I hope you’re having a good week/weekend :).
Today, I’ve decided to share my ultimate beauty favourites with you, because I love having a nosey at fellow bloggers’/vloggers’ beauty obsessions and staples and thought I’d share mine.
My daily makeup routine is ridiculously basic and has barely changed over the past few years, but I do sometimes add new products into the mix. I tend to stick to eyeliner (I don’t think I could leave the house without it on), lipstick and powder, along with mascara.
I’ve played around with foundations for a few years – my skin used to be extremely clear with spots appearing very rarely, but that’s changed and my skin is now a bit of a state due to an unhealthy diet, my hormones hating me and a recent issue of breakouts whenever I drink any alcohol. So, I’ve started wearing foundation fairly regularly now (a few times a week) and though I’ve been through umpteen different brands and shades (it seems my skin colour is pretty hard to match with high-street and high-end brands), I seem to have found the best foundation in the world… I don’t even think I’m exaggerating too much, to be honest!
Anyway, enough rambling. Here are my current ultimate beauty favourites!
Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water with rose petals
I discovered this product – and the next one – almost by accident. I interned for Cosmopolitan Middle East in 2013 for a few months and on my last day, the team presented me with a huge bag full of goodies – much to my surprise! This was in it, along with two other Nuxe products. I tried it months later and was instantly hooked.
I’d been suffering from lots of little spots at the time and poured this onto a few cotton pads, gave it a swipe across my face to remove my makeup and it was just perfect.
A lot of micellar waters irritate my eyes as I wear contact lenses, but this didn’t cause any discomfort at all. I also love rose-scented things (candles, beauty products, perfumes… the list goes on!) and this has the most beautiful fragrance, along with the product below. Nuxe do a variety of deliciously-scented products, but the rose ones are definitely my favourites.
After using the Micellar Water, my face feels incredibly fresh and clean, and it gets rid of makeup exceptionally well (including thick layers of mascara). I’d highly recommend it to anyone struggling to find a good makeup remover or suffering with problematic skin as it works wonders, and I would also suggest using it with the next product.
Available from: Sephora & Boots (in Dubai).
Nuxe Gentle Exfoliating Gel with rose petals
This exfoliating gel/scrub has been a bit of a miracle product for me since I started using it. As I mentioned above, my skin had broken out with lots of little spots when I first started using it and this cleared my skin up a lot quite quickly.
I noticed a big difference in my complexion within four to five days after using the gel with the Micellar Water.
I’ve tried plenty of cleansing gels/scrubs, including Dermalogica products, and this Nuxe one just seems to work the best with my skin type. Again, it smells lovely and is infused with rose petals (I believe these have been dried and work as the scrub part of the gel, but I may be wrong).
It can be used once or twice a week – I’m currently using it twice a week as my skin is quite bad at the moment, but I don’t feel like it dries my skin out much at all, though I do always apply moisturiser to my face afterwards.
Nuxe products aren’t the cheapest, but they are worth the money in my eyes. I’m happy to go with ‘drugstore’ brands with makeup, but as skincare is extremely important, I don’t mind paying a little more as long as it’s a product that actually delivers – and these definitely do!
Available from: Sephora & Boots (in Dubai).
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in shade 9 (dark)
I feel like every blogger has raved about Charlotte Tilbury and her products. I admit, I gave into the hype and dashed to her Covent Garden store as soon as I could at Christmas when I flew back to London. I was tempted by so many products in the store that I’d seen in hauls, swatches and reviews, but I was really good and managed to leave with just two: this foundation and the famed Pillow Talk Lip Cheat lip liner (I regret spending £16 on this as I’ve only used it once because it seems to suit everyone, but me!).
I rambled a little about foundations and my experience with them above, but honestly, this product is magic! It has buildable coverage, which won’t leave your skin feeling caked in makeup – I avoided using foundation for a long time as I hated this feeling with other foundations I’d tried. I only apply a small amount, and it goes a long way. My skin tone looks even, my overall complexion looks smooth and (I believe) it gives you a slight glow – without making your skin look oily – while also looking very natural. Though it was quite expensive, I know I’ll buy this over and over again. I’ve tried a variety of other foundations and none of them have lived up to this, so I’m seriously impressed.
Available from: Selfridges or The Charlotte Tilbury store in Covent Garden, England – sorry UAE readers. Order it online here.
Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Primer
There’s not too much I have to say about this product, other than the fact that it’s great to apply before foundation to ensure that your skin is moisturised. I also feel that it gives your foundation a better and more even finish as opposed to applying it to a completely clean face. I only use a tiny amount that I massage into my skin, then I let it dry a little before applying the rest of my makeup. It’s virtually scent-free and feels super-soft on your skin, so this is something I’d definitely suggest for someone looking for a fuss-free primer.
Available from: Make Up For Ever stores & Sephora.
Benefit Watt’s Up
I was persuaded to buy this last summer in London by two super-friendly assistants on the Benefit counter in John Lewis. They offered to try it on me as I’d asked about it and after one of the lovely ladies had applied it on my face, she gasped and showed it to the other – who also gasped and said it looks amazing –, and I was sold! I used it throughout that summer and constantly got compliments from friends about it (my makeup’s usually so boring that I rarely get comments on it, so I knew this was good!). It’s so easy to use, all you need to do is swipe a line of it across your cheekbones – and any other areas you wish to highlight – and blend it in. I’ll usually use it underneath my foundation or powder, but if you’re feeling brave, feel free to put it on at the end of your makeup routine. It’s very easy to blend with the sponge on the other end or using a beauty blender/foundation brush. It’s subtle, but shimmery enough to stand out and I haven’t felt the need to buy another highlighter since finding this!
Available from: Anywhere that sells Benefit products!
Mac Mineralize Skinfinish powder in ‘Give Me Sun’
Before my foray into foundation, I used to only use eyeliner, lipstick/lipgloss and this powder. Like foundations, I often struggled to find a bronzer/powder that matched my skin tone, until a lady at MAC tried this on me. I instantly fell in love with the colour, which gave a warm hue to my skin tone and replaced my previous penchant for shimmery bronzers (oops). It’s never irritated my skin, a little goes a long way and the packaging is great. I’ve recently managed to lose all of my compact mirrors (sad times), and this is now what I pull out when I’m doing my makeup on the move, which is fairly often due to my not-so-great time keeping. It used to have a clear lid, so I was thrilled when they upgraded the packaging to something a little sturdier/more useful. These powders are great for putting over foundation or using for contouring (if you get a darker shade), but I generally sweep it all over my face with a kabuki brush (I’ve used Body Shop kabuki brushes for years, they’re perfect for keeping in my mini makeup kit). It also stays put all day, which is great.
Available from: All MAC stores and counters, globally.
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (waterproof liquid liner)
Eyeliner has been a daily essential of mine for about seven years now, and you’ll rarely see me without it! I’ve experimented with everything: pencil, kohl, gel and now, this liquid pen liner that I have a love/hate relationship with. I enjoyed using a Maybelline gel pot before this that came with a brush, but it ran out and I decided to try something new. Given that beauty bloggers and vloggers had been raving about this liner for months, I decided to pick it up at Sephora and give it a go. I’ve found it a little tricky to use as the liquid dries very quickly and if you try going over it again, it tends to remove the liner in a patchy/weird way, but if you’re more of a pro than me, you shouldn’t have this problem. It stays on pretty well, but if you rub your eye at all it does tend to disappear. However, I am getting the hang of using this liner and it does leave a jet black, clean finish with liquid that dries really quickly (so you don’t have to worry about it transferring to your eyelids). I don’t know if I’ll use it forever, but I’m loving it for now. I do use the Bourjois Kohl & Contour liner for my waterline as it’s a nice, bold black that tends to stay put for hours.
Available from: Sephora.
Real Techniques Essential Foundation Brush
About a year ago, I decided to splurge on a bunch of Real Techniques brushes because, again, I’d seen bloggers/vloggers raving about them (before #ad was an essential disclaimer on YouTube, oops!). This is one of the only ones I’ve used and the rest remain untouched, because I am absolutely hopeless with makeup and I’m too scared to experiment – terrible, I know…lessons are welcome! Anyway, this brush really is brilliant. The bristles are soft and velvety, it’s easy to clean and it applies my foundation pretty flawlessly. I bought it in a set and I can’t remember how much it cost, but it wasn’t expensive at all so if you’re looking for something basic, simple and easy to use then this is what I’d suggest.
Available from: Lifestyle stores in the UAE or online. I believe UK readers can get them from Superdrug and Boots stores.
MAC Spice Lip Liner
OK we’re seeing a pattern here now. Bloggers and vloggers hype a product and I go out and buy it.
*Disclaimer* I do promise you lovely readers that I do genuinely love everything I put on my blog and won’t just put something on here if I don’t believe it’s a good product/service/experience.
However, this was definitely worth the hype and I’ve bought three of these so far. They all sold out at one point, no doubt due to the rave reviews, and I searched in about five stores in Dubai and at least six in London before popping into Harrod’s and asking there. The poor lady serving said it was, in fact, in stock. She went to the back to get one, and then I remembered the nightmare I’d had sourcing one and asked her to grab another – I won’t be left Spice-less again, MAC! It’s a beautiful shade that I think could suit pretty much every skin tone. I love it so much that I sometimes wear it on its own (such a makeup novice, I know). It’s the perfect year-round shade and it looks quite natural (to the point where my boyfriend often asks me if I’m actually wearing any ‘lip stuff’). I’m basically obsessed with it, and for me, it works really well with the next product.
Available from: All MAC stores and counters, globally – unless it’s sold out!
MAC Matte Taupe Lipstick
This is my all-time favourite lipstick shade. If I’m not mistaken, the lady who helped me get my hands on the Spice liner at Harrod’s suggested this when I asked her for a lipstick to accompany it (she is my MAC hero and I wish I remembered her name). I instantly fell in love with this shade. I struggle a lot with lipstick shades to suit my skin tone and can rarely follow fellow bloggers’ recommendations as they often don’t really suit Indian skin tones like mine, I’ve personally found. This shade is a gorgeous browny/red hue that works as a subtle daytime colour or layered a little more on top of the Spice liner for an evening look. I don’t know if it’s for everyone, but I’d recommend trying it. Though it’s a matte lipstick, I find it extremely moisturising and it also doesn’t settle into your natural lines in your lips like a few others tend to. I’ve bought two of these so far and I’ve never used a lipstick so much, I came close to finishing the first one and managed to lose it – I’ve never come close to finishing a lipstick before, so this is a big deal!
Available from: All MAC stores and counters, globally.
Here’s my general everyday makeup look using most of the products above:
I hope you enjoyed looking through my ultimate beauty favourites, let me know if you love any of the products above too or if you’ve now felt the urge to get your hands on any of the products now. I’m struggling to find a good mascara at the moment – my lashes are reasonably long, but straight and a little sparse – so feel free to recommend your favourites.
Also, feel free to share any recommendations, post suggestions and opinions below :).
Thanks for reading!
All images for this post (except the selfie at the end!) were taken on the Olympus PEN E-PL7.