Winter Beauty Haul: Nars, Makeup Revolution, Real Techniques and more

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Hello dolls

Guess who’s been haulin’?

Wasn't January such a long, horrid month? It’s so long since payday and so long since all the fun of Christmas, so as soon as payday rolled around I decided to treat myself to some beauty bits I’d had my eye on for a while.

There were a couple of premium items from NARS and then I placed some orders with my favourite bargain beauty sites as well.

I’m planning to review most of these items in more detail, so I’ll keep it brief here. But I had to show you for our mutual beauty satisfaction...


Seventeen Phwoar Paint Heavy Duty Under Eye Concealer

Seventeen have definitely gone from being a brand I thought of as a bit rubbish and aimed at young teens, to one of my favourites for certain products.

Its amazing how much better drugstore products are these days, to the point where mixing high-end and cheaper stuff is pretty seamless.

There’s a different thrill to buying each, but when you find a product that seriously delivers, I don’t care what it says on the outside.

I’m actually a bit jealous that today’s teens can get access to such beautiful quality make-up for pennies – when I was a teen you had to do your right of passage with orange foundations, pink sparkly eyeshadow and ‘Heather Shimmer’ lipsticks!

Anyway, Seventeen are now a favourite of mine. I’ve raved before about their Skin Wow! 3-Way Primer, Highlighter and Glow, which I rely on in winter. And the three products I picked up on my latest Boots run are just as impressive.

Phwoar Paint is a thick, creamy, orange tinted formula designed specifically for use on dark circles, which are a real issue for me.

In today’s 24-hr world, who doesn’t need a concealer they can rely on?

In the past, I’ve always bought Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer or Benefit Erase Paste and although this is just a notch below those in terms of performance, its pretty damn awesome for a third of the price.

It covered my circles well but it does settle into fine lines, so a primer and a setting powder are essential.

Where this has come in really handy is to take in your handbag to touch up with, as it has a little mirror in the lid and is easy to pat on with a finger tip.

I like the bold black and white packaging as well and am so impressed with this for the price.

Seventeen Falsfieye HD Mascara

This mascara is a lot of people’s holy grail, and after seeing GOSS make-up artist had made a video saying it was hands down the best mascara he’s used, it was on my wishlist.

But although I like this, I’m not quite as blown away as I expected. It is a really good formula – light and holds a curl in place well.

The brush is also awesome and delivers a really pretty, fanned out, separated look which I love. But it just slightly lacks the amount of volume I want for my lashes, although as the formula is so easy to work with, it is possible to add multiple coats without getting spider lashes.

It hasn’t quite got the edge on my beloved Mac In Extreme Dimension yet, but this could change because I tend to prefer mascaras once they’ve dried out a little and become thicker and more gutsy.

I’ve seen some amazing before and after pictures with people using this so I’m living in hope.


Seventeen Smoulder Gel Eyeliner

I just picked this up on a whim, and I’m so glad I did!

Not so long ago, I bought the Urban Decay Super Saturated cream liner and I don’t know if I got a faulty one but before I’d used it once it was all dried up and hard to work with, which was really disappointing.

I’ve tried a couple of things to try and revive the formula, like sitting the tub in hot water and trying to add a small amount of oil, but its not working. The Seventeen Smoulder Liner absolutely puts it to shame, for a fraction of the price.

Thick, dark and creamy, its perfect for adding the feline flick I love so much and it makes it intact through a full working day. Its premium quality for a really small price.

 I’d sort of written off drugstore cream liners after trying Maybelline’s but this has more than restored my faith and I will, without a doubt, be repurchasing this.

Soap and Glory For Daily Youth Moisture Lotion

It was time for a new face cream, and I wanted to try one out that I hadn’t before.

After a lot of clueless browsing around the aisles, I came across this. I use and really like the S&G Make Yourself Youthful serum, the BB cream and their Peaches & Clean face wash, so it sort of made sense to give one of its moisturisers a go too.

I’m not sure I like the toothpaste tube style packaging, but I also won’t use anything in a jar, so I’m sort of limiting myself when it comes to choices in face cream!

This has the usual great cocktail of goodies: firming, toning and rejuvenating.

