my ‘holy grail’ products for all-day wear
I never have time to primp! Who does? As a self-employed person, a regular day for me consists of teaching a minimum of 10 violin lessons and there are many days that also include a performance immediately after those lessons. I can’t count how many times I’ve put on concert clothes, full makeup, and thrown some tight curls in my hair, hoping it would last at least 10 hours. I am always looking for products that look natural but have a lot of coverage. I like to look natural and not over-do it when I work with kids, but still fancy enough to walk out on stage. I have combination/acne-prone skin, so a lot of coverage that doesn’t break me out is priority one. I definitely use more primer/concealer/foundation than a lot of people, but that is what makes me feel comfortable and confident (and makes it stay). ♥
Disclaimer: I am a product junkie. The products below are the ones I’ve bought over and over again. You know you can’t live without something when you buy a refill WEEKS before it runs out! Just in case.
- Benefit, Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer. On my longest days, this is my first step after cleansing and moisturizing (tweet @_rachelviolin if you want a post on my skin care routine). When I’m working for 5+ hours without a break, I at least know I don’t have to worry about my makeup. This stuff really works! It’s thick, but a little goes a long way. I rub the product directly onto my face on my cheekbones, my brow, my chin, and my nose. I use my fingers to rub it onto the rest of my face. When I follow this up with another primer, I feel like I have a really clean and even slate for my foundation and concealer. Also, it stays and that’s the priority here.
- Smashbox, Photo Finish Foundation Primer. This stuff is magical. I love the texture, it’s really soft! I have large pores and this events that out, plus it smooths out any dry/trouble spots I might have. I use this almost every day. It would be every day, except because I’m trying to take care of my skin, I have an entirely different routine for casual days off or outdoors. I use this and a little eye makeup and contour and that’s it.
- beautyblender, bling.ring kit. After hearing about this from friends and seeing it on literally every blog, I finally caved while staring at it in the checkout line at Sephora. I can’t believe I didn’t try it sooner, I don’t know why I waited so long. If you don’t already have one of these, order it now. I just ordered the minis and I’m thinking about trying this cheaper brand.
- Make Up For Ever, HD Microfinish Powder. If you ever used Benefit’s Powderflage, then you know it was amazing and is also discontinued. Behold, my favorite substitute! I received this as a random sample from Sephora* (great reason to shop there, I use all of my samples and it saves me a ton of money) and I’ve now purchased refills several times. It works great for dark circles under the eyes, fine lines/wrinkles, or blemishes.
- Urban Decay, Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-Aging. I can’t stand it when eye makeup gets all creased and uneven after just a few hours. I have hooded eyelids, so it’s especially bad for me. I started using the original Eyeshadow Primer Potion after receiving another Sephora sample haul. I bought a refill and then later discovered the Anti-Aging version. I always go for an anti-aging option when it’s available, is it ever too early to use them? The original and anti-aging both work the same and they keep my eye makeup in place until I wash my face. If I am extra tired and forget to take my eye makeup off, it’s all still there in the morning. That’s amazing.
- stila, Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. This is a life changing product. I love eyeliner, use it almost every day, and I’ve tried them all. This is the only one that stays, doesn’t smudge, and is incredibly easy to apply. If you can draw with a marker, you’ll be able to use this. It also lasts forever, which is fantastic since I can’t buy any of this stuff locally. I’m hooked.
- Benefit Cosmetics, They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara. It took a long time to find this product but it was so worth it! I literally tried every mascara Sephora sold and somehow this product made it into my life as (again) a sample. I immediately ordered the full size and haven’t switched in 4 years. When I’m teaching or rehearsing 3-5 hours in a row, I don’t have time to peek in a mirror to check for mascara shadows. I also need to look bright-eyed and professional on stage. This mascara leaves absolutely no shadow under the eye, no matter how many hours you wear it. The shape of the brush help you control the thickness, letting you get fine feathery eyelashes or a chunkier, thicker look. This product and the Stila Eyeliner will stay on for days, so definitely invest in some eye makeup remover if you are using any of these products (my favorite here).
- Aveda, Air Control Hair Spray& Control Force Firm Hold Hairspray. Anyone close to me knows I’m obsessed with anything Aveda. A year ago, my best friend convinced me to drive to the closest Aveda Salon (2 hours away!) and I’ve never looked back. After just one appointment with a Master Stylist, I started getting compliments and questions about my hair. If I could by a 12 pack of the Control Force Hairspray, I would. It’s a great flexible hold and I love using it with my wand or straightener. It’s also a great touchup hairspray right before running out on stage. It is not sticky and doesn’t leave residue after multiple uses. I only wash my hair once or twice a week (I have very course, thick hair) and this spray is perfect for daily use. When I need my style to be perfect hours later, I use Control Force all over, in multiple layers throughout my hair. It is sticky, it is thick, but it is exactly what I need when I want my curls to stick around for 10 hours. I need to wash my hair more when I use Control Force, it leaves a residue after multiple uses.
*Sephora.com samples are a terrific way to try new products. Become a Beauty Insider to earn points and deluxe samples. Some of the samples are pretty generous and will last quite a while. I also love using them when I travel, but I’m usually cautious about trying new products when I’m out of town for a performance. I have a terrible fear of trying something new and having a reaction on a concert day! Better safe than sorry…