Primers for Combination Skin in the Summer: E.L.F Vs Too Faced review

What with the weather picking up the way it has been, I’ve been on the lookout for a makeup primer that will keep my base looking fresh all day.

My base of choice is more often than not a tinted moisturiser. As someone with combination skin this might be an odd choice, but I prefer light, natural coverage with a dewy finish. I hate the look of a matte, dry foundation. I wear Balm Shelter by The Balm which is a lovely light and medium coverage tinted moisturiser that also contains spf. I’ve been wearing it every day for a couple of years now, and it lasts all day and I’ve only had to repurchase once.

That being said, I also need to maintain my t-zone because as soon as the summer starts, I get more oily than usual. I’ve also noticed my skin changing as I get older, and I’ll be honest, I’ve also somewhat temporarily ruined my skin by using a face wash that’s dried it out so much (Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel wash for sensitive skin – don’t buy it) I am having to totally overhaul my skincare routine until its back to normal.

I’d found a fantastic primer that appeared to really control my t-zone but I’d got it online from America, so when it ran out and I didn’t have anything else to buy from this brand, I decided to do some research and invest in a primer which was easier to get hold of. So here’s what I’m talking about:

Facetune

I actually received the e.l.f. Tone Adjusting Face Primer as part of a free gift with purchase when I made an order about a year ago (their website being the only place you used to be able to buy e.l.f.) If you’ve never bought on their site, I’d recommend it because they are always doing awesome free gifts with purchase, usually have a free delivery offer on, THEY cover customs charges AND it’s usually here from the US within a week or so. Anyway, I decided to try this primer when the one I’d been using ran out.

This primer is green in colour, so it’s supposed to correct redness and blotches on the skin, and I’ll be honest, I don’t find it does that.

IMG_1728

Don’t be alarmed by the colour, as you can see from the swatch the green blends away, which is probably why it doesn’t really cover much redness. But what I LOVE about this primer is that is silicone-y but not too silicone-y if you know what I mean. It makes my skin feel smooth but still like my skin. I always set my face with loose powder on my t-zone, and have done this with both the primers I’m talking about today. By the middle of my working day I can see this primer really works. If I tap my nose with my finger, a little oil comes off but my skin doesn’t look oily at all. My makeup hasn’t disappeared or started to break down, even on the hottest of days. I was really impressed! Thankfully I can now pick this up in Superdrug, as they have started to stock e.l.f Cosmetics. For £7.50 this is a total bargain and well worth the money.

As I said before, when this ran out and I didn’t have anything else to order from e.l.f, I didn’t want to make an order for just one thing, so I did some research. I wanted to see if there were any more primers, mid-range cost, that I could buy in the UK and were specifically designed for preventing oil. I’d bought the NYX Shine Killer primer before and was so disappointed that it actually made me shinier.

There were two primers that kept coming up as holy grail for oily skin, and one of which I knew I could pick up locally, so I went for that one!

Facetune

Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer was being reviewed as one of the ultimate primers for oil control throughout the day. At £24 it’s not cheap, but it also claimed to smooth skin, hide pores and as it’s slightly tinted suggested that you could wear it on its own for a naturally flawless look.

IMG_1729

So, this is what it looks like when you pump it out. It’s SO smooth on the skin but doesn’t feel like silicone at all. It’s more like feeling silk! The tone of the product isn’t strong enough to allow me to wear just that if I want a flawless finish. And it would need setting if I was going to do that anyhow because it does leave you feeling like you have something on your face. I didn’t notice any change to the appearance of my pores. I will say it did hold up to the oil-control part on warm days, but as soon as the heatwave hit it failed. My nose was oily early on in the day, even with powder and for £24 I’d expect it to perform for longer. I was rather disappointed. You also don’t get a lot of product for the amount you need to put on so I noticed I was going through it rather fast.

In the end, and as soon as my Superdrug started to stock e.l.f. I went back and picked up my old faithful green primer.

