10 November 2013

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara

If you're blonde haired like me you'll know how difficult it is to find a brow product that looks right. They're often too dark, too red or even too green. Leaving you at risk of creating a hideously over drawn, unnatural brow that just looks wrong. I'm pretty happy with the shape of my brow and only use brow products to add a touch more colour, a little definition and to keep them in place all day. And the Maybelline Brow Drama promises to do just that. I don't generally give in to brow product hype because it's just not really my thang, but Superdrug 3 for 2 got the best of me - story of my life - and I was looking forward to giving it a whirl.

The Maybelline Brow Drama claims to be the ultimate fashion finish for brows, with a no streak no clump formula. The innovative wand is bit like most other mascara/brow gel wands, but has a rounded pokeball at the end which assures you don't apply too much of the product to the brows and helps to comb, tame and shape them too.

It's available in three shades, Dark Brown, Medium Brown and my shade of choice Dark Blonde. As you can see from the picture above, Dark Blonde its a very light brown that doesn't contain too much dreaded red pigment and is almost a perfect colour match for me. The formula is light and gel like, housing just enough colour to add a touch of natural definition and shape to the brows. If your brows are particularly sparse or you like a fuller brow, I would recommend filling them in first then using this as a regular setting gel. But, if you're looking for something natural looking and just want to tame your brows and create an overall more polished appearance then the Maybelline Brow Gel alone should be enough on it's own. This product really does keep the brows in shape all day, but can become a little stiff if you've been heavy handed with the application. 

Although there's been mixed reviews about the Maybelline Brow Drama, I'm really happy with it. I would highly recommend for those who want a fuss-free brow product that'll keep them looking sleek and polished all day, or for someone with lighter hair looking for a bit of natural definition to the brows. Priced at a reasonable £4.99, pick it up from Boots, Superdrug or online

08 November 2013

MUA Undress Your Skin Foundation

When MUA brought out this foundation I pretty much turned a blind eye to it. I do quite like MUA generally, but a £5 foundation? How would my congested oily skin cope with that! You'll know by now I'm always on the hunt for a beauty bargain, and feel the high street has easily caught up with quality of the bigger luxury brands. I buy almost all my makeup from Boots or Superdug and I'm always on the lookout for a great deal.. With one exception. Foundation. I'm quite happy to spend £20, £30 even £40 on foundation yet I weep into my purse when I spend £4 on an eyeliner. I just feel that is something is going to be sitting on your skin for the best part of a day it's worth making sure it's not packed with all sorts of skin hating nasties.

What made me pick up this foundation? I don't even know. Well, I do know.. I was on offer for £3 a couple of weeks back, and that's a price you can't really argue with. I'd seen a couple of reviews, all relatively positive and just thought why not! The Undress Your Skin Foundation comes in a measly 3 shades, which is honestly pretty rubbish. If you fall into the very pale category or anything darker than olive skinned, you're going to have to give this one a miss because you're skin tone is not catered for at all. 

I chose the shade Beige which is a relatively good match for my skin tone. Shade range and unimaginative name aside, on to the actual foundation. It comes in a 30ml basic squeezy tube and is easy to dispense your desired amount, the foundation is ever so slightly runny but its hardly and issue. Applied to the skin, the Undress Your Skin Foundation creates a medium coverage base that lets the natural skin show through just the right amount. It leaves a semi-matte healthy finish to the skin which I rather quite like the look of now my skin is improving. I did have to conceal my undereyes and blemishes with the Seventeen concealer, but that's just a given. The MUA foundation does dry quite quickly, and although its a dream to blend at first I'd recommend being quick as when it starts to set its becomes very difficult move. 

