Stuck in a Beauty Rut

Beauty Tips

Stuck In A Beauty Rut?

Stuck in a Beauty Rut?

This article is for those of you who have found yourselves in a beauty rut or a beauty routine (or lack thereof) that is boring. Your skin isn’t as glowy. Your makeup just looks blah…you want to make a change because you have plateaued. After years of doing the same thing, you just get bored. You need a new hobby. A new sport. A new look. This article is full of 4 pieces of makeup advice you can probably implement today and on the cheap!

1. Use those makeup samples….stat.

Deluxe Sample Flat Lay Natalie Setareh


When you are in a beauty rut, getting started can feel incredibly intimidating. That’s why my first tip is to first go through all those samples you’ve accumulated recently. Anything older than a year, please toss! That stuff is expired and can cause irritation and/or breakouts. Also, make sure that those samples are formulated for your skin type — if you don’t know your skin type or you don’t know what products are formulated for your skin type, grab a copy of my book or take my skin type quiz. You simply cannot have good makeup without good skincare. Period.

Check out this post on how to “spring clean” your beauty collection

Grab those samples and maybe try doing the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine for a day or two. Obviously that’s not something I could (or would recommend doing) for longer than a few days but it may give you boost you need AND you’ll actually get around to using up those samples and maybe discovering a new favorite.

So, yea. This’ll keep me busy for awhile. Tons of stuff I already know I love in the mix. Tons of stuff I have been wanting to try out but haven’t. So, I’m pretty freaking excited for this.

Don’t have any samples?

One of my favorite ways to really test drive a product without committing to one is by grabbing some travel sized skincare and makeup products from Ulta, Target, Sephora, Douglas, or even Nordstrom Rack. Not only the smaller sizes cheaper, but they are the perfect size for travel and keeping in your makeup bag or purse. If you like the product, you can even refill them with the larger sizes, if possible.

Face Masks Flat Lay Natalie Setareh

2. Get a cream highlighter 


Glowing Girl

I don’t know about you but when my skin and makeup has a glow to it, I just seem to have a little pep in my step. And when you are in a beauty rut, you probably have forgotten about highlights.

When I was visiting my mom in Tucson, a city situated smack dab in the middle of the Sonoran Desert (very beautiful), my mom gave me her leftover Benefit SunBeam Highlighter to use since I forgot mine (remember, I was in a beauty rut). And while cream highlighters are a pro kit staple, at this time, they faded out of my personal beauty routine.

Not only do cream highlighters add a soft glow to your cheeks, they also help keep powder blushes and powder illuminators last longer. They are also super versatile and can be used on your eyelids, the corner of your eyes, and your cupids bow alone or under whatever makeup you decide to put on top. You can even mix it in (sparingly) into your foundation.

Here are some of my favorite cream highlighters:


MAC Cream Colour Base in Hush

The stock photo doesn’t show the gorgeous and subtle sheen of MAC Hush but this has been a kit staple for year and I use it mostly on the eyelids. It’s not TOO bright and also, doesn’t lean too silver or too gold. This looks great on it’s own but also under a shimmer or metallic shadow.


NARS – The Multiple in Copacabana $39

Worth EVERY PENNY-seriously, it’s like one of my most favorite products EVER.


Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint $55

Okay, I haven’t tried this baby… that’s why it’s on my lust list. Technically it’s tinted moisturizer or a foundation that intended for use over your entire face… but if it illuminates my face the way I only image Hourglass to illuminate, it fits the bill for me!).


3. Curl your eyelashes. Seriously.

Before After Eyelash Curler

Yes. Curl them. Then apply mascara. Trust. It’ll change your face. Don’t be scared, just do it. I promise you’ll survive. I mean, look how gorgeous this is. If you feel happy using it, you’ll actually use it. Don’t have the time or energy to curl your lashes on the daily, go get a lash lift! This is a semi-permanent curl just for your lashes! They last 6-8 weeks and it’s great. I highly recommend.

