My 15 Go-To Skincare and Makeup Products

I’ve been searching for the perfect makeup and skincare products for years! Now I’m finally starting to find what works for me and what items will be keepers…maybe for the rest of my life. Here’s what’s in my simple makeup bag.I've been searching for the perfect makeup and skincare products for years! Now I'm finally starting to find what works for me and what items will be keepers...maybe for the rest of my life. Here's what's in my simple makeup bag. #minimalistmakeup #simpleskincare

Those of you who have followed my blog for awhile know that I like to do a different type of post for my birthday! My annual tradition is to publish a list-style post, something more personal. Last year I shared 29 habits, recipes, and things that simplify my life. In the years before I’ve done:

This month, I turned 30! I thought it would be fun to share the makeup and skincare products I use, since I think I’ve finally found most of the go-to products I’ll be using for the rest of my life! (Or at least the next 30 years?)

It was always my plan to hunt down the “perfect” products for me…and then when I found them, to stop looking. I didn’t think it would take this long, but maybe I just didn’t know myself well enough in my teens and twenties. Although there are a few makeup and skincare holes I’m still looking to fill (like a good natural facial sunscreen to go under makeup), for the most part I’ve got my boxes checked and I’m really happy with my routine. I’ll update this post if anything new becomes a keeper.

Of course, a list of 30 items would fit the birthday age theme, but I actually don’t have that many products in rotation! I suppose that’s what comes from keeping your makeup minimal and always simplifying(:

So here are the 15 products I use the most–some every day. I lean towards natural ingredients and brands, but you’ll notice a few exceptions (I’ve loosened up in this area just a tad).

Note: I’ve linked to these products on Amazon so you can read more reviews. However, I’d do some price matching! Sometimes the prices are cheaper on Amazon, but sometimes they’re actually cheaper in store or on the company website.

My minimalist makeup routine includes 7 "holy grail" makeup products I'll never be without!

What’s in my (mostly natural) makeup collection:

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up (shade 22)

What can I say? This foundation is IT for me. Really, the whole brand is. I discovered RMS a couple of years ago, and loved everything about it–the aesthetic, the mission, the ingredients. The “Un” Cover-Up can be used as a concealer but also works for a light all-over foundation, which is how I use it.

And I plan to use it for the rest of my life! It gives me the perfect “no-makeup” makeup look I want. The pots are small and pricey, but the product is very concentrated and lasts a long time, so I’ve actually found it very cost effective! I like that I can apply the product with my fingers–no need to buy (or clean) makeup brushes ever again!

Note: I found this review very helpful, if you’re new to the world of RMS.

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in “Smile”

This gorgeous coral colour serves as my only blush. It’s lasting me forever, because the colour is so concentrated. You just need a tiny dab on each cheek, and then you blend it in with your fingers. It’s one of those shades that will look good on practically any skin tone!

RMS Beauty “Un” Powder

This light, silky powder goes on if my makeup gets too oily late in the day. A few dabs is all I need, so this one lasts a long time, too! Noticing a pattern with RMS? It’s good quality, and it lasts!

Clinique Almost Lipstick in “Black Honey”

I finally tried–and instantly fell in love with–this cult classic a few years back. It doesn’t look makeup-y; just a lovely, natural flush of colour to enhance what nature gave ya. Black Honey is supposed to be a universally flattering shade, and I believe it! Also, it’s pretty foolproof to apply–you don’t even need a mirror.

Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm

These are certainly cheaper than Black Honey, so I like keeping a couple of tubes around! They provide a nice hint of colour and I don’t find them drying. My go-to shades are Rose and Hibiscus.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve

I’ve used many natural lip balms, but in the end nothing really works like this [admittedly not very “natural”] classic! I used to have chronically chapped lips (no, I don’t lick them), and Smith’s Salve has finally given me a clean canvas for applying that Black Honey I love. I’ve learned that some of the common ingredients in natural lip balms can exacerbate chapped lips, which could be why I’ve had such mixed success with them.

DABHerbMakeup Eyebrow and Lash Stick

This is labeled as a clear mascara, but I don’t really use it or apply it that way. I rub some on my finger and then gently rub it onto my brows and eyelashes as a conditioner. (Rubbing the stick straight on my eyelashes tends to pull at the hairs too much.) The stick contains black castor oil to help hair growth, although it doesn’t add any colour.

Sadly, I don’t think I’m a mascara person, although I still sorta want to be. All the natural ones I’ve tried always seem to smudge for me, and I’m not comfortable using a conventional mascara because of the ingredients. I’d love to know if you have a favourite natural mascara I should try! Is there really a smudge-free option out there? Any recommendations??

Looking for a minimalist, natural skincare routine? Here are my 9 go-to skincare basics!

My (mostly natural) skincare go-tos:

Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Hand Cream

I love the scent of almond. This jar of super-hydrating cream has a permanent spot in my nightstand! I only use it before bed, but it keeps my skin from getting chapped, even in the winter.

Neutragena Naturals Face Wash

This is my current face wash and I’m decently happy with it. I like that it’s inexpensive, but I might look for something else next time. Any suggestions? Do you have a natural face wash you love? I’ve never yet found one that I just “have” to stick with. (Note: I linked to the product on Amazon, but it’s currently much cheaper at Walmart!)

Thayer’s Rosewater Toner

Toner is a fairly recent addition to my skincare routine, but I’m hooked now. Toner helps to remove makeup residue after you cleanse, plus it helps to keep your skin clear and moisturized, and balances your skin’s pH. All that! I’ve definitely noticed a nice difference in my skin.

