Drugstore Beauty Haul

So, as always, it’s Christmas, I’m practically broke and supposedly on a ‘spending ban’; for an evolving beauty addict like myself this basically means going high-street instead of luxury. As you’ll see below, spending bans and me don’t really mix too well… Anyway, this month, I had a bit of a splurge at Boots & Superdrug as a ‘go-me-I-did-all-my-exams’ celebration and I decided to try out the new high-street beauty products I’ve been wanting to test out for a while. I soon discovered that December is a wonderful time for high-street beauty spending; there’s so many deals on due to Christmas, I’ve got countless ‘free gifts’ and ‘3 for 2’s’! Take a look below for my full reviews on these top-trending cosmetics and skincare products…


Biore Charcoal vs Ultra Strips Set


First of all, a big thanks to Bioré for sending me these adorable little nose-strip samples! I love trying out new skincare products for anything related to redness, sensitivity or spots so this was right up my street. I have never used a strip/sheet mask before so this was an exciting new venture for me; one tip though – read the instructions before use if you want to get the right results! This is my experience with the charcoal strip, a strip designed to remove oil and impurities as well as reduce pores:

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 22.19.34

Sooo after cleansing my face, upon application, it felt like I had a bit of carpet stuck to my face, which was a bit odd in all honesty and nothing really felt like it was happening. As the instructions recommended, I left the strip on for about 12 minutes before attempting to peel off – this is where I began to really dislike the product… It was painful to remove, like REALLY painful! After finally peeling the strip off and wiping the remaining black gunky stuff off of my nose, I decided to take a closer look at my pores. Okay, they were smaller and okay my nose felt smoother, but this was not a ‘wonder product’ for me. My few blackheads were still noticeable and my nose was bright red for the next half an hour! Talk about festive! I had very high hopes for the Bioré charcoal strips, seeing as they are rather expensive, but they were a bit of a disappointment. Some change was notable but not enough for me to justify the price. I hope the Ultra strip works better than this one! Have you tried Bioré strips range? What do you think?

Make-up Revolution Palettes

Makeup Revolution are my go to brand for high-street eyeshadow; they’re products are so pigmented and incredible value for money. I own the Makeup Revolution Iconic 3 Palette, but I regularly buy other palettes for gifts (one was even included in my recent giveaway!) because I think they’re that amazing. I love the Sex Chromosome shade in the ‘Waiting’ Salvation Palette, it’s a gorgeous burgundy and that’s right on trend this winter. Don’t you worry I’ll be checking up on the recipients of these palettes to see what they think! If you’re looking for a Urban Decay Naked Palette or Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette dupe – Makeup Revolution is the one.

Make-up Revolution Setting Spray (£5.00)


One of the rare Makeup Revolution products I own that isn’t an eyeshadow palette! Fixing sprays are becoming more and more common in the cosmetics world and are eventually creeping into high-street beauty brands, like L’Oreal and NYX (yay!). However, as part of a recent Makeup Revolution deal, you have to spend £8 with them to get a free 18 shade Salvation palette (worth £6), so this was my product that took me to £8, even though I didn’t SUPER need it… Whoops. Anyway, it’s good to try new things! Oil is a biiiig problem of mine when concerning the complexion; I get shiny really easily even though I also suffer from dry skin – how annoying?! With a spray, I felt that this would be a non-drying way of staying matte and made-up all day. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This spray does nothing but make me more oily and make me break out! I’d really love to find a fixing spray that works for me, but I’m scared to splash the cash on an Urban Decay one etc. if I get the same results as this one. Any recommendations ladies?


Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (£5.99)


I’ve truly heard endless good things about this concealer; it’s coverage, it’s shade range, it’s airy feel, so this month, when I ran out of my beloved MAC Select Moisturecover (£15.50) concealer, I decided to turn to Maybelline for some assistance. Upon trying the shade Light 10 on in my local Boots, it became apparent that it was waaay too warm-toned for me, so I decided to order Fair 15, which is stupidly named as 15 is further down the shade scale than 10 yet Fair is the lightest shade! Also, as I found out, it’s pretty difficult to find Fair in store, hence why I ordered it in the end.


Anyway, onto the actual product – here’s a swatch of Fair, shade 15. It still looks a little too warm-toned for my skin in this picture, but once blended in on my face, it doesn’t look unnatural. It has a creamy/liquid texture which enables in to be very blendable and not too drying on the skin, a bonus for winter time.


Tah-dah! Here’s Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Fair 15 (£5.99) on my face. As you can see, it doesn’t look unnatural, but I have to wear it with a full face of makeup really, as it stands out against my bare skin. It’s not wonderful at covering blemishes due to the classic ‘spot was bright red, now is bright orange’ problem, but for under the eyes, this works wonders. Coverage is medium/heavy depending on if you build this product up, but it definitely has better coverage than my MAC Select Moisturecover (£15.50)! No streakiness whatsoever and it gives the illusion of awakened eyes (a thing of the past for GCSE/A-level students). The shade isn’t a perfect match for me, especially when I’m at my palest in winter, but I think this product is really good value for money, so yes I would probably repurchase it.

NYX Brow Gel (£5.50)

Although I swear by my MAC Brow Pencil in Lingering (£14.00) because I’m more of a natural brow gal and this is the perfect colour match for me. I decided it was time to try a new brow product because there’s all sorts of new creams, pomades, gels etc. and who doesn’t love a new possible-life-saver formula? As the loyal readers among you will know, NYX is one of my favourite ever high-street makeup brands; the liquid lipsticks being my favourite of their products (I own Transylvania, a lovely autumnal shade). It’s pretty easy to see why I wanted to try their brow gel, a supposed dupe of Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade ($18.00). I own the product in shade Brunette (worn in the Maybelline concealer review), a thick gel paste which dries to a matte, long-lasting stain of colour. However, you have to learn that a very minimal amount of product is needed to achieve a natural brow look; over do it and you’ll have slug-brows that last for days. (No worries, I made this mistake and they did come off eventually!) The shade Brunette is, surprisingly, still a little dark for my medium-brown hair, I may have to try out Blonde to see if this is in fact the right shade for me. I recommend applying the gel with an angled brow brush like this one with short, hair-mimicking strokes starting from the arch of your brow. Overall, I’m a big fan of this product; it provides easy and quick application and makeup that lasts all day – it’s a pretty great dupe for the ABH Dipbrow Pomade in my opinion! The only problem is that the colour’s not quite natural for me.

 What are your most recent high-street beauty purchases? What are your opinions on the featured products? I’d love to hear!

Emilia x



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