Thursday, 31 January 2013

MAC 217 dupe?

Ahh I love a good makeup brush. It has been said by the professionals that you can do more with good brushes and bad makeup than you can with bad brushes and high quality makeup. Believe it or not, my fascination (read obsession) with brushes began after I started to watch Pixiwoo YouTube tutorials about 2 years ago.
I used to apply foundation with my fingers and just use sponge applicators for eyeshadow. I was uneducated okay?! *hangs head in shame* However after discovering YouTube tutorials I started to collect brushes and now have a fair few. I do believe that the number one most used brush is the MAC 217, it's rare to see an online tutorial without one of these babies making an appearance. I've only recently picked my first one up (at £17. Gulp!).
It's easy to see why the 217 is one of the most popular eyeshadow blending brushes, it works like a dream. Blending is the one thing that I, and a lot of other people, struggle with the most so anything that helps is a godsend. Before I picked this up I had been using what I now consider to be a dupe, from No.7 at Boots-the eyeshadow blend and contour brush.
As you will see from the picture, these two brushes are almost identical save for the length of the handle. The hairs themselves look the same, but when using I found that the MAC 217 gives slightly more control and the No.7 brush tends to be a bit fluffier and sometimes colours can end a little higher than you would like. However, the No.7 brush is £7.50 so at less than half the price if you want to try the 217 but don't wanna spend the pennies, this is a good alternative. Also, when Boots give out the £5 off no.7 vouchers the brushes are included. Bargain. Have you tried either of these? Which do you prefer?
Thanks for reading, Love Steph xxx

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Nivea Express Hydration Primer

My oily skin is the bane of my life, it's not so bad in winter but when it gets a bit warmer I get shinier. And that's not a good look. So, I'm always on the hunt for the newest primer or mattifying lotions to help with this. I was accidentally in Superdrug again the other day (these accidental visits keep happening :-/ ) and picked up the new Express Hydration Primer from Nivea. I watched the ad on tv and got swayed. The fact that this is a bargain at £4.99 helped.
I was a bit sceptical about this because its packaged just like their moisturisers and so I judged a book by its cover and didn't hold out much hope. But after using this under my makeup for the past week or so I have been converted. You use it to moisturise/hydrate/prime just before foundation but it can also be used alone. The texture is a cross between a gel and a moisturiser, it smells lovely and sinks in very quickly. I found that it helped my foundation to go on much more smoothly than usual, and it kept my skin matte all day, which is a bit of a revelation for me! I'm so pleased I bought this and ill continue to repurchase. The Express Hydration also comes in a formula for dry skin for those who lack an oil slicked face. Have you tried it?
Thanks for reading. Love, Steph xxx

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Boots No.7 Brush Cleaner

Welcome to my first post of 2013, after a very long Xmas and New Year break. Hope Santa was good to you all and you had a lovely NYE! Now let's get down to the makeup business!
I've been searching high and low for a brush cleaner on the high street. I can't always get to a makeup counter and I'm too impatient to shop online a lot of the time. It's only when I actually worked in Boots over the Christmas period that I discovered No.7 stock a brush cleaner HA LAY LOO YAH!! I actually had to hide one to buy on my break-I can admit this now my contract has finished ;)
Boots No.7 makeup brush cleaner costs £8 for 185ml. This sounds quite expensive considering the mac one is only slightly more but if you are budget savvy like me, you'll purchase this when the renowned £5 off vouchers for No.7 are knocking about and get it for £3. Bargain!
No.7 say "This product is a quick fix when you don't have time to soak your brushes. Spray a paper towel or tissue with cleanser before sweeping brush bristles across the damp cloth. Let hairs dry before applying makeup."
I love this stuff! It's so quick and easy to clean brushes now after every use if you are a bit OCD like me, or even in the middle of an eye look where you need the same brush for a different colour. The brush dries within a couple of minutes. Also, I use revlon colour stay foundation which seems to stain my brushes, but after I've used the brush I give it a quick clean with this cleanser, which means when I go to deep clean my brushes with baby shampoo it's much easier to get the stains out. I like the fact it comes with a pump to. Less wastage. I'm so happy I found this, and so happy I can tell people it exists as I haven't read any other posts or reviews on it! If you already use it or intend to let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading, Love Steph xxx