The one thing that I get the most comments on though is my makeup and hair. People are always asking me what eye shadow I'm using, how I got my lashes so long or what shade of lipstick I'm wearing. That's because I've always believed that no matter what size or shape you are, your hair and makeup are two things that are totally in your control and can always be beautiful. My mother is no fashionista (whose mother really is?) but she never left the house without fixing her face and I seemed to have picked up on that along the way. My best friend teases me because when she wants to run out for coffee, she knows it is going to take me at least 15 minutes to get ready even if don't change clothes. I just can't resist touching up my face before walking out the door.
I figure the easiest way to prove I am not the typical conceited fashion blogger is to put my naked face on the internet in all of it's natural, colorless, uneven glory. I'll show you how I start and how I get the end result. In the meantime though, here are my tools:
- Bare Minerals Foundation in Light - I have fair skin and I stopped tanning nearly three years ago so this color works perfect on me. The only problem I have is that it is a bit messy and I don't always have the patience for the "swirl/tap" method. $28 each available at Sephora, Ulta and other fine specialty stores.
- Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Face Powder in Creamy Natural - This is my go-to foundation on most days because it is quick, easy and less messy. I use a traditional pressed powder sponge rather than a brush when I want a little more coverage. And at only $12-14 dollars at any drug store, it is more affordable than Bare Minerals.
- Physician's Formula Talc-Free Mineral Correcting Powder in Creamy Natural - The pink, green and yellow tones of this help to blend and even out my skin tone. I use this as my last-step finishing power. $12-14 at most stores.
- Physician's Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush in Rose - Does this powder really lift my mood and make me a happier person? No, but the color is perfect for my skin tone and that does make me happy. $10-12 available at most stores.
- Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Bronzer - This was part of a package gift from my sister at Christmas and I use it for contouring or bronzing my face. It isn't very dark at all so I feel I use a bit more than is necessary to even see it. $19 available at Sephora and Ulta.
- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer - This concealer promises to do it all - erase lines, dark circles and puffiness! For the price, I consider that a worthy purchase. $10 available at most stores.
- Smashbox Photofinish Primer - I love, love, LOVE this primer! If you aren't using a primer, especially with mineral makeup, then you are missing out and wasting product. There are 11 different formulas to choose from but I prefer the anti-aging primer and the small tube usually lasts me a few months. $16 at Sephora and Ulta for small tube. $42 for large tube.
- Urban Decay Naked Palette eye shadow - Hands down, this is one of the greatest eyeshadow pallets ever invented. The only downside is a lack of highlighter shades. The colors work great on everyone but they do come off much darker than they appear. $49 at Ulta and Sephora.
- Stila face palette - Stila has been making these little face pallets for some time now and I have become an addict. This one features four very neutral shades, one of which doubles as an eyeliner when used with a wet brush. It also has a soft peachy-rose blush and their famous highlighter, Kitten, which can also work as an eyeshadow. This one was only about $10 at Ulta or Sephora.
- MAC custom eye shadow quad with (from upper left) Sketch (deep smoky purple), Satin Taupe (shimmery taupe), Naked Lunch (neutral champagne) and All That Glitters (neutral champagne with coppery tones). $11 for each shade, available only at MAC professional stores (not department store counters).
- Smashbox Brow Tech Trio in Brunette - The best way to make your eyebrows appear fuller and more natural is to use a powder. This trio comes with two shades of powder and a wax to seal it into place. The wax goes a long way so I hardly ever use it. I really prefer the Auburn shade but that seems to be quite difficult to come by. $24 at Sephora and Ulta.
- Smashbox eyebrow and eyeliner dual ended brush - I think I got this brush as part of a box set with their most popular products. Outside of that, you cannot get this brush. It has the eyebrow brush on one end and the eyeliner brush on the other. This is a must-have in my brush collection! Each brush would individually cost you around $20 a piece at Sephora or Ulta.
- Origins Just Browsing brow shaping color in soft brunette - I came across this years ago when I was a red-head but alas, they no longer make the soft auburn shade I was looking for. No worries! The soft brunette has a noticeably reddish tone to it that works just fine. I use this instead of the wax from the Smashbox kit and the shades work together to make my brows look naturally full and the right color. $15 from Origins.
- Tarte "Lights, Camera, Lashes!" mascara in black - I have tried more than a dozen mascaras this past year alone and this one is the first that I've run out and bought a second tube. It adds insane length and volume - more than 400% more volume in a single coat! It doesn't flake or crumble, even if I fall asleep in it and I swear it makes my lashes healthier. The price is great for a designer mascara that delivers in every way. $19 at Sephora and Ulta.
- L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes in blackest black - I love a mascara with plastic bristles best because they separate lashes and rarely clump. This mascara delivers terrific volume and so-so length but I have since replaced it with Tarte (above). $12 at most drug stores.
- L'Oreal voluminous False Fiber Lashes mascara in blackest black - I use this one only when I need my lashes to look insanely long because it really does that. It doesn't give enough volume but the length is outrageous. I usually use this and then put another mascara on over it for that false lash look. $12 at any drug store.
- Sephora liquid eyeliner in blue
- Covergirl Exact Eyelights Eye-Brightening Eyeliner in radiant sapphire - This twistable eyeliner requires no sharpening and comes in colors specifically designed to enhance your eye color. $7 at any drug store.
- Covergirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in espresso - This is a great everyday color, a dark brown that works on most eye colors. It also has a slightly finer point and doesn't require sharpening. $7 at any drug store.
- Covergirl Liquiline Blast eyeliner in blue bloom - I have blue eyes but they have a tendency to look grey. I've found that a bold blue eyeliner actually makes them look more blue and this eyeliner lasts all day without smudging! I also recently purchased it in black because I love how easy and smooth it goes on. The reviews have a lot of complaints about how difficult it is to sharpen but I've never had a problem with it. $7 at any drug store.
- Almay eyeliner in black - Long-wearing, mostly smudge-proof and fairly water resistant, it is an easy go-to choice for eyeliners but nothing special. $8-9 at any drug store.
- Bare Minerals brushes - This is the brush that came with the BM starter kit and I still use it all the time.
- Mary Kay blush brush - A few years ago, I bought the Mary Kay brush collection set but this one and the next one are the two I still consistently use every single day. They don't shed and after five years, are still as good as new. $48 for the full brush set.
- Mary Kay eye shadow brush
- Sonia Kashuk eye shadow crease brush - This eye shadow brush is perfect for getting into the crease and adding definition. I like this one best because it is affordable and the bristles are silky smooth. $8 at Target.
As you can see, I use a variety of makeup brands in a variety of price points. I'm a bit finicky on what I'm willing to drop money on but some items are worth it. In my next post, I'll show you how I put it all together.
What products in your arsenal can't you live without?