Last week I shared a little confession with you. Having spent years convincing myself that a baby wipe and a boat-load of hopefulness constituted a good skincare regime, I had finally been broken by the internet and begun my pursuit for Instagram-glowing skin. Think Glossier-Millenial-bathed-in-golden-light lustre, or one of those incredible Twitter shots Americans always seem to take from the driver’s seat of their car (can we return our sun? I think it’s broken). I was done with looking like a resuscitated cadaver whenever I was without fake tan or a decent helping of light-reflecting primer, so I introduced a number of different products into my routine and - shock horror - it actually seems to be working.
Turns out you guys are interested in more than my denim collection, so I thought I'd share more of what I’m putting on my skin with my current favourite make-up products.
When it comes to cosmetics, I’m a little more experienced in terms of what the heck everything is. I don’t find myself becoming totally bamboozled by complicated names and 18-step programmes, or face masks that act as skin preparations for other face masks. After years of trial and error I have a pretty good idea of what I want and what I like, and as I’ve been wearing make-up (badly) since the age of 12ish, I’ve also made every mistake going.
From concealer lipstick to orange foundation lines smeared across my jaw, to super distant, super-thin eyebrows and excessively layered up mascara, I’ve got the many t-shirts and I’ve stained them all with fake tan. Thank God Bebo isn’t around any more, otherwise the ghosts of my make-up past may have come back to haunt me with a vengeance (why the concealer lipstick? WHY?!).
With that being said, my core products and every day look is still changing. Lest we forget, it was only last August that I decided to forgo mascara and - *gasp* - my beloved winged liner that I had worn religiously since the age of 13. That’s a ten year committed relationship that I called quits on guys, and I’ve only worn liquid eyeliner once since. It felt weird. I felt like I was trying too hard. Maybe we're over for good? Nevertheless I did embrace mascara after a month or so of sporting bald eyes, so all things in moderation, right?
Despite making little updates here and there to my daily routine, I do have a few core products which I feel justify the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' phrase. I’ve popped them all below with a little blurb on what they do and why I love them, so fingers crossed you enjoy the read and if there are any bits you think I ~ neeeeeed ~ to try out, then come and find me over on social (Twitter and Instagram) or pop a comment down below. Until next time lovelies x
SHOP THE LOT
Price: £32.50 / Shade: 2W1 Dawn / Lil' fact: SP30!
The low-down: This is my all-time favourite foundation. A previous Double Wear addict, I moved away from the cult when I started to find the formula and coverage a little too heavy for an every day look. Then, as if Estee herself sensed my departure from beyond the grave, Double Wear Nude was released. With light-to-medium buildable coverage, an oil-free, hydrating, and 'your skin but better' formula, it's everything I look for in a foundation. In terms of the finish it is on the lighter side, so if you're looking for something to see you through an extremely sweaty night out then this is probably not the ticket. However, if, like me, you're chasing that Glossier-glow in your every day life, then I can't recommend this baby enough.
Price: £31.00 / Shade: 4.25 Natural Tan / Lil' fact: Available in 30 shades
The low-down: "Two foundations?!", I hear you cry. Ah, yes, well, when pulling together this post, I happened to receive a huge box of the new Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundations. I never hold out much hope for new foundations because Double Wear Nude already ranks so highly, but boy, was I surprised. I applied my make-up at 7:30am in the morning before heading into London for a day of meetings and fun stuff, and when I made it back home at 5:30pm, my base had barely budged. I even took a selfie on the train home because I was that shooketh. I still have a few more days of trying this out but early signs are ~ extremely ~ positive (don't tell Estee, but it's a contender for the top spot). Despite being full coverage, with a good bit of priming and moisturising beforehand the finish was smooth and the colour blended well, although it did take a little more elbow grease to make sure the product was evenly spread. Watch this space.
Price: £39.00 / Shade: SX3 / Lil' fact: Multi-purpose
The low-down: Is it a concealer? Is it a foundation? Is it a contour-cream? No, it's Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer! This award-winning, bestselling cult-product acts as all of the above and more, making it the ultimate pot of power for your make-up bag. Personally, I only use this as a super heavy duty concealer for the bags under my eyes, and for any excessive redness or big spots, and it is the absolute peak of the concealer kingdom. There is nothing this baby can't cover and it stays put all day, plus it's so super concentrated that you only need one fingertip-dip to blend over multiple areas. I've used my pot every day for well over a year now, and I've barely made a dent, so despite the slightly eye-watering price, the cost-per-use is unbelievably affordable.
