Saturday, 19 September 2015

Top 10 Must Have Makeup Bag Essentials - My Recommendations.

Here is one of the Beauty related posts that I have been promising (finally!).

To make up the face, to be as beautiful as possible, (not that most of you even need it) there are a number of specific products that should be absolute staples in your makeup bag. For anyone looking for some kind of 'Starter Kit', I'm going to give my recommendations and hopefully help those of you looking for a full and useful makeup bag.


I've used A LOT of primers. Some I struggle with, I don't want matte, but I don't want something that will highlight my pores. I used to use 'POREfessional' by Benefit, and it's great to use with just powder when I don't need much coverage, but it doesn't work that well, for me, underneath liquid foundation. I'm not really sure why because other people use it and it seems great.

I recently got Illamasqua 'Skin Base', and I got it's companion, the 'Hydra Veil'. I love this. It doesn't cover my pores at the side of my nose, however it doesn't highlight them at all. It leaves my skin much more dewy, and hydrates so much, leaving no dry patches on my face. Having said that, it is designed to be used with skin base. I wrote up about it here.

For other foundations I'm looking to try Mac's 'Prep + Prime Natural Radiance', and I am hoping this will have the desired effect. When I eventually do purchase it, I will be sure to write a full review and let you guys know.


Sheer - Mac's 'Face and Body Foundation'. This is the best foundation I have ever used. It is quite sheer, and I love that about it, because most of the time I don't need that much coverage, however it is build-able. You can apply layer upon layer if you feel the need, and you get 125ml so, it'll take you a while to run out. It dries like a film on the face, I'd say if you don't have dry skin you definitely need to still powder because it can be very dewy, but it won't rub off. I'd recommend applying with a brush rather than a sponge, as because it's so runny, it soaks in to the sponge.

Medium - Illamasqua 'Skin Base'. This is a great foundation, it is marketed as an "Asian Market BB Cream" which doesn't make much sense, because it's definitely medium coverage. This is so great because it comes in such a wide range of shades and undertones. If you're very pale or very dark, and usually you struggle, you'll actually probably find something at the Illamasqua counter. Having said that, I'm really very pale, and SB03 is the closest match, but is still a tad dark. I would mix it with a tiny bit of white (If I could justify buying more foundation), but when I was in store and asked to be colour matched, she tried to sell me SB05. I think they don't really care if you match or not, they will just try to sell you stuff, so be careful, and match it yourself in store.


It depends what you're looking for here. The skin under my eyes gets very dry and so concealers tend to look cakey. For a long time I was using Benefit 'Fake Up' which has a moisturiser surrounding the concealer stick, it did a great job however it tended to move even when powdered and my mascara would print on to it. I'm going to recommend my current favourite which is the Nars 'Creamy Radiant Concealer'. It's very creamy and doesn't dry cakey, but does dry. You can check out my previous post about this concealer here.


It's important to use a powder to set your makeup, especially if you're oily. I like to use a transparent powder (translucent ones have too much pigment for my pale skin). I've tried a lot, and most don't work for me. I'm not a fan of the No.7, however I love Mac's 'Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder' (the one with no colour), the powder is very fine and it doesn't leave me patchy. I use it pressed, but the loose is also a great option.

I'm interested in trying the Ben Nye transparent powder 'Neutral Set', because it includes an anti-perspirant which means it will probably hold my makeup in place for longer, plus it's a lot cheaper. Again, when I try this I'll let you guys know :)


Different from a bronzer. I don't use bronzer, because it makes me just look orange, but a contour is to create shadows. Where a bronzer would be red/gold in colour, a contour needs to be a grey brown. NYX 'Taupe' blush is brilliant, if you're looking for more high end or more pigment for darker skins I'd suggest Anastasia Beverly Hills. You can create your own palettes of 6 for $40 (or you could before they redesigned the website, maybe they'll add the feature again soon, I hope they do!) which is cheap if you ask me. The best contour for pale skin is 'Fawn', and for darker/tanned skin I'd suggest 'Ash Brown'.


