LORAC The Royal Full Face Collection – This was a limited edition holiday collection of blush, eyeshadows, Cobra mascara (the wand gets the smudge-proof formula on every tiny lash) waterproof eyeliner, ‘Alter-Ego’ lipstick in Duchess (a perfect nude) and a coordinating gloss.
C bought the kit for me for Christmas after I spotted it in a catalogue and earmarked it like a kid with a Toys-R-Us Big Book. It’s no longer available online, but check your local Ulta and Kohl’s to see if they have any left in stock. The neutral colors are great for everyday wear, and I love that the blush and shadows were packaged separately in individual pots; palettes can get so messy and muddled after lots of use.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Bold Brow Kit – This was another Christmas gift, that came with a gift certificate for some regular brow maintenance with my girlfriend, Perry. (Pssst, local readers: Perry’s a professional makeup artist and eyebrow genius). I’ve used the clear brow gel for years, but I’m new to the brow powder duo. It’s a game changer: use it to create the perfect arch and fill in sparse spots; it looks totally natural and lasts all day.
MAC Face and Body Foundation – My mom is really into YouTube beauty tutorials, which is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. She orders two of all the gurus’ favorites — one for each of us — and schools me on how to use them. This sheer buildable foundation is great for my dry skin: it dries to a dewy finish that looks really natural. I apply it with my Urban Decay ‘Good Karma‘ brush for an airbrushed finish.
Urban Decay Naked Finishing Powder – I usually hate setting powders because they make my skin look dry and flat, but this ‘Naked Skin’ Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder is like magic. “Optical blurring pigments instantly minimize imperfections, diminish shine and create a stunning soft-focus effect that looks professionally retouched. ” <– It does what it says, alone or over your favorite tinted moisturizers and foundations. (A note: I bought a travel size of the ‘Naked Skin’ beauty balm and it was underwhelming.)
LORAC Tantalizer Matte Bronzer/Highlighter Duo – I used the Tantalizer baked bronzer for years, but wanted something less shimmery so I bought a travel size of this duo to try. I dropped it into the toilet three days later. ($@#!) It was a good short-lived run of 12-hour healthy glowing, though, so I picked up the full-size. I use it on my eyes, too: the highlighter under my brow bone and in the corners, and the matte bronzer on the crease.
Oscar Blandi ‘Pronto’ Dry Texture & Volume Spray – Imagine your favorite volumizer and sea salt spray falling in love and having a baby, who’s born with a knack for all-day hold. That’s this stuff. It reminds me of dry shampoo, but instead of making your hair less disgusting it makes it awesome. If you love beachy waves or full defined layers, you need this multi-tasking miracle spray in your arsenal.