My Summer Makeup Bag

As if all my makeup fit in one tiny bag (and another even smaller one)! Nope, I’ve condensed some of my favourite summer must-haves into a small zip-up makeup pouch ideal for sorting my face out on the go this season. Read on to find out the best summer base in existence, sweat-proof eye makeup and the new lipstick I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with…

I don’t often take much makeup with me throughout the day, but summer calls for occasions where you find yourself needing to redo your face multiple times a day. Summer walks in the heat, swimming, the beach, going to dinner..it’s hard to keep the same stuff on your face throughout the day. Here is what I took with me to adjust myself from bare-faced lazing around in the heat mood to evening-ready in less than 10 minutes! Welcome to the tour of my sumemer makeup bag.

 

The Main Bag (in order of application)

1. Bourjois CC Cream – The ultimate summer base! This has been the most perfect, light and not-too-greasy product to use all over my face to neutralise redness, without having to cake on product to cover it up. SPF 15 means your skin will also have a little extra protection from the sun – if I was going out during the day, I’d definitely throw in my La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ to wear underneath – pale girls need this every single day of the summer!

2. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW20 – A new purchase, but already a must-have for me. This is some seriously hard-wearing high-coverage concealer – I can wear this an entire day and it doesn’t seem to crease or budge. I don’t always sleep well in the summer because of the heat, so this covers up dark under-eye circles perfectly throughout a busy day.

3. Collection Brow Definer in Blonde – A favourite no matter what time of year it is! Ideal pigmentation, shade and texture for light brows and filling in the sparse areas without looking like you’ve Crayola-d them on. Other products I’ve tried have either been messy, or just looked far too obvious that I’ve used product on them!

4. MAC Brow Set in Beguile – Brow gel never used to be a thing I used at all, but now it’s an essential for me. Beguile is the perfect shade for blonde and light brown brows, giving a subtle tint of colour to those finer baby brow hairs whilst slicking them down for a tidy finish. Absolutely worth the money!

5. MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly – Sadly the price of these has risen yet again! At least I managed to get hold of Painterly beforehand. I wish I could find a cheaper dupe to the Pro Longwear Paint Pots but I haven’t yet – the choice of colours is wonderful, and although Maybelline Color Tattoos have a similarly great ultra-long-wearing formula, their shade range leaves much to be desired. Painterly is the perfect pale pinky-nude shade for smudging all over the lid to brighten and even out eyelid discolouration, or a stay-all-day base for any powder shadows you want to apply on top. This can be applied using either your finger or a cream shadow brush, such as my Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Brush, which I can also multi-task with and dip into the next product.

6. MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Silver Dawn – Unfortunately this was only brought out for the Magnetic Nude collection earlier this year – a gorgeous shimmery cool taupe shade. I seldom buy eyeshadow singles, but this is the most perfect shadow to apply and smudge out in the corner of my lids with the previous brush, especially over a shade like Painterly to give definition and colour whilst keeping it simple and neutral.

7. Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft Mascara – Strangely enough this brilliant Maybelline mascara isn’t sold in the UK, yet it’s one I used for years and always find myself coming back to. I can’t stand mascaras that leave my lashes coated, flaky and crusty – this is the ideal antidote to those! Lashes are long and volumised whilst looking incredibly natural – pretty much the perfect mascara to me! After mascara, I then apply my pressed powder all over my face to minimise shine and set my concealer and base.

8. MAC Fafi Blush in Hipness – Another limited edition, though very similar to Benefit Coralista with less shimmer. The MAC formula always lasts a long time for a powder blush, not to mention great pigmentation. A bright peachy-pink blush like this in the summer will always help to look more awake and healthier, even if you’ve been eating Nutella bagels in front of the computer all weekend (ahem..). I apply with my Bobbi Brown Face Blender Brush, great for applying and blending out a natural-looking flush of colour, and still working well 10 years on.

9. Benefit Hoola Bronzer – To finish off, I use my fluffy synthetic brush by Sephora Collection, the Classic Rounded Blush Brush 41 (picked it up for $3 on clearance last year, no longer available) to dust some bronzer from my Hoola mini under my cheekbones and onto my temples, to give a healthy, lightly tanned look to my pale complexion. This particular brush is ideal for me, since it deposits a slight hint of colour evenly wherever I use it, rather than ending up with brown streaks all over my face! Pale girls like me have to be careful with bronzer or it can get a bit too over-the-top!

