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?

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?

Unpacking ULTA Freebies

I posted a few days ago about the freebies Ulta was giving away with purchase, so in true me fashion, I went up there and bought some makeup wipes and a couple of lip glosses, so I could get my free bag. It is so cute, and I got some really great stuff in it.

Look how cute! Even a couple of the palettes match! I wasn’t expecting to like the pink this much, because I’m not really a pink girl, but I really like it.

So, what did I get? Well, inside this adorable bag was:

  • Blush/bronzer palette
  • Eyeshadow palette with 6 adorable spring colors (I can’t wait to try these)
  • Blush brush
  • Lipstick in Pink Chocolate
  • Tinted Eye Primer in Peach Glow
  • Liquid Illuminator in Northern Lights (I’ve already tried it and I’m in love)
  • Plush Drama Volumizing Mascara
  • Clear Brow Shaping Gel
  • Juice Infused Lip Oil in Coconut (it smells amazing)
  • Dual-pencil sharpener
  • Lip Liner Pencil in Bittersweet
  • Mattifying Face Primer (always up for a good primer sample)
  • Eyeliner Pencil in Blackout
  • $5 off $15 coupon

One thing I love about Ulta’s gift bags is that they always give me things that are about to be in season. So far, I can’t think of anything I’ve gotten in one of their bags that I’ve been disappointed with. I haven’t been able to try everything out yet, but so far, my favorite thing is the liquid illuminator. It gives me a good highlight without being too bright, and it goes on really easily. Did anyone else go grab a freebie bag from Ulta? What was your favorite part of it?

Retail Therapy – UK Basketball Edition

So, I’m a huge basketball fan. I love the Kentucky Wildcats, and I watch a lot of NBA with my husband. For my fellow Cats fans, you know this season isn’t going as well as our standard, and it’s been a little frustrating. But, I still like my team and wouldn’t trade them for the world. Cal is the best coach we could ask for, and I think he’s doing exactly what he needs to be doing.

With that being said, they lost today, and rather than heading home where my husband is playing Call of Duty with some of his friends, I headed to Ulta for some much needed retail therapy. They had a 20% off coupon, so I got some good stuff that I needed anyways. I got some Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Oil shampoo and conditioner, which I’ve heard great things about and am excited to try. I got a Maybelline Baby Face Pore Eraser, because I’m still searching for a primer that I like and won’t break the bank. Finally, I got an Essence baked highlighter. I’m excited to try it out, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

Who’s your team? What’s your favorite way to cope with a loss? Let me know, and good luck to your teams this weekend!

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.