Charlotte Tilbury’s eyeshadow palettes are infamous.
There are her insane quads that make applying eye makeup a dream thanks to the handy instructions on the back and then there are her limited edition jumbo Instant Eye Palettes that are so popular her 2018 Stars In Your Eyes Palette saw a whopping 40,000 people sign up to the waiting list.
Well guess what?! There’s a new palette dropping tomorrow at 9am and you will have a mere 24 hours to buy it.
The Starry Eyes To Hypnotise palette has four different glowy eye looks that range from rich nudes and husky pinks to subtle khakis and sparkling blues.
Rimmel’s Magnif’eyes palettes are brilliant – you get 12 super wearable shades (no random neon yellow anywhere, thank goodness) in a mixture of finishes. From smokey eyes to muted nudes, this palette does it all.
Microblading is an amazing treatment that transforms the look of your brows, however not only does it (and it’s upkeep) cost money, it can also be pretty painful. This Lottie London brow pen won’t ever be able to do the exact same job, but it does bulk things up if you have been a bit tweezer-heavy in the past.
This right here is our Beauty Editor, Katie’s go-to wedding product. It comes out at every wedding she attends and she has converted many, many friends to it’s magnificence. Why? A) because of how user-friendly it is – hello everyone loves a paint by numbers, and B) because it is the most subtle way she has found of sculpting the face, without looking like a Kardashian.
You could use each highlighter individually (keep the bronzed ones on the left for summer and the paler shades on the right for winter), but if you use a big fluffy brush why not combine all four to create that lit-from-within look?!
Cheap mascaras are the best mascaras in our opinion. More often than not, the wands and formulas are exactly the same as the more expensive ones on the market. This one from Maybelline is exactly what you need for an everyday mascara – it gives you long, luscious and voluminous lashes.
This is honestly one of the best foundations out there. It suits all skin types (it’s packed full of hydrating ingredients for drier skin, but is non-comedogenic so won’t clog your pores either); it’s the perfect medium coverage that doesn’t look heavy, but can be built up if you prefer; and is just the right amount of matte to stop any oil slick, but still allows the skin to glow naturally.
Take a moment to look at the price: £6.99. Let us tell you what you get for that price. You get coverage that camouflages dark circles, spots and redness. You get a hit of caffeine that wakes up tired skin. You get protection from pollution, free radicals and blue light from your devices. Now look at that price again and tell us you’re not impressed.
In our opinion, the humble eye pencil is the best eyeliner for everyday beauty looks. Sharpen it well and you can draw a thin slick line across your lash line, leave it slightly blunt and it can also be smudged with a fingertip to create a diffused smokey eye. Plus a pencil doesn’t dry out like a liquid or separate like gel, meaning it will last until you physically cannot hold it any more. This ridiculously affordable liner is exactly one of those liners.
We keep a few of these lipsticks all over the place – in our handbag, on our desk, in our bathroom, basically anywhere within reach. The reason we do this is because the formula is as moisturising as a balm, it adds just the right amount of colour to the lips and (most importantly) it costs under £9. You wouldn’t be able to do that with one worth £28 would you?!
We’re huge fans of an Essie nail lacquer and in particular the shade, Sugar Daddy. It’s the dream pink colour that looks like your natural nail, but SO much better. It’s the perfect shade to apply in between manicures. Plus because of how sheer it is, you won’t have any of that unsightly chipping or wear and tear.
It’s the age old make-up debate: which is best, liquid or powder foundation? The truth is that, whether you favour fluid formulas or a mattifying powder, at least one of the best powder foundation formulas is a must-have in your kit.
Why? These tend to stay in place, minimise shine with mattifying properties and photograph well, especailly if you need the best foundation for oily skin to hand. Powder foundation is a great choice for people with any oiliness, sensitivity or acne-prone skin, or those who simply don’t want anything heavy on their face.
Gone are the days of chalky formulas that give an unwanted cakey finish reminiscent of secondary school days, as the best powder foundation buys now blend like cream formulas and blur your complexion for a softer finish. So, what do the experts love?
‘One of my favourite Powder Foundations is the bareMinerals Original Foundation SPF 15,’ explains top make-up artist and YouTuber Cher Webb. ‘An award-winning cult classic and a favourite for many, it’s perfect for all skin types and a small amount of product goes a long way.
