I started using high end makeup right from the start, I never tried many drug store things, such as foundations, concealers, blushes, or even mascaras! Yeah, shocker. Now since I've been in the position of not knowing what to get, I thought I'd write this post and hope that it'll be helpful.
First, you'll need a foundation. I started with trying a bunch of foundation samples from different high end brand and coverage levels. Foundation in particular is one thing that must be tried before making a dent in your wallets. Why? because you may not like the finish, the coverage, you may be allergic to an ingredient or two, and end up breaking out badly. Now what I use religiously now is the Guerlain Lingerie De Peau. I am not telling you to run straight to your Guerlain counter and try it, but I will tell you why I like it, and if you think you like foundations with such qualities, you might enjoy this, as long as it wont break you out of course. Lingerie De Peau is a very light feeling liquid foundation with a sheer-medium build-able coverage, it has a slightly dewy, more satiny finish, looks very natural, as if its your own skin, only better. It is not the most long lasting foundation, especially if your skin is on the oily side of the spectrum, but it does fine on my normal-dry skin. I find it very similar to Dior's Diorskin Nude liquid foundation in the fact that it's light and comfortable, and it is also very similar to Chanel's Vitaverlumiere Aqua liquid foundation in terms of coverage, and also YSL's Touche Eclat liquid foundation too, but I much prefer the effect of Lingerie De Peau over any of the foundations mentioned above. Now if you like more coverage, I did try the infamous Estee Lauder Double Wear, which gives an extremely full coverage effect, and in my opinion, it does feel like a full coverage foundation too. I also tries Lancome's Teint Idole Ultra foundation, and this one has quite a full coverage too, and it feels more comfortable than the Estee Lauder one, but not as comfortable as my foundation of choice, Guerlain's Lingerie De Peau. (Tip: to make your foundation last longer, use a primer.)
Now that you got a foundation, and especially if its a lighter coverage one, you'll need two concealers, one for color correcting, such as redness around the nose and darkness under the eyes, and one for blemishes and other more serious imperfections. Now to tell you the truth, even if you have a problematic skin type and you're dealing with acne and what not, just cover it with concealers rather than applying a full coverage foundation. Your face isnt entirely problematic, you just have problematic areas, and that's as bad as it can get. Now to color correct, you'll need an illuminating concealer, and my favorite one is also by Guerlain, its the Guerlain Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator. Apply this under your eyes, around your nose, and you can also apply it on your cupid bow and chin for illumination, and blend it either with fingers or with a brush. For the other concealer for more troublesome issues, use one with high coverage. Ironically, I really like the Estee Lauder Double Wear concealer, but I recently got a couple samples of one that I like better. My concealer of choice is the Diorskin Nude Concealer, obviously by Dior. The secret to really covering your troublesome areas is to use small quantities. Dont think that if you apply more concealer, you'll get a better coverage, because it'll look awful and bring more attention to the spot than cover it.
Some people like to set their face with powder. However, I would not recommend that to people with drier skin types. If you have oilier skin type, you may want a mattifying powder, or one that is not too dewy looking. I have never tried a mattifying powder because I have normal to dry skin type, which is why I am curious to know what YOU would recommend, or what others have recommended for you. I like illuminating powders, on that have a tiny bit of extremely fine and undetectable shimmer, or that give brightness to the face without having it look like a disco ball. The "powder" I recommend is Guerlain's meteorites. I use a limited edition one, but honestly, they're all almost identical. I've heard many great things about Hourglass's Ambient Lights, which are, I guess, similar to the meteorites, but since not all countries carry Hourglass, or at least, not mine, I figured countries are more likely to have Guerlain.
Now for the rest of the items, I wont be going into too much details. I think that if you get your base products right, the rest of the makeup will kinda fall into place. Don't you agree?
For eyes, you mainly need 3 items: Eyeshadow, Eyeliner, and Mascara.
My Favorite Eyeshaows are probably Guerlain Quads, as well as Dior Quints. I would stay miles and miles away from Chanel, to be honest, I think their powder eyeshadows are horrific. The one I like have awesome pigmentation, they're buttery, smooth, easy to blend, long lasting, and most of the color coordination of the quads and quints are successful and versatile, as in they'll work for daytime looks and nighttime looks as well.
