Thursday, 5 May 2016

Top Primer Picks:

Primers are an essential step in my makeup routine, I would NEVER apply my foundation without it. My current combination is the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer all over the face with an extra helping of the Benefit POREfessional through my T Zone. Unfortunately my nose has a bizarre texture and one primer just won’t do, think the Sahara Desert meets an oil slick then you’re half way there! Here’s a rundown of my four favourite primers:

Benefit the POREfessional:
So as I said, my nose is weird. I think it’s the combination of dry skin and large pores that make applying makeup to my nose an absolute nightmare. However Benefit’s the POREfessional seems to be the only thing that can hold the makeup applied to my nose in place and, even after a days’ worth of wear, I can happily confirm that my foundation does not move when I use this primer. It’s an odd consistency, very similar to the Too Faced Primed & Poreless which I also love, both of which have a very soft, balm like feel and I think this is why I love it so much. As you apply the primer you can literally see it filling in your pores, smoothing out the texture of the skin as you go leaving a balanced, even base behind, perfect for both dry and oily skin types alike. 

Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer:
This is a relatively new discovery for me, I purchased it from Sephora about 4 months ago, and I have been addicted ever since. Incorporating five types of coconut into its nutrient rich formula this primer provides a lovely cooling sensation when applied to the skin and keeps my dry cheeks and forehead nourished for hours. It has a very lightweight, silky feel and also works wonderfully when worn alone for those makeup free days. In all honesty though, the smell alone is enough to make me repurchase this primer again and again.

Stila One Step Correct:
This is the primer I reach for when my skin is especially flushed and I bear a similar resemblance to Elmo. Luckily, this doesn’t happen often, but when it does this is the only primer that can help neutralize my skin thanks to the colour correcting, brightening and moisturising ‘colours’ within the formula. Like the Marc Jacobs primer it is very lightweight and glides effortlessly onto the skin, keeping me hydrated and my redness at bay throughout the day. 

Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer:
This primer is incredibly similar to the Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer, maybe that is why I like it so much! The texture, the feel, the tropical scent, it’s like the Marc Jacobs Coconut Face Primer’s cheaper twin. Once applied you can feel that familiar cooling sensation right away and my skin feels instantly hydrated leaving a fresh and flawless base for my foundation. This is the primer I will opt for when I want my foundation to last and don’t want to worry about having to touch up throughout the day/night. 

What are your favourite primers?

Take care x

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

NARS ITA Brush Dupe

When it comes to makeup brushes I’m really not too fussy. As long as they're relatively soft, easy to work with, and don’t shed all over the shop then I’m happy. That’s not too much to ask right? In my collection I have a mixture of MAC, Eco Tools, Real Techniques, Crown Brush, and a whole host of others but I’ve never really experimented with any luxury brand brushes, I’m talking Dior, Charlotte Tilbury, Marc Jacobs, By Terry, and that’s because I’ve never really had the need, not when I can purchase some pretty perfect dupes from the online market place we all know and love, eBay. 

Being the big fan of contouring that I am, the NARS ITA Kabuki brush was one of the higher end brushes that I would really love to try but, not willing to part with £43.00 for the privilege, I decided to buy a cheaper dupe on eBay (check it out here). The original NARS ITA brush is designed for ‘targeted contouring and creating strong, sculpted cheeks,’ something that seriously appeals to my inner Kimmy K. Now, I haven’t actually tried the original NARS ITA brush so I can’t really draw any comparisons BUT, if this bargain buy of a brush is anything to go by, then it must be pretty damn good. 

This eBay dupe is incredible. The bristles are super soft and the perfect density and shape for creating that precise, sharp contour. The brush itself is a nice weight and it has a large surface area allowing the user to gain a comfortable, strong hold on the handle, which is great for building confidence. When I want to add an effortless contour to my cheekbones, I wouldn’t use anything else. 

So if you are thinking about investing in the NARS ITA Kabuki brush, or any luxury branded beauty brush for that matter, maybe give eBay a go first.

Have you tried the original ITA brush or any dupes?

