I always get most excited about beauty during the last, few months of the year. What with all the parties and Christmas festivities to dress up for, my beauty routines go into overdrive and I end up re-discovering lots of old favourites, whilst I try to mix up my makeup a bit more than usual. With my current selection focussing on glowing skin, sparkly eyes and bold lips, you can definitely tell that I'm in the festive party mood!
Of course, the one palette that has inevitably overshadowed any other in my collection recently, has to be the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit in Surreal Light. Containing a face powder, bronzer, highlight and two blushes, this stunning palette is a one-stop shop for all your cheek adornment needs. The finishing powder sets makeup without any sign of caking and creates the most beautiful lit-from-within glow. The bronzer gently warms the complexion and the blushes deliver the perfect mix of flattering colour and subtle sheen. And, that highlight - it's on another level. This limited-edition beauty is still available and will make the most amazing Christmas gift for any makeup lover, so snap it up quickly if you haven't already. Have a read of my in-depth review, if you need any more convincing!
On a recent Space NK splurge, I picked up one of the new By Terry Rouge-Expert Click Sticks in 3 Bare Me and I've fallen in love. The formula, finish, shade and packaging all combine to form my perfect lip product. Bare Me is a stoney, brown-toned nude that contains the slightest peachy hint. My ultimate nude, basically. Designed to hug every curve of the lip like a liner, the teardrop-shaped applicator is genius. A couple of clicks of the stick and it delivers the perfect portion of product for a precise, mess-free application. The pigmentation is so strong, offering opaque coverage that lasts, in one swipe. Honestly, I put this on in the morning and I'm set for at least five hours of wear. Although semi-matte in finish, the texture is so light and feels comfortable to wear all day. It's velvety smooth and feels hydrating, with an almost balmy feel. I've got a long list of more shades I can't wait to add to my arsenal, now!
During the past month, I've found my perfect winter base duo, starting with the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, which is a total cult-classic. The light, milky gel is so hydrating and really smooths the skin in preparation for any kind of base. It helps my foundation to stay fresh throughout the day, instead of looking dry and chalky on my winter-ravaged skin. On top of that, I've been buffing on a pump of the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. Ideal for this time of year, it has a semi-matte finish that leaves the skin looking like satin. The formula is so long-lasting and gives the skin a flawless look, even without the need to powder over it. I'd say the coverage sits between medium and high, but it's definitely buildable, so you can easily layer it for your desired effect. Check out my full review for a more detailed look at this foundation.
Another old favourite of mine has found its way back in to my makeup bag recently, in the form of Kevyn Aucoin's Sculpting Powder in Medium. With a totally taupe undertone and no hints of red/orange in there whatsoever, this makes the perfect contouring product when skin is at its palest. Creating a natural-looking shadow, the ashy hue really makes such a difference to the shape of the face. Just be careful not to go too overboard when sweeping it on, as it's so effective at carving out those cheekbones that it can start to make you look a little gaunt. I love to use this sculpting powder first, to create the definition I want, before applying some light bronzer on to the high points of my face, to add some colour back into the skin. The compact also lasts forever, as I'm still working my way through a pan in the old, bulkier packaging from aeons ago (although it was repurchased)!
When I've only had a few minutes to create a quick and easy eye look, I've been simply sweeping MAC's Tan Pigment over the entire lid for a wash of shimmery colour. The coppery rose-gold shadow creates a gorgeous, warm-toned eye that compliments a darker lip so well. As it's so highly-pigmented and finely-milled, the pigment creates a really metallic foiled finish which I'm obsessed with. I simply apply a dot of the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base first, pack the pigment on with a MAC 239 and then gently buff around the edges with my trusty MAC 217. Voila! Application is a lot messier than just using a powder eyeshadow, but I love the effect of using a loose eyeshadow, as the result looks so much smoother and the shimmer really pops.
A/W is never quite the same without sporting a dark wine/berry lip colour and my top pick so far this year has been YSL's Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Forbidden Burgandy. YSL's RV lipsticks are some of my favourites, as the formula is so creamy, smooth and hydrating. But, that does mean that you must line the lips first when applying them, as they tend to bleed like nobody's business without doing so. Forbidden Burgandy is a beautiful, cool-toned raspberry/plum shade that looks quite purple when I'm pale and more pink when I'm tanned. Unfortunately, this shade has been discontinued, but MAC's Rebel, which is another lipstick I love at this time of year, is a close match. Rebel isn't as glossy as Forbidden Burgandy, but they're pretty similar otherwise.
I'm sorry to mention another unavailable product, but I've been so addicted to wearing this varnish lately that I couldn't leave it out. On my nails, I've worn the Sephora Formula X Nail Polish in Infinite solidly for the past month. It's a vampy plum/burgundy shade with a red-bronze shimmer within it, making the deeper hue a bit more special than your average polish. Although this particular shade seems to be no longer available, No7's Damson Dream is almost identical, cheaper and a more easily available option if you live in the UK. Plus, the brush is nice and wide, allowing for a quick and easy application, and the thick, smooth formula is a joy to use and lasts well on the nails.
|Swatches L-R: By Terry 3 Bare Me Rouge Expert Click Stick, MAC Tan Pigment, YSL Forbidden Burgundy Rouge Volupte Lipstick & Sephora Formula X Infinite Nail Colour|
Which makeup products have you been loving recently?