You think I wake up looking like this?!

Thanks to a college internship at a women’s magazine, I have been ob-sessed with beauty products. Specifically, good ones. Expensive ones. Ones with awards, patented formulas and light-reflecting technology. I am a kid in a candy store at Sephora and this powder is my crack.

Unfortunately, my budget is not big enough to enjoy these treats too often. So what do I do? Think of those pricey beauty buys like decadent cupcakes. If you’re going to indulge, be sure the quality is high and only do it every so often. Sweet!

I’ve had many of these products for years…or scraped out every last bit and immediately bought another – now how many times have you done that with a drugstore product?

The eyes have it…

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in Get Figgy and Skinny Jeans ($19 each)

I’ll never forget Skyping my college roommate when I was abroad and she asked  if I was wearing Get Figgy. This shimmery eggplant has become a mainstay in my nighttime eye makeup wardrobe. It’s buildeable, so you can go as sheer or as smoky as you like. The best part? The name says it all – this literally does not crease. Love the random bird motif on the lid!

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection ($35)

This 9-piece shadow kit was a recommendation from another college roommate (go Red Foxes!) I’m always looking for daytime eye looks for my oh-so-appropriate office. Enter: Velvet Revolver. Worth the price of the kit, this matte taupe is the perfect contour shade without a hint of shimmer. The kit also comes with cute little how-to cards for the shadow-impaired.

Face time

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Light ($36)

Primers are all the rage lately and for good reason – they literally prime your face like a canvas for a painting, ensuring the rest of your makeup goes on flawlessly. Even drugstore foundation will feel a bit more luxe with a little primer underneath. I love this one by Smashbox because it’s not heavy and really sinks in to smooth everything out without clogging pores. Think of it as instant Photoshop.

Benefit Lemon-Aid ($20)

This yellow-tinted eye primer does double duty to erase discoloration while creating a smooth base for shadow. Lucky for me, I get both undereye and uppereye darkness, so this stuff comes in realllllll handy during those early morning wakeup calls.

Pucker up

Smith’s Rosebud Salve ($6)

A beauty editor fave, this old-school balm is like souped up Vaseline. I smooth it on my lips and cuticles. The package says you can also use it on diaper rash. Hmm, never tried that one.

Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in #14 ($14)

Once again, props to my college roommates, the living version of Allure magazine’s Best of Beauty issue. This gloss is your lip’s answer when your eyes do the talking (with your Get Figgy Creaseless Cream Shadow, of course). Plus, it smells like Jolly Ranchers…dare I say Bonus Jonas?

Coming up…my Birchbox experience.

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