The Answer: Though I tend to cherry pick products across a ton of brands, I totally understand that it can be much more efficient to stick with one brand and buy all of your essentials from it. With that being said, I recommend the following two brands — one drugstore mass brand and one department store prestige brand — so you can pick the one that’s right for your budget and one that’s easily accessible:
Drugstore/Mass Brand: L’Oreal Paris
I recommend L’Oreal Paris as a go-to brand for all of your makeup essentials because they offer everything from highly-pigmented eyeshadow shades in classic and trendy hues to a fabulous collection of moisturizing lip glosses (the L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Le Gloss) in 16 gorgeous shades (Blushing Berry is my fave). Finding eyeshadows that pack a serious punch of pigment at the drugstore isn’t easy, by the way. And, in addition to carrying foundations, primers and highlighters that can stand up to their department store counterparts, the brand makes one of my favorite mascaras (the L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara) and lip colors (the L’Oreal Paris Infallible Le Rouge in Ravishing Red). All at an affordable price.
Department Store/Prestige Brand: Make Up For Ever
This was a trickier choice for me to make. I considered MAC, Bobbi Brown, Estee Lauder, Laura Mercier, Chanel and Lancome for various reasons — great mascaras, eyeliners, foundations, eyeshadows of various textures, etc. But, I settled on Make Up For Ever for a few key reasons. First, the lightweight Make Up For Ever Face & Body Foundation has been a favorite of mine for years. It gives great waterproof coverage without feeling like makeup on your skin. I’ve used it off and on since the late ’90s. And second, they make one of my favorite liquid liners of all time (the Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner). Add to that a miracle loose powder (Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder) and fabulous makeup brushes and eyeshadows in every shade and texture imaginable, and you have a perfectly well-rounded brand of gorgeous makeup. If I had to say it has one downfall, it’s that the brand hasn’t yet made a mascara that’s totally wowed me. Otherwise though, you can pretty much get everything you need (well, and don’t need) from Make Up For Ever.
If you’re looking for a dependable brand to fill your makeup bag, these would be my recommendations. But, if you have a specific category of product you’re in the market for, I might suggest something else.
For those of you out there that do have a go-to brand, which one is it? I’d love to hear about it.