I originally opened this blog… I want to say possibly in 2014? I’m sure there’s a setting on here that could tell me the exact date but I’m still getting the hang of. Cut me some slack lol! One of my first entries was pretty cute haha titled “What’s that one cosmetic product you can’t live without?”. (Original post here) So why not do this the right way?
Well the updated way, a little more detailed and now a little more experienced. ?
On this entry I’ll try my hardest to make it simple, with my most honest opinions on what are my personal current favorite makeup products. (Please note this does not apply to my professional kit, but let me know if you guys would dig that).
First things is first let me briefly explain my skin.
I’m currently 35 years old so my skin is I guess is not really “mature” but I do have some wrinkles due age duh and to an wayyyy overdue needed touch of Botox #thankscovid lol (no seriously I’ve been applying Botox since I was about 22 ain’t NO shame in my game) and I also have some very slight sagging I guess due to age also but for sure also because of my mega weight loss which I can go into detail one day (for the IG’ers yal know). I’m fair-medium skin tone with an light olive & pink undertones. I also suffer from adult acne because I have PCOS (a hormonal condition which I will go over that some other time too) and some acne scars.
That being said, I love a good glam, glowly or matte but what is certain doesn’t matter the glam, it definitely has be full coverage. It would be super unrealistic for me to say I have one favorite foundation or one favorite concealer or one favorite lip gloss etc unfortunately I have favorites based on; number one and most importantly how my skin is looking the day of and also where will I be going or what would I be doing (example if I’m going to the beach) etc.
So prepare yourself because this list not only will be extra long and it also will be categorized quite detailed.
I know there’s some mix feelings when it comes to primer. Some people dig primer; some don’t. The most common complaint I’ve heard when it comes to primer is that the skin looks either too dry or looks fake ( I guess cakey). If used correctly and with good skin prep? The skin should not look dry. I personally DO dig primer because it really does help with appearance of my skin texture but also helps the duration of the glam.
Here are some of my favorites
Why do I love these? Not for nothing the Original “The POREfessional Face Primer “ has been my go to for quite some time now. I love the fact that this primer is a bit more on a creamier side yet dries quickly not dry or pastey and it really helps fill any pores and helps with filling some fine lines too. You can def wear this on its own over sunblock to help with anti-shine or oily hot spots (T-zone) on your face and still look chuch!
The also have a hydrating version of the primer above “The POREfessional: Hydrate Primer ” which I got in my monthly BoxyCharm subscription and SO happy I did!. This formula is quite similar to the original but it has a refreshing feel and slight a bit tacky which honestly is the reason I like it. Some hydrating formulas will make your foundation slide right off; this one doesn’t. If you’re more on the “oily” side I would go with the original; for mature dry skin? This one is a winner!
In a rush and have some acne scarring, dark areas, some discoloration and or melasma? Smashbox Photo Finish Even Tone Primer is a great primer. Of course when dealing with these skin “problems” you want to always use SPF first to block out the UV’s that can make skin matters worse. This peachy undertone primer can aid when the illusion that they are not longer there or the illusion to lighten them because of its peach/orange undertone really helps in cancelling out blue, gray, purplish undertones. It is silicone based so it fills up pores and line nicely too and when layering with a full coverage foundation? Shiiii* say bye bye to darkness!
Got to try this Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer for the first time thanks to Mario Dedivanovic when attending his Masterclass in Miami I want to say 2 years ago. You know how everyone loves his goodies bags? Well yeah! This was in there along with a whole bunch of yummy goodies! Why do I love this product, well for starters I’m sucker for packing and this is just gorgeous, the smell is DIVINE not too strong, soft almost like a very very soft rose scent. It applies like a DREAM and for my skin it helps with filling pores and fine lines yet very subtlety leaving this skin flawless and radiant never cakey or dry. Is a bit pricey? Yes but I don’t mind because I like how my skin feels when using it and it has NEVER broke me out thus far!
As stated previously; I love a good glam but I mostly LOVE a good full coverage foundation. I’ll even get down with medium coverage too but very rarely do I go for a light coverage foundation because I do have acne scars, a bit of melasma and etc. I guess if i really wanted to I could use a light coverage foundation and spot conceal but lets be real here….No seriously I don’t have time for that lol! Then you gotta use a darker concealer to cover and then a lighter one and the set and etc etc. Can it be done yes forsure! but I prefer to just go in with a full coverage foundation and if needed buff out what may be too “covered” which honestly doesn’t happen to often either.
