Beauty Secrets: My Favorite Products
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You asked, and now, I am answering! I have been getting a ton of questions on my Instagram account (@TheSweetPaisana) lately about my makeup products and techniques, and requests to do a beauty post. Beauty and cosmetics are something that I have always loved, and eventually turned into a career when I worked for Lancome cosmetics for three years as a makeup artist. To this day, I still love trying out new products and techniques, as the beauty industry continues to grow and evolve each year. In this post, I am going to take you through my "full face" routine and detail each product that I use to create my everyday makeup look. 

Skincare

Creating a beautiful makeup look starts with the foundation of it all: your skin. With thousands of skincare products on the market, it can be hard to find the ones that work just right for you. After years of trying different moisturizers and serums, I have finally found some go to products that I now cannot live without!

L'Oreal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil

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Click image to view product.

I have been a fan of facial oils since they first hit the market, as I love a glowing, hydrated look when it comes to my skin. My skin type is normal, but facial oils are great for all skin types. In fact, for those of you with skin that leans on the more oily side, using a facial oil can actually counteract your natural face oils and create a better balance for your skin. This L'Oreal Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil gives you an instant glow, and makes your skin feel silky smooth and hydrated. As an added bonus, it also has SPF 30! I personally use this product underneath of my moisturizer, but you can also mix it in with your moisturizer or use it on its own, which is a great alternative during the summer months. This product is a definite must have in my book!

Click image to view product.

Click image to view product.

L'Oreal Hydra Genius Moisturizer

L'Oreal has an entire line of Hydra Genius products, but my personal favorite is the Hydra Genius Moisturizer (I use the one for dry skin). The product contains hyaluronic acid, which is an extremely hydrating ingredient and gives your skin a radiant glow that will last all day long. While I alternate between this moisturizer and another (keep reading!), this is by far my favorite drug store moisturizer.

La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream 

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Click photo to view product.

As a long time fan of La Mer products, I personally believe that this moisturizer is one of the best on the market. Although this product is more of a splurge item. I find it worth it. The cream is silky smooth and a little bit goes a long way with this product. While La Mer has three moisturizers that come in a jar, the Soft Cream is my favorite, as it is not too heavy yet gives long lasting hydration. 

 

Face Products

From foundation to bronzer, creating the perfect look starts with a balanced complexion, and the perfect balance of highlight and contour. I have tried many, many products that I love and still use from time to time, but below are the items that I am currently using (and the ones you have seen on my Instagram looks!). 

Kiko Milano Universal Fit Hydrating Foundation

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Click here to view product.

While I have a few go to foundations that I love, I have been using this foundation from Kiko Milano for well over a year now, and I absolutely love it! It's lightweight formula provides an effervescent glow, and its hydrating properties make it last all day long. With this product, you only need a little bit to cover your entire face. The coverage is medium, but can easily be built into fuller coverage, while still having a more natural look.. This foundation always makes my skin appear smoother, softer, and more radiant. I am a big fan of Kiko Milano products, as they are very affordable and comparable to brands like MAC. All of their products are made at their factory in Milan!

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

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Click image to view product.

A favorite of many makeup artists and industry professionals, this NARS concealer is now a must have for me! I recently picked up this product the last time I was in Sephora, as I had run out of my Tarte concealer. I knew it was a popular choice, so I decided to give it a try, and I was not disappointed! This concealer has a light yet full coverage formula, and does not crease! After I set it with powder, this concealer lasts all day. I use the color Custard and create a "V" under my eyes, and also a stripe down the center of my nose, as I like to contour my nose. I blend it all in with either my concealer brush or my beauty blender and then set with powder.

Ben Nye Banana Powder

bennyebananapowder

The Ben Nye Luxury Banana Powder gained popularity many years ago when YouTube beauty gurus and makeup artists began using the product. The loose powder is a bright yellow color, but once it hits the skin, instantly brightens the area applied to. I use this powder to set my concealer with a tapered powder brush, so that I can get close to my bottom lash line and really set every area that I applied concealer. With this product, my concealer lasts all day long and it gives my face a brighter and more "awake" look. This product is available online, but I picked it up at Ricky's in New York City, where they sell multiple sizes. 

NYX No Filter Finishing Powder

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Click image to view product.

To set my foundation, I use a wide stippling brush to lightly apply this NYX finishing powder. Using this technique prevents my makeup from looking cakey or too heavy. I use the color Classic Tan and dust it all over my face. This provides a smooth base for my powder contouring products, as I follow the golden rule of "cream on cream, powder on powder." 

