Saturday, 1 March 2014

Favourites | February


It's the first of March and I'm starting to get that spring feeling, and it goes a little something like this:
  1. Commuting in daylight feels novel and exciting
  2. However much black you've worn over the past few months, you feel an almost irresistible pull towards pastels
  3. You have been shocked at how pale your legs are (reaches for fake tan)
  4. You've got the urge for a new routine
I'm definitely feeling the latter point strongly, and the next few months is going to be focused on shaking things up, starting with the blog. If spring is a time for light and new life, so it should be here. So, without further ado, let's get started on my first monthly favourites!

Nars Orgasm Illuminator
£22.50 at Nars counters

As much as I love a pretty cheek highlight on others, I've never found quite the right product for my pale skin. I bought this Nars tube last summer after I found myself powerless to resist the pretty rose gold sheen it imparted as I swatched it in Selfridges beauty hall (why is it that everything in there is irresistable?). Sadly, when I applied it over my blusher the next day, I found it lifted too much of the colour, and this tube was quickly relegated to the 'maybe I'll use this one day' cupboard. Following a recent stash-shopping extravaganza, I've been pairing this with Sleek's Flushed blush, and it looks dreamy. It's such a subtle effect that instantly brightens my face, making it perfect for the office.

3LAB Perfect BB SPF 40
£72 at www.net-a-porter.com and Harvey Nichols

The beauty blogging community is divided on BB creams, with many of the view that they're just glorified tinted moisturisers. As someone who will reach for a lighter base over foundation 99% of the time, I have found my nirvana in 3LAB Perfect BB, and in my opinion, the name is no exaggeration! The coverage is light, even and absolutely flawless. The masking-effect of foundation is not really something I enjoy for day time: I want to see my skin underneath and for my base to just look like really great skin. I've found myself reaching for this everyday for work, and I feel like it transforms my face immediately, evening out the tone whilst keeping a sense of the skin underneath. For the office, I will still lightly contour my cheekbones, but the difference between this product and foundation is that I would happily wear this without any additional makeup, whereas I would look ridiculous with a blanked-out foundation face. The only draw back is the price, but initial outlay aside, this tube has lasted over a year as you need such a tiny amount. Having spent the past few weeks working through a large pile of samples to see if I can find a dupe, I've found nothing that comes close. It's looking like I'll be repurchasing when this tube finally runs out!

Dybrow by Eyelure
£7.50 at Boots and Superdrug

The only thing that irks me about this product is the lack of an 'e' in Dybrow. Dye has an 'e', eye ends in 'e', but I'm being pedantic as this product is amazing. I was into a great routine of dyeing my brows a few years ago and then for some reason, I stopped. I was then paying somebody to dye my eyebrows, which is truly the most ridiculous thing to spend your money on. From opening the box to brushing out your finished brows, this takes all of ten minutes, and although the prospect of a Scouse Brows error looms large on your list of anxieties, taking it slowly and wiping the dye off every couple of minutes to check the tone removes the risk of them getting too dark. I use brown which is sufficiently ashy to suit most complexions, and can of course be left on longer for a darker shade. 

Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer by Collection
£4.19 at Superdrug

I first heard about this product in one of Tanya Burr's tutorials, and if Tanya says she loves it, it's pretty certain I'll buy it. Even with her seal of approval, I am absolutely astounded by the quality of this concealer: it beats absolutely everything I've tried, well, ever. Prior to buying this, I had been using a combination of high end corrector and concealer that had worked well for years, but had begun to exaggerate those fine lines around the eyes that come from 31 years of life. My assumption had been that the Collection concealer would be better for younger skin, but boy, was I proved wrong: it never creases, lasts all day (I haven't worn it for the 16 hours it promises but I don't need to touch up at all) and absolutely annihilates dark circles. There's a tiny bit of luminosity in there, meaning it's great for under eyes, and the overall effect is one of being exceptionally well rested. The doe foot applicator is ideal for under eye use, and I always finish with a bit of Rimmel loose powder. In my makeup-obsessed life, I've always found high end concealers to be much better than their drugstore counterparts, but this one bucks the trend and beats everything I've tried hands down. 

The only downside to this product is the quality of the ink on the tube which always rubs off over the first few weeks of use. I've taken to scrubbing the tubes as soon as I buy them so I don't end up dotting myself with ink smudges! Needless to say, I bulk buy this when it's on three for two: I know it's cheap to start with, but it's even better when it's cheaper!

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters
£6.99 at Boots and Superdrug

I should start this section by saying that I have never been a lipstick wearer. My Mum, by contrast, is a lipstick fiend, operating something akin to her own Estee Lauder counter at home, and could never understand why she didn't pass on that particular gene. I have always felt that lipsticks wear me, and have instead gravitated towards peachy pink glosses and balms: boring. All of that changed when another Tanya Burr tutorial led me to Revlon's Lip Butters, and Pink Truffle in particular. It was, of course, sold out for several weeks before I managed to get my hands on it, but when I did, it was love. These butters seem to sink into the lips, staining them ever so slightly and giving great longevity of wear, but are just as moisturising as a balm. As many other reviewers have said, their texture is somewhere between a lipstick and a lip balm, but the colour pay off is so much more than a balm could ever impart. I asked Mum to choose a few shades for me at Christmas as she bought Berry Smoothie and Wild Watermelon, both of which I adore. She followed these with Cotton Candy, Sweet Tart, Candy Apple and Peach Parfait, the latter being my favourite of the whole collection. I now have ten shades and plan to swatch them all for a full review soon. If you want to add a bit of colour to your lips but hate that heavy lipstick feeling, these are definitely for you. They're nearly always on three for two at Boots and Superdrug, and who doesn't love a freebie?

Beauty Blender sponge
£16, available online

I can't believe I haven't blogged about this yet, but whether you're a foundation or a tinted moisturiser/BB kinda gal, this is a brilliant bit of kit. This tear-shaped sponge should be used damp, and I find that I get the best results from putting a pump of base product onto the back of my hand and then dabbing/bouncing the sponge over my face. It gives skin an almost airbrushed finish, and the narrow end of the sponge is absolutely perfect for applying concealer. The fact that it's used damp means I give it a good wash every morning, which makes me feel much happier than using a brush that is cleaned only weekly. I haven't tried the Real Techniques version which is much cheaper, so perhaps I'll pick one of those up soon and do a comparison post. This definitely isn't an essential, but if like any other beauty obsessive, you find yourself day-dreaming about makeup brushes, this is certainly worth a look.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my first monthly favourites! I'd love to hear whether you'd like to see more of this kind of post, and even if you might like a favourites video at some point soon...!

2 comments:

  1. That BB cream sounds really good! I'm all over the real techniques sponge at the moment, makes such a difference to application

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The BB is amazing: definitely worth trying!

      Delete

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