Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Top 5 ::: Cosmetic Favorites

All photos by {accordingtoame}

I get asked frequently by readers, and by friends and family, what my favorite and must-have daily driver products are, things I cannot get by without in my vanity arsenal. 

It was pretty tough to whittle that list down, and really it took me a while to do it, actually, but I think I got myself down to the things I wouldn't walk out of the house without using, and then the "honorable mentions" which are things I would like to add on the average day, given the time and choice. I limited myself to ONE mascara, which was really not easy, but having two on the list was not really necessary.   

So after hemming and hawing for, like, 3 months over this post, seriously, it was in my drafts forEVER, the top 5 I couldn't live without:

Maybelline Lash Discovery Waterproof Mascara.  This was a tough call. I really wavered between this and the Full n Soft Waterproof.  To me, they're not interchangeable at all, but if I had to really grab and go, I'd probably grab the Lash Discovery because I don't need the lash comb at any time when I use this product. Sometimes I will overly layer the Full n Soft and end up needing the lash comb.  That ended up being my final decider.

Filling in my brows is kind of a necessary step. Not only because they're light red, but because the arches are still thinnish, in part from past overtweezing, but also just because they're naturally pretty barren on me.  I use and love VanityMark brow powder in Gingerella, not shown is the brush that goes with it, but that's also a necessity.  I used to love the markers from Touchback, but the switch back to powder has really been a great move for me colorwise. 

Photo by CafeMakeup

I did not love the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer when I first tried it. In fact I think my review was kinda mixed leaning towards "pass".  But after I worked with it longer, and figured out how to layer it to work for me, it became a daily driver, replacing many others in my closet. I've repurchased (and stockpiled a spare) more than once now...

I have yet to encounter a single translucent powder that has worked for me as well as Bare Minerals Mineral Veil. When the READY formulation was released it was like all of my pleadings were heard, and the heavens answered. I actually stockpile these a little because I am so scared I won't be able to get one when I need it. I use the included puff (THE BEST PUFF) to press the product under my eyes after I apply all my spackles and concealers because nothing sets them better without moving or removing product. I stockpile and save these puffs as well to use with the READY foundation, and any other powders I try. There's something about these puffs that makes the product formulation even better than it already was!

I can't and won't apply mascara without curling my lashes first.  Last year I picked up the Tweezerman Lash Curler during Nordstrom Anniversary sale and have not looked back to any other brand since. 

Honorable Mentions:

The Bare Minerals READY Shadowliner Duo shown above was limited edition in a special QVC set from last Christmas. It was the first time Bare Minerals offered Shadowliner in the Ready formulation, and so far, only in the kits have they shown up. I have not found anything remotely like it, and even bought a backup just to have a second of this product. I use this compact to tightline and it stays put perfectly, the color is deep and rich, and they're the perfect neutrals that work for all occasions. I wish it was available at retail for further stockpiling!

Last year I was looking for replacements for my beloved, long gone Smashbox Waterproof Shadow Liner jars, which were QVC specials, and happened upon the Tarte SmolderEyes and EmphasEyes Liner products.  I originally bought the SmolderEyes pencil to use for travel, and ended up reaching for it more than the EmphasEyes jar! The color I use is Bronze, and it's the perfect shimmery warm brown that isn't too red. And I am lazy as hell. Really, it's that last part more than any other. I have tried Copper as well, but end up going back to Bronze. It includes a great sharpener as well in the package. 

My beloved Tweezerman Lash Comb. I have a huge stockpile of these, and they're a necessity for days I super-layer my mascaras. 

QVC offers great combinations that often include the corresponding brushes, which is what got me to try the IT! Cosmetics Vitality Cheek Stain Blush. It immediately replaced the Nars blush I regularly used, in part because it actually does stay put and the color remains quite vibrant all day.  The brush that came in the set, the French Boutique Blush Brush is absolutely phenomenal, and I now own two...I wish it came in a short handle version for travel!

Since Cargo discontinued my beloved "Georgia" single eyeshadow, which I used as a great highlighter around my eyes and cheekbones, I have been on a quest to find a worthy replacement.  So far Cover Girl single eyeshadow in Champagne is the closest color to it, though is a bit shimmerier than the Cargo, and slightly less "peachy". I constantly search for the Cargo hoping it will pop back up in their selection (and not on some sketchy site), to no avail.

What are your Top 5 or 10 Must-Have Cosmetic Products? 

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  1. I love your choices. Lash Discovery is one of my favorite mascaras ever. I use Great Lash Waterproof. My other can't-live-withouts are NARS lip gloss and NARS blush/bronzer duo, and their eye shadow duo, half of which serves as an eyeliner for me. I've purchased those over and over again for 8 years now!

    1. Thanks! When you find something that works, repeat purchases (and often stockpiles) are necessary. I LOVE Lash Discovery, love it.

  2. I think you should start doing YouTube tutorials on using your products!

    1. Aww thanks! I actually did a test run on a few ideas though I haven't played with them a lot and so far they're not for human consumption! I appreciate the vote of confidence bec it is something I consider jumping to!


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