Yep, I’ve been at it again. Does anyone else feel as though they’re being magnetically drawn to Boots? Just me? Okay then.
This week’s splurge was more of a basics haul rather than little bits and pieces. My beloved Smashbox Photo Finish Primer is on its last legs and the time had come to find a replacement before I found myself primer-less one morning. I’m being deadly serious when I say that this would be a disaster. However, the €35+ price tag for the Photo Finish is a little heftier than I’m able to spare right now, so I was on a hunt for something more affordable that delivered similar results.
Enter Rimmel Stay Matte Primer, €7.95 in Boots.
When I first saw this being advertised I didn’t pay too much heed to it. ‘It can’t be any good’, I thought to myself. Everyone knows that the best primers are the pricier of the bunch. Any foray I’ve taken into budget primers have left me underwhelmed; Catrice Prime and Fine and GOSH, I’m looking at you. But then I read a brilliant review of Stay Matte from Viva Adonis, and I take these ladies’ word as gospel. So I popped it onto my shopping list and bought it.
Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong about a budget primer. This stuff is brilliant. Unlike the silicone-heavy formulas of heavyweights like Benefit’s The Porefessional, this white primer applies like a thick face cream. Rather than feeling heavy on my skin, I didn’t miss the slippy, slidey feel of my Smashbox primer at all. It definitely lives up to its claim to blur pores and I’m left with a radiant, almost adhesive, base for my foundation. And the best part is that, true to its name, this mattifies my skin better than anything else I’ve tried. Yesterday I was wearing make-up for fourteen hours and, with only two powder touch-ups, everything was still flawlessly in place by the time I (finally) got to cleanse before bed. I urge any oily-skinned readers to try this beauty before you splash out on something five times as expensive. 10/10 from me.
Another beauty essential I’d been hankering after was a new concealer. For ages I had been lusting after NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, which one day I still hope to buy. But for now, my under-eye circles have been a challenge too tough for my Sleek Correct and Conceal Palette and the balmy formula just isn’t thick enough for my darker spot scars. So, having read Buy Now, Blog Later‘s recommendations of Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer, I picked it up for the princely sum of €5.99.
First of all, I don’t know what my brain was up to, but I bought Shade 3, Warm Medium. On closer inspection in good light the next day, I could see it was far too dark and merely drew attention to my blemishes. Kind of counter-productive, I think! I stashed it away for summertime and marched back to Boots and bought it in Fair, the lightest shade, and hoped to the heavens that it wouldn’t be too pink-toned.
Luckily, Fair is perfect shade-wise. I was a little dubious as to whether it would do anything to conceal my bruise-like circles but it’s working a treat. Being quite a thick formula, it covers efficiently but can be built up without looking caked. It conceals those nasty healing spots a treat as well. And it definitely is long-lasting, although I hope I never have to test its 16-hour concealing abilities! I really couldn’t be without this, and I’ve only had it a few days. Better pick up another for my handbag, just in case…
My third purchase was a bit of an accident. I had hoped to pick up two or three of Revlon’s Colourburst Matte Balms (having come to terms with the fact that I can’t really afford NARS’ €25-a-pop Velvet Matte lip pencils). However, in both branches of Boots I visited, all of the Matte Balms had been tampered with, as they aren’t sealed very securely at all. I was so disappointed. I think I’ll order them from Boots online as it’s the only way to ensure somebody won’t have had their grubby hands on them. So instead, I spied another much-loved product, the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, €11.99 (I think!)
I usually apply foundation with my fingers, mostly due to the fact that I’ve never had a decent brush to apply it with. The Expert Face Brush is often raved about by beauty bloggers so I decided to see if it lived up to the hype. And my verdict is that I like it. I don’t adore it, but it’s nice. I work my foundation into my skin with circular buffing motions and it creates a smoother, more flawless effect than I can achieve with my fingers alone. It works particularly well with my Estée Lauder Double Wear, although I used it with my NARS Sheer Matte foundation today and found that the foundation was settling into my pores around my nose. It wasn’t too noticeable, but enough that I could see it. The wear time of both foundations seems to be unaffected and the overall effect is nice, notwithstanding the pores issue. The brush is densely packed with soft bristles that still work well in awkward spots. I’ll keep using the brush, but I can’t say that it’s blown me away either. I got a bit of an informal discount on the brush, thanks to a kindly cashier. For something I ended paying only €8 for, I’m happy to keep it in my make-up bag.
Has anyone else tried the products I’ve bought? Any tips to get the best out of my Expert Face Brush?
P.S. I realise that my photography isn’t the best, unfortunately I only have a phone camera to work with. I’ll be saving up for a proper camera soon!