As this summer winds down (just kidding, IT WILL NEVER END!), I wanted to do a post on my most used beauty products this summer. Some are new finds; some are tried and true standbys, all of them are super affordable... mostly because I'm super broke and can't afford the high-end stuff. BUT!  That being said, I just have to sift through the inexpensive stuff to find the hidden gems. 

The infographic doesn't depict the products in order of which I use them, but I do give a quick step by step guide at the end of this post! So make sure you don't miss that!  While reading my little "talks" on each product, note that I move from product to product, working in columns, from top to bottom. Capiche?  Awesome, let's do this!

Laura Geller Spackle Treatment Even Tone Primer:  So this is yet another fantastic Birchbox send! I've tried many different primers, and this one takes the top spot for me by a huge margin. The peachy-pink tone is super flattering and not at all overwhelming; it's just enough to give your skin a soft glow and to even everything out. The formula is super light and has a great matte finish with just a hint of shimmer.  And unlike so many other primers that I have tried, this one really does set your makeup and lasts all day long.

Where? Birchbox | Color? Peachy Pink | Cost? $32.00

Palladio Brow Pencil: On my never ending quest for Cara Delevingne eyebrows, I'm always, always, always on the hunt for an awesome brow pencil, so I was pretty thrilled when I found this one!  I like my brows to be strong, and I do color them in maybe half a shade darker than they are naturally, which can make it tricky to find just the right color pencil that also blends well.  This baby does just that, in fact, blend, is its middle name.  It lives for blending, and it's damn good at it... yeah, I like it a lot is what I'm trying to say.  This pencil goes on wonderfully smooth, has great, natural looking color (I like brown, but there are four colors to choose from), and lasts all day.

Where? Ulta | Color? Brown | Cost? $5.99

Ulta Matte Bronzer: Except for mascara, bronzer probably takes the top spot for most varieties tested for me.  Ulta was having some sort of BOGO sale at the beginning of the summer when I purchased this bronzer as a last minute, "finish my order to get the offer," kind of grab and I have been so pleasantly surprised by how much I like this bronzer!  I use the "cool" tone to help counteract some of the redness in my skin, but there is a great "warm" option as well.  This bronzer goes on smooth, blends well, lasts throughout the day, and has a great matte finish.   The pigmentation could be better, as it does take some layering for it to become visible, but all in all, it's an excellent choice for an inexpensive bronzer.

Where? Ulta | Color? Cool | Cost? $10.00

Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow: Ohhh Birchbox, you've done it again.  I love a good BB cream, seriously, they make such a huge difference!  So I was super excited to try this one out when Birchbox sent it to me!  And with good reason, because it's freaking AMAZING! The formula is light and has just the right amount of shimmer, goes on fabulously smooth, evens skin tone beautifully, and leaves your skin with a dewy finish that never gets cakey and lasts all day.  There aren't accurate words for me to describe how highly I recommend this product, so the best thing I can do is adamantly insist that you go try it out for yourself!

Where? Birchbox | Color? Golden Glow | Cost? $28.00

Ulta Pressed Setting Powder: Until this summer, I had never used a setting powder, but after constantly hearing about the benefits, I had to give it a go!  Because I love the Ulta brand, and it falls within my price range, I decided that it was a good choice for a starter. Annnnnnd, I'm a total convert.  I chose the translucent shade because after BB cream, bronzer, etc. I didn't feel like it was necessary to add even more color to my face, and I think it was a good choice.  It goes on smooth, blends well, is never cakey, and despite some of the reviews I have read, I have never had a problem with it sitting in the creases of my face.  Other reviews that I have read have said that they've found it necessary to reapply often as it fades throughout the day.  I have not found this to be the case, but I am fortunate enough that my skin type is fairly normal in the sense that I am not prone to excess oil or dryness, so that could definitely be a factor for why I don't experience that issue.  This is also the first setting powder I have ever had, so it is entirely possible that there are far better options out there.  But, for my money, this was a good buy and one that I continue to use daily.  

Where? Ulta | Color? Translucent | Cost? $10.00

Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily Tinted Moisturizer: If I could only have one beauty product for the rest of my life, this would be it.  I have been using this product for years now, and it is rare that I commit to a product the way I have this one.  This was introduced to my mom via my aunt, and my mom introduced it to me.  Except when I am asleep, this is always on my face.  It is a lightweight, sheer formula that absorbs quickly and beautifully into the skin without leaving any residue behind.  It truly is a tinted moisturizer as the color is just enough to even out the skin and leave a healthy glow, but is never overwhelming or cakey.  I would recommend this product to anyone, any day, anywhere.  It is hands-down my favorite beauty product ever.  And to make an awesome thing even more awesome, it's SPF 30!  And we all know how I feel about sun protection. ;)

Where? Amazon | Color? Tinted | Cost? $37.00

Ulta Illuminating Powder: Of all the highlighters and illuminators I have tried, this is by far my favorite.  During the summer months, I don't wear eyeshadow or eyeliner, so besides just highlighting and contouring I also use this to add some lightness around my eyes by putting it in the inner corners of my eyes, under my brow bone, and above my brow bone on the outer edges, and BOOM!  Instant summer glow.  It also hits all of my prerequisites, blends beautifully, goes on smoothly, has fabulous pigmentation, is not at all cakey, doesn't get stuck in facial creases, annnnd lasts all day.  I currently have the yellow diamond shade which I love, but I also am excited to give pink diamond a try next time around!

 Where? Ulta | Color? Yellow Diamond | Cost? $10.00

Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara:  Have I mentioned yet how much I adore Birchbox? Because, hoooolllyyyy cow, do I ever!  Which is my way of saying that, yet again, this is a Birchbox find.  Let me first say that I love mascara.  Like, more than most.  Way more.  I am pretty fortunate in the sense that I was born with thick, long eyelashes, and I reeeeeaaaaaally like them, so I try very hard to take great care of them. I also have tried like 8-zillion (slight exaggeration) different types of mascara trying to find the best one to highlight my favorite feature.  I've found a lot of fabulous mascaras, but this one is out of this world. Like, absolutely, unequivocally, undoubtedly, the best, freaking, mascara ever. First of all, I have never in my life loved a mascara brush the way I love this one.  The curve is perfect to reach every bit of your eyelashes, even the tough to reach corners and I swear it leaves no clumps.  NO CLUMPS!  You guys, it's AMAZING!! It also curls, lengthens, and thickens your eyelashes better than any other mascara I have tried, and in case you had forgotten, I've tried a lot of them. 

 Where? Birchbox | Color? Black | Cost? $14.00

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer:  I've waxed poetic about my love for Cetaphil skincare products before, and I don't think that will ever change.  Lightweight, gentle, and contains SPF 15!  High-fives for sun protection!

 Where? Target | Cost? On sale - $11.77

Burt's Bees Medicated Lip Balm:  I'm not even going to talk about this one the way I've talked about the others because if you don't already love Burt's Bees, well then you're just a silly billy, and I can't help you. The bottom line is, I always keep some protection on my lips and Burt's Bees is my favorite.

Where? Burt's Bees | Type? Medicated | Cost? $4.00

NYX Cosmetics Concealer In A Jar: NYX is easily one of the best "dupe," brands I've come across. I consistently like all of the products that I purchase of theirs, and this concealer is no exception. It has a great consistency, goes on smooth, is very buildable, and blends well.  It also lasts a fantastically long time; a little bit goes a very long way.

 Where? Ulta | Type? Light | Cost? $4.99

Jergens Natural Glow & Protect Daily Moisturizer:  This one doesn't really require a whole lot of explaining.  I just like to keep my tan looking consistent throughout the summer! I've found that Jergens really does this effectively without turning me orange or adding too much color too quickly and becoming streaky.  I've tried many other brands of self-tanner, some have been great, some I will never use again, and they have ranged all over the spectrum of cost.  Yes, there are some more expensive self-tanners that I absolutely love, but for as frequently as I use it, I just can't justify spending that kind of money. Jergens is one of those tried and true stand-bys that does exactly what it's supposed to, at a totally reasonable price.

