Girl With Makeup


Beauty Brushes I Can't Live Without

mac 217, sephora mineral powder brush
Ahh, brushes. OK so they may not be as exciting as talking about a lipstick or blusher but without the tools to apply said makeup where would we be? I know I genuinely feel a sense of panic when I misplace my favourites even for a day and those ones I use everyday without fail? I think that just shows how well loved (and good quality) they are. Let's hand it to the hardworking failsafes that just don't get the limelight they rightly deserve:

My eye makeup was transformed the day that this came into my life. Seriously, I bought it back in the beginning of 2010 and before then I was applying my eyeshadow with the cheap sponges on sticks that you get and god knows what else I could get my hands on. I know, it makes me cringe too. In the same order I bought MAC Twinks and the two together was a revelation. My eye makeup went from two black rings to an actual blended, legit smokey eye. When they say this does all the work for you they're really not lying. There may be dupes out there but I've tried a couple and the original is still the best. It's probably the best investment I've ever made makeup-wise.

I'm a big fan of concealer, I use liquid and solid daily and for the latter there's no better brush for pinpoint concealing than the Real Techniques Detailer. It's small but not too small and the perfect size for getting the concealer exactly where you need it and nowhere else - the clue is in the name really. It's also perfect for running concealer under the eyebrows to get that really clean, defined look that I love. 

I, too, was once a Real Techniques Buffing Brush obsessive. That is until I bought the Sephora Mineral Powder Brush - and since then the RT hasn't had so much as a look in. Why is it better? I actually used the Buffing Brush today for the first time in about half a year just to remind myself of the difference between the two. The Sephora's bristles are a lot more densely packed which I find gives a more fuller coverage and more flawless result - the Buffing Brush sheers out the product a lot more and seems to 'eat' it up really quickly. It's difficult to explain exactly why it's better without trying it out for yourself, you'll just have to trust me on this one.

HD Brows Brush
The best eyebrow brush I've ever used. It was a bit of an accidental discovery as I got it in a Glossybox with a HD Brows palette, ended up selling the palette and keeping the brush. I like my eyebrows defined and neat and this is the only brush I've ever come across that is thin but sturdy enough to get the job done perfectly. I'm not sure you can even buy it anywhere but this might be the full-size version... but it also might not be. I don't know, all I know it that it's amazing, I actually lost it for a few days recently and during that time my eyebrows struggled.

I've probably had this brush as long as the 217 if not longer and am in desperate need of a replacement. It's just the most perfect brush for applying cream blush; the bristles are so light and they distribute and blend the product with such ease. You need not be scared of cream blush with this on hand. Yes it's so old that it now sheds on me and the black dye runs into the white bristles when I wash it but I just can't give it up, I did buy the Real Techniques Stippling Brush as a hopeful replacement but it comes nowhere close. I know there's dupes out there and that I should really buy a new one but it still does the job and I love it dearly.

Five makeup brushes that I just couldn't live without: three face, one eyebrow and one eye. Well, I could live without them, obviously, and I do have standbys but for me these are the best of the best and when I don't use them my makeup isn't happy. I'm seriously coveting the Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush right now - it looks like highlighting and contouring perfection and I need it.
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Latest Beauty Buys

L'Oreal, Urban Decay Naked Basics,  Essie, Bourjois

I've mentioned before how I can go weeks without buying any makeup/skincare/what have you and them bam all at once I'm gorging on it like there's no tomorrow. I thought I'd show you some of my recent buys and I hope you're excited as I am about the inclusion of that L'Oreal eyeshadow palette.

Naturally most if it came from probably my favourite beauty haunt, Boots, and with the 3 for 2 got one thing I've been desperate for and one thing I've been really, really desperate for. Yep, the L'Oreal La Palette Nude is mine. At £14.99 it's far from cheap for a highstreet brand but I'm just over the moon that a more accessible brand has finally brought out a really sleek, nude eyeshadow palette full of wearable colours. The palette is called Rose and it's laden with more pinkish, purpleish tones which leads me to believe (hope) that they'll be bringing out different varieties in the future. Isn't it a thing of beauty? I've used the first and third shadows so far and the shade range is very reminiscent of Urban Decay Naked 3 - without being a total dupe, hate that. On first swatch the shades aren't mega pigmented in the way that the Naked palettes are but I need to give them all a good go before I come to any conclusions. I'll definitely be doing a review so watch this space.

The other thing I really wanted (but not nearly as much as the L'Oreal palette) was the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder. After a long time of not touching the stuff I'm back into using powder daily and Healthy Balance has been getting a lot of praise. I got the lightest shade on offer in the Boots I was at - 52 Vanilla - although if 51 was available I would have went for that. I love that the packaging is so compact and has a really good, big mirror in the lid - always a plus.

