I love it when a parcel arrives that I wasn’t expecting. Obviously it’s best when it’s a surprise from someone else. However, one of the few plus points of brain fog is I sometimes I forget what I’ve bought. Which means I end up sending myself mystery gifts.
When this Boots parcel turned up on my door it was exactly that kind of puzzle. I opened it to discover some colourful beauty treats. I can’t recall exactly when I ordered these things, but I must have been in a bright mood because the package was bursting with vivid colour. I must also have been feeling pretty cocky because this Nyx palette is not for the faint hearted.
I have been admiring super bright eye looks on insta beauty accounts for a while now. I’ve also been lusting after this particular palette for a month or two. Truth be told, now that I have it I’m not sure my skills can do it justice. The blues, greens & purples I can handle. It was the yellow shades that grabbed my attention and after much messing around I’m still not sure I can conjure any magic with them. I suppose I’ll just have to keep practising.
The shadows themselves are a dream. The blend nicely and the pigment is strong with one exception. The lilac is for some reason a completely different consistency than all the other shades & to be frank, is utterly useless. That aside, their staying power is if anything too good, I struggled to completely remove the colour at the end of the day.
I wasn’t surprised to find nail polish in my haul. I can never look at make up without straying to the nail section. This Barry M gel polish in Flamingo is a great shade to counteract the winter blues.
This is my first go at the coconut infused range, so can’t comment on the hydrating claims. I think I probably change my nails too to often to reap any benefits anyway. Application is very smooth, though and the gel finish is lovely.
Keeping with the pinkish tones is another Barry M (can you tell they’re my fav?) product. I love the Matte Me Up lip kits. The liquid lippie sets with a silky finish that does not budge. You can get through a whole day of eating, drinking & living with only a minimal top up required. I’m a fan of an exact match lip liner, the definition makes my lips pow!
Matte me up in Pose
My least favourite from my unexpected haul was this illuminating & setting spray. I had envisaged it giving a slight glow whilst holding my face in place. In reality it has a bronzey sparkle finish which is way to too deep for my skin tone & make up style. I might be able to repurpose it as a highlighter, but definitely can’t imagine spraying all over my face.
I recently watched, with amusement, some beauty bloggers on Twitter get a tiny bit annoyed with Aldi for it’s penchant for blatantly ripping off big brands. I am bemused at folk who not only want to pay £40 for something that can be produced for a fiver, but also want to defend the rip off merchants. I am all for dupes, in fact, I find Aldi’s bold faced copies hilarious.
Their latest target is Benefit. A brand I used to love, but have zero good feelings for since they resumed torturing small creatures. I was delighted to discover that they were doing a They’re real dupe, but didn’t raise my hopes for two reasons. Firstly, it seemed too good to be true and also my local Aldi is pretty small, so it doesn’t get always get the cool beauty lines. Well, colour me happy because I was wrong on both fronts. Too Legit is both available & kind of great in my neighbourhood. Listen, if I can get a cruelty free & amazing mascara for £5.99 I honestly do not care what brand it is. In addition to that I just don’t understand anyone who doesn’t find this kind of outrageous copying hilarious.
As is always the case in places like Aldi, I bought other things purely because they were right there. One of which was this Smashbox dupe. I have never purchased any smashbox products. However, I do frequent social media where folks are always raving about their photo finish primer. So, of course I bought the Aldi dupe. I have not tried the original nor do I know if Smashbox are despicable, but I do feel ‘Insta ready’ wearing just this primer & aforementioned mascara. Again, I cannot not help but be tickled by attention to rip off detail.
Here is my very own face both completely bare and covered in solely these products. I am genuinely impressed and disgruntled that it is clearly so easy to cheaply make these potions. Seriously, if Aldi can do this ethically, stop giving those designer brands your money.
Just like that it’s time for another Friday quickie. Of the cruelty free variety. Part of my little spending spree was a few beauty treats. All of which were shiny & lovely.
It was my actually my sister who needed a mascara, but it looked so damn good that I kinda want a tube too. When the Urban Decay goddess told me it was half price I was apple paying the shit out of it. It was a good impulse buy. One coat gives me luscious long lashes. Two provides just as much volume. Troublemaker is giving no trouble.
Next is a staple for me, Barry M Plumpy Toocoat. It’s always the final touch on my nails. It provides a convincing gel finish & definitely gets me a few extra days out of my manicures. I love how much extra shine it gives my nails. The only down side is that it goes gloopy a little quicker than I’d like. I’ve yet to actually get to the bottom of a bottle. That said, at under a fiver and still giving a professional look I’ll forgive the small amount of waste. I don’t see me switching topcoat anytime soon.
I have a bit of a thing for Barry M. It was one of the first ‘drug store’ brands to go completely vegan & cruelty free. It’s also one the best. From reliable beauty essentials to super funky fun cosmetics Barry is always ahead of the game. All of which is my excuse for never being able to buy just the one thing I needed. Case in point, this holographic eyeshadow topper. Shimmery two time goodness on it’s own. Multi coloured light catching magic when applied atop another eye shadow. I went for a purpley blue, but there’s three more shades & I suspect I’ll purchase the lot. I recommend that you get your hands on some too.
