Makeup Essentials

Every year, I seem to add a new “challenge” to get me out of my comfort zone style-wise. When I was a senior in college, I challenged myself to wear my hair down more. I still wear pony-tails frequently, but I did start wearing it down a lot more. (Once a boy told me that I was “the girl in the front row with a ponytail” in classes.) And then last year, I worked on buying and wearing more heels. Now when I get dressed up, I actually have options and don’t completely fall flat on my face (hehe). 
This year, I’m working on wearing makeup. Not necessarily, more makeup… but wearing it better.
The first step in this was to kind of just get over my fear of wearing lots of makeup. Other than special occasions (where I enlist the help of professionals), my makeup routine has barely changed or deviated over the years.
The second step was going through what I already have. Over the years, I’ve apparently collected a bunch of random things. Most completely untouched and still in the packaging, some I don’t even know what they’re for, and other broken or totally out. And almost everything was expired, whoops. I literally grabbed a shopping bag and went through every cosmetic case and every basket throwing things out and discovering forgotten tools, brushes, and palettes. 
Now… I need to restock on the basics and learn how to different things. (Why does it seem like everyone has mastered the “cat eye” except for me!? It’s impossible!) 
The one thing I know for sure is that this magic makeup is a must-have, but I’m open to new things… Please share me your tips, tricks, and secrets. As a disclaimer, I’m bad at following instructions or tutorials on websites and Youtube videos. (What the heck is contouring?!) So the easier “trick” type things the better!

I’ve been trying to experiment more and I’m sometimes liking the result (and sometimes going through a million q-tips in the process)… but I can use all the help I can get!

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The winged eye literally just takes practice. I definitely recommend using a gel liner with a pointed brush (like the MAC 209). I find it's a lot easier than using true liquid liner.

AJ | TheAJMinute

Scalloped and Bows

I've always had horrible skin, and although it's getting better after almost a year in and out of different dermatologist offices, I still never feel comfortable going out without a full face (all the makeup is probably contributing to the problem, but I won't give it up; damn catch 22). So after 4 years of an intense makeup routine, I've narrowed down my favourites: HD Makeup Forever foundation (if you wear moisturizer under it, you can blend this in so it's fairly sheer while still hiding all the imperfections); Makeup forever aqua eyeliner (because pencil is the easiest); Too Faced Primed and Poreless; Benefit Posietint (for both your cheeks and lips for a natural pink colour) or Benefit Dandelion blush (for us pale girls); and Benefit Bad Gal mascara; and Too Faced eye shadow insurance (an absolute must!)

Good luck with your makeup routine! Once you find a few core products you like, experimenting will be all the more fun!


Elizabeth Walcott

If online tutorials don't work for you, make an appointment at Sephora or a makeup counter and tell them what you want to learn, say the winged eye look. When you go to the appointment, have them do one eye and then have them direct you while you do the other.

I may be in the minority, but pass on the cat eye liner. It's too overdone. Since you get you picture taken often you may actually want to look into learning how to contour. It makes your face look more sculpted and "pop out" in pictures.


I get in make-up routine ruts too and it's always fun to challenge myself to try something new! I'm also trying to master the cat eye. I think it's seriously a case of less is more when it comes to the cat eye. Anyways here are some of my favorites:

Smashbox Photo Ready Primer
Benefit's Pore Professional Primer

I swear by Tarte's Creaseless Concealer
I also like Benefit's Boi-ing Concealer (but usually find myself mixing two shades to find my perfect shade)

Benefit's Watts Up Stick (the sample size has lasted me a LONG time with almost daily use)
Tarte's Illuminating BB (also has lasted me forever and a day)

My current favorite is Benefit's Rockateur
Any of the Tarte Blushes are great too

Urban Decay's Naked 2 Palette

Tarte's Amazonian Bronzer in Park Ave Princess is my hands down favorite


Hi Carly I'm pretty horrible about branching out with my makeup too! And the cat-eye? Don't even get me started! Here are some of the products I swear by!

