And making the most of your splurge-worthy products!
I am a huge sucker when it comes to make-up - I'm sure you've gathered that by now! I love browsing through websites of brands that we (sadly) don't get here in South Africa, but then I also love going into Clicks or Dischem to have a little squiz at their beauty sections.. And let me tell you, it's difficult to come out empty handed. But unfortunately it has to be done.
If this is the case for you too, then I'm sure you will agree with me when I say that when you get your hands on something really out-of-this-world amazing, you're going to keep reaching for that more so than any other products you may own. Anyone agree? It will make more sense for you to splurge on something that is absolutely golden in your eyes, rather than getting a bunch of products that you're not even sure you like. This is particularly why I am posting this now, because January is a fresh start and with that comes better habits (hopefully?) Like being real with yourself and questioning 'do I really need that fifth tube of mascara right now?'
Regardless of your control, or lack thereof, I'm certain we all have our favourite products, that no matter what the situation is, we need to be using those. The ones I'll be speaking about in this post are of course my must-haves right now and mostly what I've been using on my face recently. I'm sorry to say though, I know myself well enough to be sure that I'll have a bunch of new make-up within the next few months. But I suppose that's a little better than scooping up three blushes at a time? Although I'm somewhat lucky that I can blame it on my make-up artist title (😉 ) most of the time, I want the products for my personal use! Oh the struggle...
I love a good foundation, whether that's for me or for my clients. For me in particular though, I love a dewy finish because of my dry skin. I also prefer a medium to full coverage (not all the time, but often). With a medium coverage I achieve a more natural finish, where you can still see some of my freckles coming through.
The L.A Girl Pro Coverage HD Illuminating foundation is one I have been using a lot lately. The first time I tried it however, I wasn't fully convinced. I found that it applied a little strangely on the skin - like it's still wet. But after wearing it for a full day I came to seriously love it. To combat that tacky feeling, a thin layer of pressed powder does the trick! With two pumps of the foundation I am able to reach a desirable combination of good coverage while still looking natural. This product also won't break the bank - something that's always nice to know!
Many people simply use a concealer to prime their eyes, which works absolutely perfectly. But I wanted to give this product a go. I had heard such good things about this Sephora Beauty Amplifier eye primer. So when I was in New York, it only made sense to purchase it while I had the chance. I love it so much! Even to the extent that I use it sparingly, because, as you may have guessed, there is no Sephora in South Africa.
Luckily though, a little bit goes a long way. I only apply a tiny bit to both my eyelids, readying them for setting powder and eyeshadow. I have also started using what's left on my fingers underneath my eyes. I read somewhere that applying an eye primer under the eyes can help with dryness and the concealer caking or creasing. All in all though, it's a stunning product and really does work wonders. My eyeshadow looks as good in the evening as it did when I applied it hours ago, in the morning.
With dry skin comes the sad acknowledgement that powders must be used wearily. Basically I only apply powder in certain places. I've been enjoying this Wet n Wild Photofocus Pressed Powder lately, more so than any other. It's the first Wet n Wild product I've tried and I can say confidently that it won't be the last. I swipe my powder brush onto this compact swiftly, so that only a little bit of product is caught. I then apply this lightly under my eyes, to set my concealer, and then loosely around my face where my bronzer or blush will go.
This pressed powder in particular feels extremely silky on the skin and it's so gentle underneath my eyes. If you can't tell already, I have a thing about under eyes! Mainly because I've had so many struggles with my own. So this powder is a winner in my eyes.
I don't actually use loose powder as regularly as the products I've been speaking about, but when I do, this is the one I use. Also, I want to give you a bit of an option when it comes to what you prefer!
The famous Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Powder is the softest powder I have felt. And because I can't replace this product in a heartbeat, I also use it sparingly. It works so well in really brightening up a face. If I'm going all out with my make-up, I'll usually set my under eyes with this loose powder, sweep the leftover product away after letting it settle in, and then I'll add a tiny bit of pressed powder to brighten the eyes further. When I say a tiny bit, I seriously mean a tiny bit - I can't pack on too much powder under these dry eyes! 🙁
Bronzer, blush and highlight
I think this is my favourite trio in a palette, of all time! The Bobbi Brown Illuminating Cheek Palette is as beautiful inside as it is on the outside. This bright pink packaging literally has my name all over it! The palette contains a trio of a soft, warm bronzer, a stunning pink/peachy blush and a peachy highlight that shines like it's the sun. 😉 It. Is. Beautiful.
As you can see I'm pretty much swooning over this product, and most probably will be for a while. Unfortunately it is a limited edition, so I won't even be able to splurge my money wisely - on a product such as this one! I suppose this means I'll just have to enjoy the time we have left together.. Wow, I am so dramatic.
These shades are perfect for creating the healthiest glow, something I've been all about since going on holiday. I don't want to lose my sun-kissed tan (well, tan for this pale lady), but I will eventually. So then I'll be forced to keep using this palette to mimic that healthy, glowy, radiant skin you get while away. Not that I'd need ANY forcing to use this beauty!
I've always loved a creamy highlight, because it adds an even more dewier finish to the skin and it simply just feels so good. The L.A Lights Lip & Cheek Colour from Smashbox is such a gorgeous highlighter stick. It's in a warm, champagne shade, and creates a beautiful, natural shine on the cheekbones.
I have spoken about this in one of my YouTube videos, and I mention that I wouldn't really use it as a lip colour. Maybe on a darker skin tone it would look better, but on my fair skin it washes me out completely. So I'd rather stick to using it as my highlight. And that's more than fine, seeing as it works so damn well in that department!
It is extremely easy to use and it blends out so well. It's one of the most perfect products to use for multiple occasions; whether it's a quick, on-the-go make-up, or a full on, glamorous face!
For a while, setting my brows was a step I would skip because I just didn't have a product that I was really obsessed with. The brow gels I did have were good, but not exactly ones I loved. Fast forward a bit and now I have not done my make-up without this product for quite a while!
Rimmel's Brow This Way gel in clear is pretty much my most treasured product at the moment. Brows are ridiculously important to me. I am constantly trying to better my shape, define them and essentially, aspire to Desi Perkins level of perfection with her eyebrows. (Go and look if you have not yet seen!)
Getting back to the Brow This Way gel, it locks the hairs into place and keeps them there until you remove it! It's definitely an impressive product, one that I can't do without now. There is so much satisfaction for me in applying the gel, watching the little wand comb through the hairs in the shape or direction you want them to go. I don't know why I find it so satisfying! Probably because I truly appreciate a good eyebrow and am more than happy when I achieve one.
Shopping for make-up (or accidentally shopping for it) is so much fun! But the reality is that make-up can be expensive. Even when you're at Clicks, thinking that you're being so money savvy, and you get to the till and see your total - you're shocked that the more affordable products can add up to such an amount! (not that this has happened to me...)
To avoid this though, picking out key products that you absolutely love, and are possibly willing to spend that little bit extra on - because you know that it's not just going to sit, unused, in your drawer - is the best way to make the most out of your make-up. And you'll feel even better when you know you can treat yourself again to it!
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my most used products right now! Let me know how you feel about making the most of what you've got and whether or not you agree with me!