For my freebie and after a lot of deliberation at the stand I decided on an Essie nail polish in the shade Merino Cool. I'm a fan of the 'greige' category and this one is a very lilac-grey colour or a 'sensuous autumn mulberry' - whatever you say, Essie. I can't wait to paint my nails with this, I have nothing similar to it and it's makes a nice change to the usual autumn nail polish colours.

Lastly we have, yep, another eyeshadow palette. I was never sold on the whole Naked Basics thing but when the new Naked Basics 2 was going on Cohorted for £15.40 I went for it. It's more cool-toned than the original which for me is only ever a good thing, plus I've been almost exclusively wearing matte shades lately and so to have a small, compact palette full of them is very handy indeed.

Not a bad lot, huh? I'll share my thoughts properly once I've actually used them all and can form an opinion. What I do already know though is that L'Oreal palette? Love.
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The Yearly Lush Haul

Lush Christmas Collection
Are you bored of Lush hauls yet? Nope, me neither. You see it happens like clockwork. Most of the year I don't give so much as a passing interest in Lush but roll around October time when the Christmas stuff gets released, when the weather gets colder and when I crave baths round the clock and all of a sudden I need Lush. This year I went maybe a tad overboard and bought seven things but a girl simply can't have too many Lush baths, that's what I'm sayin'.

Bubble Bars
Everyone goes nuts over the Magic Wand and the Snow Fairy scent and I was a bit hesitant to buy it because I really dislike anything that smells overly sweet but I can easily handle this - it smells like strawberry bubblegum and I can totally get on board with that. Plus it has a bell on it, it actually jingles! I've used this once and oh my goodness if you want pretty bathwater (who knew that was a thing) get this, it turns the water an amazing soft pink colour and makes lots of bubbles. I imagine it'll last for plenty of baths as well as I've barely made a dent in it. I'll admit that I get the hype on this one now.

I'd already used half of this before I took the photo #bloggerproblems. It lasted me a good three baths and I thought Candy Mountain was my favourite bubble bar but that was before I tried Magic Wand - Candy Mountain is basically like a less intense smelling version and doesn't turn the water quite so pink.

Bath Bombs
Apparently this year they made Father Christmas using the Snow Fairy scent but I didn't make the comparison, I just thought it smelled delicious. If you want a more 'exciting' bath bomb this is fab, it  fizzes away and turns the bath water from pink to a darkish green which looks a lot nicer than it sounds. Loved it.

This one smells like apples, and I love apples. It has orange flower absolute, bergamot oil, rose absolute and neroli oil. It's one of the few I haven't used yet but from what I've read the white outer fizzes away to a rosy centre that turns the water pink. Using Magic Wand has made me realise I'm a fan of pink water so I'm excited for this.

Not particularly being a fan of spicy or cinnamony scents I wasn't sure I'd like this but I've found that the scents aren't nearly as overwhelming as you expect once you use them. This one turned the water a bit... visually unappealing. Put it this way, yellow bath water with random brown bits. Yeah, I'll leave that to your imagination. It's not bad but not a favourite.

Bath Melts
I used The Melting Snowman year and loved it for how soft and moisturised it left my skin. The second ingredient is icing sugar, I mean come on. There's also cinnamon in there, shea butter, cocoa butter and sweet orange oil to name just a few ingredients. I haven't used it yet simply because I'm saving it - best til last and all that.

Not gonna lie, I'm a little bit scared to use this because it is glittery and I don't have a bath to come out of it looking like a disco ball. I was very hesitant to buy it but then I thought when else can you have a glittery bath if not at Christmas? It smells like marzipan, has cocoa butter and all that good stuff and, well, I guess I'll just have to report back on this one. Fingers crossed.

I swear, there's nothing like having a whole load of Lush stuff to make you want a bath near enough constantly. I'm restricting myself to two a week and my stocks are already rapidly depleting and I just know I'll find myself restocking. The Lush bug is an expensive habit.
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A Not So Autumnal Autumn Base

Autumn Base

Following on from my not so seasonally appropriate Nude Lipstick Collection post I realised that my base makeup of late has been seriously missing the Autumn factor too. What can I say, I just can't seem to drag myself away from bronzed, highlighted skin and bright cheeks.

