The Refinery29 beauty team tests
a lot of makeup. We'd never recommend a product we hadn't tried ourselves first — so if you've seen it on our site, you can bet it's touched our lips, eyes, or cheeks (or maybe all three). Knowing that, it would be easy to assume that our beauty looks change a ton from day to day.
The truth is, we wear basically the same makeup every damn day of the week. And some of us barely wear any makeup at all. I know — snooze, right? But here's the thing: The makeup we
do wear every day is the stuff we seriously stand behind. (In some cases, we buy it in bulk.)
Ahead, take a peek into all eight of our makeup bags — and get some inspiration for your own.
Cat Quinn, Beauty Director How long does it take you to do your makeup every morning? "It takes me anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how many breaks I take to scroll through email, Slack, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat..." What's your makeup mindset? "I love experimenting — but not at 9 in the morning, when I'm simultaneously trying to wake up and answer emails in a coherent manner. So I pretty much have a work makeup 'uniform' that consists of the same thing every single day, save for an occasional bright lip. And these items are the ONLY ones I keep in my makeup kit to keep myself from digging around in my bag and wasting even more time."
"Okay, so it's technically not
makeup, but I couldn't do my face without this stuff. The brightening pink cream blurs any imperfections and instantly adds about three hours of sleep." Caudalíe Vinoperfect Radiance Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20, $49, available at Sephora.
"It took a lot for me to stray from the
foundation I'd been using for six years, but I'm so glad I did. This lightweight cream looks and feels like you're wearing nothing at all — but with great coverage." Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, $44, available at Charlotte Tilbury.
"I love this new concealer from Make Up For Ever for pimples and
acne scars (sexy!). It comes out smooth and creamy, but dries a bit tackier, which I love because it seriously DOES NOT MOVE and the texture fills in pocketed scars." Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer, $27, available at Sephora.
"I have finished more tubes of this stuff than any other makeup product. It feels like soft, creamy heaven and makes my undereyes as bright as they were when I was 18 and had no responsibilities. It's a bit on the pricey side, sure. But it lasts me six months to a year."
Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer, $70, available at Nordstrom.
"I firmly believe this is one of the best nude eyeshadow palettes on the market. The Champagne-taupe color looks great on the lids of those with green or hazel eyes (me!). I sweep the soft, matte brown into the creases, trace the deep, shimmery chocolate along the lashlines, and blend the matte cream onto the browbones. I do find the highlight color a touch too sparkly, though, so I either use it on the center of my lids on special occasions or skip."
Lancôme Color Design 5 Pan Eyeshadow Palette in Taupe Craze, $50, available at Lancôme.
"This is my favorite highlighter for the inner corners of my eyes. (I first discovered it in MAC's Cinderella palette, which is now sadly discontinued.) It has the faintest shimmer and a really brightening effect that's great for an intense
inner-eye strobe, as the kids call it." MAC Eye Shadow in Phloof!, $16, available at MAC.
"If I need a bit more definition, I like to follow up my eyeshadow routine with a bit of this pencil on the lower and upper lashlines."
Dolce & Gabbana The Eyeliner Crayon Intense in Coffee, $31, available at Sephora.
"Sometimes I'll skip the eyeshadow routine and do a black cat-eye instead. But this is rare because steady hands I do not have.
Almay Makeup Eraser Sticks are my friend." Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, $22, available at Ulta Beauty.
"This is one of those splurge products that is totally worth it for me. Not only is the soft berry color really pretty, but it also has soothing chamomile and oil-absorbing silica. And I find that I break out less on my cheeks (which is where I typically get pimples) when I wear it."
La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Berry Glow, $70, available at Nordstrom.
"If I'm wearing red lips, I find this peach blush to be a nice complement. I swirl a bit on my apples and run a touch of the cream bronzer along my cheekbones."
E.L.F. Contouring Blush & Bronzing Cream in St. Tropez, $4, available at E.L.F.
"I love the ultra-ultra-ultra fine tip on this baby. (Seriously, if it were a real pencil I think it would measure in at .01.) I can sweep it on super-fast, and it still looks like real hairs."
Benefit Precisely, My Brow Ultra-Fine Shape & Define Pencil, $24, available in July at Sephora.
"I am not kidding, I have
four of these mascaras in my makeup kit at home. One time, I forgot to pack one and I had to buy one in an airport kiosk. I use it every day. I feel naked without it. And it's the most amazing lash-lifting mascara I've ever tried." Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara, $24, available at Sephora.
