Drugstore beauty haul | Best in show

Saturday 26 November 2016

Hello my beauties!

I have a bit of a sneaky lunchtime beauty haul to share today. Normally, I’m chained to my desk and lunchtime, and around this time of year I begin to feel like I never see daylight!

So this week I made it my mission to get outside at lunchtime. At the moment, I work in the city centre, so ‘outside’ is more ‘up and down the local high street’ than anything else, and that resulted in some beauty purchases I wanted to share.

I’m actually just about to move jobs and I won’t be based in the city any more so lunchtime shopping will soon be a thing of the past (I would say my bank manager will be pleased, but there’s always online shopping…).

Here’s my drugstore haul. Some items are my must-have repurchases and others are new products. Here’s what I got…

Freedom Pro Studio Glycolic Radiance Tonic

I love this stuff so much! I first tried it a few months ago as one of the first dupes for the cult (but pricey) Pixi Glow Tonic and I thought it really made my skin much fresher.

I meant to pick some more up when I finished my first bottle, but I was dithering about ordering online and paying postage for one small item when I knew I’d probably be ordering other items from the TAM Beauty site at some point. And so it never happened.

Near my office is a small Superdrug store, and I didn’t think they’d stock any of the MUA/Freedom/Makeup Revolution stuff, so imagine my delight when I saw that not only is the beauty section in that far larger than I thought, but its really well stocked compared to the other city centre branch we have which is permanently, frustratingly out of stock on anything even halfway popular. There was actually decent stuff left on the shelves!

I couldn’t resist getting some more of this. It works well at brightening and smoothing, and it’s a way to gently exfoliate on a daily basis without stressing the skin out with harsh scrubs.

My skin always feels better when I include a toner in my regime, and since running out of this stuff before I haven’t been using anything like that, so I’m looking forward to bringing it back into my routine. If you haven’t tried this stuff I would highly recommend it, it’s a brilliant product at a very friendly price.

Garnier Miracle Skin Cream

Still on skincare, I’ve also been looking for a new day cream. I already use a heavyweight anti-aging serum (the amazing No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Protect), and sometimes that’s enough on its own.

But as the mercury drops and central heating takes its toll, I feel like I also need a moisturiser on top. I’ve been trialling the Caudalie Resveratrol Face Lifting Moisturiser after getting a sample in my Tili box, and I absolutely love it so I’ll probably end up getting that, but I wanted to trial this first as it’s literally a third of the price and offers a lot of the same benefits – anti-aging goodies combined with SPF and ‘blurring technology’.

It’s supposed to give a nice glow to skin, and the Caudalie stuff was a little on the dry side in terms of skin feel, so I’m hoping this might offer a more hydrating feel.

It comes out of the tube as a whitish cream that then adjusts to your skintone so it gives a bit of a light coverage, which will be good for days when I don’t want to wear make-up.

There’s also LHA, which stimulates skin cell renewal, pro-retinol and Vitamin C to help with collagen levels, Vitamin B5 and ginger extract for an anti-oxidant hit , firming peptides and Vitamin B5 to reinforce the skin’s hydrolipidic barrier and prevent moisture loss, as well as SPF 20.

It sounds pretty much the equal of the pricey stuff I was eyeing up and all at under £10 a tube? Pretty much a must-try. It’s a really great drugstore find.

MUA Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlighter

I couldn’t resist getting another of this highlighting powder, which I’ve used on and off for a few years now. Quite simply, this is one of the best highlighters you can get from a cheaper make-up brand – in fact, I think its one of the best you can get full stop.

I absolutely love the flattering glow this gives my skin -  the effect is very natural and very pretty. It’s pretty much a must-have for me, only I periodically fall out of love with it because the compact is super-flimsy and every single one I’ve bought the hinge has snapped. I’m not such a fan of it when its contents are all over my make-up bag!

I think the key might be for me to get a large-size Z palette and depot it, because rubbish packaging aside, the actual product is very, very good.

There are three shades available and I always go for the slightly iridescent shell ‘Pink Shimmer’, but there’s a bronzer toned version and one that is more light gold also. I use mine more as a skin perfector and sweep it on using a large fluffy brush all over the centre of my face.

At only £3 its just too much of a bargain not to pick one up next time you’re near an MUA stand.

Flutter Body Scrub

I like to use a scrub a couple of times a week to ward off the dreaded chicken-skin elbows and stop my shins getting scaly. One thing I’ve definitely found though, is that not all body scrubs are created equal. Some don’t seem to do much while others are beautiful and leave you feeling really polished.

Rituals Fortune Scrub is the best one I’ve found, but I wanted to pick one up quickly on my dash through Superdrug. Nothing was really appealing to me until I saw this on special offer for just £2 with its lovely rose-gold lid, so I snapped it up.

