What's in your make-up bag?

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on February 7, 2012


I have big news, girls: I just pared my make-up bag down to a mere 12 items! Aren’t you proud of me? Given how very fond I am of makeup, I feel quite virtuous. (And all you gals who have pared your bag down to 5 items? Just hush! Wink-wink.)

A more disciplined woman than I probably would have tossed the rest of her collection (for the sake of simplicity) but I just couldn’t do it. The rest of my products are currently tucked in the back of my closet to be pulled out and used for special occasions. You never know! I might need them!

In case you’re interested, here are the 12 glorious products that made the cut:


MAC Select MoistureCover Concealer (for under my eyes)

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Skin Smoothing Concealer (for all other blemishes)

Clinique Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in Stay Buff

MAC BlushCreme in LadyBlush

Clinique Different Lipstick in Tenderheart (for the everyday)

L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour in Cinnamon Toast (for nights on the town)

MAC Lip Pencil in Mahogany (to compliment my L’Oreal lipstick)

CoverGirl Intense ShadowBlast Eye Shadow in Forever Pink

Maybelline Lash Discovery in Very Black

Clinique Quickliner for Eyes in Roast Coffee (for the everyday)

Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner in Blackest Black (for special occasions)

Revlon Compact Tweezers


So, tell me, girls: what’s in your make-up bag?




P.S. For an overview of the basic elements of makeup, check out Jen’s awesome guest post from last year: Everything You’ll Ever Need to Know About Makeup.

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Lenore February 7, 2012 at 11:04 am

what an inspiration! Not sure I can limit myself — I need choices!
I am currently in love with Jouer cosmetics. They make my heart flutter. Truly. http://www.jouercosmetics.com/default.aspx

GeekLady February 7, 2012 at 11:20 am

Mine’s empty. Urban Decay discontinued their Apparition shade years ago, and after a few years of looking for a shade pale enough (one that doesn’t make my whole face look heavily flushed) I just gave up.

Roselady February 7, 2012 at 11:31 am

Fun post idea. Who wouldn’t want to see what it’s that bag of yours!
Me, I’m happy if I just have some blush, lipliner and lipstick — and a hairbrush, of course.
I use my other two overflowing bags when I’m actually going somewhere. Somewhere with ambiance.

Jennifer Fitz February 7, 2012 at 11:41 am

Chapstick. : -).

Okay about twice a year I might pull out:
-loose powder
-eye shadow – my girls sneaked in and used up all the lavender and pink, but I prefer the browns and olives anyway
-lip gloss

I might own an eyebrow pencil or maybe the girls took at and did something with it. Too complicated to do it right.
I really ought to have mascara, but I’d have to throw it out after every use (see “twice a year”) so I gave up on that.
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Ellie February 7, 2012 at 11:46 am

Only three **smile** I’ve neither the time or hand-eye coordination for more!

Ben Nye mascara (black); Ben Nye lipstick (Mocha Rose) as a foundation & L’Oréal lipstick (Cinnamon Toast) on top. I am a redhead and super pale, including my lips, so I find the double layer mix works well to actually give me a little color!
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Ooh! I’ve never heard of them. I’ll have to take a peek. :)
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Urban Decay is pretty awesome. I’m pretty pale, too, so I just stick to concealer. Foundation has never been a great look for me.
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Ha! Thanks, Roselady! :)
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Chapstick is definitely a busy Mom’s best friend! ;)
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bearing February 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Ha! I just threw mine away in a fit of decluttering. It was full of things I’d used once or twice. I swore off buying makeup, resolving to face the fact that my style is “natural, as in really really really natural.”
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

A fellow Cinnamon Toast fan! Isn’t it just the best color? I love it.