Dior Blackout mascara
Nars blush (in orgasm)
Shu Uemura eyelash curler (there is no other curler that does the job like this one!)
Nars tinted moisturizer
Tarte cheek stain (in dollface)
Marc Jacobs eyeshadow palette (The Lolita)

I honestly don't really have any tricks considering I am not very skilled at doing my own makeup beyond the basics! If you learn any good tricks or tips though, please pass them along!



I totally swear by mascara primer (tarte's is my favorite… ). It makes your mascara go on better, look more natural, and make your eyes look way brighter. I literally wear it everyday under my mascara and I still wear it and mascara even when I'm makeup-less. (The one day I didn't people kept asking me if I was ok, I was like "Well…I WAS"…haha D:)

Also, I love lip stains for a little bit of color on my lips when I still want to have that natural look.

Alexandra Aimee

I'm totally a makeup girl! I love love love browsing the aisles of pretty powders ad sparkly creams in department stores.

A good base look for me consists of a solid foundation, Clinique Airbrush concealer under my eyes, BrowGal pencil to fill in my brows, Benefit They're Real Mascara, and a blush that coordinates with my lip color. If I'm in the pinks with my lipstick of gloss I go with Lancome in Rose Fresque, and if I'm in the peaches or oranges it's all about Nars Deep Throat.

Nailing the base is super important for me, because most days I just stay here, but I can also build off it! Adding a great lipstick (favorites are Revlon Really Red, Hourglass Siren, Mac Girl About Town, and Revlon Black Cherry) creates one look. Or, I can play up my eye any number of ways using the Naked palette and simple 2-4 step online tutorials.

— Alex at Brainy Girls Beauty

Ashley Cameron


It took me a long time to finally clean out all my makeup and start fresh. I know the feeling but it is also very exciting because you're starting with a fresh slate. You can get whatever. I'm a total YouTube Beauty tutorial addict. It's actually a problem how many hours I spend watching tutorials or makeup favorite videos.

My current favorite is essiebutton. You should watch her 2013 Makeup Awards video ( She gives a great mix of high and drugstore brands. She also describes all the products well so you can decide if it's something perfect for yourself.

The most important thing I've learned over the years about makeup is practice, practice, practice. And there is no better time than right before bed. You have to wash your face anyway so might as well experiment than wipe it all off!

Just have fun with it!
xx, Ashley


I love the bold lip colors you have pictured! I have never been a huge makeup person either, but I have been taking more of a beauty risk by wearing brighter colors. I really want to learn the cat eye too!

Prep on a Budget


I swear by lining my eyes, especially my waterline. I use Almay eyeliner (it's the kohl kind that is specially designed for green eyes, but it comes in every color) and I take it around my eye, focusing it in the outer corner of my eye to open up my eyes. Another tip is to always, always, always curl your lashes before you put on mascara. It's a tiny thing but it really does make a difference in helping you look awake and refreshed.

You're lovely, Carly – makeup will only make you more so! Hope this helps! 🙂

– Eliza

Madeline Sullivan

Hi! I thought i'd try my best to offer some helpful tips… If you don't like to wear a lot of makeup then I would definitely suggest trying out a tinted moisturizer. They are so light weight, but still offer a some coverage. Plus they almost always have SPF in them! I use Laura Mercier's Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 and absolutely love it. I have a face full of freckles so I don't use foundations at all, but sometimes I do need some extra coverage on blemishes and what not. The best concealer that I've ever used is MAC's Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer, I also use MAC's Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation on all my oily spots(i've got really oily skin!). It has taken me ages to figure out a make up routine that works for me. But I am very happy with this one! My make up never looks or feels caky but I still get enough coverage. Finding a routine that works for you is going to be hard, you'll buy products you think will be your next holy grail of make up products but you'll hate it and return it.

