Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Romantic Rose Makeup Picks

I don't know why exactly rose-toned makeup looks are considered 'romantic', but it's a thing and I'm rolling with it. Valentine's Day is almost upon us, and it's as good a reason as any to share my top pinky makeup picks.

Before I get into it, I feel I should mention I'm not a very 'pink person'. I don't wear pink clothes or buy pink things, and you'll never catch me wearing a Barbie-pink lipstick. Pinky nudes? Yes. Bright pinks/baby pinks/any other kind of super girly pink? Not my thing. This post will be entirely focused on the more neutral, muted, rose end of the pink spectrum.

MAC Powder Blush in 'Blushbaby' (£19.50)
Let's start with a neutral, muted, rose-coloured product I've already raved about multiple times: MAC's 'Blushbaby'. Its subdued tone and sheer formula make it perfect for imparting a natural-looking rosy flush. Everyone should have a blush like this in their makeup collection.

Jouer Powder Highlighter in 'Rose Quartz' (£19.00)
Jouer gets a mental slow clap (the impressed kind) for making a pink highlighter I actually like. I never like pink highlighters! 'Rose Quartz' is a warm champagne-pink as opposed to your typical icy pink highlighter - much more flattering on my skin tone and, I think, more inclined to flatter a wider range of skin tones than its cooler alternatives. I've swatched it heavily below for the sake of displaying the undertone, and you can see its rosiness is actually very subtle. Its sheen, on the other hand, is intense. This is one to reach for when you really want your cheeks to gleam.

You think rosy eyeshadow, you think Naked 3, right? A palette this girly-looking should never have appealed to me, but it's actually more versatile than it looks at first glance. The first half is all about those soft, pretty pinks, while the second half contains a great selection of smoky taupes and purples - each side lending itself to a different kind of date night makeup look. A perfect pick for Valentine's Day!

NARS Sheer Lipstick in 'Dolce Vita' (£21)
If low-maintenance lips are your thing, this easy-to-wear pick from NARS may be up your street. It's a sheer and sheeny my-lips-but-rosier kind of shade - very soft and subtle. Not the most long-wearing, but it'll fade into your natural lip colour in a way that means you don't have to worry about tidying up or topping up if you'd rather not bother.

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in 'Sultry' (£7.99)
Most times I feel like rocking a rose lip, I'll go for something like Revlon's 'Sultry' - a dusky, slightly brown-toned rose. This one's great for when you want something deeper and more glamorous than a nude/everyday shade, but not quite as bold as a red or vampy shade. And the Matte Balm formula is the kind most lipstick-lovers are bound to get along with - more satin than matte, and definitely creamy enough to qualify as balm-like.

What are your favourite rose-toned makeup products?

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Empties #2

A recent bout of tidying up and clearing out sessions revealed to me just how many empty bottles and tubes I had lying around my apartment in various unlikely places, so I decided it was time for another Empties post. Most of these are products I've finished in the last couple of months, but not all. You'll notice I have four used-up moisturisers here, so I feel the need to make it clear that I do not go through moisturiser that quickly. Three of them are pretty old and I have no idea why they were still knocking around but, hey, now they get their moment in the limelight.

La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Light (£16.50)
This was the moisturiser I mentioned in my 2017 Beauty Favourites post, so I probably don't need to tell you that yes, I have already repurchased it (for the umpteenth time.) It's lightweight but satisfyingly skin-quenching; it doesn't have that insubstantial feel that a lot of thinner moisturiser formulas have. Perfect for my extremely combination skin!

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluid (£15)
If you find most moisturisers too heavy, Toleriane Fluid is for you. Moisturisers don't come any more lightweight than this one. It has a very thin, runny, milky consistency - almost like a serum - but provides more hydration than the texture leads you to expect. The oiliest parts of my skin love this. The drier parts, however, crave something with a little more oomph, so I don't think I'm likely to repurchase. I do think it's a good product though - perfect for a lot of greasy, easily-clogged complexions. (Bonus: the Toleriane range is also formulated to suit sensitive, reactive skin. I don't have that, but I do favour gentle products.)

