love.

Love

It’s such a lovely thing to be in love. To love someone so much who loves you back. To be blessed with a forever kind of love is a beautiful thing, and it is always my hope that those who have it don’t take it for granted. Because February is the month of love – so says the 14th day of the month – I wanted to blog about love today.

I love my husband more than life itself, but this is not about him. I love our four sweet kids more than life itself, but this is not about them, either. Though, traditionally, in our house, Valentine’s Day is about the kids. We can celebrate our love anytime we want – and I can promise you none of our most romantic nights, trips, dates, or evenings have been spent at any restaurant with a prix fixe menu while the staff is ushering you out subtly but quickly so they can turnover a table faster than you can grab your evening bag and go.

Today, I want to talk about a different kind of love. The beauty products I love the most. They’re the ones I use every day of my life (because anyone who knows me knows I never leave the house without a full face of makeup). I am not ashamed of that. I’m not embarrassed by that, even if there are always those who go on and on about confidence and not needing makeup. I don’t need makeup. I have beautiful skin – I just look like a 12-year-old boy without makeup. I feel most confident with makeup, and feeling confident and good about yourself is where all things important begin to take shape. If you feel good without makeup, go you. If you feel good with makeup, go you. Worry not what others think – you’re the one who has to live with you.

I love makeup, and I have favorites. Some of them change with the seasons. Some change as I get a little older and my skin changes, but my routine never changes after I wash my face (morning and evening on the washing). I’ve linked my favorites for you in each category.

Moisturize

Clinique has long since been my go-to, and that is thanks to my grandmother. She always believed in a good basic skincare routine – and moisturizing is the key to beautiful skin. I use the moisture surge intense following my morning shower, and I use the turnaround overnight and all about eyes following my evening shower.

Primer

Priming is key. No one should apply makeup without first priming. My everyday go-to is the Dr. Brandt Pores No More because I do have larger pores, and this is such a lightweight primer. During the summer, I’m more inclined to use the Too Faced Major Hangover because I spend a lot of time outside by the pool and traveling, and my skin needs the extra moisture from this one. If I’m doing my makeup for an evening out, I prefer the Laura Mercier Pure Canvas. It’s a touch more elegant and offers a bit of a sheen.

CC cream

iT Cosmetics has my favorite CC cream. I wear medium – and it’s a light cc cream with excellent coverage without being heavy.

Concealer

Nars for the win here. I wear color crèma Catalina. I only use it beneath my eyes and blend with a makeup brush, and it’s the perfect lightweight concealer to hide my tired eyes.

Contour/highlight

Charlotte Tilbury has become a favorite the past year or two. I love this duo for my highlight and contour. It doesn’t take much, but it has such an impact.

Foundation

I go back and forth between the Sephora Collection Mist Airbrush in Medium and the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place (3C2 Pebble). The airbrush is my go-to winter favorite because it blends naturally with my pale winter skin. The Double Wear is always my go-to in the summer because it stays so well on my skin even when we are in and out of the pool all day with the kids. Both offer major coverage but without the heavy look or feeling. I apply both with a foundation brush.

Blush

Charlotte Tilbury all the way. I was a huge fan of a very specific Bobbi Brown blush for years and years, but they discontinued the color, and I was lost. This CT entered my life three years ago, and I haven’t worn anything else since.

Eyeshadow

I’m a huge fan of the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. It’s currently all I wear, and I noticed it’s on sale right now on Amazon from $59 to $40. I’ve never ordered it from Amazon, if we are being honest. I usually order from Nordstrom, and I like their packaging. Nothing ever arrives damaged, broken, or loose.

Mascara

Diorshow is my go-to. Honestly, I don’t care at all about mascara in the sense that this one or that one makes my lashes look lush and amazing. My lashes always look the same with $7 drugstore mascara or $30 designer mascara – but the brush has to be the right brush. This brush is my favorite. It’s all about the brush.

Lipstick

Lipstick is so important. Trust me. I wear it daily because my lips match my face otherwise, and that is not a good look for anyone. Bobbi Brown is my favorite lipstick, and I have it in many colors, but you’ll most often see me sporting the Red Carpet. It’s a beautiful matte red that is flattering on all the people – and it lasts. It lasts all day long. Every single time. Oh, and I always use chapstick first, then my lipstick. I also don’t line my lips. They’re already large enough, and when I do line them, they tend to take on that comical ‘too much lip filler’ look that no one wants. Or do they not want it because it seems like a trend to have over-filled lips?

I have favorites. Most have been favorites forever and ever, and others come and go with the seasons. Because it’s the month of love, I’m sharing my favorite of favorites with you before Valentine’s Day. If you’re so inclined, you have time to order whatever you fall in love with from my list from your makeup store of choice and get it here before the big day.

Makeup is highly personal. Some love it. Some don’t. For me, it’s about finding products that are lightweight but offer full coverage. I like to have that glam look day and night, but I don’t like to feel or look heavy. I said it last month in a blog post, but the number one compliment I get on a regular basis is about how beautiful my skin is – and since I always have makeup on, it’s usually followed up with a compliment about my makeup, too. Happy shopping, and please share your favorites in the comments!

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