Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Kardashian makeup

I’ll let you in on a little secret about beauty editors. Many, if not most, could be featured on the show Hoarders, thanks to massive beauty product collections acquired over the years of working in magazines. Anything extra-special (like limited-edition palettes, or with the name Tom Ford attached) goes straight into what we call “the archives.” Not to be used, EVER, but pulled out every once in a while to just fondly gaze at. (I know, we’re weird.)

But then there are the masses and masses of everyday prodz—dozens of mascaras, lip liners, eyeshadows, you name it—that we keep on hand. Not just because having to actually purchase makeup strikes fear in our hearts (since the one perk of our jobs is that we have an abundant supply). It also brings us immense joy to be able to reference a product collection (Clarins, 2005) and then actually locate it, or, most importantly of all, to be able to search our stash and then gift friends/family with the exact perfect shade of blush/foundation/lipstick.

And so I’m probably the wrong person for reader Melody to ask “how much makeup is TOO much?” But I’m going to give it a try anyway—because if there’s one thing I know after all of these years in the biz, it’s what you really need versus what’s just nice to have.

Here’s Melody’s question:

I love makeup, but I’m still 17. Definitely old enough to wear makeup like I appropriately do everyday, but since I’ve fallen in love with collections and things like that, I find myself buying products that I don’t really need. Up till now everyone around me has been fine with it, but now my friends and parents are starting to question me about why I still want to buy more even when I have way more than I use on a daily basis.

I love makeup and I definitely use it appropriately (and I’m a big fan of YouTube channels and your blog and other beauty blogs, so I guess it had started to feel like owning so much makeup as nothing out of the ordinary). I just wanted to ask, for a regular 17 year old, how much makeup do you really think is a bit too much? Maybe it’s just my storage that’s making it seem very cluttered and everywhere.

Okay, first things first—I DO have too much makeup. But, as I said, it’s my “job.” So by no means am I expecting all y’all to run out and buy every single thing I mention on this site.

That said, I think there are certain things that should be in everyone’s tool kit. So if you find yourself running out and buying every hot product-of-the-moment or latest limited-edition collection just because the packaging is pretty, etc., you’ll want to hit pause and make sure that you at least have the basics first.


1. A good concealer and concealer brush

Carmindy brightener Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

No matter what state your skin is in, trust me: we all need concealer. (Even if you don’t have any redness or blemishes to cover up, everyone gets a bit of darkness around the inner corners. This is my life-changing tip for looking instantly well-rested.) Formulas that are too liquidy won’t give you enough coverage, so look for one that comes in a pot or stick. And definitely invest in a professional concealer brush—you’ll get MUCH better results.

2. Translucent setting powder and a domed eyeshadow brush

make up for ever hd high definition microfinish powder Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Notice that I didn’t say tinted powder. Those, especially if you pile ‘em on to touch up your makeup throughout the day, can give you a really dry, cakey, heavily made-up appearance. The new translucent ones, applied just in the areas where you get shiny, disappear right into your skin for a more flawless-looking complexion. (So flawless, in fact, that they’re what makeup artists use for high-definition TV.) These powders are also colourless, and therefore work on all skin tones. Just make sure you apply a teensy tiny amount with a small brush because a little goes a loooong way. This is not the kind of powder that calls for swirling a big, fluffy brush—if you do that you’ll look like you’re ready for a Kabuki show.

3. Black mascara of your choice

Maybelline New York The Falsies mascara Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Everyone looks good in black mascara—but the formula you choose is up to you. There are so many good ones out there!

4. A high-quality eyelash curler

shu uemura lash curler Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Toronto-based makeup artist Dino Dilio taught me that it IS possible to curl your lashes with your mascara wand, but it’s definitely easier with a good lash curler.

5. Pink or peachy-pink blush and a blush brush

Elizabeth Arden cream blush Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

My favourite! I think everyone looks better with a hint of colour on the cheeks. Pink or peachy-pink tones are universally flattering, but go for a matte, not shimmery finish for the most modern effect. Right now, I’m partial to cream formulas because they’re easiest to blend, but powders, gels or stains can work too. (Powders can go on top of both cream or powder foundations, but ideally you want to wear a cream blush on top of a cream  foundation. Cream on top of powder can go cakey.)

