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Building Your Makeup Arsenal: The Best Beauty Products for #Girlbosses

Building Your Makeup Arsenal: The Best Beauty Products for #Girlbosses

By Kaylin R. Staten

It’s no secret that image is everything in public relations, whether you like that fact or not. If you find yourself underneath the bright LED lights in your local (or even national!) television studio, have to speak in front of 100 or so people at a press conference announcing a new product launch or just want to look put together on a daily basis, what are some ways you can do that?

As a #Girlboss in your own profession, you’ve likely already started investing in a professional wardrobe (hello, pencil skirts, black high heels and button-down blouses). If you’re a female PR pro or a career woman in general, you may want to invest in your own beauty arsenal and regimen as well. Of course, all of us have our own ways to remain confident in our professions without having to splatter makeup on our faces in order to please other people.

But, if makeup and other beauty products make your girly girl PR heart happy and relaxed, then why remain from them? If you’re a PR and/or beauty novice and don’t know where to start, what are some of the best beauty finds for PR practitioners — and all professionals — on the go?

As a PR professional, small business owner, cat mom, wife and all of my other long hosts of titles (I’m beginning to sound like Daenerys Targaryen!), here are my top beauty products that are as essential to my everyday routine as my PR and writing tasks.

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SKIN & HAIR

Each of us is busy in her (or his!) own way. We may not have all of the time in the world to browse each aisle at Ulta or our closest drugstore to see which skin and hair items work best for us. For busy PR pros like us, we want and need something that is quick and easy to apply but lasts all day -- through the crises that arise and through temperature changes.

The eight above products are lifesavers in my book! The Pacifica face cream and Julep Sleeping Mask are perfect when you want to give your skin an extra boost of energy and nutrients overnight. These items are for those of us who burn the midnight oil and wake up tired and/or are prone to stress. These products help your skin to not look as stressed as you feel and uses anti-aging elements. The Vitamin E cream, which can also be found in some of your local drugstores, is something my grandmother told me about. I've kept it on hand ever since. It helps with sunburns, incredibly dry skin, lessening the appearance of scars and more. It's one of the best remedies for your skin (face, arms, legs, etc.)! Egg and clay masks revitalize your skin after a long week. Just run up some bath water, put on a mask for 30 minutes and avoid the 24/7 news cycle for a while! 

And who hasn't fallen asleep wearing makeup? Before your head hits the pillow, wash your face with the Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean cleanser. It takes off even the hardest-to-wash-off makeup, like glitter eyeshadow and the blackest of black mascara and eyeliner. Another go-to product is anything Batiste. When I was in London, I stocked up on some UK-only cans of my favorite dry shampoo. Couldn't resist the Buy 2, Get One Free sale at Boots! I love all kinds of their scented dry shampoo, from Blush to Tropical and the ones that are color-specific to your hair. (It helps to cover your roots if you are in between dye jobs.) 

And, last but not least, the Real Chemistry peel is something I am obsessed with. It's a little pricey, but it's worth it! If you have rough skin on your feet, elbows or other parts of your body, massage a dab on your affected area and watch the skin peel off. Huge thanks to my husband for getting this for me, his weird loves-to-peel-skin wife.

EYES: SHADOW

No matter your budget, it's wise to invest in some day and night eyeshadows for daily office use and events and mixers. One of my current favorite eyeshadow palettes is the one that adheres to my geeky space-loving ways, the Galaxy Chic palette from BH Cosmetics. These are vibrant and easy to blend. The Maybelline and Jelly Pong Pong shadows are perfect for everyday use but can be used as nighttime shades as well. If I am working at an event or going out on a date with my husband, I *LOVE* glitter in my eyeshadow. The Stila liquid eyeshadow is amazing if you're a glitter-aholic like me. If you want some subtle glitter, the Urban Decay shadow above is perfect. 

