Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What's On Your Vanity

Adrian is an It's Like This reader who has had the good fortune to get an inside look at the wonderful world of beauty. She was so helpful in responding to my question about Cle du Peau that I knew she would be a treasure trove of information on the best beauty products to try. So, I am thrilled that she will be sharing her vanity today! Without further ado, here's Adrian:
As a college-girl with a limited budget, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to intern at a PR firm in the Big Apple last summer, and I scored a number of freebies, a few of which were far beyond the stretching limits of my pockets. While many of these pricy products were as fabulous as advertised, I don’t think I will ever feel the need to lay down the big bucks as I don’t think they are that much better than their middle-priced counter parts. Aside from forking over a few extra dollars for a good concealer or foundation, I find myself returning again and again to Benefit (pricey, but not necessarily bank-braking, not to mention the brand was founded in my native San Francisco!) to fill my makeup bag as my freebie samples begin to run out. After grooming through the numerous products and Birchbox samples that clutter my vanity, here are my go-to products that I use depending on whether I’m looking for a fresh and subtle look for class or a fun night out on the town.

Make-Up Forever Full-Cover Concealer: Despite daily skin-care regimens, I’ve never had perfect skin and this concealer is my best friend when I want to cover up a red spot or a pesky blemish. It is a life savor.

Drug store brand eyeliner pencil (Maybelline, Covergirl, Physicians Formula): I love drug store brand eyeliner. It is only $7 or $8 dollars, and I really can’t tell the difference between it and its $35 counterpart (yes, I once was a proud owner of a Clea de Peau eyeliner, thanks to my PR internship and while I loved the sleek navy enamel casing it came in, the product itself didn’t seem to have any better effect than my coveted drug store steal.)

Maybelline Mascara Define-A-Lash: Another drug store product that I use every day. I’ve used Maybelline Define-A-Lash since I started wearing mascara for special occasions, and while I’ve sampled a few other more expensive brands, I continue to return to the Walgreens cosmetics section two or three times a year when my mascara is running low or is drying out.

Benefit Gimme Brow: I never thought about the need to define my brows until I walked into Benefit the other week when I went to pick up a replacement blush, and one of the saleswomen asked if I wanted to try it. Of course I thought it was another one of those ridiculous products that no one needs, but I fell in love and between the saleswoman’s marketing and my best friend’s encouragement, I walked out of the store $20 poorer than I had planned. Needless to say, I’ve had no regrets. I’ve been using the product nearly every day since – it really does brighten up my face.

Benefit Blush Dandelion: Light, subtle, and absolutely perfect for adding just a little bit of color to create a fresh and simple every-day look, especially when braving the winters on the East Coast when I look unhealthily pale.

Benefit Creaseless Cream Eye-Shadow in R.S.V.P.: This is my go-to daily shadow if I’m looking for something a little more than nothing. A nude cream base with a little shimmer, it applies easily and smoothly and creates a subtle yet pretty look. I often apply just a tiny bit at the very edge of my lid before applying mascara. I love it.

Urban Decay Naked Eye-Shadow Palette: An incredible eye-show palette perfect for a fun night out. So many great brown/gold/nude shades that can be mixed to create almost any look.

Essie Nail Polish: In an effort to save money in college, I’ve invested in an number of nail polishes and manicure tools and have learned how to paint my own nails, rather than going to the salon for a mani/pedi. Essie is by far my favorite (it applies easily, doesn’t chip or peel off immediately, and comes in an array of fun, bright colors) and the brand also has a number of great manicure and pedicure tools that help you create the perfect salon-look yourself in the comfort of your own home. The secret to any good DYI mani/pedi is the Nail Corrector Pen. It is an absolute life-savor. 

Roger & Gallet Rose Body Lotion:  Rich, creamy and smells absolutely wonderful. I treasure this product during the winters when my legs and arms get terribly dry.

Coco Chanel Mademoiselle Eau de Toilette Spray: Absolutely lovely when used sparingly. 
Thank you so much, Adrian, for sharing all these wonderful finds with us. I plan to head on over the the local Benefit store after these glowing recommendations!

Anyone else want to share? Send me an email at theitslikethisblog@gmail.com or post a comment below.

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