My (Whittled Down & Much Safer) Makeup Collection

Alright, ladies. I did it. I examined and completely overhauled my makeup collection.

If you didn’t see this post from November, this was my makeup collection.


And above is my much improved makeup collection. Yes, that’s all of it. Every last bit. I’m not going to lie – I reeeaaallly wanted to cheat and keep some of my favorites, such as many, many NARS and Chanel products, but I persevered. I got rid of every product that contained an ingredient that scored a 4 or above on the EWG Skin Deep website. (And about 60% of my cosmetics weren’t listed, so I had to painstakingly go through every ingredient of every product. Hello, time consuming.)

Saying goodbye to beloved (toxic) makeup: the struggle is real, yo.

But after bidding adieu, I can’t even tell you how good (not to mention organized and refreshing!) it feels to get rid of all that crap. No more staring down a crazy, cluttered makeup drawer in hopes of using a “new” product that’s been sitting there for months. You all, I highly recommend it.

However, that was only the first step – I had to educate myself on cosmetic ingredients and then experiment with the available options. Some were great and some downright sucked.

If you are wanting to start fresh or just replace a couple of products here and there, I’ve compiled everything I’m (happily) using to help you with the process. None of these cosmetics (except for a few of the MUFE ones) were provided to me by the companies – I paid for them myself. Let’s get started.



From left to right:

Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder, $36 – This powder is lightweight and slightly mattifies my skin without looking too powdery. I love it.

Beautycounter Touchup Skin Concealer Pen, $28 – This concealer replaced my beloved Clinique Airbrush Concealer that I’ve used for years. (And, ahem, Clinique is one of the worst companies when it comes to disclosing what is in their products. I spent an entire afternoon trying to track down ingredients – it was crazy. Food for thought.) This product works just as well, and I like the color match better.

Make Up For Ever Kabuki Brush, $52 – Great brush for applying the pressed powder.

Tarte BB Tinted Moisturizer, $36 – I have both this tinted moisturizer and the Beautycounter one to the right. When I originally did the Tinted Moisturizer Face Off, I accidentally sampled the Tarte BB Primer instead of the Moisturizer and promptly hated it. (Thank you to the reader that pointed that out to me. What would I do without you guys?) Anyway, once I got my hands on the moisturizer, I was so much happier. Creamy, moisturizing, good coverage. And it has SPF 20, which is a huge bonus.

Beautycounter Tint Skin, $38 – I have to say, I can’t pick a favorite between the two tinted moisturizers. I love the Tint Skin coverage (it’s more like a lightweight foundation and really covers my redness), and the Linen shade is an almost perfect match on my skin. The only downside? No SPF. BOO HISS. (But I now use Beautycounter’s Protect Face SPF 30 before applying the Tint Skin and I love it. It doesn’t sting my skin AT ALL, which is huge for sunscreens.)



You guys know I love my blush, so this is a huge section for me. From left to right, kind of:

Make Up for Ever HD Blush in Cool Pink (#210), $26 – This is my new go-to cream blush. I love these blushes by MUFE – they apply creamy, but quickly dry down to a powder-like consistency. Great lasting power.

Beautycounter Satin Powder Blush in Nectar and Guava, $36 – This is what I wear on most days.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Adored, $26 – This color has been discontinued, but I’ve used it for a year or two and love the cool pink shade.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Fearless, $26 – This is a newer color and it has a bit more warmth and peachiness to it. Great color for all seasons and most skintones.

Beautycounter Bronzer, $39 – Fantastic bronzer. Not a bit of orange, and great for contouring cheekbones. Gives a lovely warmth to the skin without looking too “tan.”

Beautycounter Powder Brush, $36 – Applies blush without it looking too heavy-handed, and blends well. The individual hairs don’t fall out either, which is a must.



I ditched all my eyeshadows and bought this palette from Tarte. Run, don’t walk. You would never need another color.


Sephora Eyelash Curler, $17 – Great curler, lasts forever. Enough said.

Beautycounter Color Shade Eye Duo in Oyster/Amethyst, $30 – I really like these two colors together for an easy daytime look. The amethyst would look great on green, hazel, or brown eyes.

Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara, $20 – I was a little freaked out about my mascara options, considering all the ones I’ve loved score a 7 or higher on EWG. But I want to scream from the mountaintops in regards to this one. I LOVE IT. It is super volumizing, doesn’t clump or flake, and washes off easily. It’s a dream, basically.

