beauty essentials.

I tend to be a creature of habit when it comes to my beauty essentials.  Once I find a product that I love, it becomes a daily staple and I’ll buy it time and time again.  I’ve recently added a few new products to the mix and wanted to share my go to products for my skin care and every day makeup routine.

Skin Care:

Dove White Bar Soap: After trying many different cleansers and frequently being left with dry, irritated skin from washing twice a day, I decided to go back to the basics and switch to plain, white bar soap. I must say, I’ve been very happy with the results and feel that it does a great job with removing makeup and oil at the end of the day.

 St. Ives Green Tea Scrub: I’ve been a St. Ives gal for years and their apricot scrub was totally my go to until I sampled the Green Tea scrub. I love how fine the particles of this scrub are and it does a great job at both removing dry, dead skin and fighting breakouts. A little bit goes a long way and you really only need a pea sized amount with each use.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion: This is the only facial lotion that I’ll use. It’s perfect for all year round (even the dry winter months) and it’s the only lotion I’ve ever used that doesn’t make your foundation all cakey when applied afterwards. It’s well worth the price and here’s a little secret, you can save some money by purchasing the pump bottle the first time, then saving it and buying the non-pump bottle afterwards.

Mint Julep Masque: A new addition to my beauty routine, I purchased on a whim after seeing the product featured by another blogger. It’s a great value and I’ve been using it once a week – the product is thick and the mint makes your skin tingle and after 15 minutes, you’re left with soft, smooth skin with visibly smaller pores.

–  Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System: After lusting for a Clarisonic for many months (and seeing every blogger go crazy over them), I bought one then tweeted about my splurge. Immediately, my good friend Sarah responded recommending the Olay alternative (which is like over $100 cheaper) – she had used a Clarisonic for years and made the switch when it came time to replace hers. So, I canceled my order and picked this up instead and I must say, it’s pretty awesome. I use this for both every day cleansing and weekly scrubs and I’ve been very happy with the results. You’ll immediately notice how much cleaner your face feels and how much better your makeup is removed versus normal cleansing with your hands. My one tip with this is to make sure you rinse off several times during cleansing – you can see the makeup on the brush head and it’s good to give it a good rinse so you’re not cleaning your face with dirty soap.

Everyday Makeup:

–  BareMinerals Warmth:  I’m a pale girl so I need bronzer year round to keep me from looking ghostly.  After trying many different brands, I realized that most all bronzers had a shimmer to them, which is pretty annoying.  Then I discovered BareMinerals Warmth, which is pretty much perfect.  A little bit goes a long way and I apply to my entire face using a kabuki brush after doing my foundation – it’s a nice, subtle color that looks very natural.

–  Clinique Eye Shadow Quad in “Spicy”:  On days when I’m not wearing a bold lip color, I like to throw on some eye shadow to look more finished than I do with mascara alone.  I love Clinique’s eye shadow quads and have found that they’re very versatile and can take you from a subtle every day look using the lighter colors to a more dramatic look for a night out with a blend of all four colors.

–  L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara:  Mascara is the one product I’m usually willing to pick up and try a new version of but I’ve purchased this one several times now.  It does a great job lengthening and thickening my lashes with only one or two swipes and doesn’t flake off after wearing all day.

–  Almay Oil-free Makeup Remover Pads:  These are the best makeup remover pads I’ve ever used and do an amazing job taking off eye makeup (even waterproof mascara!!).  They’re also great for doing touch-ups and removing any smudges or mascara on your eyelid before heading out the door.  Be sure to get the oil-free version though (purple label) – I once grabbed the other version and they were very greasy (could not be used for touch-ups) and irritated my eyes.

–  Bare Escentuals Concealer Brush:  This brush is great for covering blemishes or evening out skin tone using a powder foundation.  My current trick is to first apply foundation using a kabuki brush, then use the concealer brush for some additional coverage to hide darkness under my eyes or on any blemish areas.

–  Revlon PhotoReady Concealer:  Sometimes I just need a little more coverage than my BareMinerals foundation can offer when it comes to blemishes and this concealer is amazing.  The consistency of the concealer is amazing and it’s offers great coverage with a thin layer of product.  It works well on both dark circles, red spots or blemishes and doesn’t get gross and cakey.

–  NARS Orgasm Blush:  I’m pretty sure everyone knows about this amazing blush already, but it’s worth featuring.  I was never a blush girl before and was totally converted once receiving this product as a gift from my wishlist.  It’s such a flattering shade and offers just a hint of shimmer – I’ll usually apply over the BareMinerals warmth for a perfect glow.

–  Spackle Tinted Primer:  This was something I purchased after seeing all of my blogger friends go crazy over the sample they had received in their Birchbox, so without even trying it for myself, I ordered it.  I like to apply one pump of this to my face directly after moisturizing and it does a great job evening out my skin tone with very subtle color.  I’ve found that it helps my makeup last all day and also reduces the dreaded end of day shine. 

–  BareMinerals Foundation:  Want to look like you have perfect skin but aren’t wearing any makeup?  I love the coverage of this product but how it leaves you looking truly fresh faced and not like you’re wearing a mask of makeup.  Also bonus points for the fact that it has SPF 15 so you’re able to get sun protection without having to add another product to your daily routine.  The variety of shades is awesome and they really take into account your skin’s undertones (warm or cool) to get a perfect match.

–  Rimmel Soft Kohl Eyeliner:  This eyeliner stays put all day and doesn’t leave that annoying smudge on the upper part of your eyelid.  It’s easy to apply and is just the right softness – I generally will wear either their gray or plum shades during the day and of course, a classic black for a more dramatic look.

–  e.l.f. Studio Kabuki Brush:  I was very impressed with the quality of e.l.f.’s kabuki brush for the price point – I love these brushes for all of my facial makeup application, from foundation to bronzer and blush.  The bonus of using a kabuki brush is that it’s also easy to store and doesn’t take up a ton of room in your makeup bag.

I’d love to hear what your faves are as well!  Feel free to link back with your own blog post  sharing what products are within your beauty routine or leave me a comment with any of your recommendations.