Beauty Basics

Years ago, during a New Year’s Eve trip to Canada, I shared a hotel room with four other girls (craziness, I know). I recall one particular night when I was the last one to get in the shower, and I was the first one ready to go. While I’m still not sure if this is something I should be proud of, I like to consider myself very “efficient” when it comes to getting ready.  This past week, a friend of mine (ironically, from Canada!) inquired about my favorite beauty products, asking what I use to prepare for photo shoots and on a daily basis.  At first, because I don’t use an excessive amount of makeup, I wasn’t sure I could come up with much.  After some thought I realized that many of the products I use regularly have been a part of my routine for years. While everyone’s skin, makeup style and budget differ, the following products are ones I highly recommend trying.

Andalou Naturals SPF. This is the first product I tried from the Andalou Naturals skin care line.  Along with focusing on health and wellness from a fitness perspective, it’s also important to prevent damage to your skin with topical products.  Research shows that wearing a daily SPF is one of the best ways to prevent fine lines and wrinkles.  The best part of Andalou (there are many “best parts!”) is that it contains fruit stem cells.  The fruit stem cells work at cellular level to repair damage caused by oxidation, free radicals and UV damage.  All of the Andalou Naturals products contain 100% certified organic aloe in place of water.  The aloe helps deliver nutrients to the skin and retains hydration better than water. It is available here at Vitamin Shoppe.

Benefit Hello Flawless.  In the past, I’ve used loose powder which can sometimes be messy.  Benefit’s Hello Flawless is another product I have used for years.  It provides great coverage and you’ll get even better results when pairing it with the Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation which contains SPF protection of 25.  Both are available at Ulta for about $35 each.

Cover Girl Lash Blast.  The original.  Not the waterproof. Not the “extra volume” or whatever other version is now available.  This product first came out about 6 or 7 years ago.  The results were amazing. My lashes were long. My lashes were full.  More than ever.  I began using this product while I was living with my mom, and with the “discretionary” income I had, I spent around $20 for mascaras from Sephora, only to be disappointed.  I have tried others since discovering this one, and always return to Lash Blast.  I did accidentally purchase the waterproof once.  I do not recommend it.  I’m convinced I lost several lashes along with the black water that washed down the bathroom sink.  I usually spend about $7 on this item at Target.

Revlon Liquid Liner.  Liquid liner addicts, unite!  Because once you’ve used liquid liner, it’s very difficult to go without it.  A college friend introduced me to liquid liner and I will always remember that monumental moment in the dorm bathroom.  It was a game changer.  Wherever we were going that night, in our “5-7-9” sparkly tanks and black pants, I went feeling more glamorous than ever.  I always buy this in black. The one time I bought it in brown (because it was the only one available), I used it once and was disappointed in it’s lack of intensity. It remains in the back of my bathroom cabinet to this day.  I have used other brands, but I’m very picky about the applicator (anyone who has tried to apply liquid liner would understand), so I buy this one consistently.  Available at Target for less than $10.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow.  I discovered my love for Urban Decay eyeshadow from a makeup artist/friend.  I reached out to her when trying to find a brand that would mix well with water (yes, stay tuned for details) and go on smoothly and easily.  In the past, I had used a powder eyeshadow from Bare Escentuals, but have no longer been able to find it.  The women who sold it to me suggested dipping the brush in water before applying the eyeshadow for a more dramatic effect.  I have had great luck achieving this effect with the pressed powder in Blackout.  My base color is Virgin and my secondary color is Smog.  I use Virgin and Smog on a daily basis.

MAC Lipstick.  Of course when I finally discovered a lipstick color I LOVED, they discontinued it!  For the longest time I used MAC lipstick in Lady GaGa.  When a client/friend of mine who works for MAC sent me some products, she asked which were my favorites. When I told her about Lady GaGa, she quickly came up with an alternative color, Blankety, which I love and use fairly consistently.

Big Sexy Hair Powder Play.  The first time I bought this, it was at Nordstrom Rack. It’s also available at Ulta.  Or on Amazon.  I don’t use it often, but it’s a must-have for photo shoots and when my hair is looking flat.  Sprinkle a bit on the roots, run your fingers along your scalp and instant volume! For even more fullness, I’ll gently tease the hair with a narrow bristle brush, then brush over the top to smooth it out.  This is not good for the hair, so I avoid doing it too often.  The powder gives hair added “thickness” as well.


NeoCell Keratin Hair Volumizer.  While this isn’t exactly a product that I “apply” to my hair, I have seen more results with NeoCell’s Keratin Hair Volumizer than I have with some of the sprays, creams and other topical treatments I have used in the past.  NeoCell’s Keratin supplement contains keratin, collagen, vitamin C and amla extract.  And because the keratin is bioavailable, it’s able to bind with hair and has been proven to increase hair strength and make it shinier, longer and thicker.  NeoCell Keratin Hair Volumizer is available here at Vitamin Shoppe for less than $20.

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo.  I definitely use dry shampoo on a regular basis.  The Not Your Mother’s brand is available at Ulta and Target.  Each product sells for less than $10. They also have an amazing Dry Finish Texture Spray, at a similar price point.41Im2MAMVEL._SY355_

What are your favorite products and why?