February Haul & Review: Urban Decay, Mac, L'Oreal, Batiste

Sunday 9 February 2014

Hello Dolls!

Don't panic, despite the title I'm not actually naked, just getting into a few of the new launches from the Naked line by Urban Decay.

Taking my blog social has been a really good experience. I've 'met' a few really inspiring new bloggers who have been very welcoming and I'm also now attending the Midlands Blogger Meet Up being organised soon. It's a very different feeling from blogging away in isolation!

The only downside is that I'm now seeing so many great product recommendations, and this week I ended up running out at lunchtime and raiding the nearest Urban Decay counter. I also got a few other small goodies recently, so I thought it was time for a bit of a mini haul and a review of the UD goodies!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm, £23.00, House of Fraser

I didn't intend to buy this at all, but it caught my eye and just sort of seduced me! So here is a quick and dirty review of a new personal favourite.

>> What's the hype?

 A relatively late entrant to the world of BBs, I'd imagine UD had to think carefully about what they would do to stand out. So what you get is a cream absolutely loaded with benefits. They say:

"Ditch your daytime anti-ageing treatment entirely. Leave your moisturiser behind. And on the days when you really want to play it low-key, skip your foundation too. This is one beauty balm with INSANE benefits."

  • Hydrates instantly and improves hydration over time
  • Primes so makeup goes on beautifully and stays put
  • Protects with SPF20 and contains an ingredient that helps guard skin against daily stress
  • Perfects to instantly even out skintone and minimise pores, lines, wrinkles and redness
  • Treats to firm skin, improve elasticity and provide measurable anti-aging benefits
This lightweight, velvety, oil-free miracle worker makes skin look better instantly and delivers serious results in just 8 weeks - the kind that will have your friends begging to know your secret. Pepha-Protect helps protect skin cells against daily stress caused by UV rays and free radicals while Vitasource and dGlyage firm skin, improve elasticity and fight wrinkles. The universal shade glides on and dries down to to a translucent, demi-matte finish that works on most skin tones. And did we mention the light-diffusing spheres that make you look professionally retouched? You'll want to start every day naked."

>> What do I think?

All of the above sounds like the most.amazing.bb.EVER! I feel like so many companies rushed to get onto the BB bandwagon when they first became popular, without ever really understanding what a BB cream is supposed to be. Its not just a tinted moisturiser. It should have benefits that are both short and long term -  a literal wonder cream. And from the above, it sounds like UD have really embraced the ethos.

First of all, the packaging. Oh, the packaging. You should know by now that I'm a complete sucker for a pretty box, and the Naked range is the prettiest out there, in all its soft rose-gold and pewter glory. It's definitely something you'd be proud to have in your beauty bag.

You get 35ml, which is okay. I thought it was a lot less because the tube looks small, but when I checked my Garnier one, that's only 5ml more (although it is a lot cheaper). The price isn't ruinous, but its certainly enough to expect some serious results.

I'm sort of reserving judgement as to the cumulative anti-aging benefits, so I can only go on the results from a couple of applications here. I was worried that it was a little orange in the shop, but it seems to adjust and blend in, which is great as it only comes in one shade at the moment.

One layer of Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm
It's quite sheer, so I don't think I'd wear it on its own unless I was only going to the gym or something -but I did think it softened the lines on my face so the optical blurrers work. It's perfect under my mineral powder foundation for a look that's airbrushed, but doesn't look like you're wearing loads of slap. Oil-free is good for skin and won't block the pores, and having the high SPF is also great.

Although I wouldn't skip moisturiser all together in the winter I can see this replacing a few different products in my regime, meaning the price tag is a little more justifiable. I'm looking forward to seeing if this does make me look younger, in which case its definitely staying a part of my daily kit!

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Double Ended Eye Pencil, £12.00, House of Fraser

This was what I really went into the store for in the first place. The UD 24/7 Glide On Pencils are well know for their creamy texture and rich colour pay-off.  And when I saw they'd launched a new line of double ended shades, I was determined to get my hands on this one in particular!

Shades available are:

  • Venus/Crave - a darkest brown/black and a shimmery champagne colour (pictured)
  • Blackheart/Darkside - purpley-taupe satin and smoky black matte with red micro-glitter
  • Perversion/Pistol - blackest-black matte and grey-brown shimmer
  • Zero/Whiskey - zealous black cream and rich brown matte
You may remember that waaaay back when the first Naked palette launched, it used to come with a double ended eye crayon (that was the Zero/Whiskey combo). Later on, they replaced it with a brush. And while the brush is great (its really nice quality and I do think UD should launch a brush line), apparently fans were begging them to bring back the pencil! So now they've relaunched it in new shades.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Venus/Crave
I knew that Venus/Crave was perfect for me. I loved the brown-black and the champagne colour and I think it will be super-useful. I used the pencil as a quick fix to amp up my look for a recent night out after work - I smoked out the upper lashline and tight lined the upper lid with the Crave side, and did my lower inner rims and the inner corners with Crave to give a sultry, but wide-eyed look. The double format means its easier to carry around on a night out than two pencils. Its also waterproof. The pigment is amazing and it really did stay put very well - I was impressed with the staying power.

And now for the mini haul!

