Spring drugstore beauty haul | Bourjois, NYX & L'Oreal

Saturday 13 May 2017

Sometimes nothing beats a good old drugstore haul, does it?

When it comes to makeup and skincare, what I look for is results- and I believe that you can get that with both high-end and affordable products. My favourites certainly come from both ends of the spectrum!

There's something really nice about having a wander through Boots and seeing what's new. I did just that recently and here's what I picked up to try....

Bourjois City Radiance

The first thing I was looking for was a lighter foundation or perhaps a BB cream in lightweight packaging that I could take with me to China and Italy on my recent travels, so this ticked all the boxes.

Bourjois are generally quite good at foundations and I liked the idea of this one. First and foremost, it has a really decent SPF30.

I love this because it cuts down on having to take a separate sunscreen for my face when I go away. Protecting your skin from the sun really is the single most important thing you can do for it each day, and I wish all face products would include sun care.This foundation protects skin from both ageing UVA rays and burning UVB rays which is perfect.

City Radiance also has an innovative built-in anti-pollution screen which makes it absolutely ideal for summer in the city. It prevents carbon particles and skin- damaging free radicals from sticking to the skin.

The formula contains radiance boosting pigments for a glowing finish and also promises continuous hydration as well. I liked the packaging, which is slim, light weight and ideal to travel with or even just to keep in your handbag for top ups or as a sunscreen.

The coverage is really pretty and fresh so if you're looking for something light and natural it's perfect. I've been using this on my more low maintenance days on its own, or topping it with a mineral powder on days where I want a bit more coverage. It smooths on beautifully and makes you look really well rested and glowing.

A great discovery that's perfect for summer days, although the shade range will be too limiting for some as there are only 6 tones on offer and they're fairly pale.

Dove DermaSpa Summer Revived

This little beauty is the secret behind my summer glow! Despite being an unrepentant beauty addict, I've never really used fake tan. I've just seen too many orange, streaky ones to be convinced!

But I do like to use a gradual tinted moisturiser sometimes to give a hint of a glow, especially when I'm about to go on holiday.

The DermaSpa line is Dove's slightly more luxe offering and it is beautiful. I tried a facial cleanser from the line a while back and absolutely loved it, so I had high expectations for this lotion!

I'm really impressed as the cream is a light, almost gel-like texture and absorbs instantly, so no hanging around in the shower cubicle waiting for it to sink in. There's no strong scent and the colour it gave my skin was lovely- just a subtle whisper of colour, nothing too drastic! I got the fair to medium but there is a medium to dark option for those who prefer to be a little more bronzed.

The lotion is enriched with moisturisers from natural seed oils to deeply nourish your skin. This stuff delivers really well so I'll be keeping it as part of my regular line up!

I especially like the packaging which is a bit more sleek and luxurious than the main Dove line. Very impressed!

Bourjois Volume Reveal Mascara

Even though I found my holy grail mascara years ago, I can never resist trying new ones, and this one lured me in! It comes in an unusual chunky triangular tube, with a 3x magnifying mirror on one side.

This has proved really useful for me, as lately I've had a few morning meetings in London that have meant super early starts, so I've ended up doing my makeup on the train. Even when I'm at my dressing table, it's just useful to have something right there that you can see your lashes close up while you're applying the mascara. Why didn't they think of this ages ago! It's the most useful packaging design ever.

The mascara itself has a flexible soft plastic brush that provides a really lengthened and defined look. The finish and the brush remind me a lot of Benefit Roller Lash, so if you're a fan of that I reckon this could be a decent dupe.

It's quite buildable and hasn't let me down by clumping, flaking or smudging. I like quite a dramatic, super thick appearance and this doesn't quite provide that false lash effect. But it does do a great job for longer, darker natural looking lashes and I actually really rate it.

As the formula has dried out a bit and got thicker it's really grown on me, and I can actually see myself repurchasing this!

L'Oreal Le Vernis a L'Huile Grenat Irreverent 556

It was the super-cute cut glass 'quilted' effect bottle that first caught my eye when these nail polishes launched, but they have a lot more to offer than just cute packaging.

