Friday, May 1, 2015

What's in my makeup bag

I have a confession to make.

Yesterday was the first time I'd ever bought anything from Sephora. But I really don't think it will be the last.

I've always been 100-percent committed to my drugstore cosmetics, and I've always been relatively satisfied with my Almays and Covergirls. But lately I've been really frustrated with my perpetually dry skin. It seemed like every product I tried made me skin flaky and wore off after just a few hours. Finally, like any other girl, I consulted my besties for suggestions on what makeup I should be getting. They all suggested stopping by Sephora, telling one of the employees what I was looking for and just splurging on a really good foundation. As usual, they were right.

I went in, the employee knew exactly what to suggest and my skin looked and felt amazing after we sampled a few foundations. So now, I am the proud owner of Urban Decay's Naked Skin Foundation. While I don't think I'll be splurging on all department store products, I can really tell a difference a good foundation that's right for my skin can make. Urban Decay's foundation is lightweight, offers enough coverage to get rid of imperfections but is light enough that my freckles still show through.

When I'm determined to do something I do it all out, so I clicked around on the Beauty Department (a great resource for everyday makeup ideas as well as special-occasion hair and makeup) and learned how to better utilize the makeup I already have as well as some other key products I was missing.

I stuck to a few products to pick up, and together with my new foundation and my old standbys, I think I have a great new makeup routine that can be toned down for work or kicked up a notch for a night out.

I got a Bobbi Brown eye and lip palette for Christmas, and I'm obsessed! I mix a few of the shades for my everyday eyeshadow and in some darker, more shimmery shades for nighttime. The eyeshadow goes on so evenly and stays put all day.

I got this NYX cream blush yesterday at Target and it has converted me to a full-on cream blush user. It goes on a lot lighter and makes my skin look less flaky and dry. I think it's a great alternative to powder blush for us dry-skinned girls.

When I was testing out foundations yesterday, the Sephora employee suggested using a brush to apply it so it goes on lighter and more evenly. I couldn't part with $32 for a single makeup brush, so I opted for this Sonia Kashuk set for $23. I can definitely tell my foundation is more even and the brow and blush brushes are also much better than what I was using. This set is a great deal if you're looking for a bunch of new brushes.

I also got a sample of this Smashbox primer yesterday. It's done a good job of keeping the foundation in place and keeping flakes at bay. When my sample runs out, I think I'll be looking for a more affordable version, but I would definitely recommend adding primer to your makeup routine if you're struggling with dry skin.

Some of my other favorite products include Almay eyeliner. I've been using this eyeliner for years and I love it. It goes on easily and stays on throughout the day. I've started using Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal Mascara recently. It adds amazing volume to my lashes, and the price is perfect. And the most important part of my beauty routine- my moisturizer! I don't leave home without applying a thick coat every morning. Nothing it quite as refreshing as starting the day with smooth, soft skin.

I will always be a makeup bargain hunter because I've always had really good luck with drugstore products. The price is right and I think a lot of them are very high quality. But I definitely learned yesterday that there is value in splurging on a high-end product every once in a while if there's a feature or product you really struggle with. Plus, working with an expert can be helpful if you're a little clueless like I was.

What are the makeup products you can't live without? Any bargains I should try?

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