Make up post! No education mumbo jumbo, pure self indulgence and something I know my favourite Margo will enjoy.

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So here’s what’s in my make up bag at the moment:

Eyebrow pencil – Body Shop: 03 Brow Definer – Dark Brown
Eyelid primer – ELF: Sheer
Eyeshadows – MAC: Star Violet; ELF (a creamy colour. They don’t seem to do it anymore)
Eyeliner – Boots Natural Collection: Black eyeshadow – Midnight
Highlighter/Blending – Boots Natural Collection – Butterscotch
Concealer – ELF: (Tone Correcting) Rosey Beige
Mascara – ELF: Volume Pumping Mascara – Black
Lipliner – ELF: Mineral Lip Liner – Peachy
Lipgloss – ELF: Hypershine Gloss – Bubblegum
Blusher – ELF: Baked Blush – Peachy Cheeky
Bronzer – Too Faced (palette) – Snow Bunny, Sun Bunny, Pink Leopard
Brushes – Body Shop and EcoTools

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I’ve used the Body Shop eyebrow pencil for 15 years. I know this because I bought the first one just before we all went to Tenerife after our A levels. It’s a perfect combination of being firm enough not to crumble but soft enough to be blendable and avoid sharp lines. I’ve tried a couple of other types but they’ve always either looked very harsh or rubbed off. I do however have a lid for it with an in-built eyebrow brush that I’ve taken from a different brand. Even for something I use everyday, I always think £8 seems a horrendous price for a pencil, so last time Body Shop had a 50% sale I bought 3. They last forever so expect to never have to buy another one again.

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Eyelid primer is something that I really don’t know how I lived without. Eyes are my thing. I love playing with eyeshadow and always have. For a no-crease, well blended, lasts-all-day-and-night eye, you need a good primer. I’ve tried a few over the years and found my favourites. My first was the Urban Decay Primer Potion £16 – expensive but lasts a good while, especially if you only use it for nights out and special occasions. This is my favourite product-wise. It’s a great texture and has perfect coverage for me, but the downside is the price. Not an every day use sort of price. Another in the expensive category is the  MAC Prep+Prime Eye, £13. This one I don’t get on with. It’s very oily and doesn’t seem to dry very well – for something that’s supposed to stop creasing, it creases all by itsself. I’m not a fan.

In my hunt for a good but slightly cheaper primer I was introduced to ELF (Eyes, Lips, Face). You can see from my list above that ELF feature heavily and I promise you that once you’ve gone ELF you will both love me and hate me in equal measure. Big tip here, they are cheap, but wait for them to have an offer on before buying, They have frequent 20%, 30%, 50% off offers so keep an eye out. The ELF Eyelid Primer £1.95 is cheap and a brilliant product. It has a spongey aplicator but I use my finger. It’s slightly thinner than the UD one, but at a fraction of the price it’s worth waiting an extra second for it to dry. The colour doesn’t alter eyeshadow colour and it lasts pretty much all day and night. Perfect.

Eyeshadows are also my favourite. 2014-07-15 18.37.49 I’m not a snob. Any price will do – whilst more expensive will tend to have more pigment and go further, in my experience, price doesn’t always indicate a good texture. I could do a whole separeate post on eyeshadow so I’ll focus on a few I use2014-07-15 18.48.13 regularly at the moment. When doing eyeshadow I tend to use two colours, a main colour and either a darker shade for depth, or a lighter shade for highlight (depending on the main colour). At the moment, my everyday colour is MAC Star Violet £13 on the outside of my eye, blending into a paler colour (the ELF one they don’t do anymore) on the inner corner.

I use a black eyeshadow (£1.79) for liner – I find it blends well and I don’t have to be precise. It’s worth saying that the brush s important here, you need a brush with a good shape so that the liner doesn’t invade the whole lid.2014-07-15 18.37.20

Once everything’s on, I use a nude eyeshadow (£1.79) to highlight under my eyebrows and blend the edges of coloured eyeshadow. This removes harsh lines and softens everything.

I have bizarre eyelashes that stick in all directions and hate me. They hate me so much that I have to use eyelash curlers and mascara every day and even then they’re still evil.2014-07-15 18.41.49 Especially the left eye. I’m not particularly precious about mascara either, although I favour a thick wand rather than a scratchy thin one. At the moment I’m on an ELF Volume Pumping Mascara (£3.95)  but I have been going through small sample-size ones that have come as free gifts and as long as they aren’t flaky and clumpy then I’m happy.

I always wait until my eyes are done before putting any sort of foundation or concealer on. I only wear foundation for nights out and special occasions and I find the (again) ELF Tone Correcting Concealer (£1.95) is PERFECT2014-07-15 18.42.16 as an in between. It’s cheap enough to use a reasonable amount every day and gives good coverage. It’s forgiving of different skin tones but one of the beauties of ELF is that you can afford to try a few colours out and pick one you like. When I do an ELF order I stock up on primer and tone correcting concealer always.

I’m a bronzer girl when it comes to cheeks. My favourite is my Too Faced pallette (about £20 years ago when I got it)  with the Snow Bunny 2014-07-15 18.43.10most of the year and Sun Bunny/Pink Leopard when I’m a bit more sun kissed. I go for the classic ’3′ shape on my face and I like this brand because there’s a bit of sparkle but I don’t look like a glitter ball.2014-07-15 18.42.54 Due to the cheap, can-afford-to-try-everything nature of ELF, I have started using their baked blusher in Peachy Cheeky (£3.95) which I really like. It’s more subtle than the Too Faced but this is good for a bit of pink with the bronzer and for all year round. Sometimes baked products are a bit hard and fairly useless but this has been good for me.

I don’t bother too much with lips. I buy all the lipglosses and all the lipsticks but they never last for long so anything with more than a hint of colour tends to take a back seat. 2014-07-15 18.36.25My current favourite lip glosses are ELF, of course, in Bubblegum at the moment (£1.95). I also really like their mineral lip liners (£3.50) 2014-07-15 18.41.23 in Peachy or Rose for a bit of a matt stain that doesn’t leave a weird tide-line when it’s half rubbed off.

So, all that’s left is the brush collection. I have a few old faithfuls – the Body Shop ones I use for eyeliner and highlighter. I like the wooden handles and they haven’t sold those for years.2014-07-15 18.43.45 I use the Too Faced bronzer brush with anything cheeky. It’s soft and a good shape. My newest brushes are EcoTools that I got for Christmas a couple of years ago. I like these a lot – bamboo handles win with me and the brushes are robust. I never seem to use brushes for their named purpose and I use my fingers a lot too, but I don’t think that matters.

As I said, I use a lot of different eyeshadows so whilst this all seems a bit neutral in colour, I have a wider palette that I use regularly. Maybe I’ll get round to writing about those at some other time.