Dr. Brandt's Pore Refining Primer | Review

I’ve been meaning to review this amazing primer from Dr. Brandt for a while now and the wait is finally over!

Dr.  Brandt’s Pores No More Pore Refining Primer ticks an impressive number of boxes for me. It’s a lightweight, hydrating mattifying primer that keeps my base on lock throughout the day. This is what I reach for on nights out, when I know that come two or three am I’ll be a sweaty, kebab-stained mess with no desire to touch up my concealer or bronzer. This keeps everything from sliding off and allows me to keep touch-ups to an absolute minimum. I love how it looks in flash photos; the formula is skin tone rather than white like a lot of primers, so when worn underneath foundation it doesn’t give you that chalky or ghost-like cast in pictures. The actual texture of this is almost like a cross between a gel and a paste, which sounds a little bizarre, but it melts onto the skin instantly and glides on beautifully, leaving you with a soft, silky canvas for makeup. It definitely does minimise pores as it claims to, but whether it shrinks them up completely is up for debate. I wouldn’t personally attest to this, but my pores aren’t particularly large anyway, so I don’t take issue with it. In terms of longevity, hydration and that airbrushed effect provided by only the best of primers, it delivers it all and is well-worthy (in my opinion) of the hefty price tag. Unlike a lot of primers I’ve tried, this has a strangely, but no unpleasantly, organic smell, that reminds me of lavender. It’s possible this comes from the flaxseed extract, which absorbs excess oil, or tea tree oil which keeps pesky spots at bay. One tube of this lasts a hell of a long time, and packs such serious punch that I wouldn’t be without it now. It’s definitely one that I’ll keep repurchasing long into the future, and is one to consider if you want something that’ll not only make your skin look flawless- but also keep your skin looking flawless. And who wouldn’t want that?

Buy it HERE for 30.95 GBP.

Have you tried this primer? I've just bought the Too Faced Hangover Primer and I don't like it that much, but I'm going to persevere with it because I want to love it so badly. Did any of you not like the hangover primer? Let me know in the comments! Also if you have suggestions or blog posts about holiday clothes then link me to them because I'm going to Greece next month and I have no idea what to wear. I'm super excited though; if you'd be interested in hearing what I'm going to be taking with me make-up and skincare wise then let me know. Have a great week, guys!

The Perfect Pair | Blusher and Lip Colour

Out of all my pieces of make-up, blush and lip colour are the two I use the least; until I found this match made in heaven.

A few years ago when these were released, these blushes were all over everyone's blogs, and hailed as the affordable alternative for Hourglass’ swoon-worthy Ambient Blushes. Out of all the blushes I’ve used- and that includes NARS’ much-coveted Orgasm- this one from Max Factor is the one that’s converted me to wearing blush every day. I bought it in the shade Lovely Pink, which is the lightest in the range, but don’t let that put you off; this doesn’t look unnatural or too pink on the skin. All of the Creme Puff blushes are baked blushes made up of a pinky shade and slightly lighter, more golden/ peach shade, which work together to add dimension and depth. I was actually amazed by how flattering this blusher was, giving me a satiny glow and a healthy, I’ve-just-come-back-from-holiday tint. It compliments my bronzer (the Urban Decay Beached Bronzer if you were curious) and it brings out the blue in my eyes. The texture is very creamy and not at all chalky, but it doesn't separate any make-up you're wearing below it, which is great. It blends really well, leave an almost imperceptible flush of colour, so if you don't wear blush that often and you're thinking about trying it out, this would be a great option to start you off. Even though it's not very noticeable on the skin, I honestly couldn’t believe how much of a difference it made the overall appearance of my make-up and now I reach for it every single day.

