Eyes: Eyeshadow, Mascara, Eyeliner, Eyebrow Enhancer
Eyeshadow: This is a toughie, because I'm obsessed with the Napoleon Perdis Prismatic Eye Shadow Quad in #6, but it's just not really an everyday combination. #13 is more user-friendly, and I cannot rave enough about the staying power of these shades. I've said it before and I'll say it again - Napoleon is hugely underrated as a cosmetics house. Ridiculously overpriced favourite: Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow. If you want to buy it for me as a birthday gift, please do.
Mascara: As you may well know, mascara is my life. And I've had many loves. Napoleon's Long Black, L'Oreal Telescopic, Smashbox Bionic... I feel that this year I finally met my match in Lancome Cils Design Pro, which I've mentioned before on many an occasion. Highly commended mascaras include Imju Fiberwig (I managed to acquire some this year: it's fantastic), the aforementioned Long Black and DiorShow Iconic.
Eyebrow Enhancer: I'm sticking with Smashbox Brow Tech. Apply it with a Smashbox Angle Brow Brush (#12) for perfection.
Lips: Lip Gloss, Lip Liner, Lipstick
Lip Gloss: When I was at makeup school, tutors advised us not to spend a lot of money on lip glosses. They're the most used, lost, and lended-out product of the modern makeup bag, so the theory makes sense. It's so difficult though, because the best cosmetic houses make the most gorgeous glosses! My absolute favourite is Chanel Levres Scintillantes, which retails in New Zealand for $51. My favourite trick: buying as many as my bag will hold in duty free stores when travelling. Not really a secret, but definitely good advice for the luxury lip gloss fiend. Others of note: Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss, Lancome Juicy Tube, MAC Lipglass.
Lip Liner: As a general rule, I swear by MAC Lip Pencil as my never-fail. You'd be surprised though: SRA (where I trained) sell generic brand lip pencils - my favourite shade is Strawberry Rose - that work a treat, and provide lasting results. Bloom also make quality lip pencils. My best advice for lip liner? Use it. You'll be surprised at the difference it makes.
Lipstick: I've become a lipstick queen. When I arrived at SRA, I hated lipstick to the extent that I left it completely out of my last year's makeup recommendations list. This year, I don't even know where to start. In terms of colour, my personal go-to is surprising - Chi Chi Trolley Dolly. Applied over concealed, powdered and lined lips, it's lasted through nights of drinking, eating, kissing and still required scrubbing off with a toothbrush at 4am. Don't be fooled by its inherent tackiness. If you know how to use a lipstick, it will serve you well. Chanel Hydrabase Rouge gets my vote across the board - formula, colour, user-friendliness, staying power. I am, and forever will be, a sucker for MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo. Lipsticks I'm dying to try: NARS Lipstick, and Make Up For Ever Lipstick. Gimme gimme gimme!
Cheeks: Blush, Bronzer
Blush: I feel like I don't even need to put this category in, because I so frequently rave about NARS Blush in Orgasm that it writes itself. So there you have it. MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Trio (a now discontinued limited edition, so I feel quite privileged to own it) gave it a run for its money this year, but it comes out on top, every time. You just can't beat that J Lo glow.
Bronzer: This year I've become a fan of Natio Pressed Powder Bronzer. It's the perfect colour, it blends like a dream, and it's cheap as chips. I understand MAC and NARS also make beautiful bronzers.