Hi! My name’s Garyn Lacey. I’m 20 years old and based in Wisconsin. I currently work (and play!) as a Freelance Makeup Artist and Cosmetology student, with my focus being makeup artistry.
Beauty has always been a quiet interest of mine, until I finally just decided to be open about the fact that I was into makeup and I really wanted to learn how to do it well. I was too shy and unskilled to try it on my friends, so I went to the dollar store to pick up everything I needed and started proudly painting my face every day! All I’ve ever wanted to do was to make the world a more beautiful place, and I love that I do that daily.
I’ve found that beauty has nothing to do with the powder you put on your face but it has everything to do with finding something you love and being PASSIONATE about it. Once you do, everything around you will start to look a bit brighter and a little more beautiful.
As for some things that will help give you a more beautiful appearance, these are all of my holy grail products that I use daily. Being good at makeup doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on it, just practice a LOT with products you find work well for you and it will take you further than any expensive item will.
Here are some of my favorites:
ELF Studio Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths // I’ve found that these remove every last trace of makeup with a couple of good swipes and they’re formulated with Aloe Vera extract for my sensitive skin, so they leave no redness or irritation. My face feels refreshed and left with no filmy feeling afterwards!
Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 // I normally only wash my face with warm water and an exfoliator in the morning. Then, while my face is still damp, I moisturize with this! I’ve been using it regularly for years. It’s creamy, lightweight, is not greasy at all, and leaves my skin smooth and hydrated. Finding a good moisturizer with SPF is the most important step in your skincare and makeup routine, simply because your face is the canvas for your makeup. Starting out with moisturizer always helps my products go on smoother and gives me a youthful, dewey glow to my naturally dry skin!
Lime Crime Velvetines in shade “Cashmere” // This formula is a liquid-to-matte lipstick that lasts for hours, even through eating and drinking. It’s a perfect velvety matte finish and doesn’t dry out or crack on my lips, even in the winter wind! This shade is more on the greyish taupe spectrum, but I love it because it’s just a little bit different than your typical nude lip. It’s a really simple, classic color which I thought would never work with my bright makeup looks, but it’s actually a staple in my kit now. I’ve noticed the color changes slightly to suit every skin tone. Just a tip though, I always scrub my lips with a toothbrush and apply a good lip balm before and after putting this lipstick on. It helps stay smooth and cake/flake-free.
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream // I had heard raves about these for a while and decided to pick up as many as I could from my local drugstore before they all sold out again! These are soft creams so they spread easily. I’ve found they don’t last quite as long as the Lime Crime liquid-to-matte formula but they are a little bit more natural looking than LC and are cheaper and come in a wider range of go-to colors for natural makeup days!
MAC Lipstick // The colors, the finishes, the vanilla scent, the sleek black bullet packaging. I’m sure you’ve heard everyone rave about these lipsticks to death but I just had to include them in my go-to kit. These lipsticks are a staple because they come in every single color and finish you could ever want, they go on so smooth, and they smell like heaven. Some finishes don’t last as long as others but that just gives me more chances to pull out one of my classic bullets, reapply throughout the day, and look cute while doing it! Some of my personal favorites for my medium warm-toned skin are Hue (pinkish nude glaze), Angel (natural pink frost) and Shy Girl (peachy orange cremesheen). Those are the most natural looking for me, but if you’re looking for anything else, trust me, they have it.
BH Cosmetics Contour & Blush Palette // It’s pretty cheap and available only online. These go on smoothly and are not “powdery” looking, so long as your face isn’t dry. I like more of a dewy natural glow, and as for the matte contour and blush shades, I use those almost daily. I find that the shade range in this palette is more suited for light and medium-toned skin, and the warm chocolate-y contour looks perfect when applied lightly and blended with a blush brush. It’s actually my favorite in the entire palette.
