Beauty

Makeup brushes can make all the difference when it comes to makeup- and that doesn’t mean they have to be expensive. While I’ll admit, I have way too many brushes, I reach for the exact same ones every day. Some of my favorites are below with links to buy in bold and prices for each!

What are your favorite brushes? Have you tried any of mine?

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ELF Blending Brush– $6

This brush is one of my absolute favorite brushes I own, and I use it primarily to blend my contour. It’s insanely soft and thick, yet it can still be used to contour your nose if you handle it right. Until I bought this brush, I didn’t contour very often because I couldn’t quite get it blended enough. This solved that problem and more! They make a smaller version of this brush, but I’m satisfied with the large one. If you like a soft contour look, buy this NOW. You won’t regret it.

makeup, brushes, elf

Makeup Geek Angled Brush– $17

I’ve always heard Makeup Geek makes amazing brushes, and this definitely lived up to the hype. I use this brush every single day to blend my under-eye brightener and or concealer. Instead of pulling this brush (which is very dense) across that delicate skin, I lightly tap it across the entire area to blend. This brush has given me the best coverage under-eye area that I’ve ever had! I know it’s a little pricey for a brush that you won’t use all over your face, but if you have zombie-like dark circles like I do then it’s worth every cent. (They call this a stippling brush so I guess you could use it for powder or foundation, but I’ve never used it for that!

makeup, brushes, makeup geek

Wet N’ Wild Stippling Brush– $2.99

This small stippling brush is such a good product, and it’s from the drugstore! I use it to apply translucent powder under my eyes and on my T-zone. In the summer, I’ll probably use it for finishing powder on my entire face. Stippling brushes can be used for literally ANYTHING, so if you don’t wear finishing powder, I’m sure you will find a use for this. Wet N’ Wild also makes a larger version of this brush which is also a great deal.

makeup, brushes, wet n wild

Eco Tools Skin Perfecting Brush– $13.99

I’ll admit, this brush and I had a slow start to our love. It’s a very dense brush with short hairs, and I wasn’t sure what I would use it for. I bought it for foundation, but it was just too stiff/ not flexible for me to apply my liquid foundation. Then, I reached for it to apply my cream highlighter… and I fell in love. The stiffness is perfect for getting your highlight exactly where you want it so you don’t end up looking like a glittery My Little Pony. I recently tried this brush with my Elf illuminating palette, and it worked great with those colors too- I usually experience a lot of fallout when grabbing product with a brush in that palette, but this brush minimized that issue.

makeup, brushes, eco tools

Wet N’ Wild Powder Brush– $2.99

Oh Wet N’ Wild, my love for you is endless. The powder brush, which is from the same line as the stippling brush I mentioned above, is also perfection. I use it for everything from bronzer to blush to powder foundation- and everything ends up looking perfectly applied and blended. The powder brush is thick and has rounded tips, making it great for any part of your face. I had been using an Avon brush for bronzer, but it started shedding so badly that I looked like a porcupine. I went out and bought this for just $3, thinking I would use it as a quick fix until I could get another Avon brush. Nope, keeping this instead.

makeup, brushes, wet n wild

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own

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There is SO much new drugstore makeup out, and even more coming. I cannot wait to try it all! Here are some things I have already tried and my first thoughts, and also some things I am waiting to get my hands on.

(P.S. I included a Tarte palette in this post because I couldn’t resist. Everything except that palette is from the drugstore!)

What new drugstore products have you tried lately? Have you loved any of them? Tell me in the comments!

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

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I don’t have fully formed opinions on this product yet because I have only worn it for a few days– so far though, I really like this foundation! I found a near perfect color for me (light ivory) and it dries to a really velvety finish. I have been setting my T-zone with my Laura Mercier Brightening powder, but I’m not even sure I need to. This product makes my face look blurred, and I love that. I would say this is a medium coverage foundation, even with 6-8 drops. It says you can build it to full coverage, but I haven’t tried that just yet.

My only issue here is that I’m not sure about the staying power of this product. Of course, a good primer might fix that. So far, this is a keeper!

