Yes, the allure of new beauty schtuffs is ever-present. New colors, new collections, new brands. But there are still those items that I keep using, keep returning to even if I briefly try something else. Everyone could make a list of their "beauty staples" - some holy grail products, some the unsung rarely-mentioned things that we couldn't do without. Here's my list of favorite beauty products:</p>
<li><strong>Olay Regenerist serum</strong> — part of my regular routine for about three years now, ever since I really started wearing makeup regularly and doing anything to my skin aside from daily cleansing and applying sunscreen. I buy this at the bulk-warehouse stores, so I pay a lower price per ounce; and I apply it at night in spring/summer/fall after washing my face, as well as in winter during the day, so that I use more of it before the expiration date. Using it at night as well as during the day probably isn't the way it's *supposed* to be used. But, hey, it works for me. (I will also tend to not use it during the day on weekends, and won't wear it at night in the summer.)</li>
<li><strong>Meow Cosmetics' Pampered Puss foundation</strong> — I love Meow's foundations! They have plenty of shades, so I was able to zero in on my precise matches (both for summer and for winter), and the foundation is available in three levels of coverage. After usign Purrfect Puss for a while, I tried Pampered Puss to get just a little more coverage. These days I'm using my loose-powder foundation as a finishing powder over my BB cream</li>
<li><strong>Neutrogena Ultra Dry-Touch UVA/UVB SPF 70 Sunscreen</strong> — I can't remember how long I've been using sunscreen - at least since I was in fifth grade, which is when we moved to California. (Never used it in Arizona, when I was a ridiculous little kid and would run around barefoot - in summer - on the hot asphalt.) I think this, plus my not using much makeup through my teens/20s/early 30s, is a major contributing factor to my skin's appearance. I do remember, though, that when I was in junior high a relative developed melanoma (got it all removed), and for a brief period sunscreen was my mom's latest health obsession. I always used Neutrogena because my mom trusted Neutrogena. And we never something like "suntan lotion," mom always made sure we got "sunscreen". I've tried Banana Boat, NoAd, and some generic-drugstore version; but have always come back to Neutrogena. I was thrilled when the Dry Touch line was first introduced because one thing about sunscreen that always bothered me was the heavy, greasy feel.</li>
<li><strong>Aromaleigh v1's Angelique</strong> — this is My Perfect Neutral. When The SheSpace sold a color called "Define Beauty", I bought about six of those little jars. When one day I accidentally discovered that a color from Aromaleigh was an exact match for Define Beauty, I was ecstatic! Then crushed when Aromaleigh v1 closed. But just this past week, the Pure Lustres collection has been released...and with it, Angelique. It's either a pinked pale beige, or a buff pale pink (mostly depending on your coloring and what other shades you wear with it.) I'm so glad that it's back!! It works as a great all-over shade, but also works really well as a highlighter for me because it's such a close match to my skintone.</li>
<li><strong>Sephora's Flashy Liner in Flashy Mauve (now discontinued)</strong> — I often use this on my waterline, because it very subtly brightens my eye area. I personally am not a huge fan of wearing very dark liner on the waterline. I know that it emphasizes the whites of the eyes, and the black liner / eye white contrast is really heightened. But...when I do that, it makes my hooded eyes look even smaller! When I found this color years ago, I was thrilled. When it was phased out of the line just over a year ago, I stocked up. I haven't started using the two "backup" pencils I bought, so I should have plenty of this product until Sephora re-introduces it. (Or until I find a suitable replacement.)</li>
<li><strong>Bare Escentuals' Flawless Definition mascara</strong> — it does exactly what it says on the tin. And if you like any Bare Escentuals kits, chances are you can easily end up with more tubes of this than you'll know what to do with (and avoid having to pay for a full-size tube, double bonus there.) It defines well, it doesn't smudge or clump, it's great stuff. If only it weren't so costly as a standalone tube!</li>
<li><strong>Anastasia's Lash Genius</strong> — a waterproof topcoat to any mascara. I love this!! Back in 2009, Urban Decay had their "eyeshadow galoshes" product that waterproof-coated any mascara, but then they discontinued it. I bought one tube of this, tried it for a few weeks, then bought two backups during the Sephora VIB sale.</li>
<li><strong>Tarte's Picture Perfect eyelash curler</strong> — when I was a teen, first learning to use makeup, I had inexpensive lash curlers. They made a really hard crease, they pinched my lids, they didn't fit my eye-shape...it was all very disappointing. I got to the point that I just gave up on lash curling altogether, as too much trouble. Then I found these! I still don't curl my lashes every single day, but I do so far more often - and I'm always happy with the results.</li>
<li><strong>elf's Stipple Brush</strong> — the best stippling brush I've tried, for the money. The bristles are hard enough to actually apply, but not so hard that you feel like your causing damage when you use it to actually stipple on any product. Irritatingly enough, this particular brush is not included in the elf Studio Brush kit. (I had to buy it separately and add it to my kit. Well...at $3 per brush, it's not like it was a huge expense.) I have tried Real Technique's stippling brush as well, and while they're both favorites of mine, the elf brush costs less money, and while the bristles aren't as dense, it applies my foundation, glow powders, and highlighters pretty much the same as Real Techniques.</li>
<li><strong>L'Oreal's EverPure and EverCreme shampoos and conditioners</strong> — my hair is long, and I tend to let a bit more time pass between trims than I should. I've also started coloring my hair, until it's a much lighter shade of grey than the current mouse-grey. So having two sulfate-free shampoo formulas, that aren't harsh on my hair, but that do have strengthening and moisturizing versions - all at a drugstore price - is a definite plus. (I used John Frieda for years, and was quite happy, until this line came out. I tried EverPure for three weeks, and haven't looked back once!)</li>
There are some things that I’ve fallen in love with this past year, that I haven’t added to this list. In September 2012 I tried Missha’s BB cream and fell absolutely in love. But while I can safely say that it’s one of my favorite products of this year, I honestly don’t know yet whether I am ready to say “this is one of my favorite products of all time.” I also added, then removed, Revlon’s Just Bitten Balmstain because while I love it, it’s great, and I’d recommend it to anyone without hesitation, I’ve been using them for about half a year now. There hasn’t been any chance for a “challenger” to possibly take its place. And, like with the Missha BB cream, I want to use it longer before I declare Honey and Crush to be two of my “desert island” beauty products.
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