I woke up like this

I have a guilty confession to make.

Whenever I’m talking beauty products I sound like a salesperson from Mecca Cosmetics or Sephora (my two fave beauty stores of all time) and it’s terrible. I shouldn’t sound like that. It goes to show that I spend far too much time and money on the highly lucrative sin of vanity.

But I can’t help myself. On Monday my cousin and I went to Mecca Cosmetics as she was looking for some products.

It was like stepping into another universe – I transformed into beauty guru of the year and started selling products to my cousin. It even got to the point where I was standing next to another sales assistant and we were both talking about products and I sounded exactly like her. Scary.

And this isn’t even the first time I became beauty guru of the year. I really am terrible.

However, rather than fighting fate I realised that this is what I love to do – I love to share my knowledge and experience with others to help them achieve their own goals. So I’m going to do a series of posts dedicated to sharing my favourite beauty products and why they’re worth the dosh.

I’ll start from the basics – primer, foundation, concealer and powder.

Primer

When I was 21, I experienced the worst acne ever. I had always had pimples growing up, but nothing like this. Once my acne started to clear up I was terrified of wearing make-up again but I am a beauty-junkie and couldn’t resist the lure. I was hesitant to wear make-up that contained a lot of chemicals and would just make my acne flare up again, so I looked for mineral based make-up that would be more gentle on my skin. Enter Hourglass.

hourglass mineral veil primerI can’t remember when I first started using the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer but I’ve never looked back since. I recommend this product to all my friends and I’ve not had one who said they didn’t like it. What makes it so great? It’s mineral-based which is always important to me and I don’t know what technology they use but it neutralises redness and discolouration, smoothes the skin and mattifies any oily areas. The only downside is that you must wear a moisturiser underneath, even if you have oily skin but really, not a big deal.

They’ve also released a version for dry skin, the No 28 Primer Serum which I’ve never used (I have oily/combination skin so would be a disaster) but if it’s anything like its counterpart, I’m sure it will deliver the same fabulous results.

Seriously, this product is totes amazeballs. Foundation glides on so perfectly and your make-up will stay put. I’ll tell you a story later on to prove how amazing this product really is.

Foundation

As mentioned, I have oily/combination skin. Add to the mix that I have a tan/dark complexion it makes finding the perfect foundation so much fun (not).

I’ve been wearing make-up since I was 14 so I’ve gone through a lot of foundations. Finding the perfect shade is a journey in itself – I am brown but yellow-based rather than orange/red so it just increases the difficulty level by 200 per cent. Below is a list of the top three foundations I would recommend for ladies of all shades, complexions and skin types:

  1. Nars Sheer Glow or Sheer Matte foundation – any of theseNars sheer glow foundation formulas works well, it just depends on the type of finish you’re after (luminous or matte, respectively). They come in a range of colours (yay) and provide great coverage. The one thing I love about Nars make-up is that the formulas allow you to build up coverage rather than just being extremely pigmented the first go. The same goes with the foundation, you can build up to the coverage you want which is perfect for meeting your needs. I love mixing it with my moisturiser for a very sheer finish on very hot days.
  2. Revlon New Complexion One Step Make Up – this is great for people who don’t like wearing foundation all over their face. I recommend using it to provide coverage for areas that need it and then dust over lightly with powder. It provides medium coverage and blends seamlessly into the skin. I suggest using a foundation brush or even the sponge that comes with the compact for best application and best of all, no touch ups required throughout the day!
  3. BareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation – I’ve only just started using this and so far I loBareminerals bareskin foundationve it! It is mineral-based and claims to have no oil, water or any parabens, sulfates etc so is great for sensitive/problem skin. It also claims to contain a serum to help repair skin which I’ll take with a grain of salt as I am still a bit skeptical about it. I’ve only used it for about two weeks now and I really rate it. I’ve used it with and without powder and it hasn’t faded or melted away after a full day’s wear. It has a great selection of shades and is one of the few foundations which matches my skin tone perfectly. It’s easy to apply with fingers, brush or sponge and provides light to medium coverage.

Concealer

I’m pretty lazy when it comes to concealing. I only do it when my dark circles are really bad or if I’m going out for special event. I find my foundation generally covers most imperfections and I’m not too fazed about minor marks; after all make-up is about enhancing your beauty, not covering it up!

The two concealers I highly recommend are:

  1. Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit – this is perfect for dark circles. It comes in a creamy concealer (duh) and a pressed powder in a different tone. I use this in Honey so the pressed powder is a yellow-tone which is great for my skin colour. I only ever used this for dark circles but I think it would work well for concealing other marks. I didn’t like using this for all over my face because of the creamy consistency but if you have normal/dry skin it would work perfectly.
  2. Laura Mercier Undercover Concealer – I’ll be honest: I found this on laura mercier undercover concealerStrawberrynet. It was cheap and was a concealer so there was nothing to lose. Except I won – this concealer is the best. In this little compact you get both Secret Camouflage and Secret Concealer. I use Secret Concealer (thicker consistency) for marks and scars and Secret Camouflage (creamy consistency) under my eyes. It conceals anything and everything and is perfect for everyday use.

I suggest using the Bobbi Brown concealer brush for application as it’s the perfect shape and size for getting into all those corners and getting the right amount of product onto your face. It is a tad bit pricey ($45 at Mecca Cosmetics) but well worth the investment.

Powder

I swear by one product – Hourglass Oxygen Mineral Powder Foundation. It’s another Hourglass product which means it’s mineral-based and great for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. I can’t rave about this product enough – it’s expensive at $62 a pop but it will last you months.

Hourglass oxygen foundation powderIt only comes in four shades but because it’s mineral-based it will adjust to your skin tone. It provides perfect coverage so if you don’t like wearing heavy make-up during the day I recommend to keep this for evenings. I like using it during the day to set my foundation and if used with a light hand it won’t look too cakey. Again, I don’t know what technology they use but it just smoothes the skin and makes your base look perfect and airbrushed.

If you prefer a translucent powder I recommend either the Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Powder (available in Sephora) or the Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder. I prefer the Make Up Forever powder over the Nars as it provides a more airbrushed finish but the Nars powder is great for everyday use.

Here’s my story about why the Hourglass primer and powder are the bomb.

I used to be a total exercise fanatic. One day I went straight from work to boot camp followed by a game of touch rugby. I didn’t take my make-up off as there was no time and the whole time I was out I didn’t check my make-up once. I was terrified that my foundation had melted off from all the sweat and that I looked like a hot mess. When I hopped into my car to drive home I checked my face in the mirror and wouldn’t you believe it, my make-up was still on! It had not smudged a single bit and you wouldn’t have been able to tell that I’d been playing sport all evening. Now how’s that for good quality make-up?!

Go ahead – try these products. Most of them can be found at Mecca Cosmetics and if you don’t want to spend your hard-earned cash on products you’re not too sure on yet, ask if they’ll provide you with a sample. Most stores will if you ask nicely and don’t be afraid to chat to the sales assistant/beauty consultant about what you’re looking for. A good consultant will want to help you find a product to suit your needs and a great consultant will provide you with a range of options.

Once you’ve tried them tell me what you think in the comments box below! Even if you don’t like them please share your thoughts as it’s all part of the learning and sharing experience!

Note: all the products pictured here are my own products that I use – as you can probably tell by the smudge marks and that the powder is running out! 

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