Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Cheap Treats

For many of us, and definitely for me, August has been a rather long 5 week month and treating myself to expensive new makeup purchases hasn’t exactly been top of my priority list! However, there is no getting away from the fact that a cheeky new lipstick can make a long day at work just a little bit better. I’ve put together a my favourite beauty buys under a tenner for small beauty indulgences that won’t break the bank but will still make you extremely happy.


I do love Sleek makeup, I think that the quality of their products far exceeds their price point (sshhh don’t tell them) and this palette has been a brilliant buy for me. An absolute bargain at £7.99, the shadows have an amazing colour pay-off and are all extremely wearable. I’ve swatched the black, as a solid black is the best indicator of a quality eyeshadow. These palettes also come in many other colour combinations for the more adventurous, but personally I don’t like straying too far from a brown smokey eye. I was seriously considering the Urban Decay Naked palette but to be honest this is a great cheap alternative. Only downside is that the packaging is a bit flimsy but I can overlook that for the price.

Black swatch

I have mentioned this on here before, but I still love it now a few months on so I thought it deserved a second mention. Brilliant quality for the price tag, its brightening, gives good coverage, and never goes dry around the eye area.

This one was a bit of a shocker for me to be honest. I found this simply because I am a little bit obsessed with peach lipstick. Not coral, oh no, but peach, that pale orangey shade which has proved very difficult to find. I had been lusting after Michavel by Kevyn Aucoin, but decided to go on the hunt for a cheaper alternative and I found this little gem for less than a fiver. It has a nice matte finish, good staying power and a great colour payoff.  I do however recommend using quite a bit of lipbalm on first to ensure it doesn’t dry your lips out.

Easy to smudge

This is a really great pencil, even for contact wearers. It’s soft enough to blend and waterproof, and is fairly smudge proof once it sets.  I'm loving brown rather than black at the moment, its a bit softer and great for daytime. 

I’m having a lipgloss revival at the moment, and these ones from Gosh are lovely. It was the only cheaper brand I could find to cater to my matte peach obsession. It does come in lots of other colours too though, don't worry. 

It's sugary AND salty! And if you have been embracing the matte lip trend this season, chances are you need a little bit of exfoliation as matte lipsticks, as I already mentioned, can be drying. Scrub it on and lick (or wipe) it off for smooth and nourished lips.

Seriously, this is the best liquid eyeliner that I have ever come across and a staple in my makeup bag for a few years now. The felt tip applicator is super easy to use, and extremely good for even the subtlest of lines and flicks. What's more, it never runs, and  the colour is a solid true black. Highly recommended.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Choosing the Perfect Foundation

Too orange?  Too pale? Makes you break out? Get shiny as soon as you leave the house? These are all the tip of the iceberg of issues many of us have when choosing the right foundation. I have tried so many different bases over the years and been thoroughly disappointed when they don’t live up to my expectations, (which are pretty high, let’s face it) as the bulk of foundations promise perfect, flawless skin.

Here are some things which I find it useful to bear in mind when choosing your foundation. As your base is probably your most expensive item of makeup, the product you choose should be a worthy investment.

1)      There are good ones and bad ones for all budgets.

Whether you buy your foundation from a beauty counter or a drugstore (as the Americans say) it’s important to spend your money on a quality brand. In my personal experience, Sleek Makeup, Bourjois, and Revlon all do great cheap bases. Sleek are amazing for darker skin tones, as their undertones are a true match, Bourjois Healthy Mix is the same product as Chanel Vitalumiere (shhhhh)  and Revlon’s ColourStay range gives great all day coverage.

If you want to spend a bit more money, I love Nars and Estee Lauder’s bases. Dior is also a favourite range of mine, the tones are a bit limited but it photographs extremely well.

2)      Know your skin type

If you have oily skin, it is best to go for an oil free base, to avoid shininess and blocked pores. It is also important to get a base that is silicone free, as silicone can also clog pores and lead to breakouts.
Drier skin types should go for something with a richer, creamier texture that gives you the hydration and replenishment that you need.

Oily skin might want to gofor powders or gels, whereas cream and liquid foundations tend to be better for dry skins.

3)      What finish do you want?

Here is some beauty industry jargon unscrambled:

·         Sheer –a  light coverage. Unifies uneven skin
·         Full – heavier coverage. Covers all/most imperfections
·         Dewy – a glowing finish where skin has a healthy sheen. Think Millie from MiC
·         Semi matte – skin looks glowing but has less shine and more of a satin finish
·         Matte – skin has little/no sheen and looks shine-free. Think Dita Von Teese

·         Radiant – Light reflective. Probably has a bit of shimmer in to give you a glow. Good for dull skin 

·         BB – Blemish balm. Kind of like a tinted moisturiser with added skin-clearing benefits. Very little coverage
·         CC –Colour corrector. Little to no coverage, but does get rid of dullness and redness

4)      Have a look at the ingredients

I’m always banging on about ingredients but they really are pretty important! If it’s going on your face, it should be doing you good. Do you want your foundation to be water, gel, mousse or oil based? Do you want an SPF? Do you want a bit of silicone for its wrinkle-smoothing, pore-filling properties, or would you rather avoid it because it clogs your pores?

5)      Get the undertone right

It is important to know your own skin tone before you start choosing a base. Ask yourself the following questions:  Is there more pink or more yellow tones in your skin? Is your skin tone even all over or does it vary? Do you want a true match? Or do you want to go slightly warmer in preparation of a holiday? Alternatively, you might want to go paler and then warm your skin back up with bronzer.  Might sound pretty obvious, and my apologies if it does, but these are all necessary thing to think about.

So there you have it, 5 easy steps to help you to choose your foundation next time you have to go makeup shopping. Now you have no excuse to look like this: