I’ve got a few new beauty bits lately and as usual, I like to wait until I’ve gathered up a decent amount and dedicate one post to it all. Most of this is makeup, but this time around I have a few other bits in there too. Because I’ve had some of these things for a couple of months now I’ve had some time to make up my mind about them so I can give you guys my full thoughts, which I always think is more useful than just talking about what you’ve bought without having tried it yet.
I got the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation (AU) in the shade Mont Blanc recently, which I got more or less for free by redeeming my Shoppers Drug Mart points (sometimes it really pays to pay attention to reward programs!). Earlier in the year I made an effort to try out a lot of new foundations and really overhaul what I had in my stash. At the time I was looking for long-wearing foundations that worked with my oily skin, and although I liked this NARS one, it’s not as long wearing as say, Estee Lauder’s Double Wear, or Lancome’s Tient Idole Ultra, both of which I ended up buying.
I had to stop somewhere, so this one didn’t make the cut initially, but I knew that if I were to buy one more foundation this would be it. I’ll be honest, it’s not super long-lasting for me, but I’d imagine if your skin is on the normal-to-dry end of the spectrum you probably won’t have any issues. What I love about this product is the finish, it gives such a beautiful, smooth, creamy look to the skin that I don’t mind putting in a bit of extra effort to make it work for me.
It’s surprisingly high coverage too – the pump dispenses a really small amount of product, so when I first got it I made the mistake of using 3 pumps on my face, and by the end of the day things weren’t looking too good. I prefer for my base to look as natural and skin-like as possible, and I find that with this less is definitely more. The more makeup I have on my skin, the more obvious it looks by the end of the day when my oils have come through. For me, 1-2 pumps gives me a solid medium coverage but still allows me to avoid cake-face. I have a pretty prominent glow by the end of the day, and if you’re oily like me I wouldn’t say this is the number one foundation you should be using, but if you like the option of different finishes, or if you’re not extremely oily then you may enjoy this too.
I mentioned in my last New In Beauty post that I had finally started wearing bronzer, and after buying two, the only other one on my list that I desperately “needed” was the Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze & Glow (AU). It’s definitely up there in price, but after Sephora started selling Charlotte Tilbury and a lovely staff member in store gave me a 20% off family & friends discount code, I took it as a sign. I never really looked at this in the past because I was strictly not a bronzer wearer, but now that I’ve broadened my horizons, this was calling my name. Not only is the packaging absolutely stunning, but the product is glorious too. Both the bronzer and highlight are beautiful shades for fair skin, and they both have quite a sheer formula so they’re really easy to apply without going over the top. I literally couldn’t love this any more!
Not too long ago Sephora had one of their weekly half-price deals on the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer (AU), so I decided to revisit an old favourite (in the shade Fair Neutral). I feel like after the hype of this and the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer died down, everyone was on the Tarte Shape Tape and NARS Soft Matte Concealer bandwagon.
I’ve tried both and if I’m honest I’m just not in love with either. They’re both super full-coverage and look too bright and stark under my eyes, and when my oils come through on my chin at the end of the day they both tend to cake up and look really obvious on me. I’ve found ways to make them work, but they’re not the easiest concealers for me to use.
I think I just love a good, creamy, medium-coverage concealer as they’re the most likely to give me the skin-like finish that I’m after, so when I spotted the Urban Decay one on sale I figured it wouldn’t hurt to go back to something I enjoyed in the past, and I’m really glad I managed to snag it at a discount.
If the Charlotte Tilbury duo is the star of the show for my base, for the eyes it has to be Huda Beauty’s The New Nude Palette (AU). Oh my god. If you guys remember in my beauty favourites for 2017 I talked about how much I’d enjoyed browny-pink eyeshadows that year, and the obsession has only grown since then. I hadn’t been able to find what I wanted in palettes and so resorted to only buying single shadows this year as they were all I could find to scratch my itch. There are lots of palettes out there with berry-pink shades, but as a neutrals-lover at heart, everything I had seen was too colourful or too dark, or only contained one shade that I really wanted. As soon as I saw photos of this online I knew it was the answer to my prayers.
This palette contains 18 shadows, 10 of which are mattes. Neutral-brown-pink mattes are what I’ve been looking for, and of the 10 in this palette I could use 8 of them without even thinking about it, and the two deeper shade at the end of the top row are the only ones I’m a little more intimidated by. But there rest are PERFECTION. They’re exactly what I’ve been looking for and I feel like I have so many options with this palette that I have a hard time choosing which shades to go for, which is a rare feeling for me.
The palette contains one cranberry shimmer shade which I’ve used but probably won’t reach for all the time, as well as two deep pink pressed glitters. I’d prefer if one of these were more of a champagne shade or a lighter pink as they’re very similar and we probably didn’t need both. There’s also a creamy primer (the first in the bottom row), which is a nice inclusion that makes the palette a little easier to travel with. I raised an eyebrow at the shade choice at first, but it’s a very sheer formula so it should still work across quite a range of skin tones, but it’s by no means universal.
