If you read my post about how I attended FIDM, you know that I have a background in the Beauty industry. I studied branding, merchandising, and product development for makeup, skincare, fragrance and haircare, which means I know A LOT about what goes into the products we know and love. Not only do I have formal education in the business of beauty, but I was also a hardcore beauty product junkie long before I went to school for it. In short, I’ve tried essentially every brand, every product, and every shade. The proof is in my makeup vanity, which holds everything from setting spray to texturizing spray.
I thought I would break down a few of my favorite products and explain what makes them so fab. With the hundreds of products I own, it was hard to pair down the list, but here is the best of the best IMO.
This is my holy grail when it comes to liquid foundation. I have super oily, acne prone skin and this foundation makes my skin appear so smooth and matte. A little goes a long way, so apply with a light hand. Note: I learned that the brand Makeup Forever was made for models/ people on TV that will be shown in HD, which means it makes the skin appear perfect.
IT is my current favorite brand; I literally own over 15 of their products and am totally obsessed. The brand was created with input from plastic surgeons and dermatologists, and the founder, Jamie Kern Lima, made it specifically for people with skin issues, namely rosacea. This product is a liquid foundation in compact form and is formulated with the brand’s moisturizer called Confidence in a Cream. They have actually expanded on the “Confidence” line with a cleanser, Confidence in a Cleanser, which I also own and love. This foundation is full-coverage, but also gives a light, sheer, glowy finish that I’m a big fan of
I own quite a few blushes (read: way too many), and this one is my favorite for an everyday go-to that I can always count on. I love the shade Peony because it can transition seamlessly from day at work to a night out.
Ok this stuff is kind of awesome. Not only can it be used as an all-over face powder, it can also be used as a bronzer. I have the medium shade, which is a little too tan to use all over my whole face, although I have (and everyone at work asked me if I got a spray tan!), but I really like to use it on my cheekbones/forehead for a bronzey glow.
I’m not a huge primer person because I personally think it makes my skin greasier despite the point of primers being to do the exact opposite, but I really like this one. It makes my skin feel silky smooth upon application and helps keep makeup in place. I don’t use it everyday, but if I’m wearing really heavy makeup, I will.
This mascara is the best I have ever used, hands down. The wand is what really separates this mascara from the rest. Benefit came up with the Hook ‘n’ Roll brush that grabs the lashes and rolls them upwards in order to lift and curl in a drastic way. I immediately noticed that this formula and brush concept was unlike anything else I had ever tried. The results were instantly amazing. I love that this mascara actually lasts. It doesn’t feel like it’s flaking off or smudging under my eyes after a long day. There is definitely great hold and wearability.Since trying Roller Lash for the first time when it originally came out, I bounced around and tried some other brands of mascara including Too Faced Better Than Sex and Tarte’s Lights, Cameras, Lashes, but ultimately, I came back to Roller Lash because the others didn’t compare.
I own lots of individual eye shadows, but I definitley prefer a palette since all the colors usually compliment eachother and it’s so easy to throw in a bag and know you have variety. The LORAC Unzipped palette is my all-time favorite. I use it every day, whether I’m going to work or am going for a glam date-night look becuase it has a range of shades that can be used for any occasion. I have green eyes and am a fan of anything that is champagne/rosy/bronze/gold to accentuate them, which this palette provides.
If you’re looking for a striking eyeliner that glides on flawlessly, this one does the trick. It is the most pigmented eyeliner I have ever used, meaning it really delivers that solid color that makes your eyes go BAM! I prefer putting crayon or pencil eyeliners on my lower lash line, and a liquid eyeliner on the top of my lid. I also like playing with browns, mochas, plums, slate and black when it comes to my eyeliner shades.
I’m breaking up this category between traditional lipstick, liquid lipstick, and lip gloss. For lip stick I cannot say enough about Armani. This is THE BEST NUDE EVER. Not much else to say other than this will be the best lipstick you’ll ever own.
I’m a huge fan of Kat Von D Beauty. This brand makes quality products that work. The liquid lipstick from this line is eveything. With super pigmented, creamy, and flawless matte finish that doesn’t dry out your lips, the gorgeous shades are just the cherry on top. I love the shade “Lovecraft” – it’s the perfect pink, mauve.
