It's been a little while since I last did one of these posts but I'm back! There's a mix of stuff I've picked up going right back to Black Friday, some things from the Boxing Day Sales, new launches brands have kindly sent over to me and all my other new acquisitions...
Jouer Mini Powder Highlighter Set | £35 | This was actually £10 off in the sale but isn't available any more, so I've linked the normal sizes. I find the formula to be consistent with the full-sized products I have from this range, which is good. I didn't initially think I'd get much use out of Ice, however it's actually a really pretty shade - although it's a fairly stark highlight it has a warm tone to it and an iridescent sheen. Rose Gold is a rose gold colour, however it has the most interesting shift to it that pictures don't do justice! Skinny Dip is a warm golden-peach shade that's right up my street.
Jouer Powder Highlighter in Tan Lines | £19 | As you may have noticed from this post; I'm kind of obsessed with Jouer highlighters! They just have such a finely-milled formula that sits incredibly naturally on the skin but deliver that intense highlight. There are no chunks of glitter and the texture is really smooth. This is a bronzed-gold shade that's a little dark on my skin for now but I know I'll love when Summer comes back around.
Milani Colour Harmony Blush Palette in Bronze Burst | £16 | I love love love Milani cheek products, so I couldn't resist picking this up. It comes with a warm reddish berry blusher, a more muted raspberry blusher and a gorgeous warm gold highlight. The blushers have a sort of matte-satin finish that doesn't have a sheen but still looks slightly luminous on the skin and the highlighter has a lovely, soft metallic look to it. I tend to swirl together the two blusher shades and apply them lightly for a natural flush of colour and use the highlighter separately. The highlighter looks lovely and natural on the skin and although the blusher needs a little bit of work to get a perfectly even finish, it does wear well.
Zoeva Aristo Eyeshadow Palette* | £17.50 | This is a really pretty palette if you want some jewel tones that are more wearable. I really like that it contains some good matte shades (going from light pastels to deeper, smokier colours) because it means you can do your entire look out of this palette. I really like Zoeva eyeshadow palettes - the quality is just great and Aristo is no exception. The mattes are very smooth and easy to blend out and the shimmers in this palette all have that soft metallic sheen so they aren't glittery or difficult to work with. As you can probably see, these colours have lovely pigmentation and although there are a couple of shades that aren't really my thing, I can't fault the formula. I found the longevity with this palette to be pretty similar to the other Zoeva ones in my collection - nothing to write home about but above average.
Zoeva Aristo Blush Palette* | £12.50 | If this palette contained a golden shimmer highlight instead of a cream-banana matte then it would've been perfect! I really love the two blushers in here but I just don't get any use out of the highlight, which is a shame (you could use it to set under the eyes if you wanted to though). Desponia is a gorgeous warm orange tone with a subtle sheen and Dementer is a warm strawberry matte. They're both very pretty and flattering on my skin tone. They're pretty pigmented so you don't need to go in heavy-handedly with these, however the formula means they apply evenly and wear well. I'm a long-time fan of Zoeva's cheek products and this palette is no exception - I do still think it's worth picking up for the two blushers in any event, because it still only adds up to £6.25 each!
Zoeva Strobe Gels in Nova, Eos & Parhelia* | £10.50 each | I've actually tried one of these before, however the new shades were so beautiful I had to give them a second shot. Unfortunately, the jury is still out! They look nice and pretty enough on the skin but it is a very subtle look and can leave a slightly tacky finish. Also, based on the one I've tried before, they do dry out very quickly. It's such a shame as these are such stunning colours! Nova is a warm gold shade with rose undertones, Eos is a light pink with a golden shift and Parhelia is a warm golden bronze.
Zoeva Aristo Brush Set* | £45 | Zoeva is one of a tiny handful of brands for brushes that I just recommend to anyone who'll listen! The Aristo set is in the same sort of art deco style as the other products from this collection and is an edited selection of face and eye brushes. They have this gorgeous black and yellow gold design and come in a durable pouch (I find these so handy for travel and I still use some of the ones I have from other sets every time I go away, years later!) The 132 Luxe Powder Finish is a brush I personally prefer for powder cheek products so can be used to highlight, contour, bronze or apply brusher. I don't think it will replace my synthetic brushes for this purpose but it is a nice one to have in my stash. The 222 Luxe All Over Shader is for the eyes, and I think Zoeva has eye brushes down to an art form! I personally use this to highlight the brow bone, however it could also work for applying a colour all over the lid. The 225 Luxe Eye Blender is of course great for blending out your work effortlessly, but can also be used to apply a colour to the crease. The 228 Luxe Crease is an old favourite of mine - it's a large tapered crease brush that naturally blends the colour out for an effortless transition. I use the 317 Winged Liner brush mainly for brow pomades (as I don't really use gel liner these days) and it's perfect for drawing on each individual hair for a natural look.
BeautyBlender Pop* | £16 | I do think that BeautyBlenders lose their colour quite quickly, however it's still fun to try some different! I couldn't do my makeup without this sponge - used damp it just gives a flawless, natural finish with any foundation. Other brands may imitate it but to me the flexibility of this material can't be replicated.
Sigma Warm Neutrals Volume 2 Eyeshadow Palette* | £30 | BeautyBay very kindly sent over some new launches from their site including Sigma, House of Lashes and Smolder Cosmetics. I've actually tried the original Sigma Warm Neutrals palette, and whilst it was nice, it didn't knock my socks off for the price-point and I just think that if you're on the BeautyBay website you can pick up an amazing pre-made palette from Zoeva for barely more than half the price or even build your own little quad with Makeup Geek, which are both better quality for me. Don't get me wrong - there are some lovely shades in here like Toasty, Bittersweet, Henna and Iconic but it just wasn't that cohesive for me and there were a few duds like After Hours and Fool's Gold. The longevity also wasn't amazing.
Sigma E60 Large Shader* | £15 | I'm a long-time fan of Sigma brushes - I have some of theirs that I use virtually every day and have had for over two years and they're still in perfect condition after many, many washes. So although they're a little bit more of an investment; they're worth it. This isn't one I'd necessarily have picked out myself, as it's a large flat brush. I've actually been using it with cream eyeshadows to apply colour all over the lid, which it works well for.
Sigma E57 Firm Shader* | £14 | This one is more up my street and again has Sigma's exclusive synthetic bristles, so can be used with cream or powder formulas. It can be used to pat a smoky shade on the outer part of the lid out smudge a colour across the lower lash line.
Sigma E68 Line Perfector* | £16 | I don't actually use gel or cream eyeliners these days, like I mentioned earlier, however this is also really nice to use with a brow pomade. It's very fine so you can be very precise for a really natural look.
Sigma E38 Diffused Crease* | £13.50 | This is my favourite brush of the lot! It's a large crease brush that's perfect for a soft transition or blending out your crease colour. It blends out powder products effortlessly but I'm actually really loving it for applying my matte ColourPop cream eyeshadows.
Cinema Secrets Professional Brush Cleaner* | £11 | Cinema Secrets is a new brand to BeautyBay and I was really excited to try this legendary brush cleanser. It's really unlike anything I've used before - you don't need water for this or to rinse your brushes off afterwards, instead you just put a bit of the liquid into a little tub and swirl the bristles in there. Then it magically kind of separates the product from the bristles and you can squeeze it right out, which is pretty satisfying. I will definitely be purchasing the larger size of this because it makes my most dreaded beauty chore so much more efficient. My only negative is how quickly I'm getting through it!
House of Lashes Allura Lite* | £14 | I haven't actually tried all of these yet (sadly I don't get out that much!) but I've heard amazing things about these lashes. They're all pretty full-on, so I'm personally finding so far that I like to cut them down from the inner part of the band so they're more of a 3/4 and just fan out the outer part of my lashes. The Allura Lite pair are really pretty and feature individual lashes of different lengths, so you get that gorgeous thick and fluttery look. My one negative is that you don't get glue with them, which seems a bit tight for £14! (This is the same with all of these lashes.)
House of Lashes Iconic* | £14 | These are less natural and have a spikier, more dramatic look. They still feature the different lengths that criss-cross each other. I'd say this pair is less 'me' than the others in this post.
House of Lashes Boudoir Mini* | £14 | These ones are definitely my favourite (with the Allura Lite being second) partly because they come on a smaller band, so I don't have to cut them down. They just give a gorgeous, more natural fluttery lash look, which is exactly what I want for a night out.
House of Lashes Smoky Muse* | £12 | This set is also very nice - It has a less-defined, thicker appearance to the lashes, with them getting thinner and more fluttery as you move towards the tips.
