nyx liquid suede nyx swatches

NYX Liquid Suede £6.50 each

Ooh, isn’t that title misleading…

My point is, in short, that these are my alternative to paying ££ plus ££ postage and potential ££ customs charge for a Kylie lip kit, when I can, essentially achieve the same look with these beauties.

So I’ve added to my NYX liquid suede collection, and as expected i’m far from disappointed with my new picks. I opted for Soft Spoken and Tea & Cookies to add to Sandstorm (which is at my mums and therefore unable to feature in this post, but you can see it switched in this post) and with just these three I feel like I’ve got all bases covered, though I do really want the red.

Tea & Cookies is my ideal everyday shade, with a bit more pink than usual. I’d probably not have gone for this one if I hadn’t seen that Sammi from Sammi Maria (or Beautycrush if you’re OT) has it, she is literal goals and I basically buy anything she does. Fangirl, not bovd. 

Soft Spoken is more of a middle shade which bridges the gap between T&C and Sandstorm. Where T&C is pink and Sandstorm is brown, Soft Spoken is pink brown. What more could a girl need?

There is absolutely no variation in the quality of these lip colours between shades, they all apply opaque with just one swipe and are ridiculously long lasting. They dry down matte and are completely transfer proof if you want to be smoochin’ or drinking vino (more likely the latter).

So, to conclude, I’ll not be on Kylie’s website at 3pm PST. At least not today.

I’m not even sure brown lips can be considered a trend anymore, more a revolution. Either way, I’ve picked out my top four products to get you that nineties pout, with something to suit all styles. And yes, I do desperately want a Kylie Lip Kit, let’s not talk about it.

Probably the closest to a Kylie Jenner is the NYX Liquid Suede Liquid Lipstick in 07 Sandstorm. I’ve seen mixed reviews of the liquid suede formula however I’m a big fan and I’m looking to expand my collection before doing a full review on here. Until then, it’s an easy application, dries completely matte and fails to budge. This is a wearable brown shade which doesn’t look like you’ve smeared chocolate on your face, my favourite type.

For something more everyday office appropriate the Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in 728 Honey Beige is a good shout. I love this paired with the Rimmel Cappuccino Lip Liner which just so happens to be next in the firing line. I’ll let the swatches do the talking…

Finally, MAC Whirl is one of those colour everyone’s got in either the pencil or lipstick formula, and is the epitome of nineties brown shades. This does drag the lips a little more than a liquid formula like the NYX however isn’t a shade I find to be particularly drying with occasional balm between applications, it does, however show flaky bits and so for best results use post scrub.

Do you wear brown lipstick?

There’s no denying Highlight is having a moment, and having been a fan of the shimmery stuff since I first got into makeup I’m more excited than a child at Christmas about the copious amounts of new releases surrounding my favourite face product.

I’m not one for a subtle glow, I’m more the shine like a beacon hope you can see my disco face from several miles away type and I’m not even ashamed of it. If I could, I would dip my entire face in highlight every morning, but that would defeat the object, so I refrain.

Today’s post is to share with you four of my current favourites, and boy was it a tough decision. I had a good rummage through my collection and daydreamed about what would fill the (very small) spaces in the drawers, and after much distraction, I picked out these four.

From left to right in the above image.

Topshop Powder Highlight in Crescent Moon (£10, Topshop) – This comes and goes out of the core collection, at the moment it’s not online but I have spied it in a few stores. It’s slightly rose gold in tone but a tad more peach than rose and on the skin its a beautiful glowy shimmer, as opposed to some of my glittery offerings. The formula of this one is an absolute dream; it’s so soft and buttery and goes onto the skin as if it’s a cream. OH it might just be my favourite.

MAC Mineralise Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle (£24 , MAC UK)– This is a bit of a cult classic as highlighters go, and is one I’m sure 99% of bloggers own. This is a soft focus shimmer product which offers a subtle (ish) sheen with one swipe but can be built up to something quite spectacular. This looks best applied with a fan brush and I personally love it over a cream highlight for maximum impact.

Topshop Chameleon Highlight in Mother of Pearl (£12.50, Topshop) – This one is definitely the most out there in my collection, and the one I wear when I’m feeling particularly brave. I like this with matte eyes and lips so that it’s the only sheeny shiny bit on my face and really stands out. It’s a duo-chrome effect combining magenta and orange and I can imagine it would look amazing on all skin tones. If you’re into highlight, you NEED this.

MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl (£16, MAC UK) – This is another cult product for bloggers, and one which is suitable for highlight noobs or those who do prefer a subtle look. It’s also great for layering to make powders pop. I like this with a super dewy skin look, where it looks fresh and healthy without a shimmer in sight.

collection cosmetics#facethedaycollection face

I recently got my mitts on the Collection #FaceTheDay palette*, amongst some of the brands other best bits and thought what better way to test them out that to shove them all on my face in one go, wear it for a day and see how I feel. In the above images I am wearing entirely Collection Cosmetics aside from my brows which are Sleek’s Brow Kit in Light.

