Essie Nail Polish in Mint Candy Apple, £7.99
Revlon Nail Enamel in Eclectic, £6.49
OPI Nail Polish in My Vampire is Buff, £11.50
obsessed with beautiful things
Essie Nail Polish in Mint Candy Apple, £7.99
Revlon Nail Enamel in Eclectic, £6.49
OPI Nail Polish in My Vampire is Buff, £11.50
Oooh look it’s all of my favourite makeup brands conveniently put together in one post.
MAC Syrup £15- one of my favourite MAC lipsticks ever. It looks really purple in the bullet and swatches, but on the lips it’s a perfect medium, rosy pink.
Soap&Glory Glow All Out £11- a pink toned highlighting and setting powder. This powder is absolutely beautiful when lightly dusted over the high points of the face, or used with a powder brush all over to set foundation.
Bourjois Healthy Mix Blush £7.99- I love Bourjois’ little round pot blushes- they’re not the most pigmented or long lasting I’ve ever tried, but they leave a really beautiful healthy, glowing finish. The shade ‘Healthy Mix’ is gorgeous, but I also love ‘Peach Bloom’ for a more natural look.
Urban Decay Naked 3 £37- I’ve fallen in love with this palette all over again. I’ve been using ‘Strange’ as a base colour, ‘Dust’ all over the lid and then ‘Limit’ in the crease and blended up just a little and the colours just look so pretty!
There have been dozens of copies of the Naked palette created since it’s release, and none of them ever really appealed to me until I came across MUA’s Undressed Palette in Superdrug. These shades look almost identical, and I thought it would be interesting to do a little comparison- mainly because of the rather insane price difference between the two. I’m planning a post like this for the other Naked palettes too, so let me know if you have any good dupes!
‘Naked’ contains twelve very warm toned shadows (10 shimmer, 2 matte). I’ve had this palette for almost a year now, and though I don’t reach for it often (purely because I find warm colours and lots of shimmer a little difficult to work with) it’s still one of my favourites. The quality of these eyeshadows- pigmentation, the colour payoff, the lasting power, you name it- is incredible. Urban Decay is definitely my favourite brand for shadows (closely followed by Too Faced, if you’re wondering) and the only thing I don’t love about them is the price. This palette used to be £36, which is painful enough, but then it was raised to £37 upon the release of Naked 3. I know, I know, it’s £1, but I still think that’s kind of ridiculous. Stop it, Urban Decay, you don’t need to keep raising your prices. Just stop it.
‘Undressed’ contains twelve neutral-warm toned shadows (9 shimmer, 3 matte). I bought this purely out of curiosity, and I’m so glad I did because it’s awesome. Though the colours are almost exact dupes for Urban Decay’s, but they lean a lot more neutral and I personally find them a lot easier to wear. ‘Undressed’ even has that one extra matte shade- the copy of UD ‘Virgin’, a satin/ shimmer, which in the MUA palette is just named ’1′, and is more of a matte/shimmer. Just that one extra matte shade makes a huge difference to the palette, I think, because it’s a nice all-over-lid shade for pale skin and a highlighter that isn’t too frosty on darker skin tones. Obviously, the quality of these eyeshadows isn’t as fantastic as Urban Decay. They’re a lot sheerer and often need building up, but that also means that they need less blending and you won’t be left with any harsh lines (always a risk with Urban Decays dark, super pigmented shadows). I don’t have any issues with the wear time of these, either. They seem to last as well as any other shadows, but I always use a primer and I rarely wear makeup for more than six hours, so I can’t really say for sure which would last longer.
Some of these shades are crazy similar! I think the only slight differences I can see between these two palettes are that ‘Undressed’ is more neutral than ‘Naked’, and that the shadows in the ‘Naked’ palette (particularly the shimmery ones) are much more pigmented and have a slightly more true-to-the-colour-in-the-pan colour payoff.
What do you think of this comparison? Are you tempted to buy either of these palettes, or have you already tried them?
I realised the other day that I’ve gotten into the habit of using the exact same makeup every single day, and so I was looking through my collection (‘shopping my stash’- is that the term for it? Never really understood that) and remembered about all of these! They’re all the products I used when I was first getting into makeup- just over a year ago- but since then I’ve kind of pushed them to the back of my makeup drawers and been discovering new things. Anyway, I thought they deserved some love so ‘Forgotten Favourites’ is now a thing on this blog. I’m going to have to come up with a better name.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation- the first foundation I ever tried and still one of the best. It’s very similar to the lovely Rimmel Match Perfection (another favourite) in a lot of ways, because they’re both medium coverage, satin finish and last a good eight hours.