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Buy it here (via Ulta)

Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder

This powder fascinates me. I haven’t tried it yet, but the colors look like they will give an absolutely gorgeous highlight (which everyone wants, right?) It comes in four different colors, ranging from a pink-toned powder to a bronze color. I have my eyes on the pink color, Afterglow, and the champagne color, Dayglow. This product looks like it has an almost creamy texture, which I think always looks so good for highlights. I can’t promise I won’t buy both. Have you tried this? Is it amazing?

Buy it here (via Milani )

Tarteist Pro Amazonian Clay Palette

I got this palette for Christmas and I fell in love with it immediately. The matte colors make it easy to have a subtle day look, and the four shimmery shades can easily make any look suitable for going out. I have used this palette alone and also with shades from Tartelette in Bloom– both create looks that are perfect. Some of my favorite shades in the pro palette are Innocent (peach), No filter (soft purple), Drama (maroon), and Profesh (tan). The colors have just a little fallout, so be careful when applying if you’ve already done foundation!

Buy it here (via Sephora)

Revlon Kiss Balm- Juicy Peach

For some reason, I really want to try this new lip product from Revlon. Maybe its just nostalgia, but the tinted lip balm crayon thing really makes me excited. While all the colors look cute, I want to grab the peach color! I think it could be so cute for spring, and also a much welcomed change from my Burt’s Bees lip balm. The description says this product is made with natural fruit oils and offers SPF 20 protection- two things I need for my dry lips!

PSA: Remember to wear SPF on your lips, too! Burnt lips aren’t fun, but they’re a very neglected part of our bodies when it comes to sun protection. Remember the SPF on your ears and the tops of your feet, too!

Buy it here (via Amazon)

Milani Prime Light & Prime Correct

Yes, more Milani. I can’t help it! They have so many great looking new things! These are two different primers that I am interested in. Prime Light is advertised as a light strobing and pore minimizing primer, which sounds like a dream. I have big pores around my nose that I am always trying to cover without clogging them, and this sounds like it could be my solution. Secondly, the Prime Correct primer is a green-tinted product that’s deigned to correct redness and reduce pore size, too. And both are oil free, which makes me happy!  I have redness in my cheeks that I would like to correct, but I also want the light strobing effect… decisions, decisions.

Buy it here and here (via Amazon and Milani)

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Kat Von D’s Shade and Light vs. NYX’s Highlight and Contour Pro

For the price difference, is the Shade and Light palette worth it?

With everyone and their grandmother contouring these days, there are so many products on the shelves in both drugstores and in Sephora. Youtube beauty vloggers have sworn by Shade and Light for more than a year now, but is it really worth it? NYX’s option is slightly harder to find (my Ulta was sold out for weeks), its much less expensive and comes with two more colors.  After using both palettes, I have thoughts.

Kat Von D: Shade & light

Let’s start with the high-end version. The Kat Von D Shade and Light palette will set you back $46 and comes with three highlight shades and three contour shades.

First, the things I love about this Shade and Light: The contour colors are incredibly soft and light. They almost come across looking blurred– which I love because my skin is so fair. Second, all the shades are incredibly blendable so you don’t have to worry about spending forever making sure you don’t have any harsh lines. I also really like the lightest highlight shade, and I put it over my under eye concealer for an extra pop of awake-ness.

While I love this palette, there are a few things I don’t like. First, the price. I held out on buying this for so long, but my lovely boyfriend bought it for me as a Christmas present after hearing me complain long enough. Second, while the contour shades work for me, I’m not sure how well they would work on someone with a darker complexion. Even the darkest shade isn’t really that dark. I am usually the first or second lightest in foundation shades, and even I can use two of Shade and Light’s contour shades.

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Top to bottom: Levitation, Lyric, Lucid

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The color payoff also is not amazing. That is good for me, because I would rather have to put on more product for a more dramatic look than risk going overboard on accident. Again, fair-skinned girls will like this about the palette.