I didn’t intended posts like this to become a regular thing, but I just keep coming across lovely products that I want to share. I’ve never been a brand snob, so where a product comes from really doesn’t phase me. If it works & it is cruelty free, I’m happy. Thus, I bring you some more budget beauties.
Aldi would not usually be my go to for beauty shopping. However, a beauty & skin care expert friend tipped me off about their Lacura range. Their skincare range has the ingredients you’ll find in premium products, but for a fraction of the price. On that recommendation I decided to try some of the products about 18mths ago & haven’t looked back. I quickly fell for their Q12 serum. Like a lot face creams it claims to prevent wrinkles & smooth fine lines. I’m lucky enough not have much of a wrinkle problem yet, so I can’t verify the veracity of those of those assertions. What I can say is it’s an excellent moisturiser plus my skin feels softer & firmer. It’s also significantly cheaper and delivers much better results than the more prestigious brands I was using. I swiftly added Lacura’s Expert Intensive Care serum as a night cream & am equally pleased. In short my skin feels soft, smooth & my dry patches are a thing of the past. Oh & the both smell divine.
The Lacura eyeshadow palette was a complete impulse buy. In typical random Aldi fashion it was beside some light bulbs I needed. I brought it home & promptly forgot about it. That is until bloggers started to moan about it on Twitter. Apparently some beauty bloggers are sick of ‘dupes’ & just want us all to buy the real deal. Well, their distain reminded me that I had just such a faux & I promptly gave it go. Guess what? This palette is lovely. It’s a standard natural type collection with some neutrals & metallics. The shades are cool, the brush is nice & it it has staying power. I really don’t see what anyone is complaining about. If you need things to be from Urban Decay, go ahead and buy your heart’s desire. In the mean time I am totally behind these purse friendly versions that are also great quality. Not everyone has the ability to splash out on the big names; I love that there are now good options to accommodate that. For my own part, even when I do have extra to spend I have zero interest in rewarding high end brands for overcharging. If Aldi can create fantastic (& cruelty free) cosmetics for less than a tenner, anyone can. If you want me to pay you much more, you better be offering much more. I’ll definitely drop some cash on something excellent, but if its equal is in the supermarket, it’s going in my trolley!
As I got older I shifted my cosmetic buying habits from ‘drug store’ to designer. I felt as my skin aged I needed to spend more to get the same effects. The recent boom in dupes & high quality high st brands have almost completely reversed those spending habits. Increasingly I am finding that things I pick up for pennies are just as good if not better than those luxury brands. Which brings me to one of my current make up favs, Primark.
If you had told me 18mths ago that I’d be raving about Primark beauty products, I’d have screamed bullshit. Yet, here I am. Every time I go into any Primark I leave with a bunch of beauty products. As I’ve said before, their products are 100% cruelty free & the price point is impossible to argue with. Last week I picked up their Radiant Primer & I was not disappointed. The primer feels great, gives a lovely glow & really extended the life of my foundation.
Radiant Primer – £3
I also popped some eye products in my basket. I loved the idea of Glitter Tips for my lashes, but once I got it home I realised it worked for so much more than that. It has a lip gloss style applicator, so can add a wee bit of shimmer to eyelids, lips & even cheekbones. It’s a multi functional gem. I haven’t actually tried it on my lashes yet, but I definitely will next time I do a more shimmery eye. My final beauty purchase was a super sweet yellow eyeliner from the Eye Candy range. I wanted something to go with my Nyx liquid eyeliner & it works perfectly. I covered my whole lid & lower line with this softer yellow. It really made the brighter Nyx liner pop. I think it’ll also look fantastic with a softer, pastel eye too. All round thumbs up for all three products.
K- Pop Eye Candy Liner – £1
Lash Glitter Tips – £2
I used the primer on top of my Body Shop tea tree pore minimiser & under Laura Mercier cream foundation. I was pleased with the dewy results. This isn’t my most beautiful face ever, as I have been feeling pretty terrible. Believe me, though, it’s a startling improvement on how I looked au natural.
Next on my list is of things to try is the Blur Primer. I haven’t been able to find it yet, so if you know of any Glasgow adjacent Primark who stock it, give me a shout.
I don’t do many beauty reviews. Not because I don’t like them, but because I’m a fairly low maintainance girl & I’m far from an expert. However when I discovered totally cruelty free* cosmetics by Arbonne I really wanted to spread the word.
So, let’s start spreading. I chose to try their Intelligence Cc Cream first as I was looking for lighter weight coverage for my face. I went for fair as my skin is practically see through. This shade works well for me & can be easily built if you’re looking for fuller coverage. The cream itself feels very smooth, but is a little thicker than I expected. I think this is simply because I was specifically looking for an everyday ‘no make up’ look. In my case I mixed it with a little vitamin E serum & it was perfect. However, as I previously said it provides deeper coverage just as well.
The cream lives up to it’s multi purpose claims. I use it without a primer with great results. Along with creating an even complexion it also covers blemishes very well, even when used lightly. The cream feels lovely on the skin & creates a fresh, natural look that lasts all day. All in all I’d give it a big thumbs up. I cannot wait to try out more of Arbonne’s products.
You can browse & buy these ethical beauty dreams here.