For a long time now, I've been starting off with the eyes and then doing my base. I know that usually it's the reverse, but I just find it easier that way. I've been neglecting my powder eyeshadows for cream products, mostly due to laziness. I'd say that currently, I use cream eyeshadow for at least 3 of the 5 weekdays I wear makeup. I know I harp on about it constantly, but it's really been all about Maybelline Bad to the Bronze, usually darkened slightly with a deeper colour (here, I picked L'Oréal Infallible eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe). I've been liking Benefit Busy Signal on my lower lashline and how it seriously doesn't budge. If I can be bothered, once or twice a week I'll use either of my Urban Decay Naked palettes, Wet n Wild Comfort Zone or Silent Treatment, or Revlon Polished Bronze. Cheap dual-ended Sportsgirl eyeshadow brushes, Bourjois Liner Feutre and my Shiseido eyelash curler are staples. Benefit They're Real has been my mascara of choice since I bought it.
I've been alternating between NARS Sheer Glow (applied with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush) and Make Up For Ever HD foundation (applied with a Real Techniques Stippling Brush). I figure I might as well use up my higher end/"better" foundations since I probably won't be able to finish up both before it's technically time to dispose of them thoughtfully. According to the instructions in the box, you're supposed to apply the NARS with your hands (presumably to warm up the product and have it blend more seamlessly into your skin), but I still use a brush for convenience. Lately, I've also been powdering using my Real Techniques Powder Brush with the middle section of the Australis Face-A-Holic palette, which contains their pressed powder in Deep Natural. I never used to powder, but I'm finding it does make a significant difference to how long my foundation lasts.
Lastly, I do my cheeks and highlight. Blush is probably the one thing I change up the most, but I just picked Benefit Hervana (applied with my Real Techniques Blush Brush) as it's a nice all-rounder. I've been liking the 4ml bottle of Benefit High Beam that was included in the Go TropiCORAL Lip & Cheek Kit for my highlight, though I also frequently reach for my Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Crème. I'll sometimes use bronzer to contour (Benefit Hoola, NYX Taupe or the matte contour colour in my Napoleon Perdis Ultimate Contour Palette), usually applied with either my Real Techniques Contour Brush or Multi-Task Brush.
So what's the damage? If something belonged to a kit or set, I've included the price of the whole thing just to make it easier.
- NARS Sheer Glow in Fiji $46
- Benefit Hervana $30
- Maybelline Bad to the Bronze $12
- Sportsgirl eye brush $3
- Ecotools concealer brush (part of their Bamboo 5 Piece brush set) $26 (yes, you read right. The set's $26 in Australia. Crazy.)
- Bourjois Liner Feutre $14 (usually $24, but I purchased it with a $10 off voucher)
- Maybelline Baby Lips in Relieving Menthol $4
- Benefit They're Real mascara $25
- Benefit High Beam (part of the Go TropiCORAL Lip & Cheek Kit) $30
- Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in Busy Signal $21
- Shiseido eyelash curler $15
- L'Oréal Infallible eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe $10
- Real Techniques Blush Brush $15
- Real Techniques Buffing Brush (part of the Core Collection) $30
Cue shock and horror. If I'd included items that I sometimes use (along with primers), the figure would be well above $300. If I'd replaced some of the more expensive items with cheaper alternatives and ditched some brushes, it'd still be over $150. But in terms of cost per wear, I still think I get my money's worth. A more horrendous prospect would be a tag like, "how much is my makeup collection worth?". I don't want to know.