The Must-Haves for Those New to Makeup

Makeup is a growing industry, especially as more people start to see it as a hobby rather than something they can’t live without. However, we all have to start somewhere, and with so many different products out there, it can be difficult to figure out what exactly you need in your makeup bag. Here are a few things I think are absolutely essential to any makeup kit.

  • Moisturizer – Moisturizer keeps your face healthy and hydrated throughout the day. Not only will this make your skin look great, but it will also keep your face from over-producing oil or drying out, both of which can cause you to break out. There are several types of moisturizer out there. My favorite brand is Formula 10.0.6, because it isn’t expensive and it works really well. I think you can get a good sized bottle for around $7 at Ulta. They have a lot of skin care products that I really enjoy.
  • Primer – Primer gives your foundation something to stick to, so you won’t have to worry about reapplying throughout the day. There are tons of primers available, including mattifying, pore-reducing, illuminating, and much more. The type you get will really just depend on the look you want to achieve. I like Maybelline’s Baby Skin primer, because it makes my pores smaller and gives me a smoother finish.
  • Foundation – Every girl needs a good foundation, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Find one that works for you. Ask someone who works in your favorite makeup store, like Sephora or Ulta, to help you find the right shade.
  • Concealer – Concealer is a product of many talents. You can use it to cover blemishes, as an eyeshadow primer, and even to contour. Shimmery highlighters are great, but concealer is a great option for someone just starting out or who wants a more matte look. I’m still trying to find a concealer to swear by, but the general consensus is to get one a shade lighter than your foundation.
  • Bronzer – Contouring can be really terrifying, so rather diving in head first, a matte bronzer is a great way to get your feet wet. Bronzer works basically the same way, but since it’s usually in powder form, it’s a little more forgiving than cream contour. I currently just use Ulta’s Matte Bronzer.
  • Black mascara – A lot of women I know who wear barely any makeup almost always wear mascara. It lengthens and darkens your eyelashes to make your eyes stand out. I’ve had luck with several different brands, including No. 7, Maybelline, and Ulta, but currently I’m using a MAC mascara that I got as a free sample.
  • Setting powder/spray – I didn’t start using this until this year, but I wish I had started a long time ago. Setting powder and spray is similar to primer in that it helps keep your makeup on, so you don’t have to reapply. However, it goes on once you’re done with the rest of your makeup. NYX has a great setting spray that is reasonably priced.

While I have tons of other products in my makeup bag, I definitely think these are the essentials. What are your must-have makeup products?

Should You Wear Makeup While Working Out?

My husband and I have recently started trying to lose weight, which means counting calories and hitting the gym, or in my case, playing a lot of sand volleyball. However, me being self-conscious, I really don’t like to leave the house without makeup, even if I’m just going to the gym and won’t see anyone I know. Because of this, I’ve kind of been struggling with whether it actually is bad to wear makeup to the gym, and here’s what I’ve decided:

No, it isn’t, on most occasions. If you’re going to shower pretty immediately after you workout (as you should and I’m guilty of not always), then no, go ahead and wear makeup. You’re going to wash it and the dirt and sweat off when you get home anyways, so it shouldn’t bother your skin.

Now, I will say the kind and how much makeup you wear is important. I’ve mentioned before that I like to wear bb cream in the summer, and I think it’s something that’s good for the gym, as well. It gives me a layer of coverage, but it also moisturizes my skin and most of them provide some UV protection, which is great for me playing sand volleyball. I would also recommend waterproof eye makeup, as you don’t want it to drip down into your eyes while you’re sweating (or “glistening” as my mom likes to say”).

If you are comfortable enough to go to the gym without makeup on, I salute you. I hope to be one day, but I’m not there yet.

PS: I apologize if this seems a little unorganized or like I’m rambling. One of my very good friends is moving tomorrow, and we’re having lunch in a bit, and I’m having trouble keeping my thoughts organized.

3 Reasons Everyone Should Have Concealer in Their Makeup Bag

I always knew concealer was good for diminishing the look of acne, but recently I’ve learned about some other ways that concealer can be used. I honestly had no idea that concealer could be used for so much, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It is definitely something everyone should keep in their makeup bag for these three reasons:

  1. Concealer can cover a multitude of “sins” if you will. Redness, blemishes, and dark circles can all be minimized with a little concealer. I wouldn’t put it on your whole face, but used sparingly it can be super helpful.
  2. It can be used as a matte highlighter. Sometimes you don’t want your face to be shiny, but you still want to contour. In these instances, concealer is a great option, especially if you use concealer that is one shade lighter than your normal face makeup.
  3. Eyeshadow primer. Putting a little concealer on your lids before your eyeshadow will give it something to stick to and keep it from melting into the creases. Getting my eyeshadow to stay on is probably one of my biggest makeup struggles, so I may give this a shot rather than continuing to buy separate eyeshadow primers.