MAC Blush in “Style” // This is a peachy orange powder with a frosted gold shimmer and thanks to the shimmery gold sheen, is like a two-step blush and highlight in one. I really love the versatility of this blush. I can pack it onto my brush and it still goes on smooth, blends well, and looks like a natural sun kissed flush. I usually add more highlight on top because I’m crazy about dewy, metallic cheeks. I think peach blushes give a healthy glow and look amazing on any skin tone. The only drawback being, these are a bit more expensive; so if you’re forced to pick one, this is it.
EOS Lip Balm // What can I even say about these? They’re perfect. They’re natural, they actually taste good and not “chapstick-y”, they leave my lips smooth as hell without a fake, glossy shine that absorbs too quickly, and I haven’t lost a single one thanks to the colorful, spherical design!
BH Cosmetics “Iris” Blush Duo // This little blush duo contains a matte rusted red color and a shimmery peachy coral color. I tend to stick more to the warm peach, red and brown spectrum when it comes to blush, because I only utilize it for it’s intended purpose, to give a natural flush and literally make it look like I’m blushing [all day]. I love this duo because it does just that, while still allowing me to interchange the colors or use both for whatever look I’m feeling that day! Also, it was under $5 and they have several other duos to suit every skin tone.
ELF Cosmetics Baked Blush in “Pinktastic” // This is one of my holy grail highlighting powders. It’s a shimmery champagne color with veins of pink throughout. I only utilize it for the soft, shimmery effect it has, rather than a color payoff. I find that these blushes are kind of similar to MAC Mineralize Skinfinish, though much less expensive. They’re pretty, they work great for every day, and they still give a nice metallic sheen to your skin without looking glittery or “cheap”.
MAC Studio Fix Powder + Foundation // This little compact was a very tricky thing to get the hang of, but after I did, I found that it was definitely a holy grail. I don’t utilize this for coverage, but to give a porcelain smooth, matte effect all over my face, excluding my t-zone area, which is always shining like metal! I stopped wearing foundation months ago and within weeks, my skin looked better than it had with foundation on. Now I only use concealer sparingly in spot areas and top it off by setting my entire face with this powder using a flat-topped brush. I found the sponge that it comes with only cakes on more product than I need, so I set my face with just the smallest amount of powder for a light-diffusing soft matte finish. Perfect.
MAC “Rose” Pigment // It was hard for me to choose just one of these pigments, because I think they are all so versatile and should definitely be an essential product in every makeup kit. I’ve used this alone for a light dusting of color on my eyes, applied it over damp skin for an intense foiled effect, over lip color for a highlight on my cupid’s bow, a rosy highlight on my cheeks, even mixed it in with nail polish for a shimmery finish. This little container is packed with product too. I’ve used it almost daily for two years and it’s still not even 1/4 of the way empty. On top of how big a punch it packs for such little product use, it’s the most beautiful rose gold color that works with every single skin tone, in one way or another. Try mixing this with a little water to see a completely different effect. This is hands down my favorite MAC product and I will gladly recommend it to any makeup lover.
NYX Above & Beyond Full Coverage Concealer // I tend to stay away from cream-based concealers, as my skin is naturally dry and they can end up caking and blending horribly, but I decided to give this a go, utilizing it purely for some coverage under my eyes and on occasional pimples. It’s a warm-toned beige color and works perfectly for covering and canceling out the purplish-blue discolorations that more olive-toned skinned people have. Though I only use it when I feel like the colors are more prominent, I always prep with my moisturizer and/or eye cream beforehand, and I simply use my ring finger to warm up and apply the product to make sure it glides on smoothly. All in all, it works great for a drugstore concealer!
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer // Since I don’t wear foundation, sometimes I might need more lasting coverage than my NYX cream concealer gives me. This little vial gives the best coverage I’ve ever found in a concealer, dries to a natural skin finish, and doesn’t look like I’m covering anything up. It looks like my skin, but perfected. I actually used to wear this stuff over my entire face AS foundation when I used to go for the mannequin doll look. This blends perfectly with fingers or a brush, stays put all day, and doesn’t overly oxidize. This is the only higher end concealer I’ve ever used and will continue to do so.