Writer’s Workshop: Basic Beauty Must Haves

When I started my YouTube channel I discovered that beauty vloggers were major power players over there. I was baffled at how these women had thousands (some millions) of subscribers simply by showing how they mastered a smoky eye or contoured their face to look 20 pounds lighter. I would watch their videos equally astounded at the amount of makeup they put on their face in addition to the quantity of products they were purchasing every month. But with so many hits on their videos, these girls had to be making bank!

I subscribed to, and watched these videos simply to come up with some playful fodder as I put together some of my own favorite looks, but something happened during my research process…THEY SUCKED ME IN! I tried a few products and slowly, one by one, they would convince me of other things I needed in my life. The horrible part came when I started using the products and realized they actually work!

I told my sisters I wish I had a thousand dollars so that I could put together my own Beauty Finds Swag Bag for them all and they were all, “go ahead and work on that…”

But you know…that’s a thousand dollars I could spend on anything else for myself so instead I have accumulated a list of basic beauty must haves that are repeatedly mentioned in the beauty guru videos I’ve watched like a loyal puppy:

1. EOS

A conditioning lip balm in a pretty package. It’s organic, smooth, natural…people are LOVING these, including my daughter, it’s the only lip balm she has stuck with for her super dry lips and I’m noticing a big improvement!

makeup eos

2. Milani Lip Gloss

I’ve tried a few of these and they’re ALL pretty. I feel like anyone could wear them. Sweet Grapefruit and Luminous are my faves.

makeup milani

3. Naked Palettes

The Naked palette is like the holy grail of eye shadow palettes in the land of beauty gurus. When a new one is released the internet is set on FIRE with women scurrying to secure one as soon as possible and of course get their video review up asap! I will admit I bought the Naked 2 palette (cool tones)…and also Naked 3 (warm tones)…and the only thing keeping me from purchasing the first one  is self shame. I’m a fan.

makeup naked

4. Lorac Pro Palettes

These palettes are also hot on the street. People love them because they have a row of matte shades as well as a row of complimentary shimmer shades and they seem designed to work with all skin tones. This is the palette most recommended for newbies. I own the first one and it’s a definitely a fave. Self shame is keeping me from buying the second one.

makeup lorac

5. Mac Prolongwear

Everybody uses this for under eye concealer and blemish coverups. In fact, it’s been referenced so many times and I’m such a big fan that I won’t even bother experimenting with any others at this point.

makeup mac

6. IT Cosmestics Brush

Many of us regular people use our fingers to apply concealer, but you won’t catch a beauty guru doing such a thing. They use brushes and/or beauty blenders and they spend a LOT of time tapping (NOT SWIPING FOR GOD SAKES) the concealer into place. They say applying the concealer this way makes for a very smooth and natural looking complexion. I spent some money on a recommended brush (the one pictured on the far left) and I have to say I think they’re right. Again.

makeup it

If I were to create the perfect basic beauty must haves swag bag for my sisters, those are the things I would include. Oh and not to mention a subscription to BoxyCharm.

8. BoxyCharm

makeup tequiilaThis is not a sponsored post (but this is a referral link*), I am genuinely in love with this service. Tons of vloggers share unboxings online and after watching every last one of them I noticed most people liked Boxycharm the best, so I signed up. It’s $21/month, you get 5 full sized items in each box and the worth of the box is well over the 21 bucks you spend on it. Pictured is last month’s box and I have used/loved every item. It’s just a really fun package to get in the mail, a fun way to try new things, pass the unwanted items along to your niece and you can cancel it any time. I LOVE it! Ipsy offers a similar service for $10/month and people seem to like that one as well. The only difference is the products are usually sample size (sometimes that’s plenty).

*If you subscribe through my referral code I get extra charms added to my account and I can spend those charms on any of the products they’ve featured in past boxes.

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) A song you loved when you were younger, but now listen to the words and…
2.) Create a list of your top beauty must haves!
3.) Something you once said to someone that you wish you could take back.
4.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: surprise.
5.) Share a recipe you’re loving.


  1. says

    Oh, man, I don’t even know how to use makeup! Seriously. I have some eye shadow on my bureau that I am just too scared to even open! Maybe I should start watching those videos too…

  2. says

    I am so out of the glam loop. The only item I recognize is the lip balm and that is only from my daughter’s purse!

    • says

      It’s really a fun box to get! I’ve been doing it for a few months now and have never been disappointed. Sometimes there will be one or two items that I know I won’t use (hot pink lipstick anybody?), but the rest of the box always makes up for it.

  3. says

    I love my Naked Palette and I’m definitely thinking of picking up the Lorac Pro Palette although probably the second one because I really like the colors in it. Thanks for sharing about the boxy charm boxes, I’ve never heard about them and I love that it’s full size products!

  4. says

    I think I’m going to check out that Mac Prolongwear. Concealer is my only must-wear-daily make-up product.

    I couldn’t come up with any good ideas for this weeks prompts – I’m in a writing slump:). I actually wrote one for last week (things I’d rather be doing), but never posted it. School starts next week, so hoping that gets the juices flowing!

    • says

      Definitely look into it! Mac products can be a little spendy, but it lasts a really long time!

      And girl, believe me I definitely get into those slumps too. A lot of times it’s not even a lack of topics it’s just that I don’t FEEL like writing. You’ve been busy this summer, I don’t blame you for taking a little break to recover!

  5. says

    they all look like wonderful products. I’ll have to try the lip balm. My only beauty secret is “au natural” :). I’ve never worn makeup.

    • says

      I once made fun of a friend for the giant palette of colors she used to come up with a new look. I was all, “you do your eye makeup like this EVERY day?” And now look at me with my freaking list…it’s a trap!

  6. says

    Oh thanks for the concealer recommendation! I think I might try that. I’ve been looking for one to reduce the darkness under my eyes but haven’t found one that works well. Do you have a recommendation to reduce eye puffiness?

    • says

      Definitely give it a try! I haven’t found a holy grail puffiness solution. I usually just try whatever free samples I can find. A lot of people mention glam glow as a miracle worker, but when I went to buy it was $75. I just couldn’t bite the bullet yet. I’m not desperate enough…I do hear using cool compresses helps a ton too…cucumbers are super inexpensive. ;)

      • says

        $75???!! Break an arm and a leg why don’t ya? Geez. Do they know how many beauty products we could get for that much money? Anyway, I’ve tried cucumbers but they sting my eyes. I’ve got a low tolerance for pain and discomfort when it comes to beauty regimens. LOL. Maybe I ought to give in and order something from Avon? Haha.

  7. says

    Love lippy things. Going to have to check those out. Thanks.

    PS Am just discovering your YouTube channel. Where the heck have I been???

  8. says

    I’m not much of a make up wearer, other than lip balm and brow helper (conspicuously missing from your review!), but I’ve watched a few very well-done videos and can see how they can suck people in!

  9. says

    I loved your beauty round up! My 12 year old is a makeup pro and it’s probably because she watches those sorts of videos. (she doesn’t wear a lot but can do a mean job with a liquid liner. I, however, have never even used liquid liner.)Maybe I should start watching, too! I’m definitely going to check out the M.A.C. concealer and those brushes. Thanks for sharing!

  10. says

    I love this post. No swiping ever!! lol. Tap off the excess and gently swirl the powder onto your face. I can get addicted to products that I don’t need, so I tend to stay away from sites showing me how much I’m missing. :)