I used to have a luggage-sized* makeup kit filled with a million and five* impulse drugstore purchases that I used to decorate my face daily. (*mild exaggeration)
However, recently I’ve downsized and kept my makeup bag to the essentials, reflecting a couple mindset changes. Firstly, I’ve found that investing in higher quality makeup is not only worth it for the difference in quality, but life span. I’ve also learned the value of research before picking products, whereas I used to pursue drugstore aisles and get drawn in by flashy packaging.
So I thought I’d share my essential products for those who were curious! This is probably still a lot of stuff for most people but just know I’ve consolidated a lot lol.
I used to tragically neglect the care of my skin. I never moisturized my supah-dry skin, slept in makeup, covered up the blemishes I got from sleeping in makeup with more makeup, never took a day off from heavy foundation, and didn’t worry about what my skin actually looked like because I always covered it. NEVAHHH forget the importance of skin care, especially protection from the sunny sun. Good skin care products to protect and rejuvenate your skin are worth the investment. Here’s what I use daily:
Vichy LiftActiv Supreme Intense Anti-Wrinkle and Firming Corrective Care day cream (retails $42 but I snagged this on sale from Ulta)
Yeah, ya gurl is 21 and has some fine lines… this stuff seriously makes my skin feel plumper and more rejuvenated.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration ($12 for 2 oz from Sephora)
I have combination skin that’s extremely dry in some places and this is a miracle worker when it comes to making it not feel like the Gobi desert, but also not making me break out. I just picked this up the other day and love it so far, but I also still use Mario Badescu Complex Moisturizer With Vitamin E SPF 20 ($24 from Ulta and it’s lasted me like 10 months so far because you only need to use a teeny time bit).
Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herb, and Rosewater ($7, Ulta)
OKAY SERIOUSLY ONE OF THE BEST PURCHASES I’VE EVER MADE. And then made again and again. I love this light and refreshing spray because every drop is like a tiny kiss from an angel. Or a kiss from a rose like the Seal song because it’s made with rosewater? Great for on-the-go when my skin is feeling dry, plus I use it to set my makeup currently until I can stack enough pennies to buy a nice setting spray.
Nyx Proof It Eyeshadow Primer ($7, Ulta) and Nyx Pore Filler Primer
($14 from Ulta)
I used to literally never prime my face and I don’t know how I lived. I love both of these for locking in my makeup and creating a smooth/poreless canvas to work on.
BECCA Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme ($44, Ulta)
This is the foundation I currently use when I want a full coverage look, and I love it because it doesn’t feel heavy or oily. I previously used Urban Decay NAKED liquid foundation, which I also loved, but switched to this because I wanted something less sheer.
Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm ($30, Too Faced)
I actually got this at Nordstrom rack for like $12 and it was a steal! While I don’t think I’d pay $30 for it because I’m too poor for that, I figured I would include it because it’s what I use on days when I don’t wear foundation, and when I go to the gym.
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer ($7, Ulta)
This works better than some more expensive concealers that I’ve used, and doesn’t make me break out even more, like some other concealers I’ve used. This is my current budget-friendly favorite and one I will buy again and again!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette ($40, Ulta)
WHAT EVEN WAS LIFE BEFORE OWNING A CONTOUR PALETTE. This is the first one I’ve ever owned so I can’t compare it to others but I have heard that Morphe and Kat Von D also make bomb contour kits.
Nyx Matte Bronzer ($9, Ulta)
A solid bronzer that I use literally every day. Can you tell I love Nyx?
Nyx #NoFilter Finishing Powder ($12, Ulta)
If ya wanna look HD. Again, I love Nyx.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade ($18, Ulta)
This is probably my favorite makeup product ever, and literally the only thing I’ve used on my brows since discovering it.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette ($42, Ulta)
I just got this in the mail on Friday and o m g I am OBSESSED. The colors are so rich and beautiful and pigmented and I could probably lock myself in a room for 12 hours playing with all the pretty colors and be perfectly content. I’ve been using the same Naked palette for years and this just added so many new shades to my color repertoire 😻
H&M Eyeshadow Singles ($7, H&M)
This is the first beauty product I’ve bought from H&M, which conveniently opened a store downtown within walking distance from my apartment, and it’s without a doubt convinced me to try more, because it’s amazing and great quality for the price. I use a neutral shade for my eyeshadow base every single day, and it never fails me.
Eyeko Eye Do Eyeliner ($22, Eyeko)
My absolute FAVORITE eyeliner I have ever used. This bold liquid liner felt tip pen is soooo easy to apply, especially if you’re anything like me and have shaky hands and always ruin everything. I used to use NYX liquid liner and after using Eyeko’s liner I’ll never go back.
Stila Huge Extreme Mascara ($23, Ulta)
I usually only use drugstore mascaras because I find they often work just as well, however I snagged this discounted on Ulta during their Cyber Monday sale and I love love love it and probably will purchase again.
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara ($9, Ulta)
This is my favorite drugstore mascara I’ve tried and I’ve purchased it again and again. It comes with a great wand and makes my relatively thin lashes look huge! My only complaint is that it can get kind of clumpy.
NYX Lipstick Lingerie ($7, Ulta)
I have this in the color Push Up and I loooove it for a matte lip. As is often the case with Nyx products, great quality for the price. I plan to purchase this in more colors because it’s bomb and makes my small lips look plumper. I use this with NYX Slim Lip Pencil ($3.49, Ulta)
I also finally caved and ordered my first Kylie Cosmetics products, the Dirty Peach lip kit, as well as Koko K liquid lipstick, so I’ll have to let you guys know if it was worth the cash monies once I finally receive them!! 🙏🏼🙏🏼
Garnier Micellar Water – ($9, Ulta)
You can find this at any drugstore and it’s amaaaaazing for removing makeup and making your face feel fresh and clean. I used to only use Neutrogena makeup wipes, but I go through them so quickly that I find Micellar Water to be way more cost effective. I also use Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser ($5, Target), which you can also find at most drugstores/supermarkets.