The Basics: MakeUp Kit Edition

I loooove cosmetics and make up. Love to try new things, new products, new ways of wearing them…

Having said that, although I love them, I don’t like to own a lot of products. I usually have only things I tend to wear in regular basis (and a few options) and things that I actually adore. Plus a few items for events or occasions that every now and then I have ahead. So I keep my kit to a minimum.

And yes, every now and then I add something new to try on. If I like it, I usually incorporate it to my routine. As an option or to rotate with the one or the ones I already use and love. I personally think this is an awesome approach because cosmetic products have indeed an expiration date and we all should respect that.

For our skin’s good health sake.

Although (again) I love make up, I usually wear close to none make up in my daily life. I like to let my glowing natural skin do most of the talk. So the no makeup makeup look is my go-to look.

With that in mind, basically those are my make up essentials, aka the products I wear daily (some even to my morning walk and Pilates/Yoga classes):

My Basic Daily MakeUp Kit.
  • A great moisturizer and a sunblock. Not negotiable.
  • A tinted protective cream (something close to a foundation but lighter). Sometimes (aka quite often) I wear only my skin and ditch this cream.
  • A healthy glow blush. When I am tanned I skip it but usually I am not, so I wear it.
  • An eye pencil. (My favorite is a gray one, slate). Love to wear a bit of it.
  • A pinkish almost nude lipstick. The type that stays on for a long time.
  • A mascara (I wear it but not that often).
  • A highlighter in a certain spots.
  • Kim Kardashian contouring sticks. Because it is an easy contouring kit that anyone can use. Seriously. But I must confess that I don’t wear it that frequently.

Those are my go-to essentials for my daily make up routine, the products I do wear frequently. However, my make up kit is a bit broader than this. Because every now and then I like to wear a little bit more make up. For a special occasion or just because. Especially when going out at night. Then I go for some foundation or illuminating cream, sometimes a darker lipstick (red is usually my color), mascara for sure, some eyeshadow and some lip gloss.

And sometimes I even bet on a cat eye, so eyeliner is a must too.

So, here is my broader list of the basic make up kit:

A great moisturizer and a sunblock.

Please do have both in your kit. A necessity.

My ab favorite moisturizer is Belif’s Aqua Bomb. And even when I can’t find it here (aka Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), I wear another moisturizer. But never ever I go without it.

A sunblock is what I call my second moisturizer layer. A must. My fave is the Loreal Solar Expertise Antiwrinkle.

An Illuminating cream.

This one can be used instead of a foundation. It is lighter and illuminate your skin. But pick one that is in the exactly tone of your skin.

The one I totally recommend is the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer – Illuminating.

A foundation and a concealer.

If you feel you need the extra coverage, go for it. But I do think that as our skin ages the lighter you go, the better you will look.

I have a concealer (Radiant Creamy Concealer by Nars) and foundation to wear sporadically or when I want a more done look.

Some people, actually, a lot of people use a powder after foundation to fix it better or give an extra touch to the skin. I hardly use it. Because as I said before, lighter is better for me.

Eyebrow gel:

In my case a gel to keep my eyebrows in place will do it cause I don’t have imperfections on my brows so I don’t need anything to correct them.

But if you need a little help to correct imperfections then add a kit for it. Go for something that gives a more natural look to them.

Also, if you want to hide some gray hair there, there are good options for it. And you can include it in your kit too.

Eyeliner, LashCurler and Mascara:

It is a good idea to have a few pencil eyeliners like black, brown, slate to vary if you like this item. I’d rather wear slate and brown for day and black for night. Although I do wear slate for night a lot.

A liquid eyeliner is also a good idea to have if you fancy a cat eye.

LashCurler is one of the tools that I have but rarely wear. And the reason for it is pure laziness. And the fact that my lashes are pretty good as they are. So, I hardly bother wit it.

That is why also I can go without mascara. But usually I wear it. Cause I like it. If I want something less dramatic I bet on a brown mascara. Black is for those days when I want to count on my lashes to be one of the makeup stars. Maybelline is a cheap good brand for it. If you want to save some money on make up, here is your best bet.

And yes, waterproof is the one I go for.

Nude and Colored Lipstick:

I have a few nudes that I love. But usually I go for the ones that are lipstain and lasts for a long time. Like this one by Revlon called ColorStay Overtime. It does last long. My current favorite is Unlimited Mulberry. Lovely shade of pink. For lipstick, Pillow Talk by Charlotte Tilbury is the one I keep on my bag. My fave nude at the moment.

