Even with lockdown easing (kind of) in the UK and more and more people starting to visit shops again, the shopping experience has indisputably changed, especially for the makeup industry. When we could once go and feel a product for ourselves – a notion that seems strange, unsanitary and a bit gross looking back – is now completely out of the question. And with that, I can imagine for a lot of people who don’t have the time to (or just don’t want to) sit through endless makeup reviews and tutorials on YouTube, the idea of purchasing or experimenting with new products is daunting, uninteresting or impossible – and that’s not fun!
The other day my Mum came up with a great blogpost concept (one I’m shocked I didn’t come up with myself), where I go through the Selfridges’ Beauty Hall (which is also online for anyone, like me, who would prefer that option) in depth and pick out a list of products I believe will be suitable for multiple different preferences. Whether you desire ‘natural’ makeup, or full-on glam, I have recommendations that (I hope) will be perfect for you.
This is going to be a long one! Even though I’m providing a lot of information in order to allow you to get an accurate feel for each product I mention, I have highlighted all the brands and products in a bold and italic font so you can quickly skim through the article. Let’s get started…
ANASTASTIA BEVERLY HILLS
Anastasia Beverly Hills is one of those brands that I want to love but, unfortunately, generally feel a little bit ‘meh’ about – which is a bit sad, really! As a makeup lover, I want to love all makeup, but it’s normal for raved-about products and brands to not work as incredibly for you as they do for others. Since my first experiences with ABH has been a little underwhelming, I haven’t continued purchasing their products when there are new launches so, technically, I don’t know whether their formulas have improved or not, or whether I’ve missed a hidden gem.
I do have some products from ABH that I adore, and these all happen to be a selection of their single eyeshadows. My favourite shades are: Macaroon (metallic pastel lavender), Sunset (metallic warm golden copper), Caramel (matte warm brown), Amber (metallic pale taupe gold), Warm Taupe, Burnt Orange (matte light warm brown), Pink Champagne (metallic pinky beige with silver sparkle), Red Earth (matte reddish-purple brown), Glisten (metallic pinky-peach beige), Birkin (matte warm brown with mauve undertones), Henna (metallic coppery red), Sienna (matte warm chestnut), Electro (metallic bright warm purple duochrome with blue reflect), Dusty Rose, ‘Custard’ (matte sand) and Penny Metal (metallic light browny gold).
I only discovered how brilliant Huda Beauty’s eyeshadow palettes are fairly recently. They are perfect for people who love ‘natural’ makeup, who like to experiment with colour and who want to explore new makeup looks but feel slightly intimidated or confused about where to start.
The Mercury Retrograde palette became one of my all-time favourites as soon as I first tried it: The colour story is fun AND all the tones complement each other incredibly, so you can really experiment with the shades without too much worry about your eyeshadow looking like a mismatched mess. The formula is very fine, yet buildable, making the palettes versatile and appropriate for quick ‘natural’ looks or bolder eyes. They are extremely easy to blend and remind me a lot of Nars’s formula.
Even though Huda offers a range of brightly coloured 9-pan palettes too, such as the Lilac Obsessions palette (which is beautiful), there is a collection of three nude-toned 9-pan palettes too (named ‘Light‘, ‘Medium‘ and ‘Rich‘). I own the Nude Medium palette and I can safely say that if I had to restart my makeup collection from scratch, this palette would be one of the first I would repurchase – it is a natural makeup lovers dream.
I’ve heard that Huda Beauty’s Power Bullet Matte Lipsticks are nice, too! Update (November 2020): I’ve now tried these, and I love them, but you definitely need a balm underneath.
MAC is an iconic brand, and even though it is a shame that their newer launches don’t have the attention-grabbing attraction as other brands do, it cannot be denied that their original products will struggle to ever be put in the unwanted pile. MAC lipsticks are a classic and my favourite shades are: Shocking Revelation (bright blue-toned red, Powder Kiss), Viva Glam II (pinkish-beige mauve, Satin), Honeylove (light beige rose, Matte), Mull It Over (nude dirty peach, Powder Kiss), Blankety (light soft mauve beige, Amplified), Velvet Teddy (mid tone neutral beige, Matte), Cherish (muted peachy-beige, Satin), Capricious (sheer, buildable, glossy rose plum, Lustre), Brave (pink beige, Satin), Spirit (pinky-beige brown, Satin), Russian Red (intense bluish-red, Matte) and Stay Curious (muted pinky red, Powder Kiss). Personally, I think the best lipstick formula MAC has to offer is Powder Kiss: Shocking Revelation is the most stunning and comfortable red I have ever worn.
