Make Up 411

Make up has never been my thing.  Although I sincerely wish it was a skill I possessed.  When my college friends do vacations - I love that I'm able to shelve my unimpressive regiment of bare minerals coverage, cover girl eye liner, maybelline mascara, and my lip gloss du jour, and default to my friend Marissa, who somehow manages to create makeup magic on me every time!   If only I could keep her in my pocket to be my personal makeup stylist for every other day of the year.

So now, that I've decided as an almost thirty year old grown up, it is time for me to invest in some quality makeup that suits me.  However, I find buying makeup extremely daunting.  In fact, the idea of it is somewhat frightening to me.  First I think it is grossly overpriced, and second, since I'm not as familiar with what is necessary to create a polished look on my ever-pale skin, I somehow manage to buy products I never end up using, and neglect to buy the essentials.

So I'm curious, what's your go-to brand?  I'm always so impressed when bloggers do make up posts, I always scribble names of the stand-out products, thankful for honest and helpful recommendations.  

Do you have a favorite blush?  Eye shadow?  Lipstick?  Liner?  
If so...please, do tell.  I'm all ears!



Stevie said...

I'm a makeup fanatic. I love buying it, I love wearing it, I love playing "dress up" in front of my mirror and creating dramatic looks that I'd never be bold enough to wear in public...

Most of my makeup comes from Target. There is no need to spend a ton of money on makeup. The only thing that I would "splurge" on is a set of quality brushes. But even the Sonja Kashuk brushes at Target are great and a decent price.

If there is an expensive product out there that people seem to rave about, I try to find an equivalent cheaper product. Everyone loves Nars Orgasm blush. It costs around 30 bucks. I found an identical blush at Target for about 4 dollars - it's the Rimmel brand in Santa Rose.

I like most Revlon products, especially the ColorStay line - those are GREAT eyeshadows.

Sweet Emilia Jane said...

I like Tarte because it has a bunch of good stuff in it and they don't test on animals. The femme eye-shadow is really pretty + works with my super pale skin. I am a NARS orgasm fan but I'll have to try out the cheap version that Stevie likes. And Cover Girl lash blash is the only mascara that doesn't make me look like a crazy lady. I can't stand to spend more than 10 minutes getting ready so that combo plus some chapstick works for me.

Erikizzle said...

I feel like it's more about your brushes and using a primer. Seriously. If you use an eyeshadow primer (I like the one by urban decay), the colors will pop, even it's a cheaper brand.

I bought a palette for when I travel and stopped using it because I didn't like how it looked... until I started using brushes with it instead of the foam things it came with. It's crazy how different makeup looks when applied with a proper brush! (this may be common knowledge, but it was an epiphany for me)

My friend (who is super.. "porcelain") and I (a slightly tanned "golden") both LOVE the MAC pigment "naked." We also get small containers and share pigments we buy :)

Erikizzle said...

I also swear by "the colossal" by Maybelline. (called "the magnum" in Japan. ha!)

Ashely said...

I'm a Bare Essentials girl! Love their mineral veil, powder foundation and blush. I just started using their mascara and it's excellent.

Leesh said...

It's amazing how many makeup bloggers are out there. I use to be a beauty junkie but I have to limit my purchases these days.

My favorite go-to brand is Benefit. I like That Gal, boi-ing concealers and many more.

Inglot is quickly becoming a new favorite of mine.

My faves:
Tarte Amazon Clay Liner or Stila Smudge Pots
She Uemura eyelash curler
NARS blush in Orgasm
YSL Touche Eclat
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
Loreal Le Balm
MAC brushes
bare minerals in Warmth for a bronzer
Maybelline Falsies or Max Factor 2000 Calorie Lash Plumper

Oh man, I could go on and on...

Keri said...

I love MAC Zoom Lash mascara - its a little expensive but makes your lashes look fantastic!! Worth the splurge every once and a while.

I love the Stila Travel Palettes at sephora because they are inexpensive ($10) so its a good way to try out some new colours... I love the cream blush in "make an impression in moscow" it looks pretty on the cheeks, lips and eyes.

I would also recommend a merle norman express makeover - you can test out the products, learn how to apply and then only buy the products you want!
Their concealer is un.real.

hannah love said...

it's nice to know that i'm no the only one who doesn't know anything about makeup.

i made a decision to try out the cheaper stuff just to see what colors look ok on me, to see how i like my eyeliner done on my eyes, etc.

only recently did i make a more expensive purchase because i finally figured out HOW to do it on my self.

i hope you're able to find the right tones and the right products for a decent price :)

Callie Grayson said...

I am like you, I wear minimal makeup and it drives my sister crazy. She is a makeup artist and she just rolls her eyes at me.

But I feel good about what I wear, and I did consult with her years ago to get my daily regime down.

