Wednesday, 6 August 2014

MUA Haul: Bargain or Bin

(wearing Flawless Primer, Luminating Foundation, Gel Eyeliner and Lip Lacquer)

 (wearing Matte Lipstick in Wilde Berry)

  (wearing Matte Lipstick in Lilac Belle)

(Wearing Intense Colour Eyeliner in Forest Green)


The acronym grabbing the attention of everyone remotely interested in make-up.

For me, it wasn't to much the products themselves that caught my attention, but rather the buzzword 'bargain.' Having tested so many beauty products, I've learnt that expensive doesn't always guarantee you quality, and that there are some hidden gems to be found in bargain brands.

So this haul all started when I signed up to The Sun+ online for £1 to receive a £20 Superdrug voucher (you should check it out, they have amazing offers, and you can cancel the subscription shortly after). Now we all know make-up can be expensive, and I wasn't expecting the voucher to stretch very far, until I heard about MUA. I walked away with a whopping 8 products!!

Undress Your Skin Flawless Primer - £5
Primers are one of those products that cost a lot, yet the result is very subtle. One of those products you convince yourself you can do without. Now when I say subtle, I don't want to demean the importance of a primer. When you find a good one, you'll never be without it. In regards to this particular product, it does do the job. It creates a smooth, even and matte layer upon which you can apply your foundation. This product gives you what you pay for, and no added extras like colour correction or luminosity. It's not the best primer I've tried, but I was really happy with the result considering how much it cost. My only issue is that a little doesn't go a long way like others I've used. The bottle's quite small, and you will go though it quite quickly.

Undress Your Skin Luminating Foundation (Medium) - £5
I was really surprised by this foundation. I've never really got on with high street liquid foundations. I usually find them too drying for my skin and being olive toned, it's a right old hassle trying to find a match. The first thing I noticed about it was how runny in consistency it was. I saw this as a good thing, as the YSL and Estee Lauder foundations I've used were of a similar consistency and were very moisturising. The shade was a perfect match so I didn't have to faff around with neck and chin blending (I bloody hate that). Coverage wise, it wasn't as matt as I would have liked, but MUA do a Matt foundation, so I can't really complain. It left me with a nice and natural dewy look which for Summer I think is perfect.

Gel Eyeliner - £3
I actually used this gel eye liner before the Jane Iredale one that I reviewed HERE so this was my first experience of it. For me, gels have the best elements of both pencil and liquid liners. You have the intensity in colour of the liquid, and the control and precision of the pencil (depending on what brush you have of course). The brush on this product is quite short and square, which I really liked. The gel itself is more of a paste so you have to make sure there aren't any lumps on your brush or you'll get in a right state. To my surprise, there wasn't much smudging and my wings lasted longer than if I'd used a pencil. I have actually almost finished the pot, so for £3 this is more than a bargain, it's a bloomin' steal.

Intense Colour Eye Liner (Forest Green) - £1
I don't think there's much you expect from a pencil eye liner other than vibrant, sharp lines that last. This pencil is creamy in texture and has a gorgeous metallic, dark green hue that is perfect for adding a bit of drama and depth to an evening look. Just a thin line on the top lid is all you need. It also works well for blending with eye shadows. Now that I know how brilliant they are, for £1 I'm gonna get the whole lot. Oh, and the fitted sharpener in the lid is soo handy.

Matte Lipstick in Lilac Belle and Wild Berry - £1 each
I was so excited about trying these when I bought them. Now if you've ever been to an MUA counter in Superdrug, you'll know they're always an absolute mess ( which I can only put down to popularity). It's like someone's set loose a fashion conscious yet penny-pinching honey badger. So when I went to get the products, there were only a scattered few of these lipsticks left, but luckily in the shades I wanted. I thought Wild Berry was perfect for a moody red whilst Lilac Belle was cute and kitsch. However I was a little disappointed. The shade of Wild Berry once it's been applied differs quite drastically to what you see. It's a much brighter red, which clashes with my olive skin tone, but would definitely suit someone fairer.  The Lilac Belle isn't as deceiving. I knew it would be a risk choosing such a light shade, and it doesn't suit me as much as I hoped. They also have that cheap, plasticy texture that means no matter how hard you rub it on your lips, you barely get any colour. I've managed to get some use out of them however by manually scraping off a bit of lipstick and massaging it into my lips, and mixing both colours together to get a wearable shade. For £1 I can't say it's too much of a surprise, and I'm happy to continue using them the way I have been.

Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer in Kooky - £3
When I saw the word 'Velvet' I knew I had to try this. I'm a sucker for purple lips anyway, and I loved the pictures I'd seen all over Instagram of matte lips. In the short term, this product doesn't disappoint. The colour is gorgeous and slightly cooler in tone than my MAC Cyber lipstick. It's wet to the touch at first but in a matter of seconds dries to create a brilliant matte look which I adore, despite the fact the coverage isn't as even as I'd like. Now this lacquer is fine if you don't plan on eating/drinking anything whilst wearing it. The first time I discovered this, I ended up with camo style lips, and looked down to find most of the product on my burger. Despite this, I do love this product. A cheap price to pay for quite a dramatic statement, even if that statement does need a top-up or two every now and then.

Undressed Palette

I was very eager to try this palette as everyone's been raving about it. If you're into reading beauty blogs then you've probably heard the word 'dupe' thrown around a lot. If not, this basically refers to a product that is very similar to a more expensive counterpart. In this case, the Undressed Palette is the dupe for Urban Decay's Naked palette. I've never tried the Naked palette but being a beauty blogger I've heard so much about it. The colours in MUA's palette are stunning, and I love how each matte shade is paired with a metallic. It saves you trying to figure out what colours work together (I mean, of course you can experiment,but for beginners this makes life so easy). The pigmentation is incredible for a product so cheap, and the shades blend together really well. I'm going to do a separate post just for this palette, so I can show you the variety of ways in which these shades can be used, so watch this space. 

Until then, go grab yourself some major beauty bargains (if the stand isn't too much of a mess.) 


Friday, 18 July 2014

Summer Radiance with Jane Iredale's Magic Hour Collection



 After returning from holiday with the best tan I've ever had (sorry to boast), I'm really enjoying exploring make-up that compliment it. 

Just recently, it was Jane Iredale's 20th Anniversary and to celebrate they released the Magic Hour collection. They were kind enough to send me some samples to try out, and I have been testing it for a few weeks, but never has it suited me as much as it does right now. 

The collection consists of the brands new Jelly Jar Gel Eyeliner, Comfort In Touch Highlighter, Golden Girl Purepressed Eyeshadow Triple, and New Shades of Lip Fixation. Packed full of golden, warm and shimmery hues, this collection is a tan's best friend. 

I've been playing around a lot with the Jelly Jar Gel Eyeliner because since using MUA's gel, I'm preferring it to liquid and pencil. Obviously Jane Iredale's is of a better quality and the brush that comes with it is perfect for applying thin, subtle wings. It dries pretty quickly so there's no smudging and you don't need a lot at all, so even though the pot is small I know it's going to last. 

The Comfort In Touch Highlighter was in all honesty my first ever use of a highlighter, so I don't have much to compare it to but I soooo love it. It's subtler than blusher but with a more enhancing effect on the cheek bone area, reflecting light and adding an elegant shimmer. Just one stroke of the stick at the very top of my cheeks was enough to create this effect. Again, a small but long lasting and worthy investment. 

As far as eye shadows are concerned, Jane Iredale's are as good as they come, especially when it comes to pigmentation. The three shades in the Golden Girl Purepressed Eye Shadow Triple work and blend so well together to create a golden and shimmery look that is perfect for both day and evening. 

To finish this look off perfectly, all that's needed is a summery lip. Jane Iredale's New Shades of Lip Fixation has really surprised me. It's pink for a start, a shade I never thought I'd be found wearing. The pink half of the stick is rather watery in texture which worried me a bit when I first tried it, but once it's been applied it darkens, dries and turns matte. It's at this point that you add the peachy, translucent and shimmery gloss on top to create a lovely vibrant apricot lip that contrasts brilliantly with tanned skin, and in fact emphasizes it. 

So head on out there and get your tan on, because make-up is much more fun with one!