High-End Beauty Haul feat. Nars, MAC, OCC, MUFE and Ben Nye

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Happy Sunday everyone I hope you’re well. I’ve been on a bit of a make-up binge recently. I’ve always been more of a skin-care gal myself but I realised that I needed to update my make-up collection a little, so I took to the shops for some much needed retail-therapy. Here are the things that I purchased:

1) MAC Studio Sculpt PF 15 Foundation – NC44 (£25.00)

I’m going to be doing a full review on this foundation soon but it is a great product which perfectly matches my skin tone. It is gel based, satin finish and long wearing foundation which gives medium to full coverage. I prefer to use this product for special occasions as it is one of the few foundations that I can actually feel on my skin.

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2) MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters in Peach Lustre and Light Boost (£18.50 each)

The Peach Lustre is what I use to colour correct ashy-dark spots on my face before applying foundation, this works fabulously on my skin tone. I wrote about colour correcting here. I bought the Light Boost to use as a highlighter but I think it’s a bit too light for me. Any suggestions on what else to use it for?

highlighters

3) NARS Pressed Powder – Mountain (£25.00)

This is a really pigmented pressed powder that gives a surprisingly good coverage even when used on its own. It also has a soft focus finish which leaves an air-brushed look to the skin. The only disappointing thing is the “powder puff” that comes with it, it’s a flimsy piece of sponge.

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4) NARS Immaculate Complexion Concealer – Dark 2 Cacao (£19.00)

I bought this deep concealer especially for the purpose of contouring. It is the perfect shape for drawing precise lines and the colour has a cool tone which is great for NC 42-45 wearers. It is creamy and blends well for those perfect chiseled cheekbones!

nars concealer

5) Makeup Forever HD Foundation – N173 (£30.95)

I’ve been meaning to try this foundation for a while. The colour is quite a bit darker than my NC44 Studio Sculpt, but it has the same undertone so I could probably wear this in the summer. It is a medium- full coverage foundation with a satin-finish and is also oil-free. Watch out for a full review soon. MUFE swatch is on the top, compared to MAC Studio Sculpt NC44.

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6) Makeup Forever Sculpting Blush – Satin Blood Orange 20 (£22.95)

This is such a pretty coral shade with a really fine shimmer. It has great staying power and doesn’t look patchy by the end of the day.

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7) Ben Nye MediaPRO HD “Banana” Poudre Compact (£18.50)

This is a pressed powder form of the famous Ben Nye Banana Powder. It is a bit more luxurious than the loose powder and is great to carry in your bag for touch-ups. This powder really does have a highlighting effect when applied to the high points on the face and under the eyes, it also absorbs extra moisture really well.

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8) OCC Cosmetics Lip Tar Matte – Hoochie (£11.95)

I am obsessed with this colour! This matte liquid lipstick is the perfect cool tone purple, definitely one for the brave. It takes a while to apply this product and you need to use a lip-liner and primer underneath to stop feathering/bleeding, but once it’s on it stays on and feels really nice and moisturising. What’s more is that the product is 100% Vegan and Cruelty Free.

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Now that I’m poor again and counting down the days till the next payday please let me know if you’d like full reviews on any of the products featured. Also what products have you been buying recently? Comment below and let me know.

Jay x

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How to remove ashy appearance when wearing foundation : Medium – Dark skin

I am massively excited right now because all my foundation woes have been solved!!!

For years I have been trying to find the correct product to combat the ashy appearance around my mouth when wearing foundation. I’ve tried wearing darker foundations to balance my skin tone but I always end up looking like an oompa loompa (not a cute look).

I did some research and it seems like a lot of women of colour, especially those with a deeper skin tone suffer from hyper-pigmentation around the eye and mouth area. The thing with hyperpigmentation is that it has a distinctly grey-blue tone to it so it isn’t something you can fix with a darker foundation. So on with my research I then learnt that make-up artists use something called an orange corrector to balance dark spots on deeper skin tones. Orange is opposite blue in the colour wheel therefore it counteracts those colours, thereby lifting the pigmentation to match your real skin tone.

