Everyone who knows me can tell I look like this almost every day – no matter what the occasion is.
I love the simple, au naturel look .
So my cosmetics bag is bursting full but do I use all the products inside? No.
Women love to buy products; question is, do we need them all? Ask yourself, what is MY look and what do I need to achieve it?
I’m often asked what I use so here goes, must-haves to achieve my look.
6 products I can’t do without!
– MAC Studio Finish Concealer SPF35 –
I’ve tried many other concealers and always come back to this. Doubt I’ll try any others again. This works for me and is what matters. I never wear foundation ever! My skin feels heavy when I wear foundation. Makes me uncomfortable, plus, I don’t believe I must wear a lot of makeup and pile on products because I am a Professional Makeup Artist. I always advice my clients and students to wear only what they need. Of course, foundation will make the look last all day, so is great for brides on their wedding day, models for photo shoots etc. but I always say, on a normal day, wear only what you need and according to your skin type.
I use concealer under my eyes and to cover a few dark spots on my forehead I got from chicken pox years ago. Works perfectly, does well to hide them all and lasts all day. It’s not cakey so doesn’t ‘crack’ when I smile. I use NC50.
– Iman Perfect Response Oil Blotting Powder –
I’ll give this product a 15/10 if I could! My all time fav. I’ve tried 3 other brands and this is by far the best for my skin type — combination. My t-zone gets quite oily, everywhere else being normal so this is great for keeping my skin matte. It has a lovely texture, blends in beautifully and gives an almost air-brushed finish. I use it once or twice a day, if I remember to touch up. Sometimes I go all day with just my morning’s application. It lasts quite a while so I’ll advice you change your sponge after a month. This powder is great for oily skin so there’s often a build up on the sponge and you don’t want to use the same sponge on your skin for over 2/3 months. Some ladies wash it but I suggest you buy extras and change it monthly.
It has 4 different shades that are perfect for different shades of Black skin. Every professional Makeup Artist must have all 4 shades in their kit – Light Medium, Medium, Medium Deep & Deep. You’ll definitely find a shade to suit a client. I use Light Medium.
If you try it and fall in love, do well to keep 2 or 3 extras because they can be quite hard to find, often out of stock in stores and even online.
– Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer –
I have about 3/4 other eyeliners that are great but this is a fantastic product and Exaggerate is the perfect name ‘cos their colours are really strong, highly pigmented and ARE waterproof so great to use if your eyelid get oily. It can last the whole day.
261 Noir – This is black and I use it to line my eyelid.
230 Deep Ocean – this is blue and this I use for my waterline. This pencil is perfect for the waterline because it’s soft, has a bit of a creamy consistency. Doesn’t need to be sharpened which is convenient but can be bad because it gets blunt and may cause the line on your lid to be thicker than you want if you’re not an expert at applying it. Sharpening your pencil before each use is also good ‘cos it takes off any bacteria that may be on the tip from its previous use. Since you can’t sharpen this, I’ll advice that you wipe it softly with a clean tissue before each use to clean it. You can also use the tissue to reshape it to give it a pointed tip to achieve a thinner top line. Be gentle though or you’ll be breaking it off. Another thing, I always keep an extra in my bag because you never know when it’s going to finish, ‘cos you don’t sharpen it but rather twist it up. One time I did my makeup in the car, I lined one eye, was twisting it up to line the other and it was stuck! It was finished!!! and I was out . Luckily I had a liquid eyeliner in my bag so I used that. Would’ve been quite scary!
Please note – Hard pencils can be too harsh for your eyes. Do well to choose the best products when it comes to your eyes. Use pencils that are highly pigmented, i.e. have strong intense colours that show well even after one swipe so you don’t have to keep rubbing it in, trying to get the colour out. Never take chances when it comes to your eyes! They are highly sensitive.
– Givenchy Noir Couture Volume Mascara –
Another thing I never wear is eyeshadow but I always love my eyes to be well-defined so mascara is a MUST-HAVE and this is by far the BEST I’ve ever used! I love that it doesn’t dry as quickly as some others do. It maintains the same consistency and texture throughout its use… some mascaras start clotting and can even get watery. It doesn’t say it’s waterproof on the tube but it actually is and lasts the whole day without becoming hard. I never reapply mascara hours after because that can cause your lashes to get clumpy, causing them to stick together. I so love this brush! It had 3 bubbles before but it’s been changed to this one, which is thin on one side and has a bubble on the other. This is perfect because the thin side can reach the shorter hairs especially on the sides without smudging your eyelid. This mascara makes my lashes long, gives it volume, separates them and gives it a lovely dark sheen! Sometimes I’m asked what lashes I’m wearing but that as well I’ve never tried, false lashes.
