Six Game-Changing Summer Beauty Buys

Monday 19 June 2017

Before I begin to talk about makeup, I just want to acknowledge that there’s been a lot of dark and horrific things happening in the world lately.

Of course, there’s always been evil out there, but in the last year or two it seems to have ramped up to epic proportions, and not a month is going by without news of something unimaginably dreadful.

Sometimes, writing about beauty seems like too much levity when things out there are hateful. But so much of the internet is full of catastrophe, that I actually think this is what’s needed. Let’s reclaim the internet for its higher purpose – the world needs more cat memes, more videos of babies dancing and dogs skateboarding, and definitely more pretty, sparkly things.

It won’t take away from the darkness outside the window, but it is a sort of two fingers up to all these unhinged extremists who would seek to crush any joy from the world and make it a sad, drab place. Let’s become their worst nightmare – educated, independent and wearing all the lipgloss we damn well please!

We seem to be hitting what might almost be summer (I live in Britain, it’s never a definite here…), so I thought I’d share my newest beauty essentials, products I’ve discovered lately and have been really enjoying using.

The change of seasons is always a good cue to change up your routine and discover some new products to love. And the best part? All the products below are effective and kind to your purse…

Makeup Revolution Pro Fix Illuminating Fixing Spray

With the extremes of weather living in this fair isle brings – one minute hot sunshine, the next tipping down with rain – weather-proofing your makeup is never a bad idea. You don’t want all the time and effort that goes into creating the perfect cat liner to be a waste, after all.

I’m so busy that I don’t usually have time to touch up during the day, so anything that helps my war paint stay put is a massive plus, and I rely on a fixing spray both to set my makeup, and also to use a mixing medium, for making powder eyeshadows into wet ones to ramp up the intensity and so on.

Good fixing sprays can be expensive, and I’ve tried most of the premium ones, but actually my favourite has always been Pro Fix. It just seems to work better for me than the Urban Decay version, and really does lock down my makeup.

This newer update is the illuminating version. Its not super shimmery or anything that’s going to make you look like a disco ball – it just gives a slightly dewier, soft-focus finish. Light reflecting particles hydrate and brighten while keeping everything in place. It’s such a nice finishing touch and something I use every day.

Garnier Ambre Solaire BB Body No Streaks Bronzer

Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t do proper fake tan, instead relying on those gradual tinted body creams or wash-off lotions when I need to get my glow on. This body cream takes that a step further by applying all the benefits of a BB face cream to the rest of your pasty limbs!

It gives an immediate perfected, bronzed finish to skin, evens out the skin tone and hides any bruises or thread veins, provides long lasting hydration and blurs out imperfections giving an airbrushed finish.

If you don’t like fake tan and are always scared of going orange, like me, it's ideal! Once applied and set, the product is transfer resistant, so you don’t need to worry about getting tide marks on pale clothes. And it comes off easily using warm water and soap in the shower.

I find Garnier’s body lotions are always my favourites because they really have a lasting effect and make my skin feel so smooth. This is kind to skin, and if you are allergic to DHA (the skin-darkening agent in fake tan) this doesn’t contain any of that.

The effect is temporary but it just gives me a nice boost for a special occasion when you’re wearing something that shows off legs or arms and you just want a perfected look without having to bother with the devil’s own nude tights (they ladder as soon as I look at them!) or risk the dreaded orange streaks of a fake tan. This is a little piece of summer magic in a bottle.

Beauty Pie Futurelipstick Satin – Nude Honey

If you haven’t seen other posts on them, Beauty Pie is a membership beauty brand that’s claiming to be shaking up the world of luxury beauty by offering premium products for a factory price to subscribers.

My first few items from the brand had me on the fence about whether or not it was worth the fees, but then I discovered their amazing skincare and beautiful foundation, and the game changed. At the same time, I also ordered one of these lipsticks but I wasn’t expecting it to be this good!

The Futurelipstick range features a line of mattes (that are said to be an identical formulation to the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipsticks) and a line of satin finish lipsticks. On the whole, I much prefer a slight flattering sheen, so I chose this shade from the satin range.

Online and in the tube it looked a little on the brown side, but when I tried it on I discovered much more of a dusky-pink nude that’s really sophisticated. It actually reminds me a lot of the shade I wore on my wedding day, ‘Crystal Pink’ by Bobbi Brown.

The formula is perfect – really creamy and pigmented but feels whisper-light on the lips. It's very moisturising and has what Beauty Pie call an ‘instant colour wrap volumising effect’ but I suspect is just the slight plumping effect of it having a bit of a sheen.

Made in Italy, the lipstick is formulated without nasties including parabens and phenoxyethanol. It’s got antioxidants and lip-plumping plant extracts and gives a really smooth finish.

And I sort of like the very plain, lightweight packaging – it's fuss-free, simple and chic.

I seriously love this and will definitely be trying out a few more shades from the range in my next order!

Lady Gaga Fame EDT

Ok, so this one has been a guilty secret in my beauty stash for far too long! It’s a scent I’ve worn for years, but I’ve never spoken about it on the blog.

