Mixing things up a bit today with a fancy video, swish isn’t it?! Recently I’ve been a beauty commuter, applying a full face of makeup on the train and living out of a makeup bag as opposed to getting ready at my dressing table. I’ve become a little bit of a makeup bag maestro, a packing princess if you will and thought I’d show you what’s in my current rotation.

I’m currently finding my MAC Mineralise Moisture Foundation a fave, easy to pat on with a damp beauty blender and a base that doesn’t cling to my dry patches, meaning I don’t have to worry about what it looks like throughout the day. Ideal. I top it up with Maybelline Better Skin Concealer and set it all in place with my beloved Hourglass Ambient Light powder.

Brows are covered by the usual culprit and for eyes I have options in the form of a CT quad or a scribble of her eyes to mesmerise depending on how early it is and how bothered I can be. Blush comes in the form of NARS Silent nude which is basically surgically attached to me and for lips I opt for either peach or pink shades to match.

While I am happy with my current product picks, as usual I’m coveting a number of pretties to stock up my stash and farfetch.com has my luxury beauty needs met.

farfetch #ad

I’m desperate to get my mitts on some goodies from Kevyn Aucoin and what better place to start that with some cult classics. My current beauty bag is missing the perfect contour/highlight duo and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Sculpting Powder and Celestial Powder. I’m also on the hunt for something heavy duty and the Sensual Skin Enhancer is a multi use product leaving base needs covered.

Another brand I’m yet to try is BECCA and as a self acclaimed highlighter queen I can barely believe that sentence comes out of my mouth. I just have to get my hands on the Shimmering Skin Perfectors in every type they do. Excessive? Me? Never…

After letting the hype die down a little, I’ve decided that the Artis Oval 6 Brush isn’t optional, I have to give it a go. I can imagine it blending everything to perfection, once I get over it looking like a toothbrush that is…

Finally while it’s all well and good having makeup products coming out of your ears, it’s important to take it off at the end of the day and cult classic Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is well in my radar, and while i’m talking luxury I have to give the By Terry Baume de Rose a go, it’s just like the rules of feminism! (name that film)

*This post contains product placement.

shadow sticks

If there’s one thing that has been my favourite product find of the past few years, it’s eyeshadow sticks. These crayons of creamy goodness make my makeup on the train makeup application a breeze and mean that a smoky eye is a case of scribble, blend and go. Gone is the need for varying shades of brown and a dozen different brushes, a shimmering shadow stick will glide on with a duo-chrome effect and blend out to perfection, leaving a result which looks like you’ve spent a good ten minutes considering shade options, but with so many on the market, at a range of price tags, which is the bees knees?

I came, I swatched, I considered, and the official winner of my shadow stick awards is the By Terry Ombre Blackstar . I have this in the shade Bronze Moon and if i’m completely honest I want it in every other shade it comes in. I’ve spoken about this before but this one really does glide on beautifully, has a few seconds blending time and then doesn’t budge all day. I love the silver shimmer in with the bronze shade as it gives a slight wet look to the eye in an iridescent non sweaty way. It deserves a medal.

Second place goes to the Bourjois Colour Band Crayons which are an unquestionable dupe for the By Terry guys, the only annoying this about these is that you have to sharpen them, whereas the By Terry one twists up. They also don’t last quite as long (but they are 1/6 of the price). It’s the small things…

Bronze award is a draw between Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour Chameleon Sticks and the No7 Stay Perfect Long Wear Shadow Sticks. These are similar in pigment and longevity (pretty decent) but because of this are a little bit stiffer and harder to blend. They can’t all be perfect.

Last place goes to the Eyeko Fat Stick. This one is a twist up (fab) shimmery crayon (fab) which unfortunately doesn’t offer the same pigment or longevity as it’s competitors (not fab).

Do you use shadow sticks?

the best products

More often than not, I can be found rambling on about or roaming the aisles for the best dupes. Often with hyped up high end products, drugstore brands catch on to the buzz and create something similar but more affordable; emphasis on the word ‘similar’. Most of the time i’ll settle for the budget alternative but occasionally i’ll get this itch to get my hands on the real deal to see if there really is a difference between high street and high end beauty products and moral of the story is that there is. High end options are usually made with higher quality ingredients making them a higher quality product; hence the higher price tag… You’re not always paying for the name.

I have literally gone on and on and on about alternatives for the hyped up By Terry Ombre Blackstars, and eventually ended up spending more than the due £28 on a number of cheaper options when I could have just splashed the cash and been very happy with my purchase. Compared to similar offerings from Bourjous and No7 to name a few, By Terry Ombre Blackstars are a lot softer on the lid, don’t take as much blending and last a lot longer. Sometimes I have to admit defeat…

Another thing I could’ve searched high and low for in search of something more generous to my bank balance is the BeautyBlender. This £15 sponge expands significantly more than it’s drugstore counterparts, feels softer on the skin, aborbs little to no product and washes well. Plus the shape is in fact completely unique.

Next in the firing line is the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil, a more expensive version of the Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer. Now, I word it this way because something leads me to believe that the high street offering from Bourjois actually came out before the Too Faced option, but nevertheless the more expensive item is much better quality, isn’t at all chalky and comes in a trio of chocolate shades to suit any skintone. We’re on to a winner.

Finally, the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors have been reinacted by the likes of Topshop and No7, each creating their own take on the squeezy gloss. The range from Clarins delivers a plethora of shades compared to the mere handful at other beauty stands, as well as having a unique foam applicator with nine pinprick holes for even application, rather than distributing all of the product to the centre… Clever. 

august favourites

I don’t know how I’ve managed to not go on and on and on and on and on about this, but August saw me taking a trip to the city of loooove. As well as holding that pretty great title, Paris also offered me great pharmacies and a number of Sephora’s. I went hard on my bank balance and picked up everything I could ever want, but because this is absolutely not a haul post, I’ve narrowed it down the the absolute best of the bunch. Allow me to introduce to you my August Favourites…

From the Skincare Stash comes a moisturiser which is the bees knees, or the creme de la creme, if you will. When someone says Bioderma, you immediately think of their Micellar Water, however Bioderma as a brand expands wayyyy past water and on Lisa Eldridge’s recommendation, I picked up their Hydrabio Riche. If Lisa loves it, so will everybody else and this lotion applies lightly but works wonders on tight feeling dehydrated skin. I’ve shunned the rest of my cream collection.

Let’s just take a moment for Marc Jacobs. If you don’t like his designs, you will love his lippies and if you do like his designs, you’ll love his lippies too! The price of this badboy took my breath away slightly but it’s so damn pretty I couldn’t resist. I’ve got the New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Understudy and it glides on like a dream, offers up a perky pink shade and looks oh so Parisian chic when you pull out the bullet from your bag. That magnetic closure though.

I finally gave in after buying multiple expected dupes and bought the real By Terry Ombre Blackstar. I opted for Bronze Moon (a light bronze/brown with silvery wet look shimmer) as an easy go to shade and I already want every other shade in the collection. Every single day since purchase I’ve scribbled this creamy dream onto my lids, softened the edges and been done with my eyes. Sometimes dupes just don’t cut it. There’s more of that coming later this week 😉

Lord have mercy my undereye bags have been beaten! My weapon of choice? Urban Decay Naked Concealer. Forget the Naked palettes, this product is an absolute show stopper, in fact it stops everything. Offering unreal amounts of coverage with a feathery lightweight feel, I’ve never looked so awake.

Finally for this months picks, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara has revolutionised mascara for me. It gives me long, thick, fluttery lashes which I can usually only achieve using faux hair and glue. I said it in my review post, but you really do need this mascara.