Can’t Live Without Makeup: Daily Essentials

This Summer was filled with back to back commitments.  I’ve managed to fill in every spare second with visits with close friends and trying out new local restaurants.  What I haven’t been great with, however, is ear-marked!  No worries though, long flights and non wi-fi locations have left me with piles of magazines with turned down pages and as we head to Fall, I’ll be preparing posts in advance to be sure you’re getting your daily fill!

All the travel also forced me to minimize my daily essentials to only what I absolutely need, which is always a challenge for me.  I listed below some of my favorite products, and although I definitely like to switch things up, I know I’ll be ok if these items are packed in my purse!

Can’t Live Without Makeup (in order of how I apply):

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream $38

Smashbox Photofinish Luminizing Facial Primer $38

Laura Mercier Moisture Supreme Foundation $43

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit $33

*I like how this one has two colors – not all skin tone is the same and it’s also useful when you’ve gotten some Sun or in my case a faux tan ;-)

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation $28

Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights $30

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush $25

Stila Eyeshadow Trio $28

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner $15

Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Lash Mascara $19

LORAC Cream Lipstick $19

Tory Burch Dash Large Brigitte Cosmetic Case $75

Tarte Cheek Stain – Ten

Tarte Cheek Stain – Ten ($19) is 100% one of my favorite products.  It’s paraben free and has countless skin nourishing ingredients, but the thing that makes it literally a must have is the color.  It’s without a doubt the perfect pink.  I use it on my cheeks almost every day and cannot get enough of either blending it or using it alone as a lipstick.  The consistency is perfect for a long lasting, smudge proof pout.

Buy this now!  You won’t regret it!!

Blushing

I have pale skin, so my foundation, bronzer and blush are important to me.  Blush especially adds life to the complexion, which becomes necessary (especially when I’m waking up too early to feel like I have any energy).  I like to have a variety of hues on hand, as I’m a big fan of blending/layering.  This is especially useful as you learn to contour your face and enhance your best features.

My All Time Favorite Blush Options:

NARS Blush in Orgasm $28

Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Cheek Palette $45

Cargo Blush in Catalina $29

Benefit Dandelion Blush $28

Dior Diorskin Shimmer Star in Rose Diamond $44

NARS Cream Blush in Penny Lane $28

Stila Custom Color Blush in Sheer Pink $20

LORAC Blush in Desire $20

Loreal True Match Super-Blendable Blush in Baby Blossom $11.49

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Frisky $25

LORAC Baked Matte Satin Blush in Plush $24

Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush in Natural $11.99

Eye Color Palettes

I have been completely obsessed with eye palettes, Urban Decay’s Naked Palette in particular, for a while now.  I love having colors that are in the same family and feel better buying something that gives you options as opposed to one color.  The Naked Palette’s color choices are great and nicely pigmented, so it stays put.  They just came out withe a second edition and even though the use makes it far worth the $50, I think I’m going to wait for a special occasion.

Urban Decay Naked Palette $50, Urban Decay Naked Palette2 $50

Other Palettes I have my eye on (no pun intended)…

NYX 5 Color Eye Shadow Palette- I Dream of St Lucia $8.50

Lancome ‘Sensational Effects’ Eye Shadow Palette $49.50

MAC ‘Shop & Drop’ Eyeshadow $38

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette – In the Nude $30 and Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette – In the Dark $30

NARS Duo Eyeshadow – Iridescent Orchid/Iridescent Regal Blue $34

Pop Beauty ‘Pop Your Eye Color’ Palette – Brown Eyes $26

Stila In the Garden Eye Shadow Palette $39

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection $36

Physicians Formula Eye Enhancing Palette – Green Eye Candy $8.76

Sephora + Pantone Universe – Strokes of Nature Palette $55

Tarte Femme Naturale Eye Palette $44

Sephora Collection Smoky Studio Customizable Eye Palette $34

Physicians Formula Baked Collection Wet/Dry Eye Shadow – Baked Sweets $7.03

Sephora Collection Izak Baked Eyeshadow Palette $30

E.L.F. Studio 144-Piece Ultimate Eyeshadow Palette $15

 

Bright Lipstick

I have a very distinct memory of getting together with friends as a child to trade makeup and praying to God that they would want my old lipsticks in exchange for their shiny glosses.  It was unimaginable to me that anyone would actually prefer a stick over the sparkly, youthful gloss, but as what normally happens when I initially hate something in beauty or fashion, I end up loving it.

These days, I’m using bright lipsticks at whatever chance I get to accent what I’m wearing.  Pigmented colors provide drama and to me, are a great way to accomplish a fresh look while sticking to the majority of your regular beauty routine.  The number one tip for bold colors is to make them your own.  I often times blend different shades together or add some concealer to make the colors a touch more muted.  What also helps is a really good primer.  I recently bought MAC’s Prep + Prime $15, which helps the lipstick stay put and last a lot longer.

Other Primers Worth Trying:

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Lip Service Primer $25, Origins Underwear for Lips $15, Urban Decay Lip Primer Potion $20

Favorite Red’s:

Napoleon Perdis DeVine Goddess Lipstick – Xenia $24, Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain – Fiery $24, Exude Lip Creme – Red #1 $29

Nars Semi Matte Lipstick – Heat Wave $24, E.L.F. Essential Lipstick – Fearless $1, Revlon Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick – Fire & Ice $7.99

Favorite Pink’s:

Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick – Candy Pink $8.99, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – Roman Holiday $24, MAC Lipstick – Viva Glam Nicki $14.50

Bare Escentuals 100% Natural Lipcolor – Bevarian Creme $15, E.L.F. Studio Matte Lip Color – Tea Rose $3, Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick – Pout $19

Favorite Purple’s:

   

Estee Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick – Black Cherry $22.50, Clarins ‘Instant Smooth’ Crystal Lip Balm – Crystal Violet $24.50, E.L.F. Mineral Mineral Lipstick – Prime Plum $5

Lipstick Queen – Medieval $20, Beauty Without Cruelty Natural Infusion Moisturizing Lipstick – Blueberry Coulis $22.95, YSL Rouge Pur Couture Golden Lustre – Violet Singulier $32

Favorite Orange’s:

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Creme Lipstick – Tangerine Tango Cream $18, YSL Rouge Volupte Perle – Shimmering Coral $34, Guerlain Rouge Automatique – Fleur De Feu $35

Armani Beauty Rouge Sheer d’Armani Lipstick – Acid Tangerine $30, Shiseido ‘Perfect Rouge’ Lipstick – Day Lily $25, Sephora Collection True Cream Lip Color – Sunset Rhythm $12

Beauty Buff’s Beware…

…because you are about to add an expense to your monthly budget.  I have found something so exciting for Beauty lovers that if even 1 of you do not know about it, this post will be worth it.  I had heard of Beauty Subscriptions, but for whatever (insane) reason, I was frustrated that they are mostly popular/available abroad.  It was hard to find any I was interested in that shipped within the U.S.  The idea behind them is to pay roughly $10-15/month (normally) or $25-40 every three months and have 3-5 samples of a new product sent to your home once a month.

I love getting packages and when I see mail that is not a bill, it’s like a little thrill, so this for me is like a pint sized Christmas I get to experience every 30 days.  Not only is it great because you can try a huge variety of products (some of which you’d probably not try if you had to buy the full size), but also because I’ve found you can actually spend less money on hair/beauty supplies by subscribing to one or two.  So far, I have only tried BeautyBox 5 (most of the good providers either are still working on shipping to the U.S. or have a wait list, so sign up for as many as you are interested in and then pick the ones you want when they are able to accommodate your orders).  Although I am definitely still a fan, I initially didn’t customize my order (they have options to put in your hair/eye color, skin type, etc) to see what their standard shipment was, but I think this was a mistake.  My first shipment was very much geared towards “anyone’s” features and I think I’d prefer something more particular to me, so I’ve since changed my profile.  That being said, it’s still a really fun service and something I am really excited about for $12/month or $30/3 months.

