Build your luxury beauty kit with these 11 luxe basics 

I’m accused of mostly featuring expensive, luxurious skincare and makeup. And yes, I am guilty as charged. I’ve always made beauty a priority. Even when I was in college and everyone else was spending on shoes and bags, I was investing in a beautiful serum or lipstick. So yes, I have been using good skincare and makeup since my 20s. Not that budget cosmetics are bad. I’m sure they have gems too that I’m yet to discover. 

But, if you had to pick up just one product from each of the luxe brands, which one would it be?  LBB (Little Black Book) asked me to do this post and choose one favourite from the luxury brands. If you’re just beginning to put together you luxury beauty collection, then here are the bare-bones basics. You don’t need to pick up all the products, just choose the ones that are useful for you. 

(This list is of products that are available in India. I will do another post of products that are worth ordering online).  

 Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair or Idealist
If you’re younger use Idealist and if you’re older use ANR. In my 20s Idealist helped keep my rosacea-prone skin extremely calm and also made the pores look smaller. This was my base serum that I used night and day before I discovered vitamin C. But only use this till you’re 25 years old, then switch to ANR, which will make your skin look plump, glowy and moisturised literally overnight. I have heard that some people have had adverse reactions to ANR but I haven’t, and neither have other friends who I have introduced this to. Of course ANR (Advanced Night Repair), will only be used at night. However, if you have an old blemish that is drying up, apply this as a spot treatment because I find that it helps reduce marks too.  

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder
If there just one thing you need to buy in luxurious makeup, invest in a good quality face powder, because it just makes your face look more finished. And no one makes better powders than Chanel. Just one stroke of this powder will transform your skin into looking clearer and more poreless, even if you’re not wearing any foundation or concealer underneath. And the great part is that Chanel powders come with a brush and not a puff, which means that your application will never be cakey.

Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick
This is such a convenient product. It can be used as a concealer under the eyes, as foundation, and it can also be used to conceal spots. This is the one and only foundation that you need. Everything else will be superfluous. Just remember to rub it between your fingers to warm and make it thin before applying it as under eye concealer or foundation. And use it thick to conceal pigmentation or spots. 

Kiehl’s Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate
This was my first vitamin C serum, and at time time I must have used about four bottles because I always went back to it. It contains 10% vitamin C, which adds glow, makes your skin feel super soft and really does appear to reduce wrinkles. It smells a little metallic, but that’s a good thing because all genuinely effective vitamin C serums have that smell. 

Benefit Sun Beam
Best highlighter ever for Indian skin tones. I prefer this over Girl Meets Pearl because I find that it makes the skin look glowing and natural. 

Lancôme Le Crayon Sourcils
I found this to be a wonderful brow pencil because the colour (Brun) is ideal for Indian colouring. It looks natural and the finish is so soft that it is almost mistake proof. Mine is broken, but I’m still holding on to it as it’s so easy to use. 

Dior 5 Colour Eyeshadow Palette
Makeup artist Deepa Verma used to rave about Dior eye shadows when I was younger. And I understood why when I got older and could afford to buy myself one. The texture is extremely buttery, making them glide on to your lids. They last long without creasing and can be made to look understated or intense depending on whether you use them wet or dry, sheer or layered. 

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Mascara
Curls, lengthens, volumises, and doesn’t smudge even the tiniest bit. Plus, it comes off with warm water. And it never makes your lashes fall.

Clinique Turaround Overnight Revitalizing Moisturiser
The. Best. Night. Cream. Ever. It gently resurfaces your skin at night so when you wake up your pores look tighter, complexion is clearer, and you are overall more radiant. My yoga guru has been using this for years and her skin in her 50s will put many 20-year-olds to shame. 

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiery
I don’t know why people don’t talk about this colour. Literally the most glamorous red lipstick that I’ve got my hands on. Plus it looks good on each and every skin tone (trust me I’ve tried it on a lot of girls). And it lasts without flaking. 

YSL Opium
Please, please don't go for the modern version of an old, classic fragrance. Stick to the originals, which smell far more luxurious and expensive before these iconic scents were watered down to become more 'marketable'. Have the balls to wear something original, old-fashioned, sophisticated and overwhelming. Opium was my first love in fragrances and today I still love it as much. Spices, soap and sandalwood - would you dare to stand out? And I hate to even recommend it but a few spritzes of this perfume will even make your body spray smell glamorous.

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