Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Nude Mauve | Review and Swatches

I love a new release, but there are only certain occasions when I will stalk the counter until I have one in my hands. Max Factor have recently released a stunning new line of blushes (that I’m sure you’ve already seen all over the blogging world) and I really could not pass this one up…

The Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Nude Mauve is a shimmery brown-toned mauve. These blushes are baked and marbleised, giving a soft and glowy finish. For me, this has the perfect amount of pigment – it is strong enough that I don’t need to layer it up to create my desired intensity, but not so pigmented that it becomes hard to blend and looks over the top. The colour reminds me of my all-time favourite blush, the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed, but a shimmery version. It has the same sculpting effect while still adding a healthy flush to the skin. It is one of those shades that goes with everything. I’ve found myself reaching for this when I don’t know what blush to wear, and it has become a fail-safe option. 

What has impressed me the most about this blush is the way that it wears. I don’t know if it’s just me, but most budget cheek products have the tendency to go patchy on my skin by the end of the day and just don’t sit or wear well. This blush, however, seems to be an exception to this trend – it still looks perfect after hours of wearing makeup.

I loved this formula so much that I actually went and purchased another shade the other day that I’m yet to try. There weren’t actually too many colours that caught my eye, but Nude Mauve is definitely worth checking out. Have you tried any of these blushes yet? 


What’s In My Makeup Bag – New York Edition! | Blogmas Day #14

The time has finally come for my birthday trip to New York! This afternoon I am jetting off to NYC with the boyf to celebrate my 21st birthday! This was actually my present from my parents, and it is possibly the best a girl can ask for. However, I have committed myself to Blogmas, and I really want to keep up with posting everyday, so I actually plan on scheduling enough posts until I return on Thursday! I thought I would start off with what makeup I am planning on taking on my trip, as these are some of my favourite posts to read – everyone loves to be nosey…

I will begin by saying that I am by no means a light packer – I like to have options. Having said that I don’t think that I have gone too overboard; I will leave that one up to you.

Because the days will be long, I definitely wanted to bring a primer. One of my all time favourites is the Max Factor Facefinity All Day Primer (full post here), and as I’ve almost ran out, I thought I would be able to finish it off on the trip. I then decided to bring my tried and true L’Oreal True Match Foundation (review here)- I am bringing two shades (W1 and W4) because I fake tan, and once it fades I need to mix the shades. I am also bringing two concealers: the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard for blemishes and general imperfections and the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Fair to highlight the face. Moving on to powder products, I am bringing the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (post here) to set my makeup, and the Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna and the Mac Blush in Harmony for general bronze and contour goodness (check out my recent post for more details on this!). I decided to bring two blushes – my all time favourite Tarte Amazonion Clay Blush in Exposed and Mac Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul. These are quite similar colours, but Exposed is matte and Warm Soul is very shimmery. Finally, I’m bringing my current favourite highlighter theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer (post here).

This category is one that I feel I have actually been quite selective. I had to bring my trusty Nars Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base to keep my eyeshadow looking flawless all day, and I also decided to bring the Estee Lauder Pure Colour Stay On Shadow Paint in Chained for days when I want a quick easy option. I decided to stick to one palette that has everything I need, and this had to be the Lorac Pro Palette – I have a full review and swatches here. This is still quite new to my collection but it is probably my favourite palette, and I know that it will serve me well. Next is the Urban Decay Ink for Eyes liquid eyeliner and for mascara I am bringing the Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara. And of course I am bringing an essential to my makeup routine – my Tweezerman Eyelash Curlers and my current eyebrow pencil, the Revlon Brow Fantasy in Dark Blonde. As a bit of a glamorous addition to my makeup for my trip I thought I would bring a pack of my favourite eyelashes, the Ardell Demi Wispies.  

