It’s been a while since I did a round-up of my current beauty favourites from the drugstore world, something I always plan to do but never get around to it because I feel like such posts are boring to write and boring to read. At the same time, I want you to know what’s keeping me glowing in the sweaty, humid summer weather. Some of these favourites have transformed my beauty game. A few others will be disclosed in my next few beauty posts, featuring favourites from one particular brand — a series I want to start doing more often.
To make this post more interesting, I could tell you some secrets or be your gossip girl. But, I’d rather do that the day I write a deathly boring post and need to master plan a click-bait.
For now, let’s go with the usual drill.
Get some coffee because the rant went a bit out of control here. Beauty fanatics will get my enthusiasm.
L.A Girl Pro Coverage Illuminating Liquid Foundation
I know there’s been a huge hue and cry about the L.A Girl Pro Matte Foundation, and to be honest, I have not tried it yet. Although I saw beauty bloggers all over the world rave about it, it wasn’t available in India for purchase — so instead I decided to go with the L.A Girl Pro Illuminating Liquid Foundation. And anyway, for girls with dry skin like mine, it’s always wise to maintain a mile’s distance from any face product that says matte on it. I’m all about the glow.
Words cannot describe my love for this foundation. It is wet, but not too runny. It is perfect to apply with a dense stippling brush rather than a foundation brush. One coat is beautiful to balance any redness, even skin tone, partially cover blemishes, and add a glowy, healthy feel to the skin. It goes on to be full coverage in two coats (equivalent to two pumps), sets to a beautiful, smooth, natural, not-too-shiny-but-just-enough kind of finish. It lasts a good 8-10 hours (yes yes yes!) with a good primer and a good setting spray. However, it will require setting with a powder, at least the centre portions of the face — you may avoid the perimeters if you are using cream contours, blushes or highlights. I would suggest setting the cream products eventually with a powder bronzer or a not-too-shimmery illuminating powder (Wet n Wild Coloricon Bronzer in Reserve your Cabana is great).
On application of two coats, this foundation is not cakey or flaky. It does not sink into the fine lines around my eyes or lips or cling on to dry patches. It does not accentuate pores. It looks like I have no foundation on. I always hated using foundations because they made me look too perfect; I always preferred BB creams. But, I can’t say that anymore.
Unless I am wearing makeup for a photo shoot, I wear only one layer of this foundation. It doesn’t hide my small blemishes, moles or spots completely and I love it that way. Naturally gorgeous.
But if you love the flawless foundation effect, you could go all the way with it. Pile on the layers, and it will still do you justice. Goddess-like justice.
It also comes with a handy pump and a huge shade selection. I am in the shade Natural; it has the right undertones to match my skin perfectly. In love.
Oh boy, that’s 573 words down, and I’ve only just begun. Please tell me you like mini reviews. Sorry, can’t make that micro mini. No can do.
Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte Poreless Powder
Yes, I’m very late to the party. But, I’m dancing to the music now. I can almost hear Kathleen Lights saying ‘I told you so‘. The Fit me pressed powder and concealer are her all-time drugstore favourites and she often uses them in her tutorials.
I’m not sure why I didn’t try them before; it could be because Maybelline as a brand rarely ever surprises me. But the Fit Me range has done just that. This pressed, poreless powder is one hell of a setting powder. It is matte, with no shine or shimmer whatsoever, it sets the under-eye concealer to perfection, it layers beautifully, and stays fresh for 2-3 hours (maybe more in places with cooler temperatures – the Indian summer is quite the bad boy). It is compact, light-weight, comes with a small sponge and is great as a handbag staple.
I own only three pressed powders, and this is one of them. And if it were limited edition, I would buy ten of them. But it isn’t. So, don’t palpitate, just about yet.
I am in the shade 220 Natural Beige.
Maybelline New York Fit Me Concealer
The angels with the white chiffon dresses and the graceful wings are dancing in my concealer heaven. This concealer checks all the boxes, and realizes all the impossible dark circle-beating dreams. It’s not the first one you put under your eyes, but the one that comes second and seals the deal.
I am in the colour ‘sand‘, which has a mild yellow undertone to it. It is two shades lighter than my skin tone but is perfect for brightening the under eyes. The consistency is thicker than your average concealer, and it sets quickly — so you might want to dot one eye at a time. It also makes for a great eye-shadow primer (I don’t use a separate eye shadow primer). It is medium to high coverage and when used alone, it works best with a peach colour corrector for someone of my skin-tone — the peach balances the slight yellow undertone in the concealer.
It blends optimally with a medium concealer brush, and tends to sink into fine lines if not set with a powder. I wouldn’t recommend using a banana powder to set this concealer, as the double yellow whammy may leave you looking jaundiced. Ideally, set this with a matte pressed powder, or a loose translucent powder.
