10 beauty favorites I use (almost) every day

When it comes to makeup, I wear the same stuff pretty much every day. I know some people love experimenting with new products and colors, trying new looks—and that’s not me.

Instead, I want reliable, dependable products that look good and go on easy so I can keep my morning makeup routine to three minutes or less. (Not an exaggeration.) That means I want high-quality products I can depend on, that work for me, that I buy over and over again.

10 favorite beauty products for everyday makeup

1. Clinique quickliner for lips. I wear this nearly every day because it works by itself or under almost any color (that I wear, at least) so I always stock up at sale time.

2. Clinique chubby stick intense. I’m not super comfortable drawing attention to my makeup, and I like the cheerful yet underestimated colors of these almost-lipsticks. My favorite colors are creamy caramel, mega melon, and broadest berry.

3. Armani luminous silk foundation. Everyone was right: this stuff is pretty great. It’s impossible to find at most makeup counters, so don’t be afraid to use the online color match tool and make use of Sephora’s excellent return policy if it doesn’t suit you. (Runner-up choice: NARS all-day luminous weightless foundation.)

4. To put on that foundation, I’m a huge fan of the original beautyblender.

5. When I want a bold lip, my always-garners-a-compliment go-to is NARS velvet matte lip pencil in Cruella. This was part of Sephora’s birthday sample set a few years ago and I loved it from day 1.

6. My not-quite-as-bold go-to, when I want a color with presence but not a RED LIP, is Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Roseberry, which I can no longer find, so I might have to branch out when my current tube is gone.

7. Sephora liquid eyeliner. My makeup application skills are minimal, so I use this method to apply eyeliner, dotting between my lashes. To pull this off, you need a liner with a very fine point, and a liquid liner makes it even easier. This one is great quality for the price, and it lasts forever.

8. You’re probably expecting me to share a mascara right here, and while I have quite a few from Sephora that I like (especially after buying this set), my go-to right now is from Target (Loreal telescopic in carbon black).

9. This Tarte contour palette has a brush, bronzer, and highlighter in one little compact. (Like everyone else, I used to love Nars blush in Orgasm but the Tarte is a bit more subtle.)

10. Not makeup, but I use Peter Thomas Roth instant mineral sunscreen nearly every day, and always stock up at sale time.

Those are MY staples. I’d love to hear about yours. Tell us in comments?

P.S. Why wearing lipstick is a small act of joyful resistance. I haven’t yet put on today’s makeup, but that sure does make me want to choose a cheerful bright lip.

10 favorite beauty products for everyday makeup


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  1. Veronica says:

    Thank you for some ideas! I’m trying to use more healthy products as I had cancer. I was shocked I checked my products. My skin is very sensitive so it can be hard to switch. I think I have tried everything out there, but finally settled on Alaffia coconut face wash, Cetaphil daily moisturizer with sunscreen, L’oreal true blend foundation, benefit gimme brow, Sephora eye makeup when I occasionally use it, and Mineral Fusion lipstick.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Root Beauty is amazing- skincare and makeup! Free of all the ‘bad’ stuff but high performing. Small woman-owned business. Highly recommend their mineral foundation.

  3. I started using LimeLime foundation and powder back in September, and I still love it. The foundation requires minimal application, because it covers so well, and the powder is translucent, which I never thought I’d like, but somehow, it all works. I love Almay blushes, and Physician’s Formula bronzers. Elf has great little “beauty blender” type sponges that make application a breeze. My go-to mascara is the classic drug store type that is pink with a green lid. For eyeshadow, I’m currently using a fun color palette by L’Oreal and my current fav lipstick and liner is NYC and it’s a nice soft neutral. I love bold colors, too, and my favorite brand is Revlon. I like to switch them up often, so the small price tag is guilt free. I loved this post (well, I love them ALL), thanks for sharing!

  4. Sarah says:

    I’m loyal to Maybelline Great Lash mascara and MAC lipstick. One is cheap and one is not, but I tell myself that evens, and I truly love them both.

    • Kari says:

      I love Lancôme hypnose mascara and SeneGence everything else but especially LipSense, tinted moisturizer, and shadowsense.

  5. Marnie Schember says:

    I’m a Benefit Girl myself. I live in the south so any eyeliner that is worn usually makes me look like a raccoon by 10am. But, I have found one that does not smudge. Looks exactly like it did when I put I on that morning when I go to remove my makeup at night. Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner. Best one I have ever used. I have tried so many mascaras too, but the one I love most is Benefit Bad Gal Bang, especially if you are looking for volume.
    I love the Clinique Chubby Sticks also. I also use Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, works great! Benefit Puff Off is great too. It gets rid of the fine lines and under eye puffiness. For foundation I love IT CC+ Illumination. 😊

  6. Danielle Edwards says:

    I love love love the eyeliner and brushes from Lemongrass Spa! Easy to use and no harsh chemicals for your body! I’ve just started using their mascara. The jury is still out on that as it tends to show up under my eyes! Not pretty! I’ve been wearing Clinique BB cream for ages and I think that I look pretty good for 57 years old. I keep is quick and easy. Lip balm completes the look! I’m looking for a good eyeliner! Will have to try some suggested here!

