When I was in my early teens, I asked my mom (who used to sell Mary Kay) if she could teach me how to use makeup. Her response was, “I don’t really know – I don’t wear makeup.” Helpful. Given that auspicious start, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that I never really got into makeup. In fact, it’s only in the last two years or so that I even owned highlighter or blush, let alone any makeup products that weren’t purchased at Walgreens for under $10.
I’m never going to be someone with a perfect smoky eye or contoured cheekbones – let’s be real, I’m never even going to be someone who wears makeup on a daily basis – but over the past few years, I’ve come to appreciate the basics and I’ve pulled together a solid lineup of staple products that I love. Check them out below!
Foundation | Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation SPF 15 (Fairly Light Beige), $39.00
I have incredibly sensitive skin and, as a result, don’t frequently wear foundation. However, when I do, I use Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation, which definitely delivers on its 12-hour-wear promise.
Concealer | MAKE UP FOREVER Full Cover Concealer (Pink Porcelain), $34.00
MAKE UP FOREVER is a standby for hard working, no-nonsense products, and the Full Cover Concealer is no exception. I use sparingly on any red spots or acne, and a little on the areas of my face where foundation tends to rub off over time – namely my nose and chin. Bonus: I’ve used the MAKE UP FOREVER Sens’Eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser ($25.00) since I was 15 – it’s a great eye makeup remover for sensitive skin and contact lens wearers!
Powder | Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder (Invisible Matte), $25.00
Since I don’t frequently wear makeup to work, I often apply a layer of this Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in Invisible Matte with a large, fluffy powder brush over clean, moisturized skin to help keep things matte. When I do wear makeup, I use after foundation, before applying highlighter and blush.
Highlighter | ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter (Lunch Money), $8.00
Highlighter was a foreign concept to me until very recently, so I let Kelsey pick this one out for me. ColourPop never fails to disappoint, and this Super Shock Highlighter is super easy to apply with a finger – best of all, it’s virtually mistake-proof!
Blush | SEPHORA COLLECTION MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo (Guava Glow), $17.00
The two shades and slight shimmer in the SEPHORA COLLECTION MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo are a light and easy way to add some dimension to my face and help to highlight my cheekbones, especially when I’m using a full coverage foundation like the Tarte Amazonian Clay. This pretty Guava Glow shade brings some natural-looking warmth to my cool skin tone.
Eyeliner | NYC Liquid Eyeliner (Black), $5.33
I’m not exaggerating when I say that NYC Liquid Eyeliner is the holy grail of liquid eyeliners. Its easy to apply, dries quickly, is perfectly opaque, and has insane staying power. I’ve been using this liner for years and will never use anything else – I even have plans to buy in bulk online now that Target no longer carries it.
Mascara | CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara (Very Black), $5.99
A tried and true standby, I doubt I need to say much about CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara. I mean, there’s a reason everyone’s heard of it, right? Personally, I’m a fan of the deep black color and the way the spiked brush separates and coats to create full, thick lashes.
What are your staple makeup products? Do we share any favorites? Let me know in the comments!