Friday, 17 March 2017

Affordable Makeup Review: Natural Collection

Natural Collection cosmetics are available at Boots. Everything in the range costs only £1.99. I bought all these myself and have tested them out for over a month.

Shine Away Foundation £1.99
It is advisable to use a light hand with this foundation as it comes out of the tube quite thickly. I find the best way to get a good effect is to apply it in thin, well-blended layers.
I use a damp beauty sponge but take note: you need to spend a long time blending this on the skin to counteract its patchiness.
It can be blended out evenly as you can see above, but I find that the edges of the application lean a little orangey, especially as the day goes on. In all honesty I do wear this foundation in real life as it gives light coverage for not-going-out days, but it is not my preferred choice. Shine Away Foundation is available in 6 shades.
Verdict: Gives some coverage, but has a patchy finish.

CoverUp Cream Concealer £1.99
This applies nicely from the wand and blends much better than the foundation. It has a creamy consistency and a good, brightening effect under the eyes at first.
It has a good texture and stays in place well. 
Over time, however, the colour oxidises on my skin so the brightening effect is lost and once again the shade leans towards an orange tone.
Discolouration after a few hours' wear

This product is available in two shades: Fair and Medium.
Verdict: Good consistency but the shade is inconsistent and disappointing.

Pressed Powder £1.99
This powder is available in three shades: Warm, Neutral and Cool. It has a soft texture and works just as well as other drugstore powders to set makeup.
It has a smooth, natural finish on the skin and does not look cakey at all.
This Warm shade adds some colour to the skin and I often wear it just with a touch of concealer for a no-make up face. It gives a smooth, velvet finish and is just as good as Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder.
Verdict: Great value setting powder with silky soft texture.

Brow Kit £1.99

This is a fantastic little kit, containing a tinted wax and a powder. Perfect for travel and with great pigmentation in the products, I highly recommend this.

The powder sets the wax colour so there is no need for any gel or setting product over the top of these and they last all day long.

Verdict: Amazing eyebrow kit for only £1.99.

Sun Tint Bronzing Powder

This is my new favourite bronzer. It has a shimmer which seems to sit lightly on my skin without illuminatimg any imperfections. It looks subtle but catches the light very prettily.
This is the lighter shade called Sun Shine. The darker bronzer in the range is called Golden Glow.
Verdict: One of my favourite Natural Collection products.

Blushed Cheeks Blush £1.99
I have Peach Melba which is soft, matte powder blush. These are available in six different shades and are great drugstore products.
The finish is sheer and airbrushed, blending into the skin flawlessly. Not as pigmented as some drugstore brands, but buildable and similar in finish to H&M powder blush.

Highlighter £1.99
I love the packaging of this little cream highlighter. The product is very sheer and will not impress you if you are a fan of very pigmented, reflective highlights.
It gives a subtle hint of shimmer to the skin rather than a stripe of shine and stays in place well. I actually quite like it, especially in this pretty rose gold shade.
You could use this as a base for a powder highlight and it would be great to travel with. It is also available in a copper shade. 
Verdict: Barely-there yet pretty highlight for those who don't want full-on bling.

Eyeshadow £1.99
I own two eyeshadow shades: a matte, mid-brown called Milk Chocolate, and a shimmery gold called Barley. They both apply as well as other drugstore eyeshadows and last well on my eyes even without a primer.
They are very smooth as you can see in the above swatch, and I use these regularly for an easy, neutral eye look. In my opinion these are great value and similar in quality to Makeup Revolution's eyeshadows. There are 24 colours available in these single powders.
Verdict: Super value eyeshadows in a wide range of colours.

Lash Length Mascara £1.99
This is a great value mascara which gives natural looking, fluttery length and separation to the lashes. It does not smudge or flake and gives lovely definition.
The slim, lightweight wand is particularly suited to coating the lower lashes.
Verdict: Gives a natural effect which ties in with the rest of the collection. Trustworthy, everyday mascara.

Juicy Lips Lip Gloss £1.99
And finally, this lip gloss in the delicious-sounding shade Caramel Shortcake. It has a fruity scent, is delightfully moisturising and is one of my favourite every day lip products. Again, there is a wide range of colours available, ranging from nudes to pinks and purples.
They are on the sheer side, but can be layered over any lipstick if you want more colour. I think these are a great drugstore choice.
Verdict: Gorgeous, affordable gloss.

In this picture I am wearing Natural Collection pressed powder, eyebrow kit, mascara, bronzer and lip gloss.

Overall: The best way to use these products is not by wearing a "full face" of Natural Collection makeup, but by picking the items which work for you and matching them up with your own personal favourites. The foundation and concealer are my least favourite products from the range as they do not make my skin look its best, although they do provide some coverage for an affordable price. A good choice for younger skin perhaps. The eyebrow kit and lip gloss are absolute hits, as good as any other drugstore offerings. The powder products are sheer but very wearable, and available in a wide range of shades. If you are looking for youthful, pretty makeup on a budget this is a great brand to try.
Thanks for reading,

Find Natural Collection Cosmetics here:

Friday, 10 March 2017

Drugstore Products I Use Every Day

These high-quality drugstore staples make up my daily routine.

