Wednesday, 26 February 2014

First Impressions: Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation

Boots, £8.99

I was drawn in by the claims of this foundation - "reduces the appearance of the visible effects of stress including bumps, dullness and redness". I went with the shade Sand and I do think it is the right match for my skin.

I planned to test this out all day on Sunday, so I applied my moisturiser and then used the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to apply the foundation all over my face. The consistency isn't as liquidy as I'd expected, though it was easy to pick up with the brush. I spent a considerable amount of time ensuring that my whole face was covered evenly, I did have to use a large amount to do this. I used the brush to try to blend it in for a natural look, but in the end no amount of buffing was going to achieve this.

I did my best and went to inspect my face in the bathroom mirror. The colour match was fine but it really seemed to cling to even the slightest dry patches on my face - something that doesn't happen with my NARS tinted moisturiser. It didn't quite look natural, slightly cakey would be the best description I think.

Even though I didn't have many plans for the day I couldn't face wearing it, I removed it straight away and used my regular base instead. This is a real shame as I had been looking forward to trying it out for a while and had high hopes for it. I will be trying it again, maybe with a different application method, but for now it is not for me.

Has anyone else found the same problem with this foundation?

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Real Techniques Sam's Picks Set

Escentual, £25.40 + delivery
Feel Unique, £29.99

L-R: Multi-Task Brush, Setting Brush, Buffing Brush, Pointed Foundation Brush, Essential Crease Brush, Fine Liner Brush
I purchased this from Amazon in January for around £28 but it has since gone out of stock, I can't seem to find it in stock anywhere but you can pre-order from Escentual or sign up for an e-mail alert when it's back at Feel Unique. For six brushes it is a good value set so I'd recommend keeping an eye out for it. While they all have specific purposes, I find that everyone uses brushes in their own way, so here are mine.

Multi-Task Brush

This is the brush I use most from the collection, I use it everyday to apply powder to my nose and set under-eye concealer. It is so soft and packed with bristles, it is perfect for this purpose.

Setting Brush

I use this one to apply powder highlighter across my cheekbones as it picks up just a little product and blends out easily for a subtle glow.

Buffing Brush

I have two of these now (I may have also bought the core collection, but more on that another time), it is useful to have a spare as it can be used for different purposes. It is quite good for applying blush, though you have to avoid being heavy handed when picking it up on the brush to make sure you don't apply too much.

Pointed Foundation Brush

This is quite a small foundation brush compared to others that I own, it is great for blending all over the face - though this takes a little longer due to the smaller size. I apply my current base (NARS Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturiser) with my fingers as I find it isn't quite suitable for brush application, so I don't use this brush much at the moment.

Essential Crease Brush

I love this eyeshadow brush, it is actually amazing. I apply my chosen colour with another brush and then run this one along the crease of my eyelid. It creates such a soft finish that I find sets the eyeshadow and makes it look great.

Fine Liner Brush

I admit I haven't actually used this brush for anything close to its designed purpose. I have used it to apply bright red eyeshadow because I didn't have another clean brush available and I wanted to try the colour without getting it all over my regular brush. It picked up a lot of the product quite well but other than that I can't really comment on it.

While there are a couple of brushes in this collection I don't use that often, it is a great set and a brilliant introduction to Real Techniques. They wash easily too, though as they are so fluffy I find it easier to lie them on the edge of a shelf in my airing cupboard where it's a little warmer. The first time I washed them I hadn't anticipated how long they would take to dry and just left them on a rack in the hall. Next time the set is back in stock I would say buy it straight away!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Thoughts: Weekend Make-up

Weekends = Lie-ins

Now I know a lot of people wear less make-up at the weekends, but for me it's an opportunity to try something a bit more unusual or different. As I will either be at home or just out for a meal/drinks/cinema, it doesn't matter too much if my make-up doesn't last long or doesn't look perfect. If I go a little OTT then it's not as if I'm at work where it'll look inappropriate!

