Sunday Swaps – One

beauty, concealer, makeup

Do you ever get stuck in a makeup rut? I know I do. So much choice and yet I go for the same look with the same products most days. So I’ve made a decision to change at least one product every week. That means swapping them out of my makeup bag and into my muji storage. I’m hoping this will minimise unnecessary wastage. And so I’m bringing you along with me every Sunday. With that being said I’ll be entitling these blog posts ‘Sunday Swaps’ *I know, I know I am a genius!*

Week One –

This week I’m going to be switching up my concealer. I’ve brought back my Benefit Erase Paste to combat the dreaded dark circles and on top of that I plan to layer the Seventeen Stay Time Concealer. So as these two make their way into the makeup bag I’m saying goodbye to the infamous Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. In my opinion this concealer is somewhat overhyped, there I’ve said it, don’t hate me, I just don’t get the fuss. Yes it is affordable and gives decent coverage but it really is just a bog standard concealer…

So there you have it, my first Sunday Swap. Pretty simple, feel free to join me on this makeup movement if you too are currently faced with a makeup Groundhog Day!

Sophie xoxo

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Maybelline Master Sculpt

beauty, contour, makeup

You know how it goes…saw the advert, had to buy it! I didn’t need another contour product at all but curiosity won out!

Straight away I can tell you that this is by no means my favourite drugstore contour set, I’d reach for the Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit over this first. The fallout is pretty bad, one stroke of the brush and there’s powder everywhere! Also I think the highlight shade is more suited to a lighter skin tone but does work if applied with a very light hand on tanned skin.

I do however like the convenience of the Maybelline Master Sculpt, you get your contour and highlight together and when you open it up there is a half decent brush and good quality mirror. So if I needed to pack light I would reach for this. Also the colour pay off of the contour shade is lovely, not too orange but not too ashy either. At £6.99 I think it is fair to say that you’re paying for packaging with the Master Sculpt but then it does do what it says on the tin. With singer Mollie King as the face of this product it’s bound to attract a bit of a following and it’s definitely worth a look if you’re a contouring novice. My advice, swatch in store and see if the fallout is something you can look past.

Sophie xoxo

The £1 MAC Soar Dupe

beauty, lipliner, makeup

An impulsive trip to my local Poundland resulted in one of the best makeup finds I’ve had in a long time! Since Kylie Jenner gave MAC lip pencils Soar, Stripdown and Whirl a serious amount of publicity they have become somewhat of a phenomenon. I won’t lie, I followed suit and made sure they were all in my collection and I absolutely adore each one!

At first glance the makeup selection at Poundland is average at best, not very well stocked but always worth a quick once over. I originally had my eyes on a bronzer but decided that I definitely don’t need to add another one to my collection any time soon *like this century*!! I scanned the tub of lip pencils and impulsively picked up the standard neutral/rosy pink I always go for and didn’t think much more of it. That is until I swatched it on the back of my hand on the way home and realised I may have just stumbled upon a complete gem!!

The Make Up Gallery Pout It Out Lip Liner in Rose looks to be a slightly deeper colour than Soar but on the lips the two are identical. To double check this I applied Rose to my bottom lip and Soar to the top, if I hadn’t of known I could not have told the two apart. Unfortunately I couldn’t for the life of me take a decent picture of this!! The best thing about this post is that whilst writing it I discovered Poundland is online and you can stock up on this liner from the comfort of your living room, basically I’m now going to buy every other shade on offer!

Obviously there is a big difference in terms of quality. The MAC liner is smooth and applies like a dream, it has a softer finish meaning you are left with a much less harsh finish. In comparison the Poundland pencil is hard and requires a stronger hand to create the same colour pay off. But let’s be real, the price difference speaks for itself. If you’re a fan of Soar or even just a rosy pink lip GET IT GET IT GET IT! How could anyone resist a £1 MAC dupe?! I know I certainly couldn’t and I am beyond happy I didn’t!

Sophie xoxo

Boomtown Festival – Faves & Fails

beauty, essentials, festival, hair, makeup

Time for the usual excuses, life got busy and the blog took a backseat for a while, but I’m back in the real world and ready to tell you all about my trip to Boomtown.

Last week I went to Boomtown festival in Winchester with my friends from uni, its a 4 day festival and it’s insaneeee. I’ve been before so thought my packing game would be on point…it wasn’t!

