As I said in my What's In My Memory Box post, I've already done a post looking at what's in my makeup bag. But the contents of said bag (and the bag itself) have changed since then. I feel like I spent all of my teens trying to figure out what makeup I liked and what products to use and what worked best for me--and now that I'm in my twenties, I've figured most of it out. So here are the products that really do work for me, taken from my makeup bag.
My bag has three sections. The first section is where I store the skincare items that aren't kept in the bathroom.
First is a Kroger moisturizing lotion that's a generic for Cetaphil. I've learned over time that moisturizing is probably the most important part of my skincare routine, especially living in New Mexico. You gotta take care of your skin! Mine is pretty sensitive, and if I get too harsh with it, it tends to break out. That's why the moisturizer is so important, and it's also why I use one that doesn't have harsh ingredients. (I also make sure all my makeup and skin products are sulfate-free, since sulfates tend to increase your face's oil production.) I apply this morning and night, though in the mornings I apply it a little more lightly.
Then there's my Dove deodorant, which I'm not terribly picky about. I prefer the stick form, and I'm more interested in unscented or, like, the fresh cucumber type scent than in flower scents, but I'll work with whatever.
Finally, before I put on my makeup, I put on a primer: Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer. I used to use an Avon one, but I did some research and discovered that if you mix and match an oil-based foundation/concealer with a water-based primer, or vice versa, your makeup tends to slide and sink into your pores. (You can figure out what yours are by looking at whether oil or water show up first in the ingredients list.) So I found this primer, which matches my concealer's base, and it's been working pretty well for me.
The second section of my bag is the fun makeup part.
After my primer, I put on my eyeliner, Avon True Color Kohl Eye Liner in Intense Brown. I prefer using eyeliner pencils like this one, and I chose brown because I wanted a little softer of a look that would bring out the blue in my eyes.
Then I put on concealer, which is probably the most important makeup product for me, since I still struggle some with the way my skin looks without it. Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Concealer in Fair (the lightest shade) is pretty much the only concealer I've found that actually matches my pale skin. The way I use it would probably be considered something of a cross between foundation and concealer, because I do use it pretty extensively, though I focus on covering acne scars and pores. I've also found that I want to leave some moisture on my skin and not make it totally matte with my primer. For whatever reason, that helps my concealer to better cover the annoyingly large pores on my nose. (Not that I'm really fooling anyone into thinking I have lovely dainty nose pores, but they're not as prominent this way.) I don't use concealer under my eyes anymore. I've decided to wear my undereye circles as a badge of pride for my chronic illnesses. I think it adds some character to my look--and it actually emphasizes my eyes a little. (It also helps reduce the number of people who think I look "too good" to be sick. My undereye circles have always been significant, so leaving them unhidden helps show people that I really am exhausted!)
After the concealer, I put on my mascara, Avon Super Extend Mascara in Black. Via rigorous testing and research, I've discovered that my eyelashes are plenty thick, but they're light in color and not terribly long. So mascara designed to extend eyelashes is the best choice for me. I use black because, even though I like a softer look with brown eyeliner, I don't want a look that's too soft. Also, again, my eyelashes are naturally light.
Along with the mascara, I put on my brow liner, Maybelline Expert Wear Brow & Eye Pencil in Blonde. Like my eyelashes, my eyebrows are pretty light, and adding shape and emphasis is important for framing the face. (Or so the experts say.)
I then dust a little power foundation on my face to set the concealer, in the form of Mineral Wear Mineral Airbrushing Loose Powder in Translucent Light. For now, this is the only product I use for setting. I tried using a high-rated setting spray for a while, but it didn't really do anything.
This is followed by my favorite makeup piece: Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick in Rich Raisin. Adding a pop of color to my lips make me feel fun and girly (whereas the other makeup pieces are more like a regular maintenance kind of thing). I've found that I prefer lip crayons to other types of lip wear, and rich colors that balance between red and purple are the best for my skintone. This color in particular I love, and I hope it stays in stores for a long, long time! The one problem I have is that the lip color wears off very quickly and easily. I'm currently testing out putting two layers of color with a little powder in between to see if that helps it have more longevity, so, we'll see!
I finish off with a little contouring via Wet n Wild Megaglo Countouring Palette in Dulce de Leche. I don't use the highlighting half (since my skin is super light and the highlighter here is definitely darker than it), but I use the contouring half. Normally I just use it on my neck and jawline. I have one of those floppy necks and weak jawlines that lends itself to double chin, so I like to darken that area to make it a little less noticeable. On a special occasion, I might do the standard 3-shape contour on each side of my face as well, but I don't usually bother with that.
The third section of my bag is for basic tools.
There's a little container of floss. I prefer waxed but otherwise am not picky about my floss.
Then there's a few nail-related tools, all from Avon. Unless it's a special occasion, I go nail polish-free. It's just too much work, and it doesn't do much for me. Plus, I'm not terribly good at keeping my nails maintained when it comes to polish. But I do keep them clean and neat, because, you know, basic hygiene.
I've also got an eyebrow tweezer from Elf and a pencil sharpener from Maybelline, both of which pretty much stand for themselves.
Finally, there's a pack of Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets. Unfortunately, my face is the kind that gets real shiny after a few hours, especially during the summer, so these get some decent use. I just pat them across the t-zone (which, for me, is a lowercase t, with only the middle of my forehead and also my upper cheeks getting oily). I do have to reapply my concealer on those areas afterwards, which is rather bothersome. I'm considering trying a blotting stick instead, but it's possible that regular reapplication is just the way things have to be.
For the record, in one of my dresser drawers, I have a collection of other makeup products, including nail polish, blush, and eyeshadow, that I use only for special occasions. In my opinion, those additional things are too much work for regular use, but fun and exciting on special days!
Tell me what you think! What products do you use on a regular basis? I'll be back next week with our Fall 2018 top to-reads.
I'm an unpublished novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, and a freelance editor. I love psychology, cats, social justice, and love! I'm also a huge fangirl. More than anything, stories are my life.
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