Thursday, 16 July 2015

HIGH END VS LOW END: Beauty Sponges

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Beauty sponges are becoming an increasingly popular method of applying the perfect base. The question is do you really need to spend £16 on a sponge that has a 3 month lifespan?

damp beautyblender
First up is the beautyblender which is our high end competitor. This sponge really is infamous now, I feel like everyone and their mum has heard of the beautyblender and the amazing way it applies everything from liquid, cream and powder products. I jumped onto the bandwagon and bought myself a beautyblender about three months ago and I have been loving it ever since - you can read my initial review here

The beautyblender has made me never want to apply my foundation with a brush again, I remember once my beautyblender was in desperate need of a clean and I dug out my Real Techniques Buffing Brush to blend in my foundation and I was so disappointed at the results, my foundation didn't look anywhere near as flawless ad when I applied it using my beautyblender. After that I knew there was basically no going back, I was going to be using a sponge to apply my foundation for the rest of my days.

However even though the beautyblender is a reusable sponge most say it only realistically can last you three months due to bacteria building up ect... which for a student like me is a big problem, I can't realistically justify spending that much on something four times a year which is why I started looking for cheaper alternatives.

damp miracle complexion sponge
So after hearing on beauty blogs that the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is a dupe for the beautyblender I decided to give it a whirl. I bought my sponge from Superdrug for £6 so it is A LOT cheaper than the beautyblender, I have also found on amazon some sellers selling it for around the £4 mark so you can get it for a quarter of the price of a beautyblender. But the real question is - is this sponge a dupe for the beautyblender?

NO. It isn't a dupe for the beautyblender and let me explain why. When I first opened this sponge I found it to be very dense and stiff, so I dampened it and it grew fractionally in size and became much more bouncy. However the big difference between the two is that the beautyblender has the ability to "bounce" the product into your skin whereas the Miracle Complexion Sponge presses product into your skin. Also the beautyblender grows dramatically in size when dampened where as the Miracle Complexion Sponge does not. These are really subtle differences but they are essentially two different types of sponge which both create a flawless looking base.

Both of these sponges are phenomenal, the both create a flawless looking base. So I would argue that these are as good as each other when it comes to applying product and I will defiantly be repurchasing both of these products in the future. If you are looking at getting one of these sponges I would say start with the Real Techniques one as it is the more cost effective option and if you don't enjoy applying your base with a sponge it is only a few pounds you will be wasting and if you love it maybe try the beautyblender to see how it works out in comparison.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

REVIEW: Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

I've had my eye on the  Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour (£19) ever since it was released due to my new found love for cream bronzers - Bourjois Bronzing Primer can be held to blame for this. So I picked the contouring Chubby Stick up about a month ago and have been playing around with it every since.

The bronzer itself is warm toned which isn't great for contouring which is what the product is supposed to be used for. I use this product to create a natural bronzed look rather than having a really harsh contour, I use the Zoeva 122 which is their petite stippling brush to blend out the bronzer which I apply over my foundation. Pairing the bronzer to this brush really helps to achieved a focused bronzed look, rather than becoming a big bronzed mess.  

I really love the look that this product creates, its really natural looking so its perfect for work or minimal make up. However for me I love the bronzed look to so usually pair this with a powder bronzer (typically Nars Laguna or Benefits Hoola) just so I am literally a bronze goddess!

What are your favourite bronzing products?

Saturday, 13 June 2015

HAUL: MAC, Nars, Clarins

Saturday, 13 June 2015
Every time I go shopping for one item of make up (this time it was the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer) I somehow end up with other products that I just had to get, anyway here are the products I picked up today
left to right - sunny seoul, creme cup, mehr
Recently i've been really into MAC lipsticks so why not add three more to my very fast growing collection. I picked up Sunny Seoul which is a really bright neon pink colour which usually wouldn't be my thing (nudes 4 lyfe) BUT because its a cremesheen finish I figured when the sun comes out in Manchester I can pop this on to bring some subtle colour to my make up. Next up I bought Creme Cup which is a cult classic from MAC its a baby pink colour which again isn't really my thing but since again its a cremesheen finish I thought I might be able to pull this off... we'll see i'm not 100% convinced but after hearing about this colour for literally about five years the hype must've got to me. Finally a colour I would usually pick Mehr which is one of those 90s-esque shades which I love. I may already have Velvet Teddy, Brave, Retro and Twig but Mehr was a must, I heard I think it was Amelia Liana say that is looks killer over MACs Whirl lip pencil which completely sold me. 

Also from MAC I picked up their Brush Cleanser simply because i've been dying to try a spot brush cleanser for years and have never and when I saw the MAC one I just thought why the hell not. Then (drum roll please) I decided to take the plunge and get Fix+ which like Creme Cup i've heard about for years and have never tried, I bought this specifically to spray on my brush to intensify eyeshadows but I know there are a million uses for this so i'm really excited to test it out. 

