My Everyday Makeup Routine

By Gianna Pagano

The video above demonstrates my go-to, everyday makeup routine for when I am in a rush but still want to look my best. This only takes 10 minutes, and you too can get this exact look by using the same products as I did (products listed at bottom of page).

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always had a passion for makeup. When I was younger, I used to steal my mom’s beauty products so I could look like a teenager. I taught myself how to do my makeup through watching tutorial videos and following beauty influencers. I regularly get asked how I do my makeup, which products I use, and if I could teach people how to do their own. 

Doing makeup has become a passionate hobby of mine, whether it is for school, work, social events, holidays, or even simply because I want to experiment new looks. Not only does my love for cosmetics evoke self-confidence, but it also allows me to be creative and express my inner girly-girl. 

Here are a couple examples of my favorite makeup looks I’ve done:

The Perfect Red Lip – Halloween, 2018
Dramatic Full Face Glam – New Years Eve, 2018

Products Used in Video:

  • Mac Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Gel
  • Benefit CosmeticsPORE-fessional Pore Primer
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation – shade 4 
  • Mac Pro Longwear Foundation – shade NC35
  • Benefit Cosmetics Shape Tape – shade Light Neutral 
  • KKW BeautyCrème Contour Stick – shade Medium 
  • Kat Von DTranslucent Lock-It Setting Powder 
  • KKW BeautyPowder Contour – shade 6
  • MAC Mineralize Skin Finish – shade Medium Deep
  • Mac Powder Shimmer Blush – shade Plum Foolery 
  • Becca Cosmetics Blushed with Light Trio Palette – shade Snap Dragon
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz – shade Medium Brown 
  • Benefit Gimmer Brow Gel – shade Medium
  • Urban Decay on The Run Palette – shade Bailout
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Renaissance Palette 
  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
  • Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit
  • Real Technique Brush Set and Beauty Blender

High End Makeup That’s Worth the Money

Jessica Andersen

In the past few years, the beauty community has exploded. Makeup brands are constantly coming out with new flashy products that reflect whatever is trendy at the time. Over the past few years, companies have come out with countless translucent powders for baking, liquid lipsticks, and an overwhelming amount of warm toned eye shadow palettes. Considering the price point of high quality makeup, it can be difficult to sort through products and decide what is actually worth spending money on. There’s nothing worse than spending money on a high end product only for it to suck. I love to try new makeup products and since I started wearing makeup, I’ve tried my fair share of bad products. So I’ve rounded up my top high end products that I couldn’t live without to give some insight into which products are actually worth it.

  • Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

If there’s one thing that every makeup lover should splurge on, it’s nice foundation. Nars Sheer Glow one is hands down the best I’ve tried.  I love trying new foundations but there’s something about this one that keeps me coming back. Nars Sheer Glow is a lightweight, medium but buildable coverage foundation with a natural looking finish. It’s not too glowy, not too matte making it the perfect for every day. This works great on all skin types because it doesn’t accentuate dryness and doesn’t get oily throughout the day. Trust me when I say this $47 foundation is worth every penny.
  • Benefit Precisely My Brow Eyebrow Pencil

I get it, $24 seems extremely excessive for a brow product but if I could only choose one makeup product to use the rest of my life, it would be this. I prefer a pencil to a pomade or power and this is the best one I’ve ever tried.  The super fine tip makes it easy to get really fine, hair-like strokes. My eyebrows have never looked better since I started using this product. It’s pretty comparable to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, but I prefer this one because it has my perfect shade.
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass gets their claim to fame from their Ambient Lighting finishing powders. Don’t get me wrong, these are amazing but every beauty guru on the planet has already confessed their love of these. The real star in my opinion is the finishing powder’s sister product, the Ambient Lighting blushes. Not only are these absolutely gorgeous to look at, they are the most pigmented blushes I own. They are silky and apply like a dream. My go to shade is Luminous Flush. They’ve got shimmer in them but they don’t highlight any texture on the skin. Instead they give a beautiful glowy flush to the skin making the $38 price point worth the splurge.
  • TARTE Tartelette Clay Eyeshadow Palettes.

TARTE’s Tartelette eyeshadow palettes are the best eyeshadow palettes I own. Specifically Tartelette In Bloom and Tartelette Toasted. The mattes are some of the best matte eyeshadows I own. They’re so creamy and pigmented and they blend beautifully with almost zero effort. The shimmers are so velvety and they don’t even need any sort of spray to make them pop. In addition to the quality of shadows the shades are beautiful and versatile as well. These are great for every day and special occasions and ring in at $39 per palette.
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner

It’s no denying Kat Von D is incredibly problematic. She’s been very vocal in support of the anti-vaxx movement and has been known to get into public feuds with fellow beauty gurus. This for sure doesn’t make people want to spend $21 on an eyeliner from her line. But despite that, her liquid eyeliners are the best hands down. I started using this eyeliner in the shade Trooper in high school and it’s the only eyeliner I’ve tried that allows me to create a precise wing. What really turned me on to it was the brush tip. I used to use felt tip liners, but the tip would always end up fraying before the product actually ran out. The brush tip doesn’t fray, holds its shape, and on top of all that it’s waterproof. Definitely worth the price.