‘The unique, lighter than air powder texture is packed with just five vegan-friendly minerals, feels lightweight and looks luminous on the skin. I love how versatile it is and that you can create a sheer to full coverage that never looks like you’re wearing powder. It’s genius. I like to use it on its own and also on top of light foundations. It’s a staple in my make-up kit and one that I always go back to!’
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is also a fan, telling us in her Beauty Bytes chat: ‘At first I was a bit apprehensive about using powder as a foundation. Like, how is that going to look on my skin, is it gonna look cakey? Am I gonna look dry? Is it really going to give me coverage? But I’m so pleasantly surprised by the coverage, how quick and easy it is to use and how glowy I look; surprisingly it doesn’t make you look powdered. I feel like I’ve got a really light foundation on.’
Keep on scrolling for a few more of the Marie Claire approved list of the best powder foundations money can buy.
Achieve a flawless finish while giving your skin exactly what it needs with the best mineral make-up available
Mineral make-up is changing the face of beauty and it’s not just a phase. In fact, according to a lot of experts in the industry, it’s the best foundation to combat a slew of skin problems. Not only is it kind to sensitive skin but it’s also non-comodegenic; this means it doesn’t clog pores and lead to blemishes like others. It absorbs excess oil too. So, if you have oily skin, mineral foundation will be your saviour.
But what exactly is mineral make-up?
Mineral make-up is (as it says on the tin) made from minerals, like zinc, mica and titanium oxide. These are finely milled, mixed in with pigments and then pressed to create mineral make-up. It’s free from oil, waxes, synthetic fragrance and preservatives, which makes it a popular choice if you have issues with your skin.
Over the years people have been drawn to the idea that mineral make-up powders are more natural and therefore kinder to/more comfortable on your skin. Although many people think mineral make-up only includes powders, liquid formulas can be mineral too. If you have dry skin, but still want the goodness of a mineral foundation, get a liquid formula. Your skin will feel hydrated and dewy.
There’s also a range of beneficial properties to many of the formulations found today. If you suffer from redness (perhaps from rosacea) or sallow skin, try a colour correcting mineral foundation. These can also help combat sallowness and hyper-pigmentation. And if you’re looking for something that can battle fine lines, invest in one of the anti-ageing formulations.
These foundations also make a great base for special occasions. Heading down the aisle soon and not sure what the best foundation for your wedding is? We recommend stocking up on Bare Minerals Original Foundation. Thanks to its ability to give skin a smooth semi-matte finish, it’s become a real favourite among brides. Apply full coverage in the morning and then touch-up throughout the day.
Shop our round-up of the best mineral make-up and find your perfect foundation below…
Don’t aggravate the situation. Use these skin-friendly formulas instead…
Covering up spots can be a bit of a conundrum, but our list of the best foundations for acne prone skin is here to help. We get that you want to cover up your blemishes, so that they’re invisible to everyone. But, on the other hand, you want to let your skin breathe, so you don’t aggravate the situation.
Dr Ross Perry, cosmetic doctor and managing director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics, has words of caution when it comes to pairing oily and acne-prone skin with make-up: ‘The temptation is to cover up oily skin with make-up, especially if there are blemishes as well. However, getting make-up to stay in place can be quite tricky and choosing the wrong regime or products can make your skin worse too.’
Luckily enough, there are some fantastic foundations on the market that help to actively treat acne while covering it, which is definitely multi-tasking at its finest. Look for salicylic acid on the ingredients list – the magic ingredient has spot-busting superpowers, and will help clear excess oil. We’ve already rounded up the best foundations for oily skin, so head over there for formulas to help keep you matte all day long – but there are also some pretty great oil-free foundations on this list that won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts.
As much as you can cover acne with foundation and concealer, it’s crucial to understand what’s causing it in the first place. We’ve already debunked the myth that foundation causes acne, so we can keep our beloved bottles and tubes. You may also need our favourite spot treatments in your arsenal to layer under your makeup, so they can get to work throughout the day.
