Top 10 Best Beauty Buys on Amazon

Top 10 Best Beauty Buys on Amazon

Looking to get the most out of your Amazon Prime Membership? If you want to add to your collection but don’t know where to start, check out my Top 10 Best Beauty Buys on Amazon to fill up your cart!

♥  ♥  ♥


81oMBMpauBL._SX522_.jpg#1 Beauty Buy:  Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder

You’ve probably heard about all about this powder from your favorite beauty blogger in the past. If you still haven’t yet purchased this item, you’re crazy. It smells very strongly of your grandmothers favorite powdery perfume, but it works just as well as high end setting powders do. If you’re sensitive to perfumes, don’t worry because this does fade away after application. This is the best setting powder on Amazon for your budget by far!

51s8PcYmQgL._SX522_.jpg

#2 Beauty Buy: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer, Dark Circle Eraser

This is one of my favorite full coverage concealers of all time. It was my go to before using Tarte Shape Tape, and I still highly recommend it if you’re looking for a great full coverage concealer on a budget. Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind claims to erase dark circles and brighten the under eye area, all for under $8. It’s effective but it is a little bit drying and tends to crease. Set this with Coty Airspun Loose Powder (above) and you’re good to go!

71VoUs+P7hL._SX522_-2

#3 Beauty Buy: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Washable Mascara

If you can’t already tell, Amazon is filled with a ton of incredibly affordable and impressive beauty buys. This mascara is another favorite of beauty guru’s everywhere. A dupe of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara, not only does this product like similar but it also voluminizes, lengthens and separates lashes just like your favorite luxury version. I prefer the washable formula but the waterproof formula is just as good, if not better.

41VvvutroTL

#4 Beauty Buy: The Masquerade Palette by Juvia’s

Juvia’s makes super pigmented, buttery, luxurious eyeshadow palettes. They’re definitely more expensive than other beauty buys on this list but it’s 100% worth it. This brand is owned by WOC and the shadows are formulated to show up on all skin tones and types. This palette in particular includes pops of color and neutral shades allowing you to create a variety of looks for day and night wear.

71814GtAd-L._SX522_

#5 Beauty Buy: L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation

One of my favorite drugstore foundations is also available on Amazon! It’s has buildable, but natural coverage that I find looks the best on my skin when applied with a beauty blender. This formula makes your skin look so dewy. It’s perfect for dry skin or those who like a more natural finish as opposed to the L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation.  This foundation does oxidize a little bit, so pick up a shade a little lighter than you normally would or pair it with a lighter concealer.

81vKgpeoFZL._SX522_

#6 Beauty Buy: NARS Blush Orgasm

Looking for the perfect flush? This blush is not only packaged well, but it performs even better. Not meant for the weak of heart, the powerful and peachy pigmented shade named Orgasm has been a beauty guru favorite for years. It’s a little bit of an investment, but this product will last for ages.

41kmqfjcCOL

#7 Beauty BuyWet N Wild Megaglo Highlighting Palette

Wet N Wild lovers rejoice! You can now order the Megaglo Highlighting Palette online! This palette includes 4 intense and absolutely beautiful highlight shades, and it’s only $15. Finally, an affordable highlight palette that stands up to the high end highlighters normally found at Sephora and Ulta. Great for traveling, professional make-up kits and all you glowing goddesses out there.

71ugyhFvmAL._SY679_

#8 Beauty Buy: Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer

Putting this bronzer on my face instantly transports me to a tropical beach in the summer. The glow is gorgeous and the fresh coconut scent seals the deal to make this a Top 10 Beauty Buy. The formula is so buttery – hence the name! It’s easy to apply to the skin with a fluffy or tapered brush depending on the look you’re going for. Now, Physicians Formula has a lighter bronzer shade for my fellow pasty ladies. Hallelujah.

510UQ3IFkoL._SX522_

#9 Beauty Buy: NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Micro Brow Pencil

An excellent and affordable dupe for Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil, the NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil is just a fraction of the cost! On one end of the expertly designed all-in-one brow pencil is a narrow tip for precise application. Opposite is a thin blending brush to keep brows looking soft and in place. Definitely keep a backup of this product, it can run out quickly!

41EDtO6vHqL._SY679_

#10 Beauty Buy: stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

My last Top 10 Beauty Buy is the perfect felt-tip black eyeliner to create an expert cat eye.  The pointed tip is flexible and easy to use, and this formula is so long lasting and waterproof. Great for waterproof spring/summer makeup and bold eye look. If you haven’t used it before, you’re going to love this.


 

 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Have you ever purchased any beauty items on Amazon before? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

♥ Mia

 

Advertisements

The Ancient Benefits of Jade Rolling

The Ancient Benefits of Jade Rolling

Happy Monday, lovelies! Bringing you a new review on an ancient beauty practice known for balancing energy and promoting proper lymphatic drainage of the face. Twenty Prime reached out to me on instagram with a generous coupon in exchange for an honest review of this new trendy skincare tool! Read on for more about this traditional skincare practice and where you can purchase a jade roller of your own. 


5BBA70B8-9C90-476B-A702-0EE3A473CCB2.jpg

So why are people rolling around a stone on their face and promoting these bizarre facial exercises? Is it because it’s a beautiful tool that’s aesthetically pleasing to add to photos, or is it actually useful? There’s some large claims on this product ranging from wrinkle reduction and improving skin brightness to  balancing your “chi”. Brands are coming out with new versions of this left and right, and some are even in rose quartz instead of jade, and I have to admit they’re freaking adorable!I gave this specific brand a try after they reached out to me on Instagram, I’m always willing to try a new product despite how silly the claims might appear to be.

♥  Let’s begin!  ♥

This is much more than just a “facial exercise” tool, this facial roller is made from genuine, solid jade stones. Each is unique and no two stones look the same. Typically seen in ancient China as a precious stone meant only for the elite; it embodies wisdom, courage and compassion. Jade is also known for it’s uplifting energy and purifying properties in skincare. You won’t just see this stone in Jade Rollers, jade is also used for flat facial stones. The idea behind them is the same; massaging and rolling skincare products into the skin with your Jade tool is supposedly beneficial for distributing the healing energy of the stone.

Using the Product

Before trying this product I did a little prep work for the best results. I found it was a little squeaky out of the luxe black velvet bag it came in, and used a little of my Rosehip Oil from Radha Beauty to lubricate and calm the squeakiness. This isn’t that uncommon either, so feel free to do this with yours too if you have a similar issue with the squeaks! Then I cleaned it with a warm washcloth and gentle soap, and placed it back into it’s back and popped her into the fridge to make sure the stones would be extra cool for my first use. The little black bag she came in was a little ripped on the side which was disappointing but I can find another bag to put it in if it rips any further.

When it was time the next morning to do my skincare routine, I was excited. I actually really enjoyed using the roller after applying serum all over to my face. The jade was so cool, and it felt incredible on my skin. I applied the rest of my face products, and then used the roller again when it was time to use my caffeine eye serum. As I do every morning,  I applied one drop onto my under eye area and then used the smaller end of the roller to massage it in place. It was incredible! The cooling sensation felt amazing on my eye bags and I think it helped the serum work a little better.

My face has been much puffier in the morning due to spring allergies, and after using this I felt that I looked a little less puffy and little more awake. Especially around my under eye area. If facial rolling doesn’t work in the long term for me, I would keep this product just for my dark, puffy eye circles. My eye area is already so sensitive that using this Jade Roller instead of my fingers sounds like a no-brainer to me. There was no visible difference in brightness or wrinkles, but I’m sure that would take a few more uses before I could genuinely test that claim.

There’s a lot of claims, gorgeous photos and beautiful faces out there touting this around, but I still have yet to see solid proof on all of this products listed benefits. In the end, this is still a very cute, affordable and interesting product. I don’t believe it’s an alternative to derma-rolling at all – there’s no way a rolling a non porous stone across your face could compare to physical retexturing power of sharp needles. I would definitely recommend Twenty Prime if you’re in the market for one of these – especially since they’re one of the most affordable I’ve seen so far.

Order Your Jade Roller Here:

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

The Original Premium Jade Roller for Facial Massage by Twenty Prime | 100% Natural Jade Roller Massager


What skincare tool have you invested in recently? Let me know in the comments below!

Looking forward to seeing you again,

Mia 

 

Buying Makeup on a Budget

Buying Makeup on a Budget

Looking to expand your makeup collection without breaking the bank? Here’s my favorite tricks to build and buy without destroying my wallet every single month. 

When it comes to my spending habits, I know I have to keep them under control. I still want to enjoy my hobby and find new great things for all of you to try, but I’ve had to find smarter and more affordable ways to do it. Here’s a few ways that I have found work really well for me, or that others have tried and found success with.

♥  ♥  ♥


Store Programs: 

Store programs usually offer discounts, monthly email alerts for sales and coupons and other perks for singing up. The most popular beauty programs are Sephora Beauty Insider and Ultamate Rewards. For some people, monthly email alerts might do more harm then good for sticking to budgets and making sure you don’t splurge regularly. If that’s you, I would opt out of the monthly emails and stick to browsing these websites only when necessary.

Sephora Beauty Insider

Sephora’s reward program is one of the most well known in the beauty industry. Starting as a Beauty Insider for signing up, members automatically start earning points for purchases. To level up and earn more rewards at the VIB level, you’ll need to spend at least $350 that year on makeup or skincare products. Rouge is the most coveted of the status levels likely because they get free shipping on all orders, have access to exclusive brand launches and events and your own private hotline for any questions you may have. It’s a steep climb to get there though. You have to spend at least $1000 per calendar year to maintain this luxury status level.

The most appealing level to me is VIB, which allows you to still recieve birthday gifts and free beauty classes but it also gives you access to some sweet free monthly gifts, too. Sephora has great redeemable rewards too at every level, right now for $100 points you can redeem for a sample of the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream, a STILA Huge Extreme Lash Mascara, a CLINIQUE Take The Day Off Makeup Remover For Lids, Lashes & Lips and some other high-end goodies to try. For most, this is the best part of being a Beauty Insider, VIB or Rouge member. The sample sizes are easy to test before committing to full size splurges and also offer an opportunity to try new things they may not have thought of before.

Ultamate Rewards

My personal favorite beauty brand rewards program is the one offered from Ulta. Instead of earning points to get to higher levels of rewards and more sample options, Ulta has you spend to earn money back on future purchases. Based on the dollar value spent annually, you get a credit of points back to get large purchases significantly discounted. The best part about the Ultamate program is that they also offer regular sales on beauty and skincare products as well frequent promotions where you can earn 2x, 3x, and even 5x points on specific purchases. They also have different levels of rewards you can earn too. First time members are just titled, um.. members. There’s also Platinum, and Diamond levels. Platinum can be achieved after spending $450 in a calendar year and at this status, your points don’t expire and you also get a $10 coupon every birthday, as well as a birthday gift. Diamond status can be achieved after spending $1000 per calendar year, where you also get exclusive free shipping on all orders over $25 and an annual $25 gift card to be used toward one of their beauty services.

Here’s how the points stack to get you your money back:

100 points = $3 off

500 points = $17.50 off

750 points = $30 off

1000 points = $50 off

2000 points = $125 off

Clearly, at 2000 points, the value starts to be very worthwhile. I honestly think it’s easier to spend a higher amount at Ulta rather than Sephora because they carry both high end and drugstore products. Let me tell you, it’s so much easier to rack up spending when you’re already getting your regular beauty product backups or replacements and then decide to let yourself have one nicer, or more expensive product every now and again. I do it a little too often sometimes. 🙂 With this in mind, you can easily lock in your points at the Platinum level, aka $450 spent annually so you can continue to stack your points until you’re ready to use them.


