Another month has flown by in an entirely nondescript fashion. I haven't bought any new makeup in a while (thank goodness), though skin care is another story. Sometimes in the mornings when I'm getting ready, I'm almost grateful for all the quality purchases I made at the height of my makeup obsession, because I simply wouldn't spend the time or money now hunting down the same items. If I've learnt anything during almost three years of buying more makeup than I know what to do with, it's go for the real deal. Had I avoided countless inferior but cheaper "dupes" of the higher end stuff I really wanted, my present collection would be a lot more focused, of an overall higher standard, better loved and utilised, and I would've saved money in the long run.
Morrocanoil Hair Treatment
There's a reason why certain products have cult status. I am so glad that I bought this a couple of years ago based purely on hype and positive reviews, especially since it was generously discounted as well. I now can't imagine doing without it. For someone who is clueless and almost completely disinterested in hair and hair care, it's become an indispensable part of my routine. If you could call washing my hair every couple of nights in the shower with an el cheapo SLS-free shampoo, sloppily drying my locks with a towel, tying up my hair in a bun, sleeping, and running one pump of Morrocanoil through my semi-damp hair the morning after, a "routine". This stuff has essentially replaced both conditioner and a hair treatment/mask. It ensures my hair isn't completely ruined, splitting and dried out despite my neglect. Something about it rescues my hair with minimal effort and gives it texture, smoothness and life when it should have none.
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè
I neglected this moisturiser for a while because I failed to see what the fuss was about. I had such sky high expectations that invariably I'd be disappointed with the reality of what it was: a basic, no frills, functional moisturiser, the only added allure being that it was French and a few famous people/makeup artists recommended it. After I got over the fact it wasn't some all-purpose miracle product, I began to appreciate it on a simpler level. Non-irritating and scentless, it's a good thirst quencher for dry skin in winter and nicely preps the face for foundation, providing a smoother, well hydrated canvas.
Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist
I keep going back to this post-cleanse hydrating toner after lengthy stretches of relying on my Avène Thermal Spring Water. Yes, it's pricey and the attractive packaging and fancy name play an undeniable role in my enjoyment of it, but it's also calming, refreshing and adds extra moisture and an instant plumping effect to my skin before I apply any serums and creams. I prefer to spritz three pumps into my hand then press the toner into my skin with my palms rather than misting it all over, as I find this reduces product wastage and ensures even distribution.
Dior Diorskin Poudre Shimmer in Amber Diamond
A classic example of a product I'm thankful to have acquired when I was more of a makeup junkie than I am now. I hunted it down after almost losing hope it'd ever be mine by buying it from Sephora via Tarazz during a $10 bulk shipping promotion which I shared with a friend. Forget theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer or Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Crème in Rose Gold, this is the only highlighter I've been reaching for lately. I apply it using my Real Techniques Setting Brush to the tops of my cheekbones, under my browbone and occasionally down the bridge of my nose to add more shape to my face and inject a touch of that highly prized ethereal glow.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard
My skin has been shit for months now, with the remnants of breakouts so numerous they could pass for freckles. This is the best concealer I've used in terms of coverage, lasting power and application. When I can't be bothered applying foundation to my whole face, dabbing this over my spots and redness does the trick. I don't need to fiddle around with brushes as it applies easily with fingers and chucking it in the makeup bag ensures I've packed the tools for on-the-spot correction.
Real Techniques Multi Task Brush
I don't watch makeup tutorials on YouTube with anywhere near as much regularity as I used to, but checking out a couple of Lauren Curtis's videos recently reminded me just how useful observing someone putting on their makeup can be. I noticed Lauren used the Real Techniques Multi Task Brush to apply her foundation over the highly favoured Real Techniques Buffing Brush, traditionally my #1 foundation brush of choice. Tanya Burr has also been giving her Bobbi Brown Face Blender Brush a lot of love, so I was persuaded to make the switch to a rounded, fluffier, softer brush. The result was a revelation. I think a bit of experimentation is required in terms of what foundation works best for what brush, but I've been loving NARS Sheer Glow with the Multi Task Brush. I find that I get less streaking and don't have work as hard blending the foundation into my skin for a seamless, natural-looking but airbrushed finish.