I was asked by my good friend Kelly what products I would suggest spending money on if she wanted to re-vamp her makeup collection and start branching out from the basics. I got so excited and started telling her a few things, and then just said that I would make her a list. Then, I thought it might be useful to some of you guys for me to put together a blog post on it! So I’ve decided to share my picks with all of you with hopes that you’ll be able to treat yourself, and venture out of your comfort zone a little bit. One of my favorite quotes in life is “Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone.” I want to get it tattooed on me somewhere (earmuffs Mom,) but it’s a lot of letters, and that equals a lot of pain! Anyway, let’s get started!
The first items that pop into my head when I think of must-haves are the Naked and Naked 3 palette. The Naked 2 isn’t bad, especially if you like cooler tones. I just love the other two that much more.
The original Naked Palette is full of warmer toned neutrals with a few darker colors to deepen smoky or nighttime looks. You would be amazed at how many different eye looks you can get from this one palette!
The Naked 3 is my absolute favorite of them all! It has a rosy/rose gold undertone throughout the whole palette, and looks amazing with light colored eyes (mine are blue.) I think it can look great on any eye color, but just not all skin tones. If you are lucky enough to have a skin tone that welcomes rose gold, then you have to go out and buy this palette! Right now. Stop reading, put down your iPad, and go to Ulta. You’re welcome.
Another recent palette purchase comes to mind, as well. The Lorac Pro palette was on my “I want it, but do I really need it” list for a long time. If you don’t have much eyeshadow, this is a great one to get! The whole top row is matte, and the bottom row is metallic.
I’m kind of obsessed with the mauve. I’ve used it several times since I got it, and it looks great with blue eyes! It was the star of my 90’s matte/Kylie Jenner look I wore to work last week:
There are some beautiful colors in the Lorac Pro, and I’m still just getting around to using all of them.
Next are four essential eye and face brushes. I have more of each that I would suggest getting if you really want to get more serious (professional-like) about applying your makeup, but these are good to start with.
From left to right: Sigma F86 tapered kabuki (under eye concealer and blending out around the eyes and nose,) Real Techniques stippling brush (blush mostly,) MAC 168 brush (contour and blush,) and the Sigma F80 flat top kabuki (buffing in and blending foundation.)
From left to right: MAC 239 shader brush (placing and packing color onto the lid,) Sigma E25 tapered blending brush (placing color in the crease and starting the blending process,) Sigma E40 fluffy blending brush (blending out the crease,) and the MAC 219 pencil brush (smudging and blending out shadow under the lower lashline, also used to place dark outer “V” colors.)
Sigma has versions of all of the MAC brushes shown above, but they’re about half of the price. I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I ordered my first Sigma brushes, but I absolutely love them! If I had to replace my MAC 224 or 217 brush, I would buy the Sigma E40 and E25 instead.
As far as face products go, these are my go-to products. MAC Pro Longwear concealer, MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural, and Makeup Forever Mat Velvet+ foundation. Over the summer, I tend to wear lighter foundations and BB creams. Now that it it getting cooler, I’m reverting back to my holy grail. I need to get a new one, because I’ve had that one for a l one time and it has oxidized to the bottle (that explains the discoloration.) The product looks just fine, but it’s just getting old.
That is what the finish looks like on the skin. It’s a medium to full coverage matte, smooth finish. I love it!
The packaging of the MSF has since changed, but this is what it looks like. I will not use any other powder.
As far as mascara goes, these are my two favorites. One is drugstore, and one is high-end.
I have tried a lot of drugstore mascaras, and liked a lot of them! Maybelline Volume Express is also a favorite of mine, because it separates the lashes really well. Every time I use the L’Oreal Voluminous, though, I remember why I love it so much.
Without sounding too corny, it was love at first use with They’re Real. I spent the $23 and never regretted it! I showed a before and after picture on my Instagram several months ago, and had several friends ask about what I used. It lengthens, separates, and is not clumpy! Three things that equal a winner in my book.
It has rubber bristles and a spikey ball on the end to get the small lashes in the inner corner. If you’ve never tried it, you can get a mini-size to try at Ulta for either $10 or $15.
This one is a Wet n Wild’s Fergie Center Stage Collection in D-Vinely Chilled. It’s a gorgeous metallic berry, and I think it costs $3-4.
The other is Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick. I’m a huge fan of these, can’t you tell??
They’re so easy to apply, and have great shiny pigmentation that’s not too intense or easy to screw up.
Here are four more drugstore lipsticks that I’ve been a fan of lately. They are all from Rimmel London. The purple tubes are their Moisture Renew lipsticks, and they’re so nice! They go on very smoothly and have a nice shine to them.
There are the colors for you guys. There is another Moisture Renew color I really like called Nude Delight that I saw in one of Desi Perkins’ Instagram pics. It’s so gorgeous!!! The red tube is a matte shade from their Kate Moss collection, and the plum tube is another metallic berry with more of a shiny finish.
I love Benefit’s Porefessional face primer, because it gives your skin a very velvety finish and doesn’t feel like a layer of silicone. For some reason when I use primers with the silicone-like finish, it feels like they clog my pores. It could be all in my head, but this primer just feels better to me. The No7 Stay Perfect primer is a very nice drugstore product. I haven’t tried very many drugstore primers, but this one is very good quality with a nice smooth finish. I got it at Walgreens.
My holy grail eyeshadow primer is the Urban Decay Primer Potion in the original version. Please please please use a primer on your lids! You’ll love applying eyeshadow even more, because it’ll stay on and won’t crease on you.
Here are a few favorite blushes of the moment:
Milani Minerals Blush in Luminous is the top one, which is said to be a dupe for Nars Orgasm. (For those of you not in the know about Nars color names, yes-that is really the name of the color, lol! Check out their website and look at the other names!)
SOOOO gorgeous!! Super inexpensive, too, compared to Nars! The second one is even cheaper and by Elf. It’s called Fuschia Fusion, I believe. It’s a light to medium sparkly pink, and costs around $3 at Target.
A little goes a long way with this one, so use a light hand when applying!
I can’t end this blog post without showing you my Makeup Geek products. These are the two blushes I own called Spell Bound and Rendezvous. They are very pigmented, as well, so again, use a light hand. You literally only have to tap your brush once in Rendezvous. It’ll probably last me like 10 years. If I remember correctly, these blushes in the pan cost around $9.99.
These shadows below are both Makeup Geek and MAC in my ZPalettes. I’d have to look at the back of them all to be sure which ones are which. If you guys are interested in knowing specifically which ones are which and what I have, leave me a comment below and I can make that happen :-).
Makeup Geek eyeshadow pans are $5.99 a piece compared to MAC’s $10, I believe. They rival, if not beat, MAC’s quality, pigmentation, texture, and blendability.
So in short regarding eye makeup, invest in Makeup Geek eye shadows and Sigma brushes (and of course a ZPalette) and you’ll be on your way to an affordable and great quality collection. As far as the other high end items, they’re worth the splurge IMO.
What are your favorite products that are worth the splurge?
What do you love that is so reasonable, you have a hard time believing it doesn’t cost more?
Do you have any questions about anything I mentioned above, or want a review on a specific product?
Leave me some love below, and I’ll definitely respond! Have an awesome weekend!!