1. Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes in Pearly Brown 2L. I can dot this among the upper lashes and blend to define the lashline without an obvious effect. I also apply it with a brow brush to fill in sparse brows – it stays put!
2. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black. I go through a lot of black pen liner. This one goes on nice and dark and lasts really well. Plus it’s fairly inexpensive, so replacing them often is no big deal.
3. African Moringa Miracle Oil. This light oil blends with any skin type and since it’s 100% pure it’s great for overworked or sensitive skin.
4. RCMA Cream Foundation ( color is KO -1) This is a big makeup artist secret – this cream has almost 50% pigment! I use it full strength as a concealer, and blend it way down into the skin where needed.
5. Nars Loose Powder in Beach. This is a nice tone for golden to tanned skin – it’s sheer enough to be applied only on shiny areas but doesn’t ‘white out’ like a paler powder.
6. Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Color. Ok, I confess that I really use a theatrical burn color palette and mix my own shades, which are almost always one of three colors: a raspberry pink, a clear coral, or a muted beige pink. Too Faced offers these three shades in a ready-to-wear formulation.
7. Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in Rosy Tan 754. This is as close to a perfect neutral palette as I’ve seen – there are two taupes and a chocolate brown to add dimension to the eye, and the light pink is good for tired looking eyes.. But the real winner is the ivory shimmer – it’s a perfect highlighting color, not too harsh, and hard to find.
8. Milani Crystal Gloss in 12-Secret. I like to mix my colors, so I keep a fairly basic kit. This gloss blends well with color, and by itself will give a softly beige-y tint. It tastes good. Plus it’s cheep! I replace it often.
9. MAC Lipstick in Dubonnet. A classic, rich red. I’ll blend it into balm for a stain, add a little to a bright pink to deepen it, or go all out for a deep, mysterious red lip. And I wear it myself a lot too!
10. Maybelline Great Lash Big Mascara, in Blackest Black. I try lots of mascaras, and come back to Great Lash and remember why I love it. This version has a big brush for more separation.
Meli Pennington is a makeup artist and beauty/culture blogger living in New York. She has worked on editorial shoots for most major magazines, including Glamour, Elle, Allure, and Teen Vogue. You can find Meli at her blog, Wild Beauty, where she writes about beauty and culture.