I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now, but I never really felt qualified. But, in the past year or so, I’ve been buying more beauty products, experimenting, researching, and coming up with a few that I really love. It may change and evolve over time, but right now, here’s what made the cut:

Josie Maran Argan Oil Light: I bought the light version for one reason or another, and I seriously love it. It absorbs pretty quickly and makes my skin feel really good…I don’t know how else to describe it. I’m sure you’ve heard all the hype about argan oil (and face oils in general), and I totally get it. (Also, TBD says to put it on after your regular moisturizer to lock in moisture – I really feel like it makes a difference.)

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture: This has been my go-to for years. Right now I’m alternating this with Clinique, and that may end up winning me over, but I really do like this one. Clean, light, quick-absorbing, no residue, and it gets the job done.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer: I think this was one of the first significant higher-end (read: non-drugstore) products I bought. I was hearing a lot of hype about it, but the price scared me. What if I don’t like it? What if it doesn’t do anything? And then I bought it, used it, and totally understood why women are willing to pay a lot for beauty products: they work, and they make a difference. I’ve never tried another primer but I don’t see why I’d ever have to – this one smooths out my skin so well, and everything else just glides on over it.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion: A recent purchase, and I’m really liking it. It’s essentially a toner, and I like it a lot better than my previous one (it felt really harsh, which I assumed was how it was supposed to feel). It’s gentle and makes my skin feel clean and smooth…for my nighttime routine, I stick to a swipe of this, moisturizer, then argan oil.

L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara: I have pretty long eyelashes to begin with, so I’ve never been extremely attached to any one mascara – I always felt like I was getting the same results with each one. I first read about this one in Lucky right after it came out, and Jean Godfrey-June gave it such a rave review that I figured I’d give it a try. And it’s easily one of the best mascaras I’ve ever used. I love the brush, the formula, and the fact that it doesn’t flake off (as a contact wearer, I’m constantly struggling with little clumps of dried mascara that attach themselves to my lenses, so this is a big one for me).

Sephora Collection Nano Eyeliner: As someone who wears eyeliner religiously, I have pretty strong opinions about which ones I like and which ones I don’t. Though I always like to try new ones, this small pencil from Sephora is one I turn to time after time. It’s cheap and comes in a ton of colors, so I don’t feel bad experimenting with electric blue or emerald green (and the short stick means very little commitment). But if I’m looking for something classic, I stick to Midnight Black and Gri Gri.

Benefit Posietint: I usually don’t wear blush. I feel as though I’ll put on too much and look feverish, plus I have the tendency to blush a lot anyway. But I got this cheek stain in a sample pack a while back and it’s currently the only blush I use. It melts into your skin and provides a sheer, light pink wash of color – and, as a bonus, it doubles as a lip stain.

Essie Nail Polish: Nail polish is a given, and my go-to is Essie. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite shade, but the two colors I always reach for are Mint Candy Apple and Tart Deco.

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm: This is, without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite lip balm. I’m not even sure what makes it so good, besides the fact that it really moisturizes. The tube feels glamorous, the balm isn’t sticky or heavy, and it smells faintly citrusy. Now that I’ve used up my first tube, I’m tempted by the tinted versions…

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb: Given that perfume is so expensive, I normally like to buy rollerballs of scents I want to try (they’re pretty cheap and easy to throw in a purse). I have three perfumes I stick to – Daisy Eau So Fresh and Live Colorfully for day, Angel for night and special occasions – but when I first smelled Flowerbomb, I was hooked. If the name isn’t intriguing enough, it smells delicate and flowery as much as it does rich from the patchouli (and, at least on me, I get a hint of vanilla).

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