Is makeup an essential? Let’s take a look at the definition of essential first, to determine the answer to this question. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines essential as, “of the utmost importance.” Basic. Indispensable. Necessary.
Even with the definition staring back at us in black and white, the answer is still individualized. It may not be so black and white for some of us. We are experiencing the era of female empowerment, and feeling comfortable in our skin, sans makeup or filters. While that is great, and I agree with these messages, some of us just simply enjoy the artistry of cosmetics. I know makeup doesn’t make me who I am – it does not define me. I know that I do not need makeup to survive, to thrive, to live. I, also, am not so shallow and vain to think it will make me a more likable human.
For me, it’s about what makes me feel good, not someone else. Putting on makeup is a morning routine, admittedly not every morning. However on those mornings when I do take that time to prep myself for the day, not only is it time for me, it makes me feel like I am more prepared to tackle the day ahead. I feel more put together, and sometimes all that takes is some mascara, eyebrow pencil, and lip balm. The point is, what’s essential to you, most likely differs, from what is essential to me. And that is okay, no one is judging you here.
So here are my makeup essentials. The items that I keep repurchasing because they haven’t failed me. They are tried and true, and I stand behind them.
First on the list is concealer. For that time of the month when I need something more heavy-duty, for the hormonal pimple or two, I use the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. The shade I am currently using is Chantilly. This stuff is seriously creamy as indicated by its name, and is extremely pigmented. It’s a bit on the heavier side, so it does cover blemishes up quite nicely. It will require some setting powder, to prevent creasing, if you choose to use it under your eyes.
The Lancome Effacernes waterproof, long-lasting, under-eye concealer is what I use on a daily basis. It is a medium coverage concealer, and it feels light on the skin. As you might come to realize, I did not list a foundation, and that is because I cannot stand the feel of it on my skin. It makes me feel dirty and like I need to wash my face. So this is my alternative, concealer. I only put it on areas of my skin that are red, like my nose, and a bit under my eye area to brighten up my face. I have been using this particular concealer for YEARS. It lasts all day as advertised, and it doesn’t anger my sensitive skin.
To set my concealer, and to combat some shine that will inevitably occur throughout the day, I use the NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Setting Powder. This stuff is perfect for my skin! It is not too heavy, and you can still see my skin coming through when it is applied. It is translucent so it does not alter the color or tone of my skin. It lasts all day, and once again doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.
The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour blushes are everything. I love the formula of these blushes and I own quite a few shades. The one I grab for the most is in the color Flush. As you can see I have hit pan, so you know it gets the most use. On my skin it lasts all day, and is gentle enough for me to use. This blush makes my skin come alive.
Eyebrows. This is the one cosmetic, out of the entire list of items, that I need more than any other item. My eyebrows need help, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz provides some of the best help they can receive. I have tried to find less expensive versions, but they are never as good. If you have a tried and true, less expensive version of this, PLEASE DO SHARE! The color I use is dark brown.
Yes, this is supposed to be a “clear” brow gel. I’m keeping it REAL here, as always, and showing you my poo colored eyebrow gel. The Sonia Kashuk brow gel does the job, and sets my unruly brows in place fairly well. It is not my favorite, I prefer the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow gel, if I’m being honest. But, for the price, Sonia Kashuk gets the job done. I am considering trying out the L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper, so please let me know if you have used this, and your thoughts!
At the moment I am really enjoying the Benefit Roller Lash formula. It doesn’t flake or make me look like a raccoon by the end of the day. It separates and lifts my lashes too, so I am quite pleased with this mascara.
I have tried many, many, many liquid eyeliners. Some have been high-end, and some of the drugstore variety. In my quest to find the perfect eyeliner, I finally settled upon the Kat Von D Ink Liner. I use the color Hemingway, as I find the dark brown less harsh than black. This eyeliner lasts ALL day, without budging or transferring to my upper eye area. My eyes tear a lot, and this is the only eyeliner I’ve tried that does not come off when this happens. The felt tip also doesn’t fray or provide uneven coverage like some of its competitors. I rock a cat eye most days, as you may have seen in previous posts, and the Ink Liner is by far my favorite.
And finally, my last essential, is lip moisturizer. I switch between my favorite Burt’s Bees Coconut & Pear, and Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Petal. If I am looking for something tinted, I reach for the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. Petal is a sheer pinky nude, a “your lips but better” shade. On most days, the Burt’s Bees Coconut & Pear is my go-to lip balm.
Thanks for stopping by, and please share in the comments some of your makeup “essentials”! Also I should mention that I didn’t list any eye shadow essentials, because I have reviewed a few of my favorites in previous posts. If you are interested you can check them out here, here, and here.