Welcome to the Top 5 – an interview series where we focus on the all-time favorite products praised by members of the beauty community. Here, you’ll discover their personal top picks within the skin, hair, makeup and wellness categories.
Meet Bulgarian beauty enthusiast Kristina Chochova (@beautyby_cho) who’s love affair with all things makeup – like most of us – began when she was a little girl. “I remember stealing my mum’s lipsticks, and then when I was a teenager, I started using a lot more makeup, including eyeshadow palettes – which has now become the largest part of my collection,” she says. Checking out her IG grid, you can’t help but notice the bevy of eyeshadows splashed across her page. These palettes of pigment are coveted, holding a special place in her routine. I spoke with Kristina to discuss her must-haves, including what makes these items so swoon-worthy. Read what she had to say below.
“Having a good sunscreen is so important to me since it protects my skin against harmful UV rays and skin cancer. I like to use a sunscreen with a higher SPF for my face, usually between 30-50. At the moment, my favorite is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Face Lotion. It protects from both UVA and UVB rays – which I love. The texture is more liquid-y, and since it’s tinted, it doesn’t leave a white cast on my face compared to other sunscreens. Bonus points for the fact that it never leaves my skin greasy looking. All in all, it’s a win.”
“My second must-have product is a brow pencil. I swear, your whole face changes when you do your brows. Plus, I feel a look is not complete without this doing this step. My holy grail brow product is this one by Benefit in Shade 4. It’s the perfect warm-toned brown color, and the tip of the pen is so precise, allowing me to achieve those hair-like strokes every time.”
“Honestly, the concealer made by Too Faced covers everything, especially when you want to hide dark circles, blemishes, or are looking to brighten up certain parts of your face. I tend to have oily skin, more during the summer and less during the winter months, but nonetheless, I need a product that will keep my skin looking matte and cut shine – this is it for me. What’s more, the staying power is so strong that I hardly need to do touch-ups throughout the day.”
“If I decide to go out without any eyeshadow or liner, mascara is a must on my lashes. My current favorite is this one by Benefit, which makes my lashes sooo long and separated. The brush coats every single lash hair, even those pesky, hard-to-reach ones, for maximum impact. I’m not one to wear false lashes since my own are pretty voluminous, and this is one of the few mascaras that just amplify the length and boldness.”
“Honestly, if I had to pick ONE makeup product to wear, it would be eyeshadow. I don’t even know how many I own; I love playing with color and experimenting with new creative eye looks. In my opinion, it’s art you can wear on the face. This palette by Natasha Denona is made with such high-quality and blends like a dream. Sure, the colors look great in photos, but they look even better in person. And if that wasn’t enough, the shades are versatile, which means you can create all sorts of looks for daytime, nightwear, and throughout the seasons.”
BONUS: “Since I’m an avid eyeshadow lover, you know I can’t leave without mentioning a few other palettes to obsess over. The Pat McGrath Mothership V Bronze Seduction Palette and Huda Beauty Mercury Retrograde are top-notch, gorgeous products. The packaging is so chic while each shade is highly pigmented- one little swipe provides mega color. Both are equally worth a purchase, in my opinion.”
This interview has been edited for clarity and consistency purposes.