Tuesday, 30 December 2014

♥ Real Techniques Nic's Picks: Review

A few weeks ago I finally caved and bought myself a new Real Techniques brush set, in the form of Nic's Picks. I've been using these brushes non stop since I purchased them and they're definitely worth getting your hands on. I bought them at Superdrug for £20, and they're a similar price in online retailers and for five brushes of such high quality it really is worth the price tag. Especially as one RT brush is, at cheapest, around the six pounds mark and they average at a teeny four pounds per brush in this collection.

Firstly, I'm going to mention how in love with the packaging I am. I haven't chucked it out yet as I'm going to pop them away in the box for the commute back to Cornwall but the design on the little polystyrene box is so gorgeous - It uses the signature RT colours, bronze, pink and purple and these colours are also incorporated into the handles of the brushes, in their names, so you can determine what brush is used where on the face. Bronze for face, pink for cheeks, purple for eyes - as we're used to. When I first saw the set I wasn't too sold on the silver handles but now I really am in love. I think they look so classy and nice next to my other brushes and it does add a new dimension to my collection. The matte black parts, as ever, do attract a bit of grub but I find a quick wipe over with a baby wipe clears the handle of any fingerprints or foundation residue!

In the set you get a Duo Fibre Face Brush, Cheek Brush, Angled Shadow Brush, Base Shadow Brush and an Eyeliner Brush. The three I've put in bold are exclusive to this set. I've tried the duo fibre face brush a few times for the 'lightweight' application the box suggests, and I do think it's best just for a light dusting of powder rather than application of liquid foundation or anything else. I don't really like using it as the shape really throws me off but I'm excited to give it a go with my loose HD powder from elf when I get back to Cornwall. The cheek brush is incredible. It's a perfect shape and size to apply blush, bronzer and also I believe it would be great for heavier contouring and though these are products I'd normally shy away from, this brush has me determined to be a bit more adventurous with my contouring as I find it so easy to use. The angled shadow brush is a 'perfect cut for layering eye shadow in the crease' and this statement is something I strongly agree with. The shape fits into the crease perfectly and it's brilliant at doing the outer corners of your eyes. It's quite big, too, and I love this - but for smaller faces or eyes it might make application a bit tricky. The base shadow brush is my go to everyday eyeshadow brush, now. I was using an elf brush previously and though I found their shadow brush really easy to use I am now sure I'll only be using that in between washes! It's so soft and leaves such an even finish. Finally, the set includes an eyeliner brush that has a 'firm, angled head for optimal control along lash line' and sadly, I find it near impossible to use any lining products (like gel liner) that would require such a tool so I haven't used this brush yet, I do think however, I'm going to use this for my eyebrows when I find a product to use on my bushy brows! It is super small and firm and would be the perfect size for eyebrows, as well as being a perfect eyeliner brush. Again, this brush has made me want to go out and try a gel liner purely to use it!

Overall, I'm really chuffed with the collection and Real Techniques have done it again with the quality of their brushes. I believe the £20 price tag does make these brushes so so affordable and when one MAC brush costs more than these five do, together, it puts it into perspective! They're all so useful for just an everyday make up look and they're just as useful for more daring make up application so it's a great kit to use to step up into a wider use of make up brushes - for those of all abilities.

Have you got this set or is it on a wishlist of yours? Let me know! Please note I couldn't find these on Superdrug's website but they're available to purchase at Boots and Feel Unique so if you're after a brush bargain, get clicking! It's a little more expensive from these retailers but still a steal!

Em x

Monday, 15 December 2014

♥ Winter Treats

I've been back in Birmingham for an entire week now and only had two days to myself. I've been thrown back into a life of full time work at McDonalds, which I don't particularly mind because it's pretty easy as jobs go... But it's left me super run down and I've managed to pick up a cold even though I just got over one. I'm really not happy about this - especially as I'm working so much and it's pretty gross to be around food when you feel so awful and it's difficult to get days off when there's such a small workforce. I'm sure I'll cope though and to help me through I bought two things I'd really been lusting after. It's definitely helped to cheer myself up and  it's a nice little treat for working so bloody hard this week - and I won 'Employee of the Month' for the second time and with that came a ten pound gift voucher so I couldn't say no to myself, really!

I am so in love with Real Techniques brushes. They make up the majority of my brush collection and when Nic's Picks were released I knew I'd purchase them at some point. At the moment the set is £20 in Superdrug, so of course I had to buy them. This is ten pounds cheaper than you'll find them in Boots and in online retailers and evens out at £4 per brush which is an amazing deal. In the collection is a duo fibre face brush - for lightweight application, an huge oval cheek brush, an angled eye brush, a base shadow brush and an eyeliner brush. While the silver handles would normally shout out 'tacky' to me, I absolutely love the finish of these brushes. They really stand out and they're super soft - just as expected. You'll find them amongst the Christmas gifts and I really would get buying because I'm sure they won't be this cheap forever.

I also picked up Make Up Revolutions 'Iconic 3' (UD Naked 3 dupe) because it's the first time I've come across their counter in Superdrug and I couldn't pass up buying something from it! I'll be writing a post on that soon about the shades and quality, and I might even include some NYE make up looks you could do with it!

I hope you're all well and feeling much better than I am, bare with me as I am working full time (with a bar job on the side) and awful shift patterns don't make for much free time!

Em x

Thursday, 4 December 2014

♥ Sample Stuff #1

A few years ago when BB creams burst onto the market I picked up this exact one. Rimmel London's Mattifying BB Cream - the full size product. It cost around the £6 mark and by the time I'd used it all up I wasn't too fond of it because I was in the habit of using a mousse foundation (which is something I don't think I'll ever go back to using) and the two just didn't mix very well. Now that I've nearly used up all of my No7 BB cream, I still want a product for those days that I don't want to wear foundation - and instead just a light coverage base. A multipurpose cream like this is so useful. It gives enough coverage to even out skin tone and hide blotchy skin and that's all I could ask for out of it. Also, the SPF means that they come in super handy for packing light if you're off on holiday. Your skin is protected from the sun and it means you don't have to put on a heavier duty foundation that may melt off! I managed to get three or four applications out of this sample and I was pretty satisfied with it. I'll definitely be repurchasing it when I need to update! The shade was perfect, though I'd like to point out that it's not very true to the name 'light', though, so those of you who are fair skinned might not get along with this too well.

Have you tried any other drug store BB creams? If so let me know what you thought!

Em x

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