I consider myself a makeup junkie; I think it may be somewhat genetic. I blame my mother and her Estee Lauder free gift bags I used to rummage through as a child. My daughters now seem to follow in my footsteps although they seem to ruin my daily essentials instead of the fluorescent, free, hot pink lipstick I used to practice with. I have no shame in my beauty game…whether it’s from Walmart, Nordstrom or home sales, I buy what looks best and what I notice people compliment on. I’m not a 25-year-old beauty blogger getting paid to promote what is sent to me; I’m just a mom of seven with a permanent mask of pregnancy and chin hairs who wants to look like I’ve got it together on days where I definitely don’t. I feel like if I’ve got some make up on, then no one will notice the hole in my yoga pants when I’m dropping my kids off at school! With that being said, here are my all-time favorite beauty buys!
**I always get my makeup from Nordstrom because they have free shipping and free returns even if you open the color and don't like it. Plus, they will send you three free samples of YOUR CHOICE which is how I discovered my favorite Chanel mascara.
Organizer – Beauti Cube Acrylic Organizers
I’ll admit that I was a fan of Keeping up with the Kardashians when it first started. I was always so envious of Kim’s makeup drawers and in-house makeup studio. So I found the cheaper version, Beauti Cube's 5 Drawer organizer online, ditched the show but have had the drawers ever since. I love having everything organized by product in its own clear drawer! $59.99
Daily Moisturizer with SPF – Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Skin Protectant Moisturizer
I have used this since college when a dermatologist recommended it. You can actually buy Jan Marini products off Amazon much cheaper than in salons. I use this every single morning before my foundation because it’s very light and has a wonderful citrus type smell. $51
Miracle Skin Care Secret– Obagi Vitamin C Serum
I wrote a blog post based solely around this miracle product. I use this after moisturizer and before foundation. I find that it has reduced the fine lines around my lips, lightened my mask of pregnancy and just gives my face a really healthy glow. You can read “My 3 Must Have Daily Skin Products” here to learn more or buy it by clicking here. I get the same product from Amazon as I do from my esthetician and never had any problems with quality...its the exact same thing. This is worth the investment for your skin! $93
Foundation – Younique Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation
I honestly originally bought this to help a friend’s new business and as a total beauty snob, can tell you that I love their foundation more than anything I've ever tried! I’m a little shocked myself to say that my favorite foundation now comes from one of my friends. It’s a dewy light foundation that somehow dries to this magical, velvety light foundation-type powder. I don’t know how to explain it any better but I can tell you that I get a lot of compliments on my skin tone since I have been using their mineral liquid foundation. I use Taffeta when I’m tan, Velour when I’m paler and put a few drops of each when I’m in between. I have ordered no less than 10 bottles. $39
My back up foundation is Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Santa Fe.
Depending on what I need the most help with, I used one of two great concealers. For days where I just need to be presentable and I have only 5 minutes to spare, I love the Bare Minerals Serum concealer. Its light and offers just enough coverage for days when I'm running to the gym or have to run something into school.
For days when I’m putting on a full face, again a little surprising, but I honestly love Younique’s Perfecting concealer. For me, it doubles as both concealer and highlighter so I put it under my eyes, between my eyes, in the center of my forehead, a dab on my chin and a little down my laugh lines. I like the coverage, creaminess and how easy it is to blend. I wear the color Scarlet.
Bronzer - MAC Mineralize Skin Finish
Growing up on the beaches of Florida, I’m a sucker for the year-round, sun kissed glow look thus I’ve experimented with every bronzer there is. Of all the ones I’ve tested, Mac’s Mineralize Skin Finish is my blue ribbon winner. The Vitamin E mixed with the minerals allows it to be brushed on to the skin for a bronzer or buffed all over for a sheer polish. All six colors have a golden glow to them that actually leave just a tad bit of a shimmer to your skin. My go to color is Global Glow. $34
Contour – Anastasia Beverly Hills
From the woman who made full eyebrows a trend again, the ABH Contour kit doesn’t disappoint. It’s a six palette color kit that has everything from a highlighter to the darker cheek counter. I use the Light to Medium color but it also comes in Medium to Tan for darker skin tones. $40
Blush- Nars and Elf
For the higher end makeup lovers, the makeup industry's most popular blush color, NARS Orgasm, is a peachy glow that works on nearly every skin color. Their ever popular DESIRE is a youthful pink that I wear on top of my bronzer for a little extra color. However, if you’re at Target pick up ELF’s Candid Coral as Orgasm dupe and ELF’s Pink Passion for a similar look.
MUST HAVE HIGHLIGHTER AMAZING PRODUCT IF YOU CAN ONLY BUY ONE – Urban Decay Naked Illuminate
If you look in many of my professional or IPhone close up photos, there’s a golden glow to my cheeks…. it’s this…Urban Decay’s Illuminate powder. It comes in three colors and has the perfect amount of shimmer to it where it actually highlights with tiny little flecks of color and iridescence. If I don’t have time for a full face, I’ll still use this because it really does give my skin a youthful glow. I have all three colors but I prefer Aura. $32
Eyeshadow – MAC Neutral Palettes
I have three makeup drawers full of different MAC palettes but my recommendation is the goof proof Mac Neutrals in Cool Neutral, Warm Neutral and In the Flesh. All three palettes come with 15 different colors that are arranged in three rows of five. For my makeup challenged friends, you can just start at the lightest color for your highlight and base and go straight across for the crease, corner, under eye liner and upper lid liner. I just love the pigment of each color and how well they blend together. If $65 sounds too much for makeup, consider that each color is essentially $4 which is about what you would pay for a single color at a drug store.
Eyeshadow Brushes – MAC Brushes
There are really only two particular brushes that I swear by as long as all of the other brushes are not synthetic. An angled eyeliner brush, like MAC’s Small Angled Brush and the 219 Pencil Brush are my two secret weapons for my eyes. I can use just about any brush for my lid and crease but for the corner V that I blend out and for the little bit of color that I use under my eye, I NEED the pencil brush. It’s great for placement and smudging. I don’t use a traditional eyeliner pencil; I dampen my angled brush and dip it in the darkest color on my palette for eyeliner. I then take the pencil brush and after using it for the outer corners, I dampen it, take my crease color and smudge that under my eye. Its less harsh than liner and really gives your eye a casual smoky effect without coming off too strong. Pencil brush is $25; angled brush is $20. Invest in your brushes and DON'T buy synthetic. There is a definite difference in the application and blending.
Mascara – Chanel Le Volume Mascara in Black
Buy this! Buy this! There is no other mascara that will lengthen your lashes like this will. I have tried the infamous Maybelline pink and green mascara, the Younique fiber duo that just comes off all over my skin and every other Sephora and drug store brand. I actually got the Chanel mascara as a sample from Nordstrom (which is why I love buying make up online) and was so amazed by the results, I went back and got two more. Its creamy without being clumpy, it light and it really lengthens my lashes. My doctor asked me if I used Latisse and I told him, “No, just Chanel.” I would normally never think I would swear by a mascara, but this is the real deal! $32
Eyebrows – Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Gel
People may hate me for saying this but I think the big, overdrawn eyebrow is eventually going to be looked back upon with as much admiration as the mullet. I see so few of these done well with far more looking scary or comical. I will admit I was part of the 90’s over plucking generation so now I’ve struck a nice balance with Benefit's Brow Gel. I don’t have to draw them on or create new angles, I just use their tinted little mascara type wand to brush a bit more color and substance to my brows.
Lipstick and Lip gloss - MAC lipsticks, glosses and kits
For consistency, texture and pigment, I’m a MAC lip girl. I’m also a nude lip girl much to my close makeup artist’s friend’s disappointment. Bright colors on my lips just don’t work for me on a daily basis so I have few MAC colors that I use each week. If you are in a lipstick drought and really don’t know where to begin, try any one of their $42 lip kits. They have fairly neutral colors that work on most skin tones that include a liner, lipstick and gloss. I love the pink and nude collection and as far as everyday lipsticks ($17.50), I use Myth, Creme D'Nude, Blankety and Angel with a variety of glosses but my go to glosses are Nymphette(a rose gold) and $17
Self Tanning – Elite Look Productions Tanning Mousse and Spray Tan
Who doesn’t love a golden glow? Now that everyone is aware of the dangers of the sun and tanning beds, self tanners are really the only way to get all over color without the risk of skin cancer. After years of using Elite Look Productions Self Tanning Mousse ($30), I broke down and bought the entire spray tan kit. For $300, you get the spray tan gun, a tent, one gallon of solution and a how-to video. My husband or my teenage daughter spray me in the shower and I have often sprayed my daughter and several of her friends for cheerleading competitions. If my husband can do this, anyone’s significant other can. If we can entrust these men to drive our children in cars, then surely we can hope that can operate a spray tan gun. (In every professional photo on my blog, I am using Elite Look Productions mousse or spray tan.)
*This can also be a business opportunity for women. ELP has a consultant program where you buy the kit and can start your own business. I know a few baseball wives who have done this to bring in a little extra cash during the year. Think of the opportunities during prom and homecoming season! Partner with a cheer gym or fitness gym to build business or host girls' nights, bachlorette parties or wedding party specials.