{A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog}

Monday, 17 October 2016

Simplified Haircare Edit

At the risk of sounding like I'm bragging - I've always had naturally long and healthy hair. The kind of hair that didn't require any upkeep other than regular shampooing and conditioning. Sounds like a dream, doesn't it? Sadly, after I moved to London, things took a turn for the worse. The hard water made my hair dry and frizzy – a complete turnabout from my shiny-hair-don't-care days. Apart from looking lank, I had terrible hair fall too – my heart sank every time I saw clumps of hair in the drain or stuck to the brush. For a while, I ignored it thinking my hair needed time to adjust to the hard water (how foolish!) but it kept getting worse.

After what feels like never-ending rounds of trial and error, I've finally found a simple routine that my hair is happy with. The Davines OI shampoo is intensely moisturising and lathers up quite nicely for a sulphate-free formula. While I felt it was a little drying at first, it took my scalp close to two months to get used to it. Featuring a cocktail of nourishing ingredients like roucou and sunflower seed oil, this shampoo works to repair cellular damage without stripping the hair of natural oils.

While it costs a small fortune, a little goes a long way with this one (the 280 ml bottle lasts me four months). Funnily enough, I had already found a conditioner that did wonders for my limp and lifeless mane, so I didn't buy the corresponding OI conditioner. The Percy & Reed Foaming Masque was love at first use – the foaming mask comes out like a mousse and needs to be applied in sections. I don't always do that, but it works nevertheless! It cuts the blow-drying time in half and adds major volume. It really plumps up the volume and makes the hair appear fuller and healthier. I've gone through three bottles of these, and they are a serious quick fix if you want bouncy hair.

Since I have fine hair, I refrain from using too many styling products. The only two products in my current rotation are the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray and OUAI Finishing Creme. Housed in a sleek, white tube, the Finishing Cremé acts as a moisturiser, while protecting the hair from heat styling products. I apply it to the lengths of my hair to keep it nourished and hydrated. Sometimes, I apply a tiny blob to third-day hair to tame frizz and add shine. A multi-purpose must-have!

I also occasionally use the Dry Texturising Spray to add some grit and texture to the hair. Part hairspray and part dry shampoo, this product is perfect for creating a lived-in look. Since taking the above picture, I've also acquired the OUAI Treatment Masque. Packaged in individual sachets (clever!), this masque is reserved for days when I need a dose of hydration. The rich and creamy formula hydrates the hair without weighing it down. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Hydrating Skincare Trio

While I follow a pretty solid cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise routine; I handpick different products every day to treat my skin’s particular needs. And once in a while, I discover a skincare combination that completely blows me away – Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate mixed with First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is liquid gold! It's like a super-charged oil-moisturiser hybrid that leaves the skin feeling smooth and balanced.

Another such happy accident was when I randomly picked the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, Fresh Sugar Face Polish and the Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask to treat my severely dry skin and the result was gloriously happy and hydrated skin. I was so amazed by the results that I made my husband try it the next day.

I had a few hormonal breakouts around the chin, and my skin was flaking around the mouth area. I wanted to add moisture back into the skin and also calm down the angry red spots. I began by cleansing my face with the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. Chock-full of skin nourishing ingredients (omegas 3 & 6 and vitamins A & E), this gel cleanser whisks away any dullness and leaves the skin feeling perfectly clean.

While I don’t always use physical exfoliants, they are great for getting rid of any product build-up. Fresh makes some beautifully formulated products and the Sugar Face Polish is certainly one of them. Formulated with pure brown sugar and strawberry seeds, this scrub isn’t too scratchy and melts into an oily consistency once massaged into the skin. The sugar granules are very gentle and provide the perfect level of exfoliation. This face polish sloughs away dead skin cells without leaving me looking red-faced. 

To replenish my skin with some much-needed moisture, I slapped on a generous layer of the Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask. This is the most ridiculously expensive but effective mask I’ve ever tried. I’ll happily live on soup for the rest of the month to repurchase this because it’s that good. 

