July Beauty Haul | Nars, GHD, Too Faced, Mac & More

Monday 25 July 2016

Its another month, so there's been more hauling to show you! I love to see what other people are buying and what products are trending, so please link me to any hauls you’ve done recently and Ill take a look.

This month, I got my hands on a cult buy for cheeks, some premium beauty tools, the most useful eye palette ever and more...

Nars Virtual Domination Cheek Palette 

£45.00 Narscosmetics.co.uk

So, despite my beauty product addiction, Ive never been on good terms with blush. I think it was a combination of struggling to find one that suits my skin tone and doesn't look hopelessly fake, and me having little clue about proper application. I tended to stick to a sweep of bronzer and leave it there.

But you know what? A little blush can really do wonders. It perks up your complexion, gives you a pretty flush and can even provide some subtle contouring. I educated myself on application and found some shades I liked a couple of months ago, and Ive been slowly getting more into it.

I decided that if blush was now going to be my thing after all, I wanted to try the one most often cited as a holy grail – Nars cult favourite, Orgasm. But somehow I ended up getting lured in by this little bad boy instead...

The Virtual Domination cheek palette contains three blush shades (two of which are exclusive limited editions), a large pan of bronzer and a highlighter as well. Sadly, it doesn't contain the famous Orgasm blush that is supposed to suit everyone, but I went for it anyway.

Swatches without flash
Swatches with flash
The shades are Deep Throat, a pinkish coral tone with a very subtle golden shimmer (probably the most similar to Orgasm), Sex Fantasy a cooler lavender pink and Final Cut a warm orange colour.

You also get the Laguna bronzer, which is another cult product. It looks quite dark and scary but sheers out wonderfully on  skin and is ideal for contouring. And then there's the Miss Liberty highlighter which is a champagne peach shade with fine beige shimmer.

What surprises me most is that all the shades are actually quite flattering, even Sex Fantasy which is not something I would pick up in the shop. They're very finely milled and really pigmented which gives them amazing staying powder. Plus the compact itself is a work of art with its snow white finish and shattered look overlay. Such a beaut!

Foreo Luna Mini 

£85.00 Cultbeauty.co.uk

This is my second one! I first bought a Luna – which, if you’re wondering what the hell it is, is a facial cleansing brush – a year or so ago and I totally fell in love.

The device uses sonic pulses to deeply cleanse, relax fine lines and give a glow. I was really impressed with the results and used it daily. Alas, disaster struck when I lost it while travelling. Now I’ve got another, I’ve realised again how marvellous they are!

The silicone is ultra-hygienic and never needs replacement brush heads, unlike a Clarisonic or other facial brushes. You charge it up with a USB lead and you’re good to go. It has a light in the base which shows how long to spend on each area of the face.

I use a micellar water to cleanse my face and I thought it did a pretty thorough job – until I saw what came off when I did a second sweep with my Luna. I really think this makes a difference to my skin .

There’s also a deluxe anti ageing version available and an even smaller short-use version called the Luna Play that has just launched. They can be a bit of an investment, especially if you haven’t used a cleansing brush as part of your routine before, so the Play is a great way to try it out first.

Too Faced Natural Matte Palette 

£32.00 Debenhams.com

Although I have the occasional flirtation with wild colours or out-there metallic shadows, I have to admit I’m a neutrals girl at heart, especially as I get older. I find myself returning time and again to classic palettes like the Urban Decay Naked Series or Too Faced Chocolate Bar over any of my more bold ones.

So when I saw this neat little collection of shades, it seemed like a perfect fit. I don’t have that many matte shadows in my collection as I’ve always been more into a shimmery finish on the eyes, but lately I’ve realised how flattering matte shadows can be and I wanted something that would have that finish.

I was torn between this and the Tarte Tartelette palette but after poring over them both, I concluded that there were a few of the more lilac shades in the Tarte palette I wouldn’t wear much, whereas every colour in here seemed like a winner.

There are nine shades here, arranged in three collections – Day, Classic and Fashion, which can be mixed matched and paired up to your own taste. I think Too Faced do especially well with mattes and seem to get a really buttery finish that is hard to achieve.

Heaven is a pale cream, Lace Teddy a shell pink and Nudie a light beige. These are the palest shades and ideal for a barely there look. Then you have Cashmere Bunny, a fawn colour, Sexpresso a dark chocolate brown, Strapless a terracotta colour, Risque a lilac tinged taupe, Honey Butter a mid toned apricot shade and Chocolate Cookie, a warm mid brown.

I’m really in love with matte smokey brown eyes for evening. They are so much less challenging on tired eyes than blacks and greys, really soft and easy to wear but still very sensual. This is the perfect little set of shades to do everything from a no-makeup look to an evening out and I love it.

