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As a makeup artist, I am often asked what my favorite makeup products are. Being the makeup junkie that I am, I am constantly trying out new products & always in search of the next best thing. There are some things I will honestly tell you not to spend your money on. However, that is not the case with these products…these products are worth EVERY penny! This year I’ve truly come across some new game changers. However, I have also stayed true to my roots & am holding strong to some of my “ride or die” products, that will go with me to the grave. I’ve pictured a few of my favorites here, and will list those in detail, as well as some other top picks in this post. If you have any questions about the products, and their performance, don’t hesitate to ask!
- Stila “Magnificent Metals” Foil Finish Eyeshadow: Oh myyyyy…the LOVE I have for this product is out of bounds!! Specifically in the colors “Kitten” and “Pixie Dust” (check them out here: Stila Magnificent Metals ) This is a total game changer when it comes to achieving a glitter effect on the eyes, in a safe way. **Please note, It is NOT ok to use regular glitter, or even most cosmetic glitters, (such as MAC glitter) around the eyes. Most of the products will make a note of this on their packaging, but is often overlooked. THIS product however…ohhhhh…this just makes my heart go pitter-patter. It is the most beautiful “sophisticated glitter” and a product I am often using in my kit and personal makeup routine.
- Arbonne “Glossed Over” Lipgloss in “Calla”: I love this color! It is the *perfect* pinky-nude color & is gorgeous on it’s own, or in combination with your favorite nude lipstick. Arbonne is a line that I have absolutely fallen in love with this past year (I actually decided to become a consultant so that I could take advantage of the discount). I was on the quest to find some beautiful makeup products that would not only perform in the way that I needed them to, but also be a healthier alternative for my everyday makeup (as opposed to some of the other products on the market). “Healthy” as in: free of parabens, artificial fragrance and toxic chemicals. Sadly, most of the time you have to sacrifice one or the other…but this company has NAILED IT. I will be honest – I am a total skeptic when it comes to any type of “direct sales” company, so I had my guard up with this when a friend approached me about trying their makeup products. However, that was short lived & my wall came crumbling down after trying only a few of their products. I am obsessed with this lipgloss formula & color! It is not sticky at all, richly pigmented and actually has a lovely taste (haha I know that sounds weird, but let’s face it, it’s on our lips…we are going to taste it). Check it out here, and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Calla Lipgloss
- Arbonne blush in “Taffeta”: For that perfect rosy flush to the cheeks, that looks natural, as if you had just gone running or pinched your cheeks, this is the perfect color! View here: Taffeta Blush
- Arbonne “Perfecting Liquid Foundation”: To say that I have tried just about every foundation out there is an understatement. I have incredibly sensitive skin, that is prone to breakouts & has often been irritated by many other foundations. This one has been my absolute favorite for about a year now and is what I personally use everyday. Although it does have an incredible coverage, it looks very natural and gives such a beautiful “soft focus” finish to the skin. It has a built in sunscreen, and is packed with nourishing, safe, and beneficial ingredients! Winning! Read more here: Perfecting Liquid Foundation
- Inglot “AMC Eyeliner Gel” in “#77” (Black): ummm…whoa. This is one of my “I can’t live without” products. I have never found a more longwearing, richly pigmented and creamy gel eyeliner! I keep a stockpile of these on hand so that I never run out! I use this in my kit, on just about every single client, and also on myself, daily. MAD LOVE! View more information here: Black Gel Eyeliner
- Arbonne “Smoothed Over Lipstick” in “Magnolia”: Pucker up ladies, this will definitely encourage a kiss or two 😉 This is the sexiest nude lip color & I am in love with the feel of it on the lips. Super creamy, and (just as I mentioned earlier about the lipgloss) it tastes great! My favorite combo is a nude lipliner of choice (see below), with this lipstick and the Arbonne “Calla” gloss over top. Bomb.com. View this lipstick here: Smoothed Over Lipstick
