Cult beauty items you should already own.

I was kind late to the whole beauty and makeup game, but having a seventeen year old teenage girl, a.k.a. makeup obsessed, in the house has certainly helped.


I no longer have to pay to get decent makeup applied anymore, thanks to my daughters endless viewing of YouTube tutorials. She also has no hesitation in recommending which products I should buy, especially when it comes to ones we can “share” {code for I pay for them and she keeps them in her room}. With her guidance I have amassed an impressive collection of must have items that actually do what they claim to. Here are some of our favourites:


Despite having had my sparse and abused brows filled in with cosmetic tattooing I have lost a little bit of pigment in a few spots, and while they are fine to leave as they are I do touch them up pretty much daily. Because I’m basically OCD about my brows. Must have items are:

Benefit Precisely My Brow {pencil}. With a spooly brush on one end and a very fine wind up pencil on the other it’s perfect for adding a few feather light strokes to fill the gaps. You can shade the colour in too if you’re light handed enough, and the brush smooths everything out. Not cheap but I couldn’t face waking up every day without this. If I had to choose just ONE makeup item to use it would be this.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade {wax}. This is a definite cult item, but you do need a bit of practice to get a natural look. It has exceptional staying power {i.e. almost impossible to remove and definitely waterproof}, lasts forever as you use so little, and is perfect for the big bold brows so popular right now. Grab the Anastasia brow brush to apply it.


Hopefully by the time I publish this I will have my brand new eyelash extensions, but after decades of mascaras that are only okay there are two I am absolutely in love with. They give my fine and sort of sparse lashes volume and length, last for hours, and ARE NOT CLUMPY! Praise to the beauty gods!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. Okay so maybe not  r e a l l y  better than actual sex but the first time I tried this I was thrilled. It gives your lashes heaps of extra oomph, and the waterproof version actually does not wash off, and is actually really difficult to remove. Save that one for special crying occasions.

Benefit They’re Real Lengthening Mascara. I picked up a sample of this one and OH EM GEE. Fucking perfect. The wand is different from the normal kinds, it’s firmer and shorter length strands pick up every single little lash, and the little knobby bit on the end helps to separate. The best thing about this one is that even from the very first use there is zero clump, and it also lasts and lasts. My lashes have never looked better than with this mascara {except, hopefully, with the extensions}.



There’s only one when it comes to blush. I never even felt confident to use blush at all until I tried this and then I actually used it all up.

Nars Blush in Orgasm. The shade suits pretty much everyone, and does what it’s meant to without leaving you looking like a pink cheeked clown.


I’ve tried them all, since eyeliner is the other thing along with brows that gets done every single day and even when I am sick. I’ve always gone for cheap ones because I went through them so fast, but then I tried one that cost a bit more but is so richly pigmented that a little goes a very long way, and it’s not going to run out any time soon. Again, the only one I would bother recommending.

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Eyeliner Pencil. It also smudges nicely, so in a pinch it’s all you need for a smokey eye look.


To be perfectly honest I’m a bit shit at foundation. I long for that flawless look all the young girls have but since I don’t have the young girl skin it’s a bit of a losing battle. Sometimes I apply foundation with a brush or beauty blender but mostly I use my fingers so the coverage is lighter and more everyday-ready. I can’t say I have found that magic foundation that makes me look like I actually know what I’m doing, but there are two brands I use that, when applied by my daughter, look pretty damn good. Also, an honourable mention has to go to Mac Mineral Powder for those days when I want the barest minimum coverage.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte Foundation. This is my go-to everyday one, and while it’s not matte enough unless applied properly, the results are fine for my everyday school drop off and grocery shopping kind of life. I finish with some powder to set it and I’m done.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation. This is the one I pull out when I need the big guns. Even when applied with my fingers the coverage is full without looking like a mask, and when applied with a brush or beauty blender it looks the closest to that flawless look I’ve ever managed to get.


Okay, way too many specific colours to mention, but the best brands for me are Nars and Mac. Both have good pigment which last really well, although the Mac matte shades are sometimes SO matte that I can hardly even apply them because of how dry they feel. A touch of primer beforehand takes care of this though. I also tested the Kylie Jenner Lip Kit’s a few months ago, and while the staying power is second to none {ALL day stay even when eating and drinking}, I found them to be really really dry once on. They are also pretty impossible to remove, but the colours do look great on, and the fact that each shade comes with it’s own matching lip pencil is pretty fantastic. If I had to choose just one brand it would definitely be the Nars Audacious range. Honourable mention goes to Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick {the colour for me is Raven}.


Bronzer. To be honest sometimes I get it right and sometimes I just use it on my neck and decolletage, but most of the time I leave it for when my daughter does my makeup. Nars bronzer in Laguna is the one I use, and is as well pigmented as all their products. My daughter swear by Too Faced Chocolate Soleil and Benefit Hoola bronzers.

Contouring. No surprises that I use it only very occasionally and very sparingly, and the results are subtle but good. My daughter is, like so many young girls, a contouring pro. She even bloody knows what to do with highlighter. Anastasia Beverly Hills is the ants pants one, but the Australis palette is good too. Just use a light hand and BLEND BLEND BLEND. Think more Kim K and less Nicki Minaj…

Primer. I like the ones by Hourglass and Benefit, which make for a silky smooth and pore reduced canvas. When applied with a brush the results are far better than just rubbing it in like it’s moisturiser which is what I usually do.

Eye shadow. I have bought millions over the years and it wasn’t until I splurged on the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette that I finally realised how good they can be. I’m still shit at applying it and stick to the three looks I know: smokey browns, smokey black, and winged teal. But the colour on this brand is insane and worth the price. Plus it has neutrals, shimmery neutrals, black, and a crazy sparkly sapphire shade.

Setting spray. Once the secret of professional makeup artists, setting spray is the final touch for a big night out when your makeup looks fucking fierce. Urban Decay All Nighter is the bomb.

Young girls these days have it so good, with all the video tutorials showing EXACTLY how it should be done, not to mention all the Instagrammers who share their tips and pics, and even all the feedback on the online cosmetic shopping sites offer invaluable help. I doubt that my daughter and her friends will spend a couple of decades of trial and error as they figure out what works for them and how best to use it. I used to promise myself when she was little that when the time came I would offer to pay for some professional classes or courses so she wouldn’t be as clueless as I was, but she’s never needed them nor will she.

And while it’s not hard to make a seventeen year old face look perfect, the fact that she can work her magic on my forty-something face proves how good she really is.

When it comes to my own makeup jobs, all I can say is thank god for filters.




4 Thoughts

  1. Gorgeous!!!!

    My fav lippy at the moment is Shanghai Suzy I love the smell and taste! Weird I know. I have also just bought some nude by nature foundation, eye liner, mascara and eye shadows they are amazing!

    But you look stunning! Face to the name at last lol …

    1. I’ve heard of Shanghai Suzy, will have to check it out! I’ve used Nude by Nature a lot and it’s my favourite mineral powder. And thank you, though that was my daughters makeup in that photo, definitely not what I’d normally look like!

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