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Staple Products for My Simple Everyday Makeup Routine

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

Below is a list of my favorite makeup products that I use almost every day if I’m wearing makeup. I am a more natural girly, but if I’m feeling up for makeup or have enough time before I head to work, these are the products I am applying. Feel free to keep reading to hear about some of my favorite staples in my simple everyday makeup routine!

Eye Serum

I always try to remember to do a bit of skincare before applying makeup.  If I’m being honest, though, I am much better at doing my nightly skincare routine compared to my morning one. I use The Ordinary’s “Caffeine 5% + ECGC Depuffing Eye Serum” underneath my eyes. This is a great product that I’ve been using for years, and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in how my dark circles appear. Another great product I recently added to my collection is The INKEY List’s Caffeine Eye Cream. This is not a serum, but this cream applies with a similar texture, one that’s super smooth and hydrating on the skin. This is a cruelty-free brand as well that is part of Sephora’s clean beauty brands. According to Sephora’s website, this means that the product is a “brand formulated without phthalates, formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasers, oxybenzone and octinoxate”.


It is super important to moisturize your skin throughout the year. In the summertime, it’s necessary to make sure you are keeping your skin hydrated, especially after those long days of being out in the sunshine. I always wear sunscreen in the summer since I have fair skin, but if sunscreen isn’t your thing… first off, you should make it! However, if you aren’t a sunscreen girly I’d recommend getting a moisturizer that has SPF in it. I typically use Cetaphil’s Daily Oil Free Facial Moisturizer; however, I recently purchased the version with SPF 35 in it.

In the wintertime, I prefer to use a thicker moisturizer, or at least make sure I apply one before bed. I use the POND’S Correcting Cream Clarant B3 Dark Spot Normal to Dry Skin that I usually buy at Target. This is in the travel section, where the smaller or sample-size products are. Another one I’ve been using which has a bit stronger scent, and is more expensive, is Laneige’s Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Cream Moisturizer. I bought this as a Christmas gift set from Sephora.

If I want to use a tinted moisturizer that has a bit of light coverage, I’ll use Colourpop’s Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer as a base. I use the shade Fair 4N in the winter months and use a warmer one during the spring and summer once I’ve got a bit of color. I will not reach for a foundation on an everyday basis but if I have an important event or meeting, I’ll use Maybelline’s Fit Me foundation.


Let’s just say it’s obvious I am waking up at 5 a.m. in the morning. I thought the college eyebags I developed (did you know those are a thing?) were the worst they would be, but waking up before the sun every morning totally changes the game. For concealer, I use the Maybelline Fit Me in the shade “Ivory” (5) and “Fair” (10).


For powder, I tend to use whatever I have, even if that means using up older products until I hit the pan. My favorite pressed powder is the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder (Hey, Maybelline, feel free to sponsor me if you see this! This is not sponsored, but I’ve had lots of luck with this brand for my sensitive, fair skin) in the shade Porcelain 110. Otherwise, I’ll use the Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder.


Using the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit, I use the cooler-toned shade. Since I’m running low on the product in this palette, I’ll mix the bronzer and contour shade with a large Real Techniques brush. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll take out my Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer, but this one is super pigmented, and my sleepy morning vibes aren’t the best match for this product.  Using cooler shades is best during the cool months, and I use warmer shades in the summer and fall when I have more of a tan on my skin. I also would recommend the Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer if you want to try a more affordable product. The pigment is wonderful, and the packing is super sturdy which is fantastic for traveling.


I usually put a bit of highlight on the high points of my cheek. I use the Makeup Revolution Highlighter Reloaded in the shade “Dare to Divulge”. However, the highlight is more of a baked formula, so each time I’ve purchased this product, it ends up cracking and making a mess in the packaging. Otherwise, my secret to a subtle glow is using an illuminating primer. You can use this underneath or on top of your makeup, but it’s a much more natural, everyday look that still catches the light and appears healthy and glows. I would recommend using the e.l.f. cosmetics’ Luminous Putty Primer, or Glow Recipe’s Niacinamide Dew Drops.


I do not fill in my eyebrows, but I will go over them with clear mascara to lock them in place. Then for my eyes, I’ll apply clear mascara or regular mascara depending on how tired I am. If I wake up feeling sleepy, I avoid putting on mascara since I know I might rub my eyes. I love how putting on a quick coat of mascara completes any look. Lately, I’ve been loving Tarte’s Sea Surfer Curl Volumizing Mascara, that’s a clean beauty line. I also love the Maybelline Lots of Lashes Mascara with the heart-shaped wand, or the famous  L’Oréal Paris’s Luminous Lash Paradise. My most recent purchase is the popular TikTok mascara, Essence’s Lash Princess.


The only lip product I will recommend without any hesitations is this one: Colourpop’s Lux Gloss. I have the shades “Ticklish” and “Tap In” and I LOVE both of these. I plan on buying the rest of the shades. These leave your lips looking full, with a nice overlay of color. I’d highly recommend trying these out for everyday makeup looks.

I hope you enjoyed reading my simple everyday makeup routine staples and product recommendations. As always, wear the amount of makeup or skincare products you are comfortable with. Be natural. Be done up. Do whatever makes you happy and lets you feel like the best version of yourself. Something else you must remember to do: Find products and a routine that works for YOU! Often, we get caught up buying products that influencers recommend, or buying extra products that don’t genuinely work with your skin type or lifestyle. Use beauty products and makeup as a way to accentuate yourself and your features. Always remember you are beautiful with or without makeup.



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Lynn Merigold

Illinois State '23

Lynn graduated from Illinois State University, where she was a contributing writer, chapter editor/president, and member of the Campus Trendsetters community. When she’s not teaching, you can find her spending time with family/friends, attending a fitness class, or listening to an audiobook!