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Catogery 1

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category 3

Pores No More

Some products I just don't get along with instantly, they seem to have good days and bad days in how they perform so I can't ever make my mind up about them, the REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask (£18.00,) being one of those things.

The first few uses I didn't like this mask, it made my dry skin feel so tight and incredibly dried up during use and after. Now it's approaching Summer time, my skin falls more into the 'normal' category and doesn't need half the amount of hydration it does during Winter, so I recently got this back out of it's box and give it another go during a quick pamper evening. I'd cleansed, exfoliated and then applied this.
It comes out of the pump in a thick light green paste type texture, one pump usually does my entire face because you don't need such a thick layer. I focus mainly on my nose and cheek area around my nose, typical spots for open or large pores being visible. I don't apply any to my forehead or chin because I don't have any visible pores in those areas so it feels wasteful. I use this roughly two times each week to make sure my pores stay hidden.

I sit with this on for a good 15-20 minutes, you know it's time to take it off when you can barely move your face because it becomes very clay like, you can pretty much feel the mask sucking the dirt out deep within your skin. I use warm water and my hands to rub it off gently and then pat my face dry. My face feels incredibly clean, but also de-hydrated, however my pores shrink incredibly and sometimes just become completely invisible. Not only do my pores shrink amazingly, but my skin is left feeling very smooth.
If I feel like this has sucked the moisture out of me, I then apply a moisturizer or sit with the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm on my face to restore it's hydration.

Since I started using this my make-up looks better too, I still apply primer to help, but once that's on my face is a blank silky canvas with barely any flaws to cover up!
Over all, I'm so glad I gave this product another chance, third time lucky I suppose.


Second Best

I've previously talked about my holy grail status base, but I have a few more in my collection and these two products together fall second place.

To make this base I first of all moisturize my skin, then after that's settled in I go in with the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (£25.00,) this is a product I have just recently fell back in love with, after using my Hourglass for so long, this got pushed to the side.
It's less than half the price of my Hourglass primer (£52.00,) and does a pretty great job despite that. This smashbox primer feels a lot like a gel, it's quite thick and feels quite heavy when first applied, but once the product soaks right into your skin, you're left feeling soft and smooth. It has no scent or any colour, which I know is a huge bonus for some people. (Personally I do like a bit of a scent.) 
I've found that some foundations work better with this primer than others, and it's best partner for me is the Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation, (£31.50.) This foundation glides on over the primer like silk, it blends quick and easy and provides a light to medium coverage. A little will go a long way and this foundation also has a discreet but lovely scent to it, which doesn't irritate my skin.

Over all this combination leaves me looking very glowy, fresh and youthful. There's not a huge need for concealer after, but I do often use a finishing powder if the weathers quite hot and I feel like I might get sweaty.


Things Just Aren't Working Between Us

A few products in my stash just don't work for me.
I have always been a cat eye lover and for years I tried out different ways to achieve the perfect feline flick, and this Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner (£18.50,) wasn't helping. I just wanted to change things up and try out a gel rather than my usual tool of choice- a pen. The pigmentation is great, it's a jet black liner that will manage to stay jet black all day. It doesn't smudge easily but it dries up a little, making application a little awkward. I was using the Real Techniques Gel Liner brush with this and every morning was a nightmare, it took me what seemed forever to achieve the right thickness and the right 'shape' of my flick. I won't be attempting to use another eyeliner tool anytime soon, I'll stick to my pen.

Another product I just can't get away with is my Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk Lip Pencil, (£16.20.) I bought this thinking it would be great with my MAC lipstick in Myth, it seemed like just what I wanted when I swatched it in store, but now I apply it to my lips and I just, can't see anything? It's a shame because the formula is gorgeous! It's just as the name states.

The last product that's just sitting looking pretty on my dresser is the Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush at around £21.60 (what a mouthful.) I have the shade Peach Beach and I think it's just too much for my super pale skin, it's pretty pigmented and when the 3 shades mix it ends up looking a lot, and I am really not big on blusher. I can imagine this would look gorgeous on tanned skin, but if you're lily white, you might opt for something with a little less 'whew.'