  7. Erika C says:

    I have recently fallen in love with It Cosmetics “Your Skin but Better CC Cream” for my foundation. I put it on with a beauty blender and it is just the right amount of coverage without looking cakey. As a bonus, it is spf 50.

    • Aileen Pioquinto says:

      I love this stuff too! I used to use Makeup Forever Foundation, but it makes me look orange. This is more true to my skintone–and it has SPF!

  8. Aileen Pioquinto says:

    Hello, Modern Mrs. Darcy! Thank you for sharing! I love makeup! My favorite, favorite, favorite blush is “Style” by MAC. The girls at the MAC counter used it on me for my brother’s wedding in 2012, and I have never found a blush that I have liked better–not even “Orgasm” by Nars! “Style” gives you a pink-peach blush AND a glow. My friend Ashika said to me, “You’re glowing!” I said, “It’s my blush!” Highly recommended!

  9. Lori Porten says:

    Hello! I love your book recommendations for myself and my daughter! Since having 3 close family members diagnosed with (non-genetic related) cancer in the last 3 years, I have done a lot of research on clean beauty and using safe products not only for cosmetics, but for personal care items as well. This was a big change for our entire family! I would love to share with you what I have learned and the main ingredients you want to avoid. If you care about the ingredients going into your bloodstream through your largest organ, your skin, you want to read labels very carefully. Unfortunately, the industry is almost entirely unregulated, and companies can use terms like organic, natural, holistic, botanical, plant based, etc. at their leisure, without any scrutiny, or being held to any standards. The products I have found are very high performing, while not compromising on the safety of human health.

    • Frances Robson says:

      Lori Porten – please share with us! As a cancer survivor, I am very interested in only using very clean products.

      • Lily says:

        The only products I will put on my skin and scalp (aside from coconut oil and apple cider vinegar) are Poofy Organics. I believe so strongly in the importance of not putting any chemicals on my or my family’s bodies.

  10. Tammy Murphy says:

    I am also stocking up with the Sephora sake and buying the same Charlotte Tilbury lipstick! Thinking about that Tarte Palette now too!!! I love Urban Decay’s Ultimate Ozone Eyeliner Primer for keeping eyeliner put, since I am terrible about touching up once my day gets going.

    • cassandra says:

      I like urban decay’s shadow primer, as well as too faced’s primer. Shadow primer was a game changer for me!

  11. cassandra says:

    I only buy cruelty-free cosmetics. There are so many options! I love Pacifica for fragrance and their mascara is awesome — I have sensitive eyes and it doesn’t bother me. I love Andalou skin care. Bare Minerals has some great lip options. Tarte and Too Faced are my go-tos for eye shadow. And kat von d’s tattoo liner is great!

    • Same here. If it’s not cruelty-free, I’m not buying it. Wet and Wild makeup is cruelty-free and very inexpensive. I love the foundation/highlighting stick they make, and I’ve been happy with their mascara.

  12. Margie says:

    If you love Chubby Sticks, I’d recommend trying a Revlon matte balm. I can usually find them for around $7.00 with a coupon. The sultry color is a great rosy nude. I keep my chubby sticks in my makeup bag at home and stash the cheaper Revlon ones other places. They are called matte but aren’t drying.

  13. Beverly Coomer says:

    For color that won’t wear off — not to mention only having to apply it ONCE a day — I have fallen in love with Senegence’s LipSense. Amazing array of colors, lasts all day, and there are a multitude of glosses to top off your fave color. In addition, LipSense is actually a skin-friendly, healthy way to protect your lips while you are loving them — which you will, once you start using it!

  14. jaye says:

    I steer clear of anything with a matte finish, including those products advertised to offer matte with moisture. I’m a 55-year-old woman, and matte finishes make me feel and look parched. My skin is in great shape, I think it’s simply the nature of a matte finish to impart a dry look. I give my face a spritz of organic rosewater before and after applying my makeup, it keeps everything looking soft and fresh.

  15. Brooke King says:

    I started using Beautycounter about a year and a half ago and will never look back! I love that I can trust that their makeup and skincare is safe (my family has had two cancer deaths related to environmental toxins, so I’m really careful), that it’s high-performing, and that it’s cruelty free. And I really love that the company is so transparent and is working to change regulations in the beauty industry!

    • Terri Burke says:

      I started switching to beautycounter products a few years ago as well and now use their skincare and makeup products almost exclusively. They perform extraordinarily well for me and I love the company, its transparency with the ingredients used and its commitment to transforming its industry. For makeup, I use their Dewskin tinted moisturizer (with SPF) daily as well as their mascara.

  16. Beth says:

    My favorite daily nude lip color is Twig by Beautycounter. It feels great on and is very flattering. I wear it alone or to “dress it up” I add a layer of gloss. Thanks for the ideas!

  17. Amy says:

    I’m a minimalist when it comes to makeup, so this is very helpful. I need to replace a couple makeup brushes that I’ve had forever. Can anyone recommend a good quality brand/line that will last? Thank you!

