foundations

So today’s post ain’t my usual thing. I usually fill out a few hundred words with fact and opinion but for once in my life I have a question, and I’m openly asking for your help.

Here’s the thing, I cannot for the life of me find my perfect foundation, and I’m really quite desperate to. I know that the perfect base is made up of a number of factors including the tools, primer, concealer etc but while i’m fairly happy with all of that, I just can’t find a foundation which I apply everyday and love the finish of, the feel of and is in an ideal colour for me… Is it just too much to ask?

I’ve been on the hunt for the one for around a year now, and I’ve thought I’d met my match many a time, only to fall out of love as quickly as I fell in. I’m looking for something of light to medium coverage, lightweight on the skin and with a dewy finish and in a pale yellow/olivey tone. Please help me.

I have a few more contenders on my radar, but I have wasted a fair amount of money on the stuff and so before I go out and splash the cash again I thought I’d ask you, my readers, for your knowledge and expertise.

I’m thinking that the possibilities for perfection are NARS Sheer Glow, Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, L’Oreal True Match (New Formula, the old one was too heavy) or the L’Oreal Infallible Satin. Have you tried these? Do you have any shade recommendations?

Comment below or tweet me @abgldwsn with any thoughts and help… desperate times people.

 

   
 
To put it bluntly, this mascara is the bees knees and the cats whiskers.

As far as drugstore mascaras go, this one is pretty much top of my love list, despite having a number of affairs with it’s competitors. I really like Max Factor products however I did overlook them for a while thinking they weren’t very current or aimed at young people. They’ve recently brought out a plethora of newbies which have changed my mind, and it’s pretty evident that they’re trying to reach out to a younger market.

Anyway, this mascara comes in sleek matte black packaging (I love matte packaging, it’s so chic) with the trademark gold label. I’m 99% sure there’s a waterproof offering too but I pick up the original formula in the shade black. The wand comprises plastic bristles, something which I usually steer way clear of, however there are plenty meaning that you have no trouble gripping the lashes and giving them a thorough coat.

You do have to apply a fair bit of this to achieve the look in the pictures above, however I always do apply a lot of mascara anyway to ensure my lashes are full and long. This mascara does give it’s suggested false lash effect look, and I think the lashes look exceptionally fluttery.

Have you tried this?

   
    
 
You know sometimes you find a real gem at the drugstore? This was one of those times…

I first tried the Collection Creme Puff in Powder Puff around three and a half years ago when they were first released. I used it up and never purchased another. When I was thinking about posts for this week I remembered how much I’d enjoyed the Powder Puff shade and popped down to Boots to see if they we’re still in existence.

At my local store there were these two shades, Powder Puff and Fairy Cake, but I’m sure there are more in the range. Powder puff is a peachy nude shade while Fairy Cake packs a little more punch and is a brighter pink shade.

The Collection Cream Puffs are a velvety matte finish lip cream. These do look matte on the lips but don’t feel quite as drying due to the creamy consistency of the product. This consistency does mean that they don’t stay put quite as long as something like a matte lipstick from MAC or the NARS velvet matte lip pencils but it does also mean that you don’t have to smother on half a pot of lip balm at the end of the day.

To make these last longer, you could always wear a lip liner underneath on the whole lips, this would also mask the fact that they wear off outwards leaving a lips with a coloured line around them.

Finally, the smell of the Collection Cream Puffs is sweet and vanillary; something which I am a massive fan of, but could easily put some people off.

Have you tried these?

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Check out my swish image. It’s basically irrelevant to the post but it’s pretty and we all know that always comes before practical, right?

Today’s post is the second in my Budget Beauty bunch and comes in the form of a pretty expansive drugstore/high street beauty wishlist. I love making wishlists because it feels like shopping but I haven’t actually spent anything, it’s only about a week later when I’ve collectively bought all of the items when they become a problem…

I’ll work in brand order, because I like that and we’ll start with Bourjois. Now, Bourjois is a brand which I love. My early memories of Bourjois (is that a thing?) are the little round pot blushes which in my opinion are a tad too shimmery for a flush of colour but do look exceptionally pretty sat on your dressing table. I love their base options, I’ve tried a few including the Healthy Mix Serum and that’s only made it onto the list because I want another. In regards to new releases, Bourjois have hit the nail on the head with the latest launch, the Aqua Blush has snook its way to the top of my shopping list pretty quickly and I’m currently coveting Inge-nude. I’m super keen to try some of their lip product, with my only past experience being a tiny lip gloss phone charm I had on an old flip phone (omg). On my list is the Rouge Edition Velvet in Red Pepper and Happy Nude Year.