I started off with the Collection Colour Match Foundation in the shade 1 Porcelain*, followed by the Lasting Perfection Concealer in shade 2 Cool Medium*. Following this I filled in my brows before using the eyeshadow shades in the #FaceTheDay palette* to create an everyday smokey look, using the darkest shade to define my lashline and add a subtle wing. I then applied one coat of the Collection Waterproof Volumising Mascara* before using the Bronze shade from #FaceTheDay to contour my face. I then used the blush shade from the palette before swiping on the Speedy Highlight stick* and topping with the highlight shade from the palette for an extra glow. I finished the look with Collection Lasting Colour Lipstick in 21 Rosewood*.

Application: I used a beauty blender to apply both the foundation and concealer, as I find that this gives the most natural finish while still making the most out of the coverage offering. I used the lightest shade in the foundation range and it was a little too dark on me, and I didn’t notice it working to match my skintone as the name suggests. Despite this it did blend in well and look fairly uniform across my face. The concealer is a product which I know and love and so I again applied this with a beauty blender over dark circles and redness. The eyeshadows had reasonable pigment and little/no falldown however I did find them to have chunks of glitter as opposed to being buttery and shimmery. The bronze shade was too orange for contouring and instead I had to blend it around the outside of my face for warmth. The blush and highlight products we’re all pleasant to apply and had good pigment. The lipstick was creamy and glided over any dry flaky patches.

Overall Look: The overall look was nice and something which I felt comfortable with, I would’ve liked a more cool toned bronzer to sculpt the face however this is probably personal preference and not something which affected the look too much. My favourite parts were the highlight stick and the lipstick, which is a pinky brown nude which somehow manages to be unlike anything else in my collection.

Signs of Wear: Throughout the day the pigment of the eyeshadow disintegrated and the foundation and concealers oxidized on the skin and started to look shiny – this could, however, be down to me not setting them for the purpose of this post. The mascara didn’t smudge and the blush and highlight stayed put however once the foundation oxidized the bronzer shade was undetectable. The lipstick budged after eating.

I do think that Collection offers cosmetics which are fantastic quality considering the price point however I do think they should cater for a more varied skin-tone and perhaps create a #FaceTheDay palette for Light, Medium and Dark skins as opposed to one shade fits all. This is a look that I would wear again and I will no doubt use some of the products on an everyday basis, particularly the mascara which offers great volume with just one coat.

Do you like Collection?

*PR Samples                    

best budget concealersBase products are something I have a real love hate relationship with, I love when I find a good one, but I hate the trial and error process and wish that my base would just look perfect every single day. To perfect it I use a mixture of high end and high street products, the latter of which I want to share with you today. I always prefer sharing more budget friendly products on here to ensure that what I recommend is accessible to a varied audience. (Though we all know in no time at all I’ll be raving about a new high end hero! Oops..)

Moving on… I love a good concealer. And by a good concealer I mean a creamy, full coverage concealer with a lightweight feel and cake free texture. I’m hard to please and to remain in my stash a concealer has to tick all of the boxes. I do opt for something targeted at the under-eye area, as dark shadows are my nemesis and blemishes tend to be something I just smear whatever over.

Everybody and their third cousin loves the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (which I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned on here… eh?) and for good reason. We don’t all sing from the same hymn sheet for a lot of products but this one is a real people pleaser in terms of its coverage, longevity (though I’m yet to test it’s 16hr claims) and formula. Shade 2 is a salmony shade perfect for correcting blue tones under the eyes and it’s thick enough to cover up while not setting into a crusty cakey mess.

The Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer is a firm favourite of mine and one I know a few of my friends love too. It’s lightweight while still packing a punch in terms of coverage and contains kind to the eyes anti aging ingredients to prevent the product from settling into any fine lines meaning it’s crease free. The applicator is super soft around the delicate area too meaning you can shove on a shed load.

Finally the Maybelline Better Skin Concealer is a new one over on these shores and one I’ve seen a fair few raves over by some of my American faves. This is probably the highest coverage of this tempting trio while being a little thinner in consistency than my collection fave. One to try if you suffer a few pesky blemishes.

Have you got a favourite concealer? Post your recommendations below or tweet me @abgldwsn

march faves

Oh hey y’all! Long time no speak. I’m beginning to notice a pattern emerging in my posts, one which consists of constant apology for lack of content but to put it bluntly, I’m busy.