If you’re looking for a primer to control your combination skin, I’d say give the green one  from e.l.f a try. Obviously everyone’s skin is different and it might not work for you, but for £7.50 it’s worth a try!

Do you suffer with combination skin that gets more oily in the Summer? I’d love to hear what products you use to keep it in check!

Requested: My Every Day Makeup Application

I was recently asked to write a post on what order I apply my every day makeup. I really liked the idea because I quite often think to myself that I put my makeup on a little bit backwards! But there’s a reason behind it, and I’d like to share that with you today!

Since I’m a really cack-handed, accident-prone person I always start makeup with my eyes. I’m the kind of person who likes to try things out with my eyes, since I’m new at this makeup thing. I have a tendency to sneeze, blink or just poke myself in the eye with mascara and because of that I’d much rather be able to remove my eye makeup without messing up my base and having to start all over again – and wasting product. I can also wipe away any fallout from eyeshadows without worrying about mucking things up! So whatever look I’m doing I will always start with my eyes.

Firstly I tightline. I don’t always do this but I like the fuller look it gives my lashes. I use the NYX Tres Jolie gel eyeliner pencils because they rarely transfer and they stay put. A lot of people think tightlining is lining the waterline, but it’s actually not. It’s pushing eyeliner between the lashes on the lashline to give a fuller appearance at the base of the lashes. I will use this eyeliner to push product between the lashes and then use a cotton bud to neaten up and remove any product from my waterline. It takes some practice at the start but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. I’ll sometimes use a tiny angled nail art brush with a Bobbi Brown gel pot instead. I have very watery eyes, and they’re sensitive too so I make sure there’s no product likely to drop into my eyes.

If I’m using eyeshadow, I’ll do this next, starting with a primer (I use NYX at the moment) and then go ahead with the shadow colours. Eyeliner comes next, if I’m using it and then I’ll curl my lashes and use mascara. I use the CoverGirl Clump Crusher, which is my current favourite. It actually keeps my lashes separated, coated and somewhat curled for the whole day and doesn’t leave me looking spidery. It doesn’t flake either!

Once my eyes are done, I prime. I use the Pür HydraGel lift under eye primer and whatever face primer I’m using at the time. Let those settle a little and then go in with my foundation. Then I use concealer on my face and lastly on my under eyes. I like the Benefit BOI-ING potted concealers.

Currently I set my under eyes with the ELF brightening under eye powder, and my face (only where I’ve put concealer) with the Bare Minerals Perfecting Veil pressed powder. But I’m actually considering picking up the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder because I need some help with oil on my nose before the summer hits.

Next I’ll go onto blush and bronzer (if I’m wearing it) I’ll apply the bronzer first because it gives me and idea of what blush shade I should go for.

Then I’ll use clear brow gel (NYX Control Freak) to tame my eyebrows – I don’t use any coloured products on my eye brows because they’re heavy as they are. They just need setting so they don’t move during the day!

If I’m going to use a setting spray I’ll spritz that next because it will sometimes dull the brightening effects of the under eye products I use. If this happens I’ll tap a tiny amount of Touche Eclat under my eyes and on my nose to highlight, once the setting spray has dried.

Lastly I’ll go to my lips with whatever product I’ve decided will work – balm, gloss, lipstick.

Then I’ll probably spend 10 minutes trying to find suitable light to take a selfie and then I’m done!

I hope you’ve found this useful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to pop those below!

 

March Favourites

marchfavouritesbanner

Happy April everyone! Did you have an awesome March? Mine was great – Spring is doing its best effort to appear. We’ve had a few days of lovely sunshine and I’m hoping that the chilly windy rain we’ve had this past week was all just to clear up and make way for Spring to really happen.

I’m desperate for nice weather so I can get outside running again – mainly so I can start to get a bit of colour on my skin. I think this is the first year that I’ve mourned Summer for a whole Autumn and Winter. Bring back the lovely weather!

