Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Five to try: budget beauty favourites

Five to try: budget beauty favourites, budget beauty

As much as I love to buy luxury beauty there's nothing more satisfying when you find affordable beauty that works wonders and are just generally good value for money. Whilst budget beauty can sometimes be hit and miss there are some real gems, and I wanted to share with you five of my budget beauty favourites. 

When it comes to foundation I tend to opt for high end brands, however I've really fallen in love with the L'Oreal Nude Magique Cushion Foundation - rivalling many of my favourite high end bases. I had been intrigued by cushion foundations for some time, so naturally when this came up on SoPost I had no choice but to give it a go. The concept I will admit is a little strange, using the foam pad you press this gently against the foam cushion to release product onto the applicator, then buff the foundation into the skin. Despite any doubts this applies so easily onto the skin, and creates a flawless base that is streak free. The foundation itself is very lightweight, yet build able meaning you can create the finish you want, the only thing I'd say is if you fall on the oiler side of the scale I would definitely set the foundation with powder. This lasts really well during the day with minimal shine, if you are looking for something to completely cover redness this may not be for you, but this does create such a natural and light base that is perfect for a flawless, airbrushed finish.

If you know me you'll know I'm always raving about the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams, and with good reason. I cannot get enough of these liquid lipsticks, the colour range is amaze-balls and the formula is just a dream to apply! I've found that the shades are very opaque and creamy yet dry to the most comfortable matte finish, that lasts really well throughout the day. Once set these are not drying in the slightest, nor do they weigh the lip down - I would go so far as to say these are one of the best liquid lipstick formulas I have tried, and I have tried my fair share.  

A blogger cult favourite, and with good reason is the Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer, I have to admit I've been a bit of a base snob in the past and would only opt for higher end foundation and concealers. However this definitely rivals up to my NARS and Urban Decay favourites, providing a high pigmented formula that just works wonders on my skin whether it's for spot concealing - yes I know it's not really designed for that, but I like to experiment - or brightening up under the eyes, this concealer is the bomb dot com! This instantly brightens up my under eye area, concealing any dark circle nasties, without ever appearing heavy or cakey. 

I have a real love for Maybelline, I think their products are among some of the best that the drug store has to offer, and it's very rare that I'm spotted without my trusty Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara. This creates the illusion or wide eyes and definitely adds a bit of oomph to my lashes, helping to lengthen and volumise to give the appearance of thicker and longer lashes. The brush helps to keep each lash separated and doesn't clump or flake throughout the day. 

Since the launch of Kiko at my local shopping centre, I think I owned one or two products from them. Luckily enough that small collection has doubled, tripled and well you know how it goes - you start with just the one product and then you have to keep adding. Especially the Kiko Water Eyeshadow in 200 champagne, and I will start by saying just look at how beautiful the eyeshadow is, looking more high end than budget beauty. 200 is such a stunning colour and the formula is just a dream to apply, these are so silky soft on the skin and blend with minimal effort. You can apply these wet, however they are packed with so much pigment you don't really need it as the formula is faultless. 

What are your budget beauty favourites?


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Monday, 12 September 2016

The autumn liquid lipstick lowdown

The autumn liquid lipstick lowdown, Kylie Kristen, Stila Aria, NYX Stockholm, NYX Rome, NYX Lingerie Ruffle Trim, Anastasia Dusty Rose, Kat Von D Lolita II, Kat Von D Double Dare

I've always loved lipstick and over the past six months or so I've really developed an addiction to liquid lipstick - to the point where I had to give myself a break during the summer months and opt for something a little more creamy and glossy on the lips - I even shared my previous favourite liquid lipsticks. However with autumn fast approaching I'm back into the old habit of rocking a matte liquid lip, and I wanted to share with you my autumn liquid lipstick lowdown. 

Autumn is the perfect time to embrace berry and brown hues as well as mauve nudes, and the latest addition to my collection is the Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit in Kristen. The shade is stunning - a warm berry with brown undertones, and this applies very smoothly and easily. As the texture is on the thinner side this applies lightly onto the lips without any need to apply more than one layer. Once settled this doesn't go patchy or dry, instead this lasts incredibly well throughout the day to the point where you don't realise you are wearing a liquid lipstick. Admittedly probably one of my favourite shades from Kylie's ever expanding range!