Beautycounter Color Outline Eye Pencil in Violet, $20 – I love the shade of this pencil, but I do feel like I have to tug a little bit. However, it is great for tight-lining or wearing in the inner rim.

Tarte Skinny SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Moonstone Brown, $19 – I adore these liners because they are creamy and slide across the eyelid easily. They are great for blending, but probably not the best if you want a precise, super skinny line. I love them though, because they are incredibly easy to apply and blend. This brown is very dark – almost black – but without the harshness of a true black.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown, $21 – I finally found a brow pencil for brunettes that doesn’t go too warm or chestnut. Hooray!

Tarte Skinny SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Sunstone Bronze, $19 – Perfect liner for a bronze smoky eye.

Laura Mercier Flat Eye Liner Brush, $22.50 – Great brush when you want to use eye shadow as a liner. (On sale right now.)

MAC 217 Brush, $24 – This is the best brush known to (wo)man. I’ve used it for years and love it more than words can say. Perfect for applying eye shadow to the crease and blending everywhere.

Sonia Kashuk Eyebrow Brush, $2.99 –  Cheap and works. Great for getting mascara clumps out.

Beautycounter All Over Eye Brush, $24 – I use this to apply a neutral shade all over my eyelid.



S.W Basics of Brooklyn Peppermint Lip Balm, $4 – Every family memeber needs one of these balms. I can’t stand the waxy feel of most twist-up lip balms, and this one is super moisturizing. It’s downright creamy compared to other hard, waxy balms. (Look for my upcoming post on this brand – great skincare!)

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, $26 – Okay, folks. All of this dry, windy weather in Oklahoma has taken its toll on my face, especially my lips and around my mouth (dry! cracky! peely!). This lip mask is THE BOMB. I put it on before bed and it stays on all night. It’s thick, guys. It’s serious. It doesn’t mess around. But if you want soft, moisturized lips, BUY IT. Trust Sarah on this one.

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Innocent – Most of the Tarte Lip Tints pictured above are from the Kiss and Belle LipSurgence Set. I couldn’t decide on what shade(s) I wanted, so I got the set which was a perfect move. (Also, sets are a great way to go if you are looking to replace many items for less money.) I absolutely love these pencils. Some are matte, some are shiny …but they are all so great. Innocent is my no-fail warm nude shade that goes with me everywhere.

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Dreamy – From the set – this is a bright and punchy pink.

Tarte Matte Lip Tint in Alluring – Again, from the set – I mean, you guys just need to buy it. A $100 value for $34! You won’t regret it.

Beautycounter Lip Shine, $26 – I wear this on top of my lip color if I’m looking for more shine.

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Gloss in Visionary – A really pretty apricot gloss – great for the warmer months.

Tarte Matte Lip Tint in Fiery, $24 – This one is not included in the set, and it’s a gorgeous strawberry red. This color has replaced my beloved NARS Flamenco. (A moment of silence for Flamenco, please.)

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Romantic – A lovely, peachy nude. Great for day.

Beautycounter Lip Calendula Lip Conditioner, $18 – This is a good lip balm for warmer months, but in my opinion, doesn’t hack it in the dry winter. Perfect for summer, though.

Beautycounter Lip Sheers, $28 – You know how much I love these sheers. They are so creamy and moisturizing – I tried all 8 shades in this post.

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Gloss in Belle – A raspberry gloss from the lip set. So pretty.

Tarte Amazonian Lip Butter in Plummy Rose, $16 –  Another subtle color for the day. Also perfect with a smoky eye for a night out.

There you have it. As you can see, my collection is very heavy on Tarte and Beautycounter products, as I am extremely impressed with both companies.

Any questions? Leave ’em in the comments. Up next? My new skincare regimen. Hot damn.

  1. amanda

    December 10, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Don’t forget that Ulta carries some of these products, also. They are offering 20% off your total purchase, including prestige brands, through December 24 for members. Members, check your email!

  2. Katie Lee

    December 10, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Thank you! I have been slowly substituting my products because doing it all at once is so expensive. Until everything is switched out I have been wearing less products in general. Since switching my skin has never looked better and I love having a smaller collection of makeup. It’s easier to travel with and gets me out the door in a hurry.

    Maybe you should do a giveaway with all of your choices. ;)

    • whoorl

      December 10, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      If the companies would agree to provide the products, that would be a great idea!

