I would like to share with you all my daily, essential beauty products/items. In the 20+ years I have been wearing makeup, I have experienced the good, the "meh," and the downright bad. Whether it was discovering Besame lipstick or finding out that Chanel foundations tend to be too yellow for my complexion, I have finally tailored my daily routine down to a select, 'tried-and-true' items.
For foundation, I cannot say enough about Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($59.00 USD)!
I know it's expensive but if you are going to splurge on anything beauty, it should be on a good-quality foundation! Foundation provides the backdrop, the canvas if you will, for your overall look. This formula is light and is buildable. The lightweight fluid simply melts into skin and imparts a natural finish with a soft, dewy glow. I was previously using Guerlain's Parure Gold but I realized it was a bit too golden (yellow-based) for my pale, cool skin.
For eyeshadow application, I refuse to put on shadow without a good primer. I have used Urban Decay and Too Faced. Both are wonderful. But, Nars Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base ($24.00 USD) outpaces them.
Speaking of eyeshadow, nothing beats MAC eyeshadow!
You can buy individual shadows in a flip top pan for $15.00 USD or single palette pans (for inserting into palettes) for $11.50 USD.
When it comes to maintaining my brow shape, I get them tinted and waxed professionally at my local salon every 5-6 weeks. To keep my brows looking up-to-date between appointments, I use MAC's Penultimate Brow Marker ($17.50 USD).
It is like a sharpie for brows! This marker comes in one color, a medium-toned, neutral brown. The super-fine tip can draw fine, whispy lines to more intense lines for precise outlining and filling in. The color can also be layered without heavy build-up or creating a "Mommie Dearest" look.
To ensure my brows' shape during the day, nothing beats Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Clear ($4.24 at my local Target)!
The lightweight, clear gel formula keeps brows in place without making them feel "tacked down" or coated. The gel quickly dries down to a feather-light feel while helping brows look perfectly groomed.
For lashes, I swear by MAC Opulash Mascara ($15.00 USD). It only comes in black. Until Cover Girl cruelly discontinued their coveted Marathon Mascara a few years back, I had been searching high and low for a good dupe. I tried everything from Revlon to Yves Saint Laurent and nothing came close to the long-lasting, waterproof magic that was Marathon. Even though Opulash is not waterproof, it holds up well all day without smudging, flaking, or causing raccoon eyes. However, if I get my lashes wet (e.g. laughing so hard I cry, crying at the end of "Strictly Ballroom," putting in contact solution, tearing due to allergies, and/or skiing without goggles), this formula will flake off. Now, it will not come off in a grey, watery mess, it simply "balls up" and crumbles off. Nevertheless, Opulash imparts black, lush lashes that look defined and classic.
For creating a 50s/60s cat wing eyeliner look, I adore Urban Decay's 24-7 Waterproof Liquid eyeliner in Perversion (a solid black) that retails for $18.00 USD.
For concealing dark undereye circles, blemishes, scars, and discolourations, nothing is better than Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer.
For helping my lipstick stay in place all day, I rely on Trish McEvoy Flawless Lip primer ($26.00 USD).
For gorgeous vintage, pin up lips, nothing surpasses Besame Classic Color Lipstick ($22.00 USD)! My favorite shade is Besame Red!
When it comes to lining lips and/or preparing them for red lipstick, Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil ($20.00 USD) is red is a must-have for red lipstick gals!
Now, the absolute "must-have" for any face is a good set of makeup brushes! Whether you prefer Ecotools, MAC, Japonesque, Smashbox, etc, brushes for face, eye, and lip are vital for proper application! I prefer MAC brushes.
To conclude, the one item I rely on to keep my makeup fresh all day is a set of oil blotting sheets. I like the ones from Clean and Clear ($4.49 USD for 50 sheets). I periodically use a sheet a couple of times throughout the day to absorb surface oil. If needed, I will then apply a light dusting of MAC Blot Powder Compact in Light ($23.00 USD) to keep shininess at bay.
So, what are your go-to beauty essentials?