My Makeup Faves: Edition V

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of these (uh, last April) and there’s lots of new items I’ve found that I love so let’s waste no more time. Here are all my latest favourites of the new products I’ve tried in the past few months.

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Seventeen Wow! Skin Concealer – This concealer is great for brightening up my undereye without layering it without so much product that it begins to settle in my fine lines, as heavier concealers are wont to do. I also find it’s great for brightening and concealing minor imperfections and blemishes that don’t require heavy duty cover up. £4.99 available online or in store from Boots.

Makeup Revolution Blush Goddess Palette – Featuring 8 shades, 4 each of blusher and highlighter, I find this palette to offer great shades for paler skin. I prefer pale-to-mid pink toned blushes, nothing too bright, so almost every shade in this palette suits my preferences, though I can use them all. The highlights are also well pigmented and glide on easily. Great selection for travelling if you’re going on a trip that won’t allow you to take your full makeup bundle but you want options. £6 from Tambeauty.com, or Superdrug.com + select Superdrug stores.

Makeup Geek Contour Powder Pan in ‘Break Up’ –  The Makeup Geek Contour range comes with an awesome shade system that helps you figure out which shade is for you. Available in 4 cool toned shades and 4 warm toned shades, the line is designed to cater to every skin tone. As a porcelain skin lady with cool undertones. I chose Break Up, a perfect contour shade that gives me depth without looking muddy or orange. Glides on well, holds it’s pigmentation throughout the day, my new favourite contour shade. It comes as a pan, so you’ll need to add it to a magnetic empty palette (see ‘Tools’ below) unless you want to buy it in compact form. I bought my pan in the UK from Beautybay for £9.25 (free delivery over £15) but you can get them for $10 each from Makeupgeek.com, where the compact is also available for $15.

Freedom Makeup Green, Yellow & Lilac Pro Camouflage & Correct Paste – When they saw paste, they’re not kidding. These thick matte colour correcting pastes come in a glass concealer pot that’s bound to last you an age, as the paste is pigmented and goes a long way. Most other budget colour correctors I’ve tried have been half sheer and a lightweight cream, but these pastes go on and stay put. The product photos online make them look shimmery, but don’t worry, they’re 100% matte. £3 each available from Tambeauty.com or select Superdrug stores/Superdrug.com.

Gosh Velvet Touch Primer & Setting Powder – Aptly named, this translucent velvety powder works wonders as an oil-control primer and setting powder. You can use it in either step of your makeup application, or as I do when I wear a full face of makeup, which is use it both primer and setting powder. £9.99 from Superdrug stores or Superdrug.com, in which it’s often included in Superdrug’s 3 for 2 or buy 1 get one 1/2 beauty offers.

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Makeup Academy Inked Lip Stain – Available in 6 shades, this lip stain is a true stain. Honestly, it doesn’t taste great, so it’s best to avoid licking your lips, but it’s comfortable and super lightweight, making it a great liquid lipstick alternative for ladies who can’t stand the dry or thick feeling of some matte liquid lippies. In Maraschino, it’s a true red that doesn’t transfer and needs only minor touch ups after eating. It will definitely leave a pop of colour on your lips after you’ve taken it off, which depending on your opinion either leaves you a nice touch of colour for the next day or an annoying stain you’ll have to paint over. Budget friendly, it costs just £4, available from Makeup Academy’s website or Superdrug stores/Superdrug.com.

Maybelline Vivid Mattes – I’m a stickler for requiring that my matte lipsticks stay put and absolutely do not budge, so it may surprise you that I like these Vivid Mattes because they do come off easily. If I know when I go out that I’m going to be consuming a dinner that will destroy any lipstick I wear or kissing someone, because every lipstick that claims to be ‘kiss proof’ melts onto both of your faces after a good snog, then I like that I can swipe this lipstick off with a tissue and then paint it back off when my mouth is, uh, done. It’s soft and comfortable to wear due to the velvety, plush-feel formula. In ‘Red Rebel’ it has a solid red lipstick pigmentation, so it completes my full face of makeup beautifully and doesn’t feel like a step down from a full look like a red toned balm crayon would be. Available at any beauty store or pharmacy/chemist that stocks Maybelline, including Boots and Superdrug in the UK for £6.99.

