Beth’s Top 5 Make-up Must Haves

Today we have another lovely post from Beth, hope you all enjoy it! She’s given me a few hints and tips about makeup, and I can definitely say she knows what she’s talking about. Here are Beth’s top five make-up must haves.


So along with some tutorials Trop d’Amour has featured {natural make up tutorial can be found here}, Jess has asked me to put together a list of my top 5 essential make-up must haves. This list includes some of my best buys that have truly changed the way my make-up looks. Because after all make-up is just an illusion, and the aim is to enhance, not alter. So if you have big eyes, make then look bigger, full lips, pull focus to them. Everybody has a great feature so learn to make yours work for you and forget about the bits that you aren’t too fond of. By highlighting your best features you hardly every notice the ones you dislike.

So, back to the list! These 5 products are my personal favourites and I tried to create a selection that I think can be used by everyone no matter your complection or skin/eye colour.  Let’s get started…

1. Primer

I’ve only been using a primer for about a year now and I just don’t know how I could ever go without it again! It makes that much of a difference to the overall appearance of my make-up. A silicone based primer is a popular pre-step to foundation application as it creates a smooth surface which fills in pores and fine lines that your foundation just can’t. It also has the ability to increase the staying power of your make-up by 10 fold! Purchasing a primer that has a green tint to will also help to combat redness in your completion (my enemy) as the colour green used in conjunction with red immediately dulls it. This is something that most brands have recently realised is a major plus for women and so you’ll start to see more green based primers (don’t worry they do dry colourless) by pharmacy brands such as Almay and NYX. A primer will give you a light and velvety feeling to the touch – cross my heart it honestly feels like you have silken skin when applying it to your face. It glides onto your skin and the best part is that you only need a pea size drop to cover your entire face so this product really is an investment, mine that I’ve had for a year is still ¾ fill from a 30ml bottle. I personally use MAC’s Prep and Prime silicone based primer. It’s factor 50, which makes it anti aging and contains algae extract which helps remove redness in my face (remember green combats red). When the MAC assistant put a sample on my hand you could literally see the spot on my hand that wasn’t as red as the rest. It is also oil free, fast absorbing (very) and invisible when applied yet has a slight shimmer, making it an illuminator too! MAC also gives out samples so check it out if you aren’t ready to purchase just yet, my sample lasted 3 nights out on the town :).  When I wear this primer I can sweat like crazy in a club and have my make-up stay exactly like I had it a few hours earlier. I can wake up hungover somewhere not even my eye shadow has smudged, so if you have eyelids that produce a lot of oil or if you struggle with your eye make up constantly smudging this definitely is a must product for you!


2.  Good quality foundation.

There are certain make-up products I feel you can skimp on budget wise, but foundation is just not one of them. Nothing is going to make you feel more self conscious than having a foundation that doesn’t match your skin tone, is flaky or doesn’t provide even coverage. It’s taken me years to find a colour and brand of foundation that suits my needs and matches my skin tone. I’ve tried the mousses, loose powers, mineral powders, liquid and recently bb creams. A bad quality foundation is going to make you feel uncomfortable, self conscious and very often make you break out!

I have freckles and dark circles under my eyes so for me it is a must to have medium to full coverage on my face. I don’t really mind that “heavy” feeling you get from wearing a lot of foundation, but with a really good quality base product you wont feel the product so much. This is because you’ll be wearing less of it because a little goes a long way with the good stuff and it’s highly pigmented (a lot more colour in it) so the amount you would usually use to get your face completely covered would be needed less. For those of you that have a perfect completion and/or dislike the full coverage foundations, a bb cream (blemish balm cream) or a brand like the Body Shop make a wonderful light to medium coverage foundation.

A fantastic foundation I personally love is MACs Studio Fix Fluid. It has SPF 15 protection and gives you the most beautiful smooth finish to your skin. One of the greatest things about MAC foundations is the ratio it works on. With a ginormous shade range it has a colour to match anyone’s skin. There are four different shade categories MAC goes by. Shade C is if you have a cool undertone – for those who have a yellow to olive completion. Shade NC is for those with a neutral cool undertone, which is best suited for golden beige skin tones. Shade N is if you have a neutral undertone, this would usually be beige skin. And lastly is Shade NW – which is for those who have neutral warm undertones such as a pink, beige skin tone. It’s expensive yes, but my bottle has lasted over a year now (that works out to around 80c per day if you use it everyday) and I love how it covers all my flaws while giving a total matt finish to my face. It really is a magic bit of make-up if you want the appearance of totally perfect skin.2 foundation


3.  Kabuki Brush

A kabuki brush, as the name suggests, is an application brush based on the tools traditionally used in Japanese Kabuki Theatre where the make-up is required to look heavy with a full coverage yet retaining a beautifully flawless finish. Kabuki brushes are very dexterous and can be used for mineral foundation, loose powder, blushers, bronzers and even liquid foundations. It is a popular brush as it gives you that flawless finish with its dense yet extremely soft bristles that allow you to buff away streaks or fingerprints while distributing the product evenly. They come in many different shapes and sizes for different purposes such as a flat top for liquid foundation, large buffing brushes and smaller angled ones for contouring. It’s a great tool for building coverage while keeping the product application even.