Containing Rose, Lotus Bloom, Camellia Seed and Argan Oil, there's a whole lot of goodness in there for nails too. This also delivers super-shine without needing to use a top coat, and the brush head is rounded and one of the easiest to use I've tried, giving an even application in just one swipe.

 I'm really impressed with this and am definitely planning on picking up a couple of other shades – the warm bright purple Violet Vendome is next on my list! These are beautiful polishes, so if you haven't tried them, snap one up!

L'Oreal Infallible Total Cover Light Sand

I couldn't resist trying this new launch out and I'm so glad I did. I was intrigued to see if a drugstore offering could really nail the full coverage without looking mask-like, and I think L'Oreal have cracked it here.

Total Cover has an air whipped, almost mousse-like feel when you put it on, and provides a dense, high coverage look that will easily get rid of any imperfections.

It's very matte, so if you're looking to dial down the shine, this could be the one- or sometimes I mix it with a pump of liquid highlighter if I want more of a glow.

It dries quite quickly so you don’t have much play time, and I do think I needs a little more working into the skin otherwise it can look streaky. I've had the best results using a damp BeautyBlender and then buffing with a kabuki after. Once in place though, this doesn't budge and genuinely lives up to its promises.

I'm not sure if its quite '24hr coverage' as I haven’t ever been that long without taking my makeup off, but it certainly does a full day and evening. It gives you a completely blank canvas to work with once on.

I'm quite impressed with this and have been using it as my work foundation since getting it. A definite must try!

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil Milk

This one is a beauty blogger classic that I've been wanting to try for years, but somehow I never got around to it. It's a really versatile all rounder, and I've used it for the same purposes as I usually use Benefit High Brow, to see how it would stack up.

It makes a really great base for eyeshadow, cancelling out any sallowness on the lid and letting whatever colour you apply over the top really pop – or just brightens the area used on its own.

I've also been using to contour my face under foundation – a line down the centre of the nose to slim it, some in the centre of my lips to make them look fuller, and in the deep groove under my eyes to make it look less puffy, as well as along the waterline to make eyes look bigger. It works really well for all of these, but the bright white colour can be a little harsh, so overall I think I prefer High Brow, which is more of a soft pink.

However, I can see why this is raved about as there are so many uses and it’s a great little muti-tasker to have in your makeup bag.

Schwarzkopf Got2Be Mind Blowing Express Dry Styling Spray

When it comes to hair, I am so lazy it hurts. I'll happily spend hours fiddling with my makeup, but when it comes to my hair, I just want things to be quick and very easy!

So the idea of a styling primer that you can spritz in and that promises moisturised, volumized tresses while cutting down on blow dry time was always going to catch my eye.

There is a mousse and a hairspray in the range as well, but I went for the styling spray, which speeds up blow dry time by helping to dispel water from the surface of the hair quicker.

Now let's get real – it doesn't mean your hair is instantly dry (if only...) But it does cut down on time spent with the hairdryer. I leave my hair wet overnight as its so thick and can take about half an hour to dry from completely soaking, and it normally takes me around  15 minutes the following morning to dry it. I'd say this has cut then to about 7 or 8 minutes.

It also provides heat protection and detangling benefits, so if you're looking to cut down on the amount of products you use then this covers a lot of bases.

I'm quite impressed with its volumising effect at the roots, but I wouldn't say the product is that moisturising. I've been pairing it with a hair oil too for best results.

Mad Beauty Moisturising Hand Sanitiser

How cute is this little hand sanitiser? Its something I use all the time having Theo at nursery and working in a university which means there's lots of people and germs around. I always have one on my desk, in my bag and in the car as well, and I really liked the packaging here.

For one, it’s a spray. That is easier to use on Theo than a gel as you can quickly spritz it on in a hurry. The compact container is about the size of a credit card and a couple of millimeters thick and the spray itself smells nicely of vanilla.

Plus, the ultra cute Bourbon biscuit design just had me at hello!