Probably my favourite category, and one that I always struggle to pack for! So I decided to bring the basic choices. For my nude lip option, I have picked the Kiko Precision Lip Pencil in 300 Caffe Latte and the Mac Lipstick in Kinda Sexy. This is one of my favourite go-to combinations at the moment. For a bold red, I chose another Kiko Lip Pencil in 306 Geranium Red and my current obsession, the Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red. In case I’m feeling a bold lip that isn’t red, I decided to bring Mac Impassioned, which is another fave of mine. And finally, the newest lipstick in my collection, Tom Ford Leonardo (full post here) just because it’s stunning. For a lip liner to accompany that, I’m bringing Mac Beet Lip Pencil

The final category is tools. For ease, I will list the brushes I am taking, and if you want to know more about my favourites, check out my posts on brushes here. So from left to right we have: the Real Techniques Setting Brush, the Sigma F25 Tapered Face Brush, the Real Techniques Contour Brush, the Real Techniques Multitask Brush, the Sigma E35 Tapered Blending Brush, the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, the Mac 239 Brush, the Real Techniques Blush Brush and the Mac 217 Brush. I know this may seem like a lot of brushes, but it means that I will have everything I could possibly need on my trip.

I apologise for the incredibly wordy post, but I hope that you enjoyed having a nosey in my makeup bag. Stay tuned tomorrow for all the skincare goodies that will be travelling across the Atlantic with me. 


An Unexpected Combination | Blogmas Day #5

I am all about mixing foundations. Whether it’s to get the perfect shade, or getting the best out of two formulas, sometimes you just have to in order to find the perfect base. Recently I mixed two foundations that were from opposite ends of the spectrum both in terms of finish and and price-point, and I ended up discovering and absolute gem…

The foundations in question are the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation (full review here) and my recent favourite Max Factor Skin Luminizer Foundation (also full post here). If you read my posts on these, you can see that these are both favourites of mine, but for very different reasons. The Hourglass offering is perfect for oily skins – it is incredibly mattifying, long-lasting and has great coverage. In opposition, the Max Factor foundation is dewy skin in a bottle, and has light to medium coverage. I have the former in a pale shade for when I am sans-fake tan, and the latter in a much darker shade. 
My tan was slightly faded, so I needed to create my own custom colour. The reason I choose these two was because, surprisingly, they have a very similar texture. They both are slightly moussey and whipped. Once I mixed them together on the back of my hand, and applied it with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush, was when the magic happened. The result was a natural-looking finish – right in the middle of matte and dewy. It also lasted perfectly throughout the day, and stayed looking luminous and fresh. 
I hope this post inspired you, if you don’t already, to start experimenting and mix your foundations as you may just uncover something incredible. What’s your favourite unexpected beauty trick? 


Monthly Favourites | November 2014

November is my favourite month of the year, so I thought it was pretty apt to do my first every monthly favourites this month. This month has been full of fun and celebration – both mine and my dad’s birthday fall in this month which is always fun. Let’s not forget I turned 21, which is crazy! I had such an amazing birthday this year, with my trip to Paris with my family, my best friends coming up to uni to visit and a great day with my housemates. I couldn’t have wished for more! Now, onto the products that I haven’t put down this month…

My foundation of choice has definitely been the Max Factor Luminizer Foundation (check out my full review here). If you love glowy and fresh looking skin, then this is definitely worth considering. I love this for an everyday base as its a good medium coverage, but looks really natural. This month I repurchased a long-time favourite – the Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna. It had been out of my life for a while, but I have definitely rekindled my love for it, and it is definitely my favourite bronzer ever (read my full ode here). Another cheek product that I can’t seem to stop using is the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed. For me this is the perfect cheek colour – there isn’t one look that this doesn’t go with and I tend to grab this on default. It is somewhat sculpting as it has brown undertones, but it still warms up the skin and gives a beautiful flush. The last standout makeup item for me this month has been the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Taupe (full review here). This is by far the best brow product I have ever tried and I’ve even forgotten about  Mac Fling, which I never thought would happen. It makes it easy to have really defined brows with its defined point, but that also allows for the ability to draw natural hair-like strokes, making it a very versatile pencil.