 Where? Ulta | Type? Medium/Dark | Cost? On sale - $8.99

NYX Cosmetics Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand: As I've said before, I have a decent amount of redness in my skin.  So, I need a good color corrector to counteract it.  Green counteracts red, so that is the color that I use, but there are 11 shades to choose from.  This is a very concentrated formula so it should be employed sparingly.  I never use the wand to apply the product because of how concentrated it is, but rather apply it to a small brush and then use the brush to apply it to my face.  This is probably not the product for any heavy correcting if that's what you're looking for, but in small doses and for small patches, it definitely does the trick.

Where? Ulta | Type? Green | Cost? $4.99

Benefit They're Real! Lengthening Mascara: Another mascara gem! Benefit Cosmetics, in general, are just pretty freaking awesome, and this mascara is just more proof of that.  This is another mascara that has an excellent applicator brush.  The tip of the brush is shaped like a sphere, and the bristles stick out in all directions.  Making it so much easier to reach all of your lashes, even those elusive lower lashes! This mascara adds both length and volume, glides on super easy, never flakes, and holds up like a champ all day long.  The best part is that a little bit goes a long way here, 1-2 coats and you're ready to go for the whole day!

 Where? Birchbox | Type? Black | Cost? $24.00

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer: Do you want to guess where I first got this under eye concealer?  If you guessed Birchbox then YAY! You're totally right, you little smarty pants, you!  I first received this in a Birchbox and fell madly, madly, madly in love with it.  I have been getting ugly, dark circles under my eyes for some time now and have been on the hunt for a concealer that effectively covered them without look like pancake makeup, and thus, the Birchbox gods heard my prayers and sent me this little piece of magic.  This concealer is the freaking super boss of dark circles, it eats dark circles for breakfast, chews them up and spits them back out.  ...What I'm saying is, it's good.  Really really good.

 Where? Ulta | Type? Light | Cost? $24.00

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel:  Holy crap, this is the holy grail of all eyebrow tools.  It's the only piece that I have of Benefit's new eyebrow kit, but after trying this stuff, I am definitely going to need to try them all.  I apply this gel over my eyebrows after I use my brow pencil.  It really seals in the color and makes my brows look thicker, more finished, and let's be honest, fierce.  I have the three medium shade, and it blends beautifully into my eyebrows without ever looking flakey or unnatural.  

Where? Ulta | Type? Medium | Cost? $24.00

PRODUCT APPLICATION ORDER: 1. Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer (A liberal dosage all over my face)  2. Laura Geller Spackle Treatment Even Tone Primer ( A thin layer all over my face) 3. Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily Tinted Moisturizer (Once again, all over my face) 4. Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow (And for the last time, apply a thin layer all over the face). 5. NYX Cosmetics Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand (I apply a small amount to a concealer brush and dab onto any red spots or blemishes, and under/in the corners of my nose) 6. NYX Cosmetics Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand (Dab a small amount onto a concealer brush and put on the same areas as the color corrector, as well as the inner corner of my eyes, and a tiny bit on my eyelids. 7. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer (Dab a small amount under eyes and blend into skin.) 8. Ulta Matte Bronzer (I apply a light layer over my entire face, neck, and chest.  Then use a slightly greater amount add in some contouring). 9. Ulta Illuminating Powder (Follow the contour lines and add in some highlighting then blend.  I also dab some on the inner portions of my eyes, under my brow bone, and just above my brow bone on the ends). 10. Palladio Brow Pencil (Pencil in the patches in the brows and create a more distinct arch).  11. Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel (I sweep a single layer over each brow). 12. Benefit They're Real! Lengthening Mascara (I apply a single layer of this mascara to both my top and bottom lashes) 13. Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara (Then a single layer of this mascara to both my top and bottom lashes) 14. Ulta Pressed Setting Powder (Apply a single layer all over the face to set everything) 15.Jergens Natural Glow & Protect Daily Moisturizer (I try to apply a generous layer to my whole body every other day) 16. Burt's Bees Medicated Lip Balm (Kept in my purse and applied throughout the day as needed)

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