This blusher pairs perfectly with the Bobbi Brown Art Stick in the shade ‘Bare’. These Art Sticks have definitely changed the lipstick game for me, as I’m someone who hates having to re-apply throughout the day and one of my biggest pet peeves is noticing my lipstick’s feathered or gone crusty. These are fuss-free lip pencils that are super moisturising and leave a tint, rather than full-blown hit of colour, which means they wear off naturally as the day goes on as opposed to caking or leaving a ring. This shade is quite a pinky nude, but it definitely falls under the your-lips-but-better category and I think it would suit a whole range of skin tones. I love swiping it on after lip balm, as it gives a subtle, plumped effect with none of the hassle of lip lining, filling and setting. A winner for summer, when I want something I can grab on the go and not worry about again. The combination of this lip pencil and blusher together is a soft and pretty look that's both fuss-free and understated.

You can buy the Max Factor Creme Puff blush HERE and the Bobbi Brown Art Stick HERE.

Have you tried either of these products? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget I’m still writing the ‘News’ tab on the top right of the menu bar so if you’d like to read the posts on there and comment, I’d be really grateful!

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid

New brand on the block The Ordinary has got the beauty world in a buzz, and after having tried their Hyaluronic Acid, it’s easy to see why.

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I won't witter on about the Ordinary's unique ethos, because the chances are you've already heard about it- I'll let this TELEGRAPH ARTICLE  do the talking instead. But, in short, the Ordinary provides uber-affordable skincare solutions (and make-up, in the near future) by cutting down on advertising and fancy packaging. So this 30ml of Hyaluronic Acid only cost me £6 which is a merge amount compared to what I would expect to fork out for a potent anti-ageing serum.

And hyaluronic acid has been touted as the best in the game for anti-ageing. HA is what our skin naturally produces to fight fine lines and wrinkles, so by using it as a serum we’re actually encouraging our skin’s long-term production of HA. HA is what keeps our skin looking plump and dewy, and after having used this product after cleansing and toning for about a week now, I can definitely attest to that.

At first, I found my skin felt a little tight after using this. The first few nights I put up with it, eschewing my reliable and beloved Nivea Q10. But after night 4 I gave in and started slathering on the Q10 after the hyaluronic acid, because it felt like if I didn't crack then my skin was going to. For a few weeks, I was using a few drops of HA with a few blobs of moisturiser, but as time went by, I weaned myself off the Q10 all together. Although my skin didn’t feel as deeply moisturised as it does with the Q10, my skin looked supple and hydrated and my foundation glided on smoothly and buffed in beautifully come morning. I think this one is definitely one that takes some getting used to, but now I’m a total HA convert and the Q10 will only make an appearance if my skin is going through a particularly parched phase.

My first buy from the Ordinary has been a success; so much so that I’ve already ordered their retinol serum and am eagerly awaiting it’s arrival. Keep your eyes open for a full post soon. The Ordinary wins top marks for being readily available on Asos and for it’s minimal packaging that looks particularly chic in my bathroom cabinet.

Buy their hyaluronic acid HERE.

Have you tried anything from the Ordinary? I've heard their new foundation hasn't even been released yet, but it's already got a massive waiting list! Hopefully when it becomes more available I'll manage to buy a bottle. I'm really sorry I haven't been posting as regularly on here or on my INSTAGRAM, it's because I've been so stressed with deadlines and exams I just haven't had the time. I'll get back to it soon, I promise. In the mean time, as part of my assessments I've been writing the 'News' tab in the top left corner on this blog, so it would mean so much to me if you guys could check it out and leave comments.

Two New Lipstick Loves

I picked up two limited edition lipsticks from Charlotte Tilbury last month; ‘Pillow Talk’ from the Matte Revolution range and ‘Valentine’ from the K.I.S.S.I.N.G. range. 

Surprise, surprise, they’re both nudes! Maybe one day I’ll stray away from a classic nude lip, but that day is not today.