Clinique Anti-Redness Powder- a great setting powder with the added benefit of keeping my skins natural redness at bay. I’ve kind of abandoned this since discovering concealer, but I’m looking forward to using it again because, you know, the less coverage I can get away with, the better.
Urban Decay Naked 2- a classic. I used to use this all the time and though I’m a little worried about how it probably used to look (who needs mattes when you can just use all the glitter?!? Eeeeek) I really feel like I need to try it out again. The colours are so lovely and it’s pretty rare to come across a completely cool toned neutral palette- I just wish there was maybe one more matte brown…
Maybelline Dream Touch Soft Blush- I love cream blushers, and the Maybelline ones are just so pretty. I used this such a long time ago that I can’t even really remember enough about it to review it, but I’m going to re-test it and get back to you.
Maybelline Baby Lips- I’ve not been using these for quite as long as the other things in this post, but I do keep forgetting about them- I don’t know why because they’re the nicest tinted lip balms ever. ‘Cherry Me’ in particular is one that I used to always reach for as an everyday colour, but ‘Mint Fresh’ is a lovely non-tinted option.
Zoya Nail Polish- Zoya is the first ‘high-end’ nail polish brand I tried, and it’s definitely the brand that started my nail polish obsession. Let me know what your favourite shades are because I definitely need to try out more- pictured above is ‘Zuza’.
And, once again, I have failed to narrow it down to the number in the title.
Soap&Glory Eyeshadow Quad in ‘What’s Nude?’- £10- review- this quad is simply beautiful, definitely a favourite and one that I reach for pretty much everyday- mainly because ‘Mudhoney’ is a great brow colour for me.
Sleek Blush By Three in ‘Lace’- £9.99- you can read my far-too-rambly review of this here, if you’d like, because this is honestly the best blush formulation I’ve ever tried. The colours are so beautiful, and you can really customise the intensity of them with different application methods.
Sleek Eyeshadow Palette in ‘Vintage Romance’- £7.99- another one that has it’s own post dedicated to it (with swatches!)- this palette is stunning, and the horribly over exposed picture above (sorry!) really doesn’t do those purple shades justice.
Revlon Lip Butter in ‘Wild Watermelon’- £7.99- I could honestly have put any one of the lip butters in this post. They’re all incredible, and you can take a look at my collection swatches here. Wild Watermelon is one of my ultimate favourites, though, because it’s a really cool toned red that can be applied quite sheer making it wonderfully easy to wear.
Soap&Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in ‘Nudist’- £8- review- I love the finish of the Soap&Glory lip crayons. They’re much more like a gloss than others I’ve tried, they smell like vanilla, and this colour is a pretty-but-natural shade that actually (surprisingly) works with my skin tone.
Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayon in ‘Red Sunrise’- £7.99- review- super glossy, incredibly lightweight and available in some really gorgeous colours. I love these so much! This shade especially is really gorgeous, it’s kind of a cool toned pink-red.
Rimmel Colour Rush Balm in ‘Keep Mauving’- £7.99- review- this shade is just really pretty. It’s kind of plum toned but still very natural, and it’s one I reach for quite often. Smells like vanilla, too! Anyone else see a theme, here?
Topshop Lips in ‘Hazard’- £8- the only Topshop lipstick I own, actually, for whatever reason. This lipstick creates the most beautiful berry red stain ever. Do you have a favourite Topshop lipstick? I really want to try some other colours.
Rimmel Stay Matte Primer- £5.99- mattifying but not drying, shine reducing but not dull-looking. This is wonderful for everyday wear because it doesn’t feel too silicone based, and it makes whatever makeup I wear on top of it last a lot longer.
Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in ’010 Porcelain’- £6.99- my favourite foundation ever. Can I say that? I think I can, because this foundation is what I reach for when I don’t want to have to think about what makeup I’m wearing. The coverage of this can go from light to somewhere in between medium and full, and it leaves a really beautiful satin finish. And it’s actually pale enough for me.
L’Oreal Nude Magique Eau de Teint Foundation in ’100 Porcelain’- £9.99- this is showing up much darker on camera than it is in person, sorry about that. I rambled about this foundation in my last post, in case you’re interested in a brief description of it’s wonderfulness. This foundation isso incredibly different to anything else I’ve been using it pretty much non stop since I bought it.
