My (Whittled Down & Much Safer) Makeup Collection

(Updated to add: Tarte Cosmetics is doing a 30% sitewide discount through December 11th with the code DECFNF.)

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 Color Sweep Blush Duo in Bloom/Tulip, $36 – This is what I wear on most days. Such a healthy, natural flush with this duo. I just mix the two shades before applying.

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 Color Contour Matte Bronzer No. 1, $36 – 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, which is part of this limited collection from Sephora. Run, don’t walk. You would never need another color. (It’s out of stock online right now, but I think they are expecting more.) It is FAB. Not gonna lie – this one has caught my eye as well. (I think it’s a Sephora VIB exclusive.)


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 in Twig, Petal and Plum, $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. Word of advice regarding Beautycounter – if you are planning on buying items (there is a 30-day no questions money-back guarantee, awww yeahhhh), you should sign up to be a Band of Beauty member. It costs $25 ($15 of it goes to one of three charities of your choice), and you get great perks. Because, I promise, you will be back for more.

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

  • Andrea Howe

    December 11, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Love this Sarah! Thanks for posting such a concise yet thorough recap. I’m halfway there, and your list is helping me finish up the task of detoxing my beauty regime as well :)

  • Jessica

    December 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I was completely overwhelmed by the idea of researching every single product I use, but finding the EWG Skin Deep app (with barcode scanning!) made it a cinch. My poor baby was so patient as I scanned potential new products today while shopping and I felt more confident about the choices that made it to my cart. Teaching my ten-year-old daughter about proper skin care prior to entering the cosmetics world is at a whole new level. It’s great for her to start with good habits. Thanks for the shove in the right direction!

  • Denita

    December 11, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I see that you have the MUFE pressed powder…I am curious, overall, are their products “good”? I use one of their foundations and love it…but is Tarte better than MUFE in general or do you just prefer the Tarte products?

    • whoorl

      December 11, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Unfortunately, most MUFE products have ingredients that score high for toxicity. That pressed powder and the HD cheek color are the only products I use from the line. As a whole, Tarte is a much better option when looking for non-toxic beauty options.

  • Megan

    December 11, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    …not the Clinique Airbrush…????????????

  • Jen

    December 12, 2014 at 11:41 am

    This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing all your hard work with us!

  • Lynn

    December 12, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Do you have any recommendations for make-up removers? Thanks so much for doing this -you’ve helped me create my Christmas list this year!

  • Courtney

    December 12, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I just wanted to share my FAVORITE lip balms (they have a few tinted ones as well). I am almost positive that they would pass the EWG test. They have a wonderful texture, super cute packaging and they are always delivered in a reusable tea bag. I’ve ordered so many they started writing handwritten thank you notes on the packing slips: http://www.hurrawbalm.com/. Let us know what you think if you decide to try these.

  • greenInOC

    December 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    How did I miss this post?! Of course 3 days after the coupon expires – doh!

    I’ve been concerned about the toxicity of make-up for years. My solution – no makeup because I was waaaaay to lazy what you have done here. I am eternally grateful and will be using this a shopping list. My AMEX is about to get a workout (better it than me!)!!

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  • cc

    December 15, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks for this information. Curious to know your skincare regime now for morning and night?

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