As soon as I saw this product, I knew it was going to be a dream. Not only does it have a lip plumping quality, the shine is amazing. I’m obsessed with the shade “Dolly”. It’s the perfect pink-nude-peach color that lasts for hours and can be applied on its own or over any lipstick to give it a beautiful glossy finish. I really like how thick and creamy this product is; it feels really luxurious.
This is brand that caught my attention due to its packaging and brand messaging, and I’m totally obsessed. As someone with acne-prone and sensitive skin, I prefer skin care brands that feel more “medical”. That’s the best term I can think of, but I’m really trying to describe products that actually work because they were formulated by experts, versus fragrant, “fun” products. I love this scrub because it felt different than the many others I have used before immediately upon putting it on my face. My skin instantly felt brighter and it only took 1 minute to massage in my face and utilize the “mask” aspect of the product. I’ve also used the Power Glow Peel Pads and Perfect Cleanse, which are amazing, as well. If you are thinking about looking into this brand, I would start with these three products to create a nice little kit for yourself.
Dermalogica is another brand that I feel confident using because of their commitment to creating innovative products that truly work. I own quite a few products from their line, and am actually planning on doing an entire post about my experience with Dermalogica, including a detailed report of each product I use. Stay tuned!
Again, IT Cosmetics is a brand I can’t say enough about. Much like my feelings towards primer, I have never been one to use moisturizer religiously due to my extremely oily skin. Despite the advice that “oil fights oil”, I have always found the moisturizers are too heavy and greasy for my skin and do me no favors. That is until I found this one! Its is heavenly; so creamy and thick, yet dries quickly and feels light once applied to the skin. I slather it on at night and feel like I’m really helping my skin as I sleep since it also fight wrinkles while hydrating.
If I’m in a hurry (or feel lazy), I still always remove my makeup no matter what. Sleeping with makeup on has to be the worst feeling ever, I don’t understand how some people do it! Rant over. Anyways, for those times you don’t really want to do an in-depth face wash, I highly recommend getting a pack of makeup remover wipes. While there’s a ton on the market, I really like these ones because they are fragrance free, which is super rare. In general, I try to avoid putting anything on my face that is fragranced. I especially like these wipes because they actually remove eye makeup and heavy duty mascara all the way.
This is the newest skincare product that I’ve added to my arsenal, and it may be the best one in terms of results. I have some pretty deep acne pick marks as a result of years of acne and picking (oops), which I have tried to get rid of for what feels like forever. This serum comes out of a metal rollerball, which I roll around those scarred areas once in the morning and before bed, and I swear I have already seen results after two weeks. If you suffer from acne scars of any type, I highly recommend this product.
Full disclosure: this is one of the most expensive things I own, but it’s totalllllly worth it. This blow dryer is a hot topic whenever someone comes over to my house and I’ve gotten a few friends hooked on it. Not only is it super quiet, it also blow dries my hair in about half the time of a normal blow dryer. I have a lot of hair and it used to take me forever to get my hair all the way dry, so this is a lifesaver in terms of time for me. Who knew a vacuum brand could be such a beauty hit?!
I love Moroccan Oil anything, but this dry shampoo is one of the best things I own. I’m a big fan of dry shampoo, and not so much of fan of washing my hair (such a process!), so I’ve tried LOTS of dry shampoo brands. Some make my hair feel even dirtier or makes me itch, but this one works so well in terms of refreshing my hair and making it feel clean even after a couple days of skipping washes. But the #1 thing I love about this is the smell: it is literally the BEST THING EVER. Seriously, go try it.
Kenra is one of my favorite haircare brands and if you havent tried their line yet, I highly recommend trying it out. They also make mostly every product in travel size if you want to give it a test run first. This spray is to be used on damp hair before blow drying and styling, and makes my hair so soft while keeping it protected from the heat. It also is made to decrease blow dry time. Paired with the Dyson blow dryer, my hair gets dry super fast and feels silky smooth!
Kevin Murphy is a beauty fan favorite and is really blowing up lately. I’ve seen the brand’s product line in almost every salon I’ve been to recently and I’m all about it. I love this particular product because it made for blondes and literally makes my hair glow. It has a shimmery quality that you lightly mist on to dry hair and it gives it the most glossy, radiant finish. When the light hits your hair after wearing this is seriously #hairgoals.