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What's inside my personal kit?

Everyone has different stuff in their personal kits, and by kit, I mean my personal daily face regimen and makeup (excluding brushes and applicators) to get me through my day. As a mom and makeup artist, my kit can vary from time to time as I evolve as a human being. I don't discriminate, but I do have my faves. I do change things up when I find something new that I have tried and tested against my sensitive skin and works, but I do have some essentials and staples in my kit that I can't live without...ok, I will live, but of course, I would just feel different without. If you are curious, read on...

Having lived in Central London over the last 4 years, I have so much exposure to a great variety of skincare that has originated from there. The climate in London is also not always sunshine and warmth so the requirement to find something that will withstand the harsh conditions of frequent rain and bone-chilling cool most times of the year or humidity during the Summer season was definitely a factor to making the choices I have made. Also, life in London was different from life in North America for me. I didn't drive there, thankfully, with the heavy traffic, crazy roundabouts, narrow roads and irate and impatient drivers who make it a point to beep their horns towards pedestrians for just crossing in front of their path AND because driving on the opposite side of the road from North America is another learning curve. Public transportation in London is amazing anyway, with double-decker and regular buses, the tube (subway) and trains that flow super well, there is really no need to own a car, not to mention the price of gas, the parking costs and if you drive into zone 1 during the day during the week, there is a congestion fee charged each time upon entering. Having said all of this, my skin was always exposed to being outdoors, including the environmental pollution that comes with living in central London.

As I age, I am seeing the visible results of good skincare and for me, that means using the best products that treat my skin for my skin type and skin conditions. I have learned that a beautiful glowing complexion results from a daily commitment to taking care of my face and body. My facial skincare includes steps for both morning and night. I do use a couple of different brands here, especially for when I travel simply for portability. When I am not travelling, Skin Design London is my main line which I was first introduced to after an afternoon tea session at Fortnum & Mason. F&M also showcases a beauty department on one of their floors so as my friend and I were walking around, we were stopped by the SDL representative who informed us about the launch of their Peel & Lift Bar at this location. I was definitely intrigued by the miniature spa treatments they offered on the spot, and how to combat my skin sensitivity concerns, I also liked the ingredients and the benefits to address these in their creams and serums. But of course, I needed proof that my skin wouldn't react so I indulged in a session for their Cherry Peel and Lift and coming out of that, I felt refreshed, and my skin felt like layers of Central London pollution was peeled off. Usually, my skin would react almost immediately, but this time, it didn't. I also started using the samples I was given including their Vitamin C antioxidant glow serum and Alpine Rose Glow Cream and I was sold. These two, along with the Hydrating, Texturizing and Acne Serums, Retinol, Sleeping Beauty Creams and weekly treatment of the Designer Balm for that mini peel at home are part of my face regimen. Previous to this, I was using NARS for their Purifying Foam Cleanser which worked fine to clean my skin, followed by applying Chanel's Hydra Beauty Cream to hydrate and moisturize my face which worked amazingly all year round especially for the harsh winters living in Toronto. I would still use these in conjunction to the products by Skin Design London, mostly so that I conserve and prolong the life of my Rose Glow moisturizer. I know, I do pay the price for these things in my life and while it sounds funny being , the truth is that the price of these quality creams and serums can be pretty high and with all the wonderful new cosmetics out there, it adds up. Not that it is necessary to spend a lot of money to get quality products, surely there are products out there that may work just as well, but for me and for my skin, these products have worked great but they do come with a higher price tag.

Following my morning skincare, I start with a great primer and what's in my kit is Laura Mercier's Foundation Radiance Primer. It leaves a radiance on my skin and my makeup really sticks to my skin over this which makes a huge difference in how my makeup stays.

Once my primer is on, I move on with my base coverage and currently, NARS and Tarte foundation are my go-to's for this. Firstly, I do have darker circles under my eyes and pigmentation on my cheeks so a colour correcting is required to and cover up any blemishes and help even out my skin tone especially around my eyes, sides of my nose and corners of my lips. I use a peachy shade and for this, I am not picky of the brands used but I have used Bobbi Brown Peach, NYX Professional Makeup Colour Correcting Palette, Makeup Revolution Camouflage Corrector Palette, Becca's Under Eye Brightening Corrector, Charlotte Tilbury's The Retoucher Concealer Pen and Wunder2's WunderLift 60-second Anti-Wrinkle Lift cream definitely works wonders to tighten and lift under my eyes. Once I have covered the areas, I apply my base foundation but included in my kit is a bottle of Iconic London's Liquid Illuminator which I add a pea sized drop onto my foundation and mix to warm it up before applying onto my face. Sometimes, I just add a drop of Dr. Hauschka's Translucent Bronzing Tint to my foundation too to add a bit of colour and then I don't need to use a bronze powder.

A good concealer is essential to cover up any areas that still need a little more coverage and I use Tarte's Shape Tape Concealer or Ellis Faas' Concealer which I love. Actually, Ellis Faas has a great foundation base that I use after the gym because it is a nice texture with a dewy finish.

A good setting powder is necessary to set my base especially under my eyes and the sides of my nose and to minimize pores too.

Not wanting this to be lengthy with too much detail, included are a couple of eyeshadow palettes with nude and earthy tones such as Stila's matte 'n Metal palette is small enough and has a good range of shades I like and Jouer's Springtime in Paris Palette. Palettes switch up in my kit depending on my mood or season, but I just like to have 2 eyeshadow palettes for a nice variety and that also compliment each other. Another kit essential is a good gel eye liner that doesn't dry up and is waterproof and my favourite is Delilah's Gel Line Gel Eye Liner in Ebony, a Kohl Eyeliner in a rich brown shade and for me, it's MAC Cosmetics' Costa Riche for the times when I don't use a gel liner. Kevyn Aucoin has a great eyelash curler and then I apply Chantecaille's Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara which as part of their formula, lengthens my lashes and does a fab job, I might add, not to mention the rose scent. For my cheeks and contour, Kat Von D's Shade + Light Crème Contour Palette and Morphe's Lo-Fi Sculpt and Shimmer Contour Powder palette have been my faves lately.

The Morphe palette includes highlighters too but I am attached to the Beyond Powder in OMG by Illamasqua which is my favourite thing to put on. To add a cheek colour, I have three formats in my kit including, cream, powder and liquid. Bodyshop has a great Lip & Cheek Stain in a dark cherry that I primarily use for my cheeks, and Artist Couture's loose powder in Conceited is great for lips, eyes, cheeks and I use it for that glow on my cheeks - it has a great pigment!

For eyebrows, I like mine looking more natural and Soapbrows helps to groom mine well and I fill in where I need to using Anastasia BH's brow pencil.

Lips, lips lips! Have a great variety of lip colour - I love all forms, lip pencils, lipsticks, lip palettes, and lip glosses. From Pat McGrath, Kat Von D, Huda Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury, Anastasia BH, MAC, NARS & Other Stories has some great lipsticks too. My point is keep the shades you love and in whatever form that works for you.

Finish off with a good setting spray and I love Bobbi Brown's Primer Plus Hydrating 3-in-1 setting spray smells great and prolongs my makeup. And voila! These are my essentials to put on my daily face. Would love to hear what's in your kit that contributes to your daily face or any feedback you might have.

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