Friday, 11 December 2015

'HIGH END' MAKEUP STARTER KIT | My Favourite Luxury Beauty Products...


Today I thought I'd do a round up of all my favourite luxury beauty products away from the drugstore. A long rambling post today I'm afraid!

I'm not one for spending outlandish amounts on my makeup so there are countless more products waaaaaaay more expensive than the ones I'm going to mention, but these bits are all still definitely worth splashing out for! I did a similar post on my Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit if you prefer more of a bargain!

But for the big beauty spenders like me in the world - here are my holy grail 'high end' beauty products:


Starting with primer, one definitely comes to my mind before any others and that's the Benefit Porefessional. As someone who deals with quite textured skin, I love this primer for blending out my large pores and smoothing my face - Porefessional is definitely the one for me. At £24.50, it is at the higher end of the price range along with all these other items, but I've found the little tube has lasted me almost a year of me wearing it pretty much every day - definitely worth it! Some people may disagree with Benefit being a 'luxury' brand, but I'm going to include this one because to me, the prices of their products are very similar to some high end brands despite still being available in Boots!


I have slightly cheated however as I've also included two more favourite primers! Depending on what you look for most in a primer - the Mac Prep + Prime Skin Base is amazing for a thinner base when my skin is treating me well, and the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer is THE BEST for making my makeup stay on all day - I need to pick up the full size of this soon! The Mac primer retails at £21 and the Smashbox one £25.50. I would recommend any of these primers for people starting to dabble in more luxurious makeup.


For my base makeup, I have to admit I haven't tried as much high end products as I would like. The products I have tried are lovely though - the Mac Prep + Prime BB Cream is a really nice lightweight base for £25, as well as the YSL Fusion Foundation (£31.50) for a dewy finish, but the one I love the most is definitely the infamous Mac Studio Fix Fluid (£22). I have the colour NW13 which is one of the lightest shades, and it suits my Winter skin colour perfectly. I'll have to pick up another shade in Summer for when I'm more tanned as I love it so much. It has an amazing colour range as do all Mac products, and it is very high coverage. It has a matte-to-satin finish to it which I didn't think I would like with my dry skin, but for a cult classic, I know many people who love this foundation as much as I do.


As with foundation, I have yet to dive into the depths of high-end concealers. I really want to get my hands on the Mac Pro Longwear Concealer but for now, my favourite is the YSL Touche Eclat pen. It costs around £25, and is amazing for concealing dark circles under your eye because of it's pink undertones. As it is classed as more of a 'highlighter pen' rather than a concealer, the coverage is minimal but is nice to brighten the areas of your face you want to. I have the shade 1 Luminous Radiance, but I am thinking of picking it up in the more golden shade soon too...


When it comes to high end brow products, I feel like Anastasia do it best. Despite my love for the brand, I have never even tried their Brow Wiz, which is their clear best-seller mainly because I already have a very similar product in the form of Soap and Glory's Archery pencil. So because of this, when it came to browsing the aisles of Sephora on my last trip to the US, I picked up something from Anastasia that I didn't already have - a brow powder.

At the price of about £16, I would heavily recommend the Anastasia Brow Powder Duo for the value for money and the quality of the powder. I have the shade Soft Brown, which I find works really well for both my dark brows and my pale skin tone. Both shades in the compact are quite cool-toned meaning the pay-off looks very natural. I use the lighter shade mostly (as you can tell by the picture!) but the option of a deeper shade comes in handy when I'm feeling the bold Cara brow.


My favourite high end powder to use is definitely the Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powders, retailing at £24. I have the shade Light Plus meaning it's a perfect match to my skin colour. This powder creates a lovely finish on the skin, and it also helps to keep your foundation looking great for longer! I never find that it looks cakey, as the colour of the powders are all very natural and never ashy looking - they come in many shades and some people even use the shades darker than themselves as a natural bronzer, something I'd love to try.



My favourite highlight of. all. time. TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer is amazing. At only £17.50 you can now grab it in the UK in select Superdrug stores as well! I have had mine for well over a year now and you're finally starting to see a dent in the pan - it lasts for ages! I find that it is the perfect shade for any skin tone or colour, as it's the perfect in-between shade of a champagne-gold. It doesn't have any big chunks of glitter in it, and when applied lightly it gives off an amazing sheen that looks so natural and glowy! However, you can still pack this on heavily and it is very build-able for people who love an intense highlight. If you haven't tried this yet then I definitely recommend it - love love love.

I also love Mac's Mineralize Skinfinish (£24) in the shade Soft and Gentle - another cult favourite - for those of you who prefer a more warm-toned golden highlight, but for me I will always reach for the Mary-Lou Manizer first.


I won't go on too much about this next product as everyone and their mother is sure to have tried it out at some point. My favourite product for bronzing AND contouring, is Benefit's Hoola box powder (£23.50). It's an amazing shade that isn't too grey or too orange, and because it isn't too dark and 'muddy' looking, I can still use it for my pale skin. Like the highlighter above, I think it would look amazing on any skin type or colour too - just starting to hit pan you can see this is very well loved and definitely worth the splashing out for.