"I am obsessed with this bright-red lipstick. I typically avoid warm, orange-based reds because they clash with my skin tone, but this one is super-flattering. It has just a hint of warmth and is perfect for summer nights. Pro tip: Wear it with a white dress for ultimate fire emojis."
Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in Fire, $34.50, available at Sephora.
"But when I want to go
red red red, I turn to this option. It's a true blue-red and could withstand a zombie apocalypse, it's so long-wearing." Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Underage Red, $21, available at Sephora.
"On days I prefer not to wear a red lip — which, lately, have been a lot because of the heat — I pull out this sheer, pink stick. It's a your-lips-but-better (and
way glossier) balm." Dior Addict Lip Glow, $33, available at Sephora.
Mi-Anne Chan, Beauty Writer How long does it to do your makeup in the morning? "About 15 minutes, if I’m not experimenting." What is your everyday makeup mindset? "Quick and easy. I look for multitasking products or kits that make doing my makeup fast, but still allow me to hit all the steps I want. On a normal day I’ll just wear a cat-eye, then experiment with lip color I choose when I get to work."
"This green goop looks scary in the jar, but once you rub it in, it transforms into a beige veil of sheer coverage that masks redness and discoloration — and moisturizes!"
Dr. Jart Tiger Grass Correcting Cream, $52, available at Sephora.
"This is the best concealer I have ever tried. I started using it last summer and although I have tried other concealers since, I always go back to this one. Not only is the formula creamy and super-blendable, but it's also perfect for concealing under the eyes, redness, and blemishes.
"The doe-foot applicator that comes with this product is spongey and only requires one dip in the tube to cover all the problem areas. Once all of my concealer is on, I whip out my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and start blending." Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer, $28, available at Sephora.
"Since the cream is so hydrating, I always powder it with my Guerlain Meteorites Pressed Powder, which mattifies my skin without making it look cakey. It’s pricy, but reminds me of my grandma — it was her favorite powder, too."
Guerlain Météorites Illuminating Powder compact, $62, available at Sephora.
"Then I’ll quickly slap on a bit of the contouring shade from Charlotte Tilbury’s Bronze & Glow Palette on my temples, under my cheekbones, and along my jawline. I’ll finish off with a swipe of the highlighter just on my cheekbones. I love this palette because the shades are very natural and blend insanely well."
Charlotte Tilbury Bronze & Glow, $68, available at Charlotte Tilbury.
"I’m not a hugely into blush, but I do think a bit of color on the apples of my cheeks can do wonders to brighten up my complexion. This duo from Nars is super sheer and looks very natural on my skin."
NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Fervor, $45, available at NARS.
"As an Asian-American with dark-brown (almost black) hair, I've had a lot of trouble finding a brown brow pencil that doesn't veer too far on the orange side. This one from L'Oréal matches my brow hairs perfectly.
"I love the traditional pencil because this format tends to contain a lot more product than twist-up versions. I also love that it has a spoolie at the end, which makes it super-easy to brush through my brows before and after filling them in." L'Oréal Brow Stylist Designer Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown, $7.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
"Lorac is known for creating killer eyeshadows — they're buttery, blendable, and come in a range of gorgeous shades. This palette, which is the third version of Lorac's famous Pro Palette series, is the brand's rosier offering. You can create a number of natural and smoky looks with it. Plus, it comes with a matte black (perfect to use as a liner) and a few matte mid-tone browns, which are great for blending into the creases of my eyes."
Lorac 3 Eyeshadow Palette, $44, available June 12 at Ulta Beauty.
"I am a liquid-liner snob, and I only use eyeliner pens that have brush-like tips (as in actual paintbrush hairs versus felt) because it helps create the perfect, crisp line. This one from Kat Von D is a classic. I use the black shade, and it lasts all day on my eyes and is super-easy to apply."
Kat Von D Ink Liner in Trooper, $19, available at Sephora.
"I’m a huge fan of Catrice’s mascaras. They’re affordable and come in a ton of formulas that beef up lashes. This one, which I always wear in the waterproof formula, is really volumizing and never gives me raccoon eyes."
Catrice Luxury Lashes Waterproof Volume Mascara, $7.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
"Although ColourPop's new
Matte X Lippie Stix are mega matte, the formula is super-creamy and comfortable. I love almost every shade in the lineup, but my favorite right now is Back Up: a beautiful, subdued purple." ColourPop Matte X Lippie Stix in Back Up, $5, available at ColourPop.