Mac Pro Longwear Concealer NW2O 

£15.50 Maccosmetics.co.uk

I first bought this concealer a few months ago for the first time and I was bowled over by the finish, so this is my first repurchase of it. Unless something new and shiny manages to tempt me away, it will probably be the first of many.

Because I have dreadful under eye bags and circles, I always thought I needed a very thick, heavy-duty formula to help them disappear. But I was left disappointed as product after product sunk into fine lines, went patchy or made my bags look worse.

Then this little tube of skin magic happened. Although its quite a light, runny formula, it works absolute wonders and really does go the distance all day. I think the fact its matte, rather than light reflecting is key here as I found out formulas with reflective particles in can make bags and lines look worse. This really freshens up my appearance without any glitter and despite its watery appearance, its high coverage.

The most amazing though, is that it really lives up to its name and its staying power is second to none, which is hugely important to me as I don’t have time to reapply. It doesn’t crease at all either, which is rarer than a blue flamingo for concealers. I also love the little pump bottle as its mess and fuss free.

A little goes a very long way with this. If you haven’t tried it and you’re forever being let down by concealers, give Pro Longwear a try and I doubt you’ll be disappointed!

Mac Tendertalk Lip Balm | Side Dish 

£15.50 maccosmetics.co.uk

And while I was in the Mac store, the beautiful hologram packaging of these lip treats drew me in. Its a tinted balm, which I really like for summer. Balms are so easy and comfortable to wear and this one works with your body chemistry to create a flattering, personalised shade just for you.

There are five tints to collect – Pretty Me Up, a light coral, Play With Me an orange-red, Candy Wrapped, a very pale pink, Teddy Pink, a magenta shade and Side Dish, a plum purple which is what I went for. I felt like I have a lot of coral lip colours already and I wanted a purple but a light, summery one rather than a darker plum hue.

The conditioning formula feels super-hydrating and provides such a pretty, sheer hit of colour. This is a fabulous lip product for the lighter months and would layer really nicely with a lipstick as well if you wanted to play up a certain dimension of the shade.

Unfortunately, these are limited edition so I may have to get my hands on a couple more of the shades before they disappear.

GHD Platinum Stylers 

£165.00 ghdhair.com

This month, it was time for some serious new tools, so I upgraded my GHD Pure flat iron to this new Platinum model, and I’m already so impressed!

These were a sort of going back to work present to myself. My old GHDs still work fine, but I’ve had my eye on the Platinum Styler for a while. I do use my GHDs every single day. Over time, I’ve ditched other hair tools as I’ve learnt more about how to create different effects using straighteners
(I seriously suggest hitting up YouTube for some tutorials – I can now do large loose curls, beach waves and classic spiral curls and using my flat irons to add volume alongside classic straight). They really are a do-it-all for me.

And the although my old ones were really good, I didn’t realise how much better these ones are. Its hard to describe how much better these feel, because the original ones are great anyway. But this absolutely glides though the hair with no pressure and zero snagging.

They also use a special tri-zone technology that ensures a very even heat. Why do we care? Well, because that adds up to less breakage and a smoother finish, and if you use them every day like me, that’s actually pretty important. They’re a lot kinder to your hair and give an incredible, mirror-like shine. I’m very much in love with these so there is a full review coming soon!

GHD Styler Carry Case and Heat Mat 

£19.95 ghdhair.com

To go along with my new stylers, I also bought a new case to keep them in. I liked this one because it came with a detachable heat mat. I’m very mindful of marking my dressing table so I like to have a heat mat to keep my tools on while I’m working on my hair.

This has a black satin finish and all the finishings are rose gold which is so pretty. I figure if you’re going to splash out on new tools, they need a nice place to live and these are also good for travel.

Also, I'm always pushed for time  in the mornings, so I like being able to just chuck these back in their bag and then I don't have to wait for them to cool down before I tidy them up.

Eylure Cheryl 114 Lashes 

£5.49 boots.com

My favourite light-touch falsies for daytime wear are the Eylure Naturals range, so Im usually stocked up. Only this time I ran out, and to my horror my local Boots was out of stock, so I plumped for this style instead.

They're ever so slight more amped up but still pretty and wispy enough to get away with for daytime wear without looking fake. They have a fluffy finish with a slight angling to make them longer on the outside edge, and this gives a pretty, sultry shape to the eyes.

I find these very easy to wear and I just love the slight lift they give your appearance without being obvious. Ive seriously been wearing them when someone has tried to have a conversation with me about how over the top falsies look, but that really doesn't have to be the case.

If you choose the right lash and apply it well, the look can be very subtle. And if that's what you want, the 114 Cheryl style fit the bill nicely.

That's my beauty haul for the month! What have you been buying lately? Link me to any wonder-buys or new must haves below!

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