I’ve wanted to do this for a while, but I always took it way too seriously and got overwhelmed 😂. I’ve been spending the last few weeks shopping my stash and getting reacquainted with a lot of my things and suddenly I felt like I could probably do it. It’s only hypothetical after all. This tag pops up ever so often, but I believe it was initially started in 2018 by Kelly Gooch on YouTube. As Kelly points out in her video, the interesting thing about doing this is that it narrows things down and not necessarily to your favorite products. If I had to just use one product every day (and of course, I want a cohesive look), it really did change the products that I initially would have picked. So let’s see what made the cut.
I use a lot of limited edition and discontinued products, so I also restricted myself to items that I could actually purchase today if I lost everything for some reason. When I get to those categories, I’ll mention the products that are no longer available for purchase in case you are curious. I also want to point out that I did this in true shop my stash fashion, so I am only featuring products that I currently own. I didn’t consider any products that I would repurchase because I wanted to be able to actually show the item.
Since I do tend to stick to my tried and true products, most of these products already have blog posts. I will link those when they come up so you can see swatches and more of my thoughts on those items if you are interested.
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This just happens to be the mascara that I have open at the moment but I’ve only used it once so far. I like it fine, pretty sure that I like other mascaras better, but too soon to say for sure.
I don’t wear eyeliner very often and don’t have much experience with different brands. Between the Stila and this, I prefer this one because the black is more saturated.
This is the best brow color that I have found and the formula works well for me. Before I discovered this I was loving the Smashbox Brow Tech Matte Pencil in Dark Brown. The Smashbox is just a touch lighter but it is a warmer shade of brown.
MAC Build Your Own Pro Palette with What Clout (powder kiss, $9.00**) Cranberry (frost, $8.00**), Couture Copper (dazzle shadow extreme, $9.00**), Swiss Chocolate (matte, $8.00**), and 4-pan Compact (pro palette, $9.00**)
If you have followed me for a while, you probably already know that I love my MAC shadows. They are an old standby for me. When I’m not reviewing eyeshadows I tend to be a one-and-done eyeshadow kind of girl and cranberry and couture copper work great for that. Occasionally I’ll put something in the crease and what clout provides a softer more natural option and swiss chocolate (when applied lightly) gives me some more crease definition. Every now and then I do like some depth in the outer-v and swiss chocolate can be built up for that purpose. I don’t often do all matte looks, but I feel like these two mattes also give me that option. It may be cheating a little to count creating this quad as one product since each item is sold separately, but I’m gonna allow it lol. Oh and for those that may not be familiar with the brand, you can only get refill pans like these from MAC directly.
- What Clout – swatch and review
- Cranberry – swatch
- Couture Copper – swatch and review
- Swiss chocolate – swatch
This is pretty new to me, I recently bought it because the Too Faced Shadow Insurance got reformulated to include fragrance. I don’t have oily lids but they are slightly hooded which does cause creasing. So wearing an eye primer prevents that.
Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Color Antoinette, $42.00
While this is one of my favorite lipsticks, it is one of those interesting products that I didn’t expect to be my pick. My all-time favorite lipstick formula is Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy. The reason that didn’t make the cut is because of the shade. If I’m picking one shade to wear every day, in the winter or summer, none of the Estee Lauder shades I have can fit that bill. This Chanel lipstick in the shade Antionette, however, looks good on me no matter how light or dark I am. It also coordinates with all of my eyeshadow options. I do like this formula, it is comfortable and wears away nicely.
- Chanel Rouge Coco Antoinette – swatch and review
This decision shocked me the most. My first thought for one blush for every day was MAC. MAC Raizin has been in my collection and repurchased since I started wearing makeup because it goes with everything. The problem is that it is matte and these days I’m in love with satin blushes. The only MAC blush that I currently have that isn’t matte is Faux Sure and it doesn’t coordinate well with my other options. So, I picked a satin finish that does coordinate with my other options and that is NARS Savage. Now I don’t want it to sound like I don’t like this blush, I do enjoy it. I personally think that NARS blushes work better with natural hair brushes, but since that’s what I’d use that isn’t an issue.
- NARS Savage Blush – swatch
If I hadn’t restricted myself to items available for purchase, without question, this would have gone to Becca Ipanema Sun. However, as we all know Becca has gone out of business, so I decided on NARS Punta Cana. Just like with blush, this came down to a preference of finish. I wanted a satin bronzer to liven up my matte foundation pick. The added benefit to this pick is that I can use it lightly in the winter but in the summer when I’m darker it can be built up. I will say, if I didn’t still own the Becca bronzer and only had this NARS Punta Cana, I don’t know if I would say they are that different. It may be that I prefer the color of the Becca more. 🤷🏽♀️
- NARS Bronzing Powder Punta Cana – swatch
This should be no surprise if you’ve been around lately. While this concealer does need to be set, I still find that it lasts well throughout the day with minimal creasing. I appreciate that it doesn’t make my dry skin look drier and it has great coverage (higher side of medium). Another great benefit to picking this concealer is that if I am tired of wearing my matte foundation, this can be used as a foundation as well. I have a full blog post with all the details and some comparison swatches with other concealers.
- Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer – swatch and review (shades 4WO and 4.5N)
For the purposes of this tag, I use this to set my under-eye concealer. It also works to set the entire face, which I won’t need to do with the matte foundation I chose, but I could do when wearing the Dior concealer as a foundation. This powder sets without looking like you added powder. That is the best way I can describe it, but I recently did an entire post on it so, for more details, check that out.
- NARS Light Reflecting Powder – swatch and review
I typically wear this in the shade 4W4 hazel, however, in the summer when I get darker I need 5W1 Bronze. So instead of fussing with two, I would just wear 5W1 bronze all year. As I mentioned earlier, my Dior concealer can also be used as a foundation, so I could also wear that in the winter. I’m no stranger to Estee Lauder Double Wear, I’ve been wearing it since 2014 and it always works for me. It is matte, but that allows me to skip setting powder and it is one of the most transfer-resistant foundations that I’ve ever used.
In the winter, I can mix this with my moisturizer (eucerin) to make it more comfortable for my dry skin. I have done that trick for as long as I’ve used this foundation and never had an issue, but I will warn you that not all moisturizers mix well with this formula. Mixing oils into it and the primer I’ll mention next do cause the shades to oxidize. I’ve tried both argan oil and jojoba oil in the past and had the same result of the foundation getting darker.
- Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation – swatch and review (shades 5W1, 5W1.5, 5W2)
I don’t use primer on the days that I put makeup on right after I do my skincare. If there is more than an hour or two between my skincare and when I put makeup on, that is when I’ll use this primer. I have dry skin, so it just helps ensure that the makeup sits nicely throughout wear and provides some extra hydration. It does leave the skin slightly tacky, giving foundation something to stick to, so I would mostly use this on the days that I wear the Dior concealer as a foundation. Estee Lauder Double Wear doesn’t need a primer in my experience. Oh and as I mentioned above, this primer does not mix well with Estee Lauder Double Wear. It not only makes it darker but it also takes a really long time of mixing to get them to come together. I only mention this because people often recommend sheering out fuller coverage foundations with primer or moisturizer to get more mileage and use out of them. While that is great advice, I figured it would be helpful to mention that it’s not always a home run.
This is my first pick for applying foundation regardless of formula. It is dense enough to maintain coverage but has enough movement to blend quickly and evenly. I have a full review on my Smashbox brushes so If you want more info, check out that post.
- Smashbox Blurring Foundation Brush – review
This is my favorite concealer brush and has been for over a year now. I haven’t tried a ton of concealer brushes and only from a few brands (Sigma, Smashbox, Sonia Kashuk), so take that for what you will. I would say it is a larger size for concealer so keep that in mind.
- Sigma F79 Brush – review
Sephora Match Highlighting Brush, $12.00
This goes against my challenge to pick a product that is currently available for purchase, but I didn’t realize that when I picked this one out. However, it is still available through Sephora @ Kohl’s, so I’m gonna let it slide. I like this size and shape for setting my under-eye concealer.
I actually wanted to choose the bareMinerals seamless shaping and finish brush here, but it looks like it may have been discontinued. The Smashbox buildable cheek does work for applying bronzer, but as the name suggests, it takes a while to get the pigment that I want.
- Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush – great for sheer blush application (with comparison to real techniques blush brush)
Sonia G Soft Cheek Brush, $48.00
This is my favorite blush brush and has been since I bought it back in August 2021. I love a blown-out diffused blush application and this nails that every time.
- Sonia G Soft Cheek Brush – review
Sonia G Builder Pro Brush, $28.00
Just like with the blush brush, this brush has become my go-to shader brush since I bought it. It is small enough to get my inner corner area and as the name suggests it builds pigment well.
- Sonia G Builder Pro Brush – review
Smashbox Shadow Blending Brush, $24.00
This is the blending brush that I find myself reaching for the most often. It does the job well and doesn’t spread color too far.
- Smashbox Shadow Blending Brush – review
Once I relaxed about it, this was actually a lot of fun for me to put together. If you want to share, I would love to hear what some of your picks would be in the comments. Thanks for spending some time with me today!
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- Brands A-Z: Check out this index if you want to know what products I have posted about in the past.
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