Makeup… The Adult Equivalent of a Lisa Frank Binder

Ladies, remember how you loved Care Bears and Lisa Frank and gel pens when you were a kid? Oh, you still do? Well, me too, honestly. I still get excited over school supplies and even the smell of Play-Dough. However, I also get the same joy over makeup and shoes and sundresses now. So I figured I’d share some of my favorite makeup products with you since we’re all going to have different tastes in shoes and clothes. (And you don’t need to see pictures of my 150+ pairs of shoes and 100+ Lilly Pulitzer sundresses/skirts/skorts/shorts/shirts/etc. because it would bore you to death.)

But I do understand that not everybody gets excited over makeup like I do. Still, it’s an essential part of being an adult. You do need makeup in certain situations. Period.

I won’t teach you how to apply makeup because there are tutorials on YouTube that can guide you far better than I ever could. I’m not a professional at applying makeup. I just do my own thing. If I have a specific tip, I’ll share it, but, in general, I’m just here to share my favorite makeup products!

I’ve shared my favorite skincare products with you here and here, and I still stand by all of my recommendations. So after I’m finished putting on my toner and moisturizer, I start with my makeup!

  • Rimmel Stay Matte Primer, $3.63. 
    • If you don’t have oily skin, you probably need a different primer, but if you do, the price is right, and this primer is AMAZING. It lasts all day. There’s not much else to say about primer other than that, really. That’s kind of all you’re looking for.
  • Make Up For Ever HD Skin Undetectable Longwear Foundation, $43. OR Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 20, $48.
    • Okay, so these are quite a bit more expensive than the primer, but SO worth it. The Make Up For Ever has a little more coverage than the Laura Mercier, so it depends on what you’re looking for, but they’re both great foundations. (I know Laura Mercier has SPF, but this is just a reminder that you NEED to use sunscreen before you put on your makeup, even if it has an SPF. I use this one underneath my moisturizer — which you also need even if you have oily skin. One thing I like about these two foundations is they neither dry out your skin nor do they make it oily looking. They’re great for any skin type. And if you accidentally put too much on, it’s easy to fix. I go with cheap makeup whenever I can, but these are worth the price.
  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, $6.59
    • This is the sponge I use for my foundation. It’s better than any sponge I’ve tried. To be fair, I haven’t tried the $20 Beauty Blender — and I don’t plan on spending my money on it — but this blender is great, and I highly recommend it over sponges that cost the same amount.
  • Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, $30.
    • Well, this is expensive, too. But I swear, it’s worth every penny. Dark circles? What are those? Do you have adult acne? You don’t any more! (And here’s how to apply it the right way to get rid of those dark under-eye circles! The triangle method is the best, by far.) 
    • I’ve also heard people rave about Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $30, but I’m not letting my Tarte Shape Tape Concealer out of my cold, dead hands, so I can’t personally recommend that one.
  • Real Techniques 4 Pack Miracle Mini Complexion Sponge, $8.99.
    • I use these to apply my concealer. I find them more manageable than my large foundation sponge, and $8.99 is not much for a four-pack. Also, you can wash them like you can any other foundation sponge, and use them repeatedly. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t spend $9 on four tiny sponges.)
  • Sonia Kashuk Brushes, varying prices.
    • Speaking of applying makeup, I generally use Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target to apply my powder, blush, highlighter, eyeshadow, etc. I have a couple of ELF and Wet & Wild brushes, and I use this eyelash comb, but I’ve had my Sonia Kashuk brushes since college… fifteen years ago (oh, my god… that is so sad), have washed them a zillion times, and they’re still in great shape. I could not recommend them more. To this day, I still do not need new ones. Sure, you can probably find better makeup brushes, but these are probably cheaper, and I can tell you from experience that they’re a great buy.