- Too Faced “Better Than Sex” Waterproof Mascara: Well, I’m not sure that it lives up to it’s name entirely, haha, but it is DEFINITELY one of the best mascara’s I’ve ever tried! I personally love waterproof formula’s, because they don’t irritate my eyes (which tend to often water) and keep the lashes lifted and full. As long as you have a proper eye makeup remover (I’ll list my fave on that below), it doesn’t damage your lashes at all. View more here: Better Than Sex Mascara
- Too Faced “Soleil” Matte Bronzer: Oompa Loompa’s can take a back seat here. No orange to be found (Trump would hate it). Not only does this smell like chocolate heaven (as they use real cocoa powder for coloring), it is one of THE best matte bronzers on the market. I personally use the “Milk Chocolate” color, which is the perfect bronzer for fair skin tones, but I often use the regular “Chocolate” color in my kit, which is suitable for most medium skin tones. For the most natural sunkissed look (unless you have baby smooth skin, with no visible pores) it’s usually best to opt for a matte bronzer. Shimmery bronzers are best left to specific areas of the skin that you’re looking to highlight only (such as the cheekbones) because shimmer will accentuate large pores & fine lines. View more here: Soleil Bronzer
- Urban Decay “Primer Potion” in “Eden”: I cannot say enough about this primer, specifically in the color “Eden”. It is a matte nude color, that will serve as a concealer on the eyelids, as well as a primer to ensure longevity. It will create a blank canvas for your eyeshadows & help to not only enhance the pigment deposit of those colors, but also ensure that they will stay on ALL day & remain crease-free. This is a staple product in my professional and personal makeup kit! View more here: Primer Potion
- Laura Mercier “Secret Brightening Powder”: This is an excellent setting powder, especially to use under the eyes to set your concealer. It does not add texture or give a “cakey”/”crepey” look under the eye. That area is so delicate and is such a thin skin, so it is always best to go with lightweight products. View more here: Secret Brightening Powder
- MAC #217, #210 & #239 eye brushes: For over 10 years these 3 brushes have been my tried-and-true & will forever remain front runners for me. The #217 is MAC’s best selling brush, and that is with good reason. It is the perfect blending eyeshadow brush, but can also double as an all over shadow brush when you’re looking for a more subtle wash of color on the lids. I have several of these in my brushbelt and at home. I am also known to never leave home without my “wings” (aka cateye liner) & the #210 brush is my favorite pointed eyeliner brush. I’ve tried many, and I always come back to this one, personally and professionally. Lastly, the #239 is the best eyeshadow brush for packing that pop of color on the lid and making sure that your eyeshadow reaches it’s full color potential. View more here: Eye Brushes
- MAC prolongwear concealer: This concealer is NO joke! It’s my absolute favorite (for under the eye especially!). It has such an incredible coverage, yet it is lightweight enough to be used on the thin skin under the eye, without adding texture or accentuating fine lines. It is important to use a longer wearing concealer under the eyes, especially if you’re going to be wearing other eye makeup (eyeliner and mascara, for example). Concealer is an emollient product and if the concealer you are using is too creamy, and not set properly with powder, it will start to “pull” your eye makeup into the undereye area & create major smudging and smearing. This concealer doesn’t even necessarily need to be set with powder, because it is just that longwearing. I personally set mine with the Laura Mercier powder (mentioned above), just for that added layer of protection. View more here: MAC prolongwear concealer
- Too Faced “Melted Liquified Longwear Lipstick”: I first discovered these lip products about a year ago, as part of a gift set at Ulta. One try and I was instantly in love! They are both creamy & comfortable on the lips, but also very opaque & longwearing. I have a few favorite colors & those are: “Nude” (neutral, universally flattering nude), “Chihuahua” (dusty mauve – **this is my personal fave, but I often mix this one and the “Nude” together for the perfect natural pout), “Fig” (rosy orchid), “Ruby” (blood red). View more here: Too Faced Liquid Lipstick