I've started using Saturdays and Sundays to experiment a little more and try out new products that I've been meaning to test. It doesn't matter to me if I wear a full face of make-up for a lazy day in, it's more about enjoying using the products and playing around a bit. For example yesterday I used a sky blue eyeshadow which I found rather striking and I'm not sure if it works on its own.

Does anyone else do this or do you prefer a more laid-back approach to make-up at the weekend?

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Amazon Beauty Haul

Now you may be thinking - "What, a beauty haul from Amazon?!" It might not be the first place you think of for one but they actually have an amazing selection at really good prices (that sounds like an advert for Amazon, but it is actually just my own love for the brand).
Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Pant in Golden Bronze and Rich Russet

NYX Eye Shadow in Autumn Sky

Collection Blush & Highlight Cream Duo in Peaches & Cream

So, I ordered:

I was originally just ordering the Real Techniques brush as the Amazon prices are significantly cheaper than Boots/Superdrug but then I kept spotting other items that I wanted to try at a much cheaper price than RRP.

For example, the two Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow paints were cheaper than buying one from Boots as they normally cost £4.99! I have been wanting to try these since Lily Pebbles mentioned them in a few videos and posts so I am looking forward to testing them out. I have been using these in my daily make-up for work and I think they are really great for this purpose. The colour lasts all day even if I touch my eyes, and they are so quick and easy to use - a massive bonus considering how little time I leave myself to get ready in the morning. Rich Russett is quite a subtle brown and Golden Bronze looks quite bright on, but not too much for a daytime look.

I bought the NYX eyeshadow on a whim really, I had recently received one in the Latest in Beauty Box but in a bright red colour (which actually looks amazing) and the colour payoff was incredible without a primer so I chose a light blue - very spring-like I’d say.

I have also developed an obsession with searching for a cream highlighter that I can use on a daily basis, this Collection one was one of the few that I could find on a budget and isn’t glittery. From the test I did on the back of my hand it has a nice shimmer to it, but I will have to test it out properly another time.

I am so impressed with Amazon’s range of products and prices - as I spent over £10 it qualified for free delivery and it arrived within two working days, which isn’t bad at all.

If you’re looking for a high street beauty product I’d definitely recommend trying Amazon just in case they have it in stock, it might be easier than trying to track down in Boots or Superdrug - I have been looking for the Collection under eye concealer for weeks and two different Boots and a Superdrug on my way home from work but still no luck!

My next order is likely to be for the Sleek Blush and Sleek Eyeshadow Palette, the latter in an attempt to satisfy my urge to buy the wonderful neutrals of the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette at an eye-watering £37.00.

Has anyone else found any bargains on Amazon?

PS. Bear in mind that the Amazon prices change quite often, since I purchased these some have gone down in price and some up.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

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Wishlist: NARS Duo Eyeshadow

NARS, £25.00
Image: NARS

I purchased the NARS At First Sight Palette just before Christmas when ASOS had a 20% off code - this was one of my first NARS products and it took a lot of time to make the decision to buy it, but I am so glad I did. It’s no longer available on ASOS but you can buy it direct from NARS.

One of the four eyeshadows within is Nouveau Monde - a pale purple with a slight shimmer to it. It is amazing, lasts all day without primer (including after impromptu after-work drinks) and looks really lovely. I apply it with the Real Techniques shading brush (currently £5.24 on Amazon) and it just goes on so well, I don’t even use any other colours with it because it doesn’t need it.

The eyeshadows in the NARS palette are fairly small, and the Nouveau Monde has definitely had the most use, so I will definitely want to repurchase the shade at some point. It is available in a beautiful duo with a neutral beige colour - once I have finished the Nouveau Monde in the palette this will be on my list to buy.