  • Makeup Forever Ultra HD Micro-finishing Loose Powder

I have no idea why literally no one talks about this powder because it’s amazing. I set my entire face with this and it completely fills in my pores giving an airbrushed effect. It sets any cream products without looking cakey or dry which is honestly the best thing for a translucent powder. This powder doesn’t work for baking but it does give a similar smoothing effect. My skin type has changed throughout the years but this powder works great on both oily and dry skin types. I’ve repurchased this $36 powder 3 times and I’ll probably continue to repurchase until something better come along.

Makeup is an expensive hobby and there are so many products out there, it can be overwhelming to choose. High end makeup is worth investing in because it’s better quality and it does come with some level of prestige. These products listed above are worth the money due to their quality, pigmentation, and formulas. While these products may be more expensive, they’re higher quality than drugstore brands. That’s worth every penny to me.

The Amazing Natural Benefits of Coconut Oil

You have probably heard this many times: NUTRITION=BEAUTY. It’s a truth we can’t deny, what you eat impacts everything from your fat content, your skin, your energy level, and everything in between. For my first post I thought I would write about coconut oil, which is on my “5 items I would take if I was stranded on a desert island” list. This is because coconut oil has unlimited benefits for beauty and nutrition. After using it for 5 years I will vouch for it’s many benefits actually working! My personal favorite use for it is as a skin moisturizer, because it helps unclog my pores and get rid of acne. I use it on my face, legs, back, wherever I need. Also I put it in my hair 2-3 times a week. I use to be bleach blonde and that has created a lot of dead ends, the coconut oil replenishes my hair from roots to ends. Don’t worry it doesn’t make your hair greasy at all! I also have incorporated coconut oil into my everyday cooking, usually with eggs in the morning, or maybe a tad bit in a smoothie. Anyways while I could go on and on and on about how much I LOVE coconut oil I will just go ahead and list some of the nutritional and beauty benefits it provides.


  • It contains anti-fungal properties which is why when used on your skin it helps with acne (I try to use it every night.)
  • Moisturizes skin and can even be used to treat eczema and psoriasis
  • Deep moisturizer for hair, restores split ends, helps manage frizz, and some swear it can help your hair grow faster (I will put melted coconut oil in my hair and put a little on the roots and soak the ends. I try to leave it on at least 20minutes then wash my hair normally. For very dry hair try putting a pea size amount on your fingertips then rubbing it through your ends after you shower but before you blow dry or straighten/curl.)
  •  Create the BEST body scrub with only 2 ingredients; coconut oil and Epson salt (I use lavender Epson salt for a good smell, or add 2 drops of vanilla extract.)
  • Use for oil pulling. Take 1 Tbs. of coconut oil and put it in your mouth then swish around for 20minutes and finally spit. Not only does this kill the bad bacteria in your mouth and whiten your teeth, it’s also been proven to help with sensitive teeth, joint pain and arthritis, heart conditions, and diabetes. 

Nutrition: When worked into your daily diet

  • Helps brain health and said to help prevent Alzheimer
  • Can naturally balance your hormones (every girls dream!)
  • Increases your bodies fat burning capability by helping break down fat into energy, which supports weight loss 
  • Natural blood sugar stabilizer, encouraged for people with diabetes to use for help with diabetes management
  • Manages your bodies natural yeast correctly, and can treat Candida infections
  • Natural detox for your liver

I try to buy extra virgin coconut oil from my local Good Food Store, or you can purchase it off Amazon. I have not tried Walmart’s or any other stores yet; but coconut oil is coconut oil so I don’t believe any can be bad! I just use one jar for both my beauty and nutritional uses. I store mine in the fridge so it stays in a solid form, but you can store it in the cupboard too, which will make liquid. When I want to use it on my body I scrape off a bit with a knife, and put it in my hands. It melts very quickly by just rubbing it in your hands and then can be used on your face, hair, ect. Make sure you have clean hands. When using it in food just scoop some out into your pan, or if you want it melted put it into a container and microwave it. (It will take less than a minute to melt.)

Now that you know all the benefits of coconut oil, and I am here vouching for it, I hope you will use it! Beauty starts from the inside out, and this multi-use product is guaranteed to make a difference in your life!