anastasia beverly hills BEAUTY

Current Beauty Favourites #19

19:31Alice Grace

november 2014 beauty favourites

Apologies that my November favourites are up a bit later than usual, but you know how busy the run up to Christmas can be! It's been all about the makeup for me, recently. Nothing has really changed with my skincare or body product stash, but there is a haircare product thrown into the mix, for good measure.

estee lauder double wear stay in place powder makeup review

You know when you hit pan on a product and you're super careful with it so that it doesn't crumble...and then low and behold, a day later it's smashed into irreparable oblivion? Well that happened whilst I was on a trip to Edinburgh, leaving my travel makeup bag missing a powder. So, as it was the crazy Black Friday weekend and practically every store had discounts, I headed to Debenhams to pick up a replacement in my winter shade. Estee Lauder are one of my favourite brands for base makeup, so after scouring their shelves, I decided on the Double Wear Stay-In-Place Powder Makeup. Straight after dusting a little onto my t-zone for the first time, I was in love and despite only using it for a few days before December, I had to include it in my monthly favourites. A cross between a foundation and a standard, pressed powder, it gives you the best of both worlds. Soft and silky, the weightless powder feels like nothing on the skin. On natural makeup days, I've worn this alone, gently buffed into the skin with a large, fluffy brush, or I've been using it to set my foundation/ concealer and to blot, if needed, throughout the day. The effect it has is amazing, giving a flawless, skin-blurring result, adding an extra boost of coverage, whilst toning down any shine. I don't need to carry a separate concealer with me when I pop this compact into my bag, as it can be built up to camouflage any redness that often appears at the end of my nose, in this chilly weather. Even if I've touched up numerous times throughout the day, my face never looks caked in dry, chalky makeup come 8 o'clock. Having a semi-matte finish, it still gives the skin a natural glow, whilst absorbing any excess oils. Estee Lauder's claim of eight hour wear is believable on my skin, but if you have an oily complexion, I think that could be pushing it. Housed in quite a chunky compact, the powder comes with a sponge, but I throw that out straight away and use my own, powder brush with it. Oil and fragrance-free and anti-acnegenic, this powder shouldn't cause any issues for problematic skin, although you can never be 100% sure. The SPF of 10 hasn't caused me any disasters in photographs yet, but I'd always avoid products containing titanium dioxide on special occasions anyway. At £31, this is Lauder's most expensive, Double Wear base, but it is double-duty and as it lasts so well, you shouldn't need to repurchase it often.

nars belissima eyeshadow duo review
nars belissima eyeshadow duo swatches review
Nars Belissima Eyeshadow Duo Swatches

As it's all about the bold lip colours during the run up to Christmas, I like to pare back the rest of my makeup. So that the focus isn't diverted away from those crimson, berry and fuchsia shades, I keep the eyes simple and stick to lighter, neutral shades that add subtle definition. One of my most-used palettes recently, has been the Nars Belissima Eyeshadow Duo. Comprising two, complimenting shades, you can always rely on this pair to look good, as the colours work well with all makeup styles, both day and night. The pale, oyster shade has the finest, pearlescent shimmer running through it and looks stunning on it's own. It isn't an opaque shade, which means it isn't too frosty and adds a soft luminescence to the eyes. To deepen the natural shadow of the eye socket or to softly line the lashes, the matte, cool-toned, browny taupe is ideal. It's not so light that you need to apply four layers of shadow to see it, or too dark that you inadvertently create a dramatic, smokey eye if you apply a tad too much, either. Like all Nars eyeshadows, the pigment is strong, but the formula is soft and easily blend-able. Neither shade has a chalky texture or creates a haze of dust when you swirl your brush into it. I've never been a fan of the brand's frustrating, rubber packaging, but I can put up with it for the high quality of what's inside. Nars is a high-end brand so, of course, their products aren't cheap. But, if you purchase a duo that you'll wear often, they really are worth the money.

kevyn aucoin eyeshadow duo #202 review
kevyn aucoin eyeshadow duo #202 swatches review
kevyn aucoin eyeshadow duo #202 swatches
Kevyn Aucoin #202 Eyeshadow Duo Swatches

Another eyeshadow set that I've been reaching for non-stop, is the Kevyn Aucoin #202 Eyeshadow Duo. When I'm feeling a bit tired and my eyes need a pick-me-up or I'm craving a little more sparkle, then this pair fits the bill nicely. The frosty, iced white, 'Vellum Shimmer', is strictly reserved for the inner corner of the eyes, to widen and brighten them. Personally, I find it a bit too light to be swept across my whole lid, but it makes a beautiful highlight. 'Shimmering Wheat' is a pale gold, which is warm, without being too yellow or orange. On the lid it gives a soft, candlelit glow, which evens out the skin-tone and suits my colouring and brown eyes so well. I can't get over the amazing texture of these shadows. Comparable to the likes of Tom Ford and Charlotte Tilbury, they're so buttery soft that they feel almost like a cream formula. Barely needing any blending to look flawless, these shadows take all of the hard work out of eyeshadow application. Even the lightest dusting of shadow lasts all day, without fading and despite being full of shimmer, it's so finely-milled that it gives the eyes a radiant sheen that isn't too stark. Yes, spending £37 on just two eyeshadows is ridiculously extravagant, but this pair was a gift, the quality is insane and the shades are so wearable. If you're a makeup obsessive and fancy treating yourself or someone else, I definitely recommend having a swatch of Aucoin's creations in SpaceNK.