What are your under £10 favourites? Or, more specifically, your between-£5-and-£10 favourites, though that really doesn’t have the same ring to it. There are so many I had to cut out of the final post, so if you like this kind of thing I might do another Under £10 post (and this time I might be able to include makeup brushes and nail polish, too…).
*I wish I’d thought of something creatively April-fools-y for todays post. Damn*
No- Makeup Makeup
Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush (part of the Starter Set) £21.99
I’ve been wearing very natural looking makeup at the moment- so not the most exciting of posts but I have been loving all of the products I’ve been using. A lot of these are new (which you might remember from one of my more recent haul posts?) and I’ve been using them pretty much every single day since I bought them. *I’ll be updating my favourites soon for a more Spring-esque look, so if pastel colours are your thing then stick around for my next ‘Currently Loving’ post.*
I’ve been starting out with the Bourjois Happy Light Matte Primer, which is lovely because it’s not too intense but it keeps most of my natural oiliness at bay. I’ve then been buffing on some Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer with the Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush on just the areas where I tend to have redness and spots- using this brush with the Collection concealer gives a really natural looking but full coverage finish, which makes a perfect base for the L’Oreal Nude Magique Eau de Teint Foundation. This foundation is very light coverage but it’s so easy to build, and it literally will not go cakey. When this was first released I was adamant that I didn’t want it, but now I’ve tried it it’s definitely one of my favourite foundations. It feels like a very light powder on the skin, but looks like absolutely nothing while still giving me a little bit of coverage. I’ve even looked at this in natural sunlight with one of those horribly unflattering magnifying mirrors and it’s honestly invisible. My only problem with this is that it’s ever so slightly too dark, but I can get away with it because I normally only use one or two drops. I blend this foundation in with my fingertips, but I like to just double check that everything is blended with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.
At this point in the makeup application, everything looks a little bit too matte, so I’ve been using just a teeny, tiny bit of the Bourjois Java Rice Powder on the high points of my face. It leaves a really pretty, natural looking sheen- nothing too sparkly. Next, I’ve been using the Bourjois Delice de Poudre Bronzing Powder very lightly around the outside of my face with a Real Techniques Blush Brush, just to put a little bit of colour back in my face after using the high coverage concealer. I love this blush for bronzer, you can read all about that here, if you want.
For eyes, I have literally just been dabbing W.O.S from the Urban Decay Naked Basics (review) palette all over my eyelid to hide the redness or veins, and then I’ve been using Venus to highlight my brow bone and inner corner. Very lazy, but it just makes everything look that teeny bit more perfected. For my lips, I either use MAC Syrup which is a beautiful, neutral plum colour or a Revlon Lip Butter (review) in Macaroon. Both are really pretty natural colours, which just give a little bit more than most my-lips-but-better shades.
What do you use for no-makeup makeup looks?
I tried to narrow it down to five things- I really, really did.
Maybelline Baby Lips- £2.99- photo:Cherry Me- The Baby Lips lip balms have been the buzz of the drugstore beauty world for a while now, so if you haven’t had a hundred reviews of them shoved down your throat then where have you been hiding? The tinted balms in particular are wonderful, and they’re almost always on three-for-two at Boots and Superdrug. It’s not a question of ‘have you tried them?’, it’s more of a ‘how many of them are kicking around in your handbag?’.
Natural Collection Lipsticks- £1.99- photo:Raspberry- I’ve written about these quite a few times before, but I honestly cannot get over the quality of these lipsticks. The colour, the lasting powder, the price tag- it’s all good.
Natural Collection Blush- £1.99- photo:Peach Melba- I love this blush so much- it’s the only shade I’ve tried but it’s really pretty, easy to wear and goes with everything. It’s surprisingly pigmented, too, and another one with a double-take price tag.
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder- £3.99- photo:Transparent- I’m not normally one to go crazy over powders, but this one is pretty damn good. It sets everything nicely, controls oils and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad review.
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer- £4.19- photo:Fair- This concealer is truly incredible, and it’s one of the few items I actually own a back up of. It’s incredibly pigmented and long lasting and the lightest shade actually matches my skin tone *screams*! The packaging and shade range of these has very recently been changed, so I’m going to have to do some Superdrug swatching very soon.
Rimmel Scandeleyes Waterproof Kohl Liner- £3.99- photo:Black- Easily the best eye liner pencil I’ve ever tried. Enough said. I definitely need to get my hands on some of the other colours, because so far I’ve only used Black.
