Yes, this post is about relationships! But not with boys or girls.

This is about one of the loves of my life: cosmetics.

Throughout out the years my relationship with makeup has gone through many, many, many phases. I remember feeling at one point, I think it was during high school, that if I were ever stranded on a deserted island and could only bring ONE thing with me it would not be matches, potable water, or a freakin’ cell phone; nope, it’d be my eyeliner, because heaven FORBID anyone see my eyes – gasp! – naked. Thankfully that intense dependency/obsession/etc with makeup has mellowed in a more comfortable, give and take relationship. Oddly enough, I think it was being in a comfortable, give and take relationship that made me ease up on the face. I can clearly remember Hubs (then just boyfriend) tricking me into going out without my “face” by saying we were just making a quick hardware store run. I was in sweats and a bare face and the fool had the NERVE to pull into the mall parking lot and announce that we were going to brunch. I’m sure I looked at him like he had three heads. And I was absolutely certain that everyone looked at me like I have FIVE heads when I entered the mall looking like… well, I don’t know, me without makeup?

Amazingly, no one really cared. Except for me. I cared. But four mimosas helped me relax a little.

I digress.

My skin has not gotten better with age. I now how battle scars from various wars with acne and hormones, some won, some lost, but I definitely feel more confident in myself, confident enough to say good morning to the neighbors without concealer on and even make a grocery store run. But you know what? When I put on my “face”, as superficial as it may sound, I feel better. I feel good, and in a world full of un-good feelings, if a little blush and eyeliner boost the morale a bit, well, it’s certainly not hurting anyone.

Over the years I’ve gotten fairly adept at applying makeup, and even had the honor doing my cousin’s bridal makeup for her wedding. I also did my own wedding makeup, after two trials that left me looking like a scary clown bride. I like makeup to look natural — the goal is not to look like you’ve piled on an alternate personality, but instead to create a smooth complexion that looks real. The best compliment is for someone to say that your skin looks great — not that your foundation is really pulling its weight today, you know?

Smooth the complexion and emphasize your positives. And save the crazy colors and shimmery stuff for special occasions. That’s my motto! Since I’ve spent a small fortune on makeup (I’m a Sephora V.I.B. baby, aka click-happy internet shopper), I decided to show you guys my daily essential makeup items, in case you cared to know.

This is the all-star lineup that give me a natural, but polished everyday look. After much waffling and frivolous spending, I’ve decided that at least right now, my foundation of choice is MAC’s Studio Fix powder. It’s so easy, layers nicely, and it looks good in pictures. For concealer, I use Laura Mercier, and typically use the same Chanel Quad of eyeshadow every day, because I love it.

My absolute lover sweetie pie is this:

Bobbi Brown’s face touch up stick. If you have ANY blemishes or discolorations on your skin, this little angel will make you so happy. I apply it before the foundation to any spots that stand out, and once I’ve brushed my Studio Fix over it, it’s like magic! And a little tube lasts forever.

My other lover, which I don’t use every day, but always break out for special occasions — like when I’m in the mood to spend more than 5 minutes on my face — is this:

This stuff will transform any eyeshadow into an eyeliner that stays put. When I’m doing cat eyes or smokey eyes I like to use a brush, and this magic potion makes it so easy. It’s also great to add a little to a light shimmer shadow to create a long-lasting base for building color. I’ve had this one bottle for 2 years, so again, a little goes a long way.

In addition to the products above, I keep these handy:

For when the mood strikes. I’ve also got another stash of makeup in my closet, because I’m a junkie. And a girl’s gotta have options.

What about you? Any makeup lovers out there?