Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Everything I bought in England | High Street "Haul"

So I have been back in the United States for a few weeks now, and have been putting off writing this post because I am in denial that I am no longer in the UK. However, the time has come to take a short walk down memory lane and review everything I bought on the High Street over the course of the four months I was there. 
Most of the products I purchased are ones I had seen in the videos or blogs of my favourite British beauty bloggers, so the first time I went to Boots was kind of surreal! I may have gone a bit overboard. 
Natural Collection Blush in Peach Melba, Topshop Highlighter in Crescent Moon, MUA Eyeshadow Trio in Innocence

Natural Collection Blushed Cheeks in Peach Melba: Purchased, of course, because I saw it in so many of Estée's videos, and I pretty much will buy anything she recommends. It's really soft, blendable and easy to wear, and you can't beat the price of £1.99, can you? 

Topshop Highlighter in Crescent Moon: Perhaps now my holy grail highlighter? This product is so beautiful and finely milled I LOVE wearing it over blush to give my cheeks a hint of radiance, and what a high quality product for the price. This blows MAC's Soft and Gentle out of the water in my opinion. I was so impressed with Topshop's makeup range my only regret is not having bought more!

MUA Eyeshadow Trio in Innocence: I am not even much of an eyeshadow girl on a daily basis, but you really can't go wrong with these neutral shimmery shades, especially for the £2.50 price tag. The pigmentation is nothing short of impressive, and the colours are incredibly easy to wear on an everyday basis. 
 Barry M Nail Paints in Raspberry and Peach Melba, Revlon Nail Enamel in Vixen

Barry M Nail Paints: I was super excited to try these when I got to the UK because the colour range is massive and just gorgeous but unfortunately I was really disappointed with the formula! It was watery, a bit streaky and chipped like an absolute bitch. Also, I love the colour of Peach Melba, but it just did not suit my skin tone. However, if you don't have totally transparent skin like me definitely give it a go.

Revlon Nail Enamel in Vixen: Another essiebutton recommendation, and I wasn't super impressed with how it looked in the bottle but glory be it looks gorgeous on the nails. Good news is you can get it in the States, too! Seriously a perfect colour for autumn and winter - I couldn't stop wearing it!
Natural Collection Lipsticks in Raspberry and Rose Petal, Barry M Lipgloss in #2 Toffee, Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Fig Jam, 17 Lipsticks in Beehive and Belle

Natural Collection/17 Mirror Shine Lipsticks: I did a more in-depth post about these about a month ago, and they were my standby natural lip shades for the duration of my stay. Phenomenal finds!

Barry M Liplgloss in #2 Toffee: I am by no means a liplgloss girl, in fact I only own one or two lipglosses because I don't like the texture but OH MY WORD this one is amazing. Probably the most divine smelling lip product I own (as the name suggests, it smells of toffee) and the formula is smooth and not sticky in the slightest. I cannot say enough positive things about it.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Fig Jam: I saw Fleur wearing this in one of her videos and it was so gorgeous I literally went to Boots that day and picked one up. Such a gorgeous colour and I will be dedicating a blog post specifically to this product in the near future.
 Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair, Soap & Glory A Great Kisser lip balm in Juicy Peach, The Body Shop Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream, GOSH Defining Brow Gel

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair: What can be said about this conceal that hasn't already been said? Amazing colour match, full coverage, perfect for spots or imperfections, and lasts all day for a modest price! I bought a few as backup because I knew I wouldn't be able to get my hands on another for a while.

Soap & Glory A Great Kisser Lip Balm in Juicy Peach: The moisturising properties of this lip balm are only decent but the scent is absolutely incredible.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream: A very thick cream for parched skin, it did wonders for my dry, sensitive face!

GOSH Defining Brow Gel: Until I picked this little beauty up I had been using a Maybelline clear mascara to set my brows, and that just kind of made them wet for a bit rather than locking in the shape of my brows. However, GOSH's brow gel really makes my unruly eyebrows stay in place all day! 

