Perfect one-step base
I have fair skin with a lot of post-acne inflammation that has left lingering pigmentation, so I don’t like to leave the house bare-faced. But on days when I don’t want to wear a full face of makeup and layer on primer, concealer, foundation, powder etc I use Flesh Firm Flesh Thickstick Foundation instead. It basically combines all the benefits of all those products into one, and while you won’t have a flawless, full coverage face, it goes a long way to evening out skintone and neutralising the complexion. Texture-wise the stick would make you think that the product was thick and chalky but it actually melts onto skin like a balm and feels really light. It doesn’t slide off or fade away from my oilier areas and it doesn’t cling to dry patches either – win, win! I tend to dot it onto areas of concern where my redness is worse and then use a beautyblender sponge to spread the product over my face for an even finish. It really helps to tone down the redness and make my skin tone appear even and bright without me needing to apply concealer. This is currently half price at Ulta and for $9 I really don’t think you could find a much better one-step base product! I would really recommend this to anyone looking for an everyday base product with a light to medium coverage (you could definitely layer this up to achieve a full coverage if you wanted to). The shade range is also really impressive for a drugstore foundation – there are 27 colours to choose from.
flesh-Firm Thickstick Foundation Face Makeup
Best affordable eye cream
While my skin is combination, the skin around my eyes is prone to dryness so I have to treat it differently to the rest of my face. As everyone knows, the skin of the eye area is the thinnest and most delicate skin on the body, so it’s the first area to show signs of aging, since thinner skin creases easily, and once creases occur, lines and formed. For this reason, I strongly believe in using eye cream as a preventative measure even if you haven’t noticed lines and wrinkles appearing yet. Another thing to be wary of with eye creams is using a formula that’s too thick. Thick eye creams might sound like they’d be more nourishing but they can actually cause unwanted under-eye puffiness. As you can imagine, it can be hard to find the right texture of eye cream, but fortunately I’ve done a lot of testing! Mario Badescu’s Hyaluronic Eye Cream ticks all of the boxes for me. It’s intensely hydrating and gets rid of any rough or flaky patches near my eyes, keeping the skin smooth and soft. But at the same time, it’s not too rich – the texture is a light gel-cream which absorbs quickly and easily so doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes. I use it morning and night, applying a tiny amount with my ring fingers (because they have the lightest pressure and it’s important not to tug on the eye area). I also find it makes the perfect base for eye makeup – almost like a primer – because it’s so smoothing. My concealer always blends on really easily and looks flawless when I’ve got this on underneath.
MARIO BADESCU-Hyaluronic Eye Cream
Key to on-the-go makeup
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about doing my makeup on my commute it’s that sticks are the answer! They make the whole process so much quicker and less complicated, they’re easy and compact to travel with, and they mean no more worries about spilling product down your top or in your makeup bag! Oh, and on top of that, they’re usually much more hygienic since you don’t need to use your hands to apply them. In fact, with these products, you don’t even need a brush. Milk Makeup’s Highlighter in Lit and Cheek + Lip Tint in Werk are two staples in my everyday makeup routine. I start by applying Werk to the apples of my cheeks – all it takes is a couple of dabs moving outwards towards the edge of my face. The colour is very sheer and neutral (kind of a warm, dusky pink) so it doesn’t need blending unless I am a bit heavy-handed – in which case a quick blend with a powder brush does the trick. Because it’s a cream formula it has a little bit of a dewy finish which looks really pretty and natural. The colour doesn’t last all day (which is the one downside) but because it’s a stick, it’s so easy to top it up throughout the day. Next, I apply Lit on the tops of my cheekbones up to my temples. Again, this has a really sheer and natural finish so it’s impossible to overdo it. I literally just swipe the stick over my skin and it layers on just the right amount of product – resulting in a bright and glossy shine. What I really love about it is that it’s not too sparkly or glittery so it doesn’t sit in my pores or emphasise my acne scars. Would 100% recommend both of these products if you want to streamline your makeup routine!
Milk MAKEUP-Milk MAKEUP Highlighter
Can’t Live without: Amika Brooklyn Bombshell Blowout Spray & Mason Pearson Rake Comb
Blowdry spray is an essential part of my hair routine. Without it, my hair is frizzy, prone to knots, and so hard to manage and style. However, I find that some blowdry sprays can be heavy and sticky and make my hair feel like it’s full of product – which in turn makes it go greasy so much faster. I tried so many before I eventually found the Amika Brooklyn Bombshell Blowout Spray, and now I absolutely cannot live without it. I apply this to my hair (about ten spritzes) when it’s wet, and I comb it through to ensure it’s evenly distributed before I begin blowdrying. It delivers in a really fine mist so it’s easy to ensure you haven’t missed anywhere without overdoing it at the same time. It makes my wet hair so much easier to comb through, so really speeds up the blowdry process. I've also found that using the right comb makes a massive difference. I use the Mason Pearson Rake Comb, which has quite chunky, widely spaced teeth. This makes it super easy to get through any knots or tangles without getting stuck. Once I’ve finished blowdrying, my hair feels super soft and shiny and has a noticeable lift at the roots that helps to add movement and body to the lengths. My hair is typically quite flat and fine so this makes such a difference. I’ve also noticed I don’t get any split ends and breakages as I used to, and I’m convinced that’s down to the ingredients in this which help to strengthen hair and prevent it from breaking. On top of this, the spray has an amazing tropical smell which really lingers in my hair – it’s almost like I’m wearing a hair perfume and I get so many compliments about it!
amika:-Brooklyn Bombshell Blowout Spray
Best breakout masks
Anyone else always have those go-to masks in their skincare arsenal for when the breakouts hit? I have two that I can always rely on to stop spots in their tracks and help to keep them at bay if I’ve been indulging in junk food or it’s my time of the month! They’re both quite different so I use them in different ways. If I can feel big cystic spots lurking under my skin then I use the Yes To White Charcoal Mud Mask. The white clay helps to draw out impurities, but unlike regular clay, it’s not as drying so doesn’t leave your skin with that tight, stripped feeling. It’s a really enjoyable mask to use if you don’t normally wear clay masks and it’s great for all skin types, especially combination like mine. I also love the applicator! You squeeze the product out onto a sponge tip which you then use like a brush to apply it to your skin. No mess!If a spot has appeared before I’ve had time to get it then I use The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid Mask instead. This one is a little stronger and can be drying so I tend to only apply it where it needs to be rather than all over. Salicylic acid is amazing for treating blemishes and preventing new ones from appearing by keeping pores clear. It’s also so good for oily skin – I have an oily T-zone so sometimes I just apply it there and it helps to prevent the dreaded shine. This mask is quite hard to remove so I apply it with an old makeup brush to keep my fingers clean, and I always use a damp face cloth to remove it instead of scrubbing at my skin. It’s totally worth the effort though because the salicylic acid works fast to get rid of those spots!
The Ordinary-Salicylic Acid 2% Masque