As for eyes, you can't go wrong with any of Urban Decay's palettes. I tend to stick with more neutral palettes since i'd rather stay away from an extreme eye and go with an extreme lip. For eyeliner, I use a felt tip liquid liner, it gives it sharper, more precise line than a pencil does. If you really want to learn to do a cat eye, watch a few youtube videos then just practice on your self until you're satisfied with your results. It's not easy, but practice makes perfect!

For lipsticks I would buy whatever color you like, even if it is a little darker than what you normally wear. Life is short, buy the lipstick.

Good luck and have fun with it all!


My favorites are Clinique Quickliner for eyeliner and the Urban Decay Naked palettes for eyeshadow (I currently have the original and 3). Ulta is my favorite place because they also carry drugstore brands like Maybelline which is great for trying new things.

For tips and tutorials, I really like the Makeup Addiction subreddit (link below).

Abigail Lorentzen

I love Clinique and Bare Minerals! I've used other brands like Smashbox and generic department store brands and still department store still has the best prices for mascara and eyeliner, hands down! For you, I would recommend finding a good blush, because you're fair like I am. Blush can make a WORLD of difference 🙂


hey Carly! I still haven't mastered that cat eye completely either. a trick I use is I ALWAYS use is putting a little piece of tape in an angled position by my eye. Then you can go over the tape in eyeliner and pull it off to get a flawless easy cat eye.
If that made no sense to you watch this video! hers is a little dramatic but you can tame it down.
Oh and have fun! Make-up can be a confidence booster.

Katherine Bousson

On the weekends I like to rim the bottom of my lashes with white eyeliner and use grays and silvers! Also, having blue eyes I love to use blue eyeliner from time to time because it's different but still subtle.

For browns/bronzes I love Bobbi Brown's Bronze Tortoise Shell eye palette, although I'm not sure if it is still available.

Good luck Carly!!!



I'm very similar to you and have had the same makeup habits for years (even if I know that I don't like the coverage of one thing or the color of another), simply because I'm too nervous to make the switch — I'll definitely be pushing myself out of my comfort zone moving forward thought!

xo, Liz
{What Dress Code?}


Winged eyeliner takes practice, it's taken me three years! But what really helped me master it was getting Stila's Stay All Day felt-tip eyeliner, the tip of the pen is long and tapered so you can just stamp on your wing and fill it in!

As far as blush and bronzer, start at the outer edge of your face and blend in toward your nose for a more natural look!

Bailey H

I am not very big in wearing makeup. I love it, don't get me wrong but I just don't feel confident enough wearing a noticeable amount. My mom got me the Urban Decay Naked Makeup and it is amazing! It has very natural tones which works great for me! You should check it out.One of things I have trouble with it eyeliner! I just can't get it right the cat eye look is a long-term goal for me!



When applying liquid liner, pull your eyelid taute to make the application easier. I always go with a liquid liner that is like a pen because it already has the perfect pointed tip. Don't forget to use an eye primer. It helps keep the eye makeup in place all day. Mu go-to primer is MAC's paint pot in beige. Good Luck!

AOL:hi me:hi

I like to do fun makeup or experiment for big occasions. However, on a day to day basis, I generally stick with basics to get a "fresh" look (after very few hours of sleep) and not look particularly done up. My favorite products are pretty much anything Benefit has ever made. I think they've mastered products that reflect a fresh and casual look. Favorite benefit products:
-Hoola Bronzer: I use very much in moderation – a couple of swirls usually
– Bella Bomba blush: a slight swipe or 2 diagonally up the apple of the cheek to the hair line
– Watts Up: a little highlighter goes a long way and brightens up your face in an instant
– Pore Professional: use a little and it instantly deals with pores/oil

Seersucker Sass

I went through the same thing last summer! I broke down and went to Sephora and purchased a completely new set of makeup. My favorite things are – Clinique pore minimizer, Smashbox CC cream, Makeup Forever translucent powder, and Benefit "They're Real!" mascara. I don't wear much makeup, and these products are so light.