(And three? THREE? Color me impressed!)
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I bet that felt really good! I do love decluttering. Makeup just isn’t one of my decluttering areas of strength. ;)
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Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy February 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Hallie, I knew we were kindred spirits! Tenderheart is my everyday lipstick, too :)
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Oh my goodness, I could wax poetic about Tenderheart for hours. I’ve worn it faithfully since high school. I feel like I need to be stockpiling it in case they ever foolishly decide to discontinue it!
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mamabearJD February 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm

My favorites are Laura Mercier’s undercover pot – it’s genius – two concealers on top with a mirror and setting powder underneath. Urban Decay Naked 2 palette is so fun and versatile, it includes a black shadow that I smudge as liner. Bobbi Brown shimmer block in rose. Clinique almost lipstick in black honey. That’s my go to every day with little ones circling my feet!

You want to look in my purse too? ha ha

Erin February 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm

What’s in my makeup bag? Too much! I only use about 7 items (foundation, eye shadow pallette, concealer, mascara, blush, loose powder and lip gloss) on an everyday basis, but I have a lot of eye shadow and lipstick choices, and then a whole other collection for summer. Thanks for providing your brands though. Whenever I run out I usually end up just buying whatever I have a coupon for which isn’t always the best quality. I’ll have to check back here for next time a product gets low.
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Lydia February 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm

My makeup bag is a wreck. Sigh. I’ve got Bare Minerals powder in fair, along with the concealer powder, two blushes (radiant rose and babyface), mineral based eyeshadow (almond rocca is my fave for nights out-sparkly and smoky), and two lipglosses than need to be replaced. Oh, and Maybelline waterproof mascara. I tend to neglect things like cosmetics, so I’ve had all this stuff far too long.
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Kimberlie February 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Most days I just put on Neutragena revitalizing lip balm in “healthy blush.” It really does smooth out my chapped lips, has an spf of 20, a sweet cherry-like smell, and a hint of color. When I am going out I layer a deeper rose shade over top (some color by Covergirl but I can’t remember what it is). Mascara and a light eye shadow are the only other things I use regularly. I know that I have to put more effort into my make-up routine because I have fair skin but ruddy looking. However, I can not stand the feel of foundation on my skin and finding one that is light enough but doesn’t look flaky after an hour on my incredibly dry skin, has been a frustrating task over the years. I’d love to find something that would even out my skin tone but feel weightless on my face. Any ideas?
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I’ve heard great things about Laura Mercier but have never checked their things out. Thanks for the tip! :)
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm

You feel my pain! I’m going to try my best not to let any extra products sneak back into my makeup bag but I can’t make any promises. ;)
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Doesn’t Maybelline make the best mascara? I’d choose their products over department store products any day!
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I really don’t have any great insight into the world of foundation. I’ve never used it. Jen covers it in the guest post I linked to, though. Maybe her thoughts would help? :)
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LR @ Magnificent or Egregious February 7, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I do a 5 minute face everyday Carmindy style — I absolutely LOVE my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer (in porcelain – I’m pretty pale), a taupe or nude eyeshadow (Makeup 4 Ever or MAC), Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in black (applied Francoise Hardy French style), a shimmery highlighter (MAC), apply Laura Mercier mineral powder to set (also in soft porcelain) and apply a pinky-nude lipstick or lipgloss. Takes 5 minutes to do and still looks fairly natural. I hardly ever wear mascara, I find eyeliner is my go-to item that ‘wakes’ up my eyes. For evening, I will do more eye makeup but mostly just an extension of my ‘day’ face.
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I do the same. Now that I don’t have so many things to sort through in my makeup bag, I’m going for three minutes. ;)
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Sarah February 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Oh Hallie! I love this post. I recently pared down my makeup a little bit. But not enough, haha. I keep things for waaaayyy too long, thinking I *might* use it someday.
But, I have and use daily the same MAC blush. I LOVE it.
Bobbi Brown creamy concealer kit.
Clinique repairwear foundation
MAC Lady Blush
Benefit brow zings eyebrow kit (LOVE it!)
Two MAC eyeshadows, and one Mary Kay shadow I use as liner
Cover Girl lash blast mascara
Fresh Sugar lip polish in plum

I only wear lipstick occasionally as I’ve never been able to find one I love. Maybe you can help me? :)
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm

I’ve been dying to try Bobbi Brown’s concealer kit. How do you like it?

