Make Up Artist

My ride or die makeup essentials

My ride or die makeup essentials


I’ve been cutting back on my personal makeup an awful lot lately. In fact, I haven’t bought makeup on a whim for months. It goes hand in hand with my own general philosophy of not buying things unless I need them which has revolutionised the way I buy clothes.

But there are still a few things that I have had in my personal makeup kit for a while and won’t be able to do without now that I know about them.

It doesn’t include foundation or concealer because I don’t feel like I have found them yet – although Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua is definitely up there.


Hydrating primer

Illamasqua Hydra Veil Primer

With the texture of a weird alien gel, this stuff creates skin miracles. I have trawled through different primers and, as someone with dry skin, it is the single best one I have tried (so far). It makes foundation meld with your face so it just looks like your-skin-but-better, which feels like the holy grail when it comes to applying foundation. Because of the gel formula it can suit all skin types too.



Contour and Highlight

RMS Living Luminizer Highlighter

So. Much. Hype. But I think it lives up to it. I’m a sucker for making face makeup look super natural and this has magic powers in that department. It’s coconut oil based with a creamy texture that dabs onto your cheekbones without drying them out (which I find constant use of powder can). There are powder highlighters I love (MAC Soft & Gentle, mostly) but this still wins because it’s so easy to travel with and can be applied on the go with fingers. It’s a subtle glow rather than a streak of luminosity – but that’s better for me.

Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow

Illamasqua pops up a lot in my essential makeup and my experimental makeup, and there’s a tonne more in my professional kit. I love it, I can’t find a brand that’s quite at the same level as they are. This pigment is the perfect contour colour for pale skin. The cream is amazingly blendable and keeps that (you guessed it) natural look on the skin. I’ve been steering away from powders recently, and I always come back to this. It works beautifully with the Real Techniques 301 Flat Contour Brush, but fingers will do just fine too.

Highlighting blusher

Soap and Glory Love at First Blush

This wasn’t something I expected to love, but here it is – one of the best blushes I have ever tried. This gives a healthy, buildable glow. There’s a subtle shimmer that runs through the five different shades – a bronze, three different pinks and a pearly highlight – which when you swirl together, creates a gorgeous true pink.



Glossier tinted brow gel

Glossier Boy Brow

This surpassed my expectations. I’ve been a loyal user of the Eyeko Brow Gel for years, using it to neaten up the hair but not really do much else. Boy Brow thickens and tints your brows so they appear filled in and groomed. It’s an amazing product for no makeup makeup or for lazy days, but I also use it on top of my brow pomade to get the hairs standing out.



Anastasia Beverley Hills eyeshadow palette

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette

Are you surprised? I think it’s everyone’s favourite. The colours are beautiful and relatively unique – there’s not many other palettes doing this gorgeous combination of reds, pinks and oranges. The formulas are smooth and buttery, oh so blendable. You can go bold or keep it simple because they are mixed in with gorgeous neutral shades. I really feel that if you only buy one palette, this should be it.



Nars velvet matte lip pencil nyx liquid suede glossier generation g

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Iberico

This is an orangey red in a last-all-day formula. It’s so easy to apply (despite being a matte red) because of the pencil format, and it’ll brighten up a face in a flash. A confidence builder. I think this may be a special edition shade but they do have some similar ones.

Glossier Generation G Sheer Matte Lipstick in Leo

It’s a ‘warm cocoa brown’ according to their website, although I would say it’s a little lighter than that. A subtle nineties brown, very much suitable for everyday. The formula is nice – not too drying, and it lasts a decent amount of time. It’s really everything you could ask for in an everyday lipstick.

NYX Liquid Suede Liquid Lipstick in Stone Fox

Listen, I know it’s not that practical but I love it. The formula is gorgeous; it’s completely opaque and once it dries down matte it’s not going anywhere. The colour is a dark grey with hints of green, so it makes a statement, but it’s beautiful. They also do a pure black shade which is equally as amazing (and unconventional).



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