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Colourpop Brow Pot in ‘Redhead’ – I have multiple brow products I love, and yet I can’t help but keep trying more. I liked the shade ‘Redhead’ from Colourpop as their brow pencil, but I’m more of a pomade girl, so I love this creme gel brow formula. Easy to apply with an angled brush, stays on well throughout the day (10+ hours of wear, according to the website) and not tested on animals, it’s a great mid-tone red brown for us dark red haired ladies. Plus, at only $6, it’s a bargain. Available from Colourpop.com

 

faves5tools Freedom Pro Studio Brush Bath Sanitising Brush Cleanser – Bit of a mouthful, but what it lacks in a catchy name it makes up for in ease of use. A solid brush cleansing soap contained in a place screw top jar, all you need to clean your brushes is this pot and warm water. That means this product is perfect for taking on the road with you when you travel, as there’s no risk of leakage in your bag. I used to be disgusting about how often I washed my brushes, but this is the second time I’ve bought this product and since I first tried it I’ve become much better at cleaning my brushes regularly. £7 from tambeauty.com or Superdrug.com/stores.

Makeup Revolution Precision Brush Oval Eye – Made for blending powder and cream shadows, I actually love this brush for blending my under eye concealer. I know most people swear by their Beauty Blenders, but I just don’t find it makes much difference to my application compared to anything else. Available for £6 from tambeauty.com.

Freedom Makeup London Pro Artist Empty Magnet Palette – I have a few empty magnetic makeup palettes, Z palettes and from coastalscents.com, but this Freedom Makeup palette is a great middle-ground size for me. Measuring 17.5cm by 9.5cm it can fit 18 standard eyeshadow single pans or 8 of Freedom’s contour/blush/highlighter shades. I’m using it currently to house my favourite contour shade pans, but for travelling it will be perfect for taking my favourite shades of all types of product pans, meaning I won’t have to carry a different palette for each type of product. Plus, the entire inner lid is a mirror, an added bonus. Only £5 from Tambeauty.com.

My 3 Favourite Brow Products on a Budget

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Dis me and mah brows

Here’s the thing: these days, brows are intimidating. Everyone is so obsessed with getting them on fleek, on point, perfectly on your goddamm face, that for someone who’s just starting to figure out what’s best for their own brows, it’s kind of terrifying. It can easily feel like people–especially on social media–are gonna be judging you for your forehead ‘staches. Are you supposed to make them look natural, subtly balancing out your features and the rest of your makeup? Or, wait, are they supposed to be sculptured, carved, bold facial parentheses that involve 5 different intense shaping stages and a highlighting portion that make them look practically 3D?

The good news and the bad news is, yes, some people are going to have opinions about your brows no matter what you do. But that just means that, like everything else, you can free yourself from the weight of their opinions and focus on what works for you.

It took me a long time to feel like I really got the hang of filling in my brows–we’re talking well over a year. I still have days when I look in the mirror–normally when I’m out somewhere busy or at a social event without my makeup bag, of course–and feel like I overdid it, or oh god, is that arch slightly flatter than the other? Damn you left brow, why are you always messing with me? 

I probably tried a dozen or more brow products before I felt I’d found the products I liked best and really developed the knack for getting my brows right. I won’t and can’t claim to be an expert, but I do know how hard it can be to know where to even start in approaching the brow game as a newbie. Powder or pencil, oh, or pomade? Gel or wax or special brand new technological makeup advancement that will last 5 days but OH GOD WHAT IF I APPLY IT WRONG I’LL BE STUCK WITH IT FOR FIVE DAYS?!

It can be an overwhelming choice. Especially since, additionally, a lot of the most lauded products are not cheap. If you’re picking up an angled brow brush for the first time, the idea of spending £20 on a product that may not even work for you can seem steep, especially if products in that price range just aren’t in your typical cosmetics budget.

Well, I’m here to help. Whether you’re restricted by your budget or by your fear of accumulating 20 products you don’t like in the search for one you do, I’ve chosen and demonstrated my favourite 3 brow products. Since I have dyed red hair the process of finding cheap products hasn’t always been easy, because ‘dark unnatural red’ isn’t one of the colours typically represented in a basic shade range, so for my fellow red headed ladies this may be especially useful.

