I have finally, FINALLY decided to post this blog after a month and a half of edits, additions and “Oh but I love that, too!” products squees. The makeup obsession is a real, true thing, and though I know this won’t resonate with everyone, it might make a few ladies & gents wiggle with painted glee. And yes, makeup is for girls *and *boys, as you’ll come to see that the majority of my favorite makeup artists and brand makers are men. Spectacularly beautiful men that I will eventually go to my grave utterly jealous of. ?
So this is the first of what will be an ongoing series, because I know, *I know, *that by next week I’ll have 2-3 more products that’ll need adding to my ever expanding favorites list. That’s simply how it goes when you’re knee-deep inside of a gluttonous glam bag. Hashtag noshame. And also because this specific blog would be absurdly long if I put every single item into this initial go-around. Over the next few weeks and months, I’ll post to the series regularly, so be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a thing!
Let’s dive headfirst into it, shall we?
First: Primer/Setting spray!
Every makeup aficionado knows that prepping your skin before dousing it in layers of paint and color and what have you is a *must. *Evening your complexion, removing your pores as much as you possibly can (we do need those, remember) is a quick way to ensure that everything that comes after, settles nicely. You wouldn’t want to waste drops of expensive liquid foundations or highlighters that won’t keep because your face doesn’t like what’s been dabbed all over it, would you?
Primers. Oh, primers. I have had to go through a lot of fussing over these miracle workers because the market is SATURATED with a ton of them. Like anything else, really, but for some reason, every brands primer claims to leave your skin looking as though you were just born. Obviously that’s not obtainable (that’s okay) but to weed through the shit-shows and get to the goodies can sometimes be expensive and (first world problematically) tiresome. I’m here to help, though! For my choice, I cannot, and do not want to ever get away from Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer. Sidenote: I’ve also tried Becca Cosmetics Evermatte Poreless Primer, and while it did the job well enough, it was …kind of tough to apply. Becca is a thicker primer, versus Smashbox’s smooth, gel-like feel, and despite it working, I prefer not to fight my face at step 1. Smashbox’s formula is timeless, flawless and leaves your face feeling silky smooth, ready for foundation.
Fun fact: the first ever primer I used when starting out with makeup was actually Smashbox, and I kept to it for a long long while before jumping ship to see what else was out there. Silly me.
Setting sprays – I know this is typically *after *makeup, but I’ve found you can spray before as well, to freshen your face a bit. Shockingly, I have little experience using various sprays – Urban Decay’s De-Slick Setting Spray (which is now discontinued & replaced with the current product that’s linked) is my first and only purchase and I love it. It keeps me settled and refreshed and even after 12 hours of makeup (which is rare for me) I’m still looking alright. The photo below is of what I have, which is no longer available for purchase. That said, the new/updated version is a sure thing and I’ll be scooping a new bottle up soon as I finish my current.
Second: Foundations, Powders & Concealers
I’ve used no less than 5-10 various foundation products over the last ten years. I realize it doesn’t sound like much, but that’s more than I ever thought I’d dabble with when I first began using makeup. Which, I’ll be honest, wasn’t until I was 19 years old. My best friend from college was shocked when she found out I was a natural sort of girl, and most days I still am. But once she took me to Sephora that first time, I never looked back. I wanted every shade, every brush and lipstick I could get my hands on. And no, I wasn’t great at it when I first started. I used to put on barely enough foundation to look like I had a slightly better complexion and gobs of white – ***white ***– eyeshadow. Like, pure light white. It was silly, but fun all at the same time and hey, we all have to love beginnings, even if they’re awkward and slightly embarrassing. Which, now that I think of it, most firsts always are.
But, foundations! What do I use, what are my favorites and where can you grab some of your own? The current top favorite of mine is Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour SPF 15 (in Light Sand shade, for anyone who’s curious enough). You’ll find that a lot of my #1’s are made by Tarte, because not only are their products a whole lotta hell yes, they’re slogan is “high-performance naturals,” and I can attest to the truth of that. If curious, go steal a sneak peek into their ingredients and then buy buy buy because everything they sell is beyond worth it. For me, this particular foundation is full coverage, which is essential to me, but light and airy on the skin – not tacky, sticky or cakey. You can use an Beauty Blender, Foundation Brush or any other applicator to apply and you’ll be left with a look that is flawless and stunning for the entire wear.
The second on the list is Kat Von D’s Lock It, a full-coverage long-wear foundation that literally makes your face look like you have NO PORES. The only reason this is *not *at the top of the list is, and I know it’s a silly reason, I haven’t been able to accurately match my skin tone to a shade! It’s $35 a bottle and while that’s not bad at all, the one I have purchased is best worn in summertime, when I have a tan. Otherwise I look a bit like took an Island-vacation for a week and a half in the middle of December. If that makes sense? But seriously, it’s the most full-coverage foundation I’ve ever worn but also light, airy and non-cakey, much like Tarte’s. It’s sort of magical, really. I haven’t purchased her matching-line foundation brush for this, but I might, just because gimmicks and collections are sort of my thing. ?
Next is not a foundation but what I like to call the “finishing-finishing touch.” It’s Mary Kay’s Sheer Pressed Mineral Powder in Ivory 2 shade that I pack on post-foundation application to settle the look and remove any chance of either liquid or my natural oils settling in my wrinkles (what, I’m 33, course I have wrinkles!). It’s brilliant and if I ever forget to use this, I’m have to periodically check my face to make sure I’m not melting or turning into a baked good. Seriously, highly recommend!
Last is concealer because CURSE YOU UNDER-EYE DARK SPOTS. I’ve struggled for a while to find a concealer that was bomb enough to tackle my mom-shadows, and finally, I found one: Tarte’s Shape Tape in Light shade, which is known throughout the makeup community as one of THE best concealers out there on the market, if not ever. It almost completely rids your face of uneven tones and shadowed areas, and so like all of the Tarte products I’ll be mentioning in these blogs, it does its damn job flawlessly. Run along and purchase now, you’ll be thanking me later.
Okay, so yeah, I used to be *that *girl that had pencil-thin, teeny-tiny eyebrows in her teens and early twenties. But I finally wised up and grew them out over the period of a few months. It was kind of wooly and not the nicest look, but I was a woman on a mission. And I’m happy I did that – now I have a sweet set of angular ‘brows and all I need to do is fill in a few light spots versus draw them on completely. Because again, age. I have a few sprinkles of gray here and there but my Too Faced BulletProof Brows kit is a wonderful thing. It’s long-lasting and the color is a perfect match, despite the fact that it only comes in two shades, I believe. It’s also a great price for the pot + brush, so win-win.
Quick PSA: Apparently the former CEO of Two Faced is a total dickhead, so as much as I love this kit, I’ll be switching to Anastasia Beverly Hills for brow products soon. Dislike internet trolls to the nth degree and considering who he is and his stature in the biz, what he did over on Instagram (threw major shade at competitor brands vocally & had his sister attack people as well – seriously, not making this up, despite the fact that they deleted all those posts…ugh) just doesn’t work for me. Losing a customer in me, for sure.
You’ll find a sure win in any of Anastasia’s kits or products, or even Two Faced’s, if you’re still curious and don’t care about rich assholes spilling the tea needlessly on social media platforms. 😉