Saturday, 20 March 2010

Stealing Beauty: Drugstore Makeup Haul


Drugstore haul! (L to R): Sleek Face Contour Palette, Taxi Pure Powder Blush in 'Tower Hill', Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse, Max Factor Silk Gloss, Miss Sporty Fabulous Eyes Eyeshadow Pencil in 'Peach Punk'.

It's that awful week right before payday where I have no more spare pennies to play with and the shops decide to put out their prettiest things, just to annoy me.

I'll be honest, at the moment i'm trying to pay off my credit card in six months. I don't owe a huge amount, but it just doesn't seem to be going away, so I decided at the beginning of the year that I'd try and blitz it in six months and pay it all off. I'm managing okay, but with a hefty mortgage on top, the last few days before payday aren't exactly retail heaven. *sigh*. I'm sure it'll all be worth it in the end, but I still need my beauty boost, even on a budget! So, I went drugstore make up shopping and did a mini-haul there. Here's what I got:

Sleek Face Contour Kit
- I really like the Sleek brand so far, although I've stuck to their fabulous eye palettes up until now. They make really brilliant, densely-pigmented eyeshadows in far-out colours that are long-lasting, and just as good in quality as Mac or Urban Decay. A palette of 12 shadows costs about five pounds, so they are an amazing option. The beauty blogs were abuzz with Sleek-lovin' a while back, so I thought I'd give this kit a try. It comes in a black compact, with a big, clear mirror just like the eyeshadows - top-quality packaging for the price. There's a matt bronzing powder, which I've been wanting for a while now, as all my bronzers seem to be shimmery. Obviously, matt is far better for doing a little contouring and hiding my double chin etc! Then there's a highlight powder with a light shimmer, which has pink and golden tones. The kit comes in three shade options - 'light', 'medium' and 'dark', but some of bronzers looked a bit scary and dark, so I stuck to 'light'. I tried the kit with my Mac contour brush, and was pleasantly surprised by the results - subtle, even-toned, and making me look as if I actually have cheekbones! A full review and demo has been carried out at the Liparazzi blog, here.

Taxi Pure Powder Blush 'Tower Hill'
- Taxi is a brand I haven't tried before, but I really wanted a pink blusher to get that 'instant spring' pink cheeks look. The blush comes in that innovative container, with a little mirror on the lid. It's got an inbuilt powder puff, and when you shake the pot, it comes through that and you can easily blend it into your cheek. They had some brighter shades, which I wavered over, before finally selecting 'Tower Hill', which is more of a dusty-rose pink tone. I like the product, although it goes on very lightly, and is impossible to apply with a heavy hand either due to the dispensing mechanism, which may be a good thing! I've been looking into the brand on their website, and a lot of it seems to be aimed at men trying to work a Brandon Flowers type glam-rock look! Perhaps its all aimed at men, I'm not sure, but nothing like a unisex bit of kit! Not sure if I'd buy again from the brand as they don't have a very big product range, but maybe they'll develop and grow.

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse
- okay, I caved and tried it after discovering one of my favourite beauty gurus, Imogen at Foxy Locks, wears it - and her skin always looks pretty good to me! Like I mentioned, I haven't tried a mousse formulation before, but recently tried a sample of L'Oreal's Matte Morphose. However, the Maybelline version is about half the price! I know some people really like this foundation, but I'm sorry, I still don't think it's 'The One' for me, because it doesn't have an SPF, and I consider that pretty much vital in face products. I do use a moisturiser with an SPF, but I like my bases to have one too. My skin is pretty normal - a little drier in winter, a little oilier on the T-zone in summer - and this formulation made it look really hyper smooth! I think I'm going to like it for nights out, because its mattifying, so hopefully I won't need to carry a separate powder compact. It seemed to last pretty well, although my nose got a little shiny and needed touching up. For the price, I think it's a pretty decent foundation, although it doesn't give any kind of a glow, so may be a little dense for summer (if we ever get one!) but no doubt I will have moved on to something else by then! It is apparently, the best-selling foundation in the UK, but as numerous X Factor votes prove, that many people can be wrong! I think I may have bought slightly the wrong shade, although it looked fine in the store, because its a little ashy on me. But I do like it, and I'm planning to use it as my 'night out' base, although I'm carrying on with the Bourjois Teint Pinceau for day.

Max Factor Silk Gloss Tube
- This is supposed to be a mix between a balm and a gloss. It usually comes in a solid plastic form with an application wand, but the one I got was in a soft tube, like a Juicy Tube. It really reminds me of my Molton Brown Vitamin Lip Sheer, which is a great product for a hint of colour and a natural look. I'm not sure what shade I got - it doesn't say on the packaging, but it was like a nude beige. It goes on clear actually, which is a little disappointing, I would have liked slightly more colour. There are gold flecks in it, which helps a little. I do like the silky feel and it has left my lips very soft. But its more the sort of product I leave in my desk drawer to grab quickly during the day - not a hero product by any means.

Miss Sporty Fabulous Eyes eyeshadow pencil in 050 Peach Punk
This is pretty much the cheapest make-up brand going (no item is over three pounds), and its aimed squarely at tweens and teens, so I'm not really the target audience here. But they were having a three for two offer, which I'm a sucker for. Also, I was looking for a fat, shimmery crayon in a nude colour, which I couldn't seem to find elsewhere. Something like Benefit's Mr Frosty, but not so white. I wanted to use it on the inner corners and water lines of my eyes to have that brightening effect, and also around the cupid's bow of my lips, to give my pout a bit more fullness. It's not incredibly long-lasting, but it does the job and there's not much alternative in the shade I'm after - if you have any, let me know! I also grabbed their Mini-Me eye and lip liners to make up my three products, can't go wrong to have some emergency liners around! I'm not a huge fan of the brand, I think its okay for fun products (like lipgloss) that you don't expect to last a very long time.

So, that was my little drugstore adventure, with mixed results!
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