Monday, 29 April 2013

Collection Shimmer Shades: Blushalicious

I have been really getting into blushes lately - I never used to get that excited over them, but recently I find myself drawn to them when shopping. I picked up this set from Collection about 4 or 5 months ago now, and haven't got rounf to writing a review on it, but since I find myself reaching for this most days, I thought I'd share my opinions on it.
This is a compact containing four shimmering blush shades, which can either be used individually, or you can swirl your brush around and use them all together, which creates a gorgeous coraly-pink colour.
All four colours make gorgeous blush colours, which will suit most skin tones, and the colour in the bottom left can also be used as a pinky highlighter to accentuate brow bones and cheekbones. My personal favourites are the two on the top row, as I find pink blush suits me more than coral ones do.
These are really good quality blushes too - they apply easily, don't look chalky, and will last on your skin all day, even if your skin is oily like mine. I love how versatile it is, as you are essentially getting five blush colours in one.
I was concerned at first that the shimmery colours would be difficult to wear, as I'm not really one for shimmery products, but in all honesty they're not too shimmery at all - there's just enough shimmer to create a healthy-looking glow to your face.
The packaging of this isn't the best, but for £4.19 you can't go wrong. There's also quite a large amount of product in there too (12g), so it's bound to last you a good while!
I absolutely adore this little compact. It's extremely versatile, contains gorgeous, good quality blushes, and is also extremely cheap. I would 100% recommend this to anyone.
This is £4.19 from Boots and Superdrug.
There is also a bronzing "shimmer shades" compact, which I reviewed here!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Max Factor Facefinity 3-in-1 Foundation

As much as I love Revlon's ColourStay foundation, I was on the lookout for something which was lighter, whilst still keeping my oily skin at bay throughout the day. I searched online and asked for people's opinions, and I found a lot of information about this offering from Max Factor:
"For women who want their foundation to easily deliver a long-lasting professional finish. The intelligent formula has three elements; Primer to hold, Concealer to correct, Foundation to finish."
This is marketed as a 3-in-1 foundation which essentially claims to be a primer, concealer and a foundation all in one. I have to say, I do tend to still use a primer and a concealer as well as this, although that is because my skin can get quite oily and blemish-prone, so if you have normal skin and a few small imperfections, you could easily get away with just wearing the foundation.
The consistency of this is quite runny, however this doesn't make it diffcult to work with. It is almost effortless to apply as it blends really easily into the skin. At first it gives quite a dewy finish, which I know some people like, however with my skin being quite oily I tend to favour a more matte finish, so I usually apply a setting powder over the top.
This lasts all day on my skin with no trouble. Granted, I use a primer and a powder with it, but I have been out just wearing the foundation, and it lasted me a good 7/8 hours on it's own, something which impressed me as not many foundations last that long on my skin.
The packaging of this is also lovely - it's a sturdy glass bottle with a pump (the only thing I disliked about the colourstay was that it didn't have a pump so this is an added bonus for me!). The pump feels well-made and dispenses just the right amount of product, resulting in minimal waste. I find it takes around 1 1/2 pumps for my whole face, so this bottle should last me quite a while!
The only slightly disappointing thing about this is the limited shade range. I have shade 40 Light Ivory, which I think is the lightest shade, and even this is not that light. There are only six shades in the range, and they don't run very dark at all, so if you're dark skinned you're really going to struggle with this one. Another thing is that everytime I go into Boots, there always seems to be only 3 shades in the stand, and there are usually only 1 or 2 bottles left on the shelf, so availability may be a slight issue.
I would 100% recommend this. I may even prefer it to Revlon ColourStay, which I still absolutely love, but this one is more suited to hotter weather as it delivers a medium coverage rather than a high one, although if you are having a bad skin day it can be built to a pretty full coverage.
This is £11.99 and available from Boots and Superdrug.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Real Techniques