MAC’s lip liners are also a must-have: Subculture (gentle pinky beige), Brick (intense, slightly muted red), Boldly Bare (gentle warm pinky beige), Soar (mid-tone beige pink), Stripdown (warm brown beige), Whirl (dirty rose) and Spice (pigmented warm pink beige).
Some of MAC’s single eyeshadows are also staples in my collection: Amber Lights (metallic peachy beige gold), Rule (matte bright orange), Nylon (metallic icy gold), Sable (metallic deep plum bronze), Cork (matte muted golden brown), Red Brick (matte deep orange red), Malt (matte gentle pink beige) and Brun (matte blackish brown, my eyebrow shade).
Next, we have possibly my favourite brand ever – NARS, which is such a sophisticated, classy brand that is also exceptionally fun, experimental and creatively forward-thinking. The way they promote and encourage building confidence is probably why I love Nars so much, never mind how amazing, versatile and reliable their products are. Some of their packaging, such as the 3-D melted metal casing, is so unique and captivating.
I particularly enjoy using Nars’ eyeshadows. I am currently loving their Afterglow eyeshadow palette, which besides having the most awesome lava-like packaging, includes beautifully buildable eyeshadows that blend like a dream. This palette is perfect for ‘natural’ makeup wearers who are also wanting to dabble in colour…I just wish it wasn’t limited edition! I actually might put in a petition to make it permanent, haha. I also obsessed with their Powerchrome Loose Eye Pigment in the colour Slam, which is a gorgeous sparkly rose gold creamy glitter that really amps up a look, whether that be on the more natural side or on the more glamorous side. The Climax mascara is a favourite amongst the beauty community.
Another NARS product that goes with me anywhere and everywhere is their Velvet Lip Glides, which is a product I haven’t heard many people talk about! It is such a unique formula: They are creamy, pigmented and can either be worn as a subtle tint or with full opacity. What I love about them the most is how natural they look on the lips, and by this I mean how they hardly emphasise any texture. I have quite a pouty/full bottom lip, and with that comes lines which a lot of lipsticks love to immediately settle in and are on full show as soon as I smile – these Velvet Lip Glides are my ‘natural’ lips loving saving grace. The shades I own are: Swing (warm rose), Roseland (rose blush) and No.54 (ever so slightly warm bright red).
Moving on to NARS’ skin products, their Radiant Creamy Concealer is a classic, and I wear the shade ‘Chantilly’. The pressed Highlighting Powders are the most beautiful satin highlighters ever: They have an invisible base, yet shine with the most gorgeous sheen of colour. Albatross (icy gold) and Capri (icy nude pink) are my favourites, and I really want to try Fort de France at some point). The Overlust cheek palette is a natural-look dream: The three matte blushes are stunning and the gel highlighters, which must be applied with a finger, are so natural looking (and fairly gentle) on the skin. Lastly, the Orgasm blush is a staple, and the subtle sheen embedded within really helps to create a lit from within glow.
Charlotte Tilbury is probably the stand that customers get most excited about visiting. If I had to pick my ultimate favourite product from the brand, I’d say it would have to be her lip liners. They are creamy, buildable and comfortable, but they also happen to stay on like glue. Pillow Talk, Iconic Nude, Walk Of Shame and Pink Venus are some that I love.
Both Charlotte’s Matte Revolution and K.I.S.S.I.N.G (cream) lipsticks are brilliant, with a few of my favourite shades being: Pillow Talk, Very Victoria, Dance Floor Princess (from the Hot Lips 2 range), Penelope Pink, Super Cindy (from the Hot Lips original range) and Walk Of Shame.
The Luxury Palettes (quads) are great for people who like everyday makeup, but they are expensive considering they only contain four eyeshadows each, so I wouldn’t recommend purchasing them unless you absolutely love the colour story, and then you will get a lot of use out of the product. The two I own are: Pillow Talk and Copper Charge.
Going on to complexion products, I really enjoy using the Beauty Light Wand, Charlotte’s cream highlighters, in the shade Spotlight, as well as her Film Star Bronze and Glow palette, which is a beautiful contour-highlight duo loved by celebrities and models. The Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder is a finely milled pressed matte powder that is a dream for all skin types, especially that which is on the drier side. I’ve recently started to explore more in skincare and was recommended to try Charlotte’s Magic Cream, which has been wonderful in making my cheeks look super smooth, despite having keratosis pilares! The Magic Cream Light is brilliant for oily skin types or for hot summer days: The finish is hydrating, but not at all greasy.