I also picked up the Anastasia Beverly Hills Sultry Palette (AU) which I actually got before I spotted the Huda Beauty Palette as it hadn’t been released yet. Luckily I bought both of them during the Sephora VIB sale and got 20% off which is always nice. I picked this palette up for two reasons, one because I figured I could mix the bright coral-pink shade with the more neutral matte shades to give me the pinky-brown look I’m going for, and also because everyone raves about ABH palettes so much that I wanted to finally give one a try. I almost bought the Soft Glam palette but decided not to in the end because it contains three gold shimmery shades and no lighter champagne or pinky shades, which are more my cup of tea. I don’t tend to love golds or coppers on me so I knew it would be a waste.
The last four shades have the most incredible, unique duo-chrome formula. I don’t think photos or swatches online do them justice, they have these white speckly patches that look really strange in the palette, but somehow make the most beautiful shadows. Definitely give them a swatch in real life if you get the chance, I’ve never see anything else like them. I’ve seen people who received the palette in PR use some sort of rubber-tipped tool/brush to apply these shades that seems to do an excellent job, but it doesn’t come with the palette when you buy it so I haven’t tried applying them like that. In my experience you get a lot more impact when you apply them with your finger, but if you’re using a brush you can just build up the colour with a couple of applications. Perhaps not perfect, but not the end of the world by any means.
Realistically, now the Huda Beauty palette has me covered for all the neutral-pink-browns I could ever want in life, it occurred to me that I could return the ABH one. It’s definitely less unique in my collection as it contains a lot of neutral browns that I already own in other palettes, but the truth is the ABH shimmer formula is so beautiful that I’m happy to hang onto this. I only bought one new palette in 2017, and these are the first two palettes I’ve bought in 2018, so aside from a few single shadows here and there, I’ve not had much new to play with and it felt like it was about time to mix things up.
I know people go on and on about eyeshadow quality and pigmentation and while I think there are good and bad eyeshadows, I’m not constantly on a quest to find the one thing that’s “better” than everything else out there. In saying that, the mattes in this palette are very easy to blend, and the shimmers pick up beautifully on a brush and apply with more impact than most I’ve tried in the past. I can definitely see why this formula is so many people’s favourite and I’m glad I finally got to try it out.
I chose a mini of the Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Colour (AU) in the shade Babe when Sephora had it as a 100 point perk a little while back. I remember being curious when this line launched as they’re semi-sheer lipsticks that are meant to give a blotted, stained look to the lips without the hassle of using a watery lip stain. The shade is quite a vibrant pinky-berry, but the sheer formula means it doesn’t go on too strongly, and it’s quite hydrating and comfortable to wear too. I wouldn’t really be interested in this shade if it were a normal, fully-pigmented lipstick, but in this sheerer formula I really like it.
Another thing that was in my little surprise box from Sephora from my brother & SIL was the Bite Beauty Sweet Treats Agave Lip Care Set (AU) which she chose in the Champagne flavour/shade, which was a good move on her part as I already have a mini of the original. It comes with a mini of the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask which I’m sure by now everyone has heard of, as well the Agave Lip Balm and a little popper packet of their lip scrub. I bought a mini set like this for myself last holiday season and while the balm in the stick melted, broke and had to be thrown out in the end, my mini Lip Mask is still going strong, and it’s nice to add in a new shade/flavour as I had been eyeing up the holiday sets myself.
I’ve got a couple of new lipsticks, the first being the Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick (AU) in the shade Adrienne which I got with my Shoppers Drug Mart points. After hearing Anna rave about this shade for the longest time, coupled with the fact that my interest in nude lipsticks is at an all-time peak, I figured I would give it a whirl. It’s quite a nudey-nude but it looks great paired with a slightly pinkier lip liner underneath. The formula is super creamy and comfortable to wear and, of course, being Chanel the packaging is an absolute delight. This is the sort of thing I probably wouldn’t have bought with my own money, but when you’re using points that don’t count as real currency then it’s nice to treat yoself. I think I’m now at the stage where I’ve got all the nude lipsticks that I need for the foreseeable future - although I did buy one more in the Black Friday sales, but I haven’t got my eye on anything anymore, so that’s a nice place to be in!
My other new lipstick was a gift from my sister in law (and brother, but we both know who did the shopping!) for my birthday. Along with a few other bits, she chose Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips Lipstick (AU) in the shade Tell Laura which is a beautiful, vibrate matte orange-red. I hadn’t seen this shade before, but every lipstick I’ve tried from Charlotte Tilbury so far I have loved, and this is no exception. It’s very comfortable to wear, non-drying and lasts for absolutely ages on the lips. I’m yet to try anything from Charlotte Tilbury’s makeup line that I don’t love.
