I have a huge mix of high- and low-end products in my beauty arsenal. I prefer to have a variety because while some drugstore products really are dupes for their expensive counterparts, sometimes the lower price just doesn’t cut it.
So today, I’ll focus on my favorite products on the higher end of the scale.
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray ($30, Sephora)
I used this when I performed a five minute long dance routine with my cheerleading squad in Florida rain and humidity two years ago and haven’t gone back since.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation ($44, Nordstrom)
I did a review of this foundation here and while I’m still technically on the quest to find my absolute holy grail, this will more than do for now. This formula is non-greasy and blurs dark circles and blemishes without looking caked on.
Benefit Watt’s Up! Highlighter ($30, Sephora)
I first got this with the Sephora Beauty Insider birthday gift in 2013 and I actually still have the original sample size (pictured above) that I take with me to school and travel. The applicator on this cream-to-powder is great for precision, which is something I’ve found liquid and powder formulas sometimes lack. I also love the champagne color and it blends out beautifully for a glow that isn’t sparkly.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($20, currently 50% off at Urban Decay!)
With my oily eyelids, I have to use eyeshadow primer anytime I wear shadow. If I skip this vital step, the color slides around and creases pretty much immediately after I apply it. This stuff is a godsend. It keeps shadow stuck to my lids through rain, sweat, and pretty much anything but waterproof makeup-remover.
RCMA Makeup VK Palette #11 ($72, RCMA Makeup)
Whether I use powder or cream contouring products depends on the condition of my skin. But more often than not, I reach for this palette when I want to contour. RCMA (which stands for Research Council of Makeup Artists) is known for being the choice of many professionals and their foundations were developed to deliver highly pigmented payoff made without mineral oil or lanolin. The variety of shades in this palette are perfect for matching exactly the coolness/warmth of your skin tone and while the formula can get greasy, some setting powder holds it in place all day.
Urban Decay Naked Palette ($54, Urban Decay)
I was really late to the game on this one, but better late than never. I finally got this palette a year or two ago and I probably use it every day. Even better, I use all of the shades without struggling to find a way to incorporate them. The shades are velvety soft (something I love Urban Decay for), easily blendable, and highly pigmented. Also, they last a ridiculously long time: I use Virgin every single day and I’m just barely starting to hit pan.
NARS Orgasm Blush ($30, Sephora)
I was never a blush girl until I tried this. It’s versatile, buildable and the golden-peach tones flatter universally.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade ($18, Anastasia Beverly Hills)
This is my go-to when I have more than a minute to do my brows. It’s creamy, waterproof and will give you clean, defined brows. I use it with a precise angled brush to outline my brow shape, then blend the color in to get natural-looking fullness.
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($23, Too Faced)
When you have short, blonde eyelashes like me, mascara (along with brow product for giving color to my equally-blonde eyebrows) is the one thing I don’t go without. I prefer dramatic lashes that are equal parts lush and long, so this is by far my favorite mascara. Usually I layer it with a different waterproof formula to keep it on all day, but I can’t wait to get my hands on the waterproof version.
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner ($19, Sephora)
As someone whose signature makeup look has long-involved a cat eye, I don’t know how I went most of my life without this eyeliner. The super-pigmented formula glides on like a dream and stays jet black once dry, and it stays put through anything.
Kat Von D Tattoo Brow ($19, Sephora), not pictured
I just ran out of this and haven’t had the time to trek back to Sephora yet, but this is perfect for creating clean, natural-looking brow hairs. It stays all day (like its cousin Tattoo Liner) and is great for filling in sparse areas without caking on product.
Check back soon for my drugstore holy grail products!