If you’re anything like me you’ll have a Christmas wish list as long as your arm but just in case you are looking for ideas then look no further, here’s a run down of my must have make up products as well as my own wish list items for this festive season.
First up, lets talk Primers – its where the make up routine really kicks off. Over the last few years I’ve test & tried so many primers with the aim of that long lasting look. I do think the right foundation also plays a role so depending on what I’m doing that day or night, depends on what primer I’ll wear.
- Backlight Priming Filter by Becca (£32.00)
- Photo Finish by Smashbox (£26.00)
- The POREfessional by Benefit (£26.00)
- That Gal by Benefit (£24.50)
- Wonder Glow by Charlotte Tilbury (£38.50)
- Prep & Prime by Mac (£18.00)
- Maestro UV by Armani (£40.00)
When do I use them? For my every day look I tend to either mix the Benefit POREfessional & That Gal together OR switch to Smashbox. If I’ve got an important meeting/event at work or if I’m going “out out” then I turn to Becca, Charlotte Tilbury or Mac. One product that doesn’t appear on the photo but is named on the list above is Maestro UV by Armani. I recently had a test pot from the Debenhams counter in Chester and managed to get about 10 uses out of it, however at £40.00 its not the cheapest but saw a big difference with my make up lasting longer. Needless to say this I a firm favourite on my own Christmas Wish List (come on Santa)!
Final thoughts? If you want to achieve a long lasting look then I have to recommend the Armani but if you need an everyday, reasonably priced primer then my must have is Prep & Prime by Mac or Photo Finish by Smashbox.
Next up Foundation/Concealer. Like my primers I’ve been quite determined to find that perfect foundation; one that suits my skin type and gives me a fabulous finish. I like a full coverage look but something that allows me to go light and then build up depending on what & where I am going. I have about 15 different types of foundations in my make up draws but finally (hallelujah) I’ve found three favourites which I’m obsessed with and will definitely be renewing.
- Sheer Glow (Shade Punjab) by Nars (£33.00)
- Magic Foundation (Shade 3 & 5) by Charlotte Tilbury (£30.00)
- Luminous Silk (Shade 3.5) Foundation by Giorgio Armani (£40.00)
- Concealer (Shade Custard) by Nars (£24.00)
When do I use them? Purely down to costs I use either Sheer Glow or Magic foundation in the day and then for special occasions I reward myself with the Luminous Silk Foundation. These for me are seriously good quality foundations. I’d definitely recommend going to one of their counters and getting a skin match, I’ve tried and failed miserably so many times trying to guess my skin colour on line so don’t make this error. Once my foundation is place its concealer time. I add this under my eyes, down the bridge of my nose and any areas that need extra coverage. For the past 18 months the only product I’ve been using is the Nars concealer in shade Custard. I use this every single day and this lasts me about 4 months.
Final Thoughts? I would say the Luminous Silk just pips it but seriously I’m more than happy with all of these amazing foundations.
Blushers, Bronzer & Highlighter time… I’m a sucker for cheek bones & where possible adding some shine.
- Mineral Blush (shade Flowerchild) by Becca (£26.00)
- Cheek Charmers Deluxe Blush Set (shade Vibrant) by Tarte (£29.00)
- Blush (shade orgasim) by Nars (£24.00)
When do I use them? The Tarte product is a matt finish which I personally prefer for everyday. This was actually part of a 5 piece blusher set and only £29.00 – great steal. The Nars blusher is lovely, unfortunately I dropped it & its smashed into bits (hence why the lid is closed in the picture), however this is perfect for nights out as its luminous and has a glow. I wanted a blusher somewhere in between a matt & a shine so brought the Mineral Blush from Becca and this is a lush colour and really makes your cheeks pop.
- Instant Look in Palette (natural beauty) by Charlotte Tilbury (£49.00)
- Shimmer Brick Compact Pink Quartz by Bobbi Brown (£35.50)
When do I use them? I’ve been using the instant look palette for over 6 months & its just fab. It includes 3 x Eyeshadows, Bronzer, 2 x Blushers & Highlighter. I use the bronzer for contouring (cheek bones, forehead & anywhere really that needs a bit of colour). I then use one of the blushers above on the apple of my cheeks & go back to this palette to finish off my look with the highlighter, applying this with a brush to the top of cheeks, bridge/end of nose & brow bone. As for the Bobbi Brown highlighter this was given to me as a birthday present 2 yrs ago and still going strong. I’ve tried liquid highlighters always feel like they smudge so any recommendations out there I’m all ears.
Final thoughts? You can’t go wrong with the Becca blusher AND their range is available in some many places now which is great. I am a BIG fan of the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Palette, so versatile considering what you get in there too.
Fancy some glam eyes? Well lets start off with my amazing eyeshadows. I’m loving applying eyeshadows now, I was always afraid of it especially when you see so many people who just nail it. My biggest advice is just have a go; I’ve learnt so much just from watching tutorials on You Tube or Instagram.