Wouldn’t you say we have pretty similar coloring, Sarah? Are you going for something subtle or bold? If you’re looking for something to wear everyday, I’ve been wearing Clinique’s Tenderheart lipstick since high school. I highly recommend it! That probably goes without saying, though, doesn’t it? ;)
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dweej {House Unseen} February 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm

In order of importance:

1) Revlon slanted tweezers
2) Maybelline undereye concealer
3) Cover girl Clean foundation
4) Maybelline mascara in brown/black
5) random brownish pink powder blush
6) Carmex chap stick
7) dark purple eye liner (which sounds crazy, but doesn’t look crazy. I swear!)
8) Some redish pink lipstick

So if I’m applying in the car on the way to Mass, for example, I put the make-up on in that order so that if we get there before I’m done, I have my priorities covered.

Is it weird that the lipstick is my last priority? I think maybe…
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dweej {House Unseen} February 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Hah! That #8 somehow became a smiley guy with sunglasses on!
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Karianna@CaffeinatedCatholicaMama February 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm

I used to have a minmal makeup bag… Then I started reading a certain blog by a certain blogger who shall remain nameless…

Now I have:

Arbonne Primer
Bare Minerals base color, bronzer and setting powder. Plus 4 of their eyeshadows (Purr-fect, Twig, Rosey-Brown and Celestine. I use Celestine and the Rosey-Brown for daily eyes, rosey brown and twig or purr-fect for drama eyes)
Nars all over stick (for cheek color) in Orgasm (every day)
Revlon liquid eyeliner (as recommended here, every day)
Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black (every day)
Eyelash curler (every day)
Buxom lip gloss in Sugar (every day)
Arbonne Lip Screen (every day)
Rimmel Lip color in Temptation (RED) for punchy lip
Estee Lauder Lip in Plum Fizz for muted drama lip
Aquaphor for taming the brows

Despite the list, it takes about 5-7 minutes for me to do make-up in the morning! ;)
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Karianna@CaffeinatedCatholicaMama February 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Maybe consider a mineral foundation? I don’t like the feel of liquid foundation and only need sheer coverage so I’m loving the mineral powders.
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 9:57 pm

You are a brilliant, brilliant woman. I love that the tweezers are first! Ha! They would totally be first on my list, too!
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Betty Beguiles February 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Whoever could said blogger be? Do I know them? ;)
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Nicole February 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm

This is like a girls’ version of Everyday-Carry.com! I’m currently reworking my whole makeup bag. I might have to try some of these. I’ve decided what I need are a moisturizer, eye cream, foundation and brush, concealer, blush and brush, lip moisturizer, lip pencil, lip gloss, eyeliner, tweezers, and eye shadow (maybe a pencil), if I can ever find a color set I’m comfortable with.
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Larissa February 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Hi Hallie. My everyday makeup generally depends on whether we stay home (nada), or if we go out (eyelash curler, clinique mascara, maybe some lip moisturizer). Once in a blue moon insight put on eyeliner and (natural nudes or light pinks) eye shadow for church, but I don’t really wear much more than that. even when I go out with my girlfriends (not very often!) I’ll just wear mascara … And the last time I went on a date was about 6-7 years ago! … Being a single mum who’s studying by correspondence full-time, I don’t really give myself occasion to go out much, lol. … I will add though, that before I fell pregnant I used to do a full-face of makeup (minus foundation) for work everyday! I couldnt stand the smell of makeup once I fell pregnant and just got into the habit of not wearing much, lol! … I do admire your culling though!! When I was wearing it, I couldn’t have culled down that far!!
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Nicole February 8, 2012 at 4:54 am

