long short years ago, I got the urge to start a beauty blog. I didn't have high hopes for it (still don't), but I wanted to create a place to chronicle my experiences with makeup. Since then I've learned a lot about myself and my beauty choices. I'm sure there will be more introspective posts in the future, especially since I plan on embarking on a replacement-only low buy for next year. As I'm whittling down my collection to consist of only the stuff I absolutely love/is flattering/is easy to use, this shouldn't be too hard to stick to. We'll see. Having a baby will also certainly cut into my previously expendable income, so that's another reason for the change in mindset. With a screaming bundle of joy, I can't exactly have all the things!!! I'm not going to have the time, anyway. Or at least that's what people keep telling me. Again, we'll see.
So, in honor of the things I absolutely love/are flattering/are easy to use, I bring you some of the tried and true beauty products that I keep coming back to, again and again, over the five years of having this blog.
5 Holy Grails by viamediabeauty
Purpose Gentle Cleanser: Have I raved about this enough yet? It's a staple for me. It removes long-wearing makeup so easily and even does a good job at breaking down waterproof mascara on the first cleanse. A second cleanse (or using an actual eye-makeup remover) does the trick and gets rid of everything. It smells lovely, foams nicely, never dries out my skin, you can find it almost anywhere, and it's cheap. What more do you want?
Stila Smudge Stick Eyeliner: As I've discussed time and again, I'm lazy when it comes to eyeliners. Pencils are by far my favorite type - in fact, I don't own any other kind right now. And of the few eyeliners that survived my purge? A handful of Stila Smudge Sticks and Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pens. While Pixi is nice for pricing, sharpening them is still a PITA. That's where Stila is my favorite. They last a long time (on the eye and in the tube), the color selection is amazing, and you never have to sharpen them. I also greatly appreciate the fact that you can smudge them out for a softer look or leave them full-on for a bolder one.
Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara: Ever since that iconic orange tube launched ... eight years ago...? Give or take? I've been a huge fan! I always have a tube in my collection, be it the regular volumizing formula (orange tube) or the waterproof variety. I like the straight, rubber brush. I like the formula - not too dry and not too wet, stays on but washes off easily. I like that it's buildable but doesn't clump up. I like that I can get it in super, duper dark BLACK or a softer Black-Brown, should it strike my fancy. And I like that I can find it virtually anywhere I go, which means if I ever find myself without it, it's easily replaceable.
It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eye Brow Pencil: I was skeptical about how well a "universal" taupe brow pencil would actually look on my eyebrows, but it looks so natural (in my opinion...) that I've had people question if I'm even wearing anything. And considering that ONE travel-sized pencil has lasted me over TWO years, it's safe to say that I'm sold. I have a second sitting in my backup drawer (it, like the first, came with an It Cosmetics/QVC order as a freebie) and I foresee that one lasting me another two years. I honestly have no desire to look for another brow pencil. It's natural looking, like I said, has a spoolie on one end (super convenient), and a nice waxy texture that isn't too hard but makes the product last all day. It makes doing your brows so easy. Just draw a little on, run a spoolie through the hairs, slick on some gel if you want, and you're good to go.
And last but not least... Jack Black Lip Balm: My personal favorite flavor is the Shea and Vitamin E, but that's because there is no flavor, so I don't have to worry about it conflicting with anything I eat/drink or any flavors in any of my other lip products (though I've really tried to weed out the worst offenders from my collection). I currently have three tubes of this stuff strategically placed around the house and once I get rid of the two non-Jack Black lip balms I have, this will be the only type of lip balm I have. Ever. It works well under lipstick. It makes my dry, peely lips soft and smooth, even in the worst Po'Dunk winter conditions. If good ol' Jack ever made the jump into women's cosmetics (yes.. it's technically for men, but I don't care) and made a tinted version of this, I would be in hog heaven!