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Today we're talking makeup! Like with haircare: this was a pretty easy post. I guess that I tend to enjoy a few colour options but on the whole, it takes me a long time to use up non-complexion makeup so I'm pretty consistent with what I've been reaching for. Let's dive into my 2021 makeup picks...
No surprises here: my go-to base product is still the Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser* (St. Moritz) | £33 | full review. I've used this since 2014 but it's more in recent years that I've started wearing foundation less and reaching for products like this instead. And I always just circle back to this specific formula. It's light-medium coverage so still looks like skin and you can see my freckles through it, but it also has this perfecting quality that evens everything out and dials back any redness. Another 'forever repurchase' for me is the Bobbi Brown Corrector (Peach) | £21.50. I tend to use it under my base makeup but you can use it over the top too. The peach tone cancels out the blueish-purple of dark circles and circumvents the need to layer on lots of brightening concealer under the eyes, plus it's quick and easy to use even on days you're not really wearing much makeup.
The Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer* (Ginger) | £24 | is yet another product I've repurchased for god-knows-how-long! It's just a perfect creamy formula to spot conceal with but on lazy, minimal-makeup days, it can also be used under the eyes and I also keep a pot in my handbag for on-the-go touch-ups. It gives a medium coverage but doesn't blend out into nothing. A few little taps and you have a long-wearing concealer finish that's never heavy or cakey. My only criticism is really that there could absolutely be 5-6 additional shades on the deeper end.
Now I have a couple of new discoveries for 2021 that have made it into my everyday routine, which is really no mean feat! The first is the Fenty Beauty Bright Fix Eye Brightener* (07 Deep Butter) | £18 | full review. I've not really used anything else under my eyes since I got this; it's the perfect lightweight but brightening serum-concealer with light-medium coverage for everyday use. I just pat it on with my fingers lightly, I can build the coverage where I need it, and if I'm going for a bit more of a 'proper' makeup look, I set it with some powder and it lasts without creasing or fading all day. Speaking of powder, I found a really great new formula this year: the Kosas Cloud Set Baked Setting & Smoothing Powder (Cushiony) | £32 | full review. I love a powder that will stop my concealer from creasing and help ensure the longevity of my makeup all day, but doesn't leave my skin matte or flat. This is a compact so great for travel and for the handbag. It's super-lightweight on the skin but really works for me.
Moving on to cheek products and into the realm of colour, I've pretty much only used cream highlighters this year. My first go-to product has been the Refy Gloss Highlighter | £18. There area few product from this line in my favourites, so definitely check out my full review if you want to know more. This is kind of a creamy-liquid that I apply with the duo-fibre brush from the same brand. You only need a tiny amount but I love the super-dewy look it gives on the skin. It only comes in this one kind of bronzy-gold shade but I do see this working on a lot of different skin tones. If I'm not using that, 90% of the time I'm going to be using the Nudestix All Over Face Colour Glow Highlighter in Hey, Honey | £24 | full review. I actually just warm this up under my fingers before dabbing it onto my cheekbones and anywhere else I fancy and it gives me that soft, glossy, dewy look. This shade is a warm light gold.
The first product that got a lot of mileage this year is the Kosas Colour + Light Creme in Tropic Equinox High Intensity | £32. I don't tend to use the highlight on its own as it's a touch deep for me (though a stunning rose-bronze shade if you're more of a deep Fitzpatrick 4 or a lighter 5), but it's lovely layered underneath the warm rosy-tan blusher. This formula has a lovely glossy, emollient quality and I'm really happy that Kosas brought out these more pigmented versions of their cream cheek duos to suit more skin tones.
