Top Shelf Series: Base Products

I am so excited to kick off my Top Shelf Series by sharing my most loved primers and complexion-enhancing base products! I share a lot of different beauty products on my blog and Instagram page, but these products have made it into my “everyday” drawers…and for good reason.

To help you decide if these products would be a good fit for you and your skin, I want to give a little background on what types of products I look for, how I want my complexion to appear, and obviously, my skin type!

First off, I am not a full-coverage wearing type of girl. I prefer sheer or light to medium coverage, at most, for day-to-day and look for foundations/cc creams/tinted moisturizers that are hydrating and provide a natural looking finish. That being said, I have normal to dry skin with some sun pigmentation and freckles. I don’t like covering up my freckles and actually prefer when they show through! I like my skin to look like skin, just a little more evened out. For nighttime, I prefer something with a little bit of more coverage, but still want it to look natural.


A little disclaimer- Yes, this may seem like a lot of “everyday” options to pick from, however, part of my job (that I gave myself, lol) with my blog is to test a variety of products to bring the absolute best to you guys! Additionally, some of these products vary in shade, meaning, some are worn when I am tan and others are reserved for winter months when I rarely see the sun!

Now that we have that out of the way, we can move on to the products!



Ren Clean Skincare Perfect Canvas Skin Finishing Serum – This is a great 2-in-1 primer and serum that is perfect for the lazy girl routine! It is a silicone-free serum that visibly smooths and hydrates the skin, creating the perfect base for makeup application. I apply this after moisturizer and sunscreen, then layer my foundation/cc cream of choice on top. My makeup always looks smooth, yet natural and lasts all day long.

Laura Mercier Hydrating Foundation Primer– This primer has a gel-cream consistency and is perfect for hydrating and plumping the skin. It doesn’t leave a super sticky finish, so you can wear it with or without makeup if you are looking for an extra boost of hydration. A classic that I would recommend to anyone with normal-dry skin.

Becca First Light Priming Filter– A primer that I would recommend to all skin types. This product is formulated with a lavender-pearl complex that brightens and hydrates a dull complexion. Once applied, the lavender fades and reveals a luminous glow. It blends onto the skin seamlessly and provides a nice base for any makeup product.

IPKN Radiant Cream Primer– I have chatted about this before on my IG, but this K-beauty primer has the perfect combination of illuminating and hydrating properties for the skin while also providing SPF! It has a pinkish-white pearl pigment base that creates a super glowy finish on the skin, and looks incredible under foundations, cc creams, etc. Want to keep it minimal? Just add to the high points of your face for a subtle glow.



Supergoop! CC Cream Daily Correct Broad Spectrum SPF 35+ Sunscreen– This product is a a 100% mineral, color-correcting cream that softens the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and pores. It is the perfect all-in-one product, in my opinion because it provides sun protection and a perfect medium-coverage, while still allowing the skin to look like skin. If you are looking for a daytime “foundation,” this is it! Perfect for all skin types.

Kosas Tinted Facial Oil– This product has slowly crept its way into my top drawer and has taken up permanent residence! This is a very unique formula as it is the consistency of a face oil, but with pigment (hence the name, duh!). You MUST shake it up (I’d say 10 seconds or so) to allow the pigment to mix evenly with the base oils. I apply about three to four drops on the back of my hand, and tap in the product with my fingers. I finish off by tapping a dampened beauty sponge over my skin to ensure the product has melted into my skin.  A light-to-buildable coverage provides the healthiest glow and looks BETTER (yes, you heard me) throughout the day. This is truly the perfect no-makeup makeup. Tip: Make sure your skin is fully exfoliated before using to make it look the best!

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint– This little guy has been in my collection for YEARS (not the same bottle, ewww!). The product is just what it sounds like, a skin TINT. So, do not expect it to cover any breakouts or freckles. It is less coverage than the Kosas Facial Oil, and is perfect if you just want to even out your complexion. I find that this looks the best when I use my fingers to apply a light layer and then conceal with a concealer under my eyes and any spots on my face. You cannot feel it on the skin, which is why I love this for work or running to the store. The best part is that Glossier just expanded their shade range from 5 to 12 shades. You can get 10% off your order using this link here.



Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation– Light Wonder Foundation is a lightweight hydrating, foundation that illuminates and smooths the skin for a healthy glow. This product is ideal if you want a light coverage, that is buildable. I love that it has SPF 15, so no need to worry if you forget to slap on your daily protection! Despite the built-in sunscreen, this foundation looks beautiful at night and is a great go-to, especially if you are a Charlotte Tilbury lover!

Vapour Beauty Soft Focus Foundation*– A clean beauty must-have foundation that was designed to balance normal, combination, and sensitive skin types while providing a soft-focus finish. This calming formula provides a true medium coverage that is perfect for day or night time use. It looks so natural and seamless on the skin, and it’s comforting to know that there are zero harmful ingredients in this product.

Ilia Beauty True Skin Serum Foundation– This foundation is probably my favorite that I own at the moment. It is a radiant formula designed for all skin types. I call this the dewier version of Vapour Beauty’s Soft Focus Foundation. It makes the skin look so healthy, even when it is acting up- something that many foundations cannot achieve. It provides a true medium coverage and wears very well throughout the day. I like to set this in my t-zone with a transluscent powder to ensure lasting power. Ilia recently expanded their shade range to include 18 different shades. Definitely one to check out if you are looking for a clean alternative.

*Item was kindly gifted by brand. All opinions are my own.

Remember, you can ALWAYS ask for samples in stores like Sephora, Ulta, various department stores, etc. Play around before you invest, and only buy something that makes you feel good.

xx Kels


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