The Best Affordable Brands for Each Makeup Step

The high end often takes the spotlight when it comes to makeup, but it’s important to remember that the drugstore also releases some amazing products. Just like the high end, not everything is a hit, so I’ve broken down my favourite affordable products for each step of your makeup routine!

Foundation

Finding your shade can be a little bit difficult in ‘drugstore*’ brands, especially if you fall at either end of the spectrum. If you find yourself in this category, your best bet brand-wise will probably be NYX. Their recent Can’t Stop Won’t Stop range was a collaboration with Youtuber Alyssa Ashley and was formulated with POC in mind. Makeup Revolution also offer a pretty good shade range. If you’re looking for something a little less matte and a little more dry skin friendly, consider Bourjois – their Healthy Mix foundation, or even the serum version (even more dry skin friendly) are both great options.

Concealer

The Maybelline concealers are great – the age rewind one is great if you don’t mind concealers with a sponge – and likewise their Fit Me range is great (even though the shade order is a bit messed up). My personal favourite and go-to for many years now is the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. It’s full coverage and blends out beautifully.

Brows

For me, there is only one contender here – NYX! Their Microbrow pencil is a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer and there is a pretty wide shade range. Their clear brow gel is another absolute winner – who needs high end!?

img_0039Blush

You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to blush from the drugstore. Brands like Milani, Kiko, NYX, Bourjois… the list is endless! The pigment is really close to more expensive products but just at a fraction of the price!

Highlighter

This one is a little harder, but Sleek and MUA tend to do pretty good highlighters. These are brands that are pretty widely available in Superdrug here in the UK and are really cost effective.

img_0048Eyeshadow

Affordable eyeshadow can be a little hard to find. I don’t find that the traditional ‘drugstore’ brands (L’Oreal, Maybelline etc.) offer much in terms of good, pigmented eyeshadow. Brands that I have decent luck with are Makeup Geek (their singles are fab, but they’re about to relaunch the brand and half their stock is sold out everywhere), Colourpop and NYX. NYX is easily the most accessible of the 3 brands and offer a great assortment of colours at a really reasonable price point. The Colourpop shadows do have a lot of fall out in the pan, but I personally don’t find that to be the end of the world.

Mascara

When it comes to affordable mascara, I am team Maybelline all the way. I was a Maybelline girl since I started wearing makeup until I started wearing Benefit Roller Lash a few years back, but Maybellina hands down makes the best drugstore mascaras on the market. I never found L’Oreal to be as lengthening and voluminising in one, plus they were always that bit more pricey.

Eyeliner

Hands down Sleek. Their white eyeliner was a staple in my makeup kit for yeeeeears for my lower water line and it would. not. budge. They are lovely creamy formula and last for a really long time! I’m not sure they have a massive array of colours, but for the basics there is none better!

Lips

For lip liners, NYX are very good and offer a great shade range. When it comes to lipstick, there is only one winner for me – Maybelline! Their colour sensational range is SENSATIONAL – there is an amazing range of shades and finishes and they come at such an affordable price point that honestly there is no beating it. Two of my favourites are nude shades 725 Tantalising Taupe and 630 Velvet Beige (pictured above). If you’re a nude fan like me, you need these in your life!

You may notice that there are some steps that are missing – that is because I haven’t found products that I like enough to recommend. I find primers to be a bit hit and miss, bronzers in the drugstore are a mess and setting sprays aren’t that widely available and the ones that are miss the mark.

Let me know what your favourite drugstore products are!

Xo

* I hate the term ‘drugstore’ because we don’t call those brands that here in the UK, but we don’t have a word for it, so I’ll use the American term.

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Dose of Colours Friendcation Review

I got the Dose of Colours Friendcation palette a little while back after lusting after it for aaaages, and it’s safe to say I have some thoughts on it…

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The palette is a collaboration between Dose of Colours and best friend beauty influencers Desi Perkins and Katy. When I first heard this collaboration was coming out, I wasn’t instantly drawn to the collection and didn’t really have any aspirations to get the palette. I watched their videos on how to use it and the looks were nice, but I didn’t feel like it was something my collection was missing. Then I started to see it everywhere and saw it with new eyes. I NEEDED IT. I managed to get it in the Black Friday sale on Beauty Bay.

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Just looking at it, this palette is absolutely beautiful. I would say, that the image above must have been doctored because the shades don’t look quiet this perfect in person.

When I began playing with it, even though I think these were made for someone much more tanned than me, these do look really nice on my skin tone. The palest shade in the palette was way too dark for me to use as an all over base shade, but worked well as a first crease colour.

