What’s in My Makeup Bag + My Makeup Routine


Makeup. I have this love-hate kind of relationship with it. 

Why I love it? It’s just fun. It’s what you steal from your mom’s makeup bag as a little girl; it’s something you can always change, always create – it’s something that you have total control over. It’s like art! It’s sparkly, challenging, girly, exciting, and ever-changing. Why I sometimes dislike it? Two things: not a big fan of how much $ it can cost your wallet, and mostly: there’s actually a million other things I’d rather do than sit in front of a mirror and paint my face simply because I’m so ADD. (Ha! So now you know why I’m not a beauty blogger.)

But back to our silver linings, plain and simple.  Makeup: it’s fun and it makes us feel even better. So yes, I wear it – sometimes lots of it – and when I do, I love it.  Just to set it all straight: I don’t wear makeup every day and I don’t promote wearing makeup every day. I do believe in natural beauty, and I believe in letting your skin breathe (especially if you have had skin issues like me). And I believe in finding beauty in what God blessed us with. So let’s tie the two together: natural beauty and the 21st century world of makeup = this post. I don’t use all of these products every day, but I didn’t want to leave anything out for you girls. I try to make it f-a-s-t and uncomplicated when I’m not shooting a look for the blog – or I don’t wear much at all! Here goes:

Skincare: (use code: JESSI on Tula purchases over $30 for 20% off and free shipping)

  1. Face Wash: Purifying Face Cleanser – If a face wash could be soft, this would be the one. The consistency is heavenly, causing me to be absolutely addicted morning and night.
  2. Toner: Pro-glycolic Resurfacing Gel – I’m an addict and I can’t go back. This pH balancing toner has been by far one of the best topical products I’ve ever used. I haven’t broken out since I started using this.
  3. Moisturizer: Hydrating Day & Night Cream – This moisturizer is addictive — I honestly won’t put on makeup without it!

I have incredibly sensitive skin, after just recovering from 5-10 years of on-and-off acne (read the full post on how I overcame it here). So the above is important to me!


  1. Tinted Cream: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Cream – Notice the name: keyword *tinted* – This is an extremely lightweight gel cream that I’ve started wearing recently, specifically for my sensitive skin and lightweight coverage. One of my biggest (makeup) fears is looking too cake-y, and once you add the powder – the coverage is just perfect (not too little and not too much).
  2. Spot Cover-up: MAC ProLongwear Concealer – I dot this over acne scars or pimples before I apply powder. It has full coverage – but doesn’t go too far or look cake-y. You can also use this for your under-eye – but it’s not as thick as most under-eye concealers.
  3. Matte Powder Foundation: bareMinerals Matte Foundation Powder – Here’s the cherry on top for foundation. The matte powder gets rid of any shine. You can continuously add layers until you reach the coverage you like. I suggest using this brush – you won’t regret it.
  4. All Day Wear: If there’s a day I need makeup from 7am-10pm, Estee Lauder has got me covered. This All Day (lightweight) Pro Longwear Foundation lasts all day, even though a spin class. Don’t believe it? Try it yourself!
  5. Bronzer: Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer – I actually don’t wear blush just because I feel like I always put it on wrong (ha!), so bronzer is my easy go-to. I prefer a matte bronzer over a sparkly one and this one is perfection.
  6. Highlighter: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Highlighter in Moonstone – I only wear this for shoots, but adding it above my cheekbone gives my face a shimmery glow.

Again, since I have incredibly sensitive skin, the products I use for foundation are chosen for a lighter and more sensitive coverage.


  1. Under-eye Concealer: Maybelline Dark Circle Concealer – I’m half Persian, so yes, dark circles are an issue. However, I prefer my under-eye to look natural over thick with coverup. Here’s a favorite that even my mom loves to wear + it’s cheap! If you’re looking for a thicker coverage, Tarte Shape Tape is incredible. credit for both concealers: Courtney Shields.
  2. Under-eye Liner: MAC ‘Embark’ Eyeshadow + Angled Brush – I’ve been wearing eyeshadow under my eyes since high school and I’ll never go back. I use the angled brush to lightly outline the eye with a dark brown color – which looks natural and lasts for hours. TIP: you can find an angled brush at a grocery store for a cheaper price!
  3. Top Eye Liner: STILA All Day Liquid Eyeliner – I swear by using a felt tip liner and it’s another since-high-school-favorite (that’s when you know it’s a keeper). This liner actually lasts all day. TIP: if you have eyelash extensions, do not use this on your extensions! Try use a dark eye shadow and this brush to create the same look.
  4. Eyeshadow: When it comes to everyday wear, I don’t wear eyeshadow. However, I sometimes go for an all-in-one palette of brown and neutral tones and apply a beige to my lid. You could find this at the drugstore, but here’s a favorite palette that goes day-to-night and lasts months (if not years).