Maybelline Color Tattoo- £4.99- photo:On & On Bronze, Metallic Pomegranate- These cream eyeshadows are truly incredible. They’re easy to use and the colours are oh-so pretty! I just wish the UK shade range was a little bit better. I really want to try Barely Branded and the new nude collection, preferably without Ebay’s painful shipping rates.
Barry M Nail Polish- £2.99/£3.99- photo:Pomegranate, Nude Vanilla- At this point on my blog I feel like I should mention that I am not sponsored by Barry M. I seem to be crying over the perfection of their nail polishes every other week, though, so I would understand if there was some confusion. Pretty much every single nail polish of theirs that I’ve tried has been stunning, and if you type ‘Barry M’ into the little search bar on my blog then there will be more than enough nail polish swatching goodness to keep you mildly entertained for at least a few hours.
What are your under £5 favourites? I’ll be doing a £5-£10 favourites post soon-ish, too, so any recommendations in that price zone are definitely necessary at the moment for, ahem, research.
Why has it taken me so long to get around to writing this post? I love Real Techniques brushes, and I’ve built up quite a collection over the past few months, so I’m going to attempt to type up a bit of a review.
Warning- I apparently cannot move my thoughts to the keyboard today so this could be a bit of a mess.
Flawless Base Brushes
Powder Brush- I love using this brush with setting and mattifying powders, which need to cover a large surface area and don’t need to be precisely applied. It’s super soft and the bristles aren’t too dense, so you can get a light but even coverage of powder.
Buffing Brush- This one is great for quickly buffing in liquid or powder foundations. It has quite a large surface area and very dense bristles so it’s perfect for building foundations to medium/ full coverage.
Expert Face Brush- I use this one for buffing in liquid foundation too, but I actually prefer it to the Buffing Brush. It’s slighter smaller and more of a domed shape, so you can be more precise with where your foundation goes.
Contour Brush- This brush gives a really precise but blended effect, which is great because I’m bloody useless with contouring. I find it works better with powder products, though, because the bristles aren’t very dense.
Pointed Foundation Brush- My least used RT Brush, purely because I don’t like the whole ‘painting on foundation’ thing. I’ve used this with powder to set under eye concealer a few times, though, and it works quite nicely for that.
Detailer Brush- Quite nice for concealing small areas, but again, not really one that I reach for.
Duo-Fibre Face Brush- This brush is perfect for blending away harsh blush/ bronzer lines. Honestly, I think it’s pretty useless for applying products, but when used on already-applied-makeup it gives a really flawless, airbrushed finish.
Perfected Finish Brushes
Blush Brush- This brush is awesome, it’s a really unique shape and I think it’s perfect for kind of three-shaped-bronzer (do you know what the hell I’m talking about here? Sorry). I’ve used it for blush too, but I find it’s a little bit too soft and that makes the colour quite difficult to control.
Multitask Brush- This brush is my current favourite for powders. It’s a great size, so you can be precise but still cover a large surface area, and it seems to pick up the perfect amount of product.
Stippling Brush- My ultimate favourite for foundation. I’ve mentioned before that this brush seems to hide any spots and even out my skin, while still keeping coverage to a minimum. The bristles are quite sparse (when I bought this, I was expecting it to be denser than the Buffing Brush, but it’s actually much flimsier) so it’s awesome for blending, too.
Setting Brush- I use this one for setting under eye concealer because it’s tiny, but still a really nice domed shape. It’s kind of a very, very small version of the Blush Brush, and it’s perfect for precisely applying setting powders or highlighter.
Duo-Fibre Contour Brush- This ones nice for a really, really light contour. It doesn’t pick up much product and it blends like crazy, so I also quite like it for very light blusher.
Enhanced Eyes Brushes
Deluxe Crease Brush- If you ever go for a concealer-only look, you need this brush. It’s perfect for blending small amounts under the eye and around the nose and works like a tiny Buffing Brush.
Base Shadow Brush- This brush is nice for a really blending in a really soft, barely-there crease colour. I find it’s a little too rounded to apply darker all-over-lid shadows, but with lighter colours it works fine.
Essential Crease Brush- I think that this brush is kind of the better version of the Base Shadow Brush purely because it’s slightly smaller, which means it’s easier to apply colour and blend at the same time.
Shading Brush- This one’s the perfect size and shape for applying colour all over the lids. It’s super soft and picks up the right amount of colour- love!
