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My Current Makeup Bag Picks

My Current Makeup Bag Picks

I thought I’d take the opportunity to discuss and share a few of my current makeup go-to’s with you. I don’t wear makeup often, but I do occasionally especially if I’m taking pictures or going out somewhere, and I haven’t done a makeup-related post here yet (whereas there’s a couple on YouTube!).

My makeup is really quite basic, so don’t fret I will not be sharing anything too out there! I like to keep it fairly natural because otherwise, I won’t recognise myself! I do enjoy skincare occasionally too, but I think I’ll cover that in a separate post.

So, what am I reaching for again and again? Let’s find out…

1. Nivea MicellAIR Micellar Water

Whether I’m wearing makeup already or not, I always start my routine with a quick whip around my face with some micellar water. I feel like it gives me a fresh base to put my makeup upon, and it’s quite refreshing in general. This specific one is suitable for sensitive skin, and also gives you a little bit of hydration as well as removing any makeup you may be wearing. Essentially, it’s a win-win!

Currently, I am applying it with cotton wool pads, as I have a few hanging around that I need to get through. I do, however, own reusable face pads as well which I purchased in Wilko a couple of years ago for about £1. I’m pretty sure they still do them, if I can find a link I’ll add it at the end of this post.

It’s difficult to go wrong with Micellar Water really, and once I’m using my reusable face pads again, it’s certainly more environmentally friendly than cleansing wipes! The bottle is plastic, but there’s a symbol on the back that indicates that it can be recycled, which is good!

2. e.l.f Flawless Concealer – Shade Fair Warm

The first thing, makeup-wise, I tend to do is just dabble a bit of concealer under my eyes, around the edges of my eyes, and anywhere where there may be redness/discolouration or blemishes. This isn’t a particularly fancy concealer or anything but it does the job just right! It’s a good consistency and doesn’t feel heavy or cakey when on, plus it is certified cruelty-free and vegan so that’s a bonus! Not a lot more to say about it really, it does what it needs to do!

3. Revolution Matte Base Powder – Shade P1

Not going to lie, this powder is quite ancient as far as makeup goes, but it works just fine for me at the moment so there’s no need to grab a new one! I’m pretty sure Revolution still make this, or at least an identical product. Again, I shall try and find a link.

I don’t always use powder, it’s usually only if I’ve used a fair amount of concealer (as foundation isn’t currently part of my makeup regime) to even out my face a little before applying any more makeup. Although, I do sometimes find myself reaching for it if I feel I’ve overdone something slightly and want to dampen the effect a little, such as if I feel I’ve put too much bronzer on (because that can look BAD). It’s cruelty-free and vegan as well.

Pretty simple, pretty basic – can’t go wrong (unless you go a little wild with the shade!)

4. Benefit Hoola Bronzer

Yes, this is a more ‘high end’ makeup product, but I managed to sweep it when I had a hella load of Boots Advantage Card points which made the transaction slightly more bearable! It scared me a bit at first as it’s a little darker than any other bronzer or contour product I’ve used before, but once I figured out the right brush to use with it and how much product to actually use, I found myself actually quite liking it… which means now I’m trying to make it last as long as I can!

It’s a matte bronzing powder that I apply to the ‘edges’ of my face, and just underneath where my cheekbone is. I don’t do anything too outrageous with it as I’m very pale and it would look very odd! The size I have is Benefit’s travel size, which is perhaps just over 1/2 the size of the ‘full sized’ version – but this is also reflected in the price. Benefit also do a bronzer called ‘Hoola Lite’ which, as the name suggests, is a lighter version of this bronzer (they do, in contrast, have a darker one as well – the name escapes me, however!). I may try the lighter version when I need a new one, I’m just aware that they don’t seem to do it in the travel version which means it will be more of an outlay for me. We’ll see!

Benefit is against animal cruelty but in some countries when they market their products, testing on animals is required, so cannot be named completely cruelty-free and/or vegan. I like the product, yes, but maybe I’ll try and find one that’s a bit ethically better in the future.

5. Kylie Cosmetics Pressed Blush Powder – Shade Winter Kissed

Another high-end one I’m afraid! I got the blusher and bronzer at the same time, they were probably on some kind of deal! My old blusher was very VERY ancient though, it was a creamy-based one from the Boots No7 range and I bought it just before I had my prom in 2017. It was replaced last year! It may just be me but I associate No7 with older people as well… not sure why, I’m probably just a bit strange!

This blusher is quite a light, subtle pink, which I like because as I mentioned before I am quite pale and so too much colour on my face just doesn’t really look right! I have no complaints about it, if I’m honest, I think I would definitely purchase again – finance depending!

Kylie Cosmetics is vegan and cruelty-free since 2021 according to a random article I found. It is also stated on their website though, which means that we can shop there confidently knowing any new products are ethically created!