6. Eyeshadows in a) beige, b) taupe and c) dark brown/grey/navy. And eyeshadow brushes!

bobbi brown nude palette Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

I’m all for creativity in the eyeshadow department, but these are the classic shades you’ll return to again and again and again. (Also? Appropriate for a 17-year-old. Melody can wear just the pale-ish one for day, all over the eyelid, and use the others for special occasions.) The taupey colour would be for shading the crease, and one or two of the dark ones for lining or creating a smokey effect. Again, texture is personal preference: I like applying waterproof creams with my fingers for all over the eyelids, but powders or gel pots will give you more control with the darker colours. Invest in a fluffy brush for lid work, and definitely an angled one for lining effects.

7. Eyeliners, preferably waterproof, in dark brown, navy, grey and/or black

benefit automatic eyeliner Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

I don’t use eyeliners now unless they’re waterproof—the staying power is so much better, especially if you’re lining the inner rims. Same classic colours here, with the addition of black. (If you do the waterlines trick on the upper lash line, it makes your eyes pop without being at all detectable… and of course, black liner is an essential for evening.) For Melody—I don’t love a ton of eyeliner on teenagers, so these are best for evening or special occasion looks.

8. Lipsticks in nude, red and a bright or two of your choice

Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Everyone needs a few options in their lipstick wardrobe. A good nude, of course, is key to pair with any eye-emphasizing looks. Find one that’s got a hint of pink or peach so your mouth doesn’t look pale or chalky. The wrong shade of nude can be very, very wrong. Red and bright lipsticks might be a bit too much for teens, so I’m busting out the special occasion rule here again. (Pair them with a fresh face and minimal eye makeup.) Still, I’m of the school of thought that everyone can wear red lipstick, if they find the right shade. And with all the fun brights coming into style now (corals, oranges, pinks), you can definitely have some fun with colour.

9. Clear, peach or pink lip gloss

editors picks josie maran 0409 Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Lip glosses are fun, sure, but most don’t impart a ton of colour—so you can probably get by with just one or two. If you do find yourself longing for more colour, just layer them on top of your lipstick (either directly or blotted first) for a shiny, pigmented effect. I think this is one product that women tend to collect dozens of when they don’t really need to.

10. Lip balm

LaROCCA shield lip balm Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Dry, flaky lips are never a good look!


1. Foundation and a foundation brush

armani luminous silk foundation Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Crazy that I put this in the non-mandatory category? Well, I don’t think everyone NEEDS to wear foundation. I love a “real skin” effect, so if your skin is good, you can probably get by with just concealer and a touch of powder. But if you do think you need some extra coverage for any discolourations, redness or blemishes, the most important thing is to find the right shade. Plus you want to make sure you’re not making any of these 7 mistakes!

2. Primer

Hourglass+Mineral+Veil+Primer Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Primer is magical, and I love it, but I don’t wear it every day. I do recommend it for underneath your foundation, and the mattifying ones are amaze if you have skin that’s on the oily side.

3. Eyebrow pencil or powder

Dianne Brill brow pencil Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

If you have very light or sparse brows then yes, this will probably be an essential for you—but not everyone (including myself) necessarily needs the extra eyebrow emphasis on the daily. (In fact, it can make you look quite harsh and Joker-esque if your brows are already pretty defined.)

4. A matte, not-too-dark bronzer

cliniquealmostbronzer Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)I know, I know, some peeps are addicted to bronzer (you know who you are). I’m not a huge fan of them for year-round, but they can look great in the summer, especially to camo an Eagle. Powders are generally easier to work with than cream formulas.

5. Illuminators and highlighters

NARS Orgasm Illuminator Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Bringing a bit of light to the tops of the cheekbones or the inner corners of the eyes can be gorgeous, and you can also mix illuminators with your foundation for a glowy-skin effect. But you have to be careful with shimmer. I don’t like it all over, and certainly not for broad daylight. These can be fun extras, but not a necessity.

