Hello, my name is Nicole Riccardo, and I am a YouTube beauty video addict.
If you have ever watched one of the beauty guru monthly favorite videos, you know that as soon as it finishes you end up thinking, "Oh my god I need to go to Sephora immediately, I need everything!" As someone with no self control when it comes to beauty products, this usually ends poorly for my bank account. But hey, at least now you can take advantage of my knowledge on what products are actually worth it!
1. TARTE SHAPE TAPE CONCEALER
My friends, this is it. THE Holy Grail of concealers. The formula is perfection, and I'm really not sure how a concealer will ever be able to improve from this. It is blendable, buildable, and doesn't crease or cake. What more can you ask for, really?
2. LUSH OCEAN SALT BODY SCRUB
If you watch my Instagram stories, then you already know I am a lushaholic. This is one of their products that I must have at all times! The exfoliation keeps my skin feeling super soft. Bonus points: It smells like drinking a margarita on the beach!
3. NIVEA MEN SENSITIVE POST SHAVE BALM
I know this one may sound odd, but this is an AMAZING primer and honestly holds my makeup just as well if not better than my high-end primers. For less than $7, you should at least try it!
4. TOOFACED BETTER THAN SEX MASCARA
The name says it all, my friends. I am constantly trying new mascaras, but this one has been my favorite since it was released. I also tend to get a little extra with my mascara and layer like 3 of them, and this one is super buildable without getting clumpy!
5. SOL DE JANEIRO BRAZILIAN BUM BUM CREAM
Omg if I could transmit the smell of this across the computer screen I would. I am HUGE on scents, and that was actually the sole reason I purchased this. Yes, it is spendy, so if you don't have an extra $50 to spend on a lotion, definitely not a necessity. But if you have dry skin like I do, it is worth some serious consideration even with that price tag. This leaves my skin feeling moisturized for a couple days!
Pro tip: Use it before getting into bed and it will leave your sheets scented!
6. DIOR FOREVER PERFECT FOUNDATION
This is honestly the best foundation I have ever used. It looks like your skin, but flawless. Need I say more?
7. COLOURPOP SUPER SHOCK SHADOWS
Ever since I was introduced to this brand by my former roommate Elyse, I have been obsessed. Their products are not only extremely affordable, they blow many high-end products out of the water. Once I tried their super shock shadows, I don't think I wore normal pressed powder eyeshadow for a solid year. I LOVE to use bold and bright colors, but always struggled with extreme fallout. These shadows are a game changer giving you not only a huge color selection, but they have virtually NO fallout and incredible color payoff! They can be a little tricky to get used to using as the formula works best when applied with your finger, but the learning curve is so worth it.
8. MORPHE X JACLYN HILL PALETTE
Since this was released (#finally #blessed), this is honestly the only eyeshadow palette I have used. I was skeptical at first because I am not a fan of the shadow formulas in the other Morphe palettes I own, but after watching Jaclyn's video on how she created the palette I needed it. She spent TWO YEARS making sure the formulations and shades for each individual pan was perfect, and let me tell you....SHE. CAME. THROUGH. Everything about this palette is freaking bomb, and for how many pans you get this is worth so much more than what Morphe is selling it for.
9. MORPHE CONTINUOUS SETTING MIST
So I don't think this necessarily makes my makeup last longer than any of the other setting sprays I have used, but this is my new number one because it is an aerosol. I feel like I get completely even coverage and I never get that rogue solid stream of liquid ruining my makeup like with the spray pumps. Plus it is much cheaper than the competition. Win win!
Pro Tip: It is ALWAYS SOLD OUT so if you catch it in stock, buy at least 2 and thank yourself later.
10. ESTEE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR FOUNDATION
If you are oily or are someone that needs your makeup to last 12 hours a day, this foundation is for you! It is full coverage but doesn't feel like it's suffocating your skin, and will last through pretty much anything short of being thrown into the ocean.
Pro Tip: If you stop by an Estee Lauder retail counter, they will shade match you and give you a free 10 day sample to try!
11. BUMBLE AND BUMBLE PRET-A-POWDER
This powder is one of the only hair products I use on a consistent basis. It smells amazing, it makes my hair look fresh, and it is a volumizer! How can you deny fluffy, full hair?! I certainly can't.
12. STILA STAY ALL DAY LINER
If you read the What's In My Bag post, then you already know this is my Holy Grail liner. Just get it already. It's amazing, I promise.
13. BECCA X JACLYN HILL PRESSED HIGHLIGHTER IN CHAMPAGNE POP
BECCA makes my favorite highlighters on the market right now. They apply smoothly and consistently, and don't leave your cheeks dusted with chunks of glitter (not that that is always a bad thing, just not something I'm looking for in an everyday look). This particular shade is universally flattering and works for every season!
14. SIGMA MAKEUP BRUSHES
If you are looking to upgrade your brush collection, I highly recommend making the investment and purchasing your daily brushes from Sigma. I do not currently own a full set of Sigma brushes mainly because they are expensive af, but the ones I do have are the ones I use every single time I do my makeup. Do I have 10 different brushes for blending out my eyeshadow crease? Yes. Do I reach for my Sigma E45 every single time? Also yes.
15. THE WET BRUSH
I have fine hair that gets tangled SO easily, so brushing my hair is not a pleasant experience. Enter the Wet Brush. Since it is designed to be used on wet hair, I brush out my hair as I'm blow drying it (with minimal pulling!) and it cuts my normal dry time in half!
16. TATA HARPER RESURFACING MASK
I actually saw a noticeable difference in my skin after only one use. After the first time trying it I remember looking in the mirror at my skin thinking, "Where has this been all my life?!"