The berry lovin' continues with the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Aria, described as a magenta plum, this is hands down one of my favourite berry hues! From the moment you apply this it's a liquid lipstick match made in heaven, the formula definitely lives up to its name as it's incredibly long lasting, and glides onto the lips with such ease with only the need for one layer. The shade is opaque and doesn't bleed throughout the day, which is worth its weight in gold when it comes to darker lip shades - I'm sure we've all been there, it's a nightmare and never a good look to be sporting. 

One of my favourite liquid lipstick formulas comes in the form of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, the shade range is so impressive and the formula is even better! A forgotten favourite - until last week - is Lolita II, a stunning terracotta nude with orange/brown undertones. If you're a fan of the 90s trend than this is definitely one for you! A second autumn favourite comes in the form of Double Dare, described as a cocoa blush, this applies on the lips as a beautiful muted mauve pink with warm undertones. Both shades are so opaque and glide onto the lips with ease, and once dried you don't have to worry about your lips ever feeling dry, nor do they crack or flake. The formula is so long lasting and both shades do not budge, Lolita II survived a three course meal and cocktails without any flakes or fading! Keep your eyes peeled on Tuesday for the Debenhams launch!

The NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams will always hold a special place in my heart, again they have an incredible range of shades that it would be impossible to not own at least five! A new addition to the range is Rome, a medium nude with red undertones, this is like nothing I own in my collection - it's like a brick red with mauve undertones - and once applied to the lips is so stunning and perfect for everyday wear without being too bold. As much as I love darker shades for the autumn, I still don't think you can beat a good nude, and Stockholm doesn't disappoint. Described as a mid-tone beige pink this is a stunning everyday nude with brown undertones, that doesn't wash out my complexion. The formula of these is just amazing, they are so lightweight to apply and don't dry out the lips throughout the day, and there's just one thing I love more about these - they don't break the bank.

I won't leave the NYX lovin' just there as a new favourite of mine, is the NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Ruffle Trim. This is such a stunning transitional shade, that's pink enough for those holding on to the last days of summer yet the muted brown undertones make it the perfect everyday autumn lip. I won't go into too much detail as I did a review on the collection here, but the formula is amaze-balls, this stuff just does not budge throughout the day, throw drink, food even tissue at your lips and this ain't budging I guarantee - hard scrubbing is required! This is quickly becoming my go-to work lip, and I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this during the autumn months. 

An autumn liquid lipstick post would not be complete with the Anastasia Liquid Lipstick in Dusty Rose, a cult favourite with good reason! Thank goodness this was re-released as it meant I was able to get my hands on it, once applied this leaves the lips with a stunning muted rose pink, which is just so flattering - and would suit everyone! The formula doesn't let this down either, the texture is very mousse-y and with one swipe of the wand and you're good to go for the day, and it's one less thing to carry in your bag because you won't need a touchup. 

I'd love to know what are you're go to liquid lipsticks for the autumn?


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Friday, 9 September 2016

Bedside Beauty

Bedside Beauty

I love a good evening skin ritual, starting with cleansing my skin all the way down to moisturisers, oils and treatments. Whilst I try and keep most of my evening skincare next to my vanity, they tend to make my way to my bedside drawer - as the lazy girl in me loves to snuggle in bed with the TV on or music playing and give my skin the attention it needs as I wind down for bed. 

Despite removing my makeup earlier in the day, I have to always cleanse my skin for a second time to help remove any last traces of makeup or dirt. I'm a big fan of the Garnier Micellar Water range as it's not only affordable but cleanses the skin, helping to remove makeup and dirt. This range is so close to Bioderma, and Garnier have now released a variety of formulas to suit different skin types meaning that there is something for everyone. 

Once cleansed I like to alternate between the Pixi Glow Tonic and the Kiko Pure Clean Scrub and Peel wipes. The Glow Tonic is a skin lifesaver! Acting as a gentle exfoliator, this removes dead skin cells to reveal brighter looking skin, whilst helping to combat shine and breakouts - and with continued use my breakouts seem to heal quicker. Another favourite of mine is the Pure Clean Scrub and Peel wipes - and a Kim K favourite - these contain alpha hydroxy acids which help to boost the skin's exfoliation process whilst also gently buffing the complexion for a smoother face. A real life saver these wipes help to deeply cleanse the skin whilst leaving my skin looking more radiant.