The Fails

  • There were two nights when I would have sold my soul for a warm jumper, I was colder than Queen Elsa herself!!
  • Lipbalm, something that I carry in every bag and pocket in my daily life. This was by far my biggest fail, lipstick did me no favours, in the end my lips were so dry and sore I had to leave them alone completely. Big mistake, will NEVER happen again!!!
  • I think I packed a little too minimally when it came to makeup, I could have really done with a dark brown eyeshadow or crease colour just to add a little dimension. I ended up keeping it pretty boring and that wasn’t the intention.
  • A festival essential is glitter, I had bought a couple of pots from eBay with this in mind but couldn’t find them anywhere when it came time to pack. As a result I had to rely on others, luckily the girls didn’t let me down and there was plenty to choose from but it’s always nice to have your own.

The Favourites

  • I absolutely loved using my Maybelline Master Drama Khol Liner in Purple Light, it’s a beautiful vibrant, slightly metallic bright purple colour that applies evenly and gently on the waterline. I loved this buttery eyeliner and can’t wait to get more use out of it!
  • I took a travel size Batiste Clean and Classic Dry Shampoo with me and it was a total life saver! After a couple of rainy days my hair was looking less than fresh and ended up in a ponytail but this was perfect for refreshing the roots and fringe. A must have at any festival!
  • Travel size packs of wipes are everything when the toilet roll is gone. Festival toilets are notoriously vile so the quicker you can get in and out the better. Having a small pack of wipes in your bag is a real comfort.
  • Hand sanitizer needs no explanation. I took the Soap & Glory Hand Maid Antibacterial Hand Cleansing Gel which has a lovely strong scent and leaves your hands feeling clean without the sting you can get from other brands.

What are your festival fails and must haves? What do I need to make sure I have with me next time? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @sophieaiken

Sophie xoxo

Eastend Snob

beauty, dupe, lipliner, makeup

P7290307For me, the true test of a product comes when it’s gone. If you really love something you’ll use it up and immediately want to repurchase it. However as I’m constantly finding new things this isn’t something that happens very often. And then came the Rimmel Exaggerate lip liner in Eastend Snob

I discovered this lipliner through AmeliaLiana on YouTube who recommended it as a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury liner in Pillow Talk. At £3.99 it was a total steal compared to its high-end counterpart making the choice very easy. I tend to apply lipliner all over for a long lasting, matte look so this was a perfect addition to my collection.

This soft pink shade applies really easily but does run out faster than your classic lip pencil. It comes as a roll-up stick meaning there’s no need for sharpening which is always a bonus! When my first Eastend Snob ran out I went on the hunt for a replacement straight away but it would appear everyone has caught on to the brilliance of this dupe and Boots and Superdrug were emptied out. Eventually I got it from the Boots website and life can now return to normal!

Sophie xoxo

The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

beauty, face, makeup, skin

I didn’t get a long with the Real Techniques miracle complexion sponge for a while, it sat unused in my collection for a good 6 months. Recently I watched a makeup tutorial (can’t for the life of me remember which one) in which the YouTuber sprayed her sponge with a setting spray as oppose to soaking it in water. I gave it a go and have to say I’m a convert! That isn’t to say I’ll be ditching my buffing brush any time soon but for packing on concealer  it’s a definite winner. So what do I do?

I start by spraying a couple of pumps of Makeup Revolution Oil Fixing Spray (read my review here) onto the flat side of my miracle complexion sponge.

Next I apply MAC Prep+Prime highlighter generously under the eyes, on the bridge of the nose, centre of forehead and chin. I then use a patting motion with the sponge to blend this in. This is a little more time consuming than using a brush but the finish is a lot smoother.

I then apply Makeup Forever HD foundation over my entire face and use the same patting motion. Personally I like to build this in two layers in order to gain a medium/full coverage.

Finally, I spray the sponge again and apply the infamous Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in the same places I put the MAC highlighter in order to lighten these areas even further. I repeat the process of patting this in and then move onto the rest of my routine as usual.

I think what I love most about this sponge is that my makeup doesn’t feel like it’s sitting on top of my skin. Often when using brushes I find base products can crease and move but this tool eliminates those problems. Whilst it does require a little more time and effort the result is a flawless face and who can argue with that?!

I haven’t tried the beauty blender as it seems pricey compared to this one but let me know your thoughts, is it even better than Real Techniques?

Sophie xoxo

Metallic Lips

beauty, lipstick, makeup

It’s been a bit lipstick heavy on the blog recently, I promise this will be the last post for a while but this one really deserved a mention!

Topshop makeup is great, but sometimes I think it’s slightly overpriced in comparison to drugstore brands. I found this metallic lipstick on sale for £4 and had to have it! The lipstick is called Mescaline and it’s essentially just bronzey-gold wonderfulness in a tube! With the perfect amount of shimmer and a warm undertone this is the ideal lipstick for a summer tan. I also like the idea of applying this in the centre of the lips over a matte nude lipstick to add a subtle shimmer that will give a slight plumping effect. The bad news is that I couldn’t find this on the website but you never know there may still be some around in stores.