My makeup bag: chapstick, nursing pads, and lanolin :)

Jennifer G. Miller February 8, 2012 at 10:16 am

Paula’s Choice is my go-to line for skin care and a few cosmetics. Paula’s choice Barely There sheer tint foundation, Lancome mascara, Clinique blush powder, some powder from Paula’s Choice (rarely use), Almost Lipstick Black Honey (cannot live without it!), and some glossy lip gloss from Clinique. For extra eye or red coverup I have Clinique brand I can’t remember. Tools: tweezer, cosmetic sponge, eyelash curler, brush for powder. I’d like to add an eye and lip liner pencil, but I haven’t gotten them yet.
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Betty Beguiles February 8, 2012 at 11:11 am

I’d never heard of Everyday Carry before you mentioned it. What a cool site!
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Betty Beguiles February 8, 2012 at 11:13 am

Isn’t it crazy the things that turn us off while pregnant? I can totally see how the smell of makeup could do that!
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Betty Beguiles February 8, 2012 at 11:13 am

Lanolin, FTW! ;)
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Betty Beguiles February 8, 2012 at 11:14 am

I’ll have to go check Paula’s Choice out. I’ve never heard of them. Thanks for the tip, Jennifer!
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Lina February 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Definitely look into mineral powders – I use Bare Minerals and love it. Like you, I detest the feel of a regular liquid foundation, but the mineral stuff evens out skin tone, is quick and easy to apply, doesn’t look makeuppy, and is weightless – I forget that I have anything on my skin. Best makeup find ever. And though it’s not cheap ($39 here in Canada) it lasts for several months so is definitely worth it.

jen ambrose February 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Ten years ago it would have been an embarrassing number of lipsticks, lipglosses, lip pots, lip crayons. Yes, all of them in the plural.

Today, still more lipsticks than I can manage to wear (brownish pinks from Benefit, one amazing red from Vincent Longo that I wish I had the courage to wear regularly, and incredible lipgloss from Laura Mercier that I really should wear regularly), one mascara, tinted moisturizer. New additions this winter have been under eye cream and concealer and Trish McEvoy Eye Primer. I am terrified of eye shadow, but this stuff is easy and doesn’t look like I’m trying to be trendy.

maria February 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

1- Roc serum
2- Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer
3- Laura Mercier under eye concealer
4- eyebrow pencil
5- mascara
6- tweezers
7- boscia blotting papers
8- liquid eye liner (used only sometimes)
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Alison February 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Oh boy. I have no makeup. I am 38 yrs old; I should wear some makeup. The trouble is I don’t know how to do it properly and I’m not real sure what is appropriate for every-day wear… If you HAD to pick 5 essential items what would they be?

Lindsay @ Lindsay Loves February 9, 2012 at 1:15 am

1. Target up & up sensitive skin moisturizer (even though my skin’s not sensitive)
2. Lip Smackers lip gloss in Pink Lemonade (worn and loved it since middle school)
3. tweezers

Even when I have a no-makeup day, those are non-negotiables. After that comes CoverGirl concealer, loose powder, and eyebrow pencil. On special occasions I use a bluish deep pink lip gloss. I’ve recently started playing with eyeshadow, but I wear glasses, so I feel like no one sees it anyway.
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EE February 9, 2012 at 7:58 am

Love this post!

I really have two makeup bags. There is the ginormous one in my bathroom closet that has an absurd amount of junk in it, most of which I will probably never use again. Then there’s the little one I carry in my purse. I’ll spare you the catalog of the large, I-can’t-throw-away-stuff-that-costs-$50-an-ounce bag and go with the little one in my purse.