Eylure Naturals 031

These are one of my favourite lashes to wear because they are super subtle and so comfortable. I like to wear lashes most days because my own are so straight they just disappear.

These are lovely for just evening out the lash line and adding a bit of low key volume, but they're almost undetectable once on thanks to the ultra-thin clear bands.

If you want to add a bit of something extra without looking like you've got lashes on, they're perfect. The thing I especially like about Eylure lashes is that they fit my eyes perfectly without having to be trimmed, which makes it really quick for me to pop them on in the morning.

Eylure Luxe Solitaire

These are a new offering from Eylure – lashes that are 'mink effect'. Mink lashes are renowned for being soft, fluttery and generally amazing quality.

However, at £25 a pair, they're out of a lot of people's budget, and even though they're supposed to be cruelty-free, I know some people still have concerns about that. I have used mink lashes in the past, and I have to say these are hard to tell apart. They've nailed the soft, fluffy look perfectly.

At £9.99 these are more expensive than regular falsies but cheaper than actual mink, and they are of course resuable. They come with a thicker cotton band, which has pros and cons. It does make the lashes a lot more durable but I think it also makes them harder to wear, as the band doesn't mould to the curve of your eye as much and tends to straighten out during the day, which leads to them popping off at the corners. Plus, you need to use eyeliner to disguise the join.

For a night out or special occaision though, these are beautiful. The lashes are just so pretty and give such a soft, romantic look. Its still quite a natural effect as well, not too heavy. I think these are just beautiful.

NYX Epic Ink Liner

Have you ever tried something that instantly becomes your holy grail? Well, let me introduce you to the new liner obsession in my life.

I was still recovering from the awful news that Seventee Tattoo Me Semi-Permanent Liner was being discontinued when I saw this little beauty.

Hailed as the most perfect dupe yet for the legendary Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, this is a pen-style liner but with a brush tip rather than those horrid foam ones that only let you do a really thick line. You can get right into the lash line with it and create a really precise shape – plus, its easy to get a sharp wing as you can taper off to such a fine point easily.

I've struggled sometimes with finding felt-tip style liners that are black enough, but this is more than dark and will definitely last a full day without letting you down. You get the best of both worlds, as this performs like a brush liner but eliminates all the mess. Its now officially the best liner I've tried hands down!

NYX Plush Gel Lipstick Nude Beach

You know its love with a lipstick when you wear it for a solid week after buying it, and I've certainly met my match here. The texture of this is gorgeous – a really moisturising gloss/lipstick hybrid that just sits beautifully and feels really comforting to apply.

The finish is super shiny and really flattering and this is such a pretty nude shade that's so easy to wear, although being NYX they also have plenty of popping brights.

The lipstick comes in a slim tube with an angled tip that gives you a precise finish on the go, I really like the finish and how it feels to wear, although I definitely wouldn't call it long lasting.

However, I'm definitely going to buy a few more shades from the line because I love the way it wears so much. I'm especially wanting 'Foxy Love' which is a bright orange colour a la 'Morange'.

Is it just me or are NYX knocking it out of the park lately?


  1. I don't think I've bought anything from NYX but if I start wearing makeup again I will definitely check them out as it turns out they are cruelty free. Great reviews!

    V <3

  2. This post makes me want to go out and buy loads of nice new makeup! I can't use most of it but all the Nyx stuff is cruelty free like I see Vick has pointed out above. I've never really bought anything from them before but their products look really good and within my budget. Think I'll pick up the felt liner first!
    Rebecca, libfemblog.com xo

  3. I use that dry styling spray too! it's great. I haven't bought make-up in so long, I think a little trip to boots is needed! xx



  4. The dry styler sounds PERFECT for me - I'm lazy with hair and make up, but I couldn't leave my tresses to flow freely entirely - they need some taming!!

    Hannah x

  5. Damn, this is a haul and a half! The Bourjois City Radiance sounds great - I'd be interested to try it. That and the NYX eye pencil! I've been looking for something like that for aaaaages.