After 24 years of laziness/incompetence, my resolution for 2015 was to get into skincare and makeup. (Skincare because grad school gives me stress acne; makeup because I got tired of being mistaken for a teenager.) Here are some products that helped me tolerate and then made me love meeting that goal.
  1. Tony Moly I'm Real Sheet Masks
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    I'm pretty sure that the positive benefits of sheet masks are largely placebo effect in that having to sit still and relax* for 20-30 minutes a week is good for my skin. But my skin has never looked better than it has since I started using these regularly. I'm slowly working my way through all the varieties, but so far the avocado is my favorite. (*send Silence of the Lambs themed snapchats)
  2. Cerave Eye Repair Cream
    Admittedly I've only been using this for a week, but it's made my undereye circles visibly less ghoulish. Like, they're still horrifying, but now they're a lower level of horrifying that can be mitigated by concealer.
  3. Real Techniques face brushes and blending sponge
    I've been slapping my base makeup on with my fingers forever, because I used to only wear makeup every so often, but these are soft, cute, and well-priced (and regularly BOGO 50% off at Ulta on top of it.) The blush brush is a particular favorite.
  4. OPI nail polishes in Cosmo With a Twist and Gelato on My Mind
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    Keeping my nails painted was the one exception to my general failures at traditional femininity over the past few years. I've been ride or die for Zoya loyalist for most of that time and sort of iffy on OPI -- but then OPI put out the only shades I really loved this year, and these are two I can't stop wearing. (Pictured here: my current three day old Cosmo with a Twist manicure.)
  5. Hard Candy Glamoflauge concealer
    Stupid name, great product.
  6. Vasanti Brighten Up
    I made a short lived attempt at Birchbox this summer, and it wasn't for me but being introduced to this exfoliator made it worth it. Having dry and sensitive skin has made finding an effective but gentle exfoliator impossible -- until this.
  7. Liquid lipsticks. Just, like, in general.
    Not great for anyone prone to chapping/dryness but definitely wonderful for my lazy ass. Stila has my favorite formula (so moussey) but Kat Von D has my favorite shade range since I find her colors (especially Lovesick, Mother, and Bauhau5) to be a little more cool-undertone-friendly than other brands. The Colourpop ones are also good -- super drying compared to other brands, but only $6 a piece.
  8. Colourpop Lippie Stix (especially the matte finish, although the creme finish is winning me over lately too)
    Speaking of Colourpop, I think their traditional lipsticks are phenomenal and far surpass their liquid ones. They're $5 each, and the matching lipliners are also pretty good. Some of my favorite shades: Contempo, Tootsi, LBB, and Grind. Oh! And Heart On, which I always get an absurd number of compliments about.
  9. White gold cheekbone highlights, namely: The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer and Colourpop Lunch Money
    Contouring was not a great trend for my long, bony face but highlighting is fun and makes my pasty ass look way more youthful and alive, especially this time of year.
  10. Maybelline base products
    I know some people think drugstore base products are trash but Maybelline's BB cream is my go-to day moisturizer and I love the Fit Me Matte & Poreless foundation. My dry skin makes most matte foundations a big no but this one has more of a satin finish.
  11. Sephora Oil Infusion
    I hate lip gloss with the fire of a thousand suns. This stuff (an YSL knockoff) looks like a gloss but has the feel and moisturizing quality of a Chapstick. Really great for when you just need a little bit of color.
  12. Nyx Prismatic Eye Shadow in Girl Talk
    Such a good, versatile everyday shade. Shimmery but no chunky glitter or fallout.
  13. Urban Decay Perversion mascara
    I don't actually, like, buy mascara; I just acquire random samples for free and use them up even if I hate them. This one was not my favorite at first but once it dried up a little bit, I liked it so much I actually considered spending legal tender on a full size. It makes my lashes long and thick but still, like, delicate looking/not Tammy Faye-esque.
  14. Nars Audacious lipstick in Anna
    I'm a grad student, so I feel 5000% ridiculous recommending a $32 lipstick. But the formula of these is nicer to my lips than a single Chapstick I own, and this mauve-pink shade is my go-to when I want to feel both super cute and super competent.