Over the Easter break I made sure that I was fully prepared for my last term at University which involved creating my portfolio looks. Having noticed that my kit has recently become very low and that most products needed topping up in order to be able to carry out the mandatory tasks, I looked for good quality, highly recommended (by makeup artists) industry standard products that were not too expensive as I am a student on a tight budget!
After thorough research, I noticed that not many brands sell products that come in a good variety of shades which is what I need for my kit. Although I have the basic shades already, I have none for a darker coloured skin. The one brand that does have everything I was looking for is MAC and these are the products that I currently work with along with some others. However, MAC is far too expensive to buy in bulk as per shade the foundations are a minimum of £20.00. Fortunately a fellow makeup artist and friend who bought Elf products for her kit highly recommended them and explained how she uses them for most of her looks including bridal which is my speciality. Therefore, I decided to look on their website, having not tried their products before and was absolutely shocked at how reasonable their prices were. To my delight, they also provided everything I needed plus even more than I was looking for in a variety of shades and in compact.
My first purchase was the Complete Coverage Concealer Palette which comes in a choice of 3 shades namely light, medium and dark. I bought all three. Furthermore, within each palette there is a further choice of 4 shades in separate compacts. It is said to be a must have for anyone’s makeup kit and the highly pigmented concealers offer ultimate coverage to disguise all flaws to a makeup artist finish. Trying this out on my own skin, the shade that matched me perfectly was the ‘Light’ palette. Using the brush that comes with each palette, I scraped a tiny amount of the concealer onto the brush and dabbed under the eye area and onto small blemishes around the face. I love how natural it looks and how easy it is to blend and I did not need to use a second amount on any area for coverage which was great. However, I found it much easier and quicker to use my finger which allows me to get more of the product onto the skin as the brush is so teeny. This is a fabulous product to have in my kit and at a price of £3.75 per palette it is a bargain.
My next purchase was the Flawless Finish Foundation which comes in 6 shades. It is said to achieve a flawless complexion with a lightweight formula, blending in naturally for a beautiful semi-matte finish. It also applies easily and lasts all day for visibly brighter and radiant looking skin. Not only does it restore uneven skin textures and tones, but most importantly the SPF 15 protects your skin against harmful sun damage. I tried the ‘Porcelain’ shade on my skin which is the lightest out of the 6 and I thought it looked fabulous. I used the tiniest amount from the pump bottle and covered my entire face. With this amount, it provided an extremely natural and glowing result which looked and felt wonderful and gave that brightness that everybody needs. However, although this would look perfect on clients/models, I prefer a heavier base and would be worried that I would use up a high amount of pumps if I wanted the perfect result! One negative aspect that I do have about this foundation is that it does not have the nicest smell to it on application however the smell does not linger. Each foundation is priced at £6.75 which is very cheap compared to most brands, even those in local drug stores.
I then bought the Studio Eyebrow Kit which comes in 4 shades, including 2 shades in each compact. It is said to create brows that look fuller, thicker and more defined. The pigmented wax defines and shapes the brows, and the colour complementing setting powder keeps them looking arched and perfected. The doubled sided taklon brush included has one side to help arch your brows while the other side aids in filling them in. This duo provides lasting colour definition for a naturally beautiful look. I tried the ‘Medium’ which provided good, very natural looking dark eyebrows which I would wear daily, possibly changing to shade ‘Dark’ when my eyebrows are tinted and I am not so pale! Compared to using my usual eyebrow pencil, I think that this compact kit provides a more natural finish therefore I think that most of my clients/models would love wearing this as it is not too obvious. At a price of £3.75 per palette, it is another bargain!
My final purchase was the Pressed Powder which comes in 6 shades. It is said to provide a silky formula that melts into the skin for adjustable coverage. It can be applied alone or over foundation for a flawlessly smooth and natural-looking finish. The portable makeup compact also includes a sponge which is convenient for on-the-go touch-ups. I tried the shade ‘Porcelain’ to match the foundation and finish my completely natural look by using a powder brush to dab over the face area. Using daytime natural light, my face did not look covered in makeup but instead looked very healthy. At a price of £3.75 per palette, these are a fantastic buy.
Aside from makeup, I also purchased two handy products that I did not have. These include a brush belt at £15.00 which will make life so much easier, as opposed to having my brush bag taking up excess room on the table. The belt is very sleek and stylish and I think the shade black is excellent for professional use. It is has plenty of room and I am grateful that all of my professional brushes have managed to fit inside!
Another product is a brush holder at £14.00 for personal use which I purchased in size large to fit all of my brushes. Again, the black shade and sleek design attracted me and I cannot wait to set this up at home on my makeup table.
All of the above products are wonderful and I highly recommend them. I am more than excited to experiment with them in forthcoming photo-shoots! I hope you enjoy testing them as much as I do!!