In the past, I never really saw the need to apply foundation with a brush. I used to use my fingers and thought it looked fine, so for years I stuck to my tried and tested routine. However, since seeing rave reviews about different brushes, especially these Real Techniques ones, I began to change the way I applied foundation, and now I don't think I could go back to using my fingers to apply it. These are my thoughts on just a small selection of the Real Techniques range.
Real Techniques brushes were created by Samantha Chapman from Pixiwoo and are made with Taklon bristles, which are synthetic meaning that they are 100% cruelty-free.
L-R; contour brush, buffing brush, expert face brush, stippling brush
The Contour Brush
The contour brush's main purpose is to "delicately apply highlighter to contour or create sheer, soft-focus finish". I tend to use this for powder highlighters, or for bronzer when contouring, although I have been known to use this to apply blush on a few occasions as well! The brushes are so multi-purpose, which is one of the main things I love about them. This particular one is on the small side, with a tapered top for precise application. The bristles are quite dense on this one, meaning it gives a highly pigmented finish. I have experienced no shedding at all with this one, and it also washes really well with a mild shampoo or a brush cleaner, and it dries super fast as well!
This is available as part of the Core Collection - £21.99
The Buffing Brush
The buffing brush is probably the most hyped Real Techniques brush. It is only available as part of the Core Collection, so cannot be bought individually. It's purpose accoriding to Real Techniques is "ideal for full coverage application of powder and mineral foundation". However, I know a lot of people actually use this for the application of liquid foundation, and it works incredibly well for that too. The bristles aren't too dense, and they don't soak up a lot of the product so there is less wastage. When I first got this I did use it to apply my liquid foundation, but have since been using this for setting powder, and it works beautifully for both purposes. This is another one which is extremely multi-purpose, and although it's only available as part of a collection, I do think the collection is worth picking up for this one alone.
This is available as part of the Core Collection - £21.99
The Expert Face Brush
This is a recent addition to my collection, but so far I have been absolutely loving it. The actual purpose of this is to apply liquid or cream foundation, and it does it's job amazingly well. The bristles of this one are really dense, so the brush keeps it's shape and is firm enough to make application of liquid foundation easy. Again, this doesn't absorb much product so there is minimal waste. This leaves my foundation looking flawless, and really works it into my skin so it doesn't transfer off my face throughout the day. This has replaced the buffing brush as my everyday foundation brush, and I think it's well worth a purchase.
This is available from Boots priced at £9.99
The Stippling Brush
The stippling brush is another one which seems to be a favourite of many people, so I picked it up after seeing so many positive reviews on it. I originally bought it to use with foundation, but I found that it just didn't work for me in that way. I found it didn't blend my foundation properly and left me looking rather patchy. However, this brush is amazing for blending cream blushes. It buffs them into the skin easily and really does leave the application looking flawless. I would say this probably isn't the best one to buy for use with foundation, but for cream blushes or bronzers, it does the job really well.
This is available from Boots for £11.99
Overall, I absolutely love the Real Techniques brushes. I also own the pointed foundation brush and the detailer brush from the Core Collection, but I don't tend to reach for those two as much. I think these brushes are really good value for money, as they're really high quality and wash well, meaning they are likely to stay in good condition for a good while. I would recommend these brushes to anyone looking for an affordable way to build their make up brush collection.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Boots Botanics Mattifying Cleansing Mousse

My skin always used to be dry/normal - I had a relatively normal skin type with some dry patches around my nose and on my forehead. However, recently I've noticed that my skin seems to be getting oilier and oilier, to the point where my foundation would only stay on my face for a couple of hours before sliding off due to the excess oil! Because of my seeminly changing skin type, I thought it'd be best to adapt my skincar routine and make-up to suit my new found oily skin (yay! not).
I actually picked this up on a complete whim - the Botanics range from Boots is not something I often hear about, or see written about on blogs. However, something about this caught my eye - presumably the fact that it promised to "cleanse, clarify and reduce excess oil".
This is a cleansing mousse which claims to "dissolve excess oil and thoroughly cleanse to instantly mattify, refresh and rebalance". You put a couple of pumps of mousse into your hand, and then rub into dry skin in a circular motion, before washing off with warm water.
I must admit, I had my doubts as to whether a mousse consistency would be any good at removing make up and cleansing the skin, but I was pleasantly surprised. This actually removes make up really easily - you don't have to rub too hard or cleanse multiple times. The only thing I will say is that this isn't suitable for removing eye make up as it stings your eyes really, really badly! I tend to use a specific eye make up remover for that.
In terms of combatting oiliness, I really do feel that this does a great job. After using this, my skin feels smooth and clean, and looks completely mattified! I have also noticed a difference in how long my foundation stays in place after using this, as it has reduced the oiliness of my skin dramatically.
This also smells really nice too - it's somewhat floral-y which I know isn't everyone's bag but personally it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I am also someone who usually breaks out with scented products, but I haven't experienced any signs of a breakout since using this so fingers crossed it stays that way!
I'd really recommend this to anyone looking for a cleanser for oily skin. It has definitely improved the oiliness of my skin and it works really well as a cleanser too!
This is usually £3.99 for 150ml, but is currently on offer at £2.69 from Boots. 

