Monday, 23 February 2015

Budget Brushes

Normally, when someone talks about Budget make- up brushes, they mean Real Techniques or Eco Tools. Not me, I mean straight -up under five pounds budget. I do own Real Techniques brushes, but they are  some of my most precious beauty items, and I love them so much- most of them were actually presents for Christmas/ birthday. So, I know the struggle of trying to find good make up brushes for a couple of quid when you can only dream of MAC or Zoeva brushes. 

(I apologise for the photographs- it was dark so I used my desk light. Everything is awful.)

So here's the collection. I'll talk you through bit by bit, and as far as I'm aware, all of these brands still excist and are easily available. All of these brushes cost me under £3, most of them under £2, and I'll let you know which ones are worth picking up.

We'll start with the two odd ones out. These two are both powder brushes, and I have had them both for about two years, having washed them at least once every two weeks. Neither shred, and they are both as soft as when I bought them. The black one is from Primark and it is so soft and lovely, perfect for powdering or for bronzer. The only bad thing about it is the size. You've probably noticed, it's a tiny brush. You don't understand how angry this makes me, and how irritating it is sitting in my brush pot. But, it was one or two pounds, and has lasted so well, I would definitely recommend it. The pink one is from H&M and was £1.99. I haven't tried anything else from their beauty range, but this brush is the perfect blush brush. The right size, nice and soft, and blends everything like a dream. Also it's pink and a heart shape- what is not to love here.

These two are from the Wilkinson's brush range, and they are both good. The stippling brush is really nice, cost about £3, and does blend your foundation in nicely. However, because I have the RT Buffing brush, I don't normally stray from it, so this brush doesn't get much use. The small brush is one of my favourites, and perfect for travelling. It's a double sided brush called the 'smokey eye duo' brush. I don't use this for smokey eyes, but I use the angled brush for eyebrows and it is PER.FECT. I even prefer it to my RT eyebrow brush because it is smaller and even softer. The other end is a nice fluffy blending brush which is good for the crease, or for blending in foundation- whatever you want. This can be annoying to store, but I kept the little plastic wrap it came with, for the eyebrow end, so I pop that on and store it that way up and nothing gets squished! Perfect. The Wilko brush collection is definitely worth a look, I have my eye on their large powder brush which is so soft.

These two slick looking black brushes are actually part of the new brush collection from Revolution. These were both under £2 and I'm seriously impressed with them both. They are the E103 and E104. I've been looking for a cheap brush like the thin slanted brush for AGES, perfect for applying dark eyeshadow along the lashline. Amazing. The other is a really good blending brush, not the fluffiest, but pretty darn good.

These two are my oldest make up brushes. Bless them, theyve had a lot of wear. They are both from the brand W7 which I have never seen a store, but I bought them both from Amazon. The bigger one is a really really good staple eyeshadow brush, not too big, not too small. Amazing. I would recommend picking it up. The other one I use as a lipbrush, but I suppose it could be used for eyes too.

These last two are ELF brushes. When I did this order from ELF, I ordered three, I also got the powder brush from the main collection- the white packing. It was AWFUL. Scratchy and gross. Anyway. These two are good, so ignore that. The white one is a 'defining eye brush' which is quite thin and quite... not packed with hair?  It's very fluffy, so I wouldn't use it to apply along the lashline, but I would absolutely use it to smudge it out. The black brush is from the studio line, which is a slightly more expensive but still really cheap, and its the Blush brush. Now, this does work for blush, yes. BUT its the perfect size for highlighter. Amazing. Really soft and great. I would definitely recommend the ELF studio brush line.

I hope that's helped you know where to look for really good value brushes, it's definitely taken me years to find some good ones!
Thanks for reading
Lou x

February Beauty Empties

So I finished a few products, all of which I think are really good and I would repurchase, so I wanted to share them. :)

Firstly, this lipgloss from Avon which I have had for YEARS. I am not a lipgloss person, but this was my favourite. It was called 'Plump pout' in a clear shade, and this is something I would never normally pick up (Thank you, fifteen year old me). What made it so great was the smell, which was super fresh...kind of like mint and cinnamon (ew what? Trust me, it was great), and how it made my lips all nice and fresh looking, and plump I suppose. So yeah, this was great, and I will be looking at Avon to see if they still do something like this.

