Some people had huge artistic impulses and took the added time some of us had to play with make up with the freedom of a kid with watercolours. Sadly, it was not my case. Nonetheless, I still found som great gems that became staples in my make up routine, and that let me feel I wasn’t totally falling into a rut.
Here they are…
Foundation-wise, sadly I have nothing to report. I’ve tried some ok foundations, but nothing hit Favourite status. On the other hand, two of my favourite foundations have been (or are being) discontinued: CYO Lifeproof is the best foundation I’ve ever tried and the universe decided I was to find it only a few months before the brand ceased existing. Its perfect dupe (according to Taylor Winn), Soap And Glory Kick Ass has also been discontinued recently. Then there is Physician’s Formula Healthy Foundation, which was close to perfection for my oilier days… It seems the brand is discontinuing it (there’s a few shades left here)… Probably to replace it with a fake-coconut-smelling foundation…
I have found a primer and setting spray combo that makes my foundation last longer than ever, even with masks:
Milk Hydro Grip Primer and Make Up Forever Mist & Fix Setting Spray. The first one was new to me and really surprised me on how it held my foundation in place without any pilling or weird texture alterations, the latter is an old friend that, despite spitting on my face, is like hardcore hairspray for make up like no other I’ve ever tried. Together, they’re unbeatable, for those days when, for some reason, I felt like having a full face defying the elements.
Make Up Forever Ultra HD Self-Setting Concealer is a very nice light to medium coverage concealer with a satin skin-like finish that I wore basically the whole year. It’s quite versatile, just not coverage enough for darker pigmentation (like sun spots, blemishes or really dark circles without a corrector underneath). I used it often on its own as a foundation replacement, and it works wonderfully under powder foundation too. It does set, albeit not completely if your skin is on the oilier side. I like to pat it back in place but you can always powder it.
Fenty Beauty Cream Bronzer in 05 Teddy is the only bronzer I’ve ever found with olive undertones. Sadly, it’s meant for slightly darker skins (as most companies, they seem to think there’s only olive undertones in medium-tan skins), and the formula is quite opaque, so it’s a bit harder to work with than desirable. Nonetheless, it is a bronzer with olive undertones that I can work with a light hand and a sponge, that in the end is the closest match to my actual tanned skin I’ve ever found.
Becca Luminous Blush in Camellia was a spur-of-the-moment kind of (usually regrettable) purchase, and what joy it brought to me. It’s a gorgeous impactful powder blush that mimics that glass skin vibe – it does look creamy instead of metallic –, doesn’t overly emphasise the pores, and this specific shade is an instant pop of health. Perfect for those oilier skin people who still want to play with the dewy skin concept but can’t actually use creams/liquids.
Natasha Denona I Need a Nude Glow Highlighter seems like a dry, almost hard-pan kind of product that you won’t be able to pick up with a brush, but once you start to work it onto the skin, it does deliver on the glass skin trend. It’s a classic champagne, so it doesn’t look ashy on my complexion. And again, it’s a powder. It can be layered with other products easily and the sheer amount of highlighter on that pan will last you forever.
For the eyes, I went most days for an effortless, glossy lid with Colour Pop Super Shock Shadow in Ritz, and when I wanted a pop of colour without the commitment, their Gel Cream Eye Pencil in Charmer was my go-to (the pencil is out of stock at the moment, but there’s still in pot form, and Joy Ride is close). Also, when I wanted my lashes less stark than black, I actually really enjoyed Kiko Smart Colour Mascara in 05 was a welcomed variation.
On the few occasions I felt like playing with colour, I always picked up Colour Pop So Jaded Palette. Another winning collaboration with Kathleen Lights, that brought out one of the most inspiring colour stories of my year.
My brows have been courtesy of Catrice Slim’Matic Ultra Precise Eyebrow Pencil Waterproof in 040. The name has everything I wanted to say about it: it is great for detail work, it has pigment but it holds beautifully on the brows, and it’s super affordable.
Lastly, for lips, my go-to were, again, the Lisa Eldridge lip products. The new colour, Blush, in all its iterations, was my go-to (again effortless) lip colour when I could be arsed with something other than a lip balm, the Enhance and Define Lip Liner (at that time exclusive to the kits) is as buttery, pigmented, versatile and long-wearing as a high end lip pencil must be, whilst the Gloss Embrace formula reminds me of a lip oil, super cushiony and smoothing yet thin and lightweight, not sticky at all, with a gorgeous sheen but also packed with pigment.
They restock and launch new products only a couple of times a year, so it’s wise to subscribe to the newsletter. At the moment, there are only some Velvet Lipsticks left available.
Sadly, at the moment of this post, Lisa Eldridge is not shipping to Europe because Brexit. We can only patiently await…