Here are some of my favorites
HELLO Holy Grail!!! I want to say I’ve been using this Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup foundation for about 8 years now and honestly have yet to find a liquid foundation that works like this one. It covers just about anything especially if the skin has been well prepped & primed accordingly, with just one layer of foundation. If you want to get extra fancy this foundation is def build-able for extra coverage but I’m sure one layer can do the job.
This foundation is full coverage yet lightweight so its rather hard to feel “cakey” (I suggest applying this foundation with brush & blend with a dampened sponge). and more on a demi-matte or matte finish. It is waterproof and if you apply a light layer of powder? This foundation is sure to stay at least 10 hrs shift proof. This foundation doesn’t oxidize which is super nice! I’ve found that other foundations with this amount of pigment tend to oxidize or is that just me? Like the Fenty and the Kat Von D? I mean its not a super bad thing but I mean, I do enjoy purchasing a foundation that stays true to the shade I purchased ya know?
Bottom line I personally think its amazing and they also have a huge range of colors with neutral, cool and warm undertones that fit almost if not everyone. I use shades:
2NC “Buff” Neutral Undertone – As my normal non-tanned winter shade.
3W1 “Tawny” Warm/Golden Undertone – As my go-to shade when I’m tanned and snatched.
(Unfortunately this bottle does not come with a pump, you can purchase separately. A little bit of a hassle when reaching to the end of the bottle per it is what it is lol!)
Ok NARS …. stop playing with the people’s… you know as much as I know that NARS Sheer Glow Liquid Foundation is NOT sheer at all! LOL But I’m not mad at yal! I’m ALL here for it! This foundation is “glowly” as it is more on the luminous side but the coverage is GREAT and the way it lays?!? Omg! beautiful! Even on days that I’m in a mega rush and I can only apply my SPF as “prep” I’ll reach out for this foundation because it does not settle into fine lines nor does it enhance the look of my pores like other luminous foundations tend to do.
I like to apply this foundation in 2 ways. First way is with my hands, because one I’m doing to myself and they are my hands and if not my best tools when it come down to blending for-sure but also because the warmth of my hand will help breakdown the pigment and apply beautifully. Secondly I like to apply this foundation with a damp beauty sponge. I tend to not use a brush with this foundation because I feel it can leave streaks due to the luminosity but if you really like using brushes then I would suggest a dense fluffy brush and also make sure to warm product on the back of your hand before applying.
Ohhhhh! and lets talk about the way it photographs?! Almost like the Armani Luminous Silk you know that “airbrush” finish? Well imagine that awesome airbrush finish with actual coverage opposed to Armani Luminous Silk that gives you that airbrush look but you mandatory have to go in and do some extra work on dark spots, discoloration and of course skin prep work because the pigment isn’t strong enough? Yeah ……I had to!
I really do love this foundation when my skin is on its best behavior. Please note* any luminous foundation will enhance the appearance of acne bumps and that’s why I usually now tend to go for more demi-matte finishes and then go in and highlight certain areas for a glowly appearance but if you have nice skin and like a good coverage and a luminous finish this is it. NARS Sheer Glow Liquid Foundation also has a nice shade range from cool/warm light shade to deep warm shades.
Shades I use:
FIJI – light to medium skin with neutral undertone – As my normal non-tanned winter shade.
BARBADOS – medium to with peach undertones – As my go-to shade when I’m tanned and snatched.
(Unfortunately this bottle too does not come with a pump, you can purchase separately)
Till a few years back I promise you guys I never applied SPF. And although I knew sun protection was good I unfortunately did not have a good experience with several SPF’s I’ve used in the past. My amazing cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Dulce Belle Mascarin?as from DNAge Medical would always scold me and tell me that I had to put on SPF and explained it didn’t matter how much Botox or filler I get I would my skin texture will not get better and as I got older; she was totally right.
Now at 35 I use retinoids, retinols, BHA and AHA’s to aid with resurfacing my skin texture and when using these products, its mandatory to keep your skin away from the sun. But in Miami? That’s kinda impossible. So now I always use an SPF and or IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ which not only has 50+ SPF it also contains collagen, peptides, hyaluronic acid, niacin and antioxidants. So pretty much its Anti-Aging, Anti-Sun Damage and the coverage is incredible!
The color range is ok, it can definitely be better. I like to mix these up as I have a few shades :
Oh snap we have gotten to if not my favorite makeup product EVER concealer! No seriously there’s so many highlights to using concealer! (See what I did there ha). Not only is a key product to cover up small or large imperfections, it can cover up tattoos, cam be used as a shadow base, make you look more refreshed or rejuvenated with a small amount under eyes, cover up bruises, and just about anything that you need covered besides lies haaa, concealer got ya!
