Kit Essentials - Summer 2016

Hello there! Recently I've had a few of you asking about what my go to products are so  I thought I might share a few of my essentials that I can't live without. I seriously could go on for hours or maybe days talking about the best products so I'm going to narrow it to the top 5. (Sidenote: none of these brands are sponsoring this post. These are all products I purchased myself, use, and love.)

1. Cushion Foundation. I prefer the range by Amore Pacific (accessible, at Sephora) or Sulwhasoo (less-accessible, found online) Why? Because it takes 5 seconds to apply flawlessly, it gives the skin a radiant glow, most come with a refill insert, and generally have a high SPF. If you've never seen cushion foundations before, they're basically a compact containing a sponge saturated with a thin, light weight foundation product. Most of these products are coming out of Korean and Asian makeup houses, but these days they can be found almost everywhere (Sephora, Target, Etc.). Perfect for anyone who wants natural looking, dewy skin using minimal products and taking little time. Since most of these products are coming out of Asia, they are limited on their shade ranges. If you have deeper skin tone, I would suggest the new cushion foundation range from Lancome, which comes in 11 shades. Easily apply to the skin using patting motions with the included cushion sponge.

2. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks. I really can't get enough of these eye shadows because they are SO easy to apply (just swipe the stick across your lids and blend with your finger or a brush), they come in a lot of great, classic colors (I love Golden Bronze, Goldstone, Truffle, and Sand Dune), and they really stay put without creasing. I'm all about minimal effort with maximum results and these cream shadows really pull through for that. Wear them alone or layer over with your favorite powder eye shadow to add dimension. 

3. MAC 217 Blending Brush. If you only ever own one makeup brush, make it this one. This brush is so versatile you can use it for applying and blending powder or cream eye shadows, concealer, highlighting, applying contours, or pretty much anything else. I love how it easily diffuses lines with minimal time and effort (are you seeing a theme here? *cough* lazy *cough*). Bonus, it's only $22 and you can easily use it for years if you take good care of it (regular washing and reshaping).

4. Shu Umera Eyelash Curler. The perfect shape curler to suit ANY eye shape. I've been using this eyelash curler for over 5 years and I'll continue using it forever. An eyelash curler may seem like a silly choice for an essential list, but this creates the perfect curl, pads last ages, and I've yet to find an eye shape this doesn't fit. Just do yourself a favor and own it. *Sidenote: this used to be widely available in the U.S. but for some annoying reason you can only find it online. Try shuumera.com or Nordstrom to ensure you're getting the real thing (knock offs do exist).

5. Micellar Water. The final essential item to remove everything you just put on. Every French woman you know uses this product on the daily. It's a makeup remover, face wash, and moisturizer in one silky smooth fluid. Perfect for those with sensitive skin or people who hate the film left behind by a traditional makeup remover. My skin actually feels soft and refreshed after I remove my makeup with micellar water. Lots of brands have started carrying these in the U.S.  so they are quite widely available. My favorite is La Roche-Posay Micellar Water for Sensitive Skin. I got mine from a drug store in Taiwan but it's also available at Ulta.

Like I said, I could go on forever about my favorite products, but these are a few I think anyone could use and enjoy. At least that's my hope.

Let me know if there is anything you'd like to know more about!

xx Riley

Riley Chou3 Comments