While I like the pinky color for setting my under eye area, I am not super impressed by the other highlight shades. Personally I like a more shimmery highlight, and all of these colors are matte. Maybe one day I’ll try the other two colors, but I definitely don’t reach for them.

contour, makeup

 

NYX: Highlight & contour pro palette

NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette costs about $20 on Amazon ($25 at Ulta) and comes with four contour shades and four highlight shades. I got mine at Ulta, but I only found it after the third trip because they kept selling out! Some Target and CVS stores carry the palette, too.

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Top to bottom: Hollow, Sculpt, Toffee, Tan

I love the cool contour shade in this palette (the second one from the top in the swatches- hover above photos for names). It works to contour my cheekbones with still seeming sort of natural, without looking like I have a ton of makeup on. One main difference in these colors than in Kat Von D’s is that the NYX colors have a slight shimmer, while Kat Von D’s colors are matte. That totally depends on preference- I usually go for a shimmery blush and highlight, so I prefer a matte contour color.

The pigmentation on these colors is better than Shade and Light- you need less product to get the look you want. That is especially true for the highlight shades– I love the first highlight in this palette! It’s probably worth buying the palette just for that color, honestly.

There are some downfalls to this palette, though. First of all, I’ve found that most of the contour colors don’t really work for me. With the exception of one, I think the others are both too dark and too warm for my skin. In the Kat Von D palette, I can use two of the contour shades and they both look good, while only one in NYX works.

NYX’s shades are blendable, but not quite like Kat Von Ds. It takes a little longer to achieve a seamless look, and there is a decent amount of fallout with every shade. The color pots are also smaller, too.

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Overall, I like both palettes a lot. However, I reach for Kat Von D’s more. I think the colors there work for me better, and they are SO easy to blend. I am all about fast, and the quicker I can blend my makeup and get going, the better. Either one of these palettes is a good purchase, but I would definitely consider your skin tone before purchasing either, because that’s the key factor when it boils down to it.

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The longer the eyelashes, the closer to god.

Well, big hair helps too.

The woman who did my lash extensions was amazing. I can’t say enough great things about her. My experience was great, too. I got a half set of lashes, which took about an hour to apply. I fell asleep not long after she started!

It’s been four days since I got my lashes, and I haven’t had any issues. They feel like my real lashes, and I didn’t even feel the urge to add mascara when I got dressed up for New Year’s Eve.

The main upkeep is getting fill-ins. According to my technician, the half set should last me about three weeks before I need a refill. That basically means she will add in more lashes to replace the ones that have fallen out, and I can ask her to make them fuller or longer. So far I have only lost a few lashes and I can’t tell a difference.

As for caring for the lashes, I can’t use any oil-based cream or makeup remover on my eyes. I have been using the Garnier Micellar Water which is oil-free anyway, so that wasn’t hard. If I do want to cheat and use a little mascara, I am not supposed to use anything waterproof- but Maybelline Full N’ Soft should do the trick. If you do apply mascara, just apply it on the tips.

Here are my results with the half set of lash extensions. If you’re in Birmingham, I would be happy to refer you to the technician who did mine. Leave a comment if you want to know how they hold up over the weeks! 

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Update

It’s May, and I’ve refilled these lash extensions for months. I am actually about to get a new set at the end of the month, because I waited too long between visits! These lashes are amazing, and I highly highly highly recommend them to anyone. I am addicted. Putting on mascara just doesn’t give you the same effect!

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own

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It’s almost Christmas! Can you believe it?

Between Christmas and New Years, there are always plenty of holiday parties. If you need an easy, mostly all drugstore makeup look to get in the holiday spirit- look no further. The key elements to this holiday makeup look are plenty of sparkle and shimmer and a bold lip. (If you’re more comfortable with a smoldering eye, sub that for the eyeliner and opt for a nude lip.)

As for the sparkle, pack on the highlighter! I sweep it across my cheekbones, the tip of my nose, and my cupids bow. I chose a white eyeshadow to give the inner corners of my eyes a little pop and to make my brow bone look more lifted.

