Makeup_Favorites_May_2015_2It’s been a while since I’ve talked about makeup, mostly because I’m no expert. Not even close. But I’ve tried a lot of different brands and formulas, and I’m happy to say I’ve settled on some favorites. Some of these are new, while others I’ve shared before, which I think is a good thing actually. It means I’ve found good products that are worth sticking with year after year. The most important thing for me these days is finding products that are oil-free and mild since my acne has been pretty out of control since I got pregnant with Isla. I also clean my brushes often and have started swapping out some of my oldies that have seen better days. So let’s go through these one-by-one.

Sens’Eyes by Makeup Forever. I love this eye makeup remover. I used to use the Almay pads but suddenly those started burning my eyes so I switched. You’d think putting what feels like lotion on your eyes would also not feel so great, but I’ve never had a problem. A little goes a long way and with one or two swipes your eye makeup comes clean off. Just be sure to wash your face right after.

NARS Blush in Deep Throat. I really, really love NARS products but this blush is by far my favorite.  It lasts all day and can be applied very easily and lightly. Orgasm is the most popular color choice, but I prefer Deep Throat (I know, I know, these names!). It’s a bit peachier. Both colors are pretty universal though so you can’t go wrong. If your daughter drops and breaks your blush into tiny pieces and you can’t get to store that sells NARS, Smashbox Blush Rush in Paradise (a golden peachy color) is a nice alternative.

bareMinerals Well-Rested Face and Eye Brightener. This is a product I never knew I wanted. I was at a conference and there was a bareMinerals table where makeup artists who actually know what they’re doing make you look awake and pretty and she gave it to me for free. It’s certainly not a must-have, but I do really like it. I sometimes use the tiniest little dabs on my cheekbones and under my eyebrows to brighten things up a bit. It’s surprisingly effective.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Never Say NeverI love everything NARS makes for lips … gloss, lipsticks and even this matte pencil. It’s easy to apply on the go, stays for a surprisingly long time and comes in great colors. I’m thinking of investing in a few more. You’ve seen me wearing this rosy color here, here and here.

Anastasia Brow Wiz in Caramel. I am bad with eyebrows. I have no idea what I’m doing in terms of plucking, etc. and I’ve never gotten them professionally done (maybe it’s time!). This pencil is great for helping me shape them a bit and making them look presentable so I can fool the world into thinking I’m good at this stuff. It’s long-lasting, doesn’t smudge and doesn’t give me that drastic, dark, drawn-on effect.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in DemolitionI love this stuff. It’s the only eye pencil I’ve found that doesn’t smudge all over my face. As long as you keep it sharp, it literally glides right on and stays put. It comes in tons of great colors, too.

bareMinerals Eyecolor in Queen TiffanyIn general, I go for matte makeup more often than not. But this shadow has a slight shimmer that does actually work day or night. It also stays on a bit longer and doesn’t end up all over my face like a lot of other eye shadows. Plus, a little goes a long way, which means this guy will be around for a while. Bonus.

M.A.C. 116 Blush BrushI loathe spending money on brushes, but with my pre and postpartum acne issues finding good brushes (and cleaning them often) is important. I’ve tried a few different shapes and brands for blush brushes and this one is by far my favorite. It’s great for a light-handed application and the bristles are very soft. I always assumed M.A.C was generally more expensive than many other non-drugstore makeup brands, but I was pleasantly surprised to see they’re right on par and sometimes less expensive than the competition.

Stippling BrushI don’t actually own the 187 duo fiber brush by M.A.C. I own a crappy old one from Target that needs to be replaced, but the point is that a stippling brush is great for several things. I used to use it for liquid foundation application. It worked well for a light layer, but I found I was wasting too much product on the brush itself so I use my fingers instead and that works well. Now my brush is used solely for bronzer. I’ve found it’s the best way to avoid an extreme fake-looking face tan. I’ve tried other brushes for bronzer (mostly ones with thick, dense bristles like a kabuki brush) and they are way too heavy-handed for me. Stippling all the way.

Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation in 1.2 Warm FairI’ve been using this foundation for a couple of years now and have no desire to switch. It truly lasts all day and doesn’t clog my pores or look caked-on. It glides on wonderfully, looks and feels very natural and is oil-free, which is a must for me. It also doesn’t give me that white-out face with flash photography (but really who uses the camera flash anymore?!). Bonus: A little goes a long way so this bottle lasts me a while.

Tweezerman Stainless Steel Slant Tweezers. We’ve established I’m useless with eyebrows, right? So why am I even recommending products? Because when I do pluck, these do the trick. They’re honestly the best I’ve ever used and stay sharp for what feels like forever.

M.A.C. Bronzing Powder in Golden. It took me way too long, but I recently began to wonder if my former bronzer was partly responsible for my bad skin. I realized the onset of this horrendous acne not only coincided with my first pregnancy but also with my switch to Stila Sun Bronzing Powder a few seasons ago. It made me look a little orangey, too. So I asked someone online at M.A.C to recommend a light bronzer for me. It’s oil-free and so far I really like it. The Golden color is very subtle and light, which is exactly what I wanted.

Shiseido Eyelash Curler. Not all eyelash curlers are created equal. There’s not much to say about them either, but this one works for me. It doesn’t tear out my lashes and just, well, does the trick.

Dior DiorShow Waterproof Mascara in Catwalk Black. I’ve tried many mascaras, from drugstore brands and beyond, but I always end up reuniting with my beloved DiorShow. It doesn’t flake off below my eyes, only clumps when I’m ready for a new one and gives me the appearance of beautiful, full lashes. It’s perfect. I don’t see myself switching … ever again.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-2. Now more than ever (with that pesky acne), this stuff is a lifesaver. I apply it over top of my foundation only where I need it most (to cover that pesky acne and scars) with the accompany Secret Camouflage Brush. Then I gently dab it with a clean finger to blend, followed by the rest of my makeup routine. This stuff is truly great. And the best part is that a very little goes a very long way and you only need it during breakouts or to cover scars so it’ll last an incredibly long time.

I also use a light powder over my foundation, but I don’t love it so I didn’t list it. As for my lotion, as I’ve mentioned before, I use Cetaphil Oil Control Foaming Face Wash twice a day + its sister SPF 30 Moisturizer in the morning, plus Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% all over my face at night and just on acne flare ups in the morning (before I apply the Cetaphil Moisturizer). The glycolic acid burns a little, but it seems to be really helping me.

So there you have it. What did I miss? What are your favorite makeup products?

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  • Reply Wendi May 29, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Love your blog! If you don’t like your current powder try NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder (non-comedogenic!) or Too Faced Amazing Face powder. Both have worked great for my acne-prone skin (I use the Too Faced when I need a little more coverage and the NARS on a good skin day because it’s sheer but blurs imperfections). :)

    • Reply reallyrisa June 2, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      I’ll have to check out that powder. Thank you! xx

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