2013 Makeup Favorites

Ever since I started my blog, I've been typing away at the keyboard about all of my skincare favorites, but my blog has been a bit sparse when it comes to makeup postings. Now that 2014 is just around the corner and beauty bloggers everywhere are compiling their lists of makeup favorites, I'd call this the perfect opportunity to give you a glimpse into some of my most used and loved makeup staples.

I take a very natural approach to face makeup, even on special occasions. I think that this stems from the fact that I am so religious about following my skincare routine and know that walking around all day with a face full of heavy primer, foundation, concealer, and powder is not good for my skin. On days when I'm wearing dramatic eye makeup and want to cancel out some of the redness that I get on my cheeks, I'll dust Mac's Skinfinish Natural in Light Plus all over my face. This product doesn't make me look like I have a lot of face makeup on and feels very light, but it does a decent job of covering up redness. This also makes a great setting powder for special occasions when I'm wearing a BB Cream or light foundation.

The under eye concealer that I've been using exclusively for at least the past 6 months is the Diorsnow BB Eye Cream in the shade 020. It might seem a little funny that the concealer that I use under my eyes is something that you can see on my hand in a swatch, but it blends perfectly and gives my eye area and even my entire face an indescribable glow. I know that description sounds completely ridiculous, but you'll know what I mean if you have tried it or ever do decide to splurge on it. This is part of the reason why I feel like I don't need a lot of foundation. It illuminates my face, and even when I don't put any products on my cheeks, this concealer creates enough of an optical illusion to detract from the red patches that I have.

Because of the redness on my cheeks, I don't usually use blush, but I do apply a bronzer in the usual places. My favorite bronzer has to be Nars Laguna. Ever since I purchased this, I haven't felt the need to search for another product of its kind. It warms up my face, creates definition, and is easily sheered out or built up depending upon the desired look. I don't think that this is the most natural bronzer on the market for pale skinned girls such as myself, but when I wear bronzer, I definitely want it to show up. It's a pigmented product that may be easy to overdo, but it never gets muddy when it's blended, so it can always be fixed with a fluffy brush and some powder. I'm a fan, but I'd definitely recommend either playing around with it before you take the plunge or shopping at a store with a good return policy, as I could see why this warm brown shade would not be to everyone's taste.

The Perfectly Lit Oil-Free Luminizing Powder from Lorac has been my favorite highlighter this year. It's not a glittery highlight, and the shimmer that it does have running through it gives the skin a subtle glow wherever it's applied. Because Nar's Laguna bronzer is pretty heavy on color, I think that a more subtle illuminating powder like this that doesn't impart a lot of pigment pairs really well with it. Since it does have the same warm tone, it doesn't take away from the warmth I add to my face with bronzer like a cool-toned pink highlighter might. This is also great for use down the bridge of the nose, on the forehead, and on the cupid's bow because it isn't too shimmery.

If I had to pick my favorite brush of 2013, it would be the Real Techniques Setting Brush. This picture doesn't do the tapered tip justice, but the arrangement of the bristles at the tip of this brush is perfect for getting concealer to easily blend into the skin in the inner tear duct area. I haven't used anything else to apply my concealer since I got it!

If you read my post about this lipstick, you probably could've predicted that this would show up somewhere in my 2013 favorites. Tarte's Glamazon 12 Hour Pure Performance Lipstick in Fierce is my most worn lipstick and has been my favorite red throughout the year. It doesn't lean too far to the cool or warm side of the spectrum, it's long lasting with or without a lip pencil, matte without feeling or looking dry, and what you see in the tube is what you get on your lips. If red isn't your speed, the line has lots of great neutrals, so I'd definitely recommend checking this great formula out.

My most used eye primer of the year has been Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I'm not going to sing its praises as it is a pretty standard eye primer, but for the most part it does the job. I have pretty oily eyelids, so eyeshadow does crease on me after a few hours of wear, so I do want to try something else. I haven't switched it out because it's not a priority, and somehow the pretty lipstick always manages to win out over the workhorse primer when I'm in the aisles of Sephora!
If you don't have oily eyelids like I do, this will definitely hold your eyeshadow in place all day, and I will say that I prefer this one to the Urban Decay as I've found that it's just a tad bit creamier than the primer potion, but that might just be me!

My most used eyeshadow palette has been my Mac customizable 15 pan palette, and the shade that I put the biggest dent in is Naked Lunch. While I love using this all over the lid with a little bit of Mac's Carbon smudged into my upper lash line, my favorite use for this shadow is popped in the inner corner and used as a subtle highlighter on days when I've chosen not to use any bronzer. When I feel that my skin could use a little extra something in the radiance department but I want a more cool-toned glow than the Lorac highlighter provides, I'll lightly apply this down the bridge of my nose, on my cupid's bow, forehead, inner corners, and cheekbones with a fluffy brush. I guess I've cheated a little bit and added 2 highlighters, but I couldn't resist pointing out the fact that a shimmery pinky nude that you already have in your collection can double as a highlighter, and you'll never need to invest in any powder products that are marketed as highlighters.

As much as I love a good felt-tipped liner, this was a year when gel liners really won out for me. The line that I can get with a product like Tarte's EmphasEYES Waterproof Clay Liner and a brush is so much more clean and sharp than I get with a felt tip. Even though I've developed a more steady hand when applying eyeliner this year, I still haven't mastered the art of creating dramatic eyeliner looks with liquid liners, so when I'm feeling bold, I'll stick to this gel option.

And last but certainly not least is my eyeliner favorite for the year. Despite Urban Decay's 24/7 eyeliners being my favorite formula, the only white eyeliner option that they have is a shimmery white. Needless to say, that product is not the most subtle or versatile option for the inner corner or the waterline. That's why my most used pencil of the year is Mac's Eye Kohl in Fascinating. Although I did discover Tarte's Inner Rim Eyeliner this year, sometimes I can't be bothered to get out a separate product for lining my waterline and highlighting my inner corner and brow bone. With this white eyeliner from Mac, I'm quickly able to liner my waterline and place a little bit of this in my inner corner and under my brow bone and blend it out.

Thank you for reading this extremely long post, and have a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014!
Have you ever tried any of this products?
Let me know in the comments section below!

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