How do they perform?

The mattes in this palette are pretty nice and blend well into one another. The warm brown shades are so flattering and have become my go-to shades for daily use. The lightest shade is still too dark for me to use as an all over lid colour so it gets largely ignored. On a few instances they have looked a little patchy when applied, especially when applied in the crease as they tend to skip in certain places.Β  I’m not going to lie, the swatches look absolutely awful – they look so patchy but that’s what the look like! I was tempted to go over them again and build them up, but that isn’t indicative of how they really perform.

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The shimmers are a bit hit and miss too. They are quite chunky and a few times the shadow has balled up in the pan, which I expect more of cheaper shadows. When I first used the red and gold shimmers, I thought I was going going to have to remove all my eye makeup because they were really scratchy and my eyes were getting really irritated and watery. The glitter fell into my eyes and onto my cheeks, so if you’ve already done your base makeup and haven’t baked then this could be quite a problem. The gold shimmer is not very opaque and is more of a wash of colour with glitter. It’s actually the most beautiful see through gold that just gives your eye enough of a shimmer to look done, but not so much as to over cook it. Weirdly, I’ve used the gold glitter again since the burning/itching and it’s been absolutely fine? Really weird.

The khaki green is probably my favourite shimmer shade. It’s not the most wearable shade for everyday, but I was bowled over by how stunning it was when I wore it. The main reason I ended up buying this palette was for the bright blue and this is easily the most disappointing shade in the palette. Whether you apply it with a brush or your finger, it doesn’t translate onto the lid. I have seen tutorials where people have used glitter glue and that seems to work well, but ultimately I don’t see why I should have to take that step to make it work. I did test it out just to see and I do think they went on much more smoothly but I didn’t think they were that much more pigmented.

*Swatches on the left are without glitter primer, swatch on the right is with glitter primer*

User friendly?

Welllllll… It’s not the most user friendly palette in the world. The way Katy and Desi showed off the shimmer shades, you’re supposed to be able to layer them to create brand new shades. Realistically, I’m not too sure who is doing this. There is quite a lot of fall out from the shimmers and the colours don’t always come off the most pigmented so this would be really hit and miss. The warmer colours (basically all but the green and blues) make it far easier to create a cohesive look or something that you can wear on a regular basis. As pretty as the others are, they’re not going to be an everyday shade for most people.

While the colours in the palette are really pretty, I’ve actually found it quite difficult to use the shimmers on the right of the palette. It’s quite easy to use reds and golds because a lot of brown or reddish shadows go well with these colours. However, blues and greens are a little bit harder to wear on the average day. I tried to create a halo eye using the blue shimmer and it looked like a bruise. Since then I’ve not really wanted to even experiment with the colours. Maybe it’s because my makeup style is very neutral and I don’t have the creativity to come up with a cohesive look, but I don’t find those shades the most user friendly. It’s a real shame because I actually picked up this palette for those shades, because goodness only knows how many warm browns I already have.

I don’t think I would repurchase this again, simply because I’m not that impressed by the quality of the shadows. Ultimately this palette is quite a lot of work. It’s definitely not one of those palettes where you can just bang the shades on quickly and go if you’re doing anything more than natural makeup. You have to work with and finesse most shades, so it does put you off using them.

Have you tried this palette? Did you like it?

Xo

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4 small makeup touches that will make a big difference

I have picked up a few tips and tricks that I think make the world of difference to your makeup. None of them are groundbreaking, but just little touches that will really enhance any makeup look you’re going for – no matter how natural or glam.

Brow Gel

Brow gel is the ultimate tool to make your brows look realistic. Often when you have drawn your brows on with pencil or powder, they can look very flat and one dimensional as they’re all the same colour. To bring the dimension back into your brows, finish them with a brow gel. It’s up to you whether you’d like to choose a coloured one or just a clear one, but the difference will be massive! Not only will your brows now look much more natural and as though you’re seeing them in 3D rather than 2D, you can more precisely shape them as you’d like and they’ll be glued exactly where you want them all day.

Nude waterline

If you have fair-light skin, you may find that your water line can look a little red once you have all your base products on. In order to brighten that part of your eye and look more awake and generally more put together is to line your waterline with a nude eyeliner. You don’t want to use a white eyeliner because it will look far too stark and make your eyes look a little over exaggerated and anime-esque. It would be fine for more costume makeup or if you’d like to look like an anime character. A nude eyeliner should match your skin tone, or nearly at least and will brighten the eyes in a natural way. It is one of the smallest steps that makes the biggest difference in my makeup routine. Even when I’m wearing more natural makeup, I will do this trick.

