5 Universally Flattering Makeup Products I Can’t Live Without (And Neither Should You)

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makeup essentials

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I am a self-professed complete and utter product junkie – my bedroom looks like a disorganized Sephora on crack. I am always on the look out for the next bigger, better, more flattering product and want to try it all! Needless to say, this mentality has costs me hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on countless products which crowd my life and I rarely if ever use, not to mention countless beauty disasters. Long story short, of all of the many many products I have used and abused over the years, these 5 have earned themselves a permanent residency in my makeup bag. They are tried, true, and have never ever failed me.

To save you all the trouble, here is a list I have compiled of my absolute essentials.

1. Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Stingray, $22

Over the years I have switched up my eyeliner plenty of times on an eternal search for the boldest, blackest one with the best staying power.  This, my friends, is it. It glides on smoother then any other eyeliner I have ever used, literally. It is great for a dramatic smoky eye (my favorite) but make sure you smudge it right away because if you let it dry, it’s not going anywhere.

2. bareMinerals Clear Radiance, $20

I couldn’t have been older then 15 when I discovered this gem, and I’ve been using it daily ever since. It is sort of a highlighter meets blush but also has a lovely pink color to it. It is nearly impossible to over-apply it and makes you look radiant even on those days where you truly are not. I like to apply it on the apples of my checks, along my cheek bones, on the inside of my eyes (to make them  pop), and in the center of my lower lip (adds volume).

3. Smashbox O-Gloss Intuitive Lip Color, $24

I am a huge fan of anything intuitive and own pretty much every intuitive product on the market. Many of them are good, but none come close to the original Smashbox intuitive lip gloss which comes in both regular and plumping formula. I prefer plumping personally, but both versions leave you with the most flattering and perfect shade of pink imaginable complete with a nice, glossy finish. After the gloss wears off, it also tends to leave a lovely pink stain on your lips. I often experiment with using this as a top coat over whatever lip shade I am wearing that day and it works well, however nothing beats this worn alone. Also, although not included on this list, it’s worth noting that Smashbox O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Color ($29) is also AMAZING.

4. Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Powder, $34

The first time I tried this stuff on my hand, I instantly fell in love with it. It creates the softest, most lovely finish whether you are using it as an allover setting powder (my preference), just over your eyes to keep shadow in place, to blur fine lines, or ever as a primer. It is the perfect combination of a heavening texture and it blurs imperfections too! For those of you like myself who struggle with oily skin, this product is a lifesaver.  

5. Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara, $24

 This cult classic mascara lives up to its reputation. Although I periodically stray from this mascara on a hunt for something blacker, more lengthening or that gives better volume, I somehow (usually after a few weeks of walking around looking like I have two black eyes and never sleep) find my back at square one. While perhaps not the best mascara ever (who knows – it might be) this tried and true favorite will not let you down.

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