Back in the old days I shopped primarily at one counter: Prescriptives. My makeup needs have always been fairly minimal, and I was completely satisfied with the custom-blend powder, one Pick-2 eyeshadow palette, one lip pencil, and two lipsticks. I also had one blush that I rarely wore, and I occasionally rotated in (and out) a half dozen eye and lip products from other brands, but the Prescriptives brand worked best for my coloring and my simple needs. They didn't barrage customers with bi-quarterly collections, and they didn't discontinue products as often as brands do today, so I could count on replenishing my staples year after year. I did not consider myself brand loyal as much as I appreciated one-stop shopping. Suffice it to say that such ease and accessibility certainly expedited my morning routine!
Over the ~20 years I enjoyed the Prescriptives brand, they finally discontinued my favorite lipstick (which I still buy from Three Custom Colors), and then they reformulated my favorite, nay beloved, eyeshadow such that I could no longer wear it (hello, oxidation). And then came the crushing news that the Estee Lauder Mother Ship was pulling Prescriptives out of department stores everywhere. As we all know by now, the customer outcry was loud enough that they decided to continue selling Px online, but not before they crippled the brand, as there are far fewer choices and no new colors or formulas.
I realize that many of you love the hunt for a new product almost as much as you love wearing makeup, but for me, finding replacements for my staples is like having to find a new gynecologist. I often feel overwhelmed by choice, and little frustrates me more quickly than having to dig through a basket or drawer of opaque compacts to get something I want. Obviously it would help if I had less from which to choose, but since I currently have heaps (due to feeling lost at sea in a vast ocean of options), I've been casting about for a new all-in-one brand that meets all my needs. Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that it just isn't out there, not for me, anyway.
Getting myself back to those easy mornings has been at the back of my mind for at least 2-3 years, but a friend recently raised the topic, which made realize even more how I just want to get on with it—decide on my new favorites and stop searching, searching, searching. The hunt isn't as much fun as it once was.
Once I make up my mind, I don't look back, so I was disappointed when I discovered that finding my new system was harder than I thought it would be. Maybe it's because I have a few challenges, some of which are new:
- Age. My skin's texture and appearance is changing. The eyelid skin is not as taut, especially in the creases, and I have slight discoloration on my eyelids from sun damage, which warms up any color I put there.
- Formula/finish. Increasing lid crepiness means I must now pay attention to an eyeshadow's finish. Unfortunately, when I find a color that flatters me, the finish is often unsuitable. I like creamy, semi-opaque, non-chalky mattes and satin finishes. I do not care for shimmer or metallics. That's not an age thing—I've always preferred matte and satin finishes on whatever makeup I put on my face.
- Color. I prefer natural-looking eyeshadow and blush, though I don't mind a punch of color to the lips. My delicate coloring means that I am not a good candidate for dramatic colors. I feel clownish in super-bright lipsticks.
- Hue. I am purely cool toned (not neutral), and there are surprisingly far fewer options for people who are both light and very cool. Most makeup seems to be made for medium-toned, warm-skinned (NC35) people.
There are several excellent brands that offer makeup in a compact format/system: Ellis Faas, Bobbi Brown, Trish McEvoy, and Laura Mercier, but none of them works for me as a whole because their offerings are too muted, too dark, or too warm.
So what's a girl to do? Find those single items that work and depot, I guess. I gather all of my most reached-for makeup in one palette and go from there.
|My everyday, basic, neutral eyeshadows|
Boring, eh? Not a lot of excitement in that palette. Now you might better understand why I never post photos of my EOTD; it's just too subtle.
I put all my basic eyeshadows together for the purpose of taking the above pictures, but usually, my UNII palette contains my Jane Iredale powder and a blush, so several of those eyeshadows get the bump. And as providence would have it, those eyeshadows will now all get bumped after I accidentally discovered two that will replace all others. They are that good, but I want to test them a while longer before I rave about them here.
Do you prefer to paw through lots of little compacts or would you rather have all of them in one palette? Does the thought of depotting freak you out? It did me until I watched a few videos and found out how simple it is (and some compacts can actually be saved). Here's a great tutorial.
Do you have a preferred brand/system or would you rather keep your options wide open and play the field?
Special thanks to Sarasotagirl for bringing this dormant thought to the forefront of my mind.