  3. Sizzle

    December 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I use that same brow pencil. GAME CHANGER. Loooove it.

    • whoorl

      December 10, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      Fist bump.

  4. Kristin

    December 10, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Thank you for sharing your research!!! Super helpful. Two questions, if you have minute…Do you use a foundation brush? Also, what shade do you use in the Tarte Tinted Moisurizer…LOVE that they do not use chemical sunscreens! So hard to find! I heart Tarte.

    • whoorl

      December 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Hi, Kristen! I do not use a foundation brush – I just use my fingers because I’m lazy. :( I use the Light-Medium color in the Tarte tinted moisturizer, although I might need to go to the Light shade during the dead of winter.

  5. Elan Morgan

    December 10, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Thank you for this! My skin has become so sensitive, and I have been wanting to use less nasty products. These look great.

  6. Stacey

    December 10, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Wow, so Tarte and Beauty Counter are the winners, it seems. So wondering, does your skin feel different, do you feel different since stopping the ‘bad’ products (besides losing the clutter)?

    • whoorl

      December 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      My skin is a lot less blotchy.

  7. Megan

    December 10, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Love this! I’ve become obsessed with Beauty Counter but was looking for a good powder and mascara. Thanks!

  8. zoe

    December 10, 2014 at 11:31 am

    OH MY WORD. It’s like you did all of the work for me. I love love love both Tarte and BeautyCounter, and have been (slowwwwly) switching to pretty much just their products. And your coloring is even similar to mine. This list is like a shopping list (or a Christmas wish list) for me, all ready to go. Also, LOVE that you’re spreading the message about the toxic skincare. You rock my face off! (I’m a new fan!)

    • whoorl

      December 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Yay! So glad I could help!

  9. KJS

    December 10, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Have you ever looked at Eminence for skincare? Also, do you find that the products last as long? I don’t pull myself together nearly as well as you do, and I find I use fewer products in general since I can’t always find great ones…wondering if you find the performance is as good as the ones you dumped?

    • whoorl

      December 10, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      I have heard of Eminence, but I do not use it. And yes, the performance of these products is just as good if not better.

  10. Teri

    December 10, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I use the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector and I noticed it didn’t make your whittled down collection. :( I love it but am curious what info you found out about it. I could not find any info on it. Do you use anything that is similar and safer? Thanks :)

    • whoorl

      December 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      I KNOW. Was so so sad. It seriously took me weeks to actually throw it in the trash. Unfortunately, it contains Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, which is Octinoxate and scores a 7 on Skin Deep, as well as Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, and Propylparaben. Long story short, NO BUENO.

      But! The good news is (and I can’t believe I forgot to include it!) that I’m using another Tarte product to add sheen to my cheekbones. Here it is: http://bit.ly/1GdQYUb It’s also 30% off right now!

  11. Emily

    December 10, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Hey girl.

    I’ve been using RMS concealer, blush, highlighter and eyeshadow and really like them. Curious about your thoughts.

    Great post!

    • katie

      January 15, 2015 at 11:25 am

      I also was wondering what your thoughts were on RMS products.

  12. Kate

    December 10, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Good on ya! Now I’m gonna dig into that brain of yours! Any suggestions for replacing my Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey?

  13. Teri

    December 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Thank you, Sarah, for replying and suggesting a product to replace the Becca. Would you consider doing a full face makeup tutorial again soon. I would love to see your techniques with these new products! Thanks again. :)

    • whoorl

      December 10, 2014 at 4:50 pm


    • Ashley

      December 10, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      I completely agree @Teri…would love, love, love a full face makeup tutorial. I use many of the same products, but am clueless when it comes to eye makeup–would love to see how you do it!

  14. Courtney

    December 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    This was a fantastic post! Thanks so much. What brand/product would you suggest for a more traditional foundation (more coverage than tinted moisturizer)? Thank you!

    • whoorl

      December 10, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      I haven’t tried this one from Tarte yet, but it gets great reviews: http://bit.ly/1Ah76At

  15. moorni

    December 10, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience. How do you determine color on the concealer pen when you purchase online? I’m fair skinned and tend to do light or fair but of course those are two of the choices! Thanks for your help!

    • whoorl

      December 10, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      Well, what I would do is order both and return the one that doesn’t work for your coloring. (But if it helps at all, I use the Light shade on my skin.) I hope it works for you!