Take care x

Sunday, 1 May 2016

A Must Have - Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24h Foundation:

It takes A LOT for me to love a foundation. Like, a lot. So when I say that I have fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with the Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24h foundation it must be pretty special. It doesn’t beat the NARS Sheer Glow (I honestly don’t think anything ever will) but it does come pretty damn close and here’s why... 

First of all, the packaging is beautiful. Smooth, frosted glass and a sturdy clear lid protect the foundation inside and the simple black text with iconic gold floral Lancôme logo make this a perfect dressing table decoration. And let’s not forget the pump, any foundation that comes with a pump gets extra brownie points from me! 

Now onto the actual product itself. This foundation is incredibly smooth to apply whether you’re using a brush or a Beauty Blender and, despite the medium to full coverage, it feels incredibly light on the skin. Luckily for me my skin seems to be behaving itself at the moment but on the days where I have excess redness or the odd blemish here and there this foundation covers it all without looking cakey or like I’ve thrown it on with a shovel. Once applied, this foundation provides a matte finish with only a slight hint of sheen, not something I would normally go for, but thanks to the staying power of this foundation I am more than happy to spend a little extra time applying more highlight at the end of my routine to make up for this. And it really does last. I can apply this foundation at the beginning of my night out (not that I ever go out anymore now that I am mummy to a fur-baby) and know that it will stay put and still look great at the end of the night – or maybe it’s just my alcohol impaired vision that’s drawn me to this conclusion! Either way, it’s a great evening or special occasion foundation, something that will see you through a good 8 to 9 hours without clinging to dry patches or moving around all over the place or if you have a long day planned in the workplace this is a great choice for those who like a heavier coverage in the day time. 

Despite having an SPF of 15, this foundation looks great in photographs. I’ve never experienced the dreaded ‘ghost face’ when wearing this and, even though the factor is rather low, my skin is still protected when out and about in the sun. I honestly didn’t think I would like this foundation as much as I do as it’s marketed as an ‘oil free’ foundation, a phrase that would normally scare my dry skinned self but hey, if the shoe fits! 

Have you tried this foundation, what did you think? 

Take care x

Thursday, 28 April 2016

April 2016 Favourites:

How is April nearly over already? It seems like only yesterday that I was stuffing my face with chocolate and drinking too much champagne whilst waving goodbye to 2015 and seeing in the New Year in style. But without paying too much attention to how quickly this year is progressing, I thought I would share with you a few products that I have been loving throughout the month of April.

Mac ‘Camel Coat’ Pro Longwear Paint Pot: Upon opening my MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot to find what can only be described as a shrivelled up mess inside I thought it was about time I found a comparative replacement and Camel Coat is just that. It’s a lovely cool toned beige shade with a slight hint of grey that would serve beautifully as a base for subsequent powder eye products or run along the lower lash line to create a subtle shadow. It has a very soft, creamy texture and is easily blended with both a brush and finger. A great item to have in your collection.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara: This mascara has become a staple product in my collection over the past few weeks, it lifts my lashes like no other and leaves me with long, separated lashes that won’t transfer, flake or become brittle throughout the day. If you’re lazy, like me, you will love this mascara and you can certainly say goodbye to your eyelash curlers!

Hugo Boss Orange Woman Eau de Parfum: This is my ultimate Spring/Summer scent. Its light, its floral, its sweet, what more could you want? The top note of apple and middle notes of orange blossom and white flower certainly pack a punch but aren’t too overbearing for the warmer months, they provide just the right amount carefree femininity that will get you noticed this season. 

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette: Forget about an April favourite, this palette has to be one of my favourite discoveries of the entire year so far. As you would expect with any Urban Decay palette these eye shadows apply and blend like a dream, there is only one let down for me in there and that’s ‘POP’ which is a bit crumbly for my liking, but don’t let that put you off, there are 14 other superb shadows to keep you busy. ‘Steady,’ ‘Baby’ and ‘Stark’ are three of my favourites.

Topshop Matte Liner: I don’t think I will ever find at liquid liner that ticks all the boxes. I’ve tried high end, low end and everything in between and this Topshop Matte Liner is the only thing that really comes close to what I’m looking for. It has a relatively small lid which is easy to grip allowing for maximum control when applying the liner and it has a neat, precise nib which makes creating that perfect, sleek wing a walking in the park. The product itself is extremely pigmented, a beautiful deep black to compliment any eye look, and I can’t complain about the staying power either.

