Beauty Basics – My Everyday Must Have Makeup Products
I wanted to share with you my favourite staples when it comes to makeup products. No matter what ‘look’ I’m going for or what occasion I may be preparing for – my face/base products are *almost* always the same! To me the skin is the most important feature of my makeup (though that’s different for everybody). I figure that if you have found something that works, why not stick to it! If you can get your base makeup down pat and use products which suit your skin tone, your skin concerns and conceal and highlight what you need to – then even the simplest makeup will look polished and fresh!
Now it may seem like all my makeup (well the products listed here) are higher end brands, and that is true – however, because makeup here in Australia is so expensive, if I can can get some if not all my makeup from the US, it ends up costing me about the same as if I bought only ‘drugstore’ products here in Aus. My makeup seems to last me a really long time because I don’t wear makeup every single day. I also try and find products which I will LOVE and which are perfectly suited to my needs (doesn’t always work out between us, but I try!), e.g. a foundation will last me almost a year. I also don’t have to many base products as I just don’t need them. One foundation works for me fine, as I can use it as a tinted moisturiser or amp up the coverage if I need it. This way i figure, I am also wasting less product and monies.
My favourite foundation at the moment is Le Tint Touche Eclat by YSL. I have a feeling that this is going to be a staple of mine for a loooong time! Not only does the colour suit me perfectly (colour BD40 if you’re wondering) the texture is just so good! It’s almost like a gel consistency and feels featherlight on your skin. Now this part might be a bit strange for some, but I always mix some of my foundation with a hydrating serum and liquid illuminator. Why? Well this way I can amp up the coverage if I need it – and play around with a texture and finish that also suits me. I find that adding any kind of hydrating serum not only makes the coverage lighter, but the makeup then melts into my skin more and gives me a more dewy effect without being oily in any way. The illuminator also blends into the foundation and serum really well and any visible shimmer because more subdued and less obvious. To me it’s the perfect way to get dewy, healthy and even toned skin. At the moment I’m using Dior’s Hydralife Serum Sorbet as my hydrating serum but any similar hydrating serum works well (before I was using Biotherm’s Aquasource Superserum Intensely Moisturising Olgio-Thermal Concentrate – what a name! – and I loved it but wanted to try something new). My current highlighter of choice is the Nars Illuminator in Copacabana (I think I’ve had this one tube for over a year now!). Since cosmetics in Australia are ridiculously overpriced, I buy my Nars makeup from the US (here).
Dior’s Diorskin Nude Hydrating Concealer is my go to for concealing under eye circles and blemishes. A good online stockist for Dior products in Australia is Fresh Fragrance and Cosmetics. Nars Pro Prime Eyeshadow Base is my all time favourite eyeshadow primer. Moving onto powders – Laura Mercier’s Translucent Pressed Powder is what I use to set my concealer (under eyes and blemishes). I use this mainly because I found it in my makeup drawer from years ago and it does a really good job! It doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin, is finely milled and truly translucent! My all time favourite bronzer is Nars’ Laguna Bronzer. There is some shimmer in the bronzer if you look at the pan, but to me it doesn’t show on the skin. For this reason I use it as my contour pretty much every time I do my makeup. It looks pretty warm in the pan, but its not orange at all, and I think this is why it works so well on fair skin tones (picture down below).
What do I use as a base under my makeup? One of two products – either a sunscreen for day time – or a more traditional primer with silicones.
I love this mineral sunscreen from Suntegrity. Mineral sunscreens protect your skin from pigmentation better than chemical sunscreens. Now any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen don’t get me wrong, but if i have the choice I will always go mineral. This sunscreen from Suntegrity (Natural Moisturising Face Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30+) also has other ‘primer’ and skincare benefits such as organic aloe vera, organic cucumber, organic sunflower seed oil, organic jojoba oil, red algae, organic green tea extract and organice pomegranate oil. Impressive! I also love the company’s values and backstory. Now it’s not the cheapest ($45 US monies) and mineral sunscreens are a little heavier on the skin, however this one hasn’t broken me out despite all of this. This is the pickle I’m in though – I used to buy this sunscreen from Kiss and Makeup NY – an online retailer from the US (where I also buy all of my Nars makeup) however they aren’t stocking it anymore and shipping is much higher if you order it directly from Suntegrity. Shipping from Kiss and Makeup is a flat rate of $10 (worldwide) while Suntegrity charge $25 for shipping to Australia. If I can’t find anything else that tickles my fancy when it comes to face sunscreen I may consider purchasing it again from the company directly, but I may look for an alternative also.
The other primer I use is the Lancome Visionnaire Serum. I reviewed this product a little while ago (you can find the full review here) and before you ask – yes I know that it is a serum 😛 I use it as a primer because it contains silicones, so it will stop my foundation from sinking in and disappearing completely into my skin. It will also smooth the surface of my skin and prepare it for foundation application. It also contains light reflecting mica – and you know how I love illumination! I wouldn’t even hesitate to put this on, on days where I want to look healthier but not wear makeup. I’m not sure I will repurchase this because of the retail price, but for now I love it as a primer.
I actually don’t think you really need a primer unless your makeup moves around a lot – for example, with very oily skin it may take a while to settle onto the skin and can slide around/off more easily. I think if your skin is properly moisturised that should be enough as most formulas are made to last quite a while on the skin (and most are silicone based anyways) – but that’s just my opinion of course. Whatever works best for you! I’ve been trying to get into the habit of wearing sunscreen everyday (and while I’m still a little lazy some days) I like to think of that as my ‘primer’ before makeup.
Now for finishing powders –
You can see in the picture above my two new Hourglass Ambient Powders in Dim Light (left) and Mood Light (right), which I LOVE! I use the pink/lavender mood light shade when my skin really needs more ‘life’ added to it (especially on days where my skin is pale and shallow) and the beige-y dim light when I want a subtle glow. I’ve had the Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights powder in Baked Stardust for YEARS now (I also get this from Kiss and Makeup NY). It’s a lovely highlighter. In summer I sometimes use the different highlighter shades as eyeshadow (and they look gorgeous because they give you a wash of colour which is so light and glowy – my favourite is the is bronzey-red shade, makes green eyes pop – PERFECT for summer). So I highly recommend this highlighter if you can get it since it’s so multifunctional. You can see that I’ve hit pan on mine, which barely never happens with me and my makeup collection! Here’s a close up of the shades in the pan –
I also wanted to mention these brushes in my post because I love them so much and I have never seen them in any blog post online, which is just an injustice! It’s the Body Shop’s Face and Body Brush. I have two of these. I use one for my bronzer and one for highlighter. These are the softest brushes I own (and I own some ‘higher end’ makeup brand brushes to). Seriously, they are soooo soft and such good quality – I’ve had mine for a good 7-8 years and they are still in GREAT condition. They blend powders beautifully and gently on the skin. They don’t shed bristles when I was them and even when I use a gentle soap to get all the product and gunk out of them, the bristles return to their original softness. The Body Shop’s makeup brush range is quite limited unfortunately, but I can see why these are still available. Considering the price (I think I bought mine for about 29-30 dollars each?) it’s peanuts compared to how long they will last you. A good makeup brush should last you years if you take care of them correctly and if the brush if of high quality. These pass the test easily!
So that wraps it up beauty bees – I hope you have enjoyed peaking at some of my makeup essentials 🙂 Do you have any recommendations? If you have any questions about these products let me know down below or ask me on Bookface here.
Catch ya next time!
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