Containing hyaluronic acid and vitamins B & C, this creamy mask is intensely moisturising. It has an immediate cooling sensation on application, and the whipped consistency is seriously a delight to use. This antioxidant-rich mask imparts an instant luminosity and radiance to the face. 

Monday, 15 August 2016

Five Things That Make Me Happy

1) Lingerie// This might seem like an odd thing to say, but wearing pretty lingerie makes me feel confident. I never gave much thought to what I was wearing until I purchased a beautiful Chantilly lace chemise for my birthday and that kicked off my love affair for delicate and feminine underthings. This mesh bralette from H&M makes a pretty underpinning for everyday outfits. It’s incredibly comfortable, and the underwiring offers extra support.

2) Lipstick// Red lipstick makes such a powerful statement. I’ve always shied away from reds because I believed bold lipsticks never looked good on me. But this sheer lipstick from Chanel changed everything – it’s a luminous ruby red that suits my olive skin nicely. It’s bright without being too overpowering. This is my go-to colour for all the important occasions that require me to bring my A-game.

3) Flowers// The sight of blooming roses make me incredibly happy. I always have flowers around the house because it instantly uplifts the mood. My secret (not anymore) dream is to turn my house into an urban jungle with flowering plants and succulents – but alas the English weather is not conducive to it.

4) Bath// Running a bath on the weekends is my favourite thing to do. I always make an event out of it by lighting some candles and watching re-runs of Lisa Eldridge’s videos. Soaking in the bath is such a great stress buster, and these Himalayan Pink Salts from Therapie detoxify the body and soothe muscle aches.

5) Fragrance// This Molecule 01 perfume is wonderfully warm and masculine. I’ve had so many people ask me what perfume I’m wearing ever since I discovered it. Oddly, I can smell it on myself, and it lingers all day long. The fact that I’ve finally discovered my signature scent makes me jump with joy!

Saturday, 13 August 2016

SS16 Makeup Trends With Farfetch

Farfetch, a new destination for luxury beauty hosted an evening for bloggers in collaboration with London Makeup School. They showcased some of the most popular makeup trends of Spring/Summer 2016. The evening started with prosecco and a wide selection of hors d’oeuvres to get the conversation flowing. It was a surprisingly sunny evening and the venue provided the perfect platform for bloggers to meet and interact. The makeup artists from London Makeup School recreated the looks seen on the runways of Kenzo, Chanel and Chloé. 

Here's a photo journey of what transpired on the day: 


Friday, 12 August 2016

Wardrobe Organisation Decoded

Now that we’re well into the second half of this year, it’s a good time to re-assess your New Year style resolutions. If you’re anything like me, it’s always a good time for a wardrobe declutter. This task can feel overwhelming to many but having a simple step-by-step guide can help you create that functional, stylish and organised wardrobe of your dreams! What’s more, it can also help you declutter your mind. Remember that a simple guide is one that works for you and your closet. Here’s mine:

Set aside some time

Depending on how big (or cluttered) your wardrobe is, you’ll need to set aside some time for this task. You could use a couple of hours on a free weekday or set aside half a weekend.

Empty everything out

Yes, it is important to take every single thing out. All of it! You’ll probably find that dress you had been looking for, or even discover some hidden ‘gems’ that you had forgotten all about. Most importantly, you need to give the inside of your wardrobe a good clean anyway – must admit; this is my favourite bit of the entire process!

Quickly sort your stuff out

Do not delay this step or else you’ll end up sleeping on the couch, with your entire wardrobe on your bed (yes, been there, done that). I generally sort out my wardrobe pieces into piles: a ‘keep’ pile and a ‘to go’ load. If I have a hard time deciding about anything, it goes in a ‘may be’ pile, but I try to keep this to a minimum. It is important to be ruthless here if you’re serious about decluttering – my general rule is: if I haven’t worn a piece of clothing for a year or if it is new with its tags still on even a year later, it’ll need to go. Trying everything on (not all at the same time!) will help you decide which pieces make you look and feel good.

