A mini Christmas haul (+ matching mini reviews)

January 20, 2017

Because Christmas isn't over*...

I was lucky enough to receive money and gift cards this Christmas, giving me the perfect excuse to go on a mini makeup shopping spree and add to my collection. Naturally, being the makeup-holic that I am, I made a couple of impulse buys - shhh - but hey ho, I'm allowed to treat myself, right?!?! Yes I know this is a place for student friendly products and from the above picture I'm sure you will be questioning my tag line, but as you will see in due course, I bought them at budget prices hehe. Anyways, without further adieu, it's time to meet the stars of our show!!

NYX Born to Glow Illuminating Primer around £12 

So this was an 'unscheduled' buy. The morning of my shopping spree I ran out of my L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer and needed a new one. I was wondering around the NYX counter at my local Boots and spotted this which seemed like it promised to do a similar job to my L'Oreal primer - add a glow to your foundation, nothing about longevity - which I have since realised I could do with, suggestions for a prolongue-the-wear-of-makeup drugstore primer? Being a review checker, I stood in a corner of Boots and quickly searched best illuminating cheap primers on Google as well as reviews of this specific product. Boosted by positive reviews, some even comparing it to MAC Strobe Cream (which I have heard of, but not tried), I decided to give it a whirl - a decision heavily influenced by the fact that you get 3 times the amount of product to the L'Oreal primer for only a few pounds more - hence my justification paying top end drugstore price.

The verdict? The primer gives a nice glow to the skin, and helps add a dewy, lighter coverage and finish to my Nars Sheer Glow foundation. However, I have found it to loose this glow throughout the day, something I found with my L'Oreal primer. Furthermore, I find that you have to use quite a lot to cover you're whole face and get a glow to begin with, where as my L'Oreal, which lasted me over a year, despite the small amount, went a long way with only a pea sized amount! So I think, once I've finished it, I will go back to my original primer, or try one for longevity instead...

Final Verdict: ★★★

Left - the primer straight out of the tube              Right - The primer, blended

Mini Benefit High Beam Highlighter - £5 

This legendary highlighter has finally made its way into my makeup collection. But June, it costs £20! How can you afford it on a student budget? I'll tell you: Christmas miniatures :) Benefit had a thing in Boots where you could buy four miniatures of their well known products for £15, or they were £5 each. So naturally, I took advantage of this bargain, and bought a teeny 4ml version. It is gorgeous! I really get what the hype I've seen for all those years is about. It gives the most gorgeous glow to the cheekbones (or where ever you want to apply it), but it doesn't last the day. Also, a little goes a long way, so even though it's only 4ml instead of the regular sized 10ml I can se this lasting a long time :)

Final Verdict: ★★★★☆

Left: Blended                                                    Right: Straight from the bottle

Real Techniques Starter Kit - £10.80*

*This was the price I bought it for on Amazon, but it constantly fluctuates, currently it's £12.47 but that's still discounted from £20.99. Best tip: keep an eye out on the price to get it when it's low

For a while (well I say a while, it was an impulse buy with a reason behind it XD) I've been thinking about buying better quality brushes. I have this massive set a friend bought me for my birthday which are great for playing around with, but I wanted an upgrade. Naturally, I turned to Real Techniques to sort me out. This set comes with two larger blending brushes, an eyeliner brush, an angled brush and a small detail brush. They are wonderful and blend beautifully. The larger blending brush (the deluxe crease brush) is slightly too big for my eyelid, but my favourite brush is the base shadow brush (2nd down in the picture) which I love for blending shadow into my crease. I also love the accent brush (middle in the picture) for adding highlight into the inner third of my eye or just packing shadow onto the lid. The angled brush and liner brush aren't going to be used as much due to me owning an angled brush I love (by EcoTools) and I don't wear gel eyeliner (though I want to try it at some point). It's just a shame, they don't sell each brush individually (though I know the Deluxe Crease Brush is). Also, it would have been nice to have a larger flat shadow brush as part of the set...

Final Verdict: ★★★★☆

MAC Burgundy Times Nine Eyeshadow Palette - £25*

*I bought it with a £20 MAC Voucher I got for Christmas, hence the fact I could buy it.
If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don't then, you're missing out. Click the Instagram icon on the sidebar, or at the top of the page. Now! Do it!) then you will know that I have been obsessed - and I mean obsessed - with this palette. It took ages to arrive, because the first time I ordered it they took the money off my card but the order didn't go through :( , but hey, they sorted it out and here it is in all it's beauty. When I was reading reviews on this everyone commented on the beauty of Star Violet. I didn't get what was so special about a pink eyeshadow. Boy was I wrong! It is simply the most stunning eyeshadow I had ever seen (actually, the whole palette is). Pictures really don't do it justice so if you see it in store SWATCH IT! It has this gorgeous bronze undertone (potentially, I really don't know how to describe it haha), but it is beautiful so yeah, enough about me getting over excited over an eyeshadow haha. The palette as a whole is gorgeous, it's like a mini Naked 3, and much smaller than you're average palette, so great for popping into your makeup bag - on my Instagram is a picture of it in my hand to show how small it is. I really am plugging my Instagram today aren't I haha! The colour range means that it can be used all year round, with lighter pastel colours for the spring and summer and darker colours for the winter. Each shadow is only a couple of centimetres across in diameter, but they are so pigmented that you don't need a lot (see the swatches below). I know some people aren't big fans of Honey Lust and have found that it has a lot of fall out, but I have found it to be beautiful packed round the inner corner and third of the eye to brighten it. The black shade, #Noir, however isn't great. I have seen drugstore black eyeshadows that have a more intense pay off without primer, and the gold glitter in it is a bit pointless, I don't know, it just doesn't work... A matte black for intensifying the outer corner or the lash line would have been more useful, so thank goodness I own a few of those already haha. However, this doesn't take away from the fact that it is my favourite palette ever!

Final Verdict: ★★★★★

Top Line - Without Primer, Bottom Line - With Eye Primer (Used MUA Pro Base Eye Primer)

So that's my first ever haul out of the way! Just knocking down these blog milestones like they're dominoes XD (ok that was a terrible analogy, help me out here guys!)

June xx

p.s. I just want to send a massive thank you to the people who make these products. I watched a documentary once about the factory that collapsed where they interviewed survivors. One of them said she wanted to be remembered, so here I am thanking and remembering the people that we often forget about working in factories, so that we can have beautiful products :)

*yes I am aware it's January, but I have chosen to ignore this little fact. Plus, I swear QI said it doesn't end til March, so there :)

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