Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Creams – Review.

Product blurb for the face cream “Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Facial Moisturizer penetrates deep into skin’s surface layers. Our proprietary blend combines Vitamin B3 + Retinoid complex. It hydrates skin for 24 hours and comes with a bounty of benefits. You’ll see visible improvements in fine lines & wrinkles, smoothness, brightness, firming, dark spots, and pores. This fragrance and dye free moisturizer absorbs quickly and goes deep into your skin’s surface layers so you wake up every morning to younger-looking, radiant skin.”

First off, these aren’t cheap products – I picked up both items in a Boots sale for half price. Full price the face cream is £34.99 and the eye one is the same. Though having just checked the website there seems to be a new promotion so it’s definitely work just looking for an offer if you’re interested in trying these out.

I’ve tried these out for over a month and whilst they’re nice, for me, they didn’t really do much and for the ££ I want more of a result. I would say my fine lines (across my forehead and slight crow’s feet) are just as noticeable and my pores / dark spots the same.

Out of the two, I definitely prefer the eye cream since I find a lot of these can make my undereye quite dry and the Olay one really helped with moisture. The face cream didn’t tend to play nicely with any serum I used and would usually pill if I touched my face before it had fully absorbed (and sometimes even hours later).

They do get major points for leaving out fragrance and dye, this can be a pain in the arse to avoid in skin products and something I try to avoid (when I remember).

Overall, I’ll be decluttering these and moving on to something else, as a good retinol product is something I’ve been interested in for some time.

Function of Beauty – 3 Month Review.

A whole three months since I started this blog, a blog I started partly because of these products. Function of Beauty is one of those brands that you can’t avoid if you consume beauty social media – it’s literally everywhere and they do a great job of marketing. Sometimes products live up to the hype, sometimes they don’t and I like knowing which is which.

Processed with Focos

First off, the good – it’s hella pretty and does brighten up taking a shower (if that’s your thing). Also, the cherry blossom scent that I chose, is lovely. I didn’t even balk at the price – just shy of £40 for the two bottles pictured as at my current rate that will have lasted me for easily 6 months.

However, it just isn’t any better than any other shampoo and conditioner that I’ve used – despite all of it’s grand and customisable claims and that’s where it ceases to be good value for money.

I decided to go with strengthen, anti-aging, volumize, and oil control when it asked me to select my areas of concern. I remain mystified as to how one anti-ages something dead but maybe that’s just me.

For the more achievable goals of strengthening, volumizing, and controlling my oily scalp, it’s maybe a 0.5 out of three. My greasiness continues unchecked, there was absolutely no change to volume (though in fairness, I’ve only ever found that styling products work for me in that arena), and *maybe* there’s less breakage but that could also be down to my change in hair tie of choice.

I guess it comes down to the “well, if it works for you, yay?” but it didn’t work for me. Has anyone else tried these hair products? What did you think?

NYX Matchy-Matchy Colour Palette – Review.

Blurb from their website: “Share your side of the colour story using the new Matchy-Matchy Monochromatic Colour Palette. Including six eyeshadows, one blush and one illuminator with a silky-smooth texture, each of our five meticulously curated collections features a stunning shade family as well as a variety of finishes. These stylish palettes bring the fashion world’s monochrome obsession to your makeup kit. Choose from on-trend sets of berry mauve, camel, lilac, melon, or taupe hues to create your own tonal, full-face looks. Balance and soften those features like a pro using a palette that complements your complexion beautifully.”

The top palette is “Lilac” and the bottom is “Berry”. They’re right about the variety of finishes but what’s lacking in any description on their website is which palette has which formulas. I rarely willingly buy glittery eyeshadow and the lilac palette has two shades with it in (with one not even really having pigment so more of a topper).

Swatches for the lilac palette – the missing gaps are where there’s just no pigment or straight glitter. The highlighter formula (swatch nearest wrist) is a bit chunky but works fine in place of a metallic shadow.

Swatches for the Berry palette – much nicer but only one metallic “eye” formula and a second if you use the highlighter shade.

I really like the mattes in both palettes, though the Berry one has some really similar shades so would have been better for me if they’d exchanged one for a foil. They blend nicely and last well in my crease without vanishing over the course of the day.

