Friday Favorites - Makeup Essentials

Happy Fourth of July everyone!! So, after my post on skin, I had a lot of people write/ message me about my makeup routine/makeup favorites. Two questions were asked a few times: readers want to know what makeup would work in the HOT, HUMID summer months and others wanted to know what makeup I am currently wearing on a daily basis. Then I had a few ask what's currently in my makeup bag. So, I am going to try and answer all of these in one post the best I can. Again, this is makeup that works well on my skin, following the regimen that I discuss here. Since every person's skin, pores, ethnic background, coloring etc are different, I can only go off the experience that I have with my own skin. I am not a makeup artist by any stretch of the imagination so only can share what I know after many, many years of trial and error, and after a 4 year stint in high school of never properly blending in my bronzer ;) So...here is the rundown!

My skin is... what "they" would call "normal/combination". Which, to me, has always been annoying. That doesn't tell me ANYTHING about my skin. Okay- so let's break it down. My skin tends to be more oily/combination in the summer/humid months and more dry in the winter months. It would be more on the sensitive side as I can rash, bump, flair up easy. When I am in the sun, sweat, or beach (anywhere humid) I tend to have more clogged pores/breakouts, so I have to really watch my makeup choices then. My pores are also small, so I have never been a fan of thick/heavy coverage of makeup as it just makes me look like a clown.

What you see below is what works for this type of skin. If your skin is like mine, then you may find good options here! Also to note, YES, some of these are expensive. But, when it comes to what I put on my face I want it to be the best quality out there (with the best ingredients) because I DO have skin that is sensitive and susceptible to breakouts/rashing when products aren't good quality. Good quality doesn't ALWAYS = expensive... but more so then not, it does.

Face:

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer 'Radiance'- After my SPF goes on, I always start my routine with this. It keeps everything "set" on my face for the day and gives a beautiful glow to the skin. I have talked about this before and highly recommend it. Very light, goes on like a lotion but not thick, no oily residue. Great for all weather and does not break me out. In the summer  I use Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer because it contains SPF and gives me a nice even color to my face. Then I will put this primer on.

By Terry Touch-Up Concealer: This is what I use under my eyes. It is very light weight and gives me enough coverage for my dark circles without being too cakey. I use the lightest color option (#1) so this also gives me a nice highlighting effect under my eyes. If I need more coverage under the eyes, and for the other spots around the face, I use Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick as a touch up concealer in 'sand'. It's one of the best out there and lasts forever.

MakeUp Forever Face & Body: I don't normally use foundation, but when I do this is my go to. It's by far the most seamless foundation I have ever tried. It evens out the complexion and leaves a very natural finish on the skin. I normally use "Ivory" but in the summer go a little darker to "sand". This foundation literally makes you look like you aren't wearing any foundation, which I like. But, If I do need more coverage I always choose Georgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in '4.5' or '6' in the summer.

Bare Minerals Loose Powder: I don't normally wear a lot of powder, as I like to let my skin breathe. But when I do this is the best for that. It gives you the even complexion that you need without the thickness of powder all over your face. It's great to use during the day as it contains SPF. I'm either 'light' or 'light beige'.

Nars 'Orgasm'- I've been using this blush for almost 10 years. It lasts a very long time and is the best for my skin tone.

Highlighting/Contouring:

Another reason I don't use a lot of foundation/powder anymore is because I have started to find great coverage in the highlighting/contouring colors that I use. Highlighting/contouring your face is everything (and I didn't really understand this until about a year ago when a makeup artist gave me the low down). You could literally walk out of your house with nothing on your face other than contouring/highlighting and look like a million bucks! If I have any kind of "secret" to the way I've been doing my makeup in the past year, this would be it. If you want to learn how to properly hightlight/contour your face, look no farther than my dear friend and beauty extraordinaire Angela Lanter!! Her step by step guide on contouring is super easy for anyone to pick up, and your face will look amazing! Below are the products I use for contouring/highlighting.

