When I first entered the ‘makeup’ world a few years back, it was as if I entered a maze. There were so many things that I’ve never even heard of. What’s a primer? What’s a serum? What’s the difference with liquid and gel eyeliner? I had no idea. What made it even more confusing were the brands. I spent hours on YouTube and Google trying to understand all the tips and tricks from makeup gurus like Michelle Phan, Bubzbeauty and Zoella.
One thing I saw in common with all these makeup gurus were their ‘Holy Grail’ products – products of which they swear their life upon. From these, I experimented with myself and finally managed to understand my skin better.
I did a lot of research for this post, incorporating the thoughts of various bloggers, reviews and also my own personal opinion. Here are the 5 best high-end makeup brands and their best rated products.
1. Urban Decay
Urban Decay was founded in 1996 and was recently bought over by L’Oreal in 2012. However, unlike L’Oreal, Urban Decay does not employ animal testing in the creation of their products. Every box includes their cruelty free philosophy, some of their products are even listed as vegan.
Urban Decay has almost taken over the makeup world with their Naked palettes, it not only is the ‘holy grail’ product for various makeup gurus, it is even a favourite among celebrities (The Kardashians, Selena Gomez, etc.)
(i) Naked Palettes (Naked, Naked 2 and Naked 3)
If the Naked Palettes weren’t a worldwide makeup phenomenon, nothing else would be! All 3 palettes have the most gorgeous colours, and are so heavily pigmented, it just transforms your overall makeup. I think every makeup junkie in the world would own at least 1 of these 3 palettes, if not then perhaps their smaller counterpart – the Naked Basics palette. I personally own all 3, and I LOVE IT. I don’t think any other palette can be better than them.
(ii) Eyeshadow Primer Potion
I always remember to put the Urban Decay Primer Potion before any big event, especially when I’m planning to do a heavy makeup look or if I’m going out for a long day. They recently came out with some new formulas – Eden, Greed and Anti-Aging, but I still go back to the Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion every time. It smooths the crease of your eyes, and makes putting on eyeshadow a breeze. It also keeps your eye makeup stay on without budging for hours.
(iii) 24/7 Glide-On pencil
I own a few of the 24/7 Glide-On pencils, I mainly use them to line my lash line to make my lashes look fuller. Like it’s name – 24/7 Glide-On Pencil, it stays on forever without smudging and it’s really smooth to apply. It just glides on your lids, you don’t even have to put much effort.
MAC. The most famous makeup brand that everybody has heard of. Well… I have never owned a MAC product. Not because they are not good, I never even tried them before, but I get intimidated whenever I enter the MAC shop. (Hopefully I’m not the only one) I prefer having my own sweet time to test out the products and look around, but whenever I am at the MAC store, I feel like I’m a laboratory rat being stared upon. That’s why I never got the chance to buy anything because it was just too unnerving for me. HOWEVER, I did quite a lot of research on this and managed to find the 3 favourite products of makeup reviewers and users from around the world.
(i) MAC Prep + Prime Skin Base Visage
An ultra-fluid lotion formulated with special-effect silicones. It calms and soothes the skin, blots away excess oil, and evens out skin redness. Not only that, it improves the laydown of makeup, smoothing the skin for better makeup application. It would keep your makeup locked on for hours, through sweat and sun! (read reviews of this from makeupalley)
(ii) MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot
MAC paint pots are really famous. They are really pigmented eye colours that goes on creamy but once it dries, it becomes really shimmery and intense. I found out that a lot of people use the MAC paint pots everyday, it’s basically part of their daily makeup ritual. After reading all those reviews, I think I will be buying this in the next few days to try for myself.
“The paint pots are interesting. They are creamy eye shadows that can apply with just the swipe of a finger. While a lot of the colors are very vibrant and pigmented, you can also choose a color similar to your skin tone to use as a shadow primer. Popular choices for that are Bare Study and Soft Ochre.” – as seen in 15minutebeauty.com
(iii)MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick
Of all the MAC products I listed, this is the only one that I have experience with. My best friend uses it whenever she needs a boost of confidence. According to her, it makes her feel sexy instantly! It is very creaming, and it won’t dry out your lips. Like all red lipsticks, maintenance is a huge factor, just remember to line your lips properly and it should be fine.
