My Complete Beauty Wardrobe


As a preacher’s daughter growing up in the Bible Belt during the ’90s, the extent of my makeup knowledge was the dingy grocery store beauty aisle, which I imagined to be the height of glamour and sophistication. From middle school through high school, and yes, even through college, my makeup bag consisted of blue CoverGirl eye shadows and bright Maybelline lipsticks.

It wasn’t until my wedding day that I ever had my makeup done for real, for real by a professional makeup artist with a bag full of MAC and Chanel products — it was the most luxurious thing I’d ever laid eyes on. That day, I bought my first Chanel lipstick, in a bright shade of red (far too precious to ever use). And so began my obsession (and I’ve never looked back).

Makeup Worth Obsessing Over: Ft. Eyes, Lips, Face & Highlight

So…this post has been literal years in the making. Seriously, it’s taken me the better part of a decade and a whole lot of trial and error to get my makeup bag to the point where I consider it a complete beauty wardrobe. It’s filled with only my ride-or-die makeup favorites that I plan to use till the end of time or until — God forbid — one of my go-to’s is discontinued. Here are my tried-and-true favorites for eyes, lips, face and highlighter.

After a decade of trial & error, here are my ride-or-die makeup faves I plan to use until the end of time. Tried-&-true products for eyes, lips, face & highlighter.

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From makeup primer to setting powder, these are my must-haves for a moisturized, smooth face.

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My Makeup Must-Haves: Face

1/ ANTI-AGING SERUM: Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate – I came for the 3,270 reviews and stayed for the results! It’s weightless and completely absorbs, not leaving the skin oily, so it’s the perfect starting layer of any beauty routine.

2/ PRIMER: Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base – I’ve tried SO many primers over the years, and while there are a lot of great ones out there, this is my go-to because it makes my skin look and feel so healthy and moisturized. On top of that, it acts as a great primer and stays all day!

4/ FOUNDATION/HIGHLIGHTER: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter – OK, gang, this one is a MUST. (Scotti agrees.) I’ve been using this as a highlighter, but then Scotti suggested mixing this with It Cosmetics CC+ cream, and now I’m HOOKED.

4/ FOUNDATION: It Cosmetics CC+ Cream – My first pick of foundation/CC cream for five years now. True full coverage and color correction that lasts and lasts. There is just no beating it as far as I’m concerned!

5/ CONCEALER: Tarte Shape Tape – Magic. Plain and simple. Rated the No. 1 concealer brand, Tarte’s Shape Tape concealer is the best. It stays on and covers my dark circles and other age spots while blending perfectly with my foundation.

6/ SETTING POWDER: Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder – I was late to the game when it came to setting powders, and I never knew JUST how important they are! I use the Translucent shade, and it goes on so smoothly and evenly and leaves my skin feeling super-silky.

Looking for eye makeup that lasts & elevates your look? Check out the primer, eye shadows, eyeliners & mascara that I swear by.

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My Makeup Must-Haves: Eyes

1/ EYE SHADOW PALETTE: Smashbox Cover Shot in Petal Metal – My absolute favorite palette ever, I’ve gone through three already and just ordered my fourth in the Petal Metal shade. It’s a gorgeous rosy, warm palette. This is the first eye-shadow palette I’ve found that I love and use every single shade.

2/ GLITTER EYE SHADOW: Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eye Shadow in Reflect – If you love a good heavyweight glittery, shimmery eye shadow like I do, this is seriously THE BEST one out there. My favorite shade is Reflect, but they are all so good.

3/ MASCARA: Le Volume De Chanel – My girlfriend, Elisa, is one of Chicagoland’s highest-rated professional makeup artists (here’s her IG, in case you’re in the market), and this is her personal favorite mascara, so of course it’s my go-to as well!

4/ EYE-SHADOW STICK: Laura Mercier Caviar Eye-Shadow Stick in Rose Gold – Another eye-shadow MUST-HAVE! Laura Mercier’s Caviar sticks are a favorite for a reason. They are easy and quick to put on, and the pigment stays all day once it dries.

