For those who don’t know me very well they might not know that I have a slight makeup addiction. I own far too much makeup for a normal woman who doesn’t use it in any professional capacity, having multiple storage drawers and boxes housing endless lipsticks, eyeshadow palettes, mascaras, blushers…it goes on and on. Part of why I have so much makeup isn’t simply that I love it, but also that I have a habit of trying out new products hoping their stellar claims for flawless skin or sky high lashes really will ring true and I will have discovered another Holy Grail beauty product. Often, I’m sure you’ll agree with me, the hype on a new product can fall flat, leading either to total disappointment or simply to a product you like just fine but doesn’t beat out your other favourites.
So for this reason I thought I’d do a post showing you my favourite all time products that I always repurchase as well as some new discoveries I’ve really liked. Hopefully it will clue you in on some good quality products you didn’t know about, or maybe answer questions about products you’ve have heard of but haven’t tried.
Urban Decay Primer Potion – This is my all time favourite eyeshadow primer and the only one I’ve found that will actually last all day. I have quite oily lids, enough so that I’ve found other much-lauded primers like Too Faced Shadow Insurance fail to do the job for me. The UD primer potion never fails me and will keep my shadow in place from 8am until late evening before it starts to perhaps crease in the inner corner of my lids. 5/5 all time product–as you can tell from the picture I’m almost due to repurchase.
MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre – A yellow toned beige, this matches my lid colour exactly, compared to the Painterly paint pot which is more pink toned. Some use this as a shadow primer but it won’t hold up on the inner corner for me in this function without the UD primer layered below it, but I use this on top of my UD primer every time I apply eye makeup because I like the solidly smooth beige base it gives for my shadow to go on top of, covering up any veins or discolourations shown by translucent lids. In fact, this product does that job so well that I often don’t even bother adding a beige shadow over the top and instead add only my brown shades in my crease to finish off my shadow application.
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk – I apply this to the very inner corner of my eye and set with matte white eyeshadow (specifically Makeup Geek’s White lies) to highlight and open up my eyes. If I ever forget this step it always really bugs me and I feel it makes a big difference to the final polished effect of my eye makeup. You can also use this under your eyeshadow to make your shadow pop, particularly if you’re using bright colours or matte colours.
Makeup Geek eyeshadow pans – At $5.99 a pan and of comparable quality with MAC shadows (or better, as I’ve heard many make up artists say) these are a steal. They’re available in almost 70 shades, and they have a great range of matte colours, which is awesome because I am a matte addict and good quality matte shadows can be hard to find. I own about 20 shades but my particular favourites are White Lies, Bada Bing, Bitten, Latte, Mango Tango, and (not pictured) Vanilla Bean, Corrupt, Burlesque, and Beaches and Cream. These are available in compacts but I like being able to place them in a magnetic palette in whichever order I like for space-saving storage and ease of access. I have both a Z palette and a Coastal Scents magnetic palette, so I store my pans in these along with my Hot Pots mentioned below.
Coastal Scents Hot Pots – At $1.98 a pan, these are downright cheap. The quality, though, is not. They’re great. I own almost exclusively matte shades, so I can only really vouch for these rather than their satins or shimmers, but several of their shades are part of my go to daily palette. As if these shadows aren’t enough of a steal, they have them on sale for 98cents several times a year, which is how I’ve come to own about 50 of these babies. The Mauve shade is my favourite crease colour, worn alone during a lighter makeup day or used to blend out the edges of deeper browns when I want to darken my crease for a more dramatic look. It’s actually a brownish pink tone, but for my pale cool toned skin that works really well as a soft wearable crease shade.
Makeup Geek Utopia pigment – This pigment is a dupe for the MAC Antique gold, but better. Applied with a mixing medium, fixing liquid or saline eye drops on your brush and mixed in with some of the pigment in the product lid produces a gorgeous glittery foil effect. If you use only a tiny bit of pigment with the liquid you can create a fine gold glitter wash to tap over your lid for a more subtle burst. Gorgeous!