I would add here a lip pencil in the color of your lipstick. Sometimes you can wear it instead of a lipstick too.

I do.

Spice by Mac has been my bet since ever. Best nude lip pencil.

And a lipgloss:

To wear with or without lipstick. Not a must-wear product for me, but I like to have one around just in case I am in the mood for it. The one I wear is from Fenty Beauty.

Brushes and Sponges:

Chose the right kind for what your kit has. Like a brush for foundation, for the multiple ways to apply the eyeshadow, for blush, for contouring…

I must confess that I love to use my fingers to apply cream and foundation and concealer, creamy blush, highlighter and even a bit of eyeshadow. But every now and then I do use brushes and sponges.

But hey, it is up to you and what it works best for you.

Blush And Highlighter:

For blush I like something pink-ish or peachy-ish just to give me a healthy glow. I have a few options here and one of them is the easy to use Benetint Cheek and Lip Stain. And yes, you can wear both ways.

For a highlighter, lately I have been using Milk Highlighter in certain spots like my forehead (between the brows), under the eyes, above the lip, under the outer eyebrows. Love it because it gives some shine but not that much. And it is easy to apply.

Eyeshadow Palette:

Here I do recommend that you put together your own palette instead of buying one already set. Think what kind of colors you like to wear and which occasions you might have ahead to wear them and pick the shades that perfectly suits your skin undertone. Like every shade should be your bff.

If that is too much for you, the Naked palettes from Urban Decay is a good option for a pre-set palette. But pick the one that most suits your skin undertone. This is very important.

Q-Tips and MakeUp Remover:

Q-Tips are great for quick fixes so it is a good idea to have them around just in case.

Recently I have heard that the wet towels are not the best option to remove make up. I have mixed feelings about them. Sometimes I like, others, not so much. But usually I go for cotton and a liquid remover. Never used Micellar Water but some people love it. It is great for sensitive skins, so I have heard. Lately my fave is this one from Evelom. But in a recent past I like the Bioderma Sensibio H2O.

And that is it. You are set with your basic make up kit. This way you will have all the essentials for day and night and everything in between.

Disclaimer: None of the links above are affiliate links or paid ad or a partnership. None.

What To Wear On A First Date To Feel Confident And At Ease When Menopausal

And the answer to that question is very simple: something you love and feel comfortable wearing, something that favors and suits your body, skin tone and style, something that you feel good and confident on it, something that let the best version of yourself shine. And nope, you don’t need to wear anything on trend or contemporary. Just pick an outfit that resonates you, your taste, your style. That is always ON trend by the way. Because wearing yourself is never outdated.

Ever.

I wore this going-to-yoga-later look in one of my first dates. I had a morning coffee date with a guy and later on I was going to my yoga class so why not? Plus I do feel comfortable and myself when I am in leggings, boots and a flowy top.

Another thing you have to have in mind when choosing your outfit is where you are going to. Is it a casual date like at a coffee shop or at a simple restaurant? Or is it in a fancy restaurant or at the Opera? Hehehe

In any case, dress accordingly.

And no, you don’t need to go for sexy, revealing clothes, unless, of course, that is your style. Otherwise, as I said, pick an outfit that resonates you. After all, this is also a good way to introduce yourself to the person you are going to meet.

And no, loungewear is not a possibility. Even knowing that if you read my post on loungewear your options will be fab, even if loungewear is your favorite thing to be in, especially in the comfy category, even if loungewear represents you that much.

This is a time to look for an outfit in another section of your wardrobe. Okay?

It is also a good idea to wear something cool with natural fabrics and breathable if the weather is hot or think about layering if the weather is cold instead of wearing something warm that you can’t remove. A coat, a jacket or a cardigan, a piece that you can take off easily if by any chance hot flushes arrive unannounced. And you know that is exactly what usually happens.

And speaking of hot flushes, if they do show up, there is no need to feel embarrassed about it. It is something that is part of life and the phase you are currently in. Embrace it. So, no need to panic. You can own your hot flush moment and approach naturally or even with a sense of humor.

Or if for you it is not comfortable at all to deal with it with openness at this level and especially with someone you just met, then excuse yourself and go to the restroom and wait till it goes away. And you know it does go away. Eventually. You can take this opportunity and freshen you up a bit after you cool down. No biggie.

Or if yours are that type that shows up all the time or lasts way too long, order some cool beverage to sip and cool down. Or even consider to add to your accessories repertoire a stylish fan. Take with you all the time and use whenever you feel you need to.

