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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

10 Days of MUA - Day 4 - £4 eyeshadow palettes

Top left: Glitter Ball Top right: Undressed Bottom: Poptastic
Know what I love even more than a fantastic eyeshadow palette? One that costs just 4 quid. And when I say fantastic I’m not saying it in a “this is fantastic for the price” way but in a “I’d happily pay 3 or 4 times the price for this because the quality is brilliant and I love almost every shade”

There are 9 colour options in this configuration and I currently have 3; 2 of which I use all the time and the 3rd is for when I fancy a fun bright look (you can probably guess which one I mean)
A few swatches from Poptastic
The Undressed and Poptastic palettes are a mix of shimmery and matte shades and Glitter Ball, well, as the name suggests it’s all about the shimmer! But I have to point out that it’s not that horrid chunky glitter that reminds me of arts and crafts projects in primary school but a grown-up glitter that looks pretty, subtle and does a nice job of catching the light

Texture-wise these are extremely finely milled but not super powdery so there isn’t much fall-out and the colour is easily blended

Overall I can’t really fault these and if I wasn’t on a spend-as-little-as-possible-for-a-whole-month challenge I’d definitely pick up a few more

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Hands down the best concealer ever

My skin is being particularly mean at the minute; no matter how well I treat it it insists on plaguing me with pimples, dark circles and dry patches. Whilst I was getting ready this morning I reached for my Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer to help banish the first two and realised it’s one of the products that I’ve used consistently for the longest time

About 8 years ago I was browsing an Estee Lauder makeup counter and the assistant (Sales advisor? Beauty consultant?... I have no idea what they’re actually called) asked if she could do my makeup. She was full of brilliant advice on what makeup I should be using and the best ways to apply it and the end result so was fantastic I bought almost everything she used, which happened to include this concealer and I’ve had a tube in my collection ever since
Swatch of the lightest shade - Light 01
There are 8 shades available from light to extra deep and I’ve always used the lightest shade. The thing I like best is how it manages to cover well but isn’t dry or cakey like most medium-full coverage products

I can use it under my eyes without worrying about it gathering in the fine lines, though for me the under eye area is more problematic in terms of darkness and discolouration as opposed to serious lines so I can’t really say the same for someone who might be battling a lot of wrinkles in the same place
Blended out so it covers but still looks like skin
Thanks to the great pigmentation I can also use this to cover blemishes as a small dab of it hides the redness easily and the texture is still skin-like so I don’t have those horrid cakey lumps that I get with other concealers

The doe foot applicator makes this easy to apply and the 7ml tube lasts me months even though I use it almost every day. At £21.50 it’s not cheap but for someone like me with acne prone skin and a terrible sleeping pattern (hence the dark circles!) I’m happy to splurge on it because I know it always does the trick :)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

10 Days of MUA - Day 3 - Awesome highlighters for £3

Good evening all, hope you're having a lovely week so far :) I'm just about to have pizza and watch an episode of The Walking Dead  but with the highly likely possibility that it'll turn into a bit of a Walking Dead marathon I figured I best post this first...

Out of the 10 MUA products I'll be posting these are definitely one of my favourites, in fact it would probably be easier for me to tell you what I don’t like about these highlights, which is precisely nothing. They were a bit of an impulse purchase when I was shopping in Superdrug a while back and every time I use them I newly impressed by the quality.
Left: Iridescent Gold Right: Shimmer highlighter
I don’t really favour a shimmery highlighter and my everyday go to one is the gorgeous and (shimmer free) baked highlighter in French Vanilla by Laura Geller but over the last few weeks I’ve found myself reaching for these more n more.
When the light catches these they look gorgeous but not overly shimmery
The packaging is fairly simple - probably not a surprise considering these cost £3 each - but the product is moulded like whipped cream or  pretty folds of silk material which is think is super cute.

The texture is  fine and not too powdery so goes on exactly where you want it and doesn’t create a big glittery mess like lots of similar products. Though, as is always the case with shimmer face products I find this can make my pores look massive if it gets too close to the apples of my cheeks but if I restrict it to the very tops of my cheeks, under my eyebrows and inner corner of my eyes then its grand

With the particles of glitter in this being so finely milled this gives a satin finish to the skin which I think most age groups could get away with; even just as a highlight for the inner corner and beneath the eyebrow these are definitely worth having and with 7.5 grams in each one I think I'll still be using them this time next year

