There are a lot of steps and a lot of products that go into a complete makeup look – from cleansers and moisturizers to primers and setters. Here’s my current routine for getting dolled up and then taking it all off:
Facial Cleanser: Lush Angels on Bare Skin
I use this to wash my face in the shower either before getting ready or at the end of the day if I wasn’t wearing makeup. It’s a great cleanser for all skin types and is both soothing and slightly exfoliating. If I’m in need of some extra scrubs, I will reach for Lush’s Dark Angels exfoliating cleanser, use no more than once/week. Note: Due to the freshness of ingredients, I always buy the smallest size available for Lush products to decrease the chances of it expiring before I can finish it.
Acne Spot Treatment: Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel
I use this salicylic acid treatment to help clear up any rogue acne on my neck and chin. For some serious info about all things skincare, check out /r/SkincareAddiction on Reddit.
Moisturizer: The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream
I’m almost done my second full-size of jar of this stuff, I love it so much. It’s not always enough to moisturize my driest bits in the dead of winter, but it’s nevertheless a great product and I reach for it year round to help keep my skin hydrated without looking greasy.
Face Primer: Too Faced Hangover RX primer
Primer is a must for me for smoother skin, oil control, and added insurance to keep my makeup in place all day. I am absolutely in love with this silicone-free formula and the coconut water feels great on my skin. I dispense one full pump on the back of my hand and apply with the RealTechniques stippling brush. (You are totally free to apply primer with your fingers, but I try to touch my face as little as possible since I’m so prone to that dreaded oily t-zone).
Eye Primer: MAC “Painterly” Pro Longwear Paint Pot
I’m completely hooked on this little guy. After trying multiple primers from all different brands, this nude-beige cream is definitely my preferred eyeshadow base, but also looks great on its own for a “no makeup” makeup look.
Concealer: MAC “NW15” Pro Longwear Concealer
I use this liquid concealer to cover up blemishes and redness as well as under-eye darkness and to clean up my eyebrows. I haven’t yet figured out my favorite way to apply this since it’s my first liquid concealer, but I usually reach for my buffing concealer brush from the ecoTools Flawless Face set. Waiting on my first micro mini beauty blender in the mail, so we’ll see how that goes.
Foundation: MAC “NW20” Studio Fix Pressed Powder + Foundation
This has been my go-to powder for years and I prefer it over every other foundation I’ve tried (liquid or otherwise). It comes with a sponge, but I prefer to apply it with the RealTechniques buffing brush from the Core Collection set.
Translucent Powder: Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder
To quickly set concealer and help prevent excess oil in my t-zone, I reach for this sheer white powder and gently apply with the RealTechniques setting brush. If you prefer more natural ingredients, indie brands are your best bet and the Skin Botanica Mineral Veil from Darling Girl Cosmetics is pretty excellent. You can learn about amazing indie brands all over the world over at /r/IndieMakeupandMore.
Setting Spray: Urban Decay All-Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
Like hairspray for your face! I use a few quick spritzes of this to help my makeup last all night long. Not necessary for every day, but a great addition to the arsenal if you know you’re going to be partying. This is particularly important if you wear glasses to help keep the makeup on the bridge of your nose instead of on your frames. Please close your eyes before spraying this on your face.
Makeup Remover: Lush Ultrabland
This is my go-to “HG” (holy grail) cleanser and makeup remover. I use it to wash off makeup and clean my face at the end of the day. For really stubborn products (like Benefit’s unmovable “They’re Real” mascara), I use either a wipe or liquid makeup remover to finish cleaning up in the off chance my Ultrabland missed a spot.
This post was edited on 01 April 2015 to include some additional information.