If by any chance you are dealing with urinary incontinence you can wear a proper pad for it. No problem. And bet on a flowy dress or a flowy skirt so you don’t need to worry about it.

Below I picked some looks to go on a casual Spring Summer date so you can have an idea of what to wear on your first date. Simple, easy breezy looks because you don’t have to complicate to look fab.

By the way, you don’t need to buy anything new for that matter. You can shop your own closet for the look. After all, your closet should be well equipped with clothes and accessories that you looooove, feel yourself, comfy and the whole she-bangs, right?

Anyways, here are the looks:

Photos: Net-A-Porter.
Photos: Net-A-Porter.
Photos: NordstromRack.
Photos: NordstromRack.
Photos: NordstromRack.
Photos: NordstromRack.
Photos: NordstromRack.

Dresses are a great option. If you are a dress kind of woman. You can pick a feel good dress, with a hem that is comfortable for you. Around the knee (just above or just below) tends to be a good, safe bet for most women.

A shirt dress, a sweater dress, a wrap dress, a flowy dress or an A-line dress are all great options. You can always dress up or down accordingly.

You can pick one with a solid color, neutral or colorful or a printed one. It is up to you and your style.

Accessorize as you feel up to. Pick your shoes and a perfect clutch or bag and you are ready to go.

And if you want to give a more winter vibe to them you can add thick stockings and boots and a cardigan and/or a coat with yours.

Jumpsuits are also an option but not very practical to go the bathroom. If you are going way too much to the bathroom these days, it might be a good idea to consider something else like a dress or the combo pants/skirts and shirts/blouses.

And if your go-to-outfit is sleeveless you can always add a layer to it like a cropped jacket, a jacket or a cardigan. If you want to.

Photos: NordstromRack

Or not.

Photos: NordstromRack.

A simple duo like jeans and a shirt with boots will do it. Especially but not only if the shirt or coat or jacket has something out of the ordinary. It can even be a bedazzled or shiny fabric. Or an out of ordinary pants, like a cropped one.

But still, if they are pretty basic you can always add up some bazinga with accessories like necklaces, cuffs, bracelets, rings…

Photos: NordstromRack.
Photos: NordstromRack.
Photos: Net-A-Porter.
Photos: Net-A-Porter.

Or not. It is up to you and your style.

Photos: NordstromRack.
Photos: NordstromRack.
Photos: NordstromRack.
Photos: NordstromRack.
Photos: NeimanMarcus.
Photos: NordstromRack

Of course that you can pick a pants that looks good on you like a straight or bootcut instead of a slim one. Actually, you should do that.

BTW: you don’t need to wear high heel shoes. You can wear flats (sandals or ballerina). But with a dressier vibe. Forget about flip flops, crocs and other way too casual shoes. Give your casual a slightly upgrade.

Of course that if you want to wear heels you can. It is up to you and how comfortable you are on them. You just should pick a heeled shoes with a heel as high as you can walk gracefully on them.

And speaking of heels… lately there are plenty of heeled shoes with a thick and not so high heel that are way easier to deal with. And they look pretty good. And even stylish.

And yes, if you are gonna reveal your feet make sure it is presentable. You don’t need to wear nail polish but your feet and nails have to be well-taken-care-of. They should be in a good shape. If they are not, consider shoes that are not that revealing like boots, ballerina flats or pumps.

Pick a nice lingerie set (panties and bra) that looks gorgeous and so you. A set that makes you feel confident, attractive and comfortable even if you have no intention to show him what you are wearing under on that first date. A set that is the right one for the outfit you pick to wear. Because it is pointless to wear a bandeau top if a strapless bra makes you feel insecure and uncomfortable. Remember: you should wear something that makes you feel comfortable, something that has your back.

Makeup and hair are also part of the look. Make sure your hair looks good, healthy looking. If you are having one of those bad hair days you can always wear it in a bun.

Makeup doesn’t need to be professional. It can even be a basic no makeup makeup look. But consider at least a good foundation or primer (or both) with a long-lasting effect, some lipstick, healthy glowing blush and mascara. And lots of moisturizer. Because hydrated skin is key to look amazing, regardless.

Don’t forget to carry blush and lipstick to reapply. And a good idea is to carry those absorbing, blotting papers to keep the oil and sweat away-ish.

And yes, you can set a whole look for a first date and repeat it exactly for any first date that will come ahead, if the dress code is the same, obviously. There is no problem in repeating looks. You know that, right?

Or you can pick the outfit and accessorize differently on the other first dates that will come. The idea here is to set a look or the outfit with the accessories alternatives for your first dates in advance. And yes, you can do it. And for different occasions and seasons. So, when your first date comes (and it will come), this is gonna be a no-brainer, already set look. One thing less to worry about when you get yourself a date.

