Makeup… The Adult Equivalent of a Lisa Frank Binder

Ladies, remember how you loved Care Bears and Lisa Frank and gel pens when you were a kid? Oh, you still do? Well, me too, honestly. I still get excited over school supplies and even the smell of Play-Dough. However, I also get the same joy over makeup and shoes and sundresses now. So I figured I’d share some of my favorite makeup products with you since we’re all going to have different tastes in shoes and clothes. (And you don’t need to see pictures of my 150+ pairs of shoes and 100+ Lilly Pulitzer sundresses/skirts/skorts/shorts/shirts/etc. because it would bore you to death.)

But I do understand that not everybody gets excited over makeup like I do. Still, it’s an essential part of being an adult. You do need makeup in certain situations. Period.

I won’t teach you how to apply makeup because there are tutorials on YouTube that can guide you far better than I ever could. I’m not a professional at applying makeup. I just do my own thing. If I have a specific tip, I’ll share it, but, in general, I’m just here to share my favorite makeup products!

I’ve shared my favorite skincare products with you here and here, and I still stand by all of my recommendations. So after I’m finished putting on my toner and moisturizer, I start with my makeup!

  • Rimmel Stay Matte Primer, $3.63. 
    • If you don’t have oily skin, you probably need a different primer, but if you do, the price is right, and this primer is AMAZING. It lasts all day. There’s not much else to say about primer other than that, really. That’s kind of all you’re looking for.
  • Make Up For Ever HD Skin Undetectable Longwear Foundation, $43. OR Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 20, $48.
    • Okay, so these are quite a bit more expensive than the primer, but SO worth it. The Make Up For Ever has a little more coverage than the Laura Mercier, so it depends on what you’re looking for, but they’re both great foundations. (I know Laura Mercier has SPF, but this is just a reminder that you NEED to use sunscreen before you put on your makeup, even if it has an SPF. I use this one underneath my moisturizer — which you also need even if you have oily skin. One thing I like about these two foundations is they neither dry out your skin nor do they make it oily looking. They’re great for any skin type. And if you accidentally put too much on, it’s easy to fix. I go with cheap makeup whenever I can, but these are worth the price.
  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, $6.59
    • This is the sponge I use for my foundation. It’s better than any sponge I’ve tried. To be fair, I haven’t tried the $20 Beauty Blender — and I don’t plan on spending my money on it — but this blender is great, and I highly recommend it over sponges that cost the same amount.
  • Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, $30.
    • Well, this is expensive, too. But I swear, it’s worth every penny. Dark circles? What are those? Do you have adult acne? You don’t any more! (And here’s how to apply it the right way to get rid of those dark under-eye circles! The triangle method is the best, by far.) 
    • I’ve also heard people rave about Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $30, but I’m not letting my Tarte Shape Tape Concealer out of my cold, dead hands, so I can’t personally recommend that one.
  • Real Techniques 4 Pack Miracle Mini Complexion Sponge, $8.99.
    • I use these to apply my concealer. I find them more manageable than my large foundation sponge, and $8.99 is not much for a four-pack. Also, you can wash them like you can any other foundation sponge, and use them repeatedly. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t spend $9 on four tiny sponges.)
  • Sonia Kashuk Brushes, varying prices.
    • Speaking of applying makeup, I generally use Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target to apply my powder, blush, highlighter, eyeshadow, etc. I have a couple of ELF and Wet & Wild brushes, and I use this eyelash comb, but I’ve had my Sonia Kashuk brushes since college… fifteen years ago (oh, my god… that is so sad), have washed them a zillion times, and they’re still in great shape. I could not recommend them more. To this day, I still do not need new ones. Sure, you can probably find better makeup brushes, but these are probably cheaper, and I can tell you from experience that they’re a great buy.
  • NYX Professional Makeup #NoFilter Finishing Powder, $11.99.
    • I LOVE this NYX powder. I’m honestly not sure if they make it anymore since it’s no longer on the Ulta website, and there are only a few colors on Amazon. (Guess I better get another one while it’s still there because they also no longer make my second favorite pressed powder — Make Up For Ever!) This is basically just a setting powder, and I am obsessed with it. There are a few other powders that can achieve this, though.
      • Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Matte Setting Powder, $37.
        • I know I said I like to use the cheap stuff, but I won’t lie and say this stuff isn’t amazing AF. Besides, it’s one of the only other ones I’ve used that I’m going to recommend. It’s awesome. I try the cheap stuff first, but if you don’t like to, then this is what you should look at!
      • NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Matte Setting Powder, $12.
        • This looks like it would be comparable to the Make Up For Ever Setting Powder. I find NYX to be a good dupe for many brands, so I usually recommend it. However, this can only be found on the Ulta website, so you can’t try it in person. 
      • NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop All Day Mattifying Powder, $9.50
        • If you’re like me and you like pressed powder, this might be the one for you! Again, I always tend to recommend NYX over other cheap brands because it’s an excellent dupe for so many things.
      • Coty Airspun Face Powder Translucent Extra Coverage, $5.72.
        • The price is right on this one, and it has RAVE reviews on Amazon. Seriously. It has over 100,000 reviews and has 4.5 stars. I would personally love it myself (and choose it over Make Up For Ever, which I’m sure you can tell I LOVE by now), but I just prefer pressed powder. Still, I can’t help myself from recommending it anyways. Everyone likes different things in their powders, so I think I’ve given some options for everyone!
    • Physicians Formula Monoi Butter Bronzer Matte Light Bronzer, $12.99.
      • I honestly haven’t used this yet, but I’m buying it today. I looked up the bronzer I do use, and Neutrogena doesn’t make it anymore. Then I realized that I’ve had it since I was fifteen. I’m about to turn 36. I think it’s time to throw it away. I’m not one to ever throw makeup away, but I think twenty years is too long. I looked it up, and the shelf life is supposed to be two-three years… yikes. (Don’t worry, I follow the rules about eye makeup and things like that… I just have never thought about the rules of powder makeup!) It has good reviews, and the light looks light enough, even for my super fair skin. They also have darker colors if you aren’t a ghost like I am. 
    • Nars Blush, Orgasm, $30.
      • This color looks amazing on everybody. It seriously does. It doesn’t matter what your skin tone is. Just buy it. Enough said. Oh, and a little goes a long way, so you may get away with purchasing the mini size!
    • Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter, Molten Rose Gold, $4.86.
      • LOVE this highlighter! The rose gold is great for my complexion, but they have several other colors, including gold and peach. A little bit goes a LONG way. I learned that the hard way the first time I used it!!!
    • Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Base — Clear Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer, $13.75.
      • Sure, there are cheaper eyeshadow primers out there. I used NYX’s primer for a long time because it had been the best I had found. But it creased more, and it showed a little bit. This is by far the best eyeshadow primer I’ve ever used. Period. It’s worth it.
    • I would usually put my eyeshadows on right after my primer, but since I want to list a bunch of my favorite eyeshadows, I’m going to list those at the end of this entry, and continue with my makeup routine as if I had already put on my eyeshadow!
    • NYX Matte Finish Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray Vegan Formula, $9.50.
      • There’s not much to say about setting spray because all you want is one that works. This one works. I think it works better than Urban Decay’s, which says a lot. I highly recommend it. Check it out.
    • L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Mechanical Eyeliner, Black, $9.39.
      • If you’re not great at putting on eyeliner like me, this is a great eyeliner to use. It’s kind of like a crayon. I can’t use liquid liner, and I don’t like pencil eyeliner on the top of my eyes, so this stuff is excellent. I do wonder why eyeliner is so expensive, though!
    • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $27.
      • I don’t care what anybody says. This is the best mascara ever. I know this for a fact because I’ve tried all of the other “best mascaras ever.” Believe me, I own all of them! I’ve repeatedly said I love the cheap stuff, but I’d pay even more for this. You can pry this from my cold, dead hands. If you don’t own this, don’t wait. Buy this. Today. Now. Sadly, the waterproof is a little more clumpy, but not so much where I’d choose any other mascara over it. I’d just select the non-waterproof version over it any day of the week… unless you cry a lot or you’re going swimming. 