I find that concealer really boosts up self esteem, no joke! So why not play with it?!
This list is probably going to be longest because my collection is extensive and I really am I concealer junkie.
Here are some of my favorites
I was so resistant to trying this concealer out. I saw this on sooooo many bloggers, IG, YT raving about this Tarte Shape Tape Concealer stuff I honestly thought the Tarte as a company was doing massive marketing and sending to just about everyone for reviews or paid sponsorship etc. So my friend Karla B Style actually tried it first and told me I had to try it. Karla really loves makeup too and is pretty picky with her makeup favs and it quickly became her go to… well why not? She let me play with it and honestly when I first applied it, I did too much LOL but I was really impressed by the way it blended and I mean the coverage?!? Woah!
I’ll keep it brief as so many people really have it covered 😉 ha this product but just know its a good liquid concealer if you have good skin with a good under eye area (meaning not many wrinkles or depth under the eye) as its very pigmented to can settle into lines so make sure to really have your under eye area hydrated.
If you’re more on the dry side this concealer is a hard pass.
When I first tried this Maybelline Instant Age Rewind they only had 3 shades (way back then) so I’m happy to see that now they have alot more shades! This concealer is pretty affordable and it does exactly what it says it does; cover dark circles and does a great job at not settling into lines. This concealer also great for people that suffer from dry under eyes as it doesn’t necessarily need to be set with powder but keep in mind, note a good moisturizing cream really aids when applying any concealer. I’ve read online it is also infused with Goji Berry to give a tightening effect, I haven;t felt that per say but its nice. Now will this cover up a tattoo? Eh, maybe will a few layers and a corrector. But if you’re looking for an easy to use the applicator is a soft sponge, and good coverage without having to break your wallet? This is a good option!
Another great liquid concealer NARS Creamy Concealer formula is really something like no other. It’s creamy as stated but don’t use too much cause it can crease as its very pigmented. This formula doesn’t need setting unless you’re going for an extra snatched look or to prevent creasing into fine lines. Very rich, it can cover up dark circles without having to use a corrector and also does so great at covering blemishes. I think I really like this one because it really does blend out so well, Blend with your fingers, a sponge and even a brush. This concealer also has a pretty large selection of shades from warm/cool and neutral undertones and they too have now “Mini” versions which not only are they so damn cute; they are super great to travel with or even to give a try for a couple of weeks (Its a pretty good amount).
Another Liquid/Cream Fav! Makeup Forever Full Coverage Concealer ! A concealer that will deliver the full coverage that you are looking for without having to look cakey. With this concealer you will need some practice as the pigmentation is strong but it really is great. Its pretty long-wear and its more on a demi matte finish. A little goes a very long way with this baby so start light and then gradually add more if needed (no seriously you really just need a little bit). I like to use this concealer first warmed up on the back of my hand to ensure pigment breakdown and an easier application, apply on myself with my ring finger, blend out further with a damp sponge and set with a light layer of powder to avoid any creasing. Unfortunately although great I wish they had a larger color range for consumers as they don’t have too many, but then again it is a professional line so there is a good amount for artist to have for mixing and etc.
Talking about professional lines,….When this line first launched I was on top of it! I mean Keyvn Aucoin was one of my biggest influence as a makeup artist, so of course I was on top of it haha! Years later after his passing his family has continued his legacy and has done so soooo nicely with a beautifully executed line. The Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer Concealer is basically if not the strongest pigmented cream formula that I’ve tried to this date. It is considered to be a concealer or a foundation. You can apply this on its own; although I do recommend breaking it down with something more on the liquid side, add it to your SPF to make a tinted moisturizer, cover just about anything if used on it own, add it tad to your favorite liquid foundation for extra coverage… I mean its super versatile.
The formula is on a heavy thick side so I always warm this product up onto the back of my hand before applying, this is a must and i like to blend this out with a damp beauty sponge. Although this concealer doesn’t have a huge color range it def great for professionals and it will take you forever and everrrrr to hit pan.
If your are more on the dry side and want to try this product out? I super recommend to really prep and hydrate the skin (like with all the works) because unfortunately due to the pigment it can latch onto to dry patches easily making them look… eh not so chuch.
Overall I go to this concealer when I’m looking to do a super glam look that needs to stay on for hours and hours.