Lower lash mascara

This one is down to personal preference because some people might not like the look of lower lash mascara on them. However, I find that it opens the eye and brings the whole eye look all together. Play around with different mascaras to find the best one for you. You may find that some will transfer onto your under eye area (which is SUPER frustrating) so be sure to play around with setting techniques too.

Colour correcting

This one may not be for everyone if you don’t need it, but colour correcting your redness or dark circles before you start can make a world of difference when applying your foundation. Especially if you have redness from acne, colour correcting with a green corrector will make it much easier to cover your spots. Often the redness can still poke through foundation. However, if you apply green, it will neutralise the redness and create a much easier base to cover. Likewise for dark circles, if you use a salmon/orange corrector, it will make the area much more one tone and will improve the coverage of your foundation when you apply it.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful! Do you have any small touches that make a massive difference to your makeup routine? Leave them below!

Xo

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Marc Jacobs Enamored Lip Gloss Sticks Review

What on earth is a lip gloss stick? Is it a lip gloss? Is it a lipstick? How do you get a gloss in a solid form? Well, these might be some of the most beautiful lip products I’ve ever tried…

I recently went into Marc Jacobs Beauty and saw the Enamored Lip Gloss Sticks. After initially confusing them for the lip gloss and nearly breaking the tube, I swatched them and literally had them on my mind for the rest of the night (my anniversary lol) before going back the following morning to pick two up. Here are my thoughts…

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When I first swatched these I was super confused: a) because I thought these were the lip glosses because the packaging is the same b) I didn’t understand how a lip gloss could be in a stick form. Regardless (because I am a makeup magpie), I ended up buying Mocha Choca-Lata and Uh-Huh Honey. Mocha Choca-Lata is more of a sheer pinkish nude andΒ is probably my perfect nude shade in lip gloss stick form. Uh-Huh Honey is more of a brownish nude and looks quite 90’s.

 

After using them, I can understand why they’re called a lip gloss stick because you get the sheen of a gloss but with more pigmentation and less stickiness. These are pretty comparable to sheer lipsticks or tinted lip balms. They’re very similar in formula to sheer lipsticks that I own but offer more hydration to the lips while keeping a good pigment.

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Top – Mocha Choca-Lata, Bottom – Uh-Huh Honey

Formula

The formula is really lovely – it’s easy to forget you have anything at all on your lips! It just feels like I have my favourite lip balm on. As someone who has to have my lips slathered in lip balm all the time, I really like this product. The coverage is fairly sheer, but you can definitely see the colour and build up the coverage with a few more swipes. I don’t think this would last too well while eating, but then what lipstick really does? That’s not a deal breaker for me. There is an ever so subtle peppermint smell, but if you aren’t sniffing the stick you won’t notice it, and there is certainly no tingling sensation like you might get from other products containing peppermint.

Packaging

As mentioned, I confused these for the lip glosses because the packaging is nearly identical, if not the exact same. I think that maybe the packaging could have been a little less, as the coloured part of the tube only serves as the lid and it’s massive. It is a bit of a waste of packaging to have such a large, pointless part of the component that could be made smaller and sleeker. It would also help to differentiate the two gloss products from one another. On the other hand, the packaging is extremely beautiful and screams luxury. They are probably some of the most beautifully packaged products I own.

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How to wear it

These are definitely best paired with a more natural look as the glosses look like a wash of colour over the lips if applier lightly. However, that being said I have worn these with a heavier makeup look and it still looked amazing. I even tried lining my lips first and applying these over and had compliments about the colour. It is a very versatile product – much more than I had originally thought!

I know that I will get a lot more wear out of Mocha Choca-Lata because it is my go-to colour in any lip product, so I’d have to push myself a little to wear Uh-Huh Honey. I will definitely be continuing to use these lip products. These cost Β£22 each, which is certainly on the higher end of lip products, but you don’t need to use a lot for glossy pigment! They really are an all round success!

Have you tried these? What are your thoughts on a ‘lip gloss stick’?

Xo

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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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Spring time makeup look

I’ve been feeling really inspired by the blossom that’s in bloom everywhere at the moment, and so created this look. It features a pink/coral halo eye with yellow winged liner, rosy pink cheeks and a pinkish coral lip. Scroll down to see how I got this look:

Eyeshadow:
I set the concealer on my lid with a skin tone shadow. I started by applying Chickadee by Makeup Geek to my outer corner and crease before blending it in. I then took this into the inner eyelid, making sure to leave the middle of the lid blank. I then applied Tuscan Sun in the same areas to add a little extra depth and add warmth.

