My Favourite High End and Budget Highlighter For Summer 2017

highlighter 1

We all have those products in our collection; which prove to be utterly useless to us on a daily basis, but to lose them would be harder than losing blood. For me, those products are highlighters. I know what you’re going to say – we live in a highlighter obsessed society! Admittedly that’s true and even more shameful to admit, I have far too many to account for. However the sad truth is, I only get to play with them when I’m getting seriously glam…or when I’m watching Love Island on a Friday night, in my pyjamas, at home alone with no other makeup on…don’t pretend that you’re any different.

With a simple swipe of a fan brush, the right highlighter can exaggerate your cheekbones, add a healthy ethereal glow and turn any modest look into a work of art. So it’s fair to say that I’ve wisely invested a lot of money into highlighters over the years.

I found it really hard to put this post together simply because I couldn’t make my mind up and if I had children I think would find it easier to pick a favourite amongst them. Nevertheless, in the spirit of summer (and this blog) I have picked one high end and one high street highlighter; which have seen me through some good times this summer and you know I just had to share them with you…

HIGH END – ICONIC London Illuminator in Original £29.99

highlighter 2

If you haven’t heard of ICONIC before you’ve been living under a rock and I forbid you to continue on with this blog until you learn some behaviour.

ICONIC London took the world by storm with their out of the world liquid illuminators hitting every possible influencer page on Instagram. The brain-child of my favourite Essex beauty spot Harmony Health & Beauty, Iconic have taken the makeup world by storm and it’s not hard to see why.

This illuminator is like nothing else I’ve seen before. To say that you get a glow with this product would be an understatement. This illuminator will give you life, pay your mortgage, cook you dinner and give you a fully committed relationship all in one tiny glass bottle. Three tiny droplets on the tip of your cheekbones is all you need to add a really intense glow; which can be applied before or after your complete your base makeup. My favourite way to use this is by adding a few drops to my primer to give an all-over glow to my skin before I go in with foundation. I also use a few tiny drops on my décolletage and front of my calves for an all over body glow.

Available in three colours – Shine (pearlised pink), Original (champagne gold) and Glow (deep bronze). I opted for the original shade as it seemed the most universal for any makeup look. However I love the fact that ICONIC offer a selection of shades dependant on skin tone rather than one generic colour.

The bottle, on first inspection, is just as glamorous as the product itself and the dropper offers stress free application without the need for messy fingers. The glass bottle isn’t very convenient to travel with and the screw top lid does often come undone in my makeup bag; which is a little annoying but it’s certainly not a deal breaker for me.

Much like the CoverFX Customer Enchancer Drops (which is near enough the same concept), the bottle is almost impossible to finish even if you used it on a daily basis; which (in my eyes) justifies the £30 price tag. However, if you do decide to invest in this product, do yourself a favour and purchase it directly from ICONIC’s website. Despite being stocked by many online retailers, it’s always out of stock and hard to get a hold of but the original website has plenty to offer in each colour and more often than not there’s a discount on hand to get a little money off.

BUDGET FRIENDLY – MUA Luxe Glow Beam Highlight Cushion Gold  £5.00

highlighter 3

There I was, in Superdrug, minding my own business whilst trolling the aisles for my regular stock up of tampons and multivitamins when I stumbled across (walked directly to) the makeup aisle. I wasn’t looking for anything particular – hell I didn’t even need any makeup but that’s never stopped me in the past and before I knew it I had makeup swatches in places no person should put them (in public).

I had never been a fan of MUA‘s range before and never really gave them a second look until I heard of their utterly fabulous Glow Beam Highlighting Powder; which supposedly gives you a golden glow like no other. For £5.00, you can’t go wrong so I thought I would give it a shot until I saw the Liquid Cushion version and it all went downhill from there.

Since that fateful day, I have purchased 6 of these. Yes that’s right…6. Not sure why I need that many to be honest, but these never seem to be in stock other than on Superdrug’s website so it was a simple case of panic – purchase – worry about it later.