For the shimmers / foils / glitter pans, I’m underwhelmed – even applying with a wet brush doesn’t really make them pop. They’re just .. fine.

A look from the Lilac palette, two of the mattes in the crease and blended out and that chunky highlighter shade applied with a wet brush on my lid.

For £16 on the NYX website per palette, I won’t be picking up any other colourways and will probably re-home the Lilac one to someone who enjoys glitter far more. For the price, there’s far better out there (like the new little Elf palettes).

Revolution Pro Haul – Mini Reviews.

[AD – Links below are affiliated, products purchased myself.]

I love it when Revolution Beauty release more products in the Pro brand, they’re pretty much always good quality and still within a sensible price range for what you’re getting.

The product I was most excited to get my hands on is the CC Cream Perfecting Foundation (SPF 30) as it’s targetted towards dry / combo skin and promises to leave the skin “hydrated and protected”.

It’s quite a thick formula and I tried both brush and sponge to apply it. Ultimately I prefer the finish the sponge gives as it stops those pesky brush lines – it also blended out far more easily then I though it would for the consistency of the product.

The product blurb promises “sheer to full buildable coverage” and I applied one full layer and then just added a second layer over the redness on my cheeks and was happy with the finish. I think if you went for fullest coverage with this then it would be quite heavy on the skin.

I can’t tell if the glowy finish is the foundation, the Glass Skin Primer, or the extreme overuse of highlighter. I’ll definitely (probably) remember to pay attention when I next do my makeup and add it in here. (Tried it again without primer and ended up with a very natural sheen, though I think I prefer it with.)

It wore nicely throughout the day but I don’t have any oily patches and did powder / finishing spray. The foundation does dry down nearly completely but I don’t like a tacky feeling.

For a tenner (and if you’re not oil prone) then I would wholeheartedly recommend this foundation! It’s worth noting though that you only get 26ml for that.

Next up is the Quartz Crush Eyeshadow Palette, the website unhelpfully doesn’t mention that there aren’t any mattes in this quad but does state “For a gorgeous pink toned look use dark berry pink in the crease and highlight your brow bone and inner corner with the iridescent pink shade.”

This is where I’m a bit confused / peeved because the dark berry pink is a shimmer so doesn’t lend itself naturally to being a crease shade. And I have no clue which is the iridescent pink one that would be suitable for the brow & inner corner because if it’s the one in the top left, it doesn’t show up (at all) and I wouldn’t consider it iridescent either. For the sake of being more fair then I feel I need to be, I might try applying it with a damp brush.

The shade I’m wearing in the photo is in the top right of the palette and the second from the left swatch below.

Grumps aside, the formula on the three pigmented shades is really nice and stays put pretty well over the elf Eye Primer – there’s a little fallout, however, so a good idea to do eyes before base. This quad is also a tenner but I’d not pick up any more colourways unless I was confident there was a good quality matte included as I’m just not hugely likely to reach for this one.

That’s a super heavy swatch of the Sculpting Bronzer (in Bahia) so that the finish and undertone is easy to see. In normal use, it’s really not as orange or shiny as it is on my wrist and blends out beautifully without highlighting the drier skin on my forehead.

It’s an incredibly soft powder and for only £9.00 too. I’m looking forward to using it more, I think it’ll be a great Summer bronzer with the warmer undertone (compared to the Butter Bronzer or Hoola Lite).

The swatch on the left is the Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Ignite – it’s much, much too dark for me so I won’t be using it. I noticed when I tried it out that it doesn’t seem to dry down fully so I imagine it’ll be more comfortable than most but probably won’t have the staying power.

Overall, a bit of a mixed bag – love the foundation and the bronzer, mostly love the eyeshadow quad but can’t give it top marks, and not sold on the liquid lip even if the colour had suited me.

CoverGirl Clean Fresh Foundation – Review.

Product blurb: “Show off fresh, healthy skin with CoverGirl Clean Fresh Skin Milk. Formulated without formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, sulfates and talc, this lightweight nourishing liquid foundation gives your skin the moisture boost it craves with a delicate infusion of milky coconut and soothing aloe. You’ll experience a glowing, dewy finish that lasts all day long, blurring imperfections and creating a more even skin tone.”

