This was requested by one of my friends who probably knew how difficult I'd find this, considering my unnecessarily extensive collection. I thought the best way to do this was make 5 categories and then choose one product for each, but if I choose a high end product I'll also mention it's budget counterpart, because sometimes the budget products are just as good, or good enough considering the price, and on a student budget it makes sense to save where I can.
It was recently my 20th birthday, and I was gifted a bunch of MAC products, which included some foundation samples. I knew as soon as I tried the MAC Studio Fix Fluid that it would be my new favourite foundation. The coverage is medium but slightly buildable and it doesn't cling to dry patches. It glides on, it easily blends to look just like skin and my concealer sits really nicely on top of it. My only problem with this foundation is the company itself, which still tests on animals.
|Mac Studio Fix Fluid Foundation sample - NW13|
Honourable mention goes to the Rimmel True Match foundation. The shade range is great when it comes to lighter skin tones, not so great if you have darker skin. Again, the coverage is good and buildable, and I love the finish of it. At £7.99 a bottle, it lasts ages and it's affordable, my go to foundation until I inevitably purchase the MAC one.
Collection lasting perfection concealer, £4.19. It covers blemishes and redness, it brightens under eyes and it works as a highlight. It doesn't crease and it lasts for hours. No high end version here because I haven't needed one. This product works wonders and that's why it's everyone's holy grail.
For many a month I walked through House of Frazer and stared longingly at the Urban Decay stand, desperately wanting to own the naked palettes but not wanting to spend almost £40 on eyeshadows, regardless of hype or quality. However someone (thanks Emily) convinced me to buy it when there was on offer that allowed me to buy the original Naked palette and the primer potion for £44 and I have no regrets - although my bank account might argue otherwise. Unless you've been living under a very large rock I don't have to tell you how good the naked palettes are. The shades are absolutely gorgeous and flattering on the eyes and the colour payoff is amazing (they're so pigmented!).
If you're not up for spending £38 on a palette, there are a few other options. First of all, the Sleek eyeshadow palettes are £7.99 and the payoff and shades rival those from UD. There's such a good range of palettes from Sleek too, the classic being the Storm palette, which is another of my favourites. Makeup Revolution do dupes of the Naked palettes for an amazing £4, and for that price I can forgive the lack of consistency in the quality of some of the shadows, because some of them are still incredibly pigmented and at a few pounds a palette you really can't complain.
|A well loved and slightly battered Makeup Revolution Palette - Redemption Palette Iconic 2|
Contour and highlight:
I'm cheating here I know but it was too hard to fit just 5 products in. Contouring has become such a big deal in the makeup world, and so of course I've invested in a few products. I'm yet to fully immerse myself into the world of cream contouring, but with the release of the Sleek cream contour kit I doubt it will be long. I definitely wouldn't call myself a pro when it comes to makeup and here is no exception. I switch between the Sleek contour kit (which has a contour colour and a beautiful highlighter which I hit pan on long ago) and a 3 shade version from Makeup Revolution, which contains a contour, a highlighter and a blush. I haven't used the blush much because I don't find it to be very pigmented and I just have others I prefer, but the contour is perfect for my skin tone, and at £3.50 it's a great little palette. My only niggle with this is the tiny mirror on the inside which is pretty much useless. Speaking of contour, this brings me onto my next product.
|Another well loved Makeup Revolution palette - Ultra Sculpt & Contour Kit in Ultra Fair C01|
In terms of highlighter, before my birthday in May I was addicted to the makeup revolution baked highlighters. I found that if I sprayed my brush with setting spray and allowed it to dry a little so it was only a little damp and then swirled it into the pan I'd get the most incredible glow, and these remain my favourite budget highlighters. However, I was given the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade on my birthday, and I fell in love. It's not too heavy so I can make a super subtle sheen, however when I use the setting spray trick from before I can achieve a glow that appears to be made by the gods themselves, and who wouldn't want that?
|Mac Mineralize Skinfinish - Lightscapade (Ahh isn't it beautiful?)|
I'm not entirely sure how to choose 1 single favourite lipstick, it's like asking me to choose my favourite baby, it's just cruel. So, I'm going to cheat and choose 5, because nobody can stop me.
I tend to go for more nude lipstick due to the fact that I like a nice smokey eye.
Mac - Whirl (£15.50)
A lovely dark nude, almost brown, with a matte finish. A Kylie Jenner classic, apparently.
Rimmel - Kate Moss 107 (£5.49)
A deep berry-red, gorgeous in the colder months.
Ciate London Olivia Palermo collection - Praline (£19)
A slightly lighter nude then Whirl, and a less drying formula, but at £19 it's more of a luxury product.
Sleek Matte Me - Birthday suit (£4.99)
A pretty pink nude liquid lipstick, can be quite drying without the right prep.
Rimmel The Only One - Naughty nude (£6.49)
Another pinky nude, but not a matte, so not as long lasting but much more moisturising.
There are so many other products in my routine that I haven't talked about but would've like to have mentioned, so if you'd like me to do another 5 favourites then let me know! I'm yet to get a decent camera but when I do I'll insert some better photos, be patient with me, I'm new to all this but I'm eager to do it well!