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

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Bubble Bath

Summer is supposed to be about relaxation and taking time to have some fun.  Somehow, ever since the first day kids were rejoicing that school was out, I’ve been trying to stay afloat and juggling more work commitments than ever before.  I’ve managed to spend a couple evenings here and there doing things I’ve wanted, but for the most part, this Summer is far from indulgent.

The other day I happened to have an hour to myself and although I am absolutely a shower person, I decided to force myself to use my bath for the first time since the lease was signed.  I lit candles, I played music and even turned my phone on silent!  With bubbles flowing, 20 minutes of soaking felt like luxury.

My 7 Favorite Bubble Baths:

Soap & Glory Calm One Calm All Bubble Bath $14

*Most standard and all around best one in my opinion.

 

Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bubble Bath & Wash $4.99

*WARNING: You may fall asleep in the tub.  You should probably tell someone you are taking a bedtime bath before using.

Philosophy Cinnamon Buns $16

*WARNING: You may instinctively start shoveling the bubbles into your mouth with the warm, gooey scent of Cinnamon Buns.

*DISCLAIMER: This products tastes nothing like Cinnamon Buns.  It tastes horrible… I’ve heard.

   

Lush Bubble Bar – The Comforter $9.95

*Really good for when you want to relax, but don’t want to be put to sleep.

      

Lush Bubble Bar – Turbo Bubble $6.95

*This makes your bath GLITTER!!!!!!!  That makes me happy just reading it.

         

Lush Bubble Bar – Sunny Side $6.95

*This makes your bath GOLD!!  I mean, this is good stuff.

    

Aveeno Active Naturals Stress Relief Foaming Bath $5.59

*Love it after a long day of work.

 

Foundation

Foundation is amazing.  It transforms your look and evens out the most unbalanced skin tones.  HOWEVER, it is perhaps the hardest (at least I think so) process to master.  We’ve all seen people out with a streaky foundation or one that makes the face look flawless, but the neck look white.  There’s just so many places to go wrong.

It’s VERY important to test before you buy foundation and one very important trick is to stock up on a few varying shades to interchange as your skin gets tanner/lighter.  I also find it really helpful to use either a brush or a blender.  My favorites are either the BeautyBlender ($19.95) and the MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush ($34).

   

Use clean hands and start with less then you think you need.  There’s always time to add more, but applying too much will result in starting all over or going out looking like a clown.  I have had the best success by using the MAC brush to dab into the product, then start at my nose, progressing to my cheeks.  Next, I cover my jaw-line, neck and ears (don’t leave out places like ears, neck and hairline – it makes your makeup look cakey and not blended/natural).  Lastly, I cover my forehead.  After my whole face/neck is covered, I use the beauty blender to make sure there aren’t any streaks.

People have different theories on the next step, but I find it crucial to air out my foundation by waving my hands in front of my face for 60 seconds (I literally count out loud and yes, this is somewhat superstitious) before setting it in a loose powder.

My 10 Favorite Foundations:

Benefit “Hello Flawless!” Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation $34

Bobbi Brown Luminous Moisturizing Foundation $46

Stila Natural Finish Oil-Free Makeup $38

MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Satin Finish SPF 15 Foundation $30

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 $42

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation $42

Dior Diorskin Airflash Spray Foundation $62

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation $42

Covergirl Naturelux Foundation $11.98

Maybelline Fit Me! Liquid SPF 18 Foundation $6.99

Gel Nails At Home

So long to the days of chipped manicures and (un)-patiently waiting at nail salons for your top coat to dry!  Gel nails make me so happy.  Their introduction into the beauty world a few years ago was seriously revolutionary for me, as I can’t remember the last regular manicure I got that didn’t get messed up the day of.  Gel manicures last for weeks (insanely longer than normal) and my personal favorite part?  Leave the nail appointment with dry nails immediately after application!  No more waving hands in the air or holding them under a mini fan!!

Well, now the ‘Beauty Gods’ have taken it to the next level by unveiling Sephora’s OPI Gelshine At-Home Gel Colour System ($159).

This kit comes with all the essentials to DIY, including a base coat, top coat, LED light, gloves, cuticle oil, cuticle pusher, nail cleanser, nail wraps, nail pads, buffing block and nail/gel colour remover.  You add your nail color of choice here and then they will take $17.50 (the price of 1 polish) off at checkout.

