Absolute Essentials

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

Boring. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I considered writing about the make-up items and tools that I couldn’t live without. They are not “new” and they are not particularly sexy, therefore I just don’t get excited about them. This is silly obviously – I just said I can’t live without them, yep desert island type stuff folks.

I think because I’ve used these particular products for so long I don’t really notice them anymore. That is until I run out/lose one unexpectedly and have a mini melt down as a result. I guess that makes them more important than my recent discovery of THE MOST AMAZING EYESHADOW EVER. Ahem, I digress, on with the review.

MAC Brow Set £13.00

I have fair eyebrows, I get them tinted every few weeks or so but to keep them neat and tidy and add the appearance of fullness (is it me or does anyone else suffer from random bald patches in their brows now and again?!) I use this weird looking light bronze-y hued goop. It is very clever indeed, the shade “Beguile” is perfect for blondes (there are other shades available) and a tube lasts forever. I’ve played around with pencils before but then find I still have to use a clear gel for unruly bits. This does the job of both and I’m all for multi-tasking/less stuff to carry around in your make-up bag.

You can check out the other colours available at Debenhams.

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector £20.00

I actually don’t have particularly enlarged pores but this definitely adds refinement, it makes your epidermis kind of super smooth and dare I say airbrushed looking? I use it on my nose area and cheeks mainly, it’s good in summer where sweat and/or sun cream can make you look a bit too shiny but you don’t want to wear make-up as such. I use this in “invisible light” but they do offer alternative hues for darker skinned lovelies, have a butchers at John Lewis.

I’m aware there are other similar products available as I’ve tried a few, none of them work as well as this does for me though.

MAC Strobe Liquid £23.00

This was bought to my attention when some Beauty Editor or other said she smeared this all over her face whenever she was feeling grey and haggard as it “made her look about twelve”.

Impressive claim no? I can’t say it will turn back the clock to your first year of senior school, neither would I suggest “smearing” it willy nilly over your mug. I would however say it does make you appear less tired and makes you somewhat dewy and youthful when applied to the top of cheekbones, brow bones and the bridge of your nose.

It’s quite spendy but a bottle lasts yonks, even if applied nearly every day.

You can purchase MAC from Debenhams as before.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler £20.00

I think this device has reached cult status hasn’t it? I can see why. Hold your lashes between the scary looking clamp for 10 seconds before mascara application and voila, significantly more awake looking peepers due to the curling amazingness.

You also receive a spare rubber thingy in the box so the contraption lasts longer (they can go a bit soft/worn and thus lose their effectiveness over time).

Shu Uemura is available at House Of Fraser

Tweezerman Eyelash Comb £9.50

I’ve had one of these since I was in sixth form studying for my A-levels and left it on holiday a few years back. It’s odd, I always thought my lashes clumped and didn’t look as separated as usual yet never re-invested until recently. It’s almost as if I forgot how essential it was to achieve that natural fluttery look I favour.

I saw it whilst perusing Feelunique.com a few months back and immediately added it to my virtual basket. A word of warning, be very careful whilst using, the teeth are SHARP.

Are there any dull yet can’t-live-without items you would like to share? as always please do so in the comments section below.

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Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
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15 thoughts on “Absolute Essentials

  1. Seriously? I have a mega list lol! I love the strobe but I have the cream and the pump one and vary them (not quite sure how different they are) I have gotten into the habit of mixing the strobe in with my foundation to lighten it and make it dewy all over! Then dab a bit onto cheekboney area, still also have a great thing similar but in a pinky hue, less is more of that as it’s fairly shimmery!
    I also have fallen in love with Chanel les beiges liquid! Seriously I only use a bit where I need to cover up my red areas etc but it blends like a dream and almost disappears into your skin! Not heavy/cakey and for my dry skin that’s the biz! I don’t even mix my strobe with this!
    Following a recent post on this here blog I now use the Estée Lauder glow concealer pen thing which is lovely! And their eyelash primer which I can safely say has stopped any clumps…and iv tried it with all my mascaras! (A lot).
    I have been playing about with benefits pore professional and that’s really nice and smoothing, wouldn’t say the pores vanish but definitely less obvious and makes other products glide on.
    My absolute fave for the last few months has been the illamasqua hydra veil primer and the Nars eye primer, both amazingly long lasting and I use them nearly everyday even for casual!
    I also use avene eau thermale over my face everyday too either over make up or just generally after cleansing and I adore this and would panic if I ran out!
    Think that’s all for now though I could waffle on all day… Charlotte you may get an email leading up to my 30th about must have products I need for my trip to Paris!! Xx

    1. Bio oil!! I forgot bio oil! My skin/face loves this! And the still but in above post about shimmer should have said Stila x

    2. Alex! always more than happy to advise on French products you must purchase!

      Have you tried the Bobbi Brown shadow sticks? the most amazing eyeshadow primer ever, I don’t ever have to touch up when I use this, it’s like glue.