My First BeautyBox 5 Shipment:

Left Picture (top, bottom): side of BeautyBox 5 shipment, box opened up with samples in a bag

Right Picture (top row left to right, bottom row left to right): Freeman Pink Grapefruit Facial Exfoliating Scrub ($3.99/bottle), Pur-Lisse Essential Daily Moisturizer ($55/1.7 oz), La Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover Wipe ($9.99/24 wipes), BeautyBox 5 Card, Doctor T’s Supergoop! Sunscreen Swipe ($34/40 swipes), True Natural Advanced Lift and Firm Serum ($69/.5 fl oz)

Overall, I was hoping there would be more makeup samples, as opposed to this one, which was focused more on skin care, but I was surprised that I enjoyed these products more than I thought I would.  Also, now that I’ve customized my profile, I have a feeling the samples will get more diverse and there are certainly other subscribers that focus 100% on makeup/nails, etc.  I did a brief synopsis of each product below, but considering had I bought all these products at a store the total would be $171.89, I can see why people are so crazy about these monthly indulgences!

Freeman Pink Grapefruit Exfoliating Scrub:  Very vibrant fragrance!  I would definitely buy this to use for an early morning to wake me up.  The scrub is hearty enough to make me feel like it is getting rid of dead skin, but not too abrasive, which I like.

Pur-Lisse Essential Daily Moisturizer:  My skin feels really healthy after I apply it and it is extremely light, but you can definitely smell the SPF in it.  It has an SPF 30 (which is a total plus!) but it does appear a bit greasy like I’m putting on straight sun-tan lotion.  I would use this on vacation, but don’t see myself buying it for everyday.

La Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover Wipe:  I love makeup remover wipes and use them all the time, but I normally buy the cheap grocery store brand or for a few extra dollars, Neutrogena.  They are ceratinly more effective than the store brand’s and leave my face feeling fresh.  I still have to rub my eye a few times to get all the makeup off, but can accomplish it with one wipe.  They’re pretty much on par with Neutrogena for me.

Doctor T’s Supergoop! Sunscreen Swipe:  I really liked this sample.  I’m fair skinned, so sun protection is important to me (even though it should be important to all of us!).  Personally, I would still use a lotion on my face, but would absolutely buy a pack of these for the Summer to protect my body from the Sun.  They’re easy to use, no fuss and I managed to get through a pool day without a burn while using the swipe.

True Natural Advanced Lift and Firm Serum:  This one was my favorite.  I’m starting to get into preventative tactics to keep my skin (especially my face) firm.  What I liked most about this product is that you can actually feel it working.  I applied a small amount and within 15 seconds I felt like I had put on a light mask.  It’s not too tight where you feel like you can’t make facial expressions, but more-so just a hint of resistance to make you feel it is effective.  It also made my skin really soft after I followed it with moisturizer.

Other Beauty Box Providers I’m Excited About:

BirchBox ($10/month, some brands include Nars, Stila, Kiehls, has a subscriber for Men, currently has a wait-list)

Julep ($19.99/month, formaldehyde free nail polish/products, available right now)

MyGlam ($10/month, some brands include Urban Decay, Tarte, NYX, currently has a wait-list)

GlossyBox ($?/month- not available yet, some brands include O.P.I., Bobbi Brown, Chloe, Shu Uemura, coming soon to the U.S.)

TestTube ($29.95 + shipping/quarter gets you four shipments of bigger products- usually 6 full size products + a magazine, some brands include Korres, Moroccan Oil, Smashbox, available right now)

Glymm ($?/month- not available yet, some brands include Butter, Anastasia, YSL, coming soon to the U.S.)

LooseButton ($12/month, some brands include Dermalogica, Benefit, Laura Mercier, currently has a wait-list)

BeautyArmy ($12/month, some brands include StriVectin, RapidLash, Joico, currently has a wait-list)

A Couple Gift Sets for Men:

HisKit ($12/month, has samples of grooming products, tech stuff, small wardrobe staples like socks, etc, currently has a wait-list)

MaleBox (coming soon, sign up to be notified when they are available to ship)

And One for Dog’s Too:

BarkBox ($25/month, usually comes with a toy, treats, fun product like printed doggie bags and shampoo, available right now)

*Know that there are many more of these (all kinds too) available to the public, but after doing a lot of research, I’ve found these work with the best products.  It is definitely worth keeping your eyes out though.