£9.00 Dupe For A Nars Satin Lip Pencil

I was having a little nose around my mam's stash and came across these Boots No.7 Lip Crayons, they caught my eye because it instantly reminded me of a lip product widely loved from NARS. It's not often I can do a drugstore post or offer you a dupe for high-end products because I don't buy them myself, but when I find something it's usually a great opportunity. These lip crayons from Boots No.7 are only £9.00, compared to the NARS pencil at £19.00, that's ten pounds difference right? 
There's a good colour range, and they're easy to get a hold of in a Boots store, No.7 have offers on pretty much all of the time too.
There's something about these that I like more than the pencil from NARS too, and it's that they twist up from the bottom, I still can't figure out how to sharpen my NARS lip pencil and it's driving me insane, (if you can help please do comment.)

Although they claim to be 'high shine', I've compared them with the NARS Satin Pencil because I think the finish is pretty identical, I wouldn't go as far as 'high shine.'
They feel really soft and hydrating on the lips, almost like a tinted lip balm. The pigmentation isn't amazing so it does require a lot of build up, but if you would rather save ten pound and re-apply your product often, why not?


Worth The Splurge, YSL Volupté Shine

Can I just start off with yes? Do not hesitate paying £25.00 for one of YSL's hard-to- photograph- Volupté Shine lipsticks. This was my first ever high end lipstick, I skipped the MAC collecting stage and jumped straight in at the luxury end, above lies £75.00 (!), which is a little scary but I can't resist. It's always a pleasure going up to a YSL counter too, I find that the assistants are always very pleasant and keen to help. It's no surprise that these are one of YSL Beauty's best selling products, and here's why.

First of all you can't ignore the appearance, anyone would be drawn to how they look, it shouts out luxury. Golden, with the signature brand logo in 3D wrapped around the bullet with a background colour of your chosen shade. I own a lot of lipsticks, but these fall first place in looking gorgeous. Once you buy one, you want them all. I love how they look lined up on my dressing table, and I plan on making the line much longer.

The pigmentation is amazing, I can't find a fault in the colour. It doesn't require building up because one swipe of this and your lips are shining with a vibrant shade. That pigmentation will last for hours on end, and even when the shine starts to fade, the colour still remains put on your lips until you decide it's time to remove it.
There's a large range of colours, reds, pinks, nudes, and darks, I highly doubt you'll struggle to find a Volupté Shine you like. I have one orange, a dark nude and a plummy shade, (which is currently my favourite lipstick.) 
As well as delivering amazing colour and staying power, the shine makes your lips appear fuller, which is what everyone and their mother is chasing at the moment.

The texture is a dream, it glides on the lips and makes them feel super hydrated, and I don't feel like my lips are crumbling apart at the end of the day. There's no sign of these little gems being sticky despite the high shine factor.

I've had so many compliments whilst wearing one from my trio and I can't wait for it to expand.

I'll be reaching for these through the Summer season, just as my pop of colour between all my black clothing.
I honestly don't have a bad word to say about them, worth the splurge? Without a doubt. If you can afford to spend £25.00 on a lipstick, go for it, you won't regret it.
It's pretty much my Holy Grail lipstick, it's really a lipstick full of optimism. (Wow.)


The Melted Lipstick That Really Is A Melt

I feel like this is my first negative review since I started blogging, (happy 4 month birthday to my internet baby by the way!)

You'll know I love the brand Too Faced if you've read my blog from birth, I can't say much bad about anything but, unfortunately this Melted Lipstick (£19.00,) let the team down. Boo.
The idea of this product is 'melted lipstick in a tube', it appears and applies like a gloss, but gives a lipstick effect. I have the (mini) shade of Melted Peony, which is a solid pink. I'd just like to point out I'm not a fan of a pink lip on myself, I got this miniature Melted after spending £40.00 at a Too Faced counter. The shade range is pretty good, but not amazing, maybe if I had a shade I actually liked I wouldn't dislike the product so much.