Moving on to non-makeup favourites, something that has really impressed me this month is the Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturiser. I am generally underwhelmed by moisturiser – my skin isn’t very dry so I’m not searching for that intense hydration, but I don’t like ones that don’t seem to give me quite enough. Picky, I know. This is a no-fuss dose of hydration that works great as a base under your makeup and also for overnight use. This month has also been great in terms of fitness. I have been loving the FitnessBlender YouTube channel, and I have done both the free 5 day challenges that they have to offer. They offer a great variety of HIIT workouts and strength training, and I am definitely feeling the benefits. I’m considering trying one of their 8 week challenges next…

All in all, I have had a great makeup month, and I’m really impressed with some of the new things I have tried. And now December has come around, I can finally get excited for Christmas! Speaking of which, I’m still undecided, but I may be giving Blogmas a go, which is blogging every day in December until Christmas… It will be a challenge, but I think I’m definitely up for giving it a go. What have been your favourite products this month? 


Max Factor Skin Luminizer Foundation | Review

I am a self-confessed foundation junkie. I have way too many sitting in my drawer right now, and I have tried so many over time that I probably couldn’t list them all. It is by far my favourite product to try and its quite a rare occurrence that I actually repurchase as I’m so fickle and always so drawn in by new releases. There’s something about the quest for the perfect base that is quite addictive, and since I’m all about the glow at the moment, Max Factor’s latest release really caught my eye…

The Max Factor Skin Luminizer Foundation is said to contain ‘light-reflecting particles’ in order to create a ‘gorgeous healthy glow’. The concept to this foundation is interesting as it is essentially a foundation with a liquid illuminator mixed in (as you can see by the swirl in the bottle). I see this as slightly gimmicky as when you pump out the foundation it does just look like foundation. I was quite surprised at the texture when I first tried this – it is a lot thicker than I expected, and almost has a slightly mousse-like finish, similar to the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation (read my review here). 

However, despite its deceiving texture, it feels very light and airy on the skin. As the name suggests, it has a dewy and glowy finish, but I don’t find it overly greasy and shiny looking. I find it looks a lot like skin, and gives the lit-from within, healthy look (apologies for the blogger cliches…). I was worried about the staying power, but I was pleasantly surprised  that after testing this for a good couple of weeks now, this has proved to last very decently on the skin. Of course its not going to last as long as a mattifying or specifically long-lasting foundation, but for a normal (to slightly oily) skin like mine, with a bit of primer and powder, this was absolutely perfect

The only thing I would warn you about if you are considering trying this foundation is the limited shade range. This is absolutely amazing if you have pale skin – when I am tanned (roughly NC30) I am the second darkest shade, Golden. This is, sadly, a common occurrence for budget foundations so I can’t expect too much in that department, but it is still very infuriating how much they limit their consumers. 

All in all, I give this foundation a huge thumbs up. I have been very impressed by Max Factor’s base products recently – I recently posted about their primer (here). Although my quest for the perfect foundation is certainly not over, it is definitely a good feeling to find one I really like. What is your favourite foundation? I always need enabling...

Max Factor Facefinity All Day Primer | Review

I never thought I’d see the day that I’d be talking about another face primer other than my beloved Hourglass Mineral Veil (my ramblings about it here). But sadly, the time came that I almost finished my fourth (yes, fourth) bottle of the ridiculously expensive gorgeousness and I just wished I didn’t have to fork out another £50. Hence I decided to give myself a new challenge: find a cheaper primer that works decently for daytime. Note that I didn’t have high expectations for any primer I was about to try, so you can imagine my shock when the first one I tried was excellent…

The Max Factor Facefinity All Day Primer is a primer aimed at improving the longevity of your foundation. This is the factor that I loved so much about the Hourglass offering, so I was keen to try this one out. What made this particular primer stand out when I was playing with them in store was its texture. Although it is mattifying, it doesn’t feel like those silicone-based primers that can feel almost like your face is squeaky clean. It feels like a light lotion that sinks into the skin quickly and leads a slightly powdery finish but nothing too overbearing. 

In terms of longevity, it really performs. I love wearing dewy foundations, but as my skin is normal and leans slightly more towards the oily side, this can be problematic. Using this primer doesn’t affect the glowy nature of the product you put on top, it just makes it really stick to the skin and last all day. I’ve been using it for a good few months now and it hasn’t made me break out at all.

All in all this is a definite winner for me, and my go-to primer for daytime. It still doesn’t quite top the Hourglass in terms of longevity but its definitely up there. And £11 vs. £50? That’s a no-brainer.