With the latest formulations on the market, you can have the best of both worlds. Find the best foundation for your skin below…
It comes with a bit of a hefty price tag, but this foundation was initially created for doctors to prescribe to their patients. Luckily for us, it’s now a mainstream product and available over the counter. Infused with a supercharged oxygen complex called Ceravitae, this innovative formula optimises skin cell oxygenation, to encourage your cells’ repair and renewal processes, diminish scarring, combat dehydration, reduce redness and create the ultimate environment for healthy cells to thrive. Available in 14 different shades, it’s also water resistant for up to 90 minutes and contains SPF 20 for that all important bit of sun protection.
You can find a bottle of Double Wear inside many a beauty lover’s make-up bag (especially those who like their coverage full), and for good reason. The formula sinks into skin and disguises any dark spots, scarring or active blemishes while still looking skin-like. What’s more, it lasts all day long – no joke. A little goes a long way, and you can even mix it with your moisturiser on a good skin day and still look flawless. It’s now available in a whopping 60+ shades, too.
Sometimes a super matte formula can dry up and collect around pores, enhancing rather than minimising them, but this handy brush pen delivers a soft matte finish that manages to make pores unnoticeable, and the rest of your face look flawless.
This oil-free foundation, conceals, neutralises the appearance of redness and does a formidable job of keeping oily shine in check. Although it can’t treat acne by itself (you’ll need other products for this), the amount of salicylic acid can help to prevent future breakouts, by ensuring your pores don’t clog. It’s lightweight, which makes it an absolute dream to glide over bumps and you can build it up to a moderate coverage to hide blemishes without looking like you’re wearing anything at all.
OK, so this one’s technically not a foundation, but you won’t even care when you try out this guy. It keeps oily skin matte, lasts all day, and fights acne, but the mousse-like formula won’t offer as much coverage as you might hope. We love popping this under a light layer of your normal foundation – especially as it only comes in two shades.
bareMinerals’ formula tackles acne-causing bacteria to keep breakouts at bay, while covering redness and scars to perfection. Your skin will feel like it can actually breathe, although a light layer of one of the best concealers might just be needed on those days where your skin needs a helping hand.
The industry-approved edit of the brushes you need to get your paws on, stat
Ask any good make-up artist and they’ll tell you that, for the perfect finish, you need the best make-up brushes you can get your hands on.
But it’s a bit of a minefield out there, kids, and you may be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of brush choices on the market. That’s where we, your handy make-up brush testers, step in with this shoppable guide to the best buys.
From the best vegan make-up brushes to the best make-up brush for powder, blush, eyes and more, we’ve handpicked this edit for all budgets for your shopping. Keep reading for your induction to the very top tools out there.
Of course, the best way to kit yourself out with new brushes is to save up and invest in a kit from one of the best make-up brush brands (although, you can never have too many brushes in your arsenal).
Sisters Hannah and Sophie set up Spectrum Collections from their home in Wales a few years ago, and they’re already the go-to brushes for many a pro make-up artist. The 10-piece set above is a great starter set of staples if you’re only just building a collection, while the bumper 30-piece set will set you up with all the essentials for face and eyes – both working out as less than £4 per brush. Not on board with the milennial pink theme? They also offer less colourful brushes in white, and the whole brush range is vegan and cruelty-free. Dreamy.
Another must to check out are RealTechniques, founded by make-up artist sisters and YouTubers Sam and Nic Chapman, aka ‘Pixiwoo’. The brushes have created a huge storm in the industry as they’re pro quality tools without sky-high prices. Their Flawless Base Set and Enhanced Eye Set are both £20 for four or five brushes and are great starters for both face and eyes.
Best make-up brushes for eyes
It doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put into your eye looks, everyone needs at least one good, basic shadow brush. This should be dense enough to pick up pigment, but loose enough to blend shadow across the eye. Illmasqua’s Eyeshadow Brush is a pretty perfect example. An angled version is also useful for applying darker colour into the outer corner and crease of your lid.
Of course the more advanced your shadow skills are, the more brushes it’s worth picking up for your toolkit. Having different sizes shadow brushes to play with gives you loads of options for what you can create, so it’s well worth checking out the full ranges of the bands mentioned here for more application and blending options. You can never have too many brushes, really…
While some make-up artists actually prefer finger application for the best foundation, for the rest of us a brush is a must-have, whatever the chosen formula.
