Ah, MUA, how intriguing I find you. Your products are so cheap, so thrifty and often times pretty gosh-darn good quality, in spite of the minuscule price. I’ve been in need of concealer pretty badly for a while now. But what with me being broke almost all the time, a fancy cover-up wasn’t even an option. When I saw the MUA Cover and Conceal wand in my local Superdrug for less than two euro, how could I possibly have said no? I thought it might be a cheap dupe for the already cheap as chips Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer (which is awesome; get it now, I IMPLORE YOU).
Unfortunately, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection it ain’t. It just… Doesn’t… Cover… You know? And I don’t know about you, but it’s sort of imperative for me that a concealer conceals. I’m pretty wild like that. I’m probably being a little too harsh. It does work, sort of, provided you apply several layers and wait a significant amount of time for it to dry into your skin before applying any sort of powder, lest you wipe off all your hard work. Believe me, that is what will happen. And let’s face it, ain’t nobody got time for that. The shade range is also extremely limited. There are only three shades and the middle shade was perfect for me, meaning that this stuff would only really suit if your skin is on the lighter side of transparent.
In short, I wouldn’t really recommend the MUA Cover and Conceal Wand, as much as it pains me to say it. Unless you’re extremely short on cash, are a little desperate or you have blemish free skin (in which case why are you even purchasing concealer, silly?!), there isn’t really much point in adding it to your collection.
In September, Rimmel’s usual matte foundation offering was replaced with the new ‘Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation’. My eye was caught first by the sleek but simple white and purple packaging. I was then intrigued further by the light shades on offer. To be honest, I have always avoided Rimmel foundations due to the fact that if you’re anything like me (a shade paler than Casper) it didn’t seem to cater for my needs, unless I was in the mood for looking a bit oompa loompa-ish that day.
Perhaps unlike a lot of the other products that I’m likely to talk about in the old favourites section of this blog, MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation has been a firm favourite of mine ever since I was eighteen. That’s just over six years now, which is like, a billion years in make-up land. It was the first high-end item of make-up that I ever purchased. The price frightened me at the time, but eventually it seemed worth it for a powder that didn’t melt off my nose about half an hour after first applying it (I don’t know why it did this, my skin was far drier back then – damn you, crazy face!)
What’s great about this powder is how versatile it is. It’s buildable and is suitable for most skins types. If you have dry skin, just apply a tonne of moisturiser to your face before application and you’re set. If you’re a bit of an oily baby like me, this won’t be necessary. It can be worn on its own, over a bit of concealer, or over a light layer of liquid or cream foundation for extra coverage. If you’re in a hurry and your skin’s looking a bit peaky, grab a kabuki brush, slap it on your face and BAM – you’re good to go in about a minute.
The way I wear it has changed somewhat over the years. I really can’t believe the speed that that I used to go through this stuff back in the day; I had to buy one every month or so. I must have been caking it on SOMETHING FIERCE. I wince at the expense too, how on earth did a part-time job in the local cinema keep my MAC powder addiction going? Nowadays I mainly either use it on its own when I don’t have time for liquid foundation, or just mainly for touching up my face throughout the day or night out (mainly my nose, make-up still likes to melt off around there like there’s no tomorrow). Now it lasts me up to five months, making the 32 euro price tag a little bit less daunting.
Did I mention that it’s available in a about a billion shades (note: slight exaggeration). That’s also what appealed to me about it as my skin tone is basically a shade paler than Casper. My local Boots just did not cater for my kind and MAC essentially saved me from several more years of enduring the dreaded foundation neckline. Thank the gods for NW15!
So, whether you are paper-pale or a more dark skinned individual, oily skinned, dry skinned, or somewhere in between; this powder has more than likely got you covered.
So, for a while now, I’ve ventured to the Benefit counter in my local pharmacy. I’ve purchased a few products and have been given others as gifts. For the price, I have contemplated whether or not the products are actually worth the money. Clearly, the packaging is beautiful and really gives a nice impression as a gift but, besides that, why should one buy this brand? Following, there is some of the list that I have collected and my reviews of each (because I know you clearly care about my opinion), enjoy…
My first foray into Benefit was with their ridiculously popular mascara They’re Real. (£19.50/$23.00)
One of their cheapest products and, as far as I’m concerned, one of their best. It separates. lifts and accentuates lashes, while not looking too clumpy. It’s somewhat drying – as I have found with a lot of mascaras – but that isn’t a huge deal in my book. Better it’s a bit of a pain to get off, instead of creating the dreaded ‘Panda Eye’. It’s very dark black, of which I’m a huge fan, and gives great volume. All in all, it’s pretty much worth the money and lasts for quite some time. (I still sometimes use the brush for other mascaras, even though this particular one has run out.)
Verdict: Worth the money.
Up next, Erase Paste, according to their website: “brightening camouflage for eyes and face“. ($26.00/£19.50)
Now, this one I’m torn on. It comes in three shades, 1. Fair, 2. Medium and 3. Deep. However, there isn’t that much of a difference between them. (Clearly they aren’t in the act of having this concealer for darker skintones.)
Anyway… It’s very creamy and silky, with great coverage. My mum loves it for just this reason, she has a number of blemishes on her skin; age spots, wrinkles and some broken capillaries. Erase Paste leaves them almost non-existent. “BUT THAT’S GOOD, RIGHT?” I hear you cry. It is good, it’s brilliant and she is delighted with it. However, I feel that for the delicate eye area, it is too heavy and, as you try to blend, it can crease and pull at the skin. I think that’s pretty detrimental to younger skin and isn’t all that necessary unless you have some extremely visible blemishes that you would like to conceal. So, by all means, use this if you are looking for OMG!COVERAGE but if you’d rather a lighter feeling concealer, this isn’t for you.
