High-End Heroes

Recently I have been dipping my toes in the very shallow end of the high-end beauty pool and it feels so naughty. Subscription boxes and places like Depop have opened doors to the sampling of luxury products without the high price tag.

I am yet to pay full price for a high-end product but I may repurchase first-hand replacements for the following products (my High-End Heroes)…

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Starting with the face, I have two wonders here (both purchased from trusted sellers on Depop:

Diorskin Nude Air Serum

This feels like a dream on the skin. It comes in the form of a liquid with a dropper and all it takes is two drops for skin perfection. A lightweight, medium coverage foundation that lasts all day. Though be sure to shake before use otherwise you will get foundation dripping between your fingers…

Estee Lauder Double Wear All Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup

This is a slighter thicker consistency than the Dior serum (think traditional foundations and BB creams) but provides a similar lightweight result. This contains SPF 30 and vitamin E as an added bonus.

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Now onto the eyes:

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner

I’ve mentioned before that seeing me without my signature cat eye is a privilege, and it’s mainly thanks to this product. It really does stay all day and is by far the most pigmented black eyeliner I’ve ever used. And at £13 it doesn’t break the bank!

Mac Mascara

Scrolling through my Depop feed I saw this mascara from Mac. I’ve only ever tried their lipsticks up until now, so thought I’d give this a go at a knock off price. It both lengthens and volumises my lashes, but I believe it’s been discontinued as I can’t find it on their UK site! If anyone knows if this is still in circulation please comment below.

Lancome Grandiose Eyeliner

This seems to be a Marmite product (you either love it or hate it) but I sit firmly on the love it camp. I reach for this over the Stila liquid pen when seeking a matte finish. Just don’t bother with setting the applicator at an angle. For me, this is a gimmick.

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Chanel Eyeshadow

I received this last year in the Cohorted beauty box and it was the first higher end beauty product I ever owned. This is a beautiful midnight blue shade that I use as an eyeliner but could be used to create a sexy smoky eye. I can’t find this exact shade on their website, but it looks like it falls in their Illusion D’Ombre line.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow

If you’re not yet ready to step up into the world of Naked palettes, then why not start with single shades for a fraction of the price? Half baked is my most used shade from Naked 2 and this is a handy pan to take for touch ups on the go. I smear all over my lids paired with my cat eye for an easy desk to dancefloor look.

Clinique Colourpop (Nudepop)

Yet another Depop buy, this time from YouTuber Tamara Kalinic aka The Glam and Glitter. I love this lipstick as contains primer so you can get long lasting colour in one step. This is a near perfect match for my natural lips which I find easy to wear. Plus Tamara donates all profits from her Depop sales to charity, so definitely worth checking out!

What are your high-end heroes?

laura

PS please ensure that any sellers you are considering buying from are trusted and always pay in app! You can find my shop here

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Sally Hansen Love

Do you want a range of colours that are pretty chip-resistant which come at drugstore prices? I thought you might.

Let me introduce you to the world of Sally Hansen. I’m sure lots of you are already familiar, but I’ve only welcomed these top-notch polishes into my vanity cabinet about six months ago.

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From the very first application, I instantly fell in love. I have never found another nail polish which glides on so easily. Gone are the days of peeling off dried polish from my cuticles. One stroke of these leaves a highly-pigmented, stay-all-day colour.

My favourite range from the brand is their “Complete Salon Manicure” which comes as a very reasonable £6.99. It boasts seven benefits in a bottle, including growth treatment and a gel shine finish. I rock the shade “All Fired Up” which is a gorgeous, orangey-red. I have been asked at work whether they are professional and shellac – so that’s all the endorsement needed!

I also use the nail strengthener and fast drying topcoat but, in all honesty, you could easily go without these.

What are your favourite nail polish brands?

laura

 

Don’t Believe the Hype: Disappointing Mascaras

These have to be some of the most hyped mascaras of 2016. And I dislike them both.