6. Black liquid liner

Revlon liquid liner Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

That gorgeous wingy liner look is a makeup classic, but it’s also quite tricky to master. You’ll probably get more versatility out of your regular black waterproof eyeliner, which can achieve a similar look anyway.

7. Lip liner

pupa lipliner Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Unless you have issues with feathering lip colour, you don’t really need a lip liner AND lipstick. (They’re so ’90s, non?) Plus, lipstick formulas are getting smarter and staying put better these days, so the bleeding effect is less likely to happen in the first place.

8. Coloured (green, blue, purple) mascaras

purple mascara Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Not a fan. Almost always, your eyes are going to look ten times better with plain jet black.

9. Crazy eyeshadow and eyeliner colours (green, yellow, orange, bright blue, etc.)

Shu Uemura shadow Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

These are so pretty on the runway, and I’m definitely guilty of encouraging experimentation, but you’re never going to get as much “wear” out of them compared to the classic shades I mentioned above. A couple of fun shades are no big deal, but if you find yourself buying your 12th electric blue eyeshadow, then it’s time to reassess.

10. Lip stains

Tarte LipSurgence Amused Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

Big lip stain fan here! Ideal for the lip colour novice, you get a hint of pigment without the thicker, lipsticky finish. Yep, I love ‘em, but you can get a similar effect by just blotting your lipstick with a tissue, you know.

So those are MY must- and nice-to-haves… and this is what I use to organize it all:

desk drawer organizer Reader question: How much makeup is TOO much? (And I answer—even though a beauty editor is probably the wrong person to ask)

It’s a desk drawer organizer from, like, Staples! And it tucks nicely into the top of a bedroom dresser drawer, with all these little sections to help organize your makeup. Cool, huh? (Of course, I have extra storage elsewhere for the “archives,” etc. This is for what I use regularly.)

So tell me:

What are YOUR makeup must-haves and nice-to-haves?
How much makeup do you think is “too much?”
How do you organize your stash?


Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 5:47 pm

Love your posts, so helpful :D

On an unrelated note, I know you praise cod liver oil to the heavens for helping acne sufferers ( definately including myself in that category ) and would like to know what other supplements you would reccomend for very acne prone skin.
I am about to turn 15 and I am trying to switch to a more natural route in the way of skincare, however because i have just been perscribed a topical acne medication yesterday I have decided to attempt my battle with acne from the inside out.

Thank you in advance,



Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 10:17 pm

Hi Jessie! I’ve honestly taken the whole gamut of supplement stuff when I was seeing a naturopath on a regular basis — fish oils, detox powders, every vitamin in the book — and nothing ever made a difference for my annoying monthly PMS breakouts until I discovered CLO. (And based on all the testimonials I keep hearing about and which are in the comments of that post, it’s working for tons of other people too.)

So I don’t think you need to worry too much about spending money on additional supplements. From what I’ve observed, the CLO will take about a month or so to start seeing results… but depending on how severe your acne is, you might need to play with the dosage a bit. (Generally it appears safe to go up to 10,000-20,000 IU a day – although I have to add a disclaimer here that I am not a doctor, so this should not be construed as medical advice.)

The only other supplement I take on a regular basis now is a probiotic. But aside from that, I think it’s more about your day-to-day diet than specific supplements. (Eg – you don’t want to be consuming anything hydrogenated or sugary) Some people have gluten and dairy sensitivities so it might be worth exploring those if you suspect they are a trigger. And this is just anecdotal, but veganism doesn’t appear to be good for skin AT ALL – you want to be getting high-quality animal proteins and healthy fats like coconut oil and butter. (Healthy fat does not make you fat – trust.)

I hope that helps! You don’t want to get too crazy and restrictive about what you eat, but I really believe it’s a nutrition thing more than “hormones.”

There is some great info here you might want to check out as well:


Stephanie Andrews
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 5:54 pm

Love the list, and I agree on having hoarder tendancies.

I try to purge my makeup drawer at least once a year (while throwing out perishables continuously like foundation and mascara); but there are some faves that definitely stick around.

