While I believe that au naturel is the best, I think that makeup is more of a self-expression, an art and a hobby that must not be looked down upon. I admit, though, that during my younger years, I judged my peers who used beauty products. I had these schema planted in my brain that makeup equates to being maarte, high-maintenance, show-off and all of the narcissistic adjectives you could think of. Growing up, I realized that there is really nothing wrong about wanting to use beauty products. People have different ways of expressing themselves, and some just happen to channel it through makeup.
I certainly am not a beauty junkie, and would consider myself a late bloomer among my peers. My interest in makeup started after my 18th birthday when a few people gifted me with make-up products. Right of the bat, I knew I needed to invest in more. I was also introduced to skincare products. Before, my usual regimen included body soap and water. Nyek.
From there my collection and knowledge about makeup and beauty expanded. Fast forward to May 2015, I came up with a count down of five beauty products I can’t live without. Well let’s be honest, I can live without them. But if asked if I could cut down the products I use to five categories, these are my pick.
5. Lipsticks – I wasn’t a big fan of lipsticks when I was young. I considered them as waxy, emollient spawns of satan. It’s a good thing that lipstick formulas get better and better through the years. You can even score some really good quality ones in the drugstore. It’s still at the bottom of my top 5 list, but it’s actually my most purchased product among the other categories! My all time favorites are MAC Rebel, Wet n Wild Wine Room and a combination of Wet n Wild Mochalicious with Rimmel Lip Lacquer on top (Kylie Jenner lip color alert!).
SPEND: MAC Lipsticks ($16), NARS Audacious Lipsticks ($32)
SAVE: Wet n Wild Megalast Lipsticks ($2), Milani Color Statement Lipsticks ($5), Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer ($6)
4. Kabuki Brush – It’s really important to at least have one or two brushes in your arsenal. I only have 4 – a big elf kabuki brush, a moonkini flat top kabuki brush, a dual eyeshadow brush and an eyebrow spoolie. You can get by with using your fingers or cotton balls, but the watercolor enthusiast in me argues. My folks were baffled when I bought a P800-peso watercolor brush set, but I reasoned out that I can’t paint a portrait with my fingers.
Now that I’ve mentioned watercolor, I find that I am now more comfortable in coloring my portraits. I usually leave the places blank, but finally I can now draw eyebrows and put the shadows in the right places. Haha!
SPEND: Sigma and MAC brushes
SAVE: ELF Essential Brushes, ELF Studio Brushes, Real Techniques Brushes
3. Blush and Bronzer – I combined two categories because I have been using a duo for quite a time. Before, I was using benetint by tinting my brush before stippling it on my face and contouring using a matte brown shadow. Elf’s Blush and Bronzer duos come in many shades. The one I’m using is in St. Lucia and I’ve hit pan after 4 months.
SPEND: NARS Laguna and Orgasm, Benetint
SAVE: ELF Blush and Bronzer Duo ($3)
2. Beauty Masks – Sheet masks or mud masks – I simply live for beauty masks! While it doesn’t cover everything that your face needs, I really recommend using them 2-3 times a week apart from your usual skin care routine. My favorite masks are the Beauty Buffet masks from Watson (best smelling masks), Cooney, Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar and SPA Cosmetics Original Dead Sea Exfoliating Mud Mask.
SPEND: I DON’T SPEND! I highly recommend those mentioned above. No need to break the bank!
SAVE: Beauty Buffet (P50), Cooney (P30), Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar ($1.50 at Walmart, good for up to 3 uses), SPA Cosmetics Original Dead Sea Exfoliating Mud Mask ($6 at TJ Maxx)
1. Mascara – A very odd pick for the top of this list, but even before I turned 18, I have been putting mascara even on normal days in school. I don’t mind looking crap, as long as I look “crap with mascara on”. Haha! Among those who made it in the list, this is the only one that I can really consider as something I can’t live without. I can live without foundation, concealer, blush, eyebrow pencil or lipstick… but don’t take mascara away from me! *wails*
I remember using a really cheap Ever Bilena one because Maybelline is expensive in the Philippines. Here in the US, subway sandwiches are more expensive than drugstore mascaras.
I really have good and bad experiences with mascaras. I don’t even recommend high-end ones. Make-up expires and mascaras have the shortest shelf life so I throw away my mascaras after 3-4 months of opening them. It will hurt to throw a Chanel, Bobbi Brown or NARS after a short time, right?
Anyway, the worst mascaras that I have used were Benefit’s They’re Real (which did NOTHING to my eyelashes), Lancome Hypnose (that thick, gooey and smelly formula, ugh) and Loreal Miss Manga (very flaky and clumpy). The ones that worked for me were Maybelline Colossal Cat Eye, Maybelline Volum Express and Avon Super Drama.
Mascara works differently for everyone. We have different lashes, so take note of what you need. I go for lengthening mascaras or both lengthening and volumizing. I have thick but short lashes and I appreciate mascaras that give a lot of length or the best of both worlds.
Wow! I didn’t expect to write a lot for five small products! I hope that you’ll discover a thing or two from my favorites, and do let me know about yours! 🙂 Shout out to Helga from Ditz Revolution – I got this blog post idea from the helpful list that she created. Do check it out. 🙂