- Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash in black: This mascara really does curl enough for me to skip the eyelash curler. My eyelashes are not long so they don’t really curl all that much anyway. I don’t use mascara all the time but when I do, this is it. Shout out to my teen sister for turning me on to it.
- NYX Wonder Stick in Universal: This is perhaps not the longest-lasting product, but the compact packaging is great and the colors work well for me as an East Asian. The dark end blends out pretty well and the highlighter end has a bit of shimmer to it.
- Julep CTRL + Z Eye Makeup Eraser: This is a portable lifesaver when going for that perfect winged eyeliner. At home you can also use a cotton swab and your usual eye makeup remover but that doesn’t work well on the go. As with anything that can remove waterproof makeup though, you have to wipe off any oily residue before continuing or else it will make everything smear. I got this in one of my Julep boxes so haven’t tried other similar products – I love their nail polish so I get boxes sometimes and their forays into beauty products have been pretty good.
- Glossier Boy Brow in black: This is perfect for people like me who can’t figure out how to fill in their brows with powder or pencil and feel like they look overdone with totally filled in brows anyway. Haven’t had any problems with it rubbing off.
- Julep When Pencil Met Gel eyeliner in blackest black: Another find from Julep’s boxes, this has become my favorite pencil. It goes on smoothly and doesn’t smudge more than anything else does. All eyeliners smudge for me unless I use an eyelid primer and sometimes even then, seems to be some combination of monolid and oily eyelids. I use this for quick daily looks.
- Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in black: So good. Stays put (over primer), sharp edges, very black (over primer) (have I mentioned eyelid primer enough yet). I use this for winged eyeliner – I could use it for a more subdued look but because it makes for sharp edges it’s a lot more precision work than I want to deal with all the time.
- Dual ended eyeshadow brush: I don’t know where I got this or what brand it is – probably in an Ipsy bag or something. The fluffier end is great for doing a base layer of eyeshadow, and the stiffer pointed end is great for shading or setting eyeliner.
- Tarte Limited Edition Tarteist Sculpt & Slim Contour Brush: I love this brush and it’s too bad it’s no longer made – the bigger end has a fan shape that makes application almost foolproof but is thick enough to actually pick up a good amount of product. It works extremely well for powder bronzer and blush. The smaller end is stiffer with an almost flat end and is perfect for blending out contouring.
- Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Perk: I only use this as blush but it is the most perfect blush I’ve ever used. I’m bad about putting on face lotion so it helps moisturize, and it’s the perfect color for me. It gives me a dewy and very natural-looking “I was just working out” kind of color and finish. Also awesome that I don’t need any tools to put it on although sometimes I will blend it out a little more with my fingers.
- Julep Your Lip Addiction tinted lip oil in Obsessed: I actually have this in all the colors but this is the most versatile on me – doesn’t really come out as red so much as enhances my natural lip color. It just kind of smells like oil (no added fragrance) and the color doesn’t stick around (not a stain) but it’s very hydrating.
- Milk Makeup Oil Lip Stain in Vibes: This looks like a very light pink in the tube but it stains a pretty vibrant hot pink. Sometimes I need more hydration without more stain though, so I keep both this and a Julep oil around. And maybe balm too. Who knows.
- Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer: I don’t actually use foundation and still haven’t bothered to figure it out, but even just the slight blurring effect this primer has is very nice, and it helps concealer and contour stay in place without them caking up.
- Boo-Boo Cover-Up healing concealer in medium: I got this as a sample somewhere and it is awesome. Good coverage, good color, and allegedly it heals the things I’m covering up.
- Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in original: In my photo this is the tube with a little paper label that says “Eye Primer”. This is because I love this stuff so much I bought a super big tube so I transfer some into this tiny tube for carrying around. Without this primer, nothing stays put on my eyelids. With it, everything stays put all day.
- Urban Decay De-Slick in a Tube: Apparently no longer made, but it’s great for making mattifying and closing up pores. You can feel it tightening everything up, even. I use it on my nose, especially when hormones are acting up. I guess I’ll have to look for a replacement eventually.
- Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer in Park Ave Princess: Their popular shimmery version is too shimmery for me, so I use the matte one. Works really well for cheek contouring.
- Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette Volume II: I think it’s interesting that so many reviews say the color payoff isn’t good as it seems fine to me, but I don’t really go for opaque shadow so I probably just don’t know the difference. I find that it doesn’t go on particularly well with a brush but works great with a finger. The colors all work well for me.
What’s in my bag: makeup edition
Pictured is my current (August 2017) makeup kit. Since I work from home, I don’t wear makeup daily, but even when I did, I always kept it very basic. I think it’s a combination of being a little lazy, a little impatient, and a lot of not knowing what I’m doing. Generally, I like to keep it all portable, which means using smaller items and as few tools as possible. So here’s what’s in there, going something like top-down, left-right.