Glossy makeup advertisements saturate social media. They are designed to make you want to buy anything and everything that looks pretty and shiny, but this also causes a predicament: what on Earth should you buy? What is actually good? They can actually make buying more difficult!
I have definitely fallen into the trap of ‘buying into the hype’ – but, with that gives me great knowledge and ability to help my friends and family make considered decisions when it comes to picking out new products for themselves. Instead of making this blogpost all doom-and-gloom and solely about products I’ve had a poor or underwhelming experience with, I decided to include some products that I absolutely love, but which I believe haven’t had the recognition they deserve. As always: my opinions are based purely on my experiences of these products (as well as what I’ve heard from other bloggers and YouTubers), and this doesn’t mean that these products are bad or won’t work for you. I hope that this blogpost might raise a question prior to purchasing that you may not have considered before, or realise that a product that hasn’t worked for a particular reason on me, might be perfect for you, or vice versa. So, without further ado, let’s get into the makeup!
UNDERRATED: KYLIE COSMETICS LIP BLUSHES
If you find classic matte liquid lipsticks too drying, but you love the longevity of wear they bring, then Kylie’s lip blushes will be your best friend. I have the shade ‘I’m Blushing’, and I can’t get over how much I love this formula, or why they’re not being praised more! It’s comfortable on the lips and can be applied sheerly to create a tint, or with full opacity for a night out, and, what’s more, glosses glide over top amazingly (once dried down, of course). Oil will remove all lipsticks, so if you are going to eat oily food you should take the tube so you can reapply when necessary (or just don’t wear lipstick ha!).
OVERHYPED: CHARLOTTE TILBURY EYES TO MESMERISE CREAM EYESHADOWS
I had such high expectations of this product, but I was so disappointed! I bought the shade Rose Gold – it might just be this particular shade – and as I was applying it, it was looking patchy and immediately creased to show an almost-blackish-greyish tone. The colour itself is stunning, but it looked really clumsy on the eye – the sophisticated feel and look with most Charlotte Tilbury products didn’t match up to how this cream eyeshadow performed. I’m wondering whether I’m applying it wrong, so if anybody has a technique, or uses these all the time and it works for them, please let me know!
UNDERRATED: NARS EYESHADOW PALETTES
For years I didn’t even consider looking at the Nars eyeshadow palettes – no one raved about them, in fact, I can’t remember any big YouTuber ever mentioning them. It wasn’t until I noticed that Gina Shkeda constantly used her Nars palettes, and stated them as being some of her everyday favourites, that I started to have a look to see if any of their colour stories appealed. I currently own two, and they are by far two of my absolute favourite palettes. The matte shadows blend effortlessly (and I really mean that), and the shimmers are sparkly in a ‘natural’ way, but can be built up to a high intensity. What’s more, they HARDLY crease. With all other eyeshadows from different brands, I have to use a crease-proof eyeshadow base, otherwise my eye makeup will look awful and smudged within an hour. Nars eyeshadows are definitely more suited to the ‘natural’ makeup wearer, but they really are the unsung heroes of the makeup world.
OVERHYPED: LAURA MERCIER TRANSLUCENT SETTING POWDER
I have spoken about the issues I’ve had with the market-favourite Laura Mercier loose translucent powder before, but I felt that it fit within this blogpost as well. This is not a bad powder – in fact, I have been using it a lot around my nose and across my forehead and chin during the hot weather (as I’ve got combination skin with an oil-prone T-zone). It is drying, however, and is not a powder that I would advise for someone with dry skin all-over to purchase. If you have oily skin, this powder will more than likely be brilliant for you. If you do have drier skin, though, and you’re looking for your makeup to not budge at all during a special occasion, you might want to use a different powder all over your face and then use the tiniest amount of the Laura Mercier one where your makeup tends to break up due to oil buildup during the day. This powder definitely locks your makeup in place!
UNDERRATED: KYLIE COSMETICS EXTENDED EYESHADOW PALETTES
I have mentioned my love for Kylie’s palettes multiple times on my blog – and I’ve got to say it again! As Kylie Cosmetics is a brand that receives much criticism purely due to Kylie Jenner being a part of the Kardashian family, I feel as though some of her products – the majority of which are very good quality – have slipped past people’s awareness. Her eyeshadows, specifically the ones from the three Extended palettes, are easy to blend and user-friendly. The mattes are creamy and can be applied in light layers or built up intensely, and the metallic shades are stunning. The colour story of each palette is complimentary, cohesive and fun, and they’re my go-to palettes for when I’m doing ‘full glam’ makeup.