anastasia beverly hills brow wiz brunette review

It's taken me a while to cave into the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz hype. I'd shunned harsher eyebrow pencils in favor of using more natural-looking brow powders for filling in any sparse areas, but curiosity got the better of me and I decided to try it out. Now, I'm a convert. Usually, I find pencils give the enhanced-brow game away, showing that they're obviously drawn-in. But, the nib of the Brow Wiz is so small that it's easy to recreate the look of real hairs, ensuring you're light-handed. With a non-scratchy spooley at the end to brush them through as you go, you can still achieve the softness that a powder product gives. Neither too hard nor too squidgey, the pencil itself has the perfect consistency, drawing on easily, but also lasting all day. As the pencil is retractable, the nib never gets blunt, so you don't have to re-sharpen it after every use. 'Brunette' is the shade that I went for, as it's a deep brown that has barely any red in it, but I could go a shade lighter again, next time. Brows are such an important part of makeup, as they frame the face, so I'm happy to pay a bit more for a product that transform my feeble forehead fluff into bushy beauties.

soap & glory sexy mother pucker gloss stick plum jam review
soap & glory sexy mother pucker gloss stick plum jam swatch
Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Plum Jam Swatch

Bold lips don't always have to be hard work. If I'm going to be out all day and want an easy option that's still season appropriate, I've been loving the Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Plum Jam. The translucent, berry tint is just enough to make a statement, but doesn't need a tonne of upkeep throughout the day or night. I can even apply it without a mirror, without the worry that it's smudged or looks uneven. A quick slick of the stick gives a sheer hint of colour, but you can layer it to ramp up the colour. I don't know what it is about these lipstick/gloss hybrids, but they leave the lips looking so perfected and they're such a joy to wear. Rich and non-sticky, the nourishing formula plumps the lips and lasts for a few hours before needing a re-touch, which is pretty good going for a balmy finish. Thanks to the moisturising texture, you don't need to worry if your lips are dry, as the product won't cling to any flakey patches or exaggerate them. Scented with vanilla, they could be too sickly sweet for some, but I love the fragrance and it soon dissipates. As you can see, the pointed nib of the lip crayon wears down and becomes rounded after a while, but it remains easy to apply and you can still achieve an even lipline with it. Soap & Glory are one of my favourite brands and these glosses are one of their best products, in my eyes. £8 may seem a lot for a sheer, drugstore lipstick, but if you take advantage of one of Boots' amazing deals, you can get them for a lot cheaper.

hair xpertise kera 10 leave-in conditioner hair treatment review

As my hair gets ridiculously tangled with even the gentlest gust of wind, a generous spritz of leave-in conditioner is essential in my routine, so that brushing my hair isn't totally impossible. There appears to be a trend of 10-in-1 sprays that claim to do it all, currently on the market and some I've rated and some I've hated. But, the Hair Xpertise Kera 10 Hair Treatment is definitely my number one. To be honest, I don't care whether a product claims to do one or one hundred different things, as long as it makes my locks look and feel healthy. When I spotted this treatment in Boots, I'd never heard of the brand before, but I've been pleasantly surprised. Infused with coconut and argan oils, this spray helps to detangle, nourish and tame my long, dry hair. When paired with my beloved Moroccan Oil, my hair is left feeling strong, healthy and with a mirror-like shine that numerous people have commented on. Not only does it work wonders, but it also smells like a sweet cocktail of coconut, vanilla and cocoa and the scent actually lingers in the hair. Cue even more compliments. I liberally douse my towel-dried hair with the spray after running some hair oil through the lengths and ends and then comb it all through. Then, I either let it dry naturally, or blast it with my hairdryer and curl or straighten it, as the spray protects the hair from heat styling. Like with any hair product, if your hair gets oily quite quickly, then you may want to go lightly with how much you use, but this leave-in conditioner has never made my hair feel greasy, heavy or lank. I'd agree with nine out of the ten product's claims, but I don't find it to boost the body or volume of my hair. Although, I wouldn't expect a product that makes my hair sleek, to do that anyway. After using this treatment every day for over a month, I've barely made a dent in the bottle, so I imagine this will last me for a long while yet. Considering it costs £19.99, for what I assume is a drugstore brand, I'm rather happy about that.


What are you loving, at the moment?

AGB X


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