There will be no mention of lipstick or mascara in this post, it will be strictly devoted to face products that I love to use to achieve a beautiful complexion. Something to keep in mind is that I have fair, oil/combination skin.
Prepping Your Skin.
Properly prepping your skin is super important because for your makeup to really last and look it’s best, you have to start with the best possible canvas. A primer that I started using recently was the MAC Prep + Primer Skin primer. I received a sample of it with a previous MAC order and then I absolutely had to have it. It’s like putting silk on your face, minimizing the appearance of pores and fine lines. It has ingredients for calming redness as well, so my face instantly looks more clear and even the moment I apply it. It also really helps with oil control. Speaking of oil control, a few months back I began using the MAC Oil Control Lotion. This product doesn’t really primed the skin in any other way than just keeping you matte, which it really does! It also helps keep your skin hydrated. I absolutely love using this product on my oily spots. A little hack with the Oil Control Lotion, the original sized bottle has 50ml of product and costs $40.00 CA and the travel sized ones are 30ml for $12.00 CA so if you buy 2 of the travel sized ones you get 10ml more for almost half the price (60ml for $24.oo). Another priming product that I’ve used that I really like is the TooFaced Primed and Poreless primer, it’s in a squeeze tube and it’s sort of a whipped formula so it applies very smoothly and it really smooths out pores and fine lines. It also comes in a colourless and a tinted formula but I wouldn’t recommend the tinted formula for anyone with fair skin. I also tried the TooFaced Hangover Replenishing Face primer and I didn’t find that it really did anything for my pores or the longevity of my makeup but the coconut water is super hydrating so I just started using this as a moisturizing factor when I needed an extra boost.
So when it comes to foundation I like to use products that are oil free, medium to full coverage and of course, long wearing. One particular product that I will rave about until the day I die is the MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof foundation. I have sat out in the sun, sweating, for hours wearing this foundation and it doesn’t budge. I swear by it. I would call it a medium coverage with a very natural finish. It stays true to colour even hours after application. In a previous post I talked about the Kat Von D Beauty Lock It Foundation which I really wasn’t a fan of at first because I found it too cakey, but after applying it with a beauty blender I love it! This foundation is great for oily skin because it has a true matte finish that stays matte all day. It is a very full coverage and very highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way with this foundation. I definitely recommend using this with a primer to make the application smoother and avoid using more foundation than you require. I don’t even really need a concealer when I use this foundation and the finish is incredibly smooth. It stays true to colour and comes in a huge range of shades.
For covering dark eye circles and just generally brightening the eye area I really like Benefit Erase Paste. It’s texture is very paste like but it has a smooth application, it doesn’t crease or settle into fine lights and it offers great coverage. I also use the MAC Studio Finish concealer with SPF 35 which is a pretty nice concealer for just light touch ups but it wouldn’t survive a fight with a bad break out. The MAC Pro Longwear Concealer is really where MAC shines as far as concealer goes; it has great coverage, it’s long lasting, it stays true to colour and it doesn’t make my skin oily.
Contouring and Highlight
I’ve only contoured and highlighted using powder products with the exception of one sample I received. I’ll start with the sample, I got a small sample of the MAC Strobe Cream, I didn’t like it. It didn’t blend or sit well with my foundation. The Balm offers two shades of highlighting powder and I tried the Mary-Lou Manizer highlighting powder and shadow. I used this highlighting powder for a really long time when I was in college. It’s a lightweight powder with lots of shimmer. It doesn’t really add much colour, it’s just a sheer gold finish. The shimmering highlight powder that I’m using right now is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle. I’m really liking this powder, it’s lightweight and sheer with just a subtle peach glow. This particular line is offered in a few different shades so you’re bound to find something that works for your skin tone. A great bronzer that I’ve used for contour is the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer. It’s cool toned which works best for contouring, it also has a matte finish which is a must for contour. It comes with a little brush that is perfecting for keeping your colour in the designated zones and keeping your lines crisp. Right now I’ve been using the Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette and the Shade + Light Contour Brush. If you didn’t read my separate review of these products, the gist is that I absolutely love it. It’s like silk powder and is incredibly pigmented while still being blendable. It comes with shades for cool, neutral and warm complexions but the powders are just so blendable that you can really incorporate every shade into your look in one way or another. I also absolutely love the packaging.
Lastly you want to set your makeup to really give you a smooth finish and ensure that smoothness lasts. I’ve been using the MAC Prep + Prime Translucent Pressed Powder after applying my foundation but before contouring. It ensures that my foundation doesn’t slip and slide on my skin and it also absorbs any excess oil. This is a cream setting powder if you’re more into cream contouring because it will ensure that your creams don’t stray. Urban Decay offers a few different setting sprays, I think there are four. I’ve tried two of these and they’re really great. I’ve tried the All-Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray which is great for all skin types. It’s lightweight and it ensures your makeup lasts all day and night without fading, creasing, cracking or melting without leaving your skin tight or sticky. The Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray is another great option from UD that will keep your makeup looking fresh, smooth and never shiny.
On The Go
I keep a couple products in my purse to help keep my skin from getting shiny from oil or sweat. I dust MAC Blotting Powder around the edges of my nostrils and on my chin when I get a little shiny. I also carry Boscia Black Charcoal Blotting Linens in my purse, they’re really great for absorbing excess oil without disturbing makeup. They also smell great and cost only $13 CA at Sephora. A concealer that I really like to throw in my purse is the Maybelline DreamLumi Highlighting Concealer, it has great coverage, it’s perfect for touch ups because it comes in a handy little tube with the brush right on the end. DreamLumi is also great for brightening the eye area.