New Beauty Discoveries I'm Loving | May 2018

Thursday 24 May 2018

There’s just so many amazing beauty products out there to discover, from glamorous luxury buys to the wonder items you stumble across in the supermarket while doing the weekly shop. What is a helpless beauty junkie supposed to do?

Something about being pregnant makes me even more interested in makeup and skincare. I think it’s because things are happening to your body that you don’t have a lot of say in, so making sure you have lashes on fleek and shiny hair is the one thing you still have control over!

So it’s little surprise I’ve been filling my basket with some new treats over the past few weeks. Here’s what I’ve been trying out…

Milani Prime Shield Face Primer | Milani Prep + Set + Go Transparent Face Powder | Milani Make It Last Setting Spray

So one of the strange side effects of being pregnant this time has been that my makeup no longer stays on very well. The old faithfuls I’ve been happily applying each morning, which normally last the working day, seem to have disappeared by lunchtime. So I’ve been experimenting with a few products to try and keep the warpaint on a bit longer.

I’ve had my makeup done a few times at CaBella, a cute little beauty salon near where I live, and the ladies there are fans of what I would call ‘the full Kardashian’. You always expect them to only use high-end products, but they are massive proponents of affordable beauty and they use a lot of Milani, so that’s where I turned for help. Milani is a well-known drugstore brand in the US, and it’s getting more well known slowly here in the UK among makeup fans.

Their Prime Shield is the second primer I’ve tried from them. It’s a clear silicone based gel that glides on to mattify, provide a smooth base for your makeup and blur out imperfections, and it’s also vegan-friendly for those of you who are always searching out inexpensive brands with those values. Primer is a vital step for me at the moment! I’ve found this pairs really well with my Urban Decay All-nighter foundation, which I’ve been using a lot recently as one of the only things that will stay on my face all day! That foundation has always been hit-and-miss for me because it’s so drying and sits in every line and wrinkle but boy, does it last. The Prime Shield makes it work a lot better for me.

I also picked up their Prep Set Go Transparent Face Powder to set my base. I normally use the Ben Nye Luxury Powder which can get very messy, so I wanted to see if this pressed version would be easier for rushed mornings. This also has blurring properties, like the primer, and you can use it before makeup to prep the skin if you’re quite oily, or after to fix things in place.

Finally, I also got their Make It Last Setting Spray, which promises to make your makeup last up to 16 hours. It has a formula enriched with watermelon (although sadly it doesn’t smell of it) which hydrates the skin to prevent fading, shine and creasing, so I’ve been finishing off with a generous spritz of this and also using it to wet the brush before I apply powder shadows to bring the colour out more. It’s not the best setting spray I’ve ever tried, but along with the primer and powder, it is helping my makeup to stay on a little longer, so it’s well worth a try if you’re looking for affordable vegan-friendly products. You can shop the brand on Beauty Bay.

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer 

A bronzer is a pretty essential daily product for me and a key part of my speedy beauty working mummy routine. Not only do I use to cheat the cheekbones Mother Nature didn’t bless me with, and do a quick contour of my nose and jawline, but I also use it as eyeshadow. I pack some onto a fluff brush and buff it into my crease for a super-subtle but polished look for the office that can be done in minutes.

And despite Estée Lauder being such a huge brand, I haven’t really tried many of their products, but this seemed to rate well as a bronzer that wasn’t too orange. This is very silky and easy to blend which makes it super for my rushed mornings, and the colour is very natural while still being enough to make an impact. It’s a beauty classic for a reason! If you’re on the lookout for a natural long lasting powder for contouring, this could be it.

The Ordinary Colours High Coverage Foundation

Cult affordable tech skincare brand The Ordinary are one of my all-time favourites, and the buzz when they first released a line of foundations was deafening - so much so that shades were selling out repeatedly, especially at only £5.40! It’s been on my list to try them out for a while, but I was waiting until I wanted to get a few things from them (I’m way too cheap to ruin the bargain by paying for shipping on something so low cost by itself!).

It promises a ‘flawless, full coverage’ look with their unique ‘spreadability complex’ that guarantees to look like actual skin and not cake into lines and creases. I had high expectations for this and sadly they haven’t quite been met.

Although the formula goes on nicely, for my skin at the moment, it just doesn’t last. I like the initial appearance, but by 10 am it’s gone! I definitely need something that works a bit harder, although I’m aware my skin is a bit strange and hormonal right now, so perhaps this would work better post-pregnancy.

It must also be pointed out that although the foundation is super low cost, the bottle is also tiny so it’s not going to last very long. I’ll give this another try when my skin has settled a bit, but it’s nothing I would go out of my way to try again.

Lacura Charcoal Micellar Water 

There is so much interest whenever I post about a new product from Lacura - and with good reason. The budget supermarket brand regularly produced skincare superstar products that compare favourably with high-end counterparts. Sometimes they launch things in small limited editions, and it seems to be that way with this Micellar water, which I’ve only seen once.

An inky black water, this uses the power of purifying charcoal to leave skin flawlessly cleansed and soft, as well as coconut and bamboo extracts. It takes off all my makeup really well, although I do always use a cleansing oil to break down my eye makeup first. I like that my skin feels comfortable afterwards and not stripped and dry. For the price, this is an amazing little buy.

