Get Real

As you may know by now, I love mascara. My mom says my eyelashes are so long and thick that I don’t need to use mascara, but I truly think it takes the lashes to the next level. In my make up drawer I always have at least 4 full sized tubes – because they obviously each serve their own purpose and have something unique about them. There are a few that are my absolute faves for special occasions and my one go to for daily use.

So lets start with my go to special occasion mascara….

Too Faced – Better Than Sex

I LOVE this. It makes my lashes look like I am wearing falsies. The wand is really big and allows for an even coat of mascara across your eyelashes. WARNING: don’t use on your bottom lashes unless you are into the whole “i wanna look like a doll” look, which I am totally not a fan of. This mascara is a little much for everyday use for me, but it really works wonders when you want that added glam.

And for my go to day to day mascara…

Benefit – They’re Real

This wand took me a little while to get used to simply because it is a rubber based wand, but I absolutely love this mascara. It really separates the lashes and makes them look thick and long without looking clumpy. It works amazing with the new They’re Real Gel Liner. Seriously go buy these and you eyes will look amazing everyday. 


All I Want For Christmas…

The holiday season is fast approaching and that can only mean one thing: super fun make up kits at beauty retailers like Ulta and Sephora. The other day I went to Ulta because I ran out of concealer. Needless to say, I got distracted by all the fun, new, perfectly paired beauty packs. When I saw this I absolutely fell in love with the compact which has 2 eye shadow colors and a blush. The light eyeshadow shade is a great “vanilla” matte while the dark has just a hint of sparkle, it is not as dark as it appears. It’s the perfect combination for a simple, sultry eye. I am obsessed with the blush. It is the perfect peachy color that will work with every outfit all winter long. A huge plus to this pack is a full-sized eyeshadow primer ($20 by itself), which is one of my absolute faves. I had never tried the Too Faced mascaras or eyeliner, and they are surely going to become a new staple in my makeup drawer. The eyeliner stayed all day and did not budge or flake at all. The mascara does wonders by giving lots of volume yet does not clump. Finally the lipstick. For those of you that know me personally, you know I am more of a chapstick girl, but after trying this lipstick I think my views have changed. It is a full-sized la creme lip creme ($21 by itself) in a shade called “believe” and I am obsessed. The lipstick is creamy without being greasy and the color stays for a long period of time. Plus, it comes with a super cute travel sized make up bag. All in all, it is a great deal for the price, and has essentials you will be using all winter long.


Conceal Away those Dark Spots and Blemishes

Concealers. We all use them. Whether it is dark spots under the eyes, acne scars, birth marks, or just for highlighting, concealers are a staple in a make up bag. I know what you are thinking, there are so many different kinds that you don’t even know where to begin. For me personally, I lean towards the cream concealer over the liquid because I find them easier to work with.

bareMinerals Correcting Concealer – $20

A huge plus to this concealer is the fact that it is SPF 20 so it not only corrects dark circles and blemishes, it also protects your skin from the harmful rays of the sun at the same time. I used this all summer long when I was at the beach or lake and was usually the only make up I had on. It is perfect for those who are super active outdoors and want a little more protection from their makeup.


Smashbox Camera Ready Full Coverage Concealer – $20

The stick formula is easy to apply on the go and fits nicely in a purse or clutch. This is what I take with me if I am going somewhere at night and fear I might need to reapply if my eyeliner smudges. It does have a little powder in the base, so you do not have to worry about reapplying powder after you touch up. I highly recommend for your on-the-go concealer. 


Benefit Erase Paste – $26

I had heard mixed reviews about this product. You either love it or you hate it, and I absolutely love it. It is super creamy and thick without being heavy and cake like on your face. It works wonders on dark circles and imperfections all over the face. The scoop it comes with typically gives me more than I need, so I just dab a little on my finger and I am good to go. It might look like a teeny tiny pot, but a little really does go a long way.


Benefit Stay Don’t Stray – $26

This is a concealer and primer all in one! This is super easy to apply and is perfect for days when you really do not have time to sit and blend everything in. The wand allows for easy application so you are all set to face the day in an instant. It works perfect if you do not feel like wearing make up, but still want to cover up those pesky dark circles under your eyes.


Eyeshadow Primers

The dreaded crease in your eyeshadow. It happens to everyone, but it can be avoided if you prep and prime your eyelid properly. There are tons of eyeshadow primers out there, but I find these two products really do the trick. No creases in your eyeshadow, and color that doesn’t fade makes these two products winners in my book.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion – $20

This is Urban Decay’s #1 selling product and for good reason! It never creases and is coveted by makeup artists. When it dries, it essentially becomes invisible/nude so it doesn’t change your eyeshadow to a different color than you expected. I use the original formula, but they do offer a couple other selections that dry to have a slight shimmer and darker shade. 


Too Face Shadow Insurance – $20

Just like Urban Decay’s product, this dries nude and is amazing at locking in the color of your eyeshadow for hours on end. It is silicone based which does help with the adhesion of the eyeshadow to the lid, but do not worry that doesn’t mean it is difficult to remove. I love this primer and high recommend it.