Joy ♥

Monday, 1 September 2014

10 days of MUA – Day 2 – Super pale foundation

OK so I’ve given this a lot of serious thought and I think we need to just go ahead and cancel Mondays. I mean what are they for? As far as I can tell they’re really just a form of extended torture that drag on and on. And on. Not to mention the fact that everything goes wrong on Mondays. If we use today as an example everything basically covers my jeans not buttoning (definitely need to cut down on the chocolate) dropping an open jar of coffee on the kitchen floor and my dog Bernard rolling in, ahem, something in the park which resulted in an unscheduled time-consuming and revoltingly smelly bath

In the spirit of not dwelling on things let’s forget about what a rubbish day this has been and discuss some makeup instead :)
You ever buy a product and find it does pretty much the exact opposite of what it says on the tin? Well this is one of those. On their website MUA say this “offers a medium to full coverage and is suitable for any skin type. It gives your skin an even-toned glow and visibly gives a soft healthy radiant finish, the formula contains light-diffusing particles leaving your skin feeling refreshed and luminous all day.”

Now with a description like that I was expecting a thick textured creamy foundation with a hint of shimmer or glitter that would give a high coverage dewy sorta finish, so I was a bit surprised to find this is a really fluid foundation that gives a light to medium coverage and is completely matte. So matte in fact that I can’t use it when my skin is dry as it tends to cling to dry patches and look a bit claggy and unpleasant.

This foundation only comes in 3 shades but what really impressed me was just how light the porcelain version is. As someone with milk bottle white skin it can be really hard to get shades pale enough but as you can see from the swatch of this next to the extremely light Dior Forever (shade 010) its super light
Left: MUA Undress Your Skin in Porcelain. Right: Dior Forever in 010
Because the texture of this is so fine and fluid it blends easily and looks very even on the skin (apart from those pesky dry patches!) and I’ve found it lasts well too; I don’t need to worry about my t zone looking like an oil slick after a few hours. If you happen to have normal to oily skin and have been on the lookout for a cheap light to medium coverage foundation this could be just the ticket, not least of all cos the £5 price tag is very reasonable and the tube is handy for squeezing out just the right amount – not always easy with a pump or standard bottle that you have to pour from

Sunday, 31 August 2014

10 days of MUA - Day 1 - Cream blush

Ever have one of those super lazy Sunday evenings where your productivity level is about minus 17 and you don’t even care cos you’ve got to bake (and eat) lots of shortbread, play with makeup and watch trashy TV? They really are the best :)

As I was poking through my makeup I realised just how many MUA products I’ve bought and I figured I’d do a post on one every day for 10 days. If you’re not familiar with the brand they’re sold in Superdrug stores and also online here

The range is really affordable; the basic products are cheap as chips and then there are Professional and Luxe lines, which are a bit more expensive. Overall it’s similar to ELF with their basic, Studio and Mineral lines

The products can be hit n miss so I’m gonna review a mix of ones that I love and ones that haven’t really worked for me, starting with the Blush Perfection Cream Blusher which costs £2 and is available in 6 shades: Yummy, Blossom, Dolly, Bittersweet, Lush and Scrummy
Swatch on the left is fully blended and swatch on the right is just one swipe of colour
The packaging isn't exactly exciting as it's plain old plastic with a transparent hinged lid which is actually kinda handy if your digging around in a drawer looking for a certain shade

As a general rule I avoid cream blushes cos they have a tendency to make my pores look enormous (think golf ball) and wear off too easily. This one however, gives a gorgeous smooth, even finish to the skin and lasts hours

It's a very thin, light texture so looks natural and can be built up or blended out to give the perfect amount of colour. For any like-minded lazy people out there you’ll be pleased to know that it can be applied in seconds using just your fingers but if you have extra time and wanna use a brush I recommend a small stippling one such as the Real Techniques Stippling Brush because they blend seamlessly without messing with your foundation, contour colour etc
Real Techniques Stippling Brush
I’ve found this works well over any liquid or cream foundations and is particularly good when my skin feels dry and I’m trying to steer clear of face powders. I have the shade Lush which is a bright, fresh pink and the kind of shade that I’m always drawn to but I think I’ll have to branch out and pick up a couple of the more peachy shades too

Oh and if you do happen to get one of these I’d suggest only applying the tiniest amount to start with as they’re so highly pigmented it can be easy to go overboard and end up looking like you've let your 2 your old niece do your makeup. True story.