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Then taking the NYX Ultimate brights I took the coral-pink shade in the second row with a smaller tapered brush and applied the most pigment to the outer corner and started to blend out and into the crease.

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In the area that I left blank, I took some concealer on a flat brush and went over the area and carved out upper part of the lid. Then, I applied Shimma Shimma by Makeup Geek (which is a beige/gold colour) to add some shimmer! To blend the into the rest of the matte shades, I used the NYX Jumbo Pencil in Strawberry Milk.

Liner:
For the winged liner, I took the NYX vivid brights liquid eyeliner in yellow and applied a few coats to really build up the colour. To still give the lash line some definition, I applied a black liquid liner close to the lash line. Then I coated my lashes with the Maybelline Temptation mascara.

Lower lash line:
For the lower lash line, I put Chickadee on the inner lash line to the middle of the lash line. I then took Tuscan Sun for the outer crease and blended the two shades together in the middle of the lash line. Then I put the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara on my lower lashes.

Cheeks:
I skipped bronzer on my cheeks but applied it around my forehead and on the sides of my face. I went into a Revolution blush palette in Blush GoddessΒ and picked up two shades – a brownish/pink and a bright pink (middle two shadesΒ on the bottom row)Β – and applied the colour most heavily on the apples of the cheeks before sweeping it back.

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Lips:
I applied the NYX lip pencil in Peekaboo Neutral before applying a light layer of Creme Cup by MAC. With my finger, I applied some of the brownish/pink blush colour to warm up the colour of the lips a little more.

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I felt very out of my comfort zone doing this look, but I think it actually turned out really well!Β What do you think of this look? Let me know what you think on here or on my Instagram!

Xo

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My go-to make-up

My go-to make-up style is full coverage, with glowy, bronzy skin and a fairly natural eye. Even though this is a pretty natural look, it takes a lot of work! Here’s how I get my go-to look:

PRIME:
I apply Mac Prep and Prime Skin Base Visage and Make Up Forever Step 1 Primer in Hydrate, leaving it to sink in before applying foundation.

FOUNDATION:
My favourite is Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in shade 02 Fair. It gives the skin an amazing glow, and has lovely buildable coverage without looking orange and cakey. I take one pump which usually gives pretty decent coverage, but I often take another half pump to cover the redness on my cheeks that peeks through. I use a thick bristled brush (Morphe 439) to buff this into the skin. Using a brush will give more coverage than a beauty sponge.

CONCEALER:
I take the Collection Lasting Perfecton concealer in 1 Fair. I apply it in a triangle shape under the eyes, in three lines on my forehead (from between the eyebrows going upwords), on my nose to correct redness, a little to my cheeks and on my chin. Then I take either the new lighter shade of the Collection concealer (0 Very Fair) or the Naked Skin Concealer in Fair Neutral and put a little under the eye, on the forehead, down the nose and on the chin to give my face a little more dimension. I use a Beauty blender to blend this in with the foundation and make sure that the foundation has no streaks and sits nicely on the skin.

POWDER:
Using a stippling brush, I apply Nars Soft Velvet Loose Powder so my skin feels a bit more matte and less sticky, making sure to pay particular attention to powder my eyebrows so the brow pencil sits better.

BROWS:
I usually do my brows after I’ve powdered and before blush and bronzer. I use the NYX Microbrow Pencil in Ash Brown. I start by outlining the shape of my brow on the underside. Then I outline the top side, and start to make hair like strokes from the front towards the back of the brow. I use a brow powder to go over the entire brow to match it to my hair colour and to make the brow look sharper. I think finish things off with the NYX Clear Brow Gel, combing the hairs at the front of the brow up, and the hair at the end down to keep the perfect shape.

EYESHADOW:
I always like to set my eye with a skin colour shade before I start, my favourite is Vanilla Bean from Make Up Geek. I then like to take Beaches and CreamΒ and put some warmth into my crease. Using a more tapered blending brush, I start to add dimension into the outer corner and crease by taking Malt and Quarry by MAC. If I want to add any more drama, then I apply more Quarry, but I like to keep my eye looking quite neutral and natural. I then take Shimma Shimma by Make Up Geek to add a pop of shimmer to my inner eyelid.

MASCARA:
My favourite mascara is Benefit Roller Lash. It is great for curling the lashes up, and making them nice and thick. Even if I don’t curl my lashes, my lashes still stay nice and curled up.