- “Mary Lou Manizer ” Highlighter: This first came onto my radar as part of my “Ipsy” subscription and I fell in love. It is the most beautiful highlighter that gives such a gorgeous “candlelit” glow to the skin. It is a honey-champagne color, and I use this on just about every client, and also on myself. It is not glittery, but has a gorgeous shimmer & that’s exactly what you want in a highlighter. View here: Mary Lou Manizer
- Bobbi Brown “Peach Corrector”: If you are anything like me, and deal with dark undereye circles, you’re always on the hunt for that magic product that will get rid of them. Well, I’m sorry to say that I’ve yet to find anything that will actually eliminate the problem all together. However, I have an excellent tool that will help you to show these dark circles who’s boss. I cannot say enough about the transforming powers of the “Bobbi Brown Peach Corrector”. The peachy orange tone of this corrector will help to neutralize the darkness under your eyes, using the genius concept of color theory/ color correction. You will first want to blend this into the under eye area (and don’t panic if it doesn’t completely blend & has an orange cast). You’ll then take your regular concealer (I suggest the MAC prolongwear, personally) & use that to brighten the area. GENIUS game changer! Promise. (PS, the “Peach” works for most skintones, but they do have a light, light to medium, and deep peach corrector as well, to compensate for different skintones). Check-check-check-it-out: Bobbi Brown Peach Corrector
I am now going to list some of my other faves, but won’t be going into as much detail on those (or I’ll be here foreva’). Feel free to reach out with any questions that you have, on any of these products!
- Urban Decay “Naked Palettes” (if I had to pick just one, it would be #2, but I love them all!)
- MAC eyeshadow – I love the following colors that are neutral and universally flattering: Nylon, Woodwinked, Jest, Blanc Type, Brown Down, Brown Script, Corduroy, Embark, Saddle, Soft Brown, Swiss Chocolate)
- Arbonne Eye Shadows – These are richly pigmented and have a super velvety texture. Fave colors: Dawn, Bluff, Amber, Fog, Clove, Driftwood, Oak, Canyon, Sienna, Onyx
Fave Skin Primer: Arbonne Primer
Fave Makeup Remover: MAC “Cleanse Off Oil” (to be used prior to your regular cleansing routine, to remove face makeup)
Fave Eye Makeup Remover: Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover – removes ERRRR’THANG with zero irritation (can be found at any local drugstore)
Fave Lip Stain: “Shy” Lipstain by Younique (order here directly from my beautiful friend Melissa) – There are so many gorgeous colors available, but I love this one in particular because it just gives a “bitten” look on the lips. Top with a lip conditioner, bada bing!
Fave Nude Lipliners:
- “Pouty” Nude lipliner by Younique
- “Nude Pink” lipliner by NYX
- “Peek-a-boo” lipliner by NYX
- “Whirl” lipliner by MAC
- “Subculture” lipliner by MAC
Fave Eyeliner pencils:
- “Smolder” by MAC
- “Matte Coal” PhotoReady Liner by Revlon (love this for the waterline and it’s what I personally use)
Fave Brow Products:
Fave Brush Cleaner: Cinema Secrets – I LOVE this brush cleaner! It will remove even the most waterproof products from your brushes, while also having a bristle conditioning and anti-bacterial property. You can use this to spot clean brushes daily!
I also suggest doing a deep clean on your brushes every week or two. For that, you can just use a gentle shampoo and warm water & then lay them out flat on a towel to dry overnight.
So, what am I forgetting? Surely there is something. If I think of it, I’ll edit the post. However, if you are curious about a product and you’re not seeing it listed or addressed here, please feel free to ask! I hope you will try some of these products & let me know if you love them as much as I do!
Congrats to those who are celebrating a recent engagement! If you are looking for a wedding day makeup artist, I’d love to be a part of your celebration. I still have many Friday openings for the 2016 Wedding season, and a few Saturdays remaining. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Cheers!
(photo credit: Etsy Shop: hellosmallworld @ https://www.etsy.com/listing/189933944/engagement-congrats-he-put-a-ring-on-it)
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