Tried-and-True Beauty Favorites

Most likely my first encounter with makeup…I was speechless.

Although I’ve been a girly-girl most of my life, I got the beauty bug when I was in junior high. I used to sneak into my mother’s makeup drawer before school and coat my eyelashes with Diorshow mascara. Soon I was (not so) slyly taking items from her collection. I felt I had graduated from Lip Smackers and roll-on glitter. A blush brush here, an eyeshadow palette there. She caught on very quickly. I was clearly a preteen who didn’t know a thing about makeup. I literally used to put lip balm on my eyelids because I thought it made them look “shiny and glamorous.” I’d even sneak her foundation, which clearly wasn’t my shade. Both horrible looks. Fed up with her missing products, my mom bought me one item – Maybelline’s Great Lash clear mascara – as a sort of compromise; it was basically brow gel that she expected me to coat my eyelashes with.

Once I reached high school, where it was more acceptable to play around with real makeup (not those tacky, glitter-loaded sets you’d find at Limited Too like the one above), I began to acquire my own beauty products. To my surprise, some of the makeup from my teenage years have stuck around for adulthood. Sure, I’ve discovered new products that have become staples in my makeup bag; however the following ten are tried-and-true favorites that I’ve toted through junior high, high school, and even college.


  1. Smith’s Rosebud Salve (Sephora, $6): This salve and I go way back to probably sixth or seventh grade. It’s a clear balm that works its rosey wonders on chapped lips and skin in general. The best part is that it last forever! They also make a tube version; however, I think the tin is the best value.
  2. L’oreal’s Voluminous Original Mascara in Black Brown (Target, $5.89): This drugstore mascara is the ultimate; its chubby wand coats every lash and give great volume. I’ve tried so many expensive mascaras, but I tend to always go back to the tried-and-true Voluminous Original.
  3. Mac Lipstick in ‘Snob’ (Mac, $17): This is the holy grail of lipsticks for me; it is the perfect mod pink color and goes with nearly every one of my outfits. I switch up my lipsticks every now and then, but this one I wear majority of the week.
  4. Benefit’s Dandelion Blush (Sephora, $28): This pale pink blush looks amazing on anyone. I have fair skin, so it compliments nicely without looking overdone.
  5. Benefit’s ‘Maybe Baby’ perfume (Benefit, $32): This perfume can be hard to find in stores these days, but you can always order it online. It was one of the first perfumes I remember really loving as a preteen (besides the cliché Abercrombie ‘Fierce’ cologne girls coveted); it’s a mix of musk and white blossoms that is so lovely.
  6. Benefit’s Dr. Feel Good (Sephora, $31): You’re probably sensing a theme by now (I’m a loyal Benefit girl). I’m not sure if Dr. Feel Good caught my eye in my mom’s makeup drawer because of the packaging (a man appears to be going in for a kiss), or if the purpose of it both stumped and intrigued me. As an adult, I can really see the value of this mattifying balm now.
  7. Mac Lipglass in ‘Oyster Girl’ (Mac, $16): Lip gloss was my jam growing up. I swear the song “Lipgloss” by Lil’ Mama was written for preteen me, as embarrassing as that is. My past with lip gloss is ironic because I hardly wear it now; however this was probably the first quality lip gloss I ever owned and every now and then, I get it for kicks. It’s a frosty pink that gives an iridescent color Lizzie McGuire would definitely approve of.
  8. Benefit’s Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer in #01 (Sephora, $20): This is one of the biggest must-haves on the list. I used to use this stuff to cover up unsightly blemishes, but now I use it for everything from dark under eyes to redness. It comes in five shades and is award-winning.
  9. OPI ‘Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around’ (Ulta, $10): At the time, OPI was the most expensive nail polish I bought; they make such great quality polishes that last forever. I’ve loved this creamy, sophisticated nude for years.
  10. Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner in Black Brown (Target, $5.39): After many botched attempts at Lauren Conrad’s cat-eye, I finally found this easy-to-use, felt-tipped eyeliner in high school and haven’t looked back. I like the Black Brown shade for everyday because it’s more natural-looking.
  11. Evian Mineral Water Facial Spray (Sephora, $12.50): I mainly use this misting spray when I go on vacations; it hydrates, tones, and refreshes the skin after long plane flights and in dry climates. It’s also great for avid swimmers; it removes pool chlorine and ocean salt from your skin.
  12. Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens (Sephora, $10 for 100 sheets): This is one of those products that I bought because my older sister swore by, and I haven’t looked back. I have combination skin that tends to border more on the oily side, so these blotting sheets are great for reducing shine without removing my makeup.

*Prices are always subject to change