Top 5 Luxury Products | Blogmas Day #6

It’s that time of year when you can subtly ask your loved ones for those products that you really can’t justify spending your hard-earned cash on. Or maybe you do want to part with your cash but you So today, I wanted to bring to you my favourite luxury products, and ones I think that are really worth it…

We’ll begin with one that I have continually praised – the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer (full review here). This stuff is magic. If you have oily skin or you have trouble with your foundation’s longevity in general, then you will love this. This was such a game-changer in my makeup routine that this is my third bottle, and as you can see from the picture, it is on its last legs. When I feel a bit guilty about how much it costs and how quickly I go through it, it is also the perfect product for special occasions. The other base product that had to be mentioned was the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (I have also reviewed this in full here). This is the closest to perfect foundation that I have found. It has a natural finish – somewhere in the middle of matte and dewy. It lasts incredibly on me (especially when paired with the aforementioned primer), and best of all, looks stunning in photographs. This is another product I save for special occasions, but if I could afford to, I would wear this on an everyday basis. 
Moving on to colour products, the first I will mention is the Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna which I dedicated a whole post to recently here. Nars products aren’t quite as expensive as the other brands I’ve mentioned, but it is definitely still luxury. For my complexion, this is the perfect shade to warm up the skin, and the texture and longevity are both incredible. For eyes, the Charlotte Tilbury Colour-Coded Eye Shadow Palette in Dolce Vita is the ultimate in luxury. I definitely plan on writing a whole post on this soon, as it is so stunningly pigmented and perfect for this time of year. She has several different quads if these warm tones aren’t your thing, and they are all beautiful. The final product I will mention are the Tom Ford Lipsticks. I have a few, but the one photographed is Wild Ginger (full post here) which is an extremely vibrant orangey-red. The formulation of these are so pigmented and creamy, and are just a pleasure to apply and wear.
These may not be something that you can easily go out and purchase on a whim, but if you’re in the market to splurge or want to treat someone with something very special, then these would be what I recommend. What are your favourite luxury products?

Holy Grail | Nars Laguna Bronzing Powder

As a beauty addict, it’s not a very common occurrence to find a product that I cannot live without and I would buy again and again. There’s usually a voice in the back of my head telling me that there’s something better, but when it comes to bronzers, I am completely content. I have found one of the perfect formula and colour, and its also a cult product…

The Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna is an absolutely gorgeous bronzer. It is more on the orange-terracotta side where bronzers are concerned, but it isn’t dramatically orange or dark that is unwearable. In the pan, it looks a little shimmery, but that really doesn’t translate when applied to the skin. I personally use this bronzing up the skin as opposed to contouring – I sweep this over the high points of my face such as the cheeks, temples and the perimeters of the face. 

A problem that I have found with some more affordable bronzers is that they don’t last throughout the day and become really patchy on my skin. This is what sets this apart from the other bronzers I’ve tried – the formulation is just perfect. The longevity is on point and it is one of my favourite products in my entire collection. 

Would you splurge on a bronzer? I think I’ve figured that when it comes to powder face products, higher end is just the way to go. 


Eye Brushes | My Favourites

Today I bring you part two of my brush series. In case you missed it, yesterdays post rounded up my favourite face brushes (read it here). Now its only fair that we dedicate a post to eye brushes. The line up again consists of brushes from Sigma and Real Techniques but today we have a couple of Mac thrown in there…

Beginning with Sigma, my first favourite is the E30 Pencil Brush. This I primarily use for applying shadow on the lower lash line or smoking and smudging out eye liner. This is an absolute essential for any smokey eye.

The next three brushes are essential for blending. The Sigma E25 Blending Brush is a godsend when it comes to applying colour to the crease of the eye. If you don’t have a brush like this you need one asap. Something about the slightly tapered shape and the texture just does the work for you, and you will be a blending pro in seconds. The Sigma E35 Tapered Blending Brush is the E25’s slightly fluffier counterpart. I use this with no extra product on the brush and blend out the edges of an eye look. The final blending brush is the infamous Mac 217. This is practically identical to the E25, but I find it definitely comes in handy having more than one blending brush on hand – especially when more elaborate eye looks come into play.

Possibly my favourite eye brush is the Mac 239. This is perfect for packing on shadows on to the lid as it deposits the right amount of shadow. This is great for both pressed and loose shadows, and I am just in love. I personally think this is a Mac brush worth investing in as it works better than any other flat shader brush I’ve tried, including the Sigma.

