Thursday, 18 July 2013

The BorB guide to Starter Makeup Kit - Picks from the UK High Streets

I was totally inspired after watching a video by Lily Pebbles from What I Heart Today about Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit.  I liked the simplicity of it and the honest opinions that she gave during that video. I wish I had watched something similar produced before I ventured out to the world of makeup when I first started!  If you haven't watched her video(s) yet you should definitely do!

As a result, I want to have my own take on the highstreet makeup and provide a little guide to you out there who are just starting to explore makeups but not quite sure where to start!

Before we get started, I want to confess that it wasn't that long ago I launched myself fully to the world of makeup.  Although I've always had an interest in wearing makeup, I was often intimidated by how much I need to know before I get cracked on.   Thanks to all beauty gurus on youtube, I have totally been inspired and converted.  Makeup to me now isn't the be all and end all, they are there to enhance your features, they are not there to cover your naturally beautiful faces.  As long as you choose carefully what to use and how much, you don't need to become a slave to makeup - that's what I think anyway.  Makeup is fun to do and browse at anyway!  So I hope you enjoy this post. I'm also preparing for another post along the line of 'What's worth your investment?: High end makeup'.  Be sure to stay tuned!

You don't need to buy everything featured here and you can tailor it to your own need.  Omit or include a few more things as you wish.  For example, if you don't want to wear eye shadows, you can skip that part.  As you can see the makeup bag (I got this clear makeup bag from one of the long haul flights I was on some times ago but I cannot remember which airlines, however you can pick up one of these easily these days at Boots, M&S Beauty Hall, Superdrug and Muji) that I picked isn't huge and all the makeup I chose was able to fit in it very comfortably.

So, without me rumbling on more, let's dive in to see what's in my starter makeup bag:

I have tried and tested all these products, they are easily obtainable from either Boots or Superdrug with a reasonable and affordable price (apart from one item).  Some of these are products I've used right from the beginning when I first started wearing makeup, some were purchased as I got more adventurous and my appetite for makeup started to grow, or I discovered as I got a little more confidence and products that I found myself using day in, day out.

The base work

It took me ages to finally convince myself to wear a foundation all over my face as the thought of my face looking very 'made up', and ended up looking like someone else really freaked me out.  After doing loads of research, I finally bought Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation.  I believe that they have now been discontinued t as they have launched a better formulated version called Bourjois Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix Foundation.  However they are essentially the same thing.

I really like it, some experts say that this foundation is a dupe for Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation (also a firmed favourite of mine) and I think they are not wrong.  But for now let's focus on this foundation.

It is a very light and almost feels like a gel textured foundation which gives a light to medium coverage, I would say it is buildable.  The coverage ability of this foundation is enough for freckles and some light duty blemish and scars. This foundation gives a dewy finish so it's great for dry skin.  A little bit of these goes a long way so it's best not to be greedy and pump these out and apply on your face bit by bit.  It says it is a gel foundation, I think what it means in layman term is that it doesn't feel like a thick foundation and certainly it doesn't on the face.  It stays put well, I'm not sure about the 16 hour duration but it certainly stays on my face really well.  It doesn't, however contain any SPF in so make sure you wear a moisturiser that does.

It comes in 8 shades which is fantastic as a drugstore brand.  The only downside of buying a foundation on the high street is that you need to colour match yourself and the lighting in the store isn't on your side either.  So make sure if you can, bring a friend who knows a bit about makeup with you, try it on your neck (instead of at the back of your hands), bring an empty small tub with you and ask a member of staff in the shop if it is OK to bring some sample at home.  You really need to wear this on a normal day and observe and have a feel of your skin as the foundation develops during the day.

Some other alternatives I would suggest for a foundation would be: Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation for a glowy and dewy finish and Revlon Nearly Naked Make Up Foundation on days when you need a bit more coverage.

Before I started wearing foundation, I relied on Rimmel Match Perfection Illuminating Concealer.  It worked amazingly well as an alternative to wearing foundation.  I would wear this under my eyes, round my nose to cover those little imperfections, as well as giving those areas a bit cover-up.  This can be doubled up as a concealer as well as a highlighter.  I would totally recommend this if you don't want to wear a foundation yet but there are areas on your face which you want a bit of cover up.  This one is my second tub and has become a fail-safe concealing product for me especially for my under eye areas.

For a more serious blemishes and scars cover up, I totally recommend Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Cover Stick.  After I dabbed this little magic wand on my blemishes and scars, it seems like they have magical power which completely disguises all blemishes.  The great thing about this product is that whilst it conceals, it also heals as it contains salicylic acid which dries the spots out.  This brand is perfect especially if your skin is a little on the sensitive side like me.  They are gentle yet effective.

Eyes On You

Love me some eye makeup products!  Eye makeups are the most interesting and fascinating areas in my opinion (despite my obsession with my beloved blushers) but a skill which seems difficult to master.

I have included 4 products, one of which is an essential tool; in this category.  First up, mascara and an eyelash curler.  Mascaras, in my opinion is the single most effective product that instantly opens up and brightens your eyes to the whole total makeup look.  My absolute favourite mascaras (trust me I have tried at least 15 mascaras so far) and Max Factor Clump Defy mascara has totally won me over.  Not only does it lengthen my lashes, it also volumises them by giving my lashes the fuller and dramatic look that it needs.  The good thing about this mascara is that if you want a more natural look, you can apply 1-2 coats then stop, if you opt for a more dramatic look, you can certainly build it up by putting more coats on as they don't clump your lashes at all like what it says on the tin!

I have included only one tool in this guide as I do think fingers are your best companion for applying makeup, especially when you might be a little confused with what brushes to use at the beginning.  However, when it comes to longer and curler lashes, you simply can fault it without prepping them using an eyelash curler.  I have the Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura eyelash curler (limited edition) and I curl my lashes religiously before I put my mascaras on as it does make a huge difference especially if your lashes are on the shorter side like mine.  I don't have a drugstore eyelash curler to recommend but for my readers living in Asian countries, I have to say some random Japanese brand eyelash curler are normally very good and hugely reliable, so you might want to pick one up from them.

If you want your eyes looking even bigger and brighter, an eye pencil is totally the way to go.  I recommend Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Dark Brown.  The reason I chose dark brown over a jet black one is because, a dark brown colour is a little less harsh than a black eyeliner pencil but is equally effective in creating a brighter pair of eyes.  With drawing eye liners, it really is practice makes perfect.  I still remember the first time I draw liners on my eyes............   Another alternative of eye pencil I would recommend and I absolutely love, albeit a little more difficult to get hold of is by Kiko, Precision Eye Pencil.  Kiko is a popular Italian brand which currently only has one shop in the UK, and is situated in Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherds Bush.  A new shop will be opening soon on Regent's Street.  I cannot rave enough about their Precision Eye Pencil.  I have one in dark brown and have repurchased already.  It is a very soft pencil but not too soft that you can make mistakes when applying the liners.  It is so easy to control and it glides on your liners like a dream.  If you can get hold of it, please do give it a go!

Now if you want to be a little adventurous and feel a little more daring on the eye shadow front, I suggest you invest in a Soap and Glory eyeshadow quad called Lid Stuff (What's Nude).  This quad comes in 4 colours, 3 matte and one shimmer.

On a lazy day, I use my fingers to apply my eye makeup from this palette and it works perfectly well.  You can use all the colours to create a more complex, soft or dramatic smokey eye looks but at the same time, each colour can be used on its own by sweeping them all over the eyelids.  Aubersheen is the shade that I reach to the most as it blends to the eyelids seamlessly.   An alternative range of eye shadow (single colour) is L'Oreal Infalliable Eye Shadow, they come in small pots and the colour range is big, and the colours are exciting!  They are similar to this quad that I have, pigmented and yet very easy to blend.

Cheeky blushers

Hooray!  If you are still reading, give a pat to yourself at the back of your shoulder!  I'm sorry this blogpost has become so long but there's so much I want to share with you.

Onto cheek products, my favourite of all beauty products.

I have two blushers I want to share with you, they are fantastic pieces to get as part of your starter kit.

Sleek Sweet Cheeks Blush palette is their latest limited collection candy collection.  The beauty of this palette is that it contains two powder blush and one cream blush.  If there is any blusher to buy it would be this one as for just £9.99 you get three products in one packaging and a combo of two type.  Sleek beauty products are all very pigmented so a light hand is absolutely essential.  If you want to see a fuller review and swatches, please click here.  Sleek does a ton of shades for blusher so do make sure you check them out in a store!  If you are thinking what brush to get for applying blusher, I would recommend Real Technique's Stippling Brush, they are great for both powder and cream blushes.

On the other hand, if you don't want the fuss about getting yourself some makeup tools just yet, a cream blusher will be a great product to start off with.  Revlon Photoready Cream blush will be the one to get.  It is the best cream blush product you can find on the high street.  It is pigmented yet easy to blend, most important of all it stays put extremely well.  I did a fuller review (featuring it as a dupe for Diorblush cheek cream), which you can click here to read the insider's story.

The finishing touches: Lippies

When it comes to lip products, the high street is full of this colour, that shade; this design or that packaging.  There is so much but where should you start?

I picked out two that I think will be a safe choice and the range of colour is not too overwhelming huge that you want to give up.

Meet Rimmel Kate Moss Lipsticks, I have it in a shade #03 Rossetto.  It's a natural nude colour, which is not too pale.  I like it not only because it is moisturising, the colour pay off is able to bring the best from whatever make up you are wearing.

Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick, I have this in shade #025 Socialite.  It is a corally pink shade, which I think is great for all year round especially if you just want your lip colours look healthy without worrying about pulling off a bright red lips look.

It is a colour stay matte lipstick so it is slightly on the dry side.  I normally wear a lip balm underneath for whatever lipsticks or even lip gloss I will put on, and that completely solves the problem.

Makeup Tools
I have deliberately left out a section on my recommendations on makeup brushes, this is because for my as a makeup starter in the past, I used mainly my fingers to apply my makeup.  As I got more confident with the texture of different products and the kind of looks I created for myself, I then ventured out into buying different brushes.  I found that this way worked better for me.  However, I also want to say that if brushes are something that you want to think about it at the same time as buying your starter kit, Real Techniques (Sam Chapman created these, she is one of the Pixiwoo sisters) does some amazing quality but completely affordable brushes that you should check them out.  Another brand called EcoTools produce brushes that are environmentally friendly, they are at the similar price points as Real Techniques' brushes and are equally amazing.

Well, I really do hope that you find this guide useful and that you are able to find inspirations from all the products featured on this post.

I know it may be daunting to apply makeup on yourself for the first time.  But you will only get better at it and you will get to learn so much in the process - it's fun and totally recommended to everyone!

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