Make Up Primers and Setters

Wouldn’t it be nice to apply our make up in the morning, be on the go all day, and when you finally get the chance to look in the mirror in the evening, your make up is in the same place. Well there is a way, and it is all in how you prime and set your make up.


I love both Urban Decay and Smashbox (if you can’t tell by how often I post about their products). Urban Decay’s product is awesome because it almost works like a moisturizer at the same time. I don’t feel like it is greasy or leaving a weird film on my face like some products. Smashbox is known for being at the forefront of cosmetic technology, so do not let their selections of primers scare you away. I stick with their original photofinish (the clear primer) on an everyday occasion. If for some reason my skin is super dry, i will use the hydrating formula (the blue primer…don’t worry it is not actually blue once you rub it in) just to help seal in the moisture. Both of these brands ensure that you are going to get even flawless coverage with your foundation so you are not constantly running to the ladies room to powder your nose.

ud-prime Smashbox-Primers-2







I can not begin to tell you what a life changer the all nighter make up setting spray has beenThe first time I used it was at my sister’s wedding and I have never looked back. With weddings, you are doing hair and make up first thing in the morning, then going through pictures, the ceremony, reception, and by the end of the night it is possible your make up could be completely worn off. By using this spray, my make up looked as perfect at midnight as it did at 10am in the morning right after it was applied. This spray is a must in your make up bag!



Pore Correctors

Pores. We all have them. We all hate them. We all try to cover them up. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem to matter what you do to avoid them, they just show up. Thankfully, there was a gift from the cosmetic industry that gave us a way to help camouflage them without clogging them. I know, I know, you are thinking that this is just one more layer of product you have to put on your face and you don’t want to get that cake like look. Don’t worry, these two products are amazing, light weight, easy to blend, and get the job done. The POREessional by benefit costs $30 and works wonders. It has a great creamy texture and is easy to blend. I use this product solely on my chin and bridge of my nose.  Urban Decay’s Pore Perfecting  Complexion Primer Potion is $31 and has more of a silky consistency. A huge plus to Urban Decay’s product is that it is paraben free, so for those of you with sensitive skin, this is the way to go. I tend to use this in the creases on the side of my nose and on my cheeks, where my skin tends to be oilier. Both products are amazing and really do help in obtaining that airbrushed, flawless look.



The Dirt on Face Wash

Finding a facial cleanser that you are truly happy with is very difficult. Especially when you need different cleansers for different purposes. Some are made to fight acne, but if you use them every day, then you run the risk of your skin becoming dry. Others are made to remove make up that goes deep and can clog your pores. Others are made to be daily cleansers to simply remove the dirt and sweat from the day. But how do you know which one is right for you? My trick, get one from each category and intermix them throughout the week as you see fit.

Bare Minerals Deep Cleansing Foam – $20

This daily cleanser from bareMinerals works wonders. After using it, your face feels so soft and smooth. It has a slight tingle when you are using it, almost like you can feel it cleaning your face. A little bit goes a very long way with this product because it does foam up nicely. This is my go to when I am traveling because I know it is going to get the job done for the few days I am away. The travel size is perfect and lasts a long time, so you are not constantly running to the store before your trip to try to find a face wash that doesn’t take up half your make up bag. You can find this at Ulta, Sephora, or any bareEssentials store.


Murad Pore Reform Line- $28 – 49.50

A lot of people are scared to try murad for fear it will dry out your skin. It is prescription strength, so that is possible, but if you only use it a few times a week, have no fear, your skin will be clear of acne and blackheads and look radiant. They recently came out with their Pore Reform line and I am obsessed. I keep the Pore Reform  Daily Cleansing Foam in the shower and try to use it every other day after I get home from a long day of cross-country practice. While it is considered a daily cleansing foam, I am still hesitant because it is such a strong cleanser. I also use the Pore Reform Blackhead & Pore Refine System Duo to help keep my problem areas in check. Step 1 is a thick, creamy, cleanser that you leave on your problem areas for 5-10 minutes then wash away. You then follow with step 2, which is a light weight lotion to help repair skin.  You can find the whole line of Murad products at Ulta or Sephora.

2263434 MR200-murad-pore-reform-daily-cleansing-foam

Stila Coming Clean Revitalizing Gel Cleanser – $22

After a night out, a lot of times, we are too tired to take off our make up, but sleeping in make up is not good for our skin. While the convenience of facial wipes sometimes win out, they do not necessarily get the job done. When I got this product and tried it out for the first time, I wanted to test just how well it removed the make up from my face. After washing my face, I got a make up wipe, and used it, and it was perfectly clean. I am in love. This is my new go to for completely removing my make up. You can find this at Ulta; Sephora does not carry Stila products.


Neurtrogena Microdermabrasion System – $22.99

Let me begin by saying that I LOVE this! I use this every other day to really get a good, deep clean feeling. The pads are premeditated, so you simply have to get them wet and attach to the wand. It does the same job as other brands of at home microdermabrasion systems for a fraction of the price. The starter pack comes with a months worth of pads and the refills come in 2 month supply pack for around $12. You can find this at Ulta or Target.