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

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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 Dry Hair Dilemma

hair, masks, repair

A couple of months ago I lightened my hair, going from black to a warm brown with a few highlights. This is something I’ve done before and yet I never seem to learn my lesson. Not only did I have to spend a good six hours in the hairdressers, it also cost me a small fortune! I am a self confessed dye addict. When I get the urge to dye my hair, there is no time for booking appointments I simply have to run out and buy a box from my local Boots. This is a bad idea, trust me! If you are thinking of dying your hair black then you seriously need to understand how hard it is to change it back. Don’t get me wrong I loved having black hair but it came with challenges.

So why I am I telling you all this? Well, in order to get my hair lighter I had it cleansed. This sounds lovely and nourishing but it’s not, essentially it strips the old dye out and you’re left with a bit of a patchy mess. On top of this I then had an all over colour and highlights, so as you can imagine my hair has suffered some serious damage. It wasn’t exactly in the best condition to begin with but now it’s beyond dry. With this in mind I’ve been reaching for anything that can put a bit of moisture back into my locks. I’ve been using two Kerastase products in particular for this.

Kerastase Nutritive Irisome Masqueintense (£24.20)- I apply this after shampooing focusing mostly on the ends and leave it on for around 3 minutes. This product is designed for thick hair and claims to improve manageability whilst also protecting hair from the damaging effects of heat styling. It definitely does this, I tend to blowdry my hair straight and this conditioner makes it feel smoother. I have to use this every wash not only because my hair is damaged but the water where I live (Greater London) is less than kind to hair! However, if you have more manageable hair I’d say use it once or twice a week.

Kerastase Ciment Thermique £16.47 – This is basically a leave-in milk that you apply to damp hair before styling. It claims to repair split ends and whilst I do think it helps to prevent them, I’m not convinced anything other than a pair of hairdressing scissors can truly solve that problem! I apply this to the ends of my hair and then proceed to blowdry and it definitely makes the process a whole lot easier. I’m not sold on the smell but it’s not bad enough to put me off using the product. This isn’t a cheap option but you only need a small amount and it lasts for ages.

Whilst I do love these two products they aren’t exactly cheap. I would love to know if any of you have any suggestions of deep conditioning hair masks or conditioners that are available in the UK?! Please let me know!

Sophie xoxo

Green Gimmicks?

beauty, budget, highend, lipstick, makeup

If you’ve ever found yourself at a Barry M stand you might have spotted their green lipstick – Genie. If you went one step further and swatched the Halloween green product you will have discovered it actually transpires to be a rather bright shade of pink. I bought this lipstick a few years ago, don’t ask why it was just one of those weird impulse buys with a budget friendly price tag of just £4.49. It now lives at the back of the bottom draw of my Muji storage because it is a far brighter shade of pink than I would go for (think Barbie!) 

About a month ago I got my hands on the Lipstick Queen lipstick in Frog Prince. This has the same green to pink principles as the Barry M one but with a very different result. I had been wanting to try the Lipstick Queen range for a while but my deep love of MAC lipsticks always seemed to prevent this. The verdict? I really, really like this lipstick! Providing a subtle soft pink sheen, Frog Prince is seriously moisturising without being at all sticky and leaves a soft pink stain on the lips.

The idea of Frog Prince is that it adapts itself based on your pH and skin tone (as does Barry M Genie), so in theory it should be the perfect pink for everyone. At £22 this isn’t cheap for what it is but I know I will make maximum use of this because it is such a wearable colour. I love that it is so easy to wear you don’t have to bother with a mirror. Also the shade it applies is pretty much the finished result as oppose to Genie which slowly develops from barely there to shocking pink.

On Application Left: Frog Prince Right: Genie

Left: Frog Prince Right: Genie

Have you guys ever tried any Lipstick Queen makeup and if so what do I need? Enable me, please!

Sophie xoxo