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Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Everyday Beauty Must-Haves

I've gotten a few questions on tumblr and Instagram about my beauty routine, so I thought I'd share my everyday favorites. I'm still learning a lot about makeup and skincare, so I've only included things that I've been using for ages.

Skincare: My skin is also very dry and sensitive, so if I start slacking for even a few days my face starts to resemble the Sahara. 

The Clarisonic is pricey, so I debated buying one for years. A lot of my friends who had them swore that it had changed their skin/life/saved their marriage/sent their firstborn child to college, but it still took me a lot of research before I'd buy one. The thing with owning one is that it's a lot like being a vegan or joining Crossfit. It's not enough to own it - you also have to tell everyone that you do. Since I got one last year, I haven't been able to stop talking about mine, either. It's just that good! You won't wake up with perfect skin overnight, but by using it everyday my skin has become noticeably brighter and clearer. Since it's been around a while, there are now some great sales on it! I use the Mia 2 in Boho, but it's on sale in pale blue, pink, and purple zebra print

The rest of my skincare routine is pretty basic, but I only found the right products for my skin after a few years of trial, error, and frantic phone calls to the dermatologist. I have the largest size possible of this Philosophy cleanser to use with my Clarisonic. It's extremely gentle and soothing, but unlike most products for sensitive skin it still leaves me feeling like I've gotten a good deep clean. This Vitamin C serum is a holy grail product for me and one that I can't live without. I even keep travel sizes of it in my purse to use throughout the day. It just feels so refreshing on my face and it really stops my dry skin from looking as dead as it usually is, especially after an all-nighter. I tend to use a variety of moisturizers, depending on the season and the state of my skin, but this Fresh moisturizer is the one I like the most. It's very light and smells divine! I usually cap off my morning routine with a little dab of this eye cream and then some sunscreen.

Face

I rarely wear foundation. Even though my skin is dry, it's never been prone to blemishes and I'm afraid that caking on makeup regularly will cause me to breakout. Most of the time I only use concealer, a light blush, and eyeliner or mascara before leaving the house, but on the days that I need a little more coverage, I use this tinted moisturizer as a base. I've been using it for five years now and I don't think I'll ever stop repurchasing it. It's light enough that I can forget I'm wearing it, includes SPF, provides just enough coverage to cover up any blemishes or discoloration, and is extremely hydrating. The finish is so dewy I feel like I'm glowing, but if your skin is oily or you prefer a satiny finish, they also have an oil-free version

When I'm going out, I use this foundation. It's fairly high-end, so it's a good thing I don't wear it too often! It was first recommended to me by my mom, and even though I've tried several alternatives throughout the years I always come back to it. I don't like being able to feel lots of product on my skin, and this foundation is full-coverage without feeling cakey. It's a little drying, but when worn over a primer it feels a lot better and lasts about 10 hours. 

Since I don't sleep and have deep, dark, soul-sucking circles permanently engraved under my eyes, concealers are super important to me. I use this one when I'm wearing tinted moisturizer or foundation since it's very creamy and easy to blend, but I use this one when I'm going bare-faced since it looks a little more natural on my skin and comes with a setting powder that really brightens up my eyes. I keep this one in my makeup bag 24/7 since the pen-style applicator makes it extremely easy to apply touchups while I'm out.  

Eyes

When I'm late or in a hurry (most days) I usually just swipe on some eyeliner before running out the door. This e.l.f. gel eyeliner is only $3 and comes with a brush, and it's the same one I've been using since I was in middle school and watching YouTube to learn how to wing my eyeliner. I've tried MAC Blacktrack and it was marginally better for five times the price, so save your money and get the e.l.f. instead. When I need a sharper wing or longer-lasting coverage, I reach for this waterproof liquid liner. The precision of the brush is incredible and it really does stay all day - so don't forget to spend extra time with your makeup remover before going to bed! For traveling, this little pencil is the greatest. It smudges really well and is insanely smooth. 

I tend to drool over new eyeshadow palettes, but I've actually been using the Naked Palette since it was first released. Even when I buy a new palette (and I really need to stop doing that) I always end up using my Urban Decay shadows anyway. Before I got the Naked Palette, I basically only used Baked, Half Baked, and Twice Baked for a daytime eye, so I still buy full-size versions of all three. My first Naked came with a sample of their original Primer Potion and it's the one I use most often since it makes my eyeshadow look so much more pigmented and last so much longer than just applying it on bare skin. 

Cheeks

Confession: I just can't get into contouring. I know it's the biggest beauty trend of the past few years, but I either still don't know how to do it right (highly likely) or my facial structure just doesn't look right with super-defined cheekbones (also likely). I love a good bronzer during the summer or at the beach, but when I'm home highlighters are my life. I feel like the added illumination helps my dull skin look so much healthier. Becca Topaz is the newest addition to my arsenal (reviewed here) and after months of searching I've also finally gotten my hands on this limited edition bar of gold, but my two Benefit highlighters have been with me for years and I can't say enough good things about them.

Benefit also makes one of my favorite cheek/lip tints. It's a liquid, gives a great rosy flush to your skin, blends super easily, and is so oh-so-convenient to pop in a clutch or makeup bag if you're on the go. I've been using it since I was in high school and I'm still in love since liquid everything is a dry-skinned girl's best friend. If you're oilier or just prefer a powder blush, Nars Orgasm is famous, has lovely luminous gold flakes in it, and also has a compact mirror so you can carry it in your purse.   

Lips

I used to avoid wearing lip color or stayed with very neutral, safe colors and sheer tinted lip balms since I love playing up my eyes so much. Lately, I've been branching out and experimenting a little, but most days I still stick to either this tinted lip balm, this ultra-hydrating lippy in #8 or #9, or this lip cream in Milan. 

What are your favorite beauty products? How long have you been using them? Do you tend to stick to one routine or do you like to experiment? Let me know if you have any recommendations! I'm still trying to learn more about makeup and beauty products, so I'm always looking for new things. 

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