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Hands down, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) Touché Éclat is a life saver. I read about it a few times and saw nothing but rave reviews so I decided to give it a whirl. At $40 a pop, it’s not cheap, but trust me, a little product goes a long way. I use far less of this product than I do of inexpensive brands. It comes in a brush/wand/pen form (see left). You click the top about three times to release the concealer into the brush. Then you just “paint” a few lines where you need it most and blend with your fingertips (or a brush if you’re fancy). I find three clicks to be the perfect amount for covering up my under eye circles. It leaves me a tiny bit remaining to dab on my nose and chin. Apparently it has some “highlighting” ingredients that reflect light instead of just covering up dark spots. Makeup artists describe it as “8 hours of sleep in a pen.” Sold.
Click here to view YSL Touché Éclat on Sephora.com
Previous brands used: Clinique Redness Solution, Clinique Perfectly Real, Bare Minerals
Oh this is a product near and dear to my heart. I love playing with eye shadows but used to hate how quickly it wore off. My first round in the world of eyelid primers brought me to MAC’s Paintpot. Exactly the results I wanted (color lasted forever) however the product dries out very quickly. I then moved on to Smashbox eye primer and this lasted a little longer but eventually it got dry also. The problem when these products dry out is it makes it increasingly difficult to apply. You wind up having to rub your eye a lot harder. Then, I tired Urban Decay’s primer and found it a little too oily. It didn’t seem to hold the color as well so I quickly moved on to a Laura Mercier sample I got. Holy cow. It’s like I have found the holy grail of eye primers. It goes on silky smooth, and such a tiny bit of product will cover your whole eye. No hint of dryness at all, it’s a breath of fresh air for my peepers. It lasts all day and I am confident to say that I finally found the best eye primer.
Click here to view Laura Mercier eye primer on Sephora.com
Previous brands used: Smashbox Eye primer, MAC Paintpot, Urban Decay Eye Primer
Easily, my #1 "I can’t live without it product" is Sugar by Fresh. It comes in 5 great colors, and they keep popping up with new shades, always a pleasant surprise. Think your all-time favorite chapstick, meets your favorite lipstick in a non-sticky, super moisturizing way. It goes on smooth, adds a kick of color and feels amazing. You can even get it in a clear version if you don’t want the color. Or, if you have any lip stains but hate the sticky gloss that goes over it, throw on some clear Sugar after the stain for a perfectly long lasting look.
Another cheap lip tip: Vaseline! I’m sure most girls know how wonderful the stuff it to throw on before bed (among its bazillion other great uses) but if you have a lipstain, again you can dab on some Vaseline over the stain, or if you’re like me and have a million pots of Bare Mineral colors, you can take some pink or red minerals, shake a little into your palm then dab some Vaseline in it, stir and voila, you have your own new lipstick/gloss. It’s super shiny and I always get the most compliments on my own hand mixed colors! Vaseline makes small tubes you can buy in the chapstick section of the drugstore if you want to throw it in your purse for touchups. Just make sure to also bring your color.
Click here to view Sugar by Fresh products on Sephora.com
I love me some Bare Minerals but the loose powder got to be a nightmare after awhile. I love the intensity of their colors and the wild selections they had, but until they come up with more pressed colors or a better dispensing system, I’m going to have to venture out. MAC has a decent enough selection of colors, but at least in my area the MAC stores and displays are always so crowded it’s a huge deterrent for me. If you’re store is more accessible then by all means, MAC makes great eye makeup. I’m a big fan of creating my own pallets of color. You can choose four colors or up to like sixteen. If you’re not comfortable selecting your own colors, I find their associates to be helpful if you can manage to snag one. Their colors are long lasting and they offer a lot of blendable shades.
Stila makes some great colors as well, however be careful because while they are pressed, they can get very loose and powdery when you’re applying. Sephora and Ulta are both carrying a pallet of Stila colors right now that I’m obsessed with (Sephora has only the larger version, Ulta carries both a large and small pallet, I use the small one). It made me try colors I would normally never combine. For example, my current eye color love is a base of a simple nude shimmer, with a grey lid and a maroon crease. Sounds crazy right? I’d have thought so too, but it looks amazing.
That’s the best part of eye shadows. You can really get away with some crazy beautiful colors as long as you blend them. Blending is the single most important thing to remember about eye shadow.
Click here to view the Stila pallet on Ulta.com. -- totally amazing, totally affordable at only $18!
Previous brands used: Bare Minerals, Clinique, MAC
I was totally hooked on Dior Show Mascara for a long, long time and I would still highly recommend it. But I got a sample of Benefit They're Real Mascara and was converted instantly. I can’t stand mascaras that are clumpy. I suppose no girl likes clumpy mascara but who knows, they seem to make a lot of them. Anyhow, Dior Show is a great mascara. It gives full long and lush lashes. Do be careful not to get the waterproof version— come hell or high water (or even really, really good eye makeup remover) that stuff is there to stay. But the normal version, lives up to the show stopper name. However, this new mascara Benefit, They’re Real is very different. Its more of a defining mascara than a volumizing one. It adds great length, is very unclumpy and the best part? It has a round end with these tiny brushes that get the very corners of your eyes. Which is great because it gets those deep corner lashes for an extra little flair. I find my lashes have more curl and look phenomenal with this mascara. So depending on if you want volume, go Dior, if you want length, definition and curl, go with Benefit TR.
Click here to view Dior Show Mascara on Sephora.com
Click here to view Benefit They're Real Mascara on Sephora.com
Previous brands used: Dior Show, Bare Essentials Definition
Coming soon: Thoughts on face primer (a must have for special occasions) and Urban Decay All Nighter