The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer Highlighter

The Mary-Lou Manizer from The Balm is a powder highlighter that is currently priced at an RRP of £20, although with a quick google and by using discount codes you definitely don’t need to pay full price for this product.

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Firstly, the packaging of the product is gorgeous. I love the kind of vintage/retro/pin-up girl vibe that comes from having this badass ‘Mary-Lou’ character on the compact. It’s definitely one of the most cutely packaged highlighters I own.

Fortunately, the product itself lives up to all the high hopes you have from such a prettily packaged product. The colour of the highlight is a pale, honey gold which I think can be flattering on a huge range of skin tones. On my skin tone, the colour blends in nicely so it can be fairly subtle but then it gives off this beautiful metallic sheen that catches the light. The formula is not too powdery or chalky and it blends easily. It had a small amount of glitter to it but it’s not chunky. The main effect it gives is just the wonderful pale golden sheen. You can wear it quite minimally or you can build it up to be very intense.

If you’re looking for a highlighter in this sort of shade I don’t think you’d regret trying this one. It’s a lovely product and one I would recommend.

Love Nicole xxxx

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara Review

This mascara from Too Faced has a price of £19 and is available from various retailers in the UK like Cult Beauty, ASOS and Debenhams. This is a bit of a splurge for a mascara, so is it worth it?

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The packaging of this mascara is gorgeous. It’s a chunky and substantial pink tube with embossed writing and has quite a bit of weight to it. The brush is awesome. It’s a bristle brush in a hourglass shape. It’s pretty big and, admittedly, I do sometimes make a bit of a mess when applying it but once you’re adjusted to it it’s fine. The fact it’s a rather large brush means you see results really quickly and it’s easy to build up.

I love the effect this mascara gives! It gives beautifully full, thick and fluttery lashes. I love how it sets off my eyes and completely enhances them. It feels light on the lashes and lasts perfectly all day with no smudging.

It’s quite a dry, moussey formula which I think is partly why I like it so much (I always like mascaras more once they’ve dried out), however, this does have the side effect that the formula dries out quickly so a tube doesn’t last for as long as you might hope for £19.

I absolutely love what this mascara does and I like to treat myself to it every now and then. The price stops me buying this frequently though! Especially considering it dries out quite quickly.

Love Nicole xxxx

GOSH Growth ‘The Secret of Longer Lashes’ Mascara

This mascara from GOSH costs £9.49 and is most easily available in the UK from Superdrug. I thought I’d try this as I loved the idea of a mascara helping my lashes to grow, which is what this mascara claims to do. It contains something called SymPeptide® XLash which is supposedly proven to have a visible effect on the length and thickness of lashes.

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The reviews on Superdrug’s website for this are actually really great but I can’t count myself as a fan… Firstly, I didn’t love the brush and found it a bit uncomfortable to use. It’s a rubber one and I prefer bristles but that’s not a deal breaker if the mascara still looks great on the lashes.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like what this mascara did for my lashes. I like to pack on the mascara and I tend to do loads of layers. This mascara is not good if you like to do that as it’s a very dry formula and dries quickly and I ended up with very clumpy lashes. I don’t mind a bit of clump but I found it so hard to achieve enough separation. This admittedly was after the mascara had dried out a bit but even when it was still fresh I wasn’t impressed with the effect.

As for giving length and volume, it was very underwhelming. The colour is good and very black but it did nothing special and I didn’t feel anywhere near my best when wearing this mascara.

Regarding the claims that it will help your lashes to grow, I didn’t notice any difference with regular use. I’ve used it up and I wouldn’t credit it with any improvement to length or volume of my bare lashes.

GOSH make so many different mascaras I’m hoping I just picked a dud as the first one to try from the range. Have you tried any good products that you’d recommend from GOSH? I think it’s a cool brand and, of course, I love that they are cruelty free.

Love Nicole xxxx

Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer

I was intrigued by this Conceal and Define Concealer (£4) from Revolution as it was quite obvious they were trying to sell it as a cheap alternative to Tarte’s Shape Tape, which is a concealer I’m yet to try.

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When I first tried this, I really liked it. So much so, I went and purchased three more tubes of it straight away. However, I realised that this concealer actually doesn’t offer the best value as I got through tubes so quickly. I think it contains 3.4ml of product? I’ve finished and recycled my last tube so I can’t double check. This is quite a lot less than usual for a concealer.

The packaging is very pretty with the rose gold lid. It has a doe foot applicator that is slightly larger than is typical for concealers, such as the one in Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer.

It is available on their own website in 25 shades and it’s also available from Superdrug but I think they only sell 18 of the shades. The range of shades looks pretty broad and it’s rare to see such a wide range in a high street/drugstore concealer. The shade I bought is C3 which is for fair skin with pink undertone and it is pretty much my skin colour! Ideally, I’d like a shade more brightening for the under eye area so maybe in future I should try C1.

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The formula is thick and creamy and blends nicely. It looks very intensely pigmented when you first swipe it on. I always use a beauty blender to blend my concealer which stops things looking cakey but does take away some of the coverage, therefore I usually do a couple of layers under my eyes. It gives a good medium/high coverage; I wouldn’t say full coverage but then again I don’t think anything can completely hide my under eye circles ha. I did find it settled in lines under my eyes quite quickly but that’s sorted with a bit of melting with your ring finger. The finish is fairly matte but not powdery.

I found it lasted well throughout the day but the coverage did fade faster than other affordable concealers that I like.

I did like this concealer and it is something I would buy again but I would prefer it to come in a bigger tube! I get through concealer quickly anyway but this was just ridiculously quick.

Love Nicole xxxx

Barry M All Night Long Concealer in Oatmeal

I can’t recall ever trying a face or base product from Barry M before but when I saw this concealer I was very interested! I love trying out budget concealers. This one costs £4.49 and comes in a 5ml tube with a small doe foot applicator.

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The packaging is very similar to Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer and it is also the same in that the black writing on the tube rubs off gradually with use. This doesn’t really bother me, however, on one occasion the black transferred quite badly onto my hands and I ended up smearing it on my face… Not ideal. I do try to remember to check it hasn’t got on my hands now before I touch my face!

I really like this concealer and have bought it multiple times! I wouldn’t say it gives full coverage but it’s definitely a high-medium. It brightens and conceals my under eye circles and doesn’t crease badly. After applying I use the warmth of my finger to gently press my under eye to melt away any creases that may have formed. The formula is creamy but not thick and it blends easily.

It sets nicely and whilst you can tell you’re wearing makeup, it doesn’t look heavy or cakey. I find it lasts very well and I trust it to last me all day and to fade gracefully when it does start to gradually wear off. I never set my under eyes with powder FYI.

It works well around the rest of the face at concealing any redness or blemishes. I have the colour Oatmeal which is the second lightest shade. The lightest shade Milk looks very light so would be ideal if you’re very pale! There are six shades in total which isn’t the best range and could be improved as there’s only one dark-ish shade.

I was so impressed with this little concealer – such a great affordable gem! It makes me think maybe I should try some other Barry M base products. Have you tried any that you’d recommend?

Love Nicole xxxx