Although, the pigmentation is amazing i'll give it that, one swipe of pink is bright enough.
The applicator is a little strange, it's definitely leaning towards the kind you'd find on a lipgloss, basically it's a tiny sponge. A tiny sponge that gets very messy. The product squeezes out of a hole right in the middle of the sponge and you just squeeze the tube until you're happy with how much is on your lips. I don't think the sponge is shaped very well for top lip application, I think it's also a little un-hygienic and basically it just ends up looking very scruffy.

It gives a satin finish like a MAC lipstick would when first applied, but after about an hour that completely goes away and you're left with a very light stain. I hate lip stains. My lips looked like they had a light pink tint on them after an hour, after two hours? Nothing left.
Not worth the money, the image on the box is very mis-leading and it's a shame because I adore the packaging and the brand.
Too Faced just released "Melted Metals" with the same idea, I'm yet to try one, but after this I don't think I will.


An Ode To NARS Tinted Moisturizer

The NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer (£29.00,) is the first not-a-foundation-base I've ever had, and I'm 99.9% sure it'll be in my everyday routine for a long long time, I can't see myself ever switching, I doubt any other product of it's kind can compare to the NARS offering. I purchased this at the very end of January very spontaneously, it was actually suggested to me by a Space NK shop assistant after telling her my foundation preferences, I had no idea what to expect but it was my favourite brand so it couldn't ever be that bad.

The shade I really needed (the lightest, Finland) was out of stock, so I swatched the next and it didn't appear that much darker or orangey on my hand so I just went for it. But now I am wishing that I waited until the lightest shade was re-stocked, this does appear slightly too orange on my very pale skin, with good blending it's okay, but not a perfect match, but I can't say that's a con of the product- it's just my own silly fault. I can't wait to re-purchase in the correct shade!

A little goes a long way with this, I've had mine a couple of month but it feels like I bought it last week, such a little amount has been used.

Tinted moisturizers are not known for coverage, but being good for dry skin, good for older skin or the make-up no make-up look, however the coverage this gives me (which is light,) reminds me of the Chanel Vita Lumiére Aqua foundation, for a tinted moisturizer, the coverage is amazing- it blurs out a lot more than I was expecting it too.
It's not incredibly moisturizing though, I have dry skin and I still like to apply a moisturizer first, then apply this in place of a foundation, days my skin isn't so perfect I like to apply a very light coverage foundation on top. It works great either way.

If you have normal skin, you could probably get away with using it alone, but if you're dry, try using your normal moisturizer underneath this first.
This is a great product for those of you with skin that isn't problematic, those that don't suffer from blemishes/spots etc, because it gives a slight cover and colour without the cakeyness or the feeling of having a thick layer of make-up on.

It very much lives up to it's radiance name, my skin looks incredibly glowing and fresh when I apply this, which would also make it great for those of you with dull skin, just to liven things up a little!

So this is the product that's converted me from a foundation base to a tinted moisturizer, well done NARS, my skin loves this.
(It also smells great!)


Better Than Sex?

an ode to, beauty, best mascara, better than sex, cosmetics, everyday routine, favourite, make up, mascara, must haves, positive, review, too faced,
*This post isn't anything to do with sex, just a mascara claiming to be better than it* 

an ode to, beauty, best mascara, better than sex, cosmetics, everyday routine, favourite, make up, mascara, must haves, positive, review, too faced, The 'Better Than Sex' mascara (£19.00,) is one of the products that brand Too Faced are best known for, along with their Chocolate Bar palette and chocolate scented powders!
If you live in the UK, Too Faced isn't too widely available, very large Boots stores may have a counter, and a few places online such as Debenhams stock it too. 
I wouldn't go as far as saying it's 'better than sex,' but it's certainly up there in my top 3 mascaras, it's close to being my Holy Grail.