In terms on longevity, without primer you're looking at an 11 o'clock oil slick. But teamed with my favourite Witch Primer it performed better, and only needed a light dusting of lunch time powdering to keep it in place around my nose and forehead. By the end of a full day the MUA foundation usually looks ok, it did seem to looks a little patchy in places and had worn off in others but this may just be me as my skin has an issue with getting foundation to stay put. For a £5 foundation, honestly it's excellent. I would deem the Undress Your Skin Foundation as a great weekend foundation, something that would be great for a mid-day shopping trip or a lunch date.

If you're on the look out for an inexpensive foundation, its worth taking a look at this when you're next in Superdrug. Or available online, here 

12 October 2013

Witch Anti-Blemish Skin Clearing Primer

Like foundation, I have a real issue finding a primer I actually get along with. The primers that are readily available now generally tend to be heavily silicone based with a balm like texture, that glide over the skin filling in pores and smoothing fine lines. The problem I have with these sorts of primers are that they do nothing in terms of aiding longevity, and the silicone base cases me to break out terribly. I'd given up on primers for around a year deeming them an unnecessary addition to my routine, until I discovered the Witch Anti-Blemish Primer.

This skin clearing primer, packed with skin loving Witch Hazel, is totally different from your standard silicone-based primer. The white thick but light cream formula looks and feels more like a moisturiser, and smooths easily over the skin - Leave to 'set' for 20 seconds and you've got the perfect base for following foundation. Comparing this to a traditional primer, you don't get that unusual slippy balmy feeling, but something more like a light barrier that that your makeup can sit on without clogging up your skin. Throughout the day, the Anti Blemish Primer seriously helped to 'lock' my makeup into place and extended the wear of my makeup by about 5 hours! My t-zone stayed looking matte, which no other product has been able to achieve before.

In terms of aiding to the recovery of my blemishes I can't say it has made a huge improvement, but it hasn't made anything worse or blocked up my pores at all like other primers have and I am really enjoying using this primer and would recommend to anyone who has a dislike for silicone primers or has trouble with oily skin. If your skin is normal/dry I would either steer clear of this primer or only use it only where you felt you really needed help with oil control as opposed to the entire face as you may find it a little drying.

Overall, this primer has quickly become a firm favourite, and I can't begin to tell you how happy I am to find a product that actually works! Available from Superdrug (currently 1/3 off) priced at £6.99.

10 October 2013

No7 Natural Blush Cream in Romantic

I made the decision last year to ditch the matte products and cakey foundation and embrace my oily skin. I would pile on the foundation and drown it in 20 reapplications of heavy power throughout the day, thinking it was making me look flawless and airbrushed - Where in actual fact I just looked ridiculous and cakey. I've upped my skin care game this year, and although I'm nowhere near ready to go sans makeup, I've been able to cut down on the amount of makeup and what makeup I use on a daily basis. I've always steered clear of anything creamy, dewy or highlighter-y in an attempt to avoid emphasising my already oily skin, but I found myself craving that healthy glow that others pulled off so beautifully. When I decided to delve into the world of creamy glowy products, I never looked back. And if there is one item that will create a dewy, healthy glow like no other its cream blusher and this peachy pink pot of perfection is no exception. 

The No7 Natural Blush Cream in Romantic is the most perfect shade of peachy pink, which is my fail-safe colour choice that I never stray far from. On the cheeks it adds a very subtle wash of colour that injects just the right amount of life and health to the face, although it's nowhere near as pigmented as my beloved Stila Convertible Colour, the Natural Blush Cream makes the ideal no-makeup-makeup blush that lifts the cheeks with just the right amount of dewiness and colour. To apply, I have been using the ELF Powder Brush for a slightly more intense finish or the Real Techniques Stippling Brush for a more natural look. The No7 blush doesn't have incredible staying power, and will last around 3 hours on the cheeks before reapplication is required.

The No7 Natural Blush Cream in Romantic is priced at £8 and is available from Boots, and at the moment if you buy two products you get a free lip set - which I am loving!

