Everyday Minimal Makeup Essentials (All Drugstore!)

Fun fact: it takes me approximately 7 minutes to do my whole face of makeup in the morning.  Here is a list of my minimal makeup products that I use every day to help me look ~somewhat~ human. 

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If you’ve been poking around my blog the past few weeks, you’ll know one of my resolutions for 2018 is to declutter and minimize my makeup collection.  I’ve actually already started on that resolution and did a declutter of all of the makeup that I brought with me to Italy, which you can read all about in two parts – one where I declutter my lipstick collection, and the other where I tackle everything else.

Decluttering allowed me to reflect on what I actually use on a daily basis and I realized that the products I use every day are relatively simple.  Even when I go the extra two feet and include the “optional” essentials, which you’ll read down below in a minute, this entire “routine” takes me about seven minutes in the morning.


1.) EYE PRIMER // Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base // $3.49


Even though I’m not doing a super fancy eye look of any sort, I still want what I put on my eyes to last me all day.  I find that priming my eyes not only helps my eyeshadow last (duh), but it also helps my eyeliner to “stick” and prevents fading.  I also like to use my eye primer under my eyes to help with my concealer (which you would’ve known about if you checked out my under eye concealer tips post) because I have little lines under my eyes so my concealer naturally always wants to crease, but I noticed that priming helps minimize this as well!

I like this primer by Essence because it’s cheap and has a slight tint to it – I don’t have veiny eyelids or anything, but I’ll take whatever little help under my eyes I can get.

2.) CONCEALER // Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Treatment Concealer (Neutralizer) // $9.99


Let’s be real – I am nothing without my under eye concealer.  Nothing.

This is my “holy grail” concealer and one that I always come back to, no matter what – I like the Neutralizer shade because I seem to suffer from chronic dark circles no matter how much I sleep, and the yellow in this really combats the blue-ish purple tones that result from who I am as a person.

Although I only apply the concealer under my eyes, I like to “bounce” the remainder onto my lid with my sponge to further solidify that base.  It kind of evens everything out since I don’t wear foundation and prevents me from looking too crazy.

3.) SETTING POWDER // Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder (Translucent Extra Coverage) // $5.97


Again – I don’t want any of this going anywhere.  Seven minutes in the morning is like the equivalent of 45 minutes for me in normal-people-time and I don’t want to have to worry about anything slipping or sliding around.  Plus, as we all know by now, I’m prone to creasing and setting my concealer is the easiest way to help myself out.

I also like to set everything on my eyelids before applying any eyeshadow or eyeliner – I have hooded eyes so skipping this step means that 9 times out of 10 my top eyeliner will end up on my upper lid, which isn’t really the kind of look I like to go for, so this is a must for me.

I like this powder because of how “soft” it feels and that it sets everything without looking or feeling too dry.  The only thing that I’m not too crazy about is that the packaging kind of sucks and the powder can get everywhere if you’re not careful, which is something I need to pay extra attention to in the morning when I’m edging on zombie-like.

4.) EYESHADOW // Wet n Wild Color Icon Eye Shadow Single (Nutty) // $0.49


I’ve been really loving this single shadow by Wet n Wild because I can slap it on my eyeball real quick and don’t feel the need to blend it out with a separate brush because it’s almost self-blending, if that makes any sense.  It’s a warm taupe (somehow) that has a satin finish and IMO is really flattering for my brown eyes.  Also… it’s 49¢.  Whaaaat!?


Note that I have the original shadow single and they did recently reformulate their shadows – I’ve never tried the new ones and don’t know if they feel/wear/look the same!

5.) EYELINER // L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner (Black) // $8.95
+ Colourpop Crème Gel Liner (Honeydude) // $5.00


I only used to exclusively use brown liner because for some reason I thought black liner made my eyes look “too dark,” which really makes no sense in hindsight like most of the things I tend to think.  I recently switched to black liner and found that the higher contrast makes me look more awake (at least I think so), so you can say that I’m a reformed liner user.  This black liner by L’Oreal doesn’t transfer so it’s A-ok in my book.

I also like to use this nude liner on my lower lash line because it opens my eyes a little more – I tried using white in the past, which made me look kind of cartoon-ish, but I found that nude does the trick without transforming me completely into some kind of animated character.  This Colourpop liner does a good job of staying put as some nude liners I’ve tried tend to fade by the end of the day.

6.) MASCARA // Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara (Very Black) // $6.49


I have really sad, stick-straight lashes so I absolutely need to curl my lashes and slap on some waterproof mascara.  Not only do “normal” washable mascaras never seem to be up to the task to hold my lash curl, but I wear contacts and most non-waterproof mascaras like to flake on me and irritate my eyes.

Plus, even though I identify as an Aries, I’m really a Pisces, and I always like to keep things waterproof in case a dramatic moment strikes.  I’m kidding.  Partially.

