Okay ladies, here it is – all of the beauty and skin care products that I don’t think I could ever live without. Sometimes even more so than my fashion, I am asked what products I use to get my skin and makeup to look so flawless. Well, here they are! Painstakingly listed one by one with descriptions of what they do and my personal thoughts on them. I am the kind of girl who finds something she likes, and then uses it forever…or at least until the product is discontinued (which has actually happened to me far too many times). I am warning you now that there is a lot of content in this post, but I am just giving you all what you want! I hope that these explanation and pictures are helpful, and that you might try one or two of these products because they are definitely LIFE CHANGING!
| S k i n c a r e |
First of all, lets just get this clear – good makeup application starts with good skin care! I always get asked how I manage to get my makeup to look flawless, and my answer is: “Because I make sure to take good care of my skin.” I make sure to moisturize my face and neck daily, I always remove all of my makeup at the end of the day, and I try to let my natural skin breath as much as possible. This means that I almost never have makeup on at home, and on certain days of the week I try not to wear any makeup at all (just enough to look nice and polished at work). I will say upfront that these products might not work for everyone, but they do wonders for me. If you are curious to try them out, I know that most of these skin care items come in smaller sample sizes! You can also go in to Sephora and ask to sample any of their products. They give you a little plastic container of the product for free, and they provide you with just enough to test it out a handful of times.
| Morning Routine |
– Ole Henriksen Foaming Cleanser: What it does: “This creamy, foaming, antioxidant-rich cleanser gently cleanses, nourishes, and hydrates. It deeply purifies and pampers skin, infusing delicate nourishment with African red tea, a youth-restoring antioxidant to strengthen skin, vitamin C to brighten and firm, and borage seed oil to soothe and nourish.” My Thoughts: I use this cleanser first thing in the morning to wash away all of the grit and grime that surfaces on my face throughout the night. Not only does it get the job done, but it is extremely refreshing and smells good enough to eat!
– Ole Henriksen Truth Serum: What it does: “Formulated with a proprietary five-source vitamin C complex to support natural collagen production, brighten, and minimize fine lines, this must-have serum defends from environmental aggressors and free radical damage, leaving skin healthy and protected. It is enriched with green tea extract and sodium hyaluronate to nurture and nourish. This lightweight and oil-free formula quickly absorbs into skin while the iconic uplifting citrus scent pampers your skin and your senses.” My Thoughts: This serum smells like straight up Skittles and I love it. After my first time using this product I already knew that I never wanted to go another day without it in my life. I even apply this on days that I don’t wear any makeup. This serum instantaneously brightens my skin and gives it a plump and youthful appearance. It is definitely one of my top 5 beauty must haves!
– Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Moisturizer: What it does: “Skin feels fresh, healthy, and bright with this lightweight moisturizer’s silky whipped texture that melts into skin. A potent blend of actiwhite™, licorice, and vitamin C help fade dark spots, even skintone, and prevent premature signs of aging while botanical fruit acids gently exfoliate and retexturize. The calming blend of sandalwood, geranium, and chamomile soothes, balances, and purifies the skin to minimize pores while glycerin lightly hydrates. Sugar cane and multifruit AHAs gently exfoliate to refine texture, even tone, and soften the look of fine lines as vitamin C brightens and provides antioxidant protection from environmental aggressors. Vitamin E heals, restores, and nourishes the skin, leaving you with a healthy-looking, smooth, refreshed complexion.” My Thoughts: As you can see, this moisturizer does it all. The lightweight texture leaves my skin feeling weightless but still hydrated. It also doesn’t leave a greasy film on my skin like some products do and it sinks in almost immediately.
| Night Routine |
– Ole Henriksen Brightening Cleansing Cloths: What it does: “Cleanse, brighten, and hydrate in one easy step. Vitamin C and Coq10 boost radiance and repair while black currant oil replenishes moisture for fresh, lustrous, youthful-looking skin. Easy to use and great for travel, each quilted cloth effortlessly sweeps away dirt, oil, and makeup, leaving behind a rejuvenated complexion.” My Thoughts: These makeup remover cloths are AMAZING! I first wash my face with only water and then I remove the remaining makeup with these cloths. Like the Truth Serum that I use in the morning, these cloths smell exactly like Skittles! They deep clean all the little nooks and crannies of my skin and leave it feeling completely fresh and rejuvenated.
– Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Gel Treatment: What it does: “This powerful gel seals in essential vitamins and minerals for deeply nourished skin. It supports natural cell turnover, improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and smooths texture, resulting in a beautiful, radiant, youthful-looking complexion.” My Thoughts: I apply this gel only after I know that my skin is completely clean. I will warn you that it is a bit intense. I have fairly sensitive skin, so once in awhile I will get a slight burning or tingling sensation. This gel goes on pretty slick across my face, but dries within seconds. It does leave my skin feeling a bit tight, but my nightly moisturizer fixes that in a jiffy! Once I added this gel in to my nightly routine, I almost instantly saw results. I now wake up in the morning with more even, bright, and beautiful skin.
– Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask: What it does: “Skin depends on water for its youthful functioning. But all day long, skin loses vital moisture and the busier you are, the more it loses. This intense moisture replacement mask with avocado and apricot kernel oil deeply and instantly quenches compromised moisture reserves and builds a reservoir for tomorrow. Japanese seaweed repairs skin’s barrier to prevent future dehydration and signs of premature aging.” My Thoughts: Since moving to Colorado, my skin has taken quite a hit and is almost constantly dry. I had been searching for a nightly moisturizer that was strong enough to quench my skins thirst after a long day, and I finally found that in this overnight mask. As you may have noticed, I am big on smells, and this moisturizing mask smells like freshly picked apricots. It is absolutely heavenly. This moisturizer is very thick, so I usually put it on at least 10-15 minutes before bed so that it can fully sink in. If you put it on right before jumping in to bed, you may feel like you are getting your pillowcase all goopy! All in all, it has finally protected my face against the dry Colorado air.
– Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream: What it does: “This luxurious, concentrated cream is absorbed quickly, allowing it to deliver naturally occurring humectants that virtually melt into the skin. Before makeup application, a perfect level of emollients imparts a lightweight texture, allowing concealer to glide on evenly. Use in the evening to boost skin’s ability to recharge and rehydrate during the nightly repair process. It plumps fine lines and improves skin’s overall tone and texture. Skin looks and feels stronger and healthier. It leaves the eye area soft, smooth, and refreshed for up to 24 hours.” My Thoughts: I always felt like something was missing in my skincare routine, and I recently realized that this is it. I started using an eye cream about a month ago, and I did a lot of research before purchasing my first one. So far I am in love with the results of this one! First and foremost, a little goes a long way. I was worried about spending so much money on such a little jar, but I am realizing that it may actually last me about 6-8 months. I have squinty little eyes, so they are more prone to developing wrinkles. I also have slight dark circles and my under eye makeup almost always creases. Ever since hydrating my under eyes with this cream every day and night, I have seen major results. My dark circles are almost non existent and the skin under my eyes looks and feels a lot more plump! Applying this cream before I do my makeup also decreases the amount of creasing throughout the day dramatically.
| F a c e |
Now, I know that this looks like a lot of makeup, but I rarely use every product on a daily basis! All of these products are just my all time favorites. If I am going for a more dramatic look, I may use them all together, but for the most part I just like to even out my skin and add a little pop of blush.
| Primer |
– Bare Minerals Prime Time Neutralizing Foundation Primer: What it does: “Create a silky, smooth canvas for a flawless foundation application. With its color-correcting yellow base and light-reflective pigments, this innovative foundation primer immediately neutralizes the appearance of discoloration, uneven skintone, and redness for brighter, younger-looking skin. The mineral-infused formula glides on seamlessly, combatting flaky dryness, rough patches, and uneven skin texture.” My thoughts: When it comes to my skin, it is almost flawless, but I do have a lot of redness around my nose, cheeks, and mouth. The redness isn’t because of acne or irritation, it is just these. I love this neutralizing primer because it instantly evens out my unwanted redness. This creates a blank canvas for any makeup application, and it keeps it there for the entire day!
| Base |
– Dr. Jart+ BB Cream: What it is: “A moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum, this all-in-one product also includes advanced brightening properties. Ideal under makeup, its natural-looking coverage minimizes the appearance of imperfections and evens the skintone. Antioxidant bio-peptides and adenosine protect skin from harsh environmental factors while restoring firmness and elasticity. This lightweight formula features mineral sunscreens to provide broad spectrum sun protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Skin is left looking smooth, perfect, and natural.” My Thoughts: This stuff is my ride-or-die beauty product. It is definitely a must have. I get compliments on my skin daily, and I owe it all to this BB cream. Like I said, I don’t need much face makeup, so this BB cream is perfect for me. It is lightweight, has a beautiful dewy finish, and it has just enough coverage to even everything out. It also makes me feel good to know that my face will always be protected through out the day with SPF 45. This BB cream comes in two universal tones that supposedly match all skin types. I am currently using the lighter of the two, but will be purchasing the darker shade to match my skin better when it gets more bronzed in the summer months.
– Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation: What it is: “Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation delivers flawless, natural-looking coverage that lasts, while the skintuitive™ formula invigorates skintone and texture for a youthful complexion. Powered by Amazonian clay enriched with the earth’s natural, light-reflecting gemstones, this talc-free, moisture-rich powder buffs on smoothly for waterproof, 12-hour coverage that won’t settle into fine lines and wrinkles.” My Thoughts: I usually use this powder foundation when I want more of a full coverage look. The powder also works well for my skin when it is acting up and is a bit more on the oily side. When I first applied this powder foundation I was not impressed at all, but once I let it settle in for about 5 minutes, it made my skin appear completely flawless. This powder is super buildable and leaves my skin with a very natural finish. I bought the brush that goes with it and it delivers a perfect finish – I would definitely recommend getting both!
– Beauty Blender: My Thoughts: This thing is out of this world. If I could only pick one beauty tool to have in my collection, it would probably be this. It took me awhile to pay $20 for this little pink sponge, but once I used it, I knew that it was totally worth it. First and foremost, ALWAYS make sure that you use this beauty blender damp! I used it dry at first and was so confused as to why everyone was raving about it. This beauty blender gives the most perfect application when it comes to foundation, concealer, and any other cream products. The beauty of it all is that it never allows you to apply TOO MUCH makeup. The damp sponge allows you to get enough coverage while soaking up any access makeup. This leaves you with a flawless and natural finish EVRY TIME! I can’t say enough good stuff about this thing.
| Concealer |
– Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer: What it does: “Micro-corrector applicator + super concentrated formula instantly creates a radiant, refreshed looking eye area. Super concentrated formula with goji berry + haloxyl helps to erase the appearance of dark circles and fine lines, while visibly diminishing the appearance of puffiness around the eyes.” My Thoughts: Not only is this a great product, but it is also affordable. I get mine at my local Target. The applicator makes putting on the concealer super easy, and the formula is extremely blendable. I also don’t experience creasing with this concealer – which is a huge plus for me. It has great coverage and pairs perfectly with my beauty blender :) I am currently using the color “Fair” but I am thinking about using the “Brightening” one next!
– Bare Minerals Well-Rested Eye Brightening Powder: What it does: “This eye-brightening shadow base is a favorite among the sleep-deprived for its ability to magically diminish the morning-drowsiness that results from too little sleep or a long day’s journey. Well-Rested works as a beautiful, eye-brightening shadow base, and can also be used to brighten dark shadows around the eyes, nose, lips and anywhere you feel you need an extra pick-me-up.” My Thoughts: I use this specific powder to set my under eyes and any other place that I decide to apply concealer. The light color keeps those areas highlighted and the fine powder prevents them from looking cakey.
| Bronzer |
– Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer in Milk Chocolate: My Thoughts: First of all let me tell you that this bronzer is made with real cocoa powder. REAL COCOA POWDER! So you can only imagine how incredibly delicious it smells. This bronzer has such an amazing finish. It is super blendable and gives a very natural glow. I also love this bronzer because it doesn’t leave my skin looking like it’s dirty or like I’m half Oompa Loompa.
| Blush |
– Sonia Kashuk Creme Blush in Rosey: My Thoughts: This Sonia Kashuk Creme Blush has been a staple of mine since I first started wearing makeup. The formula easily blends into my cheeks and creates a beautiful finish that lasts all day. This cream blush gives such a natural glow and leaves my skin looking radiant, fresh, and never greasy! I wear it year around, but it is particularly amazing in the summer months because it stays on in the water and doesn’t melt away if you happen to get a little sweaty.
– Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Ginger Pop: What it does: “Discover pure, natural cheek color that looks virtually powderless. Its unique, patented technology transforms pure liquid pigment into a smooth, silky powder through a process of slow baking, leaving true color—from compact to cheeks.This silky smooth, stay-true formula creates a vibrant, healthy-looking glow without a trace of powder residue.” My Thoughts: I love this specific blush color because it gives me the perfect natural flush for my skin tone. It is a little on the bright side, but I have always been a fan of super rosy cheeks! The formula also leaves a beautiful natural finish that makes it look like my skin in glowing from within.
| Highlighter |
– The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer: My Thoughts: I first received this product in my Birchbox almost 3 years ago. It was just a little sample size, but it has lasted me up until about 3 months ago! This three-in-one highlighter, eyeshadow, and all-over shimmer is the prettiest honey-hued pigment EVER! And let me tell you, a little goes a long way. I am the kind of girl that wants my highlight to be seen from space – and this little number helps me achieve that. I truly believe that adding a highlighter is the #1 step to achieving truly radiant and youthful looking skin. I especially love the Mary-Lou Manizer because I can use it as a simple eyeshadow too!
| Setting Spray |
– Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray: What it does: “To stop makeup meltdown, just Chill. Perfect for drier or combination skin, Chill mists on to keep makeup from smudging or settling into fine lines. Temperature Control Technology actually chills the surface of your makeup to keep it looking gorgeously just-applied for up to 12 hours. Developed in an exclusive partnership with SKINDINÄVIA, this groundbreaking, clinically tested formula holds foundation, eyeshadow, blush, and concealer in place. The result? Vibrant makeup that lasts and a glowing, dewy, youthful complexion.” My Thoughts: I don’t think I will ever be able to go without this product. I am already on my second bottle! Not only does this spray keep my makeup looking flawless ALL DAY, it also feels so refreshing when I spritz it all over my face. I just started using this product in the winter, but I can only imagine how good it’s going to feel in the warmer summer months. I might even have to get a spare to keep in my purse for random refresher spritz throughout the day!
| E y e s |
I feel like I am fairly simple when it comes to eye makeup. I would say that these products are the ones I rarely change or experiment with. Most of the eye products that I use have been in my makeup collection since I first started using makeup! These are all true staples in my makeup collection and I don’t plan on switching them out any time soon…or ever.
| Shadow |
– Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten: My Thoughts: This is one of those products that I have had around for years and years and years. It is honestly one of the only eyeshadows that I ever wear – and it is perfect for every day use. The light champagne color brightens up my eye area and leaves the perfect amount of shimmer. It also compliments ALL skin types and eye colors. I mean, if that doesn’t prove that it’s the perfect eye shadow, I don’t know what does. Also, one of these tins might cost close to $20, but I promise that it will last you FOREVER!
| Liner |
– Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner: My Thoughts: I don’t know what else to say besides the fact that this eyeliner is the best. It goes on extremely black and opaque. The felt tip also makes it easy to create the perfect winged eyeliner every time. I honestly can do it in one single swoop – it’s that easy! This eyeliner is seriously the bees knees.
– Tarte Inner Rim Liner: What it does: “Gently glide on this multitasking pencil liner along the lower inner rim and inner corner of the eyes for a wide-awake effect. Tarte’s high-performance Lights, Camera, Lashes Inner Rim Liner can also be used to highlight the brow bone, giving arches added shape and definition.” My Thoughts: This little eyeliner pencil does wonders for my squinty little eyes. I add it to my waterline (the inner bottom rim of my eye) and it makes my eye look wide awake and 10x bigger. I especially love this formula because it doesn’t wash away throughout the day. I use to have that problem with other liners because my eyes tend to water a lot, but this stuff doesn’t budge!
| Mascara |
– Clinique High Lengths Mascara: My Thoughts: I am first going to take this moment to curse Clinique for discontinuing my ride-or-die mascara…it was the high definition mascara and it was the most brilliant thing ever created. Since it is no longer available, this is my second choice for mascara. I am extremely picky when in comes to mascara because I have ungodly long lashes. If I don’t pick the right mascara wand or formula, my lashes will end up looking like a hot mess. I like this mascara wand because it hits all of my lashes and the little combs lengthen and separate my lashes perfectly. It also doesn’t apply too much product so it won’t leave my lashes looking all clumpy. I also love the formula of this mascara. It is dark, it doesn’t clump, it doesn’t start to crumble once it dries, and it can be easily removed.
| Brows |
– Gerard Cosmetics Brow Bar To Go: My Thoughts: I use the Brow Bar To Go in the Medium to Ebony color. I use this powder to fill in the sparse areas of my brow. I do not apply this darker powder near the front of my brow – I only use it at the ends. This helps me achieve a more defined brow that also looks natural.
