Last month I blogged about beauty items I swap out to save scrilla; now it’s time for a follow-up on the items I will use my coupons and eat at Subway for for months on end to afford. That sounds extreme but I would actually do it: I have a whole sheet of coupons for Buy 1 6” Sub & Drink Get 1 6” Sub Free; I’m not afraid to use every last one. Bold, I know.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. I’ve used this stuff for years and ever since Kiehl’s started exclusively packaging the stuff in a larger size, I’ve had no choice but to shell out around $50 a tub. Thankfully, a little goes a long way: it’s rich enough without being greasy and gets absorbed easily into your skin, especially if you prime it first with a serum. Smooth over your face and neck before bedtime for hydration that lasts well into the next morning.
Too Face Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer. This costs around $18 for what looks like a tiny tube but again, a little goes a long LONG way. For days I’m out in the field (e.g. not shooting in a studio or otherwise controlled setting), I have to knockout a makeup look that lasts all day. This means prepping my skin with primers and anything else that would guarantee makeup’s sticking power against the elements - in southern California that means sunshine sunshine sunshine (hello greasy T-zone; we’ll save that issue for a later post). I dab a teeny tiny sized drop on each eyelid/browbone area and rub in fully before applying eyeshadow. The difference between non-Shadow Insuranced and Shadow Insuranced eye makeup is noticeable: Shadow Insurance does a great job of making shadow instantly brighter when it’s applied so I end up actually using less color. Read: I don’t have to pound on the shadow to make it show up because this magical tube of awesomeness makes it show up almost instantly. I’m so enthusiastic about this, I mailed it to one of my best friends who was living in NYC and working part-time in theater. She, like me, hasn’t laid eyes on another primer since; that partly has to do with the fact that she’s probably still on her first tube.
The only drawbacks are that you need to make sure to rub in the primer all the way so it doesn’t end up looking like poorly color-matched concealer on your eyes and that, if left in the tube unused for too long, the formula gets a little watery-greasy. A simple shake before squeezing usually solves the latter problem.
MAC Bronze Eye Shadow. Increasingly, I buy eye shadows from drugstore brands because when it comes to quality, I don’t find much of a difference between the pricey and cheapy stuff. The only drawback is I’m a terrible judge of color. Yes, that sounds really racist when I write it like that. If there isn’t a sample shadow for me to actually SEE how a shadow color renders, I’m super hesitant to drop even $5 on an eye shadow - I don’t care how convinced I am about what I think the color is. This is why I’ve consistently bought MAC’s Bronze. MAC has always hit it out of the ballpark with their eye shadows with their high pigment and range of colors but at $13 a pop, they’re not exactly, uh, budget-savvy IMHO. But I’m a Bronze loyalist: it’s the perfect shade of golden bronze, not too dark and not too light. Just intense enough to give my eyes a little glow a la J. Lo. It’s my go-to for an everyday look that can be amped up with easily for night with some gold shadow on your browbone or silver shadow in the inner corners of your eyes.
Get Beyonce with me here: do you have any irreplaceables in your kit?