nicole mullen

UK Lifestyle and Interiors Blog

Interiors, lifestyle, beauty & travel blog by award-winning writer, Nicole Mullen

The best and worst products in my make-up bag right now

Hands up who’s guilty of hoarding five empty tubes of concealer, that 'wonder’ foundation you tried once and hated, three half-used tins of Vaseline, and 7564531 mascaras? I know I certainly am. Which is why, one dreary evening, I decided enough is enough: I’m Marie Kondo-ing the *shizz* out of my make-up bag. But, which of my make-up products spark joy? And, which of them don’t quite make the cut? Read on for the best and worst products in my make-up bag RN…

Products I’m loving

Charlotte Tilbury Bar of Gold, £32 (no longer sold individually)

Don’t be put off by how small the product is — this beauty lasts ages. I received Charlotte Tilbury’s Bar of Gold as a gift two Christmas’ ago and, as you can see from my photos, it’s still very much going strong. Despite its incredibly pigmented appearance, this powder highlighter errs more on the subtle side, which is perfect for my pale, English Rose complexion. Though, that’s not to say it can’t be layered for mega-watt strobing. As with all Charlotte Tilbury products, the packaging is to die for, and the quality is top dollar. Dust over your cheekbones, temples, the bridge of your nose, cupid’s bow and décolletage using a fan brush for instant radiance.

Charlotte Tilbury’s Bar of  Dreams …

Charlotte Tilbury’s Bar of Dreams

Glossier Boy Brow, £14

Believe the hype. Boy Brow is hands down the best eyebrow product I’ve tried — and, trust me, I’ve tried a lot. After using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade and, later, Brow Wiz for years, I bought Boy Brow and boy (excuse the pun) am I glad I did. Whilst I will forever be an Anastasia gal (I do still use Dipbrow and Brow Wiz for going out-out), when it comes to everyday brows, Boy Brow is a winner. Not only do my brows look fluffy + groomed + defined + kinda like they’re naturally amazing, my morning routine has been halved. And, more time in bed = a more human Nicole come 9am.

Thank you, Boy Brow, for giving me an extra 15 minutes in bed…

Thank you, Boy Brow, for giving me an extra 15 minutes in bed…

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer, £24

Creamy. Blend-able. Super-pigmented. Long-lasting. The NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer ticks all the boxes — and then some. Dark circles and angry, red blemishes are no match for this cream concealer. After being a massive fangirl of both Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer (thanks, Zoella) and the (frankly, overpriced) NARS’ Radiant Creamy Concealer, I decided to ditch the doe-foot applicators and OH-MY-DAYS has it been a game-changer. Repeat after me: Well 👏🏻 Worth 👏🏻 The 👏🏻 Money 👏🏻

Rimmel Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder, £3.99

I’ve tried pretty much every powder going — from dirt cheap to blow-the-bank expensive — and I always go back to this absolute babe. At £3.99, this pressed powder is cheaper than going to Starbucks for lunch and, well, it just works. Not only does it keep shine at bay all day, it mitigates the mess of loose powders, plus it doesn’t cause breakouts. Next time I think it’s an excellent idea to try the latest £20+ powder, I’m giving myself a stern talking-to.

Oh Rimmel, you absolute babe!

Oh Rimmel, you absolute babe!

…and the products that just don’t make the cut

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, £27

Let me start by saying that I *really* wanted to love this foundation. I’d read countless reviews raving about it and, when I just so happened upon a Sephora (back when Boots wasn’t stocking Fenty), I couldn’t get it to the till quick enough. And, that’s where my enthusiasm ended. Of course, this is only my personal opinion, but Fenty’s Pro Filt’r is hands down the worst foundation I have ever bought. It highlights my dry patches; separates on my skin within the hour; is impossible to blend and, as if all that isn’t bad enough, makes me break out like crazy. Sorry, Rih but your foundation just ain’t doing it for me…

Pro Filt’r? It’s a no from me…

Pro Filt’r? It’s a no from me…

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, £30

Not only is this setting powder almost three times the price of its Rimmel counterpart, it’s (dare I say it) more Meh-cier than Mercier. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t necessarily the worst powder I’ve ever used but, for the price, it just isn’t good enough. The shine comes seeping through by midday, it’s messy AF and, partly due to the aforementioned mess, about £10 worth of product is gone in a matter of minutes. (Might be a *slight* exaggeration, but you get the gist).

Soap & Glory Archery, £10

Ugh, I just couldn’t get away with this double-ended brow tint and pencil. The flexible-marker-pen-come-liquid-eyeliner-pen is unnecessarily difficult to use, and the pencil is weirdly large. Add to this the fact that the colour is off, and you get one disaster of a brow product. With so many amazing brow saviours out there, you can afford to avoid this one.

Argh-chery. Enough said.

Argh-chery. Enough said.

Soap & Glory Thick & Fast HD Mascara, £10.50

I wish Soap & Glory would stick to what they’re good at i.e. scrumptious bath goodies. There, I said it. Now, granted, I haven’t tried every single product in their make-up range but, from what I have tried, I’m just not that into it. Whilst this mascara does the job, it falls way short of my usual Lancôme Doll Eyes. It’s too thick. And too fast to make it onto my eyelids. Plus, it flakes off by five. Nope.

Stick to the day job, Soap & Glory…

Stick to the day job, Soap & Glory…

What do you think? Were you nodding your head in agreement or am I missing the mark?

I’d also love to know your best and worst make-up products; comment, below, with your ultimate faves and your not-so-greats or tweet me @nclmullencomms.

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