Going shopping at this time of year can be an absolute minefield, everything is beautifully packaged for the festive season, there are loads of great deals running to tempt you to buy even more and getting into the spirit of things usually ends up in buying a lot of “gifts” for yourself.

Well we fell for it, this is what we got, and what we thought of it.

Yup, it’s a beauty haul/review. Get comfy, guys and gals.



NYX Matte Finish Make up setting spray

It seems weird starting a make up haul review with a finishing product, but this stuff is AMAZING. Honestly I think it’s probably the reason I decided to write this post in the first place.

I knew I wanted to try out an NYX setting spray, and you can choose between ‘matte‘ and ‘dewy‘. As someone with fairly oily face, which make up has a tendency to slide off, I went for matte – and it was definitely a good choice.

Normally when I apply my make up it’s started to smear and fall off before I’ve even left the house. (TMI/personal information alert – I’m always too hot, so I can get pretty sweaty – I’m gross.) But this stuff does exactly what it says on the label. Eight hours later and my make up still looks like it did when I applied it.

This stuff will keep even the most budget products on your face and looking good. I cannot recommend it enough. Get yours from Boots for £7.

5/5 – works a treat!


Barry M Illuminating Strobing Cream – Frosty Pink

When I tried this out for the first time, I was initially disappointed. I was sat by my mirror, well lit, in the sun, but I could not see a thing happening as I ran it along my skin. It seemed to make no difference whatsoever. Disappointed, I carried on with my make up and thought no more about it.

Until I walked in front of a mirror later on – I don’t know if it was the angle I was stood at, but suddenly my skin was glowing, it was dewy, whatever the hell that means. It lit me up in all the right places (you know, the places I applied it).

It’s a really soft, subtle product – but it makes a huge difference. You could use it with a highlighter, replace your highlighter with it, or stop contouring altogether and jump on the strobing bandwagon. I assure you it’s a nice bandwagon – we all look great and its much easier – there’s less blending.

Get it from Superdrug for £4.49, where it is part of a 3 for 2 deal across all cosmetics and beauty, or from Boots for the same price, where you can get a Barry M Limited Edition Red Carpet Ready Palette if you spend more than £7.50 on Barry M products.

5/5 – surprisingly amazing


Maybelline Lash Sensational Luscious Mascara – Very Black

You know how everyone always wants long lasting mascara? This is it. You’ll need to make sure you have a good eye make up remover though. It really doesn’t want to come off.

It’s amazing for volume, but it’s definitely not a subtle product. If you prefer a lighter look for the day, this isn’t the mascara for you. If you like, big, black, bold, and a little bit clumpy, you will love this.

Available for £7.99 at both Superdrug, where it is part of their 3 for 2 across all cosmetics and beauty deal, and Boots where you can buy one, get one half price on Maybelline.

4/5 – clumps, but in a good way


Makeup Revolution Ultra Base Corrector Palette

I love the price, and the variety in this palette, but unfortunately it’s just not that great. I don’t know if it’s just my oily skin, but it’s a bit smeary.

I do use it for dark circles under my eyes, but for spot/blemish coverage, I’m sticking with my Soap and Glory Kick Ass All is Calm anti-redness concealer.

MUR are normally a pretty good basic brand though, so maybe I’m not using it right. If you want to try it for yourself, it’s £6 from Superdrug, and part of their 3 for 2 across all cosmetics and beauty deal.

3/5 – might work better for someone who knows what they’re doing



Maybelline Lip Gloss Vivid Matte – 05 Nude Flush

This stuff holds its colour so well. It’s so pigmented. And the texture is soft and creamy, not sticky like a lot of lip liquids/glosses.

However, it doesn’t stay that long. Even with lip liner/a base/setting spray. Which is a shame because it looks so good! Am I expecting too much from a lip liquid by wanting it to stay on my lips for more than an hour?

If I am being melodramatic, or you like reapplying make up because you have social anxiety and a penchant for running off to the bathroom when things get awkward and this is a perfect excuse, you can get this from Superdrug or Boots for £6.99. At Superdrug it’s a part of the 3 for 2 deal I’ve mentioned, and at Boots it’s part of the Maybelline buy one get one half price deal.

3/5 – pretty but fleeting



Collection Eyes Uncovered Palette – Nude Rose

I was immediately drawn to the colours in this eyeshadow palette – they’re so pretty.

It’s such a shame the palette is just not good. They didn’t blend well at all, quickly becoming a big, brown mess that faded, or fell off, or went wherever it is that bad eyeshadows go.

And I know it’s a budget brand, I have nothing against that, I’ve been buying Collection concealer for like a decade, but the packaging is really awful too. It’s slightly fancy cardboard.

It’s available from Boots and Superdrug for £3.99. I’d recommend getting it from Superdrug so it’s part of the 3 for 2 and you haven’t actually paid any money for it.

1/5 – packaging is probably recyclable



B. Makeup Brush Cleanser

This is great! I had to spray on an awful lot, and it took a long time to get my brushes clean, but that’s because I’ve never washed them before I like to take my time with things.

Now I blitz them once in a while and I couldn’t ask for a better product. It’s simple, inexpensive and works well.

Get it from Superdrug for £4.99. And it’s part of the 3 for 2 deal. Like everything we’re going to be talking about that’s available from Superdrug.