LOWER LASH LINE:
To make my eye look bigger and more defined, I like to use a cool toned darkish brown on my lower lash liner. I then use the Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N’ Kohl in Eye Cheat, which is a creamy/nude shade to brighten the waterline and to look more awake. I then use Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara to coat my lower lashes. I find that this makes my lashes look really good, but also doesn’t leave that suuuuper annoying black mark underneath your eyes when your mascara touches the area under your eye.

BLUSH:
For blush, I love the Fenty Beauty Match Stix in Trippin’. To make the Fenty Beauty blush work, I don’t apply it straight to the skin as it removes the base. I warm the product up with my fingers first and then tap it into the skin, starting on the apple of the cheek for the most colour pay off, and move it backwards towards the top of the ear.

BRONZER:
To bronze, I have always used the Make Up Geek Contour in Love Triangle. Even though it is technically a bronzer, it is warm enough to be the perfect bronzer for my fair skin! Make Up Geek products are super reasonably priced and the ‘contour’ shades take into account warm and cool skintones, so it’s to find the perfect shade for you.

HIGHLIGHT:
As my highlight, I like The Balm’s Mary Lou-manizer. It’s a gorgeous gold colour that is not too dark on pale skin.

LIPS:
I aaaaadore a pinkish-nude lip. My go-to combination is Mac Lip Liner in Whirl and Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Ex-Girlfriend. To make it a little more glossy, I love the Jouer Lip Topper in Frost.

TO SET:
To finish everything off, I spray my face with Mac Fix + and fan my face dry. I do this once I’ve finished all of my make up, rather than just my skin.

And there we have it! My everyday make up look that still consists of a ridiculous amount of products (:

What is your go-to make up look? Leave a comment on here or on my instagram!

Xo

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Products I always repurchase

There are certain products that I absolutely cannot be without and repurchase as
soon as they start to run low.

These are the products that I always repurchase:

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer – Β£4.19

This concealer is super cheap and gives such full coverage! The shadeΒ Fair (01) usually matches my foundation colour and gives me any extra coverage I need. I’ve heard that some people have found this drying, but for me this is dry skin approved! It never picks up on dry patches and leaves my skin feeling moisturised and even. They’re recently launched a new shade Extra Fair (0) which is a great shade for me to highlight with. If you’re super fair too, this will be a great shade for you. This concealer doesn’t dry down too quickly, so gives you a good amount of play time. Since buying this, I haven’t even bothered trying any others – whether affordable or high-end.

I think this picture below speaks for itself!

img_9155.jpgMaybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in 725 Tantalizing Taupe – Β£6.99

Tantalizing Taupe is my go-to nude lipstick shade. These lipsticks are just perfect. They’re really affordable, offer a massive shade range and feel great on the lips. Tantalizing Taupe is a great nude for pale skin. Without a lip liner, I think it would even be too pale for me. But with one, it’s stuuuuuuuunning. I also mix it a lot with other shades to create hybrid shades. I keep accidentally losing them, so I buy more, then find them all, so I’m pretty well stocked up on this!

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara – Β£19.50

I saw a lot of beauty influencers talking about this on Youtube aboutΒ 2 years ago and decided I had to try it out.Β Despite the hefty price tag, this mascara gives me the length and the thickness that I want and is totally worth the splurge in my opinion. You don’t even need to curl your lashes for it to give them a good curl! As soon as I feel the formula getting a little bit dry, I buy a replacementΒ straight away!

MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick – Β£17.50

I have never actually come to the end of this lipstick before, but I do seem to lose them a lot. I often take this on a night out with me (mistake lol) and lose it. But it’s one of my favourite lipsticks I own and just have to replace it. It is quite a brown-nude, so I usually combine it with a more pinkish-nude to create a hybrid. Despite it being a matte lipstick, it is comfortable on the lips and still has a slight sheen to it. It is nice and pigmented with just one swipe.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara – Β£15

For a long time, my lower lash mascara would transfer onto my under eye, ruining my make up. I did some research into the best bottom lash mascaras and found this gem! I have not had this problem since! It’s a shame how little product you get with this product, but I don’t dare try another mascara for fear the same problem will happen again. My lashes are never clumpy or spider looking so I’m happy!

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Ash Brown – Β£8

This shade matches my hair colour perfectly. I really like how thin this pencil is and it allows me to get a nice sharp line, but also lets me do create realistic brow hairs. I’ve tried more expensive brow pencils that haven’t performed as well, so why would I stray from one I love!?

