Confession: For the last 6 months, I have really fallen down on skin care. I found myself hurriedly rubbing foundation on my face and putting on mascara then bolting out the door (Forrest in tow) for doctors appointments, lunch dates, and, worst, work. Combined with the fact that I wear leggings and a sweatshirt 2-3 days a week, it was adding up to a pretty bad look (as well as making me feel pretty sloppy most of the time).
A few weeks ago, I decided it was time: Forrest is old enough to entertain himself for 30-40 minutes at a time (even if he whines about it), which means I deserve time to shower and get ready like a normal human. I also set a goal that I wasn't going to leave the house in the same sweatshirt I'd worn 20 days in a row ever again.
I started cleaning out my make up in the mean time. I have a lot of crap I've collected over the years, as well as some favorites that I'd let myself run out of. After deciding to repurchase all my favorites and start from scratch, I realized there are a few things I just refuse to give up.
The struggle is real when it comes to primers and oily skin. People with oily skin need a primer more than anyone else, but literally no primers are made for oily skin. None. Most of them leave the skin feeling slick (and trust me, I've tried tons). However, Laura Geller's Spackle Supercharged is, hands down, the best primer I've ever used. A solid runner up is Tarte's tinted BB cream, but it is the same price for a smaller tube. I like a good bang for my buck! I wear this everyday and my foundation is usually set through the entire day.
This is one of those stupid expensive things that I know I could probably find a cheaper dupe of, but I just don't want to. It's so good. It's good for eyelids and keeping eyeshadow and liner set all day. It's also good for blemishes and keeping concealer set all day. It's also good for lips and keeping matte lipstick set all day! I mostly use it for a lip primer these days and I swear, it's the best thing out there. A tiny tube lasts forever too, so I feel a little more justified regarding the price.
3. Beauty Blenders, $20 for name brand, $5 for Ulta brand.
Beauty Blenders are a specific brand and a specific product: those egg-shaped make up sponges that you use damp. Some people swear by name brand, which are $20+ a pop. However, I use the Ulta brand for $5 a piece ($10 for 2) and I like them just as well (and yes, I forked over $20 for a tiny freaking sponge a few years ago). They are so good for blending foundation and concealer (and contouring, if you're into that), but you can also use them to apply moisturizer and primer, to buff out too much blush (it happens), and to protect your under eyes from fallout as you put on eyeshadow.
I love a full coverage foundation and Tarte's is the absolute best. I also like Naked by Urban Decay, but it doesn't come as close to matching my skin town. Tarte comes in a wider variety of shades and provides the same great coverage. A tube can last me anywhere from 4-8 months, depending on how often I wear it. It's the only foundation that has come close to matching my skin tone at all.
Some people don't wear powder everyday, but I do. I used to be a devoted fan of Covergirl's Professional Loose Powder, but they recently stopped making the original and replaced it--and now they don't make a shade light enough for my skin tone. I started using NYX's powder foundation as a finishing powder (just using a brush instead of sponge) and it's so good. And for $9.99, you can't beat the price. If I need extra coverage, I just use my Beauty Blender to apply where I need it.
I've done the leg work: you cannot find a better liner for winged eyeliner. You just can't. I also love that it's a pen with a flexible brush head. Here's why: most liners for winged liner have a felt tip and I actually don't get that because it's like putting on eyeliner with a marker. How does that make sense? It's the perfect matte black; it has the best brush head; you can get that perfect pointed wing. And at $18, it's not too bad! A close runner up is NYX matte black liquid liner, but I find it gets flaky and the brush is harder to control.