So March has been full of TV, movies and of course beauty. Here goes with what I’ve loved this past month.

love-poster-judd-apatow-gillian-jacobs

I’m a massive fan of Judd Apatow’s stuff, my favourite being This is 40. He’s also involved in Girls, which I’m a huge fan of too. So I suspected I would enjoy this Netflix original show Love. And I wasn’t wrong. This 10 part tv series was everything I’d hoped it would be: funny, deep, clever and driven by some amazingly written (and acted) characters. If you like quirky and real then you might just love this.

We also revisited Cloverfield, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. I’ve written about the Before movies before so I’ll let you go back and read what I thought about them, but they’re still all kinds of awesome. Cloverfield is a pretty short movie, so we popped it on the TV one night when we wanted something fairly non taxing to watch.

1452866759

This is a found-footage type movie (and we all know how much I love those!) Set in Manhattan (and we all know how much I love Manhatten too). If you haven’t seen the movie I won’t spoil it, but it’s a real gem.

Now onto a few beauty bits:

marchfave

In March I reverted back to an old favourite, my Neutrogena grapefruit face wash (around £4).

neutrogena

I moved onto a different one from the same brand a few months back, which had microbeads in it, but I’ve since discovered that these are actually little plastic balls which don’t biodegrade. They go down the plug hole into the water system and are super bad for the environment. Since I’ve switched back I’ve been wondering why I diverted. My skin feels wonderful, smooth and smells lovely too after using this. The difference is instant, and I know I’ll be sticking to this face wash for a long time!

Next is a Lush product – Mint Julips lip scrub (£5.50). This is basically a pot of minty sugar.

mintjulips

You dig out a little of the sugar (over the sink or else you’ll have sugar EVERYWHERE!) rub it all over your lips and either wash or lick the remainder off. This particular scrub leaves my lips feeling oiled but not oily, smooth and tingling with minty goodness. It’s gorgeous!

itspotent

I’ve mentioned Benefit’s It’s Potent (£25.50) in my last beauty blog, so I won’t go into it on here, but I decided to go the whole hog and buy the full size of this baby. I’ve been really pleased with how it works and the difference it’s made. I actually think some of my fine lines have actually disappeared too. Can it be possible?

Next I’ll talk about my newest foundation purchase. I mentioned in the aforementioned beauty blog that I’d found something I liked better than the Clinique sample I was given, and it was:

maxfactor

Max Factor’s Facefinity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 foundation. I was matched to Natural 50. I like the finish of this foundation though I have found it does oxidise on my face so I think it’ll be a little more functional once I have a little sun colour on my face. This foundation is primer, concealer and foundation in one, and has spf 20. I’ve been applying it using a Real Techniques buffing brush and focussing on buffing it out around my jaw line as I’m concerned I look a little flush once it’s on. But I do like the finish and it’s buildability. It offers a matte finish so you don’t need any powder. Interestingly, it did cling to dry parts on my forehead when first applied, but by the time I’ve done the rest of my face these had hydrated and I couldn’t see them any more. And it doesn’t settle into lines – perfect! I’m impressed, for the cost of this (£12.99) it performed a lot better than the Clinique sample, that I wanted so much to love!

Next is a couple of liquid lipsticks by TheBalm (£13.50)

meetmatte

Meet Matt(e) Hughes matte liquid lipsticks in Committed and Charming. I bought these for events where I can’t be continuously reapplying lipstick. I am a serial lipsmoosher, so lip colour doesn’t last long on me. As a result I stick to sheer lipsticks or tinted balms but I’ve been impressed with these. Firstly they smell nice and minty, so they tingle a little when first applied. They go on smooth and don’t cling to any bumps. They dry to a comfortable feel and they do last well. There’s minimal transference, but they do come off if you eat oily foods. I’m a pale-faced gal so these being the palest ‘nude’ shades they’re still pretty dark and prominent on my face, and they do give me a pretty dramatic look. Oh and when I’m done they come off easily with a quick slick of Egyptian magic. Win!