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Firstly, the L’Oreal Paris False Lash Sculpt Mascara – which every vlogger and blogger seem to be raving about. I don’t get it. The weird brush clumps my lashes, even by the first stroke. I have tried this many times, willing myself to love it, but I just can’t.

It dries my lashes out, leaving them brittle, and I actually find it quite uncomfortable to wear. It doesn’t tightline my eyes as per the promises it makes. Maybe it’s the almond shape of my eyes, or maybe it’s because my lashes are already quite long, but this just isn’t for me.

Now onto the Maybelline Push Up Drama Mascara, of which I have very similar complaints. This is slightly less hyped but has still been a prominent product of 2016.

Of the two I slightly prefer this one as it leaves my lashes less clumped (if you are very careful not to apply too much) but mush more so than other drugstore offerings. The Lash Sensational is my holy grail drugstore mascara, and if you’re thinking of picking something up from Maybelline, I would 100% recommend this over the Push Up Drama.

The Lash Sensational is my holy grail drugstore mascara, and if you’re thinking of picking up a mascara from Superdrug or Boots, I would 100% recommend this over the Push Up Drama and False Lash Sculpt.

I have come to the conclusion that I dislike any mascara with those plastic bristles, which is a shame as they appear so popular these days. I acknowledge the Lash Sensational has a hybrid version, but perhaps the curved shape of the brush compensates somehow.

Do you love these mascaras or am I alone in my dislike for them?

laura

Olay Complete BB + Moisturiser Cream

I thought I had it all worked out. I thought I had found my holy grail drugstore foundation. And then I discovered this BB and moisturiser duo from Olay.

This has the perfect mix of hydration and coverage, which is oh-so-important at this time of year. It doesn’t crumble around any dry patches (and if anything, prevents them), it’s a perfect match for my skin tone (fair), and also contains SPF 15 which is still important in the winter months.

The coverage is medium, yet buildable. Olay worked in collaboration with Max Factor to produce this tinted moisturiser and so you expect quality at affordable prices. These are two of my favourite brands. Therefore it is not surprising I love it.

Grab yours whilst it’s half price at Superdrug (otherwise it’s £9.99 which is still a bargain!).

laura

L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique Cushion Foundation

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This has to be one of the most highly hyped products of 2016. I watched my favourite vloggers receiving their samples long before it hit shelves and I for one could not wait. A few months after its release, is this a firm favourite in my makeup routine?

The answer is no, sadly. There is nothing particularly bad about it, I just find myself reaching for it much less than anticipated. Turns out I still use my regular liquid foundations despite the convenience of a sponge and applicator in one tidy package. The one time this comes in handy is on the go. I keep this in my bag for those nights out, work day top ups or unexpected post office pub trips.

I would say this is medium coverage but is very buildable. I have the shade porcelain which is a good match for my pale skin, but there are better matches out there for me. I would say L’Oreal could make a huge improvement by including darker shades so every skin tone is catered for. They did make huge leaps forward with their True Match range earlier in the year and it would be nice to see all products/brands following suit.

But would I repurchase? Probably not. I don’t think I have the need for such a portable foundation when I use so little as it is. It’s a fine product, and perfect for so many, just not needed by me. And at £14.99 it is on the pricier side for a drugstore piece. I prefer to spend a little bit more on a higher end liquid foundation that will stay in place all day, leaving these products redundant.

It will be interesting to see if this a gimmick that will pass with time or whether more brands will take up the cushion trend. Have you tried any of these products? Where do they sit in your makeup routine? I’ll be very interested to hear about your experiences in the comments.

xoxoxo

On a side note, I am selling lots more items on depop including makeup bundles. Check out my store here.

 

B. Pure Sensitive Micellar Cleansing Wipes

STOP PRESS! I have found The One. I’ve looked far and wide, met some promising candidates, but finally had that “this is it” moment when these gorgeous cleansing wipes from Superdrug reached my face.