When I decided that I wanted to try a bright red lipstick, I went to the MAC counter! They were so helpful because they taught me exactly how to apply the lipstick and lipliner. Maybe that's a good place to start for your winged eyeliner!

XX, SS ||


Super random, but the one thing I added to my make up routine that I now cannot live without is filling in my eyebrows. I have thick eyebrows as it is- but filling them in makes my whole face look so much better.

Rachel Napoli

I love playing with makeup, but I find myself in the same boat as you sometimes, not knowing what you want or what looks right. I recommend going to your favorite beauty counter and explaining what you're going for. A good associate will do more than just recommend colors – he or she will explain what does what (and why), encourage you to apply the product, and teach you the techniques. I was petrified of cream blushes until the Chanel associate handed me a mirror and instructed me to watch her apply it. Now, I'm obsessed and never turning back! Not to mention, forming that relationship can come in handy when new products come out or you have a specific cosmetic need in the future.

Have fun and good luck!

Sarah Hafley

Ask a friend who is good with makeup to show you how! Its really helpful to have someone either do it on themselves or one eye of yours and then you replicate it. Getting the instant feedback from a friend who won't judge you is super helpful.

The one tip I would give is to get a set of working brushes, it make all the difference. It is flat-out impossible to have your makeup look good with the "applicators" that come with products.

Also, even if you don't want to follow their tutorials, I'd recommend finding a beauty YouTuber to watch, even just for product reviews. If you don't have working makeup it makes it that much more difficult to get the look you want, especially if you're just starting out and have no idea what makes good product. My favorites are emilynoel83 for thorough reviews and natural eye looks, glamlifeguru for little tips and bargain hunting, and xsparkage for her older (2-3 yrs) tutorials.

Miss Sophisticate

The best "trick" to use to brighten up your face, make you look glowy and radiant, and do it all without any skill, is highlighter. Benefit makes one of the best ones (called hi beam). It looks like lipstick and you just dab it on your cheek bones, under your brows, on the inside corners of your eyes, on the length of your nose, and anywhere else you want to highlight. I apply it after I apply my face powder, and then I rub it in with my fingers. It will give you that perfectly dewy, celebrity glow and you won't need to wear a lot of the other kinds of make up to brighten up your look. xo

Miss Sophisticate

P.S. I think the new version is called Watts Up (the old one was in a nail polish like package and called hi beam). The sample size of the Watts Up that Sephora hands out will last you forever!

Allyson Massella

It's taken me almost a year to master the winged, cat eye- eyeliner look, but now I do it pretty much every day! Practice really is perfect when it comes to the winged liner, and watching YouTube videos really help me. Some of my favorite beauty gurus on YouTube to get tips from are missglamorazzi, nikkiphillippi, and tati!!
I've been searching high and low for the perfect foundation for my skin, and I fell in love with Revlon Color Stay. They have two different formulas, one for oily skin and one for normal-dry and the color options are endless. I highly recommend it if you want something with coverage but something that won't look too heavy on the skin!
My favorite mascara is a toss up between Benefit's They're Real and the Covergirl Clump Crusher, they're both amazing. If you're looking to try out some eye shadow looks and expand your shadow collection, I highly recommend the Urban Decay Naked3 Palette…Lots of neutral, girly colors that are great for everyday wear!!
To apply my makeup I use Sigma brushes, and I can't say that I would use anything else after trying these. Quality does make a difference when it comes to makeup application, but the Real Technique brushes are probably a close second.
Also, Benefit's Hervanna box blush is the perfect perfect perfect shade of pink for lighter complexions and it looks so natural!!
Hope that helped!! I talk a lot about makeup and beauty products on my blog, I would love if you stopped by!
Allyson xoxo

Regina Heit

I just discovered the absolute BEST foundation – Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour coverage. It comes in a tinted moisturizer and a full coverage foundation, although I just have the tinted moisturizer. I took a shot in the dark by ordering a color I thought would match me (I'm so pale) and it's perfect! It goes on so evenly and it's actually IMPROVED my skin from acne. I have sensitive skin, and it doesn't irritate it at all. My skin is definitely softer, and it stays on forever; I would absolutely try it! Also, I just discovered a better way to do eyeliner. Lately, instead of using my usual Maybelline pen, I've actually been using eyeshadow and an angled liner brush. I've discovered that it comes out a lot less intense, and really gives a nice touch to a smokey eye!


