I’ve had a passion for makeup and beauty products from about the age of twelve, and I’d like to think I’ve come a long way from stealing my mum’s bright pink Lancôme blush and purple eyeshadow – for a natural look of course!nThere are obviously thousands of makeup brands and products on the shelves today and makeup counters can be daunting if you’re not entirely sure what’s good and what’s not. So, to make your life a little bit easier, I’ve compiled a list of twelve essential makeup items of the highest quality that could help you find what you’re looking for. Each one has been personally tried and tested by yours truly, and I promise I haven’t included the Lancôme blush or eyeshadow!

Primer

Benefit ‘Porefessional’ Primer comes highly recommended by most beauty-lovers. It’s oil-free and translucent, making it perfect for all skin types and tones; and it minimises the appearance of visible pores and fine lines, creating a velvety canvas for the rest of your makeup.

Best makeup

Available at Red Square and Edgars stores with Benefit counters nationwide for R445.

Foundation

Maxfactor Face Finity All Day Flawless 3-in-1 Foundation is available in a range of 20 shades and is a beautiful formula that’s perfect for everyday use as it fuses primer, foundation and concealer into one product for quick, easy application. The product itself is SPF20 and the pump bottle is so convenient to use.

Best makeup

Available at Clicks stores for R275.95.

Concealer

L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer is a holy grail product of mine. It covers redness, breakouts and under-eye discolouration perfectly without being heavy or difficult to blend. Bonus: there are 21 shades in the range!

Best makeup

Available at Dis-Chem Pharmacies for R59.95.

Setting powder

Yardley Absolute Translucent Loose Powder is great value for money and does absolute wonders at setting foundation and concealer. It really is translucent, making it suitable for all skin tones, and keeps makeup from fading throughout the day.

Best makeup

Available at Dis-Chem Pharmacies and Clicks stores for R139.95.

Bronzer (this palette can also be used for contouring)

Wet ‘n Wild Megaglo Contouring Palette comes in two shade palettes: ‘Dulce de Leche’ (this suits fairer skin tones) and ‘Caramel Toffee’ (better suited to darker skin tones). This bronzer and highlight duo gives skin a glamorous summer glow with just a single swipe of product on the high points of the face where the sun would naturally hit. I don’t find myself reaching for the highlight shade as often as the bronzing one (because I’m all about the summer glow!) however, some may find it suitable for setting under-eye concealer.

Best makeup

Available at Clicks stores for R129.95.

Highlighter (My favourite part of my makeup routine!)

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in the shade ‘Global Glow’ is one of the shades from the range that suits every skin tone under the sun – it’s amazing! There are six shades so if ‘Global Glow’ isn’t your pick, you’re bound to find one that is. Having an olive skin tone, the shade ‘Gold Deposit’ brings out a golden brightness in my skin, making it my number one highlighter. The best thing about these Mineralize Skinfinishes is that they can appear natural for a radiant daytime makeup look, or intensely glowing when layered for a night out.

Best makeup

Available at MAC stores for R450.

Blusher

Benefit ‘Coralista’ Blush is a universally flattering, almost-too-good-to-be-true coral shade. The Benefit blush range is so enticing with their gorgeous packaging that it’s difficult to choose just one favourite, but if I had to, it would be ‘Coralista’!

Best makeup

Available at Red Square and Edgars stores with Benefit counters for R385.

Eyebrow kit

Whether you prefer a bold, dark brow or a more natural look, the Bobbi Brown Brow Kit is available in two shade palettes: light and dark. These kits are perfect for filling in sparse areas of the brow without looking too false, which is why I love them!

Best makeup

Available at Bobbi Brown stores, and most Edgars and Red Square stores nationwide for R715.

Tip: I set my brows after I fill them in with the Essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel, which comes in a light and a dark shade – your brows will never have looked better!

Available at Dis-Chem Pharmacies and Clicks stores for R51.95.

Eyeshadow Palette

No girl was more excited than I was when Urban Decay finally launched in South Africa last year! The Urban Decay Naked Palette is a must-have in any makeup lovers kit as it contains the basis for a variety of different eyeshadow looks – from everyday natural to night-time glam, to a smoky eye, this palette has it all!

Best makeup

Available for R850 online and at the Urban Decay flagship store at Sandton City, Johannesburg. We’ve also heard rumours of stores launching in Cape Town and Pretoria this year.)

Liquid eyeliner

Stila Waterproof Stay-All-Day Liquid Eyeliner comes in 6 different colours including a carbon black, dark brown and mossy green, and truly does stay all day on the eyelids without smudging or fading.

Best makeup

Available at Woolworths stores with Stila counters for R225.

Mascara

I like my lashes to be big and voluminous and the only mascara that does the trick for me is Maybelline Lash Sensational Lash Multiplying Mascara. The formula is not too liquid which makes it easy to layer on multiple coats to achieve your desired look and the packaging is so darn cute!

Best makeup

Available at Dis-Chem Pharmacies and Clicks stores for R149.95.

Lip balm

Some may think that lip balm isn’t essentially a makeup product but I always have this handy in my bag: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant. It isn’t exclusively for use as a lip balm and can be used to calm, hydrate and protect any dry, chapped skin, which makes it ideal for use throughout the winter season. I love this product!

Elizabeth Arden 'I Love Eight Hour Cream' LTD Edition

 

 

Available at Foschini, Truworths, Red Square and Woolworths stores that stock Elizabeth Arden products for R285.

And if you’re looking to find your ideal autumn/winter lipstick, check out this feature for 5 lipsticks that suit every skin tone.