After falling in love with the original Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk, I was happy to see Charlotte Tilbury bringing out a lipstick in the same fleshy, mauvey, pink. The ultimate your-lips-but-better shade, this buttery, matte lipstick matches the now-iconic Lip Cheat to a T, making full lips as easy as lining with the Lip Cheat and filling with a quick swipe of this lipstick. It glides on beautifully, but adheres to the lip when it’s dry for a budge-proof pout that lasts all day all with minimal cracking or feathering. A win for matte lip lovers who find their lipstick caking a few hours after application.

As the name suggests, Valentine is a soft, petal-pink shade. It’s quite light in colour, but it has a warm peach undertone running through it that makes it flattering, rather than garish. The formula is lightweight and moisturising and it lends your lips a light, glossy sheen. The result is subtle, but sultry and keeps with Charlotte's kiss-me-quick theme that the the K.I.S.S.I.N.G. range is renowned for.

Both encased in the signature rose-gold packaging, these look amazing on my dressing table, but are more likely to be found in my make-up bag, as I reach for them almost everyday.

 They’re both limited edition, so if you want to get your hands on them, you better get a wiggle on- you can find them HERE and HERE.

Have you tried any other lipstick shades from Charlotte Tilbury?

Keihl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate | Review

I've been wanting to try a facial oil for a while now and I've heard nothing but good things about the MIDNIGHT RECOVERY CONCENTRATE from Kiehl's. 

I was excited to try this much raved-about skin treatment. Packed with natural oils high in fatty acids, the oil is designed to replenish and renew skin overnight, when the skin is most susceptible to absorbing product. The first evening I used it, I applied it after cleansing and decided to forego my usual moisturise in favour of this as it left quite a heavy residue on the skin and I didn't want to overload it with product. Come morning, the evening primrose oil, natural lipids and omega 6 had already set to work and my complexion looked smooth and supple. My skin is quite dull and congested at the moment, but this gave me a dewy glow and my make-up seemed to glide on much more evenly than usual. For no-makeup days, this is a crucial night-before step in my skincare routine as it adds a noticeably healthier touch to my face.

Acne scars appeared lighter and my skin texture looked plumped and rosy. The evening primrose oil also works to alleviate acne and after using this a few times I notice fewer spots, which is surprising as I've always shied away from oils; I've definitely been conned by the myth that facial oils clog your pores and cause spots. The only thing I would point out about this treatment is that it isn't quite as hydrating as your classic night cream, and as someone with dry skin, I find myself using the oil first, waiting until it's absorbed, and then going in with my reliable NIVEA QT10 moisturiser. Since the oil's main function is to repair and restore life to unhappy skin, injecting moisture to the skin is an added bonus. To hydrate deeply, use this and a face cream in tandem. This is a minor gripe though, and overall I couldn't recommend this enough if you're in the market for something that promises to straighten out a whole range of skin problems and make your skin look and feel in tip-top condition and as good as new. 

Have you tried this facial oil? Let me know in the comments!

The Perfect Pair | Primer and CC Cream

Now the weather's warming up, I'm favouring a lighter, glowy base over matte options and this primer and CC cream combination work in tandem to create a radiant, lit-from-within look on the skin.

Since purchasing BECCA's BACKLIGHT PRIMING FILTER, I've used it almost every day, swapping it out only occasionally in favour of Dr. Brandt's Pore Refining Primer (review coming soon). The BECCA brand is renowned for it's illuminating products, and this primer is no exception. It lends my complexion serious glow, which can be slightly intimidating when you first apply it, but once it's buffed in it leaves a sheer luminous base for makeup with none of the sparkle or shimmer. It's comfortably hydrating, while not compromising on the longevity of my foundation and one pump is all I need to cover my whole face. Under matte foundations like Double Wear this stops my face looking flat or dull, but under lighter bases is where this primer really shines (literally). 

