Everyone who knows me is familiar with my love of make-up. I love learning about make-up, talking about make-up, trying on make-up, but what I love most is buying make-up. If I see a cosmetic store, I will go inside. No questions asked. Sephora is my mother ship and if there is one within a 5 mile radius, I will receive a signal and automatically head in that direction, much to The Husband’s dismay. Having said that, I am not so much a make-up user as I am a make-up hoarder. And when it comes to actually applying products to my face, I stick with a few firm favorites. These are the products that go with me when I travel and also will certainly be re-purchased if I run out. So without further ado, here are the staples from my overstocked make-up drawer.
Primer: I didn’t really understand the hype around primers until I used the Becca Backlight Priming Filter. It is a very light-weight liquid in a pump bottle that gives the skin the most beautiful, ethereal glow. It looks lovely under matte foundations but I use it under all kinds of foundations whenever I am making an effort with getting ready. It doesn’t do anything to prolong the life of my make-up but the fact that it so luminous on the skin makes up for that. You only need one pump of this for your entire face, so it is also good value for money.
Foundation: The Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick is the best high coverage foundation I have ever used. Best because, even though it provides flawless coverage, it doesn’t ever look cakey or flat. It is extremely easy to blend with a sponge and the powder finish is very comfortable on the skin. It is certainly not an everyday foundation for me, but I consider this indispensable when getting ready for a fancy evening out or a special occasion. On an everyday basis I wear the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation. In another life, this is the foundation I wore to work every single day. And even though, it does not provide the best coverage to my hyper-pigmentation and acne scars, it has a smooth, radiant finish with medium coverage. I keep repurchasing this because it never irritates my sensitive skin, doesn’t break the bank and wears surprisingly well throughout the day. This is also the product I recommend to friends who are not used to wearing foundation because it doesn’t look like make-up on the skin.
Corrector and Concealer: The Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid is the best dark circle corrector in the world! I talked about it another blog post so all I will say now is that no product has ever been successful in concealing my chronic dark circles as perfectly as this. I use the peach color which counteracts the grey under my eyes. Over this, I use the Clarins Instant Concealer to further conceal the darkness under my eyes and also around my skin wherever needed. I love it because it doesn’t crease, has high coverage and doesn’t cling to any dry patches on the skin. This combined with the Urban Decay corrector has managed to solve my dark circle woes. The Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer is also a good, inexpensive option for concealing dark circles. I do not reach for it if my under eye area is looking dry because it tends to cling to dryness. But I mostly take it with me when I travel out of KSA and away from the dry, desert winds. It has very good coverage considering how inexpensive it is and gives a near perfect finish when used over the Urban Decay corrector.
Powder: With my skin type, I absolutely have to powder if I want my makeup to last more than a few hours. But with most powders, there is always a fear of it being visible on the skin or collecting in the fine lines. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder is so finely milled that it does the job without looking like you have applied powder to the skin. It also has the added advantage of imparting a lovely luminous glow. I use Diffused Light to match the yellow undertones of my skin and it is the perfect finishing touch to my makeup when I am getting ready for a special occasion. My favorite everyday powder though is the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder. I use it to set my under eye concealer and my T-zone. This is a very fine, translucent powder and is also invisible on the skin. It does a good job of controlling shine on my face for a few hours.
Contour: I have had The Original Contour Kit from Anastasia for only a year, but I honestly don’t know how I ever did my makeup without it. I don’t get use of all the colors in the palette, but the color in the middle of the bottom row is my perfect contour shade and the yellow powder above it is great to set the under eye concealer. The powders are of very good quality so naturally the finish is amazing. If I am short of space in my travel makeup bag or if I am getting ready in a hurry, I usually whip out the Hoola Matte Bronzer from Benefit. It is not my perfect contour shade but I can make it work. The dent in the middle is evidence of how well-loved this product is.
Blush: The Becca Blushed with Light Palette is fairy new but I have fallen in love with it due to its supreme quality and variety of colors. I love that it has a pink shade, a peach shade and what I call a “Nothing” shade (this is the blush I put on when I am planning to wear a statement lip color.) In short this palette covers all bases and is the perfect size to fit any makeup bag. If I am forced to carry my makeup in my handbag then without fail, I choose the Milani Baked Blush in the shade Luminoso. It is the perfect peach color for my skin tone and looks good with most of my lipsticks. Not to mention, the quality is very good considering how inexpensive it is.
Highlight: The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlight in Opal is in one word “Perfection.” This is a very unique product as in it is a powder in the pan but looks like a cream on the skin. The color suits my skin tone and gives a beautiful highlight which is not too in your face even if used during the day. The only downside to this product is how fragile it is. Mine got shattered during a recent trip but that has not affected the quality of the powder.
Eye Shadow: I have oily lids so I never take a chance with wearing eye shadow without a primer and the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion does a really good job of keeping my eye shadow crease free for a very long time. I haven’t ever tried any other eye primer so I have nothing to compare this to, but this works really well.
If I was on a deserted island and could only have one makeup product with me, I would choose the Urban Decay Naked Palette. That is how much I value it. It has every color that I need, be it to create a simple daytime look or an intense smoky eye. The colors are very pigmented and look beautiful for hours when applied over the Primer Potion.