Next up I’ve recently been wandering over to the L’Oreal stand a little too much and getting all heart eyed over their La Palette Nude, in both shades, of course. These are sleek in packaging and stunning in product, I can’t wait to get my hands on them. I’m also keen to try the new lipgloss launches and the entire Lumi Magique line. Glowy Skin be mine.

Maybelline seem to be extending their line recently, with Mollie King fronting the UK Campaign and the launch of the blogger-must-have Master Sculpt kit. I’m obviously after that, along with their Baby Skin Anti Fatigue primer and the expected Roller Lash dupe Lash Sensational.

Finally Max Factor‘s Creme Puff Blushes have taken the industry by storm with everyone and their mother loving them. An expected dupe for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes, I’ve got my eye on the shade Nude Mauve.

What are you currently coveting? Have you tried any of these products?

   
    
   
Could I possibly take any more pictures of a sponge?! I think not.
Today marks the beginning of Budget Beauty Week (You know I love a good category). Basically this was completely unplanned but while procrastinating working hard at my current Editorial job I decided that there’s nothing better to get me back in the blogging game than committing to seven posts this week, all circling the budget beauty world.

While I love wandering around Selfridges looking at all of the pretties, I do also love popping into Boots (beats Superdrug everytime) and filling up my basket to be surprised and how much a 3 for 2 can save you and with lots of Advantage points to spend on my next meal deal. I should probably save them up for something more glam I know.

Away from the drugstore, I’m kicking off this week with my search for a BeautyBlender dupe. I’ve probably spent as much if not more money trying to find a copy than the cost of the real deal, but it’s worth a try I suppose.

I picked up this pretty pink number from Primark for £1.50 after seeing it in a few haul videos. This is a similar shape to the original and comes in a pale shade rather than the original bright pink.
Unfortunately, the similarities end with the shape. This sponge does not expand when placed under running water, nor does it soften making application of foundation and concealer almost impossible. The usual dabbing technique (technical term there) which I use with my Real Techniques offering is too harsh on the face and it basically feels like you are repeatedly punching yourself in the face.
In addition, while the sponge doesn’t absorb water, it does take in a lot of liquid makeup product, meaning that if push came to shove and you needed to use it, you’d be using twice as much product as usual.

I don’t mean to begin the week a negative nancy, but I assure you my search for the perfect sponge will continue…

    
I’m back, i’m back! And no I haven’t been on my exotic holibobs I went to see my boyfriend in Brighton and forgot any blogging material (doh!) so took a little rest and got my thinking cap on so now i’m back with more content ideas than ever. In homaage to my little seaside trip, before I empty out my makeup bag into it’s correct place I thought I’d tip out it’s contents and show them to you. It’s a well laid out tip I did, don’t you think?

I’ve gotten pretty good at packing, sticking with the minimum and accepting the fact that I probably wont need eight lipsticks for one weekend, nor is it necessary to pack three pairs of jeans in the same fit and colour (oops). This edit isn’t an every time one, but it served me fairly well for my four day stay and to be honest I just wanted to do a makeup bag flatlay.

The makeup bag itself is from Charlotte Tilbury, it’s has on the lipstick prints of iconic ladies such as Ms Moss and one day i’d like the wrinkles of my lips printed on a makeup bag too. On the back it says “Give a woman the right makeup and she can conquer the world” – wise words from Chazza if you ask me.

For my base I popped in my moisturiser of the moment, the Lait Creme Concentrate by Embryolisse, it’s pretty fab and I’ve spoken about it on multiple occasions. I also opted for my beloved NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser because I knew I had no evening plans and this is perfect for sunny days by the sea because it contains SPF as well as giving you that perfect skin look. I obviously packed three concealers – they’re a pretty powerful trio which I have spoken about here. For both blushing, bronzing and sculpting purposes I opted for the one product wonder that is MAC’s powder blush in Harmony, which I swished on with the fluffy angled brush.