Discount Retail Stores (TJ MAXX, MARSHALLS)

If you haven’t checked your local TJ Maxx or Marshalls for Beauty or Skincare items yet, you need to. Usually only a small aisle or two, those white, dusty shelves are filled with incredible products most would overlook. Often found in the makeup section are brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, BITE Beauty, Kat Von D, Burberry, Too Faced Cosmetics and even more incredible brands can be found throughout. Some of my favorite beauty and skincare products were purchased from TJ Maxx or Marshalls, and at a discount! Recently, I picked up the ABH Cream Contour palette in Light/Medium, La Roche Posay Anthelios Sunscreen SPF 15 Moisturizer and even a neat little oil diffuser that I’m using instead of candles to reduce spending costs. I freaking love these stores. Most of the products are discounted by at least  20 – 30% but some people are lucky enough to find products for up to 50% off. There’s definitely a better time to go though, these stores usually receive shipment on or around Tuesday’s. So check back then to see if your local stores might have something you’ve been looking for!


Monthly Subscriptions 

If you’d like to gradually and affordable build your collection but you don’t know where to start, a beauty box subscription is likely a great option. Shipping monthly or even seasonally, many subscription services offer a variety of sample, deluxe and full size products to see what works and what doesn’t work for you. Most are very affordable, and easy to cancel if you need to. Ipsy and Birchbox are only around $10/mo and claim to even be customizable, where you can build your own beauty and skin profile and choose some spoiler options for your own box/bag. My personal favorite is Boxycharm. Boxycharm sends 4-5 full size beauty and skincare products, and there’s usually at least 1 high end product in every single box. At $21/m it’s a little more expensive han boxes that strictly do samples like Birchbox and Ipsy. The quality is worth it to me though, and most boxes are valued at over $100. If you’d like to take a look at more great subscription boxes, I’d check out http://www.mysubscriptionaddiction.com where they constantly review and post information about all kinds of subscription boxes.


Reddit: aka r/MakeupExchange 

Reddit has been a great tool and resource for me. I use it for everything; research, affordable makeup buying options and incredible advice from a thriving community. One of my favorite subs is r/makeupexchange. This subreddit is dedicated to selling and buying lightly used or new makeup online. Even if you’re just browsing, you’ll be surprised at the quality of the makeup you can purchase through this sub. You’ll see incredible posts selling hundreds of high end products with low to no shipping costs at all, just be careful to watch for spam and always remember to follow the community rules!

No need to buy at all either! If you’re looking to sell some of your collection before adding anything additional back in this is the perfect place to do it!


Gift Sets

Even before blogging, strict budgets and adult responsibilities gift sets have always been my favorite way to try products and save money. For most, you spend 30-50% less on all of the products you’re buying.  Most are usually store themed or brand based so you can really discover more from a brand or other products you might not even try if you hadn’t purchased the set. Gift sets can offer new combinations of products you might really dislike too, try reading reviews and commenting questions on forums before investing in larger sets.

Sephora is one of my favorite places to shop for gift sets. They have a huge variety of different sets, including skincare, hair care and even body care ones. I love giving these as gifts, using them for reviews or even just for everyday makeup fun!


Do you have any specific tricks or habits you’ve implemented to stick to your beauty budget? I’d love to hear what works for you, or even what didn’t. Let’s chat about it in the comments below! 

Friday Flatlay: Gilded Glow

Friday Flatlay: Gilded Glow

 

Obsessed with makeup, skincare, packaging and carefully constructed product shots? Look no further! Introducing #fridayflatlay, a new series of curated, gorgeous flatlay imagery. With a new theme every single week, enjoy this weeks seasonally inspired #gildedglow flatlay. 

