Friday, 22 September 2017

First Impressions | Milani Cosmetics

Ever since I started watching YouTube, I've wanted to try something from Milani. Back then it was pretty much impossible to get hold of, but luckily it's now fairly easy to find the brand online in the UK. Thanks to the lovely team at JustMyLook*, I was finally able to try the cult blush I’d been after for years, Luminoso, along with a few other bestsellers.

I have to start by talking about Milani's Baked Blush in Luminoso, which is just as perfect as I imagined. It's a warm peach shade that leaves a beautiful luminous sheen on the skin - thankfully, it's not at all glittery and instead adds a lovely glow. It actually reminds me a little of Hourglass' blushes for the finish it gives, it's very 'lit from within'.

Due to its slightly pink hue, Luminoso will look great on all skin tones. I love it the most when I'm tanned (which is rare, I know) but even when I am my ghostly shade of pale I think it looks stunning. It's a little powdery, but it never appears this way on the skin. To apply, I've actually been using Milani's blush brush. Not hearing anything about Milani's brushes before I wasn't sure what to expect, but wow. Unbelievably soft, this glides product across the skin and it hasn't shed once... not a single hair!

It's the perfect shape and size too for multitasking - it's great for contour and to apply highlight on the cheeks. Somehow, it's turned into my favourite product out of this entire haul and for the price (it's only £14) it's a steal.

The Prep + Set + Go Transparent Face Powder also caught my eye. I have combination skin, so I'm constantly on the hunt for a powder that doesn't make my face look super matte, but can keep my natural oils in control. I usually use RCMA's No Color powder, which is amazing for baking but it can be a little too intense for all over the face.

Weirdly, Milani claim you can use this powder before foundation to blur lines and reduce the size of pores. I tried it once and just found the whole thing a little weird under a liquid - maybe this is something to try with mineral foundation?

Even though I don't prep with this, I have been enjoying it as a setting powder. I have to reapply around 3pm if I put this on before work but it's easy to layer up. It's very fine and feels almost silky to touch, and while it hasn't blown me away it leaves a lovely natural finish and I have noticed the powder  reduces the appearance of the pores on my nose well. My only complaint is how little product you seem to receive. You only get 7g (half of Rimmel's Stay Matte) and I found myself hitting pan really quickly.

The final Milani product I picked up was one of their Amore Matte lip creams. They have around 30 colours, and they smell super sweet like cake mixture (which I can't help but love!) I went for the shade Adorable, and from online swatches I thought this was going to be a lighter nude, but on my lips and with my skin tone it's actually darker than I expected and quite brown. I'd even say there's a hint of grey in there. 

Adorable dried down almost immediately, turning matte after a few seconds. One swipe is enough for an opaque finish but if you even have slightly dry lips you're going to need lip balm underneath. As my lips are on the drier side, I did find I clung slightly to certain patches although it was fine elsewhere. 

It's lightweight and transfer proof - seriously, it's not going anywhere - but one thing I discovered is that it doesn't layer well. It tends to crumble if you apply too much, so once it does begin to fade it's much better to remove it completely and start again. Annoying if you're out all day, but if you're just applying it for the evening it should be fine. 

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with my first Milani haul. I'm 100% picking up more brushes, and I'm eager to try the baked bronzer and a darker shade of the lip creams too!

Becki xo 

*This post contains a PR sample, kindly sent by JustMyLook.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Better than the Beauty Blender?

From the moment I swapped my foundation brush for a beauty sponge, I've never looked back. Goodbye streaky makeup, hello flawless skin.

It's safe to say it was love at first use with the original Beauty Blender, but at £16 a pop they're not exactly cheap. Since my last Beauty Blender sponge fell apart (RIP... *sob*), I've been on the hunt for the perfect dupe ever since.

Before now, the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge has been my go-to. However EcoTools released their Perfecting Blender Duo around April, after hearing some of my favourite bloggers rave about the set, I decided to pick them up for myself. The duo costs £9.99 and it's cruelty-free, latex-free and made of 70% plant-based materials!

A p p l i c a t i o n
I've been completely converted by largest, dark green sponge. It's soft, bouncy and blends everything from my BB cream to liquid bronzer seamlessly without removing any makeup underneath. When it comes to the finish of my makeup, I can't notice a difference from when I used my Beauty Blender but I do think it soaks up slightly more makeup (but not as much as the Real Techniques sponge!)

The smaller sponge is a lot firmer, even when wet. I only reach for it when I'm baking underneath my eyes to be honest, but it is brilliant for doing that. Otherwise, I tend to use the larger of the two on a daily basis.

S h a p e
It's immediately obvious the EcoTools sponges are a different shape compared to the Beauty Blender. Both have a round base, as well as a flat edge and wedge-like tip which is really useful for baking underneath the eyes and/or defining my contour.

While they're certainly different, I quite like the addition of the flat edges. It did take a while to get used to at first but now I'm a big fan!

V e r d i c t
I've actually had my EcoTools sponges for almost five months now, and I've only just started to see a tear in the largest sponge despite washing it (almost) every day. I'm seriously impressed by how long it lasted, and I'll definitely be picking another one up once it's time to do so.

I have noticed EcoTools sell the larger sponge on its own in Ulta though, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed it comes to the UK! I would rather just buy that for less, rather than the duo.

