by Christina

What do I REALLY have in MY makeup bag?!?

These are the items that I ACTUALLY use! I have seen a LOT of bloggers that do include a great amount of fantastic products ...but I wonder if they've actually used them !?! I think it's easier to pick products we know people will love or have high ratings or look great, but we should also be asking - Do they work?!...Have I tried it myself!?! The products listed here are beauty products that I really  use and LOVE!!!


1. Tarte- Rainforest After Dark Palette

This palette has been out for a while, but I still LOVE it! It's got a great variety of shades in the palette including a fantastic highlighter and bronzer (matte finish) that are great for contouring! The blush is a very flattering and natural color and my FAV color in the palette is the eye shadow in Up to No Gold -it's a very pretty gold and goes well with almost anything you're wearing. This palette really put my Tarte obsession in full force and I really fell in love with the brand! The only drawback I've found to the palette- It may not be the palette for you unless you have fair skin. I have super fair skin and I have also seen what other women have said about the palette as well, and it does seem that the colors do not seem as bright or beautiful on darker skin tones. That being said, I have also seen reviews of those with darker skin tones who said they absolutely loved the palette!

Shades included: Highlighter in Champagne (0.14 oz.), Bronzer in Park Ave Princess (0.14 oz.), Blush in Unleashed (nude rose blush) (0.21 oz.), Eye Shadow in Bare to Explore (pink beige) (0.035 oz.), Eye Shadow in Make a Mauve (plum mauve) (0.035 oz.), Eye Shadow in Up to No Gold (gold) (0.035 oz.), Eye Shadow in Tan-gled Up in You (tan) (0.035 oz.), Eye Shadow in Don't Turn A-Brown (dark brown) (0.035 oz.), Eye Shadow in Plum Away With Me (dark plum) (0.035 oz.).


2. Benefit- They're Real! Mascara

This mascara is the BEST I've tried period! I have tried a LOT...drugstore all the way to the super pricey ones, and all of them pale in comparison. One of the noticeable differences I've seen with this mascara vs. others, is that the wand is really GOOD and works at fanning out your lashes and really giving them separation AND lift. I got this with another purchase as a sample and new the first time I used it I had found a new fav! Now, I've managed to collect a few full-sized backups so I never run out! :)

Here's the BEST way to apply Benefit's They're Real mascara:

Here's the BEST way to apply Benefit's They're Real mascara:

3. Bare Minerals- Marvelous Moxie Lip gloss in "Smooth Talker" $18

I just got this lip gloss in a recent prize I won-but I'd already tried some before in a sample size and I absolutely loved it-so I was really excited when I won a full-sized sample in this beautiful color. I'm usually NOT a fan of pinks, but this one looks really natural and pretty with my fair skin. It's also long-lasting and NOT sticky...which is something that bugs me about a lot of lip glosses. They're either gone super quick or leave your lips feeling like you have painted honey on them!




4.Julep- Luxe Lip Treatment in "Sheer Coral" $24

*$19.20 for Mavens

I DID put 2 lip glosses in the list because for one, I can't resist lip glosses and I probably have WAY too many of them. I also wanted to do a second review on this gloss after doing my first review in my review of Julep's January box, as I have been able to use it for a while now and have come to the decision that I love it! I was not a fan at first of the taste, I have found that it's the only drawback (it contains castor oil so that is my guess for the source of what I would call unusual for a lip gloss), but the results are great! It leaves your lips looking so shiny and glossy and is great on top of lip stains and other lipsticks and lip glosses! Something really unique too that sets this gloss apart from others is the metallic applicator which makes it a breeze to put on and feels so nice when applying. 

5. Urban Decay-Naked Flushed double-ended brush $26

This thing has been one of my tried and true brushes and I purchased a new one this past year and the only difference I noticed was that the quality may even be BETTER! Its a fantastic brush that can be use for contouring and sculpting and for applying blush as well. It's also a really GOOD STEAL at only $26!!! An added bonus?-the brush fibers are cuelty-free, vegan, and made with a super-soft synthetic derived from recycled materials (you'd NEVER know that by just using this!}. Why all the cool science behind the brush? It works- as the surfaces of the bristles on this brush are far less porous than real hair is and prevents bacteria from easily forming on the brush, which means it far MORE hygienic!

6.Make Up Forever-HD Invisible Cover Foundation $42 -color #115 "Ivory" *for light sking w/pink undertones.

I tried this foundation on whim and purchased it as a kit with the primer and and finishing powder (they are both awesome items too!) It works really well, doesn't mask your actual face but DOES provide coverage, and it goes smoothly and leaves a very silky finish on your skin as as a result! It IS a little PRICEY...but I've had this 1..1oz size for over a year and it's just now at the half-way mark (I use it every day!). The pump works really well and the bottle- which has the pretty look of glass , is actually plastic so you can't break it! Another plus side to this line is that if offers 25 shades so almost anyone will be able to find one that is just right shade for their skin tone. The Make Up Forever #108 Large Foundation Brush which is $36, is also a great addition to assist with application!

7. Benefit Cosmetics Lollitint "Candy Orchid" $30

I have been SOO obsessed with Benefit products lately-especially their cheek & lip stains!!! This product IS awesome BUT if you don't apply a certain way, you can end up looking just the opposite of the beautiful effect you're trying to achieve :( One of the easiest ways that I found, was to put a small amount with the brush on the corner top of my hand or wrist, and then going in small circles with my finger and then applying to my cheeks and lips. If I apply this product directly to the cheeks, it seems to leave streaks and will try too quickly also leaving dots and/or lines where you originally placed the product! I have found however, that I can use the brush to paint it on my lips directly and as long as I immediately use my fingertips to blend, the color turns out nice on them. I strongly recommend NOT doing this on your cheeks though! The shiny pink bottle is a super cute added bonus :)

8. Sumita Beauty Eye Shadow Pencil-Champagne $18

This pencil goes on like a shadow, blends very easily, and has excellent staying power. It also does NOT crease which is rare I have found in the past in these types of pencils. Large pencil sharpeners will also work on this pencil so it won't take an extra large-size one to sharpen it like a LOT of the fatter pencils do. I've also had it for a while and it hasn't whittled down even with continual sharpening and the formula has a fantastic ,smooth feel! I got this in one of my beauty box subscriptions and I was really glad they put it in the box as I normally never would have chosen it as an item for myself on my own :)

9. Too Faced Cocoa Powder Foundation-Fair $34

I got this too originally as a sample only to realize immediately it was a personal hit! The container and applicator are well organized and very classy looking :) The powder also lasts all day and you need minimal usage and layering as it does a good job of concealing imperfections and absorbing excess oil! If you DO need to reapply during the day, it won't result in the cake appearance that some powders give you after touch ups. The formula is also vegan and cruelty-free and does NOT contain: Parabens, Sulfates, and Phthalates.

10.Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo-Blonde Warm Gold $23

There are a couple of good brands when it comes to powder brow kits and this one is definitely one of my biggest FAVS right now! I also like the one from Urban Decay-Brow Box as well! This one made the list because it's been the easiest for me to apply and use on an every-day basis. If I DON"T use this on my brows, I don't really feel like my makeup is complete! The Mini Duo Angled Spooley #7 Brush $18 (also offered from Anastasia Bev. Hills) is perfect for application, but any angled brow brush made to use with brow powder will do! A big plus with this brand is also that they offer 11 different shade kits with 2 shades a piece so almost any woman can find the right shade for her brows!