It contains a ‘superluminous biopeptide complex’, collagen stimulating slow-release moisture, antioxidant rich Peach and Goji extracts and vitamins A &C. All that sounded really good (I like a moisturiser that works hard) and I’ve been impressed with their serum so I’m expecting good things.

The only thing this doesn’t have is an SPF (probably because they sell a separate one and its in their BB cream too), but I’m happy to add my own and the primer I use has SPF 20 so hopefully that’s covered.

This smells beautiful and if it came in a pump bottle I’d be in heaven. Another one to add to my growing Soap and Glory skincare addiction!


Simple Kind to Skin Perfecting BB Cream

I mentioned above that I love the Soap and Glory BB Cream, but I was tempted to try the Simple one as it was on special offer for just £5.33.

I haven’t used Simple before – mainly because my skin is not sensitive and ‘plain’ as a marketing strategy is not that appealing to me – I want lots of science and hard to pronounce complexes in my skincare!

But one of the people with the nicest skin I know, my friend Claire, uses Simple, so that sort of intrigued me.

And this certainly has benefits - - it blurs imperfetions and fine lines, adds multi-vitamins and minerals, has illuminating particles, sweet almond oil, ginger root extract and SPF 15, so its not quite as simple as the name suggests.

Most days, I layer a BB cream and a bit of mineral powder foundation to set, and I like to have something light I can pop on for ‘no make-up’ days (I do have them, believe it or not!).

The cream itself is very orange but it does blend in well -  although fairer skinned ladies wouldn’t get on with this I don’t think. It’s a pretty good BB for the price and feels comfortable to wear, although its more a moisturiser than make-up in my book, so fans of thicker formulas may not like this.


NARSissist Smokey Eyes Kit

After deciding I needed more NARS products in my life, I spotted a couple of items on blog sales, which are always such a great way to get your paws on premium makeup that’s just been tested a couple of times.

I’m part of so many blog sale groups now that there’s always temptation hovering!

This little eyeshadow trio was so beautiful I just had to treat myself. Originally this was sold as a kit for £35.00 with a black eyeliner and a mini brush, but I just got the eyeshadows for £17.00, which I was really happy with.

 I love the idea of having a go-to quick kit for smokey eyes in the same way that the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette has become my morning go-to – otherwise there’s just too much choice sometimes.

These shades are stunning and I love that they’re more interesting than your standard white, grey, black combination. Full review coming soon!

NARS Trio Eyeshadow in ‘Delphes’

My second NARS treat was also a bargain, it should have been £33.00 new, but when I saw a lightly swatched one for sale at just £9.00 it seemed rude not to take the chance to add it to my collection.

Like all NARS shadows, these use very finely-milled powders that feel so lightweight and silky, pack a punch pigment wise and are crease-resistant, and they can be used wet or dry.

Its an unusual combination of shades – a sparkling, sheer peach (which is my favourite), a matte dove grey and a cool sage green shimmer.

The peach appeals to me most, but the grey is also useful, while I thought the green would go well with my brown eyes as a change from the neutrals that I wear all the time.

Makeup Revolution Ultra 32 Eyeshadow Palette in ‘Flawless’

There were a few items I wanted from one of my favourite ever brands, Makeup Revolution.

At their prices, you don’t have to feel too bad about treating yourself, but you still get the thrill of great quality make-up.

One thing I know are always fabulous are their eyeshadow palettes and this one is amazing value at just £8 for all those shades.

The palette is presented in sleek, black glossy packaging that won’t shame your make-up bag with a large clear mirror in the lid, making it ideal as a one stop shop for travelling with.

It contains a huge selection of shades, from shimmering neutrals to greens and even burgundies – but all the shades are wearable, nicely pigmented and long lasting.

There aren’t many looks you couldn’t do with this and its such a great one to have in your collection.
 The quality is unbeatable for the price.


Makeup Revolution The One Blush Stick in ‘Matte Malibu’

I’ve been wanting to try these for a while, but I typically wait until there’s several things I want before ordering, to save on postage.

These are an obvious dupe for the NARS The Multiples, and come in a range of colours – blush, bronze and highlight – and in shimmer or matte options.

I selected matte because I wanted to be able to use this for contouring work, and add my own shimmer on top as needed, but the shimmer shades did look gorgeous as well.

