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Here Are The 8 Makeup Products I Can’t Live Without

One of the things they don’t tell you about getting older is how much your skin changes! When I was in my 40s, I used drugstore makeup almost exclusively and never had to worry too much about finding that “just right” product.

But once I hit my 50s, my skin started getting thinner and more sensitive. I’ve had to put more time and effort into finding makeup products that will work with my skin type, which has meant replacing a lot of my trusty drugstore fallbacks.

Related: 8 Of The Best Drugstore Skincare Products, According To Dermatologists

Today I’ll be sharing a few of the products I always keep in my makeup bag. These are some of my go-to favorites that work for my thin, sensitive skin, and I would love to hear about some of your go-to makeup products too!

Related: 9 Surprising Ways Your Makeup Is Making You Look Older

8 Of My Favorite Makeup Products, By Category

1. Primer

My Picks: Colorescience Mattifying PrimerAlmay Smart Shade CC Primer

I love this mattifying primer from Colorescience because it has SPF 20, but it’s definitely not cheap. One way I’ve found to make it last longer is by combining it with another primer.

This CC primer from Almay combines well with the Colorescience primer, gives me great coverage, and it helps me get the most out of my more expensive primer!

Jillee's Favorite Makeup

2. Blush

My Pick: NARS Blush Orgasm

My go-to blush is the “Orgasm” shade from NARS, hands down! You may have already heard of this blush based on the sheer number of people who swear by it.

It’s almost universally flattering and gives you a warm and healthy glow. It’s a bit expensive, but I consider it a worthy investment because it lasts a long time!

Jillee's Favorite Makeup

3. Lipstick

My Pick: MAC Matte Lipstick – Candy Yum-Yum

Most of my favorite lipsticks are from MAC Cosmetics. My favorite shades are All Fired Up, Chatterbox, Candy Yum-Yum, but I like others too. I’ve also liked other lipsticks from other brands like L’Oreal, but MAC just seems to have the best color options.

Jillee's Favorite Makeup

4. Eyeliner

My Pick: MAC Eye Kohl

Finding the perfect eyeliner can be tricky for those of us with “mature” skin. Some eyeliners are too soft and end up looking smudgy, while other eyeliners are too hard and pull too much. But this eyeliner from MAC falls right in the middle; not too soft or too hard.

Jillee's Favorite Makeup

5. Mascara

My Pick: L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara 

I’ve tried a lot of mascaras, from high-end department store brands to drugstore mainstays, and I come back to this one from L’Oreal every time. It’s inexpensive and makes my lashes look so full without clumping.

6. Contour

My Pick: MAC Hyper Real Glow Palette

I’m not much of a highlight-and-contour kind of gal, but I’ll do a little bit on special occasions. This palette from MAC has everything I need to create the perfect contour, and because I don’t use it very often, I know it will last a long, long time.

Jillee's Favorite Makeup

7. Finishing Powder

My Pick: Revlon PhotoReady Powder

I like to finish off my makeup routine with a finishing powder. It helps set my makeup and keeps me from looking too shiny. I’ve used this PhotoReady Powder from Revlon for a few years now and I love it! It’s a great inexpensive option for a finishing powder or light foundation.

Jillee's Favorite Makeup

8. Brushes

My Picks: MAC 190 Foundation Brush

As with their other makeup offerings, MAC’s brushes are excellent quality that come at a premium. Brushes last a long time though if you care for them correctly, so these can be a worthy investment.

Tell us about your go-to, must-have makeup items!


Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Beauty Tips

  • Great products! The most important “product” I recommend – above all else – is a good moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or greater! Every single person, regardless of age or skin type, needs to use one. A young person can prevent a lot of aging and skin problems by using a moisturizer that fits their skin type. I always thought that because my skin was super oily I didn’t need to use any. Now in my 30-something’s I have learned otherwise. Don’t forget your neck and upper chest as well!

