15 Sep 2016

The Beauty Breakdown - September


Hello!  I'm back after a slightly unplanned blog hiatus and have lots of products I want to talk about.  If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you'll probably know I've been away in New York, and before that, I was busy stressing about packing and planning for New York, because that's just how I roll!  Anyway back to normal now hopefully, and straight into a massive beauty product ramble - my favourite!


I've been using the Garnier Micellar waters for ages and have repurchased loads of times.  On my last re-stock I decided to also pick up a bottle of the new oil version to try out.  I thought it would probably be even better at removing makeup due to the oily properties, but bizarrely, I don't think it's a match for the original at all!  It's fun to shake up and watch the oil settle, but I'll be sticking with the pink lid version in future.  


I love a rich night cream for my dehydrated skin, as I have to be more reserved with moisturiser choices during the day to avoid having my makeup slide around.  This one has a lovely thick texture and I've been enjoying applying a generous layer at night to quench my skin and plump it up while I sleep.  


I'm not usually a fan of creme eyeshadow products because of my oily lids, but this one from Charlotte Tilbury has really great staying power.  In my experience it applies more smoothly without an eye primer underneath, and it lasts around 7 hours before the creases set in - those with normal lids would get much longer  think.  I want to get this in more shades, but every time I swatch I can't find a colour I love as much as this one.


Hmmm do we think these might have been inspired by the EOS egg lip balms perhaps?!  Regardless, they're very cute and I heart makeup have brought their own spin with the bullet shaped packaging.  They don't feel like the most intensely moisturising lip balms I've ever tried, but they're great value and very cute for popping into your hand bag or desk drawer for when your lips need a little boost.  The flavours are raspberry, blueberry, vanilla, mint and strawberry.  They're £2.99 each or you can get all five as a set for £10.


I really love the original Maybelline lash sensational mascara (the pale pink one), and when I went into Boots to buy a replacement I was lured in by the new luscious oil blend version.  Sadly, a bit like my experience with the new Garnier Micellar water, the new version isn't a patch on the original and I should have stuck with the one I knew I loved.  The oil blend version doesn't seem to stick to my lashes in the same way as the original - it seems much wetter and doesn't give me such a bold result due to the product not really holding on to my lashes and building in the same way.  Also - and this is a deal breaker - it really smudges around my eyes!  I'm guessing it's all due to the oil in this formula, and perhaps being an oily-lidded gal I should have known better than to pick this one up.  I've since been back for a tube of the original pink version again and it's still love, thank goodness!


I've been really impressed with some of the brushes from Makeup Revolution - these two are from a large brush set and are great staples for eyeshadow, and they're much better quality than I was expecting considering their budget price points.  Before this I'd only tried some of their higher end brushes in the rose gold finish - the experience has made me interested in exploring the rest of their brush offering and I've spotted that they now have some of those oval precision brushes, and they're rose gold (yassss), so they will definitely be making it into my next order.


I've been in real eyebrow limbo lately, unsure whether to repurchase yet another Anastasia Brow Wiz or something else.  I've bought brow wiz a few times and have noticed it runs out all too quickly, so I thought I'd give a cheaper alternative a try.  I as going to opt for the Soap & Glory archery brow pencil, but the shade range seemed quite limited in store and there wasn't a dark enough colour for my very dark brows - online I can now see there is a third darker shade, so maybe next time I'll try that.  This time around I ended up picking up this one from Maybelline, which has a twist up pencil at one end and shadow on a sponge applicator at the other, and it's really quite good.  It's not a brow wiz dupe at all as it doesn't have the spooly end, and it doesn't do the job quite as well, but for the price I'm really happy with it, and the shadow end comes in handy for filling in little gaps where my brows are sparse.  The more I'm using this the more I'm really starting to like it and wondering if I'll ever want to go back to spending £20+ on a brow pencil.


This primer from Becca has been around for a long while and it's a product I've always considered trying but didn't take the plunge as I thought it might not work for my skin.  This deluxe sample size came in my Tili box, so I was really pleased to finally be able to give it a go.  I've been trying this under my foundation and it gives a really beautiful glow to the skin which is still visible under makeup.  Sadly though for me, by half way through the day that glow has become shine and my face starts to look oily, so despite my skin being partly dry and dehydrated, this one is a bit too rich and dewy.  Such a shame because I love the glow it gives.  I might try just using it sparingly on the highpoints of my face as a soft highlight as I can't use it as a primer - just as well I went with my spidey senses and didn't drop £32 on the full size.  


