It is a blessing and a curse to write about beauty. On one hand, often times you get the amazing opportunity to experience some of the most luxurious selections out there. Glamourous packing, exquisite formulas, seductive shades. But on the other hand, you often get hooked on some of these A-List products and end up repurchasing time and time again. This post is about my experience with high-end makeup, the kind of makeup that comes with a hefty price tag, but that I think is worth the splurge. These are my kind of treats …
~ Primers ~
Giorgio Armani Maestro UV Skin Defense Primer with SPF50 – Makeup that contains SPF can be tricky. It can make the skin greasy, thus makeup doesn’t hold up well through the day, and it can sometimes photograph poorly. But this Armani primer is the best of both worlds. Works great to prep the skin for makeup, as well as protects it against harmful UF rays.
Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow Instant Soft Focus Beauty Flash – I was initially very confused by this product. It has such a long name and I really didn’t understand what it was. But it’s basically a luminizing primer that works to revive tired and dull looking skin. It’s powered by a fluorescent core that converts UV light into skin luminosity. Sounds gimmicky I know, but to my surprise, it actually works. I’ve gone thru countless samples of this primer and each time I was so impressed with how my skin looked, that I ended up investing in the full size.
~ Foundation ~
By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Anti-Wrinkle Serum Foundation – Throw in the word anti-wrinkle and I’ll be willing to try just about anything! In all seriousness, this is a beautiful foundation that blends in like second-skin, lasts well throughout the day, and is enriched with plant active ingredients that provide skincare benefits. It has medium to full coverage and a soft, luminous matte finish. I have shade No. 7 Golden Beige and use this foundation on most days, as it’s a great option for every day wear. The shade range is rather limited and it took about 4 tries to find the right shade! I ordered this foundation from the Dermstore during one of their 20% off events. The other contenders for this category were the La Mer Soft Fluid Foundation reviewed in great detail here and the YSL All Hours Foundation reviewed here. I still enjoy my La Mer Foundation but recently discovered that it doesn’t hold up too well during the atrociously hot and humid Florida summers. While I was very impressed with the YSL All Hours Foundation before and after photos (which you can see here), the formula has a high content of alcohol so I tend to only use it for special occasions.
La Mer Radiant Concealer SPF25 – I have raved about this concealer in a previous post here. It does an excellent job covering my dark circles and brightening the under-eye area. It has a creamy formula that doesn’t cake nor does it accentuate my fine lines. The only issue is that the shade range is very limited so it’s been difficult to find a great match. I have shade 02 Medium which works great in the fall and winter, but it’s slightly too light for my summer tan. I haven’t yet tried the newly released formula see here, but it’s on my wishlist!
~ Powder ~
Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Powder – This powder is so incredibly finely milled that it’s almost imperceptible on the skin. It doesn’t cake nor does it settle into and accentuate fine lines. The only complaint is that you don’t get a lot of product for the money. I probably go thru two of these compacts a year!
Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre – This is a powder I’ve used for years! It provides such a natural finish and appears almost translucent on the skin. It is an expensive product but it does last a very long time. I think my current one has been with me for about 2 ½ years! While the packaging looks elegant on any vanity, it is slightly bulky and impractical for traveling and carrying around in your purse.
~ Bronzer ~
Tom Ford Bronzing Powder – Hands down my all-time favorite bronzer! I have the shade Gold Dust, a soft warm brown with ultra-fine gold shimmers that are almost imperceptible on the skin but that impart a gorgeous, luminous glow. I still use my Guerlain Bronzers previously mentioned here however, I find that Guerlain bronzers in general are super pigmented and take a lot more work to blend. Whereas Tom Ford bronzers, have just the right amount of pigment and apply so effortlessly!
~ Highlighter ~
Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze & Glow – Highlighters are so challenging for me! I have some enlarged pores on my cheeks and find that most highlighting products accentuate those trouble areas. But I do see value with wearing highlighter as it brightens up the face and imparts a healthy-looking glow. One solution I found is to reach for subtle highlighters such as the one included in the Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze & Glow Palette. The bronzing shade looks a little muddy on my skin tone, but the highlighter is so elegant and sophisticated, very natural-looking as well. A more affordable option is the ZOEVA Summer Strobe palette swatched and reviewed in detail here.
