Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Products I Cannot Live Without

Hello beauties!  I wanted to dedicate this blog to all of the products that have become my favorites through the years and the reasons why they are my favorites...  In this post (and in all of my posts) I promise to give you my HONEST and TRUE opinion on products 'cause I would never want to lead you down the wrong path to beauty.  Even though I love MAC and other more "expensive" brands of makeup, I am still the type of gal who LOVES finding bargains and I get really excited when I find quality makeup at drugstores (have you noticed?!).  All in all, I just want everyone to be happy with their beauty finds/purchases.  With that, here we go!  =)

Just FYI- My skin type: Combination/Dry.  I still get occasional breakouts too (ugh, when will they ever end?!).  My skin tone is in the C40, NC35-NC40 range.  (I only say C40 because only Studio Fix Powder comes in C's. I "wish" every MAC foundation formula came in C's...)

Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Face Wash- In the blue pump bottle.  Have been using this product since 2004. Why I <3 it: it's lightly foaming, non-drying, and it takes off ALL makeup from foundation to liquid eyeliner.  Cost: $6

Clinique Mild Exfoliating Lotion- Toner for sensitive skin types.  Have been using this product since 1999.  Why I <3 it: it is the mildest/least harsh of all the exfoliating lotions from Clinique, it is alcohol free, and it contains beta hydroxy acid 0.5%.  (Trust me on this.  I am studying to become a doctor!)  This is a great exfoliating agent and at this strength it is not irritating at all.  Helps my skin "feel" soft and less tight.  Best prep for moisturizer.  It also de-flakes visible flakes instantly.  Absolutely cannot live without this product!  Cost: $11

MAC Studio Fix Moisture Lotion- Buttery rich moisturizer without SPF.  Have been using this product since 2004.  Why I <3 it: Best moisturizer for dry skin PERIOD.  One bottle lasts for about 6 months too.  It is thick and buttery, but NOT greasy.  It never leaves my skin looking oily even after a full day of wearing it.  In love with this moisturizer, for real.  However, I just found it on the MAC Good bye list, which means they are taking it away, so if you can still find it at a MAC counter, you should buy a few to stock up!  Buy a few for me too, hee hee!  Cost: $29.50

MAC Select SPF Foundation- NC 37.  Why I <3 it: It's the best foundation in their entire line because it is the most natural looking when applied, IMO.  It is basically a simple, everyday foundation with a wonderful texture and finish.  Coverage is medium and beautiful.  My only complaint (if you would call it that) is that it runs light, so I have to buy a darker color than my norm.  No biggie though.  Cost: $26.50

MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation- C 40.  Why I <3 it: Old school powder foundation.  Cake at its finest.  Have been using this since senior year in high school and I still love it.  I keep it in my purse for when I need touch ups anytime.  Great beauty tip- I use this with the puff to nude out my lips before apply lip liner and lipstick.  Helps the colors to pop and helps colors to last really long!  Cost: $26.50

MAC Sheertone Blush in Blushbaby- Pinky, nudey blush.  (MAC describes it as beige-pink.)  Why I <3 it: Long wearing, highly pigmented (but never too much), matte and PERFECT.  Cost: $18.50

Urban Decay Primer Potion- Cult favorite and my favorite.  Why I <3 it: This is the best eyeshadow primer in the world.  When I describe it to my friends I always say that you can use this primer along with your eyeshadows and even after a night full of clubbing you can come home and it will still look as though you just applied your eye makeup!  It IS that good!  Cost: $18

Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer- More like a concealer really.  Why I <3 it: I actually use this product EVERY DAY as an undereye concealer and eyelid prep rather than a primer.  It is about a shade lighter than my skin tone- which I think a concealer should be- and it mattes and brightens my eye area instantly.  Very dry texture, so if you have dry eyelids, I would not recommend this.  For days when I only wear eyeliner and mascara (which is often) this is the only thing I will use on my eyelids.  As a primer for shadows, it is only OK.  (I'd rather apply my UD Primer instead!)  Also, the bottle lasts forever!  I've been using mine for a year so far and it still has a lot of product.  (I realize the package lists the lifetime of this product as 6 months, but I don't care.  I only go by the lifetime duration of 6 months for mascara, which gives me an excuse to buy a new mascara at least that often!)  Cost: $28 (a little expensive, but worth it.)

C.O. Bigelow Rosebud Salve- Not just a lip balm, an everywhere balm.  Why I <3 it: This is my all time favorite lip balm! But it's actually more than a lip balm, it's a balm you can put anywhere...  Your face, your hands, your cuticles, your eyes, your butt (hahaha, inside joke with Maribelle and me)!  But seriously, I love this little tin of rose scented goodness!  Cost: $6

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler- Best on the market.  Why I <3 it: I used to think the Shiseido curler was the best until I bought this one.  Wow.  It's so wonderful.  A must have for everyone!  Cost: $19

MAC Brushes 263 & 266- Sisters, but not twins.  Why I <3 them: These brushes are essentially the same.  Both are angle brushes for the eyes, but the 263 is synthetic hair while the 266 is natural hair.  I own two 263s: one for my fluidline eyeliner and the other for outlining my eyebrows.  This brush is best for making thin, very precise lines.  It helps me achieve what I call the "MAC eyebrow" and the best line (thin or thick) on my eye!  The 266 is the classic brow brush and I use it for filling in my brows.  It's totally awesome.  Cost: $17.50 & $19.50 (FYI the 263 brush is $17.50 in MAC stores, but $20 online.  Weird, huh.)

MAC Plushglass- Ample Pink.  Perfectly nudey, pinkey gloss.  Why I <3 it: Signature MAC vanilla scent with a very, very slight tingle.  Not as sticky as lipglass, which I think is a good thing.  This gloss is the bomb.  I'm almost positive that this color will look beautiful on anyone.  Cost: $18.50

I think that's the end of the list for my must-haves.  I appreciate you reading this long ol' list!  If I think of any other products, I will be sure to add them here.  Please comment back and list your favorites too!  Thanks and goodnight!

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