It’s been a little while since I’ve done a new edition of my new and current makeup favourites, so it’s time to update you all on what I’ve been using and loving these last few months. You’ll see some products I picked up in the USA (don’t worry, they’re mostly available here in the UK too) and some products from a new makeup brand that launched at the end of last year, Freedom Makeup.
Freedom Eyebrow Pomade – Costing just £5 and available in 11 shades, this pomade is touted as a dupe for the famous and beloved Anastasia Beverely Hills brow pomade. The Auburn works well for me as a warm toned red-brown to match my dark dyed red hair, and I find it easy to apply the product with an angled brush, building it up slowly in small strokes. It lasts well throughout the day and I love how easy it is to create a sharp end to my brow.
Freedom Duo Eyebrow Powder – Having a deep red coloured hair and dark brown eyebrows, I’ve always found it a bit of a struggle to decide which shade I should lean towards for filling in my brows. While I love the above pomade for well defined and well matched brows to complete my full pinup face, this brow powder duo in auburn provides another good match for me in a softer finish. The lighter, warmer shade in the left of the duo works perfectly to fill in my brows when I’m going for a lighter or more natural makeup look, particularly on work days, or works great to set my other brow products for increased longevity, and I can use the darker shade on the left to fill in the tail end of my brow for a crisper look. The small compact has a mirror in the lid and is super easy to pop in my bag to carry around for any brow emergencies. Available in 9 duo shades, it usually costs £4 but is on sale currently for £3.
Kiss Ever EZ Cluster Lashes Short – I wear strip lashes anytime I do a full face of makeup these days, but occasionally I find I need a few extra lashes here and there, particularly to balance out the inner corner of my eye where my natural lashes are stubbornly sparse, short and straight. Individual lashes drive me crazy, as I find they always twist to sit awkwardly when I’m positioning them, so these ‘clumps’ of lashes that have the equivalent of 3 individual lash bundles in them work great for easier positioning and more volume with less application. These XS and S lengths are especially great for using nearer the inner corner lash line, or for use entirely along the lashline for a more natural filled in lash effect against your own lashes. Plus, if you’re a newbie to wearing false lashes and haven’t got the knack yet of applying full strip lashes, these are a great place to start.
Salon Perfect Demi Wispies Multi Pack – While I was in America I really wanted to stock up on lashes, since they’re cheaper there than over here, much like everything else. I bought several multi packs, including these Salon Perfect Demi Wispies which seem identical to the Ardell Demi Wispies in my opinion. for 4 pairs at around $8, that works out the same as buying one pair of Ardell Wispies over here in England at full price. A great dramatic but still natural effect lash look, invisible band making it easier for them to blend with your natural lashes, especially for novices, these are great lashes at a bargain price.
ColourPop Cosmetics Ultra Mattes – I’ve done a full review of these bad boys before now, but in case you missed it all you need to know is that this product is a long-lasting liquid lipstick which lasts beautifully, rarely needs a touch up, comes in dozens of colours, is comfortable to wear, and costs only $5.99 each. It’s my go-to lip product no matter what shade my outfit requires, as I now own 10 shades, and I’m intrigued to try their new Ultra Satin Lips to see if that formula is just as wonderful.
NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick – Ever since I found the above Colourpop Ultra Mattes no other lip product has come close to competing for me, but while I was in the states I picked up some of the NYX Suedes to check them out. They take a little while to dry down, like most liquid lipsticks, and they last better than many I’ve tried and they’ve got great pigmentation and comfort factor. They’re not my favourites compared to the Colourpop’s but unlike Colourpop NYX is now available in the UK, online and in-store in some Boots, which makes them a great inexpensive liquid lipstick option at £6.50, easy to get your hands on, and available in 12 different shades. My favourite shade is Vintage, a dark vampy russet brown-red and I really hope they bring out a darker, rich red, because their current red shade is too orange toned for me.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation – I only caved to picking this up while I was in America because it cost $35 rather than £34 and I had $50 left to spend in the airport Duty Free before my return. This medium coverage foundation is a Holy Grail for tons of women and I’ve heard people hoot and toot about it for an age, so after trying it for myself I was half disappointed by it and half pleased. The former, because I’d heard ladies say they could use this product alone without even concealer and it covered all of their blemishes flawlessly, which it definitely did not do for me, but the latter because I do really like how it applies and lasts if I ignore my high expectations. Unlike some other foundations, it dries down and doesn’t transfer to my fingers if I touch my face, which I do all the time, and it holds up pretty well, apart from a little shine on my forehead after a day’s wear. I do still have to wear concealer over prominent blemishes, as mentioned, so while I like the product I won’t be re-buying it since I don’t think it’s hugely better than my favourite budget foundations considering it costs 3-6 times more.