Like – what if I go to a NYE party and I need sparkly gold eye glitter?
Or maybe I’ll be a robot next Halloween and I’ll kick myself for not having that unflattering silver shadow?
Maybe I’ll feel like channeling Evita and will rock a red lip the next time my boyf takes me out for dinner!

So many opportunities, so better to hold onto some faves. :)


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 10:33 pm

Oh YES! I totally identify with the Halloween thing. But then I always forget by the time it rolls around!


Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 5:59 pm


Concealer, tinted moisturizer, eyelash curler, mascara, good lipstick in at least two colors that make your complexion pop (in a good way), a good lipbalm, brown and neutral eyeshadows

Nice to have…

Powder, foundation, lip brush, corrector, eye liner

So I pretty much echo your sentiments, Michelle! I have way too much makeup for someone who doesn’t work in the industry…but I have just about enough makeup to satisfy any occasion, mood, or trend!

I ordered two of Laura Mercier’s gel lipsticks…will post back, I’m really excited about them! I also bought a NARS velvet gloss pencil in Happy Days…LOVE it. Adore it. It’s glossy without looking like plastic, it’s convenient, and it actually has some moisturizing properties!


Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 6:03 pm

Oh, I forgot…

A good powder blush and a good cream blush!!! Must-haves


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 10:34 pm

Great minds think alike!

And yes please do come back and tell us about the LM lipsticks if you have time… would love to hear more.

I have matte NARS pencils but not gloss – have heard good things about those too!


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 1:51 pm

I will! I have been anxiously awaiting them in the mail…supposed to get them tomorrow! I have the matte NARS pencil in Dolce Vita…very pretty. The glossy one is GREAT. Try to get them! I think the gloss one in “Happy Days” (peachy, non-sparkly color) will look really good on you.

The Laura Mercier gel lipsticks I ordered…one was a sheer fuschia and one is a sheer red color. Sooo excited, will definitely stop by.

Stay beautiful!


Thursday, March 24/2011 at 8:30 pm

Got my Laura Mercier gel lipsticks!

I am in love. Moisturizing, flattering, buildable color. Feels like a balm on my lips, not sticky at all…am going to test the duration tomorrow at work.

By the way…YSL cream blush is back…I am gonna order for sure. I am in love with cream blushes!


Thursday, March 24/2011 at 8:31 pm

You know how some stains and lipsticks are not forgiving to the imperfections of your lips? Mine are constantly dry no matter what I do. These feel like unconditional love.

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 12:52 pm

I love a sheer lipstick – and one that feels like a balm even better! glad to hear these exceeded expectations!!

Let me know how you like the YSL blushes if you try!

Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 6:42 pm

I think you’ve really got a great list of “must haves”! Those would make for a great base to branch off of for the more fun and slightly less necessary make-up products. :) I personally choose a tinted foundation over a concealer, but I’m sure that varies from person to person.

As a (technically) teenaged young-adult, I understand where your reader’s question comes from quite thoroughly, even if it’s from a more clothes/fashion point of view than purely make-up one. I think it’s important to realize that none of this “stuff” is necessary at all! It’s fun, it makes us happy, can make others happy, but we really don’t need it. (Painful to say, I know. :) ) As someone still in a school setting, I understand that there are appropriate lengths to which I can express my love of fashion and beauty, and that includes not purchasing every single amazing/on sale/limited edition item just because I can. While I can attribute some of my more whimsical purchases to saying aesthetics are my hobby of choice, I know it’s just not practical to indulge in make-up or clothing too much. When deciding whether you’re going to add to your collection, be sure to ask yourself: how many times will you use this? Do you already have something that can be improvised to look like this new product? Can you go back to what you already own and put a new twist to it? Also: do you really want to invest your money in this product? All of these “buyers regret” cautioning questions are really important. Just know that in your future, make-up and beauty products will always exist and there will always be something new to have fun with. So I recommend erring on the side of caution and cleaning out your make-up drawer. :) But then again… don’t feel too pressured by outside opinions! I’m sure they’re for your benefit and well being, but some people just don’t understand the nuances of other people’s passions.