Lastly is my favourite of the bunch. I got this for £13 off at Debenhams, and had been lusting over it for some time…. The Urban Decay Vice 4 palette (retails at £43)

vice

Firstly, let’s just take in the packaging. This is STUNNING. Urban Decay do packaging so so well. This even came with its own zippered travel bag. Now we’ve taken in the palette packaging, let’s look at the goods.

vice1

Sigh. So pretty. I was so impressed this came with another lovely double ended brush. Urban Decay’s palette brushes are so good, I seriously doubt I’ll ever need to buy a separate one. The main thing that drew me to Vice 4 was the colour matches. Just looking at each of these rows, I can see complete eye looks. Three greens, three metallics, three mauve, three neutral, three greys etc etc. So many matches. And these look lovely wet as eyeliner too. I’ve used a couple in that way already. In fact I think I’ve used about a third of the palette already and I don’t often wear eyeshadow day-to-day. I’m so impressed.

So those are my March favourites. I’d love to read what you thought if you’ve tried anything I’ve loved this month. Leave me a comment if you have!

Now onwards through April!

February Favourites

febfavesbanner

Despite February being a short month it’s been a great month for new things for me! This month’s favourites blog contains beauty, body, tech and tv so hold on tight – there’s a lot to get through!

I’m going to start with body products I’m loving this month.

body feb

Starting with Nayobay’s Protective Hair Mask Volume Conditioner. This came in my February GlossyBox and I’ve used it once a week since I received it. The website says “This mask contains natural triglycerides that add density and volume to hair and features organically grown Shea Butter and Argan oil.” I’m not really sure what that means to be honest, but I know I love what it does to my hair. You leave it on for 3 minutes after shampooing and then rinse it off. Afterwards my hair and scalp feel cleansed for at least 4 days after, my hair feels manageable and not too soft. The only way to describe how my hair looks after using it, and drying naturally, is 70s hair. And I mean this in a good way. My hair has volume, but isn’t frizzy. It’s matte, but looks conditioned. I just love it. Oh and it smells kind of subtly orangey – love it.

The next body favourite was a Valentine’s gift from G-Man. Laura Mercier’s almond coconut milk honey bath. I’d been lusting over one of these for a while, and was delighted to be given this. The cute little honey dipper holds just enough product to then drizzle under running water. The quality of the bubbles you get is like nothing else, and when you’re in the bath it’s like you’re bathing in silk. It makes for a wonderful, luxurious bath and I can see this jar lasting for a long long time. Worth the cost? Definitely!

image

Last for body products is this bath and shower gel I picked up in Tesco. I’m always a little put off by brands which market their products in a similar vein to other higher end brands. I had been wary of buying this as it looks at first glance like a Philosophy rip off. But I liked the scent and there was nothing else I fancied, so buy it I did. Honeycomb Secret by Treacle Moon feels luxurious enough for a drugstore price. Not as fancy as the Laura Mercier, I hasten to add, however this bath and shower gel feels nourishing on my skin and produces lovely bubbles.

lip feb
Moving onto beauty products now, and you guys know my love for Gwen Stefani’s Urban Decay collaboration – I tried and then had to buy Ex-Girlfriend, a sheer nude in her lip range. It appears to be my perfect nude shade, feels wonderful on and lasts fairly well on the lips considering I’m a serial lip smoosher. I also picked up a tube of Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Hibiscus, which leaves a lovely subtle tint on the lips and again feels really moisturising and lasts really really well. It doesn’t look to much when you add to it either which is great. Both of these are great every day colours for a not-too-done-up look when I don’t want my lips to be bare.

blush feb
Another huge favourite of mine this month is the Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay blush palette. This palette is *amazing*. The shades you get are all usable, and I’ve been loving blending OC and Hush, then highlighting with Angel. You can see from the photo that the palette’s a bit messy, and that’s because I’ve been using it pretty much every day! Plus the palette itself is massively gorgeous!

makeup feb
Next in beauty, well it’s kind of body but let’s talk about it anyway, is Lemony Flutter cuticle butter from Lush. This should have been in my holy grails post, but I haven’t bought it for years and decided last weekend I needed it back in my life. My cuticles have been a nightmare lately, and I have a bad habit of picking at them when they’re drying out. This stuff totally fixes it every time, so much more effectively than all the other creams and oils I’ve been trying. And it smells so good!

