This week has been cracking on the blogger mail front, and I’ve felt incredibly lucky, but it’s even better when I receive products I know people will really want to hear/know about – so I was particularly chuffed when the kind folk from George at Asda sent me a generous package of goodies from their Cruelty-Free make-up range. As soon as I put the delivery on my Insta stories I was flooded with people wanting reviews about the affordable products. I’m clearly not the only one who get’s excited by the potentional for discovering a new favourite brand, or an incredible beauty bargain. Over the next few weeks I aim to tackle to range and giving you my honest feedback on the varied range of products they’ve launched.
I’m not someone who is in the position to regularly spend a lot of money on cosmetics, and I sometimes wonder what I’d do if I wasn’t in a job that meant I receive lovely packages in the post – my fortunate position isn’t lost on me. But I’m also not someone who is comfortable in embracing their ‘natural beauty’ either. I think if you have troublesome skin, and fair features which don’t particularly help to boost the overall impact of your face, you often feel less confident about doing the whole barefaced thing, even if you like to think you’re empowered and more focused on inward beauty. So over the years, and now in particular as I need to carry on attempting to save money to get out of my current living situation, it’s so important that I find beauty brands that are purse-friendly, ethically sound, but that don’t force me to sacrifice on quality or finish – so I can still go out without feeling the need to put last night’s takeaway bag on my head. When you have sensitive or troublesome skin you always find yourself panicked at the prospect of reviewing new products, even when you know your pursuit for cost-effective make-up bag is sensible, you panic that your frugalness will backfire and deliver a breakout so bad you would have been better off going out bare faced after-all!
But something I have learned through years of reviewing beauty items is that cost of the product doesn’t seem to sway whether you will get on with it or not. It’s very personal and unique to you, so you just have to experiment and take the risk – it’s very hard to predict how your skin will react and looking at the price tags won’t give you a clue.
Today I’m focusing on the skin/face products….
Cosmic Blush (Baked Blusher)
Saturn seems a perfect name for this product when you consider the whirls and flex of bronze and pink you see combined and swirling together within this product, not unlike the glorious combinations you see whooshing round together in space. If like me you have a less than smooth canvas, any cheek products with an element of glitter can draw attention to your bumps and pitting, so this may not be the obvious choice for you. If you have enviable and blemish-free skin this will add a lovely luminosity and warmth though, and could be used all over the face to add a nice glow. It is fairly subtle in terms of colour pay-off so is great for building up to a desired level so that even if you have problematic skin you could apply this with measure and a light touch. With my acne prone skin at a level of being fairly well behaved right now, I actually think it looks very pretty on. I predict I will use this religiously in summer when I’m looking to add some life to my sun-weary skin which is usually flatter and more uniform than normal (me and my skin always seem happier in the summer months). The texture is lovely to the touch and this feels like any similar high-end version.
I thought I’d show you how it looks on me (someone with fairly visible pores, some live acne and scarring) in different light. I think you’ll agree that it’s level of shimmer is actually enhancing rather than drawing attention to the flaws.
4 Shade Highlight
Left to Right: Lustre, Sunset, Goddess, Glow
I love these quad sets, because they’re fab for travel or for those days where you are out and about have to have to transform your make up from day to night whilst on the go. The packaging is cardboard so it’s durable enough without adding too much weight to your handbag. It’s also fantastic to find a palette that contains different shares suitable for different skin-tones – from fair all the way to dark. But you could also look at it as a completely versatile set that you can use for different purposes and areas of the face. The colours that may not work for you as a highlighter might still serve as extremely pretty eyeshadow for instance, or on another part of the body like the collar bone.
I tried Lustre which gives a lovely silvery white highlight. It really reflects the light beautifully when applied to the highest part of your cheekbone, and is glittery without being gaudy. I like that it is one colour rather than iridescent or pearlescant, it makes it feel a bit more wearable for every day use. It is also extremely buildable so you can be as subtle or flashy as you desire. This is probably the second most powerful of the four shades.
Sunset (the pale bronze colour) was a wonderful match for my skin, and added a bit of warmth alongside it’s subtle shine. Again it starts off fairly subtle but is easy to layer up till you achieve what you’re looking for. As I get a bit more tanned I can imagine this might be might go-to shade.