      Strobe is one of those things that I take for granted, and on the days I forget to put it on I really notice x

      1. No I have not!! Are they just primer or actual colour? Right after our mini break to Edinburgh starting tomorrow I am composing an email to you that is going to require some superb tips on frenchy products/must see beauty shops etc in Paris! I apologise I advance for this lol! Xx

  2. Mine are all variations of the above! My Bobbi Brown eyebrow pencil in Ash is a must due to also having fair hair, although I recently took the plunge and had my eyebrows tattooed. Eak!
    Eyelash curlers again are a must and I have a variation of the strobe cream which is L’Oreal I think? My other must have essential is my Soap and Glory Supercat eyeliner pen to get a perfect eyeliner flick every day. Despite having to get up at 6.30am and shove my make up it’s hard to make a mistake and it’s still on when I get home in the evening!
    Oh and I just invested in the Urban Decay make up setting spray which is amazing. Again I get home and my make up’s barely budged with no top ups, 2 train journeys and working in the City to contend with!

    1. Becca all of these sound amaze! Must investigate the super cat eyeliner pen in particular, do you wear it over eyeshadow? My biggest problem is the nibs going all dry/wonky as I think the eyeshadow clogs them or something.

      Also you MUST tell me about eyebrow tattooing?! are you pleased with the results? I have always toyed with the idea of getting eyeliner done, especially now I have Mabel – so time saving! I wouldn’t have the first clue of how to go about finding someone reputable to do it though, and I’m scared of a needle that close to my eye…..

      1. I do wear it over eyeshadow, its the only one I’ve found to be wet enough to glide over but dries very quickly as not to smudge. Occasionally I just give it a quick wipe. It also doesn’t leave that unsightly smudge on your upper lid as some do.
        I know it was just a random decision about 3 weeks ago off the cuff! Tinting wears off so quickly and its annoying (as well as amusing) to look in the mirror later in the day and realise your brow pencil has worn off and left you looking skewiff!
        Have to say it was a bit sore, I seemed to forget it was actually going to be a tattoo! But totally worth it and looks like I have very refined yet natural brows! Just having a top up next week and should last 2-3 yrs till you need a booster.
        Mine were done by a friend of a friend, she was excellent but I think the famous one lots of people use is Tracey Giles? I’m very tempted by the eyeliner and lip liner now!

        1. Thanks so much for the tips Becca, will definitely investigate the tattoo-ing (!) there was an article on Into The Gloss recently on tattoo eyeliner, worth a read!

  3. My must haves are bobbi brown blusher in pale pink – it looks Fluro in the box but I’ve no colour so it’s fab; something to hide black purple under the eye – took rms advice and bought the set from bobbi brown; lip balm of any description; foundation – can’t actually leave the house without it; bronzer, eye last curlers – agreed. My must haves are actually all of my make up kit…. What’s this amazing eye shadow you speak of? I need a new ‘day’ one. Spent ages in bham airport trying to find one today at Mac and Clinque but didn’t buy. I always buy bobbi brown long wear creams but sadly there isn’t an outlet at the airport!

    1. Hi Victoria! Urban Decay in Blunt, a sheeny gold – so flattering and doesn’t budge. I’ve used MAC for years but I’m sure they have changed the formulation, the last few I’ve had feel crumbly and naff. I like that BB blusher too, I’m a sucker for a bright pink x

  4. Caudalie, is it called, beauty elixir? The spray thingy for your face anyway – I put it on after cleansing before moisturiser then give my mug another spritz after makeup to set it and hydrate. If I don’t have it I am sure I look more tired and generally a bit rubbish. Its so cooling and tingly when you spray it on – it feels amazing. I have even caught my husband doing a quick spritz on a morning then adamantly denying it when confronted as to the diminishing supply in the bathroom cupboard.

    1. Ha ha ha!!!! your husband must look amazing 🙂

      I always forget about Caudalie as a brand but it’s very popular, especially in France. I hear great things about this elixir x

  5. This is great, thanks. We seem to have similar skin, so I was wondering what concealer you use? I have a lot of redness left over from eczema.

    1. Hi Ruth, I use Estee Lauder BB Brush On Glow (Double Wear) they do lots of different shades, I use 1N (extra light) x

  6. I’ve just taken delivery of the eyelash comb, which I ordered on the back of this post last week 🙂

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