  18. Kara says:

    I so enjoy reading people’s beauty and make-up favorites! Lip make up is my favorite. I love Kat Von D Lolita lip liner and gloss. Fenty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow is also a fantastic nude/rose gloss (especially over the Kat Von D liner). Urban Decay eye shadow primer potion and shadows, and Stila eyeliner, are my favorites for eyes – I’m still looking for my go-to mascara. Nars Orgasm for blush like everyone else 🙂 Looking forward to trying the powder sunscreen you mentioned.

  19. Debbie Williamson says:

    Makeup is fun – even in my 60s!
    I can’t wait to try some of the recommendations from Mrs. Darcy’s post and from the comments. After decades of makeup trials and errors (still happening), some of my current favorites are:
    1. Chanel mascara – I live in Texas, where the humidity is real, y’all. All. The. Time. Chanel‘s mascara stays on my lashes instead of under my eyes. Someone recently recommended Elizabeth Mott’s So Long mascara (available at http://www.makeupmania.com – a fantastic makeup source), so I’ve been using that and love its non-smudge, lengthening quality, too.
    2. Ben Nye eyeshadows, also from MakeupMania – These powder eyeshadows go on smoothly and last all day. At $9 for a pot that will last for years, they’re great buys, too. I get the refill pots and keep them all together in a ZPalette. LOVE the ZPalettes!
    3. Often lured away by other brands and colors, I always come back to Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede lipstick. Even after meals, I still have color on my lips. At the end of the day, even if I haven’t reapplied it (which is most of the time), I still have color. Best part: I can have duplicates of all my favorites for my purse because (a) they’re inexpensive, and (b) they’re regularly on sale even cheaper at grocery stores and pharmacies.
    4. Until recently, I had never used brow color or a brow filler. Then someone recommended Elizabeth Mott’s Queen of the Fill, and now I’m hooked! It really makes a difference. This is also available on the MakeUp Mania site.

  20. Shaney says:

    I could limit myself only to these items and still take 15-20 minutes to do my makeup. Please do a post on your makeup routine so that we know how you do all your makeup in three minutes!

    • Naomi says:

      Yes! I would love to know if there are hacks to putting on make up faster. My only hack is putting on fewer things the less time I have 😂

  21. Janean says:

    Great post! I slant toward a minimalist look myself as well. My favorite lipstick is MAC Kinda Sexy (matte finish). I normally only wear matte finish lipsticks, but recently found a semi sheer that is a great neutral for my coloring (very fair) – Clinique Chubby Graped Up. It’s sheer, but still provides enough pigment to give the lip some definition.

    I also wanted to share that for those who’ve struggle with finding eye makeup that doesn’t bother their eyes, Clinique is a good choice. My eyes have become extremely sensitive due to some eye issues and I can only tolerate Clinique liquid eyeliner and sometimes their waterproof mascara (I only wear this when dressing up, not daily). I tried many brands, including many ‘natural’ type brands, but Clinique worked the best. I can do eye shadows from other brands, but for the eyeliner and mascara, the things that go right near the eye, Clinique has been my answer.

  22. Janean says:

    I have two Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks – Pillow Talk and Very Victoria. Pillow Talk is my absolute favorite and it is the PERFECT neutral, in my opinion. It is the ideal blend of pink, nude and peach, with each tone in perfect balance like I’ve never found before. It is quite light, but what I love most about these lipsticks is their ability to layer. Repeated application makes them darken. While still a matte, the first swipe is almost somewhat of a sheer look in that it’s just a hint of color, but with repeated passes, you achieve a prominent matte if you like. 👌🏻 Also, even though the texture and look is still a matte, which I strongly prefer, somehow the lipstick doesn’t feel chalky or cake up in the corners. It leaves your lips feeling moisturized, but not goopy. It also has a much longer lasting power than my normal mattes, which cake in the corners. Genius!

    Very Victoria is also a gorgeous color, which is unusual for me in that I usually have one color that I like per lipstick brand. VV has more pink to it – more of a blue undertone. It’s slightly darker, but still in the neutral territory. If you are looking for a neutral and you have more of an olive skin tone, this might be your pick. I am very fair and have reddish undertones. This one works for me, too, but I like Pillow Talk more because the brown and peachy undertones balance out my red whereas the blue in this one can enhance it. I use VV for a more prominent, but still neutral lip. I use a nude/peachy (MAC Oak) pencil to balance the blue in it. Hope that helps somebody!

  23. Judy says:

    I’ve tried a few red lipsticks and thought they looked nice on me at the department store beauty counter. After getting them home and placed in my vanity “lipstick drawer”, I never found the courage to wear a single one of them outside of my home. I can’t bear calling that much attention to my face.

    • Anne says:

      I hear this! I wore A LOT of red lipstick at home before I felt comfortable venturing out in public. I was terrified it would smear, and needed to build some confidence in it. Now that I’m used to it, the bright color now makes me really happy, instead of anxious it might not stay in place.

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