 

The Touch-Up Bag

1. Collection 2000 Shine Away Compact Powder – Sadly this has also been discontinued! If you can still find it online, it costs you £2-3 for a sturdy mirrored compact with a great pressed powder inside, invaluable for travelling. I wish they still sold this powder in stores, but at least there are still a few floating around online!

2. E.L.F Kabuki Face Brush – A cheap yet soft, fluffy and good quality kabuki I can carry around with me and not worry too much about losing or ruining it, since it’s so affordable. My Bobbi Brown Face brush kabuki, on the other hand, would be another story. Perfect for swiping on the above powder when my face starts to look shiny during the day.

3. MAC Flamingo Lipstick – Another MAC product that’s suddenly gone up in price! Very glad I bought this a couple of weeks before. Expect to see this new stunner in my monthly favourites – it’s my new favourite bright lipstick, easy to apply and comes everywhere with me. Can’t love it enough.

 

Hope you enjoyed the brief tour of my two little makeup bags! Now if only I could downsize the rest of my collection…

A Mini Lush Haul

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend! I’m still currently on a low-buy/no-buy to save up for (hopefully) a fun trip to the US in October, but Lush is one of my weaknesses! I can’t say no to their sweet-smelling bath bombs, all-natural products and genuinely lovely staff. Here are some of the goodies I picked up!

Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly – I’d been put off shower jellies after receiving a Christmas one years ago that was just impossible to hold onto and actually use, but this smells too good. Grab a small piece of the purple, glittery, cherry-scented wobbly jelly and rub it all over. I tried this out in the bath and bits of jelly do go astray, but it smells so incredible..drool!

D’Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap – A bit of a weird one! I was drawn by the unusual whipped texture and supposed strawberry scent, but this smells more like Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner than anything strawberry. I tried it out in the bath – it took quite a lot of product to get near a lather, and it left my legs feeling a bit dry immediately afterwards, like I’d used a cheap bar of soap all over (and this isn’t exactly cheap). However they did feel a bit softer after I dried them off, I just hate that weird dry feeling of the skin after using most soap bars!

The Comforter Bubble Bar – A classic favourite, need I say more? I save these deliciously fruity scented bubble bars for days where I feel rubbish and need some cheering up. You can never have too many.

Lovely Jubblies Breast Cream – My 3rd pot of this! I’ve never used any other ‘boob cream’ and although this won’t give you magical surgical results, it makes the area much softer, the skin feel slightly firmer and generally makes the area feel cared for, as I try to avoid using non-natural creams and lotions on the more delicate parts of my skin.

Dorothy Bubble Bar – My other favourite Lush bath product! The very kind sales assistant mislabelled this, probably because I was distracting him by asking questions about something else. Sorry! This is my other ‘rainy day’ must-have, for when rubbish and stressful days need some cheering up. And you can’t be sad when your bubble bar has a pretty rainbow on.

 

That’s all I picked up in my last Lush trip! Have you used any of these products before? What are your favourite Lush must-haves?

May & June Empties

Oh hey, it’s Empties time again! This time I have a bag stuffed completely full of wonderful things I’ve used up – some amazing; some I’m happy to see the end of! Here is proof of the extent of my empty product hoarding, a trip to the recycling bin is long overdue..

 

On to all the products!

Bath and Body

1. Bath and Body Works Black Raspberry Vanilla Moisturising Hand Soap (similar £6.50 via Bath and Body Shop) – It’s almost criminal how much resellers charge for B&BW products in the UK..but I love their soaps and candles so much! Sadly the excellent Moisturising (or ‘Moisturizing’ if you’re American) formula has been discontinued, which is a great shame as I find their antibacterial soaps so drying. This particular version had a sour fruity scent with a hint of vanilla to it, and also left my hands feeling pleasantly soft afterwards. Repurchase? Yes, if available

2. Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash (£1.20 via Boots) – This body wash is so old, it even has my name written on in Sharpie from living in a student house! I grew sick of the strong powdery scent pretty quickly, yet it took so long to finish the huge bottle up. It was decently moisturising, but left residue in the bath (and again, the smell). I much prefer my Lush shower gels. Repurchase? No.

