Mac tops my list for makeup this year along with Too Faced; but, here are all my picks for the year.
I’ve recently become a makeup junkie and have been busily trying everything I can get my hands on (thank you Mac and Sephora) and here are my top picks for the year when it comes to looking your best, especially as we get older.
Skin care is the number one priority. I’ve used everything from drugstore brands to the most expensive products on the market. As much as I hate to put more money into Heather and Terry Dubrow’s pockets, I found their Volumagen (found only on Evine Live) to be the best bang for the buck. After two months of use, I am finally starting to see the fine lines around my lips disappear and the creases under my eyes begin to diminish. At $98 (on six easy pays) for a two month supply of eye cream, serum, and moisturizer it’s a great deal and does seem to help. However, that being said, I do find their eye cream is not hydrating enough and the solution is rose hydrating eye cream by Fresh. If I use that after the Volumagen, my eyes stay hydrated all day long. The package says 30 hours of hydration. It’s $40 for a small jar; but, it’s worth it. (Fresh’s soy cleanser is a joy; but, it’s pricey. I got a tube free when I bought my Clarisonic.)
A Clarisonic is a MUST have for removing all the makeup you think you took off. Take off your makeup with a makeup remover wipe and then use the Clarisonic. You’ll be shocked at how much was still on your face. If you search hard enough you can find great deals on Clarisonic. There are a million different bush heads and it’s confusing. I’ve tried several. The deluxe cashmere brush is heavenly; but, the radiance brush works great too; although, I didn’t find any reduction in dark spots, even when I used the matching cleanser.
Once you’ve applied your creams, lotions, and potions, it’s time to prime! Yes, I’ve tried them all and I keep going back to Too Faced Poorless Primer. It has healthy ingredients for your skin and keeps your makeup looking perfect all day.
The Beauty Blender (I’ve written an entire blog post on it) is the perfect way to apply liquid foundation. If you think you don’t need foundation, you DO. Trust me on this. My preference is Too Faced Born this Way Foundation, applied with the Beautyblender. I follow that with Mac Pro Longwear Concealer (although the mineralized one is great too and more moisturizing) and blend it all in with the Beautyblender. To brighten the under eye area, bridge of the nose, forehead and chin, Mac’s Prep and Prime Highlighter Pen is awesome. The Radiant Rose is a great color and I put it under my eyes, out to my temples, down the bridge of my nose, middle of my forehead, center of my chin, and a wee bit at the center of my Cupid’s bow. I blend it all in with the Beauthyblender too. After foundation and highlighter, I set everything with Nars pressed setting powder, although just about any setting powder will do the trick. The Nars was highly recommended and pricey and probably doesn’t work any better than anything else.
Contouring – just about any dark color will work, like Too Faced Chocolate Solei. I will be buying this soon. Smashbox makes a compact of a contour, bronzer, and highlighter but I find that the bronzer really doesn’t add much and the lighter color seems to do nothing. It’s nice because it’s relatively inexpensive and comes with a great brush; but, honestly, I don’t think all three colors are necessary. I definitely contour my nose, under my jaw line, and just under my cheekbones. I put a little of the bronzer right above the contour, and blush above that. Another nice thing about the Smashbox kit is that it has a mirror and a little card that shows exactly where to put what.
When it comes to blush, I can never get it to stay on. Urban Decay’s blushes do stay on; however, save yourself the money and go to the local drugstore for Milani Baked Blush. These do stay on just as well and are only around $8.
Once you’ve applied contour, foundation, and blush, blend, blend using a large fluffy brush. If you want a little extra glow, Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone is perfect. It’s about $36, but will last you the rest of your life. Take a small fluffy brush and give a little sweep right on the bone under your eye. You can also put a little but above the end of your eyebrow.
Onto the eyes. Don’t forget the primer! Elf primer for $3 works as well as anything more expensive that I’ve tried. I recently purchased the Mac Burgundy x 9 palette and couldn’t be more excited about it. There’s only one color out of the nine I don’t use on a daily basis. The Mac girl (thanks Nicole) showed me how to mix and match the colors, often using two at a time to create a daytime or evening look. I’m anxiously looking forward to their spring palettes and the Amber x 9 is a great set of neutral browns.
I’ve used every eyeliner imaginable and forget pencils, gels, and everything else. Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner has a really thin tip, allowing you to get right down to the base of your lashes for an inconspicuous look or build it up as much as you want. Go wild, wing it out if you dare! I got a mini black one as a sample, then bought the brown. The brown, however, is just about black and there isn’t a whole lot of difference.
When it comes to mascara, save your money. They are basically all the same except for the brush. That being said, Estee Lauder makes a cool vibrating one that keeps lashes totally separated, if you’re willing to pay $35. I’ve tried every mascara and keep coming back to Rimmel Scandal Eyes. It’s inexpensive so I don’t mind that I only get a couple of months out of it before it gets clumpy. It’s the one in the solid lime green tube (not the new metallic looking one). I wear the waterproof (orange tube) because my eyes tend to tear a lot; but, I’ve worn both. I’ve tried other Rimmel mascaras; but, the Scandal Eyes has a big fat brush and it’s the one I always go back to.
Now the lips! I have tried everything out there because lipstick dries out my lips, no matter what …. until now. First exfoliate your lips. You can use a damp washcloth or an inexpensive lip exfoliator like Elf ($3), then apply a small amount of lip balm. I’m a sucker for those cute little Eos ones. Let it sit for a while. Mac’s Prep and Prime for Lips is awesome. Apply it while smiling so you get in all the creases of your lips and smack your lips together (don’t rub them together) and let it sit and get a bit sticky. Lip lining is a life saver when it comes to prolonging your lipstick. Line your lips and fill them in! You must fill them in or you wind up looking ridiculous if the lipstick wears off. Mac’s Pro Longwear lip liners are creamy and invest the $10 in their sharpener, because it’s worth it. It doesn’t destroy your pencils, just gives them a nice point again. Now pop those lips together a couple more times. As for lipstick, Bobbi Brown’s Blue Raspberry is my favorite “nude,” although it doesn’t have much staying power. Mac’s PatentPolish lipsticks are awesome, especially in Ruby and Sultana (a dark wine color.) They wear pretty well; but, you do have to reapply after eating or drinking. This is where the lip liner is a life saver. The Ruby combined with the lip liner in Dark Out is just gorgeous and will definitely be my next purchase. By the way, if you’re looking for a new fragrance, Mac’s Turquatic is heavenly. It’s also on my wish list.
If you don’t want to spend $20+ for a lipstick, Revlon has a couple good alternatives. Their liquid lipstick comes in a good assortment of colors, is not too drying, and stays on almost all day without transferring. Their new gel matte lipsticks are also good but is a bit drying as the day wears on. I also find, as I’m getting older, matte makes my lips look older too. I like a bit of shine, but I find lip glosses to sticky. There’s nothing like having your hair stuck to your lips every time the wind blows.
I finish everything with several sprays of Bobbi Brown Face Mist which keeps my makeup fresh and makes my foundation smoother. I hate when you can see the foundation on someone’s face and this mist eliminates that!
So there you go. My top picks for 2015. I’m sure I’ll be trying new things in the coming year; but for now, I’m pretty happy with this routine.
Let me know your faves!