Soap & Glory Eyebrow Bar £12

Since purchasing this kit a couple of years ago I have used it daily. It contains two brown powder shades, a wax, a cream highlight product and even a mirror, mini brush and spoolie.
It took me a while to find the most effective way of using this kit, but I now have a quick application routine which works perfectly. I use a thin, angled brush to apply a combination of the two powder shades to my brows in short strokes, mimicking eyebrow hairs. I comb my brows through with a spoolie and this step helps everything look very natural. I sometimes use the highlight cream dabbed onto my finger and applied to the brow bone.
The finished look is less harsh than the bold pencils I used to use, and the powders do not smudge or move during the day. I have taken this kit on holiday with me and it travels brilliantly with the tiny tools and mirror inside.

Collection Clear Mascara £1.99
This is my secret makeup weapon! I use it daily on my eyebrows after applying the Soap & Glory powders and it costs a fraction of the price of specific brow gels. I use it on my eyelashes to give some shape and separation on no-makeup days, and I also it use over regular mascara if it needs de-clumping. It does not feel crispy as it dries and once applied stays in place perfectly. This is a regular re-purchase.

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer £10
I own a range of drugstore concealers which all have different properties, but none can match the undereye coverage of this product. This compact contains two shades of concealer, a pan of pressed setting powder and a mirror.
The peachy shade which you can see is well-used, works fantastically as a colour-corrector under my eyes. I apply it with a flat brush and then gently tap it into my skin with my finger. It has a fairly thick consistency but sits smoothly on the skin and looks natural throughout the day. Sometimes I add a brightening concealer such as L'Oréal Lumi Magique over the top, but usually I simply set this using the powder contained in the compact.
I apply the powder with a dry beauty sponge and then dust the excess away using a soft brush. I don't go anywhere without this product as it makes a huge difference to my undereye area.

GOSH Rebel Eyes Mascara £8.99
This does a great job of curling and lengthening my lashes. It gives a natural, separated effect but the best thing about it is its staying power. This mascara never smudges or transfers onto my glasses, yet is easy to remove at the end of the day.

Vaseline Queen Bee £4.99
I bought this lovely tin in a pound shop recently, so it is worth keeping your eyes peeled for it even though it isn't stocked in drugstores at the moment. You can find it on Amazon for £4.99. Vaseline products are always nourishing and moisturising, and this one has the bonus of smelling like sweet honey. I use it on my lips daily and sometimes on my hands for a luxurious manicure.

Olay Refreshing Facial Cleansing Gel £2.69
At the end of each day I use this gentle wash to remove everything from my face. It contains cucumber and aloe vera extracts and squeezes out of the tube as a clear gel.
This facial wash cleans my skin without leaving it feeling dry or tight and is mild enough to be used daily without causing me any problems.

Do you use any of these drugstore gems? Thank you for reading,

Friday, 3 March 2017

5 Top Picks: Drugstore Blush

My top 5 drugstore blush recommendations are all powders and cost less than £9 each.

H&M Powder Blush £6.99

The elegant black and gold packaging of these H&M blushes is one of my favourites from the drugstore.

The texture is velvety soft and the finish is sheer and natural. The shade pictured above is Cameo Pink which is a delicate matte and one of my favourite everyday products.
There are 15 other shades available in this line including some shimmery powders, so something to suit everyone.
Sleek Blush £4.99
This is Sleek's famous Rose Gold blush which looks at its best in sunlight, when the gold shimmer reflects beautifully.
This blush lasts very well on the skin and is great for a glowy, romantic look.
Sleek has 11 blush shades available, all in this stylish, Nars-esque packaging.
Tanya Burr Peachy Glow Cheek Palette £8

This great-value palette contains a bronzer and highlight shade as well as this pretty, apricot blush.

The delicate, peachy colour looks just as pretty on the face as it does in its heart-embossed packaging.
Max Factor Crème Puff Blush £8.99
Another everyday favourite, Max Factor's Crème Puff blushes are marbled shades which give depth and dimension to their finish on the skin.

This shade is Nude Mauve and there are 5 other colours available ranging from brighter pinks to deep purple berry tones.
Makeup Revolution Blush £1
These smooth, matte powders only cost £1 each and are just as velvety soft as the H&M blushes.

An absolute beauty bargain, they last well throughout the day and are perfectly packaged for travel or to squeeze into a full makeup bag.
Have you tried any of these products? Thank you so much for reading,

Snapchat: highstreet_b

Find Sleek blush here:
Find Tanya Burr Cheek Palette here:
Find Max Factor Crème Puff Blush here:
Find Makeup Revolution Blush here: