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Designer makeup and skincare brands – are they really worth it?

As a professional hair stylist and makeup artist, I often get asked what my favourite beauty brands are. This is probably the most commonly asked question by my clients and brides. My response is that I don’t have one specific favourite, I generally like certain products from different brands.

For me personally though, the brand ‘By Terry’ is one I use a lot on my own face. I do have quite a few various products from this range because they tend to be semi sheer, lightweight and light reflective, as well as moisturising. I’m generally very lazy when it comes to my own makeup (probably because it’s my job!) and also because the older I get, the less I wear. I feel less makeup looks better with age and definitely choosing the right products helps keep skin looking dewy and fresh.

I like products that are multi functional, ideally they would be emollient, sheer, long lasting and smell gorgeous. A lot of  the ‘By Terry’ range actually smells of roses, which I love. I also adore the makeup brand ‘Chantecaille’. It’s quite expensive but really beautiful products. Their skincare is really lovely too but definitely more of a treat for me. I do love Glossier and Hourglass too.

Blonde wavy hair for a bride with natural wedding makeup and red lipstick

Professionally, I tend to use products which will suit the bride’s skin type and their personal requirements. I always ask a bride how they like to wear their own makeup. This gives me a guide as to whether they prefer a sheer natural look or something a bit more glamorous. With foundation for instance, some of my brides will definitely want full coverage and a really long wear formulation as they are concerned about it lasting all day. Some brides may have skin issues, blemishes or acne scars that they prefer to cover. On the other hand, some brides are the complete opposite, and their preference is a very light makeup base or even none at all.


Most makeup brands offer a range of shades as well as various levels of coverage. It’s worth asking for a sample pot if you can, before you commit to the product itself. I know the beauty shop ‘SpaceNK’ offers this to customers, allowing you to try the product and ensure it’s the right colour match and coverage for you. Many of the staff are also professional makeup artists so are able to give good advice and steer you in the right direction when it comes to choosing colours and different formulations. If you are buying makeup from Boots or Superdrug, it’s very difficult to get access to testers and samples. Since Covid, many brands have stopped providing testers, which can be a little frustrating.


In my opinion, you can buy fantastic products at a lower price point from a chemist. However, there are certain things I would avoid. I tend to use good quality foundations and setting powders. For me, having the right base which blends perfectly to your skin tone is worth the money. Also, if you prefer to set your base, a finely milled powder will matify, soften and ensure your makeup lasts. It will also act as a base for other powder products, including eyeshadow and powder blusher. I tend to use a yellow based translucent powder on many of my brides as this helps colour correct any redness in the skin. My favourite translucent pressed powder is by ‘Laura Mercier’.


I think there are many great cheaper options on the market but it’s definitely a case of trying different products out. I tend to think cheaper lipsticks and glosses can be fine, but it just depends on what you are looking for.


Most professional makeup artists have a complete range of products, from inexpensive to very high end luxury brands. I believe the skill of the makeup artist is actually about the application and putting the right products together in the right amount.


This is a subject I can talk about forever, so if you want a more detailed overview of my favourite products, you’ll have to wait for my next blog post where I am going to specifically list my top recommended products. I can’t wait to share it with you!


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