Finally, a beauty post after a long time. The reason I was hesitant to put this up until now was the mere fact, that I am by no means good at makeup, nor am I particularly satisfied with the contents of my stash to be sharing it with all of you.
I have gotten into makeup relatively recently and have been broke for a much, much longer time ;) So you can understand why I wasn't really up for (not to mention being able to) investing into high end makeup, when I didn't even have a clue of the "how & what's". I think that makes sense.
I'm still learning, I still look back at pictures as new as a couple of months and think - wow, that really wasn't a good look, but hey - that's how it goes at first and a little trial and error never hurt anybody ;)
Also, call me close-fisted, but if I buy something and don't really love it, I'll find a way to use it up anyway, I just don't feel comfortable with it going to waste, unless it's really rubbish and totally not working for me, of course, then that just gets thrown out.
However, I finally figured that I DO use these producs every time I apply makeup and besides - write about what you know, right? In any case, this can either be helpful to somebody like me, who's just starting out or simply interesting for myself to look back on when I (hopefully) have a better routine figured out as the time goes by.
My goal is to own less in amount, but higher quality products, that are color-matched to my complexion and skin type and I will be slowly replacing my current products with some better ones as I save up some money and use up what I already own, although I must say, some of the products I own I do really like and can't complain about.
Okay. Without further ado, here are most of the products I own and what I had packed with me moving away for my internship.
Starting off with my brushes - I use this M-Cosmetics Pro Brushset (299 dkk), that I purchased last winter at my local MATAS drugstore. I have seperately purchased an eye shadow brush no.05 (39.95 dkk) from the same brand and a few other ones: Essence powder brush (5.95 $), the Catrice Blush Brush (same price range) and the only high-end Nilens Jord Black Diamond N° 102 Foundation Brush Flat Cut (135 dkk).
While the foundation brush works amazingly well (with thicker foundations, but not oily or sheer ones) and both the Essence (which is the softest brush I own and love to use it for my powder) and the Catrice one (with which I contour with) are considerably high quality, the M Cosmetics brushes have not impressed me too much and I can see - why I paid so little. The brushes are quite rough on my skin and tend to shed and I will definitely get rid of them as soon as I get my hands on a proper set from Sigma or a similar brand people have been suggesting.
For my base at the moment I am using the following products: the L'Oreál Studio Secrets Primer (115 dkk), the Madara Organic Skincare Moonflower Rose Beige Tinting Fluid (26 eur for 50 ml) and the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25hr Foundation (7.99 £).
I bought the primer a long time ago, basically just because I thought that I have to and hated it at first. It was hard to rub in and was sort of sitting on my face as a layer I didn't like. I later realized, that it's a resurfacing and smoothing primer meant to cover pores and bumps, which I didn't have at the time. As I said, I like to use up my products and have since then found, that I like to use it as my base on bad skin days. You know, how foundation and concealer covers those blemishes and spots and hides the redness, but sometimes you can still see the bump of the blemish? Well, this product helps with that. It makes a more smoother base for your foundation to go onto and these days my skin hasn't been it's best, so I have been using this up. I won't be repurchasing it, but will invest into a primer that's geared towards my skin type and its needs - evening out the skintone and making the makeup last longer.
I have recently discovered a tip for a more natural makeup - the less makeup you apply to the nose and generally the middle of your face, the less obvious it'll be. Similarly, the sligh contour of using lighter products in the middle part of your face and darker ones around will create a more flattering look.
I bought the Rimmel foundation just before going to the wedding in Bulgaria this summer, because I had developed a lovely tan and needed to pick up a darker shade, moreover, I wanted a foundation with no SPF in it, as lots of pictures would be taken and I wished to avoid the while flash effect. It worked and the foundation, although fairly heavy is a lovely product. I picked up the Madara set of 4 mini products together with the tinted moisturizer (I like to support this brand, as it's Latvian and organic, vegan, cruelty free etc.) to try out - it's very light, both in shade and in the consistency. At the moment, I am back to my winter shade - so much too pale for the Rimmel 303 True Nude - and have therefore been applying it around my face, the Madara tint in the middle and mixing these together with my foundation brush. This creates a much more natural foundation look with a subtle contour, which I like.
