Much like fashion, I love experimenting with makeup. I’ve worn a full face of makeup everyday since high school. I know, I know that seems a bit much but allow me to explain. I am fully capable, perhaps not fully comfortable (but working on it!), of going out into the great wide world without makeup, and I do it every once in awhile (for example: going to the gym in full makeup would not only garner some very confused looks, it would also end up a sweaty mess #nothanks).
However, I find that waking up and applying makeup makes me feel that much more put together. I remember being asked by my classmates in college who I was trying to impress or where I was going after class. I would simply reply no one and nowhere. I have always just sincerely loved playing with, and applying makeup (I blame/credit my beautiful art teacher of a mother who was constantly rocking bold eye looks).
As I alluded to above, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that part of why I like makeup is also a self-esteem thing. I think the most beautiful women are those that are comfortable and confident in their own skin, and I strive to be one, but I’m not quite there yet (I’ve definitely come a long way, though!). Regardless, I don’t think it makes a completely confident woman any less secure to want to dabble in the art of makeup and enhance what her mama gave her. I think it’s a balance: You should dress and make yourself up the way you love, but you should understand that it isn’t what truly makes you beautiful (whoa! That was actually sort of deep! *shoulder brush*)
Seriously, though, I always try and keep that in that mind. I think for a long time I was convinced I needed makeup, and I’m slowly starting to realize that makeup is something I prefer. That being said, I would love to share some of my favorite products with you! My makeup routine has evolved throughout the years and I feel as though I may have found some holy grail products, which any makeup lover knows is exciting stuff! (It’s quite grueling to test and re-test various foundations and figure out which mascaras make your eyelashes look like clumpy spiders and which make them equally long and luscious)
Drum roll, please!
Let me break it down for you!
Makeup Forever Matte Velvet+: I have combination/oily skin so I often use a matte foundation and go in with a highlight to add some dimension to the look. In addition to loving a matte finish, I love full coverage and long lasting (I know, I know, I’m high maintenance and expect a lot of my foundation!) and this Makeup Forever foundation totally delivers. I love the finish, the coverage, and the fact that it lasts all day…and I’m talking all day, like 12 hour shifts.
Revlon Colorstay Foundation: My advice for makeup is usually to splurge on anything pertaining to skincare and or foundation. However, I think it’s always good to have a drugstore alternative for when you’re in a bind (like when your skin starts to get slightly tanned in summer and you don’t have the time to run to Sephora and get your favorite high-end option) Revlon Colorstay has been my go-to holy grail drugstore foundation for as long as I can remember! It has a wide range of color options and is super full coverage! It also comes in two formulations for both oily and dry skin. Come to think of it, I love this drugstore foundation so much, I’ve hardly tried any others!
Beauty Blender: Even the best of foundations are only as good as what you are applying them with, and I swear by the Beauty Blender sponge. I had always wanted to try one and I kept putting it off and putting it off convincing myself it couldn’t be that life changing. NOPE! WRONG! Totally is. There is no right or wrong way to use it, but I find that wetting it first really makes my foundation application seamless and flawless.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer: The perfect under eye concealer. Yeah, that about sums it up! It’s creamy and full coverage and does the perfect job covering up any evidence of tired, sleepy under-eyes without creasing throughout the day. (The pointy end of the Beauty Blender does an awesome job blending and getting it into every crease and corner!)
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder: This powder was one of my forgotten products for the longest time. You know the ones I mean. The products you use for a bit, totally love and can’t even remember why you stopped until you realize it probably had something to do with the face they fell behind your vanity or got shoved to the back of a drawer. Well, please forgive me Laura Mercier Powder! I will never do you like that again. This powder is just, wow. It’s finely milled and glides across the skin so effortlessly! It’s doesn’t leave your face looking cakey or super matte, either. It just does what the name says and sets your foundation without changing it in anyway. (I now keep it front and center on my vanity so I’m sure it never gets lost of forgotten #lessonlearned)
Anastasia Dipbrow: Okay, I need a moment to compose myself in order to talk about the majesty that is Anastasia dip brow. Goodness. This stuff is just, the holiest of holy grail makeup products. I am a firm believer that eyebrows truly make or break a makeup look and that they all too often go highly unappreciated and highly unpaid attention too. Dip brown makes filling in your eyebrows a breeze (seriously, it looks daunting but I promise you it’s easier than you think!) and sort of fun, too! I use a MAC eyebrow brush and small strokes to give my brows a fuller look. You can be as light or as heavy handed as you like…you do you! Also, I have had this product for months now and I am nowhere near needing to repurchase it. I mention this because unlike eyebrow pencils which tend to break or get used up quickly, this product is actually a really good bang for your buck! Please do yourself a favor and give this stuff a try! You won’t regret it.
Hourglass Blush in Mood Exposure: True, perhaps boring, fact about myself: I only wear brown/nude blushes. I probably need to branch out, but until I can convince myself I don’t look like a Ringling Brother’s performer in pinks and peaches, I’ll stick to nudes. So take it from someone who only wears nude blushes, Mood Exposure is an amazing option. Let’s start with the packaging. Oh my GOODNESS! It’s gorgeous. I almost didn’t want to use the blush because it just looked so pretty and perfect nestled in its bronzed mirrored case and all marbled and shimmery. Once I got over the fact that I would indeed actually have to use it one day, I fell even more in love! Some nude blushes can look muddy and heavy, but not this one! It’s the perfect blush to just slightly warm up the face and give it some color while still looking natural.
Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Opal: If you read the name of this product and thought to yourself, “Hmmm, never heard of that!” Do me a favor. Open a new tab, search for this product, and buy it. I’ll be right here when you get back! I feel naked if I don’t have a highlight on my cheek, and this highlight is seriously one of the most gorgeous I have ever seen. A good highlight really helps to tie your whole makeup look together because it’s that extra glow that makes people wonder what it is that’s different about you. Good different! I always swipe above my cheeks, down my nose, down my cupid’s bow (top lip area), and sometimes I’ll even throw a little on my collar bones if I’m wearing something that showcases them.
Mac Blankety Lipstick and Boldly Bare lipliner: Now, while I am much more adventurous with my lipstick selections than with my blush choices (I’ve been known to rock reds and even deep purples on occasion!) my go to lip is a nude combo by Mac. I start by lining and then completely filling in my lips (I find that technique really helps with the staying power of your lipstick) with Boldy Bare liner, a gorgeous pinky-brown nude, and topping it off with a swipe of Blankety. This lip combo helps accentuate your mouth and make it look oh so kissable without being too obvious or over-done.
What are some of your ride or die makeup favorites!? Let me know!
Put down the lipstick! Drop the balm! Don’t touch the lip tint! Run…