It wasn't all that long ago that my husband treated me to a very fun shopping adventure at Sephora where I stocked up on all the essentials and soon realized that these extra special items were worth the extra price tags and I became totally obsessed. This is a list of all the gear I use every morning, (though I don't use the same colours everyday). There are a few items I use every day that are not from Sephora that are honestly better than things found there! My list at a glance:
-Cover Girl Clean Oil Control Makeup
-Too Faced Pink Leopard Bronzer
-Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
-Urban Decay Eyeshadow and Eye Liner
-Too Faced Pinpoint Mascara
-Urban Decay Urban Lash
-Mark Kiss Dry Goodbye Lip Smoother
-Mark Kissink Lip Tintmarker* Lip products change a lot, I also really like Urban Decay lipsticks and Kat Von D glosses
This is the sample set that started it all for me. Of all the fun make up in this set, the things I use everyday are the Tarte illuminator and the Tarte cheek stain. I use the illuminator after my moisturizer and before my foundation/concealer. The illuminator really does make a difference, it literally looks like there is a healthy glow going on that wasn't there before and it doesn't look like a 15 year old attacked the body glitter either. It just gives you warm, slightly dewy look that looks most subtle under foundation, so if you want to show it off more, use it on top of your makeup.
The Tarte cheek stain I use after my foundation and before my powder. It's the first cream blush I've ever used and I totally understand why people love it so much. I have a powder blush that I still use occasionally, but this one is my daily go to now. I draw a little line on my cheekbones and just rub in with my fingers. It always blends in nicely and looks like I have a little colour all on my own. Included in it is; Tarte cheek stain (my hands down fave blush - cream or otherwise), Lorac powder, ID Mineral Viel, Tarina Tarintino glitter in pink, Tarte Lock and Roll in bronze, Nars orgasm illuminator, Tarina Tarintino gloss in pink, Tarte illuminator, Josie Marin liquid bronzer, Lorac lipgloss in bronze, and Sephora eyeliner in bronze.
It's funny that a standard drug store staple appears after a seriously glitzy package from Sephora, but this is the order I put on my make up and Cover Girl is a tried and true. I have used way more expensive foundation, but this one - Cover Girl Clean Oil Control makeup is the best. It goes on smooth, I use a makeup wedge. I used to use my fingers to blend this on, but Carmindy hasn't steered me wrong yet and shs swears that we put on way too much when we use our fingers - so wedge it is! The blending with this works really well into the hairline and down the jawline as well and I never have that awful makeup line!
The other reason I love the oil control, though to be fair I've never tried the regulr version, is that it works just as well as the Urban Decay Deslick in a Tube that I sometimes wear under my makeup. Both products seem to stop the T-zone from being horribly oily and shiny (as it's often prone to do...), but the Cover Girl is obviously a lot less expensive than the Urban Decay and I'm not just saying it works similarly, it does. Plus I don't have an extra product this way.
At first I just fell in love with the packaging of this bronzer. It's pink leopard print and the tiny magnet closure has a little pink ribbon to pull it open. Cute! Inside there is a small mirror and the caption 'you look absolutely puuuuuurefect'. I tried it once to see how it would look over my foundation and blush and it was such a great finishing touch that I use it daily now.
Yes, it's technically a bronzing powder, but if you just dab lightly and shake off the excess, you'll give yourself a warm glow. If you really pile it on, you will look like you're auditioning for the next season of Jersey Shore - I'll be watching! Ha! If you've been using a gradual tanning lotion, you're going to want more than just a little glow on your face. Not much look weirder than a body that is tanned and a face that is not (well, maybe light hair and dark eyebrows, but that's a whole other issue). To get a deeper glow on your face without going overboard just apply and reapply until it looks right. The first time you do it, you may feel like you've been at it forever, but it's a lot easier to add more than to wash it off and start all over again, right? After you've done it once you'll get a better idea of how much you need to match the rest of your beautiful self!
Eyeshadow is my favorite makeup item. Hands down. There are so many fun colours and even more fun colour combos and it's probably the easiest way (aside from wearing bright red lipstick) to make a look pop without wearing an outfit so off center you probably wont wear it again. The biggest issue with wearring bright colours though is when they get gross on you, about halfway through the day. Either they start to flake off or they collect in a gross crease on your eye. Yuck. I read about eyeshadow prime years ago and assumed it was a waste of money. Man was I wrong. I use it almost every day now.
Urban Decay has a really good one that works well and doesn't break the bank. I put my eyeshadow on just before 7am most days and I don't take it off until after 9pm and I'm telling you, that shadow stays where I put it! Urban Decay is also my favorite shadow - surprise, surprise - and with 63 colours, I've yet to run out of ideas.
The Too Faced Pinpoint Mascara & UD Urban Lashes really deserve an article all to themselves, but here I'll say that they are a great combo. Truthfully, there are other mascaras that are better at lengthening and defining lashes, but neither is the goal when you're wearing false lashes! You need a good colour and shine base because most false lashes - Urban Decay especially - are dark and shiny! The Pinpoint Mascara has a smaller wand than many other brands, and that helps with applying it. Especially on the bottom lashes!
These lashes are my absolute favorite, there are 18 different lash designs and Urban Decay also has a false lash mascara that helps blend your lashes in with the flase ones, though I have yet to try that. What I love about these lashes isn't so much their ease of use (the really big ones like Plush are not easy to put on), is the drama of them! I only have one or two sets from Quo that I would call 'natural looking', because for me that's not the goal. Also, while these are about $10 more than Quo lashes, they last a lot longer and can be washed more without falling apart!
Most of the time I didn't ever think my lips were dry or that it was an issue I had to contend with - until those random times when they'd be so dry that lip pencils looked ridiculous and my Avon aloe vera lip balm wasn't cutting it. Most of the Mark products can connect to each other, two at a time, so they take up less precious space in your make up bag when you're out. That's how I ended up trying this one, as a 'hook up' to the Tintmarker I already loved. I loved it the first time I used it, and I didn't even think to use it until my lips were alreayd dry and I was pretty impressed at how quickly it moisturized them and made the Tintmarker look so much better! Then, I was reading product reviews on their site and found that girls who had been using it every day, even when they didn't have an issue, had noticed that not only did the dryness not come back, but they noticed a positive change in the testure of their lips. Sign me up! I started using it every day after that, under whatever lipstick I"m wearing or alone. The bummer about this product though? It only comes in a small tube - so stock up when they run deals!
The Mark Kissink Tintmarker is as 'smooch proof' as they say it is. It lasts through meals and drinks, but doesn't feel all gloopy and gross when you put it on like other long-wearing lip colours. The marker applicator is nice too because if you're not a pro with a lipbrush (I am not a pro at all with lipbrushes) this makes application a whole lot easier. The only issue I have with this product is that it only comes in two colours, and both run a little darker than they seem. The 'berry bitten' is more like a light red, and the 'red siren' is more like a deep red. They are both pretty colours though and they work with the other 'hook up' connectors to other Mark products.
I have no doubt that my 'must haves' will grow and change as I get more into makeup and as my morning routine changes over time to allow for more or less time in front of the mirror at 6:30am!