There’s an overwhelming amount of products to choose from, some of which will break your bank account and some of which have prices too good to be true. Knowing what’s worth the money and what’s a waste of money is no easy task, and that’s where I come in. I thought long and hard about what products never fail me and that I would invest in over and over again, so if you feel like you haven’t found your foolproof favourite yet, it might be worthwhile giving these a go.
1. Foundation - Nars Sheer Glow
Already a cult-favourite, there’s probably not much I can say about this foundation that you haven’t already heard. It has such a dreamy formula that feels incredibly lightweight on the skin, but allows you to build it up to your heart’s content without a hint of cake-face. I tend to buff this in with a Real Technique’s expert face brush to get the coverage before doing a once-over with a beauty blender to press it in. This foundation, being so luminous, tends to sit really nicely on mature skin too and I always use it when doing my Mum’s makeup. If you pop into your local store, they should give you a sample of this to try too so you can judge your shade and how it sits on your skin before purchasing.
2. Bronzer/contour - Rimmel Kate Bronzing Palette
I feel like this was a favourite of a lot of people a few years ago, which is when I invested. I use this pretty much on a daily basis and I’m still yet to hit pan, which is something worth writing about in itself. The highlight and blush sections of this palette are decent and good for travelling, but I really love it for the bronzing shade. It’s the perfect balance between warm and cool toned making it perfect for bronzing my fair skin and sculpting when I’m tanned. At the drugstore price point too, I’d recommend trying it out.
3. Mascara - Maybelline Lash Sensational
Yet another drugstore gem, this mascara never fails me. It’s one of those that I keep going back to every so often having been underwhelmed by a few mediocre mascaras in between, and being in need of something I know and love. For the first few weeks of being open, I only need one coat to get full, fat lashes but it’s surprisingly easy to build up after that. It dries down completely so it never smudges and you don’t get that gross, sticky lash feeling either, but is still fairly easy to remove without much hassle. Essentially, it’s the best of both worlds.
4. Highlight - Urban Decay Sin
If you’re on the hunt for a buttery, intensely pigmented highlighter, definitely go swatch this. Unlikely many full-on highlights, this never looks glittery or chunky on my skin and instead gives more of a sheen, especially when you buff it in, which is an effect that I love. No shade to those who use a strong highlight, like some of the other favourites in the industry, to get the perfect picture at golden hour, but this can look a bit unnatural in person so Sin is a great alternative. Sadly this packaging isn’t the most exciting thing you’ll ever see, but I can get over it for the sake of the product inside.
5. Lips - Ciaté liquid velvet lipstick
Ciaté as a brand is not hyped as much as it should be, in my humble opinion. I had their advent calendar two years ago and it was full of glorious products. Their liquid lipsticks are quite comparable to the Kat von D everlasting liquid lips, in that they have a fairly liquidy formula that, when dried down, feels nice and light on the lips. There’s nothing worse than a heavy matte lip that feels thick and chunky. The applicator is also slightly pointed which makes it easy to apply it in the right shape without it going everywhere. It’s a really good starting point if you’re a bit scared of the whole liquid lip thing lasts well without going patchy, particularly if you use a lip liner (shout-out to Mac Whirl lip liner which deserves a mention here).
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