I love using creams to really "draw" out the highlighting and contouring map on my face (like Angela does in her video). I like the cream because its lightweight, easy to blend and is an added concealer (which means less other "stuff" on your face). The Temptu Wheel is great in that you get an array of colors to choose from. I use the lightest for my highlighting spots, the darkest for the contouring and then the shade closest to my skin tone for any touch ups I need to do. This thing is awesome! Also, you MUST MUST MUST get a good face blender. At first I thought it was just a gimmick/way to make me spend more money but once I actually tried the beauty blender I quickly realized why every makeup artist on the planet uses it. Because IT WORKS! It blends everything together perfectly and also absorbs unwanted oils, sweat and other gunk you don't need on your face, leaving you with a perfect complexion! After my cream is set and blended I will go over the highlighted portion with Becca Shimmering Skin Powder in 'Moonstone' using a brush and then will do the same with Nars 'Laguna' Bronzer for the contouring parts. After this I will add my blush and pretty much be good to go. No need for a lot of concealer, foundation or powder. Once you get the hang of this it may take you 2-3 minutes tops to do all of this, which is quick and efficient. And as a mom, that is essential.

Eyes:

Of course I am a girl, so I have a TON of eye shadow's. But for my daily routine, I stick to the Too Faced Natural Eye Palette. It's good quality, offers different looks and is easy. I'm a mom and I need it simple and quick, so this is great for that. I always prime my eyes first with Too Faced Eye Primer, then give my eyes a pop with the Sorme BrowLift Highlighting Pencil. I heard about this eyebrow highlighter from my friend Melissa Schleicher, who is Carrie Underwood's makeup artist and owns Parlour 3 (if you've never been to Parlour 3 in Nashville, TN you need to go. It's like a Heaven on earth for all things makeup and beauty!). She told me the amazing benefits of the eyebrow pencil, but let's be honest here, if it works for Carrie, then I'm sold! *Another tip: I also use this browlift highlighter pencil to trace my "map" underneath my eyes and around my face when I am doing my highlighting routine before I use the temptu wheel. Then I set my eyelashes with L'Oreal Curved Brush Voluminous Mascara in 'Carbon Black'. I only use eyeliner when I am going out at night, never during the day.

Eyebrows:

For me, because I am blonde, eyebrows are key. If my eyebrows aren't colored in I literally look like I don't have any. Coloring my eyebrows makes my eyes stand out in a completely different (and better) way then if I just left them alone. My favorite eyebrow pencil is Kevyn Aucoin, and I alternate between his blonde and brunette shade depending on how dramatic I want my eyebrows to be.

The makeup brushes I use are Tigi Cosmetics Brush Kit. When I was pregnant/ a hormonal sumo wrestler my skin was very sensitive to brushes. These were the first that didn't make me break out in hives.

I also want to note some fabulous ladies that I go to for my makeup needs! These ladies are ON TOP OF IT when it comes to all things beauty. A shout out is a must :)

http://www.angelalanter.com/

http://www.theglossguide.com/

Now... for some fun! I'm doing my very first makeup giveaway!! One lucky reader will receive the Laura Mercier Radiance Primer! See below for details.

CONGRATULATIONS TO NATALIE WILLIAMS! YOU'VE WON THE PRIMER GIVEAWAY. PLEASE EMAIL ME YOUR ADDRESS INFO. :)

Giveaway Instructions for Laura Mercier Radiance Primer Giveaway:

ONE giveaway winner will receive Laura Mercier Radiance Primer. In order to enter you must:
1. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
2. Tweet/Retweet about this giveaway post using #fridayfavsgiveaway OR comment on the giveaway picture on my instagram, facebook or pinterest page using #fridayfavsgiveaway

3. Leave a comment below telling me your must have makeup product with the best email to reach you
4. Must have a US mailing address

5. Winner to be announced Friday, July 11.