My 2018 beauty favourites

2018 was the year that my skincare and makeup addiction was reignited, so I’ve tried a lot of new products this year. Here are my highlights across beauty for 2018! ** I will only be including new products that I’ve tried this year (sorry Midnight Recovery Concentrate).

Skincare

Cleansers

My amazing discovery this year has been Beauty Pie, and the best product that I’ve tried is without a doubt their Plantastic Cleansing Balm. It is a really smooth, gentle balm that removes all your makeup in one. I can even open my eyes with this on and it doesn’t get in them and sting them at all. The texture is thick and rich and feels much more high end than the price. I’ve already repurchased this because it’s my go-to balm!

Moisturiser

I finally had the chance to buy the Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream when I went to Sephora in Italy this summer and certainly haven’t regretted it! I have actually repurchased this twice already! This is a really thick moisturiser that is perfect for dry skin. It leaves the skin feeling really nourished and replenished of moisture. It is the moisturiser I rely on if my skin is needing a little extra TLC.

Mask

I’ve tried so many new masks this year, and I’ve got to say I don’t find that many masks do much for my skin. However, the Sjo Skin Happy Honey Mask is absolutely brill! Sjo Skin has been really big on Instagram and just seem like a lovely brand that are encouraging kindness and interaction in the beauty community. I have seen this mask on almost everyone’s feed, and finally bit the bullet on Black Friday. It is really soothing, smoothing and nourishing for the skin and leaves it feeling like it’s just gone to the spa, been drinking a glass of wine and come back relaxed af.

SPF

I have tried a number of new SPFs this year and I have one firm favourite – the Beauty Pie Super Healthy Skin Ultralight UVA/UVB SP25. This is a beautiful formula that does not have the typical SPF feeling but instead just feels like a normal face cream. It sinks into the skin very quickly and doesn’t leave a silicone-y feeling on the skin. The only downside to this SPF is that it is only SPF 25 and ideally I would my SPF to be 50. An honourable mention should go to the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+. I wore this during my holiday in Italy over the summer when I was walking around in the scorching heat and my face was totally protected. I did not get sunburnt in the slightest and I have very fair skin that burns easily.

Oils

I’ve recently discovered Squalane and I’m absolutely loving it! I’m using the One Skin Squalene oil and it’s a really beautiful oil. Before I started using it, I had stopped having the beautiful silky smooth feeling to my skin when I woke up in the morning, but using this brought it back. It’s not too thin (so that it sinks in immediately) or too thick (where it just never sinks in) and sits pretty comfortably on the face. I’ll give an honourable mention to the Herbivore Phoenix oil and the Mauli Supreme Skin Face Serum which are great for those who have drier skin.

Makeup

Foundation

Two foundations this year have really caught my eye and captured my heart – the Beauty Pie Everyday Great Skin foundation and the Hourglass Vanish stick foundation. I stumbled across them both completely by accident and they have both become go-tos for me! I had been interested in Beauty Pie’s makeup line since I fell in love so hard with the skincare range, so thought I would try out their foundation. It is a medium buildable coverage which has the prettiest dewy finish. It is really well pigmented and a little goes quite a long way with this (in that it allows you a nice natural looking base, that still looks like your skin but better). The Hourglass one took me 6 months to work out how to make this formula work on my skin as it’s quite dry. BUT I stuck with it, and am now nearly out of my mists, but it’s just gorgeous. It is THE ultimate ‘your skin but better’ and it is hands down the best shade match that I have ever found in my life. This one I prefer to wear more on the lighter/more natural side, but it is definitely buildable.

Highlighter

Two new highlighters have literally stolen my heart this year – the Hourglass Vanish stick highlighter in Gold Flash and the By Terry Gem Glow Trio Compact. I like to use the Hourglass one underneath my foundation to give me that really natural glow from within. Once I’ve applied foundation, I like to take this on my fingers and tap it onto the high points of my cheeks to really add the glow. The By Terry highlighter is a really new one to me (I only got my hands on it last week), but I’m totally in love with it. I’ve had my eye on it for months and months and it’s been so worth the wait. It is the most INCREDIBLE highlighter that is just so blinding and flattering. This really suits my pale skin, but I can also imagine it suiting people much darker than me too.

I am not lucky enough to have reviewing makeup and skincare as my full time job and even though I try a lot of new products out of interest, there are a lot of products in my routine that have stayed the same or just didn’t wow me enough.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know what your top products for 2018 were!

Xo

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Christmas gift guides – the makeup addict

If you are a true lover of makeup, or know someone who is, here are some amazing Christmas gift ideas that they are sure to love! WARNING: This may or may not be palette heavy, and your bank account may not love you afterwards.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palettes – Β£69 each (SpaceNK.com, Liberty London, Selfridges, John Lewis, Feelunique.com)

Depending on your skin tone, one of these palettes is one you need. Hourglass products are so beautiful and are such cult favourites. The new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit volume 4 is perfect for anyone with light to medium skin tones. Likewise, the new Unlocked palette has been hailed as the palette that darker ladies have been waiting for, and it is absolutely GORGEOUS. If you aren’t purchasing for yourself, consider carefully which one would suit your loved one best, especially if they are more medium/tan as they could be on the boardline for both!

