Holy grails I buy again and again – makeup edition
My makeup stash might be a tad bigger than other people’s, but even I, Miss Never-Hit-Pan, have some makeup staples that I buy again and again. Unsung heros, the ones that might not look special or seem must-haves, but are – they’re the little helpers that help make me look good – in short, my holy grail makeup products.
Let’s start with an absolute staple: Urban Decay’s original Primer Potion. No eye makeup without it for me. I’ve tried Too Faced, ArtDeco, various MAC eye bases and primers – but I always come back to UDPP. I even had it in their old, inconvenient genie bottle packaging that you had to saw open to get the last dregs out of it. Thankfully, it’s now a very convenient squeezy tube, with its siliconey pinkish beige primer working still the same like when I first started to buy it around 2002. Use a miniscule amount, spread it over your lid with a finger (it’s undetectable on the lids), and apply your eye shadow over it. No matter if liquid, cream or powder, the base makes your shadow hold up for the next 12h. (Not in very hot and humid weather, truth to be told – then it’s more than 8h for my oily hooded lids). A tube lasts me for absolute ages too – my grubby one has very likely enough product for the next few months in it! It’s around 20€/ 16£/ 20$.
I first heard about the Clinique Airbrush Concealer from Lisa Eldridge back in the day. I was intrigued, in need of a new concealer anyway, so shopping I went. It’s available in six measly shades (booh, Clinique!) and I use 04 neutral fair. It does a good job of covering my dark circles and brightening my undereye area. It promises a reducing of fine lines, and how a concealer is supposed to do that is beyond me (or are you using putty?!).
What it does, instead:
While it initially settles a bit into my fine lines, I smooth over that area again with my trusty Sephora x Hakuhodo concealer brush, and presto – no more settling. I then go over it with a setting powder and can be sure that nothing moves to where it shouldn’t be. I never use the brush, but squeeze out a tiny amount and build that up with aforementioned concealer brush. It goes with my various eye creams and never pills or does other unsavoury stuff. While coverage isn’t heavy, I like it exactly for that: A quite natural effect. Prices: 24€/ 20,50$ (in the US there’re even 11 shades!)/ 19£.
You’ve to give it to Bourjois, they got their PR game down pat. When the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream was released, I first heard about it from then-great Beaut.ie and shortly afterwards on Lisa Eldridge’s blog (again!). On both sites it was highly recommended, and my interest was peaked. Never mind the claims (24h hydration?!??!?!) and the measly SPF15 or the CC label – I wanted it. Badly. And given the first chance I tried the lightest shade, deemed it fitting, and started testing. CC creams are supposed to colour correct your skintone, and are also supposed to have a light coverage. Bourjois claims that the 123 Perfect CC Cream colour corrects with apricot, green and white pigments. I don’t care, because as a foundation this is perfect. It’s astonishingly pigmented and you’ll easily reach medium coverage with it.
What it does
A word on the four measly shades (BOOOOH!) – I wear the lightest one, 31 Ivory, and it suits me fine (MAC NC15). Also, it’s neither especially luminous nor matte, but nicely dewy and skin-like. It’s a pleasure to use with either a flat-top synthetic brush or a beauty blender. I wouldn’t use it on oily skin, though – I wouldn’t say it’s overly hydrating, but it’s definitely not mattifying. It holds up decently during the day – I’ve to blot after a few hours of wear, especially on my nose, but it never settles into fine lines or pores. I tend to stray away from it (boredom and beauty junkie-ness – you know, curious about other and better stuff), but whenever I return to it, I look at myself in the mirror and don’t believe how good my skin looks. It’s about 10£/13€.
I’ve used the Nars Translucent Chrystal Light Reflecting Setting Powder Loose non-stop since it was released in one of its incarnations. I like the loose version better than the pressed one (I rather blot than powder anyway after I’ve left the house). It’s translucent, doesn’t create flashback, doesn’t look powdery and does a marvellous job of setting my makeup. It’s never obvious and has some nice blurring and soft-focus properties going on. I use my Sephora x Hakuhodo powder blush for the best results – a match made in heaven! I also set my concealer with this and have yet to see any creasing. Best setting powder ever. 37$, 27£, 37€.
My favourite from back in the day when my lashes were teeny tiny, until now when they’ve grown quite a lot thanks to Revitalash (read about it here) – L’Oreal’s Miss Manga Mascara in Black Waterproof has been a firm favourite. It’s volumizing (not really lengthening, though), and holds its ‘waterproof’ promise. This stuff does not budge.
I also like the wand and the bristles a lot – the tapered shape makes me reach the lashes in the inner corners of my eyes easily. The black formula is nicely black, and while the volumizing properties of the formula don’t veer far away from clumping, I like this heavily made up look on my lashes. It doesn’t smudge and really, what could you want more? Volume, smudge-proof, waterproof, boom! Around 10€, 10£, 10$.