Put things back in an organised way

It’s finally time to put your carefully selected pieces back into your clean wardrobe. Organisation is key here. You could neatly arrange your clothing in a way you find most appropriate. Some people prefer splitting home- and work-wear in different sections. Others prefer the colour grouping approach. Consider using quality hangers that are non-slip and don’t take up too much space in your wardrobe. You can also roll or fold your basic t-shirts, nightwear and gym-wear in drawers. Drawer dividers, boxes or tiered shelves can be extremely useful in storage and wardrobe organisation. Your most worn and loved pieces can also hang on a free-standing rail; it makes morning dressing so much easier and also looks beautiful.


Don’t forget to sit back, relax and bask in the glory of your ‘new’ wardrobe, where everything fits and looks great on you. And just in case you were wondering, my ‘to go’ pile goes to charity (if it’s all in a good condition). As for my ‘may be’ pile, I usually take my mom’s opinions to decide what stays – because somehow, she’s always right!

How often do you declutter your wardrobe, and what are your top tips?



Monday, 8 August 2016

Everyday Lipstick Wardrobe

A muted, natural lip colour is my go-to option for everyday. They form the foundation of my lipstick wardrobe – they are fail-safe and partner perfectly with every makeup look. Here’s a run-down of my favourites: 

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Walkyrie: Creamy and non-drying, this lip pencil is a touch darker than my natural lip colour. It’s the perfect dusty pink shade for olive skin tones. It glides onto lips smoothly and seamlessly without highlighting any texture.

Mac Velvetease Lip Pencil in Aim To Please: Very similar to Walkyrie, except it has a slight mauve-y undertone. The velvety formula makes it the perfect choice for a daytime pout. It sits comfortably on the lips without feathering.

Bobbi Brown Lip Colour in Nude: A rosy-mauve hybrid that’s hydrating and easy-to-wear. This sheer lipstick is not sticky and applies really smoothly. It lends a subtle sheen to the lips without looking overtly glossy.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Bond Girl: I’ve talked about this lipstick here and here. It’s a cross of rose with mauve and looks really natural on my lips. It’s a comfortable matte option that’s long-lasting and pairs well with a smokey eye.

RMS Lip2Cheek in Modest: This multipurpose product delivers a hint of moisture to lips and gives them a luminous sheen. I like to pat it onto my lips as it goes on slightly patchy.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Dialogue: A classic red that can be sheered out for a muted finish. The lightweight consistency makes it easy to touch up throughout the day. Packed with pigment, this lipstick is hydrating and feels weightless on the lips.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Mid-Week Facial Edit

Due to the bipolar British weather, my skin is vacillating between dry and dehydrated. Here’s a little routine I follow to revive my skin after a mid-week slump.

Cleanse: I start by cleansing my face with the Eve Lom Cleanser. The slightly medicinal smelling balm is extremely gentle on the skin. I massage it in circular motions until it breaks down the makeup. After that, I wet a flannel in warm water and get rid off the residue. The mineral oil base is a bone of contention for many, but here’s what Lisa Eldridge has to say about it.

Exfoliate: I recently added the Fresh Sugar Face Polish to my skincare line-up and my skin has never been more happier. Made from brown sugar and strawberry seeds, it sloughs away dead skin cells and leaves the skin soft and clear. 
Mask: I always begin with a clay mask to get rid off any blackheads. My go-to option is the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask. This mask is great for reviving sallow and congested skin. It draws out impurities without leaving the skin feeling tight.

Eye Mask: These Klorane Smoothing And Relaxing Eye Patches are great for de-puffing and hydrating the under eye area. Formulated with cornflower extract, they have an immediate cooling effect, which makes them perfect for bleary mornings as well.

Serum : The Caudalie Polyphenol serum is a permanent fixture in my skincare routine. It’s light, hydrating and sinks in swiftly.

Oil + Massage: Packed with natural anti-inflammatory agents, organic argan oil is a do-it-all product in my routine. I mix it in with foundations, hair masks and sometimes a concealer. This one from Neal’s Yard is viscous and odd smelling but does the trick every single time.  This is arguably my favourite part of the routine. I press a few drops of the oil onto my face and use the Yu Ling roller along the cheekbones and jawline to drain fluid. Made from jade, the cooling roller is great for a mini face-lift.