Sorry for the novel! I guess this topic just hit home for me.


Stephanie Andrews
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 6:45 pm

Great suggestions Amy, and if I can add to them, I would say not to get too stressed about only investing in ‘necessary’ products.

After all, you’re (both) young, and experimenting and being frivalous is what it’s all about!

My old roommates and I still giggle about how we used to struggle to pull enough money together for rent, but we always seemed to be well stocked in Chanel lip gloss and Dior mascara!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 10:43 pm

This is true too! As evidenced by all the models on the runway, most of the crazy colours and experimental looks really only work on girls with young, flawless, wrinkle-free skin. So you need to enjoy while you can! :-)

At least there are tons of great options at lower price points now. I’ve been really impressed by Revlon and L’Oreal lately.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 10:41 pm

Oh wow this is great advice, Amy – thank you! I agree completely – it’s all just “stuff” (although very pretty stuff) and it can be easy to get carried away. I do believe presenting your best self and enhancing (not hiding) your features with makeup can be healthy for your self-esteem, and experimenting with makeup can be very creative… but there is always going to be more to buy and play with, so build your collection slowly.


Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 7:25 pm

I’ve been getting into a bit of a purge mood lately, and I recently got rid of a bunch of things, mostly lip glosses/lipsticks that I realized weren’t that great in the end (stuff I bought from catalogues or in value bundles, mostly). I’ve also replaced a couple products with higher-quality ones, and learned a lot about where it’s good to invest. I find that if you have a good base (primer, foundation, concealer and maybe some blush), you can really get away with wearing very little other makeup.

I brought home my new Chanel Mat Lumiere foundation the other day and so naturally, I washed my face straight away and applied it, and was blown away with the results. A beautiful complexion alone would give me the confidence to run out the door without even mascara on!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 10:45 pm

That good, huh? Wowza! I need to try it. I agree with you, it’s all about the complexion.


Makeup Morsels
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 8:51 pm

Must haves are some good neutral shadows, concealer, setting powder, mascara, and (for me) lipstick and lipgloss. And yeah…I’m not going to comment on that whole how much is too much thing b/c I’m really not one to talk. I store the majority of my makeup in a 6-drawer container that sits on top of my vanity, and then I have two other drawers that are inside the table set aside for things I don’t use as much plus perfumes and nail polishes. Brushes are split up into 3 mugs, and go on top of my vanity. The only things I “purge” from my stash are old mascaras.


Makeup Morsels
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 8:52 pm

Oh, and also a good contour color that suits your skintone (that would be a subtle matte taupe for me).


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 22/2011 at 10:46 pm

Oh interesting! Tell me more about contouring – where do you apply it and what specific product/brush are you using? I still have a fear of doing this, although I’ve seen it done to great effect on the runway.


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 7:25 pm

Agreed about the contouring. I use my satellite, a light bronzing powder from Lise Watier. The key is to only apply a slightly darker shade than your natural skin color, and to only apply where the shadows on your face naturally are, most notably under the cheekbone and under the jaw line. What’s nice about the LW satellite is that it’s versatile, there’s 4 different colors that can either all blend into one nice bronzing shade, and then you can use them separately too to create darker or lighter shades, depending on the season.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, March 28/2011 at 11:08 pm

Kat! I like this palette. On another note – been trying to get in touch with you re: your Febreze write-up… am thinking maybe my emails are going through to your junk mail folder or something?!? Anyway – sorry to be a pest, but on the off chance you might see this comment back, we do need your review ASAP. Could you pls email me at michelle AT beautyeditor DOT ca. I can re-send the instructions and link for where to post – am assuming you didn’t receive since I didn’t hear back. Thx!


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 1:36 am

Must haves:
Concealer, foundation, eye primer, powder, brow gel, mascara, blush, gloss or balm.