  • NYX Professional Makeup #NoFilter Finishing Powder, $11.99.
    • I LOVE this NYX powder. I’m honestly not sure if they make it anymore since it’s no longer on the Ulta website, and there are only a few colors on Amazon. (Guess I better get another one while it’s still there because they also no longer make my second favorite pressed powder — Make Up For Ever!) This is basically just a setting powder, and I am obsessed with it. There are a few other powders that can achieve this, though.
      • Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Matte Setting Powder, $37.
        • I know I said I like to use the cheap stuff, but I won’t lie and say this stuff isn’t amazing AF. Besides, it’s one of the only other ones I’ve used that I’m going to recommend. It’s awesome. I try the cheap stuff first, but if you don’t like to, then this is what you should look at!
      • NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Matte Setting Powder, $12.
        • This looks like it would be comparable to the Make Up For Ever Setting Powder. I find NYX to be a good dupe for many brands, so I usually recommend it. However, this can only be found on the Ulta website, so you can’t try it in person. 
      • NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop All Day Mattifying Powder, $9.50
        • If you’re like me and you like pressed powder, this might be the one for you! Again, I always tend to recommend NYX over other cheap brands because it’s an excellent dupe for so many things.
      • Coty Airspun Face Powder Translucent Extra Coverage, $5.72.
        • The price is right on this one, and it has RAVE reviews on Amazon. Seriously. It has over 100,000 reviews and has 4.5 stars. I would personally love it myself (and choose it over Make Up For Ever, which I’m sure you can tell I LOVE by now), but I just prefer pressed powder. Still, I can’t help myself from recommending it anyways. Everyone likes different things in their powders, so I think I’ve given some options for everyone!
    • Physicians Formula Monoi Butter Bronzer Matte Light Bronzer, $12.99.
      • I honestly haven’t used this yet, but I’m buying it today. I looked up the bronzer I do use, and Neutrogena doesn’t make it anymore. Then I realized that I’ve had it since I was fifteen. I’m about to turn 36. I think it’s time to throw it away. I’m not one to ever throw makeup away, but I think twenty years is too long. I looked it up, and the shelf life is supposed to be two-three years… yikes. (Don’t worry, I follow the rules about eye makeup and things like that… I just have never thought about the rules of powder makeup!) It has good reviews, and the light looks light enough, even for my super fair skin. They also have darker colors if you aren’t a ghost like I am. 
    • Nars Blush, Orgasm, $30.
      • This color looks amazing on everybody. It seriously does. It doesn’t matter what your skin tone is. Just buy it. Enough said. Oh, and a little goes a long way, so you may get away with purchasing the mini size!
    • Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter, Molten Rose Gold, $4.86.
      • LOVE this highlighter! The rose gold is great for my complexion, but they have several other colors, including gold and peach. A little bit goes a LONG way. I learned that the hard way the first time I used it!!!
    • Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Base — Clear Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer, $13.75.
      • Sure, there are cheaper eyeshadow primers out there. I used NYX’s primer for a long time because it had been the best I had found. But it creased more, and it showed a little bit. This is by far the best eyeshadow primer I’ve ever used. Period. It’s worth it.
    • I would usually put my eyeshadows on right after my primer, but since I want to list a bunch of my favorite eyeshadows, I’m going to list those at the end of this entry, and continue with my makeup routine as if I had already put on my eyeshadow!
    • NYX Matte Finish Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray Vegan Formula, $9.50.