Khalea Underwood, Beauty Writer How long does it to do your makeup in the morning? "Fifteen minutes if I’m rushing, 20 if I’m really trying." What is your everyday makeup mindset? "Simple, simple, simple! Even though I work in beauty I'm no makeup artist, so I’d rather go for a barely-there look and a bold lip, instead of walking around with a wonky cat-eye and contour all day — because that’s not cute."
"I swear this stuff was manufactured by magical fairies. It’s not a full-coverage formula, but a few dabs somehow vanishes most of my blemishes. And the finish is so, so pretty."
NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, $45, available at Sephora.
"Even when I’m running late (and to be honest, that’s most mornings), I have to swipe some of this on. My face doesn’t feel complete without it a defined brow!"
Glossier Boy Brow, $16, available at Glossier.
"Like many Black women, I suffer from dark spots and hyperpigmentation — especially around my jawline. A few dots of this does the trick to correct it. I also like applying a line down the bridge of my nose for a subtle contour."
Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Concealer, $30, available at Becca.
"Because I have an oily T-zone, I don’t want to do too much when it comes to bronzer and highlighter. This little magic wand lets me apply a tiny bit of shimmer with a whole lot of precision, wherever I want. For everyday, I apply it along my cheekbones, underneath my eyebrows, or in the inner corners of my eyes."
Becca Jaclyn Hill Collection Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlight, $46, available at Sephora.
"I've never had a love-hate relationship as deep as my one with these pencils. I end up using them so often that they run out in a matter of weeks, which is truly upsetting. But if you tried Dirty Mind, a moody purple named after a Prince song, you'd feel my pain — and joy." Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dirty Mind, $27, available at Sephora.
Alix Tunell, Senior Beauty Editor How long does it to do your makeup in the morning? "Fifteen minutes." What is your everyday makeup mindset? "No matter how late I wake up or where I’m going, I don’t leave the house without makeup — ever. I think people assume I don’t wear much because my face never looks too done, but it’s certainly not the most minimal routine. I’m very pale, so redness and discoloration really stand out against my skin. My main focus in the morning is covering, color-correcting, and looking flushed and alive."
"Blend this out
really well and you can get a sheer, tinted moisturizer-like finish, but I find it's the ideal medium-coverage foundation. It's dewy, though, which is nice when my skin is great, but I'll top it off with setting powder if I've got a breakout and don't want to shine. Eve Lom Sheer Radiance Oil-Free Foundation SPF 20, $50, available at Nordstrom.
"I swipe the peach under my eyes and dab the green on any red spots (usually between my brows, which are permanently red from years of picking — ugh) before going over with concealer. Color-correcting seems like an annoying extra step, but I think it makes all the difference."
Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid, $28, available at Sephora.
"There are a million shade variations of this concealer specific to undertone, so get color-matched for it if possible. I’ve gone through three of the tubes — it’s the best lightweight-but-covers-everything formula I’ve found — and my only complaint is how tiny they are."
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer, $27, available at Sephora.
"The highlight shade is nice, but I’m in it for the contour. It’s the perfect in-between of bronzer and shadow sculptor with absolutely no shimmer. Supposedly, it gradually builds a tan, but I’ve been using it for over a year and I’m still pale as ever. That’s okay, because I still love it."
James Read Tan Tan Tour Sculpting Duo Face & Body, $54, available at Dermstore.
"Nothing beats the cult classic blush — applied
draping-style — for looking well-rested and healthy." NARS Blush in Orgasm, $30, available at Sephora.
"Others may disagree, but I’m of the opinion that black eyeliner is black eyeliner. This one gets the job done, smudges just the way I like it, and just happens to be in my bag at the moment."
Flower Beauty Long Wear Black Pencil, $5.98, available at Walmart.
"The name sounds like it’ll give you thick, spidery, goopy lashes, but far from it — one coat lengthens (but not like crazy) and separates without any clumps. Maybe it’s more dramatic on others, but it’s a great everyday, natural look for me."
Maybelline Volum' Express Colossal BIG Shot Mascara, $6.99, available at Target.
"Your-lips-but-better is a cliché, but it works here. This raspberry lipstick is magical in that it’s the only color I’ve worn every day and every weekend night out for the last few months. It looks natural and sheer in person; in photos, it’s saturated, bolder, and gets a ton of compliments. It also looks good on all my friends, too, so yeah, magical."
Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl Lipstick, $34, available at Neiman Marcus.
