Thursday, 28 March 2013

My Current Foundation Rotation

Over any other beauty related question in my non-blogging life, I get asked what foundation I would recommend most frequently.  It's such a difficult question to answer because foundation is such a personalised product.  I've got quite oily, acne prone skin so find it difficult recommending products to those with a drier skin type (thanks to all of you amazing dry skinned bloggers, I can normally point them in the right direction).  I thought it would be interesting to share what foundations are in my current rotation.


If I'm tanned (though not quite as tanned as this photograph makes it looks!), I turn to Maybelline's Fit Me foundation for everyday wear.  I initially bought Fit Me intrigued, but slightly dubious because of its dewy finish.  However, it just seems to work with my skin!  The foundation sets to a medium, but natural coverage and leaves just the right amount of dewiness to my skin.  It does begin to wear around my forehead and chin by the end of the working day but nothing a quick touch up won't fix.   I love this for everyday wear as it feels so light and comfortable on the skin - see how it looks in this post.

For days when I'm not as tanned, I turn to Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation.  It provides a beautiful matte finish without looking mask-like or cakey. Despite it being quite a thick formula, Skin Base never feels heavy on the's an extremely comfortable foundation to wear. The coverage is amazing, and photographs amazingly well (though Skin Base's lack of SPF is something to consider).  The only drawback of Skin Base is it's longevity, it definitely wears around the oilier areas of my face.


For a nighttime foundation, I can't see past M.A.C Studio Fix Fluid.  It's full coverage, a matte finish and lasts all night.  I've found the key to using SFF is to work in small sections and apply thin layers of the product, meaning I never use too much product.  Despite Studio Fix Fluid's drawbacks (mainly the smell and how it feels on the skin) I've found no other foundation that lasts as well.  You can see how I wear it for a night out here.  Also, I wrote a guide on how I wear full coverage foundations which you can read here.  

Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation is perfect for nights that are a little more low key.  It's what I turn to if I'm going out for dinner or meeting friends for drinks.  It provides amazing coverage and, despite being a thick formula, blends into my skin beautifully without looking heavy.  Silk Creme leaves a lovely luminous look to the skin but covers imperfections amazingly well.  You can read my full review and see how it looks on here.  

As I have an oily skin type, I need to use a primer and powder daily to get the most out of my foundation.  At the moment my favourites are M.A.C Mineralise Skin Finish Natural and Laura Mercier's oil free foundation primer.  

What foundations are in your current rotation? Or are you a one product kinda gal?

Love Nicola

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Chanel Dupin' with Revlon

One of my favourite lip glosses is Chanel's Glossimer in 287 Aurore (You can read more about this gloss here) which was sadly limited edition.  I loved it so much that I bought a back up which is definitely on it's last legs and I have been contemplating buying a replacement Aurore on ebay.  However, I recently bought a couple of Revlon's Colourburst lipglosses (which I absolutely LOVE) and realised that 008 Peony is a pretty good dupe for Aurore.  Unfortunately, Peony has photographed a lot darker in the tube than it is thanks to Scotland's freak weather - in reality it's a much lighter peach/pink. 

Peony is slightly pinker than Aurore, however on the lips they look almost identical!  Both glosses contain a fine gold glitter that reflects and shines beautifully.  Although the glitter creates a slight graininess, it is quite subtle and not uncomfortable to wear. More importantly for me, neither Peony or Aurore are too thick or sticky.  They are both sheer formula's, making them perfect for everyday wear or to wear over a lipstick at night to add a little shine.  Chanel Glossimer's are priced at £21 (or you can buy Aurore on E-bay for £27) where as Revlon's Colourburst glosses come in at £7.99!

Have you tried any of the Revlon Colourburst glosses? What are your thoughts?

Love Nicola

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Stepping into spring with Smashbox

It seems the more products I try from Smashbox, the more I fall in love with the brand.  I wanted a new highlighting powder after my Dior Amber Diamond was rendered unusable after I dropped it (sob).  I quickly turned to Smashbox and discovered Soft Lights in Shimmer.  While I was there, I couldn't help but also pick up a Lip Enhancing Gloss in Tease. 

As soon as I swatched shimmer I knew I had to have it.  It is one of the most beautiful highlighting powders I have ever used.

Don't be put off by the name, while there is a slight shimmer to the powder it doesn't translate as much on the face.  Instead, Shimmer leaves an absolutely beautiful, healthy glow to my skin.  It is an extremely pigmented champagne powder that blends seamlessly and reflects light beautifully. The formulation is light and smooth.  While this means applying Shimmer is a dream, it can be quite easy to go a little overboard.  I only need a small dusting of powder to create a subtle highlight. 

I wore Shimmer on a recent night out and received lots of comments and questions about the make up I was wearing - I think it was definitely down to Shimmer! I've included a photo from my instagram below to show you how it looks with flash photography.  It photographs amazingly well - the powder reflects light in an extremely flattering way. 

I absolutely loved berry shades this winter and Tease is the perfect transitional raspberry gloss! While it looks dark in the tube, on the lips it's sheerer and brighter.  I absolutely love the formula of the Smashbox glosses as they aren't sticky.  Tease is very comfortable to wear and lasts a good length of time, particularly for a sheerer gloss.  It's difficult to describe but Tease almost looks like glass in the tube making it so shiny on the lips without being loaded with glitter.  I love the wand on the gloss, it has a brush rather than a doe foot applicator allowing for more precision on application.  

What are you going to be wearing this Spring?