We all have go-to makeup and beauty products we rely on day after day because we know they work and won’t let us down. We call these loyal products our “ride or die” products, because we would do anything for them and without them we could not live (OK we can, but do we want to? No. No we don’t). Just as any tried and true, hardworking and loyal thing in life, ride or die products deserve to be recognized.
Now before I dive in to my ride or die makeup and beauty products I want to state the obvious by mentioning that these products are not going to be everyone’s favorite products, and may not work for every single person. I’m extremely fair skinned, like Casper fair, but I promise a lot of these bad boys will work well for a multitude of skin types, tones and colors. Another dose of good news is that a good chunk of these are very affordable. (I got chu, girl!).
Ride or Die Skin Care Products
Moisturizer – e.l.f. Cosmetics Daily Hydration Moisturizer
Moisturizers can be really expensive, plus a lot of them have too much scent or a bunch of other crap in them. This ELF moisturizer is not only amazingly hydrating but affordable too, offered in drugstores for around $8. Ingredients include Purified Water, Jojoba, Aloe, Vitamin E, Cucumber & Shea Butter. Lightly scented and fresh! How can you beat that?
Self Tanning Lotion – Jergen’s Natural Glow (Fair to Medium)
As mentioned above I’m as pale as pale can be, so once spring comes around I like to look like I’m actually alive and add some color by using a sunless fake tanner. I’ve tried just about every sunless tanning product there is, from high end to drug store, but Jergen’s Natural Glow is the only one that lasted a long time, looked the most natural and didn’t reek. As with any makeup product, what makes this work well is that the color is buildable – meaning you can start light and work your way up to the darkness you want (by applying more, more often). If you’re looking for a super fast over night deep, dark tan this isn’t the product for you, it’s more for those who just want a natural sun kissed glow. They do carry a medium to dark shade as well and a skin firming version (two birds, one stone).
Face Scrub – St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub
THIS. SCRUB. IS. LIFE! Green tea anything always smells and amazing and feels refreshing, at least to me. What I love the most about this is that the teeny, tiny scrubbing particles really get in deep to remove impurities. I don’t necessarily buy this scrub for the blackhead removing purposes (as I somehow don’t seem to have a huge problem with those) but more so for renewing skin and scuffing off the dead cells, because my skin is super dry. This is a very close dupe for my favorite high end face scrub, Vasanti Brighten Up!.
Ride or Die Primers & Setting Products
Face Primer – Elf Tone Adjusting Face Primer (Smashbox Photofinish Dupe)
Applying makeup is a lot like applying paint, you need to apply a primer to get a professional looking, even application. My favorite primer has always been Smashbox’s Photofinish Primer (the green, color correcting one – since I have red undertones in my face), but I have found a worthy dupe! e.l.f. cosmetics, which just so happens to be thee most affordable drug store brand, sells a pretty similar dupe for $6. Six freaking bucks, ladies! It will leave your face silky and ready for makeup plus allows the makeup to last for a long period of time. You don’t get too much product in the container, but for that price point, compared to Smashbox, you can afford to buy a few right away. They do come in more formulas than the one for color correcting, if that’s not your thing.
Setting Spray – MAC Fix+ Prep and Prime Setting Spray
MAC Fix+ is like a magical spray from a magical land; it has so many uses! You can use this to prime your face before applying makeup, set & lock in your finished makeup, re-fresh your face throughout the day or spray your eye shadow brushes before applying colors for a more pigmented, foiled shadow look. One of the reasons I love it is because as a dry skinned beaut, powders tend to show my dry skin and texture. A little spray of this makes my face look more natural (and less powdery) again. MAC’s Fix+ definitely belongs in your personal collection and in the arsenals of all makeup artists out there.
Setting Powder – RCMA No-Color Translucent Powder
Setting your makeup with powder, especially concealer, is necessary for long wear and special events. You don’t want your under eye to crease, do you? Setting powders can be outrageously expensive, upwards of $40, but with this RCMA powder you get A LOT of bang for your buck! For around $12, you’ll get more than almost 4xs the amount you get with any other setting powder. This stuff works great for just about everyone, however it will show up where you have really dry skin.
Foundation Drops – Cover FX Custom Infusion Drops – Radiance
The Cover FX Custom Infusion foundation drops are drops that you add to your foundation before you apply it, derived from essential oils. Think of it like improving and treating your skin while you wear makeup (win, win). The benefits of the infusion drops range from moisture, to calming, to anti-aging and hydration. These particular custom infusion drops are for radiance, since my dry skin can be dull. Not only did it add radiance, but hydration and moisture as well; a necessity for winter time.
