I have always loved the idea of makeup. I’ve grown up watching old films and subsequently adored the classic old “Hollywood glamour” . I would watch in admiration stars such as Tippi Hedren, Grace Kelly (my mother was a Hitchcock fanatic) and Eleanor Parker who played the Baroness in The Sound of Music grace the screens with their long lashes and deep red lips.
My mum has always been a fervent tomboy and feminist and has had a real reluctance to any kind of beauty products outside of face creams. I don’t think I have ever seen her wear makeup or shave her armpits and she proudly will show anyone her lack of leg hair which she believes is a consequence of never shaving (I daren’t point out to her that she is fair haired). Consequently, I was certainly never taught by my mum how to wear lipstick and everything I do wear is all self taught. Of course these days you can google a YouTube video on how to apply almost anything for any look you want, but for me growing up I generally relied on friends or cool older women to really show me how to apply makeup.
Over the years I have tried dozens of products, some which have worked and some which have not. In school I would always carry round a pot of Maybelline’s Dream Matte Mousse (remember that?) which quite literally made my whole face this matte tan colour and my foundation looked about an inch thick. Match that with a wonky fringe and some clumpy eyelashes and you pretty much summed up my 15 year old self. Well I thought I looked great. I have had smudgy mascaras, eyelash curlers that chop of your eyelashes and bronzer suited which was much more of an “oranger”. Here is my bag of makeup essentials, products tried and tested by yours truly.
The Lipstick- Bobbi Brown Harlow Red £21.50 Lipstick is something I like to invest in, otherwise it doesn’t last or goes flaky. I have very dry lips and most lipsticks so the art stick from Bobbi Brown gets my vote. It hydrates, has a great colour and it lasts for ages! Also, as I am still not 100% sure I am applying my lipstick correctly (I don’t use a lip pencil and just kind of shove it on and hope no one notices) I found the application of it pretty easy. For a budget version, I would go for the NYX Velvet Matte in Blood Love (pictured above) which is £7.00 but isn’t quite as long-lasting but for me a little more drying.
The Lip balm- I normally have about 3 lip balms on me due to my overly dry lips but Burt’s Bees with Pomegranate gets my vote. It is 100% natural and smells delicious.
L’Occitane Almond Oil – I have used the L’Occitane almond range for years and I love it. This stuff is amazing! I got it as part of a Loccitane Christmas and it has been a permanent fixture in my makeup bag ever since. I have oily- combination skin and I use this as a moisturiser/primer and I love it. You only need a little bit and it is such a handy size.
Laura Geller Bronze & Brighten Bronzer– I use this little baby on both my eyelids and my face. Mineral oil free and paraben free, with skin loving antioxidants centella asiatica and white tea extracts. It is pretty pricey (around £20 for 9g) but it has lasted me ages, and I love it as a little eyeshadow/bronzer combo.
The Body Shop Concealer all-in-one It’s always a good idea to carry a concealer with you as I always get a party spot just before a big day. Adding two upside down triangles underneath your eyes on top of your foundation and blending really helps to brighten up your whole face. This cruelty-free concealer contains vitamin E and community trade marula oil, and I find it really easy to blend with good coverage.
Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Beguile- If you haven’t heard of this company before, they are definitely worth checking out. They have extremely strong values and principles (as part of their ongoing campaign for diversity they urged any supporters of Trump not to shop on their websites, they have always been 100% cruelty free) and even better makeup. A little bit of this pigment goes a long way so I add a little to my brow bone and the corners of my eyes, particularly for those oh my God I need a drink let’s go to the pub after work days hen you want to transition from a computer slug into an illuminated party goddess.
Lorac Eyeliner- Another great product for the day to night transition.
Concept Eyes Super Slim Eyeliner –I am always on the search for a good pen eyeliner. The nib is super thin and is smudge-proof which is great as I need all the help I can get for the winged eyeliner look.
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Stick in Taupe – Eyeshadow haters rejoice! If you are anything like me and have a fear of eyeshadow because there is apparently a special technique which every other woman in the world seems to know and no one told you, then relax. I got this as a free sample with my Bobbi Brown order and I will definitely be repurchasing. You just roll this onto your eye and go. It lasts for AGES.
I thought I carried around a lot less makeup, so I may try to downsize even more, particularly as whilst writing this my makeup bag had an explosion and everything has been covered in primer. Which are your beauty essentials? Also can you recommend a good (small-ish) makeup bag?