Honestly, sometimes I forget about the fact that makeup is a part of my business. I essentially "retired" from event makeup after doing my cousin's wedding in 2019. I felt like I'd lost my passion for it, really. It's funny, because my love of makeup was what inspired me to go to esthetics school in the first place. But as I studied, my interests shifted toward skincare. It wasn't until a few months ago that I started to feel like I missed it. By then, I'd dismantled most of my professional kit and either gave away or tossed things. I'm working on rebuilding my kit, but it's not my highest priority right now. I do still offer one on one lessons where I can guide you on how to do your own makeup, but other than that, I'm hoping to have things in place for the holiday season!
While you have all heard me talk about the reasons I don't recommend drugstore skincare, I happen to love a ton of drugstore makeup. Don't get me wrong, I own several Urban Decay palettes and have tried every $30 mascara under the sun, but there are so many amazing things available right at your local CVS. Of course, this is based on my own experience (with my own face and the faces of those I've worked on over the years), but everyone is different. Many drugstores have great return policies, so if something doesn't work for you, you can easily get your money back.
Let's start with the eyes. First, you'll need great brows (booking an appointment at Cherrie Darling Beauty will help you there 😁 ). Once they're shaped properly, you have options on how you want to fill them in. I've been absolutely loving the Maybelline Brow Fast Sculpt Gel for the past year or so, and it's less than $10 at the drugstore. Prior to using it, I was a diehard Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz fan...but that retails for $24. Why do I love the Maybelline product so much? First, it's a gel so it does hold the brow in place. It comes in several shades (I use the lightest) and you control the application. It can act similar to a pencil or a powder and fill in the sparse areas where skin is peeking through, but the reason I love it is that unlike pencil or powder, it also covers the actual brow hair as well! As I've aged, I've noticed that some of my brow hairs are turning white. This is completely normal, but I prefer to use the brow gel to cover those hairs. If you're not sold on that product, fear not! I also love NYX Cosmetics brow products. Their Eyebrow Cake Powder comes in a small palette that includes a spoolie brush and an angled application brush. They also have a Micro Brow Pencil that is similar to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, but for just $10. What will work best for YOU depends on preference. Try them all and return what you're not into!
Next, you'll want to apply your eyeshadow. You might need to use a primer (eyelids get oily and tend to cause creasing with eyeshadow). As far as shadows go, I'd start with Rimmel, NYX, and LA Girl Cosmetics-all super inexpensive. Brushes are important, so having a fluffier brush to blend and a firmer brush to apply is helpful. ELF makes some great ones.
Eyeliner wise, I like the versatility of Maybelline's black gel liner. I use a liner brush to apply and it's really creamy and easy to use. You can always smudge it out into a smokey eye if you make a mistake! For liquid liner, I like NYX Epic Ink. If you're a regular pencil fan, LA Girl makes my favorite!
I've tried a million mascaras and I always always always go back to L'Oreal Voluminous. It gives length and volume, doesn't flake or smudge, and doesn't get clumpy unless you're putting too many coats. Give it a try!
Pro Tip: I always apply eye makeup before face makeup because if there's any fallout from the shadows or I need to use makeup remover to tweak something, you're not starting everything all over!
Onto the face-I truly don't love wearing foundation, but if I had to choose a drugstore foundation, it would be L'Oreal True Match. If you don't need foundation but still want to even out skin tone, I suggest a BB cream instead. I love Maybelline's BB cream, though I do wish they had a lighter shade. Their lightest shade is still a smidge too dark for me, but if I blend it out well it works fine. Humans come in lots of different shades, so you may find yourself having to buy two so you can mix.
My favorite concealer ever is also L'Oreal True Match. It doesn't apply too heavy but also covers well! If you need a corrector, Wet N Wild makes a good one. If my dark circles are looking crazy, I apply some corrector and then top with concealer. A little goes a long way here. Always remember to set your concealer with powder!
Pro Tip: Apply foundation first, and then concealer. Otherwise the concealer will just rub away the foundation!
My favorite powder EVER is Rimmel's Stay Matte. It's like $4 and it's fantastic. Gently press this into areas where your skin gets oilier and lightly dust on any other areas. I also quite like Rimmel's bronzer because it's like their regular powder formula, wears well, and is not sparkly.
If you're into blush, NYX makes my favorite. If you like a bit of shimmer in your blush, Milani blush would be more your speed.
Wet N Wild makes great highlighters-use sparingly, those things are bright!
Not everyone is a lip product fan, but WHEW do I love lipstick so much. It's such a fun way to play with your look. Now that I'm nearing my mid 30s, lipliner is necessary. I like the formula from NYX or Rimmel, and I always blend the lipliner in toward the lips so that there's not a harsh line. My favorite drugstore formulas are from Flower Beauty and NYX Cosmetics. I've had my lipstick last all day using those formulas! If you love a matte lip, NYX is your best bet. If you're a gloss person, try NYX Butter gloss! There are lots of colors and it's a comfortable formula.
If you've ever walked through the cosmetics section of your local drugstore, you know that I've barely touched on the options that are available to you. There are SO many! I'm well aware that what has worked in my experience may not work for you-but if you're looking for a place to start, I hope I've given you some worthy suggestions. As far as application goes, that's tough to do in a blog post. I'm hoping to make a series of videos sometime this year-filming equipment is definitely on my (never ending) list! Let me know if I've suggested something that you also love, or if you have any suggestions that I haven't listed that I can share with everyone. I'm always on the hunt to try something new!
love & lipstick,