Maybelline Collosal Volume waterproof mascara – This is my holy grail mascara. I have fine lashes that are not copious in quantity and are quite light on the ends, so I need mascaras that lengthen and add volume without clumping or adding so much volume that they look spidery. This mascara is perfect, defining my lashes as well as lengthening and volumising. Worn with the fibre lash product below I end up with truly gorgeous lashes that stand out even with my thickly applied winged liner.
Natural Lash Extender lash fibres – I bought this using a Groupon deal a couple months before the Yonique fibre lash promotion craze exploded on Instagram. I haven’t tried any other lash fibres, so I can’t compare these to any others, but these give me great lashes that look almost as good as natural falsies without the clumpy look I’ve seen on a lot of other women sporting the lash fibre craze.
Ardell Accent Lashes ‘Wispies’ – Accent lashes, also known as corner lashes or half strip lashes, are my favourite kinds of fake lashes, because they are crazy easy to apply, don’t poke into your inner eyelid if you get the placement wrong, and give you a fuller look without looking very obviously fake. My absolutely favourite pair of corner lashes are the Ardell Wispies, because they’re on just the right side of dramatic but not so far away from natural that people can obviously tell. More often than not people simply tell me I have incredible lashes before I let them in on my little secret.
E.l.f Eyebrow Treat and Tame mascara – This is a great brow mascara if you have decently full natural eyebrows and want to add a bit of colour to balance out the rest of your makeup but don’t want the definition of a full brow. This is my go to when I’m having a foundation, mascara, lip balm day, or also when I’m wearing a fuller face that has a softer finish.
Maybelline Color Tattoo Matte Edition in Brown – This limited edition Maybelline Color Tattoo has yet to make it to British shores for sale, and I’ve not yet found any confirmation that it definitely will, but considering it’s possible to find it online in other ways for purchase I had to share with you guys that this is my other go-to brow product. I’ve been debating the buzzed about Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade for a while, but it’s crucial to get the colouring right on brow products. I’m a pale girl with dark brown brows and dyed dark red hair, so it’s difficult to figure out online what shade I should use, and there is nowhere I can go nearby to see the Dipbrow shades in-store, being the countryside dwelling lass that I am. While contemplating this Dipbrow dilemma, though, it occurred to me; I have a couple of neutral matte shade color tattoos (sent to be by a lovely American friend of mine who also suffers a makeup addiction,) wouldn’t they work? I gave it a try and they do! They’re not infallible as a brow product compared to their use as a lid product, but they fair just as well as most other brow products I’ve tried. The brown shade on me is lighter than my natural brows, but that’s what I need because they’re too dark anyway, so this gives me a cheap and easy way to add definition to my brows while still looking natural and not drawn on. Definitely worth a try.
Superdrug Vitamin E SPF 15 Radiance Eye Cream – This eye cream is a treat for getting rid of dark circles. With SPF included, applied under your makeup it protects your skin and does half the work of your concealer, or applied on a naked face it instantly brightens and protects in just a couple of dabs, eliminating the need for concealer at all. Use only a tiny bit of the product for maximum effect without a ghostly white under eye glow.
E.l.f Flawless Finish Foundation – This is my new favourite foundation, tying with the Make Up Academy Fashionista Luminous Foundation, which isn’t featured only because I am currently out of it. It provides great coverage without feeling cakey on, and it’s a nice satin finish, which I like over being 100% matte. At £8 a bottle it’s cheaper than several drugstore foundations, and ELF regularly do money off offers across their entire site so I got this for only £4. Bargain!
E.l.f. Zip Zapper Concealer Pen – This concealer is thick and heavy coverage, which is great because not only does it help hide your spots but also helps stop them getting worse, which we all know makeup can have a habit of hindering when it comes to healing skin that’s having a little tantrum.
