I’m a Beauty Writer, and These Are the 14 Makeup Products I Couldn’t Let Go of While Decluttering

I’m a Beauty Writer, and These Are the 14 Makeup Products I Couldn’t Let Go of While Decluttering

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Shopping my beauty shelf Tout Photo:

Real Simple / Madison Woiten

As a shopping writer, I’m constantly testing new launches to work into my routines that my collection of products has expanded far beyond my beloved beauty shelf into rolling carts and overflowing drawers. I knew there were plenty of formulas I had held onto but hadn’t touched in months, so I took a weekend to overhaul my collection and take inventory of my current rotation.

Little did I know I would rediscover some forgotten favorites in pristine condition that deserved another shot. These gems never disappointed but, unfortunately, they got lost under a pile of newer items I had collected. After reorganizing my beauty shelf, here are the 14 time-tested finds I’m putting back in my makeup bag.

14 Beauty Rediscoveries I Put Back in My Makeup Bag

  • Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $32; sephora.com.
  • Tower 28 SuperDew Highlighter, $18; tower28.com.
  • Saie Slip Tint, $36; saiehello.com.
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Dew Drops, $35; glowrecipe.com.
  • Lottie London Cheeky Kiss Lip & Cheek Stick, $7; walmart.com.
  • Flower Beauty Heatwave Luminous Bronzer, $13; ulta.com.
  • Colourpop Pressed Powder Blush, $12; colourpop.com.
  • Pixi Beauty CC Crayon, $11; pixibeauty.com.
  • Juvia’s Place Afrogalactic Glitter Eyeliner, $15; juviasplace.com.
  • Merit The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick, $38; meritbeauty.com.
  • Benefit Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, $26; benefitcosmetics.com.
  • Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler, $26; kevynaucoin.com.
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Face Makeup Primer, $39; ulta.com.
  • Clinique Almost Lipstick, $19 (was $25); clinique.com.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

Sephora NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer


Buy on Sephora $32

While I've experimented with some stellar new concealers this past year, I almost overlooked the one formula that I had depended on for so long. This Nars concealer not only works great for brightening the under-eye area, but it's buildable and versatile enough to cover spots and redness all over my face without ever feeling dry.

Tower 28 SuperDew Highlighter

Tower 28 SuperDew Highlighter

Tower 28

Buy on Tower28beauty.com $18

While I aim for a more natural makeup look these days, I still love a good highlighter. However, I don't always want to walk around looking like I have a strobe strip on my cheek. Tower 28's SuperDew balm gives the healthiest, lit-from-within glow, and I have yet to find another product that mimics that effect. The highlight is subtle, since it doesn't have shimmer or glitter, but that's what I love about it—it's my secret to faking glassy skin.

Saie Slip Tint



Buy Now $36

My foray into tinted moisturizers started with Saie's best-selling formula, and with good reason: It's an ideal combination of soft coverage, skincare, and SPF. The moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid, antioxidant-rich pansy flower, and brightening licorice root extract feel like a dewy cream, rather than a complexion enhancer. It feels so comfortable and leaves behind a dewy finish.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Dew Drops

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

Glow Recipe

Buy on Glowrecipe.com $35

Okay, so this is technically a skincare product, but I always use skincare to prep my base, and I've gone back to using Glow Recipe's iconic Dew Drops. After slathering this on, my skin looks ridiculously soft and supple but never greasy. The watermelon extract delivers a unique plumping effect, while hyaluronic acid and moringa seed oil hydrate.

Lottie London Cheeky Kiss Lip & Cheek Stick

Walmart Lottie London Cheeky Kiss Lip & Cheek Stick


Buy on Walmart $7

I'm a sucker for cute packaging, which is what initially drew my eye to this lip and cheek color stick, but I stuck around for the buttery formula that’s infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. If you like monochromatic makeup looks, then you'll really enjoy this silky crayon. The adorable heart shape will also make a very playful cheek stamp for your Valentine's or Galentine's Day plans.

Flower Beauty Heatwave Luminous Bronzer

Ulta FLOWER Beauty Heatwave Luminous Bronzer


Buy Now $13

While I used to go for a dramatically carved-out cheek, I've been appreciating a lighter hand with my bronzer lately. This matte bronzer has baked-in shimmers that give a luminous glow when applied. I apply this all over the perimeter to warm my face, and it never looks streaky or orange. It works great for my light complexion, too, but it probably wouldn't show up very well on medium or deeper skin tones.

Colourpop Pressed Powder Blush

Colourpop woo me pressed powder blush


Buy on Colourpop.com $12

Again, the sweet and charming packaging got me, but the delightful powder formula keeps me coming back for more. At first sight, I thought the bright red hue would overwhelm my face, but this silky powder melts so nicely on my cheeks and is easy to layer on top of my cream blushes to enhance their longevity.

Pixi Beauty CC Crayon

Pixi CC Crayon


Buy on Pixibeauty.com $11

Thanks to this travel-friendly crayon, I can wave goodbye to dark circles. It glides effortlessly over my skin, and, with one swipe, I have the right amount to help neutralize the deep purple that plagues my under-eye area. I tap this into my skin with my ring finger before applying a little concealer over it, and it swiftly brightens the area.

Juvia's Place Afrogalactic Glitter Eyeliner


Juvia's Place

Buy on Juviasplace.com $15

I'm a cat-eye girl to the core, but I didn't realize how much fun I could have with my eyeliner until I found this liquid glitter formula from Juvia's Place. I've used the gel-based liner on its own, as well as an accent to my black liquid and pen eyeliners. I always get compliments when I wear these, because they add the right amount of understated drama that's accentuated by the light.

Merit The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Stick

Merit The Minimalist


Buy Now $38

My minimalist routine revolves around this multitasking perfection stick. It can work as your foundation or concealer, but I typically use it when I need to put together a makeup look that isn't full glam stat. It's foolproof enough for touch-ups on the go as well. I roll it onto my skin and use my finger to tap and melt the product into where I need extra coverage, like under my eye or on a fresh blemish.

Benefit Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel

Benefit Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel


Buy Now $26

I'm lucky enough to have pretty full brows that require little maintenance, but I definitely have sparse areas that need some love. I hate how long it takes me to complete my brows with a micro pencil, so I usually brush this pigment-packed gel through my brows to help them look fuller and hold them in place.

Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler

Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler

Kevyn Aucoin

Buy on Kevynaucoinbeauty.com $26

I gave up any hope on eyelash curlers long ago, that is until I came across this one from Kevyn Aucoin again—I finally understand why it's an award winner. It's not often that I come across a curler that, one, doesn't pinch my eyes in any capacity or, two, actually holds a curl after just a few squeezes. I'm always pleasantly surprised when I look in the mirror after a day out and about, only to see my lashes haven't fallen.

Urban Decay All Nighter Face Makeup Primer

Ulta Urban Decay Cosmetics All Nighter Face Makeup Primer


Buy Now $39

I've been enjoying a slew of dewy and glow-boosting makeup, but those formulas don't always last for long, especially not in my T-zone, which can get pretty oily through the day. This classic face primer feels so refreshing, but it also helps lock foundations and skin tints in place throughout a long day of wear without requiring a touchup.

Clinique Almost Lipstick

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey


Buy on Clinique.com $25 $19

I've grown devoted to my opaque, matte lipstick formulas, but I always gravitate towards the universally flattering black honey shade from Clinique's Almost Lipstick line. Though the dark shade looks intimidating in the tube, it glides on so sheer and offers such a delicate and beautiful wash of color that seamlessly complements any makeup look. I always fall back in love when I pick it up.


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