Gabrielle Piloto

Splurge on things like eyeshadow, concealer, and sometimes eyeliner. There are plenty of great options for foundations and mascaras at drugstores. Rimmel has awesome foundation, and Prestige "My Blackest Lashes" is my holy grail mascara. Tip 1: where only what you feel you need, if you don't need both a concealer and foundation, just choose one. Tip 2: Even if you have the best products, or the worst they will not flatter you if you don't have the right brushes. Sigma makes the best brushes in my opinion. The Flat-top Kabuki foundation Brush, and the EO5 eyeliner brushes are must haves, but all of their brushes are great and are priced well! Hope that helps!


Not too long ago I went in to Sephora and asked for help. Telling them my needs and desires they were able to conduct a complete makeover and I walked away feeling a lot better about my usage about makeup! It's always refreshing to finally 'get' something!

Ally Blanck

The best thing I ever did was switch from a foundation to a BB cream (I love physician's formula, although the color is a little dark for my pale winter skin). I know it's more popular for summer, but it's so much better for my skin than caking on foundation and powder.

My "beauty goal" for this year were to be more adventurous. I bought a blush/contour kit, but can't figure out how to make it work with my face, so I'm right with you on that. I'm also trying brighter and darker lip colors, I was especially surprised by how much I liked a deep purple!

I buy on a budget, so some of my favorite makeup is actually e.l.f. Spending $3 on a lipstick makes me much more likely to try new things on a whim, which helps with my goals.


Best Drugstore items that I love:
-covergirl outlast stay fabulous (great coverage, apply with damp sponge or foundation brush)
-rimmel stay matte pressed powder (lasting power)
–revlon colorstay concealer
-maybelline instant age rewind fpr under eye concealer


I am a cosmetologist and freelance makeup artist. One of my favorite things about it is when companies send me free makeup! The funny thing is though, while I have tried all the high end brands, my tried and true favorites still come from the drug store. For foundation, you cannot beat loreal true match. It is so so easy to find a perfect shade. Also, revlon does a lot of advertising for their colorburst balms… The hype is true! They add moisture, have livery color, and last all day (even through meals) without reapplying.
And if I were to give a favorite brand as a whole, NYX has amazing products across the board. I always recommend them!

Puddle Jumper

Like Regina, my acne has totally improved with foundation. I use the Urban Decay Naked liquid foundation with some of the Urban Decay loose mineral powder to even out tone.
I used to have trouble with the cat eye cause I had the shakes and liquid eyeliner was too permanent. I got a flat angled brush that is sometimes called an eyeliner brush and the darkest flat black eye shadow that Urban Decay makes. Its much easier to perfect for me than the gels and liquids. Paired with the Urban Naked 2 palette, I get a simple, clean look for work or play.
I obviously love Urban Decay and am super loyal, so their oil preventing primers do wonders for those 12 hour plus days.
Good luck!

Preppy Makeup

Hi Carly!

I have a makeup blog called preppymakeup and it would mean the world to me if you checked it out! I offer products reviews, routines, and recommendations on basically every beauty product and I think you'd really like it!




Makeup Essentials

I am not a big fan of makeup. I love the way it looks on other people, but I personally don’t like the feeling of having stuff on my face.

But, there are a few things that even I can’t live without.

Two words: Bobbi Brown.

I’ve posted about my makeup collection before:

My top three, can’t live without Bobbi Brown essentials?