Zoeva’s Buffer Brush (104), above, is their best seller, a flat-topped brush with feather-light bristles that’s great for blending product an all-over flawless finish, whether you like tinted moisturiser, powder or liquid make-up. We also love their Silk Finish Brush (102) is great for building up cream or thicker liquid formulas wherever you need coverage.
Very fluid foundations marry well with good quality paddle brushes, which are flatter and more paintbrush-like in shape. Try either the MAC 190 Foundation Brush or Chanel’s Pinceau No6 and blend your liquid from the centre of your face outwards.
When it comes to blusher, you’re probably not looking for a brush that packs on the colour straight away. Bobbi Brown makes a great one, for powder above; its spherical brush head is perfect for swirling a pop of colour onto the apples of your cheeks, and is loose enough to distribute colour evenly for just a hint of colour. Prefer an angled brush for your powder blush? Spectrum’s A05 Precision Blush Brush will hug the contours of your cheeks for more definition.
On the other hand, cream blush fanatics should give NARS #23 Wet/Dry Blush Brush a go – it’s great for stippling colour for a healthy flush and seamless blending.
Best way to clean make-up brushes
You’ve spent all your money on these beautiful tools, now you want them to last. And one of the best ways to prolong their life is by ensuring you clean them – properly and regularly. If you use your brushes on the daily, washing at least once a week is a must, refreshing them in between with something like NYX On the Spot Brush Cleanser Spray. Swot up with our guide on how to clean make-up brushes to make sure you’re doing it right.
Almost ready to splurge? Keep scrolling for a few more brush heros to consider when shopping for your kit. Enjoy!
Come summer, it’s a good idea to update your makeup bag. Not because the stuff you’re using isn’t good enough, but because you suddenly have different requirements in the warmer months. You need formulas that won’t end up half way down your face as sweat trails down your face as you commute on the Central Line. You need products that can withstand cannonballs into an infinity pool atop a hill in Mallorca. What you need is the sweat and waterproof makeup products to see you through until Autumn.
You might think that you’re safe as houses with the best primer and the best make-up setting spray, and yes if it’s just a little bit of sweat or the slightest hint of rain then they will keep things in place perfectly. But we’re not talk about a tiny spot of precipitation, we’re talking heatwave drenching and swimming.
Waterproof makeup and sweat-proof makeup
We’re looking at formulas that are specifically designed to be smudge, fade and slide-resistant. Which incidentally makes them a great option if you prefer to wear a little makeup during your workouts at the gym.
From waterproof blushers and mascara, to foundation and brow gels that won’t budge, we’ve put them all to the test meaning that you can confident in knowing that your makeup bag is summer-proofed.
At the end of the day, when it comes to removing your makeup, be sure to arm yourself with a cleansing oil. Micellar waters and gel cleansers ain’t gonna cut through these heavy duty formulas, you need an oil-based cleanser that will break down the makeup. A cleansing balm will also work wonders.
So keep scrolling for our edit of the best waterproof (and sweat-proof) makeup products that will keep your beauty look in check, even if you find yourself submerged in water.
Meet the beauty brands that are taking steps to be a little bit more eco conscious…
The world is slowly becoming more atuned to our need to be more conscious of the environment, particularly when it comes to the production and use of packaging.
At a consumer level, it’s about taking whatever small steps you’re able to in order to make your routine a bit more eco-friendly – whether that’s investing in a reusable coffee cup, washable cotton pads or learning how to recycle beauty products properly.
Beauty brands have also sat up in their seats and we’re seeing more and more reusable and refillable options launching– a great thing for beauty addicts everywhere who want to do their bit for the planet.
Without further ado, scroll for our rundown of brilliant brands making the switch to refillables, before shopping our fave products that you need on your (eco) radar. Keep checking back here for updates on brands’ new sustainable initiatives as we get them…
This East London cruelty-free brand is so, SO great. Each product is handcrafted here in the UK by those who are blind or disabled, giving vital employment to those who need it, and they have put a tremendous amonut of effort into design packaging that is all recycled, recyclable or compostable. There’s so much that’s great about them so it’s well worth reading more on their About Page when you’re done here.
The Soap Co realised pretty quickly how difficult it is to recycle complicated pumps from hand wash and body lotion bottles, so they created refills to avoid the pump mechanisms ending up in landfill. Simply recycle your bottle but keep the pump, and put it into a new refill bottle (which is also locally and responsibly sourced). Wonderful stuff.
