Every makeup item that is HG status for me…
Although my blog and writing has shot in many different directions over the years, beauty and makeup will forever be my favourite and you know how I can tell? When I was writing this post I got excited about collating together my 2019 makeup favourites at the end of the year. FOUR MONTHS AWAY BUT I’M EXCITED! Lol. Anyway for today’s post I thought I’d create a directory of my favourite favourite makeup products in each category; a post that’s been many years in the making. I saw Emma post a similar thing on her blog and thought it was a genius idea and something that you guys can refer back to if ever you’re interested to hear about my particular top picks for a primer? Or a eyeshadow? Ever wondered what my favourite lipsticks are? They are ALL here…
Primers for me have to be silicone-free because I *hate* that silky feeling that silicone laden formulas give, and focus primarily on hydration. I don’t use a primer every single day, but if it’s been a long gap between my skincare routine and putting on makeup then I appreciate an extra layer of moisture, or if I’m feeling particularly dry and lacklustre, or I want to seriously amp up the glow, then I reach for one. The Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Face Primer (gifted) is a creamy skin-like option that’s lovely for adding radiance even if you’re not wearing makeup, but if you are then I just love how foundation looks under the *Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer (gifted). I wasn’t sure where to add in the *Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter in 2 Light, but it’s a great tinted highlighter/primer hybrid that works beautifully when mixed with foundation or wore underneath. I’ll always have a bottle of it on hand.
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I like my foundations to look like skin and be glowy as hell – ain’t nothing matte about any of my picks. I like to get real close up to a mirror and not to see it sitting on my skin at all, and all of the below pass that test. My forever favourite is the *It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream – DUR. Fair in the winter months and Light in the summer months. It’s perfect – such a nice evening-out amount of coverage, but not too heavy or obvious and plenty of radiance. I tend to use it more for days when I want a medium finish to the skin or need my makeup to last all day, but when I fancy something sheerer I like a layer or two of *MAC’s Face & Body Foundation; C1 in the winter and C2 in the summer. The most full coverage pick that I enjoy is *Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation in 4, which is what I wore on my wedding day and gives the look of pretty perfected skin, that still looks natural.
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In the past three years I’ve used the *Glossier Stretch Concealer in Light (now shade G11) approximately 95% of the time. It’s dewy as hell and won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but as someone with an extremely dry eye area I love the moisture that it gives and don’t mind that it’s not the longest lasting formula out there. It sits well on my skin and the shade brightens me up. If I need more coverage I reach for the *Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer in either 3 or 4, which looks so natural on the skin but packs in a decent amount of pigment. Something that’s in the middle of the two is the *First Aid Beauty Bendy Avocado Concealer in 2.
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I first used the *Kevyn Auction The Sculpting Powder in Medium around five years ago now, and I still have a compact in my daily beauty box. It’s the original and it’s the best contour with subtle grey tones and the ability to sculpt some kind of cheekbone into my cheek where a natural contour is non-existent. I recently picked up the *Kevyn Aucoin Liquid Contour Wand, which has a similar tone and is wayyy more subtle, but still does a good job. A month or two ago though I picked up the *Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick in Biscuit and it’s brilliant. A cream formula that blends like butter and in a shade that works perfectly with my complexion. There you go powder, liquid and cream – I’ve got a recommendation for each one.
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The obvious choice here is the *CHANEL Soleil Tan de CHANEL; a cream bronzer that’s absolutely massive and diffuses into whatever base you’ve applied before it with just a few swirls of your brush. It’s all I’ve used in 2019. The *Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer in Baked, is a slightly cheaper alternative, although I find the colour a little deeper so it’s not as quick and easy to blend on me. Something that is quick and easy is the *NARS Liquid Bronzer in Laguna (gifted), which is a liquid formula and so dries down and sticks around – it’s great for the hot and sticky summer months. Cream is my preferred choice here, but when I do reach for powder I enjoy the *Too Faced Milk Chocolate Bronzer, and have done for years.
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I was very tempted to leave out this category completely as I’m most definitely not an everyday blush wearer, but then I thought that I’d have to give a shout out to the *Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Werk because it’s just a gorgeous shade and a really beautiful formula that’s easy to swipe on and blend. Then I remembered *Glossier’s Cloud Paint in Dusk, which I’ve used since it’s release and continue to dab on whenever I feel like a bit of colour in my cheeks. Then I thought I’d have to include the *Nudestix Nudies Bloom in Sweet Peach Peony because it gives such a good glow to the face. So there you have it. Three blush faves – who’d have thought it?
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I use cream highlighters pretty much exclusively and love one that’s basically just a balm for your face with extremely sheer shimmer pigments to it, if any at all. I apply it with my fingers and just feel like it looks the most natural in finish. The best one in the biz (that wasn’t limited edition – yes I’m looking at you CHANEL!), is the *BECCA Glow Glaze Stick (gifted). Although I do love *Glossier Haloscope in Quartz too and I’ve just purchased the *BeautyBlender Glass Glow Shinelighter which is a clear gloss that can be used wherever you fancy to achieve a glassy finish without too much stick and it’s goooood.
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Since my brow regrowth ‘journey‘ and finding a brow lady who has helped me embrace my natural shape and fullness, I don’t do too much to my brows these days, but they do still need a helping hand from time to time and I will always enjoy the cool grey tones of the *It Cosmetics Brow Power in Universal Taupe, or how natural *Glossier’s Brow Flick in Brown can look. If it’s just pinning down that they need then my favourite will always be the *Hourglass Arch Brow Volumising Fiber Gel in Soft Brunette (gifted) for how non-crispy it is, with *Glossier’s Boy Brow in Brown coming in just behind it.
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I’ve emitted eyeliner here because I rarely use it and if I do any old deep brown one will do the trick, but if I had to wear one eyeshadow for the rest of my life it would be *MAC’s Eyeshadow in Soba. It’s one of the few shadows that I’ve hit pan on and promptly repurchased. I do love a cream eyeshadows though as they are often easier and faster to blend and once dried down tend to last longer too. I wore *Charlotte Tilbury’s Eyes to Mesmerise in Bette on my wedding day and *Tom Ford’s Emotionproof Eye Colour in Abyssinian is a recent fave that’s almost like the cream version of Soba, but *MAC’s Prolongwear Paint Pot in Groundwork is the longest standing one in my routine.
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I mean OF COURSE the *Lancome Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara was going to be my top pick here. A bit of volume, a decent amount of separation and the ability to hold a curl is all I ever want from a mascara and that one ticks all three boxes. Although recently I have been enjoying the *Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Wet Waterproof Mascara, which again does all three, but has a little bit more of a fluffy finish to it. If you’re after tonnes of volume though, then it’s all about the *Pat McGrath FetishEyes Mascara (gifted) which delivers it by the bucketload; FYI – it doesn’t hold a curl though so has to be strengthened underneath with a layer of a waterproof formula.
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This category is a bit of a tricky one because I either hit the lip product spectrum at one end, or the completely opposite. I either love sheer, balmy textures; literally balms like the *NARS After Glow Lip Balm in Clean Cut (gifted), or tinted ones like the *Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Lip Balm in Blow Up or *Glossier Generation G in Cake, or I enjoy a matte nude lip with absolutely no shine at all and go for something like *MAC’s Lipstick in Yash which has been a favourite for years now, or the *Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipsticks, (I’d recommend Irresistible or Charmeuse from their latest Parisian Nudes collection).
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Photos by Mark Newton