I love makeup. I have a vanity desk in my room with a drawer full of it. Lipsticks, eyeliners, face creams, and eye shadows galore. I have books on “makeup secrets” and the first thing I flip to in my monthly Instyle is the Beauty section. I love looking at pictures of celebrities' makeup as well as following several “beauty blogs”. I love going to the MAC counter and talking about makeup with the girls (and guys) in black and stealing their secrets, finding inspiration in a brand new line or dreaming about the day I buy that Dior eye shadow pallet I’ve been coveting for years now. I love makeup, I love the action of doing makeup, whether it’s my own or someone else’s, I just love it.
I’m not saying that I’m a professional, but I’m pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. I’m self taught, but you know what, so are a lot of makeup artists, not that I'd call myself a "markup artist", but I've read lot, practiced a lot, and have done all the homework. So take my advice or don’t, it doesn’t really matter to me. Just know that I’ve spent hundreds of dollars trying just about every product under the sun and this knowledge could save you a lot of money and disappointment.
The makeup world can sometimes be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. Don’t worry dear friend, I happen to have a magic compass, not unlike the one Jack Sparrow uses in the Pirates franchise. (That may have been a weird reference unless you know me and know that Johnny Depp is not just my favorite actor, he’s everything I want out of life. Just kidding. Kind of.)
I have had several friends ask me why I haven't put anything up about makeup, so I thought I'd oblige, seeing as though I absolutely LOVE to talk shop. But because of that love, I'm going to have to do this in several sections, starting with my favorite... the eyes!
Note: Clicking on the name of the product will bring up the website for it if you'd like to purchase! ;)
Eye Makeup Essentials:
Eyeshadow Primer: Too Faced Shadow Insurance, $20
First things first; I cannot stress the importance of shadow primer. Unless you like your makeup to crease and run and never stay put, continue avoiding this step. If you're interested in flawless makeup for hours upon hours upon hours... this will be your most favorite investment! I use Too Faced Shadow Insurance because it is simply the BEST. I use just a little pea-size amount- putting it onto my pinky finger and tapping some off with my other pinky so they are even, and then applying it all over to each lid. After it's mostly rubbed in, I run it over my eye brow because I have to fill them in at the end and it helps that stay too! To give you an idea, I have been inside the craziest, sweatiest innards of a mosh pit and have come out with perfect eye makeup. Not.Even.Joking. Even if you use drugstore eyeshadow, this will make it last 10x longer!
Brushes: Smashbox Definer Brush #15 & Tapered Shadow Brush #7, $24 each
This may seem like a lot now, but I've had mine FOR YEARS and they are still perfect! The best time to get them is during their promotions for Christmas at Ulta when they sale them in a pack of 4 brushes. But they are absolutely worth the best investment. They are to makeup brushes as the signature red heels of Louboutins are to shoes.
Eyeshadow Pallet: Too Faced Natural Eye, $36
I LOVE eyeshadow. It's my addiction. If I had to pick one pallet to have the rest of my life, it would be this one. It may not 'look like a lot' for $36, but because of the high pigmentation, you don't have to use a lot, so it lasts a long time! Silk Teddy is one of my favorite base colors, it's beautiful, shimery but not glittery, which I like. The top three are matte for those days you want to look more natural and the shimmer in the others are fantastic. Nude Beach is more on the glittery side than the others. Honey Pot, Push Up and Erotica are my favorites. What's nice is that they are SUPER blendable, and they mix/match easily, so you don't even have to worry about which ones to use! Also, Too Faced pallets are great for beginners because they come with three cards (Day, Classic, Fashion) to show you how you can use the colors and where to put them! I have almost all their pallets because they are simply amazing.
Eye Liner: MAC Powerpoint in Stubborn Brown $16 & MAC Penultimate Rapidblack liquid liner, $19.50
Stubborn Brown is my go-to brown eyeliner. I use it just about everyday. I can wear it alone and smudged or paired with brown shadows (pallet above), and it stays put. It's not a kohl, so it won't move once it's set. It's divine! Rapidblack is the only liquid I will use because it's an easy application, it's jet black, and it won't budge, especially with you primer! It creates such a beautiful clean line, perfect for a cat eye and red lips or as a subtle definition.
***Insider trick: Rapidblack is best used if it's held on it's side and slid across your lid, don't use the tip or you'll end up ruining it's form.
Individual Eye Shadows: Stila Kitten, $18
My most favorite base in the world. This is shimmer without the glitter. Using the Tapered #7 (above) I apply this from lash line all the way onto the brow bone. It's great when you're brows need some maintenance but you don't have the time- the shimmer reflects the light, making unwanted brow hairs less visible. If I'm doing a smokey eye, sometimes I'll keep this only on the inside half of my eye so that it doesn't lighten the pigment of the dark shade that I'm using. This can also be used as a highlighter; dabbing a small amount around the tearduct will open and brighten your eyes, whether paired with a smokey eye or not. I love this with or without another color. It looks great with any eyeliner, liquid or pencil (smudged or precision line).
Individual Eye shadows: MAC Pro Longwear Make Your Mark, $21
My everyday go-to brown, which pairs perfectly with the MAC Stubborn Brown eyeliner. It can be light for slight definition, or in the case I normally use it, dark for a bold but modern take on a classic smokey-eye. Using brown instead of black/charcoal is fresh and less harsh, while still providing the depth of a smokey eye. I use the #15 brush (above) and work this into my crease bringing it just slightly above it and arcing it out to follow the shape of my eye. Dabbing more color on, I work downward to my lash line, but only on the outside of my lid. Visually, find the midpoint of your pupil and consider your lid in two parts. I blend the color from the crease to the lashline of the outside half. You'll have a little color on the inside because of your crease, but that's exactly what you want! Now Just follow it up with some brown eyeliner and you're good to go!
Mascara: CoverGirl Lash Blast Clump Crusher, $6
We can't all afford Dior's Diorshow Mascara on the regular (at over $20 a bottle!) but CoverGirl makes the BEST affordable mascara, hands down. The whole Lash Blast line is amazing, I usually just shift to the different types/colors depending on what's on sale at Target. The last three times I've bought the green bottle, the Clump Buster and it's fantastic! The original (orange) is hard to beat and I also like the lengthening one (yellow) for it's thinner brush. Still, you don't need anything other than good ol' CoverGirl to look fab!
Beautiful Brows: Benefit Brow Zings, $30
Filling in my brows is a must! It's important to have great brows because they frame your face, plus they'll make that eye makeup you worked hard on stand out! I don't like the look of a pencil, so I use this. Start with the slanted brush and trace your brows with the wax first (darker one) and then use the round brush with the powder to fill it in. I love how compact it is, the small brushes are great, plus the baby tweezers make touch ups easy and convenient. I recently discovered that E.L.F. (Target) has one that's the same idea for $3, but it doesn't stay as long. Still, it'll work if $30 isn't in your budget. You just better have a great brow brush because the one that comes with it is crap. I use Smashbox Angle Brow Brush #12.
Makeup Remover: Neutrogena, Eye Makeup Remover $5
Last but not least, this is the very best drugstore eye makeup remover; it's affordable, it's not greasy and it doesn't pull out my lashes. I've bought this for years and will continue to buy it as long as it's on the shelves. When a save a little money here and there, than you don't feel as bad dropping doe at the MAC counter, ya see?
That was long and it was only the staples of eye makeup...wait until I get into color pallets! ;)