Greetings! & My Summer ’13 Makeup All-Stars.

Hi there! Short intro: my name is Becky: I’m 22, British, a fashion student & primarily blog fashion over at my work blog – Becky Alyssa where I write about what’s going on in the crazy world of style and put together Street Style posts from London and the South Coast (when I get the chance to travel – currently without car which sucks, so all that fun stuff is on hiatus, waah!). Anyway, as much as I’m completely head-over-heels in love with fashion, I’m also passionate about beauty and cosmetics – I love writing reviews, trying out new things whenever I can, swapping with internet friends and also getting my money’s worth, since I’m a poor student and all.

For my first ever post I want to share my current favourites for the summer – sure, we’ve only had a couple of weeks of summer in the UK so far but after such a thorougly depressing winter I was all too eager to get out my summer products early!

(Left to Right)

1. E.L.F. Cream Eyeliner in Black – £3.75 – After the depressing ordeal of moving home I misplaced my beloved MAC Blacktrack which has been my absolute HG for years. I was completely adamant that NOTHING WILL EVER COMPARE TO BLACKTRACK but after not being able to afford another for a while I tried out a few alternatives and surprisingly the super-cheap E.L.F. liner has been my favourite. Being cream rather than gel, unsurprisingly the texture is a little more ‘creamy’ but applies just as wonderfully for a defined dark line that lasts for hours and hours without smudging. I’ve read reviews complaining that this dries out quickly, but I’ve been using it regularly for 2 months and making sure the lid’s on tight each time – nothing wrong yet!

2. Rimmel ‘Wake Me Up’ Foundation in Ivory – £8.99 – Normally I hate buying foundation as the shade matching is such a headache and everything just turns into a horrible mess on my pale British skin. I’d heard good things about ‘Wake Me Up’ and since my previous favourite Bobbi Brown just seems to be more expensive every time I buy it, I bought the palest shade from Tesco without testing it first, like an irresponsible shopper. Luckily it goes really well with my skin, blends well, doesn’t look chalky, orange or feel too mask-like; just a really good medium coverage foundation which helps me look a bit more awake in the morning. I believe there are microscopic ‘shimmers’ in the formula but it’s pretty much impossible to tell when you have it on. Also buying from the Rimmel stand at Tesco, there is often a 3 for 2 offer and all purchases build up clubcard points for petrol, bonus!

3. Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Silky Beige – £3.99 – More love for Rimmel. I picked this up several months ago in the aforementioned offer but managed to grab the wrong colour, so I left it unused. However since the weather’s become warmer, this is perfect for mattifying any oily areas whilst giving my skin some soft, natural colour. I only use it lightly as it’s not the kind of powder that needs shovelling on – just a small amount works like magic.

4. Rimmel BB Cream 9-in-1 in Light – £6.99 – Didn’t notice how much I use Rimmel..I’m not obsessed, honest! This is my favourite summer BB cream. It evens out skin tone without looking or feeling too cakey – no one wants to wear heavy foundation in hot weather, so this is perfect for the daytime. The SPF 25 coverage is ideal for day-to-day wear, although extra sunscreen is needed for long days in the sun. Most BB creams I’ve tried have been quite watery with insufficient coverage, so it was a nice surprise to try this and find myself using it over and over.

5. Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow Brush – £23 – Although this pricier brush doesn’t fit in with my cheap taste, it’s one I’ve been using for years now so it’s more than worth the money. When I was younger and hesitant about makeup, my auntie bought me some Bobbi Brown products and brushes to try out. Although the writing on the handles does wear off after loads of use, the brushes remain thick, stiff, soft and easy to use. I use this eye shadow brush in all my palettes and it’s a definite all-time favourite of mine – I’ve yet to find one better.

6. Bobbi Brown Blemish Cover Stick in Porcelain – I think Bobbi Brown have discontinued this exact product but they currently sell a Face Touch Up Stick for £19 that looks very similar. Another one of my Bobbi Brown gifts, I like using this yellow-toned creamy concealer stick for covering up dark circles under my eyes. Although I rarely get spots anymore (hurray slightly improved post-teen skin!) the thick formula also covers up spots or scars and the tiny twisty applicator is great for travelling. I use on my finger and then on my face to avoid spreading bacteria & germs from spots anywhere else.

7. Maybelline Eye Liner Brush – Free with Maybelline Eyestudio Gel Liner Although I disliked the eyeliner, these skinny brushes with a thin flat tip are ideal for applying other gel and cream liners for a perfect defined line – not too small and fiddly, not too big to use close-up in the mirror. Plus they’re technically free, so that’s a bonus.