To round off this category, we have more Refy (all creams, of course), which was really a great 2021 find for me as a brand. The first product I have to talk about is the Refy Blush in Citrine | £14. This is a beautiful flush of warm colour that I loved using throughout the summer and I know it will be a staple again come spring. It has a lovely, builable level of colour payoff, it goes on evenly and has fantastic longevity. This is probably a good time to mention the Refy Duo Brush | £16. It's a dual-ended brush: one side is duo-fibre and I use this to stipple on the highlight and the bronzer. The more densely-packed end is great for applying the blusher; I press it into my skin and build the colour up like that. Lastly, I also love, love, loved the Refy Cream Bronzer in Tan | £18. This has a really great level of pigment and again, I find the formula very buildable. It's the perfect shade for me to get that lovely natural warmth to my skin.
We have to kick off the eye makeup favourites with a product I've been buying for years: the Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion | £19.50. This is a kind of sheer-cream and you only need a tiny dab of this blended across each eye to create a base for your eyeshadow that not only helps colours pop on the lid but also prevents creasing and fading throughout the day. I always notice such a difference when I forget to use this!
Cream shadows are great for lazy days. The Vieve Eye Wand in Camel | £21 | is my perfect matte warm medium-brown nude colour. It can be used as an eyeshadow base or on its own for those times when you need your makeup to be low-effort but you just want that bit of definition in the eye area. You get a bit of playtime to blend it out, but it sets down to a lasting finish. For something more sheeny, I like the Nudestix Magnetic Luminous Eye Colour in Copper Foil | £20 | full review. This is an ultra-metallic-look cream formula that can be sheered out for a glossy lid look or built to a really beautiful intensity. It's a warm gold with a slightly amber undertone.
When it comes to powder shadows when I'm doing something a bit more exciting, I really love the Huda Beauty Toffee Brown Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette | £27. I'm a huge fan of the curation behind these palettes - they're mini, travel-friendly and have really cohesive colour stories so it's incredibly intuitive to create a look with them. This is a warm brown colour story with some rosy and golden pops. The mattes are pigmented but blend like a dream and these metallics have a wonderful, bold finish on the lids (I press them on with my fingers).
A product I recently emptied and will absolutely repurchase in the future is the Patrick Ta Major Dimension Precision Gel Liner in Rich Brown | £22. I pretty much only tight-line on a day-to-day basis and this warm espresso brown liner was perfect for that. It has good colour payoff and the right level of softness to glide right on. It has good longevity too.
I always circle back to the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara | £9.99 | full review. Don't get me wrong: I enjoy other mascaras, but nothing seems to have really superseded this for me. It's just the perfect balance of giving me amazing length but also a beautiful, fluttery, separated level of volume.
For my brows, I really haven't put down the Refy Brow Collection (Medium) | £40 | since I got it. This is made up of 3 products also available individually and I don't necessarily do all 3 steps every single day. There's a bit of a process to this but first you brush up your brows with the Brow Sculpt Gel and that gives a good amount of hold, before brushing that through with the clean end. Next you use their Brow Pomade to fill in any large gaps and finally you draw in the individual hairs anywhere else you need with the Brow Pencil and brush everything through. It's a long-wearing look that adds real dimension to the brows.
Whenever I'm going for an easy lip look, one of my default formulas is from Fresh, and this year the shade I've been using the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Spice | £19.50 | a lot. This is a really nourishing formula with a light wash of warm reddish-brown nude that you can throw in your bag and apply when you're out and about. Another option for a bit more pigmentation is the Charlotte Tilbury Hyaluronic Happikiss in Happipeach | £25. This is more like a sheer lipstick than a tinted balm and comes in a warm peachy tone that's gorgeous paired with the Refy blush on the cheeks.
I then have a couple of more glam options. When I don't want the fuss of a matte lip, the Fenty Gloss Bomb Cream in Honey Waffles | £17 | is perfect. This is a dimensional gloss with a more creamy, pigmented look on the lips, so you kind of get the effect of using a lipstick with a gloss over the top in a single step. This warm brown-caramel nude is perfect on me. Or, if I want to add some sophistication to a makeup look for the evening, I like reaching for the Vieve Modern Matte Lipstick in Power Suit | £19. This is a lovely, rich, warm reddish-brown matte that isn't drying and doesn't cling in an unflattering way. It glides right on and looks beautiful.
What makeup have you reached for time and time again this year?