As you would definitely know by now, I’m a complete beauty addict and I am utterly in love with makeup. A while ago I filtered through my current collection and got rid of the products that I thought were not as good as they initially looked, products that didn’t work for me anymore, or products that had seen their best of days and expired in the meanwhile. So, while rummaging through my goodies it became apparent that I was left with a stock that consists of what could be considered “icon” status makeup staples I personally think every woman should invest in at one point in time. In that spirit, I thought it would be useful for those who do not own any of these items yet and may feel a little hesitant towards spending a high amount of hard-earned dollars on a singular makeup product, that I would go ahead and tell you which of these fan favorites truly live up to their hype.
Urban Decay – Naked Palette, $54
The one eyeshadow palette that I keep repurchasing every time I hit pan on multiple shades is the original Naked palette. This is the ultimate universal eyeshadow product, and to be honest, this was solely my only palette when it first came out a few years ago and I was perfectly content without any other one in my life. The colors are versatile and ridiculously pigmented, The palette offers a variety of neutral shades that can go from either daytime to a dramatic nighttime look within a snap. All-in-all, this is the one I would suggest anyone to buy if they are indeed looking to invest in an entire palette.
You can read more about the Naked palette in this previous post.
Smashbox – Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer, $16-$36
Spending almost 40 bucks on a makeup primer sounds well, pretty ridiculous – that being said, you’ll never see my makeup collection without this specific product. This was my second facial primer purchase ever, and I have not looked at any others since. This is my personal favorite because I truly feel my makeup adheres to this primer like nothing else. I’ll be honest, I have tried other makeup primers by way of samples, think big brands, but I keep returning to Smashbox because this is the only successful base product I believe is on the market. Because of its silicone formula, the product fills in any little lines or crevices undetectable to the eye and provides a smooth canvas for me to apply my makeup to. The premise of the Smashbox is that it seems to create a soft, photoshop effect finish to the skin that is unparalleled by any other I have tried.
You can read more about the Smashbox primer in this previous post.
Nars – Bronzing Powder in Laguna, $39
I remember being completely in awe with this bronzer, but always stayed away because of the price – and the fact I’ve never been that big on bronzer previously. And then I bought it. Laguna is a beautiful true brown-based bronzer with a gold shimmer fusion that instantly warms up the skin. Because it is a fine line between matte and shimmer, it makes for a bronzer that could literally be worn all-year long. I recently hit pan on mine and it makes me extremely depressed. Chocolate for everyone. It’s the perfect amount of bronzer and luminosity, love this puppy!
You can read more about the Nars Laguna in this previous post.
Nars – Blush, $30
Both Orgasm and Deep Throat are a part of my current routine. Both shades are fan favorites and iconic products in their own right, but serve completely different. Orgasm is not as universal of a shade everyone thinks it is, instead Deep Throat is kind of the unsung hero here that has the capability to suit more complexions better. Nevertheless, I own them both because I can wear them for different days or occasions. One is more luminescent than the other, the other contains more color pigment, etc., and the choice of the Nars Blush is truly bound to what shade you’re interested in. But for the record, these products are so worth the money and the hype considering the quality you get. Bar none.
You can read more about the Nars Orgasm and Deep Throat battle in this previous post.
Becca – Shimmering Skin Perfector™ Pressed in Opal, $38
The favorite highlighter of many a Youtube Guru, I can profess that this is an amazing product to own among the rest of your makeup. A perfect golden opal pearl shade, I find that this specific highlighter projects a lot more light and radiance from the skin than a traditional version does due to its unique blending process. That being said, the only downside is that if you accidentally have too much product on your brush and swipe it on, it potentially emphasizes your pores which I have encountered on multiple occasions. Other than that, this is one of my daily go-to’s.
You can read more about the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector™ Pressed in Opal in this previous post.
MAC – Pro-Longwear Concealer, $20
While the Nars – Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard ($29) beats them all for me, it is absolutely necessary to have the famous MAC – Pro-Longwear Concealer always on hand for those days where an industrial-strength dark circle corrector is called for. Sometimes I mix the two together for the ultimate combination. The formula is incredible, it’s so pigmented that it covers any and all dark circles, but not heavy enough to settle and crease quite deeply like many concealers tend to do. The only downfall is that this concealer can be kind of drying, which is why I mix the Nars in with it to avoid such heartaches.
Bobbi Brown – Shimmer Brick, $46
It’s expensive, but so worth it. This to me is the ultimate versatile, multi-purpose cosmetics product a girl can own. It’s a bronzer, highlighter, eyeshadow compact, all-in-one, and I absolutely love the Bronze and Sandstone shades I own because it strikes the perfect balance between sunkissed warmth and a healthy luminescent glow. Any of the aforementioned shades blended atop Nars Laguna, oh my god – heaven.
You can read more about Bobbi Brown – Shimmer Brick in this previous post.
Nars – All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, $48
The first time I used this foundation I knew it was for me. It has been in the recent months that this is the only foundation that I grab every single day. It’s medium-full coverage, smooth, moisturizing, easy to work with, literally lasts all day (for real), all-in-all my holy grail because it covers the crop of lingering cystic acne scars in my general chin/jawline area. I have never considered myself a fan of foundations because they seemingly never impressed me that much – however, this line has impressed me quite a bit and I am definitely a fan until they maybe come out with something even better.
You can read more about Nars – All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in this previous post.
Too Faced – Soleil Matte Bronzer in Chocolate, $30
Ah, the contouring weapon of choice. This bronzer is the only reason that I am not constantly investing in contour/highlight palettes – which we all know can cost a pretty penny. From light to dark complexions, Too Faced created 3 shades in this matte bronzing powder so everyone can contour or apply a beautiful layer of warmth whenever and wherever they please. It’s super blendable, pigmented, smooth, does not have that muddy or orange undertone like a lot of (matte) bronzers contain, lightweight, and smells incredible – like actual chocolate.
Want to read about some more cult favorite products? Since I can only make this post so long, I gathered together a list of links to some of the most popular products currently out on the market and the ones that I own from that broad spectrum.