11 Of My Favorite Makeup Products

11 Of My Favorite Makeup Products

The best high-end and drugstore products of all time (in my opinion).
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After a few years of obsessing over makeup, I have honed in on my ability to determine whether a product is good or not and what makes it good or not. I have had time to experiment with a lot of different products and brands, and have found what works best for me and my skin type, and what does not. I am no makeup artist by any means, but like any other makeup connoisseur of sorts, I have compiled a list of my favorite items in my collection and exactly why these are my favorites.

1. L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara

This is possibly the most underrated mascara ever. In every Target, Walgreens, Walmart, or Ulta I visit this mascara is sitting lonely on the bottom row, for no one to find and discover. But after a friend recommended it to me, I have never found anything better. It makes my lashes SO long. So long. It's insane. I have tried so many other mascaras that claim to lengthen my lashes and nothing does the job quite like this mascara. It also has my favorite mascara wand (rubber with very short bristles). And only $8.99.

2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

A cult favorite, and for good reason. This was my first ever brow pencil and I don't think I can ever find anything as good as this. The pigmentation is just right to create a natural but defined brow and the spoolie is like no other. I never had any trouble with the pencil breaking off (like I did with the popular dupe the NYX microbrow pencil, which by the way isn't nearly as good), and I always had a good brow day with this one.

3. Kat Von D Lock-it Setting Powder

This is my favorite loose setting powder I have ever tried, and it's so underrated compared to the Laura Mercier Transluscent Powder. It goes on so smooth, its easy to bake with and can be used to just brush all over the face, and there's no flashback whatsoever. I have the mini one and it's lasted me over four months.

4. Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

I discovered this bronzer through KathleenLights on Youtube, and I couldn't be happier. It's a beautiful color that isn't too cool toned, but still not too warm in that I can contour with this bronzer in a pinch. And not to mention the coconut scent that reminds me of the beach. It blends like a dream and is definitely my favorite bronzer - above Benefit's Hoola.

5. Wet n Wild Mega Cushion Highlighter

This highlighter is SO CHEAP. So cheap. Some people give Wet n Wild a bad rep just because their things are so cheap, which sometimes means some pretty bad products, but they have a lot of hits in their collection, and this highlighter is one of them. Unfortunately there's only one shade, but it blends so easily on the skin and gives the face a natural glow. You can use a sponge to apply it or simply blend it with your finger, and you'll get a flawless glow from within look. Definitely so much easier to use than a lot of liquid highlighters I've tried.

6. CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream

My skin gets pretty oily in my T-zone, so I go for matte face products. I'm not a huge fan of high coverage foundations, which is what first drew me to this because it's a BB Cream, and it does exactly what I want. It cancels my redness and looks so natural and keeps my oil at bay. I got a mini sample from Target and it's lasted me a long time, so a little goes a long way.

7. MAC Clear Brow Gel

This was the first brow gel I ever tried and I have never strayed away. I love the feathery brow look, and it keeps my brows in place alllll day when I use it. It has sort of a weird scent, but doesn't linger and keeps my brows looking great.

8. Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick

I first saw these when Tati from Youtube reviewed them and the first thing I thought was "that's just a Jeffree Star liquid lipstick." The tube and the want and the doe foot applicator are exactly the same, down to the little curve of the glass at the bottom, but what else is the same is the quality. I'd never think I'd find the most comfortable liquid lipstick I've ever warn (dare I say more comfortable than Jeffree Star's?) for just $5 at the drugstore, but it seriously is so comfortable AND incredibly long lasting. I tried out the bright Ruby Woo-feeling red shade from the collection and it didn't bleed at all. These are by far my favorite liquid lipsticks, and they're completely matte and transfer proof. I'm just floored by the quality. Keep it up Wet N Wild.

