As many of my friends know, I adore all things beauty related and have a passion for finding ‘the next best thing’: that one product that ‘blows my mind’, the one that I ‘fall in love with’, that I swear by and becomes an absolute favourite because it actually works on my 50+ year old skin. I have literally tried thousands of products over the years and I have amassed a substantial collection of makeup that I swear by and love.

For me, my makeup: be it a wax, powder, cream etc.. must stand up to a longevity test of at least 8 hours as well as wear well in the extreme heat and humidity of where I live in Queensland. It must be HFF (Hot Flash Friendly) and, it must also feel 100% comfortable on the skin. I can’t stand the feeling of heavy/thick products or that feeling of being ‘heavily made-up’.  Once my makeup is on for the day, I rarely get the chance (and can’t be bothered) to touch up as I am wayyyy too busy for that gig.

And so…. for you my friends I have rounded up a list of tried and true faves! These products 100% make a difference and I can and do, recommend them wholeheartedly.

 1  Essence Lash Princess Mascara (the green one specifically, although the purple is good too).

For those that enjoy a wetter formula (like me), this is awesome! It will ‘rock your boat’ and will give you dramatic length like no other. It is literally a ‘makeover in a bottle’ for lashes. I swear my lashes look like they have grown a couple of millimetres when I use this stuff. It provides both volume and length for me (a 2 in 1) and I love the wand. It is a fibre bristle brush which I prefer over plastic, and it is straight, which I also prefer,  not too big, but not minuscule either (this is important because I can’t see as well as I used to – I don’t want to stick it in my eyeball!). This one NEVER smudges, flakes or runs on me. The best part though; is it only costs A$7.00 at Priceline or Target (It used to be A$5.70 but has gone up in price and can be hard to get – for a reason). NB: Apparently there is a ‘blue’ waterproof version coming, hopefully it will reach Australian shores soon, as I would definitely track it down to try. For those that don’t enjoy a wet formula, I would recommend Loreal Paris – Lash Paradise (A$24.95 at Target,  Chemist Warehouse,  Priceline and most Department Stores – but I never buy it full price here in Oz as it’s always on sale somewhere!)

 Tip: If you find your mascara smudging during the day, layer it over any waterproof one!

2  Tarte Shape Tape Under Eye Concealer (I wear mine in light neutral)

 I have normal to dry skin with under eye wrinkles, fine lines and dark circles. Luckily, I don’t have any bags or puffiness (Thanks Mum!). I have tried hundreds of concealers in my time, and while some are indeed excellent- (think Too Faced Born This Way Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer), I always seem to come back to Tartes’ Shape Tape formula. Others claim that it is too dry for them and prefer the Too Faced one or Tarte’s Maracuja Creaseless, but for me Tarte Shape Tape is perfection and, I don’t need to set it with powder -which I find sits in fine lines and can look cakey. It is also very versatile, and for me, I think this is where it shines over the other formulas above, as it can be used to conceal not only under the eye, but all over the face (pigmentation/age spots etc…) I also use it as an eye shadow primer and can even use darker shades as a contour/bronzer. And ladies, it stays in place during a ‘hot flush!!!’  Shape Tape retails for A$40 at sephora online and in store and online at tartecosmetics.com

Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer

OOOOh! This was a hard one to pick as ‘best,’ because I feel there are a few other products that rate just as highly IMO. It was like asking me to choose my favourite child!  In the end though, I gave this one ‘the nod’ because of its versatility. You can use this to both sculpt (as in contour) and bronze your cheeks, forehead and over your entire face. (I find the shade ideal for contouring the nose and eyelids, and for emphasising/creating a pouty lower lip!) It is also perfect for a variety of skin tones in the light to medium category. (NB: Benefit now make a few different versions of this bronzer to suit even fairer and darker skin tones.) It’s wear time is fabulous too, I can easily get all day out of this one. The price for Hoola ranges from A$28 for the mini-4grams- (which lasts a very decent amount of time) to A$52 for the larger 8 grams. It is available in Australia from  sephora.com.au, myer.com.au  and of course from benefit.com

4. Too Faced Love Flush Blush -in BabyLove 

Ahhhh! The perfect blush.  Again, this one was a bit of a toughie for me! I discovered this blush when it was launched many years ago and it is definitely a firm favourite for good reason. It is the perfect ‘go to’ if you are unsure what will go with any look! I love how this peachy nude -with the perfect amount of understated pink tones- looks so natural and can be worn with any look I create. It again, like the bronzer above, suits a multitude of skin tones. It can be worn as a sheer wash of colour with a bold eye look or can be vamped up to create a gorgeous flushed cheek with a more ‘everyday’ eye look. It is super long wearing; it claims 16 hrs, feels absolutely weightless on the skin and it comes in the most adorable packaging with an embossed bunny in the formula, too cute! Oh, and it looks great in the crease of the eye for a soft ‘put together’ look, without going overboard. Available from mecca.com.auA$40  


Marc Jacobs Glow Stick Illuminator

Gee Wizz! This is harder than I thought! For the best highlighter, I chose this one because it is fabulous on mature skin. It definitely does NOT emphasise crow’s feet or fine lines and can be worn over light powder products without going cakey. It gives an awesome, radiant glow/shimmer with no glitter particles and can be worn in the daytime for a more natural, sheer look or vamped up for a night time look. I love how it is not a powder, but is a creamy balm-like formula that gives off a dewy radiance. I feel that for ‘women of a certain age’ some powders, can be drying, and some tend to emphasise the lines around our eyes (and while I consider my lines to be a sign I laugh often and enjoy life) no one wants them emphasised unnecessarily. The glow stick has both pearly silver and gold pigment infused; so it suits both warm and cool complexions. Again- versatile! It retails in Australia for a hefty A$62 at sephora.com.au   (I have heard that Wet N Wild’s – Megaglo Highlighter in Glow Watcher is an affordable powder ‘dupe’. While I cannot vouch for this,  I do own the Megaglo Highlighter in Precious Petals and it is Amazing!!! -just be careful, use a light hand and avoid your ‘crows feet’). In Australia, the Wet N Wild highlighters are available from glamraider.com.au (A$10) and discountbeautyboutique.com.au ($9.99).