Phew...okay well after that exhaustive list I think we can say for sure that I have a shopping problem. Hope you found this interesting or informative; I have to say taking this walk down memory lane makes me miss England even more! 
Hope you're all well. xx

Friday, 7 December 2012

Most-Loved Makeup Products

Warning: You are about to see some heavily-used and possibly kind of gross-looking products, but that is merely proof of my love for them!
Today I wanted to talk about some of my all-time favourite products; the ones I would and have repurchased over and over again, and use at least four to five times per week if not every day. 
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque: I could not live without this product. I know a lot of beauty bloggers say, "I have such terrible dark circles," when they are in fact barely noticeable but ladies, my dark circles are literally purple and my skin is more or less translucent so I need something of near herculean strength to cover them. As you can see, the one shown is completely empty and I have scraped out the last bits completely. I have re-purchased too many of these to count.

MAC Mineralise Skinfinish in Blonde: This product evokes a sad tale, as it was unfortunately limited edition with the Naturally collection earlier this year, and thus I cannot repurchase it unless it is re-promoted. Since purchasing this in January, other blushes have come and gone but I literally cannot stop wearing this. It gives the most gorgeous pink flush to the skin with an absolutely stunning sheen and is so, so easy to work with. In the past I have actually tried to stop wearing it in order to save it but I just can't stop myself. Yesterday, I hit pan on this and want to weep. 

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair: When I came to England this was the first thing I picked up on my inaugural trip to Boots, and only then did I understand how worth-the-hype this product is. The concealer shown in the picture is actually brand new as I've just run out and it's honestly the best, longest-lasting concealer I have ever tried.
Maybelline The Falsies Flared Waterproof Mascara in Very Black: I can honestly say that before this mascara, I have never repurchased the same one twice. Mascara is actually kind of a personal and conditional makeup item which a lot of people don't realise, but I saw this mentioned in a MissGlamorazzi video and decided to give it a go. What else can I say other than I love the way it makes my lashes look and it doesn't smudge. Can a girl ask for anything more?

MAC Cromagraphic Pencil in NC15/NW20: When I'm getting ready in the morning, my main objective is making my eyes look human - and this product helps me achieve that feat. My waterline is a bit red naturally so this really helps make my eyes look bigger and more awake. It is a pro product, but definitely worth the extra effort. I bought it in April, use it almost everyday and look how much is left still! However, I may end up trying the Nars or Rimmel versions of this kind of pencil and see how they measure up.

NYX Slide-on Eye Pencil in Brown Perfection: I love brown eyeliner on the top lash line and this one is absurdly smooth and long-lasting. It's the shit. As you can see there is hardly anything left of it.
MAC Lipstick in Cosmo: My first-ever MAC lipstick and still my favourite. MAC describes the colour as "Pink coco" and I guess that's fair enough but really it is more of a toned-down rose colour and is so gorgeous for every day I am surprised I don't hear much about it. Additionally, it's an Amplified Crème finish which besides Lustre is my favourite MAC lipstick finish.

Sephora Mineral Powder Brush: Since purchasing this brush, not a day has gone by that I don't use it to apply my foundation. It's brilliant. 

Hope you found this at least somewhat interesting, and I'd really love to know your holy grail and most-used products! Which ones have a special place in your heart? Hope you're all well! xx

Monday, 3 December 2012

Thoughts from Places | The Aesop Event with Essiebutton

I happened to be in London this past weekend for an interview and saw that one of my favourite bloggers, Estée was hosting an event at the Aesop store in Soho, so of course I jumped at the chance to go! I was fairly intimidated as I didn't know what to expect, but it ended up being absolutely amazing!
 First off, the aesthetic of this store was absolutely killing me - it was so clean, organised and just all-around gorgeous! P.S. Any store which has a Robert Frost quote front-and-centre is more than okay in my book!
 Here is the area where the Aesop employees were giving customers hand treatments and skincare recommendations and yes, on the left is the woman of the hour, Estée! By the way, she is just an absolutely lovely person, and I commend her on taking the time to talk to everyone there - it must have been a bit overwhelming.

