My “Desert Island” Products

I’ve often considered the hypothetical apocalyptic scenario of suddenly ending up on a desert island with only my bare essentials – phone, makeup, moisturiser, and of course, a knife and combat boots for practicality. For my own sake, I decided to create a list of my absolute necessities for what I would consider my minimal full face. I hope this situation doesn’t become a reality because of how many products I would miss back at home!

Concealer/colour corrector: I just can’t live without it, I look almost dead without the brightness concealer adds to my face. Don’t get me wrong, I love foundation too but concealer is an essential purse item that I use every day. I would pack my two favourite Urban Decay concealers in Fair Neutral and Pink (for colour correcting my dark circles). However, nowadays I’m using the Collection Concealer in Fair because I’m on a student budget and I had to compromise with one of my re-purchases, but I find it amazing as a more affordable option.

Brow pomade: specifically, Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pomade in Ash Brown. My eyebrows have never looked better than they do with this product. Anastasia has really hit the jackpot with this creamy, waterproof formula with an amazing amount of pigment from a tiny scrape. This stuff just doesn’t come off unless you want it to. Plus, it could double as gel eyeliner since the shade I use is quite a dark brown.

Mascara: my natural lashes are similar to Asian lashes, dark, straight and can never hold a curl without some help. My daily routine involves around thirty seconds of a heated eyelash curler (at a reasonable temperature) before lashings of Benefit’s Rollerlash. I have other mascaras that I use, but Rollerlash is by far my favourite mascara. It lifts, holds a curl and separates like nothing I’ve tried before. Normally I would urge everyone not to spend more than twenty euro on mascara since it goes off after three months, but the Rollerlash is my guilty pleasure.

Highlighter: not a must for many others, but a must for me! I’m not exactly sure why, but contour always ends up looking like a muddy mess on my checks and forehead even when done professionally. I prefer the idea of exaggerating my high points by covering them in highlighting powder rather than carving and re-shaping what I might be insecure about to change my face entirely. For this purpose, I would take my Mary Lou-manizer by the Balm but I have two other highlighting kits at my disposal for real life situations. I love the pale champagne-gold sheen it gives my skin, although it’s super pigmented, it’s very difficult to go overboard with. Definitely packing a highlighter anyway!

Lipstick: if you’ve ever seen me without makeup, you already know why I wear lipstick every day. The natural colour of my lips is so light and skin-like, I constantly look like I forgot to wipe my concealer from them à la 2010. My holy grail lip colour is Faux by MAC, it’s moisturising enough to wear all day and the colour is exactly how my lips would look if I was blessed with natural pigmentation and sheen. It also has pretty amazing staying power for a satin lipstick, so it’s an all-around winner.

Setting spray: I mean, deserts are arid and heat plus makeup does not normally return a good result. My go-to for regular days in Ireland is Chill Setting Spray by Urban Decay as it locks my makeup in place without drying out my skin or compromising my highlighter. I’ve never experienced a desert island climate though, so maybe I’d have to swap out for the All Nighter.

So there are my six essential products for a disastrous situation! Do you have any products that you would take no matter what? Let me know in the comments or send me a tweet telling me!

Twitter: @kittyellenryan

Header image credit: Shutterstock



2017 Releases: Too Faced

After scouring what seems like dozens of press releases, blog posts, Instagram sneak peeks and beauty forums, I’ve come to the conclusion that the explosion of makeup as a consumer product is not slowing down anytime soon. Since there is such a pile of new releases coming for just this spring, I thought I’d shorten the list down to a few favorite brands of mine and collections that are really pumping me up for Spring/Summer 2017. This post will focus solely on Too Faced’s products this year.

Although Too Faced is a wonderful brand, I am not normally impressed by their newer releases aside from the Sweet Peach Palette, which I am begging for as my birthday gift. Anyhow, Too Faced recently advertised some new products hitting the shelves for the summer on their Instagram story, check them out!

source: (story screenshot – this picture has since expired). Image via

I am immediately drawn to the packaging of the highlighters, which is basically their 16HR Love Flush packaging but chrome and metallic – sign me up for that rose gold shade at the top there anyway! I would have thought more colours would have come out though – the highlighter trend has already been beaten to death last year, what’s the difference with Too Faced’s basic looking version? I would have loved to see a true lavender or mint highlight that looked like a wet sheen rather than a glitter bomb. I would have spent my hard earned cash on a bubblegum blue and a candyfloss purple highlighter! I’m a bit disappointed at how basic the shades are for a unique and fun brand like Too Faced.

The next thing that draws me in is the liquid lipsticks – again, slightly late on the trend there, Too Faced. I really like that light nude shade in the middle, and the proceeding colours have a decent light to dark shade range – but what’s with the random dark teal and light fuschia? It doesn’t really fit with the other colours they’re releasing, it would have made more sense to release them with other fun shades like a neon raspberry and a vibrant orange. They just look out of place and uncoordinated with the spring mood of the picture. I’m sure the colours themselves are lovely, the fuschia says “festival” to me, but that teal does not scream “summer” – more like “the depths of the Atlantic during a Connemara winter”.

Now onto the palette – the outer packaging is appealing, it reminds me of my aunt who has a fabric couch with a similar floral pattern on it. However, I don’t judge a palette by it’s packaging, so let’s look at the preview that Too Faced creator, Jerrod Blandino posted on his Instagram.

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I mean… it’s certainly natural.

Bland and boring, but apparently natural according to Too Faced. Allure’s article calls this palette a ‘mature moment’ for Too Faced, which I believe is code for nothing noteworthy. Allure also suggested greens and olives could have been a great addition to this palette, which I would have loved to see.

It seems like the only colours that exist naturally here are pinks, purples, golds and some dark browns with maybe some dark glitter shades which, if we go by Too Faced’s track records with dark glitter colours, will probably not have a whole lot of pigment to speak of – which in the world of Instagram makeup, kind of renders it useless for dramatic looks. I suppose that’s the point of the palette though. Saying that, it seems there’s only one type of “natural look” being marketed here. A lot of these shades would not flatter darker skin tones either, almost a third of the palette would look ashy on anyone deeper than a NC40 skintone.

I don’t see how you could get a lot of unique looks out of this that aren’t rosy, metallic, neutral or smokey – Pink Cheeks and Poodle basically look the same in the pan, so they most likely won’t look super different on the eye. With such a large amount of shades, you’d think they would be more creative. If neutral pinks and mauves are your jam, then you may like this, but this is almost an extended version of the “Tartelette: In Bloom” palette by Tarte, which is already a trusted cult favourite in the beauty world.

In conclusion, I’m not really excited for these products except for maybe that rose gold highlighter if it turns out to be shiny instead of glittery. I’ll be saving my money and my heartbreak for other more satisfying releases in the rest of the year.