We are in 2014! I hope your year has started very well. I'm still not on 2014-time yet as it doesn't feel like I have fully returned to work or anything around me seems to have changed, but I know where I want to go this year. I just need to get there! One step was bringing a few fresh things into my daily mix, having spent almost the entirety of 2013 exercising a very modest approach to shopping. I have never used up so many things and therefore each new purchase has never felt so important. I had some Christmas money to spend and I already knew exactly what I wanted!
I have never spent anything substantial on a bronzer or contour powder as I usually invest more in 'special' makeup, rather than things I use every day. That might not make total sense, but the makeup I wear to work isn't something that excites me. It's a mix of not wanting to spend lots of time on an average, daily face, and not wanting to use up any favourite products. However I tend to vary in skin tone across the week depending if I have tanned at the weekend, and needed a mid-tone bronzer that was buildable. I have the Bourjois chocolate bronzer and an ELF dupe, but it was time to invest in the bronzer of legends: Nars Laguna.
When I spoke to the makeup artist at the counter, I questioned whether it was right for my skin and she suggested it may seem to light but it would suit fine. I was actually wondering if it would be too dark, so that really pushed me towards the purchase and I definitely now feel the lustrous benefits of using a luxury product every day. As it is so fine and the palette is so generous, it feels like I am barely applying a dusting of this to my cheekbones and temples, yet the colour is definite and flawless. This is certainly enhanced by my brush haul of the Real Techniques duo-fibre collection.
I have been considering new brushes for a long time and wasn't too set on another Real Techniques offering. Despite so many bloggers waxing lyrically for these, I found my blush brush felt spikey and rough over time, and my stippling brush never got clean enough to replenish the fluffy texture. I was looking to MAC and Sigma for their duo-fibre brushes as I much prefer a lighter application of heavier foundations, rather than very liquid formulas, but this limited-edition Real Techniques set seemed to offer everything I was looking for. I'm going to make sure I clean the brushes after every single use, and at Boots I also got the Miracle Complexion Sponge for half price in a deal. My ancient Beauty Blender sponge developed teeny tears which over time turned into larger rips, and it ended up totally unusable. I love a sponge foundation application (haha) even more than a brush finish, but I feel the coverage is not enough to stand my 9-5 days at work. My plan is to use the sponge when I have extra time to smooth over my skin and blend my final foundation/concealer/contour mix seamlessly.
A few honourable mentions are the L'Oreal Micellar Solution, which seemed a bargain price to take place of my finished B. Pure Micellar Water from Superdrug. It might seem a surprise I'm not calling out the infamous Bioderma version, but I did not find any benefits to it at all. As the first micellar water I tried, the B. version left my skin tingling and literally breathing a fresh sigh or relief from any impurities, whereas the Bioderma and L'Oreal versions line up with no special effects. As soon as I use up this buy, I will be returning to Superdrug for the B. range. As for the Soap & Glory set, it was a bargain £5 deal in the Boots sale, but I was again slightly disappointed that the scent of Hand Food wasn't as incredibly delightful as the rumours say. I love a hand cream with a pump though. Pumps are so underrated!