My Drugstore Starter Kit post last week got a really good response, so I’m back this week with my High End version! Again, I need to say that I’m not saying you need every single item – these are just my recommendations for some of the best high end makeup options!
For a hydrating primer, the Too Faced Hangover RX Primer is the bomb.dot.com! It smells like coconuts and it’s hydrating and smoothing, perfect for dry skin/to brighten your skin! For oily skin/SPF factor, the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer is a godsend. It waterproofs makeup so it’s perfect for summer, it acts as an SPF and I’ve been told that it can help keep oil at bay all day! For pores/mattifying, the Smashbox Pore Minimising Primer is amazing, I have an oily t-zone and my makeup can separate around my nose – this stops that completely! For an eyelid primer, I prefer/recommend something that is colour correcting for hiding veins as well as prolonging eyeshadow – the Mac Paint Pot in Soft Ochre is perfect for me. Painterly is one I’d recommend to girls with a pink undertone, but Soft Ochre is perfect for me!
For a lighter base, I recommend a tinted moisturisers. They are hydrating and lightweight but also have a light hint of coverage to even out the skintone, and I love the Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser* for this, and because it illuminates my skin. Most tinted moisturisers are also buildable to a more medium coverage. For a medium-full coverage, the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation is a fantastic option, it has a medium yet buildable coverage, not sheer at all! It provides a subtle glow, more of a healthy ‘glow from within’ to the face and has a shade to flatter all skin tones! For a fuller coverage, I recommend Estee Lauder Doublewear Foundation for those who are a bit darker than my NC15 self (the lightest shade is too dark for me in winter!) but for the nicest, satin full-coverage base the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream is phenomenal. It’s a buildable, full coverage CC cream that colour corrects and just leaves your face flawless, but still looking like skin! It’s an exceptional product, one that everyone needs to try at least once!
If you’re after a corrector for under the eyes, I would definitely recommend trying either the Benefit Erase Paste or Bobbi Brown Corrector if your dark circles are as bad as mine! For under the eyes, the Mac Pro Longwear Concealer is an oldie but a goodie, a cult product with frustrating packaging! A gorgeous coverage, I recommend a pinker tone for under the eyes – I wear NC bases with Mac but have NW for under my eyes! For a crazy amount of pigmentation, the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer is a new addition for me personally, but something I definitely recommend. It’s longwearing and has a fantastic coverage! A similar concealer which is in stock more often than the Urban Decay is the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer which also has a fantastic formula, and I prefer/recommend for blemishes, whereas the Urban Decay is fantastic under the eyes!
My Holy Grail powders are always Mac. The first Mac item I owned was the Studio Fix Powder (in NW35… I cringe!) and it’s the one item I tend to continuously repurchase. It’s a powder foundation so can be worn by itself, but with a light hand it sets makeup and adds a little bit of coverage as well. For a lighter powder, the Mineralise Skin Finishes have a colour to suit everyone, and are a more lightweight powder, better for on-the-go touch ups to keep oil at bay! The Bare Minerals Powder is a recommendation for summer, it has SPF15 so is always good to use on the skin, and has the same kind of coverage/consistency as Studio Fix! If you prefer a translucent powder, the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder is absolutely fantastic, it is a finely milled heaven! It does look like it has colour but sets perfectly translucent on the face, and is fantastic under the eyes!
A cult favourite is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade. A little pot of brow-building goodness, it allows for brow shape to be created as well as for colour to be added. It can take a while to get the hang of it, it used to take me 15 minutes to do my brows but now it’s more like 3! For a brow pencil, the Poni Cosmetics Brow Magic Brow Pencil* is fantastic, I recommend it for everyone because it’s one of those magic pencils that matches everyone’s hair colour depending on how much pressure is applied, and it has a spoolie on the end to brush through the brows/distribute product evenly! To set the eyebrows, the Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow is a perfectly tinted eyebrow gel, but also has small fibres in order to give your eyebrows thickness – something that can be used alone as well!
There’s only one high end contour product that I recommend, even though I own more than one (more on that in an upcoming post!) and that’s the Kat Von D Shade and Light Contour Kit. There are three highlight shades and three contour shades, perfect for all different skintypes. I have fair skin, and can use the lightest contour shade to shape, the second lightest as a bronzer and the lightest highlight to highlight and the yellow shade to set my undereyes and the others can be used as eyeshadow – no matter your skintone, there’s options to suit you! Perfectly pigmented and easy to blend, it’s a fantastic product!
Depending on what you want out of a blush, there will be the perfect one (or ten) for you! The Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes are fantastic, they’re long lasting, pigmented and matte and will last all day on your cheeks without budging! Perfect for matte lovers or people who are out all day! For a subtle ‘glow from within’ styled blush, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes are fantastic, they are mixed with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders and have a gorgeous sheen of colour to give a healthy glow to the cheeks! For names, packaging and quality the Nars Blushes are fabulous, they have a wide range of colours and can be subtle or buildable, they are fantastic quality for the price and possibly my favourite high end blush formula!
