Updated: May 4, 2019
As a huge beauty junkie, I’ve tried many different products. It’s all about trial and error; some I’ve loved, and some I’ve never touched again. Here, I’ve rounded up a few of my personal favourites that I can’t live without.
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Foundation
As someone who wears foundation almost every day, I struggled to find one that was not only full-coverage but also catered to my skin type. Since I have combination-type skin, it was a bit of a process to find a foundation that didn’t dry me out or make me too oily, while still providing a full-coverage finish.
For a while I was using the Studio Fix Fluid Foundation from MAC because it had great coverage in my perfect shade but the downside was it dried out my skin and the product also felt heavy, making it feel like I caked my face despite only using a small amount. After finishing my last bottle, I decided to try a different foundation this time, and went with Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation, which had many positive reviews. I fell in love fast after using it for the first time, because not only was it light-weight, but it provided full-coverage and gave my skin a matte finish. My skin doesn’t feel dry nor oily, and my foundation is still in place after a whole day at work. While I’m open to trying other foundations from other brands, the love I have for the Double Wear Foundation makes it very hard to part, so I probably won’t be changing foundations any time soon.
Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW™ Pomade
Seeing all the hype on Instagram surrounding the Dipbrow pomade from Anastasia Beverly Hills made me steer clear of it for a long time, and that was because I wasn’t too keen on the bold, thick brows that many makeup gurus seemed to flaunt on social media (I found it a bit too much for me). However, eventually I caved, because the brow powder I was using at the time wasn’t giving me the results I wanted. For me, I wanted my brows to be even more precise so the Dipbrow pomade seemed like a natural choice. As someone who had never used a brow pomade before, I was quite nervous as I was scared to overdo them and didn’t want to look like I had caterpillars where my brows were. But I sucked it up and just dived in, and I ended up loving the results. I get the perfect brows that I want because the pomade allows me to control how dark I want my brows and how precise I want them to be. I regret not using the Dipbrow sooner, as I’m sure my high-school self would’ve thanked me.
MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo
This is a staple that should be in everyone’s makeup collection. For many, it can be hard to find the perfect red lipstick that fits you, which is why this made my top list. I personally recommend Ruby Woo from MAC,it’s a great take on the classic old Hollywood red lip. It suits a range of skin tones, and it’s strongly pigmented so you’ll have that rich bold colour with a matte finish to make your lips all the more kissable.
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
When my previous primer wasn’t doing me any good, I started looking up different primers to try out. Of course, Smashbox’s iconic Photo Finish primer popped up in the search results. I scrolled through many positive reviews and decided to finally try it out since I was desperate to find a primer that actually worked for me. Upon receiving it in the mail, I was quite surprised to see how small the tube was despite its hefty price tag. I told myself I would try it and if I didn’t like it, I’d just return it to Sephora. After a few uses, I actually got used to it and saw positive results that I didn’t see with my previous primer. My foundation no longer transferred and my face didn’t get oily like it used to. I also learned that you don’t even need to squeeze out much product to cover your face, because a little goes a long way. I’ve had this primer for months and I’m only halfway into the tube, so I see this primer lasting me a while. Overall it works wonder wonders, however it is important to note that it does contain silicone
Laneige Lavender Water Sleeping Mask
As someone who loves lavender and also has problems sleeping, I bought this as I figured it could help slightly. While I wasn’t expecting a miracle or to solve all of my problems, this product makes me feel better when I put it on. I picked this over the original Water Sleeping Mask from Laneige because I absolutely love lavender, and this sleeping mask smells great when I put it on my face at night before bed. Its lightweight gel texture is soothing and cool, making it easy to apply and comfortable to wear when I relax or lie down. It also lived up to my expectations of fixing my dry skin. During the winter, my skin gets extremely dry and this sleeping mask leaves me waking up with moisturized skin and feeling more refreshed. While the lavender sleeping mask is limited edition, I’m hoping it will stick around for a bit, or even become a permanent part of Laneige’s lineup.
Lime Crime Wet Cherry Gloss in Black Cherry
When Lime Crime launched their Wet Cherry Gloss collection, I immediately splurged on at least 5 shades. While I was adding the glosses to my shopping cart, I already knew the shade Black Cherry would be my favourite, and I was right. Since buying this lip gloss, I’ve always received compliments whenever I wear it, particularly Black Cherry. Despite being a gloss. It’s extremely pigmented and even leaves a tint after you wipe it off. I love Black Cherry because of the vampy look it gives me which is also the reason why it’s one of my most worn lip products. Did I mention that all of these glosses smell like cherries?
Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray
While I wasn’t a big fan of the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Primer, I was still excited to try this setting spray when it first launched. What drew me in was that this was advertised as a multi-purpose spray, as you can use the spray to prime your face before applying your makeup, use it as a setting spray as the last step of your makeup routine, or even spray your face whenever you want to freshen up a bit. Unlike the Hangover primer, I wasn’t disappointed with this spray. It smells like coconuts (since it is infused with coconut water, which is what helps hydrate your skin) and I mostly use it to spray my face whenever it feels dry or if I want to feel refreshed.
Urban Decay Naked Palettes (2 & 3)
As one of the most popular eyeshadow palettes in the beauty industry, I’m sure most makeup-lovers have at least one Naked palette in their collection. I remember I wanted to own one since high school, and now I have not one, not two, but five. I own the original Naked palettes 1-3, Naked Heat, and Naked Cherry. While each themed palette has a wide range of lovely shades, I find myself using Naked 2 and 3 the most because the taupe and rose hues suit me more. These palettes definitely live up to the hype, as they’re super pigmented and both matte and shimmer hues give off a nice finish. The eyeshadows are also easy to blend, making the palette easy to use for beginners who are just starting to practice.
Creer Beaute Sailor Moon Miracle Romance
While I don’t wear eyeliner as often as I used to, there are still days where I do feel like going for a cat-eye look. In all honesty, I bought this Japanese liquid eyeliner because of the cute packaging and because I loved Sailor Moon growing up. I didn’t really care about the quality and didn’t have high expectations because I bought it for the cute aesthetic, but the results were actually quite surprising. The eyeliner has great pigment and unlike other liquid eyeliners, it doesn’t run out of liquid super fast. It also has great lasting power and doesn’t smudge , in addition to a stunning felt tip of the pen that gives a perfect winged cat-eye.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Sugar Glow Kit
I was initially intimidated by the concept of highlighting since I have oily skin and feared that highlighting would just make me look even more shiny,. However, I eventually gave in and bought the Sugar Glow Kit from Anastasia Beverly Hills because let’s face it, all of their glow kits are stunning. To my surprise, I actually ended up loving this product and I use it a lot more often than I thought I would! Depending on how much you put, it’s not too over-the-top and gives you a nice subtle glow. I feel like a sugarplum fairy whenever I put this on thanks to all of the sparkles, and it’s given me the confidence to invest in other glow kits from ABH in the future.
Cover Photo: Katiusha Feofanova by Jamie Nelson for Maybelline + Refinery 29 Makeup Application