My Work Make-Up Staples

I’ve mentioned a few times that I can only wear minimal make-up to work, so I thought I’d make a post about the make-up that I do wear!

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Sorry about the photo quality! My camera is temporarily out of action, so I had to use my phone. But these are the products that I use regardless, as few and as humble as they are.

First up – Benefit’s Gimme Brow and Ready, Set, Brow!

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I’ve mentioned these products before. I got them as freebies in a couple of different magazines, and honestly, I don’t really know how I lived without them now – especially Ready, Set, Brow!.

Gimme Brow adds a bit of thickness and a touch of colour to my brows, and Ready, Set, Brow! keeps all the hairs in place. And it really, really does. I wear a forehead-wandering hairnet and a cap at work, and my brows still look fine when I take the cap off at the end of the day.

Icona Milano Waterproof Mascara

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I received this product in my July Glossybox! I’ve never actually had a waterproof mascara before, but so far, I’ve been really impressed, which is how this has ended up in my staples so soon. I’m on my feet all day at work, rushing around and working with hot ovens, so I didn’t even think it was possible not to have smudgy mascara at the end of it, but I’ve been proven wrong.

Maybelline Matte Maker mattifying powder

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Obviously I’ve had this for a while since it’s not a ‘new’ product any more as it claims on the packaging, but it was buried in my make-up bag for a while and I’ve only recently pulled it back out. As I mentioned, it can get quite sweaty in my job, so I don’t like the idea of putting much on my face, but on days where I feel like I need a little help I reach for this. It’s very light coverage (and also a much lighter shade than it looks in the photo), so it’s perfect to lightly swish over my problem areas. I use it to set my out-of-work make-up too!

Blistex Lip Brilliance tinted lip balm

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This is another one I’ve had for ages, but it’s pretty reliable. It moisturises my lips, it smells lovely, and the very slight tint makes me feel just a tiny bit more made up.

Compact Brush

I bought this very recently to go on holiday, but I can’t remember where from, oops! I added the little stickers myself anyway so it was just a plain little compact brush, mostly likely from Boots or Superdrug.

I had one of these years ago and I loved it, and for some reason I never replaced it when it got broken. The little mirror is great for check-ups (or hurried on-train application of work make-up) and obviously it’s always handy to have a brush on you. The hairnet/cap combo I have to wear is not kind even to my short flicks, so this is a must in my work bag.

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It still looks like a fairly decent amount when the products are pictured together, but on my face it’s nothing! Granted, this photo is from after a day of work, so the powder and lip balm have all but disappeared, but I didn’t touch up my brows or lashes at all before this was taken, and I think they look just fine.

I don’t have a ‘before’ photo handy, but this is really a vast improvement on my completely natural brows. They don’t have much of a tail on their own and they certainly don’t hold this kind of shape through a day’s work!

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June Glossybox Unboxing

Contains June Glossybox spoilers!

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This is, I think, my fourth Glossybox, and although there have been some products that I won’t really use, I’m yet to be disappointed!

I actually got mine last week, but what with one thing and another, I haven’t had a chance to properly photograph it until today.

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So let’s have a look at what we’ve got!

1. Spa to You Natural Konjac Sponge | RRP: £6.99

I’ll admit, I’d never heard of this product, so I’ve done a little bit of research. The Konjac Sponge Company says that:

[t]he Konjac Potato or Konnyaku is a perennial plant native to Asia, and can be found growing wild at very high altitudes. A totally natural food source, Konjac is 97% water, rich in mineral goodness and low in calories. Naturally alkaline, Konjac is pH neutral which leaves skin perfectly balanced.

According to the same website, the Konjac sponge is made of 100% natural vegetable fibres, is packed with minerals and antioxidants, is non-toxic, 100% free from impurities and pollutants, earth friendly, 100% cruelty free & certified vegan, naturally sustainable, environmentally safe, 100% colouring free, 100% additive free and 100% biodegradable!

And the Spa to You website itself mentions how hydrating and moisturising the sponge is, so this will hopefully be perfect for me and my poor eczema-ridden skin.

2. Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturizer | Travel Size | Full Size RRP: £24

If there are two things I’m in short supply of, it’s energy and moisture – the latter in terms of my skin, the former more broadly – so I was interested to try this product. And I’ve only used it a couple of times, but so far, I really like it. I can’t say much yet for what it’s doing for my skin long term, but it certainly does feel good after using it, and it also smells absolutely lovely which is always a bonus for me.

