Okay, so this is kind of embarrassing. Hairyshoefairy gave me the idea to give a tour of my make-up bag, but the truth is, I don’t have one. I have an antique sewing machine table I picked up at an estate sale that I use as a vanity in my room. I have a tufted stool that I sit on, and it’s a total girly-indulgence. But years ago, when Mo first laughed at my tiny bag of crumbly beige shadow and one pencil, I decided to conquer this thing and embrace it. And I have- it’s a fun and huge part of me now, and I one that I like. So here’s my make-up stash:
I know, I know… it’s more than most people want or need. But remember! It’s my girly indulgence! And most my make-up budget is non-existent now- but I have lots of creative ways to get new products- including Sephora points, testing and writing new product reviews for companies and websites, and having Mo for my bestie. The perks are many… So. Here’s the scoop:
- Brushes. I have many- they are divided into face and eye, and I absolutely have my favorites. I don’t spring for super expensive brushes, and love the set the have at Costco right now. If you need brushes, go get it. Sonja Kashuk at Target also makes a lot of nice, inexpensive but good quality brushes. You can also find deeply discounted bushes at places like TJ Max and Ross.
- Eyeliner. My favorite, hands down, is Urban Decan 24/7. It’s smooth, glides on easily with no tugging, and lasts all day. It’s pricey, but if you watch sales and use Sephora points, it’s worth it. As a second favorite, Revlon colorstay is a passable drugstore option. I have every color under the rainbow, but browns, purples, blues and greens are my failsafe.
- Blush. I vacillate between powder, creme and stain. My current favorite is Benefit Coralista, and MAC blushbaby for powder, and Stila Illium for creme. For bronzer, I like Cargo 02 Medium. It’s nice, and doesn’t make you look streaky or orange. I’m also a fan of Benefit PosiTint and have several Tarte cheekstains stashed in the drawer you don’t see.
- The is a catchall basket of UD shadows, Benefit creme bases and gel liners from various makers. Gel liners are fantastic, but do require a little skill with a brush. But their staying power is fantastic and the color payoff is great.
- Foundation. I use MAC StudioFix foundation, and Smashbox PhotoFinish. MAC offers more coverage, and PhotoFinish is more light-reflective. Both have decent drugstore knockoffs in Revlon Colorstay for the MAC, and Revlon PhotoReady. Really good quality at a fraction of the price. I have some mineral foundations and tinted moisturizers as well, for days I feel like those.
- Shadow: Loose pigments. This whole tray is lose pigments of pure colors that can be combined, pressed, used wet or dry for liners or shadow and are versatile in every way.
- Shadow Palettes: My go-to everyday fall-back no matter what palette is Urban Decay Naked. After being out of stock for months, they have it again at Sephora. It’s the best neutral shadow palette, and works for everyone and every skin tone. The quality is amazing. There are a lot of things I’m willing to skimp on, but this isn’t one of them. The palette above is Kat Von D, and I was pleasantly surprised at the excellent, creamy quality of her shadows and staying power with intense color. I’d put it right beneath UD, which is really saying something.
- Compacts and sets: there are quads and trios of shadow from various makers. I think my Nars Orgasm blush in in there, too- which no woman, really, should be without. There is no good drugstore knockoff for that one, unfortunately.
- Mascara: L’Oreal Voluminous mascara on Carbon is my go-to favorite, and at less than 1/3 the cost of DiorShow, it’s so worth it. I go through mascara like crazy, and am willing to switch allegience and try anything. Mascara isn’t something worth spending a ton on- you use it up quickly and it needs to be tossed regularly.
- Lipgloss: Also not somewhere I want to spend a ton. Drugstore glosses are fine- though every once in a while I like to spurge. I like MAC lipstick over every other brand, hands down- no smell, great color payoff and terrific staying power.
- This little bowl is full of primers and samples from Sephora- another great way of trying high-end products. Sephora will give you a sample of any product they carry.
- My favorite primer, hands down, is Too Faced Primed & Poreless. It’s silky smooth, lasts forever, and if you’re going to go to all this trouble with quality make-up, don’t you want it to last? This is your guarantee. Also, Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Locks your shadow in place. I put my make up on in the morning, and now matter what, it’s on until I want it off. Worth it.
- Brush Cleaner. Get some. Use it. You can wash your brushes with a mild baby shampoo, but they require overnight drying each time you do. Brush cleaner is a great way to swipe and keep them sanitary and clean each day. Brushes that are not kept clean will spread oils and can cause breakouts. Keep ’em clean, and prolong their lives- and your skin.