Below you will find a list of my personal favorites for different categories of makeup products.
Foundation: Face Atelier Ultra Foundation Pro ($31.99) is a silicone-based formula which imparts a beautiful glow to the skin and does not require a separate primer. It is a must for my brides. Unfortunately it is only available online, so shade matching may be difficult.
For my own use, I prefer Bare Minerals Original Foundation ($27) which does not make me break out and helps my skin look more even. Plus, the added SPF is always good.
Concealer (under eye): For my kit, my current favorite is Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer ($9) (just reviewed in my last post) because of its coverage and non-cakey finish. I also love Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29), which offers a larger shade range than the Maybelline. It also provides good coverage for the under eye area and does not look cakey or exaggerate fine lines.
Eyeshadow Primer: I used to be 100% loyal to Urban Decay's Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($20), but recently picked up the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base ($25) which also performs beautifully. Both keep shadows in place all day so there are no smudging or creasing issues.
Eyeshadow: Urban Decay's Naked 2 Palette ($54 -includes brush) has been one of my favorites for awhile, thanks to the range of wearable neutrals. Maybelline's Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow ($6.99) works wonderfully as a base or all over as a shadow, thanks to the creamy, long-wearing formula.
Eyeliner: For a pencil formula, I love Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil ($20) because it is waterproof and does not come off until I whip out the makeup remover. Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner ($9.99) is a great dupe for more expensive gel formulas and is easy to use (with a angled brush).
Lipstick: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils ($25) are worth every penny, with the broad range of colors available as well as the lasting power. It is the only product (in my opinion) that continues to look good while it wears off- hours after application, of course! A less expensive option that I keep in my kit which works similarly is Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm ($8.99). Another great thing about both products is the pencil applicator, which negates the need for a lip liner.
Mascara: I am a cheapie in this category- I love L'Oreal Voluminous Volume Building Mascara ($7.99) and Voluminous False Fiber Lashes ($8.99). Both work just as well as high-end, more expensive brands of mascara for a fraction of the cost.
Blush: Nars blushes ($30) are my all-time favorite. In my kit, I keep BH Cosmetics 10 Color Professional Blush Palette ($12!) which contains beautiful colors, similar to those offered by Nars, that look good on a variety of skin tones.
Bronzer: Nars Laguna ($38) all the way. I have yet to find a comparable alternative, so this is in my personal stash as well as my kit. The formula is not shimmery and not too orange, which means the finish looks natural.
Lashes: Ardell Demi Wispies ($4.99) are always stocked in my kit. They are glamorous yet natural, and look good on almost everyone.
Brows: Senna Brow Book is my kit fave. Senna also offers smaller palettes for personal use. For pencil products, I love Anastasia Brow Wiz ($21) and Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil ($32).
|Most of the products listed above|
If I left something off the list that interests you, please let me know and I will add it in.