How To Mix Your Beauty Products For A Totally Custom Look, Because You Should Get Exactly What You Want Out Of Your Makeup and Skincare Collections

I have a confession to make: my everyday beauty product bag is gigantic. And not because I wear a ton of makeup on a day-to-day basis (although I do love to get glammed up every so often.) It's because I'm a self-proclaimed beauty mixologist.

Allow me to explain. I've been known to have pretty high standards in all areas, to a fault. However, one benefit of wanting everything to be the best it can possibly be is that I'm happy to mix my makeup to be exactly how I like it. Of 11 steps in my daily makeup routine (OK, so maybe I do wear a decent amount of makeup, but the natural look takes far more work on my face than it should,) half of them involve me mixing two or three products together.

Now, that doesn't mean I've got five mixing dishes out and protective goggles on every morning when I put my face on — the back of my hand is my canvas and my fingers do the mixing, usually. But I find that when I combine different products, whether it's my foundation or my shampoo, I can get exactly what I want out of each. Very rarely am I satisfied with products that have five different purposes alone — I like to pick and choose what benefits I want.

Here are seven beauty products I mix to get my desired results. A little more high-maintenance? Yes. But I promise it's worth it to spend an extra few minutes on yourself in the morning. Because Maybelline says we're worth it, right?

Anti-Redness Primer + Brightening Primer + Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Foundation Primer, $8, Boots No. 7 Color Calming Primer, $10, TargetSmashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, $31, Nordstrom

OK, I'm starting you off strong here — I promise this is the only combination that involves three products. My facial cross to bear is the my skin gets really red on and around my nose and chin (thanks, broken capillaries.) Green-tinted primer is great for this, but on its own, it overcorrects my skin and leaves me looking kind of ill, so I mix it with a creamy brightening primer and Smashbox's iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer. Honestly, I'd ditch the brightening one altogether, but I use primer every day and Smashbox's miracle product isn't cheap. This way, I still get the silky surface that the Photo Finish primer creates without going through a ton of it. I use a little less than a dime-sized amount of primer total: on the back of my hand, I squeeze on equal parts of each product and mix them together with clean fingers before I apply.

CC Cream + Bye Bye Redness Correcting Cream

Almay Smart Shade CC Cream, $10, UltaIt Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Correcting Cream, $32, Ulta

Most days, I'll skip my foundation in favor of CC cream, especially since my recent discovery of It Cosmetics' Bye Bye Redness Correcting Cream. This stuff is life-changing if your skin gets red like mine or if you want to disguise teeny pink blemishes without caking on concealer on each one. I squeeze a bit CC cream on the back of my hand, then I touch my finger to the correcting cream (a little goes a long way.) Mixed together, the texture of the finished product feels relatively close to a CC cream but the color coverage inches closer to a foundation.

Volumizing Mascara + Waterproof Mascara

L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara, $6, T Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara, $7, Maybelline

So I don't actually mix these before I apply them, but I still think it's helpful to use two different types of mascara. I like the staying power of waterproof mascara, but the texture makes my eyelashes feel sticky and weak on its own. I apply a coat of volumizing mascara with a curved wand first to get the effect I want, and then I use waterproof mascara as a top coat to seal it in so it doesn't transfer to my under eyes (which I'm pretty prone to, for some reason.)

Dark Lipstick + Gold Lip Gloss

Revlon Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick in Black Cherry, $6, TargetYves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupte in Gold, $32, Nordstrom

Again, I usually don't mix these before I actually apply them (although you could with the help of a lipstick brush and a teeny dish,) but adding a little bit of glitz on top of a vampy lipstick gives your color a whole new alluring dimension. After applying my go-to shade and blotting with a piece of tissue, I dab a bit of gold gloss on my lips, focusing mainly on the center.

Gradual Self-Tanner + Cocoa Butter

Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer, $8, AmazonPalmer's Cocoa Butter, $10, Amazon

I mix these for three reasons: I've got pretty fair skin, so even gradual self-tanner has the potential to be obvious and streak-y on me. Second, I never feel like my skin's getting as hydrated when I use self-tanning lotion alone. Third, even though gradual self-tanner's come a long way with its scent, I still catch whiffs of the tanner's nasty aroma every once in a while. Enter cocoa butter: it solves all three of these problems and I smell faintly of chocolate when I use equal parts of the two products. Win-win. In the summer, I'll use a medium-tinted self-tanner instead of a light one to get a little extra color.

Sulfate-Free Shampoo + Color Brightening Shampoo

It's a 10 Miracle Moisture Shampoo, $10, AmazonJohn Frieda Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating Shampoo, $8, Amazon

I love the thought of using sulfate-free shampoo to avoid stripping my hair of its natural oils, but I don't like how quickly my hair gets greasy when I use it alone. After a year of using it, I finally decided to add shampoo to my mixing repertoire by combining it with a color boosting formula (sulfates and all.) I love John Frieda's line of blonde-enhancing products, but he's got other color lines as well.

Heat Protection Smoothing Cream + Argan Oil

Bumble and Bumble Straight Blow Dry Smoothing Cream, $32, SephoraOGX Extra Strength Moroccan Argan Oil, $10, T arget

I blow-dry my hair every day, so a heat protectant is a must for me. A smoothing cream multitasks by smoothing out flyaways and frizz while it protects, and I combine it with argan oil, which makes my course hair gloriously soft.

Images: Fotolia/Tanouchka; courtesy brands