The new beauty pieces gracing my collection this month - featuring new releases and cult favourites from the likes of Urban Decay, Benefit, MAC & more
August is pretty much always a really good month for my beauty stash, with last year's haul bringing holy grails such as the MAC 217 Blending Brush, Urban Decay's Naked Smoky, and Nars Sheer Glow into my life. It's, for the most part, probably down to my birthday falling at the end of July, but partly influenced by the fact that I'm a bit of a spendaholic at the best of times regardless. This year has been no different and, as a result, I've added a fair few gems to my collection. I've been trying out a real mix of brands and products over the past few weeks, some which are quite unusual for me, and here are some of my favourites so far.
With the weather being it's usual Scottish self this summer I've not been able to get too much sun and so have remained my typically Winter-like pale self way into the summer months. Whilst I'll never be a fake tan fanatic, I do enjoy a little bit of added colour, particularly in the summer. I picked up a few new tanners recently, including the Solait 360 Self Tan Spray from Superdrug which is just a wash off instant tan spray. I thought this would be handy to top up a tan - real or fake - or add a little extra layer of bronze on any spots that need a bit of colour. I've been really taken aback by how much I like this spray, as it's the kind of product I would have totally avoided in the past, but it's so easy to use and gives a really natural glow.
Another alternative to traditional self-tanners comes in the form of the Hand Chemistry Glow Oil, which is a dry body oil designed to provide an immediate and lasting golden radiance. This is more of a gradual tanner and after a few days of use I did notice a bit more of a glow to my skin - but not in a way that looked immediately false. I think this would be absolutely perfect to take on holiday to boost your tan and the light-reflecting prisms give an instant gorgeous glow. Plus, it smells like sweets, which comes as a welcome change from the usual biscuity aroma fake tan usually provides. I secretly love the smell of fake tan, but this is even better.
The Hylamide brand has been getting rave reviews in the blogosphere lately, and since trying the Low Molecular Hyaluronic Acid Booster I can see why. My skin absolutely loves hyaluronic acid so it's something I find myself gravitating towards on a regular basis, especially in booster serums like this. I apply this before my moisturiser day and night and in the short time I've been using it so far I've already noticed a boost in the hydration levels of my complexion and a real improvement in the surface texture.
Last month I mentioned a foundation from No7 that I was a little undecided on, and as I was still having mixed feelings towards it after two months of trying it out I figured I may as well move on and see if I could find "the one". Step in the Naked Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation from Urban Decay - which is not only a bit of a mouthful - but might just be the foundation I was searching for. I'd originally been planning on picking up the One & Done Complexion Perfector but was a little worried that the smaller shade range wouldn't have one to suit my fair skin, so instead opted for shade 0.5 from the foundation range. Luckily it's a pretty much perfect match for my skin at the moment so it was a good decision! The main thing that stands out to me with this foundation is just how lightweight it really is. Weightless isn't that much of an exaggeration! Even the bottle feels practically empty, which prompted me to check I hadn't been sent a dud by mistake. One tiny pump of the foundation is more than enough to cover my entire face, and despite its super lightweight formula, it still provides an impressive amount of coverage and a natural semi-matte finish. I think it's love.
Apparently, I've been a bit highlighter crazy in the past few weeks, with three new faces to add to my collection. Not one to resist a hype for too long, I had to pick up The Balm's cult favourite Mary Lou-Manizer when I was browsing the aisles in Superdrug and it was finally back in stock. I can see why everyone raves about it now, as it packs a seriously stunning shimmer. The finely milled pigment is just beautiful and I catch myself admiring my highlight every time I wear it now! A little goes a long way, so I can see this lasting a very long time.
As well as being unable to ignore a raved about product, I'm also pretty rubbish at ignoring an absolute bargain too. Natural Collection have recently added three new Highlighter Sticks to their collection and at just £1.99 a pop these purse-friendly picks are definitely worth a try! The lightest shade - Rose Glow - is seriously shimmery and the creamy formula blends like a dream.
I'd had my eye on Benefit's Shy Beam for what felt like forever before I finally got to try it for myself after unwrapping it on my birthday, and now I don't think I could be without it. It might not look like a highlighter at first glance, but it's actually seriously impressive in an understated way. I use this under my foundation to brighten my undereye area, as well as blending a little across my brow bone to lift and brighten the area. It's a matte highlighter, so don't expect a glittery glow that you can see from space, but you also shouldn't underestimate it's power when it comes to softly brightening your complexion.
You may notice the MAC Dusky Rose x 9 palette from my birthday wishlist, and you can only imagine how excited I am to actually have this in my possession. It was a very kind birthday gift, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I unwrapped it. It was love at first sight. I'd describe the palette as more taupe than rose, but that suits me perfectly. The dinky size is ideal for travelling - I can't wait to take this beauty to Paris - and the shade selection is just gorgeous. There's a fantastic mix of matte and frost finishes, and the shades on offer make for the perfect variety of looks. It just makes me happy to look at. I'm sad that way.
Another new release from bargain beauty babes Natural Collection is their brow kit. Again retailing at just £1.99 it's been the perfect replacement for my beloved MUA Brow Kit. It contains a powder and a tinted wax, as well as a spoolie and a double ended brush for application. Its petite packaging makes it easy to carry on the go for brow touch ups, and the kit as a whole is ideal for natural looking brows with minimal fuss.
The final makeup addition has come in the form of two new lipsticks from Make Up Forever. The new Artist Rouge formula boasts a nourishing formula and radiant colour, as well as an impressive 46 shades ranging from everyday wearable nudes to bold blues and lilacs. There are two finishes - creme and matte - and I have one of each. M102 is a beautiful matte raspberry pinkish red and C209 is a creamy pastel pink described as a "tender pink". Both have a stunning level of pigmentation and sit well on the lips all day without drying or smudging. They're really long wearing, which when combined with the pigmentation makes for a perfect lipstick. The scent is very synthetically floral, which doesn't bother me, but may be an issue for others so is worth highlighting.
Finally, I've been trying out the new Oil Reflections range from hair care giants Wella. Consisting of five products - a shampoo, conditioner, mask, smoothing oil and magnifying elixir - this range is designed to provide hair that's three times smoother alongside an instant boost of radiance. Having recently coloured my hair again it's been needing a spot of TLC, and I think I've found the perfect duo in the form of the Luminous Reboost Mask and the Luminous Smoothing Oil. I've been using the mask in place of conditioner on a weekly basis and have seen a huge improvement in the texture of my hair, despite it having been subject to a fair bit of bleach in its time, and the oil treatment provides a much-needed dose of nourishment for my hair without weighing down my slightly shorter and thinner locks.
So, that's just a quick rundown of all my latest and greatest beauty buys. I have full reviews in the making for a few of these products already, but if there are any that you'd particularly like a full blown run down on then let me know in the comments and I'll add it to my list!
What have you been testing out recently - have you found any gems?
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