I’ve currently got makeup on my mind a lot, which is probably partly because I’ve been really busy in the mornings and don’t always have enough time to put on all of my normal look, partly because I’ve been looking at some makeup I own but haven’t used recently, and partly because I keep getting circulars and coupons in the mail from Ulta.
I use both drugstore and high-end brands. While high-end brands may seem too expensive, I like buying things that are a higher quality and may come with extras. Buying sets and palettes are more economical, especially for eyeshadows. Makeup also usually lasts a very long time, and over time it may pay off.
When I was in seventh grade, my mom took me out and bought/gave me a “starter set” of makeup essentials. It consisted of: CoverGirl Classic Color blush in Rose Silk, a pink lip gloss from Bonne Bell, and an eyeshadow duo from Estee Lauder in a pale pink and a purplish color (this was a free gift with a purchase of lotion or perfume. Estee Lauder always has generous gifts that my family splits). I still use the blush, which is one of my favorite shades.
I then joined the color guard and ended up having all of this over-the-top show makeup. I blame this for my love of crazy makeup, because it’s essentially makeup that had to be seen across a gymnasium/football field, so it had to be INTENSE. Think eyeshadow going to your hairline.
And then I discovered eyeliner and this amazing thing called concealer. I didn’t really discover eyeliner – we had to use it (a lot) for color guard, but I finally figured out how to best apply it about the same time I realized that I could hide the circles under my eyes. My trick was to use a liquid eyeliner pen on top (this started in 2010, before liquid pens became strong) and then line the bottom waterline and inner corner with a pencil, and it’s worked ever since.
Then I got into eyeshadow about three years ago. I’d usually only wear some for big days – important presentations in school, holidays, parties, etc, but then realized that I absolutely loved this one shade from Estee Lauder (again, a free gift from someone in my family buying stuff). It was called Smokey, and has since been discontinued and replaced by a shade that is similar but not as nice. This shade was a dark taupe with enough purple to really complement my green eyes and a shimmer to catch the light. It was my go-to singleshade – I could use a little to add a bit of color and make my eyes pop, or I could add a lot along my lashlines and crease to make a smokey look. It’s a perfect shade, and I haven’t found anything quite like it since.
And then I started caring about my entire makeup regime (foundation, lipstick, and bronzer/contouring added in) and really looking at eyeshadow. I started buying all of these colors and palettes, sometimes wanting to try a shade for a specific look and other times just wanting to fool around with something new. This is when I really started getting into higher end brands. My eyeshadow was crazy for a very long time, but I’ve had to tone it down for things like work.
Currently, my favorite brand in general: Revlon. I use them for both my eyeliner looks, as well as a couple eyeshadow quads, foundation, and lots of lip products.
My favorite high-end brand: Urban Decay. The first time I tried their eyeshadow, it was so luxurious and easy to apply that I wanted to throw out the rest of my makeup and buy everything from them. (I didn’t).
Favorite mascara: I’ve tried all of three brands- Maybelline, Ulta, and Estee Lauder. I only ever bought from Maybelline – the others were free. My lashes are naturally long and dark, so I flip-flop between not wearing it for months and going all-out for big, dark, thick lashes. I like Maybelline’s Colossal Volum’Express.
Favorite eyeliner: Revlon ColorStay liquid eye pen and retractable pen. They’re so easy to apply and stay all day.
Favorite eye palette: So hard to choose! Either Urban Decay’s Smoked palette (I love a smoky eye, and they’re incredibly thorough with shades, styles, and directions) or Too Faced Rock N Roll palette (a larger selection of achievable looks and colors that can be worn together for a slightly more day-to-night range).
Favorite bronzer: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess in Medium. Yet another freebie. I use this to contour my face every day, and it gives me some cheek color, as well. I don’t understand bronzers that come in all of these small strips or dots of different colors one on top of the other. This is large, and while it’s expensive, I find it so worthwhile.
Favorite blush: The CoverGirl blush mentioned above. It’s lasted me years, and pairs well with the bronzer.
Favorite lipstick: I have too many! Estee Lauder’s Pure Color lipstick in Bois de Rose is an old favorite for something a little more everyday. I’ve also got a five-pack from Tarte with everyday colors like Angelic Nude and Pink Poinsettia, so no matter what color you’re wearing, you’re covered. For a red, I go with one of two shades from Manic Panic (which makes hair dye), either Vampire Red (dark, with a little pink in it) or Marilyn (very bright, very much a true red).
Favorite gloss/other lip products: I don’t wear much gloss. Usually it’s too smelly, and gloss either smudges or fades much too quickly. I really am picky about gloss, so usually don’t bother, especially because I care more about the color than the shine. I like Revlon’s ColorStay Moisture Stain line, which is a bit more of a lip gloss than a typical stain, kind of like a liquid lipstick. I like New York Scene, which is a dark reddish color. The glossy part fades kind of quickly, but it leaves behind all of this amazing color so you don’t have to apply every ten minutes.