In the past few years I’ve gotten a lot more interested in beauty and makeup products. I think you are forced to as you get older. However, my priority is skincare — I prefer to just take really good care of my skin with products, food, water, and health and then use makeup when and if necessary. Usually necessary.
I was lucky to inherit my mother’s good skin so I’ve been very lucky to have very few skin problems besides rashes and hives either brought on by stress, excitement, heat, or allergic reactions to products. I do have sensitive skin and my mom now has minor rosacea (which I cannot even see on her) so I do have to keep all of those skin issues in mind when it comes to makeup and skincare.
Overall I prefer the natural look or the less-is-more makeup look on a daily basis. I do think (and know from experience) that when it comes to things like photo shoots and special occasions, you do want to put on more makeup than you think (or heck if you just like to wear a lot of makeup daily, go for it!).
I don’t judge what other people like to wear on their face, I see it as an art, as a form of confidence. If you like less, great, if you like more, great. YOU DO YOU!
Sorry for the length and indepthness of this post but I really have a hard time not giving you all the information. I mean, anyone can throw up a list of the products they use — that’s great, but not super helpful — so I always try to give you all the information I have to help you make informed beauty purchases. Not sure if you’ll find this interesting or not, but with the photo shoot, photo editing, writing, editing, and linking this post — it took approximately 6 hours to create (and it’s not sponsored in any way).
I have a few different levels of makeup:
NO MAKEUP. When I’m working from home and I’m not going anywhere besides taking the dog on a walk, working out, and/or running errands I usually wear no makeup at all. I like to keep my skin and eyelashes free of makeup as often as possible.
MINIMAL MAKEUP. Some days that I’m working from home but might be going to a few places and want to feel somewhat put together yet natural, I’ll put on a little bit of concealer under my eyes and around my nose, maybe blush or a tiny bit mascara and brow gel. I sometimes do this look on a workday in my office or studio as well when I’m not planning to see lots of people or have meetings.
NORMAL MAKEUP. My normal makeup look is still on the natural side. In addition to concealer, blush, and clear brow gel, I’ll put on a matte eyeshadow (only on my eyelids, not undereye), mascara, maybe some brown eyeliner, illuminator, a little bronzer for minimal cheekbone contouring, and a nude lipstick, balm, or gloss. This is what I usually wear when going into my office, or to daily meetings/events.
NORMAL/GLAM MAKEUP. For night events or photo shoots I do a bit of glam — everything from my normal makeup look plus more mascara, shimmery eyeshadow (sometimes also under my eyes), brown brow gel instead of clear, brown or black eyeliner, more intense blush, bronzer, and illuminator.
GLAM MAKEUP. If I’m going really glam for an event or photo shoot, then I just kick everything up a notch. Usually a smoky eye, heavier eyeliner, layers of mascara (never done fake lashes!), and maybe more of a color on my lips, still usually in the nude family, but sometimes I’ll go for a deep purple/berry or rarely a deep/bright red. I usually focus on the eyes and keep the lip a darker nude, but depending on what I’m wearing and where I’m going sometimes it’s better to have a simple illuminated eye and a dramatic lip.
These are the items I currently have in my cosmetic bag that I use on a daily basis. I have a lot more that I will rotate in or out or use for a certain look.
Items shown above: W3ll People Expressionist Mascara; Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Mascara; Glossier Boy Brow; Lancome Maquicomplet Concealer; bareMinerals BareSkin Serum Concealer; Marc Jacobs Gel Eyeliner; eyeshadow brush (similar); Tom Ford Ultra Length Mascara; Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel; NARS Multiple Stick in Orgasm; Physician’s Formula Powder Palette Healthy Glow Bronzer; NARS Illuminator (see how much I love this product in this post); blush brush; NARS Lipstick in Cruising; Burt’s Bees Vanilla Bean Lip Balm; Glossier Generation G in Cake; Clarins Instant Light Lip Oil; Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Nude; Vaseline Lip Balm in Cocoa Butter; Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette
Below I’ll get into more detail about each product I use regularly, plus a few others that are shown or that I like. To see more beauty products I LOVE you can click on SHOP, then sort by Beauty Faves.
For concealer the two I’ve found I am obsessed with. I’m sure there are other amazing concealers out there that I haven’t tried, but from all of the ones I’ve tried the Lancome Maquicomplet concealer and the bareMinerals BareSkin concealer work the best for me.
I use color Clair II in the Lancome Maquicomplet and have been using it since college, maybe even high school. It’s the perfect creaminess for my normal to dry skin. It is a complete coverage concealer which is probably why I never need to use anything else. I don’t wear foundation because this concealer blends in perfect to the rest of my face. I usually wear it under my eyes and around my nose and on my chin. I literally have zero complaints about this product. It’s worked for me for over a decade.
I also like the bareMinerals BareSkin concealer if I’m going for a really dewy look. I accidentally bought the medium golden color (maybe I was really tan that day) but I really need either the medium or the light. This formula is so creamy and smooth. It’s full coverage and a concealer and serum in one.
My only complaint about this product is that if you carry it around in a bag or don’t store it upright, the product gets all up in the top of the wand and if you don’t constantly clean it out (which wastes a ton of product) then it will just get everywhere. I just hate to waste product so that bugs me and it can get messy if that happens, so I recommend keeping this at home and stored upright.
I recently told you about the the 3 blush products I love and why — NARS Multiple Stick in Orgasm; Benefit Benetint and Chacha Tint; and Benefit Dandelion Dew Liquid Blush — so you can read all the blush details in that post.