It's not often I find a drugstore base that I really love, but Bourjois' 123 CC CREAM really ticks all the boxes for me. It packs a serious punch in terms of coverage, but it's very lightweight, moisturising  and blends beautifully into my skin. The colour-correcting properties in this work to even out my skin and iron out any ruddiness, which I really suffer from around my nose. With yellow undertones, this compliment my warmer skin tone. This Summer, I know I'll be wearing this every day, as it contains SPF and the consistency makes this the perfect holiday base. 

These two work together beautifully, and I've had a few people people tel me my skin looks smooth and soft when wearing them together. I love finding drugstore and more high-end products that work well when paired up. I'm thinking of doing regular instalments on my blog about products that work well together, what do you guys think?

As I mentioned, it's getting warmer now and I'm after a lightweight jacket to start wearing. If you have any recommendations comment below!

Also, make sure you check out my latest post on my 'news' tab. 

Eucerin Cleanser | Review

Last month, I brought you a review of SUNDAY RILEY'S CERAMIC SLIP CLEANSER, the verdict of which, was that I wouldn't be repurchasing even though it had a positive impact on my blemish-prone skin. So, my quest for a spot-clearing cleanser continues. Enter, this Eucerin cleanser.

This cleanser was a weird one; when I first started using it, I had few spots still in their prime dotted about my face and when I applied this cleanser it really stung on these areas. Not a good start. It reminded me of the cheap, soap-based cleansers I used to use when I was a teenager. Paired with an unpleasant, medicinal smell, I was expecting it to really strip my skin and leave it feeling super tight and dry. 

I was right; when I first started using it, my skin definitely felt quite dry and unbalanced afterwards. Additionally, it caused my skin to break out, which I did expect. Cleansers for oily or spot-prone skin tend to cause an initial breakout when you first start using them as all the dirt and oil below the skin gets dragged up the surface and become trapped in your pores, so I was prepared to let that one slide. However, I hate having dry skin so I was all but ready to bin this cleanser and try something new. Luckily, I ain't no quitter.

Miraculously, a week after my initial breakout had calmed down, I woke up with crystal clear skin. It's lasted throughout the whole festive season and up until now, which is pretty impressive. I normally point the finger of blame at sugar, dairy products, red meat and alcohol when my skin's acting up and although I've been eating all those things like I didn't get the New Year New Me memo, my skin has stayed completely spot-free.

I'm not sure if I'm a total convert on this cleanser. Reviews on the Boots website have cited it their Holy Grail product, and while I wouldn't go that far, I'm going to keep this cleanser in my routine. I'm not one to mess with a good thing! I'm going to do a full post on my current nighttime skincare routine so if you have skin that is prone to breakouts, then you should definitely look out for that. I'll also keep you updated on this cleanser and how it works out for me in the next few weeks.

Buy HERE

Do you have any recommendations for spot-prone skin?

Too Faced Three-Way Lash Lining Tool | Review

If you’re looking for an eyeliner that promises a subtle, natural look then look no further than this felt-tip style eyeliner from Too Faced.

I use the the Three-Way Lash Lining Tool as my everyday eyeliner, but it can also be used as tightliner for the underside of the upper lid, or you can dot it along your lash lines to give the appearance of fuller lashes. I'm keen to get to grips with tightlining and I think this eyeliner will make it super simple or me, as it's incredibly easy to control. It has three individual nibs close together making sleek, clean lining a breeze. However, if sharp, thin lines aren't your look and you're after something bolder, then this has you covered; the formula isn't too wet so it's easy to go over to build up more of a statement eye. This is also impressively smudge-resistant and doesn't scrimp on pigment, meaning it can take you from day to night easily, and stay put even through the most hectic (and sweaty) nights outs.. Although the brand buzz around Too Faced has been hard to ignore, this is my first purchase from them! I'm super impressed by this one so far, so if you have any recommendations from them then let me know in the comments below!

Have you tried this eyeliner? Buy it HERE for 18 GBP. 

Will I be repurchasing Sunday Riley's Ceramic Slip Cleanser?