Can’t have a fav list without listing my first true concealer love MAC Pro Longwear Concealer. I had every shade in my kit when I started off in my career (big mistake new upcoming mua’s, you only need a few to mix and match). It’s really is such a good concealer! Its light-weight yet had great coverage and more on the hydrating side which is nice too but will need some setting. It is full coverage although it’s not thick like other brands and I don’t know how they do it but it doesn’t settle into fine lines easily which is superrrr nice. It blends beautifully and covers dark circles in a quick bam!
I like to apply this product with my fingers or with a brush and you know you know blend with a damp sponge. This concealer also comes in many shades and covers just about from the fairest skin shades to the deepest ebony.
At the end of the day; this baby is a classic and shouldn’t be forgotten or under estimated.
So what about if you have dry under eyes and dark circles? Well Eve Pearl Dual Salmon Concealer® totally got you! Don’t quote me but I want to say Eve Pearl was the first companies to launch a “Salmon” aka peachy undertone concealer which was genius! Why is it genius? Well because peachy/orange is the best way to cancel out any “blue/gray/purple” undertones basically what dark circles are basically made of. They paired a concealer package that has 2 shades why? “The 2-shades work in combination to first neutralize dark undertones and discoloration. Then to brighten and highlight your skin.” as stated on their site; and if you look closely … both shades basically have a peach undertone making it easy to use and effective. This formula is more over on the creamy side so it will work well for mature skins and also dry under eye areas.
When it comes to bronzer, I also have the only obsession lol! It’s probably because I’m always chasing a good tan although I”m naturally quite fair. So when I mean I’ve tried out alot of bronzers ufffff I’m not exaggerating. Because I’m naturally so fair I’ve tried almost every bronzer that is for fair shades but I usually stick for medium shades even deeper shades when my tan is super snatched. I will tell you what … nowadays there is much better natural looking for bronzers out there which is usually the ones I tend to gravitate to the most.
In this particular section I will be touching on MY personal favorite bronzers not contour powders which is VERY different.
What is the difference between a bronzer and a contour powder? A bronzing powder is more on a warm undertone; to essentially mimic the shade you will naturally get once after going to the beach (usually almost like a pink/warm hue from the sun). A contour powder essentially mimics a shadow shade to achieve a more chiseled/defined effect and are cool toned shades.
Here are some of my favorites
Ok… ok … Okayyyyyy NARS I see you!! Talk about bringing in something new and too awesome to the table! NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer is literally a liquid version of NARS classic “Laguna” bronzer but without the golden reflects the powder version has and although new… its quickly jumped to one of my favorites personally and also professionally.
Super easy to work with because it light but its build able. This could be applied on its own over a tinted moisturizer for a super natural yet glowly look or even for a natural sunkissed glow over foundation. The color isn’t too warm nor too cool .. quite honestly its a good blend of both. Unfortunately as of now, NARS only carries this liquid bronzer in the classic Laguna shade so this shade isn’t for everybody. I would say this bronzer would best suit very fair to fair and light medium to medium shades.
Yes another NARS product… what can I say?! But this NARS Bronzing Powder in “Casino” is really an amazing bronze shade! Although everyone really digs Laguna (me included) but I also liked Casino… like a lot lol. A bit darker than Laguna the shade itself really something else. I think when it comes to bronzer NARS really has done a great job with the actual shades. This shade does have some golden reflects on the pan, though when applied to doesn’t seem to show much (which I like). So far so good.. never too orangey nor too gray but if I had to pick; this shade is on the warm side and honestly just gives you the best glow especially when applied with an over large powder brush.
Although this shade is considered a face powder MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural – Give Me Sun is a perfect shade for a warm sun-kissed glow. This shade should not (well I mean whatever you want) used to contour as it is on the warmer side and this shade has no cool tones. It is also pretty pigment and warm so I would suggest to start with a light hand and build up the shade as you would like. The finish is a satin finish like all Mineralized Skinfinish which is another plus because it does lay nicely.
Can be used on it on for a overall sunkissed glow or to set cream/liquid bronzers as due to the shade it doesn’t get muddy.
It’s no surprise, I love to work with cream and liquid products. Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick in Shade “Golden Almond” is a foundation stick but to me is a perfect shade to nice sun kissed bronze so why not apply it as a bronzer. I like to apply this product on a large/xl damp sponge and apply to it where the sun naturally would hit my face if standing in the sun over my foundation or even over my liquid blusher to really give a nice “natural” tan. I find that warming this product on my hand before applying is also best and it a good way to pick up onto the sponge. I say this bronzer hack ha; because its a foundation stick… this bronzer will maintain nicely throughout the day especially if set with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural – Give Me Sun or you favorite setting powder.
If you gotten this far?
BUT it has gotten a bit long huh? So I broke it down to two list, find the other here.