Someone once told me that using pink eyeshadow doesn't flatter the red pigments in my skin tone. While all of us wants to wear makeup that flatters us, don't be afraid to experiment! Personally, I love pink eyeshadow because it can be dressed up or down. And despite the negative comment, I own my pink eyeshadow! Maybelline has some good, affordable, basic-color eyeshadow if you want to start small and work your way up to owning more expensive beauty products. Pink eyeshadow, specifically, is versatile, and plus, it reminds me of Princess Leia Organa in "Star Wars: A New Hope." Engaging my inner Leia is a sure way to be a #Girlboss with my makeup routine. Find your own inspiration, whether it's someone you know, a celebrity you like or a look you see on your Instagram feed.

No matter your style, color preference or finish, invest in eyeshadows and blending brushes. Keep some at home and at the office so you don't have to keep bringing your makeup bag back and forth. Eyeliners and brow liners are also solid investments.

EYES: MASCARA

Thanks to my dad, I have some really long eyelashes. That doesn't mean I don't love my mascara. For everyday use, I use The Beauty Crop's Fabulous Flocking Lashes mascara. I will admit it, I do love the packaging. It's the PR/marketing fiend in me. Give me a good product AND good packaging, and I'm in beauty product heaven! If an almost-$20 mascara isn't something you're ready to invest in, CoverGirl has some good mascaras for the price. And who hasn't owned Maybelline's Great Lash Mascara at least once in her life? It's still a great staple to have in your makeup bag, especially for those crazy last-minute "Hey, can I interview you?" phone calls. 

I use brands like Stila and Smashbox for events because they really make my eyelashes pop. I wear my glasses most of the time, so these mascara brands show off your lashes without having to put in your contacts. (Because, let's face it, I am lazy when it comes to that.) 

LIPS

Nothing reflects my mood quite like my lipstick color. When I'm feeling bold or want to pay tribute to my great-grandmother, I wear red lipstick. It's actually my favorite type of lipstick, which the teenage Kaylin would be like, "What?!" The younger version of me played it safe with lip color, often choosing a clear lip gloss or something in peachy or pink tones. It just had to be light. I didn't want to stand out! Welcome to late-20s Kaylin, who is still an introvert but knows how to be more extroverted with PR and lipstick. 

It's OK if you love pinks and peaches, but don't be afraid to try something new. In my 20s, I discovered that I love red lipstick. Nothing completes an overall look like some lip color, so try something that entices you, whether it's something plum, coral or even blue. My favorite reds are the above Lipstick Queen and Hourglass shades (two of my namesakes, really). I also like the Monop import I brought home with me from Paris. It's red and glittery -- two perfect traits in my beauty book. 

If you want healthy lips, look no further than Chapstick. I put on some Chapstick before bed every night, and it really helps to moisturize my lips. That means no flaky lipstick or peeling lips (for the most part). This is an especially helpful method to use during the cold winter months. My favorite is the Cake Batter kind, because let's face it, the regular kind smells like medicine. 

FACE

I wasn't a believer in primer until fairly recently, and now, I swear by it! It serves as the base for your foundation, blush, eyeshadow, etc. It enhances the pigments in the makeup and allows for the colors to pop. I always use a matte eyeshadow primer and love to use the Benefit POREfessional face primer. It helps to minimize pores very well, and sometimes, I even wear it by itself. I wear foundation when I have to -- if I have to be on camera or attend a fancy-ish event. It's not an everyday staple for me, but if you want to cover up blemishes and have a consistent skin tone, try Estee Lauder foundation. It stays on for hours. (Thanks to my sister for telling me about it.)

Add pretty shine to your face by using an illumination primer. Blushes can vary by skin tone and preference, but I love peaches and pinks. And bronzer, too! I have a pale skin tone, and that really helps me to not look like a little white ghost with barely flushed cheeks all the time. Find a good brush to apply your bronzer and blush. I love the Glamour Dolls Lisa Frank one. It reminds me of my childhood and also applies my makeup evenly. (I'm also waiting on my "Game of Thrones"-themed brushes!)

