Sunday, 27 November 2011

Brand Favourites

Even though we are coming to the end of another month, I thought I would do a different type of favourites post this time. There are certain beauty brands that I have been using since I was about 14 so I thought it would be fun to take a look at the first product I bought from some of these brands and now which one product I would really recommend from them. I'd love it if others got involved as well, mainly because I'm curious by nature and find it interesting to see which other products people tried first and are now staples. Here goes.

Chanel - As far as I can remember, this was my first proper luxury beauty purchase. Before then I used to mainly use Boots 17, I think I owned every eyeshadow trio they did! My first piece of Chanel was a limited edition set called Les Gouaches de Chanel (I think). It looked just like an artist's palette and paints and to be honest, I barely used it but it was so beautiful! I actually still have it and will probably keep it forever, for sentimental value, and because it is such a unique kit.

Now, I buy a lot from Chanel but if I had to recommend just one item it would be either a blusher or a foundation. I used to love Teint Innocence which has been replaced I think, but all their foundations are great quality. What would be even better was if we got the wider shade selection that is available in the US. Then I would be very happy indeed!

Laura Mercier - Another vivid memory. I had read so much about this range in magazines and desperately wanted to try it but this was the time before Bluewater was built and there were far fewer Space NKs around. I first went to a counter in Boston, when I was away with my Dad and they used the Tinted Moisturiser, Secret Camouflage and a cream shadow in a silver colour on me. Courtesy of my father, these all came home with me and even though I still can't use the concealer properly, I always have a tube of tinted moisturiser on the go (and I have the eye shadow somewhere still, I am very sentimental!).

As for what I would recommend, it would have to be either the oil free primer or the tinted moisturiser, both staples.

Nars - I got my first Saturday job the day after my 16th birthday, at Body Shop, and despite being slightly terrified of the store, went into Space NK Bluewater and used my first wages to buy Lip Lacquer in Baby Doll. We weren't really allowed to wear any makeup to school back in the day but I could just about get away with this.

Although their eyeshadow duos can be a little hit and miss in terms of quality, they are still the product I would recommend, along with the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. Favourites include Dogon, Misfit, Cleo and Rajasthan.

Some of my first Stila purchases
Stila - First product was their Lip Glaze in Strawberry and lipstick in Natalie. I haven't tried any of the newer (and cheaper) Stila range, but my favourites used to be their palettes and convertible colours.

MAC - I was a very late starter to MAC, only having access to the brand when I moved away to university in Scotland. I think my first buy was a Viva Glam lipstick in a light brown colour (very unflattering and yet I wore it to death) and Minted eyeliner.

Now I would recommend their eyeshadows and lipsticks, they aren't the very best quality but they have a fantastic shade range that can't be beaten. Shale and Patina are favourite eyeshadows and Impassioned a favourite lipstick.

Dior - First product was the eyeshadow quint in Beige Masai and despite having tried a small number of other products, this is the one I'd recommend.

Lancome - I think the only Lancome product I've ever tried is their mascara. Am I missing out?

Chantecaille- Grace London is guilty of getting me started on a number of expensive brands, this being one of them. It is impossible to read her blog and not tempted by beautiful things! The first item I bought was Lip Chic in Bourbon Rose and it is a beautiful everyday shade. I've tried quite a lot of Chantecaille products in the last 18 months but still the Lip Chics are my favourite, particularly the latest shade Violetta.

By Terry - First product was the famous Baume de Rose and I hate it. It does nothing for my lips and was a huge waste of money. It nearly put me off the brand completely but I tried the By Terrybly lipsticks and was a convert. I would definitely recommend Cherry Cherry if you like bright colours.

Le Metier de Beaute - I wish I had discovered this brand earlier so I could have stocked up before it left Europe, but my first purchase was an eye kaleidoscope in Chinoiserie Azure. The quality of it is amazing but now I have expanded my collection, this is my least favourite kit. I adore every product I have from this brand so picking a favourite is so hard, but I guess it would have to be a kaleidoscope and at a push, Le Cirque. I don't think you can go wrong with anything from Le Metier and it is one brand I am happy ordering sight unseen (thanks to lovely US friends).

YSL - First product was, obviously, Touche Eclat. Other than that I haven't tried much but my favourite is the Faux Cils Mascara, even though it smudges like crazy on me.

BECCA - First product was Eye Tint in Baroque but the one I reach for the most is Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Pearl, which I now use instead of MAC's Strobe Cream.

Bobbi Brown - Mainly because of its presence on QVC I have bought far too much of this brand in the last few years! I think the first product was a neutral eyeshadow palette or a shimmerbrick.

Benefit Face Powders
Benefit - Probably my favourite brand as a teenager, my first purchase was High Beam. I managed to smash my bottle on a flight (back when you could take glass on board) but then I became obsessed with their face powders. I own them all and would recommend any of them especially Dallas, Georgia and Dandelion, but their cream shadows are also excellent quality.

Rouge Bunny Rouge - Wen I first read about this brand on blogs I dismissed it, thinking it had something to do with the Playboy bunny! Luckily, after more and more reviews appeared I gave in and ordered the eyeshadow in Solstice Halcyon. I reach for this almost everyday and although their new cream shadows are also excellent, if you are new to the brand this is the shade and product I would recommend. Their blushers are also fabulous.

Urban Decay - Another favourite of mine as a teenager, my first buy was one of their palettes which I still have, containing 4 eyeshadows, 4 lip products and one cheek colour. What would I recommend? Probably no surprises here but it would have to be the Naked palette.

My very grotty first ever Urban Decay purchase
Tom Ford - I made my first purchase with apprehension, buying without even seeing the products in person let alone trying them, but I went for the lipstick in Pure Pink and haven't regretted it. It is one of the only products I have a back up of as it has been sadly discontinued. I haven't tried any non lip products (although their are some on my Christmas list) so my recommendation has to be lipsticks. I am not keen on the nudes or mid tone shades though so if you are going to spend a crazy amount of money on one shade, I'd go for one of the brights like True Coral, Cherry Lush or Violet Fatale. Lisa Eldridge has done a great You Tube tutorial on Black Orchid and how to get maximum use out of it, which helps go someway to justifying the astronomic cost.

I've probably left out a load of brands that later will become glaringly obvious, but these are what immediately come to mind. Which products were your first purchases and would you buy them again or has another item stolen your affections? Whatever they are I'd love to hear about them.

Finally, check out my blog sale for reductions, still Chanel, Armani, Bobbi Brown left!


  1. that urban decay palette was my first high end purchase too!! I threw it out last year (years after I bought it!)

  2. Ha ha! I had that UD palette too :D. I picked it apart about a year ago to release what hadn't gone off.

  3. Heehee I LOVE This post, very interesting and all sounds very similar to mine! Oh how I love Bluewater! I spend ages in boots, HoF and John Lewis! Ha ha ha, only bad thing is that the HoF there does not sell UD. Ridic if you ask me....

    I love Tom Ford, had a good old look in Harrods the other week, shame I had the kids with me lol

    I actually dont own any Nars tho! Nothing has ever appealed that much to get!! Never say Never tho!

    Chanel is defo my fave brand at the mo, mainly coz I love the Holiday Collection, amazing red lippy that looks lovely even with my blonde hair!

    Great Post!