Yes, I’m talking wipes here, what were you thinking?! Look, I know these products are frowned upon by many skincare experts, but I use them in the initial stage of my multi-step skincare routine and my skin is blemish free (without bragging). We all have different skin that each has different needs, but I find these convenient and time saving.

 

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I use wipes to take makeup off BEFORE cleansing with a proper remover and/or micellar water and/or cleanser. Sometimes all four. Sometimes only two.

That’s not to say these aren’t effective but it is important to double cleanse: the first step is to remove makeup and the second to actually clean your skin.

I have tried similar products from Simple, Olay, Nivea, Garnier – even Primark – but nothing beats these. It demonstrates that drugstore own brands can be just as good as the prominent players in the skin care industry, producing their own holy grail candidates.

Unlike the dry and flimsy nature of some of these brands, I find the Superdrug version have the perfect balance of moisture and roughness.  Thanks to the addition of micellar water, these wipes actually remove even waterproof makeup and not just smear it around your face!

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B. Pure Sensitive Micellar Cleansing Wipes retail for £2.99 from Superdrug and are currently two for one, so hurry!

Do you love the convenience of facial wipes or are they a big no in your skincare routine?

xoxo

L’Oréal Paris Superliner Superstar

 

If you know me IRL then you’re aware that I rock a cat eye flick on a daily basis. You might even call it my signature look. So to achieve this I need a reliable, pigmented, long-lasting liner.

Is this it? Sort of.

This felt tip liner from L’Oréal is super easy to apply, gliding on in the perfect flick in almost one stroke. What more could you ask for? Well, it does run onto my eyelids in a way that other liners do not. My hooded eyes cannot take all the  blame.

The solution: apply over a powder/kohl liner to make this product linger in all the right places. I find the payoff for ease of application warrants the extra step.

Few people seem to realise the nib is bendable which only makes the application easier. It does take some force though so be brave.

This is a liner which I have and will repurchase. Despite this, the Stila waterproof pen is a worthy investment (albeit double the price). Just be sure to avoid similar offerings from Makeup Revolution and Collection. They made me look like a panda within a minute of leaving the flat.

Reliable. To the point. Affordable. An average liner that sacrifices longevity for ease of application. Recommended, but there are better liners out there.

What are your favourite eyeliners? Do you have any bargains you rave about or do you think quality means a higher price tag?

XOXO

 

Superdrug B. Confident Moisture Gel 

Hmmm… So far I have loved everything I’ve tried in the B. range from Superdrug, however my feelings are somewhat muted compared to those of the essence and micellar make-up wipes from the same brand.

The philosophy behind the range is that with each decade you reach another “skin phase” and Superdrug have developed products tailored to each stage of your skincare journey. I’m in my late 20s and so am in the first phase, to which this product is directed.

According to the Superdrug site it, “replenishes tired skin” and “smooths and softens” – but as far as I can tell it has the about the same effectiveness as water itself. Ok, for the first few mins my face feels slightly hydrated but after that it’s business as usual and I feel the need to use a product that is, well, moisturising.

Before you say, “but it’s drugstore, it will never have the potency of higher end products” I can tell you there are many drugstore moisturisers that make similar claims and can deliver on those promises.

I say save a few quid and stick with your regular moisturiser, or go with something from Nivea or Simple instead. If you can afford to splash over a tenner try the offerings from Nip + Fab or Olay.

XOXO

Primark “High Shine” Lip Gloss 

I’m a bit of a Primark addict; just ask my bank balance and it would tell you the same. I think I can expect an intervention in the near future…

On my last escapade into the wilderness that is Primark at 11am on a Sunday morning, I picked up this impulse purchase. It was £2 (although the label was in € it was definitely GBP) and I thought, “how bad can it be?”… And the answer is, not bad at all.

Look, this isn’t the Kylie lip kit. Neither does it have the pigmentation of MAC. But for two hundred pennies, what can you expect? It is certainly up there with drugstore buys for about half the price of the Rimmel equivalent.