♥ mia


 

Flatlay lovers unite! There’s something magical about them; maybe it’s from the packaging of the carefully selected components or the way the design draws your eyes across the scene. Each photo features an array of luxuriously packaged makeup tools and products that hold new and different promises from one another. Featured in this gilded, rose gold and charcoal makeup flatlay are some of my favorite makeup products that I plan on continuing to use in Spring.

Inspired by the transition of seasons between the harsh, bitter Winter to the welcoming warm and gentle arms of Spring.

Rose Gold & Charcoal
pnwwomanblog.com #fridayflatlay

 

Featured Products:

  • bareMinerals  Ready Eyeshadow in The Happy Place
  • Studio Makeup Luminous Loose Blush
  • Benefit Eyeshadow Pot in Bikini – Mini
  • PÜR Cometics Soiree Diaries Eyeshadow Palette
  • Tarte Tartiest Lash Paint
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Taupe
  • Artist Couture Diamond Glow Powder in Illuminati
  • Kat Von D  Shade and Light Contour Palette 
  • e.l.f. Studio Setting powder in Sheer
  • Coola Tinted Mineral Lipluxe in Tan Line
  • L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion in C4
  • Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer
  • MAC Cosmetics Satin Lipstick in Cyber

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
pnwwomanblog.com #fridayflatlay

 

pnwwomanblog.com #fridayflatlay

 

What products are you planning on using now that Spring is here? Do you have any favorites from Winter or are you introducing new products? Let me know in the comments below!


 

Affordable Skincare: Tips and Tricks

Affordable Skincare: Tips and Tricks

Looking to add to your skincare routine without breaking the bank? Here are my favorite tips and tricks to staying on track with your goals while still improving your routine. 

Skincare has been my favorite and most expensive hobby. I remember insisting to my father at the age of 12 how important it was for me to introduce a sunscreen moisturizer at my age or else I’d be dealing with wrinkles before my 30’s. Eventually I leveraged that skin cancer has a history of running in our family, and he gave in. Finally, I was able to cultivate my own little routine and kill all of my acne before starting High School! That was the goal at least, I’m sorry to say that I never beat teenage hormonal acne. I suffered through with cystic pimples, blackheads and little comedones that would pop up whenever my period was about to return. I hated it.

Now, I frequently purchase a variety of skincare and beauty products. I’m also subscribed to multiple beauty boxes so I don’t even need to go online or in store to add to my collection anymore. It seems luxurious and awesome, but the truth is that my love and addiction to skincare was hurting my wallet and depleting my shelf space. To fix this, and to give my boyfriend more shelf space on the counter, I decided to slowly implement some new habits to get my obsession under control. I hope some of these tips work for you too! Comment below if you’ve ever tried any of these methods or if you’re working on your own affordable skincare plan.


First, plan out your budget

Think of how much you can realistically let yourself spend within a month, two months, six months or even a year. You can plan to budget for as long or as little as you need to meet your goal. Create a hard number for that allowed time period, and stick to it. This is the hardest part! For example, Audrey might have a budget of $100 every two months, and Kayla might have a budget of $20 every month. Some people prefer to give themselves larger allowances over the course of a couple of months if you tend to purchase luxury skincare or sample and gift sets, while some individuals have to adhere to a more strict monthly schedule because they know they can find products that work for them every single month.

* Super Helpful Tip: Include all your beauty/skincare subscription boxes if you have any, these still count as monthly purchases!

Track your “empties” (aka your used up products)

The best way to find out what products you liked and didn’t like is to keep a list of what you’ve tried. I try to create a small photo journal (aka an album on my phone with the products I’ve recently emptied). This is especially helpful if you have a lot of samples you would like to go through but have a hard time keeping track of what you have and haven’t used. By tracking your empties, you’ll be able to clearly identify what you didn’t like or even products that have always worked well for you. It’s also a great way to let your friends and family know about products you’ve tried and results you’ve seen, even if it was months ago! It’s amazing how this seems like an easy trick, but remembering to log and save notes about a product is a little more tedious than you think.