Ride or Die Face Products
Bronzer / Contour – Morphe 9BZ That Glow Bronzer Palette
Bronzer is key to bringing back color to your face after applying your foundation. Finding the right bronzer shade can be difficult, especially if you use sunless tanner during certain months of the year. For this reason, I like to keep a palette on hand so that I can switch up the shades and mix if need be. It’s also essential for makeup artists to have many shades on hand for the diverse needs of clients. The formula of this Morphe palette makes it smooth and easy to blend.
Blush – Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso (Peachy) & Delizioso Pink (Baby Doll Pink)
Milani is a great drug store brand; it’s honestly surprising how they’re able to sell such amazing products at drug stores prices. Their Luminoso blush, the peachy color, is a cult favorite among the beauty world, for good reason. It is such a gorgeous shade on almost every skin type. It has a subtle radiance to it, so for days when you’re doing light makeup you can swipe this on and won’t even need highlighter. I also grabbed a baby doll pink shade, Delizioso, and am equally impressed by it as well. Since they are drug store, they were very inexpensive.
Highlighter – Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in Sweets
Highlighters are huge right now, arguably the most popular beauty product right now in the industry. My favorite highlighting product happens to be an Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit, of course. This palette happens to be called Sweets, and the highlight color names reflect decadent sweet treats. This is a really nice palette for makeup artists as the colors are well suited for different skin types and offers different undertones. They are not patchy and the sparkle is not over done.
Concealer – Tarte Shape Tape
I feel like I don’t really even need to explain this one, as it seems to be the biggest cult favorite right now but for those of you who may not know about the Shape Tape concealer by Tarte, it’s AMAZING! The Shape Tape formula is super creamy, full coverage and best of all, a little goes a long way. It doesn’t even need to be set with powder! What?!?! It is pricey, but it will last you quite a while.
Foundation – Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation Matte Poreless
I touched on the Maybelline Fit Me! foundations (and reviewed them) in my last blog post so I’m not go in to too much detail, but this is hands down the best drug store foundation I’ve ever used. It blends well with a brush or beauty sponge and lasts all day. It comes in a bunch of shades and is very, very affordable. View My Review Post
Beauty Sponge (Applicator) – Tarte Quickie Blending Sponge (Beauty Blender Dupe)
First off, I apologize for the dirty looking picture of this Tarte blending sponge, I don’t want that to defer you from buying one because these are amazing (I’ve had this one for awhile so it’s stained). I have been an avid Beauty Blender user for years, but after seeing one of my favorite youtubers use the Tarte sponge in a makeup tutorial I bought one. This sponge makes for a great Beauty Blender dupe, as it works just as good. The reason I love it is because it seems to expand larger in size (than the BB) once wet and has a flat, pointed side to set under eyes with concealer & powder. It’s also a little cheaper than a Beauty Blender, so win win.
Ride or Die Eye Products
Eyeshadow Primer – Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later
Eyeshadow primer is key in keeping your eye shadow bright and beautiful all day long. I received the Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later eye shadow primer in my Ipsy bag over a year ago, and this tiny little sample size is still going strong. This is by far the best eye shadow primer I’ve come across, in regards to longevity. Other expensive brands I’ve tried just haven’t lasted as long. For extra longevity, be sure to let it fully dry and set with some setting powder before applying shadows.
Eyeshadow – Lorac Pro Palette & Carli Bybel Palette (BH Cosmetics)
Lorac Pro Eyeshadow Palette (pictured on left) – This is my number one eye shadow palette for many reasons – the colors, the formula and the blendability. Also, the color palette works well on all skin tones, so it’s a really nice palette to have on hand when doing a client’s makeup. I have never been able to find shades as pigmented and buttery as Lorac’s. It’s also very versatile in the amount of looks you can create with it, from day time to night time. This is one of the only palettes I own where almost every color is usable and not too crazy. It’s more on the pricey end, around $44, but WELL worth the money. I will be a lifetime purchaser of this palette.
Carli Bybel Eyeshadow Palette by BH Cosmetics (pictured on right) – Beauty guru Carli Bybel collabed with BH Cosmetics to create this buttery, highly pigmented masterpiece. The shades are more fall toned, with mauvey, gold and copper eye shadows AND 4 gorgeous highlighters. I use the lightest colored highlighter almost daily, almost more than my Glow Kit. When I’m not using my Lorac Pro palette, I’m using this one. It’s a nice palette to grab when traveling since it has highlighters included. The Bad News: They don’t sell this exact palette anymore. the Good News: Carli JUST released a deluxe version which is nearly twice that size, and includes a bunch of new eye shadow and highlighter shades. This palette will only be out for a year, so be sure to grab one before the year ends (2017)!
