Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Make-Up Faves (aka bigging up the Nars Laguna bronzer)

I have been a beauty product junkie since my very early teens when my best friend and I would go into town on a Saturday morning and spend a huge chunk of our allowance on spot cream, Rimmel 'pink shimmer' lipstick, Exclamation! perfume and Fenjal bubble bath.  A quick mooch around Boots is always a tonic on a 'blah' day but one of my favourite Saturday afternoon activities is to wander around the beauty hall of a big department store, sniffing bottles, spritzing perfumes and swatching blushers.

Some of my favourite beauty supplies, many in travel-sized containers which I always buy despite them being rubbish value for money.  The Bioderma 100ml crealine water is so cute!
When I was packing for my little spa trip with Andrew for his birthday last week I laid out all of my make-up and beauty products so that I wouldn't forget anything.  It made me think about my 'make-up journey'.  (Feel free to make a derisive snort at that term... I did.  The thing is, it really has been a bit of a journey).  

Until about a year ago I had a huge box full of make-up that I never used.  It mostly contained brightly coloured lipstick.  It also held a large number of false eyelash sets and quite a lot of glittery eyeliners and eyeshadows.  I had to hit my 30s to learn that no matter how much I aspired to be one of those perfectly made-up women with four shades of beautifully blended eyeshadow, sculpted cheeks and juicy pink lips, it was never going to happen. That look just doesn't suit me.  I have come to realise that the make-up products that really float my boat are the ones that make me look like a fresher, healthier version of myself.  I have quite pigmented skin from a contraceptive pill and Spanish holiday that didn't mix well in my late 20s and although I'm using products to reduce the pigmentation (and will have a mild facial peel in the autumn) I like to use make-up that evens out my skin tone, gives me a healthy flush and highlights my cheekbones.  The below photo is practically my entire make-up collection now.  I have a few more blushers and highlighters, the same foundation in a slightly darker shade for the summer and a few eyeliner pencils, all Mac, but different colours.  I'm quite proud of myself that I've managed to whittle it down to so few products.

Mac, Nars and Laura Mercier are my favourite brands.  I'm generally not a bronzer fan but since discovering Nars bronzer in Laguna it's a staple product in my make-up bag - I'm on my third pan now.  It's a brown shade, rather than orange, and has no shimmer at all so gives a nice natural colour that helps to even up my skin tone when I've been out in the sun.  I definitely recommend it. 

I've recently discovered Soap & Glory make-up following a 3 for 2 deal in Boots - I love the body products in the range but had never tried the make-up.  (Foam Call shower gel smells so good!)  Cheekmate is an amazing gel blusher that you can also use on your lips.  You need a teeny tiny amount (about the size of a pinhead) as it's a really strong colour but, applied sparingly, it is the exact tone of my cheeks after a zumba class so it suits me perfectly.  It also has staying power and lasts all day.  The Supercat eyeliner pen is a Soap & Glory product too.  I rarely use gel eyeliners (I usually end up looking more like a drunk drag queen than beauty queen) but this one is idiot-proof.  It gives a nice even line with minimal pressure.  I like it a lot!  

I use Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation in Bone and always apply it with the stippling brush (two-toned in the picture) it gives a much more natural finish than using your fingertips or a regular foundation brush.  Laura Mercier shimmer blocks are to die for and my favourite Mac eyeliners are Phone Number and Tarnish.  I also like the dark plum, dark navy and forest green for a bit of a change. That's as exciting as it gets! 

Has anyone else got any amazing make-up finds they'd like to share?  I'm all ears.




  1. I love Soap and Glory too! Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss is fab, very tingly and plumps your lips out xxx

  2. Oh my gaaaaaad! Your description of purchases in Boots as a teenager is EXACTLY the same as mine! I loved Exclamation! Ooooh I can still smell it.
    I wore Russel Gold lipstick (eeeek!) by Rimmel and sometimes sleeked my hair back with Slick from the Body Shop. I guess now, it would make one look like Vicky Pollard, in the slaphead department.
    I love Laura Mercier Camoflage and bought all Nars and LM make up from Space NK for my birthday.
    Now it's cheaper stuff like Rimmel, Bourjois blusher but I want to try out Soap and Glory blusher.
    Liz Earle has a make up range now too you know. I just got sent a swatch.
    Lovely blog post my dear, truly great as now remembering my Saturday afternoons as a 15 year old!!!

  3. Aaah Exclamation!! Can you stil buy that?? I haven't smelt that in YEARS, it'd forgotten all about it! One whiff of that and i'd feel 13 again! Lovely post, has really brought back memories xx

  4. As a teenager I would buy Clean and Clear spot lotion,17 Heather Shimmer Lippy and Impulse body spray. I love a good shop in Boots, my favs now are Soap and Glory,Molton Brown and the Body Shop.
    Make up wise I use Double Wear and Vichy Dermablend Foundations. The Dermablend I use to cover any redness and it is brilliant! I love New CID cosmetics and have the i-prime and i-glow which are gorgeous.The bronzer I use is from Make Believe. I also use my trusty Estee Lauder Blush for a healthy glow. I have loads of eye shadows, eyeliners and lippys and change them according to my mood and outfits.
    Loved reading your post. I like a nosey to see what other people use and recommend.

  5. I've recently discovered MUA lipsticks.They are £1 pound!
    I was sceptical at first,but they are really creamy and have a feel of a more expensive brand.They come in nice Summery colours too.
    I had bad acne as a teenager and used to try and cover it up with thick panstick makeup,which was probably the worst thing I could have done.The foundations now are so much better and lighter than they used to be.Lucklily I ahave clear skin now and don't wear make up every day. :0)

  6. Like Bellaboo I am a recent MUA convert. The lipstick, eyeshadows and eyeliners are amazing. The mascara is not all that, and I haven't tried any other products. But the lipsticks! SO good.
    I also loved your description of Boots shopping as a teenager - sounds so familiar!
    Other than MUA I also like Garnier BB cream, the under eye caffeine roll on and pretty much everything by Benefit.

  7. Even though I always aspire to having nicely applied makeup, the truth is everything I have ever tried either makes me look 15 yrs older or like a tart!! I have therefore given in to wearing only a subtle lipstick, eye cream and mascara. The options are reduced for me as I only buy cruelty free products that are endorsed by the animal welfare groups. I have found the best, most easily available to be Marks and Spencer ( not very exciting!) Lily. xxx

  8. I used to love having loads of Clinique in my make up bag, but after splashing out for around £14 each time for mascara, eyeliners, £20 for foundation etc I decided it really was time I shopped around! (I wear make up every day so get through it pretty quick).

    I still swear by Clinique Clarifying Lotion though, even when you've washed your face you'd be surprised by the grime this still manages to lift off!

    I've also discovered NYC make up in Superdrug, it's cheap as chips but the mascaras are fab, no clumping and lashes to die for.

    Oh, and in my teens it was also Charlie Red perfume! Eugh!

  9. I'm currently swearing by Benefit sunbeam as my must have!

  10. I have that Bronzer, I got it for Xmas but haven't started using it yet. Love your make-up bag!

  11. Omg haha I loved exclamation when I was a kid was always a treat when I could afford the perfume & the spray!

    I loooooove that bunny contact case where did you buy that from I'd love one!

  12. Great post, just found your blog and LOVE it! Almost as much as your super cute bottle of Bioderma! Xxxx

  13. You need to several racks to set up properly all of your items. You can find your necessary bath board, racks, mats, etc. to make your bath cozy one. You can find it from online shops at a reasonable rate.