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MAC Prep and Prime Skin Base Visage – Β£22.50

This was the first primer I ever bought, and was actually in the first high end beauty purchase that I ever made. It’s super soft on my skin and makes it feel really moisturised and smooth before I apply my foundation. One bottle of this lasts a really long time, so I don’t mind paying this much when I’m so pleased with the results. Also, if you purchase from MAC online, they quite often send a sample size of this with your order.

What are your products you always repurchase? Leave a comment here or on my insta! If you try any of these, let me know what you think!

Xo

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Tested: The Ordinary Coverage foundation

The Ordinary is HUGE right now!

Their amazingly skincare line is suuuuuperΒ affordable and gives you the results of a product 5 times the price. At Β£5.90, this is the cheapest foundation I’ve ever bought, so I thought I would test it out.

The ordinary foundation

If you are someone who is conscious about the brands you use, The Ordinary does not test on animals and this foundation is vegan.Β  It’s also worth mentioning that this product is also free of soy, gluten, oil, alcohol and nut free. SPF 15 is included. I’m not sure whether all of their products is free from all of these, but you can check on their website.

When I saw they had come out with two foundations (the Coverage and Serum foundations) I was a little sceptical, despite being a brand super fan. I’m not used to finding my shade in more affordable foundations and thought the shades wouldn’t be pale enough more my skin. There is a fairly wide shade and tone range for a foundation that is new to the market. According to their website, there are 3 numbered shade categories: 1 for fair to light tones, 2 for medium tones and 3 for darker tones. The second digit from 0-3 indicates the depth within each category. Then the letter indicates the undertone: P (Pink), R (Red), N (Neutral) and Y (Yellow).

img_9116It looks quite a bit darker than my skin tone here, and also pulls much warmer.

I bought the lightest shade there isΒ – 1.0 N (for very fair skin according to their website) it’s a pretty good match for my skin when blended in. In the picture above, it looks slightly darker/more orangeΒ than my ideal shade, but it’s certainly workable when used with lighter concealers. It does howeverΒ pull much warmer than I would expect from a ‘neutral’ shade, but for me that’s no issue as I like more yellow foundations to balance out the redness in my skin. I wouldn’t necessarilyΒ say this foundation is for those with ‘very fair skin’. I am certainly not paper white and this is darker than my ideal shade, so there is room to expand the shade range to fit paler people.

Despite it being the more full coverage of the two foundations (the other being the Serum foundation which is a light coverage), it’s not what I would call ‘full coverage’ at all. It’s more of a medium/buildable coverage that gives you a ‘your skin but better‘ kind of look. To get the most coverage out of it, blending in with a brush was better than with a sponge. A sponge gave a more natural coverage, which was more similar to the Serum foundation. I set this with powder and went on my merry way.

Certain products I would usually use didn’t work with this foundation. I love to use the Fenty Beauty Match Stix in Trippin’ for blush, but this just took the foundation straight off my cheek, even though I don’t apply the stick straight to the skin. I warm up the product first, and then apply it with my fingers, starting at the apple and moving it backwards towards the ear. So keep it to powder products when using this.

This foundation is definitely dry skin friendly. I have been struggling with a few dry patches around my mouth, which it didn’t highlight, and it didn’t look super dry when powder was applied.


Β Β Β Β Β  In a rush to leave the house but skin is looking good xo

If you’re going to have a fairly lazy day, then this foundation will stay pretty well. However, if you plan on being a bit more active, it will break down. I’ve tested this for aboutΒ two weeks, and it will be one of the foundations I wear regularly. However,Β I’m really not sure how great this is for long wear. I’ve worn this to work (at least 12 hours of wear)Β and the break up around my mouth is pretty bad. I walk to and from the station and get a really hot tube to work and it does break down when you get a little bit sweaty. I was basically wearing no foundation between my nose and mouth by 10am. I’m not really someone who brings their make upΒ bag wherever they go, but I do touch up my face with a concealer pen throughout the day if it’s looking a bitΒ sad. IΒ had to touch it up every time I wear it or else I look likeΒ I have a little red moustache.Β It is important to emphasise that it was only between my nose and mouth where I noticed breakdown. My cheeks and forehead stayed perfect throughout the day, which is a major plus. Also, I’ve tested my commute out on my more expensive foundations too and my Nars Sheer Glow and Charlotte Tilbury Magic foundation haven’t survived it either. So really, the fact that it breaks down is totally normal.

I’m not going to stop wearing this foundation because of the break down. It’s a great price and gives a lovely dewy finish.Β For the price that it’s at, you really can’t go wrong.Β I’d much rather wear a cheaper foundation for my day-to-day make up and save my nicer, more expensive foundations for best or when I’m not sweating it out on the tube. If they have your shade, I’d definitely give this a go. For Β£5.90, why wouldn’t you!? Good luck finding it though, it’s sold out eeeverywhere. If you can, get yourself to a Deceim store (I got mine from the Spitalfields store in London) and you can get colour matched there. If you’re feeling brave enough to guess your shade, check out ASOS, Cult Beauty, Beauty Bay or go straight to theordinary.com.

Have you tried this foundation? Let me know your thoughts!

Xo

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When to save and when to splurge

As nice as high end products are, who has the money to use exclusively high end in their make up routine!? Affordable and high end products are going head-to-head to see when you should save and when you should splurge.

COMPLEXION

Primer: HIGH END

A good base for your make up is one of the most important steps. Depending on your skin type, your primer could hydrate, mattify, blur pores etc. By doing these things, a good primer should also make your make up last longerΒ than it would without it.

I can’t say that I have noticed many drugstore primers, and the ones I have tried (NYX Angel Veil and L’Oreal Lumi Magique) left my skin looking dry and broke my make-up up. Maybe that’s because the drugstore options cater more towards oily skin types, which obviously doesn’t suit my dry skin. If you do have oily skin, try them out!

My go-to primers that I use every time I wear make-up (whether minimal or for a night-out) are MAC’s Prep + Prime Skin Base Visage and Make Up Forever’s Step 1 Primer in number 3 Hydrate.

I would always go high end for primer, mainly to cater for my dry skin. The Make Up Forever Step One range of primers is especially good as it has a primer for any skincare concern you might have!

Foundation: HIGH END

For day-to-day make-up,Β  I prefer to use a cheaper foundation that I’m not so worried if it runs out quickly. However, I do find it difficult to find an affordable foundation in a shade that matches my pale skin. My favourite one is Boujois Healthy Mix, which I have in the palest colour 51 Light Vanilla, but even that isn’t quite light enough for me and leaves me with white neck syndrome. Alternatively, The Ordinary have recently come out with two foundations – the Coverage and Serum foundations – which are super cheap at Β£5.90. Their shade range isn’t bad to start with, and I’m sure they’ll expand it further. However, the more affordable foundations just don’t have the same staying power and break up on me throughout the day. If I really want to look good, or really want my make up to stay all day,Β IΒ use Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation. It gives beautiful, buildable coverage, and creates a lovely glow from within. It is one of the only foundations I have that has survived my commute so far! I am definitely willing to pay more for foundations that match me well and I know will stay well, while making me look like a glowing goddess.

Concealer: AFFORDABLE

This is definitely a win for team affordable! There are so many great concealers in the drugstore that do the job of a high-end concealer just as well. The Maybelline’s Eraser Eye concealer is full coverage and moisturising and is super affordable. My favourite concealer is the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer which is only Β£4.19 and comes in a shade pale enough for me! Also, recently a ‘super fair’ shade has been launched which is the perfect highlight shade for under the eyes and the middle of the face. It is the same colour as the fair neutral shade by Urban Decay and like a quarter of the price!

Powder: HIGH END

I’ve tried quite a few affordable powders and they just do not work on my dry skin. I often feel like powders are more geared towards oily skin types, but I want to set my foundation too! I’m not about walking around with a wet face! This one is dependent on your skin type, but I’ve found that affordable options make my face look as though it’s going to crack after a few hours. The Nars Soft Velvet Loose powder is great for setting the face, without looking cakey or changing the colour of your face. Using a coloured powder, rather than a ‘translucent’ one doesn’t leave you looking like a corpse (:

Blush: AFFORDABLE

There is not a single high-end colour that you can’t find an affordable version of. The Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso is as good as everyone says it is and it’s easy to find on amazon (we don’t have Milani in shops in the UK). Some of the Revolution blushes are also great and they’re sooo cheap!

Bronzer: AFFORDABLE

For bronzer, I just can’t justify spending so much money on this when I know that I can find good affordable options. The first bronzer I ever bought was from Bare Minerals and it was soooo orange in tone rather than brown, it looked absolutely ridiculous on my pale skin. I think since then I’ve been a bit worried about the same thing happening again. Also, many high end bronzer pans are enormous(!) and you pay for a lot of product. If you’re really on a budget, MUA in Superdrug has some great bronzers that are pale girl friendly, but my favourite is a Makeup Geek contour shade called Love Triangle. It’s warm toned, super affordable, lasts a long time and is the perfect shade for anyone with fair skin. What more could you want?