MAC Satinfinish Foundation in NC20
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC20
MAC blush in Harmony (for cheek contouring)
NARS blush in Org.asm
MAC eyeshadow in Shroom
Maybelline Eyestudio eyeliner in Blackest Black
Maybelline mascara in some black color, the name of which has rubbed off the label
MAC eyebrow pencil in Spiked
Chanel Glossimer in Twinkle

I had never used an eyebrow pencil before I got married, because I have dark eyebrows and didn’t think I needed one. Then the guy who did my makeup for my wedding told me that penciling your eyebrows makes everything pull together better and gives you a much more “finished” look and he was totally right. I use it everyday now.
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Andrea February 9, 2012 at 11:30 am

I tried Bare Minerals and actually felt like it was cake-y on my face. And it constantly rubbed off. I have it shoved in the back of my makeup drawer, but I really should just toss it.
I also don’t like the feel of foundation on my face, in fact, I’m so sensitive about how things feel on my skin that I even hate using lotion, which is bad since I live in a very dry, cold, and windy part of Wyoming!
So, for a few months now I’ve been using Clinique’s Even Better SPF 15 liquid foundation (http://www.clinique.com/product/1599/5276/Makeup/Foundations/Even-Better-Makeup-SPF15/index.tmpl). I think the advantage of liquid foundation is that you can use as much or as little as you like. I often just use it like a concealer, but mostly, I wear it all over every day. My face is splotchy in color, and it makes everything look even and lasts all day long.
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Andrea February 9, 2012 at 11:43 am

Ok, I love this post. And I love makeup.
Since I left Texas, I feel like I’m the only one I know who wears it much anymore, so I love to read and chit chat about it!
I can’t wait to click all your links, especially concealer, because with 5 kids now, I’m looking sort of tired. And I’m not even 30…ugh. Also, I’m in the market for some really, *truly* good blush. I kept hearing NARS had great blushes, but hello – I hate the names of them. I’d be embarrassed for my little girls to see that. So, I’m going to have to check out some others! Lipstick is another I need to look into, because I tend to buy those all-day type lipsticks, but they’re very drying and they just don’t look very attractive in the winter time with the dry air. I was thinking of you and your Tenderheart recently, trying to remember what kind it was.
Anyway, here’s what I wear everyday (not including the extras):
-Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15 (love this stuff, it makes my NOT flawless skin look flawless)
-blush of some sort, but I need to find one I LOVE
-Cargo EyeLighter in white
-Urban Decay eyeshadow in whatever color I feel like from the Naked Palette (and a primer from Urban Decay)
-Eyeliner, I need an easy pencil liner that stays, but I also like the liquid liner you suggested, as well as a light purple one from Almay for green eyes when I want something more subdued, which isn’t often – I like eyeliner!
-Mascara, the darkest, blackest, formula I can find that will make my eyelashes as thick as possible.
-Lipstick- like I said, often the colorstay types. I like to kiss my husband, and he doesn’t like lipstick on him. hahaha
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Betty Beguiles February 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Hmmm…concealer, lipstick, blush, eyeliner, and mascara. But that’s just me. :)
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Betty Beguiles February 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I’m terrified of eye shadow, too. I’m finding that my simple pink ShadowBlast eye shadow does the trick, though. I’ll have to look into the Trish McEvoy Eye Primer! If a fellow eye shadow-phobe recommends it, I’m intrigued!
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Betty Beguiles February 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I’ve been eyeing tinted moisturizers for a while but I’ve never tried one. Maybe I’ll see if I can get my hands on a Laura Mercier sample. :)
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Betty Beguiles February 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Do you have a favorite brand for eyebrow pencils, Lindsay? I haven’t managed to find anything I love yet.
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Betty Beguiles February 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I am so getting my hands on a MAC eyebrow pencil. You are the third person who’s suggested an eyebrow pencil to me. I’ve never tried it because I, too, have dark eyebrows but the advice you got makes a lot of sense. I guess I’ll have to adjust my makeup bag count to 13. ;)
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Betty Beguiles February 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm

I highly recommend MAC BlushCreme. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to apply and it looks so natural! I love it! And for eyeliner, if you’re going for something a bit more subtle than liquid liner, Clinique’s quickliners have been doing me right for years. :)

(Oh, and I share your kissin’ dilemma! Let me know if you find a good solution!)
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NY Mom February 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Is there a big difference between cosmetics giants, like Clinique, Lancome, etc? A few years’ back my eldest son was getting married and I, who previously had lived on drugstore quick-fix cheapo makeup, presented myself in a state of panic and helplessness to a kind lady at my local Macy’s Lancome counter. We stuck to the basics of concealer, foundation, and blush, and she gave me pointers on how to buy perfectly serviceable drugstore versions of eyeshadow and mascara. I was in tears at her kindness and care. It also helped that she was older than me (me: 50; her, probably 60) and understood my desire for simplicity.

Since that makeup’s now a few years old I need to replace it and am wondering if you can speak to any differences in the big names. Are they worth it, and so on. I also get the DHC catalog and am intrigued, but am too old to take chances on buying makeup without trying it on first. I only use their face wash and moisturizers and that’s as far as I’ll go.

Andrea February 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Oh goodness, I have the Naked (not 2) palette and it’s SO fun! My husband got it for me for Christmas, and I’m just in love with it!
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Sarah February 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I never did my eyebrows either because they are dark, but I started over the summer and it makes such a difference! You’ll never go back. I use Benefit Browzing eyebrow kit. It’s great.
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Ashley February 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm

1- Signature compact with cashmere powder in “Light” (Besame Cosmetics)
1.5- powder brush
2- 1930′s mascara, black (Besame Cosmetics)
3- Alluring eye shadow in “Socialite Brown” (Besame Cosmetics)
3.5- eye shadow brush
4- Classic masterliner eye pencil in brown/plum (Besame Cosmetics)
5- Classic color lipstick in “Carmine” (Besame Cosmetics… for special occasions)
6- Colour Riche lipstick in “Make Me Blush” (L’Oreal… for everyday)
7- eye shadow in “Sunstone” (Jesse’s Girl… bought for a costume, but really liked it so I kept it)
8- Vaseline lip therapy

I am not use to makeup and have trouble finding things that doesn’t cause my skin to react. Besame, though pricier than the stuff at the local Rite Aid, works. Not only that, but their lipgloss and mascara are yummy. No really! Their mascara smells wonderful as does their lip products. They even have a sample of 6 different red lipsticks that you can get and test out.

This list is WAY more than I use on an everyday basis. Day-to-day, I would use the vaseline and maybe the powder… If I was going to town or wanted to put something on, then I’d use eye shadow (the brown) and maybe mascara or the L’Oreal lipstick. Anything else (like the Carmine lipstick) is special occasion only as I’m not use to wearing makeup daily, let alone things that would definately grab people’s attention.

I should also add that sometimes, I do paint my toenails turquoise. Usually, it’s when I clean out the bathroom and rememer that there was a bottle in the drawer.
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maria February 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm

if you have a sephora nearby, they will give you a sample to try.
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Kali February 19, 2012 at 6:05 am

1) Dior Skinflash. (I just bought it for $40 and now walmart has like 50 different kinds for $10!) for under my eyes.
2) Revlon Brow Enhancer in light brunette $7 – swear by this stuff – best in either high end or low end brands; for blonde, red, brown, or black hair. ONLY the light brunette shade though.
3) Covergirl Mineral Concealer $12
4) MAC Definatly Feline (brown) long lasting liquid eyeliner $16
5) Almay eyeshadow trio for hazel eyes $5 – even though mine are brown. Really consider this eyeshadow. Beautiful pink, brown, and cream shades.
6) YSL Shocking Mascara $30 on a good paycheck or Covergirl Lashblast (purple tube) $7 on a bad check.

I enjoy makeup. Probably too much for my own good. Or my wallet.
7) Clinique Blushing Berry Lipstick

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