The Prettiest Pandemic | New Online Beauty Finds

Monday, 12 October 2020



How has pandemic living changed your beauty routine? 


From supply shortages of key products to sacking off make-up without a daily commute or an office to go to, through to making more time for skin care or learning what eye makeup compliments a face mask - there’s no doubt that Covid-19 has had an impact on our glam. 


For me, beauty has provided a little bit of escapism in a stressful world. I did go through a phase in the first lockdown where I couldn’t be bothered to make any effort at all, but I soon realised that make-up is a part of who I am. I see the act of putting it on in the morning as a tiny, ten minute sliver of ‘me time’ in a day full of work and childcare. 


If I look better, I feel better, so I soon worked out that even if I wasn’t leaving the house, it was better for me if I carried on with as much normality as possible. I’ve always said the real me wears eyeliner! 


And discovering new products still continues to be a source of pleasure in a time when most of ours have been cancelled. I’ve discovered some game changing beauty products lately, and I hope that sharing them might lift your spirits a little as well as mine.


Velour Effortless Lashes | Would I Lie? 

Velour Mink Lashes | Secret Weapon




Out of everything in beauty, nothing appeals to me so much as lashes. It would be fair to say that I’m lash obsessed. Extensions, lash lifts, falsies, mascaras - I’ve tried them all in the hope of getting that perfect, ‘are they real?’ flutter that borders on just the right side of believable. 


During this quest, I have tried all types of lashes (in fact, I’ve just bitten the bullet and invested in the Lashify system - post coming soon!) and without a doubt, my pick for more glamorous days is always Velour lashes. 


They are such beautiful quality and last so well when taken care of properly.  Even their more natural styles are a little bit more on the epic side, so I don’t wear them on my normal days (Eylure Naturals and Ardell Baby Wispies are my choice for a low-key look). 


However, when you need a bit of dazzle - and who doesn’t in 2020? - Velour always delivers. I picked two different styles from separate ranges. The ‘Effortless’ range is designed to be just that - the ultimate no-trim, glue-and-go lash that is ideal for beginners or anyone that is terrified of ending up looking like a Drag Race contestant (no shade, queens!). 


This style is made from silk for a lightweight, soft finish and has an invisible band. The lashes are criss-crossed for a fluffy look and slightly winged out at the outer corners. Just gorgeous. 


Then, for times where a more full frontal flutter is required, I went for these beautiful mink lashes which have more volume but are still soft and textured.


Urban Decay Stoned Vibes Palette




Oh. My. Wow. I have so many palettes these days, that’s it's very rare I get the urge to drop everything and rush out for a new one, but this was so showstopping that’s exactly what happened! The shades in here are absolutely FREAKING incredible. 


You get 12 colours, in a mix of functional mattes and dazzling crystalline finishes. I’m normally a boring neutrals person, but this made me lose my stuff. I was captivated by the glitter, especially the beautiful ‘Vibes’ and ‘Opal Aura’. It truly made me feel inspired to experiment a little. 


And as the shadows are all infused with tourmaline, if you believe that natural crystals do something to your energy, you’ll be literally in your element. While I’m a sceptic when it comes to that aspect, if there are good vibes up for grabs for dabbing on some make-up, I’m all for it. 


And would you look at the packaging? That stunning 3D geode effect case! I might have actually let out a little scream of excitement. The only kicker is that we won’t be going to any Christmas parties this year to put these gorgeous shades to their full use.


Slip Silk Scrunchies




If you’d told me a few years ago that scrunchies would be back with a vengeance, I would have laughed you out of the room. I’m old enough to have lived through the 90s the first time around, and I find a lot of the re-emergence of that look extremely bizarre. Didn’t we learn anything from our old school photos? 


However, I’m a big believer in the power of silk. I love silk clothing. I use a silk pillowcase. I wear a silk sleep mask. So perhaps it was only natural that my hair was next. 


Silk is kind to your locks because it doesn’t cause breakage and frizziness. These little slim silk hair ties look pretty, and I also find that they don’t put huge kinks in my hair if I use them overnight. And unlike previous ones I’ve tried, these seem to magically grip my hair and keep it in place. 


They’re pricey but totally worth it.


Estee Lauder Doublewear Stay-In-Place Makeup | 2N1 Desert Beige




For so many women, this is the holy grail of foundations. It’s been around for a long time, but somehow I’ve never tried it. I’m very nosy about make-up and products, so if I see a girl who looks flawless in her make-up game, I usually tell her and ask her about what she uses. 


Without fail, the reply is usually Doublewear. And yet something about it didn’t appeal to me. I think it's the heavy glass bottle (I’m more of a squeezy tube kinda gal), the slightly old-fashioned looking packaging and the idea that it would be mask-like and settle into all my little lines. Plus, it’s an expensive one if you don’t like it. 


But I finally took the plunge after getting tired of my base disappearing by lunchtime, and I’m so glad I did! This stuff is literally magic. It’s definitely high coverage, but it gives a beautiful, velvety texture that manages to be matte but not chalky and flat. It has a smooth finish that doesn’t gather in creases and it has more endurance than a London Marathon runner. 