3. Shu Uemura
The brand actually derives its name from its founder, the make up artist Shu Uemura. In 1955, Mr Shu Uemura shot to fame after his artistically masterful work transformed a Caucasian Hollywood actress into an Asian looking geisha. Today, Shu Uemura continues to merge art with makeup. It encourages everybody to be creative and passionate with our art. Designed by Karl Lagerfield, the latest makeup palette from Shu Uemura – The Shupette Collection reflects the philosophy of Shu Uemura really well. (Am I the only one who’s totally in love with it?)
(i) Classic Eyelash Curler
A cult favourite, the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler has everything you would want to look for in an eyelash curler. Not only is it an award-winning curler, it is also the brand’s best selling product. It’s simple, efficient and effective. The best thing? It keeps your eyelashes perked up for a full day!
(ii) Cleansing Oil
Mr. Shu Uemura’s released his first product in 1960, and it has remained an iconic favourite of women from all over the world. Nowadays, Shu Uemura has released various different types of Cleansing Oils, targeting different skin types, and it too has risen to fame due to it’s ability to remove makeup efficiently and still give your skin a moisture boost. Definitely a must try for anybody!
(iii) False Eyelashes
Like it’s philosophy, Shu Uemura comes out with the most beautiful eyelashes – from simple everyday lashes to full on peacock lashes. They are lightweight and easy to put on, giving your eyes an added boost of glamour for any occasion. I bought the Shu Uemura eye-need-shu false eyelashes (which is part of the Karl Lagerfield Shupette collection) for an event, and received so many compliments for them! I’d normally tear up when wearing falsies (my eyes are super sensitive), but I almost forgot that I was wearing falsies that day because they were so light!
4. Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown cosmetics are famous for their go-to-neutral look. It is the staple for any simple yet sophisticated neutral look. The brand started when Bobbi started working as professional make-up artist in 1980 and increasingly became frustrated with the lack of suit-all shades available to her, so often mixed her own. Nowadays, the brand maintains the same ethos – to create make-up for “women who want to look like themselves only prettier and more confident”.
(i) The Shimmer Brick
If you’re interested with highlighting or bronzing, this shimmer brick is for you! It comes in stripes of color that can be mixed together or be used individually. It gives your face subtle glow that makes you look like you are glowing from the inside out.
(ii) Creamy Concealer Kit
This amazing concealer kit was one of my first makeup products (I was suffering from insomnia at the time and I had the worse dark circles). This concealer kit isn’t only for dark circles, it also provides super effective coverage for pimples or scars. It is buildable, but it doesn’t get cakey no matter how thick you make it. You can even use this as a highlighter for contouring!
I love Bobbi Brown’s blushes! You can never go wrong with them. They have every shade that you can think of, it is really smooth and it stays on your skin for a long time. No retouching needed! Sometimes I would come across blushes that look like you patched a cloth onto your face, but not with this! It blends into your skin, looking really natural.
I LOVE BENEFIT! This is one of the few brands I can never get enough with. From their highlighters to their starter kits, they are just the cutest! I would recommend every makeup ‘beginner’ to try out with Benefit. Not only is it top quality, it also packs a punch! Everything is gorgeous and it’s simple to use. They even have the manuals to teach you what to do!
(i) High Beam
This is one of my ‘holy grail’ products. In fact, this was the first highlighter that I’ve ever owned. It makes your skin glowing with a pink flush, but still keeping it natural looking. Absolutely gorgeous! I can’t rave about it more.
(ii) Hoola Bronzer
The Hoola Bronzer is a warm toned bronzer. It is matt as well, so you won’t have to be afraid of that ugly sparkly glow. It’s perfect for the ‘I just got back from the beach’ look. It’s also super effective as a contour. It’s a bit more red, so it would look weirdly out of place on yellow skin tones (like mine), but if you have pale skin, it would look awesome!
(iii) Majorette Blush
Ah, the last one on the list, the Majorette blush caused a big commotion when it was first released. It was sold out in Sephora, and every single blogger was raving about it. It is an orangy blush that works well with all skin tones. Definitely buildable! I loved the consistency of the product. It works perfectly well as an eye shadow as well, able to give tired eyes a much needed pick me up.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Maybe I’ll post another one about the best drugstore makeup brands in the future. Do comment! 🙂