31 January 2016

A Toothbrush for your face? MAC's Oval 3 Masterclass Brush: The Review

My boyfriend Garrad is well aware of my make up addiction. He has grown used to it, and now accepts my bulging vanity in our bathroom as the norm. I had begged him to get me something from MAC for Christmas and he agreed as long as he could choose the items himself. I instantly said yes because I bang on about make up so much I knew he would pick out some great bits, and he didn't disappoint!

The first thing he went for was a Viva Glam Lipstick in No. II, which is a stunning muted pinky beige shade that has quickly become one of my favorite lipsticks ever. It's a much more warm beige tone than I would normally go for, but I love it and it really suits me. I guess sometimes he knows me better than I know myself. He also picked out a MAC Oval 3 Masterclass Brush. This was a complete surprise and I wouldn't have naturally gravitated towards these if I was shopping for myself. At £28.00 they are on the pricier side for brushes, but they contain high quality synthetic bristles that can be used with wet or dry products making them extremely versatile.

I have read mixed reviews on these brushes and I admit I was a little hesitant as to where to start and what to use this for.

I decided to try using it as a traditional eye shadow brush initially with standard MAC eye shadows. Holding it like you would a toothbrush whilst trying to apply make up to your eye lid definitely feels strange at first. It makes you feel like you've never held a make up brush in your life before, but the handle is nicely weighted and it has a soft grip feel so it feels comfortable in your hand. I found that with a bit of practice you soon adapt to the best position needed. I used small swiping motions to apply the shadow all over my mobile eyelid. As I got used to the motion of applying the eye shadow from the side, rather than face on, I discovered that I had less fall out than usual. It packed the colour on nicely but it wasn't great at blending into the crease. I prefer to use a regular fluffy brush for this as I feel the bristles on the Oval 3 are just a bit too dense to diffuse the pigments enough.

Where this brush really came into its own though is when I used it to blend out my under eye concealer. This brush gives the most flawless, air brushed finish when used with cream products. I tried this out with my Urban Decay Naked skin concealer by dabbing a small amount of the product in dots under my eyes, then using the Oval 3 to very gently blend it in using sweeping motions. It was perfect! The tilted head on the brush made it so easy and the angle for me was much more suited to under the eye than on top.

I would love to pick up more brushes in this range as they're so unique and different. Have you tried any of the Masterclass or Artis brushes yet?


24 January 2016

THE BEST Lipglosses Eveerrr...

Matte lips are everywhere at the minute, and I admit, I love the sophisticated look you get with them. But sometimes you can't beat the glamour that only comes with a opaque, shiny lip-gloss.

Three lip-gloss/ liquid lipstick hybrids that I can't get enough of lately are from MUA's Luxe Liquid Lipstick range, and at £4 each, they're the bargain of the century!
(You can now purchase the whole set in a bundle for £25)

First up is what I'd personally consider the 'least' wearable of the trio, Twinkle Twinkle. This lip-gloss transfers as a really dark charcoal grey with silver glitters. This shade would look perfect on top of dark plum lipsticks for a night out when you really want to vamp things up a bit. I've had so much fun playing dress up with this shade and it's great for costumes looks, but I'm not sure I'd have to confidence to wear this on a daily basis.

Next up is my festive favorite, Blaze. This is the most beautiful cranberry shade that made me feel like a million dollars when I wore it at Christmas. It has tiny flecks of red and gold glitter in it that really add the wow factor. Paired with a simple black winged cat eye, you've got the ultimate red carpet glam look.

Last but not least is Glint, probably the most unusual of the three. Glint is a sepia/ mink shade that contains silver and mink glitters. I wanted this is be on the same vein as the much coveted ABH Lip-gloss in Sepia. I think it is, but it's more like a second cousin twice removed, rather than a sister. This is definitely a Marmite shade, I love it, but my boyfriend hates it. I think it's because he's not used to seeing me wear such a cool toned colour. I like to pair this with a neutral eye and a slightly warmer shade on the cheeks.

I'd love to get my hands on more liquid lipsticks because I love intense colour pay off, with a glossy finish. Are there any brands that you would recommend? 


19 January 2016

New Year Empties

Happy belated New Year - I can't believe we're into 2016 already!

Today I wanted to share with you a few products that I've recently used up. This January I have put myself on a 6 month 'Spending Ban' (more info on this to come) so I suspect you'll be seeing a few more of these posts as the year goes on...

