My beauty must haves


My deep supply of everyday essentials.
My deep supply of everyday essentials.

I love beauty products almost as much as I love clothes, and much as I do with fashion, I don’t mind trying new trends in beauty.

If face oil is the new way to beautiful and young looking skin then I’ll try it.  If the next week it’s beauty balm, I’ll try that too. Someone tells me that one brand makes the best black liner for a cat eye, I will move heaven and earth to try it.

But just as I know I can always reach for skinny jeans, combat boots and moto jacket when I don’t feel like experimenting  — there are certain beauty products that I use time and again …

For a clean-prepped face pre makeup:

Pre-makeup products

1) Jan Marini Bioglycolic cleansing gel, $30: My aesthetician Natalie Goode at Euphoria Health and Beauty Bar started me on this years ago. It doesn’t dry out my skin and it keeps me zit-free.

2) Too-Faced Primed & Poreless primer, $30 and Skindinavia, The Makeup Primer Spray, $35-$49: I use both of these awesome primers on a regular basis; each gives me a great base for whichever foundation I use (I alternate those too) but the Too-Faced primer works best if you are only going to wear a mineral powder.

3) Strivectin-SD Eye cream, $15 at Nordstrom Rack and Being TRUE Protective Shadow Primer (with idebenone-epf 95), $25:  This is the best combo I have found for giving me a nourishing and protective base for my eye makeup.


Foundation essentials

1) Being TRUE Protective Mineral Foundation, $43.50: The always trustworthy (and aforementioned) Natalie also turned me on to this powder years ago and once I started using it I never stopped. Hands down the best mineral powder I have ever used – it goes on light, gives great even coverage and nourishes and protects my skin. What else can you ask for in a powder foundation?

2) Naked Skin by Urban Decay Weightless Definition liquid makeup, $39Part of Urban Decay’s wildly popular “Naked” line this silky, light foundation delivers on all fronts. I use UD’s Good Karma Optical Blurring brush, $25 (not pictured) or a Beauty Blender Sponge, $19.95 at Sephora, to apply.

3) Bare Minerals BareSkin Pure Brightening (liquid) Foundation with broad spectrum SPF, $29: Bare Escentual’s newest and very popular foundation was introduced earlier this year to lots of praise. Delivers light, even coverage that protects and nourishes skin and is best used with the line’s Perfecting Face Brush, $28.

4) Too-Faced Tinted Beauty Balm Multi-benefit Skincare Makeup, $34: I first tried this with a free sample and bought it outright because I loved the featherweight feeling of the balm and even coverage it gave. I’m not sure what it is but it has some illuminating quality that gives your face a glow. I largely use this on days when I am not doing a full-face but want to cover up red or age spots. In fact, because it is also treats and protects your skin, it was the only foundation I brought on a recent trip to Hawaii. I find it lasts longest when I use it with a primer and apply it with a brush or sponge.


Eye Essentials
Eye Essentials

1) Kevyn Aucoin Eyeshadow Duo #213 in Storm Cloud Malbec, $42 and Kevyn Aucoin purple Eye Pencil Primatif, $26  at Bloomingdale’s: These are a fairly new favorite. I tend to default to neutrals when it comes to eyeshadow but I get tired of tans, browns and bronzes. This kicky gray and wine color palette works just as well as my standby neutrals but really makes my medium brown eyes pop. I love the saturated pigment of the eyeshadow and it’s versatility: I have used the gray as a neutral with the Malbec as the accent in the crease and I have used the gray as accent in the crease with Malbec as an eyeliner. As for the purple eyeliner, it’s really more of an deep Merlot (must be happy hour, all of a sudden I am using wine references) and works well with a gray-based, brown-based or even purple-based eye shadow. However, sometimes I just slap on my MAC ‘Shroom eyeshadow, do a sharp cat-eye in this color and move on.

2) NYX The Curve Liner, $14.99 at CVS: I love poking around in the beauty aisles of drugstores and this is my most recent find. It’s a great value because it does deliver a sharp, very black line. The curved shape along with the thin-tipped brush head make it easy to get a cat eye but give it a second to dry.

3) Benefit “They’re Real” push up “lash-hugging” gel liner, $24: This is Benefit’s newest weapon in the cat-eye arsenal and it may be the only one you need. Long-lasting and satisfyingly inky, deep black, the angled tip delivers as clean a line as you could ever want.

4) Benefit “Bad Gal” Lash, $19 and “They’re Real”, $23 mascaras: I’ve tried the rest (I even wrote about a mascara challenge once) and these are the best. I layer “They’re Real” over a primer coat of “Bad Gal” for a dark, long,  thick and curly lash. I won’t lie though, it takes more than few applications of eye makeup remover to get the color off ( I use Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, $6.39) but it’s worth it.


Lip Essentials
Lip Essentials

1) Laura Geller Pout Perfection Waterproof Lip liner in Ruby and Cabernet, $17; Laura Geller Cream Latte Anti-Aging lipstick, $21 and Laura Geller Love Me Dew Moisturizing Lip Crayon,$16: I first received Laura Geller products as a promotion when I was working as a fashion editor and I became an instant fan. I am still working off my stock of gifted items but as soon as they are gone I’ll buy them. Pretty much everything in the line works for me color-, texture- and application-wise but it’s the lip colors that really make me swoon. First, you should know that I am, generally speaking, not a lipstick girl. Oh, I try colors and glosses and liners but once I’m out the door I never reapply. To make matters worse, I have a deep colored lip that seems to turn every color I wear pink. But these lip liners, lipsticks and glosses seem to stay true to color and last a long time. Plus they leave my lips soft and protected. The apply-and-go lip crayon is as close to perfect as you’ll ever get. Pro tip: When I want a natural or sheer lip, I put on a clear lip balm and dab one of the pencils in the center of my lips and smear. It gives me a hint of color for those days when I want to look like I’m barefaced or for when I’m doing a super intense eye and I want “nude” lips.

2) Marc by Marc Jacobs Lip Lock Moisture Balm, $24: An SPF, moisturizing, buttery balm. An all-time fave. Mix it with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-on Lip Pencil in Venom for a cool mauve lip.


You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned anything about blush yet. Though I do wear blush I am a blush-agnostic — or maybe I’m a blush-enthusiast — since I do not favor any one particular blush but like to try different brands, types and colors depending on the situation and season. Favorites include:


Chanel Joues Contraste Rose Bronze, $45 at NordstromNot too pink, not too brown, not too peachy – just a perfect rosy hue.

Makeup For Ever HD Blush in #210 Cool Pink, $26Gives you a flawless lit-from-within glow. Very intense color best applied and blurred/blended with the Makeup For Ever Double-ended Sculpting brush, $53.

Too-Faced Chocolate Soleil matte bronzer, $30Smells like your favorite chocolate shop and gives a great healthy tan look. Can be a bit intense so use a light touch and blend.


What are you favorite beauty go-tos?



Ciao for now!







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