Top off your look with setting spray. You don't want to sweat off your makeup or have glitter all over your face. Setting spray is wonderful, no matter the season.

NAILS

1. Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat, $7.50, Ulta 2. Julep Nail Polish in Paris, $14.00, Julep.com  3. O.P.I. Nail Polish in Skyfall (Discontinued), $16.95, eBay 4. Essie Nail Polish in Topless and Barefoot, $9.00, Ulta 5. Margaret Dabbs Nail Polish in Green Daylily, $16, MargaretDabbs.co.uk  6. Rimmel London 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Hot Chili Pepper, various prices, eBay (different colors can be found at CVS, Walgreen's, etc.!) 7. Ciaté London Gelology Topcoat, $14, CiateLondon.com  8. Pop-Arazzi Quick Drying Drops, $2.99, CVS 

1. Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat, $7.50, Ulta

2. Julep Nail Polish in Paris, $14.00, Julep.com 

3. O.P.I. Nail Polish in Skyfall (Discontinued), $16.95, eBay

4. Essie Nail Polish in Topless and Barefoot, $9.00, Ulta

5. Margaret Dabbs Nail Polish in Green Daylily, $16, MargaretDabbs.co.uk 

6. Rimmel London 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Hot Chili Pepper, various prices, eBay (different colors can be found at CVS, Walgreen's, etc.!)

7. Ciaté London Gelology Topcoat, $14, CiateLondon.com 

8. Pop-Arazzi Quick Drying Drops, $2.99, CVS 

I saved my most favorite for last: nail polish. I don't know if I should mention this, but... I have a half-bathroom closet filled to the brim with nail polish. More than 300 of them. *dies of shame*

I have every color of the rainbow, and while I'm not saying to follow in my poor, empty-wallet footsteps, I do recommend having a few polishes. Definitely red, pink, tan, gray and something shimmery. And like in above words of advice, experiment with color! Right now, I have Pantone's 2014 Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid, on my nails with a deeper purple accent ring-finger nail. 

Three things you ABSOLUTELY need in your nail-polish stash: a base coat, a top coat and quick-drying drops. My favorites of each are above. My friend Brianna, who passed away in 2016, told me about the Seche base coat. She loved doing her own nail looks and even had her own Instagram account dedicated to her love of polishes and experimenting with nail design. She never steered me wrong on nail polish recommendations! The top coat I recommend makes your nails feel and look like acrylic nails; in addition, they're insanely shiny. CVS has a really cheap but really amazing brand of drying drops. Perfect when you have spent all your money on the latest Essie collection during your lunch break. 

SOME TIPS

Just some tips of the trade: I hardly EVER purchase anything full price. It's the bargain shopper in me. I can hardly abide spending more money than needed. I have to balance between buying makeup and "Star Wars" stuff, after all. So, watch for sales at your local stores and online. Ulta always has sales, and you can get a free item for your birthday every year if you are a rewards member. Shop at discounted places, like Marshall's and TJ Maxx. It's where I found my Bite lipstick for less than $10! 

Also, I have monthly subscriptions to Birchbox and Ipsy. Both subscriptions allow me to experiment with various makeup brands and to find new favorites. At a combined $20 a month, it's something I look forward to seeing in my mailbox each month. Ipsy comes with a makeup bag every month, too, so that's some extra perks for the price! Birchbox also uses a new title every month on my package, like "The Amazing Kaylin Staten." Thanks, Birchbox. ;) 

And never stop experimenting. Watch videos on YouTube. See what your friends are trying. Read beauty blogs. Do what makes you comfortable but allows you to step a little more outside of the box. I try something new all the time, if not daily. I love finding a regimen that makes it easier for me to save time and money so I can get back to work #behindthehourglass! 

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Kaylin R. Staten is an award-winning public relations practitioner and business owner based in Huntington, W.Va.

Note: Photos taken by Hourglass Omnimedia. .Gifs by Giphy. Beauty products owned by their respective owners, as referenced.
Top 3 Tips for Professional Press Kits

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