Sunday, 29 May 2011

my top beauty buys

1. Estée Lauder Double Wear This is what I call "good skin in a bottle". Whether my complexion is misbehaving akin to that of a 15 year old boy, or I need a long-wearing base that can survive the wildest of nights out, this foundation promises a flawless face without fail. Screw-top annoyances aside, it has been a faithful servant to me for nearly four years now, and I always find myself going back to it following my attempts at "branching out". What’s more, it’s great no matter your skin concern - my best friend and I both swear by this, despite having skin types at either end of the spectrum.

2. Benefit High Beam I've had this for a while now, but have only been reaching for it as of late to bring a bit of luminosity to my base. As I have combination-oily skin, I have to stay clear of dewy foundations. By using this as an illuminator by mixing it with my foundation, I can achieve a grease-proof healthy glow just in time for summer's arrival.

3. MAC Vanilla pigment Now it must be said, I have a love/hate relationship with these pigments. A frosted white hue, it proves absolutely divine as a highlighter, but beware - this stuff can make some serious mess! On many ocassions I've found myself having to clear up my desk/floor/self after spilling it, and it will insist on going everywhere. Saying that, I can live with these kerfuffles as not many products could live up to how beautiful and multi-purpose this is when it decides to play nice.

4. Benefit Hoola At first glance, its muddy colour may strike fear in pale pandoras like me (not to mention the price tag). But when used with a light touch, Hoola is great matte bronzer to take the edge off of any creamy complexions.

5. Rimmel Sun Shimmer Instant Tan If you're looking for a quick bronze fix, this wash-off tan is a must-have standby product for the nights when you want to put your legs on show. The tan is available in four shades, depending on whether you want to go light or medium, matte or shimmer. I've not used this on other parts of my body, but my friends have and report a similar success rate.

6. MAC Patisserie Being fair-skinned, I find it very difficult to find the right natural lipstick for daywear that doesn't completely wash me out. Patisserie has a lovely pinky-nude tone to it, which flatters my naturally pigmented lips. Not only this, its Lustre finish gives a nice sheerness, so you can expect to avoid that buttery, greasy coating you tend to find with some of the Cremesheen/Amplified Creme lippies.

7. MAC Patina If I had to choose one eyeshadow to wear for the rest of eternity, this would be it. Patina is a taupe brown with golden shimmer (it's actually much cooler than the image above suggests). As I find that warm-toned browns tend to look too harsh on my skintone, this is perfect - not just for me, but for most people. It's definitely one of MAC's universal shades, similarly to Satin Taupe (another favourite of mine), which will look good on pretty much anyone. It certainly won't be leaving my palette anytime soon!

8. Colorsport 30 Day Mascara If you have a pathetic excuse for eyebrows like me, you'll be devastated you hadn't tried this product sooner. I always thought eyebrow tinting wouldn't do much for my fine and sparse hairs, and while I'll never be Brooke Shields, the difference is obvious after I use this kit. At £8.99, you certainly get your money's worth as you're sure to get a lot more out of it than the 16 applications the packet promises. The result? Noticeably improved arches. Voila!

9. MAC 266 To give my brows a further helping hand, I rely on the 266 to fill them in. I only recently purchased this brush after watching the Pixiwoo ladies use it in video after video. The angled edge is perfect for brow work, and its bristles are just the right texture - stiffer than the disappointing Sigma E65 copy (formerly the SS266), but not too dense and rigid as I've found with the Bobbi Brown Eye Brow Brush.

A word of warning Having learnt from my own mistakes, I would advise you to exercise caution when looking at images of products online (including those above, incidentally) as they can be incredibly deceptive of the true shade. Your best bet is to take a look at swatches on sites like Temptalia, Specktra or Makeupalley. Better yet, get yourself to a beauty counter and see for yourself.

What are your top beauty buys? There are still a lot of HG products I've yet to find, so I'd love to hear your recommendations!

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