Freedom Pro Studio Priming Water – Another dupe for a high end product, this product is a lightweight priming spray. It does a good job of keeping my face moisturised and my product in place with a practically-invisible lightweight feel, and it doesn’t feel super ‘grabby’ as I apply my foundation, which I can find difficult to work with in some other primers. Costing £6 a bottle, it’s available online from Freedom Makeup’s own site, or online and in-store from Superdrug, where it’s often included in their 3 for 2 on all makeup promotions.
Freedom Makeup Pro Correct Palette – Corrector palettes are so useful for a one-stop-shop approach to balancing out your face for the perfect polished look. I love that I only have to locate one palette to do my concealing and brightening first thing in the morning, as well as how easy this is particular palette is to pack when I travel due to its compact size. The pink shade is perfect for use on my under eyes, the green helps hide red patches, and I love the lilac and yellow for brightening my darker skin tones on certain areas of my face. For £5, it’s a great all-in-one product I can easily slip into my bag for touch ups on the go.
Makeup Academy Skin Define Hydro Primer – This is a gel formula that melts into a lightweight primer on applying it to you face. I like to apply my face products over it as soon as it dries down, otherwise it gets super grabby around my brows and eyes, making it hard for me to buff out my foundation without it looking caking. That aside, it does a good job of helping my skin stay hydrated throughout the day, and I appreciate that I can take a small quantity of it in a small cosmetics pot when I travel without having to lug around one of my larger bottles of primer. It costs £5 a pot, lasts a fair while, and is available to buy online from MUA or online/in-store from Superdrug.
Elf Hydrating Under Eye Primer – I have very fine lines under my eyes which can collect concealer in creases over the course of the day, which really annoys me. I apply a small amount of this cream before I apply my colour corrector and concealer and it really helps minimise any makeup creasing or caking. It’s available in the UK for £4.50 from ELF’s newly relaunched website, and available widely in the states.
Freedom Pro Contour Stick – This contour stick is dual ended, with a cream finish highlighter at one end and contour shade at the other. It comes available in three shades, and I find the Fair shade works well for me. The highlight shade is perfectly bright for my fair skin and the contour colour works well for a subtle, light application for a gentle contour, or can be layered up, alone or under other products, for a more dramatic contour that still avoids looking orange or muddy. For a deeper contour I like to use it under my usual favoured contour powder to add depth of shading in the hollows of my cheekbones. It’s super handy for travel since it has both the highlight and contour shades in one stick, the only downside is that I do find the caps are a bit loose and can pop off in my makeup bag. That aside, it’s a great little product for £5.
ELF Acne Fighting Foundation – I picked this up while I was in America and immediately fell in love. This product has such good pigmentation and lasts great. It’s acne fighting because the formula is infused with Salicylic Acid, Witch Hazel, Camphor, Tea Tree and soothing Aloe, to help prevent blemishes, and I do find I break out less than oiler foundations I’ve tried. Porcelain, their lightest shade, is slightly too dark for me to be a true match, but it’s passable, especially once I’ve highlighted and contoured, and for $6 I’m happy with that, particularly since I find the coverage just as good, if not better, than the Estee Lauder Double Wear. This isn’t available from ELF’s UK website currently, so hopefully that will change in the future.