I've always loved all things beauty - some of my earliest memories are looking through my mother's makeup bag (and probably ruining some of her products), but my mother has always been more invested in skincare and that meant that I was the same. I probably started wearing makeup at age 13/14 - just some mascara, and got more into it at 16/17. Before blogging, I got all of my info from magazines, and was a marketer's dream, so I always bought the latest "best thing", particularly in skincare, until I settled into only using Dermalogica for years (still a staple in my collection), before adding in Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair, as another staple. Rather than having whole drawer units of both makeup and skincare, I had a makeup case and a consistent stash of skincare in my bathroom. I did try new products, but I had core products that I loved and knew I could rely on, but 15 years on, would (or do) I still use them?
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm: This is a product that I still use and love and I always have a tube in my stash. I just love how it makes my skin feel and look - fresh, plump and healthy. All foundations apply well over it. It's a forever repurchase!
Armani Hydra Glow Foundation: I was so disappointed when this foundation was discontinued and stocked up but when I eventually ran out, I moved on to another fro the brand (although it isn't what actually replaced Hydra Glow. I really wish this foundation was still available - why do brands discontinue amazing products?. Armani Luminous Silk Foundation: this has been a staple in my makeup stash ever since and still is. I really love this foundation because it leaves my skin looking pretty much flawless and is long-lasting, even without powder.
YSL Touche Éclat: I never really suffered from eye bags back in the day, so I didn't use an actual concealer and loved using this instead, as it's light diffusing properties were all I need. This is another product that I always have in my stash because I love the brightening effect. Often copied, but never really equalled.
Nars Laguna Bronzer: This was the only bronzer I used for years (actually, that's not entirely true - I loved MAC Refined Golden Bronzer too and used both but), I literally just bought on repeat, without even considering others (that said, new releases weren't as regular back then - now, there are new products on a weekly basis!). It's one that is always still in my collection, I just love the natural, sun-kissed look it gave my skin without looking muddy!
Benefit High Beam or Moon Beam: Highlighters weren't huge back in the day (in fact, my wedding makeup artist didn't even have one, so we used mine), but I have always loved how they look and have worn them for years! Moon Beam was my number one, but again, this is discontinued, but I also loved High Beam and still do, yet I tend to go for a more champagne-toned highlight these days.
NARS Orgasm Blush: The only blush that I have repurchased, TWICE! It takes quite a while to finish a blush, so that speaks volumes as to how much I love this blush, and still do. The pinky/coral tone really suits my skin and brings it to life.
YSL Faux Cils Mascara: I stayed loyal to this mascara for so many years because there was simply no other on the market that gave volume like this one, which is what I look for in a mascara - volume, very black, doesn't flake or smudge. It ticks every box. It was only when I started blogging that curiosity got the better of me and I started to try other ones (and I have found some that I love), but I recently repurchased this and fell in love again! I couldn't even hazard a guess at how many I have bought over the years!
Eyeliner: I was never loyal to just one liner - I tried everything from Rimmel to Lancome, and ALL smudged on my oily lid/watery eye combo. Thankfully, I have found much better liners these days.
MAC Spice Lip Pencil: Another product that I couldn't hazard a guess at how many I've bought! I've worn this since around 1999 - it was probably my first MAC purchase! I love nude lips and used to always prefer gloss to lipstick, so I needed something to give my lips some definition, to avoid the concealer-lip look. I still wear it because it works so well with so many of my lip products.
MAC Varneesh Lip Gloss: Unfortunately, this was discontinued and I was gutted! My wedding MUA introduced me to this and I LOVED it! It was almost similar to Orgasm blush, but with more of a peachy tone, with little flecks of gold. I used tubes and tubes of it until I couldn't by any more, but if they ever brought it back, I'd repurchase in a heartbeat!
MAC Golden Olive Pigment: I cant find a link for this, so I'm guessing that it has been discontinued too! I adore this, I wore it on my wedding day and I absolutely love to recreate that look (as best I can) with this. I love how it makes my green eyes pop!
MAC Woodwinked: Who doesn't suit this eyeshadow? I love it just as much now as I did back in the day. MAC were the most popular makeup brand back then - sure, I used others, but I owned A LOT of MAC products and I still have a soft spot for their eyeshadows (although their mattes used to be quite chalky - not so much nowadays).
MAC Tempting: Again, another classic, which I still own and love. Don't worry - these are mainly repurchases - hitting pan was a regular thing back in the day. This post has re-ignited my love for MAC shadows though!
MAC Sumptuous Olive: Another one that's discontinued...WHY?? I absolutely LOVED this warm toned green with a hint of gold - again, it made my green eyes pop. I loved that it was deeper than the Golden Olive pigment, for a change, but I could still wear green.
I had a lot of MAC shadows back in the day, but these were my faves, which I would (and do), still wear!
In some ways, life was so much simpler by having a capsule collection that I adored. I think that there is so much anxiety in people's lives today, because there is so much choice - I don't just mean in terms of beauty, but EVERYTHING! You go to the supermarket to get apples, for example, and there are so many more types than there were 10/15 years ago. For some, more choice is a good thing, for others, having more choice in every aspect of their life is stressful.
If I had to go back to this capsule makeup wardrobe, would I miss my newer, vast range of products? Of course I would, but I think I could also be quite happy as I still love them all (those that are still available). I almost always have most of these products in my collection, because I know I can rely on them.
Do you have any long-standing staples that you always go back to in your makeup bag? I'd love to hear!
Thanks for reading!
All products are bought by me, unless otherwise stated. Anything marked with a * has been kindly gifted, without obligation. I don't do sponsored posts. Opinion is always my own. Affiliate links may be used.