Our Make-up Products of the Year

By Elle.

I love make-up. I buy far too much of it, yet I also don’t have hundreds of pounds to spend on it. What this means for you is that I’m a discerning expert on the stuff – everything I mention here has been thoroughly tested, and most-likely repurchased again and again. I’ll list my favourites in the order I apply them – and hope this doesn’t cause too much consternation. So if you’re one of those weirdos people that applies concealer before foundation, please leave now apologies.

PRIMER – MAC STROBE CREAM, £25

I have dry skin and am forever fighting a battle against it sucking up my foundation, leaving it patchy and dull. So I’m not interested in mattifying/pore-filling primers, but those that will leave me glowy and radiant all day. This product does just that – it’s not cheap, but a tube lasts AGES, or you can purchase the mini (£12.50) first to see if you like it. I’ve always used the original shade, but it now comes in several others, which I’m keen to try. Ultimately, it’s not even really make-up – more skincare – so the colour doesn’t matter too much. I mainly use it under foundation, but you can also press it on top like a highlighter.

FOUNDATION – REVOLUTION FAST BASE STICK FOUNDATION, £5

I can’t express how delighted I am that my favourite foundation ever costs A FIVER. I’m really hard to please when it comes to base, as those with dry skin will appreciate – you just can’t slap any old drugstore one on. This comes in 18 varied shades with great undertones – I use F6, and has a high-coverage formula that still manages to look like skin. The stick design makes it so quick and easy to apply – I just swipe it on then blend out with a sponge. It’s creamy, glowy and comfortable. If you have oily skin, this might not work for you – but at a fiver, you can always try it with powder and see how you get on. I wear it every day and go through one stick every 2 months or so.

CONCEALER – REVOLUTION PRO FULL COVER CAMOUFLAGE CONCEALER, £5

My love affair with Revolution Beauty continues. If you want affordable products that perform like luxury ones, you can’t go wrong with this brand. I tend to find that Fast Base offers more than enough coverage for me, so I’m more likely to use this to spot conceal on days where I’m not actually wearing foundation. It’s thick but creamy and a little goes a long way.

BROWS – REVOLUTION BROW POMADE, £6

This is my favourite brow product of all time. I’d imagine it’s an excellent dupe for the Anastasia one, but I wouldn’t know as I’m too tight to try it (£19!). It lasts AGES. Probably a year. I use a small angled brush to fill in my over-plucked brows and it doesn’t budge all day. The shades are great – mine is Medium Brown, a perfect cool tone that looks natural.

BROWS – MAYBELLINE BROW PRECISE FIBRE FILLER, £7.99

I complete my brows by brushing this through it – it has little fibres that bulk them out, and sets my own hair in place. Another product that really does last ages – I use it daily and have only had to repurchase once in 2 years of use.

EYESHADOW – URBAN DECAY NAKED PETITE HEAT, £26

This is the first Urban Decay palette I’ve owned and I totally get the hype. The shadows are pigmented and smooth, and last well. This is the perfect size for travelling and you can easily create everyday or more amped up looks. Worth the money.

MASCARA – BENEFIT ROLLER LASH, £22

You absolutely do not need to spend this much on a mascara, but I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t the best one I’ve ever used. I’ve tried to find a cheap dupe, but have yet to be successful. There’s something about this brush that separates and lengthens, but gives thick volume at the roots of the lashes. It’s also the only mascara that I’d be happy to use without lash curlers beforehand. Like, if I forgot my lash curlers and had no choice.

BRONZER – MISS LYN BEACH PLEASE! £7.50

This new-to-me brand really surprised me with this bronzer. I was expecting a bit of a poor imitation of Benefit Hoola, but it’s genuinely great. It has just the right amount of pigmentation – strong but not so strong that you spend 10 minutes trying to un-apply it and ruin your foundation. The powder isn’t drying, and the shade I use (Vitamin Sea) is perfect – not too warm, but not so ashy that it looks grey.

BLUSHER – MAX FACTOR MIRACLE TOUCH CREAMER BLUSHER, £6.99

This tiny pot with a cracked lid and all its writing rubbed off is my favourite blusher ever. I use the shade Soft Copper, which is more of a bronzer – I’m not really into blusher as such. The cream formula keeps things glowy and fresh – it’s gorgeous on holiday skin.

LIPS – SMASHBOX ALWAYS ON MATTE LIQUID LIPSTICK IN STEPPING OUT, £19

I actually just own a sample size of this, but I’ll definitely be purchasing the full-size in this shade – it’s the perfect tawny nude. It’s not just the shade that I love, though – I’ve tried so many liquid lipsticks and this is by far the best formula; not drying at all, lasts all day, doesn’t flake off, super-comfortable.

LIPS – NARS LIPSTICK IN SCHIAP, £22

I had a voucher for SpaceNK to use, otherwise, I don’t think I’d spend so much on a pink lipstick. HOWEVER. I’ve very glad I did and think this is worth every penny. It’s a gorgeous hot pink that I honestly think would make anyone look amazing. For me, it makes my brown eyes richer and brighter. Shocking pink is a great alternative to red – go and buy yourself a cheap one first if you’re unsure.

LIPS – B. Cassie Lomas Liquid Lipstick in The 90s, £6.99

Oh God, I just went to add the link to this and I think it’s been discontinued. It’s the most vivid, orange-red and I love it. It looks like there’s a really nice hot pink similar to Nars Schiap though (Lulu), so all is not lost.

ALL-ROUNDER – CHARLOTTE TILBURY INSTANT LOOK IN A PALETTE IN BEAUTY GLOW, £49

Let’s finish on a high with another thing that’s also sold out, shall we? Sorry. But it might come back, and if it does, I highly recommend it. This was something else I spent some vouchers on, hence the high cost, but it’s such a great, multi-use item that justifies its price. Great colours, fantastic formulas, and perfect for travel. Let me also point you in the direction of a very similar one from Beauty Pie – here. Wait. It’s also out of stock. I’m done. Bye.

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