My Favorite Beauty Products

With the holidays coming up, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my favorite beauty products (these make great Christmas gifts for the women in your life). I also love reading what beauty products other women love and I usually thoroughly research products before I spend a lot of money on higher end makeup. I have found over the years that, depending on what you're buying, it is often worth it to invest a little more money in nicer beauty products. They typically work much better and last much longer. 

Here's a few of my favorite products I've found:

Primer: I didn't use primer for years and then one day I tried it and I realized what I'd been missing all those years! Now I think primer is an essential first step. Primer smooths out your skin, reduces oil, and your makeup stays on MUCH longer with primer.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer ($36) This stuff is absolutely amazing! 

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer ($36)
This stuff is absolutely amazing! 

elf Primer ($6) This is a GREAT alternative to Smashbox's primer. This is what I use now because it's so similar and so much cheaper.

elf Primer ($6)
This is a GREAT alternative to Smashbox's primer. This is what I use now because it's so similar and so much cheaper.

Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Eye Primer ($20) I've tried a lot of different eye primers and this one is my favorite because it's non-greasy and your eye shadow lasts forever!

Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Eye Primer ($20)
I've tried a lot of different eye primers and this one is my favorite because it's non-greasy and your eye shadow lasts forever!

Foundation: I've learned the hard way that foundation just doesn't seem to be one of those things you can go cheap on (let me know if you've found a great inexpensive foundation that doesn't rub off on things, looks natural, and lasts all day!). 

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation ($39) This is my all time favorite foundation! It is full coverage but it doesn't look cakey or fake, it lasts all day, and it doesn't rub off on things. It's also offered in a ton of different shades so you should be able to find the perfect shade for you!

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation ($39)
This is my all time favorite foundation! It is full coverage but it doesn't look cakey or fake, it lasts all day, and it doesn't rub off on things. It's also offered in a ton of different shades so you should be able to find the perfect shade for you!

 
jouer Matte Moisture Tint ($40) This foundation is wonderful! It's a little lighter than tarte's and feels more like a tinted moisturizer. It looks very natural and stays on all day!

jouer Matte Moisture Tint ($40)
This foundation is wonderful! It's a little lighter than tarte's and feels more like a tinted moisturizer. It looks very natural and stays on all day!

 

Concealer: I've struggled to find a concealer I really, really love so let me know if you have a favorite!

Mary Kay Concealer ($12) This is the best stuff I've found! It definitely stays put all day.

Mary Kay Concealer ($12)
This is the best stuff I've found! It definitely stays put all day.

NYX Concealer Stick ($2.49) This concealer works pretty well (especially for the price). 

NYX Concealer Stick ($2.49)
This concealer works pretty well (especially for the price). 

 

Eyeshadow: 

Urban Decay Naked Palette ($54) You really can't beat this palette! Yes, it's expensive but mine has lasted me for 1-2+ years! The shadows are highly pigmented and you don't have to use much to get a lot of color. I recently purchased the Naked 3 Palette because my first one ran out and I like it a lot, but I have to say that I think the original is the best! If you have a cooler skin tone, the second one may be best for you.

Urban Decay Naked Palette ($54)
You really can't beat this palette! Yes, it's expensive but mine has lasted me for 1-2+ years! The shadows are highly pigmented and you don't have to use much to get a lot of color. I recently purchased the Naked 3 Palette because my first one ran out and I like it a lot, but I have to say that I think the original is the best! If you have a cooler skin tone, the second one may be best for you.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette ($29) This is a GREAT matte palette! it works really well for daytime looks or for an evening smokey eye.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette ($29)
This is a GREAT matte palette! it works really well for daytime looks or for an evening smokey eye.

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow ($20) I LOOOOVE this stuff! This is usually what I swipe on when I'm in a rush (which seems to be most weekday mornings!) and it stays put all day. The color I use is "No Pressure!"

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow ($20)
I LOOOOVE this stuff! This is usually what I swipe on when I'm in a rush (which seems to be most weekday mornings!) and it stays put all day. The color I use is "No Pressure!"

