On my quest to sort through the excess in my products, I began to consider what I really find essential.  There are a few basics that work every time I use them and for any look I’m creating so I thought I’d share them here.

Smashbox BB Cream (not pictured):  I wanted the most simple base possible.  One product to prime, cover, even out, control oil, and provide SPF. Normally I would suggest a tinted moisturizer, but this time I was looking for something with more coverage for a flawless finish on anyone.  I don’t own the full-size, but I have used my sample a number of times and am currently deciding when to purchase.  My shade is Light/Medium.

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer:  When I went to Sephora and asked for a full-coverage concealer that works with something as sheer as tinted moisturizer, my favorite SA went straight for this.  It covers my undereye circles beautifully and pairs well with any coverage level of foundation.  My shade is 02.

Sonia Kashuk Loose Powder:  For setting under the eyes and T-zone, I love loose powder.  (Sonia Kashuk’s pressed powder works well too.)  Some women may be able to skip this step, but I wanted to include it anyway.  This powder is very finely milled, a low cost, and lasts a long time.  I used Colorless Matte.

theBalm Blush in Frat Boy:  (swatch here)  This just might be “the one.”  It can be worn with anything and really awakens the face.  The finish isn’t frosty or shimmery making it more versatile than my second choice, Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso.

Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Palette:  (swatches here)  With twelve matte neutral eyeshadows and three how-to guides for creating an entire look, this palette is perfect.  Seriously.  The best part is  that because they are all matte, a shimmery primer can be put underneath making it seem like there are twenty four shades instead of twelve.  I used shades 2 and 6.

Mascara:  I’m not going to choose one mascara over another.  Everyone’s lashes are so different and the benefits from mascara vary greatly.  I will name a couple favorites instead:  For a rubberized brush with a wet formula, try Tarte Lights Camera Lashes.  For a dry formula with a fuller brush, opt for Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash (shown/worn in this post).

Sonia Kashuk Brow Definer in Taupe:  As opposed to mascara, I will suggest this pencil for everyone.  The product itself is the right amount of creamy without being smudgy during application.  It is a low price and the right shade for 80% of all women.  And yes, filling the brows is necessary.  Unless of course, both your brows are symmetrical and incredibly full.  And if they are, you’re one of the rare lucky ones!

Lipstick:  Everyone should have a go-to lipstick they love for every occasion.  Something that can be paired with a full smoky eye or a nude sweep of shadow.  Something that can be worn for Sunday morning church, lunch with the girls or a hot night out.  Revlon makes a great line of lip products and I recommend any of their glosses, lipsticks, or lip butters.  My favorite shades are pinky neutrals (like Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in Rosy Nude or ColorBurst Lip Butter in Pink Truffle) or peaches.  I’m wearing Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Peach Parfait.

Together these products create a simple and lovely finish.  I wore it four days in a row before realizing it’s my Sunday morning look, the one I use when I don’t have time to think it through (8:00am church is early, y’all!).  It takes a maximum of 10 minutes to complete and can be exaggerated or dressed up in a number of different ways.  But I’ll save that for another post!