I won’t go as far to say that this gives me a glow like the ICONIC Liquid Illuminator, in fact, it’s not even close. What it does offer is a subtle glow for those occasions when you want to look glowy but not too drag (I don’t have many of those days).

The cushion aspect is very interesting as I’ve never seen it done with anything other than foundation, but in all honesty it’s actually pretty nice and it certainly helps to achieve a natural/blended look to your highlight. It sits pretty nicely on top of powder; which we all know is a big no-no in the makeup community, but I’ve not had a problem with it breaking up my powder makeup underneath.

What I LOVE about this product is that for a mere fiver you get a travel-friendly highlighter; which not only looks pretty on the outside, it offers a mess-free application with a finish which isn’t too opaque – perfect for day looks or less glamorous makeup (if there is such a thing).

The sponge applicator that comes with it is pretty shit so if you want your pot to stay pristine and white I would get rid of it as soon as. I tend to go in directly with my Beauty Blender and apply it directly to my chosen area to get the biggest effect and ensure that it blends perfectly into my skin.

 

What are your favourite highlighters of Summer 2017? Comment below with some suggestions of what I can try out next!

My Top 5 Winter Makeup Picks

winter makeup 1

I often wonder what people think when they spot me on a day to day basis. I’m not going to admit that I look a little…rough around the edges, but let’s just say that I’m not as ‘put together’ as some of my Instagram images would portray. Honestly speaking, I can’t be bothered with the faff. On a day to day basis I’m either sans makeup or bare minimum; which is why I put so much emphasis on my skincare routine. I’m comfortable in the skin that I live in and although makeup gives me a little ‘lift’ in life, it’s not important enough for me to wake 30 minutes earlier than necessary to apply a full face of slap.

That being said, winter is in full swing and along with arctic breezes comes an abundance of Christmas parties and celebrations. I’m by no means a social butterfly, in fact, I consider myself somewhat of a hibernating bear during the cold season. However, Christmas gets me in a celebratory mood and once in a while I turn up (urban dictionary that if you’re not as ghetto as me lol) and go full glam.

So on that note, I bring to you my top 5 makeup picks for winter. Despite the look that I go for, these items are a permanent staple on my dressing table and are often the ones that I reach for the most (when I can actually be bothered to apply makeup).

NYX Cosmetics Blush in Bittersweet 

winter makeup 2

I’m not really a blush girl. I much prefer a dusting of bronzer across my cheeks. However, when I’m looking to glamorise myself, I tend to reach for blushers that are neutral in tone and will work with any kind of makeup look. The NYX blush in Bittersweet is exactly that. Described as a ‘deep mauve tone with golden sheen’, it’s the perfect Kylie Jenner colour for your cheeks. If you’re of a porcelain skin tone, this blush may work out a tad dark for you, but olive-based skin tones will lap this up.

The colour applies quite sheer in comparison to many other blushers in my collection, but it glides over the skin beautifully with a ‘blown out’ effect rather than a block of colour. You don’t get a lot of product in the pan, but for the price, it’s not offensive.

Kiko Water Eyeshadow (228)

winter makeup 3

I feel like Kiko products don’t get the recognition that they deserve. I seldom visit my local Kiko store, but each time that I have, I’ve discovered an array of wonderfully pigmented products that would, in my opinion, rival MAC. The Kiko Water Eyeshadows have been an incredible find for me (particularly shade 228). I rarely dabble in singular eyeshadows, and often stick to palettes due to ease of use, but these shadows have made me see a different light. The pigmentation is incredible and gives intense colour payoff even when using it dry. The moisturising and soothing properties makes the texture of these shadows sooooooo buttery smooth. The graphical design is hard to resist, but swatching these shadows with your fingers is equally as hard due to the velvety soft texture.

I love popping these cute little squares into my makeup bag and applying on the go with my finger when an after-work situation calls. The mirror is a nice touch and it means that I can have a glamorous wash of colour over my lids without any blending business.