Lexy Lebsack, Senior Beauty Editor How long does it take you to do your makeup every morning? "I have my makeup routine down to about 10 minutes — maybe 15 if I'm going to an event or out to dinner after work. I use mostly cream products, so there's an advantage to moving quickly. That is, the faster you blend, the more the products will melt into each other, creating a natural-looking finish." What's your makeup mindset? "Besides covering my relentless under-eye bags? I tend to go classic and bold with my makeup to balance my not-so-girly style. (I'm normally in vintage denim and a leather jacket.) That means I am either in a cat-eye or red lip at night, and I love to pile on the highlighter, blush, and brow products for day. You know those people who say you can't wear shimmery highlighter during daylight hours? I don't associate with them."
"I didn't think I'd ever recover after my beloved Perfection Lumière foundation was discontinued last year — then I discovered this game-changer, also from Chanel. Obviously, I am being dramatic, but this formula is worth the superlatives. It goes on smooth and dewy, but sets to a radiant, incredibly-natural looking finish. It's, quite literally, perfect."
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup SPF 15, $50, available at Chanel.
"My Chanel foundation is fairly lightweight, so when I need serious coverage, I go over any spots or marks with the big guns. I actually used this for months thinking it was a concealer stick, but it's (somehow) labeled as foundation. It's very thick, but also very easy to use. Draw or press over areas you need coverage, then blend with a damp sponge. It's full coverage that looks pretty darn natural."
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation Stick, $43, available at Make Up For Ever.
"I have been using this concealer for no less than six years. I have dark circles (thank you, genetics) under my eyes and this brightens them right up. I dot it on with the applicator, then just pat it into place with my ring finger. Easy-peasy."
Lancôme Maquicomplet Complete Coverage Concealer in Correcteur, $31, available at Lancôme.
"This highlighter is genius: All you do is draw it on and blend with the attached buffer. It is potent and a bit shimmery, so go very easy for day — or don't, lord knows I don't hold back."
Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color in Hollywood & Highlight, $29, available at Smashbox.
"I rotate my cream blushes — there are so many good ones! — but I go back to this formula often, applying it on the apples of my cheeks with
this trusty brush. This Stila formula blends well and has zero shimmer, so it always works." Stila Convertible Color in Petunia, $25, available at Stila.
"For night, or for very long days when I want my blush to really last, I dust a touch of this blush over my cream formula. It has serious staying power, and the color is so pretty. Makeup artist Rachel Goodwin turned me on to it years ago, and I am hooked."
Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in In Love, $45, available at Chanel.
"If there is one thing I spend time on in the morning (read: not at a stop light on my way to work), it's my brows. This pencil is so thin that it looks crazy natural. Ash Brown is also the best brow color ever created — I buy this in sets of three!"
Nyx Cosmetics Micro Brow Pencil in Ash Brown, $10, available at Nyx Cosmetics.
"This holds all my hard work shading perfectly in place — and keeps my brows brushed up and perky all day. (Yes, perky brows are a thing you want.)"
Benefit Cosmetics Ready, Set, Brow! 24-Hour Setting Gel, $24, available at Sephora.
"This is essential for a cat-eye. I just put a tiny bit on my ring finger and gently blend into my lids a few minutes before I do my eye makeup. Seriously, your liner will go on easier and won't move."
Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer, $20, available at Sephora.
"This is the holy grail for liquid liner. I have tried it all, and this is my top pick. It's easy to get a precise look, the color is a true black, and it lasts."
Kat Von D Ink Liner in Trooper, $19, available at Sephora.
"When I look like crap, am tired, or just can't seem to get it together, I apply this liner to my waterline. It perks up my eyes and looks amazing paired with a cat-eye. Age-old tricks like this are mainstays for a reason."
Dolce & Gabbana The Eyeliner Crayon Intense in Platinum 6, $31, available at Sephora.
"This is my go-to lipstick for day, or if I have a heavy eye on. It's a flattering, light rose that looks great, plus it's sheer so you don't need a mirror to apply it."
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine in Boy, $37, available at Chanel.
"I think everyone who follows me on Snapchat or IG knows that this is my go-to red, because I talk about it all the time. I get compliments every time I wear it — no joke. It's matte but doesn't feel dry, it's bright yet classic, and it lasts all day.
