15 Make-up Products I Couldn’t Live Without

Being a makeup artist, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about which new products I want to try and add to my kit. Trying new products is fun for me, and something that I’m always doing to stay “in the know” in the beauty industry. Even though I’m constantly buying new products to try, I always have my go-to makeup products that I could just never live without! In general, I get a lot of questions about different makeup I would recommend, and that was part of what was behind motivating me to start a blog. I narrowed it down to the top 15 makeup products that are staples on my vanity:


  1. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation

I’ve been wearing this foundation for about 4 years now, and while I’ve tried others in between, I always come back to this. I think it’s because of the smooth finish it gives my skin. It’s a matte finish, but it’s still slightly dewy and looks airbrushed. I have combination skin, and I never feel like it dries out my skin. It’s great if you have an uneven complexion (like me) with redness because it’s full coverage. I wear the shade medium beige pretty much all year round. I even wear it to the beach because it has SPF and doesn’t clog my pores.


  1. NARS Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

I just started wearing this this year, and I can say that it’s definitely something that has become a staple for me. It’s super lightweight and perfect for days where you’re not wearing much makeup and not looking for anything full coverage. It’s definitely moisture rich, so if you have oily skin I wouldn’t recommend this. I usually pair it with a light dusting of translucent powder. I wear the shade St. Moritz.


  1. Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

THE. HOLY. GRAIL. OF. CONCEALERS. This is also a product I just started using within the last year and it’s changed the game of concealers. I actually heard about this concealer because I took my 14-year-old sister-in-law makeup shopping, and she told me how everyone was raving about this concealer. So, I used my Ulta points and got it for $3. I’ve been hooked ever since. I genetically have dark circles under my eyes and I’ve struggled with finding a good concealer that doesn’t crease. I used NARS religiously, and while that was good, this is better. NARS was more creamy, so I felt the need to set it more than I do with this product. It comes with a lot more in the tube also. It’s a full coverage concealer, so it’s great for anyone with dark circles, acne, redness or big pores. I always recommend wearing concealer 1-2 shades lighter than your foundation to neutralize dark circles. I use the shade light neutral.


  1. Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

I’ve tried a lot of translucent powders, and this is by far the best and worth the money. It’s super lightweight and leaves a soft, matte finish. Perfect for underneath the eyes over concealer, or for when contouring and highlighting (I used it under my cheek bones and on the sides of my nose). It’s also good for any areas that tend to get greasy. The issue I found with other “dupe” translucent powders is that they feel way to dense, and don’t leave the same silky finish that this one does. I’ll probably never stray from this powder unless someone swears they’ve found something better (LMK).


  1. Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes

This is the only mascara I’ve tried that’s truly worth the money. I’ve tried so many mascaras and I can’t say that any of them are better than this one. It’s great for fuller and longer lashes. No clumps and the wand is really nice. If you can’t justify spending $32 on mascara (honestly it’s so worth it), then you should get L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara.


  1. L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Primer

I’m obsessed with this stuff. It’s perfect to pair with the CT mascara linked above. Apply anywhere between 1-5 coats of it (depending on desired result), wait for it to dry, and then layer your mascara over it. It’ll give a more dramatic effect.


  1. NYX Matte Liquid Liner

I love this liner; it’s super fine brush allows for precision when creating a wing/cat-eye look. I’ve used so many different liquid liners from Kat Von D to YSL, and this is definitely the best, and easiest on your wallet.


  1. Tartelette 2 In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette

This is my everyday palette. The colors are warm neutrals and pretty much go with everything I wear. They’re mostly matte with a few shimmer options as well. I also have a thing for Tarte’s Amazonian Clay formula (foundation and concealer linked above), they all just apply so smoothly.


  1. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer (Milk Chocolate)

I LOVE this bronzer. It’s perfect for contouring, which is pretty much all I use it for. It’s almost too dark for me to put it all over my face, but it works perfectly for contouring the whole face. I use the lightest shade, Milk Chocolate (light/medium), and it’s still super dark. It blends really nicely though, and it also doesn’t hurt that it smells like chocolate.


  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo

I’ve tried so many different brow products. I’m such a sucker for full, thick brows, and I take a lot of pride in how mine look. This product comes with two shades, a lighter and a darker shade, and I found that if I mix them both I get the perfect shade. In the past, I’ve tried Anastasia’s Brow Wiz and Benefit’s Brow Zings. Brow Wiz was probably my least favorite because it just didn’t produce enough coverage for me and the pencil kept breaking. Brow Zings was great, but I just didn’t find myself using the wax side all that often. In the Brow Powder Duo I wear the shade Medium Brown.


  1. MAC 263 Small Angle Brush

This brush has soooo many uses [I can’t even]. I have a few of these, they’re great for brows, precision eye work and for lipsticks. I mostly use it for my eyebrows and when applying a gel eyeliner, but I use it on my clients when putting on their lipstick. It works great to outline the lips.


  1. Charlotte Tilbury Cream Eyeshadow (Mary Antoinette and Jean)

This formula is super long wearing and great for a night out. It really pops and glides on so seamlessly. Usually when I think of cream shadows I think of creasing; for some reason that just doesn’t happen with this product. It will only crease if you don’t let it dry properly. The dry time is the only downside to this product, so if you’re on the go, this probably won’t work. If you apply it in light layers it works best. It’s worth the money if you’re willing to invest the time to apply it.


  1. MAC Velvet Teddy Matte Lipstick

This is my all time favorite nude, and has been a staple in my makeup bag for a few years now. It goes great with the MAC Whirl lip liner. For something with a matte finish, it’s super creamy, which I like because it doesn’t dry out my lips.


  1. NARS Blush (Orgasm & Deep Throat)

NARS blush is by far my favorite. Orgasm and Deep Throat are the tones I generally gravitate towards. Orgasm is more pink and Deep Throat is more peach. Both of them have shimmer in them.


  1. Becca Cosmetics Highlighter (Opal & Champagne Pop)

I’ve owned sooo many highlighters and there really isn’t one like Becca Cosmetics. They are just so soft and iridescent. The only other highlighter that’s a close second is from Bobbi Brown. Both Becca and Bobbi are expensive, but if you’re looking for a good highlighter its worth the splurge. I own the Anastasia Glow Kit, and needless to say I’m unimpressed. It’s totally overrated and no one really needs that many highlighter colors (unless you’re a makeup artist like me, you just buy multiple Becca and Bobbi). My favorites are Opal and Champagne Pop.

I hope that everyone that read this finds this helpful and/or entertaining. Please ask me questions and let me know what topics you would be interested in reading about. I’m open to posting some how-to articles as well if that is of any interest.




  1. Sarah
    December 20, 2017 / 1:38 am

    Awesome Jackie! I can totally see you having a ton of followers and creating a Beauty By Jackie Nicole Cosmetic Line in the future! I DEFINITLEY need #3. Let’s go shopping soon and you can help me up my makeup game 😍

    • beautybyjackienicole
      January 4, 2018 / 6:12 pm

      Thanks Sarah! I’m so happy you found this post helpful. I’m 100% ALWAYS down for makeup shopping. Thanks for the feedback!

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