Tinted moisturizer. I use Alabaster during the winter and Extra Light during the summer. When my skin is in between pale and “tan,” I squirt a little bit of both and blend it together. The moisturizer has SPF (perfect) and the color is just enough for some coverage.

Creamy eye liner in Charcoal. Not as severe as plain ole black. It goes on super smooth, and has the neat little sponge right on the end to help blend the line. For nights out, I usually use a gel liner though, but the pencil is perfect for everyday wear.

And Everything Mascara. I’ve used all kinds of mascara and this one is pretty basic, but gets the job done.

Anyone else Bobbi fans?!?


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i have and always will be a fan of hers! bb was the first makeup brand i ever used; i am in love with the shimmer bricks!

I Asked For Scrambled

Bobbi is my favorite! I'm not big on makeup either, but I love her stuff. It doesn't irritate my face or my contact lenses at all. I love your little organizing tray, where did you get it?

Rima Mar

Lindegaard Tidak Mau Tinggalkan United

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City Holiday – Opsi untuk hengkang dari Manchester United tak ada dalam benak Anders Lindegaard walaupun sejauh ini ia hanya menjadi pemanas bangku cadangan tim.
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City Holiday, Lindegaard baru 28 kali turun di bawah mistar Setan Merah sejak datang dari Aalesund tiga tahun silam. Musim ini ia belum pernah tampil di Liga Primer Inggris dan hanya berkesempatan melakoni dua laga cup competition, Piala FA dan Piala Liga.
Kendati begitu, Lindegaard tak mau pindah dan akan tetap berusaha membantu tim saat memperoleh kans karena United adalah klub impiannya sejak kanak-kanak.
"Kalau saya melihat lewat mata sendiri saya akan mengatakan 'Ya Tuhan saya tak bermain, kenapa bisa demikian'. Jika demikian mudah bagi saya merasa frustrasi," ujarnya.
"Bagi saya ini semua tentang menjadi manusia yang bahagia. Saya sekarang berada di Manchester United. Ini klub saya sejak saya masih anak-anak. Ini impian saya.”
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City Holiday – Gustavo Poyet mengklaim Sunderland tidak takut terhadap Manchester United jelang pertemuan di semi-final Piala Liga, Selasa (7/2).
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City Holiday, The Black Cats menempati posisi terbawah Liga Primer Inggris menyusul start buruk musim ini, tapi mendapat hasil cukup memuaskan di Piala Liga.
Tim Poyet telah mendepak MD Dons, Peterborough, Southampton dan Chelsea dalam perjalanan menuju semi-final dan pria 46 tahun menegaskan timnya tidak takut kepada siapa pun.
“Tidak, saya tidak berpikir demikian,” ujarnya.
“Serius, tidak, karena ini bukan soal takut atau tidak.
“Saya memiliki pengalaman berbeda melawan Manchester United – dengan Chelsea, kami cukup bagus melawan mereka, dan dengan Tottenham, kami tidak cukup bagus dan saya tak berpikir kami lebih atau tidak takut,” tandas Poyet.
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Marseille Tertarik Gaet Pereira

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City Holiday – Klub Ligue 1 Prancis Olympique Marseille tertarik pada jasa bek sayap FC Internazionale Alvaro Pereira, yang mulai kehilangan tempat di Giuseppe Meazza.
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City Holiday, Namun, presiden Marseille Vincent Labruene memperingatkan bahwa timnya harus menjual pemain terlebih dahulu untuk mendapatkan dana sebelum mengikat kesepakatan untuk pemain asal Uruguay tersebut.
"Dia adalah pemain yang kami sukai dan kami tertarik, tetapi kami tidak terlalu di Januari ini, kami menginginkan dia di musim panas. Kami memiliki sedikit dana dan tidak dapat melakukan banyak hal di bursa transfer saat ini, meskipun kami akan berusaha menyelesaikan masalah ini," ujar Labruene.
"Jika seseorang hengkang, kami akan mencari penggantinya, jika tidak maka semuanya tetap sama seperti ini."
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