I saw the Clarins Aquatic Treasures Summer Bronzing Compact and I knew it had to be mine. I am definitely a bronzer gal, I rarely wear blush for me its all about bronzing and highlighting and when I laid my eyes on this beauty I literally couldn't resist. The powder is made up of four different colours which when swirled together create a lovely warm bronze shade, its so beautiful I haven't touched it yet but this thing is huge and will probably last my entire life time which makes the £30 price tag a bit easier to swallow.  

Finally, what I actually went to Selfridges for - the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I bought the shade Custard and will be using this product to concealer my under eye circles, i'll let you know how I get on with it and if its worth the hype.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

My MAC Eyeshadow Palette

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

I decided it was time to buy myself the Mac Pro Palette alongside the 15 eyeshadow insert about 2 years ago now, the palette with the insert costs £16.50 but you could easily put the Mac pan eyeshadows into a Z Palette or whatever else strikes your fancy.

When buying a Mac eyeshadow you can get them in pan form and it saves you £3 per eyeshadow so if you are thinking of collecting some Mac shadows is will end up worth getting them in pan form. Mac pan eyeshadows cost £10 which is reasonable but when you look at the palette it has 15 eyeshadows so the total cost of my palette is £166.50. Compared to for instance the Urban Decay Naked Palette which I believe cost around £40 for 12 shadows a Mac eyeshadow palette is quite the investment. However I have no regrets and this is because the eyeshadows have fantastic quality, pigmentation and range. I use this palette every day and to be honest have been seriously debating getting another empty palette to fill because I still have Mac eyeshadows that I need in my life right now (i'm looking at you Club).

Top Row: Nylon, Retro-speck, Grain, Vex, Omega
Middle Row: Ricepaper, Orb, All That Glitters, Soba, Satin Taupe
Botom Row: Naked Lunch, Jest, Patina, Wood-Winked, Espresso

nylon, retro-speck, grain, vex, omega
Mac Says: Pale gold with icy shimmer
I bought Nylon to use in my inner corner and it works a dream as its a really striking shade which brings attention and brightens wonderfully.

Mac Say: Beige with silver-gold shimmer
Retro-speck is a really fun quite glittery natural shade which is perfect for sweeping all over the lid.

Mac Say: Golden beige with icy shimmer
The eyeshadow is one of my favourites, I haven't really heard anything about this from beauty blogs/gurus but its such a lovely all over the lid beige shade, its showing up a bit more pink than it actually is on this picture but it is gorgeous in real life.

Mac Say: Beige with pink-green pearl (???? what)
I bought Vex buy mistake, I meant to get something else I can't remember what but after swatching every Mac eyeshadow and looking at their names I just blanked and asked for Vex. I don't wear Vex a lot its a grey shimmery shadow but its not very pigmented which makes it wearable. I have no idea what the people who work for Mac were smoking when they said this colour was beige with pink-green pearl because they are straight up wrong.

Mac Say: Soft muted beige-taupe
This is the perfect matte blending shade I literally don't need to say anymore, I adore this shade.

ricepaper, orb, all that glitters, soba, satin taupe
Mac Say: Peachy gold with shimmer
Ricepaper is another really lovely all over the lid colour, I usually wear this all over the lid with Omega blended into the crease for a really casual subtle look for work.

Mac Say: Soft peachy-beige
Orb is a matte shadow which I tend to use to block out the veins on my eyelids after i've primed or all over the lid on days when I really can't be bothered wearing eyeshadow.

All That Glitters
Mac Say: Beige with Gold Pearl
I don't know why this has photographed as being so damn pink because its not. All That Glitters is a muted pink eyeshadow with gold running through it, it looks amazing on its own all over the lid.

Mac Say: Gold Brown with gold Shimmer
Soba is probably my biggest regret in this palette just because I can't wear it, I find it WAY too pigmented for all over the lid and really hard to blend if I put it in my crease. Also I find that colour really unflattering for my eye colour/skin tone. There is just something about this shadow that isn't right for me which is a real shame because when swatched it looks so lovely.

Satin Taupe
Mac Say: Taupe with silver shimmer
I don't think i've ever been out clubbing and not worn Satin Taupe, it a perfect dark taupe colour which just catches the light and looks beautiful.

naked lunch, jest, patina, wood-winked, espresso
Naked Lunch
Mac Say: Minimal pink with shimmer
Again a beautiful lid shade, Naked Lunch isn't that pigmented so its really natural looking when on the lid.

Mac Say: Soft Peach with icy shimmer
Jest is very similar to Naked Lunch but a little but darker so on reflection I probably don't need both...

Mac Say: Taupe brown with golden pearl
Patina is another one of my favourites, I love to wear this all over the lid and blend it up into the crease it makes my eyes really pop.

