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It’s a memory that stuck with me even after all these years. There were probably stars in my eyes and an enchanted look on my face as I opened up the silver box. It was the first impactful gift I had ever received, and holding it in my hands felt unreal. The funny thing though, was back then it was being handed to me by a complete stranger. A stranger who somehow guessed exactly what I wanted.
It wasn’t that hard to guess that a pre-teen who loved staring at her reflection in the mirror would love a makeup box. So, when my mum’s friend visited us in our house in Italy and handed me my very own make-up box, it would be an understatement to say I freaked the hell out!
It was one of those boxes that came as a fully furnished house would: stacked and packed with all essentials. Lipsticks, blushes, eyeshadows, glossies, and brushes – you name it! I felt like I had been handed a makeup artist’s full gear and none of their talent!
As a person with strict parents getting to play with makeup at that age was a dream come true. However, it took many ~ many ~ years later for me to discover skincare.
Whilst playing with makeup was fun and easy; like dropping paint on a blank canvas and hoping for a work of art, I found skincare to be more of a challenge than a fun endeavour.
At worst, if you get a makeup look wrong, you may get a few judgy looks and a bad picture to laugh at in your photo gallery. But getting skincare wrong felt like a much bigger deal because the result of a poor decision could last longer than a day. Not to mention, the tears that may fall after discovering you wasted all that precious money on a product that makes your skin ever drier or one that causes more damage than repair.
Now, choosing the right skincare and beauty product for you is already hard enough, but finding them at an affordable price can prove to be a more arduous task. After some hard lessons and a few misses along the way, today I’ll share some affordable skincare and beauty products I’ve been loving lately that you must try.
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Ahh, cleanser! Getting the right cleanser was a hard task, I never seemed to get right. In fact, I experimented with many before finding the Cream-to-Foam Cleanser. The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel was a favourite for a while and gave my skin what seemed to be a permanent glow, but when I was in need of something more down to earth, Simple’s Moisturising Facial Wash was never too far away.
Nevertheless, since I began using the CeraVe Cream-to-Foam, not only do I get better results, but also a more consistent look over time.
This toner is undoubtedly the best one I’ve tried so far and has been in my makeup drawer for many months now. I got it when I was searching for a toner that wouldn’t break the bank. Funny, because for what some may call “glorified water”, toners are freaking expensive. I do love this clarifying lotion though and restock gladly as it genuinely makes a difference. At this point, it’s a necessity in my skincare routine!
La Roche-Prosay is also my pick for moisturiser as I’ve been using their Toleriane Sensitive Moisturiser daily too.
I will be honest, good marketing made me buy this one, and by good marketing, I just mean being bombarded with videos of it at every turn and deciding I had to try it.
I did not regret it though!
I struggled with finding a good mascara a lot, as I could never find one that would actually extend my lashes – this one does a good job of that!
If you’re looking to start with serums for the first time, I’d highly recommend starting with The Ordinary. I began by purchasing their hyaluronic acid and niacinamide serum, and vitamin C.
Here’s a free piece of advice, I’m sure you probably don’t need, but do not start using these products all at once. Seems obvious, but I learnt the hard way that getting too excited for the summer holidays doesn’t have to translate into dumb decisions.
It is also wise to patch-test them too before full use.
I’m lucky enough with my skin to have always been in a position where I’ve never felt the need to use foundation daily. I do prefer to go lighter and not have to worry about getting people’s white shirts stained because I’m the clumsiest person you’ll meet. However, when the occasion warrants it, my go-to foundation is the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. It’s not too heavy on the skin and leaves a seamless finish which I love.
90% of my makeup looks end with a touch of red on my lips. It’s probably my favourite part of my routine and a staple even on this blog. It’s a touch of confidence and a pop of colour that when I put it on, I feel like my most badass self.
Ever since when I lived in Italy, I’ve been putting on Unlimited Double Touch by KIKO Milano. When they said it was long-lasting, they really meant it. I rarely find myself needing to reapply this two-step liquid lipstick during the day even after eating or drinking full-course meals. Also, it doesn’t smudge! On one end, you have the base colour that’s applied first, and once dry, the gloss on the other side can be applied.
I could rave about this for ages as it’s the lipstick I use the most out of all the ones I own, and best of all, it’s affordable.
Lately, I’ve Also Been Loving the Fenty Icon Semi-Matte Refillable Lipstick too. It’s lightweight and moisturising. Plus the case is so pretty!
Your restless romantic roamer