* Super Helpful Tip: iPhones have an option in Notes where you can post images and then comment on it for yourself, this is the easiest way I know to organize an empties journal on an iPhone. You can always use traditional pen and paper too, I just prefer the photo journal approach because it’s easier when you have an image to associate the product name to.

Introduce Project Pan

I used to see posts on reddit titled Project Pan that would fall into my feed on a regular basis. At first it sounded a little weird, people posting photos of their used products. There were images of worn makeup palettes, concealer tubes with stoppers taken out and product running over. The most interesting photos were tubes of products like primers and foundation cut open in order for the person to use up every last drop of product. Now, it just makes so much sense. You use up all of your products, samples and backups before purchasing new items. No more backups of cleansers that already last for months, and finally finding out if that sample hair mask really works or not.  It’s even better if you subscribe to beauty box subscriptions because you can finally use up all of the samples that fill your drawers and extra the bins underneath your sink.

* Super Helpful Tip: If a product irritated your skin, give it to a friend or donate it to a local shelter. You can try to use it again to make sure it really didn’t work for you, but use the potential problem child by itself before implementing it into your routine again. Better safe than suffering through a breakout!

Re-Gift/Trade Unwanted Products

Friends or family that collect samples, products or even subscriptions are probably in a similar situation as you and want to get rid of things they know they don’t like or won’t use. This is especially helpful if you and your friends or family have different skin types, which means that products are likely to work differently for each of you. Then you’re more likely to see some benefit out of the cleanser that didn’t work for Annie at all, because she has dry skin and you have oily! It’s awesome, and it’s a fun way to share and reach out to others that share similar hobbies. This is especially helpful on lower budgets, because you still get to try more products without having to spend any money

The One Product at a Time Approach

 Using one new product that you already have or just purchased every 30 days. Spacing out your purchases allows you to purchase a little bit better products with your budget allowance. Introducing a single product at a time is much better for your skin too, it allows it to adjust and helps you identify if the product is causing any irritation or acne breakouts. If you have a larger collection of products that you want to use before buying new ones, working on rotating one new item might seem a little slow to eliminate items you’ve gathered. However, that slow pace of decluttering and using up products will help keep you from impulsively purchasing new ones as often.


March 2018 Boxycharm Unboxing

March 2018 Boxycharm Unboxing

Are you obsessed with monthly subscription services or makeup unboxings? This video is for you, check it out in the article below!


I’m a curator and reviewer of many products but subscriptions are my favorite thing to chat about! I love the value that many makeup, lifestyle and skincare subscriptions offer. Today, we’re chatting about the holy grail of all makeup boxes – Boxycharm. This box is $21 USD a month and includes 4-5 full size products. The contents range from tools, skincare and body products and makeup products. Often, Boxycharm will also collaborate and include a coupon for you to purchase from one of the featured brands at a discount, even more savings! What’s not to love about this subscription?

Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed the video, and what you would like to see next! Looking forward to hearing from you babes, ♥ Mia.


 

 

 

 

Best Basics: Makeup

Welcome all to my exclusive, very first blog post/review on Pacific Northwest Woman. Now, traditionally you’ll see a lot mixed content on this site relating to any of these topics: makeup, skincare, women issues and finding balance in your life. Finding balance  is increasingly difficult in the digital age. There’s so much information in the world, and it’s always calling your name. Life balance is what brought me to create this blog!  I’ve been busy working on balance, happiness and my own self care routines to the point where I’m now ready to share my secrets and helpful tips with you too!