If curling your lashes is already a part of your practice (went yogi on you), then get a new mascara! There are so many different types of mascara and wands and price points. You should LOVE your mascara and if you don’t, it’s time to switch it out.

I have an entire section of my book dedicated to mascara and how to determine which is the right one for you. This is valuable information and will save you tons of time, money, and headaches. No more trial and error in the makeup section!

Lashes For Days All About The Wand

Picture showing different types of mascara wands

BONUS TIP:  Groom your brows!

Shaping brows and opening your eyes with mascara are always easy (and cheap) ways to upgrade your look. I’m still working my mascara series so if you are in the market for a new mascara…I’m here for you. I will help.

My Favorite Eyelash Curlers:



Like: Revlon Eyelash Curler $5.99

Seriously, my fave and super affordable–I have an old, all metal one with white pads.

Love: Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler $21

This is my pro-kit staple and you can’t go wrong with it (unless of course you have lashes that won’t curl. Yes, his is true — and if that’s you, consider getting a lash lift like I mentioned above). !



4. Change Your Lipstick

Natalie Setareh MAC Heroine Lipstick Selfie

If you have have five or six empty MAC containers? If so, head over to your local MAC counter, recycle those bad boys and get yourself a FREE  lipstick! Not sure what color to get, check out this post ‘How To Find The Perfect Lipstick‘. Remember, if you know your undertones and basic makeup color theory, you can make an educated decision!

No empty containers? No problem!

Skip your daily coffee run and save that money for a new drugstore lipstick. Have fun picking out a color and wearing it alone or mixing it with a color you already have. It’s amazing how just changing your lip color makes you feel like a totally different person.


Some Lipstick Faves:


Like: Burt Bee’s Lip Shimmer $5

These babies really pack a punch on hydrating color. Sure, you may need to reapply often but who cares? It’s Burt Bees. Plus, you don’t have to feel guilty if you lose the tube or don’t love the color.


MAC Lipstick

Love: MAC Lipstick $17

Because who doesn’t LOVE MAC lipsticks? Gosh, they are such my go-to. I opted for Heroine (as pictured above)…wham.


Lust: Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip Gloss $46

Pick a color, any color. It’s Tom Ford and I’m soooo lusting over a tube.

Bonus Tip #5. Paint yo’ Nails

Here’s the thing. I love having painted nails but hate having chipped nails and/or doing them myself. I can always do my left hand so pretty, my right hand so-so, and well — it seems like when I do my nails myself it takes forever for them to dry. If you have the extra funds to go get them done, write them off as a business expense to yourself! Self-care is the best care. If you don’t have the funds, do them yourself.

Painting your nails is big impact. You immediately feel more polished (sorry, I had to).

I’ve never been a huge nail painter mostly because I lack patience and they always end up getting smudged and chipped within minutes of me thinking they are dry. But. As I’ve gotten a little older, I’ve become a little more patient and when my nails are painted pretty, I just feel a little bit more put together. Plus, it’s cheaper than going to a salon (which is normally my cop out for not wanting to do my nails at home). So, I painted my nails today and I’m digging this Julep polish. It dries so quickly!! Woot woo!


Julep Nail Color

Do you want to learn how to use the makeup you already have? My book, “Be Your Own Makeup Artist: Unleash Your Inner Beauty” will help you make the most out of your existing stash of products. I also spend a lot of time teaching you how to apply makeup to best suit your skin type, face shape, preferences, and lifestyle. Order your copy today, you won’t be disappointed!

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Hope these tips helped and I wish you a most wonderful, fabulous day. Don’t forget to follow me on social media and join my email list below!

Natalie Setareh Makeup Tips for Beginners


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  1. […] simple yet effective way to upgrade your makeup routine is to liven up your lashes. Just like we previously shared on our ‘Stuck in a Beauty Rut?’ post, curling your lashes can instantly change your look. Curled eyelashes are key to keeping your eyes […]

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Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.

kevyn aucoin