Monthly favourites time! Once again, the speed at which this year is flying by has outpaced my ability to get my sh-t together and write this post…
Below are five bits that have seen me through the past month, across both beauty and skincare, the latter of which has admittedly become more of an obsession this month – I’ll elaborate on that later). I’m still loving so much of the stuff I mentioned last month, but the list is ever-expanding so it was fairly hard to narrow this month down to just five things (but I’ll give it a go).
The Body Shop Shade Adjusting Drops in Lightening
After years (so many years) of constant disappointment in foundations that are too dark for me, I finally caved and decided to compromise – by trying out a white foundation mixer. The only one I’d seen in stores here in the UK is from The Body Shop, a brand that I’ve not used much, preferring Lush for my natural bath and body products. This mixer is straight-up white, with a high pigment level and thick texture. In the past, I avoided mixers largely due to the formula – finish and texture is a huge part of choosing a foundation, so I worried that mixing something in could alter this.
This mixer is packaged nicely, with a dropper for easy control over the amount of product (to prevent you from going full Casper). The thick and heavy texture of this mixer does cause the dropper and bottle to become a little clogged and messy, but I can get past that – this stuff works like a dream. I’ve been adding two small drops into my Estee Lauder Double Wear (in 1C0 Shell, which I love but the shade match is a tad off), and it mixes in beautifully without altering the smooth finish and long-wearing properties. The Body Shop state that the mixer is a blend of both white and pink pigments to give it a cooler undertone – I’d say that this is barely noticeable, but I have a lot of pink and red in my skin to start with, so the match is fine for me.
A 30ml bottle costs £10, and the darkening edition is also available (it’s a very deep, warmer shade). Any fellow redheads/ghostly folk should definitely try this out, as it opens up so many foundations that would otherwise be unwearable. Sidenote: I’ve just purchased MUA’s new light/cool mixer, which is thinner in texture and not as pigmented – this might be preferable depending on the level of coverage you like, and it is less than half the price. However, I’ll definitely be using the lightening drops daily for the foreseeable future.
MUA Blushers in Lolly and Cupcake
Some brands are so cheap (proper cheap), that you can’t help but have doubts about the product quality. £1 for a highly pigmented, blendable and long-lasting blusher? Surely not?!
Well, in this case it is too good and very true. MUA (available at Superdrug in the UK) is a fountain of bargain beauty, in particular eye and lip bits at the £1 or £2 mark. I picked up one of their basic blushers on a complete whim (like most of my shopping – it’s a poor excuse for buying things, to be honest), in the shade Cupcake. This is one of those muted dusty-rose shade that always flatters my skin tone, without turning me into a clown. After trying Cupcake, I bought the shade Lolly to wear as we move into summer – it’s a brighter, more orange-coral shade.
The packaging is cheap-looking, no doubt about it. The product comes in a rectangular pan, stamped with the brand logo. The plastic cover flips on a hinge, clicking into place when you close it – they’re very sleek, but probably easy to de-pot and add to a magnetic palette. From a first glance, I wasn’t expecting much from this blusher but holy pigment Batman! This packs a colourful punch, kicking up a fair bit of product onto the brush (so be sure to tap before applying). The colour blends wonderfully on the skin, and can be built up softly to create the level of blush that you prefer.
The thing that really got me with these blushers is the longevity. So many blushers have disappeared into the makeup ether (straight off my face) by lunchtime, but not these. I can get home, ready to take all my makeup off and still see the pop of colour all across my cheeks, which is just really, really awesome. I am so grabbing some more shades to try – maybe I’ll construct my own palette from these, although MUA should totally bring one out.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil
Can we just take a moment to appreciate how freakin’ awesome The Ordinary is? As the latest line from parent company Deciem (creators of skincare saviours NIOD and Hylamide), The Ordinary does away with the fuss and brings effective skincare ingredients to the market at a ridiculously affordable price. Pretty much everyone online is going mad for their stuff (including the recently launched foundation line Colours – I’m still waiting for my order to dispatch), including me – I think I’ve already bought half of their whole range and I AM OBSESSED.
This little bottle of oil comes in a rather clinical looking package (the glass protects against UV damage to the oil), as is customary with the brand, with a neat glass dropper. Cold-pressing the product when extracting prevents any heat damage that might be done to the product, which could reduce its quality and effectiveness.
I have combination-oily skin, with some acne on my chin/jawline area and a little around my face, so the concept of putting straight-up oil on my face is really odd to me. However, my approach of drying my face out to the max hasn’t worked well, so why not try the opposite? This oil is derived from the seeds of a specific type of rose, and is used in skincare for hydration and anti-aging properties, as well as reducing scarring. As well as using this oil, I’ve been trying to stick to a full-on consistent routine as far as evening skincare goes, following a vague sequence that makes me feel like I have my life together (sort of). After cleansing (twice), using a mask and then a toner, I’ve been applying a Niacinamide and Zinc serum (also from The Ordinary) and then lastly, this rosehip oil – on top of any water-based products.
I feel pretty extra dropping this golden oil straight onto my face, but I kind of like it – I have to pat it in to avoid my serum pilling/rolling underneath. The oil has a slight scent, but it isn’t rosy (sadly) – more of a sharp metallic smell, although this doesn’t last on the skin once applied. Going to bed with an oily face might feel weird to begin with, but I’ve really been loving the results. No more dry skin around my eyebrows, but it hasn’t broken me out at all and I think my skin has really appreciated the gentle soothing action of this oil. The oil is available in a 30ml bottle for £9 – amazingly priced compared to other rosehip seed oils on the market.
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
After-makeup setting/fixing sprays have always been a hard sell for me – I’ve had some bad experiences with sprays that either don’t do anything, or have a chunky mist that soaks your face (not cute). Spending upwards of £20 on said spray also seems a bit extra.
I bought this bottle of All Nighter last year, to use on my sister’s prom makeup, but neither of us has really used it since (she now has the MAC Prep and Prime Fix+, which I’m not allowed to touch apparently). As what must surely be one of Urban Decay’s best-selling products, this setting spray is iconic for a reason. The spray is fine and gentle enough to mist all over the face. It dries quickly, and really helps to undo any powdery parts of the face, allowing your base to look cohesive. As far as setting power, I still get a fair bit of oil coming through (as always), but this helps to prolong my foundation and prevent it from breaking apart too much. That being said, the spray doesn’t smell great – but this luckily doesn’t linger after spraying.
The cost is perhaps too steep for every day use, depending on your budget (£23.50 for the full-size and £10 for a travel-size bottle), but against the dozens of fixing mists on the market, this is surely one of the best, and perfect for anyone who wants their makeup to stay composed in the summer heat this year.
Rimmel Oh My Gloss Oil Tint in 100 Smart Pink
More oil? What have I become?
This is a fairly recent launch from drugstore staple brand Rimmel that caught my eye while in the supermarket (of all places). Similar in appearance to their Oh My Gloss lip glosses, this product is a tinted oil that gives an comfortable and easy to wear option for the lips. After the abuse mine have suffered over winter (matte lips + cold weather = ultra dry and chapped smile), this product is a welcome break from heavily pigmented and thick lipsticks. The oil is applied with a perfectly-size doe foot wand, and glides on without feeling greasy or sticky – just the perfect amount of hydration. This shade (100 Smart Pink) has a very very subtle tint that doesn’t really differ from my natural lip colour, and a scent like raspberries – strangely, it reminds me of those little yoghurts I used to eat as a kid…
It doesn’t last forever on the lips, but can be re-applied in a few seconds without a mirror for a glossy no-makeup look. I definitely want to keep using a thicker lip balm at night, but I am a total convert to lip oils for day-to-day wear. There are 6 different shades in the range, with additional pink colours as well as reds and corals – I’m totally gonna get them all (and nobody can stop me).
Hopefully I’ll be able to get next month’s favourites out on time – once I emerge from the swamp of work/personal/life stuff I’m currently drowning under. At least makeup remains a constant and loyal friend (except for when I mess my winged liner up).