I got a couple email requests asking me to do a post on all my favourite beauty products. I thought that was a great idea, until I sat down and tried to decide what my favourite products are. There were hundreds. High-end, drug store, eyes, nails, skin. It was a little overwhelming.
So I decided to break it down for you guys to make it a little easier to manage. (you’re welcome) I’m going to be doing a different one of these every Monday until I get through it all!
Okay, 1, 2 3, go.
Today will be all of my EYE favourites. I’m going to be talking about mostly high-end brands because that is what I am most familiar with and what I use most often on myself and my clients.I also believe in spending a little bit more when buying makeup because it will look better and last longer. I will add in a drug store product in specific categories where I truly feel like the drug store product is close in performance to the high-end product. If you are interested in hearing about the drug store products I would recommend, leave it as a comment and I will totally make a post about that too!
These are my most loved eye products that I consistently use up and re-purchase…
Eye Primer: My favourite eye primer is Too Faced Shadow Insurance. This primer is super smooth and it’s “runny” consistency makes it easier to spread than other primers I have used. The packaging is great as well for getting all the product out. I also love that it is totally clear and you can’t see the edges once blended. It is amazing for use on any skin tone and truly helps your shadow to last all day and night! For real, if I “accidentally” fall asleep without removing my makeup, my eyeshadow looks exactly the same. ($24 at Sephora)
Cream Shadow: I don’t love cream shadows but when I use them it is usually as a base or primer for other shadows. My favourite are probably the Make-Up Forever Aqua Creams. There are a ton of colour options and they are waterproof and last all day; they can even be used as liners.With this product a little goes a long way! ($26, Sephora)
A drug store cream shadow that I feel performs amazingly well are the Maybelline Eye Studio 24hr Colour Tattoo Cream Eyeshadows (phew!) These are also long wearing if not completely water proof and come in some great colours. It has the same cream-gel texture as the Aqua cream and won’t crease on your lid. (about $6.99 at Drugstores)
Powder Eye Shadow: I have a tie and even then I feel like I could throw in like 3 more brands and have a 5 way tie, but for the sake of keeping it simple I’ll say my current top two. Powder shadows are so popular (and awesome) that I can’t just pick one, so here are my two absolute favourites.
MAC eyeshadows are amazing. Super pigmented and literally the largest colour and finish selection ever! They’re not super expensive and when you buy them as just the little refill pan, without the black plastic case they are super affordable. (which I believe you can only do at MAC stores, not MAC counters) I could do a whole post on favourite MAC shadows, but the colours that never leave my makeup bag are, Brule, All That Glitters, Carbon, Samoa Silk, Satin Taupe, Cork, Woodwinked, Beauty Marked, Wedge and Handwritten. ($11-16 at MAC stores/counters)
Next is Urban Decay. Their powder shadow selection is huge as well, they have a ton of different finishes and I love the packaging. Many of their shadows from the super popular Naked Palette can be found in single shadow form. They are super pigmented, last all day and never crease. Some of my must-have colours are Foxy, Virgin, Naked, Busted and Bordello. ($22, Sephora)
Eye Shadow Palette: Shadow palettes are amazing. They are a great way to start your eyeshadow collection because everything is compact and usually more affordable than buying each shadow separately. I also love how most of the colours go together, so it takes most of the guesswork out for a beginner. This is by far the toughest category for me to choose because I like different palettes for different things and I have yet to find a palette that I love and use each and every colour. This is why I make most of my own palettes with MAC refills or by using a Z palette (more on this later).
My favourite palette is probably the Lorac Pro Palette. It has 16 shadows and the reason I love this one is because half are matte and half are shimmer! ALSO (and this is what really got me) the matte colours are very close to the same colours as the shimmer colours. As a makeup artist having the choice between a matte and a shimmer of the same colour in the same palette is amazing and helpful when you are working on a client. It was created by celebrity makeup artist Carol Shaw and the shadows are formulated without Parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrance or dyes, petrochemicals or triclosan (YUCK!). It’s a little on the pricy side but honestly a palette lasts so long, especially if you are purchasing it for personal use only. ($55, Sephora.com)
Mini Eyeshadow Palette: For a shadow palette that is small enough to fit in your purse/travel with I love the Smashbox Photo Op Eye Enhancing Palettes. My fave is actually the one for brown eyes, even though my eyes aren’t brown. The colour combinations are unexpected and force me to work out of my comfort zone. (if you can’t already tell I’m a huge fan of neutral shadows.) The shadows are a really good size and work really well together. ($44, Sephora and Sephora.com)
For a Drug store mini palette I would say either the Revlon Colour Stay shadows or the Cover Girl trios. I don’t think they quite compare to high-end shadows that I have mentioned but they will for sure get the job done for a fraction of the price. Used over a good primer, I think the colour pay off is great and they don’t crease throughout the day. Here are photos of my two favourite palettes by these brands. The Revlon one is called Coffee Bean and is a collection of 12 hour wear neutral shadows (see, I told you.) This retails for about $8.99 at any drugstore. The second is Cover Girl Eyeshadow Trio in Shimmering Sands. This one takes me right back to when I first started wearing makeup. Across the board it is still one of Cover Girl’s best selling palettes. It is very versatile for every age, skin colour and skill level. This one retails for around $5.00 at your local drugstore.