Here is the finished look- my go to for holiday and winter parties. Check out the product slideshow at the bottom, with links underneath, in case you’re interested in anything!

Happy holidays to all; and to all a good night.

I love using a slightly darker liner than my lip color. I feel like it givers my lips dimension and it makes the center of my lips appear fuller. This liner is part of the Kylie lip kit in Ginger, paired with a MAC lipstick. This lipstick looks so much pinker in the tube than it does on your face- so give it a try even if it doesn’t look like you at first! (Lips are the only part of this look that is not from the drugstore!) 

 

While I have the Sephora collection color on my tear duct area, I’m wearing a Milani shimmer color on the inner third of my eyelid. It’s a more yellow-based color, while the tear duct and brow bone color is more white.

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The effect of the white eye shadow is undeniable, because it draws the eye to, well… your eyes.

Featured products:

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This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own

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It’s here! The first video in my beauty series. I have always wanted to try Glamglow, but I’ve been skeptical. If I’m paying $69 for a face mask, it better be good. And it is. I bought a Christmas set at Sephora that came with one full size Supermud mask (the white jar), a trial size of Youthmud (the black jar), and a trial size of Thirstymud (the blue jar). Supermud claims to be the best mask for clearing pores, but it doesn’t dry out your skin. I have only tried Supermud and Youthmud so far, and Supermud is by far my favorite. If you’ve ever wanted to try Glamglow but weren’t sure if it was just a gimmick, watch my video and see the results for yourself!

(PS: No, my video skills aren’t perfect. Practice makes perfect, so helpful tips are welcome and appreciated!)

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It’s still not feeling like fall in Alabama, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start to embrace the season- and there is nothing to get your style into cold-weather mode like a fall lipstick. Moody, deep hues are perfect for fall and make a statement when your whole body is wrapped in scarves and boots. Not into the dark lip craze? Try a lighter color in a different tone than you normally wear, like a mauve or a gray (yes, gray!)  Not everyone can wear the same colors, but everyone can pull off some sort of fall lip. Below are the lip colors I am loving this season, lights and darks!

Covergirl The Bolds: 760 Gone Griege ($5.59 at Target)

I was a little skeptical about this color, I’ll admit- but after putting it on, I fell in love with it. The color is not too wild for work but it’s different than your average pink. Wear it like you would wear a nude lip! Plus, it has a little more edge and can take your typical jeans and boots outfit to another level. A+ here, CG.

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Covergirl The Bolds: 770 Mauve it ($5.59 at Target)

Mauve It is another win for the brand’s Bolds collection. A typical ‘your lips but better’ color, this reminds me of MAC Brave- except, it’s more comfortable to wear and has a warmer undertone. While I have a few other lippies that are a similar color, this is a little darker and definitely has a more fall vibe. The color glides on smoothly, but doesn’t have a shiny effect. This is going in my purse for a weekday rotation.

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Colurpop Ultra Matte Lip: LAX ($6 at colourpop.com)

Oh, LAX. Let’s just say, I felt like I was Beyonce in this color. I’m not crazy about the ultra matte lip formula- it is the definition of matte, but it can be drying and hard to take off- but I will suffer through for the color payoff. I felt like I could conquer the world in this color. I wanted to wear it out to dinner after this, but I was wearing Chacos and running shorts and thought it might be a little out of place…but, I’m looking forward to the next time I wear it! I am going to put on some vaseline or lip balm underneath from now on, so it will be a little more comfortable.

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OB-SESSED.

 

Sephora Collection Rouge Lipstick: Mmmm…(17) ($12.50 at Sephora)

This color is a really easy, running errands or late to work kind of lip. Super comfy, cute color, long-lasting, and will pair with any look. It’s hard to beat a look like this, no matter what the season is. (Psssss: It’s supposedly a dupe for a Kylie color, too!)

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Colourpop Lippie Stix: Creature ($5 at colourpop.com)

Colourpop Lippie Stix and I are friends, and this color just reminds me of that fact again. Creature is more purple than LAX, which has a more burgundy look. It is more comfortable than the Ultra Matte formula, and I think it’s easier to apply. While this is pretty dark, it’s more of a typical fall look for me because it doesn’t seem as harsh as other deep colors can be. I think the shade is universally flattering and it fades out to a pretty berry wine-colored stain.

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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(I need to first apologize for leaving everyone hanging last week without a post. I had a family emergency and did not have time to breathe, let alone post. Sorry for anyone’s disappointment!)

There are some drugstore foundations that are arguably the best on the market, beating even their high-end competitors. We all want a flawless face, but I would rather not spend $50 on a product I use daily and often run out of. Drugstore, to the rescue!

Below are my favorite, inexpensive foundations that you can find at most Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, and  Rite Aid stores near you.

(P.S.- I don’t even own any high-end foundation anymore!)

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless ($4.97 at Walmart)

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I had a rough start with this foundation. I bought it when it first came out, and everyone on YouTube was obsessed with it. I don’t know what happened, maybe I got a dud, but it was horrible. The color oxidized on my face within two hours, and it made me look more oily than I am. But after seeing all of my favorite beauty gurus reach for this product lately, I decided to give it another shot.

I am so glad I did- because I am in love with it now! It makes my pores much less noticeable and gives me all day coverage. If you get this and don’t like it, try another color (I wear 112 Natural Ivory) and you will be a believer.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector ($7.59 at Target)

This is the perfect BB cream for my skin, because it covers up my redness without looking too heavy for a no-makeup day. It has a water-like consistency so you can build it up over areas that need a little more coverage, but overall this is definitely more of a tinted moisturizer.  The lasting power isn’t amazing, but you kind of expect that with a product this thin. It also has SPF 30, which is my savior. (P.S.- I like this better than the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer that the whole world is in love with!)

COVERGIRL OUTLAST STAY LUMINOUS NATURAL GLOW FOUNDATION; COVERGIRL OUTLAST STAY FABULOUS FOUNDATION ($8.52 AT WALMART EACH)

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I grouped these two products together because they are incredibly similar. Unfortunately, the colors do not totally coordinate though. I wear a shade lighter in the Stay Fabulous, and it is still a shade darker than the Stay Luminous. These foundations are both two of my holy grail products. The Stay Fabulous product lasts me all day, even after work and running errands. The Stay Luminous gives you more of a dewy finish, and it has tiny sparkles in it to reflect light off of your face, giving you a glowy look. Both are great, but go with Stay Fabulous if you want a more matte look and longer wear.

COVERGIRL READY, SET, GORGEOUS FRESH COMPLEXION ($6.39 AT TARGET)

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This foundation is a new love of mine. I just purchased this about a month ago, because I wanted to see what kind of ‘fresh complexion’ this would give me. I am so glad I fell for that, because I absolutely love it! Ready, Set, Gorgeous gives you a very ‘I woke up like this’ look in just a few swipes.

I am a morning reporter, so sometimes I am headed to an important story at 5 a.m. and don’t have time to do my full-face routine. I keep this in my purse and in a pinch, I just squeeze some product on my fingers and rub it in all over my face and jawline. This foundation doesn’t leave you looking like you wandered out of the house without putting on blush and bronzer, but it leaves you looking like you got plenty of sleep and your face is even. Recently, I discovered that this works just as well with the rest of my makeup (blush, highlight, bronzer) and still looks fresh and natural.

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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Yes, I am just jumping on board the Colourpop train. I have one word for the products I purchased: Obsessed.

I bought (well, Mitri bought it actually. Thanks, boo!) three products that I had heard great things about, all in different categories so I could get a well-rounded feel for the brand.

In my purchase: A sculpting stick for contouring, an eyeshadow, and a lipstick.

Sculpting Stix in Dove, $5— 10/10

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This might be my holy grail of contour products. The marker-like applicator is easy to apply exactly where you want it, and the formula is creamy enough to blend in easily (I use a brush because I don’t want to mix that color on my Beauty Blender). The color dries to a powder finish, but it doesn’t look chalky or heavy. I usually don’t go too crazy on my contour, but this makes me want to. I use it on my cheekbones, corners of my forehead, and my nose.