8. Chapstick Lipsations Berry Shimmer – £1.99 I collect lip balms like some kind of crazy hoarder – my lips get dry often and I’m always hunting for the perfect lip balm. This shimmery berry-flavour edition of Chapstick only seems to be available in Superdrug stores & it’s perfect for days when you can’t be bothered to wear lipgloss or lipstick yet still want to look put-together. It doesn’t wear for more than an hour or two so you have to reapply, but it gives the lips a gorgeous subtle colour and shimmer for everyday wear as well as adding bonus moisture to dry lips. Only complaint is that the twist applicator became stuck a couple weeks after purchase so it no longer twists up.

9. NARS Blush in Orgasm – £22 I managed to purchase this NARS blush with a 25% off ASOS student code a couple of months ago – how can you not? It was my first NARS purchase and I’d previously stuck with Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick in Rose which was a lovely natural shimmery pink. Besides the great name, Orgasm is peachy-pink with tiny gold particles in for shimmer and is super-pigmented so you only need to use the tiniest amount dusted lightly onto cheekbones. It’s like instant pretty in a compact. I use it most days and by far the most out of any of my blushes – such a great buy! I’ve since become truly hooked on NARS products..

10. MUA Undressed Palette – £4 Anyone who hasn’t had the fortune to try the amazing MUA palettes: yes, they’re definitely worth all the hype. I spent $50 on the original Urban Decay Naked palette in Sephora whilst in the US, but since this is such a great & affordable dupe I haven’t even touched the UD palette in months. I love the matte and light shimmer shades with a darker colour in the crease – perfect day and evening eye makeup!

11. Benefit ‘That Gal’ – £22.50 Hated this at first when I used it in January, but it’s the perfect light primer for summer. As much as I love using silicone-based primers to smooth out my skin before applying foundation, they’re too suffocating in the summer. This primer is light and lovely for summer under BB cream and actually does make my face look more radiant. And it smells of grape-scented markers.

12. Bobbi Brown Face Brush – £28.50 Ok, I can’t believe quite how expensive this brush is new..but it’s honestly worth the money! As well as being the perfect stiff-but-soft chunky face brush that applies powder and blends perfectly, it comes with a cute little leather zip-up pouch to keep it in. Unnecessary? Maybe. But adorable? Oh yes. I use this multiple times a day and have done for 8 years (can’t believe it’s been that long, eek!) so I’d say it’s more than paid for itself.

13. E.L.F. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer – £3 Like everyone else ever, I fell in love with the Urban Decay Primer Potion when I got a mini size with my Naked palette. And unlike everyone else, I really hate the new squeezy packaging. Why did they change it from the super-pretty genie bottle with a wand applicator to a crappy plastic squeezy tube? These are things I debate when I fall asleep at night. Well, maybe. However the E.L.F. eye primer shockingly works just as well, keeping eyeshadow and liner in check for 12 or more hours on even the greasiest of eyelids. And it’s only £3. Unbelieveable.

14. Almay Intense i-Color in Brown Topaz (Pencil) – $6.99 (US only) Unfortunately this US-only product is unavailable in the UK, meaning I’m constantly checking MakeupAlley swap lists for it and then crying into my keyboard when no one seems to have it. Available in both pencil and liquid, this is the ultimate eyebrow pencil for my strange grey-brown natural hair colour. I’ve tried countless eyebrow pencils from numerous brands and everything else is too orange, too dark, too waxy, etc. It’s just the perfect colour and subtleness – my eyebrows always look off when I use anything else, inviting concerned looks and awkward “..have you had a haircut?”-type comments. The pencil comes with a build-in sharpener, but I just prefer to twist it and it’s ready to use. I’m close to running out and recently bought some on Amazon which never arrived, so I’m nearing eyebrow pencil crisis – help!

15. MUA Pro-Base Fixing Mist – £5 Something I previously thought was low on my list of makeup priorities, this fixing mist makes a genuine difference in the staying power of your makeup when you know you’ve got a long, busy day ahead. Most others seem to have a horrible chemical smell, rubbish spray, feel sticky or just not work, but I was seriously impressed when this fixing mist kept my makeup flawless almost all day during a particularly hectic trip to London – normally it’s smeared hopelessly all over my face but this time I looked presentable for well over 12 hours – amazing! It also has a really subtle scent, which is so much better than plastic or chemical odours. And £5 really isn’t bad.

16. Collection 2000 Extreme Coloured Length Mascara in Black (not pictured) – £2.99 Don’t know how I managed to miss this from my photo, but I’ve finally found my HG mascara. And it costs less than £3. I can’t stand clumpy, thick, sticky mascara with applicators that look like something from a spaceship – I just want a mascara that makes my lashes long and lovely which can be removed easily without stinging my eyes. And this is pretty much perfect! One coat gives me perfectly defined yet natural lashes and another coat can be applied for extra length and wow-ness. It doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes either. I’ve already repurchased a couple more in case they get discontinued.

What are your favourites?


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