Brow Brush- The thickness of this brush is almost exactly the same thickness as the thinner end of my eyebrows- so it’s not the best for filling them in. It’s also way to thick for eyeliner, but it can be useful for doing a really defined crease colour or shaping the outer-v for cat eyed eyeshadow.
Accent Brush- Perfect for highlighting the tear duct and brow bone.
Pixel Point Eyeliner Brush- I love this one for pin point concealing, but I personally think it’s way to thick to be an eyeliner brush. It might be good for blending eyeliner, though?
Fine Liner Brush- Again, not one I’d really be able to use for eyeliner, but it’s great for very precise concealing.
Duo-Fibre Eye Brush- Great for blending your finished eye shadow for a really perfect finish.
*My Favourites— Expert Face Brush, Contour Brush, Blush Brush, Stippling Brush, Deluxe Crease Brush, Essential Crease Brush, Shading Brush, Duo-Fibre Eye Brush.*
All of these brushes are amazing quality, don’t shed, are incredibly easy to wash and they’re all synthetic and cruelty free. I love the colour coded handles, too- they’re so pretty! Real Techniques are amazing and they’re so affordable- I honestly don’t feel like I need to try out any other more expensive brands (looking at you here MAC).
I hope this was helpful! What do you think of Real Techniques Brushes, and which ones have you tried? I’m really excited to get my hands on the new retractable ones (I think they’ll be so useful for throwing in my makeup bag) and the Miracle Complexion Sponge.
Look what just arrived on my doorstep! Aren’t they pretty? I’ve been wanting to get my hands on these brushes for so long. I actually ordered them from Escentual forever ago, but there was a problem with shipping or something. Anyway, they’re here now and I literally cannot wait to start using them. The set exclusive looks so lovely, arghh!
The Real Techniques Sam’s Picks Collection contains 6 brushes- the Multitask Brush, the Setting Brush, the Buffing Brush, the Pointed Foundation Brush, the Essential Crease Brush (set exclusive) and the Fine Liner Brush. They’re all amazing quality, and, of course, they look absolutely beautiful.
I’m going to be doing a review/ collection type post of my Real Techniques brushes very soon, so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested!
Eeeeek! I am so obsessed with these nail polishes and now there are three more! The new shades are pale, pretty pastels (very Spring appropriate) and are sticking to the Gelly Hi Shine fruity names, except now they’re a little more fancy. Intoducing- Sugar Apple, Rose Hip and Huckleburry (£3.99 each, currently 2 for £6).
Sugar Apple- pastel green. When I first saw this, I thought it was an exact dupe for Mint Candy Apple, but Sugar Apple is actually much more blue and much more vibrant.
Rose Hip- pastel pink. This colour is absolutely beautiful, easily my favourite, and I think it’s the one I’m most likely to reach for. It’s definitely the palest pink I own (not including off-white pinks…This is too complicated) but it’s still very bright, if that makes sense.
Huckleburry- pastel blue. Another beautiful one, but then again I will literally say that about any pale to medium blue nail polish. This colour is slightly more muted than the other two, but it still has a brightness to it that you don’t normally get from pastels.
Rose Hip (middle finger), Huckleburry (ring finger) and Sugar Apple (little finger) worn with Barry M Matte ‘Nude Vanilla’.
These colours are so difficult to photograph! They’re so different to other pastel nail polishes (which are normally a white base with a tint of colour) I’ve tried. These shades kind of look like really, really pale neons. Does that make sense? They’re so beautiful, even more so in person.
As much as I love the new colours of these nail polishes, I have to say I’m not a huge fan of the formula, or the quality. It actually pains me to write that, because all the previous Gelly Hi Shine nail polishes (and I do mean all of them) have been perfect- opaque in one or two coats, fast drying, long lasting- the whole lot. But these new shades seem completely different. They’re incredibly streaky, they need at least three coats and they take freaking forever to dry. You might be able to see in the first few swatch photos that there are little prints on my nails? Well, those prints are from my pillow, when I was sleeping, ten hours after painting my nails. WHAT?! Also, I’ve been wearing ‘Rose Hip’ for 24 hours now, but already two of my nails have chipped. To be fair I am terrible with my nails, and as I’ve mentioned before, I use them as tools and I type a lot- but I still expect at least two days of perfect nails.
It’s really infuriating, because I wanted to love these so much!
What do you think? Will you be trying these? I think I’ll keep using these, to be honest, because even though the quality isn’t great I do really love the colours. Which is your favourite?
This is my 100th published post!