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I haven’t done a beauty post in a while, but don’t let that fool you into thinking I haven’t been using all kinds of weird and wonderful products! In preparation for moving into our new flat, I’ve been sorting out my makeup drawers (yes, plural – perks of the job). Most of this has involved chucking out dried-up old products and giving away bits I know I won’t use, but it also meant I rediscovered a few great products I haven’t used in a while. Throw in a few new bits I’ve tried and fallen in love with, and it’s the perfect excuse for a bit of a beauty update. So without further ado, here are some of my favourite beauty bits at the moment…
If you want a bronzer that’ll give you bang for your buck, this is the one to go for. To say a little goes a long way is an understatement. Just the tiniest sprinkling of this on the Inika kabuki brush (I’ve spoken about that before) is enough to give a gorgeous glow. Because it has the same formula as mineral foundation it needs to be buffed into the skin rather than brushed on – if you brush it, it’s too heavy, but the result once it’s blended properly is a lovely ‘glow from within’ look. I love mineral products because they’re so gentle on the skin and don’t clog like some powders can, and Inika is one of my favourite brands because they also do a good range of colours.
The nail polishes are definitely the stand-out products in the Topshop makeup range, and this is the ultimate nail polish colour for Summer. I got it in a goodie bag and I’m now completely obsessed with it. it’s the perfect orange-red-pink coral mix with a really flourescent pigment, and two coats is enough to get a smooth finish. I love a really strong coral shade for toenails, especially with a tan (fake, of course) and this has totally eclipsed my previous favourites (M&S ‘Flame’ and Revlon ‘One True Coral’). I’m going to be wearing this on my toenails all Summer. It might even make it to my fingernails if I can keep them out of my mouth for long enough to grow them.
I’ve had limited success with these pen-like lip stains – the Max Factor one I tried was dry as a bone – but I really rate this bargain 17 version. It’s got great staying power and it’s not as drying as some of the other brands. It has a felt tip pen style applicator with the tint in on one end, and a clear balm on the other to give a glossy sheen. This lasts longer than I expect but it does need topping up. The tint stays on for ages and the colour is really bold, so I love this if I know I’ll be eating or drinking. It also makes a good base for lippy. Annoyingly there’s no shade name on the tube but I believe the one I have is ‘Smokin’ Hot’, and it looks like this on…
Stila is one of my favourite beauty brands of all time (you’ve seen me rave about Diamond Lil eyeshadow before), and I’m really excited about some of the new products that are coming later in the year. This is one of them, a lipstick in a gloss tube that packs a serious amount of colour with a really modern matte finish. It feels almost powdery when it’s dried so it does need some lipbalm underneath, but it’s not as drying as you’d expect and the colour payoff is worth it. Carina is a hot coral, but I’m after the bold red next! It’s available in the US already and will be coming to the UK soon. Here’s how it looks on the lips…
With products like mineral eyeshadow and MAC pigment, an eye base is essential to provide a smooth, even canvas and help to ‘grab’ the colour. I was given this product about a year ago but I’ve only recently started using it, and I love the way it works to prolong eyeshadow wear and to brighten the eye itself. Sometimes I even use it without shadow to cover any redness or uneven colour around the eye. But where it really comes into its own is as an eye primer with bold or shimmer colours to make sure they last as long as possible. A little goes a long way, which hopefully justifies the price, but if it’s too much for you, e.l.f do something similar for £1.50 – it’s not a patch on the Trish McEvoy version, though.
This is another thing that’s been floating around my makeup drawer for a while (as you can probably tell from the fact the words have rubbed off the side). I wasn’t so sure when I bought it that it would give enough length and volume for me – I love a big, fat lash and this is more of a day mascara. But recently I’ve been using it every day and I love the fact that the black is really, really dark and strong. Though it isn’t massively volumising, it lengthens without clogging, and as a plus it’s got ingredients that are supposed to encourage lash growth. I haven’t seen great results from that, but I’m using it in conjunction with Rapidlash at the moment and hoping the two together will give me killer lashes by September! I’ll keep you posted.
I’ve always rated Max Factor foundation – since the days of Panstick the brand has always made great base. I use mineral foundation most of the time, but when I want something more dewy, or if I’m using liquid products over the top (like cream blush or highlighter) I use this. It gives really good coverage without a heavy feeling and has an SPF (only 10, but it’s better than nothing). It’s incredibly lightweight, it lasts ages and the shades are great – light ivory is perfect for my pale, pinkish skin. I apply it with a foundation brush (from The Body Shop) to ensure even coverage.
Most eyeliners that claim to ‘glide’ do nothing of the sort. They drag and catch, clogging on any tiny crease. These liners, however, do exactly what they claim. They’re a gel-like formula, super-soft and creamy, and they go on brilliantly. I love the variety of colour that Urban Decay offers. Right now I love Covet, a shimmering emerald green, and Lucky, a bronze/brown. Here they are together (Covet on the top lid, Lucky on the bottom) with the mascara and eye primer mentioned above.
Disclosure: I bought the 17 lip colour, Rimmel Mascara and Max Factor foundation. The other products were press samples.