula is still as smooth as the day I opened the bottle. The brush allows me to easily sweep on the mascara and get every lash. I usually take a tissue or a small piece of toilet tissue and I wipe off the excess mascara from the wand on the tissue before applying to my eyelashes. This has been working great for me. It is not waterproof and will probably not work if you have particularly teary eyes. It comes right off with regular face cleansing, which is nice. I love it!
SPF Moisturizer/Liquid Liner/Tinted Lip Treatment
This post has been a work in progress and these products were late-comers, but I must tell you about them. I had heard great things about Josie Maran products and SPF protection was something I was seriously looking for. This argan oil moisturizer is light, non-greasy and easy to apply. I use it on my face and neck in the morning before applying my makeup. The SPF addition gives this lotion a shelf-life of a year or less. The 1/2 ounce and 4 ounce sizes can conceivably be used within a year, but I wouldn’t purchase more than one bottle of the 4 ounce at a time. My father-in-law found out the hard way that expired SPF sunscreen can be worse than applying nothing at all. He ended up with a swollen red face after applying old sunscreen and being exposed to the sun all day, eek.
I heard about this Zuzu liquid eyeliner on Twitter somewhere and I am currently in love with the cat eye. This Zuzu eyeliner is perfect for that! Tata Harper’s Be Adored Tinted Lip Treatment is ultra-moisturizing and adds a bit of a raspberry hue to your lips. Tata Harper also has two other lip treatments, if you’d prefer no tint.
I hope this was helpful and gives you some resources for trying products that are nourishing for your skin and highlight your natural beauty!
*Some links in the post are Amazon affiliate links where you pay nothing extra, but I get a little kickback if you use the links to purchase and that helps keep this little blog going. Thanks for supporting Dula Notes! I purchased all of these products on my own and I was not paid for this post. All opinions, as always, are my own.