Nice to haves:
Lipsticks, highlight/contour, eye shadows, liner, brow pencil/shadow, anything glitter

I think it’s too much when you start running out of space. I think one of the easiest ways to keep it under control is to keep dupes to a minimum. Everyone has their favourite colours, but you really don’t -need- 10 of them. ;]

I like using a desk organizer for my daily products, which keeps things accessible but tidy. I also just recently bought a 10-drawer storage unit, which holds most things.. but there’s still the small Rubbermaid drawer sets on my desk too.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 4:34 pm

Desk drawer organizer FTW!


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 4:25 am

I think I must have the opposite problem to everyone else – the only item I always own is Lucas pawpaw ointment (I believe Hannah Holman plugged it in her vid). Its quite popular in Australia – while its original use is for healing scratches bites, its also a fantastic lip balm. Its the best thing I’ve ever used for ulcers or broken skin on the lips too, and brilliant in winter. But recently I’ve begun to collect one of everything from Ere Perez’ divine makeup collection: I’ve started wearing the mascara almost daily, which is pretty impressive for someone who previously never wore makeup except for special occasions/going out.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 4:35 pm

I wish we had pawpaw ointment here! Always hear about it but I’ve never seen it.


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 1:47 pm

Great post! Saw that you had mentioned the MUFE HD powder, while I love the texture of it, I’m a bit scared to actually use it for special occasions especially if there’s any potential for flash photography. I saw on a youtube vid by gossmakeupartist demonstrate how the HD powder may have been the cause of Nicole Kidman/Eva Longoria’s infamous powder incident (eeeps!!!).


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 4:38 pm

I saw that video too! Here is the link for anyone who hasn’t:

I still need to do a post to investigate this more, but we did talk about it on the “foundation mistakes” thread. Here’s what I said at the time:

Now it finally makes sense why Nicole Kidman looked so wonky – she probably looked fine in real life. I just find it so strange that a powder specifically made for HD film doesn’t translate for flash photography, but I guess I don’t have enough of an understanding of how the pigments work, etc.

Anyway – good to know that we should steer clear if we’re being photographed! I noticed he also had a disclaimer at the very start of the video saying that this should not happen if you apply a very small amount, which is what I do. (So – no big fluffy brushes – I use fluffy shadow brush actually.) This is also a good idea because using too much of it makes your skin whitish and ashy anyway.


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 11:35 pm

My guess is because of the silica used in the HD powder. Here’s my rationalized theory, no clue if it’s actually true though lol. Since silica is very good at diffusing light, it helps make the the skin appear luminous to the naked eye. I guess in the case of flash photography, you have an intense blast of light so the light just bounces off the silica crystals, making the white cast? I’ll just stick to my laura mercier loose powder ;-)


Michelle @LipstickRules
Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 2:24 pm

I’m a true hoarder these days and I’ve started to develop ‘archives’. A lot of it though is due to the blog…at least that is how I justify it :)

I agree with all your picks!


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 2:30 pm

Great list, though for me personally, I’d switch the liquid liner and the pencil liner. I have really oily lids, and pecncil smudges like crazy on me. Liquid is the way to go! :)


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 4:40 pm

Good point – have you had any success with waterproof ones?

When I line my eyes, I tend to just do the inner rims… so while I agree with you that liquid liner has more staying power, I would probably give myself multiple eye infections if I attempted it for that specific area! :-)


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 7:32 pm

Amen! I need me some desk organizers, baby! I’d only add to the nice-to-haves, some carry-on makeup remover towelettes or something of the likes, you never know what might happen! Especially if you’re rocking that winged liner, or experimenting with wild colors! :P


Wednesday, March 23/2011 at 8:34 pm

For a 17 year old teenager, I would really suggest skipping the foundation, since foundation affects the largest area of the face. Everyone gets acne and scars here, spot covering when you really need to is OK. However, covering your entire face with foundation on a daily basis is really not necessary. I have been wearing foundation and mascara everyday since I was 18. Now, my skin is definitely not as good as people of my same age (not that I never take care of my skin). I don’t get much acne (thanks to CLO and multi vitamins I take diligently). But my skin looks dull and the pores are huge and it is costing me more to restore my skin quality.
I encourage experimenting crazy eyeshadow shades when you are still young (not everyday though), cuz the older you get the less make up your look can tolerate.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 1:23 pm

Well, I don’t recommend covering your entire face with foundation for women of any age. :-) It’s a misconception that foundation is meant to be applied all over… really it’s meant to be applied with a brush, very very sheerly, and only in the areas where you need it. (I just do around the nose and chin.) THEN you do concealer on top – and will need less concealer.

