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?

Why I like BB Cream for the Summer

I honestly cannot believe May is already here, which means summer is just around the corner. My inner child is very excited, although summer isn’t the same for adults. Anyways, one thing that I think needs mentioning as summer approaches is the transition into summer makeup. As much as we don’t want to admit it, women do sweat, and not all makeup is built to stand up to that. When it starts getting warmer, I like to transition into using a BB cream instead of a full foundation, and here’s why:

  • It’s not heavy on my skin. BB cream (or CC cream, because I tend to use Aveeno’s CC cream) is usually a sheer to medium coverage that is more meant to even things out than actually cover things up, so it’s much lighter than a full coverage foundation would be.
  • It usually has an SPF built in. I’m terrible about putting sunscreen on, even though I know I should be putting it on every day, so having a BB cream with SPF already built in is really important for me.
  • It works with my skin even when I vary in color a little. I’m not one to get very tan (I’m actually really pale most of the year), but I will occasionally get a little color, so it’s nice that I don’t have to change foundations. Since BB cream is a lighter coverage, the color doesn’t really show up as much, so no matter where I am on my very limited spectrum, it still works for me.
  • It moisturizes your skin and evens it out at the same time. The sun (and sunburns) can really dry out your skin, so it’s important to keep it hydrated. This means drinking water regularly, too, so it can be hydrated from the inside, as well.

I will say, I’m fairly lucky in the fact that (knock on wood) my complexion is pretty good, so I don’t break out or anything too often, which is why I can get away with wearing just a BB cream instead of foundation in the summer. However, it may not be something you’re comfortable with, and that’s okay. There’s no rule saying you have to switch to something lighter in the summer, but it works for me and I just wanted to share. What’s your favorite summer makeup tip?

New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep

It’s January 11th, so why am I just now talking about New Year’s resolutions? Well, because let’s face it, if you had one, chances are, you’ve probably already cheated or dropped it. If you didn’t have one, here are a few you can drop when people ask you what yours was. They’re easy, and they won’t require much work on your part, but may help increase your self-confidence, which is always a good thing.

  1. Find a lipstick shade that makes you feel like you can take on the world. Whether it’s a rosy red, a deep wine, a playful pink, or even just a nude shade that makes you feel strong, I firmly believe there’s a lipstick shade out there for everyone. Now, I don’t where a ton of lipstick. Sometimes, I feel like I’m being too formal if I have lipstick on, so I wear gloss or chap stick instead. However, there are some days where I’m looking to kick ass and take names, and on those days, I reach for lipstick. If you haven’t found a lipstick color that gives you that feeling of empowerment, I challenge you to find one this year. Two if you’re feeling frisky.
  2. Moisturize your face more often. I’ve already talked about why moisturizer is important, but I’ll reiterate to save some time. Moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated, so it won’t overcompensate and produce too much oil. Your face won’t be as oily, your makeup will stay on better, and you won’t break out as much. Find a moisturizer that works for you, and try to use it at least once a day or every other day. You don’t have to spend a lot to find one that works, either. Mine is about $7 a bottle, and it’s lasted me a long time.
  3. Try a look that’s not in your comfort zone. I don’t mean you have to change your style completely. That’s terrifying, and unless you want to, I don’t recommend it. Your style is part of what makes you who you are. However, you may find something you like, so try things that make you a little nervous. Maybe you’re going out with your girls one night. Try a dark lipstick instead of a bright red or nude. Buy a piece of clothing that you think is super cute, but you’ve never worn anything like it before. No matter what it is, doing something outside of your comfort zone can be a real game changer, which is what New Year’s resolutions are all about.

What was your New Year’s resolution? If you try any of these out, I’d love to know how it goes! Make 2018 your year!

The “Rules” of Makeup

Let’s talk about those rules that people talk about when teaching others how to apply their makeup. Don’t match your lipstick and eyeshadow, don’t apply makeup with your hands, don’t wear lipstick that’s too dark or too light, etc. We’ve all heard at least one, but I’m here to tell you that they’re bogus. Makeup is supposed to be fun! The great thing about it is that there are no actual rules. Do what makes you feel good, not what everyone tells you should feel good.

Why do these rules exist? These rules come from a time where women wore makeup for men, not because they liked the way it looked. While that still happens some, women are starting to empower each other and themselves, and their makeup is reflecting that. We’re getting bolder and showing off our personalities. We’re wearing brighter and bolder colors, and we feel more okay moving away from the nude look. Now, please don’t think this is me saying the nude look is bad; I love the nude look and wear it most days. What I mean is, we as women feel more comfortable being noticed, and we’re letting our makeup do the talking.

Trends change. What worked for our parents isn’t working for us anymore. Monochromatic makeup is in, and it’s okay to wear brightly colored makeup. As quickly as trends change, it’s important to make sure your makeup is comfortable for you. Don’t just wear something because it’s “in”, especially if you don’t feel like a goddess when you’re wearing it. You’re beautiful and deserve to feel beautiful, so find makeup that makes you feel that way, whether it’s trendy or not. Own it, and the trends will follow.