First moisturizer it key!
I also agree with you markup is so over priced, but I do love benefit foundation and primer! it may cost a bit more but it stays on longer and my skin tone looks great. Worth every penny

Mascara I use loreal. It the best on my lashes and I have people asking me all the time what I have on my lashes.
( but I have to say I am blessed with really long eyelashes already) And I always use an eye lash curler even if I don't wear mascara
Then then I use a blush in a coral tone or reddish benetint
And lip gloss

For evening I may wear a lip tint in a reddish color (benetint) with the gloss , I also use this on my cheeks (not the gloss, the benetint)
With a dark eye liner, purple or gray and sometime blackish green and I do a small cat eye

That's it

Unknown said...

I wholeheartedly agree with the previous NARS recommendations -- I have the multiple stick in G-Spot and I use it as blush, eye shadow and lipstick.

Jane Airedale has lovely powder, it's all natural and you use a H2O spray to set it. Her line is available at Pharmaca. It's a little pricy but so worth it.

My final teacher make-up staple is Loreal Voluminous Mascara. It makes me look much more awake than I really am. : )

jillian m. said...

I'm a big fan of Mac. However, it's not always the most affordable option. So my cheap go-to is NYX. Their quality of the products is amazing! And that includes the lipglosses/lipsticks, eyeshadows and blushes. But as far as mascara goes, I will ALWAYS go drugstore brand (my fave is Maybelline Full 'n Soft). Oftentimes, they're of the same quality, if not better, than the department store brands (and cheaper to boot!).

Lindsay said...

The easiest upgrade is to invest in a good eyeshadow primer and a blending brush. (I like Urban Decay Primer Potion and the Mac 217 brush).

My favorites:

eye liner: Sonia Kashuk gel liner or Stila smudge stick
eye shadow: Urban Decay naked palette. it is epic.
mascara: I like Maybelline full & soft and L'oreal voluminous
blush: I think Nars Orgasm is way overhyped, did nothing for me. Although the quality of the blush is good, so you may want to try being matched at Sephora

Still on the hunt for my favorite concealer! Love reading all these other recs that you are getting.

Melissa Blake said...

I used to be obsessed with lip gloss -- my go-to was always the fruity flavors!

Ashlee Gadd said...

My go-to: BENEFIT. Especially love hello flawless! Also, I am OBSESSED with eco-tools makeup brushes. They are a-mazing and I give them as gifts all the time. Target has em!

Gloria said...

My two latest makeup obsessions are Revlon Lip Butters and Tarte Amazonian clay blushes - really amazing products!

heather t. said...

I will jump on the NARS Orgasm blush -- mainly because for me it has the perfect peachy-pink with a lovely golden undertone to it. I have been wearing it since our wedding day. I started wearing Bare Essentials for coverage, but still rely heavily on Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer, which I have been wearing for like 5 years and love the sheer but complete coverage (except for when I have a honking volcano on my chin). I do like MAC for eyeshadows (so many choices!), but also use the clinique duos sometimes (their strawberry fudge is my favorite and way more subtle than the colors look). I would love to be a makeup fiend like Marissa, but end up wearing the same two MAC colors every day :)

Leslie said...

I'm so in your boat. I wear Bare Essentials Foudation, Maybelline mascara (when I wear it at all, because I still feel like it makes me look like a raccoon at the end of the day), and some inexpensive eyeshadow. Do share what you discover! I'm pushing thirty, and it's getting a bit ridiculous!

Lea said...

I have a friend who was a model and is now a make-up artist. She said Maybelline Great lash (pink and green tube) continues to be the BEST mascara out there. Don't be fooled by expensive brands. I love E.L.F. products (Target) carries the line. Their face power is awesome and so is there lip gloss. Fairy is my fav color. It doesn't stick to your hair either! I do love MAC eye shadows. I have been wearing Corduroy (the perfect earthy brown color) for years and Vanilla for the brow line. They are perfect together. Great post!!! I love reading the other girls suggestions. I am going to get the Rimmel Santa Rose per Stevies suggestion. Thanks!

Gracey said...

I'm a bit obsessed with makeup, but I agree it can definitely be overwhelming at times. The number one tip I could give is shop somewhere with a great return policy, where you can return an item used or not (like CVS for instance). That way, you can play around with products you think you might like, they're drugstore prices, but if you end up not liking them you can take them back! Urban Decay and MAC are definitely some of my favorite brands but Maybelline and Revlon make some awesome products too!

radhi said...

i hear you! i'm always so in awe of all my friends that look flawless but not made up. i wear make up probably twice a month and when i do it's always the same combo of bare essentials mineral veil & bobbi brown's bronze brick, it's great for everyone! and just this saturday, i decided to get some red lipstick (!!). i got nars heatwave and LOVE it. i'm not daring enough to wear it to work, but it's a nice pick me up for the evening!