These guys have been switched on to being mindful of the environment from day one, offering different schemes for both recycling and refilling their products. Any Beauty Kitchen products that are marked with their ‘Return – Refill – Repeat’ logo can be dropped off at any UK or Ireland Holland & Barret; they’ll send them off and you’ll get points on your loyalty card. Lovely stuff!
Even better, they’ve now got a brand new refill station for your empties in the new-look Boots Store at Covent Garden, something we can’t wait to roll out nationwide. Bravo, Beauty Kitchen.
REN has partnered with recycling powerhouse TerraCycle’s new initiative, Loop, to create refillable packaging for some of their best selling skin and body care products. This new scheme will help them achieve their pledge to be a zero waste brand by 2021.
So how will it work?
REN will launch cleanable, printed glass bottles with 100% recycled pumps (recycled by Loop) for six of their best selling products to start with.
These bottles will then be refillable as and when you need – simply put the empties into a Loop Tote and they’ll pick up, clean, refill and send back to you. You can read more about the scheme, launching in the UK soon, on REN’s website.
Keep scrolling to shop more refillable products below.
Words by Lucy Abbersteen and Millie Willetts
Discovered a new refillable product or brand that you’re loving? Let us know by getting in touch on social at @marieclaireuk
Lumene’s Invisible Illumination Instant Glow Fresh Skin Tint… emphasis on the Skin Tint bit. Because therein lies the joy. This is not a foundation, and it’s not really a tinted moisturiser. To me, it is so much more. It is a perfectly light veil of colour that moisturises the shit out of your skin, all the while perfecting it.
You can build it up if you’re into a fuller coverage, but really this should be worn as I believe God intended, like a second skin, lightly pressed into the face.
It works on all skin types – rich enough for dry bitches like me, but water-based and completely oil-free for those greasy madams out there. It has loads of fancy nordic (Lumene is a Finnish brand) ingredients in it, like red algae, birch sap, wild artic cloudberry and Arctic spring water, which are the things that keep you hydrated all day.
But really it’s the way that it makes my skin look that you should be interested in. I am glowy. I am healthy-looking. (Dare I say, I look Scandinavian healthy?!) And I am flawless (yep, I said it).
SIDE NOTE: I hate to bitch about my new best friend so early on, but it only comes in four shades. FOUR SHADES. Lumene, I implore you to create more shades so that the whole world can rejoice with me.
It is my favourite thing. I will take it on holiday with me, because it with soothe sunkissed skin. I will use it in the lead up to winter (and most likely throughout winter), because by damn it can handle that drop in temperature. Welcome Lumene Skin Tint. Get ready for a life by my side.
The best makeup setting spray is powerful. It has the ability to keep your makeup in place from morning until night. No matter what’s thrown at your face.
From heatwaves and sweat, to dehydration and rain, these beauties prevent smearing and smudging. Whilst the best primer definitely helps hold everything in place, the best makeup setting spray adds that extra layer of assurance.
It used to be common practice for people to use hairspray instead (especially theatre performers). Not only is this completely unnecessary now because of the amazing formulas that we have available to us now, but it should this be avoided at all costs. The ingredients in hairspray can be detrimental to your skin’s health.
Also, the best makeup setting spray is different to the best face mist, so be wary when shopping to buy the right one for your needs.
How do you use the best makeup setting spray?
The key to making the best makeup setting spray as efficacious as possible is the application.
With some makeup setting sprays you can actually apply it before you apply your makeup, but most are used afterwards. Be sure to check the back of the bottle before using.
First things first, apply your makeup – mascara, lipstick, the whole shebang.
Next up, shake the bottle really well before use. This is important, because you want all of the ingredients to be thoroughly mixed before spraying.
Hold your hand at least 8″-10″ (about arm’s length) away from your face. You really don’t want to soak your face.
Close your eyes and mouth. Lightly mist your face, making sure that you spray evenly, covering every bit of your face. This might take quite a few sprays.
Allow it to dry naturally, do not rub. It shouldn’t take too long, but it’s essential that it dries down on its own to lock in your look.
If you find that your makeup tends to slip by mid-afternoon, you’ll really see the benefits of adding the best makeup setting spray into your routine.