Why I love my kabuki brush is because I apply my make-up with a foundation brush first and that can sometimes leave streaks or I have to stop just by my hair line and my kabuki brush so easily blends everything together. I use bronzers and loose powers a lot and it just is so easily buildable and melts into my skin. Also because the bristles are so tightly packed a lot of product is picked up onto the brush so I don’t have to keep dipping it into the make-up to get more. It also relieves you of that “cakey” look because it 100% builds into your skin if used correctly. I LOVE MY KABUKI BRUSH. It honestly is a must have applicator if you want to have totally flawless coverage. The one that I use is the Body Shop’s Bronzing Kabuki brush. I get excited every time I know it’s time to use it! It’s probably my favourite part of putting on make-up. Use in swirling motions alternating from clockwise to anti-clockwise. If you have big pores this motion helps to build product into them thus making them appear smaller! A great trick 😉

3 brush

4.  A Good Set of Make-Up Brushes

Wow the difference between poor quality and high quality is amazeballs. I slowly built my way up from the cheapo grocery store quality to some pretty decent ones that I now own today. I’m hoping to one day purchase the best quality ones, but for now my make-up money is spent on new products instead of more brushes. There are however some truly great budget brushes that match the super expensive ones pretty well and those gems make all the difference. Make-up brushes can be unbelievably expensive but can really make or break the way your make-up appears. There are some fantastic synthetic brushes on the market that lower the price and are more make-up friendly as some of the natural brushes (e.g. squirrel or goat, yes goat for reals) absorb more powder/liquid/minerals into the brush itself so you end up using so much more product than needed. I would personally never feel comfortable using natural fibre brushes no matter how consciously they acquired the bristles so I am more than happy with what brands have come up with as a substitute.

A great brand that I love love love is Ecotools. It is an eco-friendly brand created with Alicia Silverstone (remember Clueless?), made with synthetic bristles that are so soft its incredible and even the packaging is amazing! All recyclable, the handles are bamboo and the branding on the product is laser burnt into the handle so no dyes, or metallic finishes were needed. When this much thought and honesty goes into what the brand stands for you are just that much more happier supporting the brand. And did I mention so reasonably priced?! You can buy their range of brushes from Clicks or even Pick n Pay and they start around R60. Their 6 piece eye set of make-up brushes have the names of their uses i.e. smudge, blend, highlight etc. etched onto the brush its self, which is pretty cool for beginners.

4 brushes

5. .  Eyebrow Pencil

Most girls pluck their eyebrows right? It’s not a prerequisite as a female and you are truly blessed if you have a full, shapely set of brows that define your eyes but a lot of us tweeze ours into what we want and sometimes that leaves us looking a little lacking. The last 5mm of my left brow is completely blonde and makes that entire brow look like it just stopped growing. If I had to choose only one make-up item to leave the house with, a brow pencil would definitely be the chosen one. I just feel naked without my brows filled in. I’ve been filling them in for a couple of years now and last year I invested in a really good brow pencil (MAC: colour fling) and then a few months later a brow setting gel. Wow the difference is incredible! Besides them looking fuller they looked more shapely and neat. And by applying a setting gel your product lasts right up until you get rid of it with remover. I’ve woken up the next day after a debauched night out with my brows still immaculately in place. You can get different colour gels but I find a clear one is going to look way more natural and it dries completely clear; almost hardening your hairs but not in uncomfortable way. You don’t necessarily have to use a gel with a pencil, I just love the look of brows that are set and don’t move through out the day/night and I find the gel holds the pencil product to my skins waaaay longer than without it. You don’t have to use a pencil, there is a variety of eyebrow products such as creams, mascaras, gels and powders that are just as effective. Its just a matter of finding the right product for your own eyebrows. MAC has an awesome colour selection with their brow pencils that are more on the ashy side, which is great for blondes and fair skinned ladies because our eyebrows aren’t as strong a shade as our hair colour. And it’s not a pencil per say so the applicator only requires a small turn just like a lipstick would so not more drawing lines and lines onto your face to get it going plus my first pencil lasted 11 months (I’m on my second now). To apply, always make short feathered (light) strokes in the direction of hair growth so it mimics real hair therefore making it appear more natural. Your hair on your brow will usually grow in different directions so remember to change it up and to keep the angels natural. Here is a guideline of what is considered the golden radio of brow shaping.

Shaping your brows I believe, can make the biggest difference to your features on your face. It can really accentuate the shape of your eyes making them stand out and balance your features too so that your face appears more symmetrical.

5 pencil

5 pencils

Hope you got some helpful tips out of my list J My top 5 have made me love make-up just that little bit more (how is that even possible!) and passing on information has benefitted me greatly in the past so I hope I can do the same for you Trop d’Amour readers.


2 thoughts on “Beth’s Top 5 Make-up Must Haves

  1. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you ever been blogging for?

    you made blogging glance easy. The full look of your web
    site is fantastic, as neatly as the content!

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