*Photos taken from websites

Faux Glow

My makeup education is always evolving.  Because of my upbringing, attending an all-girls school for most of my life mentioned here, I didn’t have much experience with a wide variety of looks.  It was basically what I put on Monday-Friday (practically nothing) or for the weekend (still nothing… social lives in the suburbs of Baltimore are hard to come by… or maybe just for me?  Yikes.).  I always loved experimenting, however, and was enamored by the models in fashion magazines.  I remember one night I decided I would master the smoky eye, being as careful as possible trying to imitate how the makeup artist’s did it.  I probably went through an entire bar of face soap erasing my attempts that would more so make me eligible for Clown College rather than Marinello.

Through the years, however, and by being introduced to coed classes in College, I learned how to highlight my features and look appropriate in public.  Even now, I take a Saturday night, once and a while, stay at home to try out new colors and products.  This still sometimes ends in disaster, but the point is to have fun with your looks and not be afraid to add a new step to your daily beauty regime.  One suggestion?  Experiment on a day/night where you won’t be rushing to an event.  I have 100% been the girl who was 30 minutes late because I was scrubbing the season’s hottest color – deep purple (made me look like the time I dressed in Goth for Halloween) – off my lips.  Oops!

One way I’ve found to enhance your look (especially at night) is by using luminizers.  Anything to give your face a healthy glow, while making you appear sun-kissed and full of life.  Some of my favorite products like these include…

-Tan Towels $27/10 towelettes: I can’t live without these after a suggestion from my friend Heather, which unlike the other products, I put on before my makeup.  They enhance your skin tone and are really easy to put on evenly – they also come in bigger sizes to cover your face and body.  photo from tantowel.com

-Smashbox Photo Finish Luminizing Primer $38: I’ve been a longtime lover of the Photo Finish Collection over at Smashbox and although it instructs to put on under foundation, I love the look I get when I dab it over my cheeks and forehead after I’ve finished my makeup.  It gives you an even and subtle golden pop.  photo taken from smashbox.com

-Tarte Ten Cheek Stain $19:  This was the first product I experimented with that has more uses than a blush, but in the pink family, instead of golds and browns.  I love how it gives you a good amount of color, without being overwhelming.  I spread this on my cheeks (sometimes my lips too!) and rub it in to give a shimmery, warm highlight. photo taken from tartecosmetics.com

-Curious by Britney Spears Perfumed Shimmer Stick $7.49:  First of all, wipe that look off your face.  B. Spears is amazing and this product gives you skin like the famous scene in Toxic.  See picture below… enough said.  photo of product taken from amazon.com, photo of Britney taken from broadway.com

-MAC Strobe Cream $15:  The Strobe Cream is one I’m more inclined to wear in the day, because it goes on a little brighter than most of these, but it’s still a great buy.  It really improves the look of your skin and balances out uneven skin tones.  photo taken from maccosmetics.com

-Smashbox Baked Fusion Soft Lights in Baked Starburst $30: This is actually called a blush, but to me, it’s an all-over essential.  I use a powder brush and dab it on my face and neckline for a noticeably sun-kissed glow.  photo taken from smashbox.com

*I used to put as much bronzer/luminizers all over my face to try to get a golden look, but have learned to use these only on my cheeks and T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and then use a lighter, pressed powder like this one above the cheeks and along the jawline to create an illusion that your skin is more vibrant and you even appear skinnier!

Other Glow Enhancing Products I’m dying to try:

all photos below taken from Sephora.com

Nars The Multiple Stick $39

Benefit High Beam $26

Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer $28

Dior Diorskin Shimmer Star $44

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum $32

Benefit Watt’s Up! Illuminizer $30

Edward Bess All Over Seduction Cream $38

Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener $19

Givenchy Le Prisme Blush Bucolique $56

Guerlain Terracotta Blush Sun Shimmer Highlighter $41

Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer $22

Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighting Power Duo $29


Lorac Oil-Free Luminizer $28

Guerlain By Emilio Pucci Illuminating Powder $59

Givenchy Mister Radiant $37.50