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Hyde Park

winter makeup 5

You can probably tell that I’ve been loving this lippie for quite some time and in actual fact, this is my 4th pencil! As soon as the winds begin to change, this lip pencil comes out with a vengeance. This is easily my ‘ride or die’ lippie; which isn’t restricted to a particular time of day or occasion.

These highly pigmented pencils are infused with Vitamin E and antioxidants to feed and nourish your lips even against harsh winds. It’s an almost hybrid between a lip balm, lip pencil and lipstick, but with extreme colour payoff. The long-lasting and non-drying formula makes this pencil the perfect handbag staple for last minute touch ups, but also reduces the need for a separate lipstick and pencil.

The colour ‘Hyde Park’ is by far my favourite out of the range. Described as a ‘ruby red’, it’s more of a berry with pink and blue undertones; which is extremely flattering for my skin tone. I love the fact that I can slap on this pencil (without the use of a mirror might I say) and I can go from casual cat to fiery vixen in seconds.

Gerard Cosmetics BB Plus Illumination Facial Cream 

winter makeup 4

As you can expect from a cream illuminator, this product promises to deliver a healthy glow to your tired, weather worn faces. Enriched with anti-ageing, hydrating and brightening benefits, this cream can be used in a couple of ways. Apply a few squirts to your facial moisturiser or foundation to give yourself a youthful glow or apply with your fingertips to the high points of your face i.e. cheekbones for a subtle highlighting effect. Personally, there’s nothing subtle about me so I go ham with this stuff and use it as a cream base for my powder highlighter. The squeeze tube comes complete with a handy pump; which makes it easy to control the amount of product that you are using. I take a couple of drops on the tips of my  fingers and pat over my cheekbones, bridge of my nose and chin. I then proceed with layering on my powder highlight. Trust me when I say, your highlighting game will never be the same again.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (Dark Brown)

winter makeup 6

I’m a little late to this party; which is highly shocking seeing as the ABH Dipbrow Pomades have been a beauty blogger staple for quite some time. I’ve always favoured pencils over pomades and having been a devotee to the ABH Brow Definer and the Colourpop Brow Pencil for quite some time, I found it difficult to transition onto the ‘hard stuff’.

Fact of the matter is, I need my brows to stay in place when facing extreme weather conditions. Brow pencils, for however good they claim to be, don’t offer that kind of assurance. I needed to let go of my fears and delve directly into pomades if I wanted to make sure that my brows didn’t end up at my ankles by the end of the day. I’m so glad I did!

The hardest part about the ABH pomades is finding your colour…and a good brush…and a light hand…ok pomades aren’t exactly user friendly. However, with a little practice you could have your brows perfected within minutes. I use the colour ‘Dark Brown’ with the inclusion of ‘Chocolate’ every now and then. ‘Dark Brown’ has the right amount of ashiness as well as depth for my dark hair and olive skin colour, whereas Chocolate is a bit more…well…brown. However, if you find the right brush (ABH no.7 brush is the only one that I ever reach for) and the right technique, your brows would look natural and perfectly arched even if you get the colour slightly off.

What are your top winter makeup picks? Let me know what I can add next to my collection.

Random Monthly Favourite | Spectrum Makeup Brushes

spectrum 1

Famous Arthurian novelist T H White once said “a king can only work with his best tools”. Never have truer words been spoken. However, the same can be said for us makeup queens of the 21st century. Having the right tools can set you on the path to makeup heaven. A smokey eye, a perfectly blended contour and an ombré lip can all be achieved with the right tools in hand.

Many women over look the importance of a good makeup brush. Sure – we’ve since evolved from those God awful sponge-tipped applicators that once graced the packaging of many palettes. However, how many of us actually invest in a good set of brushes?

