Nothing has me willingly handing my credit card over faster than a trip to Ulta or Sephora. (Anyone else?!) I just want it all!! I have loved makeup since middle school (although I will say, I’ve come a long way since what I thought looked good then…ahem, bright blue eyeshadow) Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of different products, and with a few I have struck gold + have used them religiously since trying them. I’m going to give you the dish on all the ah-mazing products I use, including some of my favorite drugstore finds! Gotta love when you find an amazing beauty product for a fraction of the price.
Primer: Smashbox Photofinish Primer – I have tried other primers, and nothing beats this in my book. It creates a silky smooth surface for your makeup to sit on top of and just helps the rest of your makeup leave a beautiful finish.
Liquid Foundation: L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte – Foundations are something I have tried a million of over the years. I like to have medium to full coverage + I have combination skin, so finding a foundation that covered well, but wasn’t too thick, but also didn’t melt off my face or make my skin oily…has been a struggle. My current fave that I’ve been using the past few months is this L’Oreal Infallible foundation. It provides beautiful coverage but is not too thick. It gives a nice airbrush finish! This is a fantastic foundation at a great price.
Powder Foundation: BareMinerals Original Foundation – I LOVE BareMinerals products. They are one of my favorite makeup brands by far. I used to swear by their Ready Compact Foundation but it was discontinued (so so sad), so I switched back to their original loose mineral powder and I also really like the finish it gives. I use this on top of the L’Oreal liquid foundation more as a setting powder rather than using it as my only foundation. I also love that this powder has SPF 15 because the less sun damage your skin has, the better!
Under Eye Concealer: Covergirl Clean Invisible Concealer – This is just a nice basic concealer that I like to dab under my eyes and down the bridge of my nose. I then blend with my Ulta beauty blender and voila! I use the lightest shade in order to create an awake, bright eyed look and to set the stage for highlighter.
Cream Concealer: BareMinerals Correcting Concealer – I use this concealer for blemishes. It is a bit too thick for under the eye, but it is perfect for covering blemishes! It has a nice creamy formula that glides on smoothly and provides nice coverage for pesky spots and bumps. I apply it using the coordinating BareMinerals Concealer Brush. With this concealer you definitely want to apply it with a brush rather than your finger for better coverage.
Highlighter: Ulta Illuminator – Ulta has their own line of makeup and beauty products that actually is pretty nice for great prices. I just recently started using this highlighter this year, but now I use it every single day! I love it! I just brush some on top of my cheekbones + down the bridge of my nose. I creates a really nice glowy sheen without being too shimmery. I use it in the color Yellow Diamond. I also use it in the inner corners of my eyes to brighten them and make them pop!
Bronzer: BareMinerals Invisible Bronze – This is maybe one of my favorite beauty products, I use bronzer every single day! (I mean who doesn’t want a nice bronze glow?!) Similar to the BareMinerals Foundation, I used to use the BM Ready Bronzer and was sooo in love with it but the Ready bronzer line was discontinued. So I am on my first compact of their new Invisible Bronze and I actually really like it and will continue to buy it. I always use bronzer that has a (little) shimmer because you want to look glowy, not muddy. I feel that matte bronzer can tend to look dirty on the skin if over-applied. I like a slight sheen to create a glowy finish. This bronzer has the perfect amount of shimmer and like the name implies, goes on very lightly + is buildable so that it looks very natural. LOVE it! I use the Dark to Deep shade.
Blush: Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten – So until recently, I swore by BareMinerals Ready Blush in the color The Aphrodisiac, but I was shopping at Ulta a few months ago and got a free sample of this Laura Geller blush and fell in love!! I still have my compact of the BM blush and still certainly recommend it, but I love this Laura Geller blush even more and will likely continue buying it after I use up the sample size. The color is Pink Grapefruit and it just gives the perfect pop of pink with a really gorgeous shimmer that blends so well with my highlighter. Cannot recommend this blush enough!
Eyebrows: NYX Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade – This creamy brow wax is a dupe for the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade. I have not personally used the Anastasia one, but I know it is a cult classic. I may try it after I run out of the NYX dupe, but at less than half the price it was hard not to go for the NYX Pomade! I bought the matching NYX brow brush to apply it. It has taken me a bit to get the hang of applying it to give my brows the shape I want, but compared to the brow pencil I used to use, I much prefer using pomade. I have dark thick brows and it’s nice to fill in the shape and really let them frame my face + stand out. In addition, I finish with a swipe of Maybelline Brow Drama Clear Gel to hold them in place.
Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked Palette – Ok now this is truly a cult classic. Chances are, you already own this palette or know someone who does. I have used this since high school (so, for years) and I adore it. The perfect mix of shades + the best part is that the shadows are such high quality and highly pigmented that you only need a little bit, so the palette lasts forever. This makes the price TOTALLY worth it. I have tried drugstore shadows and they are not well-pigmented and I just don’t like them at all in comparison. I swear by this shadow!
Pencil Eyeliner: Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner – I love to use this just as an everyday eyeliner. It goes on smoothly (doesn’t pull at the skin) and blends nicely too. At the drugstore price, it’s basically your perfect everyday liner!
Liquid Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner – If you know me, you know I love a cateye. Liquid liner is my BFF. However, I used to use drugstore brands until the outer corners of my eyes really started getting irritated and causing me to tear up making my eyeliner wash off! I searched for waterproof liners online and read good reviews of this Stila one. I tried it and have used it ever since for about 2 years now! It is great for sensitive eyes and is waterproof. It also glides on really nicely with a thin tip so that you have the most control over drawing the line.
Mascara: L’Oreal Voluminous Original + L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes – Mascara is one of my favorite can’t-live-without beauty products + I have tried my fair share over the years. These are my favorite drugstore mascaras. My trick to getting gorgeous lashes is layering different mascaras. I love to layer these two together, using the Million lashes first and finishing with the Original. My favorite high-end mascara is Benefit Roller Lash. It is probably one of my favorites of all time! I always always always get my mascaras in the blackest black available. It really helps my brown eyes pop! PS – always use an eyelash curler! Pretty sure mine is just from Target, not even sure of the brand. It will change your life!
Lips: So lips are the makeup area I know the least about. I always go more for a bold eye over a bold lip. But the few that I do love are: NYX Liquid Suede Lipstick in Soft Spoken, Laura Mercier Lipstick in Baby Lips, and Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Peony. The NYX Liquid Suede leaves a gorgeous matte finish + I love the deep mauve color of Soft Spoken. The Baby Lips lipstick by Laura Mercier is the perfect every day lipstick with a nice natural looking pink. I love love love the Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Peony. It’s super hydrating, has that signature minty tingle of Burt’s Bees chapsticks, and leaves a beautiful pink shimmer that looks like a gloss but is creamy and smooth rather than sticky like gloss.
And that’s a wrap! These are the products I love + swear by. I always love trying new things, but it is a great feeling when you find a great product that you can stick by. I am all for finding budget-friendly drugstore options, but I truly believe that good quality makeup is something worth splurging on for certain items. It’s your face, treat it well! I hope some of my reviews were helpful! Makeup is just such a fun way to express yourself, and to help you feel like your best self.
What are some of your can’t-live-without products? Have you used any of the ones that I use? Comment below with your thoughts and recommendations!