beauty

'I just culled 50 beauty products to 16. Here's what was worth keeping.'

I'm what some might call a makeup hoarder

Foundation? I've got 'em in every shade. Concealer? Take your pick. Then there are the dozens (and dozens) of blushes, contours, bronzers and highlighters for every single skin tone.

Simply put, I LOVE makeup. To wear it, apply it on my and other people's faces too. But in the last few years, I've overdone it. 

Watch: Things I've Learnt about Beauty & Skincare. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

Working at Mamamia means I'm lucky enough to test a lot of beauty products. Anytime my friends downsize their beauty drawers, I get all the stuff they don't want. I also spend a sizeable part of my paychecks on... you guessed it... makeup. 

Alas, the small area I permit for all my beauty stuff is overflowing. And going into 2024, I've decided to let go of all the stuff I'm not absolutely obsessed with.

As such, I got rid of... a lot of makeup... As in over 50 beauty products. Most of it I'm giving away to friends and family. Some of it is going in the bin because it is about to expire. Mostly, I threw out powdered products that felt a little too chalky. Think bronzers, blushes and highlighters. 

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I'm embarrassed to admit it... But this is everything I'm giving away or throwing out. Over 50 products. Image: Supplied.

I prioritised keeping products that made my skin look and feel good. I chose not to keep foundations that looked nice on me but didn't feel super great on, or concealers that were too thick or not full-coverage enough. 

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I kept most of my makeup brushes, sponges and triangle puffs (I would NEVER part with my precious powder puffs) but chose to ditch the eyeshadow or eyeliner pencils because I never react well to them.

Here's what I kept. Image: Supplied.

What I'm left with is the absolute essentials — the beauty items that I simply cannot live without because they work so damn well with my skin. 

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I've gone through a lot of trial and error. And now I'm down to a list of products that are A+ - so I'm not going to gatekeep. 

Here are the products I'm keeping:  

KVD Beauty Good Apple Full-Coverage Transfer-Proof Vegan Serum Foundation in Medium 039, $60.

KVD Beauty Good Apple Serum Foundation. Image: Sephora/Mamamia.

I have gone through three bottles of this foundation and am about to open my fourth.

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It's a product that looks amazing on the skin and because it's so lightweight and easy to blend, it takes me almost no time to apply it on my face. Full-coverage makeup in less than 10 minutes. It's my dream situation. 

Huda Beauty Fauxfilter Luminous Matte Liquid Concealer in Royal Icing 1.1 Neutral, $54.

Huda Beauty Fauxfilter Luminous Matte Liquid Concealer. Image: Mamamia/Sephora.

Move out of the way Shape Tape, Huda Beauty has you beat... by a mile.

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I do kid, as I truly love my Tarte Shape Tape. It's full coverage and comes with the most perfect wand applicator. However, I have found myself reaching for Huda Beauty Fauxfilter Luminous Matte Liquid Concealer — even when I want natural makeup, because it looks like literal photoshop IRL.

It's creamy, doesn't crease and possibly has the most coverage from any concealer I've personally tried. 

I've used maybe four of five of these concealers now. Nothing beats it (a close second is the ABH Magic Touch concealers. they're pretty full-coverage and I have gone through two or three of those now).

McoBeauty XtendLash Mascara, $28.

McoBeauty XtendLash Mascara. Image: McoBeauty/Mamamia.

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The only mascara that can perform as well as the McoBeauty XtendLash is the Benefit Fanfest Mascara. The only difference is the price range. It's a glossy formula that creates water-resistant "tubes" around each lash for the most length, definition and hold. I'm on to my fourth bottle. 

I like to let this mascara sit open for a few hours before I start a new one because I think it works best on my sparse lashes when the formula is a little drier. I got this tip from Mamamia's Beauty Editor Erin Docherty.

Rare Beauty Effortless Bronzer Stick in Warm Wishes, $45.

Rare Beauty Effortless Bronzer Stick. Image: Sephora/Mamamia.

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This product is so beautiful on the skin and lasts FOREVER. I've had this little product for close to a year now and it's not even empty. I'll replace it stat when it does run out because it's so creamy, easy to blend and SO good.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Liner in Cool Brown and Malt, $24.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Liners in Cool Brown and Malt. Image: Mamamia/Sephora.

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I have gone through about five or six of these lip liners from Anastasia Beverly Hills and I think they're some of the best lip liners on the market. They're able to be sharpened which is a huge win in my book because I don't LOVE roll-up lip liners. These ABH beauties are also very creamy but super pigmented and ultra-long-lasting. I can go for about 5-6 hours with no need to re-apply since it doesn't really "come off" while eating and drinking per se, but more so fades down nicely.

KimChi Chic Beauty Puff Puff Pass in 04 Peach, $32.

