My 3 Minute, affordable Make Up Essentials

Style Theory: As make up goes I am fairly low maintenance and certainly no expert but I have my trusty 8 make up items I literally cannot live without and take me from looking awful in the morning to just about passable... They are my tried and tested face-savers and all fairly inexpensive so I thought I would share them with you... 

The Much Needed Morning Mini Face Lift
After cleansing and moisturising I use Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, a classic that has been a bestseller for 20 years. I like to think of this a mini face lift in a tube. It makes my skin feel a little tighter, brighter and gives it a glow. It is a great base for bronzer as it makes your skin smooth so bronzer glides on.
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm @John Lewis £29
I always make sure the beauty balm is completely absorbed into my skin before I use my next must have product Bobbi Brown Bronzing Brick.

The Bronzer
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Bronze @John Lewis £33
The bronze version of this shimmer brick is my fave colour but I have to make sure I keep it light (I have a tendency to over bronze..not a good look). I always buy a huge blusher brush to keep the coverage fine as possible and even over my face. I have this cheap blusher brush from Boots . I use the mid browns as eyeshadow (using an eyeshadow applicator) and the white shimmer colour to highlight the top of my cheekbones.

The Eyeliner
Another item I have used nearly for as long as I can remember, my fail-safe liquid eye liner, Rimmel London Exaggerate Eye Liner. I apply this in a line on my eyelids close to the lashes with a little flick at the outer corner of my eye to make my eyes look bigger and wider.
Rimmel London Exaggerate Eye Liner £5.29
I buy the brown version of this liquid eye liner as it is softer looking and not as harsh looking on my eyes as the black. It doesn't smudge or run and stays on all day.

The Mascara
After trying a million and one mascaras I always come back to this one, I love it, like the eye liner it does not smudge or run and gives my eyelashes the volume they need.
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara @Boots £7.99
I find the brush is good on this mascara, it evenly coats every lash and it keeps my eyelashes separate..non clumping.

The Lipliner
Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lipliner £2.99 (Indian pink)
This is the lipliner I have been buying recently, I prefer the Clarins lipliner (which is a creamier, softer pencil) but this one is cheaper and is a good match to the bright pink lipstick I wear. I always, always wear lipliner, it stops my lipstick bleeding, makes my lips look fuller and gives them a more defined shape. I always makes sure my pencil is fairly sharp but rounded so I can line exactly on my lips and avoid a patomime dame look. After applying the lipliner I blot it so it is not too harsh and blends seemlessly in with my lipstick.

The Lipstick
I use two lipsticks at the moment one layered on top of the other, I love a bright pink, it looks great against a tan and in the winter I may move to amore plum pink colour but for now these are my two faves..

MAC All Fired Lipstick £15.50

This is rich lipstick but I find it a little dry after a while so I mix it with a creamy Rimmel Lipstick to off set the dryness and make the perfect texture that stays on my lips all day with the help of Lipcote.

Rimmel London Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick £5.49

This is my favourite shade at the moment it is quite a vibrant pink but mix it with the Mac lipstick and the colour is toned down a shade or two. I put the Mac lipstick on first as a base, blot it then this one on top and a pink/red shade.

Finally my one item I always always buy - The Lipstick Sealant 
Lipcote £3.99

This is my lipstick saviour, it keeps my lipstick in place all day, stops it coming off on anything and stops it bleeding outside my lips. I have been using it since I was 16 so I guess I am quite used to it as I have heard people saying it dries your lips but I do not find it drying at all, it just keeps my lipstick in place and ensures it doesn't smudge..

So there is my 3 minute make up look..genuinely does take 3 mins!
** The two photos on the left are filtered by Instagram...the Clarins Beauty Balm is not a miracle worker although it does help!!

No major revolutionary products here but products I have been using for years and years and for me are fail safe and make my make up routine in the morning super quick.

I would love to hear what you make-up 'must haves' are, do you have any beauty buys you cannot love without, I am up for trying new products so would love to here what your are?

Until next time, Frances xxxx


  1. Such a beauty! And Lipcote, crikey that's a blast from the past x

    1. Ha isnt Lipcote such a blast from the past, I sometimes think I am only one that still uses it, I love it! x

  2. The BFBalm - do you wear alone, as in nothing over the top just he bronzer? I only use it when I wear more coverage for a night out etc but hadn't thought to just use it alone (I only use a little pressed powder normally). It's currently on sale at Secret Sales in case you were nearly out. Yet to try that bronzer but I've heard great things about it x

    1. Thanks for the tip off re: secret sales! Yes I wear the Clarins alone with just the bronzer (for speed more than anything else!) xx

  3. Wow, do you not wear any foundation or base at all? Or concealer? Lucky you! Applying foundation and concealer takes me 3 mins to cover all the shadows, ha ha! My go-to product that I couldn't live without is Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Protectant - it's just the best lip balm ever, plus it's great on insect bites or grazes! Love a multi-tasker.

    1. No no foundation, mainly because I am always in a rush than anything else, I probably should wear it! I do love Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream I haven't bought it in a while, it is fab, thanks for reminding me xxxxxx

  4. Oh gosh I couldn't be more jealous that you look so gorgeous without any base products, like Rachael, those are the things that take most of my time and my absolute essentials. I find a cream blush stick really handy in the mornings and will sometimes use it for lips too if I'm in a hurry. Clinique Chubby Stick in Rhubarb is my fave, a lovely coral shade.

    Nic x


  5. Some fab beauty inspiration Frances....I'm always on the look out for new things to try out! xx

  6. I use lipcote too and have for years, no-one else seems to even remember it exists. I have really sensitive skin and can't get away with Clarins. But Barbara Daley at tesco does a brilliant base just called make up. It gives a lovely glow on its own or under foundation. Very cheap for a little pot. I also love those little blotting papers, unpowdered ones though, that you pat on your t zone to get rid of shine. Again used since school!

  7. With the increasing prices of all make up products women are very much confused getting affordable makeup kits. You have suggested a nice collection of affordable make-up accessories that are needed to be placed in one's make up bag.