summer beauty: three new additions to my personal kit

During the hot summer months, which also happen to be my busiest time of year, I am highly selective about the products that go in my personal makeup kit. To be one of about a dozen items that I take on the road, a product is usually pretty exceptional. I've been testing lots of new things and three in particular stand out. Since they happen to be made by the same company, I realized I was overdue for a product recommendation post. Here we go, three of my new faves that I think you'd love too. From left to right:

MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microperfecting Primer in 1 Green

I've tried dozens of primers, and this is a new stand-out favourite. There are two things that completely won me mover. First of all, it actually reduces redness. So many other redness reducing primers have barely a hint of green pigment in the formula, despite how vivid the shade looks in the bottle. This one, were you to apply it without blending to your skin, is visibly green. When blended, however, it noticeably, instantly reduces redness. I find I need far less foundation to even out my blotchy skin tone once I've used it. Secondly, the finish of it is smooth but not slippery like many other primers. In fact, it provides a really great surface for any subsequent products (corrector, concealer, foundation, etc) to grip. I find it holds the makeup in place well and creates a long-lasting surface, reducing the need to use a setting spray. A+

MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Matic in Satiny Warm Brown 

I love a good multi-use product and this waterproof eyeshadow pencil is just that. You can use it just as successfully as an eyeliner as a shadow. It blends beautifully, though you do have to work quickly because once it's set it is locked down! I love the shape of the pencil, and it applies easily with no dragging. A new go-to tool for a smudgy and yet smudge-proof smoky eye. Best of all, it will stand up to the hottest summer dance party. I've tested it more than once.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Smoky Extravagant Mascara

Like many other Sephora devotees, I received this product as part of my birthday gift from the store this year. The defining feature of this mascara, to me, its its dramatically tapered brush shape in combination with its fairly dense formula. The brand purports that it delivers adequate coverage in one stroke, but what makeup junkie could ever stop at one, really? Apply it like you would any other mascara, but take advantage of the wide and narrow ends to apply to the different parts of your lashline. The narrow end works particularly well for defining your outer lashes. This is not the mascara for a feathery, natural look. It's the one you choose when you're going big, and is best paired with liner and shadow for the full, smoky effect.

So there you have it, three great additions to your summer makeup kit.