“I am clueless and want to buy lots of stuff. Please help.”

by Sirje

This is essentially what I told the nice man in the Kryolan pro make up store in Berlin. But as it turns out, it’s not a very impressive thing to say, and he was perfectly willing to let me leave, 30 minutes later, completely empty handed.

Ladies! Gentlemen! Children dreaming of clown school! Don’t be like me! Take heed and don’t let yourself be seduced by the specter of your very own professional makeup palette exactly like the really nice one your friend Maria has with a mirror and TWENTY FOUR COLORS that she let you use until you almost smashed it on the floor only to wander out, alone, cold, and without having spent a dime.

(Sorry, Maria.)

People of earth, I am here to help you. If you love makeup and travel a lot, a pro palette of your favorite colors will actually solve all of your problems. Yes all of them! But you have to do your research. I am here to give you some hard cold facts. And here they are:

All pro lines are not created equal. Ben Nye and Kryolan are the big old trusted theatrical and pro brands, but Ben Nye uses some ingredients I wasn’t very happy about. Kryolan is researched and produced in Germany, and if you want anyone researching the safety and efficacy of something, believe me, it’s the Germans. Kryolan makes great colors, so you want to go there for eyeshadows, blushes, etc. And it is SHOCKINGLY affordable. If you are a makeup junkie like me, you’ll actually giggle when you see price tags. So then you’ll leave with something like this:

If you don’t have any clue where to begin, you can start by just bringing your stuff in and they’ll help you (kind of) match to their colors. If you need a few other products, here’s what I found out:

MUFE (Make Up For Ever) is apparently as fabulous as Kryolan, and is especially great in foundations, as is the brand Paris Berlin. If you can’t shake your MAC habit, use them for lipsticks and glosses. That’s what they do best, but you’ll pay a lot. Word has it that Kryolan and MUFE powders and eyeshadows and things are far superior to MAC products. Kryolan also has a few nice lip palettes, and also makes lip and eye pencils, at about 4 Eur each. And don’t forget to invest in a nice set of brushes! I actually got mine from Sephora (for those of you here in Deutschland, there is no Sephora in Germany, sadly, but you can find them in France and Spain) and I’m extremely happy with it.

The one thing I’ll use Ben Nye for is a palette of concealers and color correctors, because it’s easy to use, very affordable, and you won’t need anything else. Happy shopping!