Luxury Beauty Haul | Charlotte Tilbury, Mac & More

Sunday 2 February 2020

The first month of 2020 has already raced by, which is incredible.

Like most people, I’m not a fan of January - the miserable weather and the lack of anything immediate to look forward to always get to me.

Life feels a little full on at the moment, as I’ve started a new job and have been travelling a lot for meetings, plus we are still living in a building site as work accelerates on No.80.

The Mr and I decided to just focus on the kids and not to get each other big Christmas presents this year as we’ve been saving so hard for the building work.

So when payday came, I was definitely in the market for a treat. I picked up a couple of new sensations I’ve had my eye on, plus re-stocked on some of my ride-or-die favourites as well. It’s been a good time for my makeup bag...

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look In A Palette |  Gorgeous & Glowing

So this little beauty is something I’ve been coveting since it launched. The original Instant Look In A Palette has been one of my essentials for a while now.

A sleek compact in the signature sophisticated burgundy packaging, it houses three eye shades, a bronzer, two blush shades and a highlighter.

It’s pretty much all you need for on-the-go glam, so it’s ideal to take with you when you travel.

And even though I own about a million palettes, I’m always pushed for time in the morning, so having one edit of shades that I could grab was a godsend.

It got used pretty much every single day. So when a couple of new versions of the palette were launched - ‘Gorgeous & Glowing’ and ‘Stoned Rose’ -  of course I was on board. Especially because the shades are much more ‘me’ in this version.

While the original features cooler toned shades, ‘Gorgeous & Glowing’ is all about warm neutrals. The colour harmony here works much better for both my skin tone and the kind of looks I usually like to wear.

There’s a light pink champagne shimmer, a satin-textured metallic brown and a reddish-chocolate creamy matte. These are the perfect shades for me to create a sophisticated day look, and to combine with something like the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Black Diamonds for an evening look.

The cheek shades are more dusky than the original bright pinks, and give a classic, sculpted look. The highlighter is also a warmer tone and gives a hint of flattering golden light to the face.

Plus the case has had a glam makeover with the Art Deco style celestial graphic brightening up the case.

So when something you already adore and use to death is launched in a version where the shades seem to be tailor-made for you, what can you do but love it?

I’ve never found another brand that is so skilled at creating flattering, luminous shadows that blend like a dream, and the bronzer is the best money can buy. I also think, at £49.00, these palettes are great value, considering the cost for the bronzer and highlighter alone is normally £60.

And thanks to the shades being even more ‘me’ in this version, I know this will get used every day.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution | Pillow Talk

This shade is a modern classic. One tube of the iconic nude pink is sold every two minutes, which is insane, and it's spawned a whole ‘Pillow Talk’ collection of products plus a million dupes.

I’d never been drawn in - my favourite Charlotte Tilbury nude shade has always been ‘Bitch Perfect’ -  but after getting hold of a mini version I found I was wearing it every day, so it was time to bite the bullet and add it to my collection.

I’m normally not a fan of matte lipstick formulas, but this is one of the few I’ve found that is genuinely comfortable to wear. It really does give that pouty, plumped up look in a very subtle way, and the shade seems to suit everyone.

With light-reflecting pigments, this seems to sculpt and shape lips to give a fuller appearance. There’s a blend of orchid oils and triglycerides which keep lips smoothed and moisturised despite the matte finish.

The finish, like all products from this brand, is sophisticated and seductive without being over the top.

It’s a shade that can take you from boardroom to bedroom, and I don’t think that you can say that about many lipsticks!

Charlotte Tilbury Latex Love | Studio 54

When I’m not wearing a nude shade, I love to mix it up with a bit of red, so I also decided to try this syrupy, bright orange-red shade, described by Charlotte as her ‘naughtiest lip yet!’.

It’s a very statement, electric red colour with a mirror shine finish - definitely not one for shrinking violets.

The gloss is formulated with a lip hugging effect that clings to curves - just like latex, so it certainly lives up to its name. The super high pigment finish delivers opaque colour in one swipe, and it feels creamy and rich to wear.

There are emollient oils in the mix along with silicone polymers to help give that glossy, fluid finish as well.

This is like no other lipgloss I’ve tried and I really look forward to building a makeup look around it and making it the star of the show next time I go out.

Mac Face and Body Foundation | C1

This is a classic that has been around for years and years now, and somehow, despite having been into Mac since my teens, I’d never tried it!

I was drawn in this time by reading lots of reviews which stated that it's very long-wearing even though it gives a sheer and natural finish.

I’m getting to the age now where I have a few fine lines and I’m finding that very thick, matte foundations seem to settle into them and make everything look worse. It’s funny because in a way you feel like you need to wear more makeup. But it actually looks better to go for lighter textures.

For me, the best look is to use sheer, light-reflective primers that blur and top with the combination of a light foundation and a heavier duty undereye concealer.

The texture of this is extremely light and almost watery compared to other bases I’m used to. It’s more of a skin perfector than a traditional foundation, but once on the staying power is good.

I like the versatility of this, because I feel like I can layer it with a mineral powder if I want more coverage.

The lightweight squeeze bottle packaging is also great for travel, which is always a plus in my book - I don’t like heavy glass bottles of foundation.

Light, buildable coverage and quite glowy - I can see why this is a favourite for so many.

Mac Pro Longwear Concealer | NC20

I’ve often said here that my undereye situation is dire. Dark circles, fine lines, puffiness, bags - there is a lot going on. I’m quite self-conscious about it as I think it ages me a lot and I always look quite tired and run down.

Some of it is just genetics, but it's also to do with having two small kids who don’t sleep.  So I’m always trying new creams and concealers to try and fix the situation.

