Your No-BS Guide to Workhorse Everyday Makeup
If you wear it, you want it to work.
Forever in pursuit of a dewy glow, I get so very miffed when I spend money on beauty that doesn’t deliver. Given the twice-annual Sephora sale hits right now (more info here), the timing is right to lay out some of the stuff I actually use on the daily. And let it be known — I spent my money on every product I’m listing below.
Things that really irk me: makeup that pills up mascara that flakes, powder that cakes, concealer that doesn’t cover, celebrity skincare, Nirvana via the “clean” beauty myth, and high-priced wellness lies like vaginal steaming and Moon Juice. So let’s skate over that shitty ice and move on to legit products.
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Kosas Creamy Concealer: I love the way this product blends. You can use a teeny bit under the eyes or layer it up for more coverage. When it dries down, it looks like my skin. And most of all, it never gives me problems, which is the best thing I could say about any makeup. I apply it, it does its job, and then I forget about it the rest of the day. Well done, Kosas. I’m adding their little specially-shaped application sponge to my cart during the sale, which you absolutely do not need, but I like to get it allllll the way in the corner of my eye, and the pointy little tip on this tool intrigues me.
BeautyBlender: if you don’t have one, it will change the way your makeup goes on. Go buy one right now. I could get rid of every makeup brush I have, and if I only had this, my makeup would still look flawless. If you already have one, how long have you had it? Replace it like you would a kitchen sponge!
Ilia Super Skin Tint Serum Foundation: if you’re a five-minute face kinda gal, this is a great product, because you can get away with single-step makeup. It’s deceptive because it comes out runny in this little eye dropper and you’re like… huh? But you really do just rub it in with your fingers. No fancy tools are needed! There are so many shades, and it sheers out nicely to blend with just about any tone. I have friends in their 20s and friends in their 60s who use this stuff, and everyone loves it. Something that can tackle that kind of spread gets high marks from me.
Charlotte Tilbury Mini Highlighter Wand Duo Set: this is a special little mini duo priced for holiday gifting, but I’m buying it for myself to stash in my travel case. This is a case of great product, shitty packaging though. This highlighter is elite, untouchable. The glow! The blush is a wonderful, universally-flattering pink. I just wish they’d re-think the stupid squishy tube because it totes splooges.
Dyson Air Wrap: listen, I’m not going to try to sell you on this. I love mine, but the price is offensive. If you want one, this is a good time to grab it for 20% off. Or if you have a daughter/sister/Mom who loves this kind of thing, it makes a BANGER holiday gift.
Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream: again, offensively priced. But so fucking good. I try to quit her and date other people, but I always come back to her. At least you can grab it at a discount right now.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Setting Spray: I truly get anxious when I run low on this stuff because it sells out so often and I am so dependent on it. I use it even when I’m wearing zero makeup, only skincare — because it seals everything in. On top of sunscreen? Bet. But on top of makeup, *chefs kiss*. You know when you get a manicure and the top coat just makes it? This is that, but for your face. It’ll make your makeup last all day long (I took it to Palm Beach and Miami and it stood up to Florida humidity) and finish it with a healthy, dewy lil’ glow. Definitely adding this little mini duo to cart.
Westman Atelier Vital Pressed Powder Blurring Setting Powder: I don’t love powder as a rule, but it’s necessary under my eyes to keep my mascara in place. This is the best one I’ve found because it melts into my skin rather than sits on top of it. I stash it in my bag with the BeautyBlender powder puff for under-eye touch-ups when I’m out and about. The fact that it comes in this luxe mirror case is a bonus.
Boy Smells Cashmere Kush Perfume: holy shit. How did they wrap up the smell of rich women draped in expensive knits and bottle it? Idk. It’s so warm, lovely, and perfect for this time of year.
Westman Atelier Vital Skincare Dewy Foundation Drops: if you follow me on Instagram, you might be surprised to see this on here because I was not into this stuff the first time I tried it. But then I realized I’d given it a really unfair shake because my skin was peeling and dry from using Retinol the night before. After I used it on a normal day with a clean and moisturized face, it made its way into my daily routine, and now I use it all the time. Honorable mention to Tower 28 Sunny Days Tinted Sunscreen Foundation for accomplishing nearly the same finish, but I wouldn’t use it as my only SPF step.
Watermelon Glow Sunscreen / Summer Fridays ShadeDrops: I like both of these sunscreens for different reasons. Watermelon Glow is great for no-makeup days for the sheer radiance of it, but I don’t find it sits very well under makeup. For under makeup, I am loving Summer Fridays’ new ShadeDrops. It’s like a perfect combination of sunscreen and primer. Very into it.
Saie Dew Blush Liquid Cheek: I love a lot of products by Saie, but this is my favorite. I can literally apply it in the car with my fingers. It layers up really well if you want more color but sheers out if you only want a little kiss. Particularly, I love the shade “Rosy”. Other Saie winners: Super Glowy Gel Highlight for mixing into makeup for extra glow, Radiant Moisturizing Face Sunscreen for a lovely, sheer tinted sunscreen.
Milk Kush Fiber Eyebrow Gel: I love a big, fluffy, dark brow, and this delivers like no other. If you like one, too, Kush Fiber Gel’s your girl.
The Crown Affair The Comb No. 002: combing wet hair should be done with a wide-tooth comb, and could you use any ol’ comb? Sure you could! But this one is pretty. I use it with the companion leave-in conditioner.
Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil: When I heat style my hair, I spritz this stuff on my wet head to protect my locks. I’m trying to grow my hair out after a truly traumatizing ATL haircut a few months ago that sent me to New York to have it fixed. A big part of that is making sure the hair I have doesn’t break off. This stuff’s a classic that I’ll never not have on my vanity. I also love the Bumble & Bumble Pret-a-Porter dry shampoo. As a brunette, I love that it applies clearly rather than powdery.
Givenchy Le Rouge Sheer Velvet Matte Lipstick: by far the most-purchased recommendation in The Love List’s history, and I still stand behind it. The tube is gorgeous, it lasts, and it looks fabulous on. What else would you want from a tube of lipstick? Honorable mention to Westman Atelier’s Lip Suede Palette, which is a chic little red mirror compact packed with four shades of lippy that you can apply with your pinkie.
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