For eyeliners, since I dont wear cateyes never, I am happy with my pencil liners. I love Estee Lauder's Double Wear pencil liners as well as Lancome's Le Crayon Khol Waterproof ones. If you like wings and drama going on your lids, you might want to look into either gel liners or liquid ones. But unfortunately, I don't know which ones are good because I never tried any. Generally speaking, I suggest looking for the word WATERPROOF, and if its a liquid liner, I think felt tips are easier than brushes, and the finer the tip, the more elegant the line.
Mascaras is a difficult one for me, because I dont find a whole lot of a difference among mascaras I tried. The ones I like are Dior's Iconic OverCurl, Dior Extase, and Guerlain's G Noir or Noir G, the one with fancy packaging! If your lashes are stubborn and straight, you may want to buy waterproof mascaras, because they tend to hold a curl better than non-waterproof ones do.
For cheeks, you need a bronzer, blush, and a highlighter.
For bronzers, I think Guerlain makes the absolute best bronzers ever. They have a wide array of options, and they have many matte ones too, which are awesome for contouring. I personally never contour, I am not skillful enough for that yet. So, my favorite bronzer is the Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder, the one that looks like a mosaique of colors. It has some fine undetectable shimmers, which is why its not so good for contouring, but it warms up the face just enough, and it gives it this bright healthy look. For more contouring professional purposes, check the Four Seasons bronzer, the one that has 4 quarter of different shades.
For Blush, the one that stole my heart completely is Tom Ford's blush. It is one heck of an expensive one, the most expensive blush I own, but it is so worth the money. It also comes with 8 grams of product, which is more than any other brand I've seen, yet. This blush has crazy pigmentation, it feels like butter, it blends like a dream, and it will make you dream about getting more and more of these. My personal favorite has got to be the shade number 6, Wicked.
For highlighters, you can use the Guerlain meteorites heavily, or you can buy a highlighter. Now for highlighters, I like to wait and see what companies have during limited edition collections. I use a limited edition blush one from Lancome, I think it came out either last fall or last Christmas, but in general, limited edition highlighters are more fun to get than normal ones.
Now for lips, you need a lipstick, a lip gloss if you like glosses, and you can get lip liners if you think you'll use them.
I cannot choose just one lipstick formula for you, so I'm going to give you some formulas I like. Honestly, I think Dior, Guerlain, and Lancome make great lipsticks, and any lipstick from them will be delightful. My favorites from these brands are Guerlain's Rouge G's, Rouge Automatiques, and Shine Automatiques, Then from Dior we have the Addict Extremes and the Rouge Dior's, and from Lancome we have the Rouge in loves. Now lips sit right under your nose, and I would suggest giving them a quick sniff before purchasing them. I also absolutely adore the YSL Glossy Stains, I think they are FANTASTIC, aside from the sickly smell. The lipsticks I mentioned are all relatively long lasting, and they're all comfortable to wear.
For glosses, I haven't tried many, and I own only one. It is a limited edition Dior Addict Gloss, and its really nice, and I totally recommend you give it a try. Now I'll tell you about the ones I find intriguing, I am dying to try Guerlain's maxi shine glosses and the Lancome Gloss in Love ones too. Now I am not saying I'd buy a gloss over a lipstick, I'd choose lipsticks over glosses practically any day of the week.
Lip Liners is like liquid/gel liners, never tried, never will. Plus, I really don't see a point behind it, I'd rather reapply my lipstick than apply a liner underneath.
Now this is what my starter makeup kit would look like ;)
P.S. The under eye concealer died on me a couple days ago, so I need a new one, which is why its not here in this picture. And I haven't purchased the full size Dior concealer because I am using up my Estee Lauder one. And finally, I only showed you guys the Rouge G lipstick because I think it has the most impressive packaging of all.
Now if you want to read about the makeup starter makeup kit shades, I will be posting that next Sunday, so stay tuned ;)
And one thing before you go, I want some recommendations for you lovely people of products that you would have started a kit with, I am in the buying makeup mood, and I love recommendations, especially those that come from my lovely readers!
AAAND happy holiday season for all of us! XO