Convention Prep: Geeking Out about My Top 5 Makeup Must-Haves

White Queen from Alice in Wonderland

One of the things I love to do is play with makeup, and I don’t get the opportunity to geek out about it very much–so I thought I’d do it here. My recommendations are meant to be for anyone, regardless of gender, age, etc. who’s interested. To that end, I did double-check to make sure my must-haves were available in multiple skin tones, and comments are open if you want to leave specific suggestions.

Before I get to my must-haves, I wanted to mention that one of the most important things you can do is figure out your skin type. There’s a lot of advice out there that talks about what layers you need (primer, lotion, etc.) to put on your face before applying makeup, but often what you use (or how many layers you apply) depends upon your skin’s composition. For example, tons of people put on CC or BB cream; using that as a base tends to make your face slick because it has sunscreen. If your skin is naturally oily, then it will probably feel even slicker if you layer lotions, etc. beneath that. If you’re not sure what type of skin you have, it’s worth visiting a consultant at a department store or a specialty shop like Sephora or Ulta to help you get a baseline.

1. Urban Decay De-Slick Powder

I love this powder. The Urban Decay De-Slick Powder is an odorless, colorless powder that can be worn by itself or with makeup. It is designed to control shine, and it works like a charm to offset humidity, sweat, etc. perfect for long days or summer cons. Urban Decay is sold direct through their website, or you can find the line at Sephora and Ulta.

2. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

If you have issues with slick eyelids as the day goes on, this potion is magical. There are three different types that can be worn under eyeshadow or by themselves. By far, the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer has been one of the best ways to give a little coverage and prevent greasy eyelids. If that’s a concern, you can pick up the Urban Decay Lockdown Duo to help set your makeup, or you can use blotting papers instead.

3. Moodstruck Minerals Stiff Upper Lip Stain

Younique has some interesting products to try, and I’ve had good luck with their Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes and the Moodstruck Minerals Stiff Upper Lip Stain. The stain goes on like a lip gloss, but it dries out, coloring your lips for hours. I usually pair the stain with regular chapstick or clear gloss; the benefit of doing this is fantastic. I don’t have to look in the mirror to apply the gloss, and the color stays on all day. The only tip I have is that you use a lip exfoliator, like this amazing Mary Kay Satin Lips set, to make sure your skin is smooth before staining them.

4. Perfekt Undereye Concealer

Dark circles, red eyes, and puffy under eye skin are definitely a hazard if you stay up late at night. I often bring Visine with me to help with the redness, and for puffy eyes, I use Alba Botanica Green Tea Gel or All About Eyes Serum De-Puffer by Clinique. (There’s a lovely article about various methods to de-puff eyes here, if you’re interested.) For undereye concealer, I use Perfekt Skin Perfection Concealer. When applying, you only need a little bit. Its lighter-than-air, so it doesn’t cake, and if you use it in a criss-cross pattern beneath the eye stretching to the top of the cheekbone it’ll blend well.

5. Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Palette

I really enjoy playing around with eyeshadow palettes, and some like the kits from Stila, are better than others. I’ve been very surprised by the quality of Maybelline’s sets, and have been really happy with the quality. At cons, I like a variety of shades and small compacts travel well. Maybelline’s The Blushed Nudes are a great buy for the money, and the metallics aren’t grainy. There’s a ton of other Maybelline eyeshadow palettes that I haven’t tried yet, too. The nice thing is that Maybelline is available in drug stores and in specialty makeup stores, plus they’re hella affordable and portable.

Hope you enjoyed this post! I had a lot of fun writing it and geeking out about makeup.

    Mood: Naptime?
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Quite a bit.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Laundry, laundry, laundry
    In My Ears: Space heater
    Game Last Played: Final Fantasy X-2: The Last Mission
    Book Last Read: Black Unicorn
    Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Legend of the Seeker
    Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
    Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Read my end-of-the-year list of releases for an overview of what I’ve put out for 2016.
    Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming this month!





Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

Want to Interview or Hire Me? Send Fan Mail?

Would you like to hire me? Because my projects and manuscripts are in flux, I am always open to discussing new opportunities with publishers and studios. As a full-time writer, I spend a portion of my time seeking new gigs–so don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re interested, please e-mail me via my Contact Page. I typically reply to work-related e-mails within one-to-two business days.

Want an interview? If you’d like to interview me or request a guest blog post, please connect with me via the contact page, too. Due to time constraints and other communicative concerns, I typically don’t follow up on requests via social media.

Keen on sending fan mail? I am also happy to engage with readers and fans. Please note that I am unable to reply satisfactorily to certain types of queries related to the companies I work for due to the agreements I typically sign. If you have a question about a TV show or a line of books, the best way to get your answer is to contact the studio or publisher directly.

Back to Top