Price: £38.50 / Lil' fact: Use underneath foundation, by itself, or on top as a highlighter
The low-down: I've never cared for primers much in terms of trying to extend the longevity of my base, but when it comes to amping up my glow? Count me in. I was sent a sample of the Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow in a box of the brand's best-selling miniatures, and after a few applications, it became a solid step in my routine. I use a small amount and blend all over my face after moisturising, before popping on my foundation and continuing on as normal. Once finished, my skin looks noticeably healthier and more glowy, and it also sinks into the skin so smoothly that the texture itself feels improved. Again, another pricey one, but a little goes a long way so it's well worth the cost-per-use.
Price: £15 / Shade: Puff / Lil' fact: Idiot-proof
The low-down: I didn't know I needed the Glossier Cloud Paints until I bought one. Back when the Glossier-hype had just popped off with the launch of the UK site, I picked up Boy Bow and a Cloud Paint to road-test the brand, and, admittedly, to debunk the cult-status that surrounded it. Well, I was entirely unsuccessful, because Cloud Paint has changed my life (okay, a bit much, but my face at least). Previously a staunch bronzer-only gal, the introduction of 'Puff' into my routine has injected a little colour back into my complexion and left me looking healthier, younger, and more awake. The Cloud Paints are super light and buildable, so as the Glossier website says, it really is difficult to apply too much, and there are also four different colours available which are all optimised for a range of skin tones. Blush yourself up, lovelies.
Price: £14 / Shade: Brown / Lil' fact: Contains collagen for thickening
The low-down: I love big, bushy, slightly offensive eyebrows. I'm not talking severe edges or super dark pigments - more retro Brooke Shields. Nevertheless, I unfortunately wasn't blessed with naturally full brows from birth, nor did I escape the Paris Hilton overplucking phase that threw us all under the bus during the Noughties. Thus I had resigned myself to a lifetime of penciling and combing and penciling again. That was until Boy Brow came into my life. Boy Brow is a product that divides people; you either love it, or you hate it, and gals, I fucking love it. One quick dip in the little tube and I can do both brows in minutes, not only saving me time, but also leaving me with a much more natural, perfectly imperfect finish. I opted for Brown instead of Blonde because I'm in the process of growing my darker roots out, but if you are a lighter haired person, I would suggest opting for Blonde or Clear as the pigment can appear fairly intense.
Price: £22.00 / Shade: 4G / Lil' fact: Contains white pigment
The low-down: I've been using this baby for years now. I'm not talking years as in since 2016, I'm talking years since the internet first got obsessed with Kim Kardashian's contouring and Ben Nye's Banana Powder. That's a blast from the digital past, hey? Laura Mercier's Secret Brightening Powder had been recommended online for setting the under-eyes of paler complexions, so I picked one up and I've been hooked ever since. Not only does it help to set the heavy creamy texture of my Kevyn Aucoin concealer, it also contains white pigment to actively brighten the area and reflect the light. What does that mean? It means we have another soldier in the battle against bags, ladies and gents. To apply, I take a small amount on a fluffy brush and lightly pat in a triange formation under my eyes. For a more concentrated brightening effect, you can apply with your finger in a dabbing motion instead.
Price: £10.50 / Shade: Gleam (Limited Edition) / Lil' fact: High street but award-winning
The low-down: Bet you thought I wasn't going to include a highlighter, didn't you? Well, I could hardly bang on about my pursuit to Glowing Goddess without including some form of extra fakery. I've cycled through a few different highlighters over the past few years and a couple have stood out to me (the Bobbi Brown Glow Stick gets an honourable mention, and is perfect for a more subtle gloss as opposed to a shimmer), but I've never been excited to any until this little lovely entered my life. I tried it on a whim after I was sent a pack of limited edition Topshop Beauty products at Christmas, and I've been hooked ever since. It blends SO easily - much more easily than any of the other highlighters I've tried - and after application, the chosen areas catch the light lift the overall complexion in a natural way, as opposed to shimmering or shining too harshly. Oh, and hey, it's only a tenner!