This depends on the look you're going for. If you're trying to achieve dewy and natural then I'd suggest a creme blush, if not, then traditional powder blushes should do you great. My favourite blushes will always be Mac ones. My favourite creme one is 'Something Special', its a coral colour which looks really subtle on the cheek. The best powder blushes in my opinion are the mineralize ones because they have a light shimmer to them, but in no way do they have chunky glitter. My holy grail blush is 'Dainty' which is a lovely dusty rose colour with gold reflects.


Must must must have. Even without a base, highlighter can brighten up your face for any occasion. Again you can use a powder or a creme/liquid. Powders like Mac's 'Mineralise Skinfinish' in 'Soft and Gentle', leave the skin looking almost wet and glowy which is great for that strobed/highlighted look. I'm a huge lover of Benefit 'High Beam' because it's so easy to use, being a liquid. Apply either of these types to the face anywhere where the light would naturally hit your face. Cheekbones, nose bridge, cupid's bow.


An eyeliner brush is much easier to use than a liquid liner lid/brush, as there is more control, so gel eyeliner is a possibility, if you're willing. Illamasqua do a great one called 'Precision Gel Liner'. However if you're looking for a simple liquid eyeliner the best one has to be Mac 'Liquidlast' in 'Point Black'. The staying power on this in second to none. Yes, it is difficult to remove if you make a mistake, but once you get the hang of it you can put it on and it will stay on for literally 2 days if you don't take it off. You can rub your eyes and everything. You need a dedicated makeup remover to get rid, (Clinique's 'Take the Day Off' Balm/Milk/Oil are all great) but it's absolutely worth it for none of the printing and running of regular eyeliner.


I swear by 'Roller Lash' by Benefit. It's the most incredible mascara I have ever used. Ever. You can check out my dedicated blog post here. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, I always used to swear by Maybelline 'The Falsies' in 'Black Drama'.


Lips, oh lips. This is just about my favourite part. If you want a little colour, subtle and natural then go ahead and use anything you can find in boots. I love the Seventeen lipsticks that come with a little mirror in them, they're the 'Mirrorshine' range and my two favourites are 'Beehive' and 'Belle'. They're both lovely natural 'My Lips But Better' colours. (The website only had the picture in red, sorry!)

If you want pigment, and I mean really good lipsticks, you need Mac. I know I harp on about Mac a lot, they do great products, what can I say? But the lipsticks are what they're mostly know for, because they're just so good. I have a lot of amazing Mac lipsticks, my all-time favourite is Syrup, which is a 'Lustre' lipstick. I wrote about a few in a post here, and I also wrote a dedicated post about one I won in a giveaway here.

As for lip liners, they're not required unless you're overdrawing, but that is the trend recently so you can buy any lip liner from anywhere. They're all pretty great. Fair enough the more you pay, the better they are but the cheap ones are still pretty decent. Try using a lip liner that is similar to your lipstick shade and you're good. I do love Mac's 'Whirl'. You can see that here.

Bonus! Brows.

Anastasia Beverly Hills has is the mothership when it comes to brows. Their 'Dipbrow Pomade' is incredible, and I honestly never want to use anything else. There's another blog post here dedicated to my favourite product of all time.

I hope this helped some of you who are looking for a starter kit or some recommendations :) Let me know if you have tried/loved any of these, and tell me all your favourites from the categories :)


  1. I really love this post. Xx

  2. Do you know if you can get NYX in the UK? I have heard a lot about them.... I'm really interested in getting some Mac lipsticks. What do you reccomend?

    1. You can get most stuff from their UK website here

      As for Mac Lipsticks, it really depends on your skin tone, but usually you can't go wrong with the pinks/mauves. I think Syrup suits everyone, its my favourite of all time. Maybe go in to a store and test a few :)

      Alexandra Louise x