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.) 


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Get a Fresh Faced Look with Clinique

Ever since doing the Cheek Pop review, I've become a massive fan of Clinique products, and couldn't wait for the opportunity to do another one. Clinique were kind enough to send me three samples for a fresh faced 'awake' look which I was so excited to try out.

 Natural make-up looks are perfect for Summer. No one wants a cake face in boiling hot weather. There's nothing worse than your make-up slipping half-way down your face. 

Now I have quite an extensive make-up routine, so when I realised I had to create a fresh-faced natural look with just these three products, I wasn't sure if it would work. 

The first of the products was the SuperPrimer which colour corrects dullness in deeper skins. It actually took me a while to get used to this, because it's texture is very different to other primers that I've used. It's nowhere near as wet, and dries instantly once upon the skin, whereas others leave a dewy, moisturised feel.  It's also tan in colour, which surprised me. But the more I used it, the more I realised that both the texture and colour work to benefit your skin and the finished look. The dryness creates the perfect matte base for you to apply foundation too, so that it doesn't cling to any particular area, whilst the tan colour helps to gently even out your skin tone, whilst adding just a slight bit of colour to your face.

I have quite dry skin, and when my skin was at its worst, I found this primer a little too dry, but to fix this I used a thick moisturiser, left it to dry thoroughly, and then applied the primer. Problem Solved.

Next is the Airbrush Concealer. I fell in love with this instantly. So easy to use, and with the primer it creates brilliant coverage with no need for added foundation. It's so light on the skin, and reflects light, which hides any dark areas (this baby is absolute magic for dark circles under the eyes). It also works as a highlighter, particularly in the corner of the eye and just below the eyebrow.  I now take this absolutely everywhere with me. It's perfect for when you want a quick touch up, without having to heave out the foundations and brushes etc.
My only complaint would be that you can't see how much you've used, so you can't see when it's running out, and considering how much I love it, that's something I'm going to need to know.

With your skin sorted, the last thing to focus on is your eyes. No matter how fresh your face looks, if your eyes look tired it will ruin the whole look. This is where this bad boy steps in. Clinique's High Impact Mascara adds length and volume to an extent where it opens up your eyes, creating a wide-eyed effect, whilst at the same time separating them to make your lashes look as natural as possible. Nobody likes a clumpy mascara. 

So here's the complete look:

All in all, I am so happy with these products. It's actually changed my make-up routine completely, because in testing these product I've become so used to a light layer of make-up that I don't want to go back. The days are getting hotter, and we're all going to be looking for an answer to our melting make-up problems. I think Clinique have it! 

Steph x x x


Monday, 31 March 2014

Jane Iredale Starter Kit

Afternoon all!
Just recently, the lovely people at Jane Iredale sent me over their new Starter Kit, which is aimed at helping you to achieve radiant skin in three easy steps.
Before I went to university, I worked in a hair and beauty salon, and the beauticians were always using Jane Iredale on the clients. It was a brand I’d never heard of before, but the clients absolutely loved it. So a few months ago I reviewed their Puremoist Lipstick for a newspaper I write for, and began to understand why this brand has such a strong reputation. All of their products are of amazing quality, and the brand has your skin’s best interests at heart.

Now I’ve tried a lot of foundations and as you’re probably aware from my recent make-up post, I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing can beat mineral foundation, so I was well and truly excited to be given the opportunity to work with another patron of this make-up wonder.
The Jane Iredale Starter Kit contains a Primer, an Amazing Base, which is basically a loose mineral foundation, a PurePressed Base, a Hydration Spray and a mineral foundation brush, all of which come in a chic travel-size cosmetic case with an extra-large mirror.

The Amazing Base is for more of a luminous, natural look, whilst the PurePressed Base gives a semi-matte look. After trying both separately, both matched my skin perfectly, but I didn’t find the coverage as strong with the PurePressed Base as I did with the Amazing Base. The PurePressed Base would work really well for a light, daytime look, if you don’t like wearing anything too heavy. The Amazing Base is light too, but the coverage is more of a matte porcelain look. For me, I used both, and really loved the results. I’ve also never had a foundation that matches my skin tone so perfectly. I absolutely hate the line of foundation you get just above your neck, and no matter how much I blend, I’m always really conscious of it. I loved that with these products I didn’t have to worry about that.

I found that the brush provided wasn’t dense and rigid enough to blend the minerals into my skin; instead it just kind of stroked me. So I opted for my Body Shop mineral foundation brush, which did the job perfectly. Before I knew too much about make-up, I never bothered with primer, but I’m slowly being convinced as to why it’s a worthwhile investment instead of a money making scheme (I sound so cynical haha)  The only other primer I’ve tried is the RevlonPhotoReady Perfecting Primer (which by the way, is INCREDIBLE), so I only have that to compare to. I was really happy with this one; it creates a smooth and matte base which works really well with the other products by minimising the appearance of pores and increasing luminosity. The only criticism I’d have is that the amount given in this starter pack isn’t enough. One thing I love about mineral foundations is that you don’t need a lot, and they last forever, but I’m almost half-way through the tube of primer, and I’ve only had the products a week.

I’ve never used a Hydration Spray before, and had no idea what it was for. So for those like me, the POMMIST Hydration Spray helps to set the minerals and give your skin a dose of healthy botanicals. The smell of this stuff is amazing. It’s like spraying fruit juice on your face, but without the stickiness. I find that with the primer and good quality of the foundations, the make-up lasts pretty well on its own, but I guess there’s nothing wrong with an added helping hand. I think a product like this would be more useful during the hotter months, when you can feel your make-up sliding down your face.

So all in all, I’d give this product 4/5.
I adore the foundations, and although I have intentions to review plenty more, until I find the next best thing, Jane Iredale’s foundations are my new make-up soul mates. I love the primer too, but there just isn’t enough, and I’m yet to discover the full benefits of the Hydration Mist.

Retailing at £34.95, I’d say this little set is well worth the price if you’re just getting into make-up and are looking to test out mineral foundations, primers and hydrations mists for the first time. If you were to buy these products individually, it would cost you a lot more, so for those make-up newbies out there, it’s a worthy investment.

Steph x x x