At the event there was tea, mulled wine, and some damn good sandwiches! But now onto the gift bag! 
 I have never before used Aesop products, but their reputation precedes them as a leader in natural, no-frills (but still luxurious) skincare, so I was very excited to possibly pick something up. Spoiler alert: I didn't end up buying anything for myself as I am pretty skint at this point, but to my surprise all of the attendees were given gift bags with some incredible samples! Inside my gift bag was a sample of the Amazing Face Cleanser, Geranium Leaf Body Wash as well as a little packet of samples of more skincare to try out.
This event was so much fun and I am absurdly lucky to have been able to attend. One of the many perks of living in the UK, eh? Hope you're all having a great start to December! xx

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Lip of the Day: MAC's Scarlet Ibis

In the autumn and winter, I love a red lip pretty much more than anything, but the high-maintenance nature of it often puts me off when I am in a rush in the morning. However, I had a little bit more time on my hands today so I thought I would put on a lipstick I got last month on a trip to Manchester: MAC's Scarlet Ibis. This shade is a bright orange-toned red with a matte finish. It's pretty bold even for the bravest lipstick-wearers. 

Damn girl! That colour is ridiculous!
Scarlet Ibis came out as part of the Iris Apfel collection in January and was one of the only shades from that collection I wanted but I was never able to get my hands on it. When I saw it re-promoted in the Marilyn Monroe collection I jumped at the chance to grab it. However, to be honest I am not crazy about it; I think this was a case of liking the idea of the product more than the product itself. MAC's matte formula was one I had never tried and although not terribly drying was not incredibly flattering either (as you can see). Additionally, it is a little bit too orange for my taste! I think I prefer a more blue-toned red like Revlon's Cherries in the Snow.
In any case, this lipstick is pretty and I guess the packaging is nice? I wasn't too keen on the Marilyn Monroe collection to begin with as I thought it was a bit gimmicky and lacked any products of interest. I will still certainly wear this from time to time, perhaps more during the summer? Not sure, but hopefully I will get enough use out of it to eventually make a dent in the product. I got enough compliments just walking around today that perhaps I will try it again soon! xx

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Three High Street Lipstick Finds!

This is a bit pathetic, but one of the first things I wanted to do when I got to the UK was try out some of the makeup brands that we can't get in the states, and for the most part I have not been disappointed! I got these lipsticks pretty late in the game but am nonetheless impressed with their formulation and relatively inexpensive price!
(from left to right) Natural Collection Rose Petal, 17 Belle, 17 Beehive

The lipsticks I decided to get are all pretty neutral but nonetheless I think the colours are lovely! I was drawn into Boots whilst on the hunt for some lipsticks and came away with Natural Collection's Moisture Shine Lipstick in Rose Petal and 17 Mirror Shine Lipsticks in Belle and Beehive. 
  • Natural Collection Moisture Shine Lipstick in Rose Petal: A creamy nude-pink that is fairly opaque on the lips
  • 17 Mirror Shine Lipstick in Belle: A very glossy sheer neutral pink with some rosy undertones
  • 17 Mirror Shine Lipstick in Beehive: A glossy nude peach with a touch of pink.

Immediately when I swatched the Natural Collection lipstick I thought of MAC's Hue lipstick, and I think it's a pretty darn close dupe! As for the two 17 lipsticks, I had heard quite a bit about Beehive but had only heard essiebutton talk about Belle in her drugstore lipstick video - and I will pretty much go out and buy whatever she has so that lipstick was as good as sold! The pigmentation is more concentrated in the Natural Collection lipstick, but I am so impressed with 17's formula because while it may not be the most pigmented, it feels just gorgeous on the lips. My lips are quite dry and I could not get over how moisturising these lipsticks were.

(from left to right) Natural Collection Rose Petal, 17 Belle, 17 Beehive

Of the three colours, I have to say Beehive is by far my favourite. I literally could not stop looking at it in the mirror when I put it on! If anyone is familiar with 17, you will probably have noticed that they changed the packaging of their lipsticks from the former blue metal bullet to a black case with a special feature. The lipsticks are called "Mirror Shine" and now the packaging comes with a mirror in the tube. Kind of cool, eh?

Personally, I prefer the look of the old packaging as the mirror makes this tube kind of awkward to close but it is a nice gesture I guess? Overall, I am really impressed with these three lipsticks and am certainly glad I purchased them!

Welcome to Damn Beauty Blog!

Hi! If anyone ever reads this I will die of shock - but I have wanted to start my own beauty blog/YouTube channel for some time now and seeing as I have the proper equipment for one-half of that aspiration, I thought what the hell, I'll do it!

My name is Julia and I am a university student from the United States currently studying in England. I have an insatiable appetite for beauty products and 9 times out of 10 would spend my money on makeup and skincare over food. Enjoy! xx