6. Revolution x Soph Highlighter Palette

Another pretty old piece of makeup, but it’s a good one! I rarely wore highlighter before I bought this palette, and then since then, my makeup routine is incomplete without it! I tend to apply it to my nose, the inside of my eyes (the CORNERS omg not my actual eyeball!) and then along my cheekbone, and sometimes a tiny bit on the end of my brow bone.

I don’t know entirely why I like it, but it looks cool! The shade I use the most is the purple-y shade on the bottom (middle) left. It’s the one that stands out most on my skin, and unlike most of my routine, I like to go all out on my highlight!

This palette has a good selection of shades, and even though it was part of a collab I’m pretty certain that it’s still available for purchase! Again, coming from Revolution, it is both cruelty-free and vegan!

7. QIC [My Sense] Simulation Freckle Pen

I naturally have some frecks, but I like to enhance them a little. I’ve used a range of random products before such as eyeliner pens/pencils etc, but for me, this pen works the best. As long as it is applied gently, it doesn’t look too out of place. It’s essentially a felt tip pen, mine is not as sharp as it once was due to continuous use, but it still functions exactly how it should and now it always has a place in my makeup routine.

I’m not too sure how this product weighs up ethically, especially since I bought it off of good ol’ Amazon. There’s not a lot of information on the product page itself, but I have inferred that it’s not originally ‘English’, thus we can probably say this isn’t as cruelty-free as we’d like. I guess we can’t win them all, but I’ll continue to use this until it runs dry and assess then whether there’s anything similar in the ‘known’ cruelty-free market.

8. Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High [Waterproof] Mascara – Black

I don’t always get along with mascara but I was very pleasantly surprised by this one and I really like it! I went for waterproof as 1) it was the only one in the shop at the time and 2) I like to have the freedom to cry without it potentially running all over my face, y’know.

It has a nice long wand which means I don’t feel like I have to press it up against my nose in order to apply it. It applies very nicely, actually. Easy application, don’t feel like I’m going to poke myself in the eye or anything. I think this is my favourite one I’ve ever used, honestly! I’ve naturally got quite long eyelashes and this curls them nicely, doesn’t leave marks when I blink and isn’t clumpy at all!

Unfortunately, Maybelline cannot be cruelty-free or vegan as their parent company L’Oreal operate in China, meaning compulsory animal testing is involved. I did some research and it appears that they do try and avoid testing where they can, some countries (like China, as I said) do require some testing by law. I guess L’Oreal hasn’t put its foot down and backed out of these trade deals as it’s too much to lose (financially). It’s a tough decision because I’ve quite liked other Maybelline products and L’Oreal hair products, but there’s more and more pressure now (as there should) to be more ethical. I’m going to continue to use this mascara, however, I shall also experiment with more ‘ethical’ alternatives. Eventually, I would hope that animal testing is no longer law, and then I (or anyone) won’t have to be so cautious.

9. Rimmel Wonder’Full Brow Mascara – 004 Clear & 002 Medium

Not entirely sure why but sometimes after I’ve done all my other makeup, my eyebrows just seem to… disappear. I used the clear gel for agessss, and whereas it was really good for brushing/shaping, it still looked like I had no eyebrows, hence why I’ve also got an identical product in brown! I learnt the hard way that a little goes a long way with this product, but the small brown tint really helps in making me look like I do actually still have eyebrows on my face. Sometimes the brown is a lot though, so I stick with the clear. It depends on how much makeup I’ve got on.

Just like eye mascara, I use the brush to sweep my eyebrow hairs upwards, which looks as ridiculous as it sounds. But I then use my finger to glide along the top of my eyebrow to give a pleasing shape. It looks fairly natural I think, although I’m always overly aware that I’m wearing makeup and I think that everything just looks ridiculous sometimes!

When it comes to ethics with Rimmel London, it gets tricky. Rimmel’s website states that they do not participate in animal testing, nor do they sell their products in countries where animal testing is required. However, other sources (namely Cruelty-Free Kitty, Ethical Elephant, and more) state that their parent company Coty test on animals where legally required, thus Rimmel cannot call itself cruelty-free as a subsidiary of that company. Much like Maybelline, I think Rimmel tries to be cruelty-free when it can be, as stepping out of the market in the countries where testing is the law would have detrimental financial or manufacturing impacts (I would like to think anyway, they could just hate animals…).

The reason I’m mentioning the ethical details of each product is because I’m aware that for some people picking cruelty-free or vegan products is of huge importance to them, and for me as someone who is recommending said products, it’s best to just be as transparent as possible so that everyone understands exactly where these products stand in the cosmetics market. Some people don’t care, and that’s fair enough whatever, sometimes buying ethically can be financially draining and it sucks that trying to be good for the planet means you have to spend so much more money that a lot of people, including myself, don’t always have. One day, ethically made products and produce will be the norm, at least that’s what Greta Thunburg and her followers are fighting for.

10. I Heart Revolution Gingerbread Lipstick

This next one is tricky as I got it in a Christmas gift set, and I don’t know if the colour is sold anywhere else under a different name… Based on what I can see, it seems similar to the I Heart Revolution Tasty Avocado lipstick in Brunch. However, I have not seen it in real life so cannot be certain.