I just want to quickly mention the Nars Laguna bronzer (£26) too as I know lots of people prefer it to the Hoola one. I also love the Laguna bronzer, so I would also recommend picking that up if you're on the hunt for a luxurious bronzer. I find that people will prefer one or the other so just because I prefer the Hoola doesn't mean you will! Try them both out though as they are both so amazing that one is sure to tickle your fancy.


My favourite blush of all time is definitely 'Well Dressed' by Mac. I love all the Mac blushes I've tried, they are £17.50-£18.50 so if you're interested in one then I definitely recommend going to visit a store and swatch a couple until you find the shade you think will suit you best - they are all so pigmented and finely milled that they're easy to blend in and look nice and natural on the cheeks. My personal favourite is this one, as I think it looks so lovely with any eye look you create.

It is a pale pink with some subtle peachy undertones to it, and it is also a Satin finish. When I buy blushes I tend to lean towards satin or matte finishes because I think it suits my skin better, but Mac do an amazing range in lots of other finishes too!


Eye base/Primer:

Quite a dull one to talk about it eye bases/primers, but I really believe they are essential. My all time favourite is the Mac Pro Longwear Paintpot in the shade Painterly, however Soft Ochre is also really nice for people who are more warm-toned. At £16, it cancels out the blueness on my eyelids and creates a nice base to apply my eyeshadow too - what more could you want?

Another great primer is the Urban Decay Primer Potion in the shade Eden, which I still need to pick up in it's full size (£16). It's a lot more yellow-toned, but it is amazing at keeping my eyeshadow on my lids - it does. not. budge.


Eye Shadow:

When it comes to eye shadow in general, Urban Decay's formula to me, trumps all other high end makeup brands. I love Mac's eyeshadows, and Too Faced palettes, but I find the UD ones are always more pigmented and come in such a great range of colours. In addition to this, their palettes are AMAZING. I've never bought a palette from Urban Decay that was great "...except for this one shade here" as I find whatever palette I buy from them, I end up loving all the different shades!

My favourite of all time however has got to be the original Naked palette. For people who love warm neutral eye looks, this is perfect. Although they are quite pricey (£38), it works out to be less that £3.50 per eyeshadow, which is amazing for a high end brand! Some people I know have a bit of an issue with the packaging, but I personally quite like it, and have managed to keep it somewhat dirt-free!

I've swatched some of my most worn shades below: Naked, Sidecar, Half Baked and Toasted.

If you're not a fan of the warm neutrals then I would suggest the Naked 2 palette, or the Naked Smokey, in fact just go buy all of them - they're to die for.


This was definitely a hard one to narrow down, as I had a little mascara frenzy a while back, meaning my current high end stash of them is slightly exploding. However, I've managed to narrow it down to one... maybe two.

This Dior Diorshow mascara (£25) is something I definitely did not expect to like as much as I have; it has a huge brush, with short, fibrous bristles. Before this, I used to only like plastic bristles as I thought they kept my lashes from looking clumpy, but this mascara changed my mind. It is a great all-rounder, it gives a lot of volume to my lashes but it also separates them really nicely and gives them length and curl without the clumps. It is really worth the money, it hasn't shown a sign of drying up yet but when it does I'll be back in to buy another.


Another amazing mascara I had to mention is the Tarte Gifted mascara, this works amazing for me but proves quite hard to get hold of in the UK.. sigh.. :(

Lip Liner/Stick:

Now onto my favourite lip combination all year round - Mac Subculture lipliner (£12.50) and Mac Honey Love lipstick (£15.50). I think this combo is definitely a dark-enough nude to be wearable in Winter, but it also works amazing in Summer - so you know you get your bang for your buck with these products. A very Kylie Jenner look to it, Honey Love has a matte finish, and is a perfect alternative for girls who - like me - struggle to pull off the ever-so-famous Velvet Teddy.

These worth together like a dream. The Mac lipstick/liner formulas are always so creamy even for the matte finishes like this one, however, if you're not a fan of this colour scheme then I would recommend any of the Mac liners or lipsticks, I've never been disappointed with the formula of any of them.


Another Favourite:

I just wanted to mention this product at the end because it quickly became one of my daily holy-grail uses. It's the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, that retails at £21 for the full sized bottle. I know some people who use this before their makeup as a sort of primer water, and some people who used it after all their makeup was on to set it. Personally, I did a bit of both, applying it before and after my makeup so really lock it all into place. Another great use is for when I may have gone overboard with my powdered products, and therefore spritzed this over the top to dissolve the powdery look to my face.

I have to admit that it never lasts me as long as I had hoped, but maybe that's because I spray so much of it every day!


I hope you enjoyed reading my essay on high end makeup, if you got this far then congratulations! I'll be back soon with a more interesting blog post - maybe something Christmassy related?

What is your favourite lip combination for Christmas time?


  1. super good review!!!


  2. Great post !

  3. I really want to try the UD All Nighter, I remember really liking it but I haven't used it in a few years. Great post!

  4. You've made me want to go out and buy all the high end makeup aha! Love the Porefessional primer, but I've been wanting to try the Mac and Smashbox ones you mentioned. I've also been wanting to get my hands on the Mary Lou Manizer for agessss as well, I need to buy it!

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog


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