Real Techniques Buffing Brush
I adore Real Techniques brushes and can't imagine applying my makeup without them. The Buffing Brush is my absolute favourite. I use it almost every day for my base. It's just a phenomenally good brush. It doesn't soak up product, it blends foundation in effortlessly and efficiently, it's super soft and just the right density. It's held up remarkably well after nonstop use and regular washes for over a year. After it's freshly washed, it could almost pass as brand new. I don't recall it ever shedding a single hair. The thought of buying another Core Collection set as a backup (despite having both the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and Sigma F82 to potentially replace my Buffing Brush) has crossed my mind many times, but I've managed to resist for now.
Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze
Forgive me for rambling about this cream eyeshadow ad nauseam. Already repurchased even though I don't see myself finishing my existing pot for at least a year. It's now an established part of my default makeup when I can't be bothered to think about what to slap on my face (which is most days). I'm thrilled something that performs so well and is such a flattering, neutral shade is so readily available and affordable.
Korres Lip Butter
Now that Cosmo Cosmetics stocks the 3 pack of these for under $20, these Lip Butters (normally $18.95 each) are no longer out of my price range. They're plush, moisturising and non-sticky on the lips, and shades like Mango and Pomegranate provide a fresh, summery tint. My collection reviewed in detail here.
Bourjois Liner Feutre in Noir
It's time for me to repurchase this again as my current one has run out. I've tried a few felt tip and liquid eyeliners (including Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen, Sportsgirl To the Point Liquid Eye Liner and Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner), but Bourjois Liner Feutre is still the best. Easy and quick to use, it's fast drying and stays put the whole day with only minor fading. And while it's long lasting, I like that it's also relatively easy to remove with my normal cleanser.
NARS Sheer Glow in Fiji
Out of all my foundations, this is the one I would purchase if my makeup collection disappeared. I previously used this as my everyday foundation, but now want to reserve it for special occasions, or when I want my skin to look extra nice. I love the illuminating, perfected finish it gives, while still looking relatively natural. It's easy to apply with both a brush or fingers, and unlike Make Up For Ever HD foundation, I've never experienced it clinging to dry spots or being difficult to work with.
Josie Maran Argan Oil
I wish I'd picked up a larger bottle when I had the chance, as I'm not sure how easy it'll be to replenish my supply once I use up my 15ml travel size bottle (there's less than 40% left). I actually think I prefer this to my Antipodes Divine Face Oil, which is still good but not as effective or pure. With 2-3 drops in my regular night cream, my skin is more hydrated, plump and smooth in the mornings. I also feel that continued use has helped with oil control and minimising breakouts.
Bioderma Créaline H₂O
Best makeup remover, hands down. It's basically like water but super effective at taking everything off without disturbing or irritating the skin. I use this as sparingly as I can (mostly for eye makeup removal) because it's precious stuff. Like most things, it's incredibly overpriced in Australia and not that easy to come across. Thankfully I have a backup bottle courtesy of my dad and his Parisian travels last year.
Dove Essential Nutrients Day Cream SPF15
Repurchased countless times. It's the cream that I keep returning to because it just works for me. It's hydrating without being greasy or heavy, feels comfortable on the skin and is readily absorbed, doesn't have any kind of offensive or overpowering scent, and works well as a makeup base. It's a touch rich for a daily moisturiser, so it might be a little too much for those with really oily skin, particularly in summer.
Dove Cleanser & Toner in One
Like the Dove Essential Nutrients Day Cream, this has been repurchased too many times to count. I've been using this for years. I honestly didn't know how good it was until I tried out a few other cleansers and discovered how woefully inadequate or downright terrible they were in comparison. This foams well, is gentle and non-drying, and removes makeup effectively. Best of all, it's the only cleanser that I can rub along my lower lash line to get rid of eyeliner without stinging my eyes — and it takes it all off.
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat
Forget Seche Vite. Tried it, didn't like it. It smelt disgusting, shrunk around the edges and gave off a yellow tinge which totally discoloured my nail polish. I don't know whether that was a dud bottle, but my one experience with it was so underwhelming I never bothered to give it another go. Insta-Dri, on the other hand, is a godsend for someone like me, who regularly paints their nails but is too impatient to wait for each coat to dry, and who probably does 2-3 coats more than required each time. What I've found is that is effectively creates a kind of hard, sealed top layer for my nail polish, so that even if the bottom layers aren't completely dry because I've heaped too much polish on, they're protected from dents and smearing by the Insta-Dri coat. It also just speeds up the whole drying process, and leaves a smooth, glossy finish which makes any polish look better. When Chemist Warehouse had their 50% off Sally Hansen, I purchased 3 backups. Yes. Three.