3. Superdrug Sensitive Shave Gel (£2.85 via Superdrug) – Superdrug own brand products are excellent value for money, yet can be fairly hit-and-miss for quality. Saving over 60p on the Gilette version, this one is pretty much the same product (great lather for leg-shaving, ideal for sensitive skin) – it’s just the packaging that isn’t the most brilliant, as the product has a habit of foaming up into the lid. Nothing major, but when Gilette isn’t on offer and you’re in need of shave gel, this is definitely the most wallet-friendly option. Repurchase? Yes.

4. Vaseline Spray ‘n’ Go Moisturiser in Cocoa Radiant (£3.32 via Lloyd’s Pharmacy) – Such a raved-about product yet I’ve only just managed to finish mine! I have the US packaging, which is definitely easier to hold, but the product is exactly the same. Ideal for mornings where you’re in a rush but don’t want to spend valuable minutes frantically massaging in body lotion. This mega-easy spray is easy to apply and sinks in within seconds, truly revolutionising your morning routine. My favourite is the Cocoa scent, but I really want to try out the Essential Moisture and Aloe versions to compare. Repurchase? Yes.

5. Mellor & Russell Macadamia Oil Moisture Rich Body Butter (£1 via Poundland stores) – Have to say how much I adore this body butter – I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy something from Poundland quite so much! The packaging drew me in as it looked similar to that of the expensive Macadamia hair products, yet I’m certain this super-light & nourishing lotion could pass for a similar high end product. With shea butter, macadamia oil and Vitamin E, this body butter has a wonderfully light, almost whipped texture, allowing easy application. It doesn’t feel the least bit heavy or greasy, absorbs fast and leaves skin feeling soft, smelling good and moisturised after shaving. Who knew Poundland beauty products were so great? Repurchase? Yes.

6. Dove Original Roll-On Antiperspirant Deodorant (£2.20 via Tesco) – Another Dove product? Unsurprisingly, this wasn’t a favourite either. I’m all for products that claim to be gentle on the skin, and I can put up with the light powdery scent briefly, yet once I applied this I stank. I had to tissue this off and apply something else since it made me feel nauseous – I don’t think the scent works with my body chemistry at all! Back to square one – any deodorant recommendations?! Repurchase? No.

7. Wet Ones Be Cute Delicate Antibacterial Wipes x12 (£1.10 via Waitrose) – Okay, not your typical beauty product, but this is a good one to have on you all the time! These are so useful for travelling on public transport or in a city, I always have a pack on me when I travel to London. When you’re not able to find somewhere to wash your hands, these at least get rid of the dirty, grimy feeling from your hands and make them smell somewhat pleasant. Repurchase? Yes.

8. Lush Snow Fairy Sparkle Massage Bar – Unfortunately no link, as these were exclusives for Christmas 2013; hopefully they’ll return later this year! A neon pink fairy-shaped massage bar by Lush, sharing the same delicious fruity scent as the cult favourite Snow Fairy shower gel, these are ideal for rubbing all over your body after a bath or shower for a serious moisture boost. I was never into their massage bars, always thinking they were a more ‘intimate’ thing for couples (although they can be if you want them to!), but as this was a Christmas exclusive I had to try it out for myself. This particular bar is very ‘melty’ in warm hands so has to be used quickly! I find it’s best used before bed, since it does colour the skin pink slightly and skin feels quite greasy (although nicely moisturised) afterwards. Containing organic shea butter, murumuru butter and almond oil, these are quite the treat for your skin, but not one I’d use every day (despite the amazing scent) as they can be quite messy and don’t absorb quite as fast as I’d like them to! Repurchase? Yes, when available.

9. Lush Rose Jam Bubble Bar (£3.50 via Lush) – One of the lovely bubbleroons by Lush which can easily be split in half for two baths, this produces a brilliant amount of true rose-scented bubbles. I use this with the Rose Jam shower gel which was a Christmas limited edition and I smell like a rose garden – add some Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner for an extra boost of scent and added softness. I never used to like rose scents much, but the Rose Jam shower gel truly converted me! Repurchase? Yes.