Hydrating Mask: Finally, I end the long-winded process with a hydrating mask. Fresh Rose Face Mask is wonderfully light and hydrating. I always wake up with plump and radiant skin after using this one.

PS: Looking for an idyllic getaway? Read about this beautiful place that left us completely mesmerised! 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Facial Oils For All Skin Types

Facial Oils – do you love their nourishing properties or steer clear of them in fear of appearing too greasy? Although tricky to incorporate into skincare regimes, facial oils are, in fact, a hidden skincare gem. With a little bit of investigation and rethinking, most skin types can enjoy the benefits of oil.

Dry/Dehydrated Skin

Because an oil can penetrate into your skin at a deeper level than your regular moisturiser, it provides much-needed hydration and radiance to dry, lack-lustre complexions.

Try: Origins Plantscription Youth Renewing Face Oil, Neal’s Yard Remedies Rehydrating Rose Facial Oil, The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil

Combination/Oily Skin

Applying oil to an already oily complexion not only sounds scary but also counter-intuitive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Introducing an appropriate facial oil to combination/oily skin actually counteracts the production of sebum, thereby helping to re-balance skin’s oil production and restore a healthy complexion.

Try: Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, Dr. Hauschka Normalising Day Oil, Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil

Acne-prone Skin

Some oils have natural antimicrobial properties, which can help reduce breakouts and associated scars.

Try: Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil, Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil, Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil

Overnight Oils & Concentrates

Personally, this is probably the easiest (and most effective!) way to incorporate oils in your skincare routine. Usually a blend of essential oils, botanicals and anti-ageing vitamins, these elixirs help restore and rejuvenate skin, helping it to look plump and youthful by morning.

Try: Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (my absolute favourite!), Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate, Neal’s Yard Remedies Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Oil, OSKIA Restoration Oil

What’s your favourite facial oil? If you don’t use face oils, would you now consider adding one to your skincare routine? Let’s talk all things oil !



Wednesday, 29 June 2016

How To Wake Up Better

As far as I can remember, I’ve been a morning person. I love crumpled beds, the soft light filtering through the windows and the smell of fresh oj. While I spring out of bed every morning, my husband wakes up wanting to go back to the soporific bed. Since the English weather is quite rubbish, I can’t help but empathise with those who detest mornings with a vengeance. While caffeine is an easy solution, these steps will make waking up a little more cheerful.

1) Limit screen time before going to bed. Switching off completely is an essential step in helping you sleep better. While I am guilty of scrolling through my Twitter feed tucked in bed, this article opened my eyes to the hazards of using devices in bed.

2) If I’m feeling particularly restless, I apply some argan oil onto my face and give myself a light massage. This helps me relax and let go of the day’s stresses. Also, I like to set the mood before going to bed – I add some essential oils into an aroma diffuser and set it for thirty minutes. The heady scent always lulls me to sleep.

3) Don’t hit snooze! Wake up as soon as the alarm rings. I know this is hard, especially on cold wintry mornings but once your body clock is on track, you will spring out of the bed without any trouble.

4)  If you sleep in a room that's blessed with natural light, open the blinds and let the light fill the room. This will make you feel instantly more awake. 

 5) While caffeine is the preferred choice for many, I start my day with a glass of water infused with cucumber, honey, and lemon. It gives me an instant energy boost and keeps me hydrated throughout the day.

6) Having a routine helps. After taking a hot shower, I sit down to do my makeup. This is a routine I look forward to every day – even if I’ve woken up feeling grumpy, this makes me feel more in control of my day. I switch on some music (much to the dismay of my sleepy husband) and go about painting my face. 

Are you an early riser? What are your thoughts on this? 

Friday, 24 June 2016

How To Have A Happy Outlook

Happiness – the much discussed (and desired) state of being, which ironically remains to be ever elusive. Are you waiting for that perfect job, car, spouse and house, to be genuinely happy? Some people spend their entire lives waiting for happiness to happen! I used to be in that category until I slowly (but surely) realised that positivity and happiness can be facilitated by ‘training’ yourself to have a happy mind-set and taking care of your overall well being.