March was an exciting month for me, I finished and handed in my dissertation and had a quality night out with the girlies to celebrate, I gave up chocolate in aid of British Heart Foundation, I popped across to Paris, I interned with a great PR company which meant I lacked time to metaphorically put pen to paper and ponder my favourite subject of all… on with the show!

I’m still on a mission to find the perfect base and this month I returned to an old favourite Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, it’s a light coverage base with a nourishing formula and I like it best applied with a buffing brush over my new favourite Happy Light Luminous Primer. I’ve been testing out their new City Radiance base launch too, i’ll pop a post up asap.

I’ve had the common cold ft a very sore grumbly throat and chapped everything to match. Rose & Co’s Rose Petal Salve is a winner for hydrating and protecting flaky bits, like Vaseline but one million times better. I love it.

Once my lips had endured a little TLC I’ve been plastering on my CT Mini Lipstick Charm in Penelope Pink which I definitely need to purchase a full size of. It’s the perfect pink peach nude shade suitable for day and evening looks.

Finally I’ve fallen out of love with my lashes having had issues with some of my favourite mascaras starting to smudge. I picked up the Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara, a cult classic and an old favourite of mine which leaves me feeling nostalgic of the time’s I’d sweep this on after PE at school. It’s a tiny brush and the product does require work but a few coats and you’re left with long, thick, fluttery lashes that not even a falsie could improve.

What were your favourites things in the month of March?

#blushandglow

This little palette has been doing the rounds in the blogger world of late, and because of this has been a nightmare to get hold of. I eventually picked it up with my boots points and was initially impressed by the size of the product and the size of the individual pans.

Blush and Glow is a quad of powder cheek shades, offering everything you need to bronze, sculpt, blush and glow in one handy compact. In regards to the packaging, I think the magnetic closure is a great addition however I would have preferred metal or plastic packaging over cardboard, as this can get ruined very easily. I like the see through panel so that I can see what colours are in there when I’m looking through my collection and the lack of mirror doesn’t bother me at all.

The shades are VERY pigmented, so much so that I ended up looking like I’d rolled in mud upon first application of the bronzer. It’s tiny price point made me go in hard with the brush and I ended up with far too much product for one or even several faces… a light tap will do the trick.

The bronzer is a nice universal shade with no shimmer, making it ideal for both bronzing and sculpting the face and reducing the need for two separate products which is ideal for travel. The blushes are both very wearable shades and can be worn lightly for blush phobes like myself or built up with the exceptional levels of pigment. The highlighter isn’t my favourite as I find the pink toned iridescence too much for my skin, but if you like a pinker highlight over something gold then this is a lovely buttery formula which you absolutely cannot fault for the price.

Have you tried this?

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

It seems Collection are going from strength to strength as a brand since the massive hype over their pretty brilliant Lasting Perfection Concealer. They’ve gotten rid of their 2000 and rebranded as a modern, affordable brand for all ages and tastes.

I’m currently trying one million and eight (exaggeration) foundations in the search for the one, and on a recent trip to Boots with my favourite shopping buddy I spent some of my advantage card points on their Illuminating Touch foundation. Now, I didn’t have high expectations for this bottle of tint, I paid a mere £3.99 for it and it only came in a choice of four shades which all looked exactly the same. However I was more than pleasantly surprised with the application, look, feel and longevity of this product. It offers a no shimmer glow, medium coverage and blends just as well as if not better than it’s high end counterparts. The shade 3 is a pretty close match to me, just warming up my skintone slightly and making me look a lot less dull and a little less pale. The One? I don’t want to make that commitment, but it’s certainly slowed down my search and opened my eyes to a new drugstore gem.

Have you tried this?

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?

Nivea In Shower Moisturiser

Welcome to my bathroom, where we’ll be spending the next two days.

I cant decide whether or not photographing a wet product is disgusting. Nevertheless it shows the product and that’s all I ask of a picture. Today’s post is all about this fab moisturiser, for gals on the go or lazy folk like myself.

Nivea In Shower Moisturiser is by no means a new product, but one that I always thought was probably a bit of a gimick. I picked this up in Wilko on a toiletry shop (how glam) as it was on offer and my skin is so needy I thought it might be worth giving a go.

If you don’t like the shivering, boring, sticky act off applying a body moisturiser when you get out of the shower each morning then you will love this. During the winter months (and all of the others) my skin, particularly on my legs, gets flaky, scaly, sore and feels tight meaning I usually have to smother it in emolient before putting on skinny jeans and having them literally stick to me. With the Nivea In Shower Moisturiser, I apply a generous amount it and try to leave it on for a minute or two before rinsing it off – like I would a hair conditioner. I then pat myself dry (I feel rubbing ruins the process) and am left able to dress immediately, with a happy medium of skin texture. It’s made the getting ready process so much quicker and helped my limbs out a lot in the bitter chill. If only everything was so easy…