  • I agree with Angie on the Sunscreen. I’m early 50s and the importance wasn’t stressed as much until I was 30ish. Luckily I’ve always had to be careful with my exposure time- due to being cursed with fair skin.. My main skin issue has been the occasional acne breakout. Also I’ve always had Sensitive skin. I’ve also used the Loreal Voluminous Mascara for years. I’ve had to switch lately because I’ve had a hard time finding their waterproof version. That’s one of my main issues is when companies decide to discontinue certain products I love and leave me dangling trying to find a similar product.

  • The best mascara I’ve ever used and now will keep using is by Thrive. It will stay on through sleep (if you forget to remove it) and I never get raccoon eyes. It also comes off easily when you want it to. For lipstick I’ve been using and loving Revlon Colorstay ultimate suede. Some of the colors stay on all day, through eating and I can even kiss my honey without leaving any on him.

    • Hi Tina, I’ve been thinking about trying the Thrive brand mascara for a while. I’ve read the reviews and they all seem pretty great. It’s nice to hear from someone in this type of forum that it’s a great product. I’m definitely going to get a tube now. Have you tried any of their other products? Thanks so much, I hope I love it!

  • A good set of brushes are ones I found on Amazon. They are called Unicorn brushes and come in a set with a wide variety and easy on the pocketbook. Extremely soft and pretty to look at too. I have also started to switch over to Younique brand makeup. It’s a bit pricey, but lasts a long time and no harsh chemicals.

    • I have a great set of brushes. One of my Sister in laws worked for Nu Skin back in her college days . She was newly married to my brother and I was admiring the brushes. He also had my name for Christmas that year so I was able to pick what I wanted since they could get great products at a discount. She wound up just giving me the brushes and they have held up amazingly well. I’ve had these brushes for years.

  • Hi ladies, I’m an aesthetician and make-up artist and for those of you like me that once had acne, this is the product for you. I LOVE NYX Pore Filler, which you can buy at Ulta, on-line or Sephora. This product is like a BB cream (beauty balm/primer) but it also fills in large pores or scars. The price is $13.99. You skin will look really smooth. It can be applied under or over foundation. If you don’t wear foundation, apply it then add a finishing powder.

  • I wear next to no makeup, mainly because I’m lazy and don’t know what I’m doing. I got upper and lower lid permanent eyeliner (tatoos) and it was the best thing I’ve done for myself. That and some tinted lotion is the extent of my daily makeup “routine.” I’m 45. I’ve recently become obsessed with my thinning brows and was considering tattoos, then read about wonderbrow and thought I’d give it a try. Wow! So easy to use, looks completely natural, and last for days!

  • As a 58 year old, I don’t use any products containing powder. It ages you fast. NARS Orgasm Blush comes in a cream and to set my makeup I use a setting spray. No mattifying anything! You want a bit of a glow. Blend, blend, blend using a sponge sphere.

  • I’m kind of disappointed in some of the recommendations because a lot of the stuff is way too expensive for me. I do use the L’Oréal voluminous mascara. It’s great for my skimpy lashes. I did for awhile use a Milani version of the Orgasm shade. I use Milani’s romantic rose blush and sometimes their Dolce pink – which is great for giving me a color boost . I’ve started using Revlons colorstay foundation for oily skin. I’m pleased it actually stands up to our humid Summers. I use the Cerave tinted mineral sunscreen for my working days.

    • Christy, I know some of these products are a bit pricey, but these are my favorites and there are certain things that I will spend more on, because in my mind they are worth it. Truth be told, I also use several products from drug stores and I like them too. Here is a post I did a while back with great copycat products that cost much less. The prices might be a little different because I wrote the post in 2019.
      9 Of The Best High-End Makeup Knockoffs Found At The Drugstore

      • I liked the post with the knockoffs.,Maybe it’s time for round 2 of it. I won’t buy the expensive ones very often because of trying to watch my money.There are a few I will splurge on if it will last a long time.

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