Here are some of my top tips:

1) Take a walk (or run) in natural, green spaces. There’s so much to learn from nature, and it’s amazing how a simple walk can completely change your perspective and attitude to daily worries of life. I used this technique time and again during my stressed PhD life. These nature-walks not only inspired me but also helped me to detach from my worries and (literally) ‘see the bigger picture of life’.

2) Surround yourself with positive people, and don’t forget to show some appreciation. Spread good vibes!

3) Make time for yourself - 'me time' is very important for living a balanced life. Read that book you’ve wanted to read but haven’t had the time to. Take a long bath and melt your worries away. Play your favourite music, hum and dance along. Treat yourself. Practise yoga. Spend time on a hobby. Do whatever you want to do, even if it is doing nothing.

4) Stop comparing yourself to others and defining success on their terms – by doing that, you’re only being horrible to yourself. Instead, accept and love yourself. Be aware of your ‘conversation’ with yourself; replace toxic self-talk with a positive and loving tone (e.g. replace ‘failure’ with ‘lesson’).

5) Be grateful – for little things, big things, and everything! To cultivate gratitude as a habit/practice, create your own gratitude journal or a daily happy list. I can’t emphasise this enough – it’s true, the difference between happy people and unhappy people is their level of gratitude.

6) Be fully present in the moment. This simple task has become extremely complicated with ever-present social media and constant demands of our hectic lives. Meditation helps with living your life in the ‘here and now’. There are various meditation techniques to choose from. I have been practising Heartfulness meditation for many years now, and the very first effect I observed in myself was a general feeling of lightness and tranquillity. Also, I used to have a very pessimistic outlook in life and this slowly, and naturally, changed to a positive, balanced attitude. Apart from these more recognisable changes, there are subtler changes that are not very easy to describe in words; all I can say is that meditation has helped me connect with my inner self, allowing me to really live from the heart!


P.S. Just as I started this post, my husband expressed his un-happiness at finding the first strand of grey hair on his head. Perfect timing? Natural process? Turning older and wiser? Make of it what you will. We sure had a hearty laugh!


Friday, 17 June 2016

How To Lead An Ethical Lifestyle

With consumerism at an all-time high, I find myself questioning whether I’m on the bandwagon or, actually, making a conscious effort towards being an ethical consumer. I’m certainly not ‘there’ yet. Life is a continuous learning process and I’d like you to treat this post as a summary of my research (so far!) towards creating a ‘greener’ lifestyle with respect to using ethical clothing and cruelty-free cosmetics.

In my search to find a comprehensive definition to ethical and sustainable fashion, the following really stood out to me.

Ethical fashion is fashion that was made with social justice in mind. It is the fashion items that have been made using fair trade schemes, small business (hand made, local, etc), products that give back to communities/charities, and social enterprise schemes. Ethical can also include the exclusion of animal products and animal testing depending on the purchasers values.” – Katie Roberts, Sustainability in Style 

Sustainable fashion also refers to the consumer – I want to buy items that can sustain me, too. I want the price point to be appropriate, I want the style to be relatively versatile and timeless (or else, very very special!) and I want the quality of the item to be top notch. Something that is well made and fairly paid for and that will stand the test of time in terms of both structure and style.” – Faye Lessler, Sustaining Life

As reflected in the statements above, the word ‘ethical’ has several implications; what it means to me could be completely different from your understanding of it.

 Here are some common tips for having a sustainable wardrobe:

Decide your ethical/eco-friendly priorities – ethical manufacturing (safe and healthy work environments, fair trade), eco-conscious (sustainable materials, energy efficient, minimal waste), local (handmade/artisan, locally sourced material, small business) or vegan/cruelty-free (no animal products, faux fur and leather, no animal testing (cosmetics)).

Avoid impulse shopping

This is a difficult one for me but some of my tips and tricks include: ask yourself if you really need that piece in your wardrobe (if necessary, ‘sleep over it’), have a general idea of your style and what you need before you go shopping (keeping a wish-list can actually help with this process!), focus on a timeless piece.

