I don’t think I can remember a time where I didn’t love makeup. I’ve always loved experimenting with it, and watching my mom do her make-up when I was a kid. Whenever I’m missing my mom, I always bust out some Lancome because the smell reminds me of her. I got started with it at an early age, which unfortunately means I sported some pretty tragic looks in middle school (as if I wasn’t already awkward-looking enough). Now I find myself quite accomplished in makeup artistry (it really is an art form) and I jump at the chance to do all of my sisters’ makeup before heading out for the night. Before I found Sephora (read: Heaven On Earth) I was very brand-loyal, but branching out and trying things out has opened my eyes to a lot of great products. Oh, and if you don’t have a Sephora card, drive to the mall and get one right now. I get so many discounts and free shit, I can’t believe I didn’t want to stop going to department store counters. After extensive and expensive trial and error (sorry, Dad!) I’ve compiled a list of 10 beauty products everyone should have. And ladies, if you have other products that you love that aren’t on the list, let me know and I’ll try them out!
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer
The. Best. Purchase. I’ve. Ever. Made. This stuff is amazing and now I can’t live without it. First of all, if you’re not using a primer, at all, you should be (it makes your shadow actually look how it’s supposed to), and this is the best one out there. After a night of partying, I’ll wake up the next morning and my eyeshadow looks like I put it on an hour before. I know, I know, you’re not supposed to sleep in makeup, but I like living on the edge. It’s a little tough to get off, especially if you mess up your eyeshadow and have to start over, but it’s definitely worth it.
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
This setting spray does miraculous things. After you’ve finished applying your makeup, you spray it on your face (it’ll feel awkward the first few times but keep with it!), and after it dries you’re makeup will not come off until you take it off (I mean, don’t try to push your makeup past the point of hygeine, but it will stay until you get home that night). It’s the best for going barhopping, or to a football game, or to a day drink, because it’s sweatproof. While your friends are beyond the point of “you need to blend” and their faces are melting off, you will still look flawless (as if you could look any other way).
Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette
I got this for Christmas last year and it’s pretty much made all of my other eyeshadow palettes obsolete. Urban Decay has the best eyeshadows that come in every neutral shade you can think of, and the color never looks tacky no matter how sparkly it is! They also blend really well together so you can make a zillion different looks from just one palette. Mine has some wear and tear, but I feel like I really haven’t made a dent in all but two of the colors, so I have a feeling this thing will last me a while.
Urban Decay Naked2 Eyeshadow Palette
The sequel!! For you eyeshadow junkies, we have even more shades! I know that Urban Decay’s packaging can get a little tacky, but don’t let that drive you away. All of the colors are useful and tasteful. I promise you won’t walk around looking like Julia Roberts’ bff in Pretty Woman.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
If you are not 35 or older I’m not a big fan of heavy foundation use. (Good skin, like ours, won’t last forever! Why cover it up?) I prefer to use this tinted moisturizer because it’s really lightweight and subtle while still providing good coverage. There’s a reason that 2008-2010 I was exclusively a Laura Mercier customer, her stuff is such good quality.
Lancome Paris Hynose Custom Volume Mascara
The newest addition to my must-have list, and I’ll be hard pressed to find something better. I always draw the most focus to my eyes with makeup, namely because “the eyes are the nipples of the face.” I have purchased every single kind of mascara to find one that works best for me, and after years of searching I finally found it. The best part about it is that it’s designed to build on itself. If you’re going for a demure look for day you just use a little, for more drama you use a lot. It’s awesome to use if you need to go from day to night, and I never get those nasty spider lashes with it.
This seems like a no-brainer to me as everyone and their mom owns NARS blushes. Including my mom, once I forced it on her. Simply put, they are the best on the market. For really pale skin tones like mine, I’d suggest peachy tones like Orgasm for a night out or Miss Liberty for a more natural daytime look.
Benefit High Beam Luminizer
I’m sure I’m not alone in saying all of my sisters are camera whores. I’ve found this luminizer to be the best addition to my ‘going out’ make up, to add a little extra glow in pics. Be careful with luminizers, because it’s to over-do it and make your face look shiny and oily, but a little bit goes a long way. I’m convinced my little bottle will last until I’m staring at the poolboy over an afternoon dirty martini in my midlife crisis years.
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
If you do use a foundation (or even just a blush and bronzer), you should really be using a primer. People underestimate its importance. What’s the point of make-up if it doesn’t last? This primer is the best, giving you a great starting point for your make up. Just like the tinted moisturizer, it’s really lightweight so your makeup won’t start looking cakey after you’ve finished putting everything else on.
Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Cream
I’m naturally very pale, and while I rock the Casper look in the fall and winter, I like at least a little color for spring and summer. It takes me foreverrrrrr to actually tan, so I’ve tried every self-tanning product there is. This is hands down the best. It smells good and looks natural. It’s really hard to screw it up since you can see where you’re putting it on, and it fades away like a normal tan so you don’t end up looking like you have vitiligo. We’re all planning on being MILFs one day, so if you’re still using tanning beds, stop and start using this if you want to avoid the baseball glove look when you’re 40.