I love trying new makeup products all the time. It's that one thing I can use to switch up my look without having to do something drastic. I can wear the same striped top with jeans 52 kazillion times, but if I wear a smoky eye with the outfit one time and a bright red lip the next, somehow the outfit always feels new. That's what I love about makeup; you can change your look without changing your look.
Along with trying many new products, I also find products that I love more than anything else and no longer need to find another product to fill the void. The products in this post are just that—void fillers. I will add a side note, after photographing these products for this particular post, I did go out and purchase the Urban Decay Smoky palette and it should definitely be on this list. I don't know what it is about smoky eyes, but I love that look and that palette makes it easy to get a lighter smoky eye or a full-on, intense smoky eye. I think I'll give that palette it's own post though, so we're back to these void-filling purchases for the moment.
First up is the Becca Cosmetics highlighting powder in Opal. I am obsessed with this highlight powder and I use it every, single, day. It is that good and I just feel like a glowy, summer, Florida mermaid who's unfortunately stranded on dry land. Luckily, I have my voice, unlike Ariel. Continuing on, Becca's highlight powders come in several shades to match your skin tone, which is the first I've seen. Most cosmetic lines have one highlight shade and it's supposed to be universal for everyone, but after swatching these in the store, I discovered that's just not the case. The moonstone shade would be perfect for me come Fall and Winter, but right now the Opal shade is perfection.
Second makeup product I'm loving is the Bare Minerals 8.0 Eyeshadow palette in Sexy Neutrals. I use this palette during the week, mostly for work. As you can see, it's loved because there is eyeshadow all over it. If I had been thinking about it, I would've wiped it down, but that's just not real life y'all. Let's be real it always looks like this. My favorite color in the whole palette is that top left color; I can wear it on it's own without adding any other shadows to my lid and zoom out the door or I can build on it with that dark brown shade in the bottom row and push the top right color into my inner corner and feel even more pulled together.
Honestly, this would probably be the palette I would take on vacation. It's small and compact, about the same size as a powder compact, just more rectangular shaped. It has a great size mirror, which is perfect for shadow, liner and mascara application in a pinch. The colors are great for day looks, but you can definitely smoke out your look and really intensify your eyes for a night out.
I had been wanting a lip plumping gloss without that burning sensation for a while, but I get so nervous trying those products because they burn and tingle long after you've wiped the stuff off your lips, washed your face and done anything and everything you can to remove the product. I don't like that feeling; pain is not beauty and beauty is not pain in my book. So, I had semi-given up hope on ever finding what I was looking for. Then, I stumbled across a beauty vlogger on YouTube that raved about the Dior Lip Maximizer and her review matched exactly what I was looking for in my dream product. This one isn't meant to really plump your lips, it more so works to smooth out your lips to give off a plumper appearance. There's a cooling sensation to the lip maximizer, but it's definitely not a burning or strong tingly feeling by any means.
The second lip product I've been loving is the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. I cannot say enough good things about this product. I purchased the clear color because I knew I'd use this mainly at night to deeply moisturize my lips. I'm not the biggest fan of the packaging, I feel like it could have some sort of applicator on the top instead of just a hole to squeeze product out onto your finger, but that's not enough of a deterrent for me to keep from using it.
I won't always recommend beauty products with obscene names to my mom, but when I do it's the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara and it's for good reason. I naturally have long, thick lashes, I admit it, but no one ever comments on my lashes. That all changed when I started using this mascara. I've had more people comment on the length and fullness of my eyelashes in the last six weeks than I can ever remember, and I owe it all to this mascara. Try it and you will thank me.
The Dior Brow Styler Gel is another product I can't go a day without using. At it's price point, it may not always be the most economical choice, but I don't care and I'll tell you why. I have never seen another brow gel like this one. Normally, there is a wand, like a mascara wand, but a bit smaller and it twists out of the tube of gel, like mascara. That's great for mascara, but not so great for brow gel. See, when you apply brow gel on your brows, where you've already gotten a bit of foundation, powder and brow pencil on them, you end up putting those products back into the tube of brow gel, which gives you a muddy, dirty looking brow gel that used to be clear when you purchased it. The Dior brow gel is a twist up applicator with plastic bristles and the only piece you remove is the cap. It's all black, so that muddy, dingy look doesn't transfer and you only click up the product you need. Also, it keeps your brows in place without that crunchy, I've gelled my eyebrows, look to them.
Yikes, this post is getting long...
The Smashbox Always Sharp pencils are great too. I have two shades: Raven and Violetta and love them both. There is a sharpener in the lid, so every time you screw the lid back on it sharpens your pencil. It's magic, people and it's amazing. These last all day even on your waterline and they apply so smooth—like butter—and are so easy to use.
The liquid liner I have rediscovered and may have just discovered is being discontinued is the Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner in Sabbath. The reason I say that I think I just discovered it's being discontinued is because it's no longer for sale on any website except Urban Decay and their website, they currently have it on sale for $6!!! If you want a fantastic navy blue, liquid liner go buy this one NOW for $6 because that will never happen again. Just don't hate me when you get hooked on it and then can no longer purchase it. If you're not a navy liner kind of gal, don't worry the Perversion color seems to be sticking around, which is the black shade.
You may think I'm crazy for jumping on this bandwagon, but I received a sample of the Smashbox Hydrating Undereye Primer and I gave it a try and love it. I'll be honest, I'm not sure if it does anything different than just undereye cream would do before makeup application, but this is non-greasy, moisturizes and helps keep my concealer from settling into the tiniest lines around my eyes.
The L'Oreal Magic Lumi Undereye Brightner is a budget friendly version of the MAC Prep & Prime in Radiant Rose. It brightens the undereye area with a luminescent pink tone that blends easily into your skin. On weekends, I'll apply this without undereye concealer and be fine, but during the week I will mix with a touch of tinted concealer for a bit extra coverage.
The Skindinavia Makeup Primer Spray is a surprise product I fell in love with. The company sent me a free bottle to sample without any stipulation to review or share in any way. I really like this primer spray, and I actually use it twice during the process. First, I spray my face and gently pat it into my skin before I apply my foundation. Then, after I'm done applying all powder products to my face, and before I do my eye makeup, I spray my face again with this and swipe my face with a big fluffy brush. This helps blend all those powder products together and it helps remove that powdery look from my face, so I go from an overly matte, powdery finish, to a natural skin finish. I also have found that this helps set my makeup for the entire day, which has been tested during this hot, humid, muggy summer in Florida.
Last, but not least, the Stila Eyes Are the Window palette named Soul is another favorite shadow palette of mine. I've been using this more for nights out or when I want a more defined look. The shadows are beautiful and blend so nicely on your lid. It's really gorgeous for summer, sun kissed skin and it's another great all-in-one kind of deal because you can actually use that dark shade in the bottom right as an eyeliner and then all you need is mascara. This way, you can look like you tried without needing a ton of products to get you there.