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I've said it before and I'll say it again: what's available at the UK drugstore (Boots and Superdrug) gets better and better with each passing year! Today I thought I'd give a bit of a roundup of some of the best products and brands you can now get at Boots and use your points on...
The Brand: Huda Beauty
My Pick: Empowered Eyeshadow Palette* | £62 | full review and swatches
Huda Beauty was founded by OG beauty guru Huda Kattan a good few years back now and she's since launched Wishful for skincare, Glowish for skincare-makeup hybrids and Kayali for fragrance, all of which are available at Boots! Huda Beauty is known for amazing eyeshadow palettes so it seemed only right to mention one in this post. There are these little themed quads the brand does that I love for travel or if you're just not sure you want to drop this much on eyeshadows, but my current obsession has to be Empowered. This is a collection of warm, wearable shades that can take you from a day in the office with a warm matte look through to a super-metallic bronze or copper smokey eye for evening wear. The mattes are opaque, pigmented and blend easily, the shimmers have a stunning wet-look effect that goes on beautifully and lasts all day. In terms of the colour story, the quality and how easy these are to use and create a look with; this is just brilliant.
The Brand: Nars
My Pick: Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser* (St. Moritz) | full review | demo
Nars is such an established brand at this point that I'm sure plenty of people don't even know it was originally founded by a makeup artist. Whilst the brand is famed for its blushes (the shade Orgasm in particular has had a cult following over the years), I personally love their complexion products. A product I've been purchasing for almost 10 years now that's still my perfect everyday base is their tinted moisturiser. This is just 'my skin but better' in the truest form; other complexion products come and go, but this is the one I always come back to because it gives my skin a gorgeous, healthy glow (without excessive shine), it gives enough coverage to even out redness and dullness whilst still letting my natural skin shine through and lasting on my skin without breaking up or looking a mess through hours of wear. I love this stuff!
The Brand: MAC
Does this brand really need any introduction? This was the makeup of my millenial teen aspirations! Whilst they're not as talked-about these days, MAC is the brand I feel I can still rely on to provide a nude lipstick and a foundation for everyone and anyone! A product I revisited recently on a whim and really enjoyed is their Studio Fix 24-Hour Smooth Wear Concealer (NC35) | £20. This sounds like it's going to be some thick, heavy, stage makeup but it's actually lovely and fluid and hydrating. It has that opacity you need for a medium-to-full coverage without the dry, cakey feel. Set it with a little powder and it will last all day long without creasing.
The Brand: Nudestix | full review & swatches
Nudestix is one of my favourite brands for quick, easy and natural makeup, which is what I go for on an everyday basis. Probably my most-used product from the brand is their Nudies Matte All Over Face Colour in Sunkissed | £28. This is a blush / bronzer stick in a warm rosy tan shade, plus it can be used on the lips to tie together the look. Whilst it's a matte formula and has that longevity, it isn't dry at all; it has a creamy texture that's easy to swipe on then blend out for a natural look with your brush or fingertips.
The Brand: Byoma | full review
Byoma is an affordable-to-mid-range UK skincare brand focused on the skin barrier; all of their products contain the three lipid components of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids. My personal top pick from them is their Moisturising Rich Cream* | £13.99. This packs amazing, nourishing, skin-softening ingredients into a light lotion texture. It's formulated with the skin barrier holy trinity, bakuchiol, shea butter, glycerin and more. It can be used AM or PM and feels beautiful on my skin without being thick or heavy.
The Brand: REN | full reviews
REN is a brand I've been using for many years and they recently became available at Boots. They're all about gentle but effective formulas and minimising their environmental impact with sustainable ingredient choices and recycled and recyclable packaging. One of my favourite lines from REN is the Evercalm collection, designed for dry and sensitive skin types. I personally get so much use out of the Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk* | £25. This gentle, creamy-lotion cleanser is perfect as a morning cleanse on my dry skin and can also be used to remove sunscreen and light makeup if you use it alongside a damp cloth. With ingredients like shea butter, glycerin and a whole host of plant oils, it never fails to leave my skin soft, moisturised and happy.
The Brand: Allies of Skin | full review
This brand isn't going to be for everyone; for starters, the price isn't going to be within a lot of people's budgets, but it does have a cult following and I'm sure those fans will be happy to hear that their favourite high-end actives-driven product range can now be purchased with their Boots points! The most 'worth it' product from the brand for me, by far, is their Retinal & Peptides Repair Night Cream | £105. This cream is formulated with - in my humble opinion - the best Vitamin A derivative (retinoid) in the game! Retinal is a gentle but highly-effective retinoid to smooth fine lines, reduce texture and uneven skin tone and boost up collagen production. Peptides are hydrating, soothing and can also help to increase collagen in the skin (which depletes as we age). This also contains antioxidants and brightening ingredients like niacinamide to boost the formula further. The retinal is encapsulated for slow release and the formula also features glycerin, plant oils and hyaluronic acid, which make it an incredibly-gentle powerhouse one-step night cream.
The Brand: PSA Skin | full review
If you just can't get onboard with the price-point of Allies, they actually have a more affordable sister brand: PSA Skin, which still formulates with many of the best actives on the market. I personally love their Heroine Mandelic & Licorice Superfood Glow Toner | £28. This is the exfoliating toner with something extra that's sensitive skin friendly. Mandelic acid is a gentle AHA that resurfaces the skin with minimal irritation and is particularly good at treating hyperpigmentation and helping breakout-prone skin. It's boosted by lactic acid in a low concentration, which is a punchier AHA to really help smooth the skin. Licorice and niacinamide are in here too to help fight discolouration. It's gentle but has really worked for my skin.
The Brand: Dr Jart | full reviews
Dr Jart is a Korean skincare brand and I love that it's becoming more accessible here in the UK because they have a great line featuring ceramides and another featuring cica, which I also love! Their most famous and my personal favourite product by Dr Jart is the Ceramidin Cream | £34. This is another one of those moisturisers I rate for its versatility! It can be worn AM or PM, it works under makeup and sunscreen but is substantial enough to leave me with soft, moisturised skin still after applying it the night before. It's formulated with ceramides, which you've probably guessed by now, are a skincare essential for me. Cholesterol, fatty alcohols, plant oils and hyaluronic acid all take the moisturisation to the next level and ensure it lasts all day or night.
The Brand: Elemis | full reviews
Elemis is one of those old-school British brands that always feels like a treat; perfect to give as a present and always welcome when it comes to receiving! They have a beautiful range of body care products but when it came to my top pick, I had to go with their iconic Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm* | £46. This comes in scents from rose to marine and this is actually the fragrance-free Naked version I have here. The first cleanse is my personal favourite step in my skincare routine; there's nothing better than getting your makeup off at the end of a long day! And I love a luxurious formula like this. This has a smooth, butter texture right from the get-go; it just melts onto the skin and transforms into an oil. It emulsifies with water and you can wipe your face off with a damp cloth in one easy sweep. It's effective, it leaves my skin soft but there's no residue or excess and if you have very dry skin, you can even use this in the AM.
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