Verdict: Somewhat worth it, depending on what you are looking for.
But fear not, because Boi-ing might just be the concealer for you. ($20.00/£17.50)
Boi-ing comes in five shades, a lot more variation than that of Erase Paste and it’s cheaper too. For me, this would be more suited to younger skin. It’s lighter and easier to blend, great for under-eye areas. Having said that, it’s a bit drying and there are a ton of concealers – much cheaper – that do pretty much the same thing.
Verdict: Not worth it, plenty of cheaper concealers that do the same job. (See: E.L.F. Studio Complete Coverage Concealer, £3.75, at www.eyeslipsface.co.uk)
Lemon Aid is a “colour correcting eyelid primer“. ($20.00/£16.50) It’s yellow, hence the name, and its apparent appeal is that it can be worn with or without eyeshadow over it.
This is okay. It’s definitely suited to paler skintones and it does give a wide-eyed look but I personally don’t feel that it’s brilliant as an eyeshadow primer. It’s average, at best, and there are a number of non-yellow dupes for people who aren’t into that look.
Verdict: Not worth it, cheaper primers available that work just as well, if not better, and suit more skintones. (See: Essence I Love Stage Eyshadow Primer, $1/€2.50, www.essence.eu)
That Gal face primer ($29.00/£22.50) was something I bought spontaneously.
Acquired with a makeup voucher that was burning a whole in my purse, I trawled the Benefit counter for something I had yet to try. I was looking for a good primer and the TOO ENTHUSIASTIC Benefit person was all over this product like a fly on shit.
Yep, it’s brightening and it smells good but, really, that’s it. It didn’t smooth my face or even out foundation as much as I would have hoped. It’s a bit pink for my liking – since I’m already too pink naturally – so I think this may work better on someone with slightly darker, oilier skin.
And that bitch said it was for dry skin. I felt like I’d put water on my face -_- Fool me once, etc., etc.
Verdict: Not for me. (See: Gosh Velvet Touch Foundation Primer, €19.99, www.goshcosmetics.ie and at Superdrug).
High Beam is like the Holy Grail of Benefit products ($26.00/£19.50).
Okay so, admittedly, it’s good. In fact, it is very good. It highlights one’s features like a dream – although is a tad on the shimmery side – enhancing those loverly cheekbones and eyebrow bones… As if your face has been licked by a unicorn. I don’t really have any problems with this, except the price. I, personally, don’t think that it’s worth it. Considering the previously mentioned E.L.F. does a dupe for pretty much all of Benefit’s highlighters; High Beam, Moon Beam and Sun Beam. Check them out here: http://eyeslipsface.co.uk/en/restofworld/shimmer/shimmering-facial-whip/invt/1200
Verdict: Nope, not when E.L.F. is on their case with a fabulous product that does EXACTLY the same thing.
So, if you are interested in Benefit products, buy them, I wouldn’t tell you not to. But, basically, there are a huge number of duplicates out there for a literal fraction of the price. Obviously Benefit‘s packaging is prettier and all that but I, personally, would rather spend the money on other brands.
That’s all folks!
Dry Shite back to business!
Reminded today, by my colleague and fellow ethereal, transparently-skinned goddess, that we actually HAVE a blog.
Soooo, I decided to give you all the low-down on my current makeup bag. I’ve been collecting eye shadow palettes for the last couple of weeks, loads of colours altogether for a cheaper price… Sure where would you be going?!
Make Up Academy is my current go-to for all things eye shadow palette-y. It started with a search for some nice nudes, near impossible to find in my price range. But a search in my local Superdrug store saved me (not literally but, you know)…
Et voilà, there it was, the M.U.A. Undressed Palette. (Undressed… Nude… Get it? Oh lol!) Anywho…
It contains both matt and shimmer nude shades and darker metal shades. It’s basically a dupe for Urban Decay’s Naked Palette. The colours are SUPER pigmented, surprisingly so, for a palette that costs £4/€6. Great for both day-time and night-time looks, with the mix of textures. Great for blending. I personally love the gunmetal blue one, though it wasn’t even the colour I bought the palette for. (I love these palettes for just that reason, they give you options you never really thought of before!)
Another palette I love is the M.U.A. Heaven and Earth collection. GOD, IT’S JUST SO NUDE. Mainly shimmer colours, it’s perfect for natural, summer looks. (I love to use the palest shade for highlighting.) The colours blend together perfectly too, ALL OF THE SMOKEY EYES FOR YOU. (Another use: eyebrow darkening!) It’s a multi-functional addition to the auld make up bad and definitely the one I use the most.
Looking for some colour? The Glitterball Palette is a good buy. Not necessarily ‘glittery’, as the name would suggest, a nice light shimmer is what to expect. What I like about it is that it isn’t harsh on the eyes, like most glitter shadows I’ve tried, it’s smooth and doesn’t really crease. Another problem I don’t have with these, is the bits falling off the brush and onto my face/into my eyes. Seriously, that’s not a good look on anyone.
My favourite shadow is the peachy colour, it looks super pretty on blue eyes; actually, this would suit almost any eye colour. The colours are really pigmented too so a little goes a long way, unless you are up for being noticed. Great for night-time looks.
I should add that I usually use an eye shadow primer under my eye shadow so it could change the quality, texture or pigment of the shadow as it is placed on the lid.
Palettes are available in Britain and Ireland, in Superdrug and other pharmacies. Also on their website: http://www.muastore.co.uk/index.php/
As I collect more, I too shall review them.