This next thing is a cleanser. And oh my god, its the best cleanser EVER. Its the superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser. This is such a nice balm cleanser which gets rid of all of your make up, and feels amazing on your skin. It also smells so nice and fresh which is a bonus. I think I actually prefer this to my new Body Shop Camomile Oil Cleanser and I definitely will be repurchasing it.

The last thing is something everyone knows about. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair. BUT. But. This ran out almost two weeks ago now and I'm actually surviving without it. I find that it is a little bit too pink for my skin, and actually not quite pale enough (my face is just white). It is also pretty heavy and can get cakey if I use it under my eyes. I've replaced it with the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 15 which is creamier and lighter, and really good, but STILL not quite fair enough, sadly. It'll do, for now, and I'll continue my search for a pale concealer.

Thanks for reading!
Lou x

Friday, 20 February 2015

Revolution 'I Heart my Lips' Collection/ Review

I love Make Up Revolution. Normally.

Unfortunately, this collection of I Love my Lips lipsticks which came as free gift ( so I can't really complain) with my order, are quite disappointing. 
I haven't actually tried anything else lips-wise from Revolution, and so I was pretty excited to get a whole free set of these. 
On arrival, I actually got five out of six, and a two of 'Irregular Heartbeat' which is a shame, so I don't have the red shade which is called Heart Attack.
The packaging is obviously a copy of MAC's bullet shaped lipsticks, but it has a shiny, rather than matte finish, and feels a lot lighter and, well, pretty cheap. The purple shade, Racing Heart, was actually broken when it arrived, and is really hard to twist up. 

This is 'Heart is Pumping' and it is probably my favourite one of the bunch. It's very sheer (as they all all are) and is basically a very subtle pink. Very little to complain about here, but nothing to get excited about. You can't build up this colour as it is so sheer, but it's a very quick easy option if you want something balmy and tinted. This lipstick actually broke when I did the arm swatch which is SO annoying.

This is 'Beating Heart' and actually this one is not so bad. It is a nice medium pink which applies pretty evenly, and actually stayed in place quite well which is good. You can build this one up to a certain extent but the finish gets a little patchy after a while.

This is a coral shade, which is Irregular Heartbeat. It looks nice when just patted onto the lips, for a really subtle corally- lip. HOWEVER, you can build it up, but please don't. It sinks into all the lines on my lips, goes patchy, and suddenly becomes quite neon- and not in a nice way. Again, as a subtle shade applied carefully, this one is okay, but nothing amazing.

This is the nude shade, which is Rising Pulse, and is actually really pretty. Sheer, like the rest of them, but a nice medium- nude with peachy brown undertones. Very nice, I like this one.

Lastly, this is Racing Heart, and I don't think it gives credit to how awfully  it applied. On the website it looks like a rich purple, but it's more like a berry-red which is pretty patchy, and just generally quite horrible. Sorry make up Revolution!

Out of the collection I would recommend Rising Pulse as a really nice nude sheer lipstick. The two pinks are alright, but nothing special, but I would say steer clear of the coral and purple- not good. 
I'm a bit disappointed because Revolution haven't let me down before, but I will definitely be thinking twice before purchasing any other lip products from them.
HOWEVER, the rest of my order was absolutely amazing, and I will include a few top items in a full review or a collective review.

Hope this was helpful, thank you for reading!
Lou x

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Revolution Salvation Palette [What You Waiting For?]

If you live in the UK and you haven't tried anything from Make Up Revolution yet, sort your life out. 
I've tried a few things, I have a couple of their other eyeshadow palettes, the £4 ones instead of this £6 version (I'm such a big spender), and they are really good, but I have to say this palette- called What You Waiting For- which is part of the 'Salvation Palette' range, is far superior in quality, colour range, and packaging. It has a huge mirror which is always good, and the layout of the eyeshadows is nice and clear. The circular shades are a row of matte, and the rest are shimmers which I think is a GREAT way to lay a palette out. I have swatches of all three rows, but unfortunately no names for individual eyeshadows because I  threw away the little plastic sheet which came inside with them on.

This is the matte row, and I think if you're looking for a basic selection of matte shades, this is a really good one. All of these shades are really smooth and pigmented, I don't know if the white will show up so well, just because my arm is so white it's probably just blended in. So there's a basic white, light brown which is perfect for the crease, and then a light and dark dusty pink which are so lovely, I probably use these two the most out of the matte shades. On the end theres a deep chocolate brown and a really black black. These swatches were one-swipe only, and the black really comes out very pigmented. 

This is the bottom row of shimmers, so the middle row of the three. This row is hit and miss it has to be said. The three shimmery shades on the left are amazing. So pigmented and pretty, a champagne/ pink (the pinkness didn't come out so well in the photo), a bright gold and a nice baby pink. I have to say I don't use the bright pink so much because its so shimmery and colourful, but it is so pretty. The colours on the left are a bit of a disappointment. Firstly because the colours are almost identical, and secondly because somehow the formula has just completely failed on these three. They are patchy and not very pigmented, and I don't tend to reach for these at all.

Fear not! This top row is definitely my favourite. Although the three in the middle look VERY similar, they are actually all slightly different. At the far left there is the most amazing cream/ champagne shimmer which is pigmented and can be used as a highlighter as well as a base shade. The next two are both medium shimmery browns, one just slightly darker than the other, and the third is a slightly pink/purple version of the same shade. - This shade actually picks up a lot more purple when applied on the lid than on a swatch, the next is a more chocolatey warm shimmery brown which is amazing. The last one looks like a dark/brown plum in the pan but comes out looking like a dirty brown which isn't really worth looking at as the pigmentation and quality is similar to the last three on the previous row. 

Overall, about 75% of this palette is amazing, and the other 25% is disappointing. For £6 I think this is a well- rounded collection, and even if you ignore the four rubbish shades, the other 14 make up for it. I would recommend having a look at this palette if you were looking for a selection of some neutral mattes and shimmers, with a couple of pinky shades thrown in.

I used a couple of shades from this palette (the lightest shimmery brown on the top row, and the darkest in the crease) on top of the Maybelline 'On and on bronze' cream eyeshadow this morning, and just added a flick of eyeliner and some mascara for a neutral everyday look.
Hope you enjoy, thanks for reading!
Lou x

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Glycolic Skin Care/ Review

Glycolic acid
What does it claim to do?-Glycolic acid is an exfoliator. It removes dead skin cells and 'resurfaces' the texture of your face. (see or have a look on Carolinehirons' website)

Having suffered from hormonal breakouts for over three years now, I'm up for trying anything to sort it out. I've changed contraceptive pill several times (TMI?) to see if it makes any difference, and I have to say my most recent one- Cerelle- has made my skin the best yet.
Anyway, years of breakouts around my chin and jaw area has left me with a sprinkling of little red scars, as well as the occasional spot or two as well. Delightful. Recently, I have been reading a lot of skincare blogs, finding out what I could use to help my scars heal and my skin improve.
After reading A LOT  of Caroline Hirons' blog (google her if you don't know her- she's amazing and hilarious to read), I noticed a lot of recommendations for acid toners and serums, especially for problem skin. And SO, after disregarding her recommendations as too expensive (I'm a student), I did a bit of poking around on the web and found this brand- Nip and Fab. I purchased the Glycolic Fix Serum, and the Exfoliating Facial Pads (which I believe are similar to the first aid beauty facial pads, and a fiver cheaper).

Here are my reviews-
There's not much to see of the serum- its a clear, light liquid which sinks into the skin really really quickly. It smells incredibly fresh, almost clinical, and I apply it in the evening before moisturiser after using a normal cleanser and toner. I began by using this in the morning, and the pads in the evening rather than the other way around because I didn't notice the small 'overnight' note on the serum bottle. Oops. However,it seems to work both ways. 
The pads are literally cotton wool circular pads soaked in liquid. These do smell strong, again very clinical, and I wouldn't recommend them if you can't stand things like that. However, they really feel- and smell- like they are doing something. Really fresh and cold, absolutely soaked in liquid so your face does get quite wet, but it does sink in pretty quickly. I use these in the mornings after a quick cleanse, before moisturiser and everything else.

I have noticed a big difference since I started using these two products. My skin has been so much better (I have also swapped milk to almond/soya milk which must also be having a good effect), and my scars really are fading. Unfortunately I don't have a before/after photograph but I have noticed my scars fading, and disappearing after continual use. I definitely think putting acid into your routine is a good idea, especially if you have problem skin like me.
For me, these are relatively expensive products (they came to about £18 together), and are probably the priciest part of my skincare routine. However, if, like me, you are short on the dollar, I would recommend having a look at this brand, as they seem to do the job. After I finish them both I may only repurchase one or the other- probably the serum- and see if the effects are still as noticable. 
Nip and Fab is available at Boots, Superdrug and Asos.

Lou x