Now I want to talk about Hourglass, which has the most beautiful setting powder I have ever tried. The Veil Translucent Powder is an investment (big price tag), but remarkably lasts for ages and is a dry-skin dream. I’ve heard again and again about how their Ambient Lighting Powder (available as singles or in a 3-pan palette) brings a luminosity to the skin, and that their Scattered Lights Glitter Eyeshadows are very popular, as well as the Caution Extreme Lash mascara. I can’t wait to try these latter products at some point.
Personally, for mascara, I am currently loving the Dior Iconic Overcurl Mascara. I am also aware of Dior having a Contour Palette from their Backstage collection that apparently has the most perfect cool-tone ‘contour’ shade. I get a lot of use out of their Diorskin Nude Luminizer, a beautiful highlighter, in the shade 002 Pink Glow.
Lancôme do the BEST mascaras. I keep trying to find better ones, almost like an impossible challenge. As they have such an extensive range of formulas and brush shapes, you can find a mascara that will match your preferences. My favourite is Drama, which lengthens, volumes and curls your eyelashes, Doll Eyes, which separates and lengthens your lashes, and the original Hypnose, which is your classic go-to simple mascara that does a bit of everything.
Going back onto skin, my go-to foundation is still and probably will always be Armani’s Luminous Silk. It’s a medium to full coverage foundation, which, depending on what skincare and powder you use, can range from having a satin to a very glowy finish. I’ve used it for years, I love it.
Even though I do love NARS’ Radiant Creamy Concealer, I have to say that the Laura Mercer Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer may have taken the top spot (excuse the pun). I can apply this concealer all over my face and it will not look cakey at all! It really does last throughout the entire day, and provides a super smooth look to my skin. The only reason Laura Mercier is above NARS when it comes to concealer because the Laura Mercier one is a better colour match for my skin tone, and therefore looks slightly smoother upon application. When it comes to setting powder, I haven’t shown an undying love for Laura Mercier’s Translucent Setting Powder (to be diplomatic haha) because it is too drying for my skin unless it is really hot outside. If you have oily skin I think you’ll really like it – just remember, you don’t need a lot!
If you have combination skin and want something that is in between the powders from Hourglass and Laura Mercier, the Too Faced Born This Way Translucent Setting Powder is a great option.
Morphe is the brand to go to if you want high pigment, lots of colour and an amazingly affordable price. I own the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Original eyeshadow palette, as well as the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe brushes, all of which I really enjoy using. Even though I have not personally tried this next palette myself the James Charles x Morphe eyeshadow palette is really popular and is perfect if you love colour or want to start experimenting with bolder, brighter shades. I’ve definitely got my eye on the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Volume II! Just quickly, I want to note that Morphe have announced they are ceasing operations with Jeffree Star, who has countlessly verbalised racial abuse and been in the centre of drama. I believe this is a progressive and necessary step for Morphe that they ought to have done sooner.
Taking a step back into the more high-end range, the Natasha Denona eyeshadow palettes are said to be brilliant. However, some of them are (ridiculously) expensive, however, she has come out with (so far) three £60 (still a lot of money) palettes that have the exact same formula, but in smaller quantities. My Mum surprised me with the Bronze Palette as a late birthday present. The formula is exceptionally easy to blend and the palette is a really nice size – there is nothing ‘small’ about it at all. The colours in the Bronze Palette are some of your classic shades, and even though there have been a lot of bronzy palettes launched over the years, the formulas do keep getting better and better, and from my experience and listening to the YouTubers I trust, the Bronze Palette is a great investment.
If you really want to treat yourself to a high end lipstick, the Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy Sculpting lipstick is a great option. The shade Pink Berry probably has the the best lipstick that I’ve ever tried, and there was a time I wore it every single day (pretty much) without fail.
If you want to go super high-end for lipstick, Tom Ford have an amazing range of colours. Dad and I bought Mum one a couple of years ago called Indian Rose, which is beautiful…but honestly, a £40 lipstick, REALLY?! Haha. Another very popular Tom Ford product with models is the Shade And Illuminate highlight and contour duo. Again, it’s expensive, which is exactly why I have purchased it, but I’ve heard so many celebrities raving about it nonetheless.
While I’m not a big shopper and definitely fall into the category of preferring to buy online than in-store, it’ll be great when we can all comfortably go back to browsing through our favourite shops. And hopefully, if you go into Selfridges at some point in the future, or buy from their online store or others such as Cult Beauty, John Lewis and LookFantastic, this post will help you decide which little gift you’re going to pick up for yourself or a loved one.
Finally! As I was uploading this post onto the blog and linking all the products, I noticed that, while all these products are available within Selfridges’ physical stores, they don’t carry everything I’ve mentioned on their online store. So to help, I’ve linked each of these products to the most reliable website possible for delivery and customer service, ranging from Cult Beauty, John Lewis and NARS.