As for foundation harming your skin – it actually protects it. The dullness and pore size thing happens as you age regardless, unfortunately! Sun damage is probably the biggest factor.

How much CLO are you taking? I’ve found it really helps give a glow…


Thursday, March 24/2011 at 9:31 am

OMG, I so could be on Hoarders with all the beauty products I have. It’s so bad that my future husband is actually worried we’ll need a separate home just for my things! I keep some of my makeup in a Sephora train case, some in whatever drawers are empty, and my favourite go-to products in an acrylic cosmetics organizer like the Kardashians have. I found a gorgeous one on eBay and it’s my life-saver. Now I can separate and SEE all of my stuff!


Sunday, March 27/2011 at 5:11 pm

I’ve been looking for the Bobbi Brown brown eyeshadow palette all over in store and on the Web but I can’t find it. Is it still available and where can I get it, if it is possible.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, March 27/2011 at 7:53 pm

I believe in Canada it’s exclusive to Holt Renfrew.


Tuesday, April 5/2011 at 11:17 am

I agree with most of your must-haves, but I have to add brow pencil to my list. My brows are super sparse so I need all the help I can get :) I don’t use a setting powder though. I guess I’m still thinking the dewy trend is in …

I am a closet lip gloss lover. It’s one of those things I go rushing for when I’m having a bad day and need some retail therapy. I have tons of them, and really for no reason. You’re right, they’re not pigmented enough to really notice a difference, so buying “different shades” doesn’t matter. I really need to go through my stash and clean it out. I’m trying to be more “grown up” since turning 30 by using lipsticks more anyway.

Great post, Michelle!!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 11:37 am

Were your brows always sparse or did you tweeze/wax and then they didn’t grow back? Because some of the over-the-counter lash enhancers (and Latisse by prescription) can help with that…


Saturday, April 16/2011 at 1:26 pm

Lash enhancers on your brow?? Really?? Do tell!!!! I’m pretty sure they’ve always been sparse. I do have a “bald spot” in my brow that I’m pretty sure was created cuz of bad waxing.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 1:40 pm

Yep – I’ve yet to test this out on myself, but I hear from Urban Decay’s official makeup artist that their product is great for this… it’s not going to grow hair back that was never there, but it can restore areas that have been overplucked etc. This is the product but I’m guessing you could get similar results with other lash enhancers:,default,pd.html?dwvar_281_color=Lash%20Serum%20and%20Mask&start=61&q=eyes


Wednesday, April 13/2011 at 3:31 pm

Dear Beauty Editor,

I have already sent an email to you which I hope you have been in receipt of. I’m quite desperately looking for the post you did a while back regarding the proper order of applying cleanser, scrub, mask, moisturizer, serum, sunblock, etc.

I had asked a few other questions as well, however for the time being I would really appreciate it if you could help me find the post?

Best regards


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, April 13/2011 at 5:10 pm
Thursday, April 14/2011 at 2:38 am

Merci Beaucoup!!!!! :)


Thursday, October 13/2011 at 3:15 pm

Can I just tell you how greatful and thankful I am that you DIDN’T say false eyelashes are needed? I don’t know what is up with every woman wanting to wear them! You have to basically have a professional put them on – or at least a friend that you trust NOT to poke you in the eye, yet every one seems to be obsesses with them! I hate them, myself, I think unless someone’s at the Oscars, they aren’t needed. And I think they make women’s eyes look really small. Just NOT. a fan.


Tuesday, July 9/2013 at 7:16 pm

Thank for the Bobbi Brown brown eyeshadow palette,i am a brown eyeshadow lover.


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