I put this together in full on Into the Gloss style over here for a job application. Due to the amount of time it took to create I thought I might as well share it with my actual audience too…
“My earliest makeup memory is from when I was five and won pass the parcel. The prize was this epic eyeshadow pallet – it must have had about 16 shades in it. I adored it and kept it far longer than was probably sanitary. When I was in my early teens I discovered Allure magazine and couldn’t believe my luck: a magazine about beauty! The others could keep their boring Cosmo.
In my teens no beauty trend was safe: brown 90s lipstick, face glitter, hair mascara and nail art all got a spin. I was painting ladybirds and leopard print on my nails (not together, obviously, I mean that would be tacky) when I was 14 so it was funny to see the nail art trend come back into fashion.
I like to always have painted toes, even in the winter because my feet still see the light of day in yoga class. I’ll go through phases with painting my nails, sometimes leaving them bare for weeks, sometimes doing more elaborate designs thanks to my early nail art talents. I’ve found round office supply-style stickers make great templates for colourful French manis.
These days I’m quite confident with makeup application (I’ve got the semi-smokey cat eye application nailed). Hair is another matter. Styling is not my strong suit and just doesn’t interest me. Blow drying = BORING, so having my hair done by someone else is the ultimate treat. Most of the hair products I own are supposed to help with frizz and dryness. I recently finished my first bottle of Moroccan Oil. I really like that and keep meaning to replace it. I try to use hair masks once a week and, if I can, I’ll sleep with one on since that makes my hair feel super soft. I have a definite soft spot for The Body Shop’s Banana Conditioner since that was always on hand growing up. I don’t use it on my hair anymore, but have found it makes an perfect shaving cream.
I try and take good care of my skin. Thanks to Allure I was educated on the importance of sunscreen from an early age so hope that the regular use of SPF will help me in the long run. These days I couldn’t be called loyal when it comes to skincare. I’m lucky to have quite tolerant skin so I can try new products a lot and love those little sample sachets! Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturiser was my go-to product for years as a teen, but now I prefer products with more potent ingredients. It’s all about treating and preventing now that I’m 30! I’ve just started using 2% hydroquinone to try and fade a few dark spots on my forehead that (I swear) just appeared overnight.
A few years ago I started trying to use more chemical-free products in my routine where I can. Skincare seems like a natural (hah! Sorry…) place to start since these products are actually meant to get absorbed. I figure probably best to just leave chemicals out when possible (as in, when I don’t need to fade a new dark spot nemesis). I’ve been using skin oils on and off for about a year now and like how they make my skin feel. In the shower I like Dr Bronner Peppermint Liquid Soap (aside: have you ever read the labels on these? That is some kooky business right there) or just natural bars of soap. I must get these as gifts a lot, I seem to have a cupboard full to use (this cupboard smells devine).
The perfect body self tanner still eludes me, but I’m persevering. I find sprays give an almost too intense tan, and that lotions and mousses seem to deliver practically nothing except orange palms (kidding! I don’t get orange palms because I’m a pro and use latex gloves. Also I like to look like a dentist while tanning). At least I’ve found a good gradual tanner in Dove Summer Glow Moisturiser. I always have a bottle of this on hand and would be devastated if it were ever to be discontinued.
If I’m using self tanners I’ll try and do a scrub a few times a week. I like Kiehl’s Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish, but have also started making my own out of coffee, sugar, coconut oil, and sweet almond oil. I’m hooked. I’ll rub this all over and let it sit for a few minutes to let the ingredients work their magic (I’ve heard caffeine is good for helping with cellulite, I live in hope). The shower looks like some sort of coffee explosion after doing this, but it leaves my skin feeling awesome and smelling like a delicious Bounty bar so it’s worth it.
I could go on for pages about makeup but I’ll stick to talking about my favourites. All of these I’ve repurchased (or would when they run out), which for someone as product-fickle as me means they get a massive gold star. For bronzers Clinique True Bronze pressed powder has the perfect amount of pigment plus has a brush that is actually (*gasp*) functional. MAC also does good bronzers. I’ve never been a big user of finishing powder but was introduced to the Hourglass Ambient Light products at a Mecca makeup session and am a new convert. I use Ethereal Light. It goes well over Garnier’s BB Cream (I’ve gotten so many friends onto this, it’s a cheap and cheerful winner) and makes the finish a bit less dewy without being heavy.
After keeping the MAC Lipglass line in business throughout the 00’s, I now prefer lipstick. Armani’s Rouge d’Armani lipstick in 103 is up there with the best. It’s not heavy but still gives noticeable “your lips but better” colour and lasts for ages. The Revlon Balm Stain pencils are another staple; I have quite a few of these. They’re inexpensive enough to try new colours with and it’s nice to be able to wear darker shades without worrying about them wearing off in some awkward way.
When it comes to eyes, eyeliner would 100% be one of my desert island products. I don’t have the biggest eyes so need all the help I can get here! I went through a phase of using gel eyeliner but have stopped now that I’ve discovered the Maybelline Master Drama Cream Pencil Eyeliners. These are easy to apply and last. I am also a big fan of eyebrow pencils: the poor forgotten sibling in the beauty pencil family. I fill my eyebrows in with Sephora Waterproof Retractable Eyebrow Pencil; it’s the most natural out of any I’ve tried due to the superfine tip. I stock up whenever I’m back in North America. Since using Latisse has actually given me some eyelashes to work with I’ve become much less fussy when it comes to mascara. That said, it’s hard to go past Lancome Hypnose Mascara which is still the best in the drama department and MAC Zoom Lash is a good everyday option.
I wore Burberry Baby Touch perfume for years, probably about a decade and then I decided in my mid-twenties it was time to grow up and try something else. I still love it though. If they ever made a version that lasted longer (ie. a parfum) I’d definitely get it again. It turns out most designer perfumes really don’t do it for me and the ones that do appeal cost as much as a flight to Bali. Tom Ford’s White Suede scent is unreal and literally lasts for more than 24 hours. I still have a bottle of Yves Saint Laurent In Love Again that I got in university. This is what I usually wear for going out, I feel like it’s too flamboyant for day wear. I also like more simple scents like those from Jo Malone and Diptyque. I’ve got the latter’s L’Eau du Trente-Quatre which is nice. Sometimes I mix it with some of The Body Shop’s White Musk (another childhood nostalgia smell). I also have a Diptyque Feu de Bois Candle by my bed. It’s amazing, even when it’s unlit I’ll sometimes just get wafts of beautiful “Feu fe Bois” smell drifting over. Life is just that much better with delicious perfume surprises. Well that’s what I always say at least.”