My favorite beauty products!

Those of you that know me know I don't wear much makeup on a daily basis. It's a lot of work, a lot of money and personally, I think my skin reacts better and looks better in general if I leave it to its own devices. I'm not gonna lie, though, it is fun to get dressed up, put on makeup and fix my hair for special occasions. I am still experimenting with some products (blush, for example, and mascara), but others I have found products that I really love and will probably remain staples in my makeup repertoire.


Pre-styling leave-in: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Nourishing Oil Elixer

I don't really do much to my hair in the mornings, I just blow it dry. Even with that small amount of styling, though, I felt like my hair was pretty dried out (especially in the winter time). I used John Frieda's Frizz Ease line back in the day, so I tried the original serum as a pre-styling protector and treatment, and loved it. I decided to try the nourishing formula just for fun, and loved it even more! I have fine, soft hair that tends to get drier as I get older, and it works awesome for me. (For the record, the other leave-ins I've tried are Perfect 10 and Aussie, and I was not a fan.)


Liquid foundation 1: Mac Studio Fix Fluid in NC15

This foundation is super-max coverage, and has a slightly matte finish. I only wear it for special events when I know it's going to be hot and/or humid, I need to wear it all day or I need maximum coverage because my skin is acting up. I *love* the way it makes my skin look, but it does smell a little funny and I can't wear it every day because it makes the dry parts of my face too dry.

Liquid foundation 2: Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer

This is also a great foundation, but is on the other end of the spectrum - it is fairly sheer, and very moisturizing. I wear this on my nose every day (and on any dry parts of my face that tend to get red in the winter), but don't put it on the rest of my face because it tends to get a little too moisturizing.

Powder: Mac Mineralize Skinfinish in Light Plus

I wear this powder on top of my liquid Mac foundation for special events (and on my oily forehead). I also wear it on the rest of my face that I don't cover with my Clinique Moisture Surge for "every day" events that aren't, you know, my daily work-gym routine.

Blush: I'm still exploring blush. I splurged a few years ago and bought NARS blush in Deep Throat (I know, gross) and I loved it. I'm not sure if I can justify the expense again, and since I don't really know what the difference will be between a drugstore and a designer-brand blush, I think I'm going to try a drugstore brand next. I'm totally open to suggestions if you have any!

Skincare: Clinique 3-Step Skin Care System

If left untreated, I have some pretty gnarly eczema around my mouth. I just started battling with this a couple of years ago, and Clinique totally saved me. I took their 3-Step Diagnostic online and went into Blue Mercury and bought the products it told me to (most of them anyway - the cleanser, toner and moisturizer. I didn't bother with the 'extras'). The best thing about this program is that it's super customizable. My skin is combination, so I now use the three products shown above but a gel-based oil-free version of the moisturizer on my nose and forehead, which tend to be greasier than the rest of my face.


Mascara: Sigh. I have run the gamut of drug-store mascaras and still haven't found a die-hard favorite. I know I like Cover Girl Clump Crusher, Loreal Voluminous Million Lashes and Maybelline Lash Stilleto, but I can't say I love any of them. (I also used to love Maybelline Falsies, but then they changed the brush and now I hate it.) I remember really liking Lash Stiletto, but unfortunately because I am so fair I always want brownish-black, and I can only ever find it in the super-dark black shades (Get it together, Maybelline!) I have super-long, light, fine lashes, and I want them to separate evenly, curl well and stay curled all day. I am totally up for suggestions (but I don't want to spend a fortune!)

Liquid eyeliner: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner in Black-Brown

I prefer to tightline my eyes, so I have to have a liquid liner that provides a sharp line and stays put. This eyeliner is simple and has a super-fine-tipped brush, and it has been my go-to for years.

Pencil eyeliner: I don't use pencil eyeliner as much as I do liquid any more, but when I do, I like Maybelline Define-A-Line eyeliner. Again - I like this product because it is simple, inexpensive, provides a precise line and stays put. I'm not a fancy-pants when it comes to my products, and this is another simple go-to I've always liked.

Eye shadow: I literally do not own eye shadow. I have some in black and navy blue that I used for Halloween a few years ago….but other than that, I'm sort of waiting on Santa or the Hanukkah Bunny to bring me the Urban Decay Naked palettes at the holidays. HA

Brows: Sigma Brow Expert Kit in Light

Okay, so I did a bunch of research before Christmas last year, because my parents still ask me for a Christmas list and I knew I wanted a brow kit. I have great brows, but they are unruly as Hell if I don't keep on top of them. All I owned was tweezers, but since the bold-brow trend was coming back, I wanted to be able to fill in any sparse areas (and I really wanted the brush-and-scissor combo). I know the bold brows can easily get out-of-control-mannish, but I just wanted something to define and fill in the outer portions of my brows, which tend to get more sparse and blonde. Guys, let me tell you. Life. Changing. I got the kit as a gift from my dad, and it is worth the money! The only thing I really wish it had was an actual filler pencil, but I get why it doesn't - too easy to get carried away. Filling in with powder looks much more natural.


Lipliner: Revlon Colorstay Lipliner

I currently own this lip liner in Wine. It pairs well with the colors below, and again - simple, leaves a defined line, stays put, and is inexpensive. 

Lipstick 1: NARS Semi Matte Lipstick

I currently own this lipstick in Jungle Red. It was a gift, but if I bought it myself it would be a splurge. I love it, though. Awesome pigment, doesn't stain my lips (which is why I'd splurge on it - drugstore brands stain my lips SO bad), and stays put for hours. This is also the perfect shade of red for my complexion. 

Lipstick 2: Clinique Different Lipstick

I currently own this lipstick in A Different Grape. It was a sample a friend got when she made a purchase at Clinique, and she gave it to me. I love it. It's more moisturizing and technically is less matte than the NARS lipstick above, but it doesn't appear glossy at all. This color is awesome (I'm wearing it in a recent Instagram pic!) and it stayed on for hours the first time I wore it. Big fan.

What are your favorites?? I'd love recommendations for a couple of these areas where I haven't found my go-to products!


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