I have been lucky enough to be able to purchase and experiment with plenty of fun and impressive formulations, this year, as well as go back to good old friends that never leave my makeup staples drawer.
so, here’s my list of the best in makeup for this year, knowing that plenty of these products will be oh so hard to become replaceable…
Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation – for me, the best discovery of the year and of almost a lifetime, in a desert island kind of love. it is a mineral foundation, yes, and it’s a pain in the butt to come by in Europe. but… it’s the best foundation I’ve tried. medium-to-high buildable coverage, seamless finish, melts on the skin – don’t fear any cakeyness – and makes it look just flawless. not too matte, not too dewy. when my skin is having a rant, this is the only thing I dare to put on it.
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet – yes, I know if you start a sentence with “Chanel foundation”, you should end it with “Vitalumiere Aqua”. sorry. doesn’t work for me. not as well as this one, anyway. it has light to medium coverage, it’s velvety without being matte or powdery. it doesn’t cake up. it looks just like beautiful skin that you woke up with…
Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream – this is, in terms of coverage, a foundation. period. so affordable, medium coverage, great finish. doesn’t stay on your skin for the 16 hours they claim, but what does, really? while it’s there, it does its job so nicely… need I to say more?
Erborian Ginseng BB Cream – (I’m not into the hype-hoax of western CC/BB-shizz; more on that later.) a korean BB Cream that is sold in Portuguese Sephora (yay), and has been a trusty companion ever since my dear Skin79 BB ran out – and I can’t seem to remember to investigate how to repurchase it. this baby comes in 2 shades (light and golden) and has a beautiful scent and finish to the skin. as a true BB Cream, it gives your skin some anti-aging treatment and a whole lot of sun protection – it just is a little inferior to the Skin79 because it doesn’t brighten hyper-pigmentation. why isn’t then the Skin79 BB my favourite for this year? because I haven’t been able to use it this year…
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage – it comes with a more waxy skin-coloured concealer (you need to warm it up a bit before applying, and only use it to pin-point conceal. it’s not good for big areas on the face, but incredible in hiding hyper-pigmentation and spots), and a creamy salmony coloured corrector/concealer for the under-eye. both great textures and finishes. perfect for everyday concealing. just a pain to get in Europe…
MAC Studio Finish Concealer/Make Up Forever Full Cover Concealer – still the best ones for large areas of blemishes, hyper-pigmentation and scars on my book, the MUFE one is less creamy, ergo less easy to apply, but it is virtually waterproof. you just need it to be the perfect match to your skin tone or it will show up like a Christmas light in a dark room.
Clinique Airbrush Concealer – for under eye concealing when you’re not in need of the full coverage. (thank you, Lisa Eldridge).
Sisley Phyto Cernes with botanical extracts (available at Sephora PT) – with a salmon-y undertone for those deep dark blue under-eye circles (quite similar to Bobbi Brown corrector). you just need a touch of this and you’ll have an instant 10-hour-sleep look. it does not sit on any fine lines, and illuminates the under-eye area like a dream. it’s obscenely expensive, though, so I’m not planning on repurchasing once it’s gone…
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer/Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer/Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer – listed from slightly lighter to fuller coverage, all of them very affordable drugstore brands with creamy formulations and great all-over coverage. The Collection one is the most long-lasting of them all.
. Loose Powder
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder – ever since I got the Undercover Pot on a Laura Mercier kit from U.S. Sephora, I’ve been using the powder every. single. day. it sets the makeup beautifully and doesn’t sit on fine lines. perfect.
Make Up Forever HD Powder – a classic and easier to find in this god-of-beauty-forsaken land. it blurs out the pores and other small imperfections. impressive finish, both in loose and pressed formulations. the so-called downside: it flashes back in pictures. I’m not taking pictures of myself all the time, so… no downside! I’m just careful not to use it if I’m being photographed at a special event/show. I still love it after so many years.
. Pressed Powder
Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer – it comes with two ok concealers, like the Laura Mercier pot I own – only less creamy. BUT the pressed powder in it is un-boh-lieva-bohl. no shine, no cakeyness just skin. and it makes it perfect for touch-ups during the day.
Chanel Les Beiges – it is in my handbag at all times. it smells delicious, it sets any shine that may come through after a few hours, it doesn’t sit on the skin or enhance my fine lines. if I’m having a great skin day (once a year or so), I use only this buffed on my skin for the slightest evening out and coverage.
Soleil Tan de Chanel – another classic, with the perfect sheer cream formulation, it’s not too dark and can give you the sun-kissed look like nothing else.
Dior Nude Tan BB Cream – forget the BBBullsh*t, it’s just a great heavily-tinted moisturiser to put over or under your makeup to give more of the bronzed effect. it comes in 3 shades (I think), and it can give you a darker hue than the Chanel one.
Urban Decay Flushed Palette (in Native) – great powder bronzer, matte, no fuss, beautiful to blend and perfect colour for my skin tone.
M.A.C. Cream Colour Base in Pearl – I like my highlighter to be dewy, most of the times, so I prefer a cream. still in love with this one, and it has lasted me ages, even through heavy stage makeup.
No7 Skin illuminator Radiance Booster Beauty Fluid – it has a more fluid texture, so you can wear underneath your foundation for the all-over dewy glow. just cut off the brush that comes in it. the bristles gets really grubby after just a few uses…
Urban Decay Flushed Palette (in Native) – again, a winner, this time in the powder highlighter section. no glitter, just sheen and a bit of shimmer that doesn’t get on my nerves. beautiful tone.
