So January has come and gone; hands up who's glad to see the back of the January Blues?! I for one luckily haven't been too affected by the humdrum and slowness after all the excitement of Christmas this January. Usually I'm desperate to make plans and keep busy, but with a few toddler tantrums thrown into the mix nowadays along with a career change that began at the beginning of December, I have welcomed the peace and quiet and 'nothingness' of this month with open arms. That said, now I've had my relaxation time, I'm itching to get busy again and start planning my Birthday celebrations for the beginning of March! Anyway, enough rambling - let's get on with the topic of the post...
One of my blog resolutions for 2016 was to post more consistently - well so far, I'm not exactly fulfilling that but hey, I'll get there! The other was to explore different categories a bit more, with the goal of introducing a stronger focus on beauty, lifestyle, interiors and a few Mummy posts thrown in for good measure. So here I am doing just that, kicking off with a type of post I always love reading on other blogs. We all know that January sees the majority of us mere mortals scrimping and saving after the extravagance of Christmas, so naturally I haven't been able to purchase anything remotely luxurious in the cosmetics department - however, there have been a few basics I've really needed to buy, so I decided to try out a few drugstore dupes. Here's how I got on...
Revlon ColorStay Makeup (in Ivory)
I have been on a quest for a while to find the perfect dupe for Estee Lauder's Double Wear foundation for what feels like a lifetime - no cheaper product ever lives up to it. I tried No.7's Beautifully Matte a few months back thinking that my search was finally over, but it was just too drying for my skin. So back to the drawing board I went. Double Wear has been the only foundation that I have found that completely covers my mild rosacea and stays put without any sneaky redness peeking through at the end of a long day. It's my absolute security blanket and I wish I could wear it for every day use but I'd go through so much of it and at £30+ a bottle, it's sadly not a realistic contribution to my monthly outgoings. So after a bit of research, I decided to try Revlon's ColorStay which some have deemed a good dupe for Double Wear. I do quite like it and it does the job to start with on first application, but towards the end of the day it starts to rub off leaving me with a bit of redness peeking through which is exactly what I'm desperately trying to eliminate. I also think it's a bit too dry and 'chalky' for my skin type - I moisturise and use a primer beforehand but it still tends to leave a few 'flaky' (eww!)patches at the top of my forehead and around the corners of my nose. Prior to this, I was using the PhotoReady Airbrush Effect Makeup also by Revlon, after falling in love with the Face Illuminator from the same range. It became apparent that it was totally the wrong colour for me when I got it home (anyone else find it really hard to colour match their foundation with the lighting in Boots/Superdrug!?), so I mixed it with a lighter foundation for a while but I just couldn't be dealing with the palaver of it rushing around in the mornings getting ready for work. I would probably go back to that one if I had the right shade for the meantime continuing with my Double Wear dupe quest, as I found it was much more hydrating than ColorStay did last a bit longer. If anyone has a) any recommendations for miracle products to ease rosacea, b) amazing, cheap(ish) foundation suggestions with medium-full coverage, or c) both - please, do help a girl out!
I have really only started using and experimenting with primers over the last couple of years or so and now I honestly don't know how I ever survived without it. Okay, so that's perhaps a slight exaggeration - but seriously, it's such a game changer for the application of my foundation and how long it lasts; all depending of course, on which primer is used. For the past month or so I was using Benefit's Porefessional (review to follow), which I absolutely LOVED, but I found it only lasted a month or so and I really couldn't afford to replace it around Christmas time. That's when I spotted this nifty little product while buying the - I thought it seemed like quite a good compromise for Porefessional at more than half the price and promising to achieve similar results with it's anti-shine technology and the minimising of pores. I also really like the convenient compact design and sponge applicator - no mess, no fuss; just what I need in my life. For the first couple of uses it felt a bit odd, but I soon got used to it and really enjoyed the simplicity of the product. After a month or so of using it, I have realised it really doesn't hold my foundation as well as my Porefessional did, but when on a budget, I figure it will do. It retails at £9.99 so it's still not mega, mega cheap, so I am not sure I would buy this again when it runs out. It does do what it offers on the tin in the way that it's a lightweight, non greasy formula and definitely does reduce the appearance of pores creating quite a smooth and matte finish - just not quite as well as Porefessional did the job. At the moment I'm still on the fence with this as I really love the compact design, but the product just isn't quite cutting it for me at the moment.