9. E.L.F. Studio Brushes

I love E.L.F. I think E.L.F is everyone's first experience with makeup just because of the low pricetag, and they have some pretty incredible products that are also good dupes for high-end brands (I'm thinking of the blush and bronzer duo that has an uncanny resemblance to NARS' blush and bronzer duos.) These brushes are a bit pricier than their white-handled brushes - I'm talking $3 vs. $1 - but their quality is so similar to a high-end brush, if someone were to cover the label most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Almost all of the brushes in my collection are E.L.F. and all of them pick up and apply product beautifully. I've never had trouble with patchiness or shedding, and they're just so cheap you can't beat it. I'm a particular fan of their small tapered brush for under-eye setting powder, and their contour brush for the face to carve out my cheekbones.

10. Buxom Lip Cream

This is another product I discovered through KathleenLights. It's essentially a plumping lip gloss, but the thing I love about it most is that it's pigmented enough to use on its own, but also sheer enough to use as a lipstick topper. It lasts a fair amount of time given it's a lip gloss and I love it so much, definitely a staple.

11. Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette

This is another cult favorite. I was never really drawn to the Chocolate Bar palette if I'm being honest; I wasn't a huge fan of the shade collection. But after my friend had me do her makeup with her Chocolate Bar, I was hooked. It blends so well, the shadows are so pigmented, and there's a million different looks that can be created with this. And not to mention it smells like chocolate. It is now by far my favorite palette, and I recommend it to everyone, the $50 is worth it.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.lily-like.com/make-collection-make-vanity-tour/

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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I Am A Shopaholic Who Is Easily Enabled, Please Send Help

No, seriously, please do...tell them to bring cash, too.

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I remember the circumstances right before I first started college. I had worked a summer job and just got paid. My parents helped me set up a bank account that came with a debit card, and I had just been granted access to Amazon Prime…It all went downhill from there. I think I blew through more than $500 the first night and the other $400 or so over the next two weeks.

One thing I learned about myself is that when I have no money, I am not really lacking in anything. I am content in life. I can go on, unbothered. However, the moment I have some money on hand, there are suddenly so many things I find myself "needing." I have all these flashlights, watches, supplements, sneakers, and rings to pick from.

Sometimes, I stop to imagine how much money I would have to my name if I knew how to save any of it…maybe I would be able to pay my college fees, or at least a decent portion of them. I probably could. However, then, I think about all the things that would be missing in my room if I had not bought them. My room would be much emptier, barer shelves and emptier drawers. It is honestly a toss up on what is the better option, money to spare or little knick-knacks to enjoy.

I have a problem. I admit it. I can control it slightly by creating many extensive and specific Amazon wish lists so that I can siphon off some of the itching urges to buy by stocking different items on "maybe later" categories, things I would buy if I won the lottery, had a steady income, or just had the money I could spend without handicapping myself. This listing system only backfires when I decide I could afford to buy one of the listed items then decide that since I am getting that one thing, I could afford to buy that other thing. Boom! Next thing I know, five minutes later, there are 10 items in my cart, and my wallet is three figures lighter.

I know I do not actually need some (many) of the things I bought, but I do enjoy having them. Some are helpful. Some are fun or make things slightly easier or surprising. I do need to (and plan to) work on my impulse control because, often, something pops into my head that I suddenly would really like to have. In seconds, I have Amazon open, and it will arrive in two days. My bank account is taking hits left and right.

Is there a point to this article? Not really. I just have this problem and I am sure I am not the only one. Just being relatable here. It's hard. Some much to buy. So little cash to dish out. All of this stems from my general lack of self-discipline. I procrastinate. I speak before thinking. I take on more than I can handle, and I often forget to or neglect to take care of my basic needs. If it was just up to me with no other obligations, I would spend my life either hibernating and reading in bed for hours. That sounds nice.

I could just try winning the lottery.

It took me too long and too much energy just to write this article.

I figure that trying to address my compulsive buying would be like treating a symptom of a much more expansive and underlying problem of self-indulgence and the lack of control over many aspects of my life. I should focus my attention on the root of all my issues…but that is so much work…

Maybe later.

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