Joy ♥

Short n Sweet: This is a totally brilliant cream blush that I’d happily fork out 10 or 15 quid for and one that I reach for all the time. 9/10

Friday, 29 August 2014

New Rimmel Keep Calms vs Maybelline Baby Lips

Good afternoon all and happy Friday! Hope you have loads of nice weekend plans lined up :) I for one will be going out for (hopefully yummy) food tomorrow night and spending at least a couple of hours reading Little Women on Sunday. Been meaning to read it for, ooh… I dunno, 10 years now? Well I finally started it last night and it’s fantastic

…Talking of fantastic things… I figured I’d do a little comparison between the new Rimmel Keep Calm lip balms and good old Maybelline Baby Lips

Packaging: As you can see from the packaging they both look similar and the only real difference is that the Keep Calms are shaped like a standard lipstick bullet whereas the Baby Lips are flat-topped like a chapstick. The super cute colour combos are what drew me to these products in the first place and I couldn’t fault the packaging design at all.  Keep Calms 10/10 and Baby Lips 10/10
Rimmel Keep Calm Lip Balms in 040 Blush Rose and 020 Pink Blush
Scent: These all have the slightly chemically fruity smell of your typical cheap lip balm, which I personally love. It’s a bit like when you buy fruit flavoured sweets, they’re nothing like the actual fruit they s’posed to taste of but there’s still something yummy about them. Cherry lips anyone? Out of the 4 I own the red Baby Lips has the strongest smell and the other 3 are just lightly scented so I can’t imagine anyone being put off these little beauties by scent alone. Keep Calms 8/10 and Baby Lips 8/10
Swatches; Rose blush on top and Pink Blush below
Appearance: Both products are designed to give a sheer hint of colour as opposed to the opacity you’d expect from a lipstick. The Baby Lips are more pigmented and give better colour payoff. I get a “barely there” tint of colour from the Keep Calms but for anyone with a naturally dark lip shade I doubt these would show up much at all.  I think the Maybelline ones give just enough colour to look super pretty but not require a mirror for application. In fact Cherry Me has been one of my favourite lip balms since Christmas and unfortunately the Rimmel ones aren’t good enough to take its place. Keep Calms 6/10 and Baby Lips 10/10
Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me and Pink Punch
Feel: The Baby Lips have a slicker, smoother, more nourishing feel. I find that the product almost melts onto the lips whilst I apply it and never drags the skin. The Keep Calms are soft and smooth but of a thicker consistency that doesn’t feel as pleasant. Keep Calms 7/10 and Baby Lips 9/10
Swatches; Cherry Me on top and Pink Punch below
Effectiveness: Neither of these products are designed to be used as intensive treatments or cures for seriously chapped lips but as softening balms that lock in moisture they work well… I think the baby Lips do the job quite a bit better as they fill in any little noticeable lines really nicely, don’t need to be applied as often and after a whole day of wear and re-application my lips definitely feel better after using only Baby Lips than when I’ve only used the Keep Calms. Keep Calms 6/10 and Baby lips 9/10

TL;DR? Here’s the summary: Both super cute, affordable lip balms with gorgeous packaging that will help keep your lips soft and hydrated. I think the Baby Lips look and feel better than the Keep Calms so will continue repurchasing these when new lines are added and shall avoid the Keep Calms :)

Joy ♥

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The quick, gentle, cheap way to cleanse

Evening all,

Hope you’re having a fab weekend and aren’t experiencing that awful pre-work Sunday slump that always seems to hit about this time. I’ve decided to indulge in an awesome pampering evening that’ll involve a face mask, hair mask, long bath and a copy of Glamour magazine but before that I wanted to mention a newly discovered favourite product…
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Every couple of years there seems to be a new type of cleanser on the market claiming to be the next best thing. We had the cleanse and polish ones, the balms, the powders and of course there are the waters; it’s hard not to be sceptical of this one I reckon but I’ve been using the Garnier cleansing water for a couple of months now and couldn’t be more impressed. Well unless Garnier had Tom Hardy come to my house each evening to gently but effectively remove my makeup using the aforementioned cleanser before making me a cup of hot chocolate and then scampering off home again but I think that may be asking a bit much, don’t you?

The whole point of this cleanser is that you can apply it to a cotton pad, wipe away any makeup, dirt and grime and that’s it – there’s no need to rinse. It works a treat and is extremely gentle but I always follow it with some Liz Earle cleanse and polish because not doing so just feels wrong to me.

I think this would be the perfect product for anyone who ends up sleeping in their makeup every night (which ages your skin 8 days for every 1 night apparently) because it takes seconds to use and can even be done in bed… Which I consider to be energy efficient as opposed to lazy 

On a normal day I don’t wear a lot of eye makeup; I’ll stick with shadow and mascara and I’ve found this removes them with no problems at all but if I’m going for a more dramatic eye look with a liquid liner, khol pencil and waterproof mascara then I’ll use an eye makeup remover before my cleansing water to ensure there’s no residue left over

As skincare products go this is gentle, easy to use and really inexpensive so it’s become an essential part of my skincare routine

Have you tried this yet? Or are there any other cleansing waters that you think I should try? 

Joy ♥