Over the past year, I’ve learned that less is more.
I’ve learned that I’m more likely to yearn for a foundation that showcases my freckles than a deeply-pigmented contour stick. I’ve learned that I’d happily pay more for a blush that gives my cheeks a natural fall flush than $28 for a full-matte liquid lip. I’ve learned I will not give any time to a product that does not last on my face all day long.
Maybe it’s because I’m (proudly) transitioning into the later part of my twenties. Maybe it’s because the skincare I’ve been sticking to has paid off. Or maybe it’s simply because, for the first time in twenty eight years, I really love the way I look.
0% of this post is sponsored - these are just products I use everyday and care to share with you. :)
Combining primers is a trick that I picked up from Tati Westbrook (@glamlifeguru). This is a great trick if you have combination skin because they each serve a separate purpose.
Step one is MAC’s Prep + Prime Fix+. I apply it by spraying it directly into the palms of my hands, rubbing my hands together, and pressing into my skin. Applying it in this way gives me better application control.
The second is Touch in Sol’s No Poreblem Primer. I love how gel-like the texture of this primer is. This is another Tati-approved product, and, as luck would have it, I recently received a sample of it in my most recent Ipsy bag! I apply this underneath my eyes, around my nose, and at the bottom of my forehead. The result is airbrush-like!
At the moment, I’m only reaching for the Truly Yours Liquid Foundation by JOAH. It applies beautifully, and dries down to a satin-matte finish. JOAH Beauty is sold exclusively at CVS, and is only $8.99.
I apply this foundation initially by dotting the liquid around my complexion using my fingers. Then, I press the foundation into the skin with a wet beauty blender (not damp, wet) - applying your foundation using this method helps to sheer it out, helping your skin to shine through. :) I don’t have problematic skin, so I really enjoy seeing my freckles pop. (If you have acne or other skin issues, I would recommend spot concealing before this step - I love Nars’ Radiant Creamy Concealer for acne coverage - I wear the shade Vanilla.)
Something that I really don’t like about this product is the available shade range, which is essentially just different shades of beige.
It makes me sad that, in 2018, we still have to talk about this at all. There is just no reason for those with deeper skin tones to have to struggle to find their perfect shade - it’s unfair, and unacceptable. So, I also wanted to show some love to a foundation that I not only really enjoy using, but that really set the bar for everyone else in the industry by including everyone in their shade range.
FENTY BEAUTY Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation is a fantastic choice. I used this onstage at Radio City, and it performed beautifully. For an everyday look, I apply this using a light hand and a buffing brush - make sure you apply this efficiently, because it dries down very quickly. My Mom loves it. :)
It seems that no matter how many hours of sleep I manage to achieve, the space under my eyes is never satisfied.
The JOAH Truly Yours Dark Circle Concealer is amazing for brightening under the eyes - and it’s only $7.99. Just a few dabs under each eye helps to make you look so awake. The sponge tip on this product makes application control easy, and its thin formula makes it even easier to blend with the pointy end of a damp beauty blender, or just your ring finger. :)
Another great product which serves a similar purpose is the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer - I’ve used the neutralizer shade for years.
The darkness underneath my eyes is foreveraccompanied by permanent, tiny, character-defining, creases that love to grab onto anything I apply in that area. I say “character-defining” because, when I was a teenager beginning to wear makeup, I would always groan to my Dad about them, who would always smile and lovingly tell me they gave my face character. I’ve had them ever since I was a little girl, and no amount of eye cream ever seems to smooth them out. So, I’m one of those lucky ladies that must always set her concealer.
The Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder is a hidden gem (found in Walmart, of all places) that I discovered from a makeup artist who once used this underneath my eyes.
Extremely finely-milled, and smelling distinctly of baby powder, it has stood the test of time after being developed in the 1930’s. I love the shade Naturally Neutral because it isn’t too yellow - I tend to opt for a more peachy undertone for my under-eye area. The amount of product in the packaging for the price point ($5.97) is unmatched - I’ve had mine for years and I have barely made a dent in it!
The Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer has a completely matte finish and beautiful blendability, not to mention it smells divine. :)
I love using this product to add some warmth to my complexion. I find the key is to use a light hand - I dust this lightly underneath my cheekbones, underneath my jaw-line, and on the perimeter of my forehead near my hairline.
Nars Blush in Orgasm is a cult favorite and, admittedly, returned to my radar - for the first time since high school - after The Royal Wedding.
I had forgotten how much I loved the way this looked on my cheeks! The formula is so beautiful and, when applied correctly, dusts the cheeks with the most perfect luminous, golden, rosy flush, looking stunning on every skin tone.
To step up my glow-game, I apply the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter Mini in Opal to the highest points of my face.
Unfortunately, I have experienced the full-size of these beautiful pressed highlighters shattering or crumbling pretty easily. I recommend, if you’re light-handed like I am, to purchase the mini size! I also have barely put a dent in it and it has been in my collection for five months now. Save your coin and get the smaller one.
brows and lashes
I fill in my brows with my Anastasia Brow Wiz - another tried and true product that has been in my collection for three years. I use the shade Soft Brown, and the petiteness of this product makes it so easy to create small hair-like strokes.
Once, I’ve filled them and and brushed them through with the spooly-brush found on the other side of the pencil, I set them with the JOAH Brow Down To Me: Clear Brow Top Coat. I’m currently on the fence about this brow gel, mostly because there’s a lot of product on the tiny applicator when you first pull it out of its container. But for now, I’m still giving it a shot. :)
This fall, I’m really feeling a your-lips-but-smokier liner, blended with a clean ring finger, and topped with a gloss or a moisturizing lip balm. My two favorite lipliners at the moment are MAC’s Lip Pencil in Spice and Make Up For Ever’s Artist Color Pencil in Wherever Walnut. Both formulas are really long-wearing. I love topping this with e.l.f. Cosmetics Nourishing Tinted Lip Oil in Nude Kiss - I actually keep this in my purse all the time, it’s beautiful on its own too.
If I’m wearing a lipstick, it’s always Marc Jacobs’ Le Marc Lip Creme Lipstick in Slow Burn. It’s a beautiful, long lasting nude rose. I received this initially as a reward-point perk and loved it so much that I used the entire sample size and purchased the full-size.
Most days, I’ll rush out of the house wearing only mascara on my eyes (I love this and this using alternating layers until I achieve my desired length and volume). Sometimes, I’ll even tap some highlighter on the center of my eyelid.
However, if I’m looking to up the glam by adding eyeshadow or a liner these are my favorites:
EYESHADOW FAVORITE: Lorac PRO Palette 3 is so underrated. I’ve used this palette for over a year and it’s so beautiful. (Favorite shade: Terracotta. Beautiful for the crease - a lot of times I’ll just apply this for some dimension and leave the rest of the lid bare.)
LINER FAVORITES: The Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in Blaquer is another reward-points perk turned holy grail product. It’s applies really smoothly and has the creamiest texture. I also love using a tiny pencil brush (like a Morphe Precision Pencil Crease Brush - M431)
I love finding products that will serve me for years, and I was so happy to share my current favorites with you. :)