That’s probably me being a bit of a snob and not wanting to admit to using a ‘celebrity’ perfume, because most of them are pretty second-rate. I mean, are you even a z-list reality starlet these days if you don’t release a sugary, cheap smelling fragrance to eke out your five minutes in the spotlight?

But actually, perfume is a deeply personal choice and I’m going to own up now and tell you that I love absolutely everything about Fame.

I’m pretty unadventurous with perfumes, and I find it hard to discover new ones that I love. I’ve pretty much worn the same few scents since I was a teenager, with a couple of later additions. I love Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, YSL Black Opium, Escentric Molecules 01 and lately, Mac Shadescents Velvet Teddy. And Fame is also a perfume I’ve worn for years. I sprayed some in duty-free when it first launched almost as a bit of a joke, and unexpectedly fell in love.

It’s a complex, alluring scent – not something I would expect a pop star to release. With a ‘push-pull technology’ that replaces the traditional pyramidal note structure,  and ensures an even blend of the different elements, it has belladonna, tiger orchid, a hint of incense, apricot, saffron and honey notes.

It's dark without being too smokey, and sweet without being sickly. I’ve never smelt anything quite like it.

The super-dramatic packaging is also something I secretly love. It comes in an egg-shaped glass vial crowned with a spiky gold cap, and the perfume itself is a black liquid (“black like the soul of fame”, apparently), although it turns clear when sprayed so it doesn’t stain.

It’s so much more sophisticated than you might expect from a celebrity perfume and so much more complex than the sugary, fruity candy-floss smelling things that seem to be dominating the perfume market at the moment.

To me it’s a gorgeous, unusual day to night scent. I must be on my 10th bottle by now, and celebrity fragrance or not, I love it!

Makeup Gallery Makeup Brush Cleanser

We spend so much money on expensive brushes and beauty tools, and I really do believe that they make all the difference to get a professional finish.

The right brushes can transform your makeup game, and once you’ve got them, you really need to look after them. That means washing them regularly, but brush cleansers can be a big expense in themselves.

So when I found this little lovely that is mild enough to care for and condition bristles while being tough enough to shift grime effectively, I was over the moon.

And the best part? This is only a £1! So you can afford to keep your brushes squeaky clean without wincing every time you wash them. If you have as many different brushes as me, you go through a fair amount of brush cleanser, so finding a purse-friendly solution that works really well is a find worth knowing about.

This smells of peppermint and eucalyptus which is really fresh, and its alcohol free so it won’t dry out bristles and degrade your tools over time.

Makeup Remover Cloths

So you might have seen makeup remover cloths making a bit of splash lately, and they are such a great option if you feel a bit guilty using disposable wipes or mountains of cotton pads all the time. I can easily go through 4-6 cotton pads a day, which is quite wasteful. But I wasn’t sure if it was really worth investing in a reusable makeup remover. Would it actually work? Was it just a gimmick?

At the £20 mark, I wasn’t prepared to take the gamble, but then on my latest trip into B&M, I saw they had begun offering a pack of two reusable makeup removing cloths for £2.99, so I grabbed them to try. And the verdict? They really work!

Even my waterproof mascara dissolved away and I wasn’t left with panda eyes either! Some people have said that it wasn’t so good on waterproof mascara, but I always use a dab of oil on my eye make-up first, even when I’m using a micellar water or another makeup remover, and I find that this just helps get rid of any stubborn traces.

If you want to help the planet out, or just use fewer chemicals and drying makeup removers on your face, this could be the answer. You need only add warm water, and the cloths are tough enough to remove stage makeup while being really kind to your skin. They feel soft and fluffy to use. Each one can be rinsed and reused and then popped in the washing machine, and each cloth takes around 1,000 uses. I’m seriously impressed with them.

They left my face feeling soft too, not all stripped out and dry like a lot of makeup removers do. I was so convinced they wouldn’t really be that effective but they definitely got rid of every last trace.

But how do they work? Apparently, they’re made from a specially knitted polyester-silk fibre which would explain the silky feel. When wetted, the fibres create a hydro-mechanical process that breaks the surface tension of the oils that bond makeup to the skin, I don’t really understand that, so I’m going to go ahead and say it's just witchcraft, of a good kind!

I’m converted and highly recommend giving these a try. If you’re going off on holiday and trying to minimise liquids they’re also ideal to replace a liquid makeup remover. I’m so impressed with these, especially that B&M have been able to produce them for far less than the £20 the original 'Makeup Eraser Cloth' they’re selling for in Sephora.

Those are my magic summer beauty finds so far. What products have you discovered lately?


  1. Totally agree with your intro. Nice to hear about a cheaper setting spray, too. May have to give that a go!

  2. I love the Revolution setting sprays - who needs Urban Decay when you can get a perfectly good spray for a fiver! I've always wanted to try Beauty Pie, I'm definitely going to have to add it to my basket now! x

    Sophie xx //

  3. This is really very interesting and seems to be helpful products you shared here. Summer is kind of season in which your skin is in contact with surroundings and can get damaged easily. Thanks for sharing this products.