In today’s post I’m addressing the most common question asked of me…
What should I have in my make-up kit?
As you’ve probably heard me say a thousand times I am all about a light base. I believe for older women in particular, it gives a more youthful glow to natural skin but also the same applies for young women. In general I prefer sheer coverage & as a professional Make-Up Artist I was known for it. This means a BB or CC cream followed by an excellent concealor that will blend easily & last all day. You should only apply concealor to the areas that actually need it – Such as under eyes, red spots & pigmentation thus avoiding a heavy mask-like base over your entire face. When you’re finished simply set your base using a top quality colourless powder. I don’t go in for heavy shading & highlighting either which although looks amazing in photos is actually completely ridiculous in real life & has absolutely no staying power contrary to what you may think. In fact it is incredibly high maintenance, just ask Kim Kardashians Make-Up Artist.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t do a badass smokey eye or red-hot sexy lip, it’s just the base I’m referring to as natural. Where you go from there is up to you. For dressing up nothing is easier than a clean base, nude lip & fabulous cat eye flick. Therefore a basic kit that will give you a fresh natural look for day yet also add some drama for your evening out is all you’ll ever need. Now when I say basic I’m not suggesting that this is literally it, of course add your favourite lip & eye colours!
My Basic Make-Up Kit
1. BB or CC Cream – Maybelline is brilliant & I can’t fault the price. Chanel is extra special with more moisture content although quite expensive. If you’re on a budget I’d save here, not the more important concealor or powder. However it’s worth noting that the Chanel CC takes well to being mixed with a little moisturizer. I do this when I don’t want quite so much coverage. I squeeze a drop of moisturizer & a drop of CC cream into my palm then rub it together & immediately apply over my entire face & neck. It goes on beautifully & blends perfectly. This will obviously make the CC last longer too!
2. Concealor – Kevyn Aucoin does a fantastic concealor with a marvellous range for black skin. Here is where you spend your Deniro’s as it’s not cheap although this pot does last for-bloody-ev-er so it’s money well spent.
O.K I realise some people have more serious coverage issues dealing with acne scars, deep pigmentation or rosacea & have probably tried every concealor on the market without success. Don’t worry I am about to share a secret with you that only the pros know. This is the magic we use in the biz to cover scars & tattoos! This is the holy grail of concealors… This means you do not have to create a mask of make-up over your entire face. Kryolan is the professionals brand that has developed a most miraculous concealor which comes in every conceivable shade. Fortunately for you guys they now sell to the public YAY!
3. Powder – M.A.C Studio Fix loose powder is the one I have used for over 20 years & it’s still a leader in this category. For a compact powder which is arguably easier to carry you can’t beat Chanel Les Beiges healthy glow. However I’m sorry to say Chanel doesn’t do a dark enough colour for black skin so in that case M.A.C Select Sheer Pressed powder compact is also beautiful & does come in dark shades. All should be applied using a good brush or pat very lightly with a sponge – n.b. ask for a free sponge at the Chanel counter.
4. Brushes – Chanel’s gorgeous Kabuki retractable powder brush is perfect for carrying even in the smallest bag. This is a worthy investment as evenly applied powder is key to perfect coverage plus it washes well & if looked after, will last decades. You will also need brushes to apply concealor, eyeshadow & lipstick so 4 in total. The best brushes for quality & price are by M.A.C – I’m still using brushes I bought from M.A.C 20 years ago! I’ve linked to the exact ones I have below in order.
5. Beautiful Brows Eyebrow Kit Is quite awesome. Have a look at my tutorial here for full details. I really don’t think there’s anything easier than a stencil brow kit these days, to be fair they’re probably all quite similar. The nifty little kit includes everything you’ll need & is designed to travel well. However as this is the only one I’ve ever used I can’t say for sure how other brands stack up although see below for another I found that looks pretty good too. What I can say for sure is great shaped brows hold the entire make-up look together so if you’re not confident doing them have an expert create the initial shape then stick with the stencil kit. Nothing could be simpler yet have greater impact on your look.
6. Mascara, Eyeliner & Lash Curlers – I’ve tried my fair share of mascara’s over the years but the two that have stood out are Tarte Lights Camera Flashes & Chanel Le Volume Noir. Both give no panda eyes & take well to re-application. As for eyeliner I would recommend taking the road of least resistance i.e. A PEN – I have recently tested the M.A.C one & find it does a good job, see here for that full post. Eyelash curlers are an absolute must in my opinion. You won’t get the best application of your mascara if you don’t curl your lashes first. If your’re nervous to use them try doing just a little bend at the ends. Failing that, visit a make up counter & ask them for a demonstration.
7. Lip Liner – For me nothing compares to the versatility of The Body Shops Beech. You can get away with using this nude pencil with pretty much any colour lipstick so it saves shelling out for the matching pencil every time you buy a new lippy. And yes you really should always line your lips before applying the colour. It’ll act as a primer & keep your lips looking plump & sharp longer than without. Speaking of sharp remember to always sharpen the pencil before use. n.b. Ask at the Chanel counter for a pencil sharpener & you’ll get one of the best you’ve ever had for free!
My Extra Special Bits
1. Chanel Eyeshadow – You must have seen the Urban Decay palettes all over social media? It is a brilliant one to have for the range of colours & to achieve a terrific smokey eye but I like my eyeshadow palette small so I can take it away or carry it in my handbag. Also these Chanel colours are incredibly rich which isn’t lost on application like many other shadows so I’m sticking with them. Plus if like me you tend to use the same colours every time there’s really only the need to buy one. If I bought the Urban Decay palette I’d only use 4 of the colours anyway so it’d be a bit of a waste & rather a false economy. Below are my favourite Chanel colour palettes although I only own the first one. I’ve followed with Urban Decay for those of you who feel this is a better choice.
2. Benefit Benetint – This wee little kit is a wonder. It has many uses & again, is a convenient size. The red tint is ideal as lip stain under clear gloss or to give your cheeks a natural rosy pinch. The pearly white is for highlighting your cheekbone & if you pop a spot in the centre of your lips your pout will appear fuller. I also like the white for my brow bone & the inner corner of my eyelid when I’m going out out. Included in the kit is a light bronze powder blush & bronze lip gloss which would pretty much suit anybody. There’s also a handy instruction booklet included if you’re not sure where to begin. I like this product so much that I also have the pink tint.
The Importance of a Beautiful Make-Up Pouch
Last but not least, get yourself the most sensational make-up pouch you’ve ever desired because that will force you to keep everything in pristine condition. Ultimately giving all of your lovely make-up longevity thus making it work hard for YOU! I have this one from Louis Vuitton which was my combined birthday & Christmas present from the family one year. It’s expensive but worth every penny in my opinion. It holds everything I need for a basic make-up in a handy compact size suitable for my handbag. What’s more it doubles as a handy clutch bag when I’m on holiday!
I hope you enjoyed this post even though it’s basically shopping. I just thought it’s a good one to publish as a reference point. If you need advice on any of the products I’ve talked about please drop me a line, I’m here to help. I will update this from time to time so if you want to come back to it just click on the BEAUTY catagory in the top menu then MAKEUP.
Have a fab week lovelies! Mx