Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Essentials: Makeup Edition


Years of doing stage makeup have prepared me for this moment (fun fact: I learned how to make myself look like a drag queen with no help when I was just 10 years old! The glories of dancing competitively). Here they are, my tried and true favorites that I just can't live without.

Blush | Foundation | Illuminator | Moisturizer | Primer | Lip Pencil | Eyeshadow | Lip Stick | Lip Balm | Eyeliner | Eyeliner Pencil | Mascara
Blush: Nars Blush shade Orgasm is the end-all be-all of blushes. Perfectly peachy and invigorating, this shade works on so many skin tones and is the perfect pick-me-up for your complexion. It's not unnaturally pink or too flat so it's the perfect tone for every day and it comes in a few different finishes, so you can choose whatever works best for you. Personally, I have an oily complexion so this powder blush stays looking nice all day long, but The Multiple has also reached cult status.

Foundation: It took me literal years but I finally found my perfect foundation. I went to Sephora and tried their color ID gadget and it recommended a few different foundations based on the closest match for my skin tone and type. My favorite, by far, was Lancôme's Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour foundation. I have your basic problem skin and this helps keep me looking my best all day long, masking any issues, evening out my skin tone, and it doesn't make my skin worse after which is the best part! Foundation is probably the trickiest product to really get right and the best I can recommend is trial and error because there are as many products and shades as there are skin tones.

Illuminator: Behold the magic of highlighter. Undereye circles? Hightlighter. Want that sunkissed complexion? Highlighter. Looking generally tired? Highlighter. Nars Illuminator is one of my favorites because it is multipurpose, brightens your whole face up, and helps with contouring that will help make your face look more defined.

Moisturizer: This stuff is magic. Ole Henriksen's Sheer Transformation moisturizes really well but it feels so light and you hardly have to use any! It's natural so it doesn't make my skin want to break out more and it feels silky smooth. No weird scents, no over-hydrated oily feeling, no problem! In terms of skin care, I really love this brand. Thorough, but natural, and it never feels like it's stripping my skin.

Primer: Urban Decay's Primer is the only reason I can wear eyeshadow. If I don't use it it all gets creased within about two hours, but with this magical product I can wear eye makeup all the livelong day. This is especially great because when I have very long days, which I do often, my makeup lasts the entire time and I very rarely need to touch it up.

Lip Pencil: There's nothing I love so much as a matte lip. It's clean, retro, and oh so glamourous. Nars makes my favorite matte lip pencil. It's easy to apply, not quite as heavy as a lipstick, and basically every color is amazing. I've currently got Roman Holiday and Dolce Vita on rotation. Both are timeless and utterly wearable.

Eyeshadow: Now, I know everybody absolutely loves Urban Decay's Naked palettes, and with good reason, but a more affordable and still extremely versatile option is Sephora's Baked palettes. They've got great colors with pretty shimmer that brighten up your eyes. This particular palette has great neutral skin tone colors that add the perfect amount of light to make your eyes the focus of your face.

Lip Stick: Let me introduce you to my all time favorite lipstick. The Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet is perfection. It is first of all comfortable and extremely long lasting, never drying out my lips even after wearing it all day. Secondly, the pigment is so vivid and rich, and the finish is the perfect matte. Even better, the colors are exactly what you want: the perfect pinks, reds, and every shade in between!

Lip Balm: While I do love Bert's Bees, when it's the dead of winter and my lips are practically bleeding, I always turn to my Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. It comes in a variety of colors, some more sheer than others, that will absolutely never dry your lips out. Each wear also lasts so long so I never feel like I'm wasting it by throwing more on. The Rosé is the perfect sheer, lightweight, super moisturizing, luxe balm for any and every day.

Eyeliner: Remember that rush of excitement when you heard that Marc Jacobs was coming out with a beauty line? Remember that second rush when Jessica Lange became the face of that same line? The products are great, but the perfect Magic Marc'er Precision Pen is possibly my favorite. It goes on so clean and sharp which lets me indulge in my favorite cat eye looks.

Eyeliner Pencil: While Marc Jacobs my have my heart when it comes to liquid eyeliners, nobody does a great pencil eyeliner like Urban Decay. Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil is the eyeliner to beat. Incredibly vivid with a soft tip that's great for all of your blending needs, there is nothing that these pencils can't do and no color that they don't come in. I'm a sucker for purple everything, but I especially love a little purple eyeliner. Purple is universally flattering, especially on the eyes so it is a perfect alternative to black or brown. It instantly draws attention to your eyes, but it is still so wearable.

Mascara: This is the only mascara I ever wear. I have nice eyelashes already so I basically just look for a nice formula that doesn't clump, and I am obsessed with this Mally version. It doesn't clump, ever. It always makes your lashes look longer and fuller, but not like Showgirl fake lashes. They still look natural in the best way.

What are your beauty secrets and favorite products?

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