Finally, we have the Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush. This has fast become my favourite brush to use with gel liner, because, as the name would suggest, the tip is incredibly fine. It makes it so easier to create thin precise line, but it is still easy to build up the thickness and intensity. It also cleans really easily which is ideal as gel liner can be quite stubborn on brushes. 

Thankfully this post was far more concise than yesterdays, and I hope that you found this mini series somewhat useful or interesting! What are your go-to brushes?


Face Brushes | My Favourites

Tools are something that I have never really addressed on the blog, but I am a firm believer in the importance of makeup brushes. Now I’m not talking investing mega bucks – as you will see all the brushes I mention in this post won’t dent your bank balance too badly, and they are definitely worth trying out.

(Sigma F35, F40, F20)

Let’s begin with Sigma. This is where my love affair for makeup brushes began. When Sigma first launched their brush range and when everyone on YouTube was working for them and raving about how incredible they were (and how they were dupes for Mac brushes) I had to get myself a kit. Several years later, I now own more brushes from Sigma than I’ll ever need and there are 3 face brushes that really stand out to me.

The F25 Tapered Face Brush has become my go-to brush for applying face powder. Because of the way its shaped, it only picks up a small amount of product on the tip of the brush. This makes it impossible to apply too much powder to the skin which could make you look cakey. What it is also great for is a more precise application of powder than a typical big fluffy powder brush, and makes it easier to apply powder in more difficult-to-reach areas such as under the eyes and around the nose. This brush is also incredibly soft and is a dream to apply product with.

Next up is the F40 Large Angled Contour Brush which I love for applying blush. I know that it is called a ‘contour’ brush, but sometimes the beauty in brushes is to use for whatever you think is best. For me, this is the perfect size and shape for my cheek and deposits the right amount of product. I do like to wear quite a lot of blush, so if you prefer a little less punch, I would say to go for some sort of duo fibre brush which will help to sheer out the colour. This brush blends product seamlessly and I just love it. 

The final Sigma brush in the line up in the F35 Tapered Highlighter Brush. I actually do like using this brush for its intended purpose – highlighting. The point is fine enough that it applies the perfect amount of highlighter to the tops of the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose and any other high points of the face. However, I also love this for the exact opposite – contouring. Again the tapered tip allows for precise application, but it is soft enough to blend out as you apply so you don’t end up with a brown stripe on your cheek.

(Real Techniques Multitask, Blush, Expert Face, Buffing, Setting)

Moving on to the ever popular Real TechniquesUndoubtedly, they are the brush brand of the moment, and its well deserved. They are affordable, great quality and not to mention they are made by some of my favourite YouTubers. Right now, there are five brushes that really stand out for me.

Beginning with one of the newest addition to my arsenal, the Multitask Brush. As the name suggests, this can be used for pretty much anything. I predominantly use it for blush – although I already credited the Contour Brush as great for blush, but if you’re anything like me and like to change up your blush colour, its always nice to have a few to chop and change from.

The Blush Brush is my go to for bronzer (controversial, I know). For me, it’s the perfect size to bronze up the face as it  covers quite a large surface area and makes application foolproof. As with all the Real Techniques brushes, its ridiculously soft which makes it that little bit more satisfying to use.

Lumping the next two into one, my go to foundation brushes are the Expert Face Brush and the Buffing Brush. They are very similar, but the Expert Face is a little denser, meaning you get a little bit more coverage, but the finish is pretty much the same. The main difference is that currently only the Expert Face is available to purchase individually, so that may sway your purchase…

Last but not least the Setting Brush. Again, my favourite use for this brush is not for what its intended for. What I use this for is for blending out concealer, both under my eyes and on the face. What is so great about this brush is that it removes any excess product so you don’t end up with cake face, and it blends it out to an airbrushed finish. It also eliminates the need to touch your face, being much more hygienic. 

Phew… Sorry for the very text heavy post, I clearly have a lot to say when it comes to brushes. And I’m still not done… Check back tomorrow for my favourite eye brushes.


Best of | Primers

Primers are a necessary step in my makeup routine – I have both oily skin and eyelids and have always had problems with longevity and my makeup creasing or not applying well. I’ve tried quite a few primers now, and I think I have found the best of the best…

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
Lets get the price out of the way first… This is a pricey option at £52 – although $52 in the States making it much more cost effective if you can buy it there. However, this is absolutely worth the money. Using face primers in the past, I never really saw too much of a difference, but this creates the smoothest base to apply makeup on. It isn’t a silicone based primer so it doesn’t leave your face feeling squeaky clean but rather leaves it smooth and perfected. What I love most about this primer though, is how it extends the length of wear of my makeup. When I wear this primer, my makeup will stay on all day without fail. The pump is also great – it dispenses the perfect amount of product to cover the entire face. I can find no fault with this product, and if you can fit this into your budget, even as a product only to be used for special occasions, I would 100% recommend. 