KimChi Chic Beauty Puff Puff Pass in 04 Peachy. Image: Mamamia/Glam Raider. 

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One of the best face powders on the market to brighten the under eye and make sure there are no creases after hours of wear. I've gone through three of these powders, either in the shade 'Peachy' or 'Translucent' and 'Peachy' is by far my favourite! 

This brand was created by drag queen KimChi so you can trust that they're products formulated for long-lasting wear.

Ciaté London Extraordinary Translucent Powder, $36. 

Ciaté London Extraordinary Translucent Powder. Image: Ciaté/Mamamia.

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Ciaté is one of those brands I have always wanted to try and this translucent powder was one of the first I ever got my hands on. 

I definitely was NOT disappointed by it, it leaves a soft-looking matte finish on the skin. I don't feel like I need a lot to lock in the wet products on my face and I also love to bake under my eyes with this for day-to-day wear. I'm on to my second powder and I'm OBSESSED.

Ciaté London Glow-To Highlighter, $52.

Ciaté London Glow-To Highlighter. Image: Mecca/Mamamia.

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The perfect highlighter. 

The quality of the packaging and the actual formula of this product is unbeatable. I think it's so adorable! I've been using this every day for six months and I haven't hit pan yet. Actually, I haven't even gotten rid of the layer of stars yet — you don't need much with this to pack a punch!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lipgloss in Caramel, $31.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lipgloss. Image: Mamamia.

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ABH might be known for brows but goodness me, their lip products are STUNNING. So versatile, so pigmented and so creamy. 'Caramel' is my favourite shade. It's a pinky-brown nude and is perfect over lip liner or by itself for a natural lip.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Satin Lipstick in Haze, $36.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Satin Lipstick. Image: Mamamia.

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I know I seem like a crazed ABH fan (perhaps I am) but they really do have some good stuff. I've had this satin lipstick from the brand for about 18 months and it's only now on its final leg. There's so much pigment that you really don't need to apply much. I love the shade 'Haze'. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Liner in Black, $35.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Liner. Image: Mamamia.

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I've never been good at eyeliner but you wouldn't be able to tell because I use this liquid eyeliner and it is AH-MAZ-ING. I didn't think I could like anything more than the Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Xtreme Precision Liquid Eyeliner... but alas, I have. 

Made By Mitchell Blursh in Peach Sugar, $32. 

Made By Mitchell Blursh. Image: Glam Raider/Mamamia.

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If anyone knows me, they know I rave about liquid blushes any chance I get. I LOVE and will ALWAYS love my Made By Mitchell Blushes. They are so velvety in texture, look good on the lips too (who knew) and I still have my little bottle of 'Peach Sugar' from when I first got it about a year ago now. 

So lovely.

Revlon Matte Lip Crayon in Clear The Air, $17.39. 

Revlon Matte Lip Crayon. Image: Revlon/Mamamia.

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An affordable lip crayon that lasts for ages, doesn't make your lips look crusty and gets me plenty of compliments. I use this day-to-day and I'm about to buy my third lip crayon in the shade 'Clear The Air' because it is THE BEST.

Sephora Collection Pocket Eye Palette Sun Shadows in Golden Hour, $27.

Sephora Collection Pocket Eye Palette Sun Shadows. Image: Sephora/Mamamia.

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I've owned dozens and dozens of eyeshadow palettes. This pocket-sized palette from Sephora is bloody glorious. I don't really like super intense eye makeup because you can't see intricate looks on my eyelids and I prefer to keep it simple. Every shade is ultra-pigmented and so beautiful. After three years of owning it, I think this baby has run its course so I'll be buying another one when necessary.

KimChi Chic Beauty x Plastique Nude Sensation: Blush, Bronzer and Highlighter Palette, $28.

KimChi Chic Beauty x Plastique Nude Sensation: Blush, Bronzer and Highlighter Palette. KimChi Chic Beauty/Mamamia.

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Talk about a life-changing piece of makeup. The Morning Editor at Mamamia gave this to me in my first month of working here (back in 2021, friends) and it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for me. Almost three years on, I still feel all bubbly inside because that was when my love affair with KimChi Chic Beauty started. 

The formulas are so creamy, bright and pigmented. I don't use any other powder blushes besides the ones in this palette. It's so freaking good.

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer, $59.

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer. Image: Sephora/Mamamia.

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The OG bronzer. The crème de la crème of bronzer. The GOAT. The best to ever do it. 

Okay, too much. 

But honestly, has there ever been a product that has dominated in its category more so than the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer? I certainly cannot think of one. There's a reason this product is so beloved. 

It's because it is good. It's buildable, has a nice warm hue, lasts for a while and is essentially the most user-friendly bronzer ever. 

This is my third Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer. Take from that what you will. 

What makeup products can you not live without? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

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