      • There’s not much to say about setting spray because all you want is one that works. This one works. I think it works better than Urban Decay’s, which says a lot. I highly recommend it. Check it out.
    • L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Mechanical Eyeliner, Black, $9.39.
      • If you’re not great at putting on eyeliner like me, this is a great eyeliner to use. It’s kind of like a crayon. I can’t use liquid liner, and I don’t like pencil eyeliner on the top of my eyes, so this stuff is excellent. I do wonder why eyeliner is so expensive, though!
    • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $27.
      • I don’t care what anybody says. This is the best mascara ever. I know this for a fact because I’ve tried all of the other “best mascaras ever.” Believe me, I own all of them! I’ve repeatedly said I love the cheap stuff, but I’d pay even more for this. You can pry this from my cold, dead hands. If you don’t own this, don’t wait. Buy this. Today. Now. Sadly, the waterproof is a little more clumpy, but not so much where I’d choose any other mascara over it. I’d just select the non-waterproof version over it any day of the week… unless you cry a lot or you’re going swimming. 
    • EYESHADOWS! I have so many favorites. Tarte stops making some of them after a while, but I’m going to do my best to find them. And I’m only going to include my absolute favorites on here, which will be incredibly difficult.
      • Too Faced Born This Way — The Natural Nudes Eyeshadow Palette, $49.
        • I’ve never spent this amount of money on an eyeshadow palette because the price is absurd, and even though I wanted it for a long time, it took me receiving it as a gift to actually get it. Now? I’d buy it again in a heartbeat. It is the absolute best eyeshadow palette I’ve ever had. There’s no color in here that you can’t use, no matter your skin tone, and I’m looking at it trying to choose my favorite, but I can’t. I use Glistening Snow, Shimmering Pearl, Rose Gold, Golden Light, and Sugared Chestnut the most. But honestly, I love all of them.
      • Maybelline Expertwear All Day Eyeshadow Sunlit Bronze, $12.29.
        • I’ve literally been rebuying this same eyeshadow palette since high school. The colors are so flattering! I also love how they tell you where to use them! However, I tend to use Mac’s eyeshadow in Girlie ($19.00) in the crease and Mac’s eyeshadow in Woodwinked ($19) in the outer corners.
      • Maybelline New York Lemonade Craze, $8.94.
        • This one is so fun, especially for the summer! You can make so many cute summery looks with it. When I’m lazy, I like to use Mac’s Girlie and put the shimmery Strawberry Lemonade in this palette over it instead of going for a whole look. But that’s certainly not the only great color in here! I love them all, but I am fond of Citrus and Coral Punch… they’re fun peachy colors that are so cute. However, I still haven’t figured out how to use the namesake Lemonade Craze. If you have any tips, please let me know! I would love to be able to make some fun makeup looks!
      • Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette, $54.
        • Okay, so I don’t actually own this because I can’t justify the price. But I look at it all the time and swoon over the colors. It’s so beautiful. So if you want to give me a gift, you can send me money on Cash App at $lindsaykaye04 or Venmo @blondesunshine12. Yes, I’m sure you will want to buy a wholly unnecessary and ridiculously expensive makeup item for an absolute stranger. I have no doubt in my mind that this wish will come true. I’ll be waiting with bated breath.
      • Tarte Don’t Quit Your Daydream, $18.
        • This includes some neutral and peachy colors and is perfect for spring. I found this new on Poshmark, and it’s honestly worth the price. It’s a beautiful palette! I love all of these, also, but I think my favorites are Boss Lady and Strive!
      • Tarte Love, Trust, and Fairy Dust Eye Palette, $39.
        • This is another one that’s good for spring and summer. And if you’re good with eyeshadow, you can make SO MANY unique looks with this! I’m almost to the bottom on Twinkle, Flitter, Magic, Mystical, and the middle color! (If you can’t tell from all the favorites I’ve listed so far in my favorite eyeshadows, I love a slight shimmer!!!)