5/ EYELID PRIMER: Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Primer I like to wear a lot of eye shadow, so I need the hardest-working eye primer in the game. Anastasia’s eye primer is a water-resistant, light base that enhances the vibrancy of every eye shadow. Unlike most other eye primers I’ve tried, this one dries matte instead of oily so it’s crease-proof.

6/ EYELINER: Urban Decay Glide-On Pencil in Corrupt – One of the highest-rated eyeliners ever with a whopping 7,200 reviews. It’s super-soft and smooth, blendable, and easy to apply! Plus, it comes in a ton of great colors (I love the Corrupt shade).

7/ SHADING EYE SHADOW/EYELINER: Terry Blackstar Eye Shadow in 1 Black Pearl – Terry makes great eye shadow, but I get it in the 1 Black Pearl shade and use it as a shading eyeliner tool. It’s a flawless and buildable eyeshadow with added illumination for lift!

Try my fave highlighters & illuminators for a real glow-up of your makeup routine!

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My Makeup Must-Haves: Highlighters & Illuminators

1/ FACE PALETTE: MAC All-Star Face Palette (Almost sold out! This one’s similar) – Fell in love with this palette immediately. I love that it includes bronzer, blush and highlighter, and the colors are just perfect. The colors are perfect, and I use it all the time. I bought it only a few months ago, and it’s almost time for me to order a new one. I’m almost tempted to buy several at a time just in case they decide to stop making it, that’s how much I love this palette! (More similar products: MAC Hyper Real Glow palette and MAC Pro Face palette.)

2/ BLUSH/HIGHLIGHTER: Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter – Absolutely amazing and one of my favorite products. The best color combos in the game. High-intensity shimmer! I have it in two colors: Girl Next Door/Chic Phreak and Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal.

3/ LIQUID ILLUMINATOR: Milk Bionic Glow Illuminating Liquid Highlighter – I have the Virtue shade of this — a gorgeous, summery peach color. It’s a nice little luminous touch to add to your cheeks, nose or wherever for some extra glow.

4/ HIGHLIGHTER PALETTE: Anastasia Beverly Hills Sugar Glow Kit – If you don’t already have this in your makeup bag, it’s a definite must-have and a classic for a reason. Perfect colors and high-quality pigments that stay all day.

Bold or soft. Glossy or matte. From Maybelline to Too Faced, you can find what you're looking for in my list of go-to lipsticks and gloss.

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My Makeup Must-Haves: Lips

1/ LIPSTICK: Urban Decay Vice Hydrating Lipstick – My top choice of matte lipstick for years now. I love it for so many reasons: It’s a matte that’s also moisturizing; there are over 40 vibrant, high-pigment shades to choose from; and it stays on for FOREVER. Also, it’s vegan. My favorite shades are: Weho (soft baby pink) and BackTalk (mauve nude pink).

2/ LIP GLOSS: Too Faced Lip Injection Power-Plumping Gloss – I have this in Too Face’s soft mauve-pink color called Glossy & Bossy, and I love it as a top layer after applying a matte lipstick.

3/ HYDRATING LIPSTICK: Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo – I looooooove my Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo. It’s so hydrating and adds fullness to my lips. I keep it in my purse at all times for a topcoat! I have it in the Creator color shade.

4/ MATTE LIPSTICK: NARS Air Matte Lipstick – For long-wearing, vibrant matte lip colors, NARS Air Matte lipstick is my favorite because I LOVE the Chaser shade, a soft-pink, mauve color perfect for spring and summer.

5/ UNDER $10 FAVE: Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick – Okay, Scotti might judge me for this, but honestly, this stuff is just REALLY GOOD. It lasts for so long and has so many good shades to choose from. I’ve been buying the mauve shades, DREAMER and REVOLUTIONARY, for years and years.

Hope this was helpful! Until next time,

xo, Jess ( Instagram | Shop My Closet )

Oh hey, Pinners! This one’s for you…

After a decade of trial & error, here are my ride-or-die makeup faves I plan to use until the end of time. Tried-&-true products for eyes, lips, face & highlighter.

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