Inside My Makeup Bag : the Essentials

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After packing for a nine-day international trip, you kind of figure out what your makeup essentials are. The things you can't do without, that work best for you no matter what circumstances you're in. Today I wanted to share my essentials with all of you as I slowly unpack from my holiday. The first thing I never travel without is my Sonia Kashuk Luxe Haute Couture Brush Set  : these were a Christmas gift from my parents this past year and have more than exceeded my expectations. I'm also in love with the gold handles paired with white bristles, which look beautiful on my counter as well as being incredibly functional.

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Because of my skin type, I've always gone a bit lighter on foundation and the like. However I am in the market for a new liquid foundation, so if any of you have things you swear by please let me know! What I currently use is Stila's One Step Correct as a primer, which I LOVE. It's incredibly lightweight, not greasy at all, and it gives my skin a more even texture that holds the rest of my makeup really well and makes it look that much better. There is a visible difference between using this and not using it. I also swear by Illamasqua's Powder Foundation in PF 120. It's a matte powder, which is perfect for me as my skin can be a little shiny at the end of the day. This is a bit pink, but when it's applied it's a perfect porcelain, and it also helps to counteract any redness that's currently in my skin.

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On my eyes I'm simultaneously incredibly minimal and using a great number of products. When it comes to eyeshadow all I use are the Urban Decay Naked Palette and the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette. Every shade I've ever needed are in these two, and I don't know what I would do without them. The colors are neutrals but there is enough variation -- the rose golds of the Naked 3, the metallics of the Naked, all the matte shades -- that I never feel bored or lacking for anything.

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I also swear by all of these products, and have been using them for over a year without wanting to switch to anything else. The first is Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion. I actually bought this one at Nordstrom Rack instead of Sephora, but it's the same shade as the one linked. When I use this I could probably run a marathon and my eyeshadow wouldn't budge an inch. But I also love it because it's very easily removed at the end of the day. My favorite liquid eyeliner is definitely the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner in Jet Black. I've been using samples I got from the Nordstrom Beauty Event but as soon as I run out I'm going to buy a full-sized pen. The tip is incredibly responsive and precise, but what I really love about this eyeliner is how easy it is to remove. I've tried a sample of Kat Von D's liquid eyeliner and that is incredibly difficult to remove, always leaving huge streaks of black on my face. But Stila's is very easy to get off, but it also doesn't move at all once it dries. For mascara I don't use anything other than Diorshow Mascara in Black -- it's expensive for a mascara, but it will change your life. I splurged on it awhile ago and thought it was nice but didn't think it was anything special until I used a $5 mascara from Target and realized how luxe Dior's is. I hardly ever get clumps, it goes on very smoothly and doesn't flake, but it's also very easy to take off without stubbornly clinging to your eyelashes. On my brows I have a two-step process: first I line and fill in with my MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Lingering and then I apply Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel to keep them in place. Once the gel is applied, not one hair will move, which is a blessing in my case as I inherited some very unruly eyebrows.

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When it comes to lips, I like to have all my bases covered. I use Hydration Lock Chapstick that I received in a Birchbox every day, and only have to apply it in the morning to have my lips feel moisturized all day long. Depending on how I'm feeling I will either just apply Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Rose, which also has a SPF of 15 and just enough color to be noticeable, or Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm in Honey. If I want to be a little more dressed up I line my lips with Sonia Kashuk's Nude Lip Definer and apply either MAC Sheen Supreme lipstick in Bare Again or Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Berlin. I bought the MAC lipstick in Seattle at the recommendation of the girl working the MAC counter in Nordstrom, and I wish I could thank her because it's an amazing color. It's a pinky neutral that adds just the right amount of definition and shine to my lips without being overpowering. I'm also smitten with the Kat Von D lipstick because it stays on for hours without moving an inch, but it never makes your lips feel dried out. I wear it on my busiest days when I know I won't have a moment to touch up or on nights out when I don't want to worry about my lipstick smudging everywhere. It's also a really good base for layering lip colors -- I've actually layered the MAC Bare Again over this on multiple occasions. My last essential lipstick is a little more unconventional, but I love it nonetheless -- MAC Satin lipstick in Cyber, a very deep purple that instantly makes me feel like I'm on top of the world. It's definitely a dramatic color, but it's so much fun to play with and incredibly empowering to wear.

What are your makeup essentials? Is there anything I should check out?

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