We can tend to be a bit snobby when it comes to make up, believing that big name brands with the sleek or cute packaging offer us the best when it comes to the products ability to beautify. Since getting into blogging a bit more of late I have been veering away from the renowned and lauded brands, and experimented with some more unknown beauty/make up companies, discovering some hidden gems in the process.

My friend Helen, who is soon to marry one of my oldest friends, Simon, has started to make some money from selling health and beauty products that people can order through a catalogue. The first product she gave me to try was Aloe Vera Gel, which is known for being extremeley beneficial in terms of your overall health. She had reached out to me and given me a freebie having heard from other customers that it had made a huge difference for thos suffering with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She’d seen me a few weeks ago and saw how haggard and decrepid I was looking, so knew I was in need of a saviour. Unfortuntaley the consistency and flavour makes me gag, but I will perservere.

So last week a delivery of mineral foundation, lipstick, lipliner and a mascara arrived at my door. I’ve been a husk of a human the last few days, following on from a rather dreary few days at Download Festival, so I haven’t really felt like blogging. Despite another night of overthinking EVERYTHING and my various health struggles I’ve decided to suck it up and do this post….

So, let the review begin. Let’s talk about the superficials first. I’m not completely won over by the cardboard outer packaging. The Colour combination makes me think of a high end chocolate brand like Green and Blacks rather than a desirable beauty brand. I understand the inclusion of green, as it links to the natural ingredients used in the product, but teamed with this aubergine purple it doesnt scream feminine luxury to me.

The look of the products themselves is much better, they don’t look dissimilar to a collection like No7. The font used on the Mascara does make it look a bit too simple and budget but I do like the addition of the metallic lid to elevate it a bit.

My masacara of choice is Lancome’s Hypnose, which is incredibly thickening and lengthening, giving the illusion of wearing fake eyelashes – which is what I like, I’m not into subtle when it comes to lashes. The only other mascara I’ve tried that can compete with its majestic power is Benefits They’re Real. I instantly noticed how much thinner the Sonya Volumizing Mascara formula was – you could see that it wasn’t clogging up the brush like most thickening mascaras. This made me instantly skeptical about its ability to add volume. When I started to apply the first layer it was evident that this would be the perfect mascara for those looking to separate the lashes. It coats all the lashes without bringing them together and creating spiders legs. It definitely lengethened my lashes too, but wasn’t effective in give the lashes a curl. As someone who has defiantly straight lashes, use of curlers is necessary. I’d say this mascara is great at creating defined and long, clean lashes, but it lacks the drama of my old faithful Lancome. I’d definitely turn to this for day-wear though, when you don’t want the overall look to be too heavy,

My hunt for the perfect nude lippy has been a lengthy one. I’ve just not managed to find a shade that works for my skintone. I tend to purchase ones that make me look like I am suffering from a deadly virus. Sadly I’ve failed again….which is always the risk if you don’t try before you buy, and order from a catalogue. I think I need to go for a dark nude for it to compliemtn rather than wash me out. I still have hope that this will look great once I attain a Santorini tan. 

So the shade wasn’t right for me but the lipstick itself is fantastic. It has to be one of the most moisturising lipsticks I’ve used in recent times, leaving your lips soft and supple, with a sexy sheen. I know not everyone is in to glossy lips, but if you do I thoroughly reccommend this range.

Within the beauty blogger community at least it feels like the majority are into a matte lip at the moment. I found using the Defining Lip Pencil all over the lip creates a great nude matte lip, one with staying power. Of course it is only meant to line the outside so the forumla is a bit drying, so I would encourage you to use a lip balm after a day of doing this.

I’ve always liked the idea of mineral make up – that fact you are putting something natural on your skin, ingredients which will actually improve your skin. The fact that you aren’t completely masking your natural skin, the freckles and the general life of it, by covering with a thick liquid.  However as someone who suffers with acne I have feared that it won’t be heavu duty enough to mask my blotches, scarring, and pulsing red breakouts.

My skin is pretty bad at the moment, rashy and bumpy, so today would be a good test of its coverage.
I was suprsied how quickly the powder evened out my skin tone and took away the usual greasy shine. After sweeping and circulating the brush over my face a couple more times it was looking pretty good….far better than I imagined. The really angry areas needed a bit of help from concealer but you can say that for a lot of foundations.

The biggest plus for me was the fact that it gave me a natural look. I didn’t look caked in make up, which I tend to do when trying to mask a bad acne day. This will also be a great addition to my summer holiday make up bag – a light alternative to liquid or mouse foundation, that won’t melt or create unattractive crease lines in the heat. 

So to sum up, I’d glad I veered away from the recogniseable brands and gave a dark horse a chance. It shows you don’t have to go for big names to get good results. That said, they are by no means budget prices

If you’d like to purchase some of the above items head to the link below.


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