I’ve been really looking forward to this post for awhile because I love finding great makeup and beauty products that really really work for me – tried and true. This post is in no way sponsored, and every product is my own choice.
As I’ve got older I’ve just been on a quest to find great products I love that are high-quality, work well time after time, and at a reasonable price. I labeled this post Summer 2018 because I’m sure my bag will evolve and change as time goes on – but right now this is the dream team that makes me feel really happy and confident every time I walk out the door.
Let’s talk deets!
Tools make the artist, that’s what they always say! (J/k I just made that up…) But I think the right tools are so important, you use them so much more than you think! Here are my favs I use daily:
- Sephora Lash Comb: It’s $10, and lasts forever. Mine has the Sephora logo rubbed off I’ve had it so long, but it works great to this day. I HAVE to use a lash comb after I do my mascara. No more clumps or gaps, this baby fans them right out perfectly. Fun fact, I also use this when I trim my eyebrows! I recommend this one because I’ve had cheaper ones from Amazon and other stores, and the tines end up coming out, so it’s not worth going super cheap.
- Tweezerman Tweezers: Again, the logo has rubbed off I’ve had these so long! They’re spendy, but they just last forever and they’re the best for just getting in there and snagging each individual eyebrow hair that has gone astray.
- Sephora Collection x Utowa PRO Eyelash Curler: I’ve had this for a few years now and honestly, it’s probably due to be replaced but I will definitely be getting this EXACT curler because it works so dang well. I remember the first time I used it, I think a YouTuber recommended it, and I was like WHAT!? I’ve been using my crappy other eyelash curler when I could have been using THIS?! It curled them so crazy perfectly and well, it blew my mind. Really really love this one.
Do you love how you can see Paige bending over the products to take that photo in the powder reflection?! 🙂 Okay for primers, I am actually not a fan. I’ve tried a bunch and really just feel like it’s another layer to sit on my skin that I don’t need. I have some in my Sephora shopping cart that I’m going to try, but for now, no real primer for me. When I feel like I want to amp it up, and take my makeup to the next level for say date night or if I’m shooting photos, I will use the Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base. Imma’ be honest with you, this was sent to me because I somehow got on a Burberry beauty PR list – and HUNNAY it’s good. I would have never thought to try it because first of all it’s friggin’ $48. I just don’t live that kind of a life with makeup usually, but now I see why it’s backordered all the time when I look it up online. It’s so light and you don’t feel it on your skin at all, but it creates a GLOW under your makeup and just brightens everything up. There’s no glitter or real shimmer, just GLOW. Don’t ask me how they do it, I don’t know, but I really love wearing this occasionally (because hi, $48) and if I add anything under makeup, this is it.
I’ve got a whole massive blog post on Every Foundation I Tried in 2017, so if you have foundation questions head on over there, but this is about the foundations I currently have IN my makeup bag, and I use almost every day. I switch off, so there’s a few, but all of these are tried and true, and have earned a spot in my bag.
- It Cosmetics CC+ Cream in Medium: I feel like I’ve talked about this SO much, along with every other blogger out there, so I will keep it brief. It has just enough coverage but while still being light enough. Good for your skin, with SPF 50+. Lasts awhile, love the pump applicator setup. A winner all around!
- Estee Lauder Double Wear in 1W2 Sand & 2W1 Dawn: Also talked extensively about these in my 2017 Foundations blog post, so you can go there for ALL the details, but this is what I wear when my skin maybe isn’t its best, or I want to be FLAWLESS. Super full coverage, and I switch off or mix these two shades depending on how tan I am.
- It Cosmetics Anti-Aging Armour Beauty Fluid: If my skin is looking GOOD, I can get away with using this as a foundation, however most of the time I am mixing it with one of my other foundations on the daily. It just lightens them up a smidgen to where I LOVE the texture and the wear I get from any foundation I add it to. I also love that it has SPF 50+ so if my other foundation doesn’t have SPF, I’m still covered. It seems like such a weird thing, a beauty fluid, but I have not stopped using it since I got it, and I will be replacing it as soon as I run out.