Now and again I'll 'shop my stash' and find forgotten treasures, and that's exactly what happened with this concealer from Tarte.  I don't know why I stopped using this as it's a really great coverage concealer which holds well under the eye without making things look crepey. That's actually the reason I reached for it, and it's just as good as I remember, although next time I'll buy a lighter shade - must have been feeling pretty orange when I purchased this one!  I have my eye on the new Tarte Shape Tape concealer but all the light shades are out of stock on QVC *sob*.


I may have mentioned before that my beloved Lee Stafford blow dry faster spray was discontinued, and since then I've not found a good match for it.  I was sent the pillow proof blow dry to try, and wasn't overly excited as due to the name being 'pillow proof' I thought its main aim is to extend the life of your blow dry - as an every day washer that's no help to me!  However what I've found is that it's a great detangler and blow dry helper and it cuts down the time it takes to get my hair dry - having actually read the product description I've discover that is what it's supposed to do!  Silly me, but I'm so pleased to have found something that works to cut down my drying time - I've tried a few other things since my old favourite was discontinued and they were rubbish, so this is a real result!


It's an oldie but a goodie, right?  Sometimes the familiar comfort of your old school favourite products is just what you need, and this body butter from The Body Shop really takes me back to my teens.  I've never met a Body Shop body butter I didn't like, but I have a special fondness for the shea butter scent.  I've been using this on post-summer scaly arms and legs and it's sorted them right out.


Well this is an over-hyped blogger favourite if ever there was one!  So many people swear by this, and I've been tempted to give it a go, but I'm not that great with hair styling and these kinds of products, and was worried it might be a waste of money for me.  Well I'm pleased I waited until I got my hands on this sample size version as I really can't see what the fuss is about.  Perhaps it works better on layered hair, but for me it seems to do very little.  I'm not so sad though, if I'd loved it I'd have had a rather pricey product to keep repurchasing at £39 a can for the full size.


From a hair product I didn't get on with to one I really like - this is a dry conditioner spray, as opposed to a dry shampoo which we're much more familiar with.  As I have quite dry ends, the idea of a conditioning spray to give my hair a boost really appealed to me, and this works well to inject a little extra softness and shine.  It improves the overall look of dry ends temporarily when you use it, which is a real bonus, but it is rather pricey so I don't think it's something I'd want to get into using every day.


Urban Decay have a new eyeshadow palette out, and it's one for you glitter magpies.  The Urban Decay Moondust palette has eight glitzy jewel shades which you can use wet or dry.  I've swatched them dry and as you can see they're not as heavy as you might expect, which I think makes them a bit more versatile in terms of adding more of a subtle sparkle over the top of an eyeshadow look, whereas using them wet you can get a full on metallic lid effect like you see in the pan.  Not my usual everyday look of course, but these are lovely to have on hand for special occasion makeup or experimenting with different looks.  Lightyear is my favourite - behind all these neutral makeup looks I harbour a secret love for extravagant emerald eye looks! Galaxy is stunning too and would be the perfect thing to ramp a smoky eye up a few notches for a full on night out look.


Dirty Works kindly sent over this handy set of little minis just in time for my recent New York trip - thanks guys! All packed into a little cube you get a bath soak, body butter light, body scrub and body wash in 50ml and 100ml sizes, so all airline friendly for holidays or impromptu mini breaks, which are obviously the best kind of breaks.


I'm sure you've seen bloggers or vloggers talking about using this Nivea Men after shave balm as a primer.  The first time I heard of it I thought it seemed a bit odd, but as I saw it popping up more and more I started to feel the need to give it a try.  I'm really pleased I did because it's a really great primer - it's very liquid, goes on easily and makeup smooths on effortlessly on top.  It's really cheap too - I think I paid about £2.80 when I spotted it in Wilkinsons.  Since I've tried it I'm seeing it everywhere online and when I was in New York it was even on sale in Ricky's alongside all of the makeup!  The bottle is a bit awkward to use as too much product pours out too quickly, so I recommend decanting some into a squeezy tube or pump bottle that you can get from Primark.

That's us all caught up for now - more to come soon.  I'm really excited for autumn launches (and autumn in general!) and already have a rapidly growing wish list! 

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