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Fluid (£17.50)
As the name would indicate, this is the amped up version of the aforementioned Toleriane Fluid. Significantly amped up - it's quite a bit thicker in consistency. But not the kind of thick that feels greasy or leaves residue on the face. It has more of an easily-absorbed water-cream feel as you rub it into the skin. I imagine this one's a real people-pleaser; I can see it working for a lot of different skin types. Would definitely buy this again if the mood for something just a little thicker than my Hydraphase struck.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat (£16)
Yes, yes I am rather fond of La Roche-Posay moisturisers. This one has a gel-like texture and bacteria-fighting properties. I bought it for the sole purpose of helping me through a nasty breakout last summer, and it did the job beautifully. I stripped my skincare routine down to the bare essentials, swapped my usual moisturiser for this one, and the clusters of angry spots disappeared at a satisfyingly speedy rate. If I ever experience a prolonged breakout again, I'll know where to turn.

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque (£30)
This was very much a blogger/YouTuber-inspired purchase. It's one of those products you hear so many raves about, you're eventually like: 'Alright Aesop, just take my money already!' I can see why it's so popular; it feels noticeably less drying and stripping than most clay masks, while still providing a thorough deep-cleanse. It would probably be my favourite clay mask to date, if I hadn't purchased the Pai Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask around the same time. Sorry Aesop - Pai takes top spot. The Parsley Seed Masque is probably going to be an eventual repurchase rather than an immediate one.

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer (£6)
I'm a big fan of this concealer. I love how lightweight it is. I love how effortlessly blendable it is. I love the natural skin-like finish. But I do not love how quickly a tube of this disappears. You get 3g/0.11oz of product, and it really doesn't go a long way. Yet still, I keep repurchasing. I'm too invested now.

NYX Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray (£7)
Setting sprays have been a revelation to me in the past couple of years, and this was the first one I tried. I really like it - the mist is fine enough that it doesn't feel particularly wet, and it definitely keeps a faceful of makeup in place for longer. I do feel I should warn you, however, that the alcohol content is high enough that you can smell it when you spray... So maybe not the one if your skin is on the sensitive side. There are other setting sprays I want to test out before repurchasing, but I wouldn't be opposed to picking up another bottle. It's affordable and it does the job!

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (£20)
This is an oily lid's best friend. Nothing prevents creasing like it. It's clear once applied to the skin so doesn't provide any kind of tint to the lids; its one and only purpose is to superglue your eyeshadow into place. Pictured above is a mini version that came with one of their palettes, but I've listed the price for the full-size product here. Thought I'd mention in case you're looking at the photo thinking '£20 for that?!' I will definitely be repurchasing this. The only reason I haven't yet is because £20 for an eyeshadow primer pains me just a little. But I do think it's worth it, and a full-size tube does last you a long time.

L'Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim (£6.99)
I've long lost count of how many Super Liners I've gone through. It so thoroughly meets all of my eyeliner needs, that I never really feel the urge to look elsewhere. I typically struggle with eyeliner application, but the nib on this one just makes it so easy! It's so fine and precise and just the right amount of flexible. I already have a new one sitting in my makeup bag, and another unopened one sitting in my back-up drawer. (Which is a rather empty drawer - there are very few products I buy back-ups of.)

KIKO Unforgettable Mascara (£7.20)
It's been quite a while since I scraped out the dregs of this mascara and, to be honest, I don't remember all that much about how it performed, so I'm reluctant to say much about it... I know - ironic, considering the product's name. But I do remember liking it and being happy with the amount of volume it gave. I may even buy another tube so I can reassess and share my full thoughts.

Maybelline The Colossal Big Shot Volum' Express Mascara (£7.99)
I actually didn't quite get to finish this one because the wand broke away from the lid and got stuck in the bottom of the tube, rendering it unusable. But as it's on its way to the bin, I might as well lump it in with the empties. I was a little disappointed with this mascara because it just didn't give me the volume I expected from it. It's a decent product though, and I think a lot of people would like it. It has a traditional, non-gimmicky bristled brush that gives the lashes a fluffy, fluttery look, and it isn't prone to flaking or smudging.

What products have you used up recently?
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