NOW this is a HOT topic for me, because I have tried just about every freaking concealer on the market, and I’m specifically talking under-eye concealer. I have tried SO many. I have very dark under-eyes, and it is always an issue for me. I could get 12 hours of sleep and my under-eyes will still be dark. It’s my life. ANYWAYS long story short, here are my tippy top favorites:
- Tarte Shape Tape in Light Neutral: The holy grail. You’ve heard about it from everyone right? That’s because it’s so good. It stays in place, creases minimally (NO under eye foundation doesn’t at least crease a little bit, anyone who tells you that is lying to you) and FULLY covers my dark circles. My ONLY criticism is the applicator. PLEASE Tarte make it in a pump bottle!! This wand applicator gets so messy on the base and just drives me nuts – I asked on my Insta story if you guys have that same problem and so many girls replied saying YES mine does that too!!! So I’m not alone – and Tarte if you’re reading this, send me more Shape Tape, and also fix your applicator STAT.
- Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer: I grabbed this in Singapore because I was trying to find a new better concealer and I had been reading how popular it is. Truthfully, it’s not enough coverage for me, but it’s in my makeup bag because I have one of the lightest shades, and when I apply a couple drops on top of my Shape Tape, it really amps it up and lightens my under-eyes even more when I need just that extra bit of coverage.
- It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illuminating Concealer in Medium: This one fell out of my makeup bag and didn’t make it into these photos dangit! But it is a favorite for sure – I’ve seen it on multiple bloggers too, everyone loves it and for good reason. It is very full coverage, and stays all day. I’ve done tests where I wear Shape Tape under one eye, and this one under the other and they are SUPER comparable, there’s really no difference that I can strongly tell after the day is over. Great concealer.
This one was a tricky category for me. I’ve used a LOT of different powders, and usually they’re just fine, nothing too spectacular, but then I splurged on the last Sephora sale and went for some Laura Mercier products I had been hearing everyone talk about. BIG difference okay – all powders are not created equal! Here are my favorites now:
- Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder in Transluscent: At first I was like $38?! So I never tried it out, but the container is HUGE and you do get a ton of product, so I’ve changed my tune and now I totally feel like the price is justified. The powder is the perfect shade, doesn’t affect anything with my foundation and just sets everything perfectly. I still look like myself, not a powdered aristocrat from the Renaissance. I now get why all the beauty bloggers rave about it. There’s also a mini size for $23 if you want to test out the waters first.
- Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder: Okay you’re looking at this going Jackie, that’s two powders WHY do you need two?! Because one is for under-eyes honey! I set my under-eye concealer with this powder using my damp BeautyBlusher sponge (more on that below) and it MINIMALLY creases! I’ve never had that in my life, usually at the end of the day I look like I’m about 100 years old, but with my good concealers and this powder, creasing is no longer my nemesis. I thought it was unnecessary and overpriced, but now I am CONVERTED.
Blush, Bronzer & Highlighter
I LOVE my current blush and bronzer, but this category I will just always continue to experiment with, so future editions of my makeup bag might have different products, but these are true favorite products that I use every day right now:
- Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer in Medium to Deep: I’ve been using this so long they recently changed the packaging!!! That’s how long I’ve loved it, and I did hit the pan on the old one I had so I grabbed a new one on the last Sephora sale and realized OMG mine was so outdated! Haha. This one really wins my heart because it smells like chocolate. Really! It makes me happy every morning putting it on – oh and that it works so well. No shimmer (not my thing), just perfect bronzey goodness.
- BareMinerals Gen Nude Powder Blush in ‘Pink Me Up’: I received this in a BareMinerals PR mailer and I haven’t used anything else since. The formula is really great and very pigmented so this will last SO long – and there’s lots of colors to choose from. I’ve been really loving it!
- Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop: This is the O.G. best highlighter and now I know why. Every blogger talks about it and so I finally gave in, and baby it is GOOD. Just the slightest amount of shimmer, no glitter, really really pretty. I don’t go without this anymore.
- Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighter: Before I got Champagne Pop I was using this, again from the PR package from Burberry. It is GOOD you guys, but obviously SO pricey. Again I probably wouldn’t have ever bought this on my own, but now that I have it, it has earned a solid spot in my makeup bag.
- Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: I start with this one because it really just gets the product on there, I love the formula, and it makes my lashes look so thick and luscious.
- It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara: This is another cult favorite, and for good reason. It really applies product well and coats the lashes for max thickness. So I do one coat of the Better Than Sex mascara, and then I finish off with the Superhero mascara – I know it’s a little ridiculous but I LOVE the combo of these two. They work so well together and I feel like I get the exact look I want when I layer both.
- Pixi Lower Lash Mascara: I have NEVER been able to properly use normal size mascara on my lower lashes. It makes a mess and just doesn’t work. This lower lash mascara got sent to me in a PR package and I realized OH this is what I’ve been needing! I’ve re-purchased it 2 or 3 times since that original tube because it’s just so good. It will really fan out those lower lashes and make your eyes look big and beautiful.
I did have my eyebrows microbladed early this year (you can read ALL about it here), and it was the BEST decision. Most days I don’t need to do anything to my brows, but sometimes if I want a little extra definition, I pull out one of my favorite brow products. You may be wondering why there’s no brow gel in this list… it’s because I don’t use one. I own the Anastasia brow gel, but I found that I just didn’t need it? As long as I keep my brows trimmed, it was really unnecessary and they usually kind of got flaky by the end of the day anyways with the gel, so I eliminated it entirely.
- Anastasia Brow Definer: Now I know a lot of you are Anastasia Brow Wiz fans, but I cannot get down with it. That thing is SO teensy tiny and lasts like a week for me. It’s too expensive and too tiny for my browz. I however LOVE the Brow Definer – basically a chunkier version of the Brow Wiz. Works perfect for me and lasts all day no problems.
- It Cosmetics Brow Power: This is a really great brow pencil too. The color works on a large variety of people, and it’s so easy to use. Before I got my Anastasia Brow Power, this was my go-to.
- Smashbox Photo Edit Trio in Nudie Pic Light: I was on the hunt for a simple, SMALL eyeshadow set that I could travel with but had everything I need. I was really happy to find this because it has the brown cut crease color I need, and the lighter all over color I was looking for too. No shimmer or sparkle, just a great neutral eye. The lighter brown is good too to switch it up in my cut crease, or maybe do an all over color. It’s just such a good little trio. BONUS: If you have brown hair, the brown color works with an eyebrow brush as an eyebrow filler too! If I travel, I just bring a brow brush and do that and it’s super quick and easy.
- Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette: This is my HOLY GRAIL eyeshadow palette, Mmmmkay? It’s a little hard to find right now – I can only find it directly on Urban Decay’s website but it IS on sale for $19, so that makes up for it not being on Sephora or Ulta. I was looking for a SMALL, easy palette with light tans, browns, dark browns, and a black. I COULD not find one forever, and then I found this one and it literally checked ALL the boxes. I might need to get another one in case it sells out at some point, it’s just so perfect! I can’t rave about it enough. I can do my basic “everyday smoky eye” (would you guys want to see that? It’s super basic but I do it every day…) and if I need to, I can use the black to line my eyes if I’m going for that look… it’s just exactly what I wanted and I highly recommend it.
- It Cosmetics Superhero Liner: I LIVE for a liquid eyeliner. I do it almost every single day, it’s just how my eyes look best and it’s really not too dramatic on me because I have big eyes. It glides, doesn’t run out for SO long, it’s just magical and I totally recommend it.
- Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner: This one I highly recommend for travel. It has a regular pencil eyeliner on one side, and a liquid eyeliner on the other. Both are awesome and this is great to have in my makeup bag for days when I’m not sure which eyeliner I want to go with. The liquid eyeliner side is slightly thicker than the Superhero eyeliner, so keep that in mind if you’re going for a really thin liquid eye line.
- STILA Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: Another great liquid eyeliner option. I don’t feel like it’s crazy waterproof, like I can still get it off at the end of the day. Anything super waterproof is annoying to me. Great option I also have in my bag!
- IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush #7: Truthfully I have one of these in my makeup bag right now, and then one brand new one on standby should this one ever give out on me or I lose it. It’s just the best foundation brush I’ve ever found so far in my life! The big side is the perfect size, not too big but perfectly dense to spread around foundation without soaking it up too much. The little side is awesome for around my nose, and applying concealer to any blemishes. It’s a real winner and I can’t recommend it more.
- Beauty Blender: It’s the original for a reason – I’ve tried other dupes but they just don’t puff up and work anywhere near as well. Love this for applying foundation, although I normally use my #7 brush , sometimes I get fancy and pull out the Beauty Blender.