The balm in the stick format is very stiff, so I can see why my last one broke so easily. I made the mistake of keeping it in my handbag which meant that it was exposed to hot and cold all the time, so I’ve been keeping this new one by my bedside instead and it hasn’t broken yet! The Champagne shade of the Lip Mask has a very fine micro-shimmer in it, but fortunately isn’t anything that I would consider glittery or frosty, it just makes the lips looks glossier than the original so it’s still a very neutral lip balm and isn’t something I think of as being tinted. As for the lip scrub, I have a mini pot of it already from the set I had previously bought, but I’ve only recently started using it as I was working on finishing up the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish (AU) first. Between the two I much prefer the Fresh one, the sugar granules are much finer and are stuck in a soft balm so it’s really easy to scrub your lips without the product going everywhere. I find the Lush lip scrubs too crumbly, but in contrast the Bite Beauty one is too runny and the sugar granules are very large and coarse. I’ll still work on finishing this up, but if I were buying another lip scrub at this stage it’d be the Fresh one.
I’m not someone who spends a lot of time on their hair, and I don’t tend to experiment with new products very often as most of the ones I’ve bought in the past with good intentions have ended up going to waste. IGK is a haircare brand I’m unusually attracted to, and a while back I picked up their Smoke & Mirrors Conditioning Cleansing Oil as I felt my scalp was becoming a little dry and I wanted something to alternate with my usual shampoo & conditioner to combat this. I’ve never used anything like this before, but it’s a 2-in-1 replacement for shampoo & conditioner and it’s designed to clean your hair without stripping it.
This product definitely has a bit of a learning curve to it, but I’ve managed to work out a nice balance. I have quite fine hair that gets oily, and I typically wash my hair every four days. Unfortunately I do feel like when I use this my hair gets oiler more quickly than usual, but if you have a shorter wash cycle than I do that likely won’t be an issue for you. I also can’t use this product two washes in a row as it makes my hair feel weighed down and like it’s not properly clean. But I’ve been using it once every few washes and have stuck to a normal shampoo & conditioner the rest of the time and it’s fixed my scalp right up, so mission accomplished!
I also want to mention that they recommend using a “dime-sized” amount of product. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen a dime before and that’s not gonna cut it. The product doesn’t foam up and it feels a lot thinner than a normal conditioner, so there’s no way I could move such a small amount of it through my hair. I use what I would describe as a hefty dollop and work it into different parts of my scalp in sections before rinsing it out. It can also make my hair feel greasy if I’ve used too much, so like I said there was a steep learning curve for an inexperienced hair product person like me, but I do like it and it does what I wanted it do.
After trying the IGK Cleansing Oil I wanted to give their dry shampoos a go. I’m not normally one to buy high end dry shampoos, but there’s something about this brand and the packaging that really draws me in, so during Sephora’s 20% off sale I picked up their Flight Club Dry Shampoo Travel Set so I could try out their 3 different strengths. I know it’s useless to mention products that I haven’t actually tried yet, but I’m working my way through the last of my existing dry shampoos at the moment, and once they’re done I’ll be cracking into these and will be sure to post about it if I’ve found a winner.
I don’t usually talk about skincare in a New In Beauty post, but since I’ve tried a few of the products in this set already and I picked it up in the 20% off sale, I thought it was worth talking about while it’s still available because it’s great value. The First Aid Beauty Skin Summit comes with a full size of the Ultra Repair Cream which I love as a basic moisturiser to pair with more active serums as it has a simple, fragrance-free formula and it contains colloidal oatmeal which helps soothe the skin. I’ve also used and love the Facial Radiance Pads which are full-sized as well, so I’m happy to have them back in my life again. It also contains a full-size Instant Oatmeal Mask, which I will uselessly say that I haven’t used yet, but I will probably talk about it at some point once I’ve been able to give it a chance. It’s also got a half size of the Pure Skin Face Cleanser which is nice but nothing special, and the Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum which is a product I wanted to buy on its own before I spotted this set. I’ve not tried it yet but I was looking for something simple and hydrating and kept coming back to this, so to get it in a half-size along with a bunch of other products I either already like or am happy to try was too good to pass up.
I’ve completely fallen in love with makeup sponges this year and use one every morning to do my base, so I wanted to pick up another Beauty Blender while I had 20% off. I chose the Sweet Surprise Mystery Bag (AU) because I’m not that fussy about the colour and because you get a decent-sized solid cleanser along with it. I also picked up the Jo Malone Red Roses Travel Candle (AU) because although floral scents aren’t usually my thing, especially when it comes to perfume, I love a good rose-scented beauty product and Jo Malone only sells travel sizes of a handful of scents, and I liked this one the best. It came beautifully packaged in a sturdy Jo Malone box, and although I haven’t burned it yet it smells incredible and I’ve only heard good things about the quality of their candles.