OVERHYPED: CHARLOTTE TILBURY MAGIC AWAY CONCEALER
Ok, so since I have already placed another Charlotte Tilbury product in the overhyped category, I’m going to start by listing some of my favourite products from the brand to keep it balanced: lip liners, matte revolution lipsticks and beauty light wand cream highlighters. None of Charlotte Tilbury’s products are under-hyped, and I believe that is almost a disadvantage when being a customer – we naturally believe everything is going to be amazing, and the truth is, like with all brands, not all products are going to work in our favour. I found the magic away concealer to be very thick, difficult to blend and it creased awfully under my eyes, in my smile lines and around my nose and chin within two minutes. I’ve tried setting it differently, I’ve tried not putting moisturiser in those problem areas…and, unfortunately, nothing changes the outcome. However, I know that a lot of YouTubers love this product, but I definitely can’t recommend it based on my own experience with it.
UNDERRATED: HOURGLASS VEIL TRANSLUCENT SETTING POWDER
I know this is an expensive product, but…if you have dry skin this gorgeously fine-milled and smooth product is the best loose powder on the market, and I feel as though it isn’t given the recognition or hype it deserves because of the price. The £42 price tag put me off buying this powder for over a year after I first heard it being praised on YouTube, and as soon as I did purchase it I was immediately wowed by how amazing my skin looked: mattified, yet glowy thanks to the micro-shimmer in the powder (which doesn’t look sparkly on the skin, by the way!). I also thought this product would run out very quickly due to the fact Hourglass provide a lot less powder in their tubs than the likes of Laura Mercier and Too Faced. However, since you hardly need to use any to get the job done, I haven’t really made much of a dent even after months of usage. If you do want to try it, you can buy a travel sized version of it which is, of course, cheaper! I just want everyone with dry skin to see how incredible this product is.
OVERHYPED: ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS EYESHADOW PALETTES
I can feel myself getting appalled looks already, ha! Anastasia Beverly Hills are known for their felt-packaged eyeshadow palettes and smooth, pigmented formulas. However, even though I do enjoy using the two that I own – Soft Glam and Norvina (original) – I don’t think they are as amazing as a lot of YouTubers make them out to be.
Let’s take Soft Glam, for example. The shades are gorgeous, but I’ve found that there are two major problems. Firstly, despite the warm colours in the palette being very complimentary in tone, the cooler pink family of shades aren’t particularly well suited tone-wise. There is a mixture of cooler pinks with purple undertones, and warmer pinks and then a very dark bronzy-pink metallic, which is almost too dark in my opinion. The shade ‘Dusty Rose’ stands out as an anomaly, and can’t be used in that many ways due to fact it’s so much cooler in tone than the rest of the palette. The warm pink will work with more of the orange-based mattes to create a pretty spring look, but I think the palette lacks some cohesion and more ‘everyday’ shades considering the name of it is Soft Glam. The second big problem is that two of the metallics, namely ‘Glistening’ and ‘Fairy’ are very similar colour-wise, and look quite dry and dusty on the eye, rather than giving a ‘wet’ shine or sparkle. The Norvina palette has similar issues with the mix-match of uncomplimentary tones. Also, some of the matte shadows have a tendency to be patchy on the eye, showing fairly large areas of skin where the shadow will not stick.
However, in saying all that, I do get some use out of these palettes – specifically the more wet-looking metallics. Anastasia, though, do sell eyeshadow singles, and I use these all the time because I can pick the tones I love. Their matte eyeshadows are very soft and do complement looks beautifully, I just find I need to combine them with ones from other brands to prevent them from becoming patchy after application. A final consideration is that Anastasia’s eyeshadows on the whole are very soft – they have a tendency to fall onto the cheeks, so just be careful when applying.
Something to note: single eyeshadows on the whole tend to perform better than those within a palette, due to the amount that the powder has been pressed into the mental pan. Pressing determines how soft and blendable an eyeshadow will be, and different colours need different pressing strengths to achieve optimum performance. A lot of palettes press all the containing eyeshadows to the same extent which is why quality can vary between the shades as some will be correctly pressed, some may be under pressed and others may be over pressed. As single eyeshadow colours are pressed individually, each shade is pressed to compliment its optimum payoff.