I had a look around and the following correctors should be great for anyone who wears NW/NC 35+  in MAC Foundation:

. MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter – Peach Lustre

. Make Up For Ever Camouflage Creme – Orange (20)

. NYX Concealer Jar -Orange

. MAC Studio Finish Skin Corrector – Pure Orange

To use all you need to do is dab a bit of the product on your dark spots and blend. After you have let that absorb/dry, apply your foundation. If your dark spots are especially bad you can apply a salmon corrector underneath your foundation, Bobbi Brown do some great salmon correctors.

I’ve tried the Prep + Prime Peach Lustre myself and it works brilliantly for my skin tone, I’m so happy that I can now confidently wear foundation and especially take flash photography without having an ashy appearance around my mouth.

Happy experimenting!

Jay x

ELF Cosmetics Haul/ Swatches/ Review

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ELF is one of my favourite make-up brands because they do great cosmetics for cheap prices. They also do a lot of dupes of high end brands. I did a little haul for some of their products which I will review and swatch for you.

The first product is the High Definition Powder which retails for £6.95. They come in three colours but I went for Translucent option. This is a dupe for the MUFE HD Powder. HD Powders are really finely milled white powders which you use at the end of your make-up routine to remove shine from your face. This HD powder blurs your skin to make it look airbrushed. The powder also makes skin completely matte which is brilliant because my T-zone can get super oily. I would recommend this with for anyone who hasn’t had much luck with normal pressed powders because this really keeps shine at bay. One thing to note is to apply this very lightly and blend the product out because you don’t want to be left with a white cast.

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Left up- Packaging with powder puff. Left down- Close up of HD powder. Middle- Hand with facial oil. Right- Hand after HD powder is applied (all shine gone!)

Next I bought the ELF Blush in Twinkle Pink (£3.95) which is a dupe for Nars Super Orgasm. This is a light pink pressed powder blush with flecks of glitter in it. I use is as a highlight because the colour is a bit too light for my skintone to be used as a blush. This blush is really lightweight and blends out nicely but unfortunately I’m not a big fan of this colour because it’s a bit too glittery for me.

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L-R: With flash, without flash

I also bought two of the Baked Blushes for £3.95. One is Rich Rose which is a coral brown colour, perfect for bronzing and Peachy Cheeky which is a light peach colour. I LOVE these blushes. They give the skin a pearl finish and they look really expensive. You can wear them alone, or layer on top of other product as a bronzer or highlighter. I use the Blush Brush from Elf (£3.95- pictured at the top of the post) to blend this blush.

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Peachy Cheeky: left with flash, right without flash
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Rich Rose: Left with flash, right without flash

I bought ELF Mineral Blush in Peachy (£5.95). The mineral blush is free from parabens, dyes and preservatives. Peachy is a deep peach colour which blends to a dewy finish. It has a slight shimmer to it which gives the skin a glow.

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L-R With flash, without flash

I bought two HD Blushes in Diva and Encore (£4.50 each). Both are hot pink blushes but Encore is slightly darker with a purple undertone. They are a dupes for MUFE HD Blushes. This blush comes in a pump which actually dispenses more product that you need, because a little goes a loooooong way. It is a mousse-cream which blends to a dewy soft finish. Once the HD Blush has been blended it looks just like my natural skin which I love.

I do find this blush quite difficult to blend with my fingers so I use the Studio Stipple Brush (£3.95 pictured at the top of the post) also from ELF to blend the product. This brush is a super soft synthetic brush and has two layers of bristle to give the skin an airbrush finish.

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Left swatch: Diva. Right swatch: Encore. Left picture with flash. Right picture without flash.

Finally I bought one of the Baked Eyeshadows in Burnt Plum (£3.95). This colour is so beautiful, it’s a deep warm toned purple eyeshadow and can be used dry or wet. To really make the eyeshadow colour pop and last I use the Eyelid Primer in the colour Sheer (£1.95) which works amazingly well for its price.

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Burnt Plum Baked Eyeshadow. Left with flash, right without flash
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Eyelid primer

Which ELF products do you love? Let me know in the comments sections 🙂

Jay x