Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What's in My Makeup Bag: Part I

If I had my choice, I would spend at least 75 percent of my life wearing workout clothes and no makeup. If you see me at TJ Maxx on a Saturday, I can guarantee you I will not be wearing any makeup, and I don't care if anyone is judging me. 

But working in television, I have to do my makeup every single day with touch ups throughout the day. I have to admit, some days I wear less than others, which is a total reflection of how much time I have. If you tune in to the newscast and think I look tired, that's probably because I didn't have a chance to put on eyeshadow, or I'm actually just tired haha.

All of the products I'm showing you in these posts are what I would wear if I had enough time to do my full routine. Some days I switch things up, especially when I have some Birchbox or Sephora samples I want to try.

And speaking of samples, about a year ago, I made a pledge to use up as many samples and free gift products as I could before buying anything. I tested them out and if the colors were just heinous on me, I moved on. But those that passed the decency test, I've been using until they run out. I discovered some things I absolutely love doing this and others that I know I'll never buy, but do the job for now.

I decided to split this post into two so it wouldn't be so long. Isn't it sad how many products we have to use to look glam? This is one of those times I start to envy men and realize how much of their time and money is not spent on makeup.

1. Primer

This was a Birchbox sample find and has turned out to be my most favorite primer after trying many brands. It comes in many varieties, some are tinted; I'm currently using the Supercharged Fortified version, which supposedly has antioxidants. I bought that one because the classic version is no longer available on the Birchbox website, for which I had a coupon. I think I like original one better because it seemed a little tackier, so my foundation seemed to stick to it better. However, I still find this one superior to all others I've tested.  I notice a major difference on how my makeup looks hours later and how much better it stays put. What I really like about it is that it's not super silky like most primers. And that makes it a fantastic match for powder foundation, which I wear. I think the silky primers are better suited for liquid foundation. Also, the tube is quite large, and you're not going to be using a ton of it every day, so it's a fantastic value.

2. Undereye Concealer 

This does not crease, let me repeat, this does.not.crease. I've been wearing this for years and years and only once considered switching when a Sephora employee gave me a sample of Amazing Cosmetics Concealer. I will admit that was slightly better at covering dark circles, BUT, it settled into those little lines under the eyes. It's a very thick formula and the creasing was noticeable.

I do not have severe dark circles, apparently that's genetic, thanks Mom :), but what I do have, this Lancome concealer fully covers. And I can wear it all day with not a single sign of creasing. That's a big deal, people. It's a light texture, non-greasy and blends like a charm.

I wear it in a shade lighter than my skin color, (Porcelaine 1), so it almost doubles as a highlighter. A couple times when I've gotten my makeup done and they've put a concealer that exactly matches my skin tone, I feel like I don't look like myself! I also usually put this on my eyelids for brightening and to serve as a eyeshadow primer when I'm short on time. It's funny, a guy friend of mine once said to me, "once you put that concealer stuff on, it's like you don't even need any more makeup." Score.

3. Blemish/Multitasking Concealer 

This can be used for undereyes as well, but I mostly use it for pimples and uneven skin. If you get the right shade, it blends like a dream! The fact that it comes in a wand form makes it super easy to use.

4. Foundation

By now you're finding out I'm quite partial to Lancome makeup. It's the first counter my mom took me to when I wanted to start wearing makeup. And since then I've tried many brands, but I keep relying on Lancome for most of my makeup needs. I find the quality fantastic and the brand consistent. 

I love this foundation because it's incredibly easy to use. I apply it dry with the (really nice) sponge it comes with in less than a minute. The finish is flawless, smooth and matte, for those who don't want a dewy finish. It feels completely weightless on your skin. You can wet the sponge to get a more full-coverage look. The compact also comes with a little puff that you can use for touch ups. This foundation can also be applied with a brush and would work as a finishing powder if you're a liquid foundation person.

I, however, am NOT a liquid foundation person. It find it takes too long to apply, it gets greasy as the day goes on and I hate that feeling of having something on my face. Now, if I ever was going to switch to liquid, I would use Hourglass IMMACULATE® LIQUID POWDER FOUNDATION. It's incredible and hands down the best liquid foundation I've ever tried! 

And stay tuned, I just purchased Mary Kay's Endless Performance® Crème-to-Powder Foundation, which is a nice happy medium between liquid and powder.

5. Finishing/Setting Powder

I recently ran out of my MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder, which I loved. But I was looking to possibly change things up. I wasn't crazy about the change they made to the packaging; the loose powder is now separated by a screen-type thing instead of little holes. It just looked a little messy to me. 

I'm really liking this Mary Kay one! It's definitely the more economical choice. They seem pretty similar, the only difference I've noticed is that this one has a tiny hint of shimmer. I could do without that, but it's not a deal breaker. I love the packaging. You can slide it open and closed, much like a salt shaker, so that the powder doesn't spill all over the place. Both of these powders help smooth everything and give you an airbrushed-like appearance. The reason I started using this type of powder in the first place was mostly for HD television cameras, but it's great in real life, too. 

The one thing you have to be careful about with these translucent powders is so-called flashback. In pictures it can make your skin appear very white. I haven't noticed it with either of these brands, but I did when I received a sample of Tarte smooth operator™ Amazonian clay pressed setting powder. It gets good reviews, but I personally would not recommend it.

6. Blush

I've been using Lancome blush since the beginning of time, save a short stint with Tarte Amazonian clay 12-hour blush, which, in contrast to the pressed powder, I really liked. But, tragically, I dropped it on set one night, it shattered and somehow I found myself safely back home in the arms of the Lancome counter. The woman there suggested I try the Plum Noir shade. I couldn't exactly imagine it on me because it looked so dark. But it's beyond fantastic! It's the perfect color on me, and since it's highly-pigmented, I don't need a lot so it's lasted me a long time.  Which is great because it appears this has been discontinued, another great makeup tragedy! Tear.

Luckily one of the great things about Lancome blush is it comes in many gorgeous shades, so I'm hoping I can find another one I love. Or I'll get desperate and buy Plum Noir on Ebay. Either way, I've found that no matter the shade, this blush goes on smoothly, is not overly powdery and stays all day.

7. Bronzer

I was quite disappointed when Victoria's Secret discontinued its makeup line, because I loved the bronzer. It took a lot of trial and many errors before landing on this budget-friendly choice. I find it stacked up better than many of its high-end peers. It's just the right color and seems to very slightly lean to the pink side vs. brown, which is fantastic if you have pink undertones in your skin. It also has the perfect amount of shimmer. This shade can be difficult to find because not all drugstores/Walmarts/Targets carry the same colors. I've found I have to go one specific Walgreens near me to get this shade.

Part II coming up! Please let me know any of your makeup must-haves because I am ALWAYS looking for new fabulous finds.


  1. I enjoyed your makeup review and I am currently using up my current stash myself...I am on "lock-down" of any future makeup purchases which is OK!! I need to check out Wet and Wild since I have hearing great reviews! I love my Rimmel London bronzer that doubles as mineral foundation for the Summer or anytime I don't want to use foundation (I know that sounds lazy!)



  2. Hi! Thank you for reading. :) I like the Rimmel Bronzer, too. I used that before the Wet n Wild, which I like even more. And you can't beat the price.