Hi, my name’s Katie and I’m a friend of Holly. We have a lot in common as we’re both spoonies (suffering from M.E.) and we’re also both beauty bloggers! Holly and I came up with the idea of doing a guest blog post for each other, as a chance to reach out to new readers and switch up our blogs a little bit, so here I am!
As we are both beauty junkies, what else would we talk about than our favourite beauty products? Now I have so many makeup and beauty favourites and of course I discover new things all the time, but this top 5 is made up things I use all the time, and those products I just keep going back and back to. You know those products where every time you stray and try something different, it’s just not as good, and you return to the old faithful? Well here are mine!
A Duo of Toners: Boots Botanics Cleansing Toner All Bright & Elemis Rehydrating Ginseng Toner
I’ll be honest, toner wasn’t always a step I included in my skincare routine. I would sometimes use one if I had one, but then go without for months once it ran out. It just didn’t seem that vital. Now though, my opinion has been completely changed and I now use two (yes, two!) toners.
I only recently discovered ‘exfoliating’ toners after a skin analysis. I was surprised to hear that I still had quite a bit of dead skin under the microscope, despite exfoliating regularly. I had in face exfoliated that very morning! The woman told me that often, the standard gritty type of exfoliators only get rid of the dead skin on the surface but not everything. She told me about ‘acid toners’, which use natural fruit enzymes to softly dissolve the dead skin. Now I know that sounds a bit unnerving, but they are very gentle and don’t damage the skin or sting at all.
Acid toners can be pretty expensive, but I found this Boots Botanics one at just £3.99 for 250ml. It has literally changed my skin! My skin has never been so smooth and clear from blemishes. I literally hardly ever have spots anymore, and when I do get the odd one at time of the month, it clears up so much quicker. I would really recommend this toner!
As the acid toner is more of an exfoliating step and I don’t want my skin to dry out, straight after using it (twice a day), I also use this gorgeous Elemis rehydrating toner, which just adds the moisture and softness back to my skin. It is quite expensive, at around £20, but it will last a long time and really leaves my skin feeling lovely. It can also be spritzed on the face at any time of day (even over makeup) to wake up tired skin and rehydrate your face.
My Favourite Face Tool: Real Techniques – Sculpting Brush
I only really got into brushes in the last year or so. I always had a few – the standard powder and blusher brushes and a few eyeshadow ones. It pains me that I actually used to apply my eyeshadow with those little sponge brushes – eek! Once I became interested in makeup brushes, it took a bit of trial and error to find ones I really like and that work well. One piece of advice I would give is that you don’t have to stick to using the brush for what it says it is for – get creative! I often use brushes for different purposes, it just depends on how you work and the contours of your face etc.
I have quite a few Real Techniques brushes and really like them. Again, I quite often use them for different things than they say on the side! This hot pink brush is a sculpting brush, and that is actually what I use it for. I generally use this brush for applying my contouring shade to my forehead, hollows of my cheeks and under my chin. It is quite dense, but really soft – it strikes just the right balance between being effective and placing the product in a specific area, but blending it out so that the contour isn’t harsh. I find it’s just the right shape for contouring. Real Techniques,
like all decent makeup brushes, aren’t cheap – but I find that you get what you pay for, and often cheap brushes just shed and don’t apply makeup well. Your makeup is only as good as how it is applied! You can have really expensive makeup, but if you apply it badly, it won’t look great. Brushes are definitely worth investing a little bit in.
A Bright Lip: Kiko Milano Lipstick in Shade 923
I am a lip product junkie! I love all makeup, but lip products are the ones I buy most often, and experiment the most with. I’m always drawn to bright colours and like to try all different finishes, from matte to high gloss.
This Kiko lipstick is something I pick out way more than anything else in my collection. I absolutely love purple on the lips, but some shades are not very wearable. This one strikes the perfect balance of purple with a wearable pink edge. It is a lovely consistency, fairly similar to Mac Cremesheen. It leaves a nice gloss on the lips, but the colour doesn’t smudge around too much or wear off too quickly. Best of all, you can reapply and top up this lipstick whilst you’re out, and it doesn’t start to collect at the edges and dry out. It keeps the lips nice and moisturised. If you fancy trying a purple lip but don’t want something as dark as Mac Heroine or as bright as Too Faced Melted Violet, this is the perfect wearable in-between product! It was around £6.
Crease-Free Eye Bases: Maybelline Color Tattoo 24Hr Gel-Cream Eyeshadow
Oh how I love the Color Tattoos! I only tried my first one last year and since then I’ve been hooked, building up a collection of most of the colours available in the UK. They’re just so damn good at their job!
You can use the Color Tattoos in two different ways – you can either wear it as your eyeshadow (the metallic ones look amazing alone and look like you’ve made an effort even though they take seconds to apply!) or as a base for your powder eyeshadow. With or without an eye primer, these last all day/night on me without creasing! There aren’t many eyeshadows that will last all night and not crease even without a primer – believe me, I’ve tried.
You can apply these with your finger for more intense colour, or with a brush to blend out a little. My absolute favourite is On and On Bronze – a beautiful, warm, metallic bronze. It looks amazing on its own, but even better with a bronzey-red eyeshadow blended into the crease.
I also really like pink gold – a very pretty, metallic pink shade. I tend to use this as a base for powder shadow as it’s quite subtle, but it would be perfect alone if you don’t like to wear too much makeup, or as a work look.
Finally, I love Metallic Pomegranate – a rich browny-red with flecks of gold. This is beautiful used with a similar coloured powder shadow, made into quite a smokey eye.
They are £4.99 each, but often on 3 for 2 at Boots!
Fluttery Lashes: Primark P.S. Love – False Lash Effect Mascara
You may have had to read that twice – yep, I said Primark! I’m serious, more people need to know about this! I have tried so many mascaras in my time, and I can’t believe how good Primark mascaras are. I genuinely much prefer this mascara to the much raved about Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara (and it’s about a tenner cheaper too!)
I combine two Primark mascaras for my makeup routine. I do one coat of the Volumising Ultra Black, which is great for lengthening and separating my lashes. I then do a coat of the False Lash
Effect mascara, which volumises and makes my lashes look more dramatic. It is brilliant, seriously. I do still try other mascaras that I get sent in my beauty subscription boxes etc, but I always revert back to these as they are so much better. They don’t smudge or flake at all on me.
Please – trust me – next time you’re in Primark, get some to try out and let me know what you think! They are around £2.99 each.
Thanks for joining me and listening to me rave about my favourite products. If you liked what you read or want to see what Holly’s top 5 products are, pop over to my blog and say hi!