My Top Beauty Staples

December 30, 2015

I will admit, over the past few years, I have become sort of a beauty product junkie. Or maybe it has just increased in magnitude. I can remember many Christmas shopping trips, going to the drug store with my sister and we would buy each other gifts, all makeup and beauty related. We would basically stock up for an apocalypse during which we would have enough mascara and eyeshadows to last us for a Walking Dead-style situation. My mom, who introduced us to Clinique would also, and still does, stock us up on new things every year and for our birthdays—which also sometimes coordinate with their free gift promotions…tote bags FTW. (Note: all those makeup bags have become an integral parts of my organizational efforts and packing essentials).

“Every woman who has ever purchased $75 worth of Clinique products has some tote bags!”–Lorelei Gilmore

Here are some of my favorite products that I go back to over and over. While some of these are splurges and are purchased few and far between, I consider them to be worth the money, according to how often I use them and how long the product lasts. These aren’t items that I use just once–I have purchased them multiple times. Also, I am not a professional makeup artist so I’m not an expert on these items, I just like to share my personal favorites. Also, check out my board on Pinterest for these items and others that I have tried or want to try: Beauty Product Junkie


favorite products

Living Proof

For years, I was dedicated to Pantene. I initially discovered the Prime Style Extender via free sample from Sephora (thanks a lot for getting me hooked!). Then I purchased the full size and I still use it religiously. Because my hair is so thick, I normally don’t need to wash it everyday. But the primer makes my hair feel like it’s freshly shampooed for a little longer. Plus, it leaves my hair feeling soft and smooth. I then decided to give the full line a try and have been using the shampoo and conditioner as well. When I use these products, my hair actually feels clean…like when you just get a haircut and blowout kind of clean. I don’t feel like it builds up and it’s not overly fragrant or soapy. The price is a bit high, but the bottles last me a good few months each. During the last Sephora sale for VIB members, I got a couple extra bottles at 20% off.

Dior Addict Lip Glow

This is something I first saw on Pinterest and needed to find it immediately. What caught my eye was that it adjusts to your own true lip color. This stuff…oh man. This has become a product that I buy over and over again. The gloss itself is soft but not sticky and it has become a staple for everyday use. Each tube, for me, lasts quite a while depending on how often I use it. I like to use regular, more colorful lipstick, however it’s sometimes too high maintenance in the morning when getting ready for work. IRL–lipstick comes off on my coffee cup within 15 minutes of applying and I subsequently give up reapplying throughout the day. With lip glow, the color stays put through the morning coffee and it’s easy to reapply without a mirror and major application tools. I have also tried the Coral shade, but I ended up going back to the original pink. Again, the price on this ($33) is steep but it’s something that I have grown to love, one tube lasts me a few months, and because I use it so frequently,and in everyday situations, I feel like it’s worth the splurge.

Getting out every last bit with a lip brush!
Getting out every last bit with a lip brush!

Victoria’s Secret Ultra-Moisturizing Hand And Body Cream in Vanilla Lace

I started using this hand cream probably about nine years ago. My mom bought it for me because I like the vanilla scents, but I don’t like perfumes or sprays. Since I get migraines, strong scents are a big trigger for me and I can’t wear perfume at all. This lotion is the closest thing I can wear and it’s become my favorite scent. During the winter months especially, I go through so much of it that I keep a bottle at my desk at work and I keep one at home too.

Clinique Almost Powder And Even Better Liquid Foundation

Shout to mama V for introducing me to Clinique very early on in my makeup-using years. Clinique’s products have become staples. Both of these products have SPF 15, so they are great for everyday use, if you want to do your makeup quickly, or just to put some color on your face to run errands. Most days, I use the liquid foundation for work but in the summer, I prefer the powder.


Clinique Makeup Remover

I think I used Clinique’s Take The Day Off Makeup Remover when it came with one of the free gifts in a sample size. The formula takes eye makeup off easily and quickly. Any other brand that I have tried has just been disappointing. It’s $19 for the larger size but because it works so well, you don’t need to use a lot at one time. I have found that with other brands, they are cheaper, but I end up needing to use more product and have to rub my eyes so much that my skin ends up red and irritated. I like to keep the smaller bottles on hand to travel with because there’s not much worse than being away from home and feeling like you have days of makeup gunked up on your face because all you had to remove it was basic hand soap.

Clinique Quickliner For Eyes

These eyeliners have been my go to for years. I have used a variety of shades, the chocolate brown and plum are my favorites. I also like the ‘intense’ versions. The liner is creamy and blends easily, and it comes with a smudging tool on the other end. I have repurchased these many times and use them til they run clean out. I like them for everyday use because they live up to their name and are quick and easy to apply.

Beauty Blender

I totally gave into the hype on this one. I kept seeing Beauty Blender in magazines, makeup tutorials, and store displays. But unlike a lot of other products I’ve tried in the past, this one actually lives up to the hype. It’s soft and easy to work with and really helps you apply foundation quickly and evenly. The price tag seems a bit steep for just one sponge, but as long as you take care of it, it will last you through many uses and is very versatile.

Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask

I first purchased this a couple years ago as a recommendation from a friend and I have not stopped using it. It smells amazing and it makes my hair so soft and silky. Especially during the winter months when my hair gets drier and I am blow drying it more, the mask keeps it from becoming a dry, frizzy mess. I think you’re only supposed to use this once a week, but since my hair is thick, I do not wash my hair everyday anyway and I find I use it with every shampoo, again more so in the winter.

Dove Body Wash, Sensitive Skin

My skin tends to be on the drier side and regular bar soap makes my skin feel tight and uncomfortable. I also don’t like using anything with too much fragrance. The more fragrant, sweeter smelling body washes have left my skin itchy and bumpy in the past. This body wash is great for all seasons and is not too harsh. I have also used the Cucumber & Green Tea variety, the scent is not strong. Dove’s body wash comes in large bottles and I can sometimes find them on sale online (, Amazon) or my Bed, Bath, & Beyond has a toiletries and makeup section and you can use coupons! The larger bottles (22 oz.) will last you several months since you don’t need a lot at once. I have also used this in place of shaving cream or gel (since most of those also cause breakouts and itchy skin).

Stash Moroccan Mint Green Tea

Okay, this isn’t a beauty product, but I drink it literally everyday, multiple times. My friend gave me a box once when she had extra and I went through it very quickly. Its minty but not too minty, it’s a good afternoon pick-me-up alternative to coffee, and it’s super soothing when you add a bit of honey. When I’m having a bad migraine day. this is what I grab the most. Sometimes I just inhale the steam before I drink it…there is just something very healing about it. I don’t really like the taste of regular green tea and I don’t like when teas are too minty. but this one is the best combination of both. It is hard to find in local grocery stores. but I have purchased it a couple times on Amazon. THe drawback is that you get about six or eight boxes at a time, but it will last you a while–depending on how often you drink it. I usually keep some at home and bring the rest to work.

What are some of your favorites? I love to try new products and hear what fellow makeup mavens use!

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