3. & 4. De Bruyère After Sun Lotion Monoï | RRP: £9.48 and Ladival Sun Protection Spray  SPF 15 | RRP £19.99

I’m squishing these two together, because… I live in Scotland. We don’t see the sun very often. So I really have no idea how good these products are, and I may not for some time! However, what I will say is that they are both full size, which means that these two products alone are worth almost triple the cost of the box. On that basis alone I’m quite impressed, and I’m really hoping that I get a chance to use these soon!

5. Emité Make Up Lip & Cheek Tint | RRP: £12.50

Another full-sized product! Skin care is great, but it’s always a little more exciting for me to find a make-up product in there. I’d never used a lip and cheek tint before, but as a friend of mine recently gave me a Benetint mini that she didn’t want (!!), I thought I’d try out both and do a little comparison.

So, from left to right: no tint, Emité tint, Benetint. I didn’t try them on my cheeks right away because, honestly, they look so pigmented and dark on the applicator that I just couldn’t imagine it working, even though I know that’s what it’s made for. After I took the photos for this post I did then give it a go on my cheeks and after some initial uncertainty (putting on blush and feeling it go on wet is so odd) I actually think it worked quite well!

But anyway, back to the lips. To be honest, I haven’t really made up my mind about either of these. I feel like the Emité tint was a touch easier to apply, as it had a doe foot applicator as opposed to the nail polish brush-like one that Benetint had, but that may just be a case of preferring what I know. Benetint had the advantage in at least one sense though: it smells like roses!

I could see myself wearing either of these to work, though, as I’m not allowed to wear heavy make-up and these are both subtle and long-lasting.

6. Bonus product | Aussie Hair Care 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner | RRP £1.09

I can’t believe how much value you get out of a Glossybox – they quite often include a bonus product. Last month it was a little bag of popcorn (which I adore), and this month it was a small sachet of deep conditioner. I’ve never used any Aussie products before, but I’ve heard good things, and as my hair is bleached blonde a bit of deep conditioning would be welcome!

If you don’t subscribe to Glossybox and you have a spare £10 or so a month, I’d definitely recommend it! It’s like a little present to yourself with the added bonus of not actually knowing what it’s going to be.

What subscription boxes are your favourites? (I’m thinking of signing up to some more since I have a job now!)

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New Job Treats

I thought the time was right for a bit of a treat after the news that I finally managed to get a job!

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Popcorn bag: £9, Primark

This was actually bought for me by my boyfriend, because I spotted it and instantly fell in love. It’s cute and quirky and since I eat astonishing amounts of popcorn, it’s also very ‘me’.

PS… 3D Shine Lip Gloss: 50p, Primark

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I have to say, I’ve now tried this, and… it’s not very good. Which I suppose can be expected for something that cost fifty pence. It’s incredibly sticky and just does not go on smoothly at all. But it’s also very glittery. And it smells lovely. So I don’t overly regret buying it!

PS… Eyeshadow/Concealer Brush: £1, Primark

I didn’t even go into Primark with the intention of buying any of their make-up, but I’ve been after new brushes for a while and, frankly, my hand slipped. I’ve yet to use this brush, but it seems quite soft, and not too firm, like the ones I ordered from Amazon a while back.

Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil: Free with Elle magazine (£4.10)

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Yep, I went out and got Elle magazine specifically for this reason. This product is smaller than I was expecting, but I guess that makes sense since they were giving it away for free! I’ve yet to give this a go, but I’ll let you all know what it’s like when I do. I’m quite excited, as I’ve heard good things about Benefit but never had a chance to use any of their products!

NYX Eyeshadow Base in White Pearl: £5.50, Boots

“But Lonna, you can’t use eyeshadow just now!”, I hear you say. Yes. I know this. But apparently that’s not stopping me. However, I do think that the eyeshadow primer I was using before may have contributed to the problem, so…

Sleek i-Divine Original Palette: £8.99, Boots

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I’m so excited about this palette. I’m not even sure how I was drawn to it, but I swatched Big Ben (third in from the left on the bottom row, in case you can’t read the label) on my wrist on a whim and what appeared was the most glorious gold-tinted pink I’ve ever seen – it almost matches Bellini and Just Peachy from Sweet Peach in its gloriousness. I knew instantly that I had to have this, but I kept swatching anyway and when I was done, my wrist looked like a peacock, in the best possible way. All of these shades, bar one, are shimmer shades, which is perfect for me. They’re not as pigmented as, say, some of the NYX shadows I also swatched, but they’re damn close, and for £8.99, I am more than delighted with them.