17. SMASHBOX PHOTO FINISH FOUNDATION PRIMER
This provides a completely smooth base for your makeup and has great results in photography, as the name suggests. I may or may not have a stockpile of this primer....just in case.
18. SHISEIDO FACIAL COTTON
Yes it is absolutely ridiculous to spend $10 on a package of cotton pads, but you guys, they feel so soft and luxurious on your face! So if you're ever feeling a little extra, I fully support this splurge.
19. COCONUT OIL
What isn't this stuff good for?! If you do a Pinterest search for coconut oil, you will find hundreds of different uses for it, but my favorite is as skincare. When my skin is feeling extra dry, I put this on my face/neck before bed and wake up with hydrated, glowing skin! Seriously a miracle worker.
10. JOHNSON & JOHNSON'S BABY OIL
This is my go-to product for shaving my legs. It leaves my skin feeling luxuriously soft, and since I have dry skin, it serves double duty to help lock in hydration!
11. BEAUTY BLENDER
My favorite way to apply foundation and concealer! It gives that almost airbrushed finish, which is something I personally have not been able to achieve with brushes. Bonus points, after you set your undereyes with powder use the damp BB to get off any excess to ensure no creasing!
12. MAC 217 BRUSH
An essential shadow brush. Yes, there are plenty of dupes, but they just aren't the same.
13. STILA GLITTER AND GLOW LIQUID EYE SHADOW
If you are a fan of glitter but hate the fallout, this one is for you! The formula gives insane payoff. Once you apply, don't try to top it with powder or blend otherwise it WILL get everywhere.
14. MAC LIP PENCILS
Wearing lip liner under your lipstick does help it last longer, so if you have been questioning this step, definitely try it out! The cult classic MAC lip pencils are the perfect place to start. They have a huge range of colors and last so long!
15. ANASTASIA BROW WIZ
A classic. There are many variations from many brands, but Anastasia will always be the queen of brows. This pencil is fine enough to create individual strokes and the formula glides on so evenly, it will always be my number one.
16. BARE MINERALS GEN NUDE BUTTERCREAM LIPGLOSS
Bare Minerals removed everything I hated about glosses and created one gloss to rule them all. They are not disgustingly sticky, they last longer than five minutes, and they actually retain color instead of turning into clear glossy goop five minutes after application.
17. NYX BUTTER GLOSS
I think the name buttergloss really says it all. No they are not long lasting, but hey, for a few bucks these guys are awesome! If you can find it, snag a few in the shade "creme brulee," it's basically your lip shade but better (*heart eyes emoji*).
18. ARDELL FAUX MINK LASHES
If you are a fan of lashes, you should try these ASAP. For the price, these look just as good as some of the higher end brands. I especially like that the band is not too thick, it makes them way easier to apply.
19. BECCA VELVET BLURRING PRIMER
This is my go-to when doing makeup for others. It helps fill in fine lines and feels so velvety smooth on your skin! #superluxe
20. IT COSMETICS SUPERHERO MASCARA
On days I am going more minimal, this is the mascara I use. It is more lengthening than thickening, so it gives you that natural look but with a little "oomph!"
21. SECHE VITE DRY FAST TOP COAT
There is a reason every nail salon you go to uses this. Coming from someone who had at least one smudged nail for the majority of my life, this top coat is a game changer.
22. COLOURPOP LIPSTICKS
I am obsessed with Colourpop in general, but all of their lipstick products are just killin the game for the price point. The color selection is more than you could ever ask for, and they all deliver huge color payoff. Their only lip formula I am not the biggest fan of is their matte liquid lips, they can be pretty drying. Aside from that, they are all a big hit!
23. GIORGIO ARMANI LUMINOUS SILK FOUNDATION
My second favorite liquid foundation to the Dior Forever. Flawless, buildable coverage that lasts all day. Apply with a Beauty Blender for an airbrushed-looking finish!
24. LUSH BIRTH OF VENUS JELLY MASK
The scent alone makes this worth purchasing, it will make you feel like an actual ocean goddess. The jelly formula is unique and a little confusing at first, but it always leaves my skin feeling calmed and refreshed!
25. LUSH LIP SCRUB
As a flute player, there is nothing I hate more than flakey, chapped, and/or dry lips. This stuff SAVES ME on the reg. Whether you are a musician or just trying to get even coverage from your lipstick, this stuff should be a necessity for everyone.
26. URBAN DECAY EYESHADOW PRIMER POTION
The TINIEST amount goes such a long way, aka it lasts forever. I prefer the original formula that has no color or sparkle, but sometimes I will use one of the shimmer ones alone with liner + mascara for a minimal look.
Pro tip: If you have a lot of trouble with your makeup creasing under your eyes, use your eyeshadow primer there, too!
27. BARE MINERALS ORIGINAL POWDER FOUNDATION
Some of you have probably forgotten this exists, but it absolutely needs to be included in this conversation. I receive more compliments on how beautiful my skin looks when I wear this over any other foundation! It achieves a natural looking finish and is actually good for your skin! Not to mention you can take it from light to medium to even a full coverage as long as you use it with the correct concealer + brushes to apply it with. You can read all about the formulation on the Bare Minerals website, but I can personally attest to the fact that you really can fall asleep in it like BM claims. When I worked for BM as a makeup artist, I fell asleep in my makeup more times that I am willing to admit, and after removing it the next morning, my skin honestly looked even better than when I had applied it the day before. This stuff is magical. If you are a fan of the "no makeup" makeup look, this foundation will be your new best friend.