Part One: Face
Kimberly Rae Dixon
My favorite makeup look consists of natural-looking, glowing skin, a neutral eye look and pink or nude lips. Although there are many makeup techniques that I haven’t mastered yet (and many that I probably never will), the neutral face is a look I am very well-versed in. I’m often asked about the products I use the most, so I’ve put together my ultimate ‘holy grail’ makeup list. For this post, I’ll focus strictly on the face. You might notice that I haven’t included a foundation choice in this post and that’s simply because I’m still looking for my holy grail foundation. I’m currently alternating between Beauty Blender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation, Wander Beauty Nude Illusion Liquid Foundation, and Mac Studio Fix Fluid. If you’re reading this post and have a product recommendation, I’d love to hear your suggestions.
This post is not sponsored and reflects my honest opinions. Check back next week when I’ll detail my favorite brow, lip and eye products.
Primer: Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer
Price: $52 USD
Tatcha’s The Silk Canvas Protective Primer is by far the BEST primer I have used. It’s consistency is much thicker than that of most primers, which helps it to smooth fine lines and imperfections on the skin seamlessly. This primer has a fresh scent which I find fades quickly after applying it to the skin.
The Silk Canvas primer creates a protective barrier over the skin that acts as a shield against free radicals and clogged pores, which are often the result of makeup absorbing into the skin. The formula contains silk powder, which not only allows makeup to glide onto the skin smoothly but also creates an incredible blurring effect, both enhancing natural skin tone and minimizing the appearance of pores. The formula also contains Hadasei-3™, which is “a trinity of Japanese superfoods, green tea, rice and algae” and is known to have anti-aging properties.
When it comes to increasing the wear of my foundation, I do find that The Silk Canvas increases the longevity by at least several hours. Typically, without primer my makeup lasts about 6 to 8 hours. Using this primer, I’ve often found that if I put my makeup on first thing in the morning, it’s still intact when I take off my makeup at night.
Setting Powder: RCMA No-Color Powder
Price: $12 USD
No, you didn’t read the price wrong and it’s not a typo. This MAGIC powder is literally only $12. RCMA No-Color Powder is a favorite of many makeup artists and there are so many reasons why.
This powder sets foundation and concealers instantly and prevents creasing and caking ALL DAY LONG. Seriously. This powder is pigment-free and filler-free, so it doesn’t affect the color of foundations or any other powders that are applied on top of it, such as contours, bronzers, highlights, or blushes.
Bronze and Contour: Tarte Park Ave. Princess Chisel Palette
Price: $45 USD
Absolutely everything about the Tarte Park Ave Princess Chisel Palette is beautiful! The palette contains 2 matte bronzers (Princess Cut and Angle), 2 shimmer bronzers (Carat and Crown) and 2 matte highlighting powders (Halo and Enhance) packaged in a beautiful gold and rose gold container. The pans are magnetic and removable, which means they can easily be transferred to a customizable magnetic palette if desired, as well.
The Park Ave. Princess palette is ideal for contouring, but it’s a diverse palette that I’ve found myself reaching for more than I expected I would. The matte highlighting powders do an amazing job of setting concealer and eyeshadow primers and the entire palette can be used to create a rich, warm eye look (let me know in the comments if there’s interest and I’ll create a tutorial on this).
The formula Tarte used for this palette is oil free and lasts up to 12 hours (in my opinion it lasts even longer). It contains Amazonian clay, which Tarte is well known for using in its products and increases longevity, as well as mineral pigments, vanilla fragrance and vitamin E, which works as a natural antioxidant and protects the skin from free radicals and ozone pollution. The vanilla fragrance that Tarte used in this palette is absolutely beautiful – it smells like I’m bronzing with dessert!
On a side note, when I took the photos to use for this blog, I pulled out my brand new Park Ave. Princess palette so I’d have a beautiful photo to share with my readers and unfortunately, my 3-year-old daughter got her hands on it before I did! Hence the mangled appearance of the shade ‘Crown’. I promise, Sephora did not sell my palette in this condition!
Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush
Price: $40 USD
The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush collection features 10 shades – six radiant shades and four shimmer shades. Each shade uses photoluminescent technology to attract light to the skin, thus flattering the face’s natural angles and creating the appearance of smooth, even skin.
I use the shade Mood Exposure – a radiant shade, and the formula is absolutely divine. It blends into the skin perfectly and unlike many blushes I’ve tried, it’s not over-pigmented. It adds just the right amount of color to the cheeks and I don’t find that I have to spend an unreasonable amount of time blending.
This particular shade adds a perfect flush to my cheeks and contributes a great deal to that ‘healthy glow’ look that I was talking about earlier. For a peachy glow in the summer time that amps up the highlight effect, my favorite shade is Incandescent Electra, which is a peachy/coral shimmer shade.
Highlight: Jeffree Star 24 Karat Skin Frost™ Pro Palette
Price: $40 USD
There is so much hype around Jeffree Star’s products and let me tell you, it’s totally warranted. The Jeffree Star 24 Karat Skin Frost™ Pro Palette was the first product I bought from Jeffree Star Cosmetics and I was instantly addicted to these products. Since this purchased I’ve bought several palettes, liquid lippies, and lipsticks from Jeffree Star Cosmetics and I’ve been consistently pleased with the products that I’ve received.
Not only is the formula of Jeffree Star’s Skin Frost™ unbelievably pigmented and buttery soft. It blends into the skin incredibly well and creates a glow that seems to radiate from within. This palette is comprised of six Skin Frost™ shades: Sarcophagus, King Tut, Dark Horse, Legendary, Giza, and Liberace. All six shades are buildable and can be used on the face, eyes or body.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Price: $62 USD
The last step in my daily face routine is always an all-over dusting of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. Similar to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush I mentioned above, this powder is made with photoluminescent technology, which attracts light to enhance the natural angles and features of the face. This palette contains three shades of Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Powder: Dim Light, Radiant Light and Incandescent Light.
While Hourglass suggests a simple three-step process to apply each of these powders, I prefer to dust my Sephora Collection Pro Featherweight Powder Brush #91 over all three colors and apply a light dusting all over the face to set and complete my look. By applying the powders this way, I’m able to achieve a subtle yet radiant glow that looks natural and lasts all day.
Glamglow Glowsetter™ Makeup Setting Spray
Price: $32 USD
The final — and most important — step in my face makeup routine is the Glamglow Glowsetter™ Makeup Setting Spray. When I use this makeup setting spray I can go about my day confidently knowing that my makeup will stay put all day. I apply this spray to my face twice during my routine. First, I apply it after I’ve completed my face makeup and second, I apply it once my eye look is complete.
The Glowsetter™ spray’s bottle dispenses the product fabulously. I’ve tried several setting sprays and I usually find that they leave my face feeling wet and tacky. This spray comes out in a beautiful mist and dries instantly — and it smells beautiful! The product contains TEAOXI®, which is a “complex of green, white, and red teas” and is known to prevent damage that’s caused by free radicals and environmental pollutants.