- Modern Renaissance by Anastasia (£41.00)
- Sweet Peach by Two Faced (£39.00)
- Instant Look Palette (natural beauty) by Charlotte Tilbury (£49.00)
- Magnificent Metals (Bronze Bell & Rose Gold Retro) by Stila (£23.00)
- Pro Longwear Paint Pot (Painterly) by Mac (£16.00)
When do I use them? The beauty of playing around with eyeshadows is… there’s no right or wrong! I use all of these for all occasions. I try and use all the shades in there for different occasions. My recent purchase was the Too Faced palette and at first I thought nah probably won’t use the pink or green shades etc. but I absolutely love blending them with other colours, its just a case of messing around. The only thing I do keep back for nights out are the Magnifcant Metals by Stila. These are really easy to apply and can really transfer your eyes into a super glam look! Top tip – make sure you use either the pro longwear paint pot or some concealer on your eyelids to make sure your eyeshadow stays on all day or all night.
Final thoughts? I’m in love with the Modern Renaissance palette, so many beautiful shade to mix for different looks. However really loving the sweet peach palette too! For an instant glam look at night treat yourself to a Magnificent metal Stila shade, you’ll love how easy this is!
Now you’ve sorted your Eyeshadow out lets make them pop even more so here’s what I use for my eyeliner, lashes and brows…
- Inglot Eyeliner Gel (£16.99) & Inglot Duraline (£10.62)
- Eyebrow Gel by Wunderbrow (£19.95)
- Liquid Eyeliner (Eye’s to Kill Proliner) by Giorgio Armani (£27.00)
- Master Ink Waterproof Eyeliner Matte by Maybelline (£5.99)
- Roller Lash by Benefit (£10.50 0r £19.50)
- They’re Real by Benefit (£20.50)
- Ka-Brow by Benefit (£20.00)
- Rock n Kohl (bedroom black) by Charlotte Tilbury (£19.00)
When do I use them? I’m a sucker for eyeliner so whether its a simple line or a fabulous flick I pretty much wear this every day. For something quick & easy I either grab the Armani or Maybelline eyeliner but for a night out I turn to the Inglot Gel pot. I’ve included the Inglot Duraline too as this is really useful should your gel pot dry up; this also works for any make up that’s dried up. For my lashes I’m still going strong with the benefit duo of Roller Lash & They’re Real, I’ve not managed to find anything better so why bother! For that extra intensity I apply the Charlotte Tilbury eyeliner on my water line. Finally for my brows, I brought the Wunderbrow last year & didn’t give it a fair try and reversed back to Benefit. I recently got this out again and happy to report its really good and lasts all day & night! The benefit range is fab use all products for a full long lasting effect or if you’re in a rush one of these products is just fine.
Final thoughts? I know there’s a lot to digest there so my absolute must have’s are Roller Lash, Maybelline Eyeliner & the Wunderbrow Gel. I could achieve a look for day or night with these three items.
Now for those luscious lips… I have a draw full of lipsticks (shocker) and I think the picture says it all, its all about Charlotte Tilbury with a sprinkle of Mac.
- Hotlips (Super Cindy) by Charlotte Tilbury (£24.00)
- Hollywood Lips (Platinum Blonde) by Charlotte Tilbury (£24.00)
- K.I.S.S.I.N.G (Bitch Perfect), (Stoned Rose*) by Charlotte Tilbury (£24.00)
- Matte Revolution (Sexy Sienna*) by Charlotte Tilbury (£24.00)
- Lip Lustre (Sweet Stiletto), (Portbobello Girl), (Ibiza Nights) by Charlotte Tilbury (£16.50)
- Lip Cheat (Pink Venus), (Pillow Talk*) by Charlotte Tilbury (£16.00)
- Matte (Velvet Teddy) by Mac (£16.50)
- Cremesheen (Crosswires) by Mac (£16.50)
*purchased just not featured in picture
When do I use them? You can probably see a theme with brand here, what can I say, once you try CT’s lipsticks you’ll unlikely go back to anything else. My first encounter trying this brand was The Uptown Girl Lip Kit which included Bitch Perfect Lipstick, Pink Venus Lipliner & Sweet Stiletto Lip gloss for £52.00 – this is the perfect present for you or a loved one. Plus who can forget good old Mac, I know there’s only a two in this pic but over the years I’ve used loads of these and there all great for the price.
Final thoughts? Errrr CHARLOTTE TILBURY all the way baby!
Last up are my brushes. To make all of the above possible I will always have my must have brushes at hand. I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to the brand; for me its either Real Techniques or Zoeva.
- Real Techniques (above) Various Prices, sold individually & in sets
- Zoeva (below) Various Prices, sold individually & in sets
Final Thoughts – You really cant go wrong with Real Techniques. You will find some great deals in places such as Superdrug, Boots or Amazon. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen me stocking up on some fab deals RT sets from Superdrug.
If you’ve made it to the end then you’ve done an amazing job. Hopefully you’ve picked up some ideas on gifts for others but more importantly for yourself. My next blog will be about my Skincare recommendations.
Big Love, Nicola xx