Dedicated to the woman who has no time to traipse through the internet’s makeup wormhole, this little capsule collection is what I project to be super versatile and trendy for the year 2020!
When it comes to complexion trends, it moves back and forth within the spectrum of ‘I-can-see-your-face-hairs-catching-on-your-extreme-matte-powder’ all the way to ‘you-look-sticky.’ At the moment, the words being thrown around is ‘lit-from-within,’ ‘fresh,’ ‘youthful,’ and the ultimate goal, ‘GLOWY.’ Another set of words that I always like to drop is ‘skin-like,’ or ‘second-skin’ or anything that revolves around emulating one’s skin, really.
The formula to provide this is Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation, $74.50. To cut it short, this is a rave review of the foundation. It promises a ‘flawless natural coverage, invisible to the naked eye,’ and sweet sassy molassy, it sure does deliver it.
The consistency is very fluid so it applies gorgeously in a thin veil and you can build it up with no chance of cakiness. The result is seamless and the skin looks glowy in a light-reflective way that only young skin cells can emit. It makes the skin look bouncy and elastic and the best part is, it looks freaking natural.
(Note that matte is also forecasted to come roaring through in the next couple of years but I assume the formulas will heavily lean in to comfort-matte formulas that are more multi-dimensional than flat. It evolves yet again!)
I also bought the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer, $54.50, in the same Soft Sand shade and although it looks multiple shades lighter than its foundation counterpart, it was a perfect match once applied. I was expecting a creamy concealer but the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer, much like the foundation consistency, was very thin and veil-like. Because of this quality, this formula creates a seamless finish on the face and doesn’t seep into deep lines around the eyes as much as cream concealers would.
After years of trying all sorts of brushes from an array of brands spanning from drugstore to luxury, I wanted to find THE brush brand that was affordable and foolproof. You don’t always need to buy brushes from luxury brands – more often than not, I’ve found drugstore brands to outperform by miles. A cool $100 handle isn’t everything.
To master my makeup finish and blending skills, I bought all of the rave products from Real Techniques – and OH MY GOD! I was so impressed with the quality and ergonomic design of them. They do all the work for you! Flawless makeup is super fast and easy to create with them – I 110% recommend them. And of course, because brushes are something you wear out, it needs to be friendly on the wallet for replacements!
I have been wanting to buy a small stippling brush for a while now and when I saw it on the site, I just had to try it. No one had recommended it to me before, but honestly, the Real Techniques Stippling Brush, $27.49, is a freaking must-buy. I tried the brush with the Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation and it blended gorgeously. The brush doesn’t malt and the size is incredible for applying foundation with precision if you want a completely flawless finish. You do have to buff it in for a while, but the finish you get will be really smooth. You can also use it for concealer and any other liquid products.
Makeup artist, Fiona Goddard, told me I should buy the Real Techniques Travel Essentials trio pack, $49.50, to use the Multi-Task Brush for foundation application. It comes with a paddle brush and a domed eyeshadow brush in a trio set but I found the mini version for $13.19, so I bought that instead. The brush head is the same size but the handle is shorter to make it travel-friendly and it’s significantly cheaper! I’m going away for a month too so thought I’d buy the mini version to have a go.
The short and sweet verdict: it’s amazing. For continuity sake, I used the Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation with the Mini Multi-Task Brush and it applied very swiftly and seamlessly. Because the brush is so big, it does gobble up more product than the stippling brush, but it applies in a very sheer manner and the effect is incredibly natural for that no-makeup makeup look. It’s also epic for liquid/cream bronzers, blushes and highlighters. It also ensures a super speedy and fool-proof application as there’s just no way that you’ll do a patchy job with this. It will be hard to f**k up your makeup with this brush. It’s that good.
I also bought the Real Techniques Mini Contour Brush, $13.19, and I’ve been using it for cream contour products. The bristles are packed in a dense fashion and it’s relatively easy to use.
Real Techniques Setting Brush, $18.69, is a soft brush that you need in your brush set. It’s really versatile and it’s a must for setting powder under the eyes, around the nose and little areas that need touching up. And as with all Real Techniques brushes, it’s super easy to use with liquid and cream products so if you want to pop on some fluid highlighter without moving your makeup underneath, these soft bristles will do the trick.
I have never used a more epic blush brush in MY LIFE. The Real Techniques Blush Brush, $27.49, is ridiculously easy to use and does all the work for me. You can’t do a bad job with it. It picks up the right amount of product and it disperses it evenly over the skin. If you want something with a bit more precision than the multi-task brush, then buy this one.
For a versatile eyeshadow brush set, I bought the Real Techniques Shade & Blend Duo, $21.99. They’re really easy to use and can be used for wet and dry formulas – it’s also great for concealer application under the eyes. You can use the shading brush to apply the shadow over the lid as well as the crease, and diffuse any patches with the blending brush. It’s an epic duo and I wish I got two sets of these. I also really want to get the Real Techniques Instapop Eyebrush Duo to pack on loose formulas like pigments or glitter as their sharp angles prevent fallout.
I also really want to buy the Real Techniques Perfect Duo, $20.88, to make sexy crease eye looks.
As for eyeshadow, I wanted a versatile soft matte palette in browns and greys so I could sculpt my eyes and use it with other formulas for a pop of shimmer or colour. The Kryolan 18 Eye Palette in V3 Natural, $154, has a dry formula that’s exceptionally buildable that can create looks from barely-there to vivid, especially with a primer underneath. It’s a bit expensive, but it holds amazing staple shades to take you from day to night, so it’s truly a classic palette that you need if you want to get really meticulous with the eyes.
When it comes to 2020 highlighting, liquid is going to be the go-to. The Iconic London Illuminating Liquid Translucent Pink Pearl, $78, has a much more fluid texture than the other glow drops I’ve tried and so, when mixed with foundation, it creates a very naturally radiant glow effect instead of giving off a metallic sheen. It’s not a cakey formula at all, so you can apply another drop to your cheekbones before going in with blusher to ramp up the amp.
I bought all of these from Adore Beauty – their perks are pretty solid! They have regular sales, their prices are a lot cheaper than other e-commerce beauty stores, you get free express shipping (yuss!) and they run heaps of gift with purchase offers! With my total of $464.23, I received a mini evo hair mask, a couple of sample sachets, and a beautiful Hermetica EDP Discovery Box set worth $79! (sold out now) Pretty good marketing strategy though as I’m seriously loving all of the fragrances in the box! If you purchase over $130 worth, then you get one of these fragrance boxes so it’s definitely worth it! Especially, if you have travel plans – small sprays are so great for olfactory options, all without the weight in your check-in bag.
Adore Beauty also has some insanely luxury fragrance brands in The Scent Room such as Juliette has a gun, Derek Lam, Cire Trudon, Creed and Penhaligons… you get the vibe. They mean business. They smell incredible and they’re usually so hard to find in New Zealand!
Anyway, that’s enough from me! Hope you found some value in this article today! There’s so many products out there that it’s hard to know for sure if something is really out-the-gate or just some hyped BS!
Chatty Chung xx