Beauty products post! Who doesn’t like a post about makeup? That’s the thing about beauty products – even when you think you’re completely satisfied with a particular product you’re using, there’s still something fun (and scary) about trying something that might be better? Below is what I’m currently using (skip down to the bottom for product photos!):
I always apply makeup to a clean and moisturized face. My skin has been pretty finicky the past couple years, and has become prone to clogged pores. It was recommended that I use a primer before applying foundation, and surprisingly, I think it’s really helped in preventing those tiny bumps from blocked pores. I always thought primers were solely used so makeup is applied more easily and evenly, but I’ve discovered that a primer can also act as a protective layer between your skin and your foundation. For everyday, I like Tarte Clean Slate Primer - it’s light and moisturizing, almost like a lotion (not silicone-y), and it smells like orange sherbert! For night/going out, I like Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, which has a more silky satin finish.
FOUNDATION & CONCEALER
After much trial and error, I found a BB cream that I actually like – Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Smart Gel BB. The reviews for this one are hit or miss, but I found it worked well for me. Most BBs have been too light or chalky for me, but this one tends to be more on the yellow/olive side (the “bad’ reviews say it’s too yellow), but it was perfect for my NC40 skin. It’s cooling and really moisturizing on my dry skin (the “bad” reviews say it’s too oily). PLUS SPF 30! I feel significantly less guilty about not wearing sunscreen since this has SPF 30 (most makeup has only SPF 15). I bought both shades that it comes in to mix depending on summer/winter. Per my sistar’s recommendation, I use the Urban Decay Optical Blurring Brush to apply and it blends really great – definitely the best foundation brush I’ve used by far. I use the BB for everyday, but for night, I’ll use Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 6.5. For concealer, I use the Cle de Peau Concealer stick in Ochre. Definitely a splurge at $70, but I love the coverage and it seriously lasts YEARS. I’ve had mine for over a year now and I’ve used maybe 40%. It can be a little drying (hence, great coverage), so I make sure my undereye is well moisturized first. I then dust Tarte Smooth Operator Finishing Powder on my undereye to set. I’ve found that I like the Tarte version more than the Makeup Forever version. Seems “softer” and less dry/crepey to me (MAYBE IN MY HEAD).
I’m currently using Chantecaille Loose Powder in Ray as my finishing powder, but I’m on the lookout for a new loose powder. It’s a great powder, and for sure the most finely milled powder I’ve ever used, but it’s pricey and I’m not sure the performance justifies the price. I apply it with the Lancome Mineral Powder Brush, which was a surprise winner. The size and density is great, and it DOESN’T SHED (MAC I’m looking at you!). For blush, I use NARS Blush in Desire, which has been my go-to blush shade since college. I’ve been using the same shade of blush for 10 years! <3 hot pink <3 I apply with the NARS Yachiyo brush, another new brush I discovered in the last year and half that I LOVE. The thin, flexible handle will changes the way you apply brush and I love it.
I’ve pretty much worn my eyeshadow the same way for the past 5 years and it’s just varying intensities of 2 colors – a matte smokey brown and a matte black. I use NARS Eyeshadow in Bali as the base color across the lid and darker on the outer 2/3 of the lid. MAC Mystery is a similar color that I used for years before this NARS one. MAC Eyeshadow in Carbon is, of course, the best blackest black, which I use on the outer corners. I use MAC brushes in 217 and 224, which I’ve owned for 10+ years, to apply.
For eyeliner and mascara, I’ve decided that I can’t tell the difference from drugstore and department store, and that drugstore liner and mascara is great. I switch back and forth between gel liner and liquid liner, but right now, I’m using L’Oreal Gel Liner in Blackest Black to do a cat eye. I’m also using the brush it comes with, which is surprisingly good for cat eye. I finish with CoverGirl LashBlast Mascara - I like how fat the brush is. On brows, I use Cle de Peau Eyebrow Pencil in 202, which is a grey/brown. Just because you’re Asian, don’t think that you should have black/grey eyebrows! I really like how ash brown this shade is. I also like Shu Uemura Hard Formula Pencil in Seal Brown, which is similar, but I have to hand-carve it into that “niigata” shape.
My favorite – the bold lip. Doesn’t matter the shade, if it’s a dark, bright lip, I love it. The past couple years, I’ve been leaning more on the fuchsia/magenta side, as opposed to red. It’s a little easier to wear from day to night, I think. My go-to daytime shade is Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie. For night, I like NARS Lipstick in Funny Face (lighter), or MAC Lipstick in Rebel (darker).