As for concealing, I have to be honest and say, that I haven't yet purchased one, that I am in love with. When it comes to my dark circles especially, nothing really gets the job done quite right. However, at the moment I am using the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in the shade 20 (sand) (6.99 $) under my eyes, although I used to use the L'Oreál True Match Concealer in Natural Beige (85 dkk) and on my blemishes I use this Catrice cosmetics Concealer palette with 5 shades for correcting redness, dark circles etc. It's a nighmare to use under the eyes, but it works well on the skin, because it's thick and covers spots well.
I also purchased the famous Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in 001 Transparrent (50 dkk), which is great for the price and lasts forever - ever since I learned (the hard way) to use very little it gets the job done well - sets my makeup and prevents shine (not that my dry skin really needs it, but I do use a heavy daily moisturizer, so I like the effect)
As for adding some color to my face I've been using the Rimmel Sunshimmer 3 i 1 Shimmering Bronzer in 002 Bronze Goddess (65 dkk), which is a nice shimmery bronzer, again having a light hand with this is necessary.
For the past few months I have stopped using a blush, ever since I got my makeup put on at the MAC counter and the girl only used a plumy bronzer on me - I loved the look and also - have been noticing, that adding something pink toned so close to my dark circles really clashes with the blue/purple undertones and makes them stand out that much more. I have no idea, if I'm imagining this, but I have been feeling a lot better going without as my cheeks are anyway pretty pink as it is, but I used to even use the Korres lip balm (12 $) in Pomegranate on my cheeks and lips during the summertime and tought that it looks pretty, which is why I included it. And after trying out this L'Oréal powder blush I purchased two of the Maybelline Dream Soft Blushes (6.49 £)in the shades 02 and 05. I used a lot of 02 during the summer, because it was such a fun, fresh, light coral shade.
To set my base and add some glow to my powdered face (it rhymed, I know) I used to be a huge fan of the Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist (8 £) and still love it. I'll probably repurchase it sooner than later, especially after the wintertime.
Onto the eyes, I've been starting with my brows. To be honest, I am always trying to avoid having too many products to work with, so I love to a good multi-tool. I have been using my Rimmel Glam'Eyes quad in 019 Sun Safari (78 dkk) on my eyes almost every time I put eyeshadow on - and I don't care that my eyes are brown and I use brown shadows - I think it gives my face such a bronzed look and makes me look more tanned than I am. But I've also been using the darkest shade to fill in my brows, despite the fact it's slightly shimmery... I know, I know. I can't see it, though and the shadow has such a nice reddish undertone, which matches perfectly with my hair and I really love how it looks. However, I've been feeling so guilty about this, that I purchased the Maybelline Eye Studio Master Shape Brow Pencil (8 $) in the shade Deep Brown, which is too dark for me. I couldn't really choose between the lighter shade and this in the shop and ended up going for the darker one, since I love a bold brow, but considering the wax consistency, the color intensifies and my brows overtake my face a tad too much. It also got really short really quickly, I basically had to sharpen the pencil every single time, so it's not my favorite product, even if I had the right shade. I still use the brush though and have since returned back to filling my brows in with the shadow. Because of that I also use the Catrice (used to be clear) Lash/ Brow designer gel, that I will be repurchasing as it's cheap, gets the job done and doesn't leave my eyebrows feeling crispy.
As for the shadows, apart from the Rimmer quad, I've been using my Maybelline Big Eyes in Luminous Purple 05 (currently 63 dkk @ matas), which is as bright and fun as it gets for me... Sometimes I wet my eyeliner brush and use the purple for a subtle liner. Yes, I'm
CRAAAZY boring, I know. The shadows are really "creamy" though and the highlight shade is pretty - I use it on my face too sometimes, if I'm going out.
Get excited for the only high end product in my stash (which is not even mine) - CHANEL LE CRAYON KHÔL Intense Eye Pencil NOIR!!! (17 £) In all seriousness, I've been using this for years ever since I
stole got it gifted from my big sister and it's great. It lasts forever, it's creamy, easy to apply and I haven't worried about my liner for years, we're still going strong, thank you very much.
As for my liquid eyeliner, I used to use (and love) the Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner (60 dkk) until it dried up. It's a bit tricky to work with, but the eyeliner is... black. If you have the patience and the precison, it looks really nice. Also, I was never able to make a subtle liner look with this - always a full on cat-eye, but since I like the look, I didn't mind.
After that, I purchased the Eye Studio Master Precise Ink Pen Eyeliner in Black (8 $) and this is much easier to work with - it also gives much more subtle look, however, it dried fast on me and also, didn't leave a really black color, it sort of faded a bit as it dried, so I am not sure I will be repurchasing it.