A nightly must for my skin at the moment is the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo, which is designed to target the key signs of blemish prone skin. This stuff really works wonders when applied daily, helping to clear breakouts and speed up healing time for those pesky under the skin spots. A thin layer overnight really helps to reduce any redness on the skin and my skin looks significantly clearer after just a few days use.

I like to give my skin a treat with the La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar for Eyes, this stuff works like a dream to correct dark circles under the eyes which is brilliant towards the end of the week when I find myself feeling and my skin looking more tired. This helps to even out the skin tone whilst brightening dull under eye skin, complete with light-reflecting particles I love how this illuminates the under eye area to give the appearance of brighter looking skin.

My bedside table would not be complete without the Benefit B.Right! Total Moisture moisturiser, this helps give my skin a much needed injection of moisture when it's left looking dehydrated. The texture is slightly thicker, however this hydrated the skin and feels amazing on the skin. Overnight my skin is left feeling silky smooth and a lot more radiant and awake. Especially now that we are heading into the colder months I know I'll be getting a lot of use out of this to prevent dry and flaky patches that usually pop up across my nose and chin areas. 

Another bedside must-have for any pesky breakouts is the Clean and Clear Acne Spot Treatment, with just one treatment I find redness significantly reduced and this helps to speed up the healing process of spots. Working on the most stubborn of blemishes this is an overnight saviour helping to improve the appearance of your complexion even on the worst skin days.

What are your bedside beauty must-haves?


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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Five flawless bases

Five flawless bases, MAC Waterproof Foundation, Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation, Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

We all love a flawless base, let's face it - it's the key to great makeup - but finding the right coverage and finish can be rather tricky. I find that my tastes often change, in the summer I like to go for something more lightweight and during the autumn and winter seasons I opt for a foundation with medium to full coverage. Despite my preferences changing, I still expect a lot from a foundation, as someone with imperfections including redness and blemishes I want a foundation that not only conceals these but creates a natural complexion. With that in mind I have few favourites that I come to use daily, and have rounded up in my five flawless bases. 

Benefit Hellow Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation is my go to every base for work, this oil free formula provides a light to medium coverage which sets to leave a natural and dewy finish to the skin, without ever looking too shiny. I wasn't too sure how I would get on with this foundation to begin with as I have oily/combination skin, however I can easily wear this for 6 hours with minimal shine, and easily up to 8 during the colder months. This is such a lightweight and comfortable base, which can be built up to help conceal redness and imperfections. If you're looking for the perfect radiant base this is the one for you.

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation is my go to base when I'm looking for something a little more matte, but not to the point where my base looks dull. I know MAC tend to get a bad rap for their bases, with many complaints being that their foundations appear too cakey or cause breakouts, however I've not yet experienced this. This is a medium coverage foundation which provides a flawless base, perfect for when my skin is having a moment, and despite the coverage this looks really lightweight on the skin. The Pro Longwear Foundation packs some serious staying power and if I have a long day ahead then it's guaranteed I'll be wearing this.

MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Foundation has been my holy grail foundation throughout the summer, despite being a fuller coverage base this does in fact feel rather lightweight on the skin to the point where you don't feel like you are wearing foundation, and your skins natural glow shines through. Just be careful not to overdo it with this foundation as I will stress that a little definitely goes a long way, and blemishes and redness are concealed with a single buff into the skin. I can't comment on how waterproof this foundation is as I can't say I've been in shower nor have been swimming - well let's just say I've had no contact with water - but this is incredibly long lasting to the point where you don't have to worry about it melting off the skin, and you're guaranteed a flawless looking base all day. 

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation is anything but sheer in my opinion, but rather a medium coverage base which can easily be built up if you prefer something a little more fuller. This buffs into the skin with such ease and you're guaranteed a flawless base within a matter of minutes with no hint of cake in sight. This foundation provides a semi-matte base, providing a natural glow without ever looking shiny, but I would recommend getting the pump for this foundation as a little goes a long way and that way you won't run the risk of wasting any!

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation is a firm favourite of mine when I'm looking for a natural base that conceals any bad skin days. The formula of this foundation is very lightweight on the skin, and looks and feels invisible on the skin, creating an airbrushed finish when applied with a buffing brush or sponge, blurring any imperfections and pores. Once set this foundation provides a natural, satin finish to the skin that doesn't appear too matte nor dewy, which is perfect for those with combination skin. The foundation is incredibly long lasting, wearing for around 6 - 8 hours and during which still remains flawless on the skin, with only minimal shine on my t-zone. 