Makeup can be expensive (I’ve got the credit card bills to prove it), but not investing in a decent set of tools can cause dire affects to your overall makeup look. Splashing your cash on the latest Tom Ford palette may make you feel like a million dollars, but applying products with cheap, poorly made brushes or, even worse, grubby fingers can turn your look from glamorous goddess to drunken clown. Personally speaking, if my makeup were to take a turn for the worse I would like it to be at the hand of a highly alcoholic cocktail rather than anything else.

spectrum 2

I have an abundance of makeup brushes (way more than what is required for one face). Much like my sick obsession with skincare, I collect…correction…I HOARD makeup brushes. I’ve tried Sigma, Real Techniques, Luxie, MAC, Zoeva, Urban Decay and all that in between. I hadn’t, however, tried Spectrum collections – a quirky vegan friendly cosmetic company with a punch.

spectrum 3

Before we go any further, let’s just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of these brushes. Imagine Ariel and a Unicorn had a baby…in the form of a brush…side note – I’m working on my analogies. I’m fully aware that they’re awful, but I just can’t help myself!

I first discovered Spectrum Collections on my Instagram news feed whilst browsing the pages of various TOWIE stars (*hanging my head in shame). They seem to have a huge celebrity following including the girls of TOWIE; which isn’t a surprise as I’ve never seen a makeup brush more fitting for their persona! I’ve never been one for actively seeking out vegan friendly cosmetic companies, but this is hardly a brand that you can easily bypass. Their brightly coloured quirky designs drew me in instantly and before I knew it I was lusting after a piece of the action.

spectrum 4

Spectrum Collections pride themselves on beautifully hand finished brushes using the highest quality synthetic hair on the market. If I had a penny for every time I heard that description I wouldn’t need to sob uncontrollably each time my credit card bill comes through the post. These are some of the most softest brushes I have ever tried, yet they still maintain their shape after a gentle cleansing. I tend to favour synthetic brushes over genuine animal hair as I find the colour payoff to be far better, but these brushes can easily be mistaken for super soft goat hair.

I decided to take the plunge with a brush collection rather than individual brushes that they also have available. It’s hard to choose between the collections; each one as beautiful as the last, but my heart settled on the 4 Piece Face Contouring set (£26.00) as I was already on the search for a new sculpting brush. The collection is made up of four brushes:

spectrum 5

B01 Flat Top Buffer Brush – This is ideal for buffing in foundation, giving a flawless finish. The brush isn’t overly dense; which allows for my application to be slightly ‘sheered out’ rather than full on cake face. The coverage can be built up, but if you’re used to a Beauty Blender then this will seem like a lot of arm work.

B02 Large Domed Buffer Brush – This is described as the perfect powder-based blending brush, but in actual fact, I much prefer using this to blend out my cream contour. The brush blends out colour seamlessly and makes cream contouring a doddle.

C03 Tulip Powder Brush – A bit of a ‘do it all’ kinda brush. It’s perfect for highlighting the tops of your cheekbones, setting under your eyes with powder, powder contouring or bronzing. If I could be bothered to wash my brushes after every brush, I would probably use this brush for all 4. However, I’m lazy and I plan on getting multiples so for the time being this brush is my ‘go-to’ bronzing brush.

C04 Angled Blush Brush – The angle on this brush is perfect for adding a flush of colour onto my cheeks and temples. The brush picks up the right amount of colour and makes me feel all special when I use it (sad I know).

In my opinion these brushes perform just as good as they look. At £26.00 for the collection, £6.50 for a singular brush is a bloody bargain. The individual brushes they sell retail at around £9.00 each, so getting your hands on a collection works in your favour.

The pop of colour that these brushes add to my collection make them very easy to spot and an absolute joy to use. I worried that washing these brushes would strip some of their natural colour from the bristles, however this hasn’t been the case at all.

You can purchase the Spectrum Collection brushes directly from their website; which provides you with a 10% discount on your first order. However, there’s a slight charge for shipping. Beauty bay also offer the Spectrum Collection range and offer free shipping.

Top Makeup Picks for Autumn

autumn/fall makeup

Now that September is almost up, it’s officially time to pack away your embellished sandals and say goodbye to the Summer.

There’s something about Autumn that makes me feel all festive. Not only does it pave the way for the Christmas season, but with Halloween just around the corner, the colder months, for me, are for celebrating!

If you’re anything like me, then the new season brings on new obsessions. My current guilty pleasures are Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, faux fur bed throws and copious amounts of autumnal scented candles (Yankee Candle’s Gingerbread Maple is everything!).