The Laura Mercier Baked Powder in Bronze 01* started my love affair with bronzer. It’s the one I use on an every day basis, and the one that I recommend to everyone because there are plenty of shades to match each complexion! Nars’ Laguna has a cult following, and is such a pretty bronzing colour! It has a large amount of product and is perfect as a bronzer for lighter skintones, and I’ve heard of people using it as a contour shade as well so it could be good for both! Something that also is a cult favourite is the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzers. I personally have Milk Chocolate which is a perfect light shade for me and smells incredible! (Tip – these really do smell chocolatey and sweet so don’t use them when you’re hungry!)
I have had a huge love affair for highlighters recently – they seem to be what I’ve been buying more of! Mary-Lou Manizer by The Balm is one that I recommend for all skintones, it suits absolutely everyone and is incredibly pigmented and long lasting! The powder is very fragile, so make sure you don’t drop it! For pale babies, Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone gives a gorgeous glow to the cheeks, perfect for a shorter day because I find it loses colour when on all day for work! Mac’s Soft and Gentle is something else that’s incredibly loved by many, a gorgeous golder toned glow perfect for every skintone and long lasting! A new love and recommendation is from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I only have on of her illuminators in Starlight but it’s a beautiful pearlescent shine and is so flattering on paler skin, there are four beautiful shades she’s come out with and there is one for everyone! They are VERY fragile – mine came chipped as you can tell, so be careful!
Higher end eyeshadow is my thing, it’s what I save for and I mostly have higher end eyeshadows because they are a good investment, the colours are fantastic! For matte lovers, the Tarte Tartelette eyeshadow palette has a wide range of more neutral, matte eyeshadows and can be teamed with any other colours for a beautiful look! The shadows are pigmented, easy to use and blend like a dream. For rose/pink lovers, the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette is a perfect option, it has a range of colours to make any pretty, girly eye look and they are incredible quality! Stila’s Eyeshadow in Kitten is a cult product, the prettiest golden highlight eyeshadow shade and something every beauty lover needs in their collection – such a versatile shade, it can be used as a highlighter on the face as well! A palette with something for everyone is the Lorac Cosmetics Pro 2 Palette. With a row of matte and a row of shimmer shades and a variety of colours, something like this is perfect for someone just starting out with eyeshadow so you can discover what you like and what works for you!
If you’re wanting your lashes to stay flawless all day, the Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer is for you, it’s a white eyelash primer and helps to not only keep your lashes flawless all day but help them grow longer as well. I think something like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius is essential for anyone, it’s a waterproofing topcoat for mascara – so you apply whichever mascara you like, then add this on top for it to become waterproof! Two phenomenal mascaras that provide ultimate lengthening and volume are the Too Faced Better Than Sex and Josie Maran Black Oil Argan Mascara. Both provide similar results, they create length and volume for your lashes and last all day!
Liner. Now as I’ve mentioned numerous times previously, I totally suck with eyeliner and don’t wear it on a regular basis! Ones that I’ve had recommended to me for this post are the Kat Von D Lock It Tattoo Liner and Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner for liquid eyeliner pens, and the Inglot #77 and Mac Blacktrack liners for gel!
Another thing I love as much as my high end eyeshadows are my lip products! For a large shade variety, I definitely recommend Mac Lipsticks. I have around 15 (give or take a couple for whatever is currently in my handbag!) and they are a go-to staple. Friends have them for their freelance kits, for everyday wear you cannot go wrong! For pure luxury, Tom Ford carry phenomenal, long-lasting lipsticks – these last even through meals! And I find that lipstick doesn’t often last long on me. If you can find a friendly staff member at the Tom Ford counter definitely pick up one of these – they are expensive but so worth it! For moisturising and the prettiest packaging, YSL Rouge Volupte and Rouge Volupte Shine are for you. The Shine versions are more sheer and give more of a subtle hint of colour, whilst the normal Rouge Volupte lipsticks provide a pigmented wash of colours in one swipe! Another, more affordable high end lipstick comes from Laura Mercier. I find the quality of her lipsticks fantastic, they really do last a long time and feel incredibly moisturising on the lips!
Whilst I tend to go with lipstick most days, I couldn’t not recommend some glossier options for someone! For long lasting pigment, the Urban Decay Revolution Lip Glosses are fantastic, they can last throughout a meal and are the most pigmented gloss I’ve found! To top lipstick or for a sheer wash of colour, the Nars Lip Glosses are exceptional, something like Tasmania or Orgasm would be perfect to stop a matte lipstick from being too drying! If you’re really just starting out with makeup and feel uncomfortable with too much on your lips, something like the Benefit Tinted Balms are perfect, they have a light wash of colour and are moisturising at the same time!
For someone new to makeup, or just after a few hints on what higher end products to pick up, these are what I recommend! You don’t need to have all of these of course, I’m just excessive! But there’s something in here for absolutely everyone! I’d love to know any recommendations you’d have as well, I’m always on the lookout for new things!