What’s a girl with PCOS supposed to do for makeup? I don’t know all the answers about makeup for women with PCOS; but, I’ll tell you what I use and you can go from there. I have oily skin, and sensitive skin, and dry skin, and perioral dermatitis, and SUPER sensitive eyes, and a host of other issues that also complicate the makeup situation. Oh, and did I mention PCOS? It’s a dermatological landmine! My face would be happiest if left to its own devices; but, the au naturale look is not what I’m going for.
Before we get into the makeup, a disclaimer of sorts:
Are these expensive? Yes. Sorry. I’ve tried many cheaper alternatives, without success.
Do I have a list of less expensive drugstore items you can substitute? No.
Is this really what I do [nearly] every morning? Yes.
How long does this all take? Five to eight minutes. Really.
Step 1: I start off by washing my face with Hibiclens (see item 3 in this post: http://www.pcosra.com/2014/05/pcosacne3products/). Make your bed and open the curtains while the Hibiclens works its magic on your skin. Hibiclens is a miracle worker as far as I am concerned. It’s made a huge dent in my PCOS-related acne. If you only buy one product from this list, buy Hibiclens. It will be worth it. I promise. You can buy Hibiclens at any drugstore or pharmacy. I usually get the generic version at Walgreens.
Step 2: After I’ve rinsed off the Hibiclens and my face has air dried, I apply a tiny amount of Hope in a Jar moisturizer to my entire face. Hope in a Jar is another one of my favorite items. I’ve never found a moisturizer that rivals it. Hope in a Jar is the best thing I’ve found for dealing with skin that is both oily and dry simultaneously. It really lives up to its name! If you don’t want to spring for a full jar right now, go to Sephora or Ulta and ask them for a sample. Be careful though–a sample is how I got hooked!
Step 3: The next step is eyeshadow primer. I use NARS Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base. NARS is the only non-homemade eyeshadow primer that doesn’t cause my sensitive eyes to stage a revolt. And it keeps my eyeshadow pretty much crease-free! A tiny bit goes a long way with this. I’ve had the same tube of it for at least 6 months, and there is still plenty left in it. The NARS Eyeshadow base can be purchased at Sephora.
Step 4: I give the primer a minute to dry (this is a good time to brush teeth!) and then apply a bit of Bare Minerals eyeshadow. My favorite colors are Queen Tiffany and Queen Phyllis, but they have a bunch of good ones. As with the previous products, a little goes a long way. Get a bit on your brush, tap the brush to shake off the excess, and then apply. I usually buy the Bare Minerals eyeshadow at Ulta when a 20% off coupon comes out.
Step 5: Now it’s time to use primer! I know–all these products and we’re barely getting started! My favorite facial primer is Photo Finish by Smashbox. Primer helps your makeup to go on more smoothly, and helps it stay in place longer. There’s no point in using an expensive foundation if it’s just going to wear off your face in a few hours. Don’t believe that primer makes a difference for women with PCOS? Get a sample and try it out for yourself! This is another product that I typically purchase at Ulta.
Step 6: I let the primer sit for a minute (this is a good time to decide what clothes to wear for the day). Then I apply foundation. My favorite foundation right now is Teint Idole from Lancome. It wears like a dream and covers acne marks too! Apparently my skin tone is a difficult one to match, because it took three Sephora employees, 90 minutes, and their color IQ system to figure out what one worked best. I use a BeautyBlender sponge to apply the foundation. I bought the BeautyBlender from Sephora. I usually buy the Lancome foundation at whichever department store is having the best gift with purchase. Dillards has been a pretty reliable place to find the foundation and a few freebies.
Step 7: Now it’s time for a bit of blush to get some color. My favorite blush is the IIID blush from Maskcara. I use either Jem or Shortcake, or a combination of the two. The color in this blush is very concentrated, so use the tinest speck you can and then blend well. If you’re not careful, you’ll look like a circus clown. Start with less than you think is prudent, and then add more if needed. I buy the blush from Maskcara’s website.
Step 8: Now that we have color, it’s time for a bit of illumination. I use small dots of the IIID illuminator from Maskcara on my cheekbones, brow arches, and a few other areas. This illuminator really makes a noticeable difference, and doesn’t make you look like a 90s teenager. Cara has good tutorial videos on her website for how to use all the Maskcara products, so don’t fret! I also get this from Maskcara’s website.
Step 9: The next item is mascara. I wait until my makeup is nearly done to apply mascara, because I don’t want to get other products stuck in my lashes. Mascara is the #1 source of issues for my sensitive eyes. I’m pretty sure I’ve tried every mascara ever invented, and my eyes react to about 99% of them. There’s nothing like red, bloodshot, watery eyes to compliment a nice outfit! Fortunately Buxom Mascara has been problem-free and it works quite well. I buy the Buxom Mascara at Sephora.
Step 10: I’m not much into lip stuff, so I usually just go with a quick once-over of my lips with Rosebud Lip Salve. I purchase it at Sephora.
Step 11: To finish it all off, I apply two quick squirts of Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. Since you’ve gone to all that work, you want to keep the makeup on your face and not melted off into nowhere. I love this product! I’ve used other setting sprays in the past, and found them to be sticky or overly fragranced. This one does its job with perfection. This is another one that I buy at Ulta when there’s a coupon available.
Note: You may have noticed that I didn’t mention anything about brows. That’s because PCOS has given me the opposite problem that most women have–my eyebrows have to be tamed into submission rather than added to. If you have thin or light-colored eyebrows, it will be well worth your time to find an online tutorial (try Maskcara’s site!) for shaping and filling them in. A nice brow really completes the look!
What advice do you have? Have you found a makeup product that’s amazing for women with PCOS? Post in the comments so that we can all learn together!
Disclaimer: the product links in the above post go to external sites, and if you choose to purchase the items then I may receive a small commission which I will use to use shoes. Because, well, I like shoes.