10. Lush Sunnyside Bubble Bar (£3.75 via Lush) – The infamous glittery gold Lush bubble bar! This predominantly citrus scent (think oranges and lemons) is super-cheerful and uplifting – an ideal antidote to a dreary day. I cut this bar in half, lasting me two bathtimes. My body didn’t look obviously glittery afterwards, but I did have to give the bath a good clean afterwards! Repurchase? Yes.

11. Lush Brightside Bubble Bar (£4.50 via Lush) – An Easter exclusive I found in the bottom of my Lush basket (yes, I have a basket in my bathroom just for Lush bath things!), I was surprised I didn’t use this up sooner! A similar swirled, chunky format to the Comforter bar, this one is intensely orange-pigmented as well as orange-scented, the smallest amount turning your bath a vibrant orange. Luckily neither myself nor the bath was stained! It produced a good amount of bubbles and this lasted me 5 bathtimes, making it pretty good value for money! The Comforter bar is my all-time favourite, but this is great for switching things up a bit if I’m in the mood for something orange-scented! Repurchase? Yes.

 

Skincare

12. Lush ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ Cleanser [Sample] (from £6.40 for full size) – Don’t you love it when Lush make the rare decision to make a brilliant limited edition product a permanent addition? Despite this only being a tiny sample-sized pot, it lasted me ages! This caramel popcorn (yes, it contains real popcorn!) concoction is more of a scrub than a cleanser (keep away from eyes) – a pea-sized amount will scrub off any dead skin, leaving you with the softest face ever. I loved it, except it was a bit rough for my sensitive skin and left my nose a bit red afterwards. Repurchase? No.

13. Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes (£3.99 via Boots) – Like the ‘Yes’ wipes as they’re thick, durable and soft, but they sting my eyes if any of the moisture goes into my eyes! Otherwise pretty good wipes for removing the bulk of your makeup. Repurchase? No.

14. Mudd Original Mask (10 applications) (£3.99 via Fragrance Direct) – Favourite face mask! Ideal for anyone with oily or combination skin who suffers from blocked pores, these are perfect for sucking out dirt and leaving your skin baby-soft and clear without irritating in the least. I use this once or twice a week to keep my skin clear – love them! Repurchase? Yes.

15. Quick Fix Facials Calming Clay Mask (£4.99 via Boots) – On the other hand..this was horrible! I’m not sure how a product claiming to be ‘calming’ made it feel like it was burning my skin off – this hurt so much after a few minutes. Fairly sure I must’ve been allergic to something in the formula – this does happen with other face masks and I’ve no idea what it is. There definitely needs to be more good face masks for sensitive skin! Repurchase? No.

16. La Roche Posay Hydreane Legere Moisturiser (£10.20 via Escentual) – I used up 2 of these in 2 months! My favourite moisturiser – love how bland and gentle yet hydrating it is without being oily in the least. Many other moisturisers contain perfumes or other unnecessary chemicals which irritate my skin, yet this gives my sensitive combination skin the perfect boost of moisture without problems. I’m currently trying lots of different LRP products which I’m enjoying so much. I just wish they made this in bigger sizes since they don’t last long! Repurchase? Yes.

17. Boots Simply Sensitive Face Wipes (£2.79 via Boots) – Intended as a cheaper dupe for Simple face wipes, these were a bit of a letdown! The wipes were scratchy, flimsy and made my eyes sting when I got them too close. How are these for ‘sensitive’ skin?! I was glad to finish these up. Repurchase? No.

18. Johnson’s Makeup Be Gone Extra Sensitive Wipes (£1.52 via Superdrug) – Too similar to the last ones – too scratchy and not that effective! I picked these up because my nan loved them, but unfortunately they’re nothing special – I’m going to keep looking for something better. Repurchase? No.

19. White C Mask Pack – Another goodie I received in my Makeupalley Secret Santa box at Christmas – my Secret Santa was so generous and sweet! I’d already tried one and this is the second. These sheet masks look hilarious on your face and cool the skin nicely, but I didn’t notice any huge difference afterwards. Repurchase? No.

