My Top 10 Make-Up Discoveries

You know it or not, but on the side, I am also a semi-pro make-up artist. I have worked as MUA in a beauty studio, given classes, and done the make-up for 4 brides, and a website photoshoot.

I love make-up, shopping for it, testing new stuff; I have tons of it, love the effect it has on people, and mostly – the self-expression it allows me to do. Romantic wide-eyed look for a date, funky look for a music festival, or all-black-eyed, heavy make-up when I am in a shitty mood (even if I am alone at home) – it’s my artistry, my way to transfer my emotions, and also to influence the perceptions of people.

The US is great for make-up – the prices are great, there is a much much wider choice of brands and products, and the high level of customer service here means you can get free samples of almost everything, try out things and return them if you didn’t like them, and get extras when you purchase.

Sephora is my candy store – my Wonderland, my playground and my go-to place when I want anything make-up. Each of the tens of stores in NYC carries slightly different range – good for white-, but best for color cosmetics. Here are some of my fav newbies, mostly from there, but a lot of the products are from big brands, and can also be found in Europe. Ask if you have a specific question or you need a reco:

1. Anastasia Highlighter/Blush Duo – a little pot, with a creamy blush and a liquid highlighter. Both super-sparkly, pleasant and sheer. Sexy stuff.

2.  Lancome Teint Idole 24hr Foundation – lightweight, just the right balance between matt and radiant effect, it really lasts very long, without discomfort to the skin. J’adore.

3. Urban Decay Naked2 Eyeshadow Palette – great combo of sparkly and matt shades; if you only have one eye shadow set, I would recommend this one. Good quality, and goes well with any skin/eye color.

4. Nars Blush in Orgasm – Nars is one of my fav brand – it has a bunch of iconic products, but is totally unknown in Europe. Their shade of blush called “Orgasm” is worth the trip to the US alone. The sexy name was chosen as it supposedly mimics the pretty glow girls get after experiencing the big O, and it is so successful, and universally flattering, that it has expanded into a full line of products. Also see this dissassembled version of the cult shade: Nars Foreplay

5. Lancome Eye Shadow Palette in Mint Jolie – mmh, delicious. I am still fighting with myself – should I splurge for it or not? The mint/teal greens are THE make-up trend this A/W.

6. Dior Hidra Life BB Creme – BB creams, together with primers, are the current star categories in make-up retail – categories growing like crazy, with more and more options, at different price levels, and variants. BB cream stands for Blemish Balm (I think that’s a horrible name, so thank god they acronimed it), and it’s an Asian thing – 13% of the beauty market in countries like Korea and Japan. In Asia women make ritual out of skin care, and are famous for layering multiple products. This concept obviously saved them time, by condensing couple of steps — moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock all-in-one. Some of the cheaper brands I’ve tried have bad formulas – too heavy, but this is a great product, although a bit capricious. Lasts super long, gives the most natural skin finish you’ve ever seen, hydrates and covers, almost waterproof, but it glides on a bit difficult, so you need to blend it well, and it has a yellow tint – so only if you’re a “warm undertone” do try this product.

7. Sephora feat. Pantone Eyeshadow Palette – how could I not fall in love: MacBook-like box design and funky colors, coming from Pantone, a company that everyone in the marketing, photography, design, product packaging etc. worlds use?

8. Dior Skinflash Primer – primers are the new serums – great products that make amazing difference for your skin. Since I have non-problematic skin, this one is great – it gives loads of radiance and shines through the colored product applied on top to stay smoother for longer.

9. Tarte Cheek Stain – hard gel formula, in bright, sophistivated colors. Stays sheer and natural, super easy to blend and very naturally looking. Like summer in a little round box.

10. Make Up For Ever Waterproof Eyebrow Gel – all about great performance – it really lasts long, and doesn’t run.

BONUS: This teeth-whitening device is something I really want to try, but the high price on my low budget is definately a deterrent. Lovely promise of in-home whitening, no sensitivity and lasting results.

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