I love the creative aspect of making; playing with eyeshadow color and shapes, bizarre lip color, and even creating casual daytime looks. Like most art forms though, makeup requires a few basics that set the stage for sultry eyes and sexy lips to steal the show. Here are five products that work "backstage" to create the base for all of my makeup looks that I wouldn't be able to live without.
1. Makeup Forever HD Foundation
$40 at Sephora
I used to use MAC foundation (Select SPF15 formula, and then later switched to Studio Sculpt.) It did the job for a while, but I started to notice that my face tended to look very glossy in photos and that I would feel greasy at the end of the day. I heard good things about Makeup Forever's HD foundation so after my last tube of Studio Sculpt ran out I decided to give that a shot instead. Switching from a gel based formula to a liquid took a bit of getting used to at first, but after I experimented with my application method a bit I fell in love with this foundation and I don't regret my switch at all. My skin appears smooth and clear and most importantly, natural, in photographs and in person all day, and never slimy.
2. Too Faced Eyeshadow Insurance
Yet another tale of switching from one product to another, I used to be a member of the cult of Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion for eyeshadow bases. While "UDPP" as it's lovingly referred to among many internet makeup communities is still definitely a great choice for a base, it had some major flaws in it's packaging. Namely, having to cut the damned thing open in order to get half the product. Urban Decay has since switched to a more economical packaging, but I doubt I'll be going back to them. I got Eyeshadow Insurance in a Too Faced gift pack (which are awesome, and usually great bargains. I highly suggest keeping an eye out for them) and I instantly liked the formula better than UDPP which tends to be a bit on the dry side, Eyeshadow Insurance is a creamier formula and I almost never had a problem with creasing or wandering eyeliner.
$18 at Sephora
3. MAC Blacktrack Fluidline Gel Eyeliner
$15 at M.A.C Cosmetics
When applied it looks like liquid, but it's actually a gel formula and it's great for subtle lash-line darkening or dramatic winged liner. What brush you use is a matter of preference, I actually use either a watercolor brush or a lip liner brush depending on what I'm going for, but a small angled brush is a favorite for many people. I love this because it goes on very, very black and you have a lot of control over the thickness of the line. My only complaint is that the jar tends to dry out before I can use all of it.
4. Too Faced Primed and Poreless Powder
5. Covergirl Lashblast Mascara
$28 at Sephora
In theater, actors wear tons of makeup so that their features can be seen even by the audience in the back. The foundation used in theater is usually very greasy and can rub off on costumes or melt under stage lights, so they're loaded up with powder to create a barrier between the makeup and... anything else. For daily makeup wear, the same concept is often overlooked which can lead to foundation wearing off as the day goes on. It's amazing what a layer of powder can do to increase the staying power of foundation and eyeshadow and it takes away that greasy feeling that can come with liquid foundation. Too Faced's Primed and Poreless powder is the best finishing powder I've tried, it leaves my skin feeling smooth and has a light diffusing property that erases the shine in photographs. Anyone who currently uses liquid foundation should definitely pick up some finishing powder, trust me when I say that you'll be glad you did.
5. Covergirl Lashblast Mascara
$6.94 at Target
One of few drugstore products that are by far better than any high brand I've tried, Covergirl's Lashblast has been my favorite mascara for years. Despite having had a few torrid love affairs with some other mascaras, I always find myself coming back to Lashblast. The brush makes sure it never clumps. Ever. Application is smooth and the color is dark and sexy. Unfortunately the large handle makes it a little bit awkward to apply at first, and I usually use a disposable brush to apply it to my bottom lashes because otherwise I end up stabbing myself in the eye.
What are some staples of your makeup routine? Tell me in the comments!