I swear, I do not understand how all these foundations tout themselves as a dewy or radiant finish but end up looking horrific close up! It does make me wonder if sometimes formulations are created based on how they look in photos or videos.

When first applied, be it with sponge or brush, over a full skincare routine, over a pore filling primer etc etc – it just looks like I’ve heavily, *heavily* powdered it down. Which I haven’t.

Shade wise, I went with 530 Fair/Light which is a pretty close match to MAC’s Face & Body N1. I usually pick up the palest option in any foundation so it’s nice to see that there are two lighter in the range. They do have a few deeper shades but oh surprise, things are far more heavily weighted towards the paler end of the spectrum.

After a couple of hours wear, it does lose that powdery / textured finish it starts out with and settles into looking a bit smoother. On the flip side, it suddenly starts showing pores (the curse of the dewy finish foundations.)

Again, from a distance, it looks lovely but is grabbing a bit around my nose and eventually settles into my smile lines. I find it lasts a pretty long time but your MMV since I have normal to dry skin.

The other thing to note is the inclusion of coconut, if you’re sensitive to that ingredient, give this one a hard miss.

Cover Girl isn’t available in the UK (or most of Europe I believe) but I picked this up in the States because I’m nosy and had seen a lot of YouTubers reviewing it. Usually I’d re-home a product like this but I’m thinking of hanging onto it for the warmer months since that powdery finish may work better when I’m sweaty!

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara – Review.

Jesus wept with these product titles – “Maybelline The Falsies Instant Lash Lift Look Lengthening Volumising Mascara”

Blurb: “Promising results that rival those of the salon, the Maybelline The Falsies Instant Lash Lift Look Lengthening Volumising Mascara is the ultimate when it comes to achieving that well-defined flutter. Working to take effect instantly, the mascara is a quick, hassle-free solution to adding drama, length and lift to your look.”

Whilst the name is a mouthful, the actual mascara is amazing. It’s been getting rave reviews and for a tenner easily rivals high end products. It’s quite a wet formula and the brush is fantastic for both application and separation. If you like a more clumpy look then you can build it up but I have a feeling it might be more flakey throughout the day.

My only negatives for this one are that the brush is a smidgen too big (but if I concentrate I don’t get mascara on my lids) and there is some transfer throughout the day. Overall, definitely a winner!

N.B I’m a few weeks into using RapidLash, there’s not a noticeable difference just yet but worth mentioning.

EM Cosmetics – Mini Reviews.

The reviews are mini, not the products.

Color Drops Serum Blush (Pink Nectar) – like all liquid / cream blushers this looks far more intense in its concentrated form but sheers out beautifully using fingers or a sponge. My favourite part of this formula is that there’s no glitter or shimmer but it still has that gorgeously radiant glow to it.

My only niggle is the little pipette is a bit shite, they do say to “prime” it with a few pumps but I suspect that once I use up more of the product it’s going to be tricky to get any sucked up!

Photo above shows the Color Drops Serum Blush and the Micro-Fluff Sculpting Brow Cream in action.

Micro-Fluff Sculpting Brow Cream (Taupe) – I’m never happy with how my brows look. As I’m getting older they’re starting to lose the tail and my right brow has a weird patch missing near the front.

I like pencils for a quick “fill and go” but realistically, I would like a product that made them look a little fuller and provide a bit of holding power.

My other issue with brow products is that brands rarely signal the undertones and vary wildly in what they consider “brunette”. I tend to err on the cautious side when trying one for the first time and went with Taupe.

That’s a pretty dark taupe right? Shade aside, I really like this brow cream. It makes the hairs look super tidy and provides a bit of body and hold without achieving that Instagram look of two caterpillars that are having a snooze above your eyes.

Niggle with this one is that you have to do a fair bit of product scraping in the neck of the bottle before application. Otherwise it’s smudge-city.

Max Factor Miracle Second Skin Foundation – Review.

Or, to use its full name, “Miracle Touch Second Skin Foundation” but that’s just silly. And where has the “touch” come from?

Product blurb: Miracle Second Skin (affiliate link) is a unique hybrid foundation formulated with naturally derived coconut milk for a dose of hydration that lasts all day. The lightweight, rich, easily blendable formula glides over pores and provides undetectable coverage and a finish that looks like skin. Infused with pre and pro biotics to help skin’s natural defences, the Miracle Second Skin formula is clinically proven to support skin renewal and contains SPF20 for added protection. This foundation is suitable for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin.

