I've been questing for makeup and have taken many of your suggestions and spent some time at Ulta and Sephora - here's what I have right now for the "basics" (more to come on liner, shadow, etc.)
-Brushes by Ulta and EcoTools
-Make-Up For Ever foundation - this is frustrating, because thanks to the crappy lighting in the Friendship Heights Sephora, I bought a shade two shades lighter than what I should have bought. I'm going to try to return it.
-Tart bare 04 concealer (for undereye circles) - this gets pretty good coverage and feels less waxy than my usual wet 'n wild concealer. They applied it for me at Sephora today and it looks really good.
-Covergirl LashBlast Water Resistant mascara - I wore this for Matt and Heather's wedding. I sobbed through their ceremony and it held up perfectly. I also love that I can get everyday coverage or dramatic coverage, and it doesn't make my eyelashes feel sticky or break off. Win.
I'm also noticing some dry skin due to the change in seasons, and since I don't have time to test out drugstore brands, I bought a Clinique moisturizer while I was at Sephora today. It's more than I usually spend on pants, so if it doesn't work, I'm writing them an angry letter. So far though, they applied it under my makeup and I have noticed no skin flaking/peeling like I usually do, so I think it was a good investment. I have to keep reminding myself that I am an almost-lawyer and it is worth it to look professional and not like a college kid who can't get her skin under control, so this is not just about one day.
I am out of chickens for makeup, so does anybody have any suggestions for drugstore brands of blush and a white eyeshadow/highlighter? Until last week, I owned these things but my makeup bag has gone AWOL. BTW, you guys are fantastic and are totally helping keep me sane right now. Just wanted to say that, since I don't say it enough. Sorry the blogging has gone totally sporadic, but I would rather write stuff now than have to revisit it after the wedding. And I know some of you share our date.