Again this isn’t the most budget-friendly eye primer on the market, but it definitely delivers. I had been using the Urban Decay Primer Potion for years -it’s the only other eye primer I have ever used. However, recently I wasn’t satisfied with the results. I found that my eyeshadows weren’t blending that well and it just didn’t last as long as I wanted. I decided to try this because it’s massively hyped in the blogging world, and it has definitely lived up to my expectations. It has a doe-foot applicator, making it really easy to apply, and has a similar texture to the hourglass primer, in that it’s creamy and smooths out the eyelid. My eyeshadow never creases when I use this, and without primer my eyeshadows always crease. It makes my eyeshadow stay on all day, and it really is just great.

If you have trouble with your makeup staying on, these are must-haves. I see these as investments – why spend all this money on makeup if it isn’t going to last on your face? Beauty addict logic…


Evening Skincare Routine

This post is a continuation from my Morning Skincare Routine. In the past three months or so, I’ve really had to change the products I use in the routine due to my skin becoming drier than it has ever been before as this winter approached. This routine is much smaller than I would hope it to be, but I feel like I’ve got a really good core set of products than I can continually add to.

Step 1: Remove Makeup/Cleanse
As in the morning, I use the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm, but instead I use it twice. With a full face of makeup on, I massage it all over the face, across the eyes and lips – inevitably ending up looking like the Joker… I then take the same flannel from the morning and run under warm (not hot) water and remove the makeup and cleanser from my face. I then do a second cleanse, massaging over the skin and removing with the flannel, just like the morning. Ideally, I would have a separate cleanser for this second step, but that is currently work in progress.

Step 2: Exfoliate
Just like the morning, after cleansing I take a liquid exfoliant, and in the past few months I have finally got my hands on the Pixi Glow Tonic (this is quite hard to come buy – I got mine, and a backup or two, from the Pixi Store off Carnaby Street). This unlike my morning exfoliant, is a glycolic acid based exfoliant which helps improves the skins surface and texture. Since using this, I have noticed a significant difference in my skin in turns of blemishes and also ridding of those pesky dry patches. 

Step 3: Serum
In the evening, I am much more concerned about hydrating the skin as much as possible, as I don’t need to worry about makeup slipping and sliding off the skin. I use the Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Booster which is a serum containing hyaluronic acid, which ‘can hold up to 1000 times its body weight in water’, meaning that it increases the affect of your moisturiser. This is a great serum for dehydrated or dry skin – I have dehydrated combination skin, and find this really helps hydrate my skin.

Step 4: Moisturise
Night time moisturiser has always been a category that I have struggled to find one that I really love. Many of the richer moisturisers I have tried have broken me out, which I assume is due to the ingredients. I decided to turn to La Roche Posay Toleraine Riche which is a moisturiser targeted at those with sensitive and dry skin. This is a really rich cream that gets rid of any flaky dry patches, without causing any irritation. Because of how much I love this, I am tempted to try the regular (non-‘riche’) version for the summer months when my skin is not as dry.

My skincare routine is currently quite concise, but I am constantly looking to add and improve to it. I feel like I’ve got a good core routine, and my skin has thanked me for it, despite those pesky spots that pop up at that time of the month. I will no doubt post about any new skin care additions… 

Manicure Monday #7 | My Nailcare Essentials

Firstly, I want to explain the lack of posts this blog has seen over the last couple of weeks. I have just come back to university and I had a lot of deadlines at the beginning of the semester and getting back into the workload has been more difficult than I first thought. Excuses aside, today’s post is the start of an attempt to get back in to the swing of things, and what better way to do that than strip it back to basics and talk about my nail care routine…

OPI Nail Envy (£18.65 here)
I use this product for two things – a nail strengthener, as its advertised, and as my base coat. This is a really great product if your nails are in a bad condition. When mine are, I paint a layer on my nails everyday for 7 days and then they are much stronger and healthier-looking. However, I’ve been using this as a base coat for a while, and my nails seem much less susceptible to breaking. If you’re thinking about getting this, it is worth checking out QVC as they have some great value deals, as the price tag can seem a little steep.

Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat (£9.00 here)
There is a lot hype and controversy around this product but I definitely think that it is worth the hype. It is by far the best top coat I have tried as it dries so quickly and prolongs the wear of my polishes hugely. It also makes any polish look really shiny and glossy, which is something I really like in a top coat. When I finish this bottle I may try another top coat to see if I can find one just as good without the controversial ingredients. 

Kiko Glass Nail File (£2.50 here)
This is my first venture into glass nail files, and I don’t think I will going back to regular files. I find that it creates a smoother line on the nail and it doesn’t feel as harsh or damaging. This file feels much more expensive than it is, and as usual I am so impressed by another product by Kiko. 
What I haven’t included in this post is a nail varnish remover, not because I don’t use them, but because I don’t have a favourite. I do really like the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover, which I’m currently out of, but I don’t see it as essential. What I would like to get into is cuticle oils, as I’m quite lazy in that department, and I think my nails would thank me if I did. What are your nail essentials?


Best of Mac | My Top Eyeshadows

So this is my second instalment of my Best of Mac series – read all about my favourite lipsticks here. Mac’s range of eyeshadows is very similar to that of their lipsticks; they pretty much have every shade you could imagine. When I’m in store I tend to gravitate towards the shades I already have without realising, so that often makes me think I’ve got most of them right. The eyeshadows in pot form as shown above are £12.50 here. I keep telling myself that I will depot all of these and put them in a palette so that I can buy them in pan form from now on. Expect a blog post when I eventually get round to that…

Brule is described as a ‘soft creamy beige’ with a satin finish. This, as you can see, was very difficult to swatch and photograph – 1) because I have very little left, and 2) it is very close to my skin tone. I think the amount of pan I have hit is a testament to how much I use and love this eyeshadow. I like to use it as a base all over the lid and up to the brow which makes eyeshadows put over the top so much easier to blend. It is also really handy to help blend harsh lines in the crease to make it seamless up to the brow. I really recommend, if you haven’t already, investing in an eyeshadow close to your skin tone for all the above reasons.

Naked Lunch is described as a ‘minimal pink with shimmer’ with a frost finish. This is a very talked-about eyeshadow in the blogging and youtube worlds, and is another of my favourites. I love putting this all over the lid for an everyday look, or smoking it up with darker shades. It isn’t overly sparkly, but it is nicely frosted and creates a nice sheen on the lids. This is a must have for any neutral eyeshadow lovers.

All That Glitters is described as a ‘beige with gold pearl’ with a  veluxe pearl finish. This is another very hyped up shadow, and probably because of Ellie ‘Allthatglitters21’ on youtube, and several other bloggers and you tubers that all swoon over this eyeshadow. I really like this shadow, but, especially when I’m pale, I can find this difficult to wear. It sometimes comes up a bit too orange on me, so I have to pair it with a less warm shadow in the crease. Veluxe pearl is my favourite finish though – they are incredibly pigmented and smooth, and have really pretty sheen running throughout. I think this shadow would work very similar to Naked Lunch and would look incredible on medium skin tones (I love this when I’m tanned!).

Woodwinked is described as a ‘warm antique gold’ with a veluxe pearl finish. If you have blue eyes and don’t have this colour, you need this in your life! This brings out the blue in my eyes so much and I find it really flattering. It’s one of those versatile shades that you can put all over the lid and blend slightly in the crease and it looks like you’re wearing two different colours with minimal effort. This is also a go-to for me for smokey eyes as it really glams up any look. Like All That Glitters, this looks better on when I am more tanned, as it can lean a little orange. But it’s so beautiful I wear it regardless!

Patina is described as a ‘taupe brown with a golden pearl’ with a frost finish. I find the combination of the cool base colour with the shot of warm flecks throughout make this shade really unique. It’s a shade like Woodwinked where it is very versatile, and I often wear this shade all by itself. It doesn’t look very exciting in the pan, but on the eyes this is such a flattering colour, and it isn’t overly shimmery. One of my all time favourite eyeshadow looks is wearing this on the lid and putting Satin Taupe (up next!) in the crease.

Satin Taupe is described as a ‘taupe with silver shimmer’ with a frost finish. This is another cult shade and is definitely up there for me. Even though this is a neutral shade, it can lean more purple when paired with other peoples, making it a really versatile shade. It is a great colour to pair with lighter shades to smoke them out a bit, or to wear it all over the lid. Overall a really interesting and must have shade.

Sumptuous Olive is described as a ‘khaki with pearl’ with a veluxe pearl finish. Green is one of the only ‘colours’ I venture in with eyeshadow, and if you are a neutral lover but want to inject some colour this would be a good place to start.  This is another of those shades I like to wear alone on the lid and up the crease. This shade is almost duo chrome – when paired with browns it leans more gold, but when paired with a darker green in the crease the green really pops. It is a really easy shade to wear, and still looks relatively neutral on the eyes, but is just that little bit more interesting. 