Shop for second-hand clothing

Options include: charity shops (large selection for low prices), vintage stores (specialty clothing), and consignment stores (organised selection of quality pieces, where you can sell and trade in items).
·      Raid your parents’ wardrobes for those classic, high-quality pieces.
·      Organise clothing swaps with friends and family.
·      Care for your clothes and donate them when you’re no longer using them.

Now onto cruelty-free cosmetics, these are makeup, skin-, hair- and body-care products that have not been tested on animals. There are some cruelty-free brands that are owned by ‘parent’ companies, which continue to test on animals. Again, it is up to the consumer to decide his/her ethical priorities.

When going through my beauty stash, I was extremely chuffed to find that many of the products in there belonged to cruelty-free brands. To name a few, these include LUSH, Neal’s Yard Remedies, EcoTools, Makeup Revolution, BarryM, Sleek, Wet’n’Wild, Pixi, NARS and The Body Shop. For a more complete (and well-researched!) list of cruelty-free brands, please click on this link

PS: A special shout-out to Verena Erin, an eco/fair fashion and green beauty vlogger, whose inspirational content has encouraged me to be more aware of myself as a consumer. Check out her Youtube channel – My Green Closet.

What are your views on this issue?



Friday, 29 April 2016

Current Beauty Favourites

Hi everyone! Here’s my first beauty blog post so what better way to start than to share my recent most-loved beauty products?! 
Pixi Glow Mist
Described as an all-over glow mist for a radiant and dewy effect, I feel this product totally lives up to its promise. It is enriched with 13 natural oils including soothing and hydrating propolis, aloe vera and fruit extracts. This multi-purpose product can be used before makeup as a primer, after makeup for added glow, and also post-cleansing (my favourite method!), to leave your skin feeling nourished and moisturised. Remember to shake before use, and enjoy the super-fine mist on-the-go. This spray potion is wonderfully light and breezy on the skin.  

Topshop Blush in Head Over Heels 
I’ve hit pan on this blush so it is no surprise that I LOVE it. This spring coral (peachy) colour is the one I have been reaching for on most days as it adds a lovely natural flush to my complexion. The cream to powder finish is very easy to work with, and I usually use my fingers to apply and blend this product.

Nyx High Definition Blush in Intuition
Anyone who know me well, will know my love for blushers; I just couldn’t resist adding another one to this list. I haven’t had this Nyx blush for as long as the Topshop one but it has quickly made its way into my everyday essentials. Its rosy plum, warm undertones add a beautiful sheen to my cheeks, and the great pigmentation means that a little goes a long way. I also really like the sleek packaging including the signature Nyx bow clasp.

Bourjois Java Rice Powder
This pretty, vintage-looking product is a loose illuminating powder, which is a reinvention of one of Bourjois’ most popular products from 1879! At first, I was concerned that this pinky-hued, shimmery powder might make me look as sparkly and shiny as a disco ball, but in reality, it brightens up my complexion, making it look luminous and ‘lit from within’.

Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes in 01 Bountiful Beige
This is my go-to cream eyeshadow stick when I want something lightweight and fuss-free (most days, to be honest). It is great for that one wash of colour over eyelids, with just the perfect amount of pigmentation and shimmer. I love the versatility of this product and also use it to highlight my cheekbones and in the inner corners of my eyes.

Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette in Comfort Zone
This is a stunning drugstore eyeshadow palette that goes with me on all my travels. The left-hand side ‘eyelid’ shade is visibly well-loved by me; this rose gold (peachy bronze) shade not only looks gorgeous on the eyelids but also goes with most makeup looks. I also like the left-hand side ‘crease’ colour, and the right-hand side ‘definer’ shade is a very interesting duo-chrome. All the eyeshadows in this palette are silky to the touch, easy to blend, and have an amazing colour payoff.

MAC Lipstick in Vegas Volt
This is a striking coral shade that I whip out every spring and summer. It is a lipstick that instantly brightens my face, and one that I think will suit most skin tones. I also find the ‘Amplified’ finish extremely hydrating and easy on the lips. It’s one of the most gorgeous coral lipsticks out there.

Have you tried and tested any of these products? If yes, I’d love to know what you think of them. 



Friday, 15 April 2016

Makeup Must-Haves for Beginners

Here’s a quick checklist of beauty products that can serve as a good foundation (pun intended!) for a beginner’s makeup guide. 
Choose a creamy formula, which can hide under-eye dark circles and cover blemishes. You may find that you prefer one concealer for dark circles and another one for spots/blemishes/scars – that’s totally fine.

Top Picks: Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, Maybelline Age Rewind Eye Concealer, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

Focus on this step if you have uneven skin tone or discolouration. With so many options to choose from, there’s something for everyone – use a foundation for high coverage, and a BB cream or tinted moisturiser for a light, natural base.

Top Picks: Garnier BB Cream, BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation, MAC Pro Long Wear Foundation.

Setting Powder
A good translucent powder can set makeup as well as control extra shine.

Top Picks: Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder, Bourjois Healthy Balance Compact Powder, Dior Diorskin Nude Air Compact Powder

Blush / Blush & Bronzer Duo
Inject some life into your skin by adding a pop of colour to the apples of your cheeks. Although the choice of blush shades will vary according to skin tone, start with lighter colours for a natural flush. A bronzer adds a beautiful, warm glow to the skin, and to keep it convenient, the market is filled with blusher and bronzer duos.

Top Picks: Sleek MakeUP Blushes, Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy BlushersSoap & Glory Solar Powder Bronzer, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

This is not an essential step but an important one for those who covet that ‘lit-from-within’ look. Highlighters are light, shimmery champagne or golden-toned powders/liquids that are applied to the high points of the face - tops of the cheekbones, under the brow, bridge of the nose, and the cupid’s bow. Remember to use a light hand, especially if you have oily skin or large pores. Sometimes, less really is more.

Top Picks: Collection Speedy HighlighterTopshop Glow Highlighter, theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter

The perfect eyeshadow for everyday use is just a few shades darker than your skin tone. Using an easy-to-blend cream eyeshadow all over your eyelids is a good place to start with. For more depth, brush a flattering, neutral/medium shade in the crease of your eyes, blending it out well so that there are no harsh lines.

Top Picks: MUA Eyeshadow Palettes, Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo Cream Gel Eyeshadows, By Terry Ombre Blackstar Melting Eyeshadows

Use a black eye pencil as a liner along your lashes and/or on your waterline. This helps to define and enhance the shape of your eyes. If you find black eyeliner a little too harsh, a brown eye pencil can give a beautiful, soft look. Look for a formula that glides on easily, without any tugging. You can also choose a nude eyeliner to line your waterline if you wish to ‘open up’ your eyes and brighten the area.

Top Picks: Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof KohlL'Oreal Paris Super Slim Eyeliner, Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Eye Pencil

If you’re into long and fluttery eyelashes, then your makeup bag is incomplete without a good mascara. Like most makeup, mascara is very subjective but stick with basic black (or dark brown if you have light hair and lashes). Ensure that your mascara is clump-free, for evenly coating and curling all your lashes.

Top Picks: Maybelline Lash Sensational, Clinique High Impact Mascara, Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Brow Products
Brows frame a face, and therefore, make a huge difference to any look. That being said, this area can be overwhelming for makeup beginners. I have quite defined eyebrows, so it’s sufficient to use a brow gel, ensuring my brows stay in place and behave! A brow pencil is great for filling in sparse areas; the trick is to select a right shade for your brows and use short, light-handed strokes.

Top Picks: Soap & Glory Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush, Anastasia Brow Wiz, Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara

This, in my opinion, is the perfect way to instantly brighten your face (and mood!). Choose shades that flatter your skin tone, and a formula that feels most comfortable to wear – it’s all about experimenting!

Top Picks: Tanya Burr Lip Gloss, Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balms, MAC Lipsticks, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks

Remember that makeup is meant to enhance your beauty and make you feel happy and beautiful. Any of the above is optional – go at a pace you’re comfortable with and enjoy being YOU!


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