And that’s it really I just had to share this little treasure with you!

Sophie xoxo

You Get What You Pay For…

beauty, lipstick, makeup

A recent trip to Superdrug to stock up on ‘essentials’ turned into a makeup spree. I just can’t resist!! I recently raved about a couple of MUA and Makeup Revolution highlighters (you can read that post here) and with prices starting at £1 I found myself scouring the lipstick sections of both. On this occasion I picked up two shades. From Makeup Revolution – an autumn berry colour called Rebel with Cause and from MUA – a light nude/pink shade.

I’m not normally a dark lip kind of girl but I was drawn to Rebel with Cause, because why not? I really like it, moisturising and buildable – the perfect combination. I think I like this so much because it falls into the pink spectrum of berry shades, something I personally prefer.
And then there’s the other one… What can I say? The beautiful pale rose pink colour in the bullet fits right into my ideal shade range. That’s as far as it goes unfortunately, the formulation is awful! It’s dry, it’s too pale and it’s completely unflattering. This lipstick is going straight to the back of the draw until I can figure out a way to use it, at the moment I can only think that it will work as a good base for a zombie complexion at Halloween. I have to say both lipsticks smell utterly lovely, berries and vanilla accordingly. I would just say spend some time swatching in the shop if you can before buying. Obviously I still love Makeup Academy, I mean they blessed the world with this incredible powder!

Let me know your thoughts on these lipsticks. Would you rather invest in a more expensive brand?

Sophie xoxo

Kate Goes Nude

beauty, lipstick, makeup

I think at this point it’s just a certified fact that Rimmel and Kate Moss are a match made in heaven! At £5.49 the lipsticks are reasonably priced and the packaging is pretty nice for a drugstore brand. When I saw they were releasing a nude collection I couldn’t resist!

After a bit of swatching I settled on shade 43. It’s a sort of soft tan colour that can definitely be built up or worn lightly. My number one concern was that it would look like the dreaded foundation lips circa 2002. You know what I’m talking about right? When you were in school and it was vital that you blanked out any hint of colour on your face with a thick layer of dream matte mousse. Ahh the good ole days…

These fears were quickly alleviated as the lipstick applied with a sheer to medium coverage and enough colour to define the lips. It works perfectly as a more subtle take on the nineties makeup that Kylie Jenner has been wearing in recent months.  The collection features a range of other shades so there is a perfect ‘nude’ for everyone, what more could you ask for?!’

Have any of you got your hands on the nail polish collection? I’m so intrigued to know if they’re worth a cheeky purchase!

Sophie xoxo

The Highlights

beauty, highlighter, makeup, skin

Day or night, I’m all about a highlight! These days I tend to skip blusher in favour of a contour/highlight combination. Previously I was using the infamous Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer from theBalm but at £17.50 it isn’t cheap and if I’m being honest I find it a bit much. I feel like it works a lot better on a pale complexion as it can look a little ashy with a tan. Having said that, it is amazing for brightening the eye area on the brow bone and inner corner! So what have I replaced it with?

Makeup Revolution Highlighter Pink Lights– I spoke about this highlighter in a post about Makeup Revolution products which you can read here. Basically it’s great for adding a bit of colour without using blush, is suitable for a wide variety of skintones and is incredibly easy to apply. I love this with a full coverage foundation as it helps put a bit of colour back into the skin without being overpowering. It photographs nicely which is a bonus if you want to wear it on a night out but most importantly it costs a grand total of just £3.00. Makeup Revolution does it again!!

MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder – A while back I wrote a blog post on my favourite face powder from Makeup Academy which you can read here. Since that discovery I’ve been intrigued to try more from the brand and with prices starting at a mere £1.00 it’s become impossible to ever leave a Superdrug store empty handed! This highlighter is the perfect ‘glowy skin’ product. The golden hues compliment tanned skin perfectly but can also work well on a pale complexion if applied lightly. The quality of the packaging far exceeds the £3.00 price tag as it is incredibly robust (I should know, I’ve dropped it on more than one occasion) and the product itself is beautifully designed to stop you going overboard with your brush.

This is by no means a comparison of the two products as they are very different. In my opinion they are equally as good in terms of the quality of makeup and value for money. I like Pink Lights for the cool pink undertones and I like Undress Your Skin for its golden shimmer. For me these two highlighters are the only options I really want on a daily basis in order to mix and match without needing thousands of products. Do you lean towards more expensive highlighters or are you more of a blush kind of person? Let me know!

Sophie xoxo

Don’t forget you can tweet me @sophieaiken2  🙂