- beauty.blusher: I got this guy and then wondered what the HECK I was doing before I had it. I know it’s called the beauty blusher, but this one for me is all about the under-eyes. I use it (damp obvi) to apply my under-eye concealer, and then set it with the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening powder under my eyes. I will show a tutorial of this sometime, but for now just know, this is the absolute best setup I have ever found and I will never go back to using my FINGERS to try to apply under-eye concealer like some kind of savage. A creased, patchy under-eye savage.
- Sigma F21 Large Powder Brush: Apparently the F21 has been discontinued, but I linked one almost identical. I love a BIG FLUFFY high-quality powder brush, and this one is amazing. Works perfectly, and Sigma brushes last forever.
- Sigma F23 Angled Brush: I just got this after my previous blush brush bit the dust, and it is fantastic. It’s so easy to get product onto, and applies beautifully.
- Sephora Double-Ended Brush: I really needed a new eyeshadow brush, but I was interested in a double ended one to save space in my makeup bag, and it’s also quicker when I’m doing my eye makeup. This one works PERFECT where I can get into my crease with the darker browns, and then the smaller end works for the all over lid color.
- Luxie Beauty Contour Brush 588: I got this in a gift bag and I don’t think this is the exact brush but it’s close enough. I’ve had it for years and it still looks great, so I can speak to the quality of Luxie brushes. I use this one to apply highlighter to just the apples of my cheeks. It’s such a good size because it’s small, but gets the highligher exactly where I want it.
- Blendercleanser Solid: I’ve tried regular brush cleaner, the Beauty Blender liquid cleanser, and this and it’s the absolute best cleanser for my beauty sponges.
- It Cosmetics Brush Love Cleaner: I use this for my #7 foundation brush after I use it, because I obviously don’t have time to clean it every day. My foundation/concealer brush is the one I make sure I clean most often because of bacteria/zits. You spray some spray on a paper towel or tissue and then rub the brush on it and it SERIOUSLY cleans, I don’t know how such a little spray does it and it doesn’t leave any oils or residue on the brush. It’s as close as you can get to washing your brushes without actually spending the time to do it. Really cool and effective stuff.
Not sure where to put these two so they go here! I’ll explain:
- Urban Decay de-slick Setting Spray: I know everyone LOVES the All-Nighter makeup setting spray from UD, and as do I but especially in the summer I get OILY. My nose and chin get the worst of it, so I make sure to set my makeup every single day with this, and I really notice a difference in staying power, and longevity before I have to use an oil-blotting paper on my t-zone.
- Sigma Inner Rim Brightener: If you haven’t used an inner eyelid rim brightener, you don’t know what you’re missing. It makes you look so AWAKE and bright, I use it every single day. I really love how it just gives me that extra little oomph, but nobody would really notice why. GREAT for making your eyes look bigger, if you feel like yours are a little small too.
- Aquaphor Lip Repair: I’ve been using this for years now. In the morning or at night I’ll prep my lips with this before I even do anything, and it just gives me the little bit of moisture I need. Great everyday lip balm.
- BareMinerals Gen Nude Liquid Lip Gloss in ‘Can’t Even’: When I’m all done with everything, I use this lip gloss to finish everything off. I think technically it’s a “liquid lipstick” but honestly I think it’s more of a gloss. Sometimes I’ll use whatever pink lip liner I have on hand too, and it really finishes the whole look off.
- Eye Drops: I had Lasik about 7 years ago and as such, I wake up with dry red eyes in the mornings. TOTALLY worth it because Lasik was worth every penny. Not having to deal with glasses or contacts? Game changer. Even if you have normal eyes though, a redness removing eye drop is KEY. It will make you look bright and awake, even if that is far from the case. Just trust me, these are an absolute requirement before you do your makeup for the day. I get whatever is cheap at Target or Walgreens.
I hope this post was helpful – It sure took me a long time to get to a place where I’m this happy about my everyday makeup bag and I was so excited to share it with you guys! I will be editing this and adding anything I missed I’m sure in the next few days but please let me know if you have any questions at all, I love talking makeup! Leave a comment if you use any of these products, or if I need to know about anything you swear by that isn’t on my list!!
Photos by Paige Nicolle