I don’t find it the easiest thing to do ‘top five’ lists… If you could see what my two bathrooms look like cosmetic wise, you’d completely understand my addiction and lust for products. I absolutely love trying new brands and never say no to a new product adventure.
This also means I’m endlessly giving away products I don’t particularly enjoy for someone else to try (maybe that moisturiser I don’t like agrees with them more – it’s so personal).
My absolute go-to products in my make-up bag are my BB and CC creams, and tinted moisturisers. Lord knows I cannot get enough of them. I have for summer and winter, for humidity and the cold. My skin changes a lot depending where in the world I am, what time of the month it is, what the weather’s doing. It’s quite disorderly but it all makes sense to me.
Let’s get to it, as even though I said five, there are obviously some extras here and there that I couldn’t leave out, but Tarryn would not allow me to do a list of 84 (yes, I could probably do a list that long).
My absolute best ever discovery is Smashbox’s CC cream. With a range of eight colours, this is my year-in year-out top choice. It is my staple. I love it more than… more than… G&Ts on a lazy Sunday.
I use the medium shade and it tends to work for me throughout all the seasons when I am in Cape Town. It’s a bit on the pricey side (ZAR520.00 or £29.00 or $42.00) so I just use it in the daytime as I don’t need the (awesome) SPF 30 in dark restaurants at night.
Just as good are the Smashbox BB creams. Similar shades but also slightly different as the texture is not the same as the CC cream, so if you’re in a pickle for your shade, try the BB selection. Obviously the BB/CC cream benefits will differ here.
For great coverage at night, this is where I stick my make-up brush. Good old Garnier really has a great product here. It gives lovely, glowy, non oily coverage that stays for a long time, which, when I have a glass of wine in one hand and a man in the other arm, suits me just fine. I have no time for make-up top-ups every 45 minutes when I am out. (ZAR125.00 or £9.99)
I know women whose entire cosmetics range is MAC. If I wasn’t so inquisitive about what else is out there, mine probably would be too, but my love for adventure…
Whilst this is a great BB cream and has an SPF35 (yeah!!), I actually use it for contouring. One of the artists gave me a great lesson two summers back on how to contour with this product and one of their creme blushers… I digress. Get it if you want freaking fabulous cheekbones. (ZAR490.00 or £25.00)
Right. I mentioned the whole season, humidity thing earlier and this is when No 7 comes into play. This was my life-saver when I was travelling in Thailand a while back. They’ve got their formula just right with this one – it’s light, doesn’t look like you’ve caked on piles of make-up, and is perfect for the beach. The only catch is it’s only SPF 15, but by now you should know that where there is sun…
Obviously I always put my SPF 50 Heliocare AirGel on under this, and maybe it’s the combination of the two, but it’s a winner winner chicken phad thai dinner. At only £14.00 it’s a steal. It comes in three choices of ‘skin type’ (not that we believe in skin types, but it does sort of help when choosing a climate. For example Thailand is humid AF so I used the ‘normal/oily’ BB…) and three shades.
Laura Mercier. My love, my lust. I remember only using this product on my face years and years ago, when I was living and working in London and I got great discounts at Selfridges. Whilst it is actually a tinted moisturiser and not a BB or CC, it still makes this list.
In fact, I remember landing in New York once as my tube was running out and my first stop was not a tourist spot but rather the first Sephora I laid my eyes on and a quick replacement happened.
I use this for full face coverage, for contouring, for bronzing my cheeks in summer, as eye shadow. It has the teensiest, tiniest shimmer in it which gives a great glow (it’s always about the glow, isn’t it?) and you don’t look like a disco ball in the slightest. (£34.00 or $42.00)
Since it is spring in the southern hemisphere, and we’re moving out of winter at an absolutely glacial pace (thanks, Miranda), I wanted to try something different. I remember using Sorbet a while back (hey, proudly South African!) and then stopped using it whilst I was travelling as I couldn’t get it anywhere (that’s where Smashbox started). My skin gets super dry in winter, and I grabbed one of my leftover Sorbet BBs and it has made the world of difference. It’s quite a thick cream but the colour coverage is great and I’ve not had to use any foundation in weeks and weeks. (ZAR159.00)
I see I managed to stick to six products… well, seven. I’ll save the rest for another time.
Tarryn is yelling at me to explain BB vs CC so:
BB stands for Beauty Balm, CC for Colour Correcting (there is also DD now, Dynamic Do-All… we will save this for 2018, this year has been far too complex). BB creams have been around for yonks in Asia, and made their way into the Western markets a few years ago. They’re heavier in colour than a tinted moisturiser, but way lighter than foundation. They should all have an SPF, and maybe a couple of anti-oxidant promises. CC creams do a bit more, each brand claiming their own list of benefits, from anti-ageing to collagen boosting. Don’t give up your serums and other tinctures just because your BB or CC says it does XYZ – it’s usually not enough for any long-term results.