Blush: 

Benetint Cheek and Lip Stain ($30) This stuff is so easy to use and it lasts forever! It looks bright red in the bottle but it actually just gives you a very natural looking flush and it takes 2 seconds to put on.

Benetint Cheek and Lip Stain ($30)
This stuff is so easy to use and it lasts forever! It looks bright red in the bottle but it actually just gives you a very natural looking flush and it takes 2 seconds to put on.

elf Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder ($3) This blush isn't as a good as some of the higher end ones but the color is great! I use "St. Lucia." Its supposedly a great dupe for NARS cult classic blush.

elf Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder ($3)
This blush isn't as a good as some of the higher end ones but the color is great! I use "St. Lucia." Its supposedly a great dupe for NARS cult classic blush.

 

Eyeliner: 

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil ($20) This is my favorite eye liner! It goes on really easily and stays put all day. Right now you can get this eyeliner & UD mascara at Ulta for $24...great deal!

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil ($20)
This is my favorite eye liner! It goes on really easily and stays put all day. Right now you can get this eyeliner & UD mascara at Ulta for $24...great deal!

cargo Swimmables Eye Pencil ($18) I found this half off at Ulta once and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. It stays put all day!

cargo Swimmables Eye Pencil ($18)
I found this half off at Ulta once and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. It stays put all day!

Julep When Pencil Met Gel ($16) I recently got this for free from a promotion Julep was doing and I really like this pencil! I use the "Smoky Taupe Shimmer" shade and it's a great, lighter alternative to a dark black pencil.

Julep When Pencil Met Gel ($16)
I recently got this for free from a promotion Julep was doing and I really like this pencil! I use the "Smoky Taupe Shimmer" shade and it's a great, lighter alternative to a dark black pencil.

Mascara: 

Benefit They're Real! Lengthening Mascara ($24) This is my all time favorite mascara! It's amazing! It seems to separate and lengthen every individual lash so well.

Benefit They're Real! Lengthening Mascara ($24)
This is my all time favorite mascara! It's amazing! It seems to separate and lengthen every individual lash so well.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($23) I got this with a gift as a sample and I absolutely loved it! It doesn't do as good of a job as Benefit's mascara and separating each lash but it does add a lot of volume!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($23)
I got this with a gift as a sample and I absolutely loved it! It doesn't do as good of a job as Benefit's mascara and separating each lash but it does add a lot of volume!

L'Oreal Butterfly Intenza Mascara ($8.99) This mascara is a great drug store alternative and is somewhat similar to "They're Real!" mascara. You can definitely tell a difference but it's a great option if you want to save money. 

L'Oreal Butterfly Intenza Mascara ($8.99)
This mascara is a great drug store alternative and is somewhat similar to "They're Real!" mascara. You can definitely tell a difference but it's a great option if you want to save money. 

Powder: 

elf High Definition Powder ($6) I haven't tried a ton of different powders because I love this stuff and its so cheap! I use the "sheer" powder and it does a great job locking my makeup in all day!

elf High Definition Powder ($6)
I haven't tried a ton of different powders because I love this stuff and its so cheap! I use the "sheer" powder and it does a great job locking my makeup in all day!

 

Lips: 

bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss ($18) I have this lip gloss in "Maverick" and I LOVE it! It's a beautiful, darker color (but it's not too dark) and it stays on for a long time without being sticky.

bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss ($18)
I have this lip gloss in "Maverick" and I LOVE it! It's a beautiful, darker color (but it's not too dark) and it stays on for a long time without being sticky.

Josie Maran Argan Love Your Lips Hydrating Lipstick ($22) My mom got me this lipstick and it is amazing! It's a great mix between lip gloss, lip balm, and lip stick. It's super hydrating and yet it's also full of color and stays on for a long time. I love it!

Josie Maran Argan Love Your Lips Hydrating Lipstick ($22)
My mom got me this lipstick and it is amazing! It's a great mix between lip gloss, lip balm, and lip stick. It's super hydrating and yet it's also full of color and stays on for a long time. I love it!

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Creme ($24) This stuff is wonderful! It has a pepperminty smell and it's super moisturizing and the color is beautiful.