Buy One for Only $14.50!
Eyeliner – Maybelline Eyestudio Gel Liner in Blackest Black
Gel liner is great for makeup wearers who aren’t afraid to get down with an angled eyeliner brush. It’s also nice for darker, more precise winged liner. Some gel liners just don’t get black enough nor spread evenly, at least in my opinion. Hold up, because Maybelline is coming in strong with their gel liner game. The Eyestudio gel liner is super dark, slick, easy to remove but long lasting. A must have in my book.
Eyebrow Pencil – NYX Micro Brow Pencil (Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Dupe)
I very much prefer filling in my (super sparse) eyebrows with a pencil, versus powder or other products. I had always used the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz pencil until I found a similar dupe, the NYX Micro Brow Pencil. It offers all the the same benefits as the Brow Wiz with similar colors and color payoff. I’m able to get the most natural looking brows by using this pencil.
Mascara – Tarte Tarteist™ Lash Paint Mascara
Want eyelashes for days? I was very impressed by Tarte’s Tarteist™ Lash Paint Mascara. It’s another item I received as a sample and ended up buying the full sized version of. I like the brush a lot and the way the product applies, it doesn’t seem to clump and makes my eyelashes super long. Pricey, but worth it.
Ride or Die Lip Products
Liquid Lipstick – NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Bound (dusty pink)
Arguably my favorite beauty product at the moment, the Nars Velvet Liquid Lip (in Bound) is a dream. It’s creamy, dreamy and beautifully pigmented – just enough color for everyday wear, but not too much. It will also look amazing on every skin tone. What’s nice about this is that it’s a demi matte – meaning it will dry somewhat, but not fully; a perfect mix between matte and shiny.
Lipstick – Sephora Rouge Brilliance Lipstick in So Cute! (nude pink)
Did you know that Sephora lipsticks are actually kick ass? I feel like their products get so overlooked by the big names in the store, it’s a shame. The formula of this particular lipstick is really creamy and moisturizing. It also smells like grape – real grape, not fakey grape. The color is a nudey pink, perfect for every day wear. Sometimes I apply this just to smell it. I’m honestly surprised I haven’t used this up yet or have 2-3 more in my kit.
Lip Gloss – Cover Girl Colorlicious Lip Gloss in Give Me Guava (peachy sparkly pink)
A light colored lip gloss is a must for EVERY girl, even those who aren’t really in to makeup. It can pull any look together and add a little extra moisture and shine. I actually owe my mom props on this one, as she gave it to me for a birthday gift last year. The color, the shine, the sparkle and the formula are all just perfect. It’s great as a standalone color OR on top of something else. Best part is it’s drug store and affordable. Good find, Mom!
Lip Pencil – NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien (Dusty Rose)
NARS is killing the lip game yet again with another gorgeous product – the Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien. Some of you may recognize this, as it was part of the free birthday gift 2 years ago from Sephora. The dusty rose color is so, so gorgeous and it lasts quite awhile. It’s very pricey, but staples like this are worth it if you know you will use it a lot. It will also last you quite awhile because you don’t need much product. I haven’t come across a great dupe yet. If you find one, let me know! 🙂
Colored Gloss – NYX Butter Gloss in Angel Food Cake (mauvey pink)
Every girl needs a colored gloss in her purse for adding a little pop of color on her lips whenever need be. NYX’s Butter Gloss in the color Angel Food Cake is my absolute favorite shade because it’s not too light, not too dark. It’s also ungodly moisturizing, and maybe like all of $5.
Lip Balm – Lush Cosmetics Lip Balm in Key Lime Pie (translucent)
Lip Balm is really nice for winter, before going to bed or morning time, after your shower and before applying your makeup. I don’t know about all of you but my lips get super chapped all the time, so lip balm is a necessity for me. I’m also really in to natural products and am a raving fan of Lush Cosmetics. I picked up this bad boy while Christmas shopping for my friend and am so glad I grabbed myself one too. It’s hydrating, light and smells oh so good. The ingredients include Cocoa Butter, Jojoba and Argan oil.
Let me know what your ride or die products! It’s always interesting to me what other people find amazing and I love learning about new products!