House of Lashes Bombshell* | £9 | These aren't my favourite because the lashes go straight down and are more gappy than the others. I prefer the thicker look personally.
Smolder Dazzle Lock Glitter Adhesive* | These products aren't actually on BeautyBay just yet, however I'll update this post with the Smolder Cosmetics links as soon as they launch. This is a really great transparent gel-formula glitter primer. It really helps loose glitters and pigments to apply smoothly and to stay in place.
Smolder Potion Mixing Liquid* | This is an interesting liquid primer with an iridescent sheen. Realistically, you probably don't need both but this formula adds something a little bit extra in terms of the subtle dewy finish.
Smolder Glam Dusts* | Not every single shade in this collection is my thing, however I wanted to swatch the lot for you! I'd say there are 4 sorts of finishes here - duo-chrome, shimmer, metallic and glitter. The duo-chrome shades have a lovely soft texture and come in some really cute unicorn-themed colours. I'd say Cashmere is the only shimmer - it's smoother than the true glitters, however does still have some traces of glitter in it. The soft, glitter-free metallics such as Rose have my favourite formula - they give that amazing impact whilst being very easy to work with. I'm not so much of a fan of the glitters - I've tried them with both the Smolder primers and MAC Fix+ but I just feel they're too chunky and patchy for me.
Smolder Golden Glow Illuminator* | This is my favourite of the Smolder Cosmetics products I tried! It just has such a smooth texture and the finish gives a soft metallic sheen that isn't glittery at all. This warm, frosty gold really pops on my skintone too.
Becca Mini Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Rose Gold | £15 | I almost wish I'd picked this up in the full size in this... I really didn't need another highlighter but this was so cute that I couldn't resist. I probably don't need to tell you that Becca's highlighter formula is unrivalled - it's so smooth and pigmented! This is a beautiful warm rose gold that really works for me.
Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Americano | £11 | This has been one of my go-to lip colours for evening wear lately. I really like this liquid lipstick formula and the colour range is great - I love Miami Fever for summer, so with this I have all the bases covered! I can never tell if this has a very slight sheen to it, however it's very comfortable to wear despite having amazing staying power, a matte finish and a totally opaque formula. This is a deep reddish-brown colour.
Dose of Colours the Snuggle is Real Set* | £25 | This is one of my favourite liquid lipstick formulas and they're £16 each so I thought 3 for £25 was a pretty good offer and this trio is nude-themed. It has a soft, satin feel on the lips which is pretty much like a normal lipstick and the finish is semi-matte. They last incredibly well and don't dry out my lips at all. Let's Cuddle is a light peach that doesn't really work for me on its own, sadly. Lazy Daisy is a pretty mauve nude that's warm enough to work for my skin tone. Warm and Fuzzy is a lovely warm strawberry.
Fairydrops Scandal Queen Waterproof Mascara* | £18.50 | I've heard so much about this mascara so I was really excited to finally try it for myself. It has a fibre wand however the unusual shape means it really does lengthen and curl the lashes. It isn't clumpy but does add volume and doesn't smudge, which is great. It also makes the lashes look so intensely black. It is a bit of an effort to fully remove it because it's waterproof, however I really like it for an everyday look.
Butter London Sheer Wisdom Nail Tinted Moisturisers in Light, Medium & Neutral* | £15 | Before I became obsessed with gel manicures, I was pretty much wearing one of these every day in December! The concept of this collection is that they're like tinted moisturisers for the nails, offering sheer but build-able coverage for a natural everyday look. Light is a slightly pinky nude, Medium a true nude and Neutral has slightly tan undertones. One coat is a very minimal look, however 2 builds this into something natural but noticeable. The longevity is good but not amazing - I have pretty weak nails and can get 3 days out of these before the chips start to appear.
Cocunat Deeply Nourishing Tropical Strawberry Body Mousse* | £32 | This is a brand that promotes the fact its products are free from parabens, harsh fragrances and other irritants. It smells absolutely lovely and fruity but in a natural, non-artificial way. However I just didn't really like the formula. It's definitely a mousse, so doesn't smooth out and absorb into the skin as nicely as a lotion or butter product - I felt I had to spend ages working it in. I also just think the packaging doesn't feel very premium for £32 and you can get a better product for half the price or less (such as ones from Soap & Glory or the Body Shop).
Have you tried any new products lately?