I don’t have a concealer recommendation yet, because I haven’t tried too many out. What’s your favorite concealer? I’ll probably head to Ulta sometime this week and try to find one for me.

How I Like to Unwind After a Long Day at the Office

At my work, we did client audits today and are doing the same tomorrow, so we’ve been verifying all of their information which is extremely tedious and time-consuming, but necessary. Because of that, I felt pretty much brain-dead when I left the office this evening, so I decided to pamper myself a little when I got home. Here, in order, are the steps I took.

  1. Kick off my shoes, take my bra off, and put on comfy clothes. There’s nothing better in my opinion, than getting out of my bra after being in it all day.
  2. Take off my makeup. It was pretty warm here today and in my office, so my face felt kind of gross. After I had on more comfortable clothes, I took off my makeup, so my face felt fresh and clean. It also felt like it cooled me off a little.
  3. Grab a beer and lounge on the couch for a bit. After such a full day, I just needed a moment to not think about anything I had to do. My sweet cousin called me, and we got to catch up for about 20 minutes or so. It was nice.
  4. Pretty soon, I’ll have to cook dinner, but it’s going to be something super easy that I don’t have to think much about.
  5. Tonight when I shower, I’m going to use my Ulta Sugar Scrub and just relax in the shower for a bit.

I know it’s nothing fancy, but I’m hoping it’ll help me be rested and ready to go at it again tomorrow. What do you like to do for yourself after a long day?

Wedding Guest Makeup Guide

I’m headed to one of my friend’s weddings tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited. My husband and I haven’t been to a wedding since we got married, and we’re excited to enjoy one after knowing what all goes into one. Since wedding season is upon us, I thought I’d give you guys a few makeup tips for any you’ll be attending this summer.

1. Waterproof eyeliner and mascara is a must. Whether you’re a cryer or a sweater, summer weddings are a haven for runny makeup. Do what you can to keep it in place.

2. Choose makeup with a sunscreen. Many summer weddings are outdoors, and you don’t want to be red in any pictures.

3. Setting powder or spray is your friend. Again, it’s hot out there, so you definitely want to do what you can to keep it on.

How many weddings do you have this summer? What are your favorite makeup tips for weddings?

Makeup Icon: Ashley Benson

If you’ve ever watched Pretty Little Liars, you probably recognize her as Hanna Marin. I’ve been watching through it lately from some combination of boredom and bachelor drama withdrawal (which is over now YAY!), and I’m really enjoying it. It was on while I was in high school, and I read the books, but with sports and school and homework, I could never keep up with it.

Anyways, watching through it, I’ve realized how much I love the hair and makeup in this show, especially Hanna’s. All the girls are beautiful, but I think Hanna’s style lines up more with mine. I love Aria’s look, but it’s a little edgier than what I’m comfortable with. I realize they’re all done professionally, but I’m so jealous of how perfect it looks. The eyeliner especially. I think eyeliner is my kryptonite.

Who are some of your makeup icons? What do you wish you could do like them?

An Open Letter to Cosmetics Companies Regarding Foundation

Dear Cosmetics Companies,

Let me start by saying that I love your products, and I rarely leave home without several of them on. They can do a lot for my face, including cover redness, minimize pores, and even make my face look thinner. However, I do have one small complaint, and that is how foundations are labeled.

Now, I realize you want to make yours stand out, so you give them creative names and tone scales, but as a consumer, it would make my life infinitely easier if I could tell if your foundation would match my skin tone just by looking at the label. I have found a few different foundations that I like, but if I ever want to venture outside of those, I’m basically just guessing as to whether it will look right on me.

My request is simple: come up with a standardized numbering system (similar to clothes sizing, even though we all know how much those can vary) that assigns each shade a different number. This way, you can have color swatches, so your customer immediately knows what shade they need and won’t have to play trial and error until they get it right.

While it may seem like this would take a lot of time and money up front, I think it would actually save you a lot of both in the long run. You won’t have to worry about as many returns from customers who bought the wrong shade, which then renders that bottle useless. In addition, you likely won’t have to field as many complaints about the difficulty of finding the right shade. I know it won’t cut out all complaints, but I think it would help.

I hope you’ll consider my proposal, and begin working on a better system. I think a lot of people will agree that they would be much happier with something like this in place.



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