Real Techniques Ultimate Base Set*

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I’m a big believer in getting your base right, and then everything else will follow. It’s true in most things, but especially in makeup. Start off with a streaky or blotchy base, and there’s no way your makeup is going to look right! So, with that in mind, Real Techniques have released a limited edition Ultimate Base Set.

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The set contains the trio of tools necessary for perfecting your base – the much loved miracle complexion sponge, expert face brush and a deluxe concealer brush.

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I’ve never tried a Real Techniques sponge before, and I’m not really too sure why. It feels soft and firm to the touch, and it expands when damp, feeling a little springier than when dry. It applies foundation smoothly, leaving me with a medium coverage, and it doesn’t soak up too much product either!

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To be honest, I was a little apprehensive before using the Expert Face Brush. It’s described as extra firm, and I’m never really a foundation-brush fan. Usually it takes me an age to buff foundations in using the regular ones, but this one has completely changed my mind! Super soft acrylic bristles don’t soak up my foundations, and I only need a pump or two each morning. The brush doesn’t leave any sort of brush marks in my makeup, and leaves me with the perfect level of natural-looking coverage.

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Last up is the Deluxe Concealer Brush – another tool I had no idea I needed! At the moment, I’m pretty lucky in the fact I’m only wearing Diorskin Star concealer under my eyes (review here) I’ve upped my green tea consumption, and I’m sure it’s made a difference to my skin! So, after applying a light base, I paint on the concealer-triangle under my eyes, then use the Deluxe Concealer Brush to buff everything in. It feels so soft, and doesn’t pull or tug on my delicate eye area. Instead, it just erases dark circles, leaving me ready for a dusting of bronzer and a slick of liner and mascara and I’m good to go!

Real Techniques Ultimate Base Set is priced at £20.99 and is available here (UK) and similar here (US)

Real Techniques Cheek & Lip Set*

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Real Techniques is one of those brands that I hadn’t really tried out until relatively recently, but I’m now somewhat obsessed by! If you’ve not come across them yet, head over to your nearest Boots or Superdrug, who will undoubtably have some and you can start your collection too! They’re the brainchild of top beauty bloggers Pixiwoo (otherwise known as Samantha and Nicole Chapman) and it’s not an understatement to say that over the past few years, they’ve really taken the world by storm!

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Slowly but surely I’ve been creating something of a collection, so when I saw the Cheek & Lip kit I couldn’t resist. Consisting of a big fluffy powder brush, a contour brush and dinky lip brush, the trio is a real workhorse which you can reach for every morning.

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The Cheek Brush is an exclusive addition to the set, and it’s the thing that your brush-dreams are made of! First off, the size is absolutely perfect if you like to sweep your bronzer or blush on. The bristles feel super soft, and fan out to effortlessly apply bronzers and blushes in a believable wash of colour. I’ve been using the brush for bronzer application (so not just on my cheeks) and I’ve really fallen in love. It doesn’t shed bristles and it’s so comfortable to use. The kit is worth it’s weight in gold for this brush alone!

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The contour brush is probably the one I was most excited to try from the kit. I’ve not had a dedicated contour brush before, so the idea itself feels novel, and Real Techniques makes my most-used highlight brush, so I had super high expectations. The contour brush is a duo-fibre one, so the base of the brush is made from shorter, more densely packed bristles, whilst it ends in longer, super soft fibres. The brush makes contouring ridiculously easy, I swirl the brush in my contouring shade, apply a little under my cheekbones, around my chin and a little to my temples and around my hairline and I’m good to go. The brush leaves a soft, almost airbrushed effect which looks super natural. You’re not left with a dirty looking smudge, instead, it’s just a pretty and believable amount of definition.

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Last up is the lip brush, which, if you’re loving a defined, matte lip this season, it’s your must-have tool. The fibres of the brush are pleasingly firm, allowing you to easily control your lip colour, it’s absolutely invaluable for creating a perfect statement lip.

The Real Technique Cheek & Lip Set is priced at £19.99 and is available here.

HD Brows Angled Brow Brush*

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When I went to Holly Blue’s open evening a few weeks ago, as well as having a fabulous time meeting Gemma and learning all about the salon (it’s a perfect little Edinburgh jewel box, which has quickly become my nail go-to), we were very kindly sent off brandishing goodie bags packed full of some of my favourite goodies. If you follow my instagram (I’m here) I gave you a sneak peek, but one of the many gems in there was this HD Brows angled brush. I’m currently in that awkward in-between, growing my brows out phase which just looks a little all over the place. So, in an effort to clean everything up a bit, I’ve been contentiously using this along with my much-loved UD Brow Box (here), and the brush has quickly become a favourite. The bristles are perfectly stiff, so applying brow powder is an absolute breeze. The brush lets me define my brows easily, leaving the perfect amount of product on them, and the stiff texture means that it’s easy to control, meaning I don’t get left with scarily dark brows!

 

Kiko Cosmetics Midnight Siren Face Brush*

Kiko Cosmetics Midnight Siren Face Brush

I’ve been falling in love with Kiko’s new makeup releases – the themes they come up with are incredibly beautiful, and their newest, Midnight Siren, is no different.

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Packaged in an absolutely adorable dinky little black chin mail pouch is the Face Brush. With a stunning black pearl base, the face brush is a dream to use, with the softest, densely packed two-toned bristles you can imagine, it’s the perfect brush to use for bronzers and finishing powders.

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Thanks to the size of the brush, you only need a few swipes to cover your face and neck, and it distributes powders perfectly evenly! I’m just obsessed with how pretty it is!

Kiko’s Midnight Siren Face Brush is priced at $17 and is available here

Gift Guide: Vidal Sassoon Infra Radiance Hot Air Styler*

Vidal Sasoon Infra Radiance Hot Air Styler

By my own admission, when it comes to my hair, I really do try to be as low maintenance as possible. I believe in using a great shampoo and conditioner, indulging in some hydrating styling products and finishing my ends off with a straightener. It’s a pretty boring routine, but it’s one I’ve been loyal to for quite a while. Until now that is, as I have fallen absolutely in love with Vidal Sassoon’s Infra Radiance Hot Air Styler.

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Despite the long name, the Hot Air Styler is an absolute gem of a tool – it’s a hybrid of your round brush and your hair dryer, and in a word, it’s genius! Since I’m a bit of a klutz, the tool has been an absolute for me – I’ve pretty much abandoned trying to give myself a round brush blow dry. Instead, all I have to do is just use this gem of a brush.

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The brush has two temperature settings, as well as a cool blast, so it’s really easy to control the heat you need for your hair. Every morning, I’ve been sectioning my hair off, and using the Hot Air Styler instead of my usual hairdryer for the majority of my hair. Working in sections from the front of my hair, I simply work the styler through the hair as I would a brush. It’s amazing for adding volume and shine that lasts throughout the most hectic of days!

I’m absolutely obsessed with my Hot Air Styler, and I can’t believe I’ve never tried one until now! I think this would make a perfect Christmas present for any girl who loves salon-worthy hair every day!

Vidal Sassoon’s Infra Hot Air Styler is priced at £32.00 and is available here

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