* Note: I update this periodically as my favorites change, so while this was posted a while ago, it is up-to-date with my current favorites *
This continues and concludes Megan’s Beauty Favorites series. See the Part I post here. Today I will share with you my favorite makeup products and makeup tools. This is not an all-inclusive list, these are just my absolute favorites in specific categories.
Ben often questions me, “How do you wake up looking like a crazy-lady (meaning he wakes up next to the tired-looking Megan who has bed-head hair, stinky breath, and puffy eyes) and walk out an hour later looking put-together?”
The following products help me look less “crazy-lady-like.”
Make-Up: (My Favorite Part of Getting Ready)
The following are in the order that I apply these products. They range from affordable to high-end.
Primer: I don’t use primer everyday, but if I need my makeup to last long, then I use the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector to mattify my oily areas – specifically my T-zone. The trick is to press the primer into the pores, not smear. I just use my fingers.
Foundations: These two foundations are great together or separately. I use the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Opal 01 for super light coverage, it hydrates and evens out my skin tone while providing sun protection. I use the bareMinerals Smoothing Face Brush or just my fingers to apply this product. For more coverage I will layer the bareMinerals Matte SPF 15 Foundation in Fair top. I use the bareMinerals Beautiful Finish Brush to buff the powder into my skin. The powder mixes with the oils in my skin to create a cream – but it takes doing my face in sections and buffing quite a bit. This combination is great for my oily skin.
Corrector: For brightening, I use the Pixi by Petra Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach which is great to correct the darkness under my eyes. I blend the corrector with my ring finger (since the eye area is so delicate, the ring finger is the weakest finger and will apply less pressure). I notice such a difference when I correct my under-eye circles and when I don’t, I look so much more healthy and awake. For a super light makeup day, I will just use corrector with no foundation and then curl my eyelashes.
Finishing Powders: Then I set my under-eyes with a light brightening powder, I reach for the NYX HD Finishing Powder – Banana. I will then set my T-zone and the rest of my face with the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. I have found the combination of these base products (primer, foundation, concealer, setting powder) keep my oily skin at bay for most of the day. I use the Real Techniques Contour Brush to set under my eyes and I use the Real Techniques Powder Brush to set my whole face.
Blush: The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Risque is a great neutral-colored, matte blush. I’m so pale that I must have a little color on my cheeks to make me look alive. I use the Real Techniques Blush Brush to apply my blush.
Highlighter: I like highlighters to give me that lit-from-within healthy look. However, most highlighters are too dark on my light skin tone. I enjoy Essence Pure Nude Highlighter 01 Be My Highlight which gives me the highlighter vibe I’m looking for without being a streak of sheen. I use my fingers or the Mac 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush to apply highlight to the high points of my face – upper cheekbones, above the eyebrows, and beneath the brow bone.
Eyebrow Pencil: I’ve learned to accept my untamed, bushy eyebrow look, so usually I just brush them up and put some clear brow gel in to set them and call it a day. But if I plan on doing an intense eye makeup look then I want my brows to be more defined. In that case, I use the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe to fill in a few gaps and to create more of a point at the end of my eyebrows. This color, “Taupe” fits my eyebrow color perfectly. It’s not too pigmented that it makes my eyebrows look unnatural. Little tip: when filling in brows, brush them down first, not up, then fill in the gaps. Once you are done, brush them back up and fill in places you missed. By doing this you see the sparse areas and it prevents you from getting too crazy with the brow pencil.
Eyebrow Gel: After I fill-in my brows (if I chose to that day), I brush them back up with an eyebrow brush, then comb through them with a clear eyebrow gel. The NYX Cosmetics Control Freak Eye Brow Gel in Clear is my favorite and it lasts all day. I use the e.l.f Eyelash & Brow Wand for my eyebrow brush or I just use the little brush at the end of the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe.
Eyeshadow: I have two eyeshadow looks – very natural and very smokey. I never seem to find a happy medium. I’m either in a rush and want something super quick or I have more time and end up creating a smokey eye. For my “in a rush” days, I gravitate toward the bareMinerals 5in1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow in the Color Sweet Spice or Elegant Taupe. I dab some on my fingers and then apply to my lids, and that’s it! It gives a little color, doesn’t require a brush, and takes all of two seconds. For my “smokey days,” I reach for the IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Vol. 2 Romantics Eyeshadow Palette. The colors are very soft and subtle which is perfect for my complexion. I found that super pigmented eyeshadows were too harsh on my pale skin. The palette offers a nice range of soft, romantic shades. I can create a warm, brown smokey eye, or a cool-toned, purple/navy/taupe eye. For brushes I would recommend the Real Techniques Eye Makeup Brush Starter Kit, it has everything you need for a simple or smokey eye.
Eyelash Curler: I have ridiculously straight lashes. So I found a hack that keeps my straight lashes curled all day, even after a nap! Here it goes: I heat my eyelash curler with an automatic candle lighter, I heat the metal curling part for a few seconds, then wait a few seconds. I then test the curler on the back of my hand, I want it warm, not hot. Then I give my lashes a good curl, starting from the root and then the middle and then the tips. I then put a coat of waterproof mascara on and it works great! If you already have curled eyelashes, I would not recommend this tip, this is just for my straight lashes peeps. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
Mascara: This was the most frustrating. I wanted a mascara that would hold a curl all day, but would be easy to take off at night. I also wanted a wand small enough to get to the root of my lashes and I wanted the formula to not be too wet because those types weigh my lashes down. After too many mascara trial runs, I found this one and I will never go back! Maybelline New York Lash Discovery Waterproof Mascara in Very Black
Eyeliners: After I curl my lashes I use the Makeup Forever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Waterproof in M-60 Matte Dark Brown to tightline my upper lash line so there are no gaps. Then I use the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liner in Nude on my lower water-line to open up my eyes. Or I’ll use Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Mushroom (tauper/pewter shade) on my lower water-line for a more defined look without having harsh brown or black.
Lip Stick: For everyday, I lightly apply the Colourpop Lippie Stix in Juice Bar. It looks like they no longer carry Juice Bar, but Colourpop has lots of options to choose from. It gives my lips a little pink color to make them look natural and healthy. I apply Smith’s Rosebud Salve on top for a glossy, moisturized look.
Liquid Lipstick: Liquid lipstick is intended to serve as a long-lasting lipstick. I’ve tried many liquid lipsticks and found that some can be way too drying. One of my favorite liquid lipstick formulas, that lasts through eating, fades well, and isn’t overly drying is the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain. My favorite is 05 Infinite Rose, it’s a my-lips-but-better color and has a nice sheen to it. I wore it for my sister’s wedding and it lasted the entire afternoon and evening!
Since you are already thinking it…Yes, I am high maintenance when it comes to my make-up. I enjoy watching Youtube videos and researching makeup brands and products. It’s one of my go-to mindless tasks. I am comfortable and confident going completely makeup free or completely made-up. I wrote a blog post on going a week make-up free, click here if you want to check that out. I simply enjoy the process of playing with my make-up, it’s fun and relaxing for me. I absolutely dislike doing my hair, I’m really trying to like it, but it’s no fun for me. I know skincare is important and my 40 year old self will thank my 24 year old self one day for the time I put into my skincare.
Hope you enjoyed the makeup portion of Megan’s Beauty Favorites. Please comment below if you have some make-up favorites that are your tried and true products!