Make Up Academy Pressed Powder in Shade 4 – I use this powder not as a setting powder but as a contour powder. I’m a pale, cool toned lady, and most bronzers are just too orangey on me. The bronzer I own that I love most is a warmer pink brown that I got out of Lula & Bella gift set and have yet to find a matching replacement for. I like matte bronzers for contouring, and a true matte bronzer is hard enough to find that I’ve accumulated a half dozen drugstore bronzers in my quest to find one that looked like a good match in store to my fave but didn’t hold up outside in non-florescent lighting. That’s when I decided to pick up this £1 powder 3 shades darker than my skin tone, and as it turns out it’s perfect for a subtle but buildable powdered contour option for me. Love it! Definitely recommend that other pale girls seek out pressed face powders a few shades darker than their skin tone as their contour colour option.
NYC Blush Cheek Glow – This ‘West Side Wine’ is a great pink shade for us pale girls who think a blusher looks subtle in the florescent store lighting only to get it home to realise we have purchased the perfect product for replicating a clown cheeked glow. With just enough colour to give you a rosy flush that never crosses over into a mortified appearing blush, this shade is as pretty on the face as it is on your purse at only £2.99 for a generous sized pan.
Make Up Academy Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlighter – A dupe for the MAC Whisper of Gilt, this highlighter is oh so pretty in the pan and just as great on the face. Not frosty, it’s the perfect highlight finish, and now available in a gold tone as well as the pink you can get it in whichever tone best fits your highlighting needs–or, if you’re like me? You can get both!
Make Up Revolution Vivid Blush Lacquer – This liquid blush is not kidding when it says it’s Vivid. I own the shade ‘Bloom,’ a soft brown with pink undertones. You need only the tiniest dot of product on each cheek with this product–ladies, I am talking the nib size of a sharpie pen, here. Blend quickly, and then give it a few moments to calm down as it melts onto your skin, because even when you’ve blended it it can still look too vivid for a couple beats. If you’ve gone too far then you can remove some product gently with a tissue or dust over some face powder to take the edge off the colour, but once you get the hang of the application you’ll find this is a blush that stands the test of a busy face lasting a long day.
E.l.f. Contouring Blush and Bronzer – This round version of the product as pictured is no longer available, to my knowledge, and is now stocked in black packaging under the Studio line from E.l.f., but this St Lucia shade duo is still for sale. The pink is a perfect pop on my cheeks without being too pink, and the ever so slight shimmer in it gives my cheeks a glow without the frostiness that most shimmer blushers have. The bronzer is too heavy a shade for me on it’s own, but I like to stipple a touch into the very back hollows of my cheekbones near my ears after applying a full cheekbone contour of a more subtle contour shade to give my contouring an extra dimension when I want a super polished look.
Bourjois Paris Velvet Edition matte lip cream – The shade Grand Cru is perhaps my favourite lip product of all time. These velvet creams really do feel soft like velvet, in a way that the much touted Lime Crime Velvetines don’t, and they also look softer on too, and are more comfortable. This rich deep red is a perfect sexy and classic pinup red, and I wear it all the time. I’ve also sent these products to friends in America who can’t get their hands on them and who have since also become obsessed, including my beautiful fellow blogger Sarah Forshaw, so don’t take only my word for it.
Make Up Academy Luxe Lip Lacquer – These £3 velvetine dupes are one of my favourite lip products because they’re so pigmented and smudge-proof. The Reckless especially is a gorgeous red and perfect for a pinup pout, and I use it quite often for a quick lip application when I’m running out the door and don’t want to worry about a lip product failure when I’m out of the house.
Lime Crime Velvetine in Wicked – The Velvetines are a great lip product, and I especially like this very deep, rich red that almost has some brown tones in it. I realised recently it almost exactly matches hair, which amuses me, and generally when I wear it it’s so deep against my pale skin that I feel a bit Disney Princess about it.
Maybelline 14 Hour Superstay lipstick – This is one of my favourite lipsticks. Long lasting, not tacky and not drying on the lips, it’s super comfortable, stays in place and doesn’t need much of a touch up after eating. My favourite shade is Continuous Cranberry, but there’s plenty to choose from, including their new summer brights release of which I love Red Rays and Burst of Coral.
And there, ladies, you have it. A thorough run down of some of my all time faves as well as current obsessions. What are your Holy Grail products? And what new items have you tried and loved that I should know about? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Until next time, lovelies.