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown: What it does: “Sometimes brows need a little magic. This must-have pencil features an ultrafine, retractable tip to fill in gaps easily and mimic brow hair. Perfect for spot checking areas that may be sparse or over-tweezed, the smear-proof formula wears all day for a natural, fresh look.” My Thoughts: This was the first product I used since I started to experiment with filling in my brows. It is precise, easy to use, and absolutely amazing. I have yet to find my perfect shade, but I am using a lighter color for now to fill in the front part of my brows more precisely. The formula is smooth, but it is not so smooth that it smudges everywhere. This product stays put and gives me the ability to create some pretty fierce brows!
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel: What it does: “This long-wearing clear gel sets and defines brows without fuss. The soothing chamomile formula also conditions hair and offers a lustrous, natural look.” My Thoughts: To be honest, there is not much to say. The gel is clear so it is not messy. The comb separates the brow hairs nicely and leaves them looking very natural. And the gel itself sets perfectly – it keeps my brow hairs in place and it does not fade away throughout the day.
| L i p s |
As you can see, my holy grail lip products don’t include any lipsticks. I am definitely a huge fan of lipstick, but it is not something that I wear on a day to day basis. These lip products give me the pop of color that I love, but they look a little bit more natural and they leave my lips feeling silky smooth.
| Smooth Out |
– Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub: What it does: “Indulge in the sweet-and-salty taste of this delectable lip scrub. Sugar and fine sea salt exfoliate away dry skin while jojoba and coconut oils restore essential hydration to the lips for a smooth, softened pout.” My Thoughts: I love Lush so much. There is just something about being able to use products that are so natural you can literally eat them. Like this one – if you happen to get a little in your mouth, no worries! Not only does it taste good, but it is also harmless. The coarse sea salt and sugar aren’t too harsh and they leave my lips feeling oh so smooth.
| Hydrate |
– EOS Coconut Milk Lip Balm: My Thoughts: This stuff is so good and it smells delicious. I use this lip balm strictly before bed. I have this thing where I can’t go to sleep without hydrated lips and hands, so I always have some lip balm and lotion near my bed. I have one of these little guys in my bathroom and near my bedside to make sure that my lips will always be hydrated when I go to sleep and when I wake up. I usually apply some after brushing my teeth or anytime after I use my lip scrub!
| Added Color |
– Gerard Cosmetics Lipgloss in Rose Hill: My Thoughts: This particular shade was created by one of my all time favorite beauty gurus Jaclyn Hill. This is literally the perfect rose gloss shade. The color looks fairly natural while adding a pop of color, and the formula is smooth and hydrating – not sticky!
– Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus: My Thoughts: This is hands down my go-to lip product almost every day. The color matches my natural lip color almost perfectly, but it makes me look a little more polished. It is the best of both worlds because it adds a flush of color to my face, but it also keeps my lips hydrated like a normal lip balm.
– Benefit Bene Lip Balm in Rose: What it does: “This Benefit Cosmetics Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm sweeps on juicy flavor and nourishes lips with its conditioning formula. Great for wearing alone or layering with your favorite lipstick, this must-have, buildable balm creates luscious, kissable lips in just one simple glide.” My Thoughts: This lip balm basically serves the same purpose as the Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm, but it is just a little brighter. I use this on days that I want a red-lip-feel, but I don’t want to have to worry about the maintenance of applying a bold red lipstick. This is also perfect for when I do apply a matte red lipstick and need a little bit of hydration that won’t mess with the vibrant red color.
And that’s a wrap! I hope you all found this post at least a little bit helpful. I know that I am by no means a beauty expert, but I definitely have a love and passion for makeup. And even though I have my holy grail beauty products that I use on a daily basis, I also love to experiment and try new things all the time! I am hoping to do more beauty posts in the future so that you all can get a little insight in to what products I do and don’t like. Let me know what you think about that plan in the comments below :)