Beauty: High End Favourites

I was really reluctant to write this post. I’m a student, I’m broke, and I don’t really want to advocate ‘spending all the money on makeup’ – however the vast majority of these bits were gifts, or bought using loyalty points. The main point, though, is that all of these are used, and used pretty regularly. I don’t see the point in ‘leaving makeup for best’ (I would never use it if I did!), so I tend to use a mix of high-end and drugstore bits whenever I wear makeup. And despite their high prices, I would repurchase every one of the products in this post…
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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Ah, so predictable! By far the most expensive piece of makeup I own (full review here), but by far the one used most often. It’s quite rare that I head out without a light dusting of this, and it’s also an essential for during-the-day top ups. It adds the perfect amount of coverage and glow, without being glittery or cakey. It sets foundation, adds a subtle highlight. My only complaint is the darkest shade is slightly too warm-toned for me, but making sure I use a light-hand fixes that. I’m so surprised I’ve not yet got near to hitting pan!
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Nars Douceur

The only one I can’t repurchase, I managed to get hold of this lusted-after blush just as it was discontinued. The perfect blend between rosy and brown, this adds a really natural looking flush and contour. It blends beautifully, lasts all day and is the perfect tone for my skin.

Real Techniques Bold Metals Tapered Blush Brush

And to go with the blush, what else other than my favourite ever brush?! The Bold Metals collection didn’t initially tempt me, the reviews aren’t great, but every brush I have (which is a fair few of them!) I’ve loved. This one is by far and away my favourite, it makes blending anything effortless, never sheds, stays in shape and is oh-so instagrammable. I keep one for blushes and one for foundation blending.
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Naked 2 Palette

It can’t be a high-end round up without a Naked palette, and the one I’ve gone for is Naked 2. I do love Naked 3, it being the first (and only!) bit of makeup W bought me, but I doubt I’d repurchase simply because I don’t use it quite often enough. Naked 2, however, almost wins the award for most-used palette. The combination of nude matte shades with slightly bolder, slightly shimmery shades is a winner, and combined with the buttery texture makes this palette a firm favourite – and for good reason!
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Charlotte Tilbury Sophisticate Palette

Now this is my all-time favourite palette. From the beautiful rose-gold packaging to the perfect shade selection, this quad is always in my makeup bag. The finish is somewhere between matte and satin, making them perfect for a natural look, they blend seamlessly and are the only shadows not to fade or crease throughout the day. To make my point: I recently had a busy day which involved getting ready at 5:30am. I adulted all day, rushed across Zurich, caught a flight, spent 3 hours on the UK rail network and still had to spend time removing this stuff just before midnight…If you want to spend all your pennies on just one eyeshadow palette, I’d go with this one. Vintage Vamp is next on my list…
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MAC Lipsticks

My lipstick of choice, I very rarely wear non-MAC lipsticks these days (I find quite a few other brands now irritate my lips?!). I wouldn’t say MAC are the highest quality I’ve ever used, but what I have found is the shade selection is miles better than anywhere else, particularly for warm-tones. The majority of my shades are the slightly less-popular ones, with my all-time favourites being Creme In Your Coffee and Diva.

Are you are high-end makeup fan, or more of a budget girl? I like to think I’m a mix of both – I’ll be posting my drugstore favourites very soon!

  • Charlotte Tilbury palettes are just gorgeous. They’re on my to-buy list! X

    Everything But The Kitchen

    • ninegrandstudent

      I love them, I want Vintage Vamp next! x

  • The Hourglass, Naked 2, Charlotte Tilbury, and MAC lipsticks are all also owned by me and I can completely agree on their swoonness. How terrible is it that I’ve never actually tried or owned a NARS blush, just seems strange in this day and age!
    Erin |

    • ninegrandstudent

      I can’t say I’ve been tempted by any of the other Nars shades though, it’s a share it’s been discontinued! x

  • I hate to admit it and sound like a snob, but I’m definitely a higher end beauty fan. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some amazing high-street offerings – I love the Max Factor Creme Puff blushers, Collection concealer and the H&M Halo highlighter. I always go higher end for my foundation as I think you can’t get the same quality from the drug store. I also have the Hourglass palette and I love it!

    Kirsty –

    • ninegrandstudent

      I completely agree with you! x

  • Sam Smethurst

    I am such a higher end fan – I live and die by my Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita palette! I also think that pretty much nothing at all comes close to the Hourglass palette, it’s definitely worth the extra money!

    Sammy xo.

    • ninegrandstudent

      Yes, I love it! x

  • I don’t really wear makeup on a daily basis and when I do, not much of it, but I’m a sucker for fancy skin care. Love the Ole henrikson serum at the moment which was a BirchBox sample, but a bit too expensive to replace really…

    • ninegrandstudent

      Oh, that sounds lovely… x

  • I love Mac lipstick as well ! I love high end for my base and lipstick !

    • ninegrandstudent

      I’m pretty much the same! x

  • I love the high end luxury products as I really do find that they are great quality. I am lusting over the Hourglass ambient lighting palette as i’ve read so many great reviews on it. My favourite lipsticks are the Charlotte Tilbury matte revolution lipsticks~ Kinda gravitate towards them rather than my MAC ones 🙂

    Great post and Lovely blog. New follower 🙂 and looking forward to more posts~
    Have a lovely day! ♥

    Ying | * Y i n g c b e a u t y *

    X x X x X

    • ninegrandstudent

      It is definitely worth the splurge! x

  • emily

    My high-end staple is a Make Up For Ever lipstick. I’m not actually sure which shade I have-it was a sephora birthday sample that I’ve been using for quite awhile. It’s starting to get low and I need to figure out which shade it is so that I can buy the right replacement. I really love the formula-it’s creamy and doesn’t feel rough and dry the way some lipsticks do.

    • ninegrandstudent

      MUFE is a brand I really want to try out this year! x

  • I’ve actually never given the Sophisticate palette a proper look but it looks really stunning 🙂 I get sad every time I see Nars Douceur as it looks so pretty, it’s a real shame it was discontinued! I do go high-end-only with some products (for me foundation is always worth spending on) and with others I pretty much exclusively go drugstore (like with mascara, as Maybelline and Max Factor do amazing ones and I feel there’s no point spending a lot on something that dries up in a few months). But mostly I like a nice mix! xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    • ninegrandstudent

      It’s a beautiful palette, a real everyday staple for me! x

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  • I got my first ever Charlotte Tilbury lipstick for Christmas this year and I love it. I’ve also got the Naked 1 palette which is a recent purchase and I use it every day, so worth the investment. I do struggle with Mac lipsticks, for some reason (much to my disappointment as I love the shades) they never go on my lips nicely and just seem to crumble… So sad, so many pinks x

    • ninegrandstudent

      I do like the Naked palettes, definitely worth the money! x