This project was first created as a way of healing. Healing from anxiety, depression, fatigue, and the weight of the world that had been crushing my dreams and keeping me from being myself. Now it’s a way for me to communicate – and hopefully help you too in your own journey with finding yourself, or even just your how to make your perfect skincare routine so that you can feel more like yourself too. ♥

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Now before I go all in on my thoughts and opinions on these products for the review, I want to point out that your skin is your canvas. It’s your best base, so take care of it. It directly affects your makeup and how it wears throughout the day. That being said, certain foundations and other cosmetics will work very well for some people and some will find that it causes breakouts or doesn’t work for them at all. Ultimately, every skin type is a little different because every person is different, so take this review with a grain of salt.

My skin is what I would typically categorize as combination, but my drier areas are getting fewer and fewer between. Honestly friends, I’m a little worried I might just be an oily gal with dehydrated skin and I hate it. I have an oily, pool-ish area in my t-zone (vocabulary check: t-zone is the bridge of your nose extending to the forehead, it’s the most common problem area for many individuals) with a very, VERY dry under eye. I do get occasional dry patches on my nose and forehead too. The reason we’re going into all this is because I noticed I look so much older when my base isn’t properly taken care of. Nobody wants to look dry, cake-y or older than they really are so please keep this in mind before trying any of these products yourself.


The Stars:

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ SPF 50 (Light) I love this CC cream, I really do guys. The finish of this foundation is incredible. It looks like dewy, natural and I find that the more I wear it the better my skin underneath looks. It’s SPF content is also much higher than the amount you’ll find in other SPF foundations, but with that you’ll also face some flashback problems. One thing that does bother me is that this foundation range doesn’t appeal well to darker skin tones. IT Cosmetics did recently come out with a new Bye Bye Foundation with a range that does look to be much more shade inclusive, but we’ll see what POC have to say about the quality of the shades themselves.  Let’s get back to this little gem though, because I’ve re-purchased this product four times already. There’s got to be something really good if I keep coming back, right?

If I wear this foundation when I have drier, more dehydrated skin then I don’t need to set it at all. It’s so easy to wear, and smells incredible.  It actually does appear to make my skin feel a little better, and it doesn’t irritate my dry skin at all.. If I’m my regular oily self though, then my skin will need a mattifying moisturizer or primer on underneath as a base. Right now, I use Murad’s SPF 15++, and she get’s the job done alright. As long as I finish my skin with the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, this stays all day and makes my skin appear so natural. Overall, I never have issues with my skin reacting and can do light and full coverage options since it’s buildable. It’s just awesome.

Best part? No one can tell I wear foundation with this product on. Hallelujah!

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise (Black) O.K. everyone, are you ready to talk about one of the best, most affordable mascaras on the market? I’m not talking about that pink and green Great Lash bullshit here either, I’m talking about the new L’Oreal Lash Paradise. This lash boosting mascara is under $10, and does miracles for short, stumpy and thin lashes. It’s a perfect little dupe for the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, and even has the cute pink metal packaging to match. There’s a lot of great dupes coming out lately, but this mascara out performs its competitor. Not only does this separate my lashes, but it makes them look much more full and holds them in place and doesn’t flake throughout the day. I usually like a more wet mascara and this formula is definitely drier than I usually prefer but the results speak for themselves. It even comes in a super tough waterproof version for summer days or the individual that works outdoors or in humidity.

Heads up though, I find this product is a little tougher to remove than other mascaras and with my super delicate, dry eye area I generally have to rotate this mascara in between others because the daily removal is tough on my eye area.

Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation (Y245, my shade when I self tan) – I always need to have full coverage and long-wearing foundation on hand in a shade that matches my body when I self-tan. Now, this one in particular I purchased was when I was tanning  to a few shades darker then I normally do now, if at all. That being said, since it’s a little darker I tend to mix this a little bit of Fenty Foundation in shade 100 (my fair skinned favorite full coverage foundation) to create my perfect shade. My favorite thing about this foundation is that even if my face is a few shades lighter, you won’t be able to tell once it’s blended into my skin. It blends in so well that I often get questions from others asking if I’m wearing any foundation. Blending powder over the top is a breeze too, because this is such a great base.