"I apply a little of my Lancôme concealer around my lipline to get a sharp shape (no liner needed if you do this!), then I dot a bit on the apples of my cheeks and blend well, which could be the most foolproof beauty trick I have ever learned." Surratt Beauty Automatique Lip Crayon in Alluring, $34, available at Sephora.
"Most eyelash curlers suck, but this guy curls without pinching and won't break the bank."
NARS Eyelash Curler, $20, available at NARS.
"I hate wearing mascara because it so often irritates my eyes and takes so long to apply. That said, if I do wear mascara (which is about once or twice a week) it's likely from the drugstore. After working in beauty for six years, I see no difference between drugstore mascara and fancy formulas. Makeup artist Sabrina Bedrani turned me on to this formula, which is a staple in almost every pro's kit, and I've never looked back."
L'Oréal Voluminous Carbon Black Volume Building Mascara, $7.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
Kelsey Castañon, Beauty News Editor How long does it to do your makeup in the morning? "Twenty to 25 minutes, tops." What is your everyday makeup mindset? "To be frank, as soon as my alarm goes off, I’m half-zombie/half-human for a solid hour and a half. If not for my brain functioning at 50% capacity, I might be more willing to experiment with bold lip colors or eyeliner techniques, but for the most part I stick to my tried-and-true products for work every morning. (Not that it saves me all that much time.)"
I love all of Laura Geller's primers — they just smooth on so easily and keep any foundation from budging — but in the winter, this one helps tone down any redness. Plus, the green tint makes it a hell of a lot more fun to use (and I promise it goes on clear!).
Laura Geller Spackle Treatment Soothing Make-Up Primer, $32, available at Ulta.
Most of the time, I stay away from CC and BB creams (I'm a fuller-coverage girl, through and through) but this gives me the best of both worlds: great pigment
and a lightweight, illuminating finish. The SPF 50 makes my inner beauty editor happy, too. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream With SPF 50, $38, available at Ulta Beauty.
"I could seriously write a novel about this concealer — that’s how important it is to me. (And yeah, I’m well aware of how weird that is.) But this creamy pot of magic practically erases all traces of pimples, dark spots, and redness, lasts for a full workday (and then some), and doesn’t make my skin feel flaky or dry. Honestly, if it wouldn’t take me an hour to do, I swear I’d dab this sucker all over my face."
Becca Ultimate Coverage Concealer, $32, available at Sephora.
"I know, I know — this blush is fucking
red. But have I mentioned I’m a zombie in the morning? That means my skin needs to be brought to life fast, dammit, and this powdered formula gets the job done with just one swoosh." Urban Decay Cosmetics Afterglow 8 Hour Powder Blush in Quiver, $26, available at Ulta Beauty.
"This oil-free, matte powder has been a staple in my makeup bag for years. It sops up shine yet looks so lightweight, you might not guess I’m dedicating 15 minutes to four face makeup products every morning. (Spoiler alert: I am.)"
Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder, $25, available at Clinique.
"When you can barely keep your eyes open in the morning (raises hand), I’ve learned it’s easier to just fake the whole wide-awake thing. Dusting on a combo of these light, shimmery shades does the trick."
Julep Feels Like Velvet Full Coverage Eyeshadow, $20, available at Julep.
"I’ve tried about a dozen similar brow mascaras, and this one still takes the cake. It’s so easy to use, you couldn’t mess it up if you were applying it when half-asleep."
Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel, $24, available at Sephora.
Some people say a cat-eye is the hardest beauty trick to master, but I've got the technique down pat. The secret is that it's ALL in the applicator tip, which should be flexible and felt, so you can swoop it along your lash line in a pinch. This one leaves behind a satiny finish that actually lasts.
NARS Unrestricted Satin Eyeliner Stylo, $27, available at NARS.
"This is a new discovery. It glides on really, really smooth and makes my skin feel super soft in the velvety, airbrushed way that I love. It just makes my skin look subtly, imperceptibly better, even before I put on makeup — and yes, it helps my foundation and concealer last longer, too, like any good primer should."
Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer, $34, available at Urban Decay.
"I want to tell you all about how much I love this product, but I’m afraid I’ll cry. This is my platonic ideal of the perfect brow product — natural-looking color with a little bit of hold in the cool-toned black-brown shade so few brands seem to offer. (Seriously, why is every product for dark brows so damn red?) The tiny tube I’ve been using so sparingly for a year and a half (!) is running low, so if you have any viable alternatives, please advise. Please."
& Other Stories Eyebrow Crème in Triptych Coal. Unfortunately this product has been discontinued.