But whatever I try, I generally come back to this, my holy grail concealer.

There’s nothing quite like this little tube of magic for a quick fix. It pulls off a minor miracle by being a thick, high-coverage formula that somehow is about the only concealer I’ve found that doesn’t crease.

And boy does it last. My main gripe with most concealers is that they’ve melted away by lunchtime, but this baby really does go the distance. I get drawn away by new shiny things but I always find myself coming back to it.

It’s relatively expensive, but I think it's worth it to me, because it makes such a difference to how I look and feel.

It comes in this little glass vial with a pump top, which makes it hygienic and easy to get the right amount of product, although obviously you do need to use a concealer brush to apply it.

If you’ve tried a lot of concealers unsuccessfully, then it's very worth giving this a go because it really delivers.

Mac Prep + Prime Fix Plus Travel Size

When I’m in the Mac store, I always try to remember to pick up a travel size of the Fix Plus spray for when I go away.

For me, this stuff is a daily essential. Just the smell of it I find calming- that fresh, almost cucumbery scent.

When I apply my makeup, I need it to last as I generally don’t have time to touch up at all during the day, and Fix Plus really helps.

I spritz it on both before I apply my makeup and straight afterwards, and this helps to lock things down, give a beautifully dewy finish and just take the edge of anything that I haven’t blended so well or been a bit heavy-handed with.

For me, this typifies why I’m pretty faithful to Mac - they make great ‘workhorse’ products that do a lot of the heavy lifting of my routine. You can rely on them to deliver, and that’s so important.

Beauty Blender

What we do before Beauty Blenders were invented?

This little egg shaped sponge didn't seem too revolutionary when it first launched. In fact, as much as I love trying out new beauty tools, I couldn't see what all the hype was about at first - until I actually tried it. I was amazed by the flawless finish it gave and instantly hooked.

A Beauty Blender can make even the cheapest makeup look airbrushed. It really is a worthwhile investment, and although there are many more cost-effective imitations on the market now that do a passable job (many people rate the Real Techniques Flawless Finish sponge, and I personally quite like the Boots own brand one), but nothing is quite as good as the original and best.

Whether it's liquids, creams or powders this makes everything go on better. I always choose the black colour because if you use it to apply contour or darker shades, it doesn't stain and look gross.

I try to wash it out straight after use every day and pop it into a special metal holder I keep on my dressing table that lets the air circulate.

You do need to replace them fairly often, but they do such an amazing job.

Velour Effortless Lashes Kit

I'm a sucker for a false lash, and from reusable mink strip lashes to doing my own lash extensions, one thing I'm never without is a decent flutter!

In fact, I've been having extensions or wearing lashes for so long, I do feel naked without them. Velour lashes are one of my top picks because they are so beautifully made and you get lots of wear from a single pair if you look after them.

The brand's founder, Mabel Lee, has stated that the Effortless collection is all about clearing up the misconception that false lashes are only for makeup pro's.

I do hear a lot from people who tell me they don't know where to begin, or they've tried to do lashes once and it didn't work out, so it's a common problem.

These lashes are supposed to strike the balance between being comfortable but also natural looking enough for everyday wear.

This style is 'Would I Lie?' which is a really wearable, pretty light criss-crossed lash with a slight flare at the outer corner perfectly designed to open up and elongate the eye.

The kit also comes with some stylish gold metal lash applicators and a small tube of the Velour glue as well. It's basically everything you need, whether you're a beginner or a serial lash abuser like me!

Meghan Markle wore Velour lashes on her wedding day, apparently, so they must be pretty good!

The band of the lash is both light and comfortable to wear, sturdy and yet still invisible (usually you get one or the other, not all of those things!).

The lashes are the perfect balance between natural and dramatic, and these are so worth the extra money because you can rewear them so many times. I also don't have to trim these as they fit my eyes perfectly.

A truly beautiful style that could convert you, even if you aren't a lash addict.

Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF50+

The one thing that is most important to me in my skincare routine is a great, high factor facial sunscreen, especially as I use retinol products which make the skin more susceptible to UV damage.

This provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB coverage ( both are important as UVB rays are the ones that damage the skin and UVA rays age it).

Best of all, because this has been specifically formulated to sit under makeup, it's very light and completely translucent, so no worries about white streaky marks.

There's a lot of skincare tech packed into this little bottle - Sunshield High Energy Protection which blocks melanin damage, Vitamin C which fights free radicals from pollution and sunlight-activated antioxidants as well as Insta-Matte, micro oil-absorbing powders to mattify and even out blotchy skintone for a flawless finish.

It's a perfect prep product that I'm really impressed with - I just wish that you got a bigger bottle for your £15 because this is tiny!

Beverley Hills Bee Venom V-Lift Instant Eye Lift 

As I've already mentioned, my undereye area is a mess. Some mornings it looks so bad I'm really self-conscious.

So I'm always in the market for the latest miracle eye potion promising to reduce bags and puffiness. This one drew me in because it promises a combination of immediate and longer-term effects.

It boosts blood circulation, helping to plump out and firm the under eyes while filling in lines and wrinkles and drawing blood to the area to kick start drainage and stimulate the production of collagen.

Bee Venom helps to reduce visible wrinkles and soften the skin while removing dark circles and puffiness. There are also anti-ageing peptides in there to tackle fine lines over time.

The initial result happens in just 90 seconds, and while it is very effective the product can leave a white residue if you go overboard with it. It's also really hard to layer with concealers - a lot of them go streaky and weird.

Although this is a little better than similar ones I've tried, it can still behave like that if you aren't careful.

But if you treat it right, it will pay you back with smooth, lifted undereyes.

These are the new products I'm absolutely loving so far this year. What new things have you discovered lately? 

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