Tried & True Makeup Favorites

Makeup junkie” doesn’t quite do my (borderline unhealthy) obsession justice. My love for makeup started at the young age of three, when I constantly stole my mom’s lipstick and, according to her, applied it perfectly every time – not without dropping it on the carpet several times in the process, making stains that still remain today 🙂 But I digress…

Let me preface this post (and my blog in general) by stating I am in no way a professional makeup artist. I am simply a girl who absolutely, completely, wholeheartedly loves makeup, and I’ve educated myself over the years about everything from ingredients and application to skin types and tones, etc. to have a pretty good handle on it (although I still have my fair share of horrible makeup days – pardoned imperfection, right?).

One of the biggest misconceptions about girls who love makeup and wear a lot of it is that we’re doing it out of insecurity. It’s not true. Makeup isn’t something I wear because I have low self-esteem or because I’m trying to get people to notice me. Makeup is an art, a creative outlet, and ultimately a talent, and we should never be made to feel bad about loving it!

Okay, enough rambling – let’s get on to the focus of today’s blog post! Starting your makeup arsenal can be super overwhelming. A lot of people tell me they want to get more into makeup, but they have no idea where to start. So today’s blog post is dedicated to the beginner – I’m including my favorite products and a few tips that will make you a true makeup junkie in no time.


Foundation can be a touchy subject. Applied incorrectly, liquid or cream foundation can look cakey, thick and unnatural, which is why a lot of girls hate it. The secret to foundation is to build it up in very thin layers. Think of it like painting your nails – you want to build coverage slowly so you’re not left with a thick layer that never sets. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect liquid foundation, but I love the EX1 Invisiwear Foundation and the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation – both look very natural on the skin. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, Revlon Colorstay for Oily/Combo or Normal/Dry skin is a great drugstore foundation.


If you’re just starting out with makeup and don’t want to fuss with liquid foundation yet, a powder foundation is the way to go. Mac Studio Fix Powder + Foundation is an absolute dream. It has great, buildable coverage and never looks heavy.  If you’re oily, I recommend using an oil-controlling primer with this powder. My skin is very oily, and this powder doesn’t keep me matte throughout the day. I’m willing to let that slide, though, because it is seriously amazing. A new love of mine is the Tarte Double Duty Beauty Powder Foundation – again, great coverage and looks natural on the skin. BareMinerals Mineral Veil is a great setting powder if you do opt for a liquid foundation. If you need a talc-free option, the Jane Iredale Amazing Base Mineral Powder is incredible as well!


Concealer covers up everything your foundation or powder doesn’t – dark circles, acne marks, redness and more. My favorite concealers are the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer and the Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer. I wear the Sephora concealer every day to work, as the Nars can sometimes be a little heavy for day-to-day wear.


Finding a great neutral eyeshadow palette will make your life a lot easier. Urban Decay Naked palettes are cult favorites, and the Lorac Pro palettes are great as well. Application is key with eyeshadow – Sigma, Morphe Brushes and Real Techniques make great, affordable eye brushes.


I’ve tried a lot of mascaras, and I always go back to the L’Oréal Voluminous Extra Volume Collagen mascara. It gives you tons of volume and length without making your lashes look spidery. Seriously – go buy it, it’s incredible.


Winged liner might be my favorite makeup trend to date, I can’t get enough! The Balm Schwing liquid liner is matte, super black and fairly easy to use. The L’Oréal Infallible Eyeliner is great as well.


Eyebrows make the biggest difference in the way your face looks. I love a good brow! The NYX Micro Brow Pencil is fantastic and very affordable.


Mac makes the best blushes out there, in my opinion. My favorites include Melba and Warm Soul.


Bronzer is a girl’s best friend during the summer months, or any time really. Put it on the sides of your forehead,  your cheeks and a little on your nose and you’ll look like you just spent a week in Cabo. My favorite bronzers are the Nars Laguna Bronzer, Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer and Mac Give Me Sun. The latter is pretty warm, so if you’re super fair, go with one of the other two options.


Mac Harmony blush is my favorite contour color, hands down. If you’ve never tried contouring before, I suggest browsing some of the thousands of contouring tutorials on YouTube – seriously, this is how I learned how to do my makeup in general.


A good highlight makes you look like you’re naturally dewy and fabulous. The Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01 is the perfect “natural” highlight.


Mac lipsticks are cult favorites, and for good reason. Whether you’re looking for a matte, satin, or glossy finish, Mac is pretty much a one-stop shop. Clinique Pop lipsticks are also great. I find myself reaching for these every day!


I’m pretty picky when it comes to lipgloss. If it’s too sticky, your hair gets stuck in it, and nobody’s got time for that. If it’s too slippery or oily, it wears off quickly and feels gross on your lips. After a lot of trial and error, I think I’ve found my favorite! The Buxom Full-On Lip Creams are creamy, pigmented and stay put for hours.

This is just a general overview of my favorite makeup products, although I love plenty more! For those of you looking at these products and thinking, “Okay that’s great, but I have no idea what to do with these!”, don’t worry – I’ll be posting tutorials, tips and tricks along the way to help you out!

Until next time, friends.

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