Now that you've had two weeks instead of one to wait for the rest of my Top 10 (11), hopefully you've had to time to try out some of the products in the first half of the list. Which means I'm assuming you are more than ready for the rest of the 11. So here we go...
My eyelids are oily, and with oily eyelids comes creased and smeary eyeshadow that quickly disappears. I would always try and put powder or foundation on my eyelids in the hopes that it would help keep my eyeshadow in place, but to no avail-- my stupid oily eyelids always won the battle. For years, nothing ever really worked and I pretty much gave up hope on eyeshadow altogether until this stuff showed up. There is a reason why this is Urban Decay’s best selling product and the most popular, highest-rated eyeshadow primer on the planet. It just works. It comes in a few different formulas, two of them being kind of shiny, which I personally find a little messy. I strongly recommend the original formula. It goes on invisibly, and then you can then make your eyeshadow as shiny or as not shiny as your heart’s content.
Face contouring is huge right now. It is a long existing technique, prominent in theatrical and drag makeup, that has become enormously popular within the mainstream. Arguably, the surge in popularity is mostly thanks to Kim Kardashian’s makeup team. (Note: I abhor all things reality tv, but even I can admit that her makeup is always fantastic.) If you are not familiar with contouring, it basically enables you to create the illusion of shadows and light to better define your facial features. If done correctly, it can create more prominent cheekbones and a more defined jawline. It can also thin out the bridge of your nose, shorten your forehead and illuminate the higher planes of your face. It is certainly intimidating but with some practice it really can make quite a difference. There are several versions of how to do this, some being quite elaborate that are not suitable for every day and some pared down versions that can give your features a quick boost. For an easy look, you need two shades -- a matte bronzer to create the shadow effect and an illuminator, generally a light colored shimmer, to create the highlights. There are many products available for this purpose and, of course, I have tried many of them. It is no surprise to me that my favorite contouring palette for an easy everyday application is one created by Charlotte Tilbury, who is a genius makeup artist. The bronzer is a perfect matte shade that does not pull too much orange or look ashy.The highlight has a flattering gold undertone with just enough shimmer and very little fallout, so that you don’t look like you put your face into a bucket of glitter.
I dont know about you, but I have an oily nose and forehead, which remarkably, is not a problem because of this powder. It is offered by one of my all-time favorite brands, and it is completely translucent, very finely milled and can be strategically placed to reduce shine without having to cake it it all over your face. Pressing it lightly with a puff or a sponge instead of a huge powder brush keeps your foundation in place and it can set your concealer without causing it to crease. Cakey and crepey concealer immediately ages you and I would surmise that looking like an old hag before your time is never a good thing. This powder is literally the only one I use and it is very rare for me to use only one option for a particular product. I bow to the altar of Makeup Forever. Forever.
I love mascara. I have tried pretty much every mascara out there, both low and high end. There are some excellent high-end ones obviously, but mascara is the product where, I think, you can save the most money. There are tons of drugstore mascaras that are just as good or even better than the higher end ones. This particular one, however, is so superior that I can’t think of a high-end version that even comes close. The formula is fantastic, lengthening and thickening with very little flaking and that is not even the good part. What really makes this one is the wand. I have never encountered a mascara wand that separates the lashes so well. The wand also works beautifully on the bottom lashes which, for me, is a rare thing. I have always had a separate bottom lash mascara but it has not been necessary since I started using this. I currently have about twenty mascaras (I know, I know...) and this is the one I reach for every single day.
My everyday eye makeup has included liquid black eyeliner on my top lid since I was in high school. That’s a long time. (Let’s put it this way, Kurt Cobain was still alive, there was no internet yet and cell phones weighed 800 pounds and only like four people had one.) If I ever had to determine what my signature look would be, it would most certainly include heavy black eyeliner. I use pencil, gel, cream and liquid eyeliner all on a regular basis, but liquid is my old faithful. If you ever watch any of the YouTube dopes, their eye looks inevitably include dramatically winged, thick black tightlined eyeliner that would be absolute overkill for most of us. Eyeliner can be as subtle or as dramatic as you like. Thinly applied eyeliner can elongate your eyes. A thicker line on top opens up your eyes and makes them seem rounder. An artfully applied, universally flattering, feline cat eye with a slight flick can lift your eyes, which causes your entire face to look more youthful. You can smudge out a black line in minutes for an easy and wearable smokey eye. I promise, all of these can be achieved without winging your eyeliner out to your hairline and lining the crap out of your waterline. I know that people are often intimidated by liquid eyeliner application and it definitely takes patience, a steady hand and a lot of practice but once you get the hang of it, I promise you will never look back. Black eyeliner looks good on everyone. My current favorite liquid eyeliner is Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. (Incidentally, I am knocked-out impressed by her entire line.) It is super blackity-black and the applicator makes it so easy to make your line as thin or as think as you may want and, as the name suggests, it stays put.
This stuff is magic. I happened to be in Ulta while they were having an event for Per-fekt. I paid it no mind since I had never heard much about the brand but I was approached by one of their artists and he asked about my foundation routine and if I was unsatisfied with anything. I proceeded to tell him about my favorite primer and the foundation I was using at the time, which were both products I loved, but I still had a few stubborn areas of pores that I was never able to camouflage as well as I would have liked. He had me show him the areas that needed improvement where he rubbed on a tiny amount of this and immediately the pores were invisible. I am not exaggerating. Gone. Plus, it blended into my foundation perfectly. I don’t know how, but it seamlessly blends into every foundation I own including the powders. This gel can also be used as a primer or just on it’s own. I have tried it as a primer but I definitely prefer to use it over my foundation and in just a few strategic spots. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing else on the market like this gel. Seriously, try it. I honestly don’t understand why this brand is not more well known. Everything I have tried is nothing short of outstanding.
Still with me? There is my eleven. I have a deep, enduring and probably somewhat unhealthy love for all of these things. All of these are products that I use regularly and bought with my own money or swindled by my own accord. Come back next week when I will be ranting about different eyeshadow finishes and learn which brush will be the first one featured in the “Brush of The Week”.