Today brings a round-up of beauty favourites that I've tried, tested and firmly added to my list of essentials.
These are all products that have been added to my collection in recent weeks, that I've used long enough to give my full seal of approval.
So rather than a typical review, rest assured that all the products featured below from Urban Decay, bareMinerals, Pixi and Lord & Berry come with a huge recommendation from yours truly. Read on to find out why!
SKIN / COMPLEXION
Urban Decay - B6 Vitamin-infused Prep Spray*This is a product I would have been unlikely to buy for myself or, to be totally honest, even consider as something I might need/want. I am so glad that this has been introduced into my regime!
This spray is designed to be lightly spritzed over the face before moisturiser or makeup and preps the skin with a hit of B6.
I find that this spray instantly makes my makeup application look better - it minimises pores and evens out my complexion; I'm usually prone to a bit of redness around my nose and cheeks. In the long run, I've found that using this regularly has reduced blemishes, improved dryness in my skin whilst balancing oilier areas plus, it's a great pick-me-up in the morning and gives a fresh feeling for the day ahead!
Urban Decay - Naked Skin Beauty Balm (BB)*We're all familiar with the concept of BB creams now - a lighter, skin-perfecting alternative to foundation - though I actually love to wear this UD one underneath my makeup base. I have this product in Medium which is a bit too dark for me to wear on its own (I've heard that UD have stopped doing the Light and Dark shades, does anyone know if that's true?) but I find this product fantastic in place of a primer.
The tone of the product gives a nice glow under my base and it's great at blurring imperfections across the areas of my face with most blemishes like my chin and forehead. I find that some BB creams can feel a little greasy or watery but this one is oil-free and has a lovely velvety texture.
Pixi - Glow TonicPixi's Glow Tonic has become a bit of a cult product and is one I've wanted to try for ages. This product acts like a toner, to be swept over the skin with a cotton pad for a deeper level of cleansing as well as toning and exfoliating.
I bought this to replace my Clinique 'step 2' Clarifying Lotion, which I've always found a bit harsh as it has a high alcohol content. Glow Tonic is very different in terms of the ingredients, with no alcohol and containing naturally beneficial elements like aloe and witch hazel, as well as glycolic acid which has amazing cleansing and renewing properties.
This stuff has improved my blemishes, faded scars, balanced my skin and overall, makes me look more radiant. I genuinely can't recommend this product enough!
Lord & Berry - 2Phases Waterproof Makeup Remover*This product is a 'duo formula' remover, containing two 'phases' that need to be shaken together to combine the liquids for maximum makeup removing results. I've tried a couple of removers like this before (a Garnier and Nivea one to memory) but this is without doubt the best I've tried.
This formula quickly, easily and gently removes tough makeup, including waterproof mascara. The main gripe I have with these kind of cleansers is that one part is usually very oily and even when well-shaken, it leaves quite a greasy residue on the skin. I'm pleased to report that Lord & Berry's feels light and completely non-oily.
Containing natural extracts and with added benefits like moisturising, soothing and and refreshing properties, what's not to love?
Urban Decay - Naked: Flushed*I love this palette. Containing a bronzer, highlighter and blush powder, this is the perfect mini collection of products for your cheeks.
I'm a bit of a contour novice and though I love the effect, it can be pretty time-consuming to create a full contoured look; in steps UD's Flushed palette. This is brilliant for a quick and easy everyday look. With just this one small palette, you can apply a soft contour under your cheekbones with the bronzer, a pop of colour to the apples of your cheeks with the blush and sweep the illuminating highlighter over the top to finish the look.
The three powders all have a slight shimmer to them which gives a really glowy look.
bareMinerals - bareSkin Perfecting VeilThe search is over; this finishing powder is the best I've ever tried - and I've tried many.
Firstly the packaging is great. It's got a mirror (check) and the powder pan also lifts up to reveal a compartment where the puff is stored - a much better alternative to it sitting in the powder permanently.
This powder is not only light, it seamlessly blurs imperfections with light-reflecting particles. I always feel good about putting bareMinerals products on my skin; this powder contains vitamin C to brighten and a special blend of minerals to absorb excess oil.
Urban Decay - Naked Basics*The Urban Decay Naked range of eyeshadow palettes have full on cult status in the beauty world, though they come with price tag to match their sought-after reputation. The Basics palettes are a great introduction to the range at a lower price point. These condensed versions contain essential shades from the larger palettes and are ideal for creating neautral eye looks or the base to pair with bolder colours from your collection.
The shadows in the original Naked Basics palette are matte and highly pigmented for creating nude daytime looks or neutral yet bold eyes for the evening using the darker shades.
Blendable and longlasting, this palette has become an everyday essential.
Urban Decay - Eye Shadow Primer Potion (Original)*Firstly, the packaging of this primer is dreamy, I love the characteristic purple branding and the jewel-esque lid. This product is pretty self-explanatory, it primes your eyes for shadow application.
Whether or not you think you need a primer like this, the results speak for themselves. UD's Primer Potion ensures smooth, crease-free shadow application and in one simple step, evens out the skin on the lid.
I like to use this with my UD X Gwen Stefani palette and it definitely ensures that the colour lasts all day.
Urban Decay - Subversion Lash Primer*Another product that I probably wouldn't have thought to try out but now that it's in my collection, I love it. It's not actually something I use everyday, but more of an extra step I opt for if I'm going somewhere special.
Applying this primer to your lashes thickens them and gives your mascara 'something to hold on to'. It looks a little scary when applied as the formula is bright white, however once you've coated it well in glossy black mascara, you'll look like you're wearing falsies (in a good way).
Urban Decay - Brow Tamer Gel (Clear)*An absolute beauty essential. Ashamedly, before this, I was using a gross gloopy clear mascara that was defintely a few years too old to finish my brows (I know, ew).
This flexible gel sets brows without feeling sticky or drying too stiff. The slim wand allows for precise application that lasts. Simply, great!
Lord & Berry - Timeless Lip Colour (Iconic)*This liquid lip colour is the ultimate longlasting matte. This formula glides on like a gloss and quickly dries to an on-trend matte finish that lasts for ages!
Usually the combination of matte finish and longlasting would result in a drying formula that cracks easily and feels uncomfortable to wear - not Timeless! The unique formula contains neem oil, sesame oil and frankincense for a moisurising, comfortable liquid.
Iconic is a classic, bold yet muted red that I've been wearing so much recently. The longwear formula also comes off easily with a good remover, like the L&B one mentioned above!
Urban Decay - Matte Revolution Lipstick (Stark Naked)Another matte lip formula (I'm definitely digging this finish right now) that succeeds in keeping the lips moisturised and comfortable. The Stark Naked shade is a perfect nude.
The creamy colour glides on well and lasts. This nude colour goes great with my other UD products from the Naked range, though I'd definitely like to try the bright Menace and Bittersweet shades next.
Are any of these products on your beauty essentials list? Or have you seen something you're eager to try?