So those are my favorite makeup items. I listed them here and provided links because I highly recommend each of them. 

Do you really need makeup? Like, do you really need a full face of makeup? Sadly, yes. If you’re going to work or a job interview, you need a full face of makeup. If you’re going on a date, you need makeup — how much you want to wear is up to you, though.

You don’t makeup to run errands, and please don’t wear a full face of makeup to the gym, but if you want to look like a professional adult, yes, you need these things. You may not need these brands, but you need these items.

And don’t forget makeup brushes and sponges. Please don’t apply your makeup with the applicators that come with it. Brushes are worth the cost to look much better.

As for applying it, there are millions of videos on YouTube on how to do so. I’d teach you myself, but I’m certainly no professional. I’ve just learned by experience. But if you don’t have experience using makeup, please take advantage of these videos. 

I know not everybody loves makeup like I do. And that’s okay. You don’t have to wear it all of the time. But you do have to get comfortable with wearing it in certain places. And one tip — if you don’t often wear makeup, see if you can get a travel-sized item!

And if you do love makeup like I do, share what you love below! I’d love to hear about some great items I’m missing out on!


Adult Freaking Acne on a Budget

It’s been almost a year since I previously wrote about my adult freaking acne, but I looked back on the article and thought to myself, “God, Lindsay, you couldn’t suggest more affordable options?” Because if you’re anything like me, you can’t afford to buy the items on that list consistently. Hence, I’ve come up with a much cheaper regimen that still works. 

Okay, so I may still use Make Up For Ever foundation and Tarte concealer, but other than that, my skincare and makeup routine is much more affordable. And I thought I’d share it for those of you who are also dealing with adult freaking acne.

Keep in mind that this routine is for oily skin that breaks out. If you have combination or dry skin, these aren’t the products for you!

Morning Routine

Solimo Daily Acne Cleanser — This is the Amazon brand, but it’s great. It has 10% Benzoyl Peroxide for your acne. You can buy it for $6.10, which is much cheaper than the Murad face wash I recommended in my last post.

Solimo Deep Cleaning Astringent — Another great Amazon brand find! It has 0.5% salicylic acid to help curb your acne. Unfortunately, you can only buy it in a three-pack, but the price is still right at $12.47!

Thayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Facial Toner w/ Aloe Vera Formula — If the Solimo astringent dries your skin out, I recommend Thayers Witch Hazel for your toner. It has four-and-a-half stars and nearly 72,000 reviews! You can find it for $9.59.

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen for Acne — Sunscreen is a no-brainer. Not only does it keep your face looking young, but it can help prevent skin cancer! It’s a MUST HAVE! This one is SPF 55. Life Hack: Put it on the top of your left hand when you’re driving in the sun. It will keep your hands looking young! This is $10.97, but worth every penny!

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Facial Moisturizer with 0.5% Salicylic Acid — Too many people, especially those with oily skin, skip moisturizer because they’re afraid it will make their face even more oily. But you can’t ignore this crucial step in your skincare routine! This moisturizer is not only great for oily skin, but will also help your acne in the process. You can get it for only $6.67, and there’s currently a $1.32 coupon!

Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer — I’ve tried primers in many brands at many price points. I thought nothing could beat Make Up For Ever’s (ridiculously expensive) primer, but I was wrong. This is wonderful for oily skin, and really does keep your face matte. And the price is definitely right at $3.63.

NYX Professional Makeup Matte Setting Spray — I used to swear by Urban Decay’s De-Slick Setting Spray, but NYX’s setting spray is even better! Your makeup will stay on all day long — even when you’re sweating — and your face won’t look oily at all. At $6.73, it’s a steal!

Night Routine

Garnier Micellar Water — Removing makeup can be a pain in the ass, especially if you use waterproof mascara. But this micellar water will take it all off in no time! One (BIG) bottle is $6.40.

Reusable Makeup Remover Cloths — These, along with the micellar water, will take your makeup right off in minutes. You may think these aren’t worth buying, but you’d be dead wrong! You can buy a five-pack for only $7.99.

CeraVe Retinol Serum for Post-Acne Marks — After washing your face and putting on your toner/astringent, this is the item to use! This is one of the more expensive items, but it’s worth it if you have acne scars! Besides, CeraVe is known for being very effective for skincare! I’ve never used a product of theirs that doesn’t work as advertised. It’s a little pricy at $16.97, but worth the money.