Contour & Highlight

Contour and highlight, the ever famous duo, are two of my favorite steps in creating my everyday makeup look. Contouring really defines the face, adds warmth back into the skin, and gives your face more structure. Highlight lifts the cheeks, gives you a glow and radiance, and balances out the contouring. Here are my go to products for contour and highlight.

The Balm Cosmetics Bahama Mama Bronzer

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Click image to view product.

I have been using this bronzer for years now, and while I have tried dozens in between, this is still my absolute favorite bronzer. The color is a cooler bronze tone, and is the perfect shade for contouring, as you want to avoid warm, orange tone bronzers. It is also completely matte, which is ideal for contouring. I use this product underneath of my cheekbones, around the perimeter of my forehead, and down the sides of my nose to contour my nose. Its small compact is perfect for traveling as well! 

The Balm Cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer

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Click image to view product.

This highlighter casts a warm, shimmery glow. It is definitely one of the most pigmented highlighters that I have used, and a little bit goes a long way. I use this product on the top of my cheekbones and down the center of my nose. To avoid strong, sharp lines, I often will take my wide stippling brush and blend everything together, to create a seamless look.

Eyebrows

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Click image to view product.

While I have naturally thick and dark eyebrows, I still like to enhance and define them with brow products. I recently picked up this eyebrow palette by Morphe Brushes and was pleasantly surprised at the very pigmented products! I blend the two darkest brown colors together to get my ideal color, and I use the eyebrow gel (top right) to set them in place. Finally, I use the concealer (bottom right) underneath of my eyebrow to make my brows pop, and to give added definition. 

Eye Products

For my eyes, I like to keep them simple for my everyday look, and for a more dramatic look, I often will add thick eyeliner and more shadow. For my simple everyday look, I usually avoid eyeshadow, or use just one simple tan crease color (Makeup Hack: you can also use your bronzer as your crease color! Just use a fluffy bending brush). Here are my staple eye products that I use from day looks to night looks.

Lancome Artliner

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Click image to view product.

I have tried many eyeliners, but none beat out the iconic and classic Lancome Artliner. I have used this product both on myself and on my clients, and I find that it is the easiest liquid eyeliner pen out there to use. Its felt tip provides a clean line, and it is easy to create cat eyes and winged liner, seemingly effortless! I have used many liquid and felt tip eyeliners that dry out quickly, but the Lancome Artliner lasts well over a month - an added plus! 

Lancome Gel Eyeliner

lancomegeleyeliner

Staying with Lancome (hint: I LOVE Lancome eye products!), I use their gel eyeliner in the pot to line my waterline. This eyeliner lasts all day, and gives a very bold and defined look. Sometimes, I will even go over my art liner with the gel liner to ensure a longer lasting look and a bolder line. I use an angled eyeliner brush with this product.

Lancome CILS Booster XL

I do not wear mascara without my Lancome CILS Booster! This product not only coats the lashes, making mascara less harsh on your natural lashes, but it also gives added volume and length once you layer your regular mascara on top. I do one eye at a time, applying the CILS Booster then immediately applying my mascara over top. This product makes a huge difference in the way my lashes look!

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara

After trying many, many mascaras, I always return to my Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara. Its curved brush creates a voluminous look, starting at the base of the lashes, and if you turn the brush on its side, it separates the lashes and adds length. This mascara definitely is more on the dramatic, full volume side, and oftentimes gives my lashes the "false lash" look. 

Lips

I personally have quite a collection of lipsticks, lipliners and glosses, but below are a few of my favorite products to create my signature nude lip. I like to keep my nude lip on the cooler side, and I use shimmery lipsticks to create more depth and to make my lips appear fuller. 

MAC Lipliner in Stone

This lipliner is a cool, muted gray, and serves as the perfect base for many lipsticks and glosses. Personally, I like my lipliner to stand out against my lipstick, and Stone does just that, while enhancing my natural lip shape. 

MAC Lipstick in Politely Pink

This lipstick is a sheer, pinky nude with a hint of shimmer. I love this lipstick because it is neutral, has shine, and goes with so many looks. It is a low maintenance lipstick and easy to wear from day to night!

Buxom Full On Lip Polish in Princess

I am a big fan of the Buxom Lip Polishes, as they stay on a long time, have high shine and pigment, and even make your lips a little bit fuller with their lip plumping action! The color "Princess" is a shimmery, metallic color that pairs well with so many lipsticks, especially Politely Pink.

I hope that you all enjoyed reading about my favorite beauty products and go out and give some of them a try! I have tried so many products, but these still remain staples in my beauty kit. What are your favorite makeup products? Comment below or write me on Facebook or Instagram! I always love hearing what other people use and giving them a try myself. Make sure to check back for MORE beauty and makeup posts!

Tanti baci,

The Sweet Paisana

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