Umberto Giannini Glam Beach Salt Spray | Umberto Giannini Supermodel Shape Flawless Hold Styling Spray

The tousled, beachy look will never go out of fashion in my house, not least because I’m rubbish with hair and it’s ultra-low maintenance! I usually spend time styling my hair before work during the week, so at the weekend all I want to do is brush it through and chuck on a bit of salt spray to give it some cool girl texture and hope for the best!

I love to try new wave creating sprays, so I couldn’t resist adding this to my basket. Although this does its job pretty well, it also has such a strong scent, like a lot of products in the line, and it’s a bit overpowering. It’s a very strong sweet, musky smell and I know that would put a lot of people off. It’s the same story with the hairspray- I love the packaging and it does a great job of holding my style in place, but the scent is just overkill. I wish they would just tone it down a bit because the products are really nice, but the scent gives you a headache!

Foamburst Luxurious Body Wash | Unicorn Marshmallow

I’m not normally one to go for unicorns and sparkles, but I couldn't resist this cheeky little body wash I spied on my travels. The main sell for me is actually the marshmallow scent, which I love! I hadn’t tried the Foamburst range before, but I really like it. It's like a cross between a shower gel and a shave gel, and you get a really creamy lather which leaves your skin soft as well.

Plus, when anything smells of Flumps, it's a total winner in my eyes. It’s a really nice product to use and I’ve since run out and stocked up on the Cherry Blossom and Vanilla version!

Head & Shoulders Supreme Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

So here’s the deal with me and Head & Shoulders. I’ve had one of those stupid mental blocks about using it for a while now. I didn’t like the packaging, the unisex branding, the medicinal angle, any of it. Not my cup of tea at all. And yet the strangest thing kept happening. I would meet someone with amazing hair - shiny, soft, glowing with health - so nice that I’d ask them what they were using. And every time, the reply would be ‘Head & Shoulders’.

And yet, despite all the evidence to the contrary, I just couldn’t get over my aversion to it. Well, it looks like they’ve noticed there’s a section of the population that had written them off, because they launched an ad where they washed various surprised looking people’s hair with it in secret and then after they’d raved about how amazing it was, revealed it was that humble blue and white bottle your Dad has lurking in the shower. Plus, they’ve luxed up by adding super-moisturising Argan Oil into the mix. And it was just enough to get me to try it!

My hair definitely looked softer and smoother than from the other hair wash stuff I was using at the same time, so I’ve put it on my repeat buy list. I like to rotate shampoos because a hairdresser once told me your hair gets used to formulas over time and they stop being as effective, but this will definitely be part of the mix in future!

Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle and Diamond Strength Hardener

My nails need a serious intervention. After about a year and a half of constant gels, they’re crying out for help - paper thin, awful condition and snap off if you look at them funny. It’s time for nail rehab, so these products are going to be my attempt to get my natural nails back in good shape. I’ve used the growth serum before and despite its hokey-seeming claims (30% extra growth in 5 days), it really did deliver! It uses soy protein, keratin, collegen and multi-vitamins to help you grow longer, stronger nails faster.

I also picked up some of the Nail Hardener that claims to wrap your nails in a shatter-proof protective coating with real diamond particles. Fancy. Basically, I’m hoping to get some growth going and then get my nails in better condition so I’m no longer a slave to the salon! It’s not practical to have long gels that need a monthly appointment with two small kids, so I guess this is my one concession to realistic ‘mum’ beauty.

YSL Black Opium Eau De Parfum

One of my favourite ever perfumes - and I don’t like many! I’m onto my third bottle now and I still love it. From the first time I tried it, I was hooked. I thought it would be too much of a heavy, musky scent for me, but the addictive blend of coffee, vanilla, pink pepper, orange blossom and jasmine is totally my vibe. It’s sweet without being too cloying and girly, a sort of intriguing scent with a lot of energy. I find it such an alluring perfume, perfect for night time adventures, although I rarely wear it during the day unless I’m in an especially daring mood! I really like the bottle as well with the subtle black glitter - sort of grown-up glam rock. It feels like a treat to spray it, which good perfume should always smell like in my opinion. This and Chanel Coco Mademoiselle are my ride-or-die scents!

Too Faced White Chocolate Chip Palette

Too Faced are definitely one of my all-time favourite make-up brands, and although I generally don’t go nuts for anything ‘cutesy’, their original Chocolate Bar palette (and the Revolution rip-off, Naked Chocolate) have both been favourites of mine. Recently, they launched the Chocolate Chip palettes, which are smaller versions of the White and Original palettes. I’d been eyeing the full-size White Chocolate Bar for a while, but the shades are a little out of my usual comfort zone of nudes and bronzes so I held off. This was a way to try out some of those cooler shades for size!

The palette promises the same buttery, blendable formula of the original palette, just in bite-sized, travel-friendly packaging. You get 11 different eyeshadow shades in a variety of matte, shimmer, and metallic finishes. Everything is very shimmery and pastel, which feels fresh to me after buying so many warm nude palettes over the last year! It’s perfect to create a light, easy eye look for daytime., although fan of high drama and dimensionality may not be bowled over!

So those are my latest beauty discoveries. Have you tried any of them? What should I buy next?

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