Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pretty, please.

I love makeup. LOVE!

Inner beauty is most important of course, but being the super-girly girl that I am, I don't mind spending some time working on my outer beauty, too.

Over the years, I have experimented with all different brands and products. Since I sadly don't have an unlimited Sephora fund, I have become pretty good at figuring out which products are worth a splurge and which drugstore items are great bargains. Here are just a few of my secret weapons:

-Stila Illuminating Liquid Foundation ($38)

Flawless, glowy skin is always the goal -- even with great nutrition, hydration, and exercise, a good foundation helps create a perfect canvas. I often splurge here because I find the pricey foundations usually have great ingredients and super creamy formulations that make them go on easily and last longer.

I love all Stila products, but this one stands out as a real winner. The formulation is creamy, silky, and offers a perfect medium coverage -- not so much that you feel like you're wearing a mask, but enough to do the job and cover little imperfections. It adds the right amount of brightness, too. No glitter, no weird shimmer - it just turns up the wattage.

If dropping $30-40 on foundation doesn't sound like a great time to you there are some good drugstore options. I love L'Oreal foundations, and I usually have a bottle on hand in case of emergency (note: what constitutes a foundation emergency? Well, once I was getting ready for the night and was running late as usual. I couldn't find my foundation anywhere -- turns out that I had tossed it in my gym bag after a workout and it was hiding in the toe of my boot, not to be discovered for a few days. Since then, I like to have a spare or two lying around).

CONCEALER: Splurge, for serious.
-AmazingConcealer To Go ($28)

This is my favorite. I use it under my tired little eyes, and I swear they should call it Sleep in a Tube. They should give it out to new mothers, stressed-out college students, brides, early bird gym rats...pretty much everyone! 10 different shades cover so many different skin tones, another plus (this Peacock is the fairest of the fair, so I pick whatever shade looks most like White-Out).

Go with the smaller tube, it will last forever. And when people keep telling you how young and fabulous you look and millionaires start proposing marriage, you won't be thinking about the measly 28 bucks you spent.

BLUSH: Splurge (there are some bargains coming soon, I promise)
-Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick ($38)

There are quite a few blushes in my rotation, and I find that the ones I like best are of the non-drugstore variety. I love Benefit's blush boxes and tints, and Nars makes lots of things to make your cheeks pop (like the hilariously named Super Orgasm). Right now, my must have is Bobbi Brown's Shimmer Brick. I like the Rose color, but there are a few different shades (including a bronze-y one that I might try if I ever develop anything that looks like a hint of a tan).

This is great for so many reasons. You can swirl a big brush across the whole brick and hit the apples of your cheeks for a bright pop of blush; you can smudge the darker colors in the creases of your eyes for an easy shadow option (just use your fingers); the light color makes a great highlighter, especially right in the corners of your eyes. This is a great little compact to throw in your purse so you can touch up during the day, and its great to travel with, especially if you're trying to pack light (I love ANY product that doesn't give me problems when I go through airport security).

MASCARA: Steal - yay!
-L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara, Carbon Black (about $7)

Excellent drugstore staple to have in your bag (especially since you're supposed to replace your mascara every 3 months -- do you all do that?). Some people like that mascara in the pink and green tube (you know the one I mean), but to me Voluminous is the real superstar. Super thick, super flirty lashes in just a few swipes. The Carbon Black shade is VERY similar to one of the fancy brands (cough DiorShow cough).  The best part is the price -- always less than 10 bucks, but I often find it on sale at Target for $5!

-Nivea Lip Care, A Kiss of Shimmer ($3-ish)

Every once in a while I'll spend more on a fancy lip product, but in general I am happy with the things I find at the drugstore for a couple of reasons:

- SO many colors to pick from
- Lots of drugstores let you return makeup after you've tried it on, so you don't get stuck with a dud
- I will definitely lose my lip products within weeks (days?) of purchase

This is actually more of a lip balm but it has a nice hint of color -- looks good and good for you, can't beat that! I am not a big fan of shimmer on my lips so I usually blot a little after applying to cut some of the shine -- but if you like your pucker to be glossy, more power to you! I like this pink shade, but check out the other colors, too.

These are just a few of my faves -- what are your must-have makeup secret weapons?


  1. Is the concealer really that amazing?? You just may have convinced me. I'm always on the hunt for a good concealer.
    Thanks for the tips!

  2. I recommend it to everyone, I really love it!! I am a night-owl and my eyes always show it. I was really shocked at how much of a difference this made without being cakey or artificial.

    If you're thinking about it, I'd definitely buy/order from Sephora because of their lovely return policy -- no risk! And if you try it, let me know what you think!

  3. Will do! Thanks!