"I always use this once I’m done filling in my brows, just to kind of brush them up and get them looking fluffy and full."
Glossier Boy Brow, $16, available at Glossier.
"I can’t say for sure whether my dark circles are actually terrible or if I just think they are, but regardless, this color corrector is a thing of wonder. Even if I’m not doing a full face, I’ll dab this on in an upside-down triangle shape under my eyes and blend with my ring finger or a small makeup sponge. It’s ridiculously easy to apply and, thanks to the warm orange tone, brightens up the area in a way other illuminators and concealers can’t."
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Neutralizer in Abricot Bisque, $38, available at YSL Beauty.
"My skin is practically translucent in some areas, including my eyebrows — as in, you can see my veins. It bothers me (and the purplish blue makes me look exhausted), so even though I wear eye makeup 0.01% of the time, I always just swipe this on. It’s like concealer for your lids."
Kat Von D Lock-It Color Correcting Eyeshadow Primer in Fair, $18, available at Kat Von D.
"This creamy foundation stick is remarkably versatile — it’s so buildable and so pigmented that you can sheer it out for light coverage, apply generously for full coverage, or use it as a spot concealer. It has a semi-matte finish that blends really well, and it never, ever creases, settles into fine lines, or makes skin look dry."
Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation in Alabaster, $25, available at Anastasia Beverly Hills.
"I know, so predictable — but Living Luminizer is simply the greatest of all time. I slather it on with abandon all over my cheekbones and the areas of my face that naturally catch the light, and it makes my skin positively glow. What else could you possibly want out of a highlighter?"
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer, $38, available at RMS Beauty.
SAm Sasso, Beauty Editorial Assistant How long does it to do your makeup in the morning? "About 15 minutes if I’m rushing, or 30 minutes if I’m groggy and slow." What is your everyday makeup mindset? "Considering the amount of product reviews I do every week, I try my best to test two new products a day — mostly makeup. So my mindset revolves entirely around that."
"Okay, okay, I know this isn’t technically makeup, but it does count as my first priming step. It’s the hydrating base my skin craves and I can’t start a makeup routine without it."
Glossier Priming Moisturizer, $25, available at Glosser.
"I never used to fuss with primer until I owned this one. This gives just the right amount of radiance that lasts all day."
Nars Radiance Primer SPF 35, $36, available at NARS.
"I never believed the hype about this product until I was lucky enough to try it. Quite literally every makeup guru I watched on YouTube swore by this lightweight foundation, which is really more like a tinted moisturizer. Time after time I heard it was silky smooth, dried to a dewy finish, was easily buildable, and lasted for hours — and it's all true. I hate falling in love with products that are on the pricier side for obvious reasons, but this stuff is just too good."
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup SPF 15, $50, available at Chanel.
"I used to just use the same concealer all over my face until I realized I need something a bit brighter for my under my eyes. While I don’t have the worst dark circles in the world, I do have really dry skin, so the softer the formula, the better. This Becca one does the trick every single time. I press three dots underneath each eye and blend with my ring finger."
Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Concealer, $30, available at Becca.
"I have a lot of redness and some old acne spots lingering about, so I use this next. This is the only concealer that really neutralizes the color, without drying out my skin."
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, $30, available at Sephora.
"For years, I've been in search of the perfect matte bronzer — and I always came up short. Everything always appeared too orange or would fade within an hour on my face, but this bad boy is my new ride-or-die.
Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer, $29, available at Ulta Beauty.
"I refuse to wear cream blushes unless it's in the form of a stick. Why? The formulas tend to dry out faster when in a pot and these always make for easier handling
and great traveling companions." Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick, $45, available at Charlotte Tilbury.
"My eyebrows are
currently bleached, so I've been taking a much needed break from filling in my arches — thank god. I always fussed about making each one perfect, so this short intermission is bliss. All I do now is brush this clear gel through my hairs and I'm done." NYC New York Color Show Time Lash & Brow Mascara in Clear, $2, available at Walmart.
"I didn't get my hands on this legend until a couple months ago, but it's surely as good as you've heard. I have really long lashes so it's hard to get an even curl, but this tool has changed that."
Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Eyelash Curler, $21, available at Nordstrom.
"We nominated this one for a
Beauty Insider Award — and rightfully so. The wand is coiled and twisted to cover every single lash — even the small ones. Plus, the formula lasts all day so your curl never falls or flakes." Covergirl Katy Kat Eye Mascara, $6.99, available at Target.
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