Plum Dressing is described as a ‘pinky-plum with metal’ (a slightly odd description?) with a veluxe pearl finish. This isn’t as pigmented as the other veluxe pearl finishes I own, but with this shade I prefer it so it isn’t quite so bold. Burgandy and plum are also colours I sometimes like to wear, especially in the crease with a lighter gold or beige on the lid or all over the lid and smoked out with darker plums and browns. I have to admit that this is my least used shade of all the ones mentioned in this post, but when I am feeling bold enough to wear it, it really does look good on the eyes. 

My collection of Mac eyeshadows is rather small compared to some, and I am sure mine will continue to expand in the future. They really are great quality, but with the amazing palettes currently on the market, I often find myself forgetting about them! Coming up soon – everything else I love from Mac…


Best of Mac | My Top Lipsticks

Mac was probably the brand that really got me into makeup. I remember walking into a Mac store for the first time and being so overwhelmed with the amount of shades of eyeshadows, lipsticks and everything in between. About 5 years on I am much more confident, and practically know the whole brand inside and out, which has resulted in building quite a substantial Mac collection. I was planning a favourite Mac product post, but my list got so long that I thought I should separate into different categories: lipsticks, eyeshadows and face products. 

Mac lipsticks (£15 here) are by far my favourite out there – the range of finishes and shades means that there is one for every occasion, and you are more than likely going to find the exact shade you are looking for. 

Creme Cup is described as a ‘light blue pink’, with a Cremesheen finish. Cremesheens apply, like the name suggests, very creamily and smooth and leave a slightly glossy finish to the lips, but are still opaque. Out of the finishes  mentioned in this post, it is the most moisturising. I love using this lipstick when I’m going for a nude lip – it has just enough pink in it that it doesn’t make me look dead. 

Ravishing is described as a ‘clean light peachy coral’, again with a cremesheen finish. I sometimes find that when I am at my palest this can pull a little too orange on me, but it is a great everyday summer colour. I find that cremesheens last about 4 hours on my lips, especially these light colours.

Morange is described as a ‘loudmouth orange’ with an amplified finish. This is my go-to summer colour, and definitely not one for the faint-hearted. It does lean slightly red when on the lips, but is still very orange. The amplified finish is probably my favourite – it is completely opaque and has a semi-matte finish so it is not as drying. They are also really long-lasting, and just an all-round perfect formula for someone who loves bold lips. 

Impassioned is described as a ‘amped-up fuchsia’ with an amplified finish. This to me is more of a yellow-toned pink than a fuchsia and can pull slightly red on my lips. I have seen this lipstick on several different people and it can look different on everyone depending on skin tone and natural lip pigmentation. It is a lipstick that I get most complimented on, and think it is a perfect colour for those with pale skin or blonde hair – although it seems like a lipstick that would work on all skin tones. 

Candy Yum Yum is described as a ‘neon pink’ with a matte finish. Forget morange, this is the brightest lipstick I have ever come across. It is definitely a neon lipstick, and wearing it brings a lot of attention – I find a lot of people staring at my lips when I wear this! Even though its matte, I don’t find it to be too drying. This stays on my lips like no other but it can be quite difficult to remove.

Rebel is described as a ‘midtonal cream plum’ with a satin finish. I find that it is a purple-toned berry, and is quite a versatile lipstick. I sometimes like to wear this blended into the lips like a stain for a subtle berry lip or full on to create a bold dark lip. The satin finish is much like the amplified finish, but with less of a sheen. It almost has the longevity of a matte, but without the drying nature (candy yum yum being an exception of course), so it sits somewhere in between.

Dark Side is described as a ‘deep burgundy’ with an amplified finish. This is a very vampy lip, perfect for autumn/winter. This is a versatile lipstick as I either leave it glossy or blot it and leave it as a matte lipstick. It can be hard to wear a dark lip, but I find it looks best with fresh natural-looking skin and not too much on the eyes which creates a really chic and modern look.

From left to right: Dark side, Rebel, Candy Yum Yum, Impassioned, Morange, Ravishing, Creme Cup

Honourable Mentions
There were some lipsticks that I couldn’t show in this post but I thought I should put them in the end anyway. Hue is a nude lipstick and one of my favourite lipsticks, but I stupidly took it on a night out and lost it. Riri Woo – a blue toned matte red, very similar to Ruby Woo, is also worth a mention, because even though it isn’t currently available, it will be out again in a collection soon. It is a great limited edition lipstick to own, and always sells out.

Mac lipsticks are an addiction of mine, and my collection will no doubt continue to grow. Coming up soon – my top Mac eyeshadows.