First of all, the packaging is gorgeous, very pretty and girly like everything from Too Faced, however this thing is heavier than some of my eyeshadow palettes! I don't know why it's so heavy, it's not really a 'con', it doesn't particularly bother me, it's just slightly odd.

an ode to, beauty, best mascara, better than sex, cosmetics, everyday routine, favourite, make up, mascara, must haves, positive, review, too faced,
Next, the brush which is what makes this so great, (for me anyway.) I hate mascaras that have a mega skinny wand and hard applicator such as Benefit They're Real, I don't enjoy applying them especially since I have sensitive eyes. With Better Than Sex, that's the least of the problems, the brush is exactly the way a brush would be if I created my perfect one, it's quite fat, but not too big that it gets messy, but small enough to get to those inner corners and coat the bottom lashes. It collects quite a lot of product, (which i like.)

The formula is quite wet, on first application some people may be put off by how wet it is, but over time it begins to dry up and this is when it works best! If you tried this once and didn't like it, keep trying until it's drier! The wet formula sometimes causes some clump problems when I try to apply several coats, but nothing too major and nothing some Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection can't fix! (£10.00) 

This mascara is all about black, thick, long lashes, if you're after super curl, this isn't for you, but if you tried this with a curling mascara maybe it would work. It makes my eyes pop, a smokey eye never looks great until I apply this. I prefer this mascara to Volume De Chanel and YSL Babydoll which are both more expensive at £25.00. I find drop-down a problem with Babydoll, and with this Too Faced offering I don't find it an issue.
Overall it's a 4.5/5 from me!


High End Easter Haul

Since Easter is approaching I was gifted some money early, so I spent it on some make-up bits from NARS, MAC, and Charlotte Tilbury.
I'll be doing reviews on each product in the future so don't expect a lot of detail, I'm yet to try half of these.

I purchased my first ever Charlotte Tilbury product, which was one of the Luxury Eye Shadow Palettes, (£38.00,) despite seeing so much rave about the 'Dolce Vita', I opted for 'Rock Chick.' Swatches and a review on this will be going up soon, but so far I'm really loving the packaging.

Another two MAC lipsticks to add to the collection, another nude shade in Twig, and a pinky plum shade named Amorous. (£15.50 each.) Both of these are from the Satin collection, I really hate the dryness of MAC's matte lipsticks and I'm not a big fan of gloss or high shine, so satin is a great in-between. An updated MAC lipstick collection post will be uploaded soon with swatches.

A third lip item from MAC was this dark nude cremestick lip-liner in shade Beurre. (£12.50.)
Surprisingly it's my first lip-liner from MAC, I think everyone and their mother owns one of these, but prior to this I had liners from Chanel and Too Faced.

The first of the four products from NARS was one these brand new Dual Intensity Blushes. (£30.00.) I opted for this shade Craving because it's totally different to any other blush I have, the last one I bought being NARS' Orgasm. The shade on the left can be used as a highlight, and It's always a great advantage when a pricey product has multiple uses. These can be applied both wet and dry and again, review and swatches will be coming soon.

I really didn't need another brow product but this NARS Brow Perfector (£16.50,) was something I'd wanted to try for a long time so why not whilst I've got the chance, it's different to all my powders and waxes and I feel it'll be useful for outlining them. There was four shade options and I got the third darkest, although now I'm wishing I got the darkest shade because I have black hair, the shade I chose Caucase, which is medium brown (the swatch online looked darker.)

Finally, I'm the owner of an Audacious Lipstick, (£24.00.) 
Yet another nude shade named Raquel.
I love the packaging, I was so amused by the magnetic lid and I can't say no to an engraved lipstick. 

Last but certainly not the least, the NARS'issist Smokey Eye Kit, (Limited Edition, £35.00)
You can't ever have too many nude and brown eyeshadows, right? 
I'm a sucker for anything like this, no matter how much I already have and don't need it, I'll slip and fall for it.  This also comes with a mini 'Larger Than Life' black eyeliner, and a travel sized brush.

I hope you all have a great Easter Weekend!
Edited by Courtney for for Blush and Blend. Powered by Blogger.