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Super Shock Shadow in Weenie, $5—- 8/10

A rose-gold eye shadow is my go to, because it’s so versatile and gives you such a fresh look. This shadow is super pigmented and has a soft texture, so the makers encourage you to use your finger when applying it. I found that if I am using it in my crease, a fluffy dome-shaped brush is perfect and gives you the rose-gold color without being overbearing. For more drama, I apply a little with my finger over the softer color or into the outer corner of my eyes. I haven’t used this with my finger all over my lid yet, but I’m sure the color would be more dramatic and beautiful. It stays on, even in the Alabama heat, but after a few hours I noticed a little flaking where I used my finger to apply. I still love the product and the color though, so I will just look for a good primer and use it anyway!

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Lippie Stix in Flawless, $5 —- 9/10

Makeup colors

A perfect purple lipstick is essential for the fall. You have to have it. While I sometimes go for darker, more vampy purples, this color caught my eye. When applied, its more of a violet color that leaves behind a beautiful raspberry stain. I love the way it looks against my (admittedly, pale) skin and how white it makes my teeth look. Pair this lip color with a smoky eye and a black dress for a night out, or wear with simple makeup for a pop of color. I gave this product a 9 solely because I need to wear a lip liner with it, or it strays a little outside of the lines.

 

Have you tried any Colourpop products? What do I need to try next?

All products above are available here.

This post is not sponsored; opinions are not endorsements.

 

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Thankfully, fall is on its way. While most people think of the season’s fashion changes, (boots, leggings, coats, scarves, etc.) some forget that makeup routines and trends change with the cooler weather as well.

While some of my makeup changes with the weather, there are a few products that help me transition from season to season. Look at my list below for my top four summer-to-fall makeup products, and let me know what helps you transition into the fall!

A good pressed powder

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The Alabama summer heat and humidity is not a joke. Even towards the end of the hotter months, the humidity doesn’t ease up. Even though I use a liquid foundation, I sweep a little pressed powder over my T-zone to keep my face looking matte throughout the day. This Rimmel powder is one of my favorites- it is so light and takes the shine away without giving you a fake-matte look.

Rimmel London Stay Matte Long-lasting Pressed Powder, $4.99
Get it here

A fake lashes mascara without the hassle

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One of my favorite things about fall makeup trends is the long, false eyelashes look; however, putting on lashes is not something I want to do regularly. To get the look without spending three hours putting on lashes, I use this mascara to make my eyelashes look fuller and longer. It’s super black, and the wand is thin enough to do your bottom lashes, too. Beware: This mascara can get clumpy at times- if you want perfectly separated lashes, you may not love this.

Covergirl The Super Sizer Waterproof Mascara, $6.85
Get it here

A brown lip liner

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Dark reds, deep purples, and nudes are some of my favorite lipstick shades to wear when the weather starts getting cooler. Some people have a liner for every shade- I have about two. This Avon liner is my religion. It is the perfect shade of brown (almost a brick-brown color) to go with literally everything. If you fill in your lips with this shade before putting on your lipstick, it keeps the color on all day and stays in place. If you need anything this fall, you need this. Now.

Avon Glimmersticks Lip Liner in Simply Spice, $7
Get it here

A day-to-night eye palette

I’ll admit it- I have quite a few eye shadow palettes. One of my top favorites is Urban Decay’s Naked 3, which is also my favorite of the Naked palettes in general. The third installment in the brand’s collection features pink-toned shades, both matte and shimmer. I have used almost every color in this package since I’ve had it (about a year) and it doesn’t even look like I’ve made a dent in it. The highlight color on the left is great for the brow bone, and some of the more matte shades (like Nooner) are perfect in the crease. I also love the metal packaging- it’s a lot more durable than its sibling palettes.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Eye Shadow Palette, $54
Get it here

(All prices may vary by store; this post is not sponsored)

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