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Creme ($24)
This stuff is wonderful! It has a pepperminty smell and it's super moisturizing and the color is beautiful.

Revlon Super Lustrious Lipstick ($7.99) This lipstick is great for the cost! I have a few shades but one of my favorites is "Wine with Everything." It's a great classic red that's not too bold and bright.

Revlon Super Lustrious Lipstick ($7.99)
This lipstick is great for the cost! I have a few shades but one of my favorites is "Wine with Everything." It's a great classic red that's not too bold and bright.

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter ($8.49) I love this stuff! It's really moisturizing and is kind of a mix between lip stick and lip balm. I have the color "Sweet Tart" and wear it all the time. It looks super bright pink in the bottle but it looks lovely (and not too bright) on.

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter ($8.49)
I love this stuff! It's really moisturizing and is kind of a mix between lip stick and lip balm. I have the color "Sweet Tart" and wear it all the time. It looks super bright pink in the bottle but it looks lovely (and not too bright) on.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick- Kate Moss Collection ($5.49) I love the colors in this lipstick line! I have 15 and it's a great, versatile mauve color.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick- Kate Moss Collection ($5.49)
I love the colors in this lipstick line! I have 15 and it's a great, versatile mauve color.

Nails: I love the colors of Essie nail polish! They're a little pricey but you can often find them half off at TJ Maxx. Here's a few of my favorite colors for fall:

Essie "Penny Talk" ($8.50) This is a very unique and beautiful rose gold color.

Essie "Penny Talk" ($8.50)
This is a very unique and beautiful rose gold color.

Essie "Gel Setter Top Coat" ($9.99) This is a great top coat that adds protection and shine to your nails!

Essie "Gel Setter Top Coat" ($9.99)
This is a great top coat that adds protection and shine to your nails!

Essie "Chinchilly" ($8.50) This is a staple for me. I've worn it over and over gain in the fall/winter for the past several years.

Essie "Chinchilly" ($8.50)
This is a staple for me. I've worn it over and over gain in the fall/winter for the past several years.

Revlon Nail Enamel in "Elegant" ($5.99) I've been a longtime fan of revlon's nail enamel. I love the colors and you can't beat the price! I love this neutral and versatile shade nude shade!

Revlon Nail Enamel in "Elegant" ($5.99)
I've been a longtime fan of revlon's nail enamel. I love the colors and you can't beat the price! I love this neutral and versatile shade nude shade!

Dry Shampoo: Batiste (this stuff works great and is fairly inexpensive...look for it 1/2 off at TJ Maxx), Merle Norman (I got this stuff in a Birchbox one year and LOVED the volume it gave my hair...it is pretty pricey so I don't buy it now)

Serge Normant Dry Shampoo ($25) I got this stuff from Birchbox a while back and LOVED it but I haven't it bought it for a while because it's so pricey. This stuff adds great volume and texture to your hair.

Serge Normant Dry Shampoo ($25)
I got this stuff from Birchbox a while back and LOVED it but I haven't it bought it for a while because it's so pricey. This stuff adds great volume and texture to your hair.

Batiste Dry Shampoo ($7.99) This is a wonderful dry shampoo at a great price! I use this stuff every other day on the days I don't wash my hair. It absorbs oil but doesn't leave sticky residue in your hair.

Batiste Dry Shampoo ($7.99)
This is a wonderful dry shampoo at a great price! I use this stuff every other day on the days I don't wash my hair. It absorbs oil but doesn't leave sticky residue in your hair.

For more tips, a few of my favorite beauty blogs to follow are The Small Things Blog and Beauty Department. Another great way to learn about beauty products and to save money is by signing up for BirchboxI used to receive a Birchbox each month and I LOVED it! It gave me a chance to try beauty products I wouldn't have otherwise known about and it gave me samples of (and sometimes full sized!) high end products each month which helped me cut down on the over-all amount I was spending on products. Birchbox also makes a great gift to give to someone. One other great resource that I love is Allure's Best of Beauty 2015. This gives you a very comprehensive list with reviews of many different products.

>>>I'd love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite beauty products? Leave your comments below.