Next I picked up the Bare Minerals Bare Skin Perfecting Veil. I needed something to set my under eyes and help to control my t-zone throughout the day. I’ve liked this powder so far, however it does still settle into the fine lines under my eyes, and I find I need to smooth those areas out throughout the day.

Now I’m going to talk about TheBalm’s Balm Shelter tinted moisturiser. TheBalm are fairly new to the UK and you can only really pick them up in very select London Debenhams stores and online. I visited the Debenham’s counter on Oxford Street so I could ensure I picked the correct shade. I love this product. It gives a really lovely natural finish, light coverage and doesn’t feel like I’ve got any product on when I’m wearing it. It’s a lovely satin feel to the skin and I love that it’s a sqiushy tube because I’ll be able to get every last bit of product out of it. I think this will be lovely in the summer too – plus it has SPF18! Win win! I really want to go and check out their Meet Matte Hughes liquid lipsticks, because I think they might be perfect for a couple of weddings I’m going to this year. I’m loving TheBalm!

Whilst I was at the TheBalm counter, I was chatting to the girl about brushes. I’d been looking at Sigma but they’re so expensive that I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to take the plunge. She recommended I head to Boots and check out Real Techniques brushes. So I did and boy am I glad! These brushes, I am told, are being picked up by professional make-up artists and I can see why. They’re soft, just dense enough, the bristles pick up the product (but not too much) and… they look so pretty! I’ve picked up the retractable kabuki and their foundation brush (which I actually use for contour and highlighting because I like the shape!). I intend on buying more….. eek!

And lastly, if you read my last beauty blogs you’ll remember I mentioned I’d never found my perfect mascara. Well this might have changed. Last birthday my bestie gave me a Lancôme 24hr Artliner and when she bought it, she got a free Lancôme Hypnose Volume which she passed onto me. I loved it so much that a few weeks ago I went and bought a full size. It’s lovely on my lashes, and even though I still need to curl them every time, it’s easy to build on, isn’t chunky and doesn’t make spider legs out of my lashes. Whoop!

Out of the world of beauty and onto tech now. I’d got some Tesco Clubcard points expiring so I had a look at their website and there wasn’t really much I fancied, but then I spotted I had enough points for a pair of Beats on-ear Solo headphones. So I redeemed my points and two days later I had these bad boys in my grubby little mitts!

beats feb
Look how pretty! They’re a great replacement for the red Skullcandy headphones that broke many years ago – and they were FREE! The sounds good enough on them, and now I can look like a loon with massive red headphones on once more 🙂

And lastly in my February favourites we move over to TV. My week’s holiday at the start of the month was scuppered by contracting a cold which did a very good job of mimicking the plague. As a result, much of the week was spent flat on my back watching Netflix. This is when I discovered Pretty Little Liars.

eace5e29b9adcd1b833b22b367dd209b

I am addicted. I’ve managed to watch 4 whole seasons in about 3 weeks and I’m well into the 5th. I love the clothes, make up and the characters – it’s not the most intelligent of shows – it’s no West Wing – but it’s perfect for eye candy and passing the time. I won’t lie – there have been many times I’ve been screaming at the TV and sat bolt upright because I can’t believe what’s happening. In fact, what am I doing writing this?…… I could be watching Pretty Little Liars…

Just joking! So those are my (many) February favourites. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these yourself and what you thought of them – I’d love to read your comments!