Until they expire. Or I run out. And I go buy a new one.
Unfortunately for my car mileage and my wallet, nothing gets me more excited than a trip to Sephora to scout out the newest in makeup and skincare. I make it a point to keep up with the latest launches in the beauty world, but no cosmetic cultist would be caught dead without a lineup of their own tried-and-true staples.
Just as a face needs a strong foundation to build upon (oh, and make it lightweight, dewy but not *too* dewy, mattifying around the T-zone, long-wearing, and cruelty-free, please), this post serves as the foundation to all future beauty posts to come. Each item in this list is like the friend you call at 4 am with a life crisis: hand them a mess and they’ll magically sort it out.
Check out my all-time faves below. I would absolutely recommend these products for anyone; they’re accessible to all skin tones and types.
This pomade is powerful enough for even the most unruly of hairs but provides subtlety in its color that makes it easy to take pencil-thin brows (hello early 2000s) to an entirely different level.
I got a bit blessed in the brows department; they generally don’t need much shaping or filling in, so I use the pomade for the outer third of my brows only.
Now, not to throw shade at Instagram brows, I could scroll through that tag for hours, but for a much more wearable daytime brow look this pomade is your best friend. The texture isn’t waxy in the slightest and both the color payoff and hold last for hours. Well done, Anastasia. If you need me I’ll be pronouncing your name over and over in my head so I don’t mess it up on my next Sephora run.
My shade: Medium-brown. I recommend also making an investment in Anastasia’s brush #12, which has a perfect angle for precise brushstrokes (and a spoolie!).
I’ve got a weakness for K-beauty and skincare. So when acclaimed and affordable Korean beauty brand Tony Moly began creeping its way into U.S. makeup stores, the hype was real. I’ll admit it, when I first saw this product I really only bought after being hypnotized by its packaging: a giant, metallic set of lips. So. Cute.
I soon learned that this balm was a force to be reckoned with. It’s non-sticky and nourishing all while smelling absolutely dreamy without leaving an odd sugary taste in your mouth. The shine is more of a dew on the lips that serves to plump without being overly-glossy. The aspect of the balm that truly wins for me, however, is that it seems to bring out the natural color of your lips. It’s you, only better.
My flavor: Honey, although the Blueberry is a close runner-up.
The staying power of this baby is insane. It’s held up through both my sweatiest Soulcycle and teariest of rom-com sessions. On a more day-to-day schedule, however, this stuff even doesn’t budge when the dreaded I-forgot-I-had-eye-makeup-on-and-rubbed-my-face occurs. My mascara, meanwhile, is an entirely different, messy story. Any smudge-proof suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
The liner has a thin felt tip for ultimate precision, which allows me to complete my (almost) daily winged-liner look with ease. The color is highly pigmented and dries down in a flash, so I find I don’t have to go over any previously-sketched lines or set it with a shadow.
My color: Black. For those who aren’t sold on a daily wing and want more of a natural effect, dot the liner in Dark Brown along the upper lash line to mimic the appearance of fuller lashes.
Another win for some affordable K-beauty. These blotting papers will become the best friend of anyone with either oily or combination skin, or anyone with unpredictable hot weather (I’m looking at you, Palo Alto). The papers, made entirely of Korean mulberry, soak up every ounce of unwanted oil without disturbing any of the makeup you spent so much time perfecting earlier that morning.
Korean beauty really has the whole packaging figured out; once again, that’s what initially drew me in. The outside of the compact is decorated with the whimsical hand-drawn sketches by New-York based artist and architect Hatori Sando, while the inside contains a mint-green puff for the actual application of the papers. Delicate and ingenious.
My compact: Classic Mulberry. The sheets come in Green Tea (for sensitive/acne prone skin) and Mattifying Charcoal (for pore tightening) as well, but those tend to fly off the shelves in a flash, so keep an eye out. You know I will be.
For someone who has struggled with acne and breakouts their entire life, I was absolutely no stranger to the disappointment of a failed concealer. There’s just so much that can go wrong, and so much at stake: The concealer creases, emphasizes dry skin, oxidizes, slides off despite liberal amounts of setting powder, you name it. That’s why coming across these Lancome concealers was as close to a miracle as it gets.
I’ll lay it out as simply as I can: Pigment. Tons of pigment. A little bit of this creamy concealer goes a long way and truly provides long-lasting full coverage. While it’s a bit thick for under-eye concealing (my current go-to for dark circles is Bareminerals Correcting Concealer), even the most red, irritated acne doesn’t stand a chance.
While it’s a bit up there in price, you really, really don’t need that much product for coverage, so it’ll last eons. It also sets in an instant, so keep this in mind for blending purposes.
My shades: 90 N Ivoire (fair with neutral undertones) and 215 N Buff (*slightly* darker fair with neutral undertones in the extremely rare case I get some sun).