What shade is it? I couldn’t tell you. It doesn’t have a cutesy colour name, this isn’t Urban Decay.

Comfortable on the lips whilst adding a hint of muted pink, this is a fine lipgloss for the everyday. In fact, it would be perfect for visiting Primark at 11am on a Sunday morning.

I’ll see you there…

XOXO

Favourites: January 2016!

January has been a long month filled with dark, cold nights (and payday seemingly forever at bay). For most of us we are back at work, harshly thrown into reality after the season of indulgence, with those resolutions to get fit and save money already failing.

But it’s also a chance to reset and reassess your life. This is the first year where I am eagerly awaiting new beauty launches and keeping up with trends. While these are not new launches, these are the products which softened the January blow for me!

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L’Oreal Mega Volume Collagene 24h Black Mascara
I was a little skeptical at first about this mascara because I usually go for thinner brushes – I find the thicker type here tends to clump up my lashes – but L’Oreal have really delivered on their promise of a product that provides volume and length for lashes. Thoroughly recommended.

Caudelie Lip Conditioner
I suffer greatly with chapped lips. It seems that no matter what I do I can’t escape the dryness and peeling but this lip treatment from Caudelie has helped repair some of the damage. It’s intensely nourishing and long-lasting, and is always in my bag.

Lush Sunkissed Lip Tint
This shimmering lip tint works wonders in these cold months to both project my lips from the elements whilst providing a subtle dash of colour. With yummy and natural ingredients such as banana, oatmeal and almond oil what is there not to love?

Stila Smudge Pot Eyshadow & Gel Eyeliner (Kitten)
This product is magic. Gel-like in the jar but quickly turning to a powdery dust upon application, this will innovate your eyeshadow routine. And you can also use as a liner! I personally wouldn’t with this neutral shade but can totally see the appeal for the darker tones in the range. I may invest further.

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L’Oreal Color Riche Eyeshadow Quad – Green/gold tone
This came in a free Xmas gift I received when I purchased the L’Oreal blush nudes palette from Boots and whilst it may be small, it packs the punches with four highly-pigmented shades that can deliver both neutral and bold looks. I keep this in my handbag as it contains the shades that can take me from the office to the afterparty.

La Roche-Posay Hydreane BB Cream
Foundation just doesn’t work for my skin tone. I often end up looking like an orange with even the lightest of shades, so I tend to even out my skin tone using BB creams instead. I love this one from La Roche-Posay which is lightweight and moisturising.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster
I have never used such a fast-absorbing face product before. This is exceptional and although the price tag reflects that, it is worth every penny. Admittedly, I received this through a subscription box but this may be the first skincare product I will splash out on as I cannot find any alternatives. This serum is like a daily vitamin supplement for your skin and you will be shocked by how quickly it comes into action. I apply this to my face and neck after cleansing and before moisturising.

Blogosphere Magazine
A magazine written by bloggers, for bloggers, about blogging you say? I’m in. It’s so great to see many familiar faces from the world of beauty, health, photography, fitness and food blogging amongst these pages. I especially loved the article on how brains and beauty are not mutually exclusive. Whilst this issue may be a few months old, you can still pick one up on the Blogosphere website (including a tablet edition) or from the computing shelves at WHSmiths.

Sound Intone Bluetooth Headphones
I love watching YouTubers but not everyone shares this taste, so a good pair of headphones are a necessity for me. These connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to a number of devices and so are perfect for the workday commute, as well as around the house when doing chores (yawn). Just remember to charge them up (although they come with a connecting cable just in case – phew) Added bonus: the fold up neatly so can be comfortably carried around in your handbag. I got mine from Amazon, £26.

What have you loved in the first month of 2016, and are you tempted by any of the products discussed today? Please let me know in the comments and subscribe if you would like to read more posts from me.

xoxoxo