Top 10 Makeup Products I Recommend (To Those New At Makeup)
I'm very similar to Julia Roberts in Hook---if you clap for me, I'll come alive. And people coming to me for my makeup recommendations is almost like clapping, as asking for my opinion is a compliment, and I need my furry little demon ego stroked every once and a while. I spend a lot of time thinking about makeup, so I'm as knowledgable as one can be with no real practice or expertise. Obviously, I didn't always used to be this way. In high school, I used to put green concealer on my pimples to "color correct" without actually topping that with skin-colored foundation. I looked like Elphaba, or just very nauseous. So I understand that not knowing a lot about makeup or products can be very daunting and exhausting, and I like to help when I can. Here's a list of the top 10 makeup products I find myself recommending to people who don't know a lot about it. If you're new to this, I got you:
1. NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (45.00) Fuuuuuck it's expensive. But it really is a great foundation starter for someone who isn't used to applying it in the first place. It's sheer but buildable, so kind of hard to mess up. It comes in a nice range of shades and is so fool-proof, you can even apply it with your fingers. Plus, it has SPF 30, which is really great. I'd recommend this for a newbie who just wants to even out their skin tone without covering up too much hyper-pigmentation or acne. It dries nice without being too transferable, on account of how light it is. I gave this to my mother for my brother's upcoming wedding events, and she loves it. So if you're older, take note! It doesn't settle too much into lines.
2. Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation (43.00) Sigh. I know. This is expensive. But a lot of the time people ask me for makeup advice, it's because they have some kind of fancy occasion coming up that they want to look good for, and they have no place to start. This is the splurge to make, if you want to cover up acne, look flawless, and do it with a foundation that is easy to blend, easy to match, and won't come out streaky. There are plenty of drugstore foundations that I enjoy. L'Oréal Infallible is one of them, and you could start with that if you need a lower price point, but it doesn't last as long and it will cling to dry patches more than this stuff. The Makeup Forever foundation is good for dry and oily skin. It does last forever. It is your special event foundation, and bonus? It takes a long time to go through a bottle.
3. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (6.99) If you're taking my foundation advice, both of the products cannot be purchased without also getting this makeup application sponge. Listen, I can't fuck with the Beauty Blender. It's just too much money. But trust me when I say this insane thing: a dampened sponge, patted on the face like you're kind of slapping yourself, is the best way to get a beautiful and streak-free foundation application. It looks. SO. GOOD!! And is easy to do once you get over the slapping thing. This one from Real Techinques is so nice, and does the job the same way a 20.00 sponge would do.
4. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (6.99) Whether you want to brighten your undereye area or cover up imperfections, this is one of my favorite concealers to do it with. It's creamy, the applicator picks up product, it blends out very well, and it is pretty pigmented. And because it's more affordable, I buy it in two colors--one shade lighter than my normal skin tone for my undereye area, and one in my regular shade to cover up pimples I've picked and made much worse. And please, if you're new to makeup, know this: you don't need as much undereye concealer as you see in Youtube videos, just a tiny upside-down triangle under your eye, blended in with your finger or makeup sponge, will add a nice bright finish to your look.
5. Wet'n'Wild Color Icon Blush in Rose Champagne (2.99) This is a foolproof, lightly pigmented blush with some shimmer that is very, very hard to over apply. The shimmer takes away the whole "do I need to add highlighter?" thing because it adds a little glow and then you don't have to worry about buying highlighter. And it creates a nice flush that looks natural. It's a great product, and a really beautiful color. It's a fairly universal shade, but if you're very dark, try the same brand in Mellow Wine instead!
6. NYX Cosmetics Tinted Brow Mascara (6.99) Shaping your eyebrows as someone who has never really done a lot of makeup at all before is really, really, REALLY daunting. So I don't tell people to start in the major leagues when they can't even throw a ball yet. Instead, just try a brow mascara. You run it through your brows with the wand and it fills in any patches you have, keeps your brows in place, and gives them a little definition. Done!
7. Hoola Matte Bronzer (29.00) If you are bugging me about what kind of bronzer you should use to contour because ALL OF A SUDDEN, you want to contour, please note: contouring is hard to do, even for me, and sometimes I look like a pig covered in mud. But adding a healthy warmth to the face is a nice way to up your makeup game if you're not a super-beginner, and the best way to go is with the classic Benefit bronzer--Hoola matte. If you add this to the contours of your cheekbones and the high points of your forehead, you'll look a little more defined and warm and delicious. This one is finely-milled, matte, and a pretty great shade for light-medium/dark skin. If you're a little darker than medium/dark, you can get the exact same effects with the Too-Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Dark Chocolate, because bonus! It smells like chocolate. Apply whatever you're using with a light hand and blend it out well.
8. Lorac PRO Palette (44.00) If you are asking me "what eyeshadow palette do you use the most?" it's probably the Kat Von D shade and light eye palette. But the Lorac Pro Palette is 2nd, it's more varied, it's a little easier to blend, and it's a great palette to travel with. If you're new to eyeshadow palettes but want to create some simple eye looks (an easy smoky eye, a matte neutral every day look, a more shimmery look) than this is the palette for you. It's got a great mix of matte and shimmer shades. It has a RED SHADE called garnet which is so nice. I love using the cream shade on my lid and the taupe shade in my crease for a two second look, or just the lt bronze all over the lid for a really simple shimmery eye. The colors are so pretty, and I also use them all.
9. Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain (14.00) This. IS THE BEST. It is the best liquid lipstick I've ever bought, I love it so much, and they just expanded their shade range and now have so many great new ones. People have written me E-MAILS about how much they are happy I recommended this to them. It smells like a cupcake, it's affordable, it's easy to apply because it doesn't dry right away, and it lasts FOREVER. FOREVER. You can eat pizza with this. You can drink with this. You can make out with another lady or person wearing this and you won't even create a new color. Please, if you are new to makeup, you probably do not want to reapply your lipstick every five seconds. This stuff is a dream. My favorite colors are Pink Frosting, Mandarin Muse, and Always Red.
10. CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara (7.99) This is my favorite newbie mascara to recommend because you can apply layers of it without it getting clumpy, and the bristles are small and defined so it's hard to smear all over your face. Plus, you can get very long and defined lashes with this! It is one of my favorites.