Wishlist: Stila Girl Travel Palette

Stila Girl Travel Palette in “striking south beach”, £10.00
Image: Stila

Having made several purchases in the Stila Christmas sale I have refrained from buying another palette, though this one does look amazing. In the sale I picked up the Snow Angel palette (18 eyeshadows and 12 blush), a set of the smudge proof eyeliners and a blush/gloss gift set - all for under £20. However with the 18 eyeshadows in the lovely Snow Angel palette I decided not to order the travel palette, though it is definitely still on my wishlist.

It contains four eyeshadows and two blushes, with a handy little mirror and a little guide with ideas on how to use the products. It looks brilliant and compact for travelling! And at £10 it is a bargain. I think that the blue eyeshadow colours look really pretty, though all of the colour options are tempting.

Also the delivery speed from Stila has been incredibly quick both times I have ordered from them, and best of all it is free!

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms

£7.99 (currently on 3 for 2 at Boots)

L-R: Elusive, Audacious, Striking
By the time the new Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms were released I had read so much about them that I couldn’t resist buying one (okay, three..). They were on 3 for 2 at Boots and I just had to try three different shades. After some searching different Boots stores and pondering over colours, I went for Elusive, Striking and Audacious.

The new matte and lacquer balms seem to be a variant of the original Just Bitten Kissable Lip Stains (of which I already had two), though they have split them out into glossy and matte varieties. While I do love the originals I think it is brilliant that they have developed these further. Matte lips are so popular at the moment and glossy colours will always do well.

The colours I chose were:

Elusive - deep pink with quite a bright colouring
Striking - classic bright red
Audacious - red with a hint of orange/coral

I am very happy with the colours I bought, they are all quite different. The formula of each is the same, very soft and easy to apply - they feel quite moisturising when you apply them. I think that my lips were quite dry when I started using these but since applying lip balm every night I have found them to be much better so I don’t think it’s the matte balms that were causing this. These dry very quickly and the colour does not come off, not even on my coffee mug when I get to work first thing! 

The colour lasts very well, certainly through the entire morning but not quite to the end of the day.

They are great for nights out as the colour will stay put and you can reapply without a mirror as they are so easy to use. As they are matte they are still quite wearable for work everyday which is a definite bonus, I love products that are so versatile. I’d definitely recommend these if you’re thinking about trying them, the shade selection is so good - does anyone have any other favourite shades?



Thanks for taking the time to read this, I just wanted to introduce myself and my new blog. I’m Kathy and I work in finance in the North West (UK).

Over the past few months I have really enjoyed reading many beauty blogs (too many to name!) and as I have always loved writing I decided to go for it with my own.

So why Sleep and Beauty? I pondered over the name for a while, trying to think of something nice and simple that wasn’t already used for a beauty blog. I think it just sounds nice (or if you say it quickly it sounds like sleeping beauty - I’ll stop with the terrible jokes, promise) and as I sleep in so much in the morning I don’t allow myself enough time for a lengthy beauty routine, as much as I love skincare and makeup.

This is why I love products that are easy to use, long lasting and beautiful at the same time. I’m also a fan of multi-tasking products though I am still undecided on whether products designed for a specific purpose are better.

What kind of products will I be writing about? I have blemish-prone skin and I love to experiment with different make-up looks so it will be quite a variety. I mostly buy drugstore brands though I do like the occasional splurge on something nice, especially from NARS.

I hope that my reviews can provide an insight into the products I try and help someone else to make a decision on whether they would enjoy it too. That’s certainly what I get from other beauty blogs, I rarely buy anything beauty related now without checking out several reviews first! If I'm looking for a skincare or base product I would look for someone with a similar skin type. With general make-up products I would read a variety of reviews from a range of bloggers - my aim is to add to that and give advice where I can.

What I love about make-up is that everyone loves different things, what might work for one person might be loathed by another - that's the fun of it though, finding what suits you.

Price is a massive factor for me, that doesn't mean that I don't sometimes buy expensive things but I am all about the value, probably my finance background coming through a bit there. A feature that I will be including at the end of each post is a Beauty Spend Tracker - it'll be interesting to see how much I spend and how much I'm making the most of what I already have.

Hope you enjoy reading!