In addition to a ton of samples, I also have a lot of makeup. I buy things from Sephora like it's my job (hence my, ahem, VIB Rouge status) because I always tell myself I'll return it if I don't like them so it doesn't really count and yet, I very rarely return anything.
I am also messy and disorganized at times and I know I resolved to be more organized so I took the extra two and a half hours I put in my day by eliminating my commute and working from home and decided to toss out all the old things and things I don't use and reorganize everything.
Sidenote: does anyone else keep almost totally used up but not quite empty makeup pans? I think I had 5 Nars Laguna Bronzer pans with the tiniest amount left just sitting there so I could finish them before throwing them away, but then I inevitably buy a new one and start using that before the old one is finished up so it's just a vicious cycle.
before: a mess
everything laid out on the floor
I've had problem skin for a long time, so one thing I have a lot of and buy a lot of is foundation. I am oily as hell (thanks, Italian half!) so foundations usually don't have good staying power on me and end up sliding around (ugh) but I am not confident enough in my skin to not wear anything very often. I've decided to do some reviews of the products I use the most as I go.
L-R: Bare Minerals Matte, Make Up For Ever HD, Urban Decay Naked Skin, Nars Sheer Glow x2, Revlon Photoready Airbrush
I used to use Bare Minerals almost exclusively until I realized that liquid was both less messy, quicker to use and didn't break my out as I thought it would. I now keep these to use as spot concealer because the powder helps set it.
I've discusses the next few before, but MUFE HD is my "event" foundation (for when I anticipate being in lots of pictures), UD Naked Skin in my "all day" foundation (when I won't have time for touch-ups), Nars Sheer Glow is my "everyday" foundation (because I use it, you guessed it, everyday) and the Revlon foundation was my "whoops I forgot mine at home let me buy some quick and oh my gosh this is ORANGE" foundation that I'm keeping in the hopes that I will match my skin tone come summertime and my shore house share beginning.
My favorite makeup is blushes and highlighters. I love the colors and I think they're the most important part of any face - if you're running low on time mascara, highlighter and blush will make you look great very quickly.
Clockwise from top left: Bobbi Brown Desert Rose & Bobbi Brown Pale Pink, MAC 'Plumfoolery' Powder Blush, MAC 'Dainty' Sheertone Blush, TheBalm Frat Boy, Nars Blushes in Nico, Sin, and Deep Throat
Nars Deep Throat and MAC Dainty are definitely my favorites right now - pretty pinks that look nice on pale skin and aren't too peachy. Nars Sin is a great nighttime blush and looks really nice in the cheekbones, but it is hard to use a light enough hand to make it look nice during the day as well. Nars Nico is a bit more of a highlighter - I use it to blend out my blush so there are no harsh lines and if I use multiple colors at once. The Bobbi Brown blushes were a gift I probably wouldn't have picked on my own, but Desert Rose is quite nice. Same goes for MAC Plumfoolery, although it is a cheaper alternative to Sin for a plum based blush.
Clockwise from tope left: TheBalm Mary Lou-Manizer, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light and Diffused Light, Too Faced Candlelight Glow Powder
The powder highlighters/luminizers tend to be my favorite because of their ease of use. TheBalm's Mary Lou-Manizer is my hands down favorite for a true powder highlighter. I bought the Too Faced Candlelight Glow to replace Mary Lou-manizer when Sephora was out of stock but it was a fairly different product entirely, more of an illuminator/setting powder, and it didn't wow me.
The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders are amazing - they make your face look airbrushed and smooth and blur out imperfections. Diffused Light is a favorite for daytime but Dim Light adds a big more of a "glow". I want even more, but at $45 apiece I probably won't be getting any just yet.
L-R: Smashbox Artificial Light Luminizing Lotion in Flash, Benefit High Beam, Benefit Girl Meets Pearl, Smashbox Skin Tint in Radiance (top), Nars 'The Multiple' in Orgasm. Not pictured: YSL Touche Eclat in no. 2
Smashbox Artificial Light was my old standby before I discovered the amazing-ness of powder highlighters. It was sometimes a bit too metallic looking, giving sort of a bluish glow in photography at times. Benefit High Beam is the original but definitely not the best in its class, definitely too pink toned for my skin. Girl Meets Pearl is a big upgrade, it offers a gorgeous highlight without making you look like a disco ball, and has been my favorite for some time now although I've admittedly been ignoring it in favor of my Touche Eclat. Smashbox Skin Tint doesn't appear to be available anymore but is similar to the multiple - a little tough to use if you have foundation on but good for adding a slight wash of color.
Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette - the best for eyes, and the best version for vaguely yellow toned pale people
I have a ton of eyeshadow palettes but like most people, I think my UD Naked one is the best. Naked One was a little to brown, and Naked Three is a little too rosey, but this one is juuuuust right for me. Palettes are a great and inexpensive way of owning a bunch of eyeshadow, as well as a good way of keeping them all organized since, let's be honest, once the tops of those little MAC shadow containers get a little clouded with product it's nearly impossible to tell them apart without hunting through and examining the bottom labels.
L-R: Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer, Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer in Light, Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, nars Pro-Prime Pore Refining Primer
As with many makeup items, Hourglass makes the best but also most expensive version. This primer is a primer to end all primers and if you're serious about wanting your makeup to last all day then don't bother with anything else, and it comes in a small size (the one I have) for only $18 (lol "only") so you can definitely try it before plunking down the $52 for the full size. The Laura Mercier primer is probably my least favorite, mainly because I don't notice a single difference when I use it. The Tarte BB Primer is good and can be worn on its own to smooth out your skin and offer slight color correction which is nice, and I've only used the Make Up For Ever primer with the Make Up For Ever foundation so I can't say I have a big enough sample size to offer a judgment. The Nars Primer, like Benefit's The Porefessional, claims to refine pores and prime but really only does the latter for me.
Okay so I didn't get rid of too much huh... but it still definitely looks more organized, right? Right?!?!