So Maud and I are going on a makeup shopping spree with pretty much a makeup virgin, and we've been putting a list of easy, must haves together. Well, actually, this is my list because I haven't heard back from Maud yet, but you get the point. I just wanted affordable, but high quality, makeup basics that are versatile and easy to use, but can still make you look completely pulled together, and I think I did a pretty good job if I say so myself. I'm a little biased.
Boots No7 Soft and Sheer Tinted Moisturizer, $11.99 at target.com, Kiehls Ultra-facial Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15, $24.50 at kiehls.com, MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer, $16.50 at maccosmetics.com: If you're a makeup version, you're probably 18 and under. I think most college girls know their way around a Sephora. So I'm assuming that if you're about my age, you don't need to cover up all that glowing skin with foundation. Instead, go for a tinted moisturizer with SPF that nurtures your skin, gives it UV protection, and evens out your skin tone just a bit. I've heard great things about the Boots TM (one of my bffsters swears by it), and it's pretty darn affordable at $12, plus you can get it at any Target. If you have a little more cash to burn, I use this Kiehl's TM. It's my baby. This and the Boots TM only come in Light, Medium, and Dark, but I swear they have the ability to match any skin tone. I like the Kiehl's version because it's pretty high coverage for a tinted moisturizer, so I have to use way less concealer, and it gives a great dewy glow. For extra coverage, I love, love, love this MAC concealer. It's a miracle in a jar. I even had a guy friend pay me to go to MAC and get him one (that's love). It's super-creamy, last forever, doesn't wear off, won't break you out, and doesn't show flakes! Plus, since it's MAC it comes in 25235 tones, and it's easy to apply even without a brush.
Stila Sheer Pressed Powder, $28 at sephora.com, Sephora Brand Complexion Brush #53, $19 at sephora.com, Eco Tools 5-pc. Brush Set, $10.99 at target.com: Most people my age get a little shiny towards the end of the day. I like to dust on a lightly colored pressed powder in the morning to set my makeup and fend off any afternoon shine. I love this Stila powder because of the adorable compact (and it's handy mirror), because it doesn't make up with multiple applications, and with the right application, it can give you an airbrushed glow. I apply it with my trusty Sephora blush brush, which works not only for powder, but for blush and bronzer. It's a seriously great buy. To save a little cash, you could also try this Eco Tools (it's green!) brush set, which has a blush brush and assorted other brushes.
MAC Springsheen Blush, $18 at maccosmetics.com, Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush in Peach Satin 20, $5.99 at drugstore.com, Anastasia Eye Lights Matte Pencil in Matte Camille, $21 at sephora.com, Sephora Brand Smudge Brush #14, $13 at sephora.com: I think a good peachy blush flatters everybody. It's warm, it's natural looking, it wakes up the face, and it's hard to overapply. MAC makes a great powder blush called Springsheen, which is a warm, peachy pink with shimmer that looks a lot like my MAC Fun & Games blush (best. blush. of. all. time.). To save a few bucks, try this Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush. I've heard rave reviews about it, it's a lovely shade, and I think sometimes the cream formulas look much more natural than the powder formulas because they just sink into your skin and vanish, leaving a peachy glow behind. To combat under-eye circles (I have insomnia, so they're pretty gnarly), I rely on this Anastastia pencil. Let's just say that when I don't use it, people are always asking me if I'm tired. It's easy to use, the pink cancels out the blue/purple under your eyes perfectly, and it eats dark circles for lunch. My go-to eye brush is this Sephora smudge brush. I use it to line, to do a wash, to smudge, to create a smokey eye, really anything.
Urban Decay Primer Potion, $17 at sephora.com, Urban Decay 24-7 Liner in Bourbon and Rockstar, $16 at sephora.com: Primer Potion is mandatory. Enough said. I love UD's 24-7 liners because they last forever, are super-creamy, and come in lots of pretty colors. For a newbie I'd recommend Rockstar (dark purple) or Bourbon (dark brown with gold shimmer), because they're both dark enough to give definition without being as harsh as black, and they're both flattering on a wide range of eye colors.
Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner, $18-19 at sephora.com, MAC Eyeshadows, $14.50 at maccosmetics.com: You can either go the cream or the powder shadow route. For a newbie I wouldn't recommend mixing the two. I'd say to get three shadows, a highlighter that doubles as an all over lid base, and two darker colors like a purple/grey and a bronzey brown. For cream shadows, I always go to Benefit. I love Birthday Suit, a pale pinky gold, as a highlighter and base color (it adds great dimension to darker shadows), Skinny Jeans (fourth from the left below), a very versatile pewter grey, and Busy Signal, a warm bronzey brown. MAC makes my HG powder shadows, hands down. I like Femme Fi as a base/highlighter (it's still for sale online, BUY IT!), Romp (right), a warm golden bronze, and Shale, a dirty lavender.
Kiehls moisturizer: kiehls.com, Boots moisturizer: target.com, Stila powder: sephora.com, MAC concealer: maccosmetics.com, Sephora Complexion brush: sephora.com, Eco Tools brushes: target.com, MAC blush: kerry1487.blogspot.com, Maybelline blush: drugstore.com, Urban Decay Primer Potion: sephora.com, Anastasia pencil: sephora.com, Sephora brand smudge brush: sephora.com, UD Liner swatches: karlasugar.blogspot.com, Benefit swatches: karlasugar.blogspot.com, MAC Romp: makeupalley.com