~ Blush ~
Tom Ford Cheek Color Blush – These blushes don’t come cheap, but everything from formula to pigmentation, to shade range and lasting power, is simply sublime! Applying these blushes is quite an experience. It’s like revealing the kind of healthy-looking, rosy glow you get when you work hard at the gym but of course minus the sweat! I picked up one of these during the Sephora Sale, No. 1 Frantic Pink. You do get a lot of product for the money, so I think this blush will last a long time.
~ Eyeshadows ~
Tom Ford Eye Color Quads – I only own one of these palettes, blogger favorite Honeymood Eyeshadow Quad. The shades are incredibly flattering, beautifully pigmented, blend effortlessly and don’t crease. Of all the eyeshadows I’ve ever tried, these Tom Ford ones last on my eyelids literarily all day until I remove my makeup.
Burberry Eye Palette Quads – Love Burberry makeup and have reviewed in detail some of their most iconic products in a previous post here. Their eyeshadows are probably the ones I recommend the most. For high-end makeup, they are reasonably priced, have good lasting power and a great selection of shades and finishes. They feel like silk on the skin and blend so seamlessly! My favorites are Burberry Nude Blush (see makeup look here) and Burberry Mocha (makeup look here).
Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow Palettes – Charlotte Tilbury formulas are incredibly finely milled and the shades look so flattering on the eyes. The packaging is so inconspicuous and light, these shadow palettes make the perfect travel companions. The only con is that these shades don’t last that long on my oily eye lids and tend to crease in this humid Florida weather even when I wear a primer underneath. I find that Tom Ford and Burberry eyeshadows have better lasting power but of course they are pricier as well. My favorite Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow quads are The Dolce Vita and The Golden Goddess which I previously mentioned here.
~ Eyeliner ~
Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen – I get anxiety when I think about how much this eyeliner cost me, even with the 20% off Sephora Sale price! But I gave into the hype and splurged on it! It comes with two different ends, both very precise: one is a tightly packed thin brush and the other looks like an ultra-fine felt tip marker. There is only one shade available, No. 1 Deeper. I find that when I use the marker tip, the shade is jet black versus carbon black with the brush end. What I like the most about this eyeliner is the fact that it doesn’t budge at all throughout the day! The hype is real! The only complaint is that it feels a little heavy and because it’s such a long pen, it doesn’t balance very well when you hold it to apply your makeup. But that’s just nitpicking. This is a very good and precise eyeliner.
~ Eyebrows ~
Anastasia Brow Wiz – This is a fine tip brow pencil that comes with a wand. It’s so easy to use and looks so natural. I have the shade Medium Brown. Ever since I discovered this a few years ago, I’ve not looked back. Truly a wiz!
~ Lipstick ~
Burberry Lip Velvet Liquid Lipsticks – It’s hard for me to pull off the matte liquid lipstick trend as my lips are webbed by lines, but these Burberry liquid Lip Velvets are so incredibly flattering on the lips! You can find swatches and a full review here.
Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks – These are some of the best lipsticks I’ve ever tried. They come in different formulas: matte (Matte Revolution range, previously mentioned here), cream sheens (Kissing range, my favorite shade is Penelope Pink, a beautiful warm toned nude) and velvet (Hot Lips range, swatches and review here).
Tom Ford Lipsticks – Everything about these is so luxe and sophisticated! I have previously mentioned them here and here. The only thing I dislike about Tom Ford Lipsticks is they start smelling like old lipstick within merely a year! If that scent doesn’t trouble you (it doesn’t linger much longer after application and to be honest I’ve still been using mine) or if you plan to use up your Tom Ford Lipstick within a year, then they’re worth the splurge!
And to put everything in context, here is a makeup look featuring the products mentioned. I started out by prepping the skin with my Armani Maestro Skin Defense Primer with SPF, on top of which I applied the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow and the By Terry Terrybly Densiless Foundation. Next, I set all these base products with my Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Powder. I’m wearing Tom Ford Frantic Pink on the cheeks, Tom Ford Honeymoon Eyeshadow Quad on the eyes and Tom Ford Revolve Around Me on the lips. Concealer, bronzer, highlighter, eyeliner and eye brow pencil are as mentioned in this post.
So these are some of my favorite high-end makeup products! I always try to splurge during some kind of a sale just as it feels better to know you’re saving a little. What high-end products have you been loving? Please do share in the comments below.
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