I've been pulled into Boots and Superdrug like a moth to a flame recently and have found some new, absolute gems and rediscovered some old favourites that I was crazy about back in the day. Yes, I love me a good, luxury product, but it feels so good finding cheaper dupes that don't wipe out the contents of my purse completely.
Every beauty brand seems to be releasing their take on the perfect brow gel, at the moment. Rimmel's Brow This Way Styling Gel was a bit too thick and clumpy for my liking, leaving an obvious, mousse-like residue coating the hairs. Loreal's Brow Artist Plumper in Medium/Dark, however, is so natural looking and actually does the job it's meant to, sealing any stray hairs that don't sit properly, in place. There's no need to wipe any excess product off the mini wand, as the tapered brush only picks up the perfect amount of gel. You can feel it on the brows, but the texture isn't too crispy or hard to the touch. The coloured tint, which doesn't have too much red in it, leaves brows looking believably full, as it only clings to the individual hairs and doesn't touch the skin underneath (if you have a light hand). When I wear it alone, the light, fibre-enriched gel plumps up the density and volume of my brows, thickening the overall look of them and I've definitely cut down on using my usual MAC brow powders. But, when I have a bit more time to do my makeup, a slick of this on top of brow pencil or powder, ensures that brows aren't all one tone and too false looking. Loreal also offer this product in a shade for lighter, blonde hair and also a clear formula if you want a tint-free version, too.
If you aren't familiar with the Kylie Jenner pout-gate, then where have you been? Go and google, if not. Whether she's had fillers injected into her lips or just uses clever makeup tricks to create a very convincing illusion, I think she's looking hawttt. If it boosts her confidence and she's happy, then who are we to judge? I just hope she doesn't go too far with it. Anyway, I digress. Everyone is trying to emulate her killer pout and I wanted in on some of that action. MAC have sold out of any product even loosely linked to Kylie's look, so I raided my makeup collection and headed to the drugstore and unearthed some real beauts. My favourite combination is a generously scribbled base of MAC Subculture Lip Pencil all over and slightly overdrawn along the edge of the lips, followed by a slick of Maybelline 630 Velvet Beige Lipstick on top. A dusty-pink, nude shade, 'Subculture' is perfect to add some extra oomph and create a flattering shadow that isn't too ashy. The liner is soft enough that it glides around the lips easily, without being too harsh, but it isn't so soft that you struggle to achieve a precise edge and it smudges. 'Velvet Beige' is a medium, brown nude that has a rosy tint to it, on my paler skin-tone. The satin finish is creamy and comfortable to wear, although it can cling to dry areas a little, especially as lips tend to get chapped at this time of year. This was a shade I wore constantly a few years ago and I can't believe I forgot about it. It's one of my all-time, favourite nude shades and at under £10, I don't mind repurchasing it.
You need such a small amount of hair oil per application, that it takes months and months to fully finish a bottle. So, when I pumped out the last drop of my Moroccan Oil Treatment a year or two ago, I was ready to try something new. Within that time I tried some I loved, but since repurchasing this cult favourite, this oil stands out as the best, by far. Full of vitamins, omega 3 oils, acids and antioxidants, the brand claims that this oil will repair damaged hair, by instantly filling gaps in the hair shaft. Although, I imagine it only repairs on a superficial, short-term level, as the oil does contain silicones. Thicker than most on the market, a little goes miles with this treatment. As my hair is so long, I find one and a half pumps smoothed through my damp locks, concentrating on the lengths and ends, is the optimal amount for me. If I use any more than that, my hair ends up lank and greasy and even the best dry shampoo can't rectify the situation, leaving me with the only option of washing it all over again. After application, combing through my hair becomes a cinch and I get much fewer knots and tangles. Drying my hair is a much shorter process and, once I've finished styling, my locks feels so soft, silky and free of frizz and fly-aways. To add even more shine and gloss to my finished style, I like to gently smooth a tiny drop more through my mane. If you have particularly fine hair, then you may find the original formula too strong, so you may want to try the Moroccan Oil Light. As you can imagine, a bottle of Moroccan Oil seems to last forever, so whilst it's initially expensive, it probably works out as cheaper per application, than others.
Escentric Molecules is an unusual, fragrance maker. Their simple, perfume creations have been claimed to make people fall to the feet of strangers and declare their undying love (I'm a hopeless romantic), or more realistically, just give a passing compliment to whoever wears it. If you didn't know anything about the brand, then you may be left puzzled when initially spritzing the fragrance and giving it a sniff. To me, they smell like a watery alcohol, to begin with. But, if you wait a while and let it settle onto the skin, you then smell the difference. Molecule 01 is the best-selling scent from the brand and contains just one molecule of fragrance (Iso E Super, for fragrance buffs that are in the know). Working with your natural scent and warmth of your body, the plain liquid acts similarly to pheromones, so it has a unique effect on each, individual person. On me, it becomes deep, woody and spicy, which is why I always gravitate towards it during A/W. Whilst it can be difficult to smell it on yourself, others certainly can and so if you're unsure, use a tester, wear it for a while and ask the opinion of someone you trust. It may be more expensive than your average scent, but I'd definitely pay more for a custom, personal perfume. But, to give you a heads up, I've only had compliments from other women when I wear this and my boyfriend never notices it. He isn't the most observant of guys, though.
Which products are you loving recently?