Practicing Minimalism and conscious consumerism in Japan

Daily Makeup Routine

Wow so the last time I wrote about my daily makeup was forever ago!! I am very excited to share my updated makeup routine.  Some products I’ve been using for over a year now while others are brand spanking new so lets get started!!

I’ll be organizing this post as follows:

-makeup & my review + pros and cons

-order I apply these products

-some links to past makeup & skin care posts

(FYI my skin is ghostly pale, prone to redness, combination & oily.  I also have some acne scarring) 


Daily Makeup Routine

M.A.C Matchmaster

Ah MAC Matchmaster, my go-to foundation since before I even moved to Japan.  I’ve been using the same color all these years and have only gone through about two bottles since I left America back in 2014.  The first amazing thing about this product is that IT LASTS FOREVER. As I’ve mentioned before in my last makeup post, a lot of people have issues with MAC because they see it only as makeup for high coverage and people with cakey, overly bright or discolored makeup come to mind.  Let me just pop that bubble of yours and tell you that all you need is a small pea-sized dollop of this stuff and your whole face will be covered, protected, and smoothed to perfection.  This stuff covers pretty much anything to blemishes, discoloration, flair-ups… and I barely use more than a pump. The con?  Well it’s not exactly all natural or ethical from what I know (unless MAC has switched up their policies) and as much as I want to switch to an ethical/all natural product, this one just works so well for me and it’s hard to give up.  During fall, winter and spring I use this daily. For summer well..that’s a different story and a totally different blog post for that matter.  It’s also a bit pricey at 38 dollars but to be honest, a bottle of this stuff lasts me nearly a full year which could not be said for some of my other pricey products that I go through quite fast (cough cough LUSH).  Another issue is that it isn’t available in Japan (from what I know) so I usually buy two bottles to get me through a year and a half and pick up another bottle when I’m back in the states. I’ve been meaning to take a bottle with me to a MAC store in Japan to try another foundation but I still haven’t run out so…I’ll keep you posted on that.

Media Makeup Base

Another one I’ve been using for almost a year now.  I loooove this makeup base.  So much in fact that I’ve even sent it to my friends back in the US who are prone to redness like me. This stuff is amazing because it actually comes out light green (don’t worry it blends in) and it helps correct redness and discoloration!  Another awesome aspect is that it’s SPF 27 PA++ and if you know me, you know how important sun protection is…because I’m super white and I hate getting sunburned.  This makeup base is extremely cheap and depending on where you find it, you could nab it for a measly 5oo yen!  The con?  Well I doubt it’s ethical or all natural (Japan is pretty slow on that train) so that’s a big con in my book but I haven’t found anything I like more. Maybe Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer that I wrote about here could be a close second but it’s a tough call when theres such a huge price difference and Glossier’s does not have sun protection.

ELF Blush Palette 

This is a new one I picked up when I went back home to the US last December.  I have far too many blushes (Benefit Corsela, 2 Clinique Cheek Pops, and Nars famous Orgasm, not even counting the stuff I own from Etude House) and I really didn’t need to get more….but it was just so darn cheap (6 bucks guys…SIX DOLLARS ) so I couldn’t resist.  Elf is a great brand that I’ve always known about but never actually tried until just recently.  I think my girl Weylie from Youtube has inspired me to try ELF (love you Weylie) so when I saw this palette at Target I pounced.  I love how the colors are just so pigmented and bright.  A little goes a long way here.  If you’re not into blush or don’t want to waste your time finding the perfect shade this palette is for you.  It has basically everything you need in one!  My favorite of the four is the bottom right peachy tone but all the colors are beautiful. The bottom left pink reminds me of Nars Orgasm and even has a bit of sparkle to it.  I also love how a giant mirror is included which is super helpful and has become my main “getting ready” mirror for when I do my makeup.  I literally have zero cons for this product.  No animal testing here as well!  I’m not quite sure about it being 100% all natural but who really cares at this point.  There is so much good going on with this product!

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

I first bought this product about a year or so ago when I was on a trip to Hawaii.  I was smack dab in the middle of Japan’s hottest time of the year and given that I was finally near a Sephora I immediately went in and begged someone to help me find something to keep my makeup from sweating off.  I was kindly escorted to Urban Decay’s display and my guide swore by this stuff.  Although I don’t often use it during winter, I have found myself using it more and more just because I still have a full sized bottle of it I bought forever ago that I still haven’t dipped into.  This stuff does exactly what it promotes to do, keep your makeup on…even in the hottest of temperatures.  Pictured above is the travel sized bottle and what I’ve linked to you is the newest design which has now become…wait for it…..VEGAN?  So the product I’ve been using is not in fact vegan but I’m super stoked that they’ve changed the ingredients and made this product safer.  Is the new one better?  I have no idea, I’ll have to get back to you on that but it’s all very exciting!  The only con I have with this product is that it’s extremely expensive for what it is….at 30 dollars it seems a bit steep but if you are extremely sweaty like I am…it may be worth it.

Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm 

As I’ve said in my Glossier Mini Review, I’m not super huge on lipstick.  I like it though, and when I find a good moisturizing lipstick I’m all for it but Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm has forever stolen my heart.  I have been using this product for over ten years.  Holy crap!  More than ten years!  Is that even possible?  Although I’m not exactly sure if Burt’s Bees has always been 100% natural but for now it is, and I feel much less weird about using this on my lips.  It smells amazing, slightly tints your lips to a nice natural looking rosy color, moisturizes the hell out my lips, and makes me feel happy.  I had only two of these before I went back to America so I ended up buying….around ten bottles to last me for the next couple months…or years.  I love all of Burt’s Bees products but the Pomegranate lip balm is my absolute favorite.  I love this product so much that I would probably include it on my list of items I would bring with me if I was deserted on a desert island.  Haven’t tried it before?  I urge you….try it.  No cons here…nope!

Mama Butter Face Powder

I’ve been using this product for a long time as well..possibly just as long as I’ve been using the Media Makeup Base.  This is one of my favorite powders I’ve ever used because it smells amazing (ahh lavender), has SPF 25 PA ++ protection, and makes all the oily shine that I tend to get after a few hours of work go away! Oh and it’s made with shea butter but since it’s only 5% I don’t really see this as something I’m jumping for joy about. So story time, I used to have SUPER DRY skin in high school.  I think this was because I swam and played water polo every single day and basically my skin was in shambles.  Now that I’m an adult (goddammit!) and my skin has changed, it’s gone from super-dry to semi-dry in 2012 and now it’s just plain oily these days.  I didn’t realize how much my skin has changed and was pretty hell bent on my skin being just dry (I have no idea why).  Once I finally gave in and realized my skin was pretty oily all my issues seemed to go away.  This product has been a makeup bag hero these past few months and I don’t think I’ll use any other powder in the near future.  There are so many great things about this product…no parabens, no mineral oils, no artificial colors or fragrances…it’s the real deal.  There are two colors you can pick from: clear, or natural and I always pick clear because I doubt I need any more coverage after using primer and foundation.  Cons..?  Hmmm I mean at first I thought 1,500 yen was a bit steep for a face powder but I’ve gotten over it.

Naturaglace Eyebrow Pencil 

In an attempt to keep my products somewhat safe, I opted to change from the EXCEL eyebrow pencil I was using for a good year or so to this one from Natureglace.  (I apologize!! I totally forgot to take a picture of this one but I have it linked above for you to check out) I’ve been using this product since around June and really like it (though my mom complains that my eye brows are way too dark these days but I disagree!). Naturaglace is one of the brands I’ve been using lately instead of my regular makeup (especially during the summer) and I also have a BB cream I use during warmer weather, a blush palette, and this eye brown pencil, all ingredients from Naturaglace are natural though I’m not sure if it’s 100% but pretty darn close.  I hope to try some more products from this brand but given that each product is around 20-40 dollars I’ve been taking my time.  I love this eyebrow pencil because instead of throwing it away once you’ve used all the product, you simply take off the top pen cartridge, throw that away and replace it with a new cartridge.  This helps with the whole waste issue given that your only throwing a tiny piece of the product away instead of the whole thing, plus the cartridge is far cheaper than the pencil itself so it makes you pretty much want to buy the cartridge over the pencil.  Win win there!  A con for me was the price but as we all know, there is a reason all natural is more costly and I’m okay with that for now.

Order I Apply Products

I usually will start with some sort of toner and serum and either apply moisturizer (on dry days) or go straight to the Media Makeup Base.  Once I’ve rubbed that all in (usually using my fingers) I’ll dollop a small pea sized amount of the MAC Matchmaster on the back of my hand and use a foundation brush to blend it all in.  After that, I’ll apply blush from the ELF palette using a blush brush, do my eyebrows with the Natruaglace pencil and use the Mama Butter Powder with a large powder blush.  After a few minutes I’ll usually do my hair and wait for my makeup to set and then spray the All Nighter Setting Spray to finish the look.  Last, I’ll usually use a tissue to wipe any makeup that got on my lips and then use my Burt’s Bee’s lip balm.  To some of you low key or non makeup girls this may sound like a lot but I usually can do all of this in under ten minutes.  Sure if I take my time, my eyebrows will look more refined but that’s the only real difference.

Past Links

I find it kinda weird that I love makeup and skin care so much but I barely talk about it here on this blog.  I think it’s because once I’ve found a product I like, I’ll stick with it and after one post there’s not much else to talk about haha.  I think three of the products in this post were already mentioned in my last makeup post that I wrote a whopping 7 months ago.  Which is crazy to me because I’m usually the type of person to get sick of things easily but I guess not with makeup.

Here are a few other posts you may find useful (some links will redirect back to my old blog):

Makeup Routine Revealed (posted June 2016) 

Daily & Nightly Skin Care (posted February 2016) 

Glossier Mini Review (posted February 2017)


And that’s it!  What did you think?  Are any of your favorites listed here?  If you are in Japan what is one of your go-to makeup products? Leave a comment below,  I’d love to hear!

Until next time 🙂