I would consider getting more shades in the future. They’re super easy to use and the creamy formula blends really well.

Makeup Revolution Pro-Hygiene Brush Cleaner

How often do you clean your brushes?

Mine are only used by me, so I get away with deep cleaning them about once a fortnight, using a mixture of baby shampoo and olive oil to loosen the pigments,blotting on kitchen paper and then leaving to air-dry.

But I must not have been as careful as usual about rinsing them because lately I found that some of the bristles were starting to come out, meaning I must have leaked water down the ferrule.

I began to think there must be a better way – something that means I don’t have to deep clean them as often, which is less wearing.

So this spray seemed ideal to help me cut down on ‘wet washing’. It would also be super-useful for when you go away somewhere and don’t want to go through a deep wash.

This does a great job of getting rid of the dirt, plus its antibacterial and it leaves your brushes smelling gorgeous. Triple win.

Brush cleaners can be expensive, and I’ve been a bit tight about getting one if I’m honest.

This stuff is so cost effective you don’t worry about using it and you don’t risk over-washing and harming your brushes. A really good find.

Makeup Revolution Iconic Pro Blush, Bronze & Brighten Palette in ‘Rave’

I also picked up one of these brand new cute little palettes that contains a bronzer, a blush and a highlighter.

I love my Urban Decay Naked Flushed – which is a similar idea – but I do find that the blush and highlighter aren’t as pigmented as you’d hope.

Honestly? The Iconic Pro is better.

The colours really pop – in fact, you need to use a light hand with it really.

There are a few different shade combinations and I think the bronzer here is a tiny bit too light for me, but the blush was the nicest shade out of all the options. However, I have been layering this with the Matte Malibu stick, which works perfectly.

I Heart Makeup The Wow! Gloss

Also in my package was this really cute free sample from sister brand, I Heart Makeup of their Wow! Gloss. I haven't really bought anything from them so it was great to try something - and I'm really impressed with this.

First of all, I adore the hot pink colour. Second of all, it looked great on. The sample was a really generous size as well, perfect for taking on a night out.

I would definitely purchase this because it looked so great on. I think this will be a favourite during these colder months to add a pop of colour to all the black and grey I wear.

Eau De Gaga perfume set

I’m not usually one for celebrity fragrances -  normally they’re uninspired and bland.

But one that I do enjoy wearing is Lady Gaga’s ‘Fame’. Its just utterly unique and not like anything else out there – I love the saffron/belladonna/tiger orchid/jasmine/ honey combo, plus the bottle with the black fluid is pretty cool (I'm easily impressed like that). I’ve been through several bottles of it now and I’m still enjoying it as a darker alternative for evenings.

So when I was picking up some homewares and spotted her second scent, Eau De Gaga on offer, I was intrigued enough to splash out without having smelt it.

At £6.99 for a 30ml bottle of scent, a shower gel and a lotion, it seemed like a small risk to take. And that risk paid off, because I’m really enjoying it. 

Unlike a lot of celebrity scents, its not all sweet and sickly marshmallows and candyfloss.

It’s a fresh, sparkling scent with top notes of green tea, bergamot and peppery citrus with a dusky background of white violets, Earl Grey and leather.

If you’ve ever tried Bulgari The Vert, apparently its in a similar vein to that.

Its supposed to be unisex, with an ‘ambivalent sensuality’ – and I like that about it.

Its not straightforward and it doesn’t smell like everything else out there.

The bottle is an elegant square black glass that sits nicely alongside my Chanel, with an embossed silver panel with the name on.

Its sort of quietly grown up compared to the dramatic goth stylings of ‘Fame’, and much less sweet. Lady G spends half her time trying way too hard to shock –with the end result that not many take her seriously – but the only shocking thing about her second perfume is that its actually good, and I’m certain in a blind testing people would think it’s a designer offering.

Real Techniques ‘Nic’s Picks’ Brush Set

Like most bloggers, I rave about RT brushes and I actually prefer them to my MAC ones.

They just work so well, wash so well, are affordable and generally I can’t say enough good things about them.

I have a couple of the finishing brushes and all of the eye brushes but none of the base ones, so this set seemed like the perfect addition to my collection.