Have you tried the Perfecting Blender Duo? I'd love to know what your favourite makeup sponge is too!
Becki xo


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Beauty Wishlist #4 - The Luxury Edit

I don't tend to buy as many high-end beauty products as I used to, but it doesn't mean my wishlist isn't full of them! Today I thought I'd show you what luxury products I'm lusting after, and if you've tried any I'd love to know if they're worth the money.

Clive Christian L Feminine
A luxury perfume from designer Clive Christian, the L Feminine limited edition fragrance is so beautiful. Rose scents are my favourite and this exclusive perfume has hints of delicate damask rose, pink pepper and soft magnolia. Clive Christian's fragrances are known for using rare and precious ingredients so they tend to be more expensive than your average perfume, but this 10ml bottle is definitely affordable if you're looking for something extra special!

Becca FirstLight Priming Filter
I'm obsessed with Becca's Backlight Priming Filter, and I've heard so much about the First Light version since it was released. I'm really intrigued by its lavender tint, and it's supposed to be fantastic for adding a soft-focus finish to the skin.

Farmacy Skin Savior Kit 
I've noticed Farmacy cropping up in many of my favourite YouTubers' videos, and it seems like such a lovely brand. This Skin Savior Kit includes generous sample sizes of their Honey Potion mask, Sleep Tight firming night balm, Honey Savior repair salve and Skin Dew setting mist, and it sounds like a perfect way to sample the brand. 

Clarins Summer Bronzer and Blush Compact 
I missed out on the Clarins summer bronzer last year and it was beautiful, and I'm desperate to get my hands on their new one. There's three matte bronze shades and a pretty coral blush included, which creates the perfect sun-kissed glow.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder
How can anyone walk past a Charlotte Tilbury counter without wanting everything in sight? I'm on the hunt for a new powder that can keep oil at bay without making my face overly matte, so maybe CT can do the job?

What do you currently have on your beauty wishlist? Are there any luxury products that you think are worth splurging on? 
Becki xo

*This post was sponsored by Clive Christian.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

The 5-Minute Face

I hate mornings, and the longer I can stay in bed the better. If you're the same, I'm sure you've experienced one of those days where you push snooze one too many times, leaving no time whatsoever to get ready.

Whenever this happens there's a certain makeup routine I do which I attempt to finish in around five minutes. Honestly, it's probably more like ten as I'll usually end up smudging something (notice the lack of eyeliner? There's no way I'd attempt that when I'm panicking!), but regardless this is definitely what I throw onto my face when I'm in a rush. I keep it fairly simple, and I'll throw concealer and powder in my bag for later on in the day.

When it comes to the base, I'd rather pop on a primer and skip powder. I've been loving the bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Mattifying Prep Gel which was a favourite of mine last summer, and now the weather's getting a little warmer my oily T-Zone needs all the help it can get! The best thing about this primer is definitely the texture - the gel-like consistency is so lightweight and it feels really cooling on the skin. Afterwards, I'll apply one of my favourite tinted moisturisers, bareMinerals Complexion Rescue, and if I feel like I need concealer under my eyes that day I'll reach for my trust Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in Fair.


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Mother's Day Gift Guide with L'Occitane

Mother's Day is just around the corner, and if you've left things until the last minute then there's no need to panic! If your Mum is anything like mine, then I have a feeling she'll love everything featured in my Mother's Day gift guide.

My Mum never treats herself to luxury bath and body products, but I know she loves nothing more than a relaxing bubble bath and a rich body lotion. L'Occitane is actually one of my favourite brands for gifts all year round and they always offer great value sets with the prettiest packaging. Their mother's day gift sets are really lovely this year, so I've picked out a couple of my favourites to feature!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

To be honest, my morning skincare is pretty minimal. Despite the fact that I'm usually walking around like a zombie, makeup brush in one hand and coffee in the other, I never actually leave myself enough time for a complicated routine before work.

This is why, for me, evenings are well and truly allocated to skincare and I've been using a combination or products lately, some new and some old, which have been working really well. I may have also made an exciting purchase from The Ordinary very recently to add to my routine too, but more on that in a few weeks time!


Sunday, 1 January 2017

The One Where We Start Again

Happy New Year! (and Merry Christmas, Happy Halloween and everything in between...

I know, it's been a little bit quiet over here on Beauty and the Brunette. Since my last post a lot has changed and I still can't quite believe that it's been 6 whole months since my last post. Where did all that time go?

Sometimes, you really just need to take a break. It's funny, during my time away I've been reading more blogs and watching so much YouTube it doesn't really feel like I've left. And with 2017 finally here, I think it's about time I finally stop pressing pause on my own content.

July brought so much chaos (in the best possible way) and blogging just had to take a step back. So much has happened, and at the end of June I finally moved out of my parents' home and into an apartment in my favourite city. As well as finally being able to call Leeds home again, I've also started my first full-time job. I'm now a content writer for a marketing agency and every workday is so different. From creating content on bathrooms and pensions to fashion posts and writing about sex toys (I'm deadly serious, haha!), I won't deny it took me a little while to find my feet. 9am starts were (and still are) hell for this night owl, and doing laundry and planning meals are certainly not the highlights of adulthood. But the freedom it brings and the fact that I'm financially independent are definitely major perks.

I mean, I even have a company email address and I've purchased a fancy decorative hand towel from M&S. If that doesn't scream 'adult' I don't know what does.

So here's to 2017, to navigating adulthood and to the many adventures the new year will hopefully bring!

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