For the longest time, I maintained the philosophy that if I take great care of my skin I won't need to spend on makeup – but once I was accustomed to the joy the ritual of putting makeup on brings, I pushed that philosophy to the backseat. If you're someone who wears makeup on an occasional or regular basis, you can't deny the fact that even after road-testing a range of products, there are some that make up the holy grail of beauty. While we don't have time today go through them all, I thought we'd start with some picks that are the foundation (pun intended) to a good base.
If you're a makeup novice or nervous about putting too much product on your skin, start simple with a little tinted moisturizer. The Chaintecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer is a cult favourite, practically melts into your skin (in a good way), but for the price tag, I'd put it on a wishlist or move to the next alternative. The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is one I've tried myself and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wanted to replace their foundation with something a little more hydrating, but still gives you a slightly matte finish. As much as I love the Laura Mercier one, the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream is by far my most favourite. It's lightweight, doesn't look cakey at all and is really easy to build or layer with other products without being too slippy. Another crowd favourite if you're after something dewy and glowy.
The Glossier Stretch Concealer was also my first ever foray into base makeup, not tinted moisturizer, and I'll tell you why. For someone who had never worn base makeup before, a lightweight, sheer coverage concealer was a great place to start – the product practically glides onto my skin, doesn't crease easily, is buildable enough to cover zits or double as a sheer foundation, and as the name suggests, it gives you a nice dewy, glossy (not shiny) finish without making your skin look oily or sweaty. The Tarte Shape Tape Concealer would be the other end of the coverage spectrum. You'll find it in every Insta-glam tutorial, has the highest coverage among drugstore concealers and also has a very inclusive shade range. The NARS Soft Matte Complete is a concealer for days when you need higher coverage, still dewy but one that won't budge through the day and according to Allure is 'literally like watching a blurring tool come to life' – what more could you want from your concealer?
The only time I've (involuntarily) worn foundation was when I was on stage for plays and the like while I was in school. So these recommendations are based on popular opinion on the internet I've followed for a few years – although if it comes to a point when I want to pick a foundation, these are the ones I'd buy. I've seen so many content creators talking about the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation and I had the opportunity to try it once and I can confirm that indeed it sits like pure silk on your face. The medium coverage is glowy, somewhere between matte and dewy and is known to last long enough that many people choose to wear this one on their wedding days! Chanel's Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Foundation is almost a cross between a tinted moisturizer and a foundation. It glides onto your skin, doesn't cake and is one of the easiest foundations I've known to apply – and I do mean apply-it-on-the-train-with-just-my-fingers easy. The Dior Forever Skin Glow Foundation is a new find for me. Its velvety texture really does create an almost airbrushed finish but sits matte on the skin and also has a pretty wide range of shades for all skin tones.
I discovered much later that I could 'set' my dewy makeup with powder, make it look more natural and have my makeup last longer. Two of my favourite products are the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder and the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder. Both do exactly what it says on the tin but as powders, they really are as translucent as can be. You need only use a little on a fluffy brush and they settle well on your skin without looking too obvious.
If you're after a sun-kissed glow which you usually would get from a nice tanning session on a beach, let me help you out during this vacation-free year. Out of my top three picks for bronzers, I would personally choose the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow for a more natural finish. The Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Bronzer is a little more pigmented than I would like for myself, but if you want a bronzer that does the job in one swipe, this one's your best friend. The Benefit Hoola Bronzer is an excellent high-street dupe and I'd consider it to be a cross between the Charlotte Tilbury and the Marc Jacobs Beauty ones – it's lightweight, buildable and small enough to fit perfectly in a purse.
What are some of your holy grail makeup picks? Tell us on Instagram!
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