It’s taken me a long time to write my first beauty post because I simply didn’t know where to begin! I am such a closet beauty junkie. My vanity is a mess of beauty products that I’m currently trying, and I am constantly hoarding products in every crevice of the house (do I need 85 shades of brown eyeshadow? YES!!!). So I finally decided to start with the basics, my beauty essentials – products that I absolutely cannot live without and have basically transformed my life. Some of these may be quite common place, especially if you’re a makeup addict like me, but I think some are lesser known products that work amazingly well and really deserve to be in every girl’s makeup bag. Keep in mind these are just the basic necessities! I could probably write a novel on false eyelashes alone, but that’s for another time! Now onto the essentials:
FACE – BANILA CO RADIANT CC CREAM
I don’t wear foundation because a. I don’t think most girls actually need it, and b. I can’t deal with the fear of something rubbing off on my clothes/hands all day long. The Banila CC Cream is colorless, but gives a tiny bit of glow to the skin. It has SPF 30 but doesn’t flash white in photography. It doesn’t break me out, feels light on the skin and is basically just all around amazing. Skip the foundation and give this a try!
I’m obsessed with having a very bright undereye with zero trace of darkness, and believe me when I say I’ve tried A LOT of concealers, and these work the best for the undereye, especially if you have dark circles. I start with the Bobbi Brown corrector in the shade Bisque, buff it in the dark areas with a Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush (THE most amazing blending brush for creams! More on that later), and then depending on the occasion, if I want a more natural match to my skintone, I’ll use the Nars in shade Ginger on top; but for night time, I’ll use the Clinique in shade Light – it is so incredible if you like a very very bright eyed look.
EYELINER – PHYSICIANS FORMULA LASH BOOSTING EYELINER
Physician’s Formula is an American drugstore brand that makes fantastic eyeliners. I wouldn’t say I like everything in their line, but the eyeliners are OMG amazing. This one is my go to liquid pen eyeliner. It doesn’t go on as black as say, the K Palette Tattoo Eyeliner, but it stays longer (even in the waterline), and for me the best part is that it doesn’t flake off in pieces the way a lot of longwear eyeliner do. If you’re looking for a SUPER waterproof, sweatproof, unremovable eyeliner, then MAC’s Liquidlast Eyeliner is your friend. Nothing beats that in terms of wearability and so essential for pool and beach parties.
EYESHADOW PALETTE – URBAN DECAY NAKED
After all these years, the original Urban Decay Naked palette is still the only palette I travel with. I’m in the process of building my dream palette using a combination of Makeup Geek and Milani, but until I get around to that, nothing beats the original Naked Palette. I use the colors Buck and Naked almost daily to blend out my eyeshadow and I can’t even imagine life without them. However, I do think these shadows need a primer underneath for the best wear, I use either Milani’s or NAR’s.
EYESHADOWS – MILANI BELLA EYES GEL POWDER EYESHADOW
HANDS DOWN the most incredible and longlasting eyeshadows ever made in the history of mankind! I mean I love my Chanel’s and Dior’s and NARS and MAC’s but these gel powder eyeshadows blew me away the second I started using them. Milani is another American drugstore brand that consistently makes incredible eyeshadow, blushes and lipsticks and I always stock up like crazy when I’m in New York, although you can easily find them on makeup websites that deliver worldwide. It’s super easy to blend, lasts forever even without a primer. It isn’t easy finding eyeshadows that don’t fade or turn patchy after a long night but these stay as fresh as the moment you put them on. The only annoying thing is that these don’t come in a palette so I don’t like traveling around with a bundle of little pots. My favorite shades are Bella Mandarin, Bella Caffe, Bella Bronze, and Bella Chiffon (which I sometimes use as a face highlighter too).
BLUSH – NARS and MAC
My two favorite blush brands. The color that I wear the most is probably MAC’s Riri Loves MAC in Bad Girl Gone Good. This was a limited edition color and I wish it wasn’t so because I love it so much! It’s a warm tawny color that looks great with any lip and eye colors. I also love MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul and NAR’s Blush in Deep Throat. Both have a tinge of shimmer but brighten up the face in a very natural way.
BRONZER/CONTOUR – MAC SCULPTING POWDER in SCULPT
I can’t live without a good contour powder and it has to be that right combination of taupe and brown for the most natural look. Lately I’ve been using MAC’s Sculpting Powder, but lots of others will do the trick. I also like the Balm’s Bahama Mama and Bobbi Brown’s eyeshadow in Taupe to contour.
LIPSTICK – MAC’s RIRIWOO
My daily lipstick is always a neutral glossy shade that varies from Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine, to Cle de Peau’s Enriched Lip Luminizer, Dior’s Rouge Serum, and L’oreal’s Colour Caresse Wet Shine Stain depending on which one is in my handbag. But there’s nothing I love more than an intense matte red lip, and my favorite lipstick of all time has to be MAC’s Ririwoo. Whenever I’m wearing a red lipstick in my photos, this is it. I feel confident and powerful as soon as I put it on, that’s the transformative power of a great red lip.
For the face, Real Techniques is the absolute best. The brushes are synthetic but incredibly soft. It’s especially amazing for blushes as it applies any blush evenly and effortlessly. The deluxe crease brush is also a must for concealer. For the eyes I mostly use Sigma and MAC’s blending brush, both work equally well. And I like to use Real Technique’s lipbrush as a precision eyeshadow brush for darker colors and under the lower lashes.
FALSE EYELASHES – HBC EYELASHES
I get questions on my lashes all the time. I wish I could find a link online but I stock up on them whenever I go back to Taipei. Like I literally buy a dozen boxes and glues like a freak but they’re just so cheap and so good there. I mostly use a brand call HBC in the styles PX 6, 7 and 8. I only use Japanese glues as they’re so much stronger than brands like Duo.
I could go on for days but I think I’ve covered all my makeup essentials! Next up will be skincare, stay tuned!