Having said that, my foundation has definitely been amped up recently given that I'm actually wearing the stuff now and have abandoned my BB creams and tinted moisturisers until next year. I'm actually running very low on foundation at the minute and own just four(!), two of which are the Bourjois Healthy Mix Radiance Reveal in 52 and YSL Touche Eclat in B10 which together create a medium coverage, natural looking base. Of course no base is complete without some of the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer which manages to make things utterly flawless every single time. Chantilly is still a tad too light for me once I've got foundation on but I work with it because it is so. damn. good. 

Another obsession? Soap & Glory Solar Powder. Nope, I'm still not over it. This might actually be my standout makeup discovery of the year and is the reason I can't quit bronzed skin even though it's freezing outside and it's usually around this time that I'm resembling Caspar. Seriously, this stuff gives my skin so much life and dimension and so easily and quickly that I just can't quit it. The colour is absolutely perfect for me and the formula is something else: pigmented but buttery soft and non-powdery and it blends so well. I'm sorry if you're sick of hearing me talk about it but this rave train is going nowhere.

Blusher is a given and since buying the Stila Convertible Colour in Gerbera it's all I've had on my cheeks. The colour is a pastelly pinky-peach and is one of them complexion perker-uppers that I'm all about. It's definitely more of a summer shade but it's too pretty to stop wearing just because the weather's gotten a bit colder (ok, it's freezing). I'm not really sure whether cream blushers are more suited to the colder or warmer months but either way I love them and wear them year-round regardless. Highlighter is another year-round must have no matter the season and the No7 Instant Radiance Bronzing Highlight* is one I've been wearing a lot. It doesn't translate quite so bronze on the skin but instead gives a creamy glow that I crave no matter what the weather's like.

Powder has actually been making an appearance lately after stopping wearing it altogether for a around half a year. Why I stopped I'm not sure, it's just a phase I went through as I felt I didn't need it but now that I'm back to wearing proper foundations  - and especially because I find YSL Touche Eclat leaves my skin quite tacky - I'm finding a light dusting of the stuff is necessary. I'm switching between the Kiko Soft Light Powder (not pictured) and Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder* (also not pictured, oops). The Kiko is a very light, natural powder and the Vichy a much more mattifying 'your foundation is going nowhere' affair - it depends how I'm feeling.

So for the most part seasonally appropriate it is not but I'm enjoying my bronzer and bright cheeks too much to stop just yet. In other cheek-related news I'm this close to buying Nars Douceur since I've heard on the grapevine that it's getting discontinued. So come on, enable me, do I need it? Do I even need to ask?
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October Favourites

October Favourites

October saw the introduction of a couple of makeup and skincare products that I basically fell in love with from the get-go and a certain eyeshadow palette that took me a while to come round to but now I love it and that's all that matters. Rave train incoming...

My absolute stand out favourite of the month has to be the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. It's one of those products that took me so long to get round to buying and now I'm thinking why?! Why did I not buy you sooner? It's like a hybrid between a gel and a balm, is equally amazing at removing makeup and cleansing and manages to leave my skin feeling clean and refreshed but totally calm and nourished at the same time which is no mean feat. The ingredients list is all kinds of amazing with pumpkin enzymes, Omega 6 and heaps of vitamins and it's really no wonder my skin has reacted so well - it's been the calmest and most clear it's been in a long time since I started using this. Dare I say it's my favourite cleanser yet? Dun dun dunnn.

Another one that took me far too long to make a purchase is the Stila Convertible Colour in Gerbera which is kind of crazy given that I'm a huge cream blush fan and this honestly might be the best cream blush formulation I've come across to date. It's not a cream to powder but it's not greasy either, it just sits bang in the middle of exactly how a cream blush should be, in my opinion. The colour in the pan is not indicative of the colour when swatched or applied either; in the pan it looks quite dull and dark but just take a swipe and it's actually a light, bright, pastelly pinky-peach colour that brightens my complexion in an instant. I've never owned a colour like this before and I love that I'm stepping out of my usual comfort zone of blue-based pinks. I think it says it all when I can say that I've worn it every single day since I bought it.

Here's a favourite that has never had so much as a mention on the blog before now: Urban Decay Naked 3. I bought it a couple of months ago and then didn't use it once except for the occasional glance to stare at how pretty it was. But for the past couple of weeks I've been wearing a couple of the matte colours on my eyes most days, namely Strange on the lids, a matte pinkish-white that brightens things nicely and Limit in the crease, a light purplish-pinkish shade that works so well with my skintone and eye colour. Sometimes (a lot of the time) it just takes me a while to come round to new things and then I often end up falling in love with them. Tell me it's not just me?!

P.S. I was so close to featuring the Soap & Glory Solar Powder even though it was in last months favourites post. My face just looks and feels wrong without it. Can it just be declared a forever favourite?
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