It’s quite similar to the colour of my lips, very similar in fact. So there is a tint there, but it’s only subtle. Like I’ve said a few times now, I don’t like to be too bold! I don’t really use lipstick a lot at all but sometimes it’s nice to. I have a few tinted lip balms or lipgloss that I tend to reach for (although more recently I have been reaching for this!).

Ethics wise, we’re all good as I Heart Revolution is a subsidiary of the main Revolution brand, meaning that it is both cruelty-free and vegan.

11. Revlon Super Lustrous ‘The Gloss’- Clear

My lips are very very dry all the time. No matter how many gallons of water I throw down me, or how many lip balms I apply, they still wound up dry and flaky again. Clear lip gloss just gives it a little bit of a shine, and it works on top of matte lipstick too. It’s nice to look like my lips are hydrated, even if it’s all just a big disguise!

I’ve had a couple of tubes of this gloss now, mainly because I lost one, but I don’t have any complaints. It can dry fairly quickly so you would have to reapply if you wanted it to last any substantial time, but I think that goes for most makeup products really!

We have a situation again whereby Revlon states it doesn’t conduct animal testing, however Cruelty-Free Kitty and PETA both state that they do, hmm… According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, they only test where it is required by law, such as China. Revlon claims to use the most ‘technologically advanced’ and ‘safe’ methods to test their products, which the details of are blurry. They do admit to testing where they have to by law, which I suppose is transparent, and they claim to be working with others to push for alternatives to animal testing. Essentially any company that trades in a country such as China, can not fully claim that they are cruelty-free, whether they agree with it or not. If they choose to sell in these places, they have then chosen to ‘support’ animal testing, which I guess is the bottom line. As Revlon is a parent company in itself, we can’t really blame any ‘higher’ administration here. (Now probably isn’t a good time to mention that the foundation I own is also Revlon…)

If you’re someone who buys makeup a lot, it might be worth thinking about who you’re buying from. It seems that most companies only test where required legally, but then it’s up to you to decide how comfortable you are with that. Personally, I try to believe that these companies are genuinely trying to eradicate animal testing within their, and any, industry and I do believe it could be a whole lot worse. It could be compulsory everywhere for everything, but it isn’t. For now, within our current society, it’s treading carefully and finding the balance, I think. We’re raising everyone to understand consequences a little more now, so I guess then we can just hope that they stick with it and advocate for ethically made and sourced products for every industry.

12. Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

Finally, the icing on the cake, a lil spritz of setting spray to make my look last a little bit longer! I’ve had this setting spray for a long time, and it seems to do the job! Any other one I used made my makeup run, or it was just too ‘wet’ even when held miles away from my face. It’s a little on the pricey side for the full-sized bottle, but I imagine they last such a long time since I have the travel version and it’s lasted me sometime now! I’m not actually entirely sure what it does, but my routine feels incomplete without it!

Urban Decay, according to several sources, is 100% cruelty-free but not all their products are vegan as they contain animal by-products. Any product that Urban Decay states is vegan, is vegan, however! (They have an entire vegan range, in fact) Urban Decay is not sold in countries where animal testing is required. Note that ultimately Urban Decay is a subsidiary of L’Oreal and, uh, we spoke about them earlier! PETA is in support of Urban Decay and admits that they’re cruelty-free, despite their parent company. I would assume that Urban Decay’s products are manufactured in an entirely different way to perhaps some of the other associated companies.

I apologise that this post became a bit of an ethical debate as well, but it may have been necessary I suppose! Along that line (vaguely…), I am applying to go back to university in September as financially it is my only option. I’m looking at continuing what I was doing before, Biomedical Science or Medical Science, but I am also considering some social science courses such as Law or Politics as I believe I have the necessary skillset and analytical ability to perform in those areas but I’m scared because I don’t know 100% what I want to do or what my future looks likes. I love science, I think… maybe… I just don’t know if I’ll ever fully understand it as well as I should. But career-wise, with science I can go and hide in a lab once I’m qualified and forget about my crippling anxiety… haha. With something like Law though, I don’t know, I think I’d be able to analyse a case and look at both sides logically and form an argument, but the thought of representing someone in a courtroom is terrifying because I’d simply be the messenger when fighting someone’s case and any backlash on either side will ultimately fall on me, as the voice, and that is scary. But then I started Biomed to become a doctor, go onto medicine after my first degree. The thought of having someone’s life in my hands, talking to total strangers every day who are anxious and upset, makes ME feel anxious. I would try to do anything to please them, but I’d also be so scared of saying the wrong thing or forgetting someone and me being in a room with people I don’t know is just absolutely terrifying. Anything that involves people just makes me feel anxious and sick to the absolute core, and so I don’t know what to do!

Here are the links to the things discussed in this post, no affiliate links as I’m not famous enough for that:

That turned into a little bit of a ramble, I don’t get out much ahah! I hope you found some enjoyment within this post somewhere, or perhaps a new product to try!