Over the years of trying countless beauty products, I’ve lovingly compiled a list of some of my tried & true “must-haves” to share with you today. Keep in mind that I, in no way, believe that makeup is one size fits all. This list of essentials (always lovingly packed into my travel bag) are merely things that have worked amazingly well for me through much trial and error. It’s also a documentation of my personal journey through the wonderful land of cosmetics: a journey which never ends, often causes much agony (and joy), and simply never ends up how you’d expect it to.
- Eyeliner : Bourjois Liner Clubbing in Ultra Black (£6.99 at Boots)
Quite possibly my favourite beauty product of all time. This liquid liner is long-lasting & has a nice, mostly matte finish. It blends well with skin and eyelashes, and doesn’t merely appear to be hovering over the eyelids the way some other liquid liners do. It does smudge every now & then, but normally lasts all day. When it does smudge, it smears, rather than turn into flakes that fall into your eyes. I have to admit… the best thing about this product? Its price. I’ve found it comparable to products costing 3x as much. I literally buy this eyeliner in quantities of 2-4 each time I purchase out of fear of the day it will be discontinued.
- Blush : Gabriel Cosmetics Blush in “Apricot” ($18.35 at GabrielCosmetics.com)
The colour of this blush is beautiful: a matte peachy pink, no shimmer. Gives cheeks a beautiful, glowing, natural looking flush. It blends effortlessly and the colour is quite buildable. As an added bonus, this product is 100% natural, and also vegan-friendly.
Honorable mention: Benefit Lollitint. I love a pretty, feminine colour & Lollitint certainly fits the bill! I also love using this product as a lip stain, the color is super pretty (pinky, subtly mauve tint) & matches nearly any style of makeup I’ve decided to wear on a given day. Though the staying power of this product as a lip stain sometimes leaves a little to be desired, overall this is a great, multi-tasking product. I normally take this with me where ever I go!
- Foundation: Shiseido Dual Balancing Foundation & Powdery Foundation
The first foundation I ever tried (oh so many years ago, *sigh*) was Shiseido’s Powdery Foundation. No matter how many foundations I experiment with, I keep going back to my Shiseido essentials. Where has Shiseido excelled for me where other high end foundations have not quite cut it? The colour matches my skin much better & also keeps it looking balanced: not too dry, not too oily. My skin tends to get super oily during the day (super oily might even be an understatement), but it also has it’s dry moments. I need a foundation that can cope with both issues & Shiseido has best accomplished the task.
- Moisturizer : Philosophy Hope In A Jar (from £10.50, $15 from Philosophy)
While I’ve found that many moisturizers give similar results, I just love the unique consistency of this moisturizer. Light, whipped, and feels like satin to the touch, quite unlike any other moisturizer I’ve tried before. Hope In A Jar keeps skin feeling supple, refreshed, & doesn’t clog my pores (keeping me blemish free). I’ve heard people complain about the scent, but it personally does not bother me at all. I’d much prefer this scent to something that is heavily fragranced since fragrances can contain skin irritants.
- Shampoo & Conditioner : Alterna “CAVIAR” ($32 each at Sephora.com)
This shampoo & conditioner is undoubtedly pricey, but I haven’t been able to find anything else to get results nearly as amazing. This shampoo & conditioner duo leaves hair feeling clean and looking smooth, & lustrous. Without a doubt my favourite shampoo & conditioner combo of all time!
The CAVIAR line has a lovely scent and, although the products are sulfate-free, they lather extremely well. Because the shampoo lathers so well, only minimal product is needed, which is actually very necessary because of the high cost! Being sulfate-free, they are also great for maintaining hair & keeping it looking its best.
- Blotting Papers : Tatcha ($12 for 30 sheets, Tatcha.com)
These blotting papers are flecked with real gold flake & are packaged beautifully. What I particularly love about these blotting sheets is that they are thick & durable, this means that you can use both sizes of a sheet to maximize the amount you can absorb per sheet. The sheets are all-natural & don’t contain any irritating ingredients. They feel nice to the touch and they look so beautiful… I just love looking at them!
Other products I love: Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch, Kate Spade Supercalifragilipstick in Bashful Blush, Benefit Watts Up, Carven Le Parfum