I have always been a big fan of Rimmel lipsticks; I love the huge array of colours available - something I used to love experimenting with in my younger days, but now I mainly just rely on a great every day nude and a red for going out. I had been wanting to get my hands on the Kate Moss Nude collection ever since it was released, but for some reason, never quite got round to achieving - I don't get the chance to get into town much anymore with work in the week, then I don't ever particularly want to spend my precious time off at the weekends, forcing a toddler round the beauty aisles with confectionary based bribes. So that's probably why - I know, call me crazy for not wanting to. Anyway, I finally got my hands on one and I simply L O V E I T!!! It's now my absolute every day go to shade - perfect for work. It's super creamy, moisturising and rich in subtle colour, super affordable and I love the chic, minimal packaging - what's not to love!? I don't have a bad word to say about this little gem. I have a collection of favourite nudes compromising Dior, Chanel and MAC's famous Velvet Teddy, but because they're all higher end brands, I have wanted an everyday nude which wouldn't make my eyes water every time I had to replace it, and this I am happy to announce, it The One. Hurrah!
Bourjois Aqua Blush (shade 'Pink Twice')
I actually received this in a press event goodie bag from somewhere, and only came across it when sorting through all odd bits and bobs I acquire from such events the other week. About a week prior to this I picked up an almost identical product from Barry M and was toying with purchasing it. Luckily I didn't as little did I know I already had this Bourjois Aqua Blush at home. It is said to boost your skin's "natural radiance with sheer, fresh colour" which lasts for up to 12 hours. The water-light gel formula is said to leave skin with a "refreshed, bare skin sensation". I really love the idea of this and really, really wanted to love it, but for me personally, I just found it too wet and sticky - even once sunken in for a good 10 minutes. I also didn't find the colour that dramatic - I think the intention would be to use this over a powder blush to add that rosy, healthy glow, rather than to rely on it solely as a blusher. I think for some who prefer minimal, natural, dewy makeup this would be perfect, but I personally need a fairly heavy base so adding more liquid based product on top, I find I just felt a bit clogged; I'm much more of a powder blush kinda girl! Perhaps in the Summer I will change my perception of this...I won't write it off completely yet.
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (in Warm/Medium 3)
There is always sooo much hype around this product that I just had to try it out for myself. Having fallen in love with Urban Decay's Naked concealer and then after a week's worth of use, being heart broken to discover it's lid had cracked and seeped the whole tube of product into my bag, I was not in a position to fund a replacement so soon. I have to move on swiftly here; I am still not quite over the whole ordeal, as you can imagine. Anyway, I purchased L'oreal's True Match Concealer on a panicked whim before a night out back in September and wasn't expecting great things but I loved it! As for this one; I do like it and it definitely provides good creamy, coverage, but it is not as lightweight as Naked or L'oreal - I find it a bit sticky if I'm honest. Also, there isn't much variety in shades - I think it only comes in 4 different colours, so I've found this to not be a 100% colour match, whereas the Naked products always offer such an array to chose from. I probably would get this again at some point to have as back up, but I'd probably go back to L'oreal until I can come to terms with parting with £20+ for Urban Decay again...
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder (in transparent)
Last year I treated myself to a lovely Chanel powder compact with a Debenhams voucher. I don't like to use powder too much - just a light dusting as a finishing touch to set everything in place and keep any shine at bay. I was really disappointed with my Chanel compact; it dried out really quickly and I really had to scrape the puff into the product to see anything on there. Ideally I'd use a loose powder for what I need, but with a toddler who's obsessed with creating havoc among my dressing table products - I'm just not willing to risk that mess at the moment! Therefore I just picked up a cheap Rimmel pressed powder as I tend to always go back to Rimmel when I don't quite know where to look/ what to look for. There's nothing that much to really say about this one - it does the job I need it to do. I use a Real Techniques powder brush to sweep a bit of product over my forehead, nose and chin after applying all my makeup, and it's fine - nothing fancy, but just acts as a bit of a security blanket for my face.
So that's it, I hope you found this vaguely interesting to see how I've been combatting the dwindling contents of my purse with a few key affordable beauty products - some great, some not so great, but it's all about finding what's right for you! Has anyone tried these products and absolutely love/ hate them? Let me know below!