Monday, 8 April 2013


Despite the fact my posting has been all over the place just lately, it hasn't escaped my notice that it was exactly one year ago today that I posted my very first post!
(image from weheartit) - edited
Never in a million years did I think I'd still be posting on here a year later - I tend to start things and then never finish them so I'm quite impressed with myself!
I love receiving all of your lovely comments, and I appreciate the fact some of you still read my little blog even when I don't post for weeks on end like I have been doing recently.
I guess the purpose of this post is just to say thank you to all of my lovely followers, I really do appreciate that you read all my little ramblings and even take the time to comment on them!
Here's to the next year!
P.s. If you would like to read my first post, you can do so here! (Cringe!)


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

L'Oreal True Match Foundation Review

I have been using revlon's colourstay foundation for a while, and decided that I fancied a change. The revlon foundation is quite a heavy coverage, so I wanted something a little lighter now that the nights are getting lighter and summer might finally be on it's way (I know it's still practically snowing, but here's hoping!).
I was browsing in Boots a few weeks ago, deciding which foundation I wanted to try, when this one caught my eye. I have to say, I was drawn to it mainly because the shade range is really quite broad for a drugstore foundation! There's roughly 20-22 shades, which is almost three times what some drugstore brands have available! From what I remember, the shades went from really light, to really dark so hopefully, everyone should be able to find a match for them! They have also categorised the shades into three - warm, cool and neutral shades. This is again something you don't often get with cheaper brands.
The packaging of this is lovely. It's a glass bottle, which feels really sturdy so I'd definitely feel safe chucking it in my make-up bag. The chrome pump gets grubby really, really easily, but I love the fact it actually has a pump, as the revlon one I'd been using doesn't!
I have the shade N1 Ivory, which is I think the lightest neutral toned one they have. I am quite pale, and I found this was a really good match for my skin tone.
The consistency is really nice too - it's not too thick so it glides onto your skin easily. I tend to apply my foundation with the real techniques stippling brush, but I also tried to apply this with my fingers and it applied just as easily.
I would say this was a medium coverage foundation. It does cover most imperfections, but if you suffer with redness (like I do) then you'll need to just touch the problem areas up with some concealer.
The one negative I have about this product is the staying power. The revlon colourstay is literally the longest-lasting foundation I've ever used, so this had a lot to live up to. Unfortunately, this lasted toughly 5/6 hours (with primer and setting powder), until I felt I needed to touch up.
I should point out here that my skin can get quite oily, so if you had normal/dry skin then this probably wouldn't be so much of an issue. However, on me, it looked as though it had melted off my face in only 5 hours. I prefer not to touch up my make-up throughout the day if I can help it, so this really put me off the product unfortunately!
I so wanted to love this, and if it had stayed on longer, I'd be singing it's praises. It's genuinely a good foundation, but definitely not suitable for oily skin. If you have normal or dry skin, then this could work for you as it doesn't cling to dry patches etc, but if you have oily skin like me, I'd say choose a foundation which is more suited to your skin type!
This is £10.29 and available from Boots and Superdrug.


Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Benefit High Beam vs. Technic High Lights

I am a big fan of Benefit High Beam. I think it's a really, really nice product, the only thing that puts me off is the rather hefty price tag! I'm sure many of you will have seen this particular "dupe" mentioned before, but I recently purchased it as I was running out of High Beam and didn't want to spend almost £20 on a full-sized bottle, so I thought I'd just give you all my opinion on it!
L-R; benefit, technic
L-R; benefit, technic
L-R; benefit, technic
In terms of packaging, these two look almost identical. I know I only have a mini high beam, but the technic packaging is a complete rip-off of benefit's design! Even the fonts they've used at the same!
The brushes are a different story. The packaging might look identical, but the brushes definitely aren't! The benefit brush is really high quality - no stray bristles etc, whereas the technic brush just feels really flimsy, and as you can probably see, there are a few stray bristles. The benefit offering is really lovely and easy to apply due to the quality of the brush, however the technic one tends to be rather difficult to apply to the cheekbones, due to the fact the brush tend to bend in the complete opposite direction as soon as it touches your face!
When you first swatch these, there are some similarties in colour, but overall they are quite different. High beam is slightly more pink-toned than technic, which leans to an almost white/champagne colour. Once blended, you can still see a colour difference, but it's not too noticeable.
High beam tends to last all day on my cheeks, and I have found that the technic product does also last quite a while, although maybe not quite as long as the benefit one.
Overall, I don't think these are exact dupes, but they're pretty similar. Despite the frankly awful brush, I do think the technic product is worth picking up. You can get technic from a shop called "Bodycare" I believe, although I'm not too sure how widely available this shop is. I actually got mine from amazon, where I believe it's slightly more expensive, but still only around the £3/4 mark. I got mine from this seller.
I believe technic also do dupes for some other benefit products - I know they have a benetint dupe and a that girl primer dupe which may be worth checking out too!