NYX Professional Tinted Brow Mascara
I have nice eyebrows okay? I don’t even need a brow pencil, let alone a brow mascara. But, I use both. Just a tiny bit.
I bought this brow mascara on a whim and we got along really well — but, only after I realized that brow hair can actually move in strange ways when you accidentally touch your face, or flip your freshly washed hair, or um, kiss. And then, you ask the kisser to take your pictures. And your eyebrows look weird. Long story short, brow mascara has meaning. It’s not rubbish.
This is a tinted brow mascara, meaning that the gel is coloured. The shade ‘brunette brown‘ is a tad lighter than my brows (which are dark brown), but after I have filled in my brows with a brow pencil, and brushed them into place, I don’t need to add any more colour to the drama. Need to tone it down, if anything. So, in my case (I abhor the full, angry brow trend), this colour is absolutely perfect. It’s not going to hold you back from one eyebrow raises — meaning it won’t give you stiff brows. You won’t know it’s there. I promise. But, if you do like fuller brows, and you have my skin tone, choose the shade ‘expresso dark brown’.
L.A. Girl Glide Gel Liners
Do you glide or slide? That was what beauty gurus were saying when these glide gel liners were launched to compete with the NYX slide on pencils. The NYX slide on eye pencils are almost double the price and are exactly the same thing — except that they have some unique shades like ‘jewel’ , ‘golden olive‘ (similar to the Stila smudge stick waterproof eye liner in ‘moray‘, my all time fave), and ‘black sparkle’. Black sparkle was all the rage after Lisa Eldridge used it in one of her YouTube tutorials, but the L.A. Girl glide on pencil has an exact dupe for that one (‘black magic’).
To be honest, I prefer the formula on the glide on pencils over the slide on pencils. They are softer, smoother, with better colour pay-off, not too smudgeable but just enough, and almost similar in wear-time compared to the slide ons. However, the slide ons are waterproof to a large degree and take quite the effort to wipe off. But, if you are looking to hoard a variety of colours, just go with the glide ons. They are everything a gel liner needs to be.
Deep bronze and brown are my absolute favourites. Gypsy teal has the most mind-blowing colour pay-off and lasting power (brings out the brown colour of my eyes). Black amethyst is a medium black with fine, dark purple glitter. Very unique. Because they are so silky smooth on application, they require to be sharpened often — I can live with that. I am already on my fourth brown glide on, and I plan to get a back up after I finish writing this post. I just remembered why I love them so much.
M.A.C D for Danger
I always say, there’s nothing you can say about a M.A.C lipstick that has not already been said before. This wasn’t one of the first M.A.C lipsticks I bought, but like every girl who wears lipstick — I went through a dark phase. Dark lipsticks. Especially burgundys and dark plums and everything in between. Not Dracula dark but darker than my usual ‘nude’ obsession.
I went to M.A.C looking to buy Velvet Teddy (yes, another nude), but life did a 360 and I came home with D for Danger. As soon as I walked in the door, I felt that pang of regret — why did I doooo this! But, it grew on me. Especially, when other girls gave me compliments. Yes, I’m shallow that way. I let others tell me when and why I should feel good about myself. We are all human; give it a rest.
D for Danger is a ‘brick red’. It’s a medium-dark, berry-red with cool, pink undertones and a matte finish. Like you understood that! Attempting to describe a lipstick is like trying to describe a scent — futile. It wears differently from skin to skin. So, look at the pictures, okay?
D for danger, like all M.A.C matte lipsticks, can be drying; I never go in without my holy grail M.A.C Prep + Prime Lip. If I glide the lipstick along my lips, the colour pay off is way too strong, so I just do a couple of gentle taps and then purse away. Absolutely gorgeous for Saturday night dates. But yeah, they do transfer. Warn the man in the crisp, white shirt. Or, give him a reason to take it off. But, I digress.
PAC Makeup Brushes
Call me an idiot, but I did not know about PAC until recently. They have no advertisements anywhere, no social media spamming, no bloggers with paid partnerships and no hype. But every beauty blogger will still talk about them because they are that good. Excellent quality for the price you pay, dupes for some serious cult classics, and shade selections that will leave you reeling in joy.
But, that’s not what this is about. PAC makes some high quality, durable, functional, amazing makeup brushes. They have all kinds of brushes, but their stippling brush is one of the best for applying liquid foundation. It does not absorb any product, makes application flawless and just allows the product to sink into the skin, like it was never there. It’s the one thing from my vanity that I would save in a fire.
They have a brush for every need, and if you are looking to invest in makeup brushes as a starter, these make the cut. Don’t think twice.
Finally, stick a fork in me, I’m done. For today. I feel like if I now go into this elaborate epilogue, you are never coming back to me. So I’ll keep you, and let go all these words dancing in my head.
What are you lovin’ at the moment? Tell me.
Until next time, XOXO