I picked up this cleanser towards the end of 2015 and after using it on and off over the past year, I finally ran out of in November of 2016. Since then, I've been deliberating parting with the money for a second bottle; here's why.

 I used it as a deep cleanser after taking the brunt of my make-up of with Garnier's micellar water and it was a really nice addition to my evening skincare routine, When my acne was at it's worst, this is what I found myself reaching for, as it really soothed my skin and helped quickly heal any existing spots. The two types of clay in the formula worked in tandem to draw out impurities and I thought my skin always looks clearer around my time of the month when using this regularly. I could use this cleanser for days in a row and it wouldn't strip or dehydrate my skin, which was a huge plus.

Unfortunately, it didn't live up it's claims offering ceramic-smooth skin. It didn't give me that porcelain canvas for make-up application that I was hoping for and for the price tag, I was hoping for more noticeable, pore-busting properties from this. That flawless, airbrushed finish just wasn't there for me. 

I'm not sure this will make the cut when I next check out on Cult Beauty- it was a good cleanser, especially for my spot-prone skin, but not worth this cult status or the money. A bit of a shame! So my hunt for the perfect cleaner continues. The last thing I got from Cult Beauty is the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. It hasn't arrived yet but when it does I'll be sure to test it out and post a review ASAP. 

Buy HERE.

Have you tried this cleanser? What did you think of it?

Three Foundation Faves Under £10

As much as I love high-end foundations, I’ve noticed a lot of the really stand-out foundations in my collection have come straight from the drugstore. As you can see, these three foundation were so good, I bought them in different shades.

The first is arguably the best all-rounder, and it’s L’OREAL TRUE MATCH foundation. Good for dry, oily and / or combination skin, this foundation has the widest shade range of all drugstore foundations here in the UK, ensuring you’ll find a shade to match your skin. It’s a very watery foundation which means it takes a little more blending to get a perfect, seamless base, but in my opinion, this is worth it. It has medium coverage, and is semi-buildable, so you can crank up the coverage a little, but you’ll probably need concealer if you’re trying to cover hardcore dark circles / blemishes. Where it lacks in build-ability it easily makes up for in finish, which is a very natural, second-skin satin feel. It comes in a elegant glass bottle with a handy pump and a mirror in the lid, making it both chic and convenient.

My second foundation favourite is a little heavier on the coverage, and, in my opinion, the best the drugstore has to offer in terms of high-coverage foundations. MAYBELLINE FIT ME MATTE + PORELESS rivals L’Oreal’s Infallible Matte foundation for this title, with a strong following in the Infallible camp- but hear me out. Not only is the Matte + Poreless cheaper, it is only a better option for all of us with a warmer undertone, like myself. An excellent choice for anyone with yellow or orange tones in their skin. The formula itself buffs in like a dream and conceals a multitude of sins, including acne scarring and dark circles, and, as promised, my pores are magically made invisible. The packaging is not my favourite, I think the plastic tube and boring label serves as an indication of just how cheap this foundation actually is. Nevertheless, since my bottle of Double Wear ran out, I won’t be without this foundation for any event where I know there’ll be photos- Matte + Poreless is the ultimate no-flashback foundation.

What kind of post would this be without BOURJOIS HEALTHY MIX cropping up. This is the happy medium of the above two; good for dry and oily skin types, with a medium coverage that is buildable enough to be your best friend on the good-skin days and the bad-skin days. While providing coverage, it also maintains a fresh, healthy glow that somehow manages to stay in place all day, with no need to re-apply. The packaging is, again, not to my taste, but I only really like the simplest, sleekest packaging so I guess I’m a bit fussy. The pump is a useful, however. Overall, this is probably my favourite of the three- it’s virtually undetectable on the skin, but does a beautiful job evening and covering. That being said, it doesn’t mask which is incredibly important for me when testing out out everyday-wear foundations; I like to keep my skin looking like skin.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Do have any foundation favourites from the drugstore?