Welcome to Part 4 of my "beauty secrets" series. There are still many skincare products to peruse, but I felt like deviating a little to share some of my favourite makeup products with you before I get to exfoliators, masks and targeted treatments.
When it comes to my own makeup look, I prefer a pared-down, pretty aesthetic: fresh, radiant skin, soft pink cheeks and lips, subtle bronzer and understated eye makeup. I do experiment but I always fall back on this kind of look, not unlike the beautiful Clemence Poesy in this picture (or at least that is what I would like to think!):
So here are a few of my "holy grail" products. It is not an exhaustive list, but these are definitely some of my all-time favourite finds.
1. Giorgio Armani Designer Shaping Cream Foundation
I am constantly searching for the "perfect" foundation - but only because I am devoted to finding one which will make me look as though I am not wearing any! This beautiful cream foundation by Giorgio Armani is a star. It is a full coverage foundation, so perfect for special occasions or bad skin days, with a flattering satin finish. I simply dot it onto my skin and blend it with my fingers. With virtually no effort, I have a flawless complexion and subtle glow, and no tell-tale signs of foundation to be seen. Gorgeous!
2. By Terry Rose de Rose Sheer Liquid Blush in Fresh Rose
I must admit that I am biased here. By Terry is one of my favourite brands in the world. Of course, it is hideously expensive so I cannot afford many of the products, but nevertheless I do have a few stowed away in my drawer, only to be used for special occasions (such as going to the supermarket and studying in the library). The creator of the brand, Terry de Gunzburg, originally invented the much-lauded Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat.
This product is just so lovely. A sheer liquid blush that smells like fresh roses, it gives such a pretty, radiant flush on the cheeks. I deposit half a pump onto the back of my hand and use my Nars brush to sweep it onto the apples of my cheeks, then swirl the excess onto my temples and through the centre of my face for extra luminosity.
3. Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna
Most people who have never used this product tend to be very wary of bronzer, due to the common phenomena of orange, dirty-looking, stripy faces wandering the streets! Don't despair. Those poor girls are just using the wrong bronzer (and probably not using it correctly, either).
The beauty of this cult product is that it truly mimics the look of a natural tan. It is neither orange, nor green (as some tanning products are, to counteract the orange); it is just natural. The best way to apply bronzing powder is to lightly sweep a brush like the Nars (below) in a three-shape on either side of the face; along the periphery of the forehead, under the cheek bones (below your blush) and beneath the jaw line. The idea is to deposit your bronzer where shadows would naturally form on your face, to provide depth and definition, as well as warmth. You can use your bronzer as a blush, but it is not the most flattering way to wear it (and may result in the afore-mentioned stripy look).
4. Chantecaille Lip Chic in Camellia
I discovered this lipstick only recently and it is divine. (I have two tubes, just in case I misplace one!) It has the most beautiful hydrating, glossy texture I have come across and the colour I use, Camellia, is the perfect shade of nude pink. Tea Rose is also gorgeous, if you prefer a deeper pigment, and Sari Rose is an ideal warm nude.
Chantecaille is also one of my favourite brands. The products are chic and of beautiful quality, and I also love the brand's ethos, particularly their animal activism and social awareness campaigns.
5. Chanel Nail Vernis in Splendeur
I know, I know, it is ridiculous to spend so much on a nail polish. This one (a gift from my lovely friend Kimberley) is just so beautiful though... And I swear, it's not just the elegant packaging and the prestigious label that won me over. The formula is the best I have used, and the pink pigment is so vivid. Just one coat (no base coat, no top coat) gives me a perfect manicure that lasts for days without chipping. I just love it.
6. Nars Yachiyo Kabuki Brush
This all-in-one makeup brush is wonderful. I use it to apply tinted moisturiser, foundation, blush, bronzer, face powder, (a faint wash of) eyeshadow... everything! The soft bristles and dome-shaped head is perfect for airbrushing liquid foundation onto the skin, contouring the cheeks and touching up through the T-zone. Plus, it fits perfectly into a little clutch on nights out!
As always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments section. Please keep in mind that I will be gradually revisiting every makeup category (primer, foundation, concealer, blush, eyeshadow, mascara... etcetera!) which will provide much more specific insight and information. This is just a little taste!