Let me start by saying that this post was difficult to write because there are SO many products in my collection that I absolutely love, and it was not easy to narrow it down to just 10. In choosing which products are my holy-grail, I thought about which particular products I find myself picking up the most on a daily basis.
This product came to mind very easily because I have gone through about 4 tubes of it since it came out last year, and I haven’t picked up any of the other concealers in my collection since then. My favorite concealer of all time is the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in the shade “light warm.” This concealer is so perfect for under the eyes. It covers any dark circles I have and doesn’t crease in my fine-lines -I always set my concealer with a translucent powder. This product trumps my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer – which is also amazing (particularly for blemishes) and my MAC Pro-Longwear. My favorite thing about it is that it looks so natural, it simply looks like your skin but better, despite being full-coverage.
My favorite way to apply concealer is by blending it out with a damp Beauty Blender. The Beauty Blender sponge absorbs any extra product so your face doesn’t look cake-y, but doesn’t take away too much product from your face. I also recommend this to everyone, or the Real Techniques sponge is a great dupe.
My favorite powder was also an easy conclusion, as I use it every single day under my eyes. It is a cult favorite – the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder. This powder is so finely-milled that it looks so natural on the skin. It prevents my under-eye concealer from creasing into my fine-lines, and also works for setting your entire face of foundation. It will also blur any imperfections on the skin, as it has “soft-blur” technology in it. I always set my foundation as well to prevent it from moving around throughout the day or becoming sticky. In my opinion, this product is worth the money because you get so much product within the packaging. I’ve had this powder for about a year and it seems I haven’t made a dent in the product itself – it really goes a long way for only being 1 ounce.
While I tend to use several different products to sculpt my face, I reach the most for my Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Kit. I apply these powders with the brush that was made for the palette – the Shade & Light Contour Brush.
The contour powders are the perfect shade of grey-ish brown for chiseling your cheekbones. You don’t want to use an overly orange-y terra-cotta colored bronzer to contour your face. The cool-tones in the contour shades create a shadow under your cheekbones, which is exactly what you want to make your face appear thinner or your forehead smaller.
Not only do I love the contour shades, I adore the highlight shades just as much. I use the peachy color in the palette to set the concealer under my eyes in the summer sometimes to combat any blue tones under the eyes (this shade is too dark for me in winter). The yellow powder, however, is my favorite highlight shade in the palette because it brightens the under-eyes perfectly.
I spoke about this particular product in my Summer 2016 Favorites post. My can’t-live-without bronzer is hands-down the Hourglass bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light in the Ambient Lighting Edit Palette. I apply this bronzer slightly above my contour to give my face that sun-kissed bronze-y look. It is illminating and beautiful on the skin without being too shimmery or glittery. It gives you a natural-looking glow from within.
We all know how important a good brow is – when you’re having a great brow day, you can conquer the world. This product is used by almost everyone who fills in their brows these days, it is kind of obvious. Of course, my favorite brow pencil is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in “soft brown.” ABH’s entire line of brow products are the best on the market in my opinion; I like their Brow Pomade and their Brow Definer as well, but none of them trumps the Brow Wiz. I think it gives the most natural looking brow and the waxy formula helps keep your brows in place throughout the day, too. I usually top them with a clear brow gel which is also by Anastasia Beverly Hills – and I can rest assured that my brows will survive anything.
Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Powders are my favorite highlighters- particularly in the shade “Opal.” In my opinion, Becca makes the most beautiful highlights on the market. I was always afraid of wearing highlight on my cheekbones out of fear of looking oily, but now I drench my face in it every day to give my skin a natural, healthy glow. I apply this to my cheekbones, the tip of my nose, and my cupid’s bow.
Can we spot a theme here? Yes, I am obsessed with applying any product to my face that has the word “luminous” or “illuminating” in the description, as I have chronically dry skin.
I have a very large collection of lipsticks at this point, but I have to say that MAC’s formulas are my favorite, they are moisturizing and comfortable on the lips. I used to love the liquid lipstick trend, but I just found that all the brands I tried were equally uncomfortable to wear and extremely drying to my lips. I am not against wearing them for a night-out, but I don’t usually wear them during the day. These days, I have been wearing MAC Satin Lipstick in the shade “Faux” constantly, I find that this is the perfect pink-y nude color for every-day wear, and it is the first lipstick I have ever used up totally. I reach for it every morning before work.
Side note: This was an intense toss-up with my Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in the shade “Nude Kate,” along with her Lip Cheat pencil in “Iconic Nude” underneath.
This was a VERY easy decision to make. My holy-grail, best ever, can’t-live-without mascara is definitely the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. I have recommended this mascara to SO many people because I have never found one that makes my eyelashes as long or as voluminous as this one. Lets just say that if I had to go live on an island and could only take one makeup product, this would be it.
I used to be against using high-end mascaras and would only use Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Mascara (which is also an amazing drug-store product), but once I discovered the Better Than Sex, I never looked back.
For those who know me personally, you know how passionate I am about my winged eyeliner. There was a time that I would make the time for a cat-eye every single day. While some days the Too Faced mascara is good enough for me, I feel most confident when I have a fierce and sharp wing. I feel this technique will always be my favorite (as it already has been for years) because I have downturned eyes that I am self-conscious of. When I apply winged liner, my eyes appear more lifted.
I don’t use anything fancy for my eyeliner, the one I like most is the Maybelline Eye Studio gel eyeliner, applied with a Sigma Beauty E06 Winged Liner Brush.
I find that using a brush with gel-liner gives me more control and ability to create sharp, straight lines than liquid liner pens. My favorite liquid liner pen is the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in “Trooper.” But if I had to pick between the two techniques, the Maybelline is better. I think this method is also easier for beginners.
Picking a favorite foundation was by far the hardest part of this post. I have an entire drawer of my organizer dedicated just to foundations – I am a foundation junkie. I am prone to break-outs and have very sensitive, dry skin. I was told by a dermatologist not to use any drug-store foundations on my skin because they tend to have cheaper ingredients which will cause break-outs (which really bummed me out because the Maybelline Fit Me foundation was my jam). I then gave away my drug-store foundations and began investing in products with better ingredients, and I have to say this really did help my skin look better than ever.
I am constantly reading reviews on foundations more than any other type of makeup product before I buy. I have discovered a lot of really good ones and it is hard to choose one, but this summer I have mostly been using the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer. I love that I don’t have to pour foundation onto the back of my hand with this product because it has a doe-foot applicator; therefore I am wasting less product.
I apply all of my foundations with a kabuki brush – I like the Sigma F80, but my favorite brush is the Artis Oval 8 brush. This makeup brush looks like the shape of a giant toothbrush, but the quality of it is so amazing, and the bristles are so dense that it doesn’t absorb your foundation. It spreads the makeup onto your face beautifully and makes your foundations go further with a smaller amount. I find this brush to be really innovative – there have been several dupes for this released recently.
Shop the products mentioned here:
MAC Satin Lipstick in “Faux”
Charlotte Tilbury Luscious Lip Slick Duo in “Nude”
If you try any of the products mentioned in this post, let me know how you like them!