beauty favorites no.1 (real techniques + e.l.f + sonia kashuk + lorac)

When I find a makeup product that works for me, it remains a longtime staple in my collection. Clio’s Kill Black Waterproof Pen Liner has been my go-to felt eyeliner since I first learned how to makeup; and this Sonia Kashuk palette and I have had a years-long affair.

Of course, sticking with one product comes with its drawbacks, even if it does save me time and money. Only a few months ago, I finally broke the cycle and tried the same Clio liner in brown (gasp)–only to realize that for an everyday look, I preferred the more natural brown line to the harsher black wing I’d been sporting all these years. And the Sonia Kashuk palette? Turns out–surprise, surprise–that there are way more pigmented eye shadows on the market (but I’d still recommend Kashuk’s matte palette for eye shadow beginners).


This is all just a long-winded segue into a new category of posts on ruth & naomi: my beauty favorites. As I get out of my shell and test the waters for new makeup products, I’ll share the ones that I end up reaching for the most.

P.S. I’d love to hear what your current beauty faves are–leave ’em in the comments below!

1 | real techniques brushes ++

For someone who’s literally only used e.l.f. brushes for all eye shadow and foundation/powder needs, these Real Technique brushes are an upgrade. I still use e.l.f.’s regular shadow brushes daily, and I particularly love this blending one; but for me, the Real Technique brushes apply/blend shadows effortlessly and simply produce better results. I bought a set that included four different brushes, but the crease and definer take the cake. I believe the latter is supposed to be for the eye, but it works really well with my brow pomade.


2 | e.l.f. clear brow and lash mascara ++

I bought this on a whim while I was at CVS a few weeks ago, and I haven’t stopped using it since. Although I originally bought it for the clear brow gel, I’m actually smitten with the lash mascara end (for which I literally had zero expectations). My lashes are extremely stubborn and refuse to stay curled or even lifted; and I can’t be bothered to take out and untangle my hair dryer everyday to heat up my lash curler. But with one generous coating of the lightweight lash mascara formula–let it dry for a few minutes–and a couple of pumps from my curler, I’m good to go. Luckily, I have decently full lashes (thanks to an eyelash growth serum I used years ago), so I’ve even stopped using mascara on a daily basis.


3 | lorac pro matte palette ++

Talk about pigment. These beautiful, blend-able, natural matte hues are so intensely pigmented, I only need a light tap of a brush to get my eye shadow fix–a little goes a very long way. For the size, the palette is on the pricier end, but the highly-pigmented shadows make up for the price. Perfect natural colors and long-lasting staying power, there isn’t much more to say about this solid matte shadow palette.


4 | Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick ++ and Chic Defining Contour Stick ++


Highlighting/contouring is definitely not something I do everyday, but it’s been fun experimenting with these two sticks.  They’re easy to apply, finger blending-friendly, and perfect for travel or on-the-go makeup.

I have the highlighter in the color “Persian Sunset”, but if I’d known there was a golden-hued “Sparkling Sand”, I would have opted for that one.  My skin tone is obviously more yellow, and the Persian Sunset has a pinkish undertone to it.  Edit: I was mistaken; I do have the highlighter in “Sparkling Sand,” which has the pinkish undertone, but it still looks good on my medium skin. It adds a pretty, subtle glow to the tops of my cheek and brow bones. Tip: I find that when I swipe the product directly on my face, my skin doesn’t absorb it well. So I rub my finger into the product to warm it up first, which helps it to blend in more evenly.

When I opened the cap on the defining stick, I was shocked at how dark the color was. I was even more aghast when I drew a line under my cheekbone with the lightest touch of my hand, only to find a highly contrasted, burnt-orange gash of a line smiling back at me in the mirror. But much to my pleasant surprise and relief, the formula blends out easily with a brush, beauty blender or fingers, adding just the slightest natural dimension to the face. The product is absolutely build-able, too, if you want a more defined contour.


Before and after blending


Hope you enjoyed the first batch of my beauty favorites. Next up? I finally give in and wire all of my money to Glossier–stay tuned!


// ruth kim


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