I heavily dispute “glides over pores”, it’s more “won’t exaggerate your quite small pores if you use a pore filling primer & a beauty sponge”. The first time I applied this I went in with a flat top kabuki brush and ended up with pore specks and a textured nose. Subsequent trials have been a lot better and I actually really like the finish it gives.

It has a light coverage but is definitely buildable – I have quite red cheeks and not used any concealer in this photo. I’ve not waited long enough for it to dry down completely but it’s comfortably tacky within about three minutes and wears nicely on my normal to dry skin.

L = MAC Face and Body (N1). R = Max Factor Miracle Second Skin (01-Fair)

If you have drier skin, it’s one of those products that looks nicer as time goes by. I was pleasantly surprised when I went to stare at it in the mirror about four hours after application. It’s dewy without having that greasy look some radiant finish foundations manage.

For £12.99 (and now I’ve figured out the best application method for my skin) I’m really pleased with this!

elf Haul – Mini Reviews.

The reviews are mini, not the products .. though the Bite Sized Eyeshadows ARE mini.

From the top (and moving clockwise).

Flawless Finish Foundation (Snow). This is picking up super dark on my phone’s camera but if anything it’s too pale for me. I’m yet to find a way to wear this so it doesn’t look really powdery / so it blends in nicely. Even extensive pouncing with a blending sponge doesn’t help, nor does using a variety of different primers. I might try sheering it out even further with an oil. Or I might not.

Beautifully Bare Satin Lipstick (Touch of Blush). I don’t really wear much lipstick, but when I do, it’s satin all the way. For a freebie I’m not complaining!

Primer Infused Blush (Always Punchy). I *love* this colour! Plus it’s matte, nicely pigmented, and lasts – with or without a setting spray. For £6.00 I can’t recommend this enough.

Putty Eye Primer (Rose). I’ll be doing a dedicated review on this but as a dupe for a MAC Paint Pot, it’s a “yes” from me.

Bite Sized Eyeshadow Mini Palette (Berry Bad). Looking at the product shot for this on their website vs how it looks in real life – I promise, my shot is closer. The two mattes aren’t the pink tone they have on the elf website. That aside, for THREE POUNDS, these are lovely and I’m going to be picking up a couple of others in Rose Water and Cream & Sugar.

Calm Balm. This is just a hearty “meh” – it’s not one of those lip balms where you end up with more dry skin than you started with. Nor is it the best formula. Good for getting free shipping and slapping on before you do foundation.

elf Putty Eye Primer – Review.

Product blurb: “Our best-selling putty primer is now the perfect base for any eye look. Formulated to extend your eyeshadow wear for up to 12 hours. Amp up your eyeshadow with this color intensifying putty eye primer that locks in eyeshadow for a crease-proof look! Infused with vegan Squalane to help moisturize the eyelid while extending wear. “

I’ve been hunting about for a cruelty-free version of the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot (in Painterly) for a while. I don’t like to use concealer as an eye base – hello, creasing! Most eye primers I’ve tried are just too drying and when that’s combined with crepey lids it’s just not a good look for my aging skin. Then there’s the issue of coverage, I like to hide the veins above my socket so transparent / low opacity products aren’t much use.

L = MAC Paint Pot (Painterly). R = elf Putty Eye Primer (Rose).

As you can see, the two shades are very similar with the MAC one being slightly more peachy but they’re indistinguishable on the lid. With the elf pot you get 5.3g for £5.00 and for the MAC you’d get 5.0g for £16.50.

Application wise, the elf primer definitely blends better if you use your fingers whereas the MAC one I’ve found works nicely with a concealer brush or your fingers.

Once blended out, I’d say the Paint Pot has a smidge more coverage but I’ve found you can build up the elf primer if you want to hide a particularly noticeable vein.

L = MAC Paint Pot (Painterly). R = elf Putty Eye Primer (Rose).

In terms of longevity, they’re both pretty good on both high-end and drugstore shadows and are definitely far better than using a concealer (if you have to worry about creasing). For £5.00, this is an amazing dupe!

N.B. I apply eyeshadows straight on top (rather than setting them with a translucent powder).