Estèe Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Foundation

Ask someone for a foundation recommendation, and I can guarantee Estèe Lauder Double Wear will get suggested more than once. And it's pretty easy to see why, Double Wear has a huge cult following and is one of the best selling foundations in the UK - Everyone seems to have it, had it or wants it. It promises an impressive 15 hour wear time, medium-full coverage with a natural semi-matte finish - Seriously, what's not to love about that!

I've been wearing foundation since year 7, which yes may seem young now I look back at it, but I started getting spots, blackheads and acne aged 10 and it had a serious effect on my confidence just before I started high school. I dread to think what I must have looked like, but I felt good so it doesn't really matter. Now aged 21 I can say I have tried almost every foundation available in my quest for perfection, but astonishingly I've never bought the same foundation twice. 

I started using Double Wear about 2 years ago, after reading countless claims and even odes to this so-called holy grail foundation. I went to the Estèe Lauder counter in Cardiff, and honestly had the worst counter experience ever, but I was so excited to try out this foundation I didn't let it bother me. When I used this the next day, I was pretty underwhelmed by it - It was just a very standard looking foundation, medium coverage, hard to blend and with no pump making it extremely hard to use. I would say it took around 12 attempts to get this to work for me, using different primers, moisturisers and application techniques before I had cracked the code to making this just about work.    

I found Double Wear very hard to blend into the skin, you have to be quick as it dries and almost sets which means it won't move.. So start with a decent moisturiser and a primer to help it blend a little better. The foundation sets a natural-matte finish, which is great for oily skins but not so much for dry as it will emphasise any little patch of dryness you may have. It looked quite flat on my face, which had to rectified with blush and highlighter as it seemed to totally wash me out. On my oily skin, I found that this foundation fell into any fine line I had and cracked around my eyes which subsequently aged me about 20 years which as you can imagine isn't at all a good look. On the plus side, this foundation lasts on the skin like no other. It will last you 9-5 with only the slightest touch up of power required. When removing this foundation I would seriously suggest a double cleanse to remove all traces of the long wearing formula, otherwise you're looking at pore-clog central.  

I don't think I'll buy Estèe Lauder Double Wear again, almost £30 for a pretty basic looking but long wearing foundation isn't really worth it in my opinion. Which means I'm still on the hunt for 'the one' so your suggestions are very welcome!

08 October 2013

MUA Matte Palette

Top row swatches - almost non existent!
Bottom row swatches

I can't be alone in saying that I am a total sucker for a new palette. All that make up prettiness encased in it's own beautiful packaging, practically begging to bought and allowed to grace your dressing table - It's sometimes impossible to say no! MUA have been the Dons of pretty budget palettes and bargain shadow dupes for over a year now, providing us with pretty good quality items that rival the high end counterparts.

The Matte Palette is the latest offering from MUA, this timeless palette features 10 gorgeous neutral matte shades designed to create endless looks for every occasion. The warm and cool tones of each velvety shade can be worn alone or blended together for a custom cashmere soft finish! The 10 shades included in the palette are Unwrap (white), Butter (cream), Bare (Nude), Taffeta (Peach) , Fade (brown), Penny (bronze), Chino (taupe), Truffle ( chocolate), Fog ( dove grey) and Smoke ( black)

As you can already see from the swatches above the top 4 shades are very poorly pigmented, I don't know whether it's because they are just lighter shades and they aren't really coming through properly but they seriously lack pigment and all four shades look almost identical which is a little bit pointless. The four lightest shades serve well as blending out other colours, or softening out a smoky eye but don't create much colour besides that. The bottom five shades on the other hand have blown me away! They're soft and buttery, and so pigmented. The colours blend like a dream and stay put for hours without moving even without primer. The shades are perfect for creating a little day time glamour or full on evening drama, and the 3 brown and beige-y shades also double up as brow colours! 

Priced at only £4 its kind of hard to say no to the MUA Matte Palette, if you're willing to look past the lack of pigment in the first 4 shades. Available here from the MUA website.