Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Secret Weapons

Alright, let's admit it. We all have those few things that we do every day that (we think) make just that much of a difference. They're our secret weapons.

This week, the topic of interest is makeup. Here are a few of mine and my best friends' secret weapons, when it comes to putting on our face.

1. Primer

There is a lot of back and forth about whether primer makes much of a difference at all. My favorite primer is Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer in Original. 

***UPDATE*** I like Smashbox Oil Free Primer just as much, if not more.

There are a few tricks with primer. First, LET IT DRY. Also, most of us have a combination of surfaces on our face; spots that get oily and other spots that are dry. Primer helps to make your face an even surface.

Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer in Original: $24.00 at Sephora

My good friend, Ester, has a trick that she loves. Let me just say, this girl knows her make-up and I'd trust her... She's known for always looking phenomenal. She uses Mary Kay Intense Moisturizing Cream as a two-fer. It takes the place of her moisturizer AND primer. This is what she says about it:

"It makes foundation and any other 'blemish' concealer go on super smooth and nice. It is also really great for the skin and doesn't clog pores like the other moisturizers I have tried."

You can buy the Mary-Kay moisturizer here:

2. Translucent Powder

This is another one of those products that receives a lot of flack. Lots of people feel like it's just one more unnecessary step. But this is what I think about it, and this is why I love it.

First off, I don't use my translucent powder over my make-up at all. I use it after my primer, before I put on any concealer or foundation (and a side note: I think foundation is gross, and if I can get away with just translucent powder and a little concealer, I will. Let's be real...nobody wants to look like they have lots of makeup, especially foundation, on.) This trick is awesome because it keeps your makeup in place and keeps your face from getting oily/greasy/shiny without having to re-apply makeup later. I've tried the Bare Minerals Mineral Veil in Translucent, and it's alright. But the Make-up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder is my favorite. It's expensive, but it works really well, and it's really good for your skin. The powder is extremely fine, so it doesn't feel heavy. In fact, it doesn't feel like you're wearing anything at all. My tip is to definitely use it under your foundation. My sister and I both swear by this, and my sister is gorgeous. (If you want a setting powder for on top of your makeup, go for a more yellow toned translucent powder. Otherwise, make sure you know what you're doing so that you don't end up with white streaks that you didn't notice while you were putting your makeup on.) 

Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder in Translucent: $34.00 at Sephora
You can buy this at Sephora, also. Or you can go online here:

3. Eye Shadow Primer

I love eye shadow. But nothing drives me more crazy than when it creases twenty minutes into your day. I've tried lots of eye primers, and although I love the Urban Decay Eye Potion Primer, I love the Mineral Eye Primer from ELF just as much, and it's a FRACTION of the cost. Literally.

I really like this primer, and I use it every single time I wear eye shadow. I am out the door by 9:00 am, and when I get home at about 8:00 at night, my eye shadow still looks like it did when I put it on. I also suggest putting it under your lower lash line as well. I never put eyeliner or mascara on my bottom lashes, but sometimes I'll still have mascara or eyeliner that ends up under my bottom lash line, just from blinking, etc. all day long. Putting a little primer under your eyes helps with that.

You can buy the Urban Decay primer at Sephora, but I'm all about saving a buck. So, I'd suggest checking out ELF.

Urban Decay Eye Potion Eyeshadow Primer: $20.00 at Sephora

ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Primer in Sheer: $3.00 (YES, THREE!!) at

4. No Makeup Makeup

My grandma Bonnie taught me a lot about makeup. She says that the point is to make what you already have just look a little better. Make it look like you don't even have any on. Look natural.

There are days when makeup just doesn't happen. Sometimes we need to give our faces a break, and let it breathe! I'm all for no makeup days, and that being said, I think that no matter how much you care about your make up, you should be recognizable when you step out of the shower fresh faced. Too much of anything is a bad thing, and too much makeup is THE WORST. I'd take a naked face over too much makeup any day of the week! Wouldn't you?? Rachel McAdams looks natural and gorgeous. And Christina Agulera looks like a train wreck.

On those days, when makeup is out of the question, eyelashes are still a quick go-to. Even if you're just smudging on a tiny bit of mascara, or if you're wearing eyelash extensions, it's amazing how much more "awake" and "alive" you look by just adding eyelashes.

My bestie, Diana, is a firm believer in eyelash extensions. She's the queen of looking naturally beautiful. She looks fresh faced but flawless all the time. Even when you can tell she doesn't have make up on, she looks stunning. She says, "I am in love with eyelash extensions! No fuss in the morning, throw a little eyeliner on and you're good to go..."

My mom often has eyelash extensions. My mom is really naturally beautiful, so whenever she has her eyelashes done, I am usually around her for a few hours before I even notice. That's the idea. You shouldn't be able to tell what it is that looks so beautiful, just that they look great.

Another thing I love when I'm going for the "No make up" make up look is Watts Up Highlighter by Benefit. It comes in a tube, kind of like a lipstick, and it's the perfect shade. It doesn't matter if you have super fair skin or dark, olive skin. This shade looks lovely on everyone. And another thing: it looks DIFFERENT on everyone. On days when all I do is smudge on mascara, I also smudge this on the inside corners of my eyes. It plays really well with the light and stays put, even though it is sort of a cream base.

Watts Up Highlighter by Benefit in Luminous Champagne: $30.00 at Sephora

You can buy it here:

5. Balance

My last secret weapon is less product and more tactic. I'm a girly-girl. No doubt about it. But I'm also not afraid to go to the store Au natural, or wear yoga pants and a top knot to run errands. I think that the fun part of it all is to just have balance. If you're going to throw your hair in a bun and run out the door in leggings and a baggy tunic, more power to ya! But put on some big, colorful sunglasses or embellished flats, and you're golden. If you're going to wear a bold, red lip, then I'm all for it. (my favorite is ELF lip stain in Crimson Crush. It's $2.00 on and it's beautiful. Check it out: But downplay it with a really simple eye and little or no blush. Same if you're doing a really colorful eye shadow. Don't wear dark lipstick. It's all about balance.

Diana made a really good point. She said, "The simple things in makeup are what make a difference. A light lip gloss and a pop of color on your eyes or cheeks!" She's absolutely right.

Ladies, obviously I love makeup. Share your favorite makeup secret weapons with me!! Also, if you try out mine, or my friends', let me know how they work for you! I'd love your feedback.

I have lots of Sunday Secret Weapon lists on the way, so stay tuned! Email me your secret weapons, and I'll be sure to send you the credit!! Send your tips to


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