Brows & Lashes:

  1. Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer – I just started using this brow pencil and I’m addicted (and I’m not the only one). The Anastasia team has mastered the brow game and I’m smitten. TIP: make sure you get the right color; I’ve been wearing the wrong color for awhile now, and adjusting to the right color was a game changer! TIP 2: If there’s a day when I’m wearing absolutely no makeup at all, I always wear this brow pencil and a touch of under-eye concealer for a natural look. PS – I don’t know what it is – but defined brows are just so “in” right now.
  2. Lash Curler: SHISEIDO Eyelash Curler – Everyone says this one’s the best and I tried it out and loved it too. But honestly, I’ve used drugstore buys in the past and loved those too.
  3. Lash Primer: Lancome Mascara Primer – When it comes to blogging, being photographed adds a new level of expectation to putting on makeup (especially the eyes). This primer has done wonders to adding volume to my lashes, specifically volume that shows up in the photographs too! If you don’t ever want to get eyelash extensions and you want thick full lashes, try this primer! Coat your lashes in the primer, wait 30 seconds, then apply mascara.
  4. Mascara: Lancome Hypnose Drama Full Volume Mascara – My favorite mascara ever. Bring on the volume. That’s all that needs to be said (see the next option for a drugstore alternative!).
  5. Favorite Drugstore Mascara: Maybelline Butterfly Mascara – I learned about this mascara from my previous boss, Camille Styles, and I always keep an extra around ever since. I love the winged applicator and the consistency of this mascara. It does not disappoint!

Lips: (I have sensitive lips that often break out in reactions to products, so I’ve chosen these products based on my sensitivity and allergies!)

  1. Lip Pencil – MAC Lip Pencil Color ‘Boldly Bare’ – I use this color because it goes with almost every “natural” lipstick ever!
  2. Liquid Lipstick – BUXOM Contouring Matte Lip Color in color ‘Centerfold’ – My new obsession, this plumping liquid lipstick adds shape, color, and a matted look. I haven’t had trouble wearing this lip, but I only just started wearing it last week! So far, so good.
  3. Lipstick – Bobbi Brown – The only lipstick that doesn’t make my lips burn. I don’t know what Bobbi Brown is doing, but they’re doing something right!

What are your favorite makeup products? Please share, I’d love to try! XOXO

Image via pinterest (original source unknown) 

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  1. Tabitha

    Thanks for these makeup post and tips! I have sensitive skin myself so I find that using natural, non harsh makeup is the way with me, but I understand the struggle of sensitive skin. I myself love wearing makeup but I hate the time it takes to put it on but I love the way it looks! So much struggle. That’s also a really cool fact to learn that your’e half Persian! I love hearing cool facts about people.


  2. Katie

    I feel you on the love-hate thing. I love it one day, and then dread it the next. Great picks, though!!

    xo, Katie
    Willow and White

  3. Kate

    I used to steal from my mom’s makeup collection all the time as a kid (even if the shade didn’t match my skintone)

  4. Mia

    I totally relate to the love-hate relationship with makeup. I also pass on the blush and just wear bronzer! Benefit Hoola is my fave 🙂

    Mia | http://www.verymuchmia.com

  5. Liv

    Great everyday look! Liv


  6. Lindsay

    With the brow pencil, did you go too dark or too light? I use a benefit one, but I’m always curious if I’m doing it right.

    1. Hey Lindsay! I was using the benefit one too!! And it was too light!! I went darker with Anastasia and it changed everything for me! XOXO

  7. Lisa

    I had no idea you were half Persian!! I mean… your last name, but I just didn’t put 2 and 2 together! I’m actually a makeup junkie! Putting it on is my therapy. I don’t wear foundation, but I LOVE primers. They are so addicting. I also love the Rodial bronzers – perfect for everyday!


  8. Carey

    I need to get that lash primer! I’ve never used one before but your eyelashes always look so good in pics! Also, I feel you with the under eye circles, I’m partly Greek so they are DARK

    xo, Carey

  9. Terry

    I love the simplicity of your routine and of this post. When it takes a jillion high-end items to get a look, I’m out. Makeup and bank account overload! I love that you mix high & low end items!

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