I have two mascaras in my makeup bag at the moment - one is the L'oréal Volume Collagene 24h Extra Black (140 dkk), which is easily my all time favorite mascara. I always go for volumizing mascaras, because that's what I feel like I need, otherwise I get 3 reeeeeealy long Daisy lashes and I can't pull them off quite the way she does... Mine's drying out on me and it takes a LOT of patience to work with it as it starts to clump, but I am just dragging the time out until I go back to Latvia and purchase a new one. It's just that nothing really does as good of a job as instantly as this one with a single coat. The second one and my lashes are poking my eyebrows. And the other one is the Maybelline Volum' Express Washable Mascara Black (63 dkk) which I saw at the counter buying groceries...? And it was extremely cheap, 30 dkk as far as I remember and picked it up. I absolutely hated it at first, said it doesn't do anything and doesn't make any difference, but I still use it sometimes - on days, when I want to look natural and if you build it up and use more coats, it does make a difference, obviously, but I feel like the effort and the time is not really worth it.
Onto the lips! I haven't really been into lip products and have been just recently buying a lipstic here and a lipstic there, but haven't really found anything A-MA-SING, if you know, what I mean.
For my lip balms I always, always, ALWAYS go back to the Dzintars lip balms. It's a Latvian brand and I haven't found anything as moisturizing, long lasting, flattering, affordable and lovely as this. I am known to buy 10 at a time to use for the next half a year or so, while I'm in Denmark and keep them everywhere - in my bags, pockets, bathroom, desk etc. I am running out and can't wait to stock up soon :)
As for the actual lipstics, the first one on the left after the lip balm is the Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in the shade Saved By The Bell (£6.49) and I can honestly say, that I don't really like it on me - because of the old fashioned shimmer in it. I only use it together with the RIMMEL LONDON Lasting Finish Lipstick-Kate Moss Collection 109 (5.49 $), because I find it to be too dry and matte, so I sort of layer them, but I feel a bit self conscious wearing both, as I'm worried about them bleeding or not suiting me and always end up not reapplying them during the day. I like the shade of the Kate Moss one, but I find it to be too drying, however, pairing it with a lip balm makes it move around. Hmmm. On to something more positive, the Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick Hollywood Red 540 (£7.19) is a very pretty deep shade, which glides on wonderfully and lasts a long time. It's neither too matte nor too glossy and I personally feel glamorous wearing it, even though I find it too dark for daytime. Dinners though? Absolute favorite.
One that I picked up early last spring was the Catrice Sheer Lip color in the shade 03 Soulful, which is a gorgeous burgundy purple, that glides on extremely easily and leaves a very sheer finish, so it doesn't feel too dark. I usually just layer it on, because I love the way it feels, plus it gets darker as you put more on. I've been really liking this, even though I haven't been wearing it recently.
Next, I have two pencils, both from the same brand and line, namely, the Max Factor Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick (both 99 dkk per piece). I bought the shade Designer Blossom 30 initially, because I wanted an easy red lip and was too intimidated by lipsticks. And was very impressed - it's easy to apply, it lasts a long time and the color's very intense without looking silly.
After that I wanted to find a more toned down shade and the only other shade from the line I found flattering on me was the Subtle Coral 20, which I used a lot during the summertime together with the coral blush I mentioned earlier.
Last, but not least I have another red - this one I picked up last January to wear with my long, black graduation dress and it was basically the first lip colors I bought. I picked up the Max Factor Lipfinity Colour & Gloss Lip Gloss in the shade 560 Radiant Red and found it a bit of a pain that night - it wore off unevenly due to the glossy texture, I needed to reapply it all the time and felt self conscious, because I've never worn a lipstick before (well, that clearly isn't Max Factor's fault, is it?), but I haven't really been wearing it ever since, probably because of those memories. I feel like I might, however, when the Christmas events roll around as a nice red lip seems so glamorous and festive.
I posted all the swatches in two different lights, if that helps you in any way!
I hope you enjoyed this post, leave me a comment down below with any questions or feedback - I love to hear from you and will, as always, reply to every one!
Let me know, if you want to see makeup looks using these products! There will be different arrangements and outings as the Christmas time approaches, so I could try and snap some makeup photos, if you're interested.
Also, feel free to leave me your recommendations and favorites! I have a high-end wish list, but I'm well aware, that some drugstore products are the same, if not better, so I'd love to create a nice mix between the two. What do you save on and which products do you splurge on? I'd love to know.
Talk to you soon!