Givenchy isn’t paying me for saying all this,
I wish they were! but hey! it’s true! This is by far the best mascara I’ve used and I’ll keep repurchasing it. What can I say? ‘Your eyes say it all’
Oh yes. I bought a new one last week and got these 3 cute freebies. I promised on Instagram, @ReneeQgh, to try them and give a review but I haven’t yet. They are skincare products anyway so I’ll do that when I’m writing a post on the skincare products I use. Thank you 🙂
– Brow Pencil –
Now this I think is a Chinese brand because I can’t pronounce the name but I don’t have to, I love it!
I had a 1-on-1 class a few years ago and the lady had lovely brows. I even wondered why she had come for the class ‘cos her makeup was so well put together but what she was looking for was CONFIDENCE and she left with tons of it! Glory to God!!!
Anyway, she emptied her bag and I saw this pencil and tried it and that’s it. They come in packs of 12 if you’re buying in bulk and I probably bought about 6 packs at the time and still have loads left. I use them in my classes too anyway, among other brands. I always like to give clients and students options but this I like because of the colour, it doesn’t come out pale and isn’t too dark, if you get the right one. It’s also not so hard so you don’t see a sharp line on your face which can be too harsh & artificial sometimes. It comes with a sharpener which gets blunt after a few uses so it’s best to have a good sharpener in your kit. One thing I dislike though is that the sharpener keeps falling off. Maybe after a use or two it gets a bit loose and can’t hold the pencil so your pencil tip can get broken and soil the products in your kit. You also have to have patience with this product, ‘cos there are always 2 or 3 naughty ones in every pack of 12. So you sharpen it and it breaks, sharpen, it breaks, on and on and you’re in a hurry to a meeting! Now that’s annoying!. I keep 2 in my bag always but have another brand and a gel as well so can always switch to those. Aside that, I love this pencil. So to the Chinese producer I say Xièxiè – Thank you.
– Black’s Secret Lip gloss –
Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!!! I love this!
I’m not big on lipstick. I have about 3 in my bag – a red, fuchsia and a nude (this I use sometimes. When I remember I have it), but my Black’s Secret lip gloss is a must-have!! I always have one in my cosmetic bag, my handbag, the glove compartment of my car, my hand luggage, desk drawer at work and a few other places. Lol. I buy them a box at a time – I think there are 24 in a box?! Not sure.
Love it ‘cos it glides on so smoothly, doesn’t have a strong scent, it’s not too thick but lasts quite a while and even though it’s a gloss, it moisturizes your lips as well which is important because some lipsticks and glosses can dry your lips and cause them to chap which causes you to pick and lick them which makes it even drier. Very sore and unattractive. The shade I use is ‘Honey Lip’ which looks brownish, it’s quite nude and clear ‘cos you’re only using a bit at a time so the true colour of your lip shows… mine are kind of pinky — my lips that is!
These are very good products but you need to apply them correctly to appreciate them. I always say the best look is achieved when the best products are applied correctly.
Good products, wrong application? Bad!
Good application, bad products? Even worse!!
Invest in good products for YOUR skin and if you need to, have a professional class to learn how to look your best!
Wow! This has been quite a long one. Could’ve even been even longer ‘cos I almost gave you options of other very good products I use as well but I said SIX and had to stick to that.
What I’ll probably do is write posts of a number of the best of each of these products and reasons I didn’t like the other products I haven’t mentioned but will. So basically, 5 of my fav Mascaras. 5 of my fav Lip glosses. 5 of my fav Eyeliners etc. etc.
Good?! Not promising it’ll be now though. I have other things planned…
Stay blessed & beautiful!
Where to buy – Black’s Secret – This is a Ghanaian brand. I buy in bulk so only at their main store on the Labadi-Osu Road, in Accra, somewhere near Joker’s Pub if I’m right. I’ve never been though, Jafar, my store manager, always gets them.
Brow Pencil – Again, Jafar buys these in wholesale from a store in Makola market in Accra.
I buy all my other products in America or Dubai. Love shopping for cosmetics at the Dubai duty-free counters but they are much cheaper in America. I also buy a lot online at ulta.com, drugstore.com and beauty.com
By the way, I have a
great excuse, great reason to buy a lot and try different other because I actually need them! part of my JOB and I love it!!!
Photography – Me!!! using my iPhone 6.
Earrings & Necklace – ReneéQ Accessories, Main Trade Fair Road, Accra. +233 28 200 1000