If you keep up to date with my posts, you may have guessed that I spend a lot of time shopping and buying new and interesting beauty products to test. Over the course of 2017 I have accumulated some amazing makeup, skincare and beauty accessories, way more than I ever did before I became a beauty blogger and makeup artist. I have also discovered brands I was completely unaware of or had never tried previously and learnt more about brands I love.
What’s In This Haul?
This mixed bag haul contains products by brands that I know and love and a couple that I was new to until this year. There’s something for everyone:
- Kiss Gel Fantasy Nails
- Urban Decay Razor Sharp Liquid Eyeliners
- Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Illuminating Powder
- Bobbi Brown Skin Smoothing Pore Perfector
- Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer
- Benefit Hello Flawless Powder Cover Up
- Bobbi Brown Art Stick Liquid Lipstick
- Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator
- Real Techniques Miracle Cleansing Sponge
1. The Kiss Gel Fantasy Nails
These nails are the best press/stick on faux acrylic nails I have ever used. The number of times people comment on them when I wear them, thinking they are acrylics, is amazing. They come with nail glue and nail stickers, so you can either wear them for a couple of weeks or for a day or two. There are also many sizes to fit all nail sizes and I have to say the sizes are very close to my natural nail size, which has been a problem with other brands. Once applied with glue, they will last a couple of weeks and they have an amazing shine, they feel comfortable and don’t damage your nails after removal. They also come in different designs and lengths. Since I bought this design I have bought many more especially when they are on offer in Boots and Superdrug.
2. Urban Decay’s Razor-Sharp Liquid Eyeliner
These liquid liners are gorgeous. I bought 4 colours, Push (dark blue), Kush (bright green), Retrograde (purple) and Bump (white) and I already have a wish list for a few more. They are very pigmented (see above), have a subtle metallic or matte finish and once they dry down they don’t move. The wand is very fine and easy to control, but the liquid is very loose, so it is best to wipe off any excess before application, so you can control the thickness of the line and avoid wastage. There are some new shades to pick now so I would definitely take a look if you have never used this eyeliner before.
3. The Bobbi Brown Illuminating Powder
I love this powder. I bought this on a whim as I don’t often use powder but this one is lovely. It is very fine and light and can be applied all over the face or under the eyes, which I particularly like to do. It gives a beautiful subtle glow and does not look cakey or add colour, it just brightens the skin and blurs any minor imperfections. I bought the Nude shade, but it comes in 5 other shades to suit all skin tones.
4. Bobbi Brown’s Skin Smoothing Pore Perfector
This opaque gel is excellent. I have noticed that my pores have slowly become more noticeable, so I thought I would try this pore perfector to see if it helped – and it does. It is a milky coloured gel texture which is easily absorbed into the skin and whilst the pores don’t completely vanish they are much less visible especially once foundation and concealer is applied. The gel is also lightweight and helps to reduce oil production, which is something else I suffer with. All in all, this is a great item and it lasts a while as a small pea sized amount covers the T Zone well.
5. Bobbi Brown’s Skin Serum Concealer
When this product came out, I knew I wanted to try it. Bobbi Brown was the first brand I bought a concealer from so I knew it would be good quality. However, this concealer is far better than the first one I bought. It is a fluid, reasonably loose and easy to smooth and blend and the result is more even, brighter under eyes. It is not quite as full coverage as some other concealers but still gives a balanced natural finish. It also contains some unique and beneficial ingredients such as Indian Tree Root and Bamboo Grass which help to minimise dark circles, ageing and pigmentation. I like to use it with a brightening corrector for an extra dose of illumination.
6. Benefit Hello Flawless Cover Up Powder
I tested this product at a Benefit counter before buying it and was very impressed. I am not a big fan of powder and rarely use a coloured powder but this one is very good. It is quite a dense texture and is designed to set foundation and provide added coverage on trouble spots. It is available in different shades and the result is a smooth almost satin-like finish. I don’t use it all over my face, but it is useful for an oily T-Zone.
7. The Bobbi Brown Art Stick Liquid Lipstick
This is a unique lipstick. I was intrigued when I first tested it as I didn’t realise how to push the lipstick to the tip – you have to squeeze the body. When I figured this out, and managed to get a small amount of lipstick to the top of the tube, the lipstick was more like a putty than a liquid but was very pigmented. The colour smoothed onto the lips easily and gave a full coverage matte result which barely moved all day. Unlike many liquid lipsticks it was not overly drying, and my lips felt reasonably soft. The Art Stick comes in lots of lovely shades and is definitely worth trying BUT squeezing the product out takes a little getting used to. Check out the swatch above.
8. Laura Geller’s Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator
This is one of my favourite highlighters. Laura Geller is a brand I discovered this year and I am so happy I did because her makeup is excellent and affordable. This highlighter is called Gilded Honey and the result is a lovely burnished gold glow (see above swatch). The powder is set in the ‘swirl’ design but you only need to run a brush along the ridges to pick up a good amount of product and just one swipe gives high colour pay off. It can be as subtle or as strobe-like as you like and will work on most skin tones all year round. If you love highlighters you need to try this one.
9. The Real Techniques Miracle Cleansing Sponge
I really like using this sponge. It is designed to be used to clean the face pre-makeup application, but I like to use it when I am taking my makeup off to ensure I get every nook and cranny. It is quite a rough texture but not overly abrasive and can be used with any cleanser or on its own for a deep scrub. I also like to use it when removing face masks. It is easy to clean, retains its shape after use and will easily last 3 months or more if not used all the time. My skin feels lovely and clean after I use the sponge and I like that it gently exfoliates as well.
Would I Recommend The Products?
It’s a definite yes. I use all these items on a regular basis and I am always happy with the results. They will all last a while before needing replacements and so far, I have not had any negative skin reactions or irritations. I particularly love the eyeliners and the highlighter, as these are two of my favourite makeup products. If you are looking to try some new makeup or need to replace any of these items in your kit, it is worth testing any of these products, you won’t be disappointed.