I decided to write this post because I recently chose to buy mascara at Rite Aid. I told myself it would do because I did not feel like driving all the way to the mall for mascara. I’ve used two different brands and after all of the hassle I am done with cheap makeup! In this post I will tell you which brands have the best of the best!
Some of you like M·A·C makeup, others prefer Clinique or just whatever you can get at Rite Aid. I used to be huge on having everything matching. I know, sounds like a nightmare.
It really doesn’t matter if you wear only one brand of makeup, it matters if you like it. I mix & match my favorite things and choose the brands that work best for me.
Moisturizers & Primers
I’m a little biased in the category because I love what I love and it’s very hard to get away from! Moisturizer and primer should be an everyday habit. If you put nothing else on, moisturizer is the least you can do. It will be good for your skin and brighten up your complexion a little bit.
If you’re wearing make up, primer is a must. I didn’t start regularly wearing it until the last few years and now I know what I was missing out on! It gives you the feeling that your makeup isn’t going anywhere but it feels like nothing is on your face.
-Moisturizer- Bare Escentuals Skin Rev-ver Upper is my everyday face lotion. It’s very silky and feels super light.
-Primer- Thanks to my mom I now have two favorite primers! The first is Bare Escentuals Prime Time. It’s a little thicker in consistency but it goes on like silk and really works well with foundation. Prime Time also comes in Brightening, Oil Control, & Mattifying Oil Control.
My other must have is a correcting primer by Pür Minerals. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about Bare Minerals, but I love this one for days when my skin needs a little more help! It comes out white and goes on so smooth, so it’s not like other correcting primers that are basically like putting on a foundation before your foundation.
-Eyelid Primer- Do you ever get those horrible creases in your eyeshadow, or it looks like it’s fallen off by the afternoon?
Eyelid primer will help to hold your eyeshadow where you put it. It’s also slightly tinted so it provides a nice base for your eyelid just like foundation does for your face.
I’ll be honest, I’ve only ever used Bare Minerals Eyelid Primer because you really need it with mineral makeup. Prime Time eyelid primer also comes in Brightening, Sundance, Golden Peach, Bronzed Twig, Racing Green, & Brightening Pearl!
I won’t knock the other brands though, I will be trying them soon :).
Foundations & Bronzers
I’m not big on liquid anything when it comes to makeup. I’ll tolerate it with eyeliner and lip gloss but that’s about it. If you’re someone who uses liquid foundation and you love it, that’s fine but you may want to see what all of the fuss is about in the world of mineral make up. In my opinion liquid foundation is for more coverage when you’re having pictures taken or really getting glammed up for a special occasion.
As for bronzers….oh goodness! I can’t say how many times a day I see someone with TOO MUCH bronzer on! It is not a substitute for tanning! When worn properly and in the right shade it can do wonders for your face.
-Foundation- I can’t help it! My ultimate is Bare Minerals Foundation. There’s nothing comparable unless you don’t like mineral makeup. In that case Cliniques Even Better Makeup is a great choice. It’s better for your skin than other types and it’s not as heavy.
The great thing about Bare Minerals is even if you’re a little off on color choice it’s still going to look great. It also looks like I have nothing on. When I switched to mineral foundation I started getting a lot more compliments on my skin.
-Bronzers- I currently use Bare Minerals “Faux Tan” as a bronzer but I also like “warmth” on some people. Bronzer is tricky because it has different tones in it depending on what you choose. I find that Bare Minerals Warmth has a lot of brown & red tones so use with caution! The others are very light and work wonders.
I’m also a huge fan of Estée Lauders Soft Duo Bronzer. It comes in a compact so it’s great for your purse and has two different tones for blending or switching from a day to night look!
Blushes & Highlighters
I used to steer clear of blush until I became a cosmetologist. I thought it was for older women and always felt a little too “done up” with it on. Now I know all it takes is the perfect shade with the right highlighter and you’re good to go!I’m not very picky with blush brands, for the most part blush is blush as long as it’s not a cheapie.
Not many people use highlighters and I think this is mainly because it’s talked about in the professional makeup world but not so much with at home use.
I feel that it is necessary if you are going to wear blush. It seems to bring everything together rather than just looking like you put blush on and everyone knows exactly where you put it.
-Blush- The color you choose in this case is more important than the brand. I use Bare Minerals “Papaya” because it’s very summery and it also looks great on many skin tones. If you’re not used to mineral makeup please approach mineral blush with caution! You need very little compared to using a compact and it’s near impossible to go backwards when applying makeup. M·A·C has a great powder blush, it comes in a compact and there’s a shade for everyone.
-Highlighters- If you’re weary about highlighting and don’t want to over shimmer your face then go with something simple like one of Bare Minerals radiances. They are very light and you can get them in several shades with more or less shimmer. I use “Citrine Radiance” by B.M. at the cheek bone to soften my blush. Until I got hooked on B.M. I used Cliniques cream based highlighters. They can have a slight color to them as well and can be used as a blush and highlighter in one!
