Thursday, January 15, 2015

Where do you shop for makeup?

I get this question all the time! And frankly, if you knew HOW much I shop for'd understand why it's such a difficult question to answer. But in all seriousness, I love products and discovering new items so much that it's an endless quest.
My usual haunts are everything from the super low low end: Big Lots (you never know what closeout you can score!), Marc's (their prices are unbeatable in the regular cosmetics section and occasionally they have closeouts that are rock bottom); the regular low end: CVS, Walgreens; the middle end: Ulta; the high end: Barney's, Nordstrom; and the professional brands: Makeup trade shows and Naimie's supply (in Hollywood, but I order by phone). I also have individual pro discounts to Nars, Stila, Smashbox and Make Up For Ever and will sometimes order direct if they have exclusives.

More often than not, I want to know what is new at the drugstore, because I find that it keeps getting better and better! Drugstore brands are often owned by the high end companies (LVMH and Lancome, for example) and have more money than the boutique companies to launch products that compete with very pricey items from the high end brands. I often stock the low-end things in my personal stash to use them before buying them for my kit. Not every item that works for me personally will work for using on many clients.

Let me share with you a few items that are longtime favorites from the drugstore:
#1 holy grail mascara is Jordana Best Lash Extreme. Make sure to get the tube that has lavender writing! Only $3 and much better than most $26 mascaras. Really.
Rimmel brow pencil in Hazel. There is something about the consistency and color of this pencil that works for almost everyone. It's taupey brown, so anyone from medium blondes to medium brown hair can use it. My hair is currently reddish and I set the pencil with a reddish powder. It runs around $5.
L'Oreal gel eyeliners in bronze, espresso and black. I use these in my kit. They glide on perfectly, blend if you want or keep a nice crisp line too. I know many artists that swear by these.
Rimmel lipsticks in the Kate Moss collection. The texture and colors are SO good they rival many of the Chanel lipsticks I love. Great nudes, pinks and reds for all skin tones.
Revlon lip butters: It's been said many times, but I also love these babies. They don't last, but they look so pretty and feel so good.
Jordana twist and shine balms are even better than the Clinique chubby sticks. Great color payoff, moisturizing, long lasting and I love the color selection. Don't let the drab package fool you: The nudes are STUNNING on the lips!
Garnier makes a concealer rollerball eyecream hybrid that I use on tons of clients. It's enough concealer for most people and hydrates the area while it brightens. Did I mention it's only about $12 and there are often coupons?
NYX HD foundations are as good or better than MUFE HD foundations they mimic. Great color range, wonderful flawless texture (will hide fine lines, pores etc) and will work on dry or oily skin beautifully.
Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundation is a great option for a sheer payoff. It's buildable and my absolute go-to for summer skin when I don't want anything to feel or look heavy, plus I have a little color from the sun and don't need as much anyhow. A really good option for normal to drier skins,
Pencil liners in the waterproof gel formula only from Rimmel and Jordana. Similar to the Urban Decay waterproof gel pencils. Don't accidentally grab the older version pencils from either of these brands as they tug and you will curse me ;)
Rimmel Stay Matte powder. I apply it lightly with a brush and it does what it says without looking heavy and cakey.

New products I'm hyped about in the last week (it's that time of year that the companies launch a LOT):
L'Oreal came out with a fabulous new foundation that alleges to last 24 hours and stay matte. So far, it's just fantastic! The coverage is super high without the heavy feeling- honestly, weightless and amazing coverage. The colors run a little dark though. I usually go for the 3rd lightest color as the very lightest is usually super pale and the 2nd lightest tends to be regular pale. I'm in the "light to medium" category and the 3rd color is 1 too many. Just a heads up :)

Maybelline partnered with a makeup artist to develop a few new items including my new favorite concealer: master conceal. It's in a tube, so easy and hygienic application, coverage is medium to full and it actually sets without getting dry looking. You can easily layer this for even more coverage. I also like that it works under the eyes or anywhere on the face since it's so lightweight, yellow-neutral in undertone and non-reflective. I have been using Hard Candy glamoflage for years as my personal high coverage concealer for under my eyes. My under eyes have always been and always will be DARK. I like coverage. Moreso than almost any of my clients want or need, so I haven't carried Glamoflage in my kit. It doesn't set, is VERY heavy and tacky feeling and most people wouldn't like how opaque it is. I personally love it, but the fact that it won't set drives me bonkers. Along comes Master Conceal: It isn't heavy or tacky AND it dries down...less creasing BY FAR. Impressed.

Jordana just came out with a new liquid eyeliner applied via skinny little brush. It looks skinny enough to be a felt-tip marker style, but it is the perfect little brush. I got black, of course, but it comes in brown and a few fun colors. I hope this sticks around because so far I'm so impressed that for just $3 I can get a straight and skinny black liquid line that doesn't budge all day.

Almay just launched a similar lip product to the Revlon lip butters and the colors are even prettier and the texture is a bit less soft, which is a good thing. So far- we're in a serious relationship. I haven't said the "L" word yet....but I'm close.

What don't I love from the drugstore? Any foundation from Cover Girl has made me instantly break out and they tend to feel really heavy. Most eyeshadows are overly shimmery, low on pigment, too hard or too soft or just NOT right. Blush is usually no color payoff, hard to blend/streaky, or overall disappointing color or longevity. Most concealers and foundations are terrible, heavy, chalky, pointless, ineffective.

There are exceptions, of course. Milani is doing well by blushes and eyeshadow for drugstore, NYX blushes are actually really nice.

What I'm saying here is, let my ridiculous need to know every product on the market be your guide to say "yay or nay" to any products out there.

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