Okay. I have made some fantastic discoveries lately, and felt the need to share with the universe.
Lemon Aid, By Benefit
If you have veiny eyelids (as I do) this stuff is the bomb. It lightens and brightens. If you use it by itself, it gives the impression that you've gotten actual sleep. It also hangs onto your eyeshadow like no man's business.
I actually use two of these products, Optimologist and MediMatte. I have gotten a ridiculous amount to compliments on my skin (something I thought would never, ever happen) since I started using both of these.
The infamous Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
This damn thing has been mentioned in every freaking beauty magazine and by countless celebs as the best eyelash curler money can buy. I saw it in the checkout line at Sephora and demanded that the salesperson tell me just what was so great about this thing. She said that it doesn't pinch your lids, it gives your lashes more of an honest curl rather than a sharp crimp, and it gets all your lashes in there.
Anyway, I was a sucker, and I broke down and coughed up the 18 bucks. And I am so glad that I did, because girl was not a filthy liar. I love this thing and want to sleep with it under my pillow.
Smokey Eyes by Pop Beauty
The packaging is phenomenal, and the range of colors is great. I started out very carefully, and now I use every single color in this palette at least once a week, which is no mean feat. I like to use these in conjunction with my Bare Escentuals brushes, and it's a breeze to apply, not to mention versatile and great for travel.
Kiss Me mascara by Blinc
I bought this on a whim, and so far my two best friends, sister, and mother have also acquired it, to the tune of $24 each. I should get commission. anyway, this stuff forms little tubes around your lashes, which are impervious to water, sweat and tears, but the combo of water and pressure make them slide off when you wash your face at night. It doesn't run or smudge, so "raccoon eyes" just don't happen anymore. Both Mom and Secret Squirrel solemnly say that this stuff is "life altering- I can put mascara on my bottom lashes now!" And those ladies are tough customers, so that's a serious coup.
For the budgetary minded (yeah, I'm right there with you):
Cheek Stain by Sephora
These are six bucks each right now, and they're really versatile, easy, and natural-looking. I have them in Pink and Nude, and they give you a really prety sheer wash of color.
Mineral Makeup by Physician's Formula
Yeah, drugstore makeup!
I was a Bare Minerals convert, but I would go though that stuff at a ridiculous rate, and I missed the convenience of the pressed powder for my purse. This stuff is a fantastic (and much cheaper- you get more powder for less money). The only drawback- you need a good application brush to go with it, the one in the package is crap. I use my old Bare Minerals brushes, and it works like a dream.