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?

My Summer 2018 Makeup Wish List

I haven’t made an Ulta run in a while, and I think I’m starting to have withdrawal symptoms. I’ve been looking through their site and figuring out some new things to try out, so I can make my makeup routine even better. I’ve started making a summer makeup wish list to help me decide what to get next time I go, which will hopefully be this week. I thought I’d share this list with y’all in case anyone else was looking for some new makeup, as well, or to see if any of you had tried these things and could tell me what you thought.

  • NYX Professional Makeup Wonder Stick – This product is a contour stick that has both a cream contour and highlighter. I’ve never used a cream or liquid contour, so I’m interested to see how it works for me.
  • Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Lip Color – One of my friends raves about this stuff, and I’m dying to try it for myself, but I need to look at some of the shades in person to see which one will work best for me.
  • Limited Edition Morphe x Bretman Babe in Paradise Highlighter Palette – I’ve been looking for a new highlighter, and this palette came up in one of the Ulta emails I got. It looks beautiful, and if my NYX Wonder Stick doesn’t work out, I may definitely look into this. Hopefully it will still be available if I decide I want it.
  • Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream 8-in-1 Skin Perfector – I like to use BB cream instead of foundation in the summer when I can get away with it, and I really like my Maybelline primer, so I feel like I’d like their bb cream, as well.

These are the specific products I’ve been looking at, but I’m also on the lookout for some new eyeshadows, and I’m definitely open to suggestions there. What’s on your summer makeup wish list?

Professional Makeup

I’m very excited, because I recently got offered a new job, and today is my first day. With that, I wanted to talk a little today about what makeup is appropriate for a professional setting. While it does depend some on the kind of work you do and your office setting, the type of makeup that is acceptable is generally consistent.

When it comes to lip colors, I like to stay with nudes and neutrals or mauves. Red is sometimes acceptable depending on your field, but I would usually stay away from anything too dark or too bright. I like a good gloss, because it’s easy to apply throughout the day, it keeps my lips from drying out, and they usually aren’t terribly bright. Mattes are also a great option, especially if you can find one that lasts all day. One of my friends has had really good results with Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink, and I will definitely be checking some of their colors out soon.

For eyeshadow, again you probably want to stay with lighter colors or something more neutral. I would keep away from anything that is going to be too bright or distracting, because you want people to pay attention to your work and what you have to say, rather than your makeup. I would also recommend choosing something matte or that has a slight shimmer, rather than anything that’s glittery. I like to use ULTA’s colored eyeshadow primers, because they last quite a while and offer a good pigment without being overwhelming. I have a peach gold and a rose gold that both look good, have a slight shimmer, and really bring out the blue in my eyes, which I’m always a fan of.

When you’re in the office, you may not get much opportunity to touch up your makeup, so you’ll want to find ways to make it last. I recommend finding a good primer that works for your skin type and using a setting powder when you’re done. These two things will help keep your makeup in place, so you won’t have to worry about any touchups. I have several primers that I really like. BECCA Backlight Priming Filter is great, albeit a little expensive, as is Benefit’s Porefessional. For drugstore primers, I like NYX #NoFilter Blurring Primer and Maybelline’s Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser. For setting powder, I just use ULTA’s mineral setting powder.

Overall, keep it on the simple side, and you should definitely be safe. What are your favorite makeup tips for professional settings?

Product Review – NYX Butter Gloss in Angel Food Cake


I finally did it. I broke down and bought the lip gloss I’ve been eying for a couple of weeks. It wasn’t much of a sacrifice since it was only $5, but as I’ve said before, I’m lazy and try to avoid going to stores if I can help it. However, I can confidently say it was worth the trip. I love this lip gloss.

This lip gloss is perfect for everyday wear. It’s a medium nude pink that I think looks great with everything. It’s light, and the formula isn’t too sticky. It is very pigmented though, as you can see in the pictures, and I can wear it by itself, which I love. Plus, it’s not too shiny, so even you gloss skeptics out there might like it.

One thing I do dislike about it is that it dries out my lips some, so I definitely recommend putting on a colorless lip balm before applying. Of course, I am currently out of lip balm, so I don’t know that this would work for sure, but I imagine that it would. Anyone have any recommendations for some natural lip balms? I can’t seem to decide on one.

So far, this is my favorite everyday lip gloss I’ve found. I’ve worn it every day that I’ve worn makeup since I bought it, and it hasn’t let me down yet. You can get it at Target or Ulta among other places, and I’ve included the link below to get it on Amazon, just in case you’re like me and hate going into stores or don’t want to chance going to Target and coming out with $100 worth of things you don’t need.

BUTTER LIP GLOSS ANGEL FD CAKE

Amazon Makeup You Can Be Confident In

If you’re anything like me, you would rather spend an extra $20 to avoid paying $7 in shipping. That’s why I love Amazon Prime. I love having free two-day shipping, and to me, it’s totally worth the $100 a year. If you order 5 or 6 times, you’ve already made up for it in shipping. However, buying things on Amazon can be risky, especially when it’s something like clothing or makeup. So, how can you be confident in the makeup you order from Amazon?