For bronzer, I’ve been using the same product since high school. It’s a drugstore oldie but goodie — Physician’s Formula Powder Palette. I’ve used several different shades of their powder palettes. Currently I’m almost out of the Healthy Glow Bronzer which is matte. I almost always prefer a matte bronzer and I have just always found theirs to look so natural on my skin.
I love the product, but am not a fan of the packaging. It’s cheap, bulky, and while I like having the mirror, the brush that comes with the product is a waste and just makes the product larger. I’m sure they have the clear lid for a reason — it helps show the color and sell the product — but I wish it were solid with a mirror on the other side versus having to flip up for the mirror. But obviously this doesn’t bother me enough to stop buying it! I can admit that I prefer aesthetically pleasing packaging but the actual product has to be good!
The blush brush I have is amazing — but I have no idea where I got it or what brand it is. All I know is that it’s super soft, and was probably around $30. The quality and softness of the bristles is super important to me in a brush that I’ll be using on my face. That said, I don’t know that much about brushes to be honest. I have a few I like, and I just keep using them. I probably need to clean them more often…
Surprisingly, I don’t own a lot of eyeshadow. Which honestly, I already have so many beauty products that it’s probably for the best. Also, I hate to own so much crap that I don’t use, however I do need to do some more exploration into eyeshadows. For me, eyeshadow is the hardest part of doing my makeup. I don’t really know what to do and I’m pretty terrible at it yet people always think it looks good and ask me what I do, and I just chalk it up to good products and a lot of blending.
For the past few years I’ve just been using the same Urban Decay Naked3 palette. I bought it a long time ago and have used it ever since. Clearly I have a few favorite colors and I wish I could either buy them in a smaller palette or separately.
The four colors I use the most are Limit and Nooner (matte) and Liar and Mugshot (shimmer). I use the other colors sometimes. I don’t use the two darkest shades at all. I’m definitely in need of a new palette but I feel a bit paralyzed about which one to get.
I mean look at all of these gorgeous eyeshadow palettes! It’s hard to choose one.
The brush I use most for eyeshadow is a blending brush. I haven’t the slightest idea what brand it is, all I know is that it’s super fluffy and soft and is really good at blending. I will use a Marc Jacobs brush that is smaller and tighter to deposit more intense color on my lid, but I usually just use the blending brush and the matte eyeshadow colors for my normal (non glam) makeup.
For my everyday look I use the Marc Jacobs eyeliner in shimmery brown color called Ro(cocoa). I love the formula. It doesn’t stay on the inner lash line super well, but that’s fine with me, I think the worn-off look looks more natural for day-to-day.
If I’m going glam and want something to stay put on the lash line I use bareMinerals Round the Clock Waterproof Eyeliner. This stuff is amazing. I have it in Midnight but am considering it in the 10 AM, 3 PM, and 8 PM shades.
I’m always testing out multiple mascaras. Honestly I find mascaras to be about 50/50. 50% don’t work for me, 50% do work. The 50% that do work all have different looks to them. Currently I’m going between three different mascaras — Tom Ford Ultra Length Mascara; W3ll People Expressionist Mascara (love this for a separated clean look); and Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Mascara (I have a tester, this gives me really full lashes). But I have a lot of other mascaras that I like as well:
I know brows are a trend right now, but I’ve always needed brow gel to keep mine in place. For whatever reason, I got lucky and have have thick brows that I never over plucked. They’ve gotten a little thinner as I’ve gotten older, but I can still get away with using a clear brow gel on a daily basis, right now I use Anastasia Clear Brow Gel. Before brow gel I used to use clear mascara to keep them from moving.
If I’m wanting to give my brows some added oomph or drama I’ll use Glossier Boy Brow in brown. I’ve had a makeup artist use Charlotte Tilbury’s brow gel on my brows, but I don’t own it — that will be my next brow purchase.
Lips are a tricky thing for me. Mine are on the thinner side (especially during this huge lip trend) and I don’t have a very defined upper lip line. There are worse things, but being someone who likes to wear nudes and also does a lot of photo shoots, I find it pretty annoying. Most lip liners are a little too dark. I like Bite Beauty Lip Liners but they are all too dark for my most of my natural nude lip products. The lip liner I use the most with my light nude lip products is Smashbox lip pencil that they don’t even make anymore so I’ll need to find a replacement for that soon as it’s getting really small!
I only wear lip liner if I have meetings or an event or just want my lips to look fuller that day. I wouldn’t say that it’s a daily thing.
Gloss was out for a long time, but now it’s back in! Lately I’ve pulled out my Clarins Lip Oil and can’t stop using it.
For color, I almost always go nude. Rarely will I do a bright or really deep color but sometimes I like to for fun, or if it just makes a look. If I’m wearing the same black dress I’ve worn to a million events but I want it to feel new — you can distract with a bright lip and no one will notice what you are wearing.
I have a lot of nude lipsticks (huge post on all of them coming up soon) but the two that I’m wearing the most on a daily basis are NARS Lipstick in Cruising which is super sheer and Glossier Cake which is a light matte.
While I much prefer a stick to a pot (I’d rather not use my finger if I don’t have to) some pots can’t be ignored. Ever since I started using this Vaseline Lip Therapy in Cocoa Butter it’s constantly around. Either on my nightstand or in my bag. I go between that and my Burt’s Bees Vanilla Bean Lip Balm. If I need SPF I’ll use Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in nude or rose. I also love Kari Gran’s Lip Whip and Sara Happ’s Lip Slip.
Well, that concludes the makeup I wear on a somewhat daily basis when I do wear makeup (not wearing any as I type this on a Tuesday afternoon). I rotate items in and out as I test them and if they’re good, I’ll leave them in my bag to keep using.
What is your go-to daily makeup?
Photos by Emma Weiss and Meg Biram