Cosmetic Essentials

I think that finding the perfect balance in your cosmetic bag is about knowing what products are worth the splurge, and which ones you can save a little money on, and I think that differs for each person. For example, I don’t like to spend a lot on eyeliner and mascara, because I know that I can get the same effect for under $10. But in terms of foundation and coverup, if I want it to match my skin tone perfectly and not get flaky, it’s worth splurging on my trip to Sephora. These are my 5 makeup essentials:

1. Tarte Smooth Operator Tinted Moisturizer ($36): I have pretty good skin, so I don’t like to use heavy foundation, but it tends to be on the drier side, which is why a tinted moisturizer is perfect. What I love about the Tarte product is that it goes on really smooth and blends quickly, and it lasts all day without it making my face look or feel heavy with makeup. When I first bought it I was hesitant to splurge – $36 for a 1.7 oz. bottle seemed a little outrageous – but I’ve had the same bottle since early January, and I still have about half left! It’s definitely worth it if tinted moisturizer is your preferred foundation.

2. Laura Mercier Secret Concealer ($22): This concealer is my other cosmetic splurge, but it’s so worth it. It blends perfectly with my skin (I use it daily to cover up those college-student-no-sleep bags under my eyes) but it’s also great for covering up a blemish. This may look like a splurge, but it’s really not – I promise you will have this concealer for-ev-er. I’ve been using it daily since January, and I’ve still barely made a dent!

3. Allure Beauty Editor Palette by Sephora: This particular makeup set was limited edition, so it’s no longer sold, but I’m so glad I snatched it up (although Sephora has several comparable ones like this or that!) My favorite thing about this is that it includes the perfect eye shadow colors for my everyday class/work look, but it’s also great for doing a smoky eye or going out. I love the eye shadows, but the blush and matte lip glosses are also great, making this set something I couldn’t live without!

4. Sephora Nano Eyeliner ($5): Something at Sephora only costs $5?! Is this real life? Yes, and I’m so glad it is! I don’t like to spend a lot on eyeliner, and it’s the one makeup product I use that will run out before the time I should change it (Did you know you’re supposed to change eyeliner and mascara every 4-6 months for health reasons?) This nano eyeliner, which I buy in the shade 05 Chocolate, costs only $5, and lasts me about 2-3 months (although by then it’s a little stub!) It’s easy to control, easy to remove, and altogether a great product.

5. Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara ($8): This is a product that I always buy in two shades: Glam Black and Glam Brown, so I can choose based on my mood and style that day. While I’ll admit that expensive mascara from Dior or YSL can create a more dramatic look, mascara tends to expire or dry out rather quickly, and won’t last well for more than 3-4 months – at which point, I usually still have half a tube left! So for me, Maybelline mascara is definitely the way to go, although CoverGirl makes a great mascara as well.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your cosmetic bag essentials? Let me know in the comments!

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