Friday, December 28, 2012

make-up bag essentials

For my first act as Beauty Expert Extraordinaire (HA!), I'll be sharing what I think are the essential beauty products every girl should have in her arsenal.

I like to divide my make-up regimin into three steps: Base, Face, and Eyes (I usually don't include lips, but if I do, it becomes step 4: Lips). This helps me keep track of all the things I have to apply so I don't miss anything.


The first thing I put on is a primer. I love any primer by Smashbox, but because I have problems with acne and minor redness, so I like using the Photo Finish - Color Correcting primer. If redness isn't your basic facial flaw, though, Smashbox has a handy primer finder so you can find the one that works best for your face.

Next, I use a BB Cream instead of foundation. I like how BB Creams are non-comedogenic (non pore-clogging), and they also help hide minor imperfections so I don't have to use as much concealer. They also moisturize, which is great for me because I have very dry skin, and contain sunscreen to protect your skin. What a deal! I'm currently using Maybelline's Dream Fresh BB Cream - I like it because it's really light while still providing good coverage and SPF. 

Then comes the concealing. For regular red spots, I use Maybelline Superstay Concealer, applying a dab onto the spot and dabbing it until blended. For the really red, tough-to-cover zits, I use a green concealer stick like Boots Complexion Refining Concealer and then applying my regular concealer. Green cancels out red like a red-eye pen for your face - really helpful for those troublesome pimples seem to be impervious to regular concealer.

Finally, it's time to hide my under-eye circles. I was blessed not to have bags under my eyes like my mother, but not lucky enough to escape the dark circles that like to make me look exhausted all the time. After a consultation at Ulta, I use Benefit's Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer. It does a really good job at hiding my dark circles; I might even start using it for the rest of my face! I would have to get another shade, though - when hiding under-eye circles, it's best to use a darker shade than the rest of your face. I either apply it with my ring finger (the best finger for all eye-work) or with a concealer brush, like the Ecotools Bamboo Deluxe Concealer Brush.


Now that my entire face is one color, it's time to highlight, brighten, and blush. One of my favorite products EVER is That Girl Brightening Face Primer by Benefit. I put this on after the rest of my foundation because 1. It brightens, 2. It has a little color in it, 3. It's the primer for my blush. I apply it to my cheeks where my blush goes to just above my eyebrows in a crescent moon shape. It gives me the prettiest glow!

Next, I highlight with Benefit's Watt's Up! Soft Focus Highlighter. I apply it to my cheekbones, brow bones, and bridge of my nose and then blend for a nice, subtle highlight. 

Then I apply my blush. I have a few favorites - for the winter months when I lose my tan, I go for a color close to my natural blush, like bareMinerals Blush in Beauty; for when I only want a hint of color on my cheeks, I choose bareMinerals' Exquisite Radiance All-Over Face Color, which can be found in this wonderful set. When I'm tanner in the summer, I like M.A.C. Powder Blush in Peaches. To apply, I use either the Tapered Blush Brush for a softer look, or the Angled Blush Brush from the aforementioned set (similar one here) for a sharper look, both of which are by bareMinerals.  


I already completed part of the eye makeup in my Base step when I concealed my dark circles. Before putting on my eyeshadow, I use Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion. I actually prefer the travel size because 1. I'm usually broke when I run out, and 2. I LOVE the applicator! It gives me the perfect amount for both eyelids, and I don't have to get my fingers messy. 

After priming, I use the Urban Decay Naked Palette. It is literally the best eyeshadow palette ever if you're like me and only like neutral colors (sorry I'm not sorry I'm so boring). To apply, I sometimes use the brush it came with, because it is pretty good for all-over color. But I also like using the Ecotools Bamboo 6 Piece Eye Brush Set. It is good for applying color in my crease and highlighting. 
Next comes eyeliner. On normal days, I use CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in Black Onyx, Espresso, or Charcoal (usually Espresso). These go on perfectly every single time and are nearly foolproof. For special occasions, I use Stila's Seeing Stars Smudge Stick Set. These come in nice colors and have a touch of sparkle in them. 

Finally comes mascara. One of the best mascara's I've ever used is Benefit's They're Real! Mascara, which I'm sure most of you have heard of because it's pretty popular. I'm thrilled with how it lengthens AND volumizes (is that a real word?) my lashes without getting clumpy! PLUS, it has a telescopic end.  Awesome!

I'm the kind of person who HAS to have a plastic-bristled mascara wand, but I was disappointed when I realized that I sometimes have trouble with it because it's not waterproof and I wear contacts. After quite the scavenger hunt with the consultant at Ulta, we decided to keep on using They're Real...and add Anastasia Lash Genius Clear Waterproof Top Coat. This amazing product goes on top of any non-waterproof mascara and makes it waterproof, making my mascara perfect!


Like I said, I don't usually include lips in my daily routine, but I thought I'd include it anyway. I'm a lip balm kind of girl, and my two favorites are Burt's Bees and Carmex Moisture Plus Lip Balm. Recently for Christmas, I got two balms from Fresh - a plain Sugar balm and one that's rose-tinted. They're wonderful! The rose-tinted one is a great shade for my lips and makes them so soft. I also like using the lip gloss in the bareMinerals set. 

For a bold look, I go all out with red! I first line and fill in with CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lip Liner in Passion and then use Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Cherry Tart. Red is a fun color that more people should try - it exuberates confidence!

And there you have it! That is my beauty regimin in a nutshell. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes, is super easy, and makes me ready for each and every day! If you have any questions about products, feel free to comment. I'd love to hear what you do for makeup!

Recap: The Checklist

  • Primer
  • BB Cream
  • Concealer(s)
  • Brightner/Highlighter
  • Blush
  • Eyeshadow Primer
  • Eyeshadow
  • Eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • Lip balm/gloss/stick
Now go be beautiful!

Much love,

1 comment:

  1. You're adorable! And as someone who has watched you do this routine many times, I can say it works cause you look FAB. :)