March 5, 2020

Get Instant polish with 6 top luxe make-up brands!

My favorite luxe make-up products

March 5, 2020

*AFFILIATES DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links. I only link to products that I have personally used or use and endorse. You can review my full policy here.

Most women I hear from these days seem to prefer lighter, cleaner make-up that enhances, rather than covers their skin. We want to look put together, but without a high maintenance routine.

If you want to look polished for work, meetings or a big date but still look like yourself, these tips should help you play up your natural beauty.

Since letting my hair go natural (gray), I find using stronger colors in my make-up helps balance the look of my lighter, neutral hair. It really helps keep my style modern, vibrant and fresh. Regardless of your hair color, it’ can be fun to play with new products. I hope you'll enjoy some of these fantastic choices!

A few years ago, I transitioned to using cruelty-free brands exclusively. It’s easy to do these days, as there are many options and brands that do not test on animals. In my opinion, looking “pretty” at the cost of pain and suffering of animals is just not worth it.

Luckily, there are many quality brands, in all price ranges luxury to drugstore, to choose from.

1- Red lips: Stila's Beso

A bold, highly pigmented red lipstick is the ultimate easy but dramatic luxe make-up look!

Stila's Beso is a polished, heavily pigmented, bright-but-not-too-bright shade. It instantly brightens your look, as well as your mood! It is my personal go-to red for day or night.

This lipstick really stays in place through coffee, lunch and meetings. The rich color truly lasts for hours. And if a strong red is not your thing, rest assured Stila has a fantastic color selection, so you can also find that perfect pink, mauve or raspberry shade.

A close second of mine is from Tarte, another favorite brand for luxe make-up. Color Splash in Escape is a warm-toned, medium-dark plum. This vegan lipstick is formulated with olive oil, shea butter and marine plants for plumper, smoother lips and a creamy matte finish. It might be better if you have dry skin, dry lips or just prefer a silkier finish. It definitely provides a hydrating formula and long lasting wear.

2- Eyeliner from Urban Decay

Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil has been my favorite for years, even though I constantly try new liners. The reason I (mostly) stay loyal to Urban Decay? The consistently smooth, creamy formulation makes it easy for a non expert to apply. These pencils go on easily and don't require that you tug at your delicate eye area.

Whiskey is a warm brown, is one of my all time favorites. It's a soft look, less harsh than black, but still rich and vibrant.

The color range includes several browns, other neutrals and some brighter colors. I do wish they would add new shades more often but you cannot go wrong with Urban Decay.

3- Foundation options for a flawless finish

Choose a concealer...

I am a big fan of natural ingredients, so it makes sense that I adore Hynt Beauty's Duet Concealer. It features clean, nourishing ingredients and is very concentrated, so you use just a little bit of the product.

Duet Concealer is versatile and covers dark circles, blemishes and redness. This concealer melts beautifully into skin for cake-free coverage with superior staying power. Botanical hydrators include aloe vera, avocado, vitamin E, and jojoba oil. It also works as a full face foundation if you warm it and mix with a bit of oil or lotion.

If applied properly, it does not settle into fine lines, making it ideal for the under eye area. For more info check out my video which includes this product!

Choose a traditional foundation

Jane Iredale's Mineral Foundation

If you prefer a full face foundation that contains skincare ingredients for a healthier complexion, try Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals.

It's a mineral based serum with pigment that provides sheer to medium coverage. It has a somewhat watery texture which might take some getting used to, but the feel on the skin is light and natural. Thanks to the minerals in this product, it also offers skin soothing properties along with excellent coverage.

4- Blush from Hourglass

I am not really a blush person. It's probably because my cheeks and nose are already pink, and the last thing I want is to look ruddy.

However, blush can bring soft, natural color to your face, instantly making it more vibrant and youthful.

Ambient Lighting Blush Mini from Hourglass is flattering, soft and fairly neutral. It's a finely milled, delicate talc free powder and a pleasure to use. If you're looking for a natural look, this color should work for most skin types.

A soft hint of blush brings life and energy to your skin!

It comes in a few colors. I chose Mood Exposure, described as a soft plum blush fused with Mood Light to brighten the complexion.

I don't wear blush every day, so this mini size has lasted me almost a year!


Do you have a favorite make-up staple you'd like to share?

Please comment on your go-to blush, lipstick or other cruelty-free luxe make-up product below!

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Michelle Ray is a skin care brand consultant with 13 years of experience in medical aesthetics sales, product development and marketing. She is also a former yoga teacher/massage therapist and a lifelong beauty-product junkie. 

Michelle operates the Smart Beauty Rituals website where she shares honest, accurate information about quality products that can make a real difference in your skin's health and appearance. 

Please note: I only share products I’ve used personally and wholeheartedly recommend.  All products are Cruelty-Free.


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