Sydney and Christina's Makeup Adventure


My makeup game is pretty uninspiring. I have never been into makeup and didn't even start wearing it until my 16th birthday when my best friend bought me a few "starter" items. I've always kept things pretty simple: eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner, blush, has been the extent of my routine. 

As I've started to invest more in quality clothing for my wardrobe and as I've learned more about organic/natural skin care through my work as an Elements Beauty Blogger, I started to think that I should give my makeup an adult makeover. Enter: Christina Dick, beauty guru and blogger at Tiramisu for Breakfast. She knows more about skin care and beauty products than any other person I know and was the first person I turned to with help for this project. 

My before makeup... so hodge podge!


You can see what I was working with above. A little about each...

  1. Eyeshadows - basically everything is 2+ years old. I loved my MAC but it's running out and those two little ones I never use but couldn't throw away in case I needed that green and purple color combo. The Nudes are my every day.
  2. Blushes / bronzers - again, super old, given to me or won in a giveaway randomly. I never know what blush color to get! 
  3. Brushes - most of these I got from Sephora in a pack, but I only use 3-5 regularly (honestly, not sure what the others are even for). 
  4. Eyeliners - why I have this many colors I'll never know. I use black and white. That's it, yet I can't get myself to throw away my purple liners. 
  5. Concealer and primer - super old foundation I use as spot concealer and a face primer I've been using as eye shadow primer (yea that doesn't work very well).
  6. Mascaras - randoms. The only one I bought is the Maybelline, the others I got for free for birthday gifts from Sephora or blog things like Influenster (which is cool because these are expensive!).

To top this all off, I stored everything in a ugly, plastic box and compartmentalizing things in sunglasses boxes (these are actually super great for storing things like makeup or jewelry, I use others to store bangles, perfect size!). But it was all super uninspiring, boring, and blah! 

Christina and I chatted back and forth a little bit about what I needed - everything - and what I wanted - simple, natural/organic if possible, and basically just a better quality than what I had been using. She was awesome about sending me articles where I could save or splurge on and brands that would be good for certain products. I should also mention budget here - I think I told her I wanted to spend around $50-$100. 

Let the adventure begin!


I've come to the conclusion that the way I am about interior design or beauty products is the same way some people are about clothes and shopping - they do it, but they hate it, they don't like shopping for it, and they just want someone else to make the decisions, tell them what to buy and they're good to go. And that's exactly what Christina did for me - made me a list of items I needed and recommend brands. It was still slightly overwhelming for me (I mean seriously, is there any need for THAT many choices of eyeshadow primer??). We ended up doing a little shopping together which was perfect. We stopped at Sephora where we picked up the afore mentioned primer and inner lid liner (I needed this in beige vs. white after seeing a Cupcakes and Cashmere post about it) and then headed to Bobbi Brown for more options on eyeshadow, blush and the other things I was looking for (specifically a darker brown that could double as shadow and my eyebrow filler because 1. lazy and 2. budget).


So, despite having said I didn't want anyone putting any makeup on my face, I let them put makeup on my face. And let me tell you, I think it's worth it! Makeup artists are professionals and I loved Anna - she knew exactly what colors to use and kept things super simple and natural, just like I like them, but enhanced everything just a tad. She ended up showing me eyeshadow, blush, under eye concealer kit (at this point I was just giving in to anything they wanted to put on my face and I've always had circles/bags under my eyes), foundation/spot stick, shimmer/bronzer highlights and a little bit of lip. I seriously couldn't stop looking at my face when she was done - there's not even any foundation on there! What I purchased from Bobbi Brown that day: under eye concealer kit, three eye shadows and one blush.

The under eye concealer is a game changer for me! I don't use it every day now, but I do use it when I'm taking photos or meetings and need a more put together face - it's seriously amazing. I can't believe I'm 31 and have never used this stuff before. 


Splurge vs. Save 

Of course I have a few thoughts on splurging vs .saving when it comes to makeup. I ended up returning the eye shadows and blush, not because I didn't like it (I loved it!), but once I started using the primer, it made my drugstore eyeshadow look, feel, and last like a more expensive palette.  At this point, and where I am with my own beauty wants/needs, I'm good with a drug store eyeshadow (knowing the wonders of primer!). Below are other ways I saved:

  • Sephora inner lid liner $8 vs. Tarte inner lid liner $20 - savings: $12
  • Maybelline eyeshadow palette $10 vs. Bobbi Brown shadows 3 - $75 - savings: $65 
  • Existing blush/bronzer vs. Bobbi Brown blush $34 - savings $34
  • Under eye concealer kit - I paid $65 ish for mine and there are probably cheaper options out there, but I have a feeling this will last me for a long while, I trust the brand, I like it, so I'm good! 

My thoughts - Just like a great pair of shoes will elevate a fast fashion look, getting a good eye shadow primer will allow even inexpensive shadows to stay on longer and look more pigmented. Using up my existing products (blush/bronzer) achieves nearly the same effect I loved in the other products while allowing me to save money. By going through the process of having my makeup applied, and learning a few tips and tricks along the way, I now feel more education about what makeup I am looking for and have a few brands that are good go-tos. Just this simple education process has made me feel less overwhelmed at the thought of heading into a Sephora! So makeup isn't fashion and it's certainly not clothes, but I strongly believe that if you are going through the trouble of getting dressed and investing in your wardrobe or putting effort into an improved appearance, a little touch of makeup can go a long way. I shared some of my thoughts during my VA is For Bloggers Insta takeover (you can read it here) but while makeup isn’t necessary for anyone, it can often help emphasize or bring out your personal style. A little makeup (whether it’s a touch of mascara or the whole no makeup makeup look) goes a long way. I often encourage my clients to spend a little extra time on their hair and/or makeup to compliment their new wardrobe. After all, if you are putting the time and effort into your clothing choices, why not extend that effort to your overall appearance?

Now excuse me while I go browse Sephora - I need to pick up some brown eyeliner, because apparently, that's a blue-eyed girl's must have!

Makeup is a wonderful accessory.
— Betty Halbreich


Thank you Christina for being my beauty guru and taking so many of these awesome pics! All pics in this post by Christina except the close up of the Bobbi Brown products and my makeup before pictures.  Note - this post wasn't sponsored, just sharing my experiences!

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