Saturday 17 May 2014

Bargain Beauty

In my mind there is nothing better than finding incredibly affordable beauty products that do a great job and rival more expensive items as it fills my little heart with joy and means my money goes further. The two products I've recently started using are now both part of my daily makeup routine and I carry them around with me at all times in my Primark makeup bag, oh the prestige.

I've only recently started using this mascara after having it in my drawer for a few months (watch me get an eye infection) and didn't expect much from it, using it only as I had finished the mascara I'd been using previously. However, this mascara helps to define my eyelashes well and has a really gentle formula and brush compared to some other mascaras I've tried that nearly destroy my vision in one swipe. I find this mascara to look best after a few coats which is perfect as it is completely buildable and doesn't cause my lashes to clump together. I tend to have problems with mascara smudging underneath my eye but with this mascara I can't say I've had that problem and due to the brush having a narrower tip it makes it easier to coat the bottom lashes.

I don't know what possessed me to buy yet another under eye concealer but I am so glad I picked this one up, I'd seen someone mention this concealer in a blog post and I think in the back of my mind I made it my mission to buy it. The concealer comes in three different shades, Light, Medium and Dark of which I bought Light and I am honestly so impressed with it. I've been wearing it on both foundation and no-foundation days and it just gives the perfect amount of natural coverage, it helps eliminate dark circles but without making it obvious you've covered them. The concealer is said to contain vitamins E and C and I'm not even going to pretend to know what effect this has on the product but whatever it is, it's working. The product does contain a small amount of shimmer to it which is unnoticeable on the skin unless you're looking incredibly closely so might make it unsuitable for blemishes but I don't use it for this purpose anyway.

Have you tried either of these products? What are your thoughts on them? Or have you discovered any other beauty bargains recently?

Thursday 8 May 2014

EcoTools Fresh and Flawless Five Piece Complexion Set

I've owned the EcoTools Fresh and Flawless Five Piece Complexion Set for quite some time now and thought it was about time I typed away my thoughts on it as I have personally never seen it be mentioned on a blog. I picked this set up randomly one day while cruising the aisles of Boots and, on this particular day, I was feeling reckless and untameable and paid for it using my hard earned Boots points so I technically didn't spend any money. At one point I had around £40 worth of points on my card and now I'm down to a measly £2.10, but please don't get me started on my Superdrug card where I have a whooping 48p... I believe this set was £11.99 but I can't actually see it on the Boots website at the moment but other stockists include Amazon and Feel Unique.

The packaging holding the brushes is in a book sort of form which is handy to travel with as there is a magnet in the lid meaning it closes securely and you also get information about the individual brushes and their uses. It also means you can keep all the brushes in one place and store them neatly rather than flung all over the place which is my usual choice of storage. In the set you get 5 quite miniature brushes all of which are intended to be used with base products and each have a pretty, colourful design.

I will run through my thoughts on each brush individually in their order in the packaging from left to right:

I don't use this brush as part of my daily makeup routine but is really handy for when a more precise and heavier coverage is required on any blemishes or problem areas. The bristles are fairly short and dense meaning you can push product into your skin well and layer up product and would also work well at cleaning up eyebrows after filling them in if you want a sharper, cleaner edge.

This brush is great for under eye concealer as using your finger to tap the product in can be quite time-consuming (first world problems) especially if you're like me and apply several different concealers to try and get rid of blueness. I've also found this brush handy to carry with me throughout the day as when I get creases in my concealer I can use this brush to get rid them of. The bristles are, again, quite short but are a lot more flexible and is a fluffier brush making it easier to blend products into the skin.

This is another brush that I don't use every day but is great to have if you wanted to do a more dramatic contour and highlight as you'd be able to use it to apply and map out where you want different products to go. I personally wouldn't use this as a foundation brush as it'd take such a long time to apply and blend the foundation due to its small size but as the bristles aren't as densely packed you get a lot of movement when using it so you can get to difficult areas of your face if you do prefer flat foundation brushes.

I have been using this brush in place of my Real Techniques Buffing Brush recently which came about as a bit of an accident as I had used my Buffing Brush on someone at college and hadn't had a chance to wash it so decided to try out this brush instead and loved the results. This brush is a lot more travel friendly than the Real Techniques Buffing Brush as it fits in my makeup bag for any touch ups throughout the day; I don't have a preference for either buffing brush and would say both are equally as good at creating a really well blended base of foundation.

I have been loving this brush and have reached for it nearly every day for a long time now as it works so well to apply powder with, beforehand I was using a massive kabuki style brush but felt it was too big for my face and so this small, flexible brush has been a lifesaver. I can be a lot more precise with where I powder now and it also works really well for setting my under eye concealer because of how flexible the bristles are meaning it can get into awkward places.

This set is definitely worth its price tag around the £10/£11 mark as you get 5 brushes which are really well made, are incredibly soft, cruelty-free and with the added bonus of the handles being made from bamboo. The price for this set is especially good when considering that one Real Techniques brush alone can cost more than £10. This set would make a lovely present for anyone but especially for someone who is just starting to get into makeup brushes as it has everything that would be needed for foundation, concealer and powder.

Do you own this brush set or do you prefer other brand offerings?