Beauty Bay Colour Theory palettes – Β£25 each (Beauty Bay)

Beauty Bay has finally released their own line of makeup! (AND IT’S ACTUALLY AMAZING!) There are three palettes – Origin, Evolve and Identity – and they are 42 shades for Β£25(!). The problem with palettes is you often are unsure on how to create multiple looks… but wth these palettes, each column represents an entire look, and each row is where to put the shade (transition, crease, highlight etc.) The pigmentation is actually amazing for a palette that is so cheap, so it’s a great gift if you’re on a budget too!

Jouer Lip Topper in Frost Bite – Β£13.50 (Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty)

I got a set of mini Jouer lip toppers for Christmas last year and this was by far my favourite. It goes with absolutely every lip colour and lasts a really long time. I still haven’t gotten through all of my mini one. If you don’t fancy just a clear gloss with white sparkle, the rest of the shades are absolutely gorgeous too (especially Skinny Dip, which is probably their most famous shade).

Jouer Cosmetics Long-Wear Lip Topper Frost Bite

Dose of Colours Katy x Desi Friendcation Palette – Β£44 (Beauty Bay)

This is a beautiful palette that has really grown on me recently. The colours are absolutely beautiful and perfect for both winter and the party season. A lot of beauty gurus have been recommending this asΒ the palette that you need and I’ve fallen for this one hard. It’s a really good mix of mattes and shimmers, and the colour story is quite different to what we’ve been seeing. There have been soooo many reviews and tutorials on youtube, particularly using the blue, and itΒ actuallyΒ seems to be a blue that swatches as a true bright blue, and not transform into a deep navy mess. The temptation to buy this myself is UNREAL (probably will tbh lol).

Dose of Colors Desi & Katy Friendcation Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Shiny Pretty Things Face Compact – Β£29

This year’s holiday collection from MAC is amazing and this holiday face palette is GORGEOUS! I popped in store and swatched it and it’s unbelievably beautiful. There are three shades, a rose gold highlight, a golden-pink blush and a warm bronzer. There is a fair paletteΒ (pictured below) and a medium/dark one. It creates the most gorgeous effect on your cheeks and I’m completely in love. On my fair skin (NC15), the bronzer (which looks really dark) is the perfect colour to make my skin looks bronzed but not muddy, the highlight is a beautiful pop and the blush is a bright pink/coral that is reallllllly pigmented. Keep an eye out for discounts on this – I managed to get this for Β£14 on ASOS because there was 15% and I had a Β£10 voucher!

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Kevyn Aucoin Nudepop The Molten Lip Colour Mini Collection – Β£24 (Space NK)

I have been eyeing up Keyvn Aucoin lip glosses for a long time, specifically the one on the left (that golden redish pink)! For Β£24, you get 5 lipgloss minis that are a really fair size and will take you ages to get through! They will work really well on their own or on top of a lipstick. The left three look as though they have a slight shift so they’ll really enhance any lip!

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Colourpop Yes, Please! – $16 (colourpop.com)

I stumbled across this palette on someone’s Instagram and FELL. IN. LOVE. This palette is a little harder for us Brits to get our hands on, but Colourpop do offer free shipping on orders over $50 which is veeery easy to exceed on their website. The colours in this palette are probably more appropriate for summer, but who even cares? The warm tones of this palette will warm you up this winter. I’ve heard from my friends on Instagram and from beauty gurus on Youtube that Colourpop shadows have excellent pigmentation, and are super budget friendly. I will be picking this one up on Black Friday.

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Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick – Β£38 (SpaceNK.com, John Lewis, Selfridges, Liberty London, Feelunique.com)

I swatched this a few months ago in Libertys and FELL. IN. LOVE. This is now my go-to highlighter that I literally have to apply every single time I wear makeup. The shade I have is Gold Light which just gives you the most stunning golden glow. I find that this shade is what my skin would really look like if the sun were to hit my cheekbones. There are five shades total, ranging from more champagne-gold tones to more pink-orange tones, so there is something for every skin tone and every preference. The price tag on this one is pretty steep, but it’s definitely worth the splurge if you’re a highlighter addict!

 

Image result for vanish highlighting stick gold flash

I know this has been very palette friendly and lacking on complexion products, but I wanted to try and make this list something that any beauty addict, regardless of skin colour or type could enjoy. Foundations/primers/powders are often tailored to specific skin concerns, and what I personally would use and love would not work for everyone.

I hope you enjoyed this! Let me know what you are going to be picking up this Christmas!