To get in the mood, I’ve put together a list of my favourite makeup products for Autumn. I’m not one for sticking to seasonal colour themes, after all, if I want to rock a burgundy lip during a heatwave in July then I have every right to! However, Autumn generally calls for shades of rich chocolates, deep plums, bronzed metallics and delicious cranberries. Despite my aversion to rules, these shades are very complimentary to my skin tone so it’s only fair that I indulge!

Here are the products in my collection that I reach for when I’m getting in the mood for Autumn:-

1. MAC Cosmetics Eyshadow in Embark – A dark brown, matte finish shadow with subtle red undertones. I mostly use this in the crease or outer ‘v’ of my eyes for added dimension. In my opinion, you can rarely go wrong with a MAC eyeshadow and this shade is a staple; which can be used for various looks.

2. MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Diva – This is one of MAC’s most sought after lipsticks. The deep, burgundy hue compliments olive and tanned skin tones beautifully. Despite being a matte finish, the formula is creamy and comfortable to wear, especially in the colder months when lips tend to crack. If you’re looking for the perfect lipstick to help you transition into Autumn then Diva is the one for you.

3. Zoeva Rose Golden Palette – Zoeva is widley known for delivering high quality, yet affordable makeup brushes. However, when I first came across their eyeshadow palettes, I fell in love! The palettes are just as affordable as their brushes and at only £15.50 you definitely get your money’s worth. The Rose Golden Palette is by far my favourite, with 3 matte and 7 shimmering, coppery shades. The colours are gorgeous and perfect for that glamourous, yet natural look for Autumn.

4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator in So Hollywood – You all know that I’m a highlighter girl and just because the temperature has dropped, doesn’t mean that I will be giving up that glow! Described as being a filter for your skin, this illuminator will give you an ethereal glow. I’m loving this ‘true gold’ shade; which will work perfectly for the party season.

5. Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Bitter Bitch – Once Autumn hits, I tend to ditch the pastel blues and florescent pinks in favour of rich, dark shades. Despite having Chanel’s Black Satin in constant rotation on my nails, this colour allows me to change things up a bit whilst maintaining the look of vampy nails. The decadent, chocolatey-brown shade looks almost black, but the red undertones give it an interesting effect when you look at it up close. Can we also talk about the name?! For the utter fabulousness of this product, I will forever have a place for it on my vanity table!

6. Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel in 78 – A simple cat eye with a bold, sultry lip is generally what I go for when Autumn/Winter comes around. Inglot’s gel eyeliner is somewhat of a cult product in the makeup world. The long-lasting formula is crease and smudge proof; which works perfectly under extreme weather conditions. Add a flick of black to your lids and pair with MAC’s Diva for a sexy, yet effortless look.

7. Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Envoutante – Loosely translated as ‘bewitching’, this deep, aubergine lippie is perfect for making a statement. Don’t be daunted by what you see in the tube. The colour payoff is sheer, allowing you to build the colour to your preferred intensity.

8. MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Cranberry – This frost finish shadow is a little bit red, a little bit pink and a little bit purple. The multi-tonal effect that this shadow gives, makes it perfect for a smokey eye look for Autumn. Although it’s sheer it’s easily build-able and is a must have for Autumn.

9. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in 7 – There’s something about Charlotte Tilbury’s products; which makes you feel like a Hollywood starlet. This new released foundation has so far ticked all the boxes for me. It gives you full coverage with a weightless feel; which makes it very comfortable to wear and considering the quality of the product, the price is comparable to any MAC foundation. The luxurious cream-like texture is perfect for my dry skin during the colder months.

10. Nars Blush in Seduction – I love pairing this blush with a bold lip. The colour is absolute perfection and looks as glamorous on the skin as it does in the packaging. The deep, wine coloured hue has a hint of shimmer; which encompasses the Autumnal theme perfectly. Be warned – the pigmentation is intense so it’s best to go in with a very light hand.

Comment below with your favourite beauty products for Autumn!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin