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Playing Favorites: 20 Beauty Items I Can’t Live Without

I like to think of myself as a minimalist when it comes to beauty for multiple reasons, but mostly it’s because I don’t have that much time. As a work-at-home mom, I’m lucky if I can squeeze in a shower every day, much less a complicated beauty routine. My goal when it comes to beauty is to look natural, but polished without much fuss, and over time (through a lot of trial and error) I have figured out what items help me to achieve this. Here are the 20 beauty items that make my life complete…


  • Playing Favorites: 20 Beauty Items I Can’t Live Without 1 of 21
    Playing Favorites: 20 Beauty Items I Can't Live Without
    Click through to see all of my tried-and-true, can't-live-without favorite beauty products!
  • Tarte Cheek Stain (in Flush) 2 of 21
    Tarte Cheek Stain (in Flush)
    True story: I could not love a human baby more than I love this cheek stain. OK. That's not true. I obviously love my child more than this cheek stain, but it's seriously one of my favorite beauty products in the history of ever. I have yellowish skin, so blush is a daily MUST for me. I've tried other stains and they're way too intense. This one is a perfect texture and gives the loveliest glow. I also use it on my lips - pretty pink flush achieved.

    Purchase for $30.00 from Sephora
  • Tarte Dark Circle Defense Under Eye Concealer 3 of 21
    Tarte Dark Circle Defense Under Eye Concealer
    It's probably not fair that I'm even mentioning this product, because I just found out they discontinued it, but I had to share it, because it's just that good. It can still be found on eBay if you're interested and I will totally be stocking up myself. I have chronic dark circles. Blush and under eye concealer are both my most used products. As such I've tried a LOT of concealers and have never found one that was quite right until I discovered this. I seriously just spent an hour one day having someone at Sephora try out different ones on me (probably 20 different kinds) until I found this and it was love at first sight. I'm so sad it's been discontinued.

    Not available for purchase any longer, but you can find it on eBay and read reviews at Sephora
  • CoverGirl Lash Blash Fusion 4 of 21
    CoverGirl Lash Blash Fusion
    This mascara is seriously the best bang for your buck. The price is great and the effect on your lashes is wonderful: plumps, lengthens and with zero clumpage. It's a win/win/win.

    Purchase for $5.45 from Drugstore.com
  • Diorshow Mascara 5 of 21
    Diorshow Mascara
    This mascara is the next best thing to false lashes. It's not one that I wear daily...more for special occasions, but it's seriously amazing. This mascara will change your life. No really. I've been asked if I have false lashes multiple times while wearing this and I seriously have the stumpiest eyelashes of all time.

    Purchase for $25.00 from Nordstrom
  • Tarte emphasEYES Eye Liner 6 of 21
    Tarte emphasEYES Eye Liner
    This eye liner is kind of idiot proof. Gel liner is great for special occasions, but this precision style crayon is much better for every day wear. You can go subtle or layer it up - totally up to you - and it's really difficult to make a mistake.

    Purchase for $18.00 from Tarte
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner 7 of 21
    Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
    When I'm wanting to get a little fancier with my eye makeup I break out this Bobbi Brown gel liner. It gives the same clean, crisp look of liquid liner, but is way easier to use in my personal opinion. I also have a dirty little secret...it looks even better the second day. Yes, I know it's terrible to go to sleep without washing off your eye makeup, but this eyeliner seriously does look even better on day two when it's all smudgy. I'm willing to break the rules for the sake of beauty sometimes.

    Purchase for $23.00 from Sephora
  • Rosebud Salve 8 of 21
    Rosebud Salve
    I get really dry lips in the winter, but this year I started applying Rosebud Salve each night after my shower, before bed and I haven't had any chapped lip problems. This salve is also great for rubbing on dry patches of skin (i.e. elbows and knees) and can even be used as a diaper rash treatment!

    Purchase for $6.00 from Sephora
  • Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter (in Sweet Tart and Tutti Frutti) 9 of 21
    Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter (in Sweet Tart and Tutti Frutti)
    I wear lipstick almost every day, because nothing else can transform your face quite like a pretty pop of color. That said, I think it's important to find a lipstick that won't look too over-the-top for day-to-day. This lipstick has the perfect texture. You can swipe on a light layer for something subtle or layer it up for a brighter pop of color. The saturation of the color has enough sheerness to make it super wearable for everyone. Tutti Frutti and Sweet Tart are my favorite shades.

    Purchase for $7.99 from Walgreens
  • MAC Lipstick (in Impassioned) 10 of 21
    MAC Lipstick (in Impassioned)
    This is my all-time favorite shade of lipstick and it's universally flattering. It's bright and daring, but still totally wearable. I love swiping this on for a dinner out with my husband or a coffee date with a friend - the bright pink is perfection.

    Purchase for $15.00 from MAC
  • Covergirl TruBlend Minerals Pressed Powder 11 of 21
    Covergirl TruBlend Minerals Pressed Powder
    A classic product for de-shining that pesky t-zone. Good to have on hand for emergencies.

    Purchase for $5.45 from drugstore.com
  • Suave Dry Shampoo 12 of 21
    Suave Dry Shampoo
    If I could marry my dry shampoo I just might. It is the one item in my beauty repertoire that I cannot praise highly enough. At a time in life when showers are a luxury, dry shampoo saves my life on a frequent basis. I've tried many brands, but this one is my favorite - the best bang for your buck. There are probably better versions out there, but this is the best one I've found in a reasonable price range (*note: my definition of reasonable is based on the fact that I use this stuff like it's going out of style, so I can't afford the expensive stuff).

    Purchase for $2.89 from Amazon
  • Bed Head Curlipop 1 13 of 21
    Bed Head Curlipop 1
    I already have curly hair, but the curls aren't very refined, thus this curling wand is my best friend. The last time I used a curling iron was in college, so I was skeptical about curling wands, but they're seriously way easier to use and you don't end up with weird dents in your curls from the clamp. Every time I use this curling wand I get a ton of compliments, so it's definitely a winner in my book.

    Purchase for $24.99 from Ulta
  • CHI 44 Iron Guard Spray 14 of 21
    CHI 44 Iron Guard Spray
    Curling wands get super hot, so I make sure to keep my hair protected with a quick spray of this beforehand.

    Purchase for $8.59 from Target
  • Argan Oil 15 of 21
    Argan Oil
    This is the same thing as Moroccan Oil, but without the hefty price tag and I'm obsessed with it. I rub it on the ends of my hair after styling to add shine and reduce frizz. As an added bonus, it smells totally amazing too.

    Purchase for $9.95 from Amazon
  • Goody Bobby Pins 16 of 21
    Goody Bobby Pins
    I keep these bobby pins in every place you could possibly think of (in my car, jeans pockets, wallet, kitchen counter...) because you never know when you'll need one. These things are totally invaluable.

    Purchase for $3.49 from Target
  • Essie ‘Bobbing For Baubles’ Nail Polish 17 of 21
    Essie 'Bobbing For Baubles' Nail Polish
    This is my go-to nail polish. It's the most perfect shade. Matches with everything and is a little softer than black, but a good alternative for girls like me who aren't so much into pink polish.

    Purchase for $4.15 from Amazon
  • Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter 18 of 21
    Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter
    This stuff smells so good and it's natural, so I can feel good slathering it on. I like to use it post shower for extra moisturizing.

    Purchase for $12.38 from Amazon
  • Smell Good Daily Tonic Tobacco 1812 19 of 21
    Smell Good Daily Tonic Tobacco 1812
    Smelling good is just as important as looking good and a crucial part of beauty that is often overlooked. Everyone should have a signature scent and this one is mine. Sweet with a hint of tobacco, but just feminine enough. I think it suits my personality quite well.

    Purchase for $32.00 from West Third Brand
  • The Spoiled Mama Rehab Serum 20 of 21
    The Spoiled Mama Rehab Serum
    I first tried out this product while I was pregnant with my daughter and looking for organic skin care products, but I totally became hooked and still use it. I put it on after I was my face in the shower and it somehow (I like to think it's magic) rejuvenates my skin and makes it smooth and glowing. I'm definitely a fan of this product both for it's all-natural-ness and it's effectiveness.

    Purchase for $46.40 from The Spoiled Mama
  • Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 21 of 21
    Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10
    I've been using this stuff as an acne spot treatment since I was 14-years-old. I've tried different kinds of acne treatments, but this one is seriously king. And, you can get it at Target. Totally convenient.

    Purchase for $4.75 from Target

 

Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble. More from Lauren:

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