Lots of you know that I love make-up and hair. I grew up in and around salons that my mother owned and several of my sisters are, or were at some point, stylists. Further, as I mentioned before, my father owned 4 beauty schools. People, this stuff is in my blood.
My mother made me promise that I would go to college and not beauty school and I kept my promise. All the while, I labored in front of bathroom mirrors up and down the state of California doing my friends hair and make-up for different occasions. For years, as I well paid for a career in politics, I was thankful that my interest in beauty was no more than a side gig. Now that I sit working as a glorified secretary, the salon life doesn’t seem so bad.
Anyhow, I digress. Over the years my friends have often asked for my advice on skin care products or lip gloss or hairspray and I have offered many a suggestion. I have tried most hair care lines and I have purchased a small fortune’s worth of beauty products. There are some things that I LOVE and I am always passing on my favorites to people I know. I decided that once a week I would share some favorites with my readers along with some hints on application and pairings that have worked for me. Today we are starting with my Top 5 make-up picks.
1. Boi-ing concealer by Benefit.
Hands down the best concealer I have ever used. For those of you saying to yourself – what is concealer? Unless you are under 25, you better find out. Apply a little of this under your eyes, with a brush, prior to putting on the rest of your make-up. You will look rested and younger than you did fresh out of the shower. Hint: generally you want a concealor about 2 shades lighter than your face make-up. If it isn’t lighter, your under eyes will look baggy.
2. MAC tinted lip glass
Do not confuse this gloss with MAC’s other glosses (luster glass, plush glass or dazzle glass). This is the their best gloss, it stays on, doesn’t feather and comes in a ridiculous array of colors. I think MAC hit gold when they created the three Viva Glam colors (VI SE, VI and V). Most women could pull off any of those colors on any given day. Hint: Use a similar color liner with your gloss and it will stay on better.
3. L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara in Carbon Black
First of all, L’Oreal’s web page is lame and I couldn’t grab a picture for you to see this product but you can go here and see it for yourself.
I love the telescopic mascara because of the brush specifically – I think it gives great volume and length. Now I had always believed that Lancome made the best mascara. They are kind of known for that. However, here’s a little secret – L’Oreal owns Lancome. Not all of their products are comparable – for instance I wouldn’t use L’Oreal foundation but that is just me. When it comes to mascara, it really is a toss up between the $21 Lancome mascara and the $8 L’Oreal one – so why not go with the cheaper product that you can pick up at Target when you are also buying socks and microwave popcorn? Hint: black mascara is best, even if you are fair skinned. For best application place the brush close to the base of your eyelid and slowly drag/tug the wand up and out. This will force your lashes to gather a little at the outer part of your eye, giving you a sexy effect.
4. Foundation: pick your poison.
For those of you looking for more fuller coverage and smooth application I think Benefit once again produces the best product: Playsticks. It is easy to apply (again with a brush) and it lasts all day. I think liquid foundation can be a scary thing for oily skin (that’s me) so this dense make-up provides the perfect mix of coverage and shine free wear.
Now for those of you just looking to take a little “edge” off of your skin I have two products to recommendand- I use them both. Generally I pick one of these on the days that I am not working but still don’t want to scare people at the grocery store.
The first ( shown above) is Philosophy’s the Supernatural. This is a great mineral based foundation that you can put on quickly and go. This stuff is truly great for a busy mom who wants a little polish but doesn’t have a lot of time.
The second product is one you are all familiar with – Bare Escentuals (or Bare Minerals). This stuff is everywhere, all over television, Sephora and the magazines. It is a great product and I used it for 2 straight years. However, after a while I felt like I needed more smoothing coverage so I switched but I can still say that the product itself is everything it promises to be.
5. MAC eyeshadow – various shades
I have searched high and low for a make-up line with eye colors as good as MAC. People here is the deal – RESISTENCE IS FUTILE. No matter how much the MAC counter bugs you because the boys are wearing make-up, you must brave the GLAM and go to the Holy Land of eye products. While everyone will vary as to what color works for them I believe that all girls should own the color Shroom by MAC. It is perfect pale shadow that will feel dressy to those who don’t normally wear shadow and it will be a great highlighter to the braver souls who like some spice in their lives. Hint: If you have brown eyes, pair Shroom with Mulch, Cork or Woodwinked for a soft smokey eye. For blue eyes, pair Shroom with a little Knight Devine for a dressy look. Green eyed girls can pair Shroom with Juxt or Greensmoke.
Well there you have it. Concealor, foundation, mascara, lip gloss and eye shadow. Next week I am going to list my favorite skin care products, research on this topic has cost me the annual budget of a third world country but c’est la vie!
If you have any questions – feel free to email me or comment, I will do a post with Q&A if I get enough responses. Until then, happy make-up application to you all!