A few nice things I've accumulated this month.

Mac Dazzleglass in 'Creamy Pink', £17.50, maccosmetics.co.uk

Believe it or not, despite trying almost every other product they do, I've never actually bought a Mac lipgloss. Why? Well, I actually think lipgloss is one of those things where cheap ones are generally just as good as the more expensive options, and Mac never had any added extras to make me think it was worth it!

This Dazzleglass hasn't changed that opinion. Its a pretty shade in the tube but it goes on so sheer its practically clear. The formula isn't moisturising so it can leave your lips feeling a bit sticky and then dry when it wears off. I much prefer a balm gloss.

They say:

"Lipcolour that dazzles with light and shine to bring an exciting dimensional pop to your lips. Large particle pearls reflect and refract light to mimic the brilliance of quartz and opal crystal. Provides exceptional shine with a crystalline iridescence. Non-sticky, non-tacky, lightweight and moisturizing. Glides on. Wear alone, or layer over lipstick or Lipglass for dramatic effect."

This product was nice when I layered it over a pigmented lipstick for a little shine, but it really wouldn't work on it's own, so I think 'dramatic' is a stretch. It is very shiny but so is any cheap lipgloss, that's kind of the point. A rare Mac fail in my opinion. I'd much rather have a Revlon Super Lustrous Gloss (one of the best drugstore lipglosses) or fork out for a Chanel gloss (which are amazing and well worth the spend!).

Batiste XXL Plumping Powder, £3.99, Boots


I was an early adopter of the hair powder. The first one you could really get hold of was from Clynol, and when I found out about it, I literally drove to a salon to get my hands on some, as that's the only place it was sold (sad, I know).

My attitude to it is pretty much 'big hair, don't care'. I love a good beehive and Brigitte Bardot and Barbarella are definitely my hair icons, so a powder that creates an instant backcombed effect and pumps up the roots was always going to be a winner. I've tried several different brands of hair powder since then. I love it before a night out, to perk up my do or as a substitute for dry shampoo if you're travelling light.

Batiste are the dry shampoo queens, so I was eager to try this offering. A little goes a seriously long way, because it becomes like a sticky, fibrous glue in the hair, so although I've seen reviews complaining it made their hair gross, this is the same with all hair powders if you over-use them. A very light sprinkling gives a gorgeous, lifted effect.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, £4.99, Asda

For ages now, I've been a massive fan of the L'Oreal Skin Perfection Micellar Water and I haven't used any other cleanser since finding it (I've literally abandoned make-up remover wipes, they aren't even in the same league).

So why am I straying now? Well, I couldn't actually find my usual one last time I was hunting in Asda, so I ended up getting this new launch from Garnier instead. I am a big fan of their body lotions so I was hoping this would be good too. The first thing I notice is that you get a lot more for your money -  a massive 400ml compared to 200ml on the L'Oreal, so literally double for a pound more.

A micellar water, in case you haven't come across them, is literally a solution of oil particles suspending into a cleansing water, meaning it dissolves makeup and leaves skin beautifully soft into the bargain. It's pretty much a straightforward dupe for the famous Bioderma Sensibio H20, even down to the chunky cap and the big clear bottle.

It works really well and is unscented, so if you haven't tried a micellar water yet, it will be a really good place to start. This is the year micellar goes mainstream!

L'Oreal Studio Line Hot & Smooth, £4.27, Boots

If there's one beauty rule I always stick to, it's that I religiously use a heat protection spray before putting a heated appliance anywhere near my hair. Mine is colour treated (previously bleached for years, and currently dip-dyed) and I do use heated stylers on it almost everyday, so I know I need to show it some love to stop it becoming a wiry mess.

I don't have a favourite and tend to switch back and forth with different brands, but when I saw the Studio Line products have had a bit of a make-over and a freshening up, I had to give it a go. I love the new packaging (magenta and black, so very 80s!) and I do like ones with a trigger spray, because they're just easier to use.

L'Oreal claims this gives a 'three day' straight effect, which would be good, with a 'smooth and polished' finish. It protects hair up to 230C and is 'anti-frizz, anti-humidity', which is essential in the summer.

It did leave my hair feeling softened and the scent and packaging are both great, especially considering its not very expensive. That's important with a heat protection spray because you have to feel like you can be generous with it. I think I will be repurchasing this one!

Tigi Bedhead Self Absorbed Multi-Vitamin Shampoo and Conditioner, £26.25, feelunique.com

I have used this product before but I now find myself coming back to it after vowing to start spending a bit more on my hair and skincare this year. Tigi products always, always deliver. This shampoo and conditioner have a gorgeous, fruity tangerine scent that's really nice and invigorating. They claim a lot of goodies:

  • Multi-vitamin formula
  • Protects and maintains chemically treated hair
  • Improves hair moisture balance
  • Improves hair protein balance
  • Shiny, voluminous & healthy looking hair
I find them highly moisturising, they really seal in goodness to my hair and make it feel stronger and healthier. They don't weigh the hair down and the scent really lingers long after washing. Well worth the extra spend.


  1. I love the UD eye liners! And I also love hair powders!!!!

  2. Ahhhh I see we are kindred beauty spirits ;) thanks for stopping by. Twitter blog chats rock.