Jul 22, 2013

Do I Really Need That?

Sometimes it's difficult to determine if you actually need a certain product or if you've just heard so much hype about something you feel like you need it. The most important thing for you, is to know your exact skin type and hair type. This will alleviate a lot of back and forth when it comes to purchasing new products and getting stuck with items you hate. Also take into consideration what you're trying to accomplish; maybe you don't have any wrinkles around your eyes, but you want to prevent them as long as possible. Look for a product that isn't crazy expensive, but has the right ingredients for what you need.

Once you decide what you're looking for in a product and what you're hoping the end result to be, you can begin to figure out if you really need something.

Face Primer: If you have oily skin, work long days or hate touching up your makeup during the day, a face primer is a great option for you. It'll smooth out your skin for a clean, even application and it works as a barrier to keep the oil your skin produces through the day out of your face products, which helps alleviate the need to touch up. Benefit's: Stay Flawless 15 Hour Primer has become the new cult favorite and for good reason. It's easy to use and does the job. I've been using it a few weeks and I can't say enough good things about it.

Eye Cream: Not everyone necessarily needs an eye cream, but if you're looking to prevent wrinkles around your eyes as long as possible or have dark circles, there are eye creams for each. If you're looking to prevent, I love Origins: A Perfect World and if you're looking to brighten under eye circles, I highly recommend Origins: Ginzing Eye Cream. I use the perfect world cream on my eye area at night and I use the ginzing cream in the morning to instantly brighten and wake up my face.

Clarisonic: I do own a Clarisonic Mia and I love it for deep cleaning, but I don't find that it's been a life changing item in my beauty arsenal. I think there are great face exfoliators and scrubs out there that, when used on a regular basis can do the same work if not better than the Clarisonic. I don't think this is something everyone needs to own if you're exfoliating regularly.

Eyeshadow Base: There are eyeshadow primers, bases, cream shadows, powder shadows and loose pigments, so it's hard to determine what you need and why. I haven't had much luck with eyeshadow primers, but I do love Maybelline's Color Tattoo cream shadows, but as an eyeshadow base. I'll swipe the color tattoo on my lid and then apply my powder shadow over it. It helps enhance the shadow pigmentation and locks the powder shadow on my lid to keep it from creasing during the day. If you find that your shadow creases during the day, I would recommend using a cream shadow base. Separately, both products tend to crease, but together it's magic. If you don't find your eyeshadow creases during the day, you don't need a primer or a cream shadow base. Enjoy the fact that you've been blessed by the beauty gods and roll with it.

Face & Body Exfoliator: Yes. Yes. Yes! Everyone needs a great face and body scrub. I highly recommend Lush: Ocean Salt. It works for face and body and leaves your skin feeling softer than you could ever imagine. Why are exfoliators so important? In regards to your face, it sloughs off the old skin, cleans pores and allows moisturizer to seep deeper into the skin instead of just sitting on the surface. It also provides a smoother canvas for makeup application. As for your body, again, it sloughs off dead skin and gives you bright, glowing and radiant skin. It helps with a cleaner, smoother shave and lets moisturizer seep deeper into your skin. It's best to exfoliate 2-3 times a week.

Under Eye Concealer: If you don't have dark circles, you don't really need an under eye specific concealer in your beauty bag. Instead, opt for a multi-tasking concealer that isn't too thick in case dark circles creep up on you one day. A thick concealer will end up settling into fine lines, so a multi-purpose concealer that can mask breakouts and under the eye is a great choice. If you never suffer from breakouts or under eye circles (lucky girl) you don't need a concealer at all. The Maybelline: Age Rewind Under Eye Concealer is my favorite. I've gone through several tubes of it already.

Makeup Setting Spray: If you have oily skin, deal with hot, humid weather on a daily basis or have a special event and need your makeup to last all night, you'll definitely want a makeup setting spray. I use mine daily during the summer because I have oily skin and it's hot, but once fall and winter roll around, I don't use it as often unless I have a special event or a night out with friends. The Urban Decay: All Nighter spray is awesome! The travel size is really all you need. This stuff lasts forever.

Hair Mask: If you have fine, limp hair you probably don't need a hair mask because it's only going to weigh your hair down. If you find that your ends are a little frazzled though, apply the mask to your ends only. On the other hand, if you have dry, overprocessed or curly hair, you can really benefit from a hair mask directed toward your hair type. I love the R&B hair mask from Lush. I don't really follow the instructions though; instead I apply to my hair when it's dry. I brush through my hair first to great rid of any knots, then I apply the mask to my ends, which usually need the most reviving. Then, I take a wide tooth comb and just comb the product through the bottom half of my hair. I'll pin up for about 20-30 minutes and then I'll shower and wash my hair. It's best to use a mask 2-3 times a month (or once a week if you have really dry hair).

Makeup Brushes: I do think makeup brushes help the application process a lot, but I don't think you need to splurge on crazy expensive brushes either. I have both MAC and drugstore brushes that I love. If you're going to invest in brushes, I'd say the most important ones are a foundation brush, powder brush and blush brush. Eye shadow brushes, they're basically all the same and drugstore brushes work just as well. The reason I suggest investing in top quality face brushes is because they are less likely to shed when applying product to your face. For those I recommend MAC 187, 150 and I have the 167SH (short handle) as my blush brush. All my eyeshadow brushes except for a MAC 217 brush are all from Target (E.L.F. line).

Face Mask: This is another product I feel all skin types can benefit from if the right type is chosen. If you feel your skin looks kind of ruddy, look for a brightening mask. If you have oily/acne prone skin, looking for a mask that alleviates oil and prevents acne. Dry skin can benefit from a moisturizing mask. It all depends on the skin type you have and what you're trying to accomplish with a mask. I love the Cupcake Mask from Lush. It's best to use a mask once a week.

Anti-Residue Shampoo: Not everyone needs an anti-residue shampoo, but if you use a lot of product and feel like you can't get your hair squeaky clean or feel like it's heavy, try an anti-residue shampoo to clean the product build up off your strands. Your hair will cooperate a lot more when styling and will have a lot more volume at the roots after the shampoo. It's best to use an anti-residue shampoo once a week or once every other week depending on how much product you use. Neutrogena makes a great anti-residue shampoo.

Products Mentioned:
MAC 187, 150, 167SH, 217 Brushes
Lush Cupcake Face Mask (sold in stores only)

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