For lips I kept it simple with whatever was rolling around the bottom of my handbag and the Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick in Adrienne. For eyes I packed my MAC quad, the Maybelline gel liner and the Bourjois Color Band crayon in Brun Dabaste.

The other random bits and bobs stuffed in were Essie’s nail polish in Fifth Avenue, Stella EDT, a mirror and various brushes.

So, a reasonably well edited selection for a long weekend away. What would you pack?

   I know I know, I’ve made a statement right there but sometimes you’ve got to be bold, brutal and honest. You and I know that I’ve had the same blue/grey/green (still can’t decide) Essie polish on for weeks now and it probably wasn’t long until my nails stained that colour. But on a recent browse down the aisles of Superdrug I spotted a pretty row of pastel polishes, in packaging I hadn’t seen before – cue a new obsession: Barry M’s Speedy Quick Dry nail paint.

I picked up the shades Pit Stop (on nails) and Eat My Dust which were in a “cant leave them on the shelves at that price” deal. I do love a bargain. The shades are probably the most similar pairing in the range (obv) but they were the two I wanted the most, what’s too many bottles of grey between friends eh? The formula of them both is exactly the same; two coats opaque and they do dry in record time as the name suggests. (Quick shout out to the finish line flag lid as well, that floats my boat.)

If you’re not a pale nails gal, Barry M do have some brighter shades in the range and for £3.99 they’re easily worth a try. You can buy Barry M products in the UK from Boots and Superdrug. Maximillian who?

      While I often part with pennies on high end makeup items or go crazy for skincare, I rarely really bother with my hair. I have it coloured, sometimes by the hairdresser, sometimes by my unwilling boyfriend but as soon as i’ve left the salon my tresses become part of a boring routine.

Despite my lack lustre approach, I do use products on my hair which I find work for me and I don’t completely leave my hair once it’s shampoo’d. My main aims are to nourish it and reduce frizz. My hair is naturally wavy when rough blow dried and curly when left to air dry and so frizz quickly becomes an issue. As well as this, years of bleach and yo-yo-ing between blonde and brunette (see below) have left me with dry, damaged hair, so hydrating and caring is another key thing I hope to read on product packaging.

 I begin my routine with washing my hair, and I do this every two to three days depending on what i’m doing/if I can get away with leaving it. For this I use L’Oreal Elvive full restore five shampoo and conditioner, which aim to provide a solution for all hair problems. I do really like using L’Oreal products, I find that despite being on the high street they are great quality and feel a little bit more luxurious than the very budget brands.

Next I brush through my hair and depending on how I want to style it I might apply some of the Toni and Guy Glamour Mousse at the root to give some lift. I then apply the L’Oreal Elvive Anti-Frizz Serum to the ends of my hair and run any excess through the mid-lengths, completely avoiding the roots as they are a greasy nightmare. Before blow-drying I always spritz on the Vo5 Cherish My Colour heat defence blow dry spray to protect my hair from the hairdryer and from any other heated appliances I might use. To finish off I style my hair using my straighteners (for straight or curly) and then add some of the Charles Worthington Salon at Home Volume and Bounce spray to the roots to add lift and give a tousled, beachy textured finish.

So all of that and not one of the products costs more than ten pounds! What are your hair care picks?

   Here’s the thing I have really bad dark circles under my eyes, so much so that I feel obliged to retweet every single “the bags under my eyes are Chanel” tweet that I see just so everyone knows that I am fully aware my undereyes look like I got on the wrong side of the world boxing champion.

I’m quite lucky in that I don’t get many spots *touches wood* and so when I buy a concealer it’s always for the old undereyes rather than something targeted at blemishes. I have never bought a high end concealer *pats self on back* and with the bunch pictured above i’m yet to feel the need to venture out or to spend more money. The British high street is coming on leaps and bounds in terms of cosmetics meaning that I can look semi decent and have a good dinner in my tum both at the same time! Result.

My Corrector of choice comes in the shape of the Soap and Glory Kick Ass concealer pot. This perfectly packaged product comes compete with a salmony toned corrector for under the eyes, a yellow one for any redness or blemishes and a transparent setting powder to keep all of your handy work in place. The concealers are creamy, whilst being stiff enough to stay put and do a good job of hiding any sins while the powder does a great job of preventing creases or any around the nose shine.

To go on top of that (seriously, girl gotta layer) I use the Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser for Eyes. This has a funny foam applicator which you twist the product onto before swiping under the eyes. The applicator might look gross but I think it’s brilliant for the under eyes as it’s soft, meaning you aren’t applying too much pressure to such a sensitive area. The anti aging (approaching 20/going grey) effect is a fantastic aid for under eyes as it doesn’t settle into any fine lines meaning again it’s less likely to crease or gather. A thumbs up from me.

Finally the L’Oreal The Concealer is my go to for not so bad under eye days and for any unwelcome additions to the skin. This is the most yellow based out of my trio so does a grand job at counteracting redness or dark spots and is great for highlighting.

So that’s my pick of the budget bunch. Do you have a favourite concealer?

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I feel as though in the past year or so the drugstore/high-street beauty stores have really upped their games and are coming up top trumps. There are a lot of gems to be found in the aisles and there’s something about finding something great that beats the satisfaction of buying its high end alternative.

I often find myself pondering Boots and Superdrug whenever I walk past one or when I have a bit of time to waste and so with many years experience swatching, sampling and spending, I’ve come up with my pick of the bunch. These are my top 10 products under £10.

1. Nivea Pure & Natural Moisturisers are an easy pick coming in at under five pounds each. These can often be found on offer too. (Superdrug constantly have skincare offers, I always pick things up when they’ve got a bit of money off.) These moisturisers are hydrating, nourishing and moisturising and are perfect for those with dry or dehydrated skin, they feel cooling and sink in quickly while still providing hours of hydration and moisture, leaving skin soft, plump and ready for makeup.

2. Topshop Highlighting Powder in Crescent Moon has been discontinued (sob) meaning I do use it sparingly. This is a buttery soft subtle glowy highlight with a rose golden undertone, suitable for all skintones and skin types. The product contains little or no shimmer and adds a beautiful candlelit radiance to the skin. I love.

3. Rimmer Natural Bronzer is a warm toned bronze with a subtle shimmer which doesnt really translate onto the skin. During last summer, this bronzer had holy grail status for me and warmed up my complexion in a way which none of its competitors managed. It has a slightly red undertone making the colour natural looking and leaving you looking like you’ve had two weeks in the Bahamas… if only.

4. Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish in Soul Session. Part of Rimmel’s ongoing collaboration with Kate Moss, soul session is my pick of the drugstore polish. A lovely nude shade which elongates the fingers and again would look lovely against any skin tone. The polish is created with Lycra technology meaning it goes on smoothly and lasts longer than others.

5. Maybelline Colossal Go Extreme! Mascara in Leather Black has just tipped my beloved Great Lash off the top spot with its incredible lengthening power. This mascara provides length and volume and a leather black coating to the lashes.

6. Maybelline 24hr Colour Tattoo Leather Effect in Creamy Beige is my new favourite eye colour, I wear it as a base under other shadows to make them pop and to increase the longevity as well as wearing it alone on those mornings where i’m too tired to even pick up an eyeshadow brush. Easy to use and great pigmentation.

7. Tanya Burr Lipgloss in Chic is my favourite gloss from the drugstore. Pigmented, glossy, smells lovely and isn’t too sticky on the lips and the shade range is outstanding.

8. Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in Tantalizing Taupe is a lovely cool toned everyday nude shade. The formula glides on well and covers a multitude of dry lipped sins. I tend to pick this up most days and am currently looking into more shades from the ever expanding range.

9. Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Nude Delight. Gosh i’m a sucker for a nude, this is the latters peachy alternative in my collection, and one I tend to go for in the summer months when my skin is a little darker and makeup is warmer. This has a moisture rich formula (Genius) and again glides over any dry patches. The longevity isn’t quite as long as the Maybelline nude, however, for the moisturising properties I don’t mind reapplying every so often.

10. Palmers Cocoa Butter Original Formula Lip Balm is something I can’t rave about enough and which, in hindsight, should have been at the very top of this post. I LOVE THIS LIP BALM. If you pick up one thing this week, make it this. Thank me later.

So, those are my top picks for under £10. What are your drugstore favourites?