The holiday season is upon us! I for one, look forward to spending time with family, eating the holiday treats, and having some solid excuses for playing with makeup. I find myself experimenting with new products and trying new looks. There are endless possibilities when it comes to makeup. I am by no means a professional, but that is not stopping me.
I live for holiday, special-edition eyeshadow palettes. I usually try to catch Cyber Monday sales from Ulta or Sephora for my yearly haul and birthday presents. Now, some may be wondering how I shop online for makeup without seeing it in person and swatching to color match. I try to stop by the stores to swatch and compare products, and between rubbing makeup all over my arms and actually purchasing it, I watch YouTube videos for reviews. This year, I had to do a drugstore haul to restock some of the staples, and I was curious to test out some new finds.
These products I am dubbing my favorites are a mix of drugstore deals and higher end treasures. I am just going to dive into my collection and pick my top picks.
This Sephora holiday special was the first glimpse into the possibilities of what the holidays could bring in the makeup world. I am a sucker for packaging, and this was no different. Who does not love a sparkly, perfectly silver box filled with eyeshadows? The colors are right up my alley, and the shimmer tones are not too overpowering. The burgundy-wine pigment quickly became my favorite from the palette. The olive-green is a close second; they both get their fair share of wear.
The Natural Matte palette by Too Faced is one of my newer finds. Within this last year of having it, it has become my go-to for quick looks, as I am running out the door before school. The pigments are subtle but silky. My top three colors are “Lace Teddy,” “Strapless,” and “Cashmere Bunny.” This palette offers warm colors with a natural color payoff. I also love the metal case with embossing and lacey appliqué look.
Smashbox never fails to deliver. Their Double Exposure palette was a gift from my uncle and cousin for my birthday last year. Emily loves makeup, and I think it is safe to say, she founded my love for makeup too. If I want a darker, more dramatic look, this is the palette I head for. The pigments are unique; when used wet, they change their appearance. Some turn metallic, while the intensity changes for others. It is hard to pick some favorites from this one because I like so many for different reasons, but if I had to pick, “Fig” and “Flushed” rank as my most used.
Emily is also a blogger.
A family that blogs together stays together.
Go check out her Life+Style blog, Emily Essentially.
The holy grail of bareMinerals holiday collections was a find from my last Ulta haul. I tucked it away in my makeup drawers and recently fell back in love with it. I tend to get stuck in a rut of makeup products and have to go shopping through my own stash to rotate my products. I remember getting my first bareMinerals pigment pots, and I thought I was all that and a box of chocolates. Since then, my collection is overflowing, but that has not curbed my habit. This holiday box has eight, shimmery and frosty loose pigments. I was happy to see “Cupcake” in the full size to replace the very first one my parents bought me years ago. “Strawberry Mousse” and “Angel Food Cake” are top contenders with “Cupcake” as my favorites.
No eye look is complete without eyeliner and some mascara. I have not singled in on an absolute favorite eyeliner, so I am moving straight into mascara. I chose three for specific reasons. First up is Ulta’s Amped Lashes. The wand is small and the formula is smooth. For a quick daytime look, this is always my top pick. The Smashbox Full Exposure mascara offers a little more volume and length. The wand applicator is twice the size of Ulta’s mascara, but that is where precision goes a long way. The last mascara I deem as a favorite has had some mixed reviews, but I have never had any problems with it. The 3D Lash Fibers by Younique has gone through some formula changes, but I am still using the original formula. This is the perfect mascara for a dramatic eye for special occasions. I do not know how many times I have been asked what falsies I am wearing, when in reality, I just have my natural lashes coated with Younique.
I am relatively new to the contour and highlight party, but I am loving it. Since I am still experimenting with my technique, I was not willing to pay for the high-end products. I have seen many YouTubers do the drugstore makeup challenge, and the Wet ‘n’ Wild Illuminating Highlight compact was the most used among YouTubers, so that seemed like the safe option. A little bit goes a long way, but the glowing shimmer is glorious. As for bronzer, I did not want an overpowering brown color, so I turned to Elf’s Golden Bronzer. The warm combination of the two compliment the cool-tone blush I tend to gravitate towards.