I use a few drops of this a my facial moisturizer. I’ve tried many different natural oils, but this is my favourite for the face! It’s not heavy, so I use it year round. Mine comes from family-run Wilder Supply Co. You can get a 10% discount from them when you !

Wilder Supply Co. Radiance Body Oil in Grapefruit

This is what I use for an all-over moisturizer. It absorbs into skin quickly, and has a light, refreshing grapefruit fragrance. It’s also good for taming frizzy hair and flyaways.

Schmidt’s Deodorant

I’ve been pretty pleased with this brand of natural deodorants, which includes a baking soda free option if you have sensitive skin. (And baking soda free is hard to find in the natural deodorant world!)

Yardley London Bar Soap

We prefer bar soap in the shower, and these are inexpensive, easy to find, and have a pretty simple ingredient list. (I believe it’s about a dollar per bar at the grocery store.) The almond scent is delicious but not too girly, so my husband and I can both use it. For the record, I love the soaps that Lexie:Naturals and Wilder Supply carry, but it’s nice to have a go-to soap that I can buy in the grocery store!

Herbal Essences Blue Ginger Shampoo and Foam Conditioner

Currently, shampoo is probably where I stray the most from natural ingredients. I’ve been on a years-long quest to find THE perfect natural shampoo for my hair…and I finally gave up. Natural shampoos just didn’t do it for me, and at last I came to the realization that my hair needs a little SLS to get a good clean. I’ve been enjoying Herbal Essences’ Blue Ginger variety, which does have better ingredients than some of the other conventional choices. I know it’s not ideal, but I’d rather my makeup be natural than my shampoo. After all, I wear makeup all day, but shampoo gets washed out after about a minute! (Note: this duo is much cheaper at Walmart than on Amazon, currently!)

Update 2019: I’ve also been trying and enjoying this brand of SLS-free shampoo, which seems to work great. I get mine at Walmart.

So there you have it…the 15 skincare and makeup products I use the most! I know makeup can be a very individual thing, but hopefully you’ve gotten some fun ideas for new things to try out. Please tell me what your “must-have” skincare and makeup picks are in the comments below!


  1. I loved this list! Mascara has definitely been tricky for me too, and I have found myself going back to conventional for now although I don’t wear it everyday any more, just when I want to get all dolled up. I really loved 100 percent pure’s at first, but the last tube of it that I purchased just didn’t work as well as the first for some reason. I have heard that the hot new thing is Fitglow’s mascara and it is getting rave reviews as far as performance goes, but have not tried it yet. Next on my list! Thayer’s rosewater toner is a must have for me, love it. Argan oil is also a must have, I get the Acure brand one. For shampoo, I actually LOVE the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter shampoo and to me it performs perfectly as much as conventional shampoos always did! No one ever talks about it but its funny cuz that brand carries some great, budget things! Conditioner has been way harder for me, but right now I am pretty satisfied with the Shea Moisture Peace Rose Oil Hair masks in the little packets, they can just be more challenging to find. I love that I can get their shampoo or body wash at Target though! 🙂

    1. I will give Shea Moisture a try! And Fitglow sounds promising. It’s fun to search for the “perfect” item in each category, although it can be frustrating, too.

      1. Yay! Let me know what you think if you do! And I agree, it can be frustrating at times. But finding those gems makes it all worth it! Just pushed publish on my updated list of holy grail beauty faves if you want to check it out! 🙂

  2. I use Fatco for my deodorant, the cleansing oil for my combination skin, and the myrrhaculous face cream. Most of the masks I use are from Perfectly Posh. My favorites are The Saint and Seawitch. For makeup I use the brands Jenulence, Honeybee Gardens, and Cate McNabb.

    1. Wow, I’m not sure I’ve heard of any of those! I love hearing about what other people use, though, so I’m off to check them out. Thanks!

  3. Dear Elsie, I think I might be a bit more basic than you,but I have been searching for natural products a little longer than you.l am reading your blog,it has really blessed me.I use to be pretty organized, but right now I am overwhelmed. I started declutter ing in June and I had astroke.I have piles here and there where I started clearing out,but I don’t remember my plan,I just felt lik crying.I am a mother of 6 grown children,I was organized, now I don’t know where t start.l plan on working through your list,it breaks it down in small doable chunks.My doctor Told me to stop trying to remember what I was doing and start over.So,I plan to read through your blog and simplify my life. I STILL get tired easy,so the less I have to deal with the better.I was in the hospital about a month. About my make up routine, I hope I didn’t sound rude,but I have always been on a tight budget, so I used things I had on hand,oatmeal, Olive oil and baking soda

    1. Using what you have on hand–and with a budget–sounds perfect! I totally get that! Thank you for your kind words about my blog. I hope you have been able to make progress with your simplifying, and that your health is getting stronger this year.

  4. I’m curious as to your hair’s natural texture? Have you tried the Curly Girl Method? I always thought mine was straight, slighty wavy, but mostly “fluffy”…which was really frizz. I changed to sulfate and silicone free products and, most importantly, changed techniques of how I was washing/styling my hair. As it turns out, my hair has lovely natural waves. That “fluff” i used to experience was really just waves/curls who had come “unclumped”. I love Jessicurl Gentle Shampoo and Aloeba Daily Conditioner. I also enjoy her deep conditioner and Confident Coils as a styling product.

    1. My hair is on the dry side, mostly straight but with a few waves at parts that look more like bumps, if that makes sense. I don’t think I’m naturally curly at all. But I will check out the products you mentioned–worth a try!

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