Soap & Glory Glow All Out – a great, beautiful, affordable slightly pinky-golden highlighter.
Bourjois Little Round Pot Creme Blush in 03 – it you’re not bothered by a hint of shimmer, this is the cream blusher to get. great soft colours and creamy texture that keeps the skin dewy. as affordable as Bourjois always is, in a dainty little pot with a mirror. so sweet.
Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Blusher – it is a cream stick, yet with a more dry texture, but still very blendable, and with stronger colours than Bourjois. beautifully pigmented: a little goes a long way with it. S&G FTW :)
Cargo Blu-Ray Blush and Highlighter in Pink – I need my cool toned pink, I don’t how many corals and peaches are on trend. this is my go-to blusher, after Benefit discontinued Thrrrrob. it has a subtle sheen that makes your cheeks pop in the most feminine way. yummy.
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Dollface – I purchased it thinking I’d get another cool toned pink, but it turns corally-peach on my cheeks, no matter what I do. but it’s a beautiful corally-peach, though, and it lasts a really long time.
Urban Decay Naked Palettes – One, Two, Basics, On the Run… I doesn’t matter what palettes or tones you prefer, if it’s Urban Decay it has definitely a great array of colours, finishes, and buttery, long-lasting, highly pigmented goodness for the eyes. the Naked Palettes – along with the (I think discontinued on my usual go-to websites) Smoked palette – just happen to linger in the tone-area that I always gravitate towards: nudes, taupes, cool and warm browns, golds, bronzes, aubergines, purples, matte black and some jewel tones to play with. it’s one of the safest investments to make on the eyeshadow department (each eyeshadow goes for a steep 15-18€, so the palettes are the way to go) and kudos to them for making themselves so widely available across the globe (Tarte should learn with them because I. need. their. products).
Kiko Infinity eyeshadows – I’ve created a custom CLIKS palette with these eyeshadows for a basic nine-theatre-must-have-colours and I’m really impressed with the quality. They come in a huge pan, and in an immense array of colours and finishes, greatly pigmented and super blendable. They are also a bit cheaper than the also great Inglot or M.A.C. eyeshadows.
Maybelline Colour Tattoos – are the best budget friendly cream eyeshadows. too bad they don’t have a bigger array of colours.
M.A.C. Paint Pots – are my favourite for the neutral matte cream eyeshadows.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil – great colours, great staying power, creamy when applying, they give you enough time to smudge and they stay put once set. I hope they make Stag (from the Naked On The Run palette) a permanent collection colour, because it is gorgeous. they have almost all the colours of the rainbow.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Khol Kajal – are so budget friendly and the quality of these guys give the UD pencils a run for their money.
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner – long lasting, great control, great deep black colour, stays put under extremely hot weather.
Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner – the best gel pot eyeliner, gives me the precision I like and the darkness I need.
Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner – yes, pretty expensive. but it is pitch black and it stays all day. I needed to include it in my list…
Bourjois Volume Fast ‘n’ Perfect (discontinued)– this was the best mascara I have EVER come across. they’ve decided to discontinue it and I ran through every Sephora trying to get hold of the last available tubes. I keep a sealed one for a rainy day… it was gimmicky, with a mechanical rotating brush, but it made the lashes so thick and fluttery and deep black. I morn the disappearance of this mascara every day, when I put any other on. yet, life goes on and I’ve ended up coming across a few that are pretty decent…
L’Oréal Volume Million Lashes – I wasn’t expecting much because I usually don’t like the plastic bristled brushes. yet this one gave me volume, length and separation, with plenty of density in the roots and no clumping. almost – almost – as good as the Bourjois one.
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – great for the every-day more natural look, but with deep dark blackest of black lashes, and you can build it up to a more dramatic look, but it seems to stop “growing” on your lashes at a certain point.
Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long Wearing Formula – very thin wand, it covers each lash beautifully and you can get to the roots so easily. also on the range of fluttery lashes. it’s sort of waterproof: it can stand anything except for water over 40ºC… which makes it a blessing to take off. downside: it dries out quickly in the tube, since it has a more dense formula to begin with. I have to keep thinning it out with saline every once in a while (this tip goes with any mascara that is drying out before it should).
Anastasia Brow Wiz – everyone knows this little twist-up pencil that showed up with a bang. it is great to fill in any sparse areas on your brows
Benefit Gimme Brow – a tinted gel applied with a minuscule spooly that tames your unruly brows and gives a bit of tint to fill in. great for everyday.
Too Faced La Crème Lip Cream – are the best classic creamy lipsticks. such a nice creamy yet long lasting texture and a beautiful array of colours.
Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet – THE lippies for a matte look. they don’t budge once set, yet they don’t feel drying at all. can’t wait to see if they come out with more tones.
Soap And Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick – in a twist-up chunky pencil form, these give a non-sticky hydrating glossy finish to your lips, and they’re pigmented just enough to wear on their own: the colours do show through.
Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector – super balmy moisturizing glosses with a hint of colour. they smell delicious and the lighter colours (1 and 2) on their own provide just the perfect nude-y pink hue to my stubbornly red lips.
Maybelline Baby Lips – I spent the whole summer just wearing these babies. simple, super affordable tinted lip balms that you can buy virtually everywhere.