There are some merits to these rules, and while I don’t think they should rule your beauty routine, I do think they should be regarding before completely tossing them out. For example, don’t apply makeup with your hands. I put on my moisturizer, primer, foundation, and eye primer with my hands, and I don’t breakout that much. When I do, I find it’s usually because my brushes, not my hands, aren’t clean enough. Just make sure your hands are clean when you apply your makeup, and when applying eye makeup, use your ring finger because it applies less pressure on your eyes.

One of the things I love about makeup is experimenting. It’s a form of self-expression, and I like to try different things to see what I feel the most myself with. I love wearing dark lipstick when I go out with my friends. It makes me feel sexy and empowered, which isn’t always the case for me. What’s one beauty “rule” that you ignore or bypass that makes you feel like you can take on the world?

Why Moisturizer Matters

With winter bringing cold air and lots of wind, it’s easy for your skin to get dried out during the holiday season. The terrible thing about that is this is probably the time when you’ll take the most pictures all year. In order to keep your skin looking great for all those close-ups, it’s important to find a good moisturizer.

The type of moisturizer you use depends on the type of skin you have. My face tends to be dryer, especially in the winter, so I use a moisturizer with aloe in it to keep my face softer. I really like Formula 10.0.6 Seriously Shine Free moisturizer, because it has aloe to keep my skin soft and bamboo to absorb any oil and keep my face from looking shiny. You can get a 2.5oz bottle from Ulta for $7, or follow the link below to get it from Amazon.

Formula Ten O Six Seriously Shine-Free Moisturizers, 2.54 Fluid Ounce

So, why is moisturizer important? Well, other than keeping your face from drying out, it can also help your makeup last longer. When you start your makeup routine with moisturizer, it keeps your face from absorbing the rest of the products you put on afterwards. This means you can use less foundation, and it will stay on longer.

Moisturizer also keeps your skin hydrated. This keeps your body from overcompensating and producing excess oil that will make you break out. If you want to look great for those Christmas cards, this is one of the best ways to prevent breakouts in the winter. Plus, there are tons of moisturizers out there that have anti-wrinkle or anti-aging additives, or you can go with a tinted moisturizer as a foundation base or on days where foundation isn’t necessary, and you want something lighter. I especially like tinted moisturizer in the summer, because sometimes, foundation can get too heavy on my face.

Finding ways to keep your skin from drying out is the best way to keep your skin luminous for all those holiday pictures. Along with adding moisturizer to your daily routine, try not to over-wash your skin and hair, and don’t take scalding hot showers. This is the one I find hardest to follow, because I love a good steamy shower, but I try to put lotion on when I get in to at least trap some of the moisture. Whatever your trick is, remember that your skin is your largest protector from the elements, so treat it kindly this winter

How to Make Your Makeup Last All Day

It can be so frustrating to look in the mirror at lunch time to see the makeup you put on 4-5 hours ago is already melting off. How do we keep this from happening? There are several steps you can take to keep from having to reapply your makeup, and none of them add much time to your routine.

Start your makeup routine with moisturizer. Not only is this better for your skin’s health, it keeps your skin from absorbing any of the products you’ll add later. I like to use Formula 10.0.6 Seriously Shine Free Mattifying Oil Free Moisturizer. It’s made from bamboo and aloe to keep your skin soft and oil free. It’s $7 at Ulta, and I like the way it smells and feels on my face.

After moisturizing, use a face primer. There are a bunch of primers that have different effects, but my favorites are the blurring or backlighting primers. Primers help smooth out your face to make your foundation go on smoother and stay on longer. BECCA has a Backlight Priming Filter that is pretty expensive for a full-size, but I love it. It smells amazing and gives your skin a nice glow. It’s $38 for the full-size bottle, but Ulta currently has a travel duo that includes a 0.5oz primer and a 0.12oz of their Mineral Blush for $15. This way, you can test it out for a low price before you buy a full bottle, and you get to try some of their blush, too.

Prime your eye makeup, as well. Ulta has some eye primers both in matte nude and some colors that you can wear on their own if you want. If you put eye primer down, it gives your eye shadow something to stick to, so it won’t melt down into your eyes or gather in your crease. Ulta’s eyeshadow primers are $12, but you don’t have to use much, so they last a while. Also, use your ring finger to apply it, because it gives a lighter touch, which is safer for your eyes.

The last step you’ll want to take is adding setting powder. This is a translucent powder you can quickly apply all over your face to keep your makeup in place all day. I’ve only ever used Ulta’s brand mineral setting powder, because I got it for free in one of their promotional makeup bags, but it works pretty well and goes on lightly. The full-size container is $14, and you’ll want to use the biggest brush you have to put it on. Just sweep a small amount all over your face, and you’re good to go!

By following these steps, hopefully your mid-day frustrations of seeing your makeup coming off will no longer be an issue. These few extra steps aren’t very time-consuming, and they can actually save you time by keeping you from having to reapply during the day. If anyone knows of any other tips that can help, please feel free to comment or leave me a message.