Mascaras & Eyeliners
Just like most of you I am very picky about my mascara. I have a Top 5 Best Mascaras list and give a few other suggestions in this post. There are so many possibilities out there and one size doesn’t fit all with mascara. Everyone has different eyelash characteristics so something that works for your friend may not work for you.
One thing that I will never do again is buy drug store mascara! I’ve tried just about every eyeliner under the sun. It’s something that can be easily substituted if you’re in a bind but there are still some that shine over the rest! Do you like pencils or a softer twist liner? Believe me, there is a huge different in how easily one can be applied compared to the other.
-Mascaras- After my recent dilemma with certain drug store brands I will absolutely not recommend anything that isn’t professional. My all time favorite is Diorshow Mascara. It’s $24.50 so I don’t splurge on it often but it’s well worth it if you want to spend the money. My second pick is Cliniques’ High Impact Mascara. I stumbled upon this in one of their mini promo gifts and I’ve loved it ever since! Both of those options are for more volume so if you want something with a smaller wand and a lighter effect Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Mascara is a great pick!
-Eyeliners- I may have experimented with eyeliner more than my hair in the past. That says a lot for those of you who haven’t seen my many looks. I have several favorites and it all depends on the look you are going for. When I was wearing brighter makeup and really making a statement I only wore TIGI eyeliners. They are super long so you get a lot out of them, but also very soft in texture for easy application. My favorite was Big Fat Fun in blue (i was obsessed, don’t ask why!). Now that I’m a little more conservative with my makeup I wear Bare Minerals Big & Bright Eyeliner in “Charbronze“.
I rarely see people wearing the right eyeshadow colors for their skin tone & hair color. I will go into more detail about how to choose eyeshadow colors in Choosing Your Perfect Shades. I can admit that there are some drugstore brands that work just fine. Others barely show up or they are too harsh.
It’s never a good idea to go as cheap as possible when it comes to eyeshadow if you want it to look good! Most of you will like pressed shadows better because they are less messy and quicker with application. I use Bare Minerals eyeshadows but it took a while to get used to it. You’ve got to learn control with your brushes and the product that you put on them.
Here are a few of my favorites:
-TIGI Cyberoptics-The pigment in these shadows is unbelieveable! It will look great and stay where you put it all day. They have neutrals and brights so there is something for everyone. Even if you don’t want wild & crazy eyes, neutrals should pop as well!
After all, that’s what eyeshadow is for.
-Urban Decay-I absolutely love some of the colors they have come out with. Like TIGI they have everything from brights to neutrals but with a much wider selection.
They come in singles and kits. I recommend kits to those of you who are just jumping into this because it will give you a great variety at a better price.
Unfortunately, I have never been able to find Urban Decay makeup on Amazon! You can get it online or at stores like ULTA and Sephora. Personally, I like ULTA because they have great coupons and a points card that gives you discounts after spending a certain dollar amount!
-Bare Minerals- There’s no doubt about it they have one of the largest color selections I’ve seen in mineral makeup. This is a great choice if you like a soft shimmer and they are great for blending. The cool thing about Bare Minerals Eye Shadow is they can be used as an eyeliner or shadow. Just use a dab of eyelid primer on the end of your liner brush and you have instant eyeliner! If you’re looking for intense, it’s a little harder to achieve than with TIGI.
I’m not sure if most of you share the same challenges as I do with lip products so please leave a comment if you’ve found something amazing! I’ve got some favorites but I can’t seem to prevent that horrible chunking of gloss after a few hours of wear.
I don’t put anything on my lips for the most part but I know that it makes a huge difference in how your overall look appears! Your lip color is important and it needs to flow with the rest of your makeup. Otherwise,your lips will be the only thing everyone notices and not in a good way!
A few of my favorites are:
-Clinique All About Lips- If you’re a chapstick person this product will change your life. It’s like putting liquid silk on your lips and it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything like chapsticks do. No residue, just softer, prettier lips! It’s $21.50 in department stores, sounds high but I probably have at least that much worth of lip balms in my purse!
-Bare Escentuals Peony Stick- It’s like lipstick but it’s much more narrow and doesn’t appear thick like most lipsticks. I don’t know about you, but I hated lipstick. My grandma wears it, that’s about it! The peony stick will probably change your mind about lipstick if you feel the same way I do.
-Buxom- This gloss is a lip plumper by Bare Minerals and it does it all! It comes a wide variety of shades, plumps your lips to their full potential, and it’s a great gloss! I like to sweep it over the peony stick for a more glam look.
-Lip Junkie- An amazing lip gloss by Urban Decay! It has a soft texture with great hues and no clunk! This one is great for people who hate that lip gloss smell & taste because it has a refreshing mint flavor!
If you’re not sure what you need or what to buy to get started you can click here for discounted makeup sets on Amazon!
About Erika Brown
I'm a Master Colorist at in Williamsburg, VA. My career is my passion and I hope to share some advice and tips on keeping your hair and skin looking amazing!
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