Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 26 November, 2022

What's in my makeup bag? Joanne Coughlan (Lipstick 'n' Leopard Print)

Having a rummage through our favourite faces’ wares.

EACH WEEK, WE’LL be taking a peek into some of our faves’ makeup bags to see their must-have products, because we’re nosey. This week, it’s the turn of freelance makeup artist and beauty blogger Joanne Coughlan (Lipstick ‘n’ Leopard Print). You can follow her on Instagram here.

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Her earliest makeup memories

“My earliest makeup memories are from 1998 when I started my Beauty Therapy course. I kid you not, I barely had put makeup near my face before that time. I don’t even know what possessed me to do the course!

I was 18 and had always been a complete tom boy but once you started that course, you had to wear it every day or there were consequences!

“I’m so glad it was before the time of the Internet and Instagram because I’m sure there were many ‘interesting’ creations especially as at that time it was only acceptable to wear a shade of foundation that was three times darker than your neck!

“My ‘signature look’ came about much later, and the reason for it is a bit cringey to be honest.

I was watching the movie ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ in the cinema and was truly blown away by the difference the liquid liner flick made to Anne Hathaway’s look. So that was the beginning of my love affair with liquid liner.

“A flick and a bold lip is my signature look, it mirrors my favourite era of makeup, the 50s. I just love the style around that time, in clothing, hair and makeup.

Her makeup bag and what’s inside

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“Narrowing down my makeup bag has been an arduous task. If you saw my house you would understand but here goes;

“When it comes to skincare, I am a Clarins girl so I prep my skin after cleansing with Double Serum and Multi Active Jour. As I’m getting older, I’m appreciating more and more how important skincare is if you want your makeup to sit properly.

“All summer I have been using the Mineral Infused Face Primer from Elf Cosmetics and I credit it with keeping make up on my face in super hot conditions.

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“My go-to foundation should I have to choose only one would be Teint Idole from Lancome. It just works on my skin. It doesn’t feel heavy even though it gives excellent coverage and it lasts all day.

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“Next up is concealer, I couldn’t narrow this down to one. For myself, I would choose The Eraser Eye from Maybelline. I use the shade ‘Light’ (even though it’s not very light to be honest) but I love it because it covers but isn’t too heavy. I use it to cover redness as opposed to dark circles and it works brilliantly for that.

“The second one I would choose is the BB Concealer from Note Cosmetics. I now work as a freelance makeup artist and I wouldn’t be without this in my kit. It is remarkable. If you have issues with dark circles under your eyes, you need this IMMEDIATELY! I use the shade ‘01′ mostly and find blends really well on a number of different skin tones. This is a hidden gem IMHO.

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“Another recent find for me has been the ELF Cosmetics HD Loose Powder in ‘Soft Luminance’. It was another lifesaver during the heatwave on the days I bothered to put makeup on my face. It doesn’t feel heavy at all, it doesn’t make your skin feel dry or chalky and this shade has a little bit of colour in it so it really lifts the face.

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“Contour and highlight is always the job of Ms Charlotte Tilbury. I use Filmstar Bronze and Glow in ‘Fair-Medium’. The contour shade in this palette is made my Irish skin. Now trust me I understand anybody’s reservations about buying it, it’s a huge investment at €65, but it has now become one of my favourite beauty products ever. As I said the contour shades suits us Irish ladies perfectly and the glow is so subtle and beautiful, no fear of looking like a disco ball here! I got it as a present from my beautiful daughters for Mother’s Day but I will definitely be re-purchasing it.

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“Staying in the same area of the face – I love a bit of blusher!  In my early 20s I’d go through a Benefit Dandelion in record speed but nowadays I understand with blusher, less is more. My absolute favourite shade is from Clarins. It’s 09 Golden Pink from their Blush Prodige range. It’s the most gorgeous pinky/coral shade but it has a little bit of highlight running through it too, it’s just beautiful on paler skin tones.

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“Brows used to always be Benefit until I was sent some of the Furrowcious Brow Pencils from The Balm. Can I just say that I adore The Balm – they are the most underrated brand in the industry in my opinion. The quality of their products is excellent and they are quite affordable in comparison to other similar quality brands. I fell in love with the ‘Dark Brown’ shade in this pencil and I have used nothing ever since. At €14 it’s a fraction of what I used to spend on my brow products. It’s so easy to use and has a spoolie on the other end so you can brush the product through with ease. I wouldn’t be without this.

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“So, back to my liquid liner love affair, I have tried LOTS of liquid liners and none of them compare to the Waterproof Liquid Ink eyeliner from Essence Cosmetics. It is everything I look for in a liner, it’s super easy to apply, it’s really, really pigmented and once you apply it it doesn’t move. I have tried ones that are 7 or 8 times the price and none of them compare, I think this one retails for about €3.50. I am never without this.

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“My current favourite mascara comes from IsaDora, it’s the Stretch Lash mascara. This is such a clever product. At the bottom of the tube is a roller mechanism which changes the size of the wand. You can apply the bulk of your mascara using the larger wand and the roll down to the smallest size to get right into those tiny lashes on the inside. It’s genius. The mascara itself is really pigmented and the wand helps to give great volume to the lashes too. I love it.


“Last up is lipstick… How am I supposed to narrow this part down? I am a complete lipstick addict, hence the name of the blog. When it comes to lipstick, I’m equal opportunities, I don’t care if it’s €3 or €30, if I like it I’m gonna buy it. I think if you were to ask my followers they would say I’m more of a red lipstick lover and I suppose that’s true and right now I’m quite obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks. Some of my favourite more affordable lipstick brands are Wet ‘n’ Wild, Sleek Makeup and Note Cosmetics.


“That’s my little make up bag that I would use when I’m leaving the house, it’s usually heaving because I’m trying to cram everything into it …”

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