All 3 products are available for order internationally online, if not also found in stores.

Miss Amy May's top 3 bargain brow products

My grubby little preciouses

So, let’s begin with a look at my natural brows when the rest of my face is made up.

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My natural brows untouched

I know, it makes me look vaguely terrifying.That’s why I had to work on getting the brow thing down. It kind of became an essential non-choice if I didn’t want to look like I had some kind of eyebrow-specific hair loss issue.

 Freedom Eyebrow Pomade

Freedom Eyebrow Pomade in auburn is a warm toned brown pomade, which for those who don’t know, is kind of like a dense, highly pigmented paste. You apply it with an angled liner brush, like pretty much all brow products, and pick up only a little bit on your brush at a time before working it through your brows, so as not to overload them.

For a few months this was my absolute favourite product, but I always flit back and forth between my top faves so currently this is my go-to for a more defined brow. It gives a more sculpted result than powder does, but I also find it the easiest kind of product to apply. It lasts well, though it’s not infallible against moisture or touch, but a dusting of setting powder or a light top coat of a matching brow powder can help it stay in place if you’re a face toucher who sometimes accidentally rubs off a small part of your brow arch (guilty.)

Available in 11 shades, the Freedom Eyebrow Pomade costs £5 for a pot which will last you an age. It can be bought online from Tambeauty.com (the parent company of both Freedom and Makeup Revolution,) and superdrug.com, as well as in store from Superdrug.

Freedom Eyebrow Pomade colour swatches

Freedom Duo Eyebrow Powder

Freedom Duo Eyebrow Powder auburn review

Freedom Duo Eyebrow Powder half applied comparison pic

Another Freedom product, this Duo Eyebrow Powder compact is the first brow powder I’ve found that matches my hair colour well. A small black compact, it comes with two shades and a mirror in the lid, making it super easy to stash in your handbag for touch ups on the go–just remember to also pack a brow brush.

You apply it the same as above, with an angled brow brush, but the powder gives a much softer finish than pencil or pomade products tend to. It can also be used over other such products in a setting fashion or to add extra intensity. It’s my current go-to for my brows and I like that I can achieve a more natural finish with it easier than I can with other products.

The two powder shades mean you can use the lighter or darker colours on different parts of your brow to create definition. The lighter, warm shade on the left is such a good match for me that I use that all the way through my brow. It lasts well and can be touched up easily if need be.

Available in 10 shades, Freedom Duo Eyebrow Powder costs £4 and is available to buy, again, from Tambeauty.com or online and in-store from Superdrug.

Freedom Duo Eyebrow Powder review

Freedom Duo Eyebrow Powder

Finally, it’s the only brow pencil I’ve ever liked.

Colourpop Brow Pencil

Colourpop Cosmetics Brow Pencil in Redhead is a mid-toned red brown. I actually find brow pencils to be the hardest brow product to wield, which I suspect is an unusual reaction, perhaps because I feel there’s a fine line between over-applying with them. I apply this pencil in short strokes throughout my brows and use an angled brow brush to brush it through evenly, adding more product where necessary to get an even finish.

The wire brush on the end of the pencil is a useful addition, particularly if you take this pencil with you on the go. I usually like to use the Duo Eyebrow Powder from above in a light layer atop this product to seal it in and add a little extra depth, since I’m not the best with pencils and am wary of overdrawing my brows. (I haven’t added the powder in the picture above, so you can see I ought to have been a little more heavy-handed with the application to get a little more pigmentation. Why do pencils scare me?!)

The product itself is easy to use, with the brow pencil mechanically advancing from the crayon casing with a twist movement. It doesn’t retract back into the crayon, so make sure to only advance it in small increments so that the tip doesn’t snap off.

The Colourpop Brow Pencil comes in 8 shades and costs $5, available to be purchased through Colourpop.com, lustre-cosmetics.co.uk, rosesbeautystore.co.uk and other international stockists.

There we have it, brow buddies, my budget favourites. Hopefully there’s something in there that you feel you can have success with. Are there any other over-arching deals I should know about? (See what I did there?) What are your favourite products for taming your brows? Feel free to discuss further in the comments.