I've been really loving lip products recently, which is a bit strange for me as I've always been more of a blush person. I'm getting into pinks and other 'spring colours' for lips. I've also been experimenting with eyeshadow combinations, which is also very new for me as I've only ever worn eyeshadow as a wash of neutral colour, if at all.
These are my current favourites, for March and April:
Two of the blushes that I've been wearing almost every day are Sleek Coral (a matte coral with a brick-brown undertone) and NARS Torrid (a subtly shimmery pink coral). I like to wear the MUA cream blush in Yummy (a warm pink) as a base for Coral, even though it doesn't really need a base. I'm going to try to wear more cream blushes this season. I'm also getting back into wearing one of my all-time favourite (and first) blushes, Sleek Life's a Peach (a sheer but GORGEOUS matte peach).
The illuminators I've been wearing are Benefit Sunbeam (a golden bronze liquid illuminator, which is the exact colour of my skin, except more glowy) and the powder highlighter from Sleek Face Form palette in Medium (which is the perfect golden shade of highlighter for my NC40-42 skin tone). I've also been wearing Accessorize Bronze Highlighter, which is a coppery-orange cream/liquid highlighter and really amazing with some of the eye looks I've been wearing. This highlighter is quite pigmented that it almost functions as a blush - and I have a slight suspicion that it might be somewhat of a dupe for NARS Taj Mahal, if you build it up. I tend to sheer it out to give it the effect of a shimmery bronzer.
I wore the contour colour from the Face Form palette a couple of times but I've largely avoided it as I prefer to wear less makeup in the spring-time.
I don't use any foundation but I do really like my Sleek Luminous Pressed Powder in Shade 01 dusted all over my T-zone as a finishing powder.
I've been loving the MUA Undressed eyeshadow palette and the Sleek Garden of Eden I-Divine eyeshadow palette. I've also been using the MUA Pro-Base eye primer, which is really nice.
I discovered a nice method for applying eyeshadow, which uses three colours and is very easy for beginners. Basically, you use a shimmery mid-tone colour all over your mobile lid, blend a warm brown contour colour or matte eyeshadow into your crease as a transition colour, and put a light shimmery colour just in the centre of your mobile lid (making sure to blend out any edges). It creates the gradient effect and looks very complex and difficult even though it isn't! The first colour acts as a beautiful base for the third colour - they should be chosen to complement each other, since they'll blend together to create dimension.
For example, using the Garden of Eden palette, I use Fig (a light shimmery green) all over my lid, Flora (a dark matte warm brown) in the crease and Gates of Eden (a coppery gold) in the middle of the lid. This combination is so lovely for spring!
Using the Undressed palette, I use Shade 7 (a dirty golden bronze) all over my lid, Shade 5 (a mid-tone matte warm brown) in the crease and Shade 6 (a slightly coppery bright gold) in the middle of the lid.
For eyeliner, I either use Catrice Ultra Fine Ink Eyeliner in Don't Move! (a wonderful waterproof black) or the Collection twist-up eye pencil in brown (not sure of the exact name, because it's rubbed out, but it's very cheap and decent), smudged out with a mix of black and brown eyeshadow from the Sleek Ultra Mattes V2 I-Divine eyeshadow palette. I find especially the smoky eyeliner look to be really flattering. I use whatever shadow is left on my brush to just fill in the arch of my eyebrows.
The lip products I've been loving Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Aurora (a very warm and bright pink), Catrice Ultimate Colour lipstick in Pink Me Up! (my favourite lipstick of all time, a deep red-rose), Catrice Ultimate Shine lipstick in Fox Nox (an orangy nude) and a nude combination which I've been obsessed with - Sleek's Pout Paint in Minx (a peachy nude, just a shade lighter than my natural lip colour) topped off with a bit of the Essence Stay With Me lip gloss Choose Me! (a brown with a reddish undertone). I can't believe how beautiful and flattering that combination is for my skin tone and lips. Nudes, deep rose-pinks and (slightly muted) orangy-corals are my favourites for this season.
The Catrice lipsticks I mentioned are two of my favourite lipsticks ever, but they've been discontinued, sadly. I bought a bunch of backups before leaving Prague, since you can't get Catrice in the UK - and I'll never find these shades again. If I find any dupes I'll be sure to write about them, but I like the Catrice formulas so much that I don't think I'll ever find dupes for them.
I've been very good with my project of reducing spending on makeup. The last time I spent a lot of money on makeup was when I left Prague - I bought a lot of backups of my Catrice lipsticks and Essence lip creams and glosses, mainly. Many of them were being discontinued anyway, so even if I stayed in Prague I wouldn't be able to buy them again. I also bought a few shades of Rimmel lipsticks that are (for some reason) not availble in the UK.
On the last day I was in Prague, I found out that Sephora was having their Buy 4, Get 40% off sale (which they have about twice a year), so I indulged myself and bought two NARS blushes (Torrid and a backup of Taj Mahal) and two Sephora lip stains (01 always red and 04 endless purple).
Since coming back to the UK I haven't bought much makeup at all, and I'm very proud of myself for that. I bought only four products in the last month and a half: three shades of the Collection Cream Puff matte lip creams (Cotton Candy, Fairy Cake and Angel Delight - since Boots was having a Buy 2, Get 1 free offer) and only one shade of the MUA Luxe Velvet lip lacquer (Reckless).
I also organised all my makeup into some plastic food containers (a tall one fits my lip glosses and creams perfectly, and a rectangular one fits my blushes very well) and plastic drawers, so I haven't really felt the need to buy any more makeup. I can see how much I have with one glance. I've also been using a lot of the makeup that I have that I've never used (shopping my stash).
I'm studying too much to be able to update regularly these days but I shall try. Next time I'll try to include the photos of my eye and lip combinations at least, and maybe even do a collection post!