I'm a makeup and hair product slut. Some women, at some point in their lives, settle on one foundation, one mascara, one shampoo, maybe one brand for everything, and remain true forevermore. My mom, for instance, has never used any makeup but Estee Lauder. One of my girlfriends uses only It's A Ten hair products.
Me, I love em and leave em. I can't be tied down to just one product or just one line. I've always believed that somewhere out there is the foundation, the mascara, the lipstick, the hair smoother that will change my life. This mindset has only gotten worse as I get older; my vanity increases with age. Fortunately I can afford more and better stuff at 50 than I could at 25.
Which is why the windowsill above my bathtub is crammed with tubes and bottles, my skincare products take up an entire shelf in my bathroom closet, and my makeup shelf looks like a miniature Sephora. (Oh, Sephora. I manage to stay off the website, but when I walk into one of the stores, I get a brick-and-mortar strain of One Click Disease.)
My habit used to be fairly inexpensive because I only used drugstore cosmetics. For foundation and powder, I still do--usually Cover Girl or Neutrogena, but occasionally Revlon too. I'm blessed to have inherited my mother's great complexion, so I don't need to spend big bucks on foundation or skin care. Besides, numerous studies have proven that lowly drugstore cosmetics contain the same ingredients as their betters.
The same is true of the glamor products--eyeshadow, mascara, lipstick, blush--in terms of ingredients. But there's a big difference in terms of colors and formats. Urban Decay, Smashbox, Too Faced, Benefit--the four lines I buy the most often--offer a much wider array of shades, and the colors are more vibrant. They also offer more formats and more products--big fat shadow/eyeliner pencils and skinnier ones, blushes in powder or cream form, color-coordinated palettes for the whole face, highlighters and bronzers and tints.
Just thinking about it makes me all tingly.
Anyway, I've recently fallen in love with some new products and I wanted to share them because when you find a new love, you want all your friends to share your joy. And who doesn't want great makeup recommendations? (Well, maybe my sister. Our sister-in-law, Vickie the Blunt, gave her Dior's Airflash spray foundation as a gift one year and now she's hooked. It costs $62.00. But an addict needs what an addict needs.)
My hair products take up half a shelf (those not in the shower, that is) but I threw a bunch of them out after discovering Josie Maran's Argan Oil. My hair is curly/frizzy; I color it and blow it straight so it can get dry. My sister told me to stop using hair smoothers and keratin sprays that contain alcohol. The argan oil products I bought to replace them make my hair greasy. The Josie Maran oil, though, is perfect -- maybe because it's in a bottle with an eye dropper, so it's easier to control the amount you get as compared to a spray or a lotion.
I've never been a big lipstick person. I prefer gloss because my lips are frequently chapped. (Age slowly desiccates your body--did you know that?) But Too Faced's La Crème lipstick is creamy and moist. So is their lip tint, which is also phallic as hell when you extend it.
I love almost all of Urban Decay's stuff but my favorite is their eyeshadow--a rich, creamy powder. Their Naked palettes are the best eyeshadows I've ever worn for color and consistency. I also love the Naked Flush palette of bronzer and blush.
Finally, there's That Gal! from Benefit--it's a face brightener/primer/glowey thing. You can wear it with makeup or without. I almost never go barefaced anymore; at my most minimal, I wear a tinted moisturizer like Smashbox's Camera Ready BB Cream with That Gal to give me a little color. (I'm tragically melanin deficient.)
Benefit, by the way, is the quirkiest makeup company out there. I love this movie which tells the story of the company's formation and rise from mail-order catalog to global brand. If it's good enough for Ralph the cross-dressing farmer...