Recently, I went down to Canberra for a work conference. I was a little nervous because I had never attended a conference of this size before and one at which I would hopefully, meet some potential future employers (that always raises the pressure and potential awkwardness right up!). One thing I did not want to worry about – and instead, wanted it to work on my behalf by giving me more confidence, was my makeup. So what did I need it to do? Well, I needed it to help me look professional, sophisticated and last 9+ hours (ideally 12). The conference began at 8.30am and finished at 5.30pm but there was drinks scheduled for after the conference. That’s quite a while! I only wanted to have to do minor touchups (my lips, perhaps my cheeks and maybe reduce shine on my skin should I get a little oily etc.) and I’m pleased to say that I only needed to touch up my lipstick after countless coffees. I was so, so impressed with the performance of my makeup!
So what did I use and why? And what are some tips that we can can away from the experience?
First of all, I started with choosing a makeup primer.
A makeup primer for your foundation and base makeup is a no brainer. If you don’t have troubled skin, you could get away with using a trusted moisturiser or sunscreen over moisturiser as your primer (especially if it is a physical sunscreen which sits on top of your skin). The point of the primer is so that your makeup sits on top of your skin for as long as possible, looking fresh. A primer extends the wear of your foundation for three to four hours according to my research… I like to use a primer especially when I’m tired. Something illuminating – but sophisticated – helps my tired skin enormously (I ain’t no morning person!). If I’m out an about, I just use a sunscreen, however the conference meant I would be indoors, all day. Le Blanc De Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base isn’t silicon-y feeling at all (if that is something you don’t like) and it doesn’t contain any visible shimmers, so it’s pretty subtle. I also used some of this primer on top of my foundation for the most sophisticated of highlighters ;) Used as a highlighter, it gives you that ‘model glow’ you see in photos, but can’t figure out what product they have used (because it’s undetectable on the skin).
For foundation I went with my creamy NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation. It has a satin finish and while I prefer dewy finishes, they can look a little oily quicker and I didn’t want to need to touch up my complexion if I didn’t have to. Subtle radiance again, wins out. This particular cream foundation is lovely to use and isn’t to flat (office lights can be make your skin look drained and colour-less). I will just add that for me, it can cling to dry skin and patches, so going for a hydrating base if you are dry is a must. *Tip* If you want to go for a matte foundation because you have oily skin, just be aware that going for a mattifying moisturiser, primer and foundation could send your skin into overdrive and make it produce even more oil. For very oily skin, I would just use a light moisturiser but a mattifying primer and a satin foundation – because powder will mattify your skin even more (and you need powder to set your foundation) especially if you use an oil-absorbing powder. This way, your skin shouldn’t look to flat either.
Concealers and correctors contain a lot of pigment and usually products which are really pigmented are drying. Smashbox’s Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer is the perfect companion for a heavier under eye concealer, because sometimes, a hydrating eye cream just isn’t enough.
I’m still trying to find my perfect corrector-concealer combo, but at the moment I’m quite happy with pairing my Laura Mercier Secret Concealer (a peachy potted ‘corrector’ in #1) with It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer (in #2 Neutral Medium. I set my corrector and concealer with Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder (seen in the very first photo) as it’s specifically formulated for the under eye area (so it’s finer and not as drying as regular powder can be). For any spots or to conceal redness around my nose, I use Dior’s DiorSkin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer. This small tube has lasted me about a year if not more… Its light but covers redness well, and is actually hydrating – it doesn’t cling to any dry skin or spots which is perfect.
I then set my base makeup (foundation) with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light. Mood Light has a pink tone to it – which is great for brightening up pale skin (if your skin isn’t red to begin with). The colour is slightly visible upon application, but then ‘diffuses out’ and is barely noticeable. I love the Ambient Lighting Powders because not only are they super soft, but they seem to adhere to the skin super well. It’s difficult to explain, but I don’t find that they leave a very powdery finish, which can happen when the powder sits on top of the skin and looks almost separate to the foundation, leaving that cakey look behind. And finally, a gentle contour thanks the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit, just to add a little more depth and dimension to my face.
I decided to use neutral and muted colours on my face in order to look ‘professional’, so I wanted to use my favourite cream blush, Becca’s Lip & Cheek Creme in the colour Blossom. I know that applying cream blush to powdered skin is considered a no no – but I actually find that it lasts on my skin so much longer if applied on top, because the emollients have something to adhere to. Maybe it depends on the cream blusher you are also using, but I don’t find any problems using this cream blush on top of my Hourglass powder (it doesn’t go patchy or funky and is still easy to blend). What kills me though is that Becca have discontinued this line :( :( :( This blush leaves your skin looking sooo fresh and dewey, and the colour range had the most beautiful natural looking colours (or had, I should say). Luckily I have one saved pot which is amazing because I don’t usually stockpile backups of products. Once I use up this pot however, I will be devastated.
On my eye lids I use the Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer. I only need to tiniest amount and it glides over my skin wonderfully and with ease. I actually like this primer a touch more than the NARS Pro Prime which is crazy! I just find that I can blend eye shadows so very easily over the top, while the NARS primer would ‘set’ and to much blending could rub away the edges of the primer. Urban Decay’s Naked Basics eye shadow palette (the first one) just contains the most perfect neutral eye shadow shades which are pigmented and so easy to blend. I use the black eyeshadow contained within the palette to lightly pack some shadow into my upper lash line, so that it makes my lashes look thicker and the whites of my eyes brighter. I don’t trust myself on rushed mornings with gel eyeliner, however if I do have more time, I would have used Bobbi Brown’s gel eyeliner and just drawn on the thinest and simplest line ever, gently raising the end on the outer corner of my line so my eyes look slightly more lifted. For mascara I use my Estee Lauder Little Black Primer and Dior’s Diorshow Iconic mascara. *Tip* Make sure that you have removed every last inch of mascara from your eyelashes the day before your ‘big day’ (ideally this should always be done, but you know…) because if you apply new mascara on top of old mascara, your new mascara might not adhere to the lashes as well as it could do and it could become flaky and crumbly. Not ideal.
Once I’m all done my face makeup (excluding the lips) I spray my face with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. This is not a gimmick – it actually works! Most makeup setting sprays should keep your makeup looking fresh and bright for up to 16 hours – and I would say I get very close to that!
For your lips it’s best to go for something matte, because matte lipsticks contain the most pigment out of all lip products and adhere to the lips like no other (hence they can be drying, just like very pigmented concealers). My picks are the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet liquid lipsticks and their more traditional counter parts in a lipstick bullet, Bourjois Rouge Edition lipstick. The Rouge Edition Velvet products last longer on my lips compared to the traditional lipstick bullets, but both are still richly pigmented. A surprise product which impressed me immensely was the Nudus Lipstick, a handcrafted, botanical packed lipstick, which is more of a satin lipstick yet is soooo rich in pigment, it wears as long as a traditional matte lippy. I will be doing a review of this lippy asap!
I took a photo of my makeup in the morning (say 9am) just using my iphone (classy shots always take place in public bathrooms…) and then again around 5pm. Not the clearest shots in the world because of the lighting ,but the point is that I didn’t need to touch up my face one bit throughout the day and I think I still look rather put together at 5pm, which I am quite proud of!
What are your go to products for long lasting makeup? Let me know in the comments below which products you ‘trust’ to do this job correctly! :D
Until next time,