None of the previously mentioned products would be anything without a solid foundation. I have been testing out foundations for some time. I narrowed in on Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte+Poreless powder foundation in the color 130-Buff Beige about a year ago, and I fell in love with the product. I have always steered away from liquid foundation because I have combination skin, and did not want the dewy and oily finished look. I finally decided to try the liquid formula in the same color, and I could not be happier with the product (a pump would be the only thing to make it better). It gives the perfect airbrushed finish and to set the foundation, I conservatively use the powder, especially in my oily spots, to ensure the coverage stays all day. The concealer I use is Maybelline’s Fit Me in 15-Fair Clair. It is one shade lighter than the foundation, and it brightens my tired, college-formed, dark circles.
Eye primer has been a staple in my makeup routine for years, but face primer is new for me. I often times would just put moisturizer on after my shower, and I would consider it good. Since I was upping my makeup game, I thought it was time to see what the hype was all about. I chose this inexpensive option for a primer from Elf. They had some good options for primer, depending on skin type. I have a relatively even skin tone, so I chose the Poreless Face Primer. It comes in a pale, baby pink bottle, but the product itself is white and goes on clear. It is scented; at first, I was not too sure about it, but the minty scent has grown on me. A teeny, tiny bit goes a long way. It leaves my face feeling so good and refreshed. As for eye primer, the only one I have ever used is Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion. I use the original formula in the purple tube. Why try others when the first one worked?! I hate when shadows crease halfway through the day, and with this magical potion, my eyeshadow looks flawless.
Lips make the makeup look. One makeup look can be transformed into four just by swapping out the lip color. My collection of lip products was the first of my overall makeup collection. I was notorious for nabbing my mom’s almost-empty lipstick tubes and weaseling a lip gloss buy out of grocery shopping when I was little (okay, maybe I still do this). This season’s trend of matte lip colors helped me narrow down my favorites at the moment. The Elf matte sticks are creamy and never dry, so although matte, they feel more like a lip crayon or buttery lipstick. I chose “Tea Rose” and “Wine” as my top picks. I have a nude color too, but the shade is not the most appealing on my skin tone.
The liquid lip colors from Wet ‘n’ Wild’s Megalast line are indeed long lasting. This is the first time I have used a matte liquid, and I love the colors I chose (“Rose to the Occasion” and “High-Pitched Wine”), but the application was a challenge. These will take some time getting used to because between the application and drying sensation, they are not like anything I have ever worn before. I put a balm over the pigment after it dried just to see of that would alleviate the dry feeling, but it just left my lips feeling sticky. The pigment payoff if worth the process of application and getting acclimated to the dryer consistency of the product. I gravitate towards cool tones and darker colors for lips since my eyes are usually natural and subtle. I know the whole point of having liquid lip colors is to end up with a matte finish, but I may have to pair some of these with Clinique’s “Air Kiss.” This has been a favorite since Emily introduced me to this product years ago, but since then, it is incredibly hard to find, so for that reason, I have left it out of my rankings.
The last product to round out my long list of favorites is a charcoal mud mask. I am all for some skin care and clearing up my pores. I was not sure where to begin when it came to picking a brand. My skin is somewhat sensitive, so I did not want anything harsh and full of chemicals. The brand Yes To (tomatoes) is a mostly-natural company, and after looking into it some more, their backstory is great too. This is the first mud mask I have ever used. I did not know what to expect, but I was happy with the process. It went on easily and came off the same way. I kept the mask on for fifteen minutes before removing it with warm water and a washcloth. It left my skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. I will definitely be adding this to my beauty routine here and there.
It is so fun to play around in my makeup drawers and to mix and match products. Although I have no problem walking out and going to school with a bare face, it always feels nice to put a complete makeup look together. The motto, “look good, feel good,” definitely rings true for me. Sometimes, makeup is the best medicine to feel my best. I do not know what I would do without a few of my favorite things.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2016