Sunday, June 22, 2014

Top Ten Makeup Products

Since I'm on a bit of a sheer pink streak right now, and I know that doesn't make for interesting viewing, I thought I'd do something different today. While the majority of my days are spent bare-faced now, the fact is I used to be a huge makeup nerd. I have drawers and drawers of it that just sort of lie dormant now, which is good news for my sister and best friend, since everything I own is completely theirs to raid. When I do 'put my face on', it's usually for something really special, like a dinner out with my boyfriend...or if it's 2 a.m. and I'm hopped up on cheddar cheese and bored. 

When I do play around with makeup now, I reach for the same things, over and over again: 

1. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light: This might be the best powder in the world (in my very humble opinion). My earliest memories of MAC face makeup were of thick, heavy powders and creams that made me break out constantly. Consequently, I stopped using them and bounced around from various drugstore products that I didn't really like, but at least I didn't break out in cystic acne when I put them on. Fast forward a few years and I'm reading about this new Mineralize Skinfinish Natural and how amazing and light it is on Spectra. Okay, okay, I'll bite. I'm glad I did. The powder is so soft and finely-milled that it practically blends itself. And it is indeed natural-looking. I'm on my second compact-my first one lasted me well over a year (but then, I'm not too heavy-handed with face powder). 

2. Cargo Blu_Ray High Definition Blush/Highlighter in 01: This was the first blush I ever bought. I was always really self-conscious about having color on my cheeks because as a teenager that was where the majority of my acne breakouts occurred. It's a really pretty shade of peachy-pink with tonal and gold-ish shimmer. Normally I'm vehemently against any kind of shimmery, glittery face product, but if you use just a very little it looks quite natural. That being said though, if they made a matte version of it, I'd probably use that more. I like my cheeks to look more dewy than shimmery.

3. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle: Again, this breaks my 'shimmer on the face' rule, but it's so subtle that I'm giving it a pass. I would look ridiculous in bronzer, but Soft and Gentle gives me a bit of a glow that I think is really attractive. I'll apply it very lightly on the highest point of my cheeks, and then a little up by my cheekbones and temple. I still regret not buying By Candlelight when I had the's Soft and Gentle's paler sister. 

4. Fresh Sugar Rosé Lip Treatment: I've technically never bought this, but it's one of my very favorite lip products. I may not spend a ton of money at Sephora anymore, but I still go back for my birthday freebie every year. The past couple years it's been the same thing, but I really don't mind. It's a Fresh Sugar lip duo, with the original lip treatment and the tinted one. I LOVE Sugar Rosé so much. It's the perfect sheer wash of pinky-rose color. I use it mostly in the spring and summer and it really adds some delicate color to my face. I can't attest to its being a great lip treatment because my lips rarely chap badly, but it does make them quite soft. And the smell! Aaah, it's like...lemon curd. Sweet and citrus. 

5. Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey: I kind of think of this as my wash of color for autumn and winter. It's sort of like half gloss, half stain and it's the perfect deep currant color without being too garish. I'm not too big on lip color, I have my few tried-and trues that I know look good on me. This is one of them. It's the same sort of color as a Lorac lip gloss I had (and still have but don't wear since it's discontined). It was called Cherish and was the PERFECT lip stain. Yes, it was a gloss in a pot, but it acted like a stain. God I wish they'd bring those back. It was a gorgeous shade of deep brownish red that was a great balance of color and sheer. While Clinique is not the perfect match, it's close enough. 

6. Urban Decay Lipstick in Naked: When I do wear lipstick, nine times out of ten it's this one. It's a perfect blend of nude-beige and pink and I think of it as universally flattering. Everyone looks good in this lipstick. I also like that the consistency isn't like traditional lipstick (i.e. feeling like wax is spackled to my lips). It's very slippery and moisturizing, and you can control the intensity of the color. Plus the packaging is pretty much the cutest thing ever. 

7. Bobbie Brown Shimmering Nudes Palette: I have this, and the first Urban Decay Naked Palette, but I find myself reaching for Bobbie Brown more. The colors are more subtle and there's less outright glitter and more finely milled shimmer. I love them both equally (and wouldn't mind getting my hands on the other two Naked palettes), but Bobbie Brown is overall better for day wear (because these days I'm asleep before 10 p.m...usually. I don't even remember what nightlife is anymore).

8. Anastasia Clear Brow Gel: For those of us whose eyebrows grow about a yard a week, this stuff is GOLD. My eyebrows are especially difficult because they're wiry as well as thick. When I was stumbling my way through my tweens, my grandmother told me she used to use Vaseline to keep her eyebrows in order. I tried it, I really did, but greased up eyebrows on an already greasy, acne-covered face is not a good look. I used clear mascara later on, but that didn't really work either. I've since graduated to trimming my eyebrows once a week and larding this stuff on, and it's worked wonders. Take that, eyebrows!!! 

9. BeneFit They're Real! Mascara: Okay, I don't toot my own horn very often so I don't feel bad saying that my eyelashes are one area of my face that doesn't really need improvement. I've got great eyelashes. They're very long, very dark, very thick, and very curly (I guess to match my long, thick, curly eyebrows?). One of my friends used to call me Cindy Lou Who. To be fair though, I have genetics on my side. The Armenian part of my family blessed me with super dark arm and leg hair, eyebrows from hell, and gorgeous eyelashes. Anyway, the point is mascara is sort of a garnish rather than a full-on attempt to improve on nature. I do always have a problem with the corner of my eyes though, and that's where They're Real! comes in. It's got these weird little bristles that stick out of the end that are dead helpful with getting the lashes at the corner of my eyes that really curl out, and the small ones in my inner corner. Plus the regular part of the brush is great for really coating my lashes without clumping them together. This is a sample though, so I'm not looking forward to buying the full size when this runs out. Though it is a better price than some. I know Givenchy makes a similar mascara with the little spiky ball on the end to get the corners, but they day I have $50 to drop on a mascara is the day I move to my dream home in the English countryside. 

10. L'Oreal Telescopic Eyeliner in Black: One of my favorite looks is winged eyeliner. It was hard for me to learn, and even now I have a picture on my computer that gives me a step-by-step visual of how to do it. When I do it right, ooooh baby. When I do it wrong, ewwwwww baby. I've used every tool imaginable for winged liner: pencils, sponge-tip, gel liner and an angled brush...and for me, for whatever reason, sponge tip is the easiest. The best one I've tried of the sponge-tips, by far, is this L'Oreal one. The tip is soft enough to give when you need it to, but hard enough that it doesn't just flop everywhere. I get a nice, clean line every time, and it's thin enough to give me options on how thick I want my line to be. Plus the color is really, really black. 

So there you have it, my top ten favorites. I actually had a lot of fun putting this together, I might do it again. 

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