Without sunscreen, this looks excellent in photos with and without flash. (Just be careful, some setting powders may cause flashback)  This is such a solid liquid foundation, which is why even though I barely wear this lovely lady now, she’s on this list.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Highlighter (Exposed Highlight) I’ll be honest, I didn’t like this highlighter at first. I was originally wanting just the mini Hotel Heiress bronzer, but this one came in a deluxe sample with it so I purchased it anyway. At the time I wasn’t even into highlighters. I gave in though, and I’m so glad for it!

This highlighter is a little glittery, but looks so lovely on the skin once its applied in thin layers. I use a fan brush or a long tapered blush brush to apply it to the top of my cheekbones, the peak of my lips and the tip of my nose depending on the texture. It’s a light, coolish toned highlighter that just brings out the extra little sparkle when you turn instead of a sheeny glow. It looks so lovely sprinkled over the top of other more sheer highlighters too, if you want to glow to the gods. This product is more of an honorable mention really, just because I end up reaching for it half as much as my Becca highlighters.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer (Hotel Heiress) First off, I want to say that I think this bronzer is so wonderful but the warm undertones don’t work super well with my cool-toned, fair skin. I reach for this bronzer every single time I have self tanned though, and even use a little to play up my contour a little more when going out in the summer. I can’t wear it year round though, I look too much like Trump.

This is still such a great bronzer though for medium-tan skin tones. It blends so well, smells good and lasts all day. It warms up my look and I’ll even blend it will a large kabuki brush on certain parts of my body in the summer to accentuate my tan. Plus, the name is so bougie, and who doesn’t love to feel a little extra now and then?

Tarte Shape Tape (Fair) There’s a lot of Tarte in this list, and I’m sorry to those of you that can’t stand them after the Tarte Shape Tape Foundation Shade Gate of 2018. These products did really well last year though, especially this concealer. It was probably one of the biggest stand out products in 2017 and it’s shade range when it launched was diverse and impressive! This is a very full coverage, matte concealer in a huge container that lasts for ages and has an impressively large applicator. I love it. When my eyes are a little drier all I have to do is mix a little of this concealer with my The Ordinary 100% Cold Pressed Marula Oil and it blends so well underneath my eyes and doesn’t crease. I highly, highly recommend this product if you have some dark under eye areas or even just a lot of trouble spots that a traditional concealer just can’t cover.

NYX Tinted Brow Mascara (Blonde) I discovered this product while trying to find a cheaper, and lighter way to style my brows. It takes a lot to get them from the skimpy, thin squiggles above my eyes into the coveted powerful, bold brows. This product still builds up the thickness of my brows without turning them into the classic instagram eyebrow look.  What’s even better is that this is another product under $10. I use this alone for a clean look, or with a little brow powder/eye pencil if I need more powerful brows to balance out a full face of makeup.

I’ve seen some people compare the quality of this product to Glossier’s Boy Brow, but I have yet to try that myself for an accurate comparison. If you’ve tried both of these products out, let me know how they compare!

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray It took me a while before setting sprays gained my attention. I adore them now, and use multiple sprays in my makeup routine everyday. Now that I’m obsessed with sprays and mists and shit, I want you to all know that if you haven’t tried this yet (and you have nasty oily skin that breaks up makeup or your makeup slips during the day) you need to. Now. I’m serious on this one. Not only does it finish your makeup well and congeal everything perfectly into one seamless, flawless and freaking gorgeous base. It also keeps your skin looking fresh and matte throughout the day.

Seriously though, this is my holy grail setting spray. Whenever I use this product I always get so many compliments on my makeup. The compliments are all I’m really looking for, but it’s a wonderful bonus though that I get to worry a lot less about it budging during the day.


There’s a lot more products that could have been added to this list, but I wanted to keep it short so I could focus on key things I did and didn’t like about each product. What would you change to make your own beauty basics short list? Do you agree with any of these opinions or have any products that work better for you? Let me know in the comments below!