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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Rakel

My quarantine makeup heroes

Updated: May 21, 2020

For many of us, lockdown life has been an excuse to ditch the jeans and rock the au natural look. While I’ve certainly enjoyed letting my waistline expand comfortably in stretchy yoga pants, my makeup routine has not been fully abandoned.

For me, those 20 minutes in the morning where you put on your face, is like a ritual. From prepping the skin with a good skincare routine to coating the lashes one last time with mascara; I find it so soothing. Pre-lockdown life, if you lost me, you could probably find me in Sephora or ogling at the makeup counters in the department stores.

On March 12th I left for Switzerland for a 10-day trip. Two days later, Denmark and most of Europe closed their borders, so I ended up being there for 54 days. Before I packed for Switzerland, I only took my favourite and most essential makeup products with, thinking I’d be reunited with the rest of my stash in 10 days. I’m back in Copenhagen where shops have opened once more (hello, new makeup) and I’m back with my other products. But my essentials served me well during my lockdown, so here’s a review of my corona makeup heroes. *Viewer Discretion Advised: Make up shown in its current used and abused state.

Prime, baby, Prime

Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin Enriched Base

While healthy skin is your best bet for makeup to set nicely, priming gives your makeup a chance to last “all day” (not that that has actually ever happened for me). Currently, my favourite primer is Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin Enriched Base. After listening to Jeffree Star harp on about in many videos, I decided to give it a go, and I’m happy I did. It has a gorgeous scent and feels really refreshing on the skin. I just churn the chubby part of a beauty blender into the pot and bounce it into the skin.

Give Me Face: Concealer, foundation, bronzer, blush, setting powder & highlighter

After priming, I apply my Nars radiant creamy concealer. It’s super smooth and blends really nicely – I either apply using a small oval brush or bounce it in with the beauty blender. This is one product that really does stick on to my face for most of the day.

I’ve been a fan of Bobbi Brown’s skin long-wear weightless foundation SPF 15 for the past six months. It gives medium coverage but feels really light on the skin and leaves a matte finish. I’ve always shied away from matte foundations, afraid they would look dry and cakey. But it turns out the matte finish works really well for my combination skin. Like the primer, it also feels really refreshing on the skin and boasts some skintastic properties. For me, foundation needs to be able to be applied with different tools. I need to lazily be able to apply it with my fingers, but it also needs to be able to go on effortlessly with a beauty blender and a foundation brush; and this one ticks all boxes.

Since getting a slight spring tan, I wanted to opt for a lightweight foundation. Two days before Switzerland went into lockdown, I purchased a new bottle of the aforementioned foundation, as well as a newcomer from Bobbi Brown: Skin long-wear fluid powder foundation SPF 20. When swatching, it was a silky liquid and felt good to the touch, however, I’m was not a happy glamper once it had been applied and set. This is definitely a product that needs to be applied with your fingers; a beauty blender mops up all the product and a brush made the application streaky. Once it’s dried on the skin, it looks patchy. Seeing as I’m not showing my face to the whole world right now, it’ll do. It also happens to photograph well, but if I was getting up-close and personal with someone, I’d probably opt for another foundation.

Now for my Nars addiction. I believe the first time I used some of these products, I reviewed them on the blog. I am obsessed with their products. I’ve been using their Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer and their blush since 2018. The bronzer is buildable and goes on great. I try and stay away from face products that pack a punch with the first swipe of the brush because it makes it hard to adjust if you make a mistake. With the sun diffusing bronzer I can slowly build up the tone and achieve a natural matte finish - it also doubles up nicely as an eyeshadow. For my day looks I usually don’t use eyeshadow, I just swipe bronzer on my lid and sometimes some of the blush, and voila – sultry eyes, you shall have.

The blush I use from Nars is called Deep Throat and provides a cute pink flush with a little bit of sparkle in it. Need I say more?

Powder setting wise, I never got on the baking band wagon. The few times I’ve tried, I feel like someone has squashed my face in a bucket of flour; it just feels so dry. However, when I went on the hunt for makeup that would photograph well, I knew powder would be essential to eliminate unwanted shine. And so, I met my next Nars obsession: Light reflecting pressed setting powder. Unlike cult favourites that come as loose powders and make it look like a flour bag exploded in your bathroom, this one is compact. It’s a smooth texture and there are small hints of glitter in it. In other words, she’s perfect. I use the little applicator pillow that comes with it to press it into my concealer and set the rest of the face. It definitely does not look cakey, and once more it’s a Nars product with good buildable effect.

Last but not least, highlighter. Aaaaannndd as you can see there’s another Nars product featured. This was their limited-edition Orgasm collection. This super shimmery and light-weight highlighter

provides the perfect glow and has a pink sheen like the rest of the collection. I usually apply to my

Oops...poor Becca.

cheekbones, brow arch, corner of my eyes and cupids bow for a nice glow. If I’m not using Nars, I opt for Becca’s highlighter. Becca’s highlighters are cult favourites and for good reason. As a clumsy person, it comes as no surprise that I managed to drop the highlighter so that it cracked. To save the contents, I tipped it into a tiny tupperware jar. Girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

Fluffy Lashes and Brows

I live for floofy lashes and floofy brows. If I could only have one makeup product for the rest of my life, it would be mascara. In high school I read an interview with Katie Holmes, where she remarked that her mother had always said that “everyone looks better with a bit of mascara”…or something to that extent. While I preach the fresh-faced glow up, I have to agree with senior Holmes on this one.

The past year, my go to mascara has been Milk’s KUSH high volume mascara. It gives a wide-eyed, full-bodied, doe-eyed look. However, I ran out of it while in the land of cheese and chocolate, so I promptly went to Sephora and bought my ex-go-to mascara: Too Faced’s Better than sex. I often get compliments when I wear this; it’s still a favourite and I don’t know why we were on a break for so long. Needless to say, this will once again be a staple in my makeup bag.

When I lived in London, I discovered Blink’s brow products. I became obsessed with their brow pencil and was subsequently heartbroken when all that remained was a stump and was told it had been discontinued. Fast forward a year and I’m walking through the Illum department store in Copenhagen, where they have a Blink section, only to find it neatly displayed in the corner of the store. I’ve had brow pencils that barely translate onto the skin because they’re so tacky, and ones where it looks like my eyebrows belong on a cartoon character. This pencil from Blink is so smooth and is perfect for filling in the gaps. Please.Never.Discontinue.It.

To set the brow, I use the OG of brow products, Anastasia Beverley Hills’ clear brow gel. Enough said.

Lush Lips

The stubby lip liner you see, is one I stumbled upon in my mum’s makeup bag a while ago. I had forgotten my own while visiting her, and I feel like I was meant to find this lip crayon from Dior in the colour Grėge. I’ve sharpened it so much now that the colour name is nearly gone, but I managed to notice in time to order two more: one for me and one for my friend who I introduced it to and loved it. I apply it all over the upper and bottom lip and it goes on velvety smooth – I never feel like my lips are drying out. It gives a really nice pink/mauve tone. To finish, I apply Nars limited editon (Whhhhhyyyy!!!!!? These products should be cult #crying) Orgasm lip oil. Like it’s family members, it also has the pretty pink sheen. Unlike sticky glosses, this really does feel like an oil. If you were to kiss someone wearing this, they wouldn’t go urghh, they’d probably smack their lips and go “mmm, nice”…because it is.

Whack it all together and this is how it looks

What are some of your favourite products? Or do you have a product you’d like for me to try out? Comment below!

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