I feel like the magic of the internet has opened the UK up to so many amazing affordable beauty brands outside the usual big drugstore names. Today I'm talking through my stash from two such brands: LA Girl and Milani (both available via Just My Look).
This affordable brand has actually been around for a while, and I'd previously tried a few bits from them by ordering online and I also picked up some things in person when I went to New York. I'm really pleased they're now more accessible. Their star product is the concealer (they also have correcting shades, though I found the colours slightly too unnatural on my skin tone personally) but they've expanded to other complexion products and also some colour collections.
Pro Coverage HD Illuminating Liquid Foundation* (GLM647 Warm Beige) | 10.99 | This foundation has often been compared to the Make Up For Ever HD, however that was re-released last year and the formula isn't the same any more, so I really don't think the LA Girl is very similar to the current version of it. If I were to compare this to a more expensive product then it would be a less matte MAC's Studio Fix Fluid because it has a medium-full coverage and a natural to satin finish. It definitely isn't matte but it isn't dewy either - it has a creamy consistency and I apply it with a blending sponge for a smooth finish. It isn't anything heavy or caky and has good longevity, though I do notice a bit of shine coming through during the day that I have to powder. The shade range is impressive, though you do have to order online. Luckily this is a good match for me, though I'd say it's more of a summer colour. I don't usually swatch foundations but I have here because I did struggle to find guidance online for this (for reference, I'm MAC NC37-40).
Pro Conceal HD Concealers (GC976 Pure Beige & GC978 Medium Beige) | £4.99 each | I have really mixed feelings on this concealer - I want to love it because it comes in such an amazing shade range that puts products more than three times its price to shame, however I'm just not sure I'm totally into the formula. A lot of people love it, so I thought I'd still give it a mention, however I do find the packaging a bit fiddly - you have to squeeze the product up through the brush applicator. It has medium coverage, I'd say, though it does take quite a bit of product to get the effect. It do like how it looks once applied, though admittedly it could be a bit drying on some skin types. It does wear well without creasing though.
I've loved Milani as a brand for a really long time, so I'm very happy it's more accessible in the UK these days (though their products have definitely gone up in price recently!) It's still pretty affordable, especially given the gorgeous packaging and the amazing quality of their products.
Conceal + Perfect Foundation (06 Sand Beige) | £12.95 | I'm not sure why this is billed as a 2-in-1 concealer and foundation - to me it's just a foundation! It has a medium-full coverage with a satin finish (it's slightly more towards the matte side than the LA Girl foundation, though). I've gives a flawless, perfected look to the skin, though I'd say not to over-apply this, or it might appear a bit thick on the skin. It isn't the longest-wearing foundation in my collection but it lasts well enough - I just need a bit of a powder reapplication during the day.
Retouch + Erase Light-Lifting Concealer (03 Medium Light) | £8.95 | I've actually been sent this concealer twice in PR but could never seem to get the right shade! However I did like the formula so ordered it from Just My Look (because it's free delivery on all overs) and finally got a match - I've swatched all three below for you in the hopes it will help you. Having said that - I really like this product because it has quite a light, fluid texture however the coverage is amazing! I use it with a damp blending sponge and it's so good for brightening the under-eye area - it can crease slightly but a bit of setting powder will sort that out easily and it lasts very well.
Strobelight Instant Glow Highlighters in Dayglow, Sunset Glow* & Glowing* | £12.99 each | I've mentioned this collection so many times - this is one of my favourite highlighter formulas! Just look at those swatches... I honestly think I'd wear all of the shades in the collection and there's something in there for everyone. I kind of wish these came in a palette too because the shades are so beautiful and complimentary. They give a soft-focus sheen that doesn't contain any glitter. The formula is incredibly smooth and gives such a beautiful highlight. Dayglow is a light yellow-toned gold, Sunset Glow is more of a warm amber-gold and Glowing is a deep, rich bronzed gold.
Rose Blush in Romantic Rose | £11.95 | I'm actually not so fond of these blushers in comparison to the baked collection - this is Milani's matte offering. It has a slightly crumbly formula, so does distribute quite evenly, though I just don't quite like how it blends out. It's a muted neutral rose colour so it is a nice everyday shade, I'm just not the biggest fan of the formula.
Baked Blushes in Luminoso, Bella Bellini*, Rose D'Oro, Berry Amore & Bellissimo Bronze* | £9.99 each | This is another brand highlight for me! These are gorgeous sheeny blushers that add a natural hint of colour and glow to the cheeks. They blend effortlessly and last very well on my skin. Luminoso is the most famous - it's a peachy tone and has the most subtle sheen of the lot. Bella Bellini is also more on the sheeny side - it has a pinker tone and a golden shimmer running through it. Rose D'Oro is a burnished rose, Berry Amore is a mid-toned berry and Bellissimo Bronze is a very warm bronzed tone.
Earthy Elements Everyday Eyes Eyeshadow Collection* | £12.99 | How perfect is this palette for autumn?! It contains everything you need to create a gorgeous warm eyeshadow look. I actually don't use these shades for the jobs they're named after! There's a shimmery champagne that's a bit too glittery for my liking but can work as a highlight, a mid-toned caramel brown matte (a pretty crease / transition shade), an orange-red matte (I use this to deepen the crease), a warm golden-bronze (which I apply all over the lid), a soft sheeny champagne with a tiny hint of pink (I apply it to my inner corner as a highlight) and a plummier bronze shimmer (this is great on the outer corner and across the lower lash line). The formula is very smooth and easy to work with - these shades are pigmented and blend out easily. The longevity isn't the best in my collection but it's reasonably good.
Amore Matte Lip Creams in Precious*, Loved* & Allure* | £8.95 each | These are super-pigmented liquid lipsticks that have a cream formula, however do full set down to give you that totally matte finish that lasts for hours. The colours are on the bolder side, so can fade a little awkwardly, however this isn't at all messy to re-apply. These are also actually pretty comfortable to wear. Precious is a more muted pinky-mauve, Loved is a rich reddish-brown purple tone and Allure is a strawberry colour.
Have you tried LA Girl or Milani? Let me know what your favourite products are or what's on your wish list!