20. Avene Eau Thermale 50ml (£2.75 via Escentual) – I am so late to the thermal water train, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. Currently working my way through the La Roche Posay version! This tiny spray was perfect for using after cleansing, or when my skin was particularly hot or irritated. I imagine this would be perfect for keeping in the fridge for using on holiday, or after you’ve spent some time outside in the sun. So refreshing and calming for my skin. Repurchase? Yes.

21. Lush Breath Of Fresh Air Toner Water (£3.95 via Lush) – Lovely and refreshing with a subtle, naturally pleasant scent, but I’m yet to be convinced that toner is a truly necessary part of my skincare routine! I used this up, but didn’t notice a difference in my skin. Repurchase? No.

22. B Pure Micellar Water (£2.47 via Superdrug) – This is hailed as a “Bioderma dupe”..and it is pretty good! I prefer Bioderma Hydrabio as my micellar water of choice, but this is a good backup to have, as Bioderma can be expensive. Gentle, non-irritating, wide availability and a great price. Repurchase? Yes.

23. Chanel ‘Le Nuit De Chanel’ Evening Recharging Face Care [Sample] (£60 via Selfridges for full size) – I enjoyed using this sample – it lasted a few days, leaving my face looking bright and feeling soft the next day. I didn’t like the perfumed scent in a product I was applying to my face. However, £60 for a small bottle of night cream?! Not quite within my price range, I’m afraid! Repurchase? No.

24. Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Eye Cream [Sample] (£36.50 via Origins for full size) – Unbelieveably, this tiny tube lasted me over a month! The thick, creamy formula goes a long way, so only the tiniest amount is needed each time. I’m not sure if this made me anti-age at all, but it was pleasantly hydrating on my under-eye area. Now I just need another sample size for travelling! However I don’t think I can quite justify paying over £36 for an eye cream at the moment, however moisturising it may be – it would have to work miracles for that! Repurchase? No.

Makeup & Hair  

25. Cover Girl Clump Crusher Mascara (£8.99 via Amazon) – Bought on my last trip to the US, this cost me considerably less than the £9 link above! I’d heard a lot about this mascara, so I was curious to try it out. The packaging is definitely not the most practical – I keep my mascara in empty jars with my brushes, so it took up a bit too much room. The formula is definitely true to the name, no horrible clumps, which I have found with Maybelline Lash Blast and Too Faced Lash Injection mascaras in the past, not a look you’d want to be rocking. Added to minimal smudging, this is a great mascara formula I’m glad I bought a backup of. Now if they could just sort out that packaging! Repurchase? Yes.

26. Collection 2000 Eye Brow Definer in Blonde (£2.79 via Superdrug) – My favourite brow pencil! The perfect light brown taupe shade for pale brows, without looking red in the least. I use this to lightly fill in brow hairs, and then set with my MAC Brow Set tinted gel for my best-looking brows. A good brow pen is tricky to get right, and I’m glad this one does it well for such a reasonable price. Repurchase? Yes.

27. L’Oreal EverRiche Nourishing & Taming Shampoo (£5.99 via Superdrug) – So L’Oreal does EverSleek, EverPure, EverRiche..and then all the different sub-products underneath?! Slightly confusing! I didn’t even notice that mine was ‘Nourishing and Taming’ but there is also ‘Nourishing and Flowing’, just to confound you even more. Is there really enough of a significant difference? Bafflement aside, this was an excellent moisturising shampoo, wonderfully creamy without making my hair look greasy in the least. The lovely vanilla scent also complemented my Lush American Cream hair conditioner well too. My hair felt wonderfully soft and smelled so good afterwards. Repurchase? Yes.

 

Phew, that’s it for all my empty products over the last two months! Maybe I should do these more regularly, so it’s not quite as overwhelming. I’m beyond pleased with the rate at which I’ve been using things up – I’m one of those people who feels wasteful and stressed with cabinets full of unused products, and it’s great to use them up and enjoy them!

Hope you enjoyed, I’ll be posting my next collection at the start of September, so be sure to look out for it!