4/5 – scrubbing made my arm hurt



L’Oreal Infallible Sculpt Contour Palette – Light/Medium

The contouring half of this is amazing. Even on my #ffffff (pure white for people who aren’t nerds) skin, the colour isn’t too dark or imposing to contour subtly but effectively. It has some grey undertones rather than being a muddy brown, meaning it suits a wide range of skin tones.

Unfortunately, my skin is too pale for the highlighter. Admittedly my foundation is a little darker so it does show up a bit, but discreet would be an understatement.

It is incredibly easy to blend, I use use my fingers, but you could use a beautyblender. It won’t mind.

£6.99 from Boots and Superdrug. Boots has a 3 for 2 on L’Oreal Paris deal going, and Superdrug has their standard 3 for 2 on beauty deal.

3/5 – not suitable for ghosts



Maybelline Master Contour V Stick – Medium

Unlike the L’Oreal contour, this has more browny tones than grey, which makes it a great substitute bronzer as well as a contour.

It’s creamy and easy to blend, and friendly on oily skin.

We’d describe its staying power as adequate to good – nothing exceptional, but nothing awful either.

Available for £6.99 from Boots and Superdrug. Boots are doing their buy one, get one half price sale on Maybelline, and Superdrug are, of course, doing 3 for 2 on all cosmetics and beauty.

4/5 – reliable and can do a lot


Maybelline SuperStay 24H Dual Lipstick – 615 Soft Taupe

Is it a lipstick? Or a lipstain? We don’t know. What we do know is you’re going to need more than one layer to get a result from this stuff. Build it up. The balm can be applied sparingly, just to keep things from drying out or getting tacky, or you can pile it on for a glossy look – we won’t judge.

It’s comfortable to wear, and lasts well, but has a tendency to crumble and flake off when eating.

Gosh, we’re doing a lot of Maybelline – this lipstick is £8.99 from Boots and Superdrug, Superdrug are doing the 3 for 2 on everything, Boots are doing buy one, get one half price on Maybelline.

3/5 – pretty but difficult, like Amanda Bynes




I love the powder on the bottom row, second in from the left, for shading. It’s less of muddy brown, and works for more skin types. The yellow goes great under the eyes if you prefer powder to cream cover, and the top left highlighter is perfect for brow bones.

All of the powders stay on well, and there’s a colour for everyone. The highlighters are definitely the strong point in this palette, and rival more expensive, high-end products. They need to be built up gradually but you have so much control over every inch of your look with this palette.

Get it from Superdrug for £8. Or get three for £16 and make a tiny fort for a hamster or something. You know. Because of the 3 for 2 deal.

4/5 – amazing highlighters, average contours



Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

We love the brush on this mascara. It’s bulky and dense. It’ll cover everywhere and won’t clump.

The mascara lasts all day long, and builds up well, meaning you can apply just one layer for a casual day look, or go crazy for a fun, statement look. It holds a curl too.

The only disadvantage that we could find, is the fat brush doesn’t get bottom lashes too well. Or it does, but it also gets a lot of your face in the process. We can’t really fault it for that though, so just use a smaller brush if you’re doing them.

This mascara is £15.75 at Feelunique and Debenhams, £17.50 at House of Fraser, or you can pick up a travel size for £8, also at House of Fraser.

5/5 – big and hairy, like nature intended


This eyeshadow is a matte brown, and holds a deep secret – it’s amazing for contouring. The grey tones (again with the greys, I’m like a broken record) make it that kind of contour that looks like a shadow, and not a tan.

The pigment is brilliant so you don’t need a lot, which is good because it’s pricey.

Oh and use it in your crease for a good transition eyeshadow colour.

Get it for £15.75 at Debenhams and rock it any way you want.

4/5 – The Swiss army knife of eyeshadows. Sort of.





Rimmel Nail Polish 60 Second – Orgasm

Okay, so we have been wearing this colour all summer, and we’re not suggesting you get it for Christmas. No matter how hard you try to force it, orange just is not a christmassy colour. Sorry. But Rimmel’s 60 Second nail polishes are great. They don’t chip, and they last so long. You generally need far fewer layers than other brands to get a good colour, and there’s something about the shape of the brush that makes application a dream.

Lucky for us, there’s over 40 colours to choose from. At least one of those has to be Christmassy.

We can all stock up too, a bottle is £2.99 from Superdrug or Boots, Superdrug are doing the 3 for 2, so that works out at like £2 per polish, and Boots are doing buy one, get one half price on Rimmel, so that’s £2.25 per polish.

5/5 – fewer chips than a bad gambler





Barry M Limited Edition Nail Paint – Snowflake

Now this is Christmassy. The colour was strong enough to only need three layers, and it looks so pretty.

And it didn’t chip.

Instead it did that weird thing where the entire paint peels off in one chunk, on day two of wearing it. So I guess I’m saying buy it and wear it, cause it’s gorgeous, but best not to use your hands at all while you’re wearing it, to keep it safe.

Or use a top coat, which I neglected to.

It’s a Boots exclusive for £3.99, and remember Boots are giving away a free Barry M Limited Edition Red Carpet Ready Palette if you spend more than £7.50 on Barry M products.

2/5 – should come with protective bubble wrap gloves


Which products would you recommend we try out this winter? Have you found anything we should avoid like the plague? Let us know!



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