My favorite time of day…

I hate mornings.

Let me rephrase that… I hate waking up early.

I actually really enjoy mornings, it’s just that they come so early!

I really enjoy the time allocated for getting ready for my day. I just don’t really enjoy that it happens at 5:30 in the morning.

In fact, one of my favorite things each day is doing my makeup and hair. Not that I actually take the time to do them well everyday (somedays the snooze button gets the best of me)… but it’s one of the best parts of being a girl! I spend hours each week reading blogs, searching video tutorials, and scouring Pinterest for makeup/beauty information. It’s my version of catching up on sports news…. but way better.

It is absolutely amazing to me all the different products available today. When I first starting wearing makeup in middle school everyone just went to Target to get their products. There was the occasional MaryKay/Avon woman who would come over and sell to my mom but for the most part it was kept simple. While there isn’t anything wrong with drugstore products, the mass amount of products that go beyond what’s available at your local store is astonishing. If it weren’t for the reins enforced by my husband and the bill collectors I could go crazy buying new products. I want to try everything!! Maybe it’s a phase or that as I’m entering the end of my twenties I’ve begun to notice small pesky wrinkles and creases, but for now I’m loving all the fun perks of the amazing products available to help highlight/conceal ones best and worst features.

So I’ve compiled a list of my favorite products! Of course everyone is different and needs to do their own research on products for their skin type/complexion, through all of my fun experimenting these have been my favorite finds!!

1. First and for most: Invest in a good primer!! I was a skeptic for a few years thinking primers were for people who had lots of blemishes/wrinkles or for using cheaper foundations but I was wrong! Everyone should use a primer!! Even if you don’t wear makeup! Primers make your skin feel silky smooth and it helps tremendously in applying your foundation smoothly. I use Clinique Superprimer which is for all skin types and tones. It also plays double duty by being enriched in vitamins which my skin soaks up leaving my skin baby soft and more even.

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2. As some may still be skeptics: there is a difference between more expensive foundations and cheaper drugstore foundation. You get what you pay for and why not make your makeup work for what you’ve spent on it! Invest in foundation that fits your needs. I have dark circles under my eyes from wearing glasses for so many years so I researched foundation that was long lasting and offered decent coverage. I wanted a natural look so I knew I wanted a liquid foundation. I’ve been using Estée Lauder Double Wear for probably 4/5 years and of all the foundations I’ve tried I have always come back to this one. It isn’t cakey, it doesn’t wear off or come off on your hand, and it lasts all day long or until I take it off.

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3. After applying foundation (which should be the first thing you apply after primer) it’s time for my favorite part: the eyes! I was blessed with big eyes (and crazy thick, long lashes…like so long I have to trim them so they don’t hit my lenses) which is a huge benefit since I wear glasses. Even behind my spectacles you can still see my lids and lashes. For Christmas I asked for an eye shadow pallet and my husband luckily complied. After watching tutorials on Pinterest for the Urban Decay Naked Pallet I knew it was what would fit my needs best. I am a creature of eye color habit and typically only use warm brown/neutral colors. After using the pallet for one day I chunked all my old individual shadow colors. I had met my eyeshadow true love match.
FYI: use an eye primer. It does wonders for lasting color and smooth application.

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4. Mascara. Always wear mascara. Never question that decision in your morning comatose stupor. My favorite everyday mascara is Estée Lauder More Than Mascara. I have sensitive eyes so many cheaper, clumpier brands leave my eyes red and watery. This has a small wand which helps reach smaller corner lashes and gives me more control when applying. I also really love the rest of Estée Lauder’s mascara line and Benefits ‘They’re Real’ is my go-to when I really want some volume.

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5. Eyeliner. I compare eyeliners to sports teams. Everyone has a preference: liquid, pencil,etc and ladies covet their eyeliners y’all. It’s like football teams: college, pro; and divisions: NFL, AFC, SEC, Big 10… and people covet their football teams y’all.
So here is my personal preference after trying them alllllllll. I really love soft cream-like pencils. It just works for me. I’m just not skilled enough to do the liquid. Honest.

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6. Concealer. The huge trend right now in makeup is highlighting/contouring. H&C is a style of applying makeup that has been used for…. forever by makeup artist but has recently been breaking through to women around the world. There are lots of companies selling H&C kits for $$$ but the reality is: you most likely have the products needed in your makeup bag. Do your research before dropping the dough on a H&C kit. I use a concealer which is also a highlighter. I use it under my eyes after my foundation to help conceal my dark circles. I also use it between my brows, around my nose, on my chin and if I’m H&Cing on the bottom portion of my cheeks. I use a Maybelline brand that one of my favorite beauty bloggers recommended and it works great for me. Plus it’s like 8 bucks -score.

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7. Blush – I’m a recent convert on the blush bus but I’ve bought a lifelong pass. It really livens and lightens up your face. Hint: it will always look brighter in the package than on your face! So experiment and color it up! I’ve been using a cream blush and I like it alright but I’m playing with some powders to try and find something less messy. I do love the Dream Bounce from Maybelline because their colors are just delicious.

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8. Bronzer – here’s what you need to know:
bronzer with shimmer: spring/summer
matte bronzer: fall/winter
Use bronzer as your contouring product for H&Cing. (Highlighting and Contouring)
Don’t over do it… Use lightly and be careful to match it to your skin tone WITH your foundation in mind.
When I do use it this is one of my favorites plus its available at Target so it’s pretty inexpensive and matches my skin tone perfectly even with a slight summer tan.

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9. Last but not least!! This is my new magic, precious friend. Nars translucent light setting powder! It goes on sheer and matches all skin tones. It sets your makeup in, keeps your skin from getting oily throughout the day, is enriched in vitamins for your skin, and really diminishes pores and fine lines. It’s amazing!! I don’t know how I made it so long without it!
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So there you have it! These are my personal favorite beauty basics!!
Half the fun is trial and error so if you don’t like the idea of dropping the money on products you may not like here are a few options:
* Try out monthly beauty programs like Ipsy and Birchbox. I have subscriptions to both and Ipsy is more makeup based. Both programs are $10.00 a month. You fill out a beauty profile online and they pick products based on your profile. There are no contracts so you can cancel anytime… but I doubt you will because they’re both fabulous and who doesn’t love getting goodies sent to your door each month!?
* Some makeup companies will allow returns even if you’ve used the product. Estée Lauder allows you to return makeup… and actually encourages you to if you’re not satisfied with their product. (Don’t you love good customer service like that!?) When you’re purchasing your makeup check with the retailer in regards to their return policies.
* Utilize those makeup attendants! Ask questions, experiment in store with products. If you don’t find someone who you’re comfortable with (been there) then leave and go somewhere else. Makeup is expensive. No joke. You have the right to try out the products before purchasing and you deserve an attendant who is willing to work with you. It’s one of the perks of buying makeup from places like Sephora, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Belk’s, etc.

I hope everyone has a beautiful weekend!! Happy makeup shopping!!

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