Currently Favorites in My Makeup Bag.

By: Jen Shoop

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The beauty products I’ve been reaching for daily for the past few weeks —

01. Merit Tinted Lip Oil in Les Deux. I am *not* a gloss gal. Even in my tween years, I hated the way it felt. But this lip oil is — wow. Something else. I’ll be damned if I don’t reach it for nearly every morning! It’s hydrating and delivers just the tiniest hint of color. I really like wearing this with simple/bare makeup because it feels like “a little something extra” — just animates the face/mouth so well!

02. Kevyn Aucoin SSE in 01. I do not mess around when it comes to concealer. This is full-coverage concealer that stays in place and hides everything, but somehow blends really easily. I dab three small dots in my undereyes, one dot on each side of my nose, and any other area that needs attention, and then I apply Slip Tint with my hands. Then I use my Merit brush to blend it all together / blend the concealer out.

03. RMS Beauty SuperNatural Radiance Serum in Light Aura. This is a one-of-its-kind product. There are primers, and there are serums, and this one replaces both AND offers SPF. It bridges the gap between skincare and cosmetics. I love the way it blurs/perfects the skin and creates a clean, smooth canvas for tinted moisturizer/foundation. On mornings where I’m short on time, I use this without any foundation/coverage, a slick of blush, and a slick of mascara. I use daily in the Light Aura color and will absolutely be re-ordering.

04. Merit Brush. O.M.G. you need this. Next to Kosas Airbrow, it’s my top rec of this entire list. It blends EVERYTHING so well. I use for blush, bronzer, concealer, tinted moisturizer, foundation. It’s THE best. I have two!

05. Saie Slip Tint in Color Two. My favorite everyday tinted moisturizer, and I’ve tried a lot. It’s less expensive than most counterparts but I love the amount of coverage and tint — just north of natural.

06. Merit Flush Balm in Stockholm. Have a hard time wearing any other color. It’s the happiest, prettiest shade of pink. It looks more intimidating than it is — it doesn’t show up as shockingly pink. It just looks like a pretty summer flush. I also love the consistency — it’s glossy and balmy and glides right on. Easy to layer with other products, too. I bought this along with Rare Beauty’s cheek tint and have barely used the Rare Beauty formula — it’s much more heavily pigmented and requires more precision, brush work, etc. By contrast, Merit is nearly foolproof in application. Just glide it on and go. I own this flush balm in two other colors but definitely try Stockholm first. It will spoil you for all others!

07. RMS Beauty Powder Blush in Crystal Slipper. This color is absolutely stunning. It’s like a luminous blend of bronzer and blush. I often wear it over/with my Merit for a really pretty sunkissed and flushed effect, but this can of course be used on its own for more of a bronzed moment. Just spectacular.

08. Kosas Airbrow in Soft Brown. I’ve already waxed poetic about this product but it’s absolutely vying for the title of my favorite beauty discovery in 2023. It is super easy to apply thanks to the small wand applicator, does not leave brows crispy, does a wonderful job filling in and shaping. I also bought the Westman Atelier brow stick but find it requires a lot more work/precision to apply, so I just stick with Kosas — it’s one and done. I get in the soft brown color.

09. Laura Mercier Loose Powder in Translucent. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my makeup’s staying power (especially during the hot summer) when I brush this on after applying tinted moisturizer (but before blush, bronzer, etc). Makeup really stays put / is sealed in, but the powder doesn’t leave skin cakey at all. Its invisible!

10. Nyx Eyeliner. I’ll never quit her. The absolute best and such a bargain. I buy this using Amazon’s subscribe and save feature.

11. Saie Glowy SuperGel in Starglow. I love this as a finishing highlighter — dab on cheeks, under brows, cupid’s bow — for a truly luminous effect.

12. Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara. My ride or die, forever-favorite. I keep coming back to her! Dramatic, glossy lashes. LOVE.

13. Goop Tinted Lip Balm in Peony. I love this everyday color. Very natural, easy to apply, glides on like balm.

14. Wander Beauty Illuminator/Blush Stick. This is fantastic when you have a small purse and want to kill two birds (actually, three) with one stone — I use the blush for lips and cheeks and the illuminator for all over. I really like the illuminator for daily wear — not quite as glassy/dramatic as Saie.

15. RMS Beauty Eyelights Cream Shadow in Moondust. Really drawn to any eye product that can be applied with a finger. This is so pretty on — it brightens the eye and adds a subtle shimmer. I wear this mainly in the evening but it’s not so glimmery that you can’t pull it off during the day.

A few products I’m eyeing, both in the cosmetics and skincare realms:

+Kosas gel eye shadows. Given how much I love their either eye products — these look right up my alley. As mentioned before, love eye shadows that don’t require blush application and are more oriented towards evening out / brightening the lid vs. dramatic colors.

+RMS Beauty sponge. I would love to try this – have heard it’s incredible! Like a Beauty Blender but better.

+UBeauty Plasma Lip Compound. I keep hearing RAVE reviews about this product. It’s so pricey! I’m intrigued…has anyone tested?

+These cool Hourglass ambient lighting palettes. I love their ambient lighting powders and these customizable sets are so cute. Would be a fun gift.

P.S. Our lives become mosaics of the people we love.

P.P.S. On taking your own joy seriously.

P.P.P.S. On attending my sister’s wedding virtually.

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6 thoughts on “Currently Favorites in My Makeup Bag.

  1. I’m going to have to try the Kosas air brow! I was intrigued by the Goop lip balm…but it looks very similar to the Honest tinted lip balm, which I love and is half the price of Goop. Have you tried? I have it in Summer Melon, Fruit Punch, and Blood Orange.

    1. Hi! I think you’ll love the Airbrow — let me know if you do test it! I’ve not tried those Honest balms, but thanks for the rec! Just added one to cart!


    1. Hi Jessica! I use these brush-cleansing wipes from Artis. I like that you can just wipe them right onto the cloth and then toss! Easier than using a spray…

      And WOW absolutely adore that bench!!! You know me well.


  2. Love the U Beauty Lip Compound! Bought it during a Violet Grey sale last spring and it’s fantastic! Can’t wait to have it this winter when it’s so dry.

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