Flawless nails at your fingertips! (pun intended)

Primers

I almost never leave the house without a little bit of foundation, but even more essential than that is a base primer that holds what you put on, without feeling too thick.  Face primers can be found all over the market with a variety of different uses, but I tend to stick to long lasting, anti-shine performers that go on easy and feel effective.  Too many products are either too cakey and overdo itortoo thin and virtually do nothing.

I’ve used a lot of different brands over the years and have highlighted my absolute favorite below, however my go-to is 100% Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer ($39).  It fits all my requirements and stands true to be a perfect step between moisturizer and foundation.

My Other All-Time Favorite Primers:

 

NP Set Pre-Foundation Primer Makeup $29

*Napoleon Perdis’ line for Target… a great option if you are on a budget

Sephora Sale!

I’m a sucker for a bargain and Sephora is having quite the sale right now.  They’re featuring tons of great deals on their new re-furbished website, including great giveaways.  I like to shop at places that provide quality product, but also throw in special perks like free swag and discounted goods.  Becoming a V.I.B. (Very Important Beauty Insider) is very much recommended.  I pretty much get extra perks with every order!

Picks all under $25:

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Set of 5 $22

Sephora Collection Hot Hues Baked Eyeshadow Palette $7

Ultraflesh Panthera Black Magic Ultimate Jet Black Eyeliner Collection $20

Super by Dr Nicholas Perricone First Blush Brightening Serum $24

Sephora Collection Hot Hues Neon Lip Balm $3

Sevin Nyne Tanning Mist $17

Dior Diorshow Mascara in Mitzah $14.50

Face Scrubs

My skincare routine has become more important to me as years go by.  There were definitely days where washing my face twice a day felt like such an ordeal, but now it’s a refreshing way to begin and close my day.  I’ve stuck to a pretty standard face wash, toner, moisturizer course of action and am only now experimenting with various masks and scrubs.

That being said, the one product I have used for a while and absolutely LOVE is Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($50).  I use it about once a week to diminish dead skin and rejuvenate my face.  I have sensitive skin, so I really like how it is not a very abrasive exfoliater.  You pour some into your hand, mix with a little bit of water to create a thicker paste and surround your face/neck.  I leave it on for about 60 seconds (while shampooing) and then rinse.  It leaves skin soft and renewed.

Other Exfoliaters My Skin Is Thirsty For (and I’ve heard rave reviews about):

Philosophy The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash $25

Burt’s Bees Citrus Facial Scrub $7.99

St. Ives Fresh Skin Invigorating Apricot Scrub $7.49

Clinique Exfoliating Scrub $18.50

Kiehls Milk Honey & Almond Scrub $20.50

Ole Henriksen Sugar Glow Face Scrub $38

Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub $5.27

Nude Skincare Facial Scrub $52

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser $38

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Ocean Salt $34.95

Korres Pomegranate Deep Cleansing Scrub $21

 

My 15 Favorite Mascaras

Mascara is my Godsend.  It can literally transform your entire look.  Lately, I’ve been a little lazy about doing my whole makeup routine for weekends and have resulted to the shortcut.  Foundation, Concealer, Powder, Bronzer and Mascara.  It appears natural, but still covers blemishes and evens out your skin tone.  Mascara is the secret ingredient, however, because if you are using a good one, it can make you look done up and more awake as opposed to – my hair is in a bun, I look tired and it’s obvious I didn’t get enough sleep last night.

My 15 Favorite Mascaras:

Diorshow Mascara $25

Givenchy Phenomen’ Eyes Effet Extension $30

Buxom Lash $19

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara $22

Blinc Mascara $26

Perfekt Lash Perfection Gel $28.50

Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara $5.19

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking $30

Sephora Collection Outrageous Volume Mascara $15

Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara $19

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Nylon Lash Extension System $35

CoverGirl LashBlast Waterproof Volume Mascara $6.23

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Waterproof Luxurious Mascara $30

Shiseido Perfect Mascara Full Definition $24

Laura Mercier Faux Lash Mascara $24

*Mascara trick: Don’t be afraid to layer different brands – in fact, you should!  One type can be better at separating the lashes, and another with lengthening, so start testing out different combinations to maximize your results.

 

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