I really like the packaging and the white floral scent but I don’t know if the particles in it feel densely packed enough to really help with dead skin cells – but for the price I paid, I’m willing to give it a go.
I haven’t come across Flutter before but they seem to be a Superdrug own brand selling bath bombs and things like that. The gel feels quite silky and moisturising so I’m going to be enjoying trying this out in the shower.

Maybelline Master Contour V Shape Duo Stick

I picked up this two-toned contouring stick on my lunchtime dash. I have plenty of other contouring palettes but on a daily basis they’re quite a hassle to get out and use. I’m hoping this will be a quick, easy way to get my contour on during rushed morning when I have face-bloat and need to fake some cheekbones!

It’s a very simple chunky crayon where one side is a dark contouring shade and the other is a matte highlight. It looks as if it will be a cinch to use – just swipe on and blend out easily. I like the fact it’s a cream texture, as most of my contour products are powder. Cream is far easier to work with, and I can always go over it with powder shades if I really want to lock in the colour.

A swatch on my hand showed that the colours are really pigmented, whereas I find a lot of the drugstore cream contour products are a little lack-lustre. I like the fact its very simple -  just one crayon -  as I’m far more likely to reach for it on a daily basis than messing around with different compacts and concealers.

I think Maybelline have really nailed it with this one, and it’s a really great value price at £6.99 (for comparison, the L’Oreal Infallible Sculpt palette, that I also looked at on my drugstore dash, is £9.99 and a lot less pigmented).

I can’t wait to have a proper play with it and I think this would be an ideal option if you’re new to contouring and not sure if you’re going to like it.

Seventeen Tattoo Me Liner

Wow. I may just have found the ultimate liquid liner – for just 4.99! If you’re looking for something that glides on, is blacker than Donald Trumps heart, and absolutely will not budge come hell, high water or all-night parties, this is it.

Its extraordinary how bulletproof this liner is -  all other long lasting liners can exit stage left now, because I’m pretty sure this one snatches the crown.

I’m blown away by how this can out-perform high end eyeliners, but it does (I also rate Seventeens gel pot liner as well, so they seem to be pretty much bossing it right now).

The formula is very thick and gel like. It goes on quite wet and takes a looooong time to dry. This is a bit of a downside, as I’ve smudged it almost every time I’ve used it and it is completely indelible. So not one for when you’re in a rush or have shaky hands.

It looks completely flawless at the end of a long day, but removing it is hard. Even micellar water struggles, so when I have this on, I usually have to apply an oil cleanser and spend time working it in properly before following with eye makeup remover.

So its a bit of a faff but the payoff is well worth it. The brush is wonderfully slender and precise, so you can create very sharp looks.

One for the patient and the liquid liner pros, but definitely an amazing find.

Soap and Glory Kick Ass Blur Stick

This was featured in a previous haul posting, but I’ve decided to mention it again now I’ve repurchased, because its marvellous.

I first got this as a bit of a filler item in a three for two deal. I wanted to try it out, but I was deeply sceptical of it working. Well, colour me surprised because it really does the job!

I took before and after pictures and I was amazed that it really changed the look of my expression lines – completely softening them as good as any Instagram filter.

So then this became a makeup bag essential, and I swipe it on to try and fade out my lines and wrinkles a bit. It doesn't last all that long sadly, but it is good while its there. So I carry one around with me for top ups.

Until such time as my Botox fund is topped up, this will have to do!

PS Pro Oval Blending Brush Small and Medium

So the entire beauty world has gone mad for these oval-shaped toothbrush style make-up blenders recently, which you can’t have failed to notice if you ever use YouTube or Instagram.

I must admit I’m quite late onto the bandwagon here, but they can be quite expensive and I wasn’t sure if they’d really add much to my already huge stash of brushes. But I was intrigued.

So when good old Primark launched these as part of their PS Pro line of makeup, the prices were too good to resist giving them a trial. I've used them a few times now and I think the jury is still out for me. If I really have time, I prefer to use a BeautyBlender for things as that gives the best finish.

I don't think these are the best overall but they do a quite speedy job. They are good for the mornings, when I haven't got much time to get ready and want to quickly blend something in. Definitely worth a try for the price.

PS Blending Sponges

I'm finding that I use sponges more and more for applying my make-up. I like them for blending foundation or concealer and also for applying powder to 'bake' with as you can really pack it on densely.

And while a BeautyBlender is undoubtedly the queen of all make-up sponges, and I sadly havent found an affordable dupe that works as well, I can only afford to have one of those on the go at a time.

Enter these little low-budget beauties. They're pretty good for the price and feature a small, super-angled tip that's ideal for doing the under-eye area, plus a flat end for blending out. I also like the pretty purple and white marbled finish.

And with two for £1, you don't need to worry about replacing them when they get icky. Win!

So that's my little lunchtime beauty haul! What do you like to grab from the drugstore? What are your hero products from the cheaper brands? Let me know!

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