Best in Beauty 2016: makeup (complexion)


Welcome to my next Best in Beauty post for 2016! I'm sorry I'm a little late with this: as mentioned in earlier posts, we had house-guests staying over the Christmas period so I had to put away all my photo equipment and props, which meant I was behind with my photos for a while.

But yesterday I managed to sneak in a bundle of shots while the kids were asleep, and the first lot I've edited are these: my favourite makeup products for last year. There'll be two of these posts - this one, which focuses on complexion products, and another one that will focus on products for cheeks, lips and eyes.

Please note two things about the above photo: first, that one of my HG primers is missing (I finished it and threw out the empty - oops!); and second, that in my rush to get these shots done yesterday, my HG setting spray escaped my eye so you'll see it below but not above. Sorry! Ach, to have plenty of time and no baby brain...

Anyhoo. Let's have a look.

Best primers: Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer SPF 15 and Hourglass No 28 Serum Primer

Yes, there should be two Hourglass travel-sized primers in the above shot because I love both and they've been my favourite primers for a while. And although I'd prefer to pick just one product in any category, in this case they do different things and I use one over the other depending on what my skin's doing, so I'm giving myself a pass in this case.

The Hourglass No 28 Serum Primer is the only primer I've found to date that can completely manage any dry, flaky patches of skin I may have - meaning I no longer need to worry about whether my foundation will cling to dry patches because the issue is already managed. I've reviewed it here.

It's so beautifully hydrating and nourishing that my dry skin loves it (especially in winter), and it's also one of the few products that doesn't disappear by the gallon into my dry skin - so a little goes a long way and even the travel size lasted me well over a year. A fantastic product. 

As for the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer, believe the hype on this one because it's sensational - and, if possible, I may even use less of this per application than I do the serum primer - so I would never buy the full sizes of either because I'd never get through them! 

I've used this before and it was only after receiving this sample that I remembered how special it is. It really does smooth out the skin and create the perfect base for makeup. I've heard there's a NYX dupe for the product so I'll keep an eye out for it because I'm keen to compare the two, and I'll be writing my full review shortly so stay tuned for that.

Best base products: Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Gel Cream and Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser

This isn't another tie situation: the Bare Minerals base is my favourite everyday product and I consider the Nars tinted moisturiser to be my 'foundation' because it offers more coverage than I would typically use for a day look, so I tend to reach for that when I'm going out.

What I love about the Bare Minerals product is that it's hydrating and gives a natural finish on the skin, so it's great for no-makeup days or when you don't want to look overdone. The other bonus of this product is that I wear the same shade all year round and it somehow always looks right on me - and I can't say that of any other product I've used for a long time.

As for the Nars tinted moisturiser (reviewed here), what I love about it is that it's lightweight and sheer but still buildable so you can increase your coverage if you want (which is how I generally use it). It gives a natural look and evens out skintone nicely, while having a brightening effect and it's been a staple for me for a couple of years now. 

The only reason I would pick the Bare Minerals over this product is because there's such a jump between Nars Groenland (the shade I have) and St Moritz that I'm stuck either buying two shades and mixing them (too pricey) or buying one and adapting it, so when I use this I need to add the right amount of Becca Topaz and my Bodyography concealer (which is very yellow) to both darken it and swing the undertone from peach to yellow. It's harder to get the right balance than you might think!

Best concealer: Bare Minerals BareSkin Serum Concealer

This concealer is so damn good that I bought myself two shades (and I so rarely do that) - one slightly darker than my natural colouring and one slightly lighter - meaning I can go for the brighter under-eye look favoured by many or the look I personally prefer: putting a concealer over my (slightly raised) under-eye bags because that helps retract them. Plus this means I have a concealer that works when I'm at my lightest and darkest, so I can use both to cover blemishes and redness too.

Why is this formula so good? It feels hydrating and nourishing on the eye, plus it blends easily and doesn't settle into fine lines (provided I set it). It's so good that it hit HG status for me almost from the first use, and I'll be surprised if anything ever beats it - particularly considering that it's reasonably priced.

I also have an honourable mention in this category: the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer but only in the Medium shade. I have a second one of these in Light and the coverage isn't nearly as good, so I can't recommend that one but this Medium one's the best concealer I've found at the chemist/drugstore. 

It's not unlike the Bare Minerals concealer because it's not drying and the coverage is good - it's just not as rich and hydrating. I do love it though and it's a bargain if you can grab it at one of Priceline or Chemist Warehouse's half-price sales.

Mental note to review these soon!

Best complexion enhancers: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light and Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors (Liquid)

If I could only wear one makeup item for the rest of my life, it would be Hourglass' Dim Light. Why? Because nothing perfects the skin so beautifully and in a truly undetectable way. 

Forgive me if I've told this story before, but a while back we had some photos done and my mum - who rarely wears makeup and never puts anything like foundation on her skin when she does - asked me to do her makeup. She refused tinted moisturiser but allowed me to dust this over her face. Her expression said it all as she exclaimed: 'My god! I can see the difference.' She looked dumbfounded by what this little powder had achieved in a few strokes (can't blame her), and after the photos we went straight up to Mecca and bought her one.

It's just an amazing product and I thank the makeup gods that it was brought down to us from heaven. A dusting of this and I look five years younger and airbrushed - whether I'm wearing any other makeup or not. It's the kind of product that makes people start asking you whether you've changed your skincare lately because your skin looks so good. Incredible.

As for the Becca liquid illuminators (Opal is pictured above, and reviewed here), I've given the formula an HG tag because it's definitely the best liquid illuminator I've used to date. Plus it's reasonable value because you get so much product and the bottles last for ages.

The formula is a thin, light cream with no detectable scent and it gives you a beautiful, believable glow. It's one of those products that just vanishes into the skin without feeling heavy/oily or drying, so I'd say it would suit all skin types. 

I generally prefer liquid illuminators because they're more versatile, and if I had to pick a favourite of the three I've owned it would probably be Moonstone (even though Opal is best for spot highlighting on me), purely because I can use it to lighten any base that's a shade too dark for me. So perhaps I should try Pearl in future! I've got my eye on the Champagne Pop version too... 

Best setting spray: Banana Boat Soothing Aloe Mist After Sun Spray

If you read this blog, this winner will come as no surprise. I've reviewed it here. While others use it after sun exposure or as a primer, I use it as a setting spray to seal everything in and make myself look more dewy and less powdery.

I also use it to mist my face throughout the day and it's wonderfully cooling on the skin. My face always looks more hydrated and feels more refreshed after using this - and it stays that way for a while - which is all I'm after and it works a lot better for this purpose than many other facial sprays I've used. 

Even better, it's the cheapest one I've used! At $8.99 AUD for 250ml it's unbeatable - and I've usually found it for less than six bucks so it's worth grabbing one next time you're in the chemist or supermarket because, at that price, you won't hate me too much if it doesn't work for you too ; )

In sum

Them's my top complexion products for the year! I hope you enjoyed this post and I apologise again for the delay. Fingers crossed for me that I'm able to get my second makeup favourites up within a week.

Also, note that I'm yet to find an HG setting powder and my favourite powder foundation remains the Bodyography products on last year's list (see last year's makeup favourites here), which is why I haven't included anything from those categories.

Speak soon, and hope you're finding some time to watch the tennis x

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