People often ask me recommendations on cosmetics & skincare. I use a mixture of cheap & cheerful and more expensive, so here's my 5 cents.
Super shiny lippies - I love Dior Addict
Lipsticks in general - I love MAC lipsticks. A great range of pigments and finishes and I use MAC lip-liners also.
Lip stains - These are my staple and I'm not really into Stainiac, by The Balm, a really cute cult label. MAC also often bring out fantastic lip stains, but they are usually limited editions.
Lately I've been using cheaper foundations, and they are not too bad at all. Max Factor Second Skin is a good one.
Loreal and Maybelline have some great shades at a decent price - I often use True Match.
YSL's Touche Eclat is another long term fave for getting rid of dark circles under the eyes. I used to sell truck-loads of these when working at YSL at Harrods. People love them!
As for the more high end foundations, I've long been a convert of Estee Lauder's Doublewear for full coverage that does NOT rub off - great for work. The original marketing said it stayed on even in 'jungle terrain'. At work I like full coverage all day. Lately I've been using Double Wear Light especially for wkends, it has a lesser coverage as Doublewear can be heavy. I just love that it stays ON with 15-hour wear, oil control and SPF 10.
I also love MAC Studiofix, that combines a natural matte finish and medium-buildable coverage with broad spectrum SPF 15. MAC also have a great range of powder compacts, from full coverage to shine-control and the Mineralize powder foundation.
I am neurotic about my hair, and have always put a lot of time and energy into seeking out the best stylists, colourists and products. My hair is a bit fly-away so I like something that tames the frizzie. I've found the Paul Mitchell Serum & Smoothers the best.
And of course the only thing that manages to give my body - 'Dust it' by Ossis.
I love liquid liner but have over the years found it virtually impossible to find one that stayed put what with sweat, wind, weepy eyes and general day to day activities - until I found Mac's Liquidlast Liner - this stuff does NOT BUDGE and is fantastic! It's like Vivid (Texta to you Aussies). I have it in black and a petrol shade.
I have Bobbie Brown's Chocolate Box palette from two years ago and it has been brilliant. Look out for her limited-edition eye palettes.
However, my good friend & stylist Owen Allison, now at National Make-up artist Estee Lauder, recently showed me how plum tones bring out brown eyes, and shook me from my brown eyeshadow rut. The effect was fantastic! The other eyeshadow I generally use is MAC. It's highly pigmented (unlike some of the larger brands), and have all the latest colours.
I insist on uber-lashes - BIG, FAT, LONG Bambi lashes. I have long been a fan of Estee Lauder's Magnascopic. I used to like Lancome but I paid a pretty penny for Amplicils recently & it didn't do the trick.
I have also never been a fan of the 'cult' Maybelline pink & green Great Lash. I find it watery & with no guts. But I find the Colossal Volum' Express recommended by a make-up artist friend very good.
If you can be bothered double coating, try Loreal's Double Extension Mascara- very effective fat lashes.
Best brow-liner I ever found was by Nars, but it was quite short & didn't last long enough to justify the price, I thought. Now I used The Balm's 'Browne-y'. Love the cute candy-striped packaging too!
Nars Multiple sticks for cheeks are the bomb - I have The Multiple in South Beach that has lasts forever, a great shimmery bronzer. The cult pink shade, Orgasm (Multiple Orgasm !), is on my list.
To lift the skin for hung-over days or special occasions, try a bit of MAC Strobe Cream on the cheek & brow bones - instant glow!
SKIN - MOISTURIZERS
For day-wear, always choose something with an SPF. At the moment I'm using one product day and night which has made my skin feel amazing - Bio Actives Skincare Extreme B from Lucy and the Powder Room. Otherwise, for top end I use Estee Lauder Daywear or Elizabeth Arden - for more economical , I go for a basic combination skin Neutrogena or Loreal with SPF.
For night cream, I like Elizabeth Arden's Good Night's Sleep cream, or Sukin. You want something nourishing & richer for night.
SKIN - CLEANSERS
My skin is combination, so I have abandoned using uber strong foaming cleansers that strip my skin. My skin my get greasy, but it's still dehydrated, so I use cleasnsers for combination skin. Lately I'm loving Sukin's range. It's reasonably priced, so I use the foaming cleanser in mornings, and the cream cleanser at night.
However, my ultimate fave for cleansers is Kiehls, which I discovered at Harrods & who is now in NZ at Smith & Caughey Queen St - Hurrah!!
I have to stay with the consensus and go O.P.I. Good colours, depth, durability and consistency. I'm not Really a Waitress is a cult classic & I love Chick Flick Cherry (pictured).
And check out the cool 'Try it on' application on their website where you can 'try on' different shades! very cute. But beware of FAKES! Check this out.
MAC have release limited nail polishes that I have also found very good.
I have laso recently discovered Essie, they have some wicked shades in all the up to the inute colours.