My Favorite Makeup

If you’re wondering about my makeup preferences, you’re in the right place. I’m 39 and I have dry, sensitive, eczema-prone skin and these are the products that I use regularly. Basically, if I stopped reviewing makeup, this is what would be in my makeup bag. There isn’t a product for every category because, for instance, I don’t currently have a favorite eye primer or mascara. There are also some things like contour and eyeliner that I just don’t use. Although I do have some limited edition and discontinued favorites, I will only list products that are currently available. This is purely based on the assumption that anyone who wants this information may actually want to try some of the items.

With a few exceptions, most items on this list I have referenced throughout my blog posts with several having full reviews that you can check out for details. Any relevant posts will be linked below the product images for your reference.

I’m allowing comments on this page, so if you have any questions, please leave a comment. As always, if you’d rather keep it private you can email me at editor.nikkifromhr@gmail.com.

Last updated December 9, 2022

NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

Beauty and makeup blogger with a warm olive, medium-deep skin tone. Best foundation matches are Estee Lauder 4W4 and 5W1, MAC C8, and Nars Tahoe.
Wearing NARS Natural Radiant Longwear in the Shade Tahoe
Estee Lauder double wear shade 5w2 rich caramel and nars natural radiant longwear shade tahoe swatches
L to R: Estee Lauder Doublewear 5W2 and NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Tahoe

NARS Foundation – Relevant Blog Post

This has become my everyday foundation over the Estee Lauder Double Wear not because they are similar formulas, but because it suits my current skin concerns better. Dealing with the dry climate and hard water where I currently live, my skin is drier than ever and my eczema flares up more often. So Estee Lauder Double Wear just became too matte for me to deal with how tight and dry my skin felt throughout the day when I wore it. I have been using this foundation fairly regularly since late 2019 but it wasn’t until recently that I realized how much better it was working for me than the Double Wear. While I would consider this foundation to be matte, as the name suggests, it is somehow more natural and radiant than other matte foundations. I guess, that could make it more of a natural finish (sometimes called satin), but it seems more matte to me than foundations that are categorized as “natural” like Clinique Beyond Perfecting or It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better

NARS promises a medium to full buildable coverage, transfer-resistant, sweat-resistant foundation with a 16-hour wear time. I agree with the coverage claim. Each pump is much smaller than most foundations dispense, and with two pumps of the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, I can get medium coverage. This foundation is not transfer resistant and while setting powder does help improve the situation, it can be frustrating. This foundation is $49, so it’s only natural to have high expectations for its performance. As someone with allergies, I do find myself needing to touch up my nose area halfway through the day in the spring and fall when my allergies are worse. I understand that this may be nitpicking to some people because makeup isn’t a miracle worker. However, I don’t have transfer problems with Estee Lauder Double Wear which also has a transfer-resistant claim. Even when I have to use a tissue, the amount of foundation that comes off on the tissue when I’m wearing Double Wear is very minimal. So that is the bar I judge transfer against.

If the sweat resistant claim means that sweating doesn’t break the foundation down or make it look patchy, then I agree. I have never and would never wear foundation for 16 hours, so I can’t speak on that claim specifically. The NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation does look just as good after about 8 hours as it did when it’s freshly applied unless it’s a particularly cold and dry day. When I have those dry days it ends up looking about as matte as Estee Lauder Double Wear, but it still looks nice.

For my dry skin type, I don’t need to set this foundation. It doesn’t feel tacky on my skin and I have no trouble blending blush, bronzer, and highlight over it when I don’t set it with powder. The powders that I do like to set this with to keep the beautiful finish but help minimize transfer are the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Powder and the Hourglass Veil Translucent Loose Powder. The NARS powder does work better for the transfer issue, but the Hourglass powder does feel more dried down and silky to the touch if you prefer that type of finish.


Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer

When I initially started using this concealer I was mixing 4WO and 4.5N to get my best match. My Sephora didn’t have the shade 4W on display so I didn’t realize it existed at first, but now I just use that shade.

Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer in 4WO, 4W, and 4.5N
Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer in ( L to R) 4WO, 4W, and 4.5N
Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer in 4WO, 4W, and 4.5N swatches
Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer in (L to R) 4WO, 4W, and 4.5N

Dior Concealer – Relevant Blog Posts


NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder

While the Translucent Crystal version does work for my skin tone, the newly released color Shore works better especially if I’m going to be taking photos. The translucent Crystal doesn’t necessarily give flashback, but it just looks off in photos compared to Shore.

NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder in Translucent Crystal Review Medium Dark Skin
NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder in Translucent Crystal
NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder in Translucent Crystal Swatch Medium Dark Skin
NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder in Translucent Crystal
NYX HD Finishing Powder Banana Review and Swatch on Medium Dark Skin
NYX HD Finishing Powder Banana and NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Powder Crystal Translucent

NARS Powder – Relevant Blog Posts


MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Global Glow (right swatch)

I don’t use highlighter very much but when I do it’s a MAC Highlight. I’ve always enjoyed this formula, but I thought this particular shade would be too cool-toned for me based on the color description being neutral tan with a silver sheen. However, after a trip to Ulta, I discovered that this actually works for me. It is neutral to cool depending on what it is paired with, but I’ve also been able to make it work with warmer blushes. It really shines however when paired with neutral and cooler-toned blushes. You do have to be careful because a lot of powder picks up on the brush, but it’s smooth and doesn’t accentuate my textures so it feels worth it to me.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Global Glow Swatch
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Global Glow
MAC Selena Highlight (Limited Edition) and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Global Glow Swatches
L to R: MAC Selena Highlight (Limited Edition) and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Global Glow

MAC Extra Dimension Blush in Faux Sure (bottom row middle swatch)

The blushes from MAC’s extra dimension line are higher sheen than I typically go for, but they are really beautiful. In my experience, Faux Sure and Hushed Tone are more “subtle” than the other shades pictured. There are no large particles but I feel like, for me, the other shades are getting close to a more metallic finish. I don’t find them to be unflattering or accentuate texture too badly, but given the shine, they will accentuate more than a matte or satin finish.

MAC Extra Dimension Blush Swatches (Telling Glow, Cheeky Bits, Sweets For My Sweet, Hushed Tone, Faux Sure!, Hard To Get) medium dark skin
Swatches – Top Row L to R: Telling Glow, Cheeky Bits, Sweets For My Sweet | Bottom Row L to R: Hushed Tone, Faux Sure, Hard to Get

NARS Powder Blush in Savage

NARS Powder Blush Savage dark skin
NARS Savage Blush
NARS Savage Blush Swatch and MAC Raizin Blush Swatch
Left: NARS Savage Blush | Right: MAC Raizin Blush

NARS Blush – Relevant Blog Posts


NARS Bronzing Powder in Punta Cana

NARS Bronzing Powder Punta Cana Swatch
NARS Bronzing Powder in Punta Cana
NARS Matte Bronzing Powder Samoa and Punta Cana Bronzer Swatches dark skin
L to R: NARS Samoa (matte) and Punta Cana

NARS Bronzer – Relevant Blog Posts


MAC Classic Eyeshadows (Particularly Cranberry, Amber Lights, and the Mattes)

While I can admit that the MAC formula is feeling outdated compared to other eye shadows on the market, I still enjoy the formula and its performance. They do take building, but they are easy to use, don’t accentuate texture (not even when my eczema flares up), and last throughout the day.

MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow Singles (bronze, saddle, stolen moment, I'm into it, cranberry, uninterrupted, amber lights)
MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow Singles Swatches on Dark Skin (bronze, saddle, I'm into it, cranberry)
Top: bronze, saddle | Bottom: I’m into it, cranberry
MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow Singles Swatches on Dark Skin (shadowy lady, stolen moment, uninterrupted, amber lights)
Top: shadowy lady, stolen moment | Bottom: uninterrupted, amber lights

MAC Eyeshadow – Relevant Blog Posts


DIOR 5 Couleurs 689 Mitzah

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette 689 Mitzah Swatches on Medium Dark Skin
Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette 689 Mitzah
Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette 689 Mitzah Swatches on Medium Dark Skin
Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette 689 Mitzah

Dior Mitzah – Relevant Blog Posts


Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Lipstick in Antoinette

Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lipstick 406 Antoinette Swatch on Medium Dark Skin
Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lipstick 406 Antoinette
Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lipstick 406 Antoinette and 436 Maggy Swatches on Medium Dark Skin
Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lipstick 406 Antoinette (left) and 436 Maggy (right)

Chanel Hydrating Lipstick – Relevant Blog Posts


Please consider supporting my blog by using the links on my shop with me page. When you purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Thanks for your support!


If you’d like to check out more of my content, here are some places to start. 

  • Brands A-Z: Check out this index if you want to know what products I have posted about in the past.
  • MAC Cosmetics:  I likely have some swatches you’ve been searching for if you love Mac as much as I do. 
  • The Wanderlust List:  Join me as I search for alternatives to new releases.

Disclaimer:  I purchased all products featured with my own money.  This site receives a minimal commission from participating in the WordAds program and using affiliate links.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

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