First of all, I should probably disclose that since I work in laser hair removal, in my case, being an esthetician doesn’t really make me any more of an authority on makeup than you are.
I just thought it sounded good.
What does make me an authority on makeup though, is the fact that I’m pathetically vain and will try almost anything if it means having just one person compliment me on my eyebrows. The amount of crap I’ve sifted through over the years in an attempt to look airbrushed is staggering. However now I feel like I’ve got it down to a pretty respectable stable of products and being that I’m naturally an incredibly generous person, I’ve decided to share with you the results of all my long years of research.
This shit ain’t cheap though. Once I hit thirty, I started buying the good stuff and while I get that not everyone wants to pay forty dollars for a foundation, it’s your face for Christ’s sake. People have to look at it all day. So why don’t you do us all a favor and splurge a little when it comes to the junk you’re going to plaster all over it. Starting with this:
A number of years ago, my best friend Vanna actually agreed to let me do her makeup on her wedding day. I remember thinking at the time what an awesome friend I was for offering, until it dawned on me that I had no idea what I was doing and was probably going to ruin the most important day of her life. So I enlisted the help of a co-worker of mine who is also a makeup artist and she told me the very first thing I should get was a good primer. It fills in any gaps or creases so that concealers, foundations and powders don’t get stuck in them. Plus, it sets your makeup and makes it last longer. Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer is my favorite.
Concealer is a must have for me. I get seriously dark circles around my eyes and I break out somewhat regularly so I need the green bit on the end to neutralize any redness. You could probably buy a cheaper concealer that would work just as well but, and God forgive me for saying this, I heard one time that Kim Kardashian uses Makeup Forever and I’m sorry, but her shit always looks flawless. So I went out and picked up their 5 Camouflage Cream Palette. They have them for all skin tones and they say “for professional use” on the back so you can feel superior to anyone who uses that crap by Revlon.
Who the fuck names these things? It’s a foundation, for Christ’s sake, not a British prince. At any rate, I use Dior’s Flawless Perfection Fusion Wear Makeup SPF 25. Jesus, that’s a mouthful. But it’s a solid product. This was the first fancy face cream I purchased when I turned thirty and I haven’t switched since. I mix it with Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Moisturizer so that it doesn’t go on too heavy and that way it lasts me around three months. Their spray foundation is also amazing but you might have to take out a second mortgage on your house to use it with any regularity, so I stick with the liquid.
I LOVE this thing! Mostly because I HATE putting on foundation. It stresses me out. It requires skill that I don’t naturally possess to go on evenly, so it takes forever. But with the Beauty Blender, you can apply a nice, thin layer and it goes all over with no streaks to blend out. You can use it wet or dry and the different ends fit the angles of your face. I use the pointed part for under my eyes and the egg shape to pat the areas where I’ve hidden pimples so the concealer doesn’t get wiped away.
I’m not all together sure why I use this. I remember trying to explain to the woman at Sephora that I wanted the same sheen that Kim Kardashian gets from her makeup and she directed me to NARS’ Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder. It didn’t give me that glow that I was looking for but I did notice it made my bronzer go on more smoothly, so I stuck with it.
P.S. I just went to the website to grab a link for this and saw that it cost $51.00 and then thought I didn’t pay $51.00 for that, did I?? But there it is in my makeup bag. Now I feel like an asshole. Although NARS makes a good one, you can probably find a powder for less money that works just as well.
Ammendment: Thanks to Rosemary in the comments section, I just found out I did NOT pay $51.00 for this powder, but $34.00. Here is a new link with a more reasonable price. I don’t know why Amazon is charging twenty dollars more but I don’t like it! I am however an affiliate of theirs, so I have to link to them in a shameless attempt to get paid thirty cents, once a month.
Most months of the year I maintain a skin tone so pasty, you might think I had only recently emerged from solitary confinement. So when I discovered bronzer, it was hard not to apply an amount that would make me look like a bridesmaid at a Belfast wedding. Tarte’s Mineral Powder Bronzer is quality, but can be intense. I get it in Park Avenue Princess and apply it sparingly. Without the translucent powder beforehand it can come off a little dirty, but with the proper bases, it gives you just enough color to no longer look deceased.
I don’t spend money on fancy clothes. I don’t know the first thing about a Louboutin or a Jimmy Choo. I eschew labels in general, mostly because I can’t afford them. So every once in a while when I’m doing my makeup next to a friend or co-worker and they ask me what I’m using, it’s fun to say “Oh, it’s Dior.” in the most dismissive tone I can muster. That aside, you should buy Dior’s Glowing Color Powder Blush because it’s really pretty and isn’t overwhelming.
Yes, this palette costs more than a baby on the black market, but it’s worth every penny. I like wearing shimmery makeup but I can’t stand applying an eye shadow that leaves sparkles all over my face. I’m usually just going to the dive bar down the street, not a cheerleading competition. The Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette has all sorts of earthy colors, only in shiny hues that don’t rain fairy dust when applying them. Plus it comes with a sample sized lip gloss which is also a plumper that works without stinging the shit out of your lips.
You wouldn’t think mascara would be a tough product to get right, but I’ve had a surprisingly hard time finding one that isn’t too heavy or sticky. Smashbox’s Full Exposure Mascara goes on smoothly and comes off just as easily. I’ve tried too many mascaras that have the staying power of cement, where I have to rub my eyes raw in order to properly cleanse them at the end of the day.
One time, seven years ago, I heard a woman describe me to someone else by saying “the girl with the long hair and the nice eyebrows”. Ever since then, I have felt a maniacal need to always be “the girl with the nice eyebrows”. Crazy, I know. But what else is new? The Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil goes on soft and is forgiving when you’ve shot a little too high above your hairline. Just run a finger along the excess and it comes off no problem.
This, for me, is the piece de resistance, the holy grail, my very own chupacabra. I had been searching for ages for something to add to my makeup regiment that would give me that same healthy glow that, that goddamn Kim Kardashian is always sporting on her reality show! I wanted something that added a subtle shine, but didn’t make me look like I was going to a disco. (disco?) This is it. Apply a little bit to your cheek and brow bones and blend. Do it right and people will be so taken with your radiance, they will completely forget how many times you mentioned that you wanted to look like Kim Kardashian in your latest blog post.