EYES

Eyeliner: AFFORDABLE

I only have one high end eyeliner, because I just can’t justify spending Β£18 on a stick! I’m a real fan of the Sleek eyeliners – I’m pretty sure they only have black and white, but when applied into the waterline they don’t go anywhere all day! If you’re a fan of brighter colours, maybe you’ll have to turn to the high end, but be sure to check the more affordable options first. There are some really good options in Boots or Superdrug that give really good pigment.

Likewise with liquid eyeliner, I can’t justify the hefty price tag, plus I suck at liquid liner. Maybe if you can actually do a winged liner and do it every day, you could find justification in paying more, but I’m happy with my Rimmel and NYX eyeliners for the foreseeable future!

Eyeshadow: AFFORDABLE

I have a few high end palettes and have some cheaper shadows, and while the high end shadows are very good, there are cheaper alternatives that give the exact same pigment. Most of my eyeshadow kit is Makeup Geek because Marlena (the owner)Β just understands how to make amazing eyeshadows with great pigment. If you haven’t tried any of the Makeup Geek shadows, I’d highly recommend Beaches and Cream, Shimma Shimma and Vanilla BeanΒ just to get you started.

Mascara: DRAW

This one comes down to personal preference. There are great affordable mascaras, particularly Maybelline ones (I’ve never been a fan of L’Oreal mascaras). Recently I’ve been trying out the Maybelline Temptation Mascara and been really pleased with the results. It makes a great every day mascara. However, my true love will always be the Benefit Roller Lash. I get so much lift and volume with this that no other mascara compares. But this one is entirely up to you and your budget.

Brows: AFFORDABLE

I tried the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer when it first came out because I’d heard her products were cult faves and gave you perfect brows. I found it really disappointing. All the different angles on the brow pencil end made it very difficult to use and get the shape I wanted.

Instead, I love using the NYX Micro Brow Pencil, the one that is like a drugstore version of the Brow Wiz. The applicator is pretty small and thin so I can get natural brow hairs and get a nice thin line. They have a really good range of colours and even with very pale eyebrows, I don’t even use the lightest colour!

LIPS

Lipstick: AFFORDABLE

I think the drugstore might win this one. My faaaaaavourite lipstick is a Maybelline Colour Sensational lipstick in 725 Tantalizing Taupe. I have gotten through so many of these and seem to have about 3 at once in different bags. This is mainly because I misplace them, panic, and buy a new one rather than because I’m that extra πŸ™‚Β  Maybelline also have so many colours and tones that I’m sure you can find any colour you could want right there.

Lip liner: HIGH END

However, for lip liner, the higher end comes out as the winner. Mac Whirl Lip Liner is just brill. Some people find these a little dry, but I’ve always found that these go on well, and it compliments the colour lips I usually go for (nude). However, if you are looking for something a little cheaper, the NYX lip liners are pretty creamy and come in a nice array of colours.

Lip gloss: AFFORDABLE

THEREπŸ‘πŸΌISπŸ‘πŸΌNOTπŸ‘πŸΌAπŸ‘πŸΌSINGLEπŸ‘πŸΌHIGHπŸ‘πŸΌENDπŸ‘πŸΌCOLOURπŸ‘πŸΌYOUπŸ‘πŸΌCAN’TπŸ‘πŸΌGETπŸ‘πŸΌFORπŸ‘πŸΌLESS! (CAUSE WHO HAS THE MONEY HONEY)

If you want some great lip glosses, go to NYX. Swatch around in Boots/Superdrug. If you want a clear gloss, go to Natural Collection. You do not need to spend Β£15 on MAC’s clear lip gloss that is half the size when you can get it for a couple of quid. In terms of lip toppers, I love Jouer’s ones. They are GORGEOUS. I’m not really sure how these fall as they’re not super high end, or affordable. These are starting to emerge in more affordable forms now, and I’m super excited to try them out.

The overall score is: Affordable 9 – High end 5

I am actually a little surprised that the affordable products did as well as they did, but it just shows that as good as high end is, or perceived to be, if you look in the right places then you can really save your money! (to buy more high end lol)

High end is definitely better for the complexion products, especially as they usually cater for a wider range of skin types, skin colours andΒ undertones. Foundations are so hard to find for anyone lighter than ‘nude’ and darker than ‘tan’, but looking to certain high end brands makes this much easier.

At the end of the day, as long as you love the make up you are putting on, that is all that matters.

Xo

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