I’ve always been a makeup junkie – from pilfering mum’s collection as a teen to amassing my own (pretty sizeable) kit years later. There’s so much innovation in the beauty industry and every week new textures, shades and packaging innovations arrive at Beauticate HQ . Here, the makeup items every makeup-appreciating woman would benefit from. These are the cult products that still make the grade year in and year out – along with a few newbies that are destined for the hall of fame.
A luminising liquid foundation
No matter what’s happening on the catwalks and red carpets, radiant skin is always in. A good quality liquid foundation has finely milled pigments and just the right amount of sheen. I’ve been a devotee of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk for years and I also love La Prairie Skin Caviar Foundation – it’s totally luxurious and has skincare benefits, too. I know these are quite an investment, but when I wear them I always get comments on my skin - they give the most beautiful glow. A great more-affordable buy is L’Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation – it has a lovely luminescence about it, too.
An on-the-go foundation for touch ups
When on the go I don’t want to risk grubby fingers or a foundation fallout on my clothes, so that’s when I reach for a cushion compact or stick foundation. I love Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick - you don’t need to use it all over, just in the areas that you need it, then blend with your fingers. Chanel Les Beiges New Healthy Glow Gel Touch Foundation (Launching July 2) is dewy and leaves a radiant glow minus the mess and Estee Lauder Cushion Stick is like a fusion of the two concepts – it’s a liquid foundation encased in a cushion pad that you can use to apply and blend the product – genius.
A great high-coverage concealer
Dark circles like mine are – sadly - often hereditary, so no amount of eye cream or early nights seems to nix them. High coverage concealers, however, do. I like Laura Mercier Secret Concealer as it’s brightening and hydrating. Studio 10 (available from Sephora) has an amazing eye treatment encased in a peach-hued concealer – so it treats while it camouflages. Also new to market is Benefit Boiing Industrial Strength Concealer – it’s nice and thick but still creamy, which is important under the eyes as that area can be delicate and prone to dryness.
A tawny bronzer
The key to making bronzer look natural is choosing a tawny brown rather than a golden brown and make sure any shimmer is super subtle or not there at all. You can always add luminosity later (and you have some via your foundation anyway). I’ve always loved Nars Bronzing Powder (in Laguna!) but their new Sun Wash Diffusing Powder is a wonderful upgrade – it’s matte and even more natural looking than it’s cousin. Also new and lovely to use is the La Mer The Bronzing Powder - the bumper-sized palette contains three super-natural shades that can be used separately or together. Rimmel Natural Bronzer is a great option that’s a little kinder on your credit card.
A highlighter stick
Contouring may be trending, but it’s not for everybody. A safer option is to just highlight the high points of the face with a luminiser. The Nude By Nature Highlight Stick in Champagne is beautiful and creamy and I love the rose gold packaging. MAC Cream Colour Bases in Hush and Shell give just the right amount of pinky, pearlescence, while Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfector is great – it’s a highlighting concealer but you can use it on the high points of the face to give that ‘strobing’ effect without the glitter.
A peachy blush
Nothing says “I ran six km’s before breakfast and chug down green juice hourly” like a nice peachy flush. Marc Jacobs Air Blush Soft Glow Duo in Flesh & Fantasy is a gorgeous powder formulation that doesn’t cling to dry patches, but mostly I love cream blush as I feel it blends into the skin more. It does tend to slip off though, so for staying power, powder over it or just pop it in your bag for touch ups – great when you’re feeling low on energy around 4pm! Try RMS Lip 2 Cheek or Clinique's New Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm as they can double as lip colour.
A neutrals eyeshadow palette
No matter what your eye and haircolour, neutrals like brown, taupe and cream are the most flattering. If you buy a big palette that covers the bronze and chocolate spectrums, too, you’ll have a lot more to work with. Urban Decay Naked palettes have the ultimate neutrals and bronze edits, while Zoeva has a gorgeous range of chocolate-box inspired hues that really make my blue eyes pop. Elizabeth Arden has just launched a range of interchangeable Eyeshadow Trios and a Little Black Palette so you can mix and match – I love the Bronzed To Be and Not So Nude shades.
Brows are so important when it comes to defining and highlighting the eye area. I mostly use a powder duo like Sigma Beauty Brow Powder Duo because I like to use the light shade in brows and darker shade for my eyes – a short cut timesaving trick. I also love brow putty because it contains a bit of wax that tames the hairs. Synergie Minerals BrowPot (available July) is about to launch and has a great little brush included in the lid. Finally, brow mascaras like ModelCo More Brows are great for a bit of colour, to tame hairs and to define arches on the sly.
With mascara, it’s all about technique. While having the right brush and formula will help, it’s more about how you wangle your wand. (Remember wiggle it at the base to get more distribution on the bottom of your lashes and put on heaps of coats, combing as you go.) For that reason, Maybelline and L’Oreal mascaras are great – Great Lash is a classic. But, if you can afford to splurge a little, Dior Diorshow Mascara is pretty amazing - the jumbo wand puts my lashes on steroids. When I’m wearing lash extensions, I stick to Amy Jean’s mascara as it’s specially formulated to protect my investments!
I’m a big fan of liquid liners, day in and day out. They can be tricky to master but once you get it (watch my video!), it’s a very quick and dramatic way to add a lick of polish to your outfit. My all time favourite is Lancome Artliner – the nib has just the right amount of flex to make it goofproof. Hourglass Voyeur Liquid Eyeliner has a seriously fine tip and a waterproof formula - so useful for teary movies and hot days. Maybelline Master Precise is affordable but still really good- I’ve met plenty of makeup artists who rave about it.
While there are few more glamorous things than pulling a luxury lipstick out of your handbag, this is one of the areas that you can afford to scrimp. It’s a particularly good idea if you’re experimenting with a trend colour. I loved Katy Perry’s latest collection for Covergirl Katy Kat Matte and they each come in under $18 each. On the days when I am going all out, however, I’ll pack my Tom Ford, Chanel or YSL bullets – the packaging alone is enough to cheer me up.
After all - that’s often just the joy of makeup. These things are, without complicating it, delectable little luxuries that spark joy in our lives. And that’s good enough for me.