One way to do this is to filter your search results by what is available through Amazon Prime. This way, you know you’ll at least get your products, and they are backed up by Amazon. Amazon’s customer service has been super helpful on the rare occasions that I haven’t gotten my items, and they’ve given me a full refund as well as a free month of Prime. By shopping with Amazon Prime, your purchases are safer than they would be from a third-party seller.

Another way you can be confident in your Amazon purchases is to read the reviews on a product. If more people have issues with the product than think it’s great, stay away. More often than not, we are the rule rather than the exception, so avoid makeup that very few people haven’t had problems with. Also, look to the reviews to see if the shade descriptions and pictures are accurate. If they aren’t, you may still find something you like, but be wary of it, because it could be inconsistent. I don’t know about you, but I like consistency in my makeup shades. If I find something I like, I don’t want it to be different the next time I buy it.

Finally, you can ensure you get what you’re looking for by shopping by brand. When you shop by department and choose health and beauty, you have the option to shop by brand, so you can buy makeup from brands you already know and love. You can also search brands in all departments, because sometimes things don’t get tagged correctly. Amazon has lots of brands available, like NYX, Revlon, Benefit, and many more, so you can easily find your favorites. A lot of them are available at cheaper prices than you can find in stores, which is great for people like me, who like to save money.

Amazon is a great way to buy makeup, but you have to be careful, because things don’t always live up to their descriptions. If you follow the steps above, however, you should be able to find great makeup that you can be confident in. What are some things you’ve bought from Amazon that you weren’t sure about at first, but now you love?

Drugstore Makeup That Works

If you’re like me, you’d rather not spend a ton of money on your makeup. However, it can be difficult to find good quality makeup at those lower price points. Between my own experiences and recommendations I’ve gotten from friends, I think I’ve found some good options for drugstore makeup that actually works. Try some of these out and let me know what your think.

For lip colors and eyeshadows, I like to go with NYX. Their colors are strongly pigmented and tend to last. I don’t love their matte liquid lipsticks, except for their Lingerie Liquids, because I don’t feel like the colors are what they claim to be, and they dry my lips out. However, their solid lip colors are pretty good. They go on smoothly and tend to last as long as I need them to. They’re not very expensive, usually around $7 or so, which is pretty standard for drugstore brands. You can find their products at places like Ulta, CVS, and Target has recently started carrying NYX products.

I really like E.L.F. for brushes and eyeshadows. Their brushes are cheap, but they seem to be of good quality. I also have one of their baked eyeshadow palettes. I love the colors; they’re mostly metallics and pale hues. My only real issue with it is that you really have to scrape the top off before you can use any of it, which feels wasteful to me. This also makes it kind of tough to use a brush for application, so I use my ring finger to apply it. E.L.F. can be found many places including Walmart, Target, Old Navy, and others.

I also like the Covergirl brand. I use their Tru Match foundation, especially in the summer because it’s a sheer coverage, so it’s lighter than my normal foundation. It’s usually around $10 per bottle, and when you use a primer or BB cream underneath, it gives better coverage and lasts longer. It does typically last well, though, so it’s a good choice if you’re looking for a lighter foundation, or just starting out with makeup. I get mine at Kroger, but I’ve seen it at most grocery stores that carry cosmetics, so it can probably be found at places like CVS and Walgreens, as well.

While I see the benefits of prestige brands for some things, I think drugstore makeup is a perfectly good choice, especially for lipsticks or eyeshadow, because you’ll want multiple shades. Let me know what drugstore makeup items or brands you love! Let’s save each other some money this holiday season.

Weekend Discovery 12/18

I always struggle with trying to find new makeup shades because I worry that I won’t like the way they look on me. Ulta is really good about letting me take stuff back if I don’t, but it’s still a hassle to go back to the store, so I hesitate when buying new makeup that I haven’t tried before. However, this weekend, I discovered something that I can honestly say has changed my life, and something I’ve been wanting for a long time.

In Ulta’s app, they have a feature called GLAMlab. This amazing feature allows you to take or upload a selfie and try on different types and shades of makeup to see how they will look. The shades look pretty accurate too, because I checked them against some I already own to make sure. Remember that NYX Angel Food Cake lip gloss I was talking about last week? I tried it on in the GLAMlab, and I was right; it’s one that I would love. I also found an eyeshadow from NYX that I like, so I’ll probably add that to the list as well.

There are two options for the GLAMlab. You can either choose a basic option where they just add the makeup in the most common areas, or you can choose a more advanced option where you can choose where you apply the makeup and layer shades. Because it was my first time using it, I just used the basic option, but it worked great for me, so I have no complaints. My only issue was they only offered winged eyeliner when trying to add eyeliner, which I don’t wear very often, and you couldn’t add eyeshadow after you had added eyeliner.

The only other concern I had about the GLAMlab was that they are much better at blending than I am, so I just had to take things with a grain of salt. I do like, though, that there’s a tab showing which products you have applied, and you can easily add them to your cart. It’s made finding and remembering which shades I’ve liked is much easier. Also, you can save and share your finished looks, so if you’re like me and need reassurance sometimes that you actually look good in the makeup, you can share them with your friends.

I hope the GLAMlab turns out to be as helpful for you as it is for me. I’d love to hear some feedback and see if it helps y’all. Let me know what products outside of your norm that it’s helped you find and love!