What are you favourite flawless bases?


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Sunday, 4 September 2016

The best of Benefit Cosmetics

LtoR: Benefit Ka-Brow, Benefit Gimme Brow, Benefit Roller Lash, Benefit Hoola, Benefit Watt's Up, Benefit They're Real! Tinted Primer, Benefit the Porefessional matte rescue gel

Benefit Cosmetics were one of the first high end brands that I tried - with the first product being the Sugarbomb boxed blusher to be exact - I always remember being drawn into the fun and rather quirky packaging that made the brand stand out amongst others. To this day they remain one of my favourite brands, I can often find myself visiting my local counter, spying a new product launch or even getting a monthly brow wax and tint. With that in mind I thought I'd share with you my thoughts on the best of Benefit Cosmetics. 

Starting with base products my first favourite product has to be Benefit the Porefessional matte rescue gel, it was tough to choose between this and the original Porefessional - however I think the gel slightly tops my list. As someone who loves to save time in a morning, this product is great as it can be used as both your moisturiser and primer, and once applied creates a smooth base for your foundation. This feels so lightweight on the skin, and being water based I find that this works better with foundations, helping to add hydration into the skin whilst helping to keep oil at bay. This also helps to blur the appearance of pores, meaning that my foundation applies easier without clinging or drawing attention to my pores. 

Finding a great bronzer and contour product that suits paler skin tones can be a pain, as often enough many products appear too dark or too orange. However the Benefit Hoola bronzing power is a firm favourite, whilst also being a blogger holy grail product. This is such a smooth and buttery bronzing powder that blends easily into the skin helping to give a healthy and natural-looking glow. As this is a cool-toned matte product, this is perfect for contouring and a definite everyday product for me. I find that this appears very flattering against my skin tone, and if you don't already I definitely recommend getting this!

Your contour wouldn't be complete without a little highlight, and Benefit do some of the best! A firm favourite is the Benefit Watt's Up highlighter, this is such a stunning creamy golden highlight that applies and blends on the skin so easily. Once applied this looks really flattering on the skin and gives a warmth of dewy radiance without every looking oily. I love that this also comes with a dabber on the opposite end which helps to blend the product into the skin without ruining your base. If you're after a highlighter that is subtle enough for day wear but can be built up for a glow-getting evening look this is the one for you.

Benefit are known as the brow experts so it will come as to no surprise that I've featured not one but two of their brow products in my best of feature. Benefit Gimme Brow has been a staple in my makeup routine since the product first launched back in 2014! If you aren't blessed with thick brows then you definitely need to add this to your basket, this tinted eyebrow gel helps to create natural thicker looking brows and is the perfect finishing step in your brow routine - helping to fill in any sparse areas and set them in the process. A cult favourite with good reason! 

Benefit Ka-Brow is a recent addition to their brow line but in such a short period of time has climbed its way into my heart becoming one of my favourite Benefit products. This all-in-one eyebrow cream-gel easily fills, sculpts and defined the brow in a matter of minutes. The formula is so easy to work with and once applied stays put all day - so you never have to worry about smudging your brows away. The packaging is so darn cute also, and the lid transforms into a built-in angled brush, which is perfect for travelling! If you're a fan of the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade but hate how quickly it dries out - give this a whirl. 

Lastly, let's move onto eye products or if I'm being more specific mascaras. Since Benefit introduce d the They're Real mascara I've been impressed by their offerings and two that really stand out for me are Roller Lash and the they're real! tinted primer. Benefit Roller Lash is the perfect mascara if you're looking for longer and lifted lashes. This instantly transforms my lashes after one coat leaving them curled and looking longer, and doesn't cling together which is always a good thing. Compared to the original They're Real formula this is a lot more lightweight and provides length and volume without weight your lashes down. 

When the Benefit they're real! tinted primer first hit the scenes I wasn't too sure that this was something I needed - but boy Benefit proved me wrong! This is a great multi-use product, which can either be worn on its own or as a primer under your favourite mascara. When applied this gives the appearance of longer and more volumised lashed whilst looking very natural. When worn under the they're real! mascara I find that this helps thicken the appearance of lashes whilst reducing the amount of coats needed, which can sometimes create spider lashes - and let's be honest that's never a good look. This is definitely worth adding to your they're real! family.

I'd love to know what your favourite Benefit products are!


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