I love a good “Top Five”, don’t you? Now, I am by NO means an expert when it comes to make-up and I’m definitely still on the hunt for great products all the time. Particularly when it comes to foundation and mascara, I still haven’t found “The Ones” – although not for the lack of trying. I find the fun is in buying new products, experimenting. reading beauty blogs and watching YouTube videos. Sure, perfection is over-rated! However, there are a couple of stalwart products in my make-up bag that I wouldn’t be without, so I thought I’d share them with y’all.
This had to be number one on this list as this liquid eyeliner is a product I just cannot live without. It’s magical properties never cease to amaze me, with the ability to transform me from “boiled egg” to “girl with actual eyes” – for realz. Safe to say, I have rarely been seen without a flick of some description in the last 7 years. I feel utterly naked and really self-conscious without it. This Rimmel one wins hands down over every other liquid/gel eyeliner I’ve ever tried, mainly due to the brush. It gives me perfect control over the shape, direction and width of my eyeliner, aspects that I constantly change to suit the occasion/rest of my make-up look and its soft enough that it glides easily along the lash line, with no dragging. I do think however that this aspect of an eyeliner is different for everyone – we all have our favourites in terms of application and whilst I’m a dab hand with this brush by now, give me different brand and I’m back to square one. I would say that consistency of the liner itself sometimes needs two coats or a top–up later in the day, but this is a small price to pay for getting the application right. This, without doubt, is the scariest bit of liquid liner but trust me, all it takes is practice with a hefty dose of trial and error (like I said, 7 years people! And I still change my mind all the time about what style suits the shape of my eye). As they say, fortune favours the brave…and if all else fails, a handy tip is to put your mascara on before your liquid liner. That way you can see exactly how close to the eye you need to get, as well as how to angle the flick in line with the outer lashes. Works like a charm, I tells ya!
I never did anything with my brows up until recently, and now I realise – what was I thinking?! Perhaps it sounds like a cliché straight out of a beauty supplement, but brows really do frame the face and can make or break the look you’ve spent time and effort creating. I have been cursed with really sparse brows, that, unfortunately, I can’t blame on over-zealous teenage plucking. They’re just naturally very light in colour, short and thin – not good! Only when I started darkening and lengthening my brows did I realise what a difference they make to your look and, although I’m no Cara Delevingne, I like to work a good strong brow. I use a combination of this Seventeen Brow Sculpting Pencil, that also comes with a handy comb, and then seal it with a similar coloured brown shadow. I find the shade is perfect for me but unfortunately there are no other colours, so this may not suit those with lighter/red hair. I’ll confess, I detest getting beauty treatments – having to sit still + not being in control = stressed and uncomfortable Karen, but I would love to have my brows professionally coloured and shaped someday. But for now I shall battle on with my pencil and powder.
We’ve all seen those amazing photos of before and after contouring guides (Kim Kardashian anyone?! The dream!), but I still approach this palette with slight trepidation. It is bargainous, and without doubt, a fantastic product but my motto is: contour with caution. Being very pale, I would never use this when in a hurry and expect Kimmy K results. It takes some careful and deliberate blending on my skin tone but once I have the time, this Sleek palette delivers really impressive results. I’ve a bit of a baby face, so this palette is a must have for creating a more defined and sculpted look. This is now a confirmed make-up staple for me and excellent for upping the ante when it comes to “going out” make-up. I found this palette on the Boots website, but I’m yet to see the Sleek Brand in-store. I bought mine from from a brilliant Irish website, Cloud10Beauty, which also ships internationally (and free when you spend over €50 – which wouldn’t be too hard).
My biggest problem area is under my eyes – my bags and dark circles drive me to distraction! I definitely need to do a bit more experimentation with high end concealers but so far, the best I’ve ever tried is the Camouflage Cream from Catrice. I have big love for this bargain brand! For the price in particular (around €3!) the coverage is excellent and it doesn’t cake or go oily. It may just need topping up every so often, but as an obsessive re-applier myself, this wouldn’t bother me.This brand doesn’t seem to be stocked online but it is available in all good chemists, Dunnes Stores and Penneys (Primark) in Ireland.
This is just sunshine in a pot – I love it!! This is by far the best highlighter I’ve ever bought, I even prefer this over Benefit’s eponymous “High Beam” (which is, in fairness, a close second). This Topshop wonder product comes in two shades, a white and a rose gold. I use the latter, which I find surprisingly is more flattering on my pale skin. I use it in every place I can to give myself a bot more of rosy glow – cheekbones, brow bone, collar bones – all my boney bits really. It has a lovely creamy, easy to apply finish – I just whack it straight on with my fingers! It’s the perfect finishing touch to your make-up look. I pray that Toppers never discontinue this stuff!
Do you products you can’t live without? Do tell! I’m always looking for more ways to spend my hard-earned cash!