Xo

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Finding the right stick foundation

I am the proud(ish) owner of 3 stick foundations. This may not sound like a lot but it is probably 3 more than the average person.For reference I have normal to dry skin and am as fair as they come! I have the HD stick foundation by Make Up Forever, the Revolution stick foundation and the Hourglass Vanish Stick.Β By now, I’ve realised there are a few things to consider in the search for your perfect stick foundation.

Cost

Obviously this is going to play a large role in choosing your foundation. Not everyone is able to afford high end makeup, but the availability of stick foundations in drugstore brands is starting to increase. You’ll probably find they are more prevalent in the high end (Bobbi Brown, MUF, Hourglass, Nars ), but you can also find versions for a much more affordable price (Revolution, Revlon, L’Oreal, NYX). I have tried more high end than low end, and what I would say is that with these three formulas, you can certainly tell which are inexpensive. The quality of the Revolution one just didn’t really compare to the other two, and the look on the skin was quite disappointing. However, I’ve only tried one drugstore brand and that’s certainly not to say that all brands would be of a lower quality based on price.

Your skin type vs the texture of the foundation

All 3 of my stick foundations have completeeeely different textures – let me explain.

The Hourglass texture is on the drier side, and can be a little difficult to blend out even when skin has been primed and has a smooth base (or is even still a bit wet from the primer). I find it a little frustrating sometimes that this is so dry because it’s such a great colour match on me and gives me nice coverage while still showing my forehead freckles. I find that it often picks up on dry patches on my nose that don’t exist except with this foundation. I normally use more of my Make Up Forever Step 1 primer in Hydrating and the Marc Jacobs Dew Drops to give my foundation the best chance of blending out! As it is so dry, I don’t really need powder with this one.

The Revolution one is the complete opposite – it’s overly oily and feels incredibly greasy on the skin. It is very thick and takes a whole heap of powder to set it (and you can still feel the wetness under the powder). It feels very wet on the face and I hate this (sorry, but honest).

The Make Up Forever is probably the happy medium – it goes on easily and blends out easily. It required a fair amount of powder to dry down, but no where near as much powder as the Revolution one.

Coverage/pigment

Stick foundations do tend to be buildable, but generally speaking one swipe will give you a pretty decent amount of coverage. Some of these are more highly pigmented than others (though not necessarily in a bad way) but can be used for sheer coverage too. If you were to put on the same amount as you would a liquid foundation, you may find that it looks far too thick and cakey. Use a lighter hand with stick foundations to begin with until you know the kind of coverage you like. The Hourglass one tends to offer a more ‘your skin but better’ coverage, but can certainly be built up to a full coverage (but I think that it looks quite strange as full coverage). The MUF stick is very highly pigmented and a little bit will go a very long way (as it blends very easily). The Revolution one actually does offer very good coverage, but you are at risk of overdoing it with this and the MUF one because they are so thick.

Colour range

This one is partially linked with cost. The higher end brands tend to have a much wider shade range than the drugstore brands. However, the Revolution stick foundation does have a pretty decent shade range for one so inexpensive. If you are at either end of the shade spectrum, you may have to turn to the high end to find a shade that suits your skin tone and undertone (though this is getting better – I did find my shade in the Revolution stick foundation). I was able to find my shade in the Revolution foundation, which I was actually quite surprised about. They are constantly expanding their shade range, particularly towards the medium-deep-deep dark end of the spectrum – which is fab! I will often turn to the higher end to ensure that I am getting my exact shade (or close enough) rather than just settling for the lightest shade that a high street brand can offer, which may still be a few shades too dark for me. I’m pretty sure I have the lightest shade in the MUF one and it is still too orange for me, so it does require quite a bit of shade searching.

Overall opinions

Love: Make Up Forever
Like: Hourglass
Hate: Revolution

To have more than one stick foundation may not be necessary for most people, but if stick is your favourite type of foundation then keep collecting! It is worth noting here that I used these foundations at very different times in my life and with very different skin concerns. The Make Up Forever Stick Foundation was the first stick foundation I ever used and wanted a very full coverage product to cover my severe acne. I wanted a base product that completely covered up and neutralised any redness and I did NOT want my natural skin to show through. I was totally embarrassed by it and wanted to create the illusion of a smooth base. This did it for me and made me feel normal again.

I recently started using the Hourglass one a few months ago when I had my makeup done at an Hourglass counter for my boyfriend’s graduation. I bought it as an impulse buy because it was such an amazing shade match. Now my skin is perfect, I like to go for a sheerer coverage so my freckles can show through. This would be the perfect foundation if it were just aΒ touch creamier.

I bought the Revolution one when I first started my blog as an alternative to high end makeup. I had heard good things about it, but unfortunately it just wasn’t right for me. It felt very heavy on the skin and just oozing with oil. I have dry skin and it was too much for me, so I can’t imagine what it would be like for someone with oilier skin.

Hopefully this will help you in your search for your perfect stick foundation. Please remember what didn’t work for me, may well work for you. Happy hunting!

Xo

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