Disclaimer: None of the links above are paid, a partnership or an affiliate link.

A Vegan Brand I Love: Sukin

One of the things I like to do the most when I travel abroad is to find out different beauty products. I love to try new things and love, love, love moisturizers, serums, body and face scrubs and the whole she bangs. And when I was in New Zealand a few years ago I got to know this Australian brand called Sukin over a Pharmacy counter. Back then I was trying to recover from my B12 deficiency and I was avoiding the most I could extra toxins, so I was very much into using natural products with safer chemicals that would not jeopardize my health. And Sukin seemed to check all those boxes with some really good pluses: it was cruelty free, vegan and amazingly affordable. So I decided to try a few products (shampoo, conditioner, body scrub, body wash, and a clay mask from their Super Greens line). And loved them all. The shampoo, conditioner and body smell so good and they clean in a gentle way. So the body scrub. The clay mask is one of my favorite masks ever. I feel it helps detoxifying my skin and at the same time it nourishes it. It feels like skin food, indeed. It made my skin looks clean, healthy and glowing.

My beloved Detoxifying Clay Mask by Sukin.

What Sukin says abou their products:

It is Australian made with natural and gentle ingredients, cruelty-free, vegan, non GMO; it has a recycle packaging and safe preservatives.

And it is naturally created with:

  • No petrolatum/ mineral oils
  • No synthetic fragrances
  • No animal derivates
  • No artificial colors
  • No harsh detergents
  • No propylene glycol
  • No MEA/DEA/TEA
  • No phthalates
  • No triclosan
  • No sulphates
  • No parabens
  • No silicones
  • No EDTA

So, if you are vegan or are interested in using cruelty-free and/or natural products this is a brand to check it out. For sure.

You can find their products through their website (it does ship overseas) or via iHerb.

My Favorite Body Scrub

In the past I thought exfoliating was only meant to be done once or twice a week. But from some years on I have heard people (mainly celebrities like Christie Brinkley and Gwyneth Paltrow) claiming that you should scrub every day. Your face and body. And honestly, I am very inclined to think that this is a good way to go. Because besides the fact that it gives the skin a smooth feeling afterwards, it also helps to: make serums or moisturizers being better absorbed by our skin, fight dark and age spots, minimize the appearance of large pores, prevent ingrown hair.

Photo: SoapCherrie.com

Plus, nowadays there are scrub versions that help to hydrate and moisturizer the skin as well. And my favorite body scrub is by a small shop in Brooklyn that uses only finest natural and organic products called Soap Cherie. I use the Coconut Lime one and love it. But there are other scented (and even one unscented) versions like Magnolia, Lavender Patchouli, Orchid and Morning Rose too. They are all made with Dead Sea Salt and formulated with 21 minerals and a variety of nourishing oils including Jojoba oil and Calendula oil to provide a deep exfoliation and nourish the skin.

So, after you do the exfoliating procedure you get smooth, hydrated baby feeling skin. I swear! When you use it you definitely feel the difference it makes on your skin. It is amazing and it smells so good…

Every time I am in New York I get this scrub. Now I am in Rio without it and missing it so much since my scrub stash is over and they do not deliver overseas. Damn!

How To Make Scars Fade

Last year I fell on uneven concrete floor and injured pretty bad my left knee. It was an ugly and an almost to the bone deep wound. I knew it will take a while to heal (it took about two months to completely close) and even more time for me to get rid of that nasty scar. And it is taking. But I am counting with some real good allies to heal it properly: a scar gel (Mederma Advanced Scar Gel) and a scar patch (ScarWay Silicone Scar Sheets).

First I started using the gel alone and as soon as I found out about the silicone patches I started using it. And they were great to make my high and thick scar fade and get lighter as well. In the past months the nasty purple scar turn into a pinkish scar that day by day gets lighter. Now I am back to the gel. I think the patch is great to make it gets flatter and the gel helps a lot to kind of erase it, if you know what I mean.

There are many other products, even serums to use in recent or old scars. They tend to do their jobs pretty well. I don’t know if my scar is gonna fade entirely. I will only know in a few months. My dermatologist told me that those deep kind of scars take about a year and a half to actually fade and only then I will know. But so far I am really happy the way it is compared to how it was. Plus, I have to confess that I am kind of attached to it now. It is part of who I am and it was part of my awakening year, so…

By the way, you can find them in any Drugstore or at the Amazon.