I got a bit of a fright when I tried the Goddess. It’s extremely pigmented and glittery and left me with a very unnatural stripe across my cheek. Don’t get me wrong though, this was all down to my being too eager, it’s absolutely beautiful. I just wanted to warn you that a little goes a long way, and my pasty wintery skin didn’t provide an acceptable colour match today. Used with a less heavy hand when I have my deep summer tan (which will hopefully return if I save up for my California trip) it will add a very glamorous and showstopping glow to my face. I can imagine this would look spectacular on darker skin tones and those that go for that ultra glam mega watt look. It offers such a stunning colour pay off that I will use it as an bronze eyeshadow till I my face reaches optimum tan level.
A close up of Goddess so you can see how it appears on bumpy/under the skin spots.
Glow is another fairly wearable and subtle option, the same sort of impact level as Sunset but with a pink hue to it – it matches the rose gold of the metallic packaging lettering perfectly. This is a pretty and girly choice and gives the face a fairly natural sheen.
It’s impressively affordable £6 price tag makes me want to do a bit of a weep when I consider how much I forked out at a New York Sephora to treat myself to one of the best loved highlighters on the market (which now lays cracked and destroyed in my make up graveyard at the bottom of my chest of drawers). A great palette to see you through many different occasions and seasons, and if you think outside the box it’s very multi-purpose too.
4 Shade Contour
If you’re like me and any process that involves a few steps makes you feel incredibly inadequate and intimidated, you will be relived to know they give you a very clear and simple guide instructing you how to use this particular palette.
First up you apply the light colour shade over the cheekbones, down the centre of the nose, blending across the forehead and across the skin. If you’re not used to the process of contouring this might feel a bit odd, you’ll be looking back at your reflection and having flashbacks to a day of messy cake making in the kitchen, but the noticeably white powder can be blended into the skin easily . I recommend having a couple of different brushes available for the process (you don’t want to apply glitter all over the face, or create a muddy complexion).
Next up you apply the dark contour shade to the hollows of the cheeks, down the sides of the nose, below the hairline, and along the jawline for definition. For the nose defining I’d recommending using a smaller brush if you have one. The dark contour shade felt a tad dark for me, so next time I use this palette I’ll apply a much smaller amount to my brush, and I think I will avoid adding to the jaw too. It’s a personal thing, but for me I always feel a bit too made up when I apply it there as I’m already self conscious about having a prominent jaw. The shade is quite clever though, because they’ve found a good balance with it in terms of it’s temperature – it’s somewhere between a warm brown and an ashy one, so is likely to be okay for a lot of people. Only slight negative is that I’m not sure this shade would have much impact on very dark skins, which is a shame.
By this part of the process I was worried that my face looked a tad harsh, the white of the light contour and the dark creating a bit of a deathly aesthetic, but as soon as I implemented the final bronzer stage my face was brought back to life and the overall contour look came together. If you’ve tried many bronzers over you years of make-up application, you’ll know that some are incredibly glittery (you can actually see the particles of glitter within the overall tan colour formula) and then theres some which are smooth and uniform but leave you with sheen or glow. This one is the latter, so although it adds a shimmer to you’re face you don’t look overly sparkly or too overdone for the day-time.
Blush Queen Blusher
I tend to go for a girly pretty cheek rather than a sexy and strong Kardashian contour, so this product immediately spoke to me. I always like a blush that has a hint of orange infused rather than all out stark pink, it feels more complimentary to my skin tone, and a bit more youthful. The name Coral Crush tells me it will be another product that will get even more use come summer, when my bronze skin serves as a perfect base for a tropical hue. It’s highly pigmented so the first time you try it you may find yourself looking a bit overdone, but it’s actually easy to blend and reduce it’s initial impact.
The fact that it has some impressive oomph on the colour front means a little goes a long way and it should last you a fair while. The packaging is fairly basic but these lightweight, fuss-free designs are perfect for people who have to travel a lot or touch up from their handbags throughout the day. At £3.50 it’s an absolute steal and a very welcome new addition to my everyday curated selection. Be careful of the particles of powder that fall out as you swirl your brush round though.
Get Set Translucent Powder
Till now I have been relying on the lauded Laura Mercier Setting powder, which is fantastic, but for a clumsy person like me it’s asking for calamity in the format of a loose powder. It’s also very impractical for my commute-based touch-ups to be worrying about spillages. I’m chuffed to have a pressed setting powder which appears on first use to do just as proficient a job at mattifying as the beauty guru favourite.
So that’s the first few pieces reviewed, but I have oodles more to come from the George at Asda range. So happy to report that it’s so far so good. Like I said earlier, beauty products and their success is dependant on skin type, personal preferences, skill level of application, expectation, and so much more – so if you’ve tried the products too I’d love to know how you’ve gotten on with them, tell me which are you particular favourites in the comments.