Mac Say: Golden Brown
Wood-Winked is a gorgeous brown shade which is packed with gold shimmer, I didn't like this so much when I first got it but recently i've been using it more and more as a crease colour for a darker look.

Mac Say: Muted Golden Brown
Espresso is a dark matte brown that I love putting on my outer corners for added definition.

What are your favourite Mac eyeshadows?

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Essie Mint Candy Apple

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

 Essie nail polishes are i'd say the best nail polishes i've ever tried, they are opaque, long wearing and  the colour range that Essie have is phenomenal - there is literally a colour for everyone. Mint Candy    Apple (£8) is the perfect 'Tiffany Blue' colour which has been a cult beauty favourite for sometime  now, i've owned this polish for about two years now and every time Spring/Summer comes around I  fall in love with it all over again. 

essie's mint candy apple
I love to wear a sparkly top coat with Mint Candy Apple as it gives the polish a bit more dimension. This time I used Cosmic Flash by Maybelline, it hasn't picked up very well on the pictures but it is a clear polish with blue iridescent glitter running through it. It really is incredibly subtle "glitter" look so if you don't like the whole opaque glitter nails you might want to check this out.

cosmic flash and mint candy apple

Monday, 13 April 2015

REVIEW: BeautyBlender and Micro Mini BeautyBlender

Monday, 13 April 2015
The infamous BeautyBlender is something I first heard about when I started watching beauty gurus on Youtube about 5 years ago, back then the thought of spending £16 on a sponge that I would have to throw out after a few months was ludicrous. Anyway fast forward 5 years and here I am the proud owner of a BeautyBlender (£16) and Micro Mini BeautyBlender (£13), I did A LOT of research on these and found that the original pink BeautyBlender came across as "the best" over the white pure and black pro BeautyBlenders. As for the Micro Mini a lot of people claimed this to be unnecessary and not functional due to its tiny size, I decided to give it a shot anyway just to see if I could find a way to use it.

beautybelnder and micro mini beautyblender (both damp)
Okay first up is the original BeautyBlender which I adore, this honestly is something really special. My foundation applies so evenly when using the BeautyBlender and my skin always looks so flawless as the BeautyBlender really works the product into my skin. At first I found the idea of applying foundation to my face on a wet sponge a little odd but it works so who am I to complain. I have also used the original BeautyBlender to blend in concealer and cream bronzer which worked amazingly too.

damp beautyblender, top - dry mini micro beautybelnder, bottom - damp mini micro beautyblender
I bought the Mini Micro BeautyBlender to blend in my concealer, I didn't have a brush in my collection which was specifically for blending in concealer and when using heavy duty concealers I was really struggling to blend it in nicely. For concealer I love this product it works just as well as the original and leaves a really nice flawless finish. When I received the mini micro I was really shocked at how small they are, they do expand when damp to be a usable size though! 

BeautyBlenders make their own solid and liquid cleaner for the beautyblendes which are supposed to be really good but for now i've just been using baby shampoo which is working just fine for me. They are surprisingly easy to clean actually, I clean mine after about four or five uses. 

I think the biggest question surrounding BeautyBlenders is are they worth the money? You have to take into consideration what you already have - I use the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to blend in my foundation and even though the BeautyBlender does give a smoother finish it isn't a product that will last you years like my Buffing Brush will. 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Wishlist #1

Saturday, 11 April 2015

I feel like I am forever lusting after beauty products, here are some that I am dying to get my hands on at the minute!

1. Zoeva Rose Golden Complete Eye Set (£57) - Even though I have a million make up brushes I always somehow need more, lately I have been drooling over this Zoeva rose gold brush set. I feel like this has every eye brush I will ever need and so buying it makes perfect sense... right?

2. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow (£49) - Everyone has been going insane over contouring and highlighting recently and i'm not going to lie I may have jumped on the bandwagon. I've already splurged on the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Palette which I do love don't get me wrong but these powders have a lovely glow to them which I am in desperate need of.

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (£15) - I've got the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, I love it. I've got the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo, I love it. So naturally I need the Dipbrow Pomade. I feel like this is a big statement but Anastasia has single handedly made me confident and good-ish at filling in my brows, there products are such good quality and match my brows perfectly honestly what more could you want.

4. Seche Vite Top Coat (£5) - I've recently started painting my nails on a regular basis again and my Barry-M top coat really isn't hitting the mark anymore, I need something with a bit more umph. Loads of beauty bloggers and youtubers went wild for this top coat last year and I figured all the hype around this product must mean that its an amazing top coat.

5.Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour and Highlight (£19 each) - As mentioned my contour and highlight obsession is endless and I really want to try a cream contour product and this one by Clinique looks right up my ally, i've swatched this in store and it really is beautiful natural contour shade. I don't really mind bronzers with an orange undertone, I think they compliment my completion but these products would be great for a no fuss contour and highlighting routine.
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