Hello everyone! This is going to be a long one so grab a snack, maybe some juice or another tasty beverage and get ready. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll love it (this may not be true).
First things first, I haven’t really posted since May so I forgot to do May favourites, and now I’m a bit late for June but hey – life! Here is what I’ve been using and loving for the last 2 months:
From the top (L-R):
-Lancome Gloss in Love in Peach Show (I LOVE the button that opens up this gloss and the special shaped brush makes it super easy to apply perfectly without a mirror! This colour is a light coral with golden shimmer – swatch is further down this post! Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, anywhere Lancome is sold, $28 CDN)
-Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in Chamomile (probably gives about 90% matte coverage, which is perfect since it’ll still look pretty natural. Available online at jouercosmetics.com or at Nordstrom in the States, $38 USD)
-theBalm Mary-Loumanizer highlighter (my most inexpensive highlighter in my collection and it’s pretty awesome. Rexall, $30 *I think*)
-Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light (I use this as a setting powder over my moisture tint and it is PERFECT for summer makeup! Helps keep me matte but I still look glowy! Sephora, $52 CDN)
-Tarte 12 Hour Amazonian Clay blush in Dollface (lovely pink blush! Sephora, $32 CDN)
-Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess (has been a past fave. Sephora, $38 CDN)
-Urban Decay Naked Basics (past fave/one of my all time faves! Sephora, $32 CDN)
(also continuously using Maybelline Line Stiletto in Brownish Black and Blackest Black and Lancome Hypnose Drama Waterproof in Excessive Black)
Ok so those are my favourites, and a few of them are in my makeup essentials!
For the last few months, more and more friends have been asking me about makeup and what they should use, etc. I am by no means an expert, but I am a shopaholic with a crazy good memory for product knowledge. I also follow several amazing beauty bloggers on youtube and trust their reviews on different products. So I decided to compile a list of my makeup essentials. I’ll try to also list more affordable/drugstore options if possible since I know not everyone is a makeup fanatic/collector.
LIZ’S MAKEUP ESSENTIALS
I don’t wear foundation – I usually do BB Cream (I love Dior HydraLife), or right now since my skin is a bit darker because of the sun, I have been using the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint. I like those options instead because they’re generally more lightweight and they do more than just cover. I haven’t tried any drugstore BB creams or tinted moisturizers so I can’t tell you what’s good on that level, but I can say that if it’s something that you’re putting on your face daily, it better be great quality with no junk or harmful ingredients! For concealer, I’ve been using the Tarte Maracuja Oil Creaseless Concealer for the last year or so and it’s pretty decent. I am very wary of drugstore makeup in terms of concealer and such just because most of the time, you can’t test it out so it makes choosing the right colour very difficult. That being said, I’ve heard great things about the Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer so if you don’t want to splurge, then check that out! A great powder I’ve been using to set my moisturizer is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder in Diffused Light. This was a recent recommendation from Raeview (link is available on the right side bar) and it is fabulous! It is slightly mattifying but still gives a good glow. The pale yellow tone also helps neutralize any redness on my face which is a plus since I do have some mild hyperpigmentation due to cold damage as a kid. Bronzer is a wonderful thing – it helps put some more colour to your face (sunkissed anyone?) AND you can use it to contour. I’ve only used 3 bronzers in my life, and the first one I don’t think is made anymore (it was the Sugar blush/bronzer duo -my first Sephora purchase ever back in 2006). I’ve been using the Tarte Waterproof Amazonian Clay Matte Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess and it is the best! I also have the Stila One Step Bronze but I find myself rarely using it now because I LOVE the matte look (it is still a good product if you want a bronzer + highlighter cream product) and primarily use it for contouring. In terms of highlighters, my favourite tbh is the Poudre Signee de Chanel from the Chanel Spring 2013 line, however I didn’t photograph it ’cause a) I did a review of it so there’s photos there and b) it’s limited edition so no longer available. I think the most easily accessible one that I’ve been loving lately is the Mary-Loumanizer highlighter from theBalm. You can find theBalm products at Rexall (random, right??) Finally, BLUSHES. You really can’t go wrong with any of the Tarte 12-Hour Amazonian Clay blushes (pictured here is Dollface which is a pretty pink). Yes it’s more of a mid-high price range but it is worth every penny. The pigmentation of these blushes are phenomenal and the staying power is ridiculous. What I love most is that a little goes a long way so I know it’s going to be years until I hit pan on those babies. I also included my NARS Outlaw blush since it’s the perfect red toned blush that looks very natural – kinda like you’ve been outside in the cold during winter and thus apple cheeked, but in a charming way.
