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My beauty essentials

Posted on: May 9th, 2013 by Rena Phuah (6 Comments)

Ever since I was a teenager, I have been obsessed with makeup and beauty. Partly because of my acne-ridden teenage years, I have been on a quest for products to attain the flawless and airbrushed look of the girls in magazines. I have spent countless hours in drugtores swatching foundations and lipglosses (late 90s and early 2000s are all about lipglosses) and splurged on MAC products every time I received pocket money from my parents or from cash earned from part-time jobs in college.

The obsession hasn’t stopped. I am still an avid reader of beauty blogs and articles. I get excited whenever there is a new color collection from NARS or Chanel. I spend hours googling for reviews and swatches of a certain product, just for the sake of it. Over the years of collecting and trying different products, I have come to realized that one does not need a lot of products. One only need products that perform well and do their jobs.

So, here are my absolute beauty essentials:


Complexion products

Top left to right: Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre loose powder in 20, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in S3 Bottom left to right: Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation in 20, Shu Uemura Face Architect Smooth Fit foundation in 774, MAC Select Moisturecover in NC20, Shiseido Foundation brush

One a normal day, I prefer Perfection Lumiere for a matte natural finish. If my skin feels a little dehydrated, I find that the Face Architect is more fluid, easier to blend and it gives a natural glow. The best tool for my foundation application is the Shiseido Foundation brush. The price tag is surprisingly not as crazy as any high-end foundation brush. The bristles don’t leave my foundation looking streaky and the size is ideal for traveling.

After trying many different concealers, Secret Camouflage is the best one for me to cover up any blemishes. It doesn’t cake up nor oxidize (when the color turn orangey on your skin after a period of time). MAC Select Moisturecover is perfect for under the eyes, not too sheer and has a slight lifting effect. I use this for the sides of my nose  as well to cover any redness.

To finish it off, there is nothing better than the Chanel loose powder. Compared to most powders, this one does not leave a white cast. The texture is very fine and velvety.



Eyes, lips and cheeks products

Far left: Shu Uemura eyelash curler Top left to right: NARS eyeshadow in Bali, MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, Chanel Jouse Contrast blush in Rose Initiale, Bottom left to right: Maybelline Falsies Volume Express mascara, Aquaphor Lip Repair lipbalm, Chanel Rouge Allure in Pimpante, Revlon Matte lipstick in Mauve It Over

I start my eye routine with a sweep of eyeshadow. I have tons of eyeshadows (Bobbi Browns and NARS do good eyeshadows) but the quickest one for me to “fake” a socket is NARS Bali. It is the perfect taupe and I can use it to fill in my brows as well.

Secondly, I would do a quick eyeliner with a flick to elongate my eyes with MAC Fluidine. This step is a must for me. I do not mind skipping the eyeshadow, but not the eyeliner. The last step is a good curling of the lashes with the legendary Shu curler (this one lasts me 4 years) and then a sweep of the Maybelline mascara.

Please allow me to talk about the mascara – it blew me away the first time I tried it. The curved shape of the wand gives your lashes a good coat of product to make them look fuller. My lashes do not feel clumpy nor wet. This is my fourth tube and I don’t think I want to try another mascara for a while. I bought tons of this when it was on special, for $6 plus each (what!!!) from to be shipped to a friend’s address in the US

My lips are always peeling and dry, so I won’t be able to live without the Aquaphor lip balm. You can’t find this in Australia so you can try Kielh’s no.1 lip balm. Once the balm sink in, I will apply the Revlon matte lipstick. This is a perfect color to “neutralizes” my pigmented lips (I am not a big fan of my pinky-mauvey lips). Then I may layer a brighter color depending on my mood or the blush that I plan to wear (my rule: lips and blush must be of the same tone). Chanel Rouge Allure come in a lot of wearable shades. My favorite is Pimpante (shown above) to be worn with a peachy blush (try Chanel Espielge or NARS Orgasm)

Blush is the easiest way to brighten up your overall look. My pick is the Chanel blush in Rose Initial (shown above), the perfect amount of pink which goes well even my lips are left bare.




I fell in love with Serge Lutens Nuit de cellophane a few years ago and am still very much in love with it. This is my 3rd bottle and I remember once that I spent my last dollars on a bottle before my payday. Here is the description of the scent quoted from Serge Lutens website:

“When, beneath its cellophane, Haute Couture was but yet an idea.
Are you familiar with the scent of osmanthus? The flower is white or tinged with orange.
From the tight clusters of its petals bursts the scent of jasmine laced with mandarin orange.
On hot summer days, it provides a breath of fresh air”


Note: Mecca Cosmetica stocks NARS and Serge Lutens exclusively in Australia

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6 Responses

  1. Katie k says:

    This is the next mascara I’m going to try! I’ve been hooked on Ellis Fass but at 50$ a pop I’m looking for something a little less pricey!

  2. Love, love, love this post. Lots of great tips. I keep of that Maybelline mascara in my draw at work. It’s incredible!

  3. Chrisine says:

    Wow, have got to try the Maybelline mascara!! Great post xx

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