Origins GinZing Moisturiser: Origins is without a doubt one of my favourite skincare brands. It caters for all different skin types, skin conditions and it has an extensive array of products per skin concern, so if you have dry or dehydrated skin like me, oily or combination skin there will be something on the site for you. Whilst the GinZing moisturiser isn’t specifically targeted to dry skin alone (the website suggests it’s suitable for both dry, normal and oily skin) it really does make my skin feel thoroughly refreshed and hydrated and the lightweight gel like consistency leaves my skin feeling cool and calm. 

What products have you been loving this month?

Take care x

Monday, 25 April 2016

NARS Copacabana Illuminator:

For my first post since my blogging break I thought I would talk about one of my favourite products that I have discovered during 2014/2015: the Nars Illuminator in Copacabana. As I didn’t even attempt to wear eye makeup for the majority of 2014, for me, it really has been all about the face and finding those Holy Grail products that I know will give me the best base possible. 

As the name would suggest it is a stunning, shimmering liquid illuminator that can be used either alone as a cheek bone/brow bone highlight or mixed in with foundation to provide a sheerer, more luminous coverage. But, whilst this product serves both of those purposes perfectly, I have been absolutely loving it as a primer before I apply my chosen foundation.

This beauty packs a very pigmented punch, just a little bit of product goes an extremely long way so be careful not to cross that fine line between radiant glow and dazzling disco ball. I just apply a small amount of this to my entire face keeping clear of my nose and surrounding area (only Benefit’s thePorefessional can keep my foundation from slipping here) and massage into the skin until blended. I then apply my foundation (I have been loving the Illamasqua Skin Base foundation lately) with a damp sponge, do all my contouring and blush etc and that’s it, flawless face accomplished!

What’s great about this NARS Illuminator is that no matter what liquid, cream or powder products you place over the top of it, it still manages to shine through so there is no need to waste time adding additional highlighters – great for all you girls on the go. I have even given this product a little nickname: “my foundation glue.” It just seems to keep my foundation in place all day no matter which foundation I choose and I can happily go about my day or dance the night away knowing that my foundation won’t have creased, faded or slid down to my chin when I come to inspect it in the mirror.

I can’t tell you how many compliments I have had since I started using this as a primer and I would completely recommend it to anyone looking for a versatile liquid highlighter or illuminating primer.

Have you tried this product? What are your favourite highlighters at the moment?

Take care x

I'm Back!

Oh goodness, where has the past year (or two) gone!? I can’t believe I haven’t sat down to even think about blogging for over a year now, naught naughty me. But, to be honest, I just really haven’t had the time, money or inspiration to crack open the laptop and write about the latest beauty, hair and skincare items that have hit the shelves. Plus, I have been really struggling with my eye health for the past year, so much so my confidence has really taken a hit and posting pictures of my puffy eyes for all the interweb to see isn’t exactly number one on my to do list. But the number one thing that has been taking up my time is a little Cocker Spaniel puppy named Dylan. Late nights, early mornings and constant play fighting has definitely taken its toll on my get up and go but, now that Dyl is over a year old, I feel like it’s finally time to get back to being me and not one of those crazy ‘all-I-can-talk-about-is-my-puppy’ women and get back on it with my beauty blogging. I really have missed it!

Anyway, now that the excuses are out of the way, let’s get down to business. I’m not going to say that I’m going to go back to posting everyday (unfortunately time still won’t allow me to do that!) but I have missed the interaction and sharing my views with you all so much that it’s come to a point where I just NEED to starting blogging again. I’m going to start with posting every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and I’ll see how things go from there, sound good?

Oh, I almost forgot to mention my new blogging name and layout! To go along with my new lease of blogging life, I thought I would give my blog a complete makeover including a whole new name – The Beauty Log, and a cleaner and crisp design to go with. Let me know what you think!

What have you all been up to? Don't forget to follow me on all  my new social media accounts!

Take care x
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