I’m sold, and I don’t think I’ll ever be without it now. I did have to invest in a pump (from Amazon) because I cannot be doing the messiness and waste of free pour bottles, but that’s just a sign of my new commitment to the Doublewear cause.


Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray




Not that partying all night is exactly an option any more (or at all when you have two small children like me!) but I like to pretend in my head that when I’m dancing the night away at a chic Parisian soiree or a rock and roll gathering, my war paint will still be perfectly in place. 


Well, the scenario about partying all night might be a figment of my imagination, but the endurance of my make-up isn’t, thanks to this spray. 


Setting sprays these days promise all sorts of things - hydrated skin, extra vitamins, pollution filters, a glow that would rival the Las Vegas strip - but I’m a simple creature at heart. I just want them to lock my makeup the hell down and keep my winged liner intact. 


This promises 16 hours of wear with zero melting, fading or creasing and although I haven’t sat there with my stopwatch to check - there are limits to my dedication as a beauty blogger, dear reader - I’m pretty sure it delivers. 


Plus the bottle looks unbelievably swank on your dressing table.


Vita Liberata Beauty Blur Skin Tone Optimizer




Remember when ‘body makeup’ basically amounted to sticky, orange, spray-on ‘tights in a can’? How savage times were. 


Luckily, things evolve rapidly in beauty, and now we have a whole range of industrial level trickery. For those of us who retain a mild horror of fake tan, the cult Body Blur from Vita Liberata became a must-have. 


It's an instant light tan with a hint of golden shimmer that also contains optical blurring agents to hide all those little imperfections and give you airbrushed looking limbs. I quickly became addicted to the stuff, and I still don't go to an event without coating myself in it. 


Even I would have drawn the line at painting my face with it, no matter how fabulous the finish, but apparently some people had no such worries, because in response to good old popular demand, Vita Liberata have launched a primer that is actually designed for your face. 


Billed as a 'skin tone optimizer', this glowy lotion really makes you look well rested and lit from within.  It colour corrects, amps up your glow, and conceals blemishes and uneven tone. It's a great night's sleep and eight months of kale smoothies in a face cream. 


It works amazingly on it's own, but also under foundation. If you're into 'filter in a tube' products like I am, you won't be disappointed. 


Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge | Sugar Crush




For serious beauty addicts, when the BeautyBlender landed, it was revolutionary. This little foam egg that you wetted and used to 'bounce' foundation into the skin looked unassuming, but it did an outstanding job of making even cheap foundations look seamless and airbrushed. 


It took me a while to try it, but as soon as I did, I was converted. Over the years, many imitators have emerged to challenge the crown, and one of the best is reckoned to be from Real Techniques, who have pretty much cornered the market in excellent affordable makeup tools. 


So I decided to try one, not least because it comes with an angled, flat edge which I find way more useful than the rounded bottom (ooh saucy!)  of the original. 


Wander Beauty Unlashed Volume & Curl Mascara



After reading quite a few rave reviews of this, I finally got around to purchasing it. My lashes are dark and fairly long, but they are also straighter than Ant Middleton. Absolutely nothing in this world will convince them to hold a curl for longer than about five minutes, but still I try. 


This little number has won many awards from beauty magazines, with the usual bold claims that 98% of testers saw 'dramatic' volume and length. It also has a lash-loving cocktail of conditioning agents in there too. 


I was really eager to get hold of this, but it hasn't blown me away. I liked it but not anymore than others I've tried, although I do like the curved brush that makes scooping up every last lash super easy. It doesn't stop my lashes from dropping but I guess expecting a mascara to defy the force of gravity was always going to be unrealistic. 


Urban Decay Vice Lipsticks | Violate and Love Drunk



I also picked up these two mini size Vice lipsticks on my virtual travels. The range has over a 100 different shades, including some of my personal lipstick favourites like 'Big Bang', a seriously glittery magenta offering. 


I really like the formula of the 'Cream' shades, because they glide on like silk and have a beautiful intensity. I also really love the cartridge shell casing they come in. 


I chose what I think will soon be a new favourite in 'Violate', a beautiful sophisticated mauve and 'Love Drunk', which is a deep, classic red of the kind that makes you look vaguely French (always complete goals, if you ask me). 


2am London Gel Polish | Sex Toys | Sleeping Around | Bunny Boiler 



I'm willing to bet that lockdown has taught us all a few more skills, whether that's baking banana bread for days or learning how to cut your own fringe. 


For me, as salons were shut, it was learning to do my own gel manis and pedis. I got the Sensationail Rose Gold Starter kit for my birthday back in June, which I highly recommend. And although I went back to the salon when it reopened, I simply don't have the time to go as often as is needed for all of the treatments I'd like (no, you're high maintenence). 


So learning how to do as much as I can myself is definitely my lockdown end game. I wanted to expand my gel polish collection, and I discovered this fab brand, who have a range of really great, on-trend shades which are quite affordable. 


I chose a mannequin style nude, a deep merlot and a greyed-out hazy lilac to start me off. I'm looking forward to a pamper session to try them out! 


So those are my current recommendations for game changing new season beauty. Have you tried anything on the list? What else have you discovered lately? 


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