L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore Shampoo (£3.99) is by far my favorite shampoo, not only of 2015, but possibly of all time. I  have used this for years and tend to always have a bottle on rotation. It has a creamy formula that gets your hair really clean without drying it out or leaving it 'squeaky'. I have naturally thick, coarse hair that has taken a bashing from dyes and heat over the last few years and this works wonders on it. I use the matching conditioner too but I don't go through that half as quick.

Next up is Rimmel's Wake Me Up Radiance BB Cream. This isn't technically an empty as it's still 2/3rds full... But I dislike it that much it's going straight in the bin with my actual empties this evening. I love a good BB Cream, and the colour match was almost perfect! The downside for me is that it's just so hard to blend. I have used various brushes, my beauty blender, and even my fingers but all I'm ever left with is a streaky finish, and the product just seems to roll off my face in dry little balls? Trust me, it's not a pleasant experience. At £6.99 it's would be a reasonable price if I could make use of it. Please let me know if you tried this and if it worked for you as it seems such a shame to waste it.

I mentioned in my What's in my Handbag post that I suffer from really dry hands in the winter,Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Hand Cream (£3.99) is one of my favourites. This hand cream as it's lightweight and non greasy. Compared to the Aveeno which I'm using currently, it's much lighter and absorbs quicker, but it doesn't last as well throughout the day.

Deodorants are still a bit of a taboo subject amongst beauty bloggers, but let's be honest, we all wear them and we'd be lost without them, or at least I hope we all would? One of my favourites is Dove's Go Fresh in Pomegranate and Lemon Verbena (£2.30). This smells so fresh and uplifting and it doesn't leave any white marks. Thankfully I'm not usually a sweaty person (TMI) and this anti perspirant does the job just fine. I also really like the Cucumber and Green Tea version.

For work I like to keep my makeup simple and fuss free. I like to reach for an eyeliner though to bring out my eyes a bit and enhance my mascara. Lately I'd been using L'Oreal's Super Liner Eye Liner in Deep Violet (£5.99). I like that this isn't as harsh as a black liner but it still really makes my green eyes stand out. I also love that I don't have to sharpen this one, you just twist it up. The formula is creamy without it smudging all under your eyes. I'm in desperate need of picking up another one of these.

L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes So Couture Mascara (£9.99) has taken over as my favourite drugstore mascara. It has a rubber brush that is small enough to get all the little lashes, yet big enough to create some volume when applying a few coats. This mascara has a great formulas that's buildable and doesn't flake. I'm currently using Maybelline's The Rocket mascara which is really nice, but I miss the brush of this one.

Lastly I've finished up my travel size bottle of CO Lab Dry Shampoo in RIO (£1.99). I loved the smell of this dry shampoo but I have to admit, I prefer Batiste's Tropical Dry Shampoo a little more. I find that the Batiste has a chalky residue that helps to absorbs any excess oil much more effectively than the CO Lab one. I'm a sucker for dry shampoo's though, so please leave me your recommendations in the comments below.

I hope everyone had a fantastic festive period and is having a great start to the new year. I feel so excited and positive for this coming year, I can't wait to see what 2016 brings!

I'd also like to take the opportunity to thank everyone in the blogger-sphere for supporting me and my blog over the past year. Lippy In The City has now officially turned One and I couldn't be prouder! Knowing that a small handful of you lovely people read my blog on a regular basis makes me so happy, so thank you once again!

Here's to a great 2016... xoxo


10 January 2016

6 Holy Grail Foundations | Part 2 | #JewelInTheCity Collab

I'm so excited to finally be doing a collaborative post with India aka The Jewel Beauty!
We both (unashamedly) share a love of foundations, pinky-nude lipsticks, skin care, champagne and beauty products in general among other things.

We thought we'd share with you our Top 6 Holy Grail foundations that we've loved throughout 2015 and will be continuing to reach for in 2016.

First up for me is Burberry's Fresh Glow Foundation in Porcelain No.11. I bought this after seeing Lilly Pebbles rave about it earlier this year #YouTubemademedoit... This is the priciest of my 3 at £35.00 but I adore it. It has a light to medium coverage that leaves a dewy and natural finish on the skin. This doesn't make me look like I'm wearing make up, just that I'm having a really good skin day. I've found this applies best with a kabuki brush buffed into the skin. I can't imagine ever being without a bottle and the colour match is the best I've ever found for me.