Tea Tree Oil Face Cream for Acne-Prone Skin — This is a great nighttime moisturizer that isn’t greasy at all. It fights acne and soothes acne scars as well. With four-and-a-half stars, this product is $14.48.

Neutrogena Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Treatment Gel — This is an excellent spot treatment at a great price. It has 10% Benzoyl Peroxide for acne, and is one of the cheaper (and better) spot gels. It only costs $6.89, but there’s currently a coupon for $1.89 off.

Occasional Mask

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay — This is not only great for acne and acne scars, but brightens your skin! You can use it with water or apple cider vinegar, but I highly recommend apple cider vinegar. To be honest, I need to use this more often because it makes my skin so smooth and beautiful! You can purchase it for $14.95 for one pound or $19.95 for two pounds.

I don’t recommend starting all of these products at once to be used every day. Instead, start by using them 2-3 times a week until your face gets used to them, or they may dry out your skin. And flaky skin isn’t any better than acne-prone skin!

I still have adult freaking acne even though I’m about to turn 36! I know I can’t be the only adult dealing with this horrible curse. Hopefully, this skincare treatment will work for you!


Adult Freaking Acne!

I had adult braces in my 20s. When they were gone, I thought all of my troubles were over. My teeth were beautiful, my skin lovely, and I was a wonderful size 2. Ahh, to be young and beautiful!

However, my hormones have proven me wrong about all of my troubles being over. While adult acne is not even nearly as close to as bad as adult braces, it’s still pretty horrible. I haven’t had acne since I was 16 and went on Accutane… and it decides to come back in my 30s? Right as I’m beginning to date?

Sometimes I’m pretty sure the world is playing a cosmic joke on me, only I don’t find it so hilarious.

But I recently read that this actually happens a lot to women my age, and while my first move (and your first move) should be to go to the dermatologist, I actually have some good makeup tips perfected over the years for adult freaking acne (or teenage freaking acne) that are actually really good, so I thought I’d share them for those who happen to be going through the same thing.

First, pick a good skin care routine. Murad is expensive, but it’s worth it. This includes moisturizer. You may think if you have oily skin that you should skip it — I thought this for years — but you should NEVER skip moisturizer. They have some good ones for oily skin, like the one I listed below.

Face Wash — Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser

Moisturizer — Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion — Blemish Prone/Oily Skin

Acne Spot Treatment — Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment

Now for the fun stuff… the makeup! I LOVE makeup! I have drawers full of it. I could probably use two big drawers just for eyeshadow palettes alone (though those, unfortunately, aren’t necessary for acne, so I don’t get to talk about them), and I have tried just about every primer, foundation, concealer, powder, and setting spray that exists. There are not many areas in which I’m an expert, but I definitely know what I’m talking about here!

Primer (you may or may not use primer… but you NEED it) — Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Matte Rescue Mattifying Gel

Foundation (this is good because it has coverage, but isn’t too thick. Blend this and concealer with a beauty blender.) — MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Concealer (this has thick and perfect coverage, but is fine when paired with a medium coverage foundation and minimal coverage powder… if you only get one item, this is IT) — Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

Powder (minimal coverage — perfect for that foundation and concealer) — NYX Cosmetics #NOFILTER Finishing Powder

Setting Spray for Oily Skin (just like primer, you NEED a setting spray. They’re gamechangers.) — Urban Decay De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray

I am VERY aware that all of this costs a lot if you’re buying it all at once, and I could get into dupes that work close to as well if this were a makeup blog (or if anybody is interested), but these are the cream of the crop, so I figured I’d start with those.

And that’s how we cover up our adult freaking acne the best we can. It won’t be perfect. Nothing will be. We just have to remember that we’ve got hormones running through our bodies that men don’t have — sometimes they’re a blessing, and sometimes they’re a curse. I’d say that we have the upper hand in being girls a lot of the time when it comes to men, even in our thirties… maybe we women deserve to be taken down a peg sometimes by adult freaking acne.