I wanted this set when it first came out but never got it for some reason -  probably too busy saving up for the house and it got relegated to my wishlist.

It was £30 at to buy these at Boots but I got a new boxed set from an eBay seller for £18.99. The set is limited edition and contains 3 exclusive brushes.

Instead of the bronze, pink, purple handles, this features a sleek chrome handle with the line colour in the writing on the side – I really prefer this finish and I wish you could get all the brushes like this as the multi-coloured ones aren’t to my taste.

So, what’s in there?

A duo-fibre powder brush, a cheek brush which is very rounded and I think I’ll use more for face products, an angled shadow brush, the famous base shadow brush and an angled eyeliner brush – all really useful.

These are cruelty-free, hand cut, and the amazing quality that you’d expect from RT. I’m so glad I managed to get my hands on them!


Avon Glimmerstick Flick

Finally, I put in my order for a few of my favourite Avon goodies. They are so underrated as a brand and produce some brilliant items.

I’ve always really liked the Glimmersticks liners which come in loads of brilliant colours, and I saw they had a new variant out.

This one is angled, to help you get that perfect cat’s eye effect that I’m always striving for.

The formula of these is lovely and blendable, but they’re firmer than, say, UD 24/7 liners. That means its easier to get a more precise shape.

This is really useful for those days when black liquid liner looks a bit heavy, but you still want dressed up eyes.

Avon Endless Touch Soothing Dry Oil Spray

Gorgeous, soft, touchable skin in a spray is a reality with Avon’s dry oils. I recently reviewed one from No7 which I did like, but Avon does these sprays so well that if they’re on offer, I’ll always snatch one up.

They have an extremely long lasting effect and leave skin with a beautiful glow – but the best part is how quick and easy they are to apply and absorb, meaning no hanging around in a freezing bathroom post-shower.

This was on offer at just £2.50, which is an absolute bargain especially given it has time-release technology and argan oil in to treat your skin.

Planet Spa Peel Off Mask with black caviar extract

When I was a teenager, Planet Spa used to be one of my favourite brands, but I hadn’t given it much thought recently until I saw this.

Every Sunday, I like to treat myself to a bubble bath and a bit of pamper time for my skin. This really caught my eye with its sleek, luxurious packaging and as I do love things that peel (strangely satisfying) I decided to give it a go.

As well as black caviar extract, this contains amino acids and mineral salts derived from the Caspian Sea to revitalise and tone tired skin.

A gorgeous treat for a mini price (£3.85)– I’m really looking forward to giving this a go.

Magix Face Perfector 

And finally, I couldn’t resist the chance to pick up some of my all time favourite primer. This stuff is seriously amazing – the only product I’ve liked as much was Benefit Porefessional, which is great but ridiculously overpriced. 

Magix is a great dupe for it – it has the same balm-like silky texture (although its colourless as opposed to Porefessional’s flesh tone) that melts to a powder finish and does a great job of erasing pores and fine lines.

It basically makes your skin look…well, magic!

You can wear it on its own, or under/over foundation. Its so lightweight and does a great job of reducing shine as well - its one of the best primers I’ve tried.

It has SPF 20 which is brilliant news.  Its very mattifying, so if you struggle with oily skin I think this would be especially useful.

This normally retails for £12.00 (and is totally worth that) but as it was on offer at £6.00 this time, I took the chance to stock up.

So, what have you been buying lately? Have you tried any of the products on this list?


  1. hmmmmm I love Soap & Glory. To bad they dont sell it here in the netherlands!

    1. Hopefully they will soon. The skincare is so much better than I expected, I've started using more and more of it. xx

  2. I have to try that Seventeen mascara, it sounds amazing! I love their mascaras xx

    Gemma ♥ | Miss Makeup Magpie

    1. I can't believe you haven't yet Gemma, you're always first with the new releases! Loads of people raving about this one, but I'm not sure its a HG for me xx

  3. I love NARS eyeshadows so much :) I've recently made a sneaky Makeup Revolution order recently and I'm slowly working my way through the products, I'm so impressed! :) xx
    Gyudy's Notes Of Beauty

    1. Agreed! I need more NARS in my collection, they're to die for. But as for budget alternatives, Makeup Revolution is also incredible, such amazing quality for the price...I'm buying more and more from them xx