The L’Oréal Infallible 24 Hr Eyeshadow is probably the best kept secret of the makeup world. I don’t hear a lot of people talking about these but honestly this is such an easy, beautiful product. I apply it on my lids using my fingers and blend it out in the crease with a fluffy brush and that is my eye shadow done. The pigments are very intense and they stay put on the lids with or without a primer. I have three of these small pots and they go everywhere with me.
My favorite shadow to wear on the days when I am in a rush to get out of the door but my eyes look tired and dull is Mac Pro Longwear Paintpot in Groundwork. This is almost the color of my lids when I am well-rested, so this looks very natural and also gives the illusion that I slept 8 hours last night. A winner in my book.
Eyeliner: I have been using the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner for a few years now and it was only after I tried this that I fell in love with liquid liner. It is very easy to use, even if you are a novice makeup wearer. I have it in black and brown and both colors are very intense and last well on my oily lids. Another reason why I am a big fan of this product is that it doesn’t dry out as fast as the other pen type liners do. I have had the Mad Max brown liner for over a year now and it is still going strong. I also keep a L’Oréal Infallible Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner in black in my drawer just in case I run out of my Kat Von D one. This is a great option at a lower price and the black color of it is very intense.
I don’t really fancy eye pencils as liners but I do use them to line the waterline to get the illusion of thicker lashes. For this purpose I use either the Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal or the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil.
Mascara: The Chanel Volume De Chanel Mascara is eyelash magic! First of all, it is a very intense black and then it provides amazing smudge-free, length and volume to even the saddest of lashes. It doesn’t last as long as I would expect it to for the price, but I complain and splurge on it nevertheless for the beautiful full lashes it gives me. Another great mascara that I have recently fallen in love with is the Bourjois Twist up the Volume Mascara. This was recommended to me by my little sister who always seems to have the most amazing thick black lashes. The formula was very wet when it was new but I left it in my drawer for a few weeks after opening it and now that it has dried down a bit, it is perfection in a tube. You can twist up the brush to modify the bristles to get the length and volume you need. And even though it might sound gimmicky, trust me it really works.
Brows: My brows don’t need a lot of help as they are naturally thick and black but since I don’t get them professionally done, I need to set them in place. On a regular day I use the L’Oréal Brow Stylist Plumper to give a bit of color and hold to my brows. On the days that I apply my foundation too eagerly and end up getting it on my brows, I use the Soap and Glory Archery Brow Pencil to give them back their color and then set them with the Clear Brow Gel from Anastasia. This product is great because it holds the brow hairs in place without getting them too “crispy”. Worth the price.
Everyday Lipsticks: This is the makeup category that sees the most changes, but the lip colors that I am talking about have been firm favorites for a very long time now. These are also the lipsticks that I consider easy options when I am getting ready in a hurry and don’t have too much time to perfect my lipstick.
The first one is MAC Patisserie which is my perfect nude. It is a color that works with whatever eye look I have going on and even though it doesn’t last too long on the lips, it wears away without looking nasty. Next is The Balm Liquid Lipstick in Committed. By far, the most comfortable liquid lipstick I have ever tried. This is such an easy peach-pink color and stays put on the lips even through a greasy Shake-Shack burger. MAC See Sheer is an old favorite of mine. This is a very flattering coral shade and I feel that this brightens up my face and my demeanor as soon as I put it on. Another well-loved lipstick of mine is MAC Mehr which is a very pretty mauve-pink color. This one lasts a very long time on the lips and even wears off leaving a nice stain. Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick in Mademoiselle is probably my most worn lipstick in this category. It is a dusty-pink color which looks almost nude on my naturally dark lips. I am not a big fan of high shine lipsticks, so I dab my lips with a tissue after putting this on which gives the color a nice lived in look and even makes it last longer.
Getting Dressed Lipsticks: These are the colors I gravitate towards when I am getting ready for a special occasion. The first one in this category is the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Love Liberty. This is a very comfortable, berry-red color which looks extremely flattering on my skin tone. I don’t have to think too much about the rest of my makeup if I am planning to wear this because this beautiful color is always the center of attention. My favorite special occasion lipstick is MAC Russian Red. This is my perfect red color and even though I only dare to wear it on evenings out, I have dreams of wearing it in Paris on a bright, sunny day soon (very ambitious, I know). The formula is not drying on the lips at all but I find that it also never bleeds into the skin around my mouth. My final favorite going out lipstick is the Anastasia Liquid Lipstick in Kathryn. This is quite a wearable plum-red color and even though I find the formula of this lipstick rather drying, I make it work with a bit of lip oil underneath. The color lasts for hours on end and looks as perfect after a meal as it did when I first put it on.
The two lip liners that I always have in my makeup bag are MAC Lip Pencil in Soar and Rimmel Lasting Finish Lip Liner in Tiramisu. I can make these two work for any lipstick I wear and was once at my wit’s end when I forgot to bring Tiramisu on a trip. Obviously, I went out and bought a new one and peace was restored in my life.
Phew! What a long post. But to anyone who is now wondering about my priorities in life, I would like you to know that yes, I take makeup very seriously. The Husband has made his peace with the fact that this is where a lot of our hard-earned cash will go. And at the risk of sounding shallow, I always say that nothing makes me happier than when new makeup enters my life. That and eating pizza.
Thanks for reading. Cheers!