Eye Liner: I love pencil liner. I always have. It is so easy to work with and fast. My favourite are the Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes pencils. These award-winning pencils have an awesome colour selection and are waterproof, smudge-proof and fade-proof! The creator of Makeup Forever Dany Sanz actually created this product for performers of water ballet. So if it won’t give them raccoon eyes, you can be sure it wont give you raccoon eyes. I use this one on all my brides and myself. ($20, Sephora or Sephora.com)
My drugstore favourite is probably the Revlon Color Stay Eyeliner. This one does have exceptionally good staying power and because that is my #1 pre-requisite when choosing a liner, this one wins. However, the black is a little soft and I don’t like that it is retractable and I can’t get a really sharp point. This one is best for a smokey eye not a cat eye. ($7.99 at your local drugstore)
Liquid Liner: Probably my favourite overall eye product is liquid eye liner. Its one single product that can change your entire look. My favourite are the felt tip applicators. They are easy to use (like a pen) and as long as you religiously put the cap back on they won’t dry out. They create a smooth black line and are usually waterproof so, no smudging! Yay!
My favourite high end is the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. It glides on easily, dries almost instantly and won’t feather or run. It’s precision tip also makes it super easy to achieve the elusive cat eye! ($26, Sephora and Sephora.com)
My drugstore favourite is the Maybelline Master Precise Eye Studio liner. It performs much like the above eyeliner except it is NOT waterproof. The tip is super fine (0.4mm) and the pen doesn’t skip or pull on the eye. ($7.99 at Drugstores)
Cream and Gel Liners: I love these too! I go back and fourth. I will have months where I use nothing but liquid eye pens, and then for 3 months after that all I will use is gel! Right now I’m in cream/gel liner phase and I am obsessed with the new Makeup Forever Aqua Black Cream Eyeshadow. I use it as a liner with a little angle brush and it is incredible! Amazing staying power and I love that it’s matte! This is probably one of my favourite new products of the year.
Mascara: I struggle with this category but I think it has more to do with my stubby blonde lashes than the actual quality of the mascaras. My favourite high end is kind of obscure but I’m gonna say it anyway.
It’s the Laura Mercier Faux Lash Mascara. Now at $30 this one is pretty pricy but if you struggle in the lash department like me this will be the best $30 you have ever spent. It is a waxy formula so it gives the lashes a long lasting, glossy look. The brush is also huge and delivers build-able volume that lasts up to 10 hours. The brush is unique in that is has spots on it that have super short bristles and other areas where they are super long. This helps you to get a ton of product right at the base of your lashes giving a super thick effect to your lash line. This one is holy grail product for me! ($30 at Sephora or Sephora.com)
For drugstore this category was easy. There are a ton of affordable drug store mascaras that work amazingly well on people who have a little lash to begin with (yeah, not me). My favourite is Maybelline The Falsies. Huge brush, delivers volume, length and curl and doesn’t flake. It also fans out your lashes with it’s little scoop brush giving that false lash look. ($6.99 at Drugstores)
Eyelash Curler: Shu Uemura (pronounced: shoe oo-eh-moor-ah). I know everyone feels like this eyelash curler is over-rated but it honestly out-performs any eyelash curler that I have ever used. The curl lasts much longer and there is no pinching or pulling out your lashes. Seriously check out the reviews on this thing! ($20)
Eye Pencil Sharpener: Urban Decay The Grindhouse Sharpener. This sharpener has a tight fitting lid to prevent a mess from spilling all over your makeup bag as a well as a little pick that you can use to clean out any pencil shavings or cream product that might be stuck in there. It is rust proof and has 2 different sized holes for sharpening your regular pencils as well as chubby lip pencils or cream shadow pencils. ($12 at Sephora or Sephora.com)
Build-Your-Own Palette: I touched on these earlier and they are amazing! It’s called a Z-palette (say it how you want depending on where you are from) and it is a magnetic palette that can be used to hold any collection of metal makeup pans. Essentially you can mix round and square pans to create a custom palette. You can make a travel one with shadows, blush and a bronzer all in one convenient place. The tricky part is de-potting all of you products but once your products are all nested in this adorable palette it will have been well worth it. They come in all different sizes and patterns and can be purchased on line or on E-bay from $14-$20.
So there you have it! All of the eye products that I would be lost without! If you have any questions regarding any of the above products leave them in a comment below and I would be happy to answer them! While you’re at it, what are your favourite eye products?? Have you tried anything I mentioned?
Thanks so much for reading! Have a gorgeous week!
Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and in no way that of my employer. I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned in this post and I have not been compensated or influenced to review or mention these products.