I’ve tried a bunch of different mascaras because I’m a bit of a mascara junkie, but I always come back to this Maybelline mascara.  It’s cheap and although it doesn’t have any of the fancy bells and whistles a lot of mascaras come with nowadays in terms of the wand and packaging, it keeps my lashes curled and fans them out very nicely.

7.) LIPSTICK // Essence Matt Matt Matt Lipstick (03 Girl of Today) // $3.99


I know it may be strange to some that this is on my essential essentials list instead of in the “optional” essentials, but lipstick is my favorite thing to wear.  Sometimes if I’m not wearing any other makeup I’ll just pop some lipstick on and it’s enough to make me feel ready to take on the day!


This Essence lipstick is a no-fuss non-drying formula that’s somewhere between a liquid lipstick and a lipgloss as it looks matte (which the name emphasizes three times), yet never actually dries down completely.  My favorite part about this product is that I don’t need to worry about touching up at all and even on the rare occasion when it does fade just a little, it does so “gracefully,” which means I just kinda let it do its thang.  This color is “natural” enough for me to wear every day (although I do love me my reds), yet adds just enough oomph that I feel like it really brightens my whole face somehow.

The *Optional* Essentials

8.) HIGHLIGHTER // Colourpop Pressed Powder Highlighter (Here Kitty Kitty) // $8.00


I don’t wear foundation of any kind, so I look for products that sit well on bare skin and last me all day.  I’m also very anti-glitter and my highlighters of choice tend to be more glowy than shimmery, which is exactly what this highlighter is.  I like that it “melts” into my bare skin and looks about as natural as artificial radiance can look.  It’s also long-lasting!


Usually, this is the “optional” face product that I’ll op for when I’m looking to add a little more something in the morning because it’s the easiest to apply and doesn’t really require any blending.

9.) BRONZER // Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Butter Bronzer (Bronzer) // $14.95


On days when I like to look more sun-kissed and less corpse-y, I like to throw on a lil bronzer.  This bronzer by Physicians Formula is my all-time fav because it’s super buttery (as the name suggests), it gives my skin a subtle glow without being shimmery, and it smells like paradise.  Sometimes I like to close my eyes in the morning and pretend I’m on a beach sipping a pińa colada instead of half-asleep in my room slapping some bronzer on my face in an attempt to look somewhat human.  It’s always 5’oclock somewhere.


Along with having maybe the most repetitive name at the drugstore, this is also one of the most pricey bronzers at the drugstore, but it’s worth every penny IMO.  If you want to read my full thoughts on this product, check out my review here!

10.) Blush // Essence Matt Touch Blush (20 Berry Me Up!) // $2.99


I’m not really a blush gal because tbh it kinda scares me, but I included this for the hell of it.  I like this blush because it’s super soft to the touch and is a color that looks very “natural” on my skin tone.  It’s actually deceptively pigmented so I need to proceed with caution and only apply a light hand, but if you’re a blush guy/gal and wanna go all out, proceed normally.


You can actually tell by how new the product looks how little of it I need to use – I’ve had this for a decently long time and it barely looks touched because I basically just tap my brush once in the pan to pick up some color.


Something strange about this product is that it might have been discontinued in the US… I picked up mine in Italy, but I can’t find it anywhere on the ULTA website, which is where I get Essence products in the US.  I’m thinking they might have just rebranded to the “Satin” touch thing, which makes a lot more sense given the formula.

@Essence wyd sis?

Ok… as I’m writing this I’m realizing that all these products are drugstore, which was totally unplanned, but just goes to show that sometimes drugstore life is where it’s at!  I also realized that despite me being extra as a person, I don’t tend to like to be so extra when it comes to doing my makeup on a daily basis.  I guess I shy away from palettes in the morning because they give me too many options – I’m prone to second-guessing things so I know the best thing I can do to save time is to only give myself one option so I don’t spend precious seconds debating which shade of satin brown to use.  This is a thing I do.  Trust me.

Anyways… what products do everybody else wear on the reg?



  1. Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base // $3.49
  2. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Treatment Concealer (Neutralizer) // $9.99
  3. Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder (Translucent Extra Coverage) // $5.97
  4. Wet n Wild Color Icon Eye Shadow Single (Nutty) // $0.49
  5. L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner (Black) // $8.95
  6. Colourpop Crème Gel Liner (Honeydude) // $5.00
  7. Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara (Very Black) // $6.49
  8. Essence Matt Matt Matt Lipstick (03 Girl of Today) // $3.99
  9. Colourpop Pressed Powder Highlighter (Here Kitty Kitty) // $8.00
  10. Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Butter Bronzer // $14.95
  11. Essence Matt Touch Blush (20 Berry Me Up!) // $2.99

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*Disclaimer: I purchased all above products with my own money and am not affiliated with or compensated by any of the brands mentioned (I wish!).  As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own (unless stated otherwise)!

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