Some people say eyeshadow primer is unnecessary. To those people, I say, “WHATCHU TALKIN BOUT?!” Primer helps the colour really pop and stay on. I like the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Original) – it’s the only primer I’ve used and hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Now for the palette’s. If you’re going to splurge on one palette, I highly recommend the Urban Decay Naked palette. It’s $60 CDN but you get 12 full sized Urban Decay shadows and you can create SO many looks. If you have warmer undertones, then go for the original (pictured here). If your skin is cooler toned, you will probably like the Naked 2 palette better. If you’re into neutrals but don’t want to drop that kinda cheddar but still want a great UD palette – then Naked Basics is for you. I used it almost every single day for work and I reach for it whenever I want to look polished but with a very simple eyeshadow look. It has 5 matte shades and 1 pearly highlight colour (Venus – rhymes with penis, to quote the great Essiebutton). If you’re like, Liz, I don’t want to spend more than $10 on eyeshadow, then I say if nothing else, pick up the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze. It is the greatest bang for your buck since it’s usually on sale for around $6.99 (reg. $8.99 or so) and has incredible staying power. It is perfect if you only want to put on one colour and it’ll still look like you put in a lot of effort. Maybelline generally has really great palettes – for a great neutral one I recommend the Eyestudio Color Explosion palette in Caffeine as well if you don’t want to go for Urban Decay. The Maybelline Line Stiletto liquid liner is my HG liner. It is PERFECT for beginners and you can usually pick it up on sale at Shoppers. I use Brownish Black for everyday/work makeup and Blackest Black for when I want more drama. For eyebrow pencils, I have only used 2 and the one I’ve been using for the last 6-8 months is fantastic. I love the Cle de Peau eyebrow pencil in #204 which is kind of like a black-gray. It is a big splurge but only 2 companies make this colour: Cle de Peau and Shiseido. If you’re not Asian, then you can definitely go for the Diorshow Brow Styler which comes in Universal Brown…or if you’re lucky, you can use a neutral eyeshadow to fill in your brows! Finally, mascara – oh mascara, the challenge of finding the perfect one. I don’t want to be a mascara snob, but really, I haven’t had any luck with drugstore mascaras. The Maybelline Colossal Cat Eyes was just okay – but dried out way too quickly for me to repurchase it. If you’ve been blessed with decent lashes that have a natural curl then you can probably jump on the CoverGirl Clump Crusher bandwagon and enjoy your voluminous lashes. I however with the straight lashes that point downward need lots of help – curler and then my HG mascara – Lancome Hypnose Drama Waterproof (which unfortunately is STILL not available in Canada). My runners up: Make Up For Ever Professional Aqua Smoky Lash and Benefit They’re Real!
L-R and swatches from top to bottom: Lancome Gloss in Love in Peach Show, Soap & Glory Sexy Motherpucker Gloss Stick in Nudist, Tarte Glamazon Pure Performance Lipstick in Wild, Mac Satin Lipstick in Rebel.
Ah lip products. These are my four top picks because really, all you need is a great gloss (Lancome), an everyday MLBB and easy to apply shade (Soap & Glory – mine got warped a bit when the cap came off in my Kate Spade bag…firstworldproblems), the perfect red (Tarte) and a fantastic universally flattering berry shade for a bold fall lip (Mac). ‘Nuff said.
Having the correct tools makes a big difference in putting on makeup. I think why I’ve had so much success in learning how to do my own makeup is the fact that I’ve picked up great tools and brushes. Here are my essential tools!
The best eyelash curler EVER – Shu Uemura! It has a wider curve which makes it better for Asian eyes than the conventional Cover Girl or Maybelline ones.
These are my favourite face brushes! First is the Sonia Kashuk Medium Angled Multipurpose Powder brush (available only at Target) which I use for blush. The second brush is the Real Techniques Expert Face brush which I use for my tinted moisturizer. Thirdly is the Real Techniques Setting brush which I use for highlighter (you can find a few of the RT brush sets at Walmart, or order individually at ftbbeauty.ca). Finally, I have the Elf Powder Brush (online at eyeslipsface.com, Target in the US, occasionally at Winners/Marshall’s, or the Designer Makeup store in the underground Yorkville mall) which I love so much I have 3 of them (at $3 USD, Elf brushes are a TOTAL steal) and I use it for BB cream, bronzer, and my setting powder.
Sorry this picture is a little blurry, but you just basically need to see the shapes of these eyeshadow brushes. The first is the Tokidoki Crease brush that was in the Pittura brush set (that went on clearance at Sephora back in August 2012). I use it exactly for that – blending colour into the crease of my eyelid. The 2nd and 3rd brushes are very similar in terms of shape – they’re both eyeshadow shading brushes that are great for all over the lid. I have pictured here the Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush (ftbbeauty.ca) and the Elf Eyeshadow C brush. The small brush is the Sigma E30 Pencil brush and it is perfect for precise colour application and definition. The last one is the Sigma E40 Round Tapered Blending brush and trust me when I say – you have not been blending your eyeshadows properly without this brush. Bold statement I know, but I would look like a hot mess without this one.
Finally, this is what I use to take off my makeup at night. I really like the Balea 3 in 1 cleansing cloths (cleanses, tones, and removes makeup) because they’re convenient and they are on sale almost every other week at Shoppers Drug Mart. I then follow up with Bioderma Sensibio (on a cotton round) which is basically a cleansing water that you don’t need to rinse off afterwards. It gets everything else that the cleansing cloths can’t. Both of these products can be found at Shoppers Drug Mart.
So there you have it. My makeup essentials. These are IMO some of the best products out there, and I know a lot of them are mostly in the mid-high price range so if you have any great drugstore dupes or suggestions, please leave a comment below! 🙂
Ok so here’s the final part of the MEGAPOST. Tutorials! These are the videos that I watched to learn how to apply certain products and how to create certain “looks”. Let’s hope I can embed these babies…subscribe to all these amazing beauty guru’s!
Jen aka frmheadtotoe – blush and highlighter
makeup for glasses
Lillian aka lillianmasie – winged liner
Estee aka essiebutton – Naked Basics
Allison aka amarixe – Benefit Skinny Jeans (gray smoky eye)
Phew! There we have it! The Megapost has come to an end. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or if we know each other in real life, ask me 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by and of course, stay gorgeous!