The Beauty Versus: Hits and Misses

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Recently, I’ve been trying out a few new things in my makeup routine to shake things up a bit. Generally, I’m a creature of habit and I tend to stick to certain products, but sometimes I go out on a whim and trial some new items, to see if I might stumble across the elusive Holy Grail. Over the past few weeks, I’ve turned back to some old favourites, to find that they no longer meet the mark, and tried some much-hyped new releases that have left me feeling very disappointed - but on the flip side, I’ve also sampled some items I didn’t think I’d like, only to find that they might just be my new must haves. Here’s how I got on…

Revolution Fast Base Concealer: MISS

I really wanted to like this new concealer from Revolution; there was a lot of hype about both the formula and the applicator (and the shade range, of course, which is seriously impressive for a high street brand), but sadly, it just wasn’t for me. On application, I liked the fluidity of the formula, and the shade match was perfect (I wore 03), but five minutes in, the problems began. The formula was too sheer to cover tired eyes - and I don’t even have bad dark circles! - and it almost immediately began creasing around and underneath my eye. A few hours in, and I looked like I hadn’t slept at all. I tried it with a few different primers and a few different foundations, but no joy. This is being relegated to brightening other areas of the face, like my forehead or cheeks after contouring, but it’s absolutely not man enough to cover any areas of discolouration, darkness or redness.

L’Oreal Lash Architect 4D Mascara: MISS

This one pains me to say, as I swore by this mascara for years and recommended it to literally everyone. But then I started dabbling with another L’Oreal formula, which I really loved, and stopped using this. When I came back to it earlier this month, I was sorely disappointed. Yes, two coats creates unbelievably thick, long and luscious-looking lashes, but the formula dries up and flakes so, so quickly, leaving black marks all over my face and smudges under my lower lash line, even with a waterproof top coat applied. I’ve only had my tube a month and already I’m squeezing in eye drops every other day to try and loosen the formula again. I don’t know what’s changed, but the longevity of this mascara is no longer right for me, and sadly I don’t think I’ll be purchasing again.

Fenty Beauty Pro Soft Filt’r Matte Foundation: MISS

I really, really wanted to love this. Earlier this month, I decided that I wanted to upgrade to a high-end foundation, and duly did my research around the top three I wanted to try. Fenty was first up, and I’d seen so many rave reviews that I was fairly confident this would be my top choice. I was so wrong. I have normal skin, nowhere is particularly dry or particularly oily, but this foundation brought out the worst in every area. My forehead and chin looked so greasy (a couple of spots actually popped up whilst wearing it!) and my cheeks looked dry and tight. I couldn’t wait to take it off. It’s such a shame as the shade match is amazing and the formula seemed so gorgeous, but it just wasn’t for me at all. I did try it with a couple of other primers but it’s just not a formula that agrees with me - so glad I bought a sample and didn’t leap into a full-size bottle!

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Foundation: MISS

Next up in my high-end foundation trials, YSL. My best friend wears this foundation every day, and she looks amazing. On her, it has a gloriously glowing, real-skin look, that allows her freckles to shine through, and it just looks super healthy and fresh. On me? Slippy, slidey and greasy. It came off on my phone after a phone call (I’m talking an entire patch missing from my cheek), it creased under and above my eyes, it showed up brush strokes from application - oh hell no. I tried it with a more mattifying, silicone-based primer, and it looked a little better, but still not what I was expecting. And with a hydrating primer? Wipe it off and start again. A huge disappointment.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation: HIT

Of my three high-end trial choices, this is actually the formula I thought I’d hate most, and shocker - I loved it. I was expecting a mask-like foundation, really thick and heavy. While I did think it felt fairly weighty for the first hour or so, once it had settled into my skin, I really loved the look. I mean, it’s obvious that you’re wearing foundation, but not in the way that I thought it would be; my skin still looked fresh and real, but every area of discolouration was wiped out, everything looked balanced and beautifully glowy. It glided over dry and oily areas alike, pulling everything together and creating a really lovely base. Plus - it just didn’t shift. At all. I left it on all day, checked the mirror when I got home, and it still looked fresh and glowing. Then I wore it in the shower, to see what would happen - and I came out looking like it was still just freshly applied. Incredible scenes. It’s a pricey one, but I think that Double Wear may just be making it into my makeup bag very soon.

Benefit Boi-Ing! Industrial Strength Concealer: HIT

After my mishap with the Revolution concealer, I decided to bring out the big guns and try a concealer with real power. I’ve heard rave reviews about boi-ing! over the years, and I was intrigued by the new ‘industrial strength’ label, so I decided to give it a go. I chose 01, the fairest shade, and it’s a lovely match on me, wherever I apply it. The formula is creamy, something which I’ve been scared of in the past, but it doesn’t cake, crease or smudge at all. A quick dab in the pot and a swipe along dark circles, red areas or even blemishes, and they just disappear. I press on a tiny bit of loose powder to set, mist with a setting spray and miraculously, it stays put all day. I totally understand where the rave reviews come from, and I think it’s safe to say that boi-ing! will have a place in my makeup routine from now on.

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine Moisturising Lipstick: HIT

I have always, always wanted one of these lipsticks. The packaging is just so glorious, so luxurious, so beautiful, and I’d heard rumours of a dreamy, creamy formula with a lovely colour payoff. But it’s rare that I’ll treat myself to a luxe cosmetics purchase, particularly when it’s something more frivolous like a lipstick, rather than a concealer or foundation. So I was delighted to be given one of these lipsticks for my birthday this year, in the shade ‘Coral in Touch’, and I was delighted that my high expectations were immediately met. The packaging is satisfyingly weighty, but it’s the formula itself that’s so impressive; soft and smoothing, comfortable like a lip balm, with a lovely sheer wash of colour that still shows up beautifully on the lip. It smells like watermelon too, which I kind of love. This is just a lippy that can do no wrong!

Have you tried any new bits that you’ve loved recently?