Next in line for me is Boujois's Healthy Mix Foundation. I was mega late to the party with this one but it's honestly my favorite drugstore foundation of all time. It has medium coverage with a matte to satin finish. I wear shade 51 Vanille Clair. Again I prefer applying this with a damp beauty blender, but it works well with your fingers too if you're in a rush in the morning. I really love spritzing Urban Decay's All Nighter on top of this as it noticeably increases it's staying power. At £9.99 its an absolute bargain, the only issue I have with it is with the packaging. I'm half way through this tube but I'm unable to pump anymore out? If anyone has any suggestions other than ripping it open I'd love to know.

Some days though you just need a bit of MAC Studio Fix Fluid in your life. This foundation is legendary and I've had a bottle of this in my make up collection for over 10 years (not the same bottle for obvious reasons!) This is a full coverage, stay all day, I mean business foundation. At £22.00 its reasonable in price and their shade range is extensive. I currently have NW10 which is the palest they do but I can get away with NC15 at a push. I like to apply this with a damp beauty blender to sheer out the coverage a little.

What are your top 6 Holy Grail foundations that you'll be reaching for this year?

Click here to read India's Top 3 if you haven't already... xoxo

03 January 2016

What's in my Handbag?

This Christmas my boyfriend Garrad surprised me with a gorgeous Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAB Tote. (A handbag that had been missing from my collection for far too long) I instantly swapped my bits and pieces over but soon discovered that my Mini MAB is definitely small in nature as it is in name. After some de-cluttering and downsizing, I was left with a few essentials that fitted perfectly and that I would genuinely reach for when I was out and about.

I love reading 'What's in my handbag?' posts and I've been meaning to do my own since I started Lippy In The City last year, so with a clean and organised handbag, I thought now would be the perfect time to share what I carry around with me on a daily basis.

From left to right:
Garrad bought me this Aubergine Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAB Tote from shopbop, unfortunately the shade is no longer available as the gorgeous new Spring/ Summer '16 collection is live. I've found that even though this bag is dinky in size, it's lightweight and durable. Whilst remaining on trend its able to fit more than enough of your daily essentials inside. It's ideal for me and I'm definitely going to look into purchasing it in other shades

This Aveeno hand cream (currently £3.94 at Boots) has quickly become a hand bag staple favourite for me. I have to have a hand cream on me at all times as I suffer from cracked skin on the top of my hands, especially in the Winter it can turn sore if left un-moisturised. This one is fast absorbing and doesn't leave a greasy residue.

My next favourite that I couldn't possibly leave the house without is my eos lip balm in Sweet Mint. I haven't had this very long but it's awesome. The packaging is obviously the initial appeal as it's so cute and different, but the product itself is fab too - Even Garrad uses it!

I can't even leave the house without a hairbrush. Full stop. I have shoulder length, thick hair that in the slightest humidity or wind can make me quickly resemble the look of being dragged through a hedge backwards. My Tangle Teaser (£10.60) is a life saver. I got it in my Selfridges Summer Beauty Box late last year and I can honestly say I've used it every day since I've had it. It works great on wet hair at removing tangles as well as dry hair. I must invest in another so I don't have to keep rummaging through my bag to get this one out all the time #2016Goals.

My dairy is also an essential that I use constantly throughout the day. I know it's classed as 'old-fashioned' to keep a paper diary and pen with you but I really rely on actually writing things down, I still don't trust my phone completely to not magically delete things. I keep my work schedule in here as well as Garrad's, important dates and meetings etc as well as Birthday's. I also like to keep track of my bills and monthly outgoings, as well as making to-do lists and monthly goals. Does any one else keep a diary or am I the only one?

Last but not least I keep these miniature Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks, my Christmas gift from India (The Jewel Beauty) in my handbag. The funny thing about these is that we bought each other the same present without realising on even discussing it... Great minds think alike! These Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks are perfect for mini day bags or evening clutch bags. The lipsticks came in the shades:

So Marilyn - The perfect old Hollywood glamour red in a crème finish.
Penelope Pink - A beige toned nude.
Bitch Perfect - My favourite of the 3 because of it's fab name and gorgeous pinky toned nude colour.

These are the first Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks I've tried. They all have a crème to bordering on matte finish which I love and they are super opaque. I've also found them to last a good few hours and they don't pucker at the corners for me? Are there any Charlotte Tilbury shades that you'd recommend I try next, I'd love to hear you're suggestions.

I also carry around my debit and credit card plus my phone and car keys, but they're not that exciting to go into any further detail.

I'd love to know what you're handbag essentials are this New Year? xoxo
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