    • EYESHADOWS! I have so many favorites. Tarte stops making some of them after a while, but I’m going to do my best to find them. And I’m only going to include my absolute favorites on here, which will be incredibly difficult.
      • Too Faced Born This Way — The Natural Nudes Eyeshadow Palette, $49.
        • I’ve never spent this amount of money on an eyeshadow palette because the price is absurd, and even though I wanted it for a long time, it took me receiving it as a gift to actually get it. Now? I’d buy it again in a heartbeat. It is the absolute best eyeshadow palette I’ve ever had. There’s no color in here that you can’t use, no matter your skin tone, and I’m looking at it trying to choose my favorite, but I can’t. I use Glistening Snow, Shimmering Pearl, Rose Gold, Golden Light, and Sugared Chestnut the most. But honestly, I love all of them.
      • Maybelline Expertwear All Day Eyeshadow Sunlit Bronze, $12.29.
        • I’ve literally been rebuying this same eyeshadow palette since high school. The colors are so flattering! I also love how they tell you where to use them! However, I tend to use Mac’s eyeshadow in Girlie ($19.00) in the crease and Mac’s eyeshadow in Woodwinked ($19) in the outer corners.
      • Maybelline New York Lemonade Craze, $8.94.
        • This one is so fun, especially for the summer! You can make so many cute summery looks with it. When I’m lazy, I like to use Mac’s Girlie and put the shimmery Strawberry Lemonade in this palette over it instead of going for a whole look. But that’s certainly not the only great color in here! I love them all, but I am fond of Citrus and Coral Punch… they’re fun peachy colors that are so cute. However, I still haven’t figured out how to use the namesake Lemonade Craze. If you have any tips, please let me know! I would love to be able to make some fun makeup looks!
      • Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette, $54.
        • Okay, so I don’t actually own this because I can’t justify the price. But I look at it all the time and swoon over the colors. It’s so beautiful. So if you want to give me a gift, you can send me money on Cash App at $lindsaykaye04 or Venmo @blondesunshine12. Yes, I’m sure you will want to buy a wholly unnecessary and ridiculously expensive makeup item for an absolute stranger. I have no doubt in my mind that this wish will come true. I’ll be waiting with bated breath.
      • Tarte Don’t Quit Your Daydream, $18.
        • This includes some neutral and peachy colors and is perfect for spring. I found this new on Poshmark, and it’s honestly worth the price. It’s a beautiful palette! I love all of these, also, but I think my favorites are Boss Lady and Strive!
      • Tarte Love, Trust, and Fairy Dust Eye Palette, $39.
        • This is another one that’s good for spring and summer. And if you’re good with eyeshadow, you can make SO MANY unique looks with this! I’m almost to the bottom on Twinkle, Flitter, Magic, Mystical, and the middle color! (If you can’t tell from all the favorites I’ve listed so far in my favorite eyeshadows, I love a slight shimmer!!!)

So those are my favorite makeup items. I listed them here and provided links because I highly recommend each of them. 

Do you really need makeup? Like, do you really need a full face of makeup? Sadly, yes. If you’re going to work or a job interview, you need a full face of makeup. If you’re going on a date, you need makeup — how much you want to wear is up to you, though.

You don’t makeup to run errands, and please don’t wear a full face of makeup to the gym, but if you want to look like a professional adult, yes, you need these things. You may not need these brands, but you need these items.

And don’t forget makeup brushes and sponges. Please don’t apply your makeup with the applicators that come with it. Brushes are worth the cost to look much better.

As for applying it, there are millions of videos on YouTube on how to do so. I’d teach you myself, but I’m certainly no professional. I’ve just learned by experience. But if you don’t have experience using makeup, please take advantage of these videos. 

I know not everybody loves makeup like I do. And that’s okay. You don’t have to wear it all of the time. But you do have to get comfortable with wearing it in certain places. And one tip — if you don’t often wear makeup, see if you can get a travel-sized item!

And if you do love makeup like I do, share what you love below! I’d love to hear about some great items I’m missing out on!

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