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I know that I didn’t need any more eyeshadow palettes – if not because of my current inability to even use eyeshadow, then because I just have so many – but I honestly couldn’t help myself. I already have a plan for this palette, so keep an eye out for something very exciting and colourful coming your way soon!

What new finds have you guys made recently that had you instantly falling in love?

Classic Smoky Eye…?

I’ll be honest, I knew that this wasn’t going to be classic anything the minute I picked my shade – Colourpop’s Super Shock Shadow in Stereo.

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My intention was to use my new book (Easy on the Eyes, by Lisa Potter Dixon of Benefit Cosmetics) and try out the first eye make-up look in there: the classic smoky eye, in five minutes or less. It really was. But the book recommended grey eyeshadow, and whilst I know that would be most appropriate, and whilst I do even have a decent L’Oreal shade in that colour… well, the book also said that the colour grey was optional, and my Super Shock Shadow has so far been most shocking in how little I’ve had a chance to use it. And I don’t regret this choice in the slightest, because I discovered (if by the happy accident of pressing my brush into it a little harder than intended) that this shadow is incredibly creamy and so very easy to build up to the shade pictured above.

All I had to do was pop on a few layers, applying the shadow to the middle of the lid and blending out to each side (but not too far), swipe some along the bottom lid with a small angled brush, then add some mascara – following the book’s excellent recommendation to coat the bottom lashes first – and I was pretty much done with my eyes. It did take me a bit longer than five minutes, but only because of the aforementioned happy accident and the fun I was having with it.

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Brows and the rest of my make-up took somewhat longer than five minutes, but by this point any intention of following the book’s guidelines had pretty much gone out of the window anyway; besides which, the book promises an eye make-up look in five minutes, not a full face of make-up.

Another interesting this about this look, for me at least, is that I very rarely go without liner of some sort, but the wonderful sparkling depth of this shade is just fantastic on its own, and in fact I’d go as far as to say that it could easily be spoiled by eyeliner (in my opinion) if not applied very finely. I have a feeling that a set of medium-length/volume false lashes would look excellent, but unfortunately I am yet to purchase any of those!

Speaking of purchases I have yet to make, I mentioned in my previous post that the quality of my brushes, particularly my eyeshadow brushes, can sometimes let me down. I have a couple that are of a nice quality, but the rest are from a set that I misguidedly bought online for about £1.50, and they’re just too stiff to work with. So, if anyone had any suggestions about better quality brushes, they would be much appreciated! I’m on a bit of a budget, and I’d been eyeing up some EcoTools brushes that I saw in Superdrug, but I’m open to all recommendations!

Sweet and Smouldering

Today I got to try out my new Too Faced Sweet Peach palette for the first time!

Since I was unfamiliar with the shades and only had about half an hour, I decided I’d try something from the How-To Glamour Guide rather than experimenting, and the one that jumped out to me was the middle of the three: Smoldering Peach. It used bright pinks, oranges and purples, but also had enough dark shades that I thought I could get away with it on a cloudy day in a mostly-black outfit.

The shadows went on like a dream and the colours were beautiful, but it was quickly apparent that the deep purple – almost black – in the illustration would be near-impossible to achieve with the given shades. So I got to have a go at experimenting after all, and immediately my brush strayed to Talk Derby to Me, since I’d been eyeing up that starry-sky shade since way before I even owned the palette. At this point my less-than-professional brushes let me down a little as the application was patchy, but I managed to darken things up and smooth it all out with a whole load of blending.

I also realised that the flash of Candied Peach along the inner corner of my lid, though sparkly and wonderful, just wasn’t achieving quite the pop of colour I was after, so I swiped some Bellini (another shade I’d been lusting after) over the top and immediately got the desired effect.

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It still didn’t go quite as dark as I’d intended, but I haven’t had a chance to experiment with much purple and I was enjoying the way it looked as it was. I also blended it into slight points curving up to meet the downward point of my eyebrows rather than blending it all around, which I think sets it off quite nicely. I also put just a dusting of Topshop’s Chameleon Glow in Wax ‘n’ Wane over the top to add a bit of sparkle (though you can’t really see it in the photo) – this is something I’m keen on doing because I could always stand to be more glittery and Wax ‘n’ Wane, though pinky in colour, is neutral enough to be lightly brushed on top for this purpose without altering the colours too dramatically.

I also happened upon this book today and I think it was fate’s doing:

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What are the chances of stumbling across this on the day you decide to start a blog about the very subject??

I’m really looking forward to having a proper flick through this and trying out some new looks. I’m sceptical about the “5 minutes” part, but we’ll see.