A Healthy Obsession? Bourjois Healthy Mix Comparisons

(51 Serum, 51 Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix (new formula), 52 and 53 Healthy Mix (old formula))

Bourjois’ Healthy Mix foundation is my all time favourite everyday, drugstore foundation. I’ve repurchased it so many times that I can’t keep track. It’s been a staple in my makeup bag for years.

And whilst many were excited for the release of the new Radiance Reveal Health Mix, which boasts an improved formula and fancy packaging, my heart sank a little. Why fix something that isn’t broken?

Gone has the plastic packaging, which has been replaced by a beautiful sleek, glass bottle. It comes with a red pump, that matches the Serum version of this foundation (be careful not to confuse them on the shelves) and I’ve been using it for a few days now. It has the same subtle fruit fragrance – the apricot for radiance, melon for hydration and apple for youth protection, which are now in greater quantities than the original – and it’s completely weightless. In all honesty, there’s isn’t much difference in terms of wear-time, scent, the dewy glow and the general feel of the foundation. The differences are only what you see with the packaging, and the shade range.

I’ve always been a 51 Vanille Clair kinda gal. I’ve owned all three variants of the healthy mix foundation in shade 51, and although there are no differences between the old formula and the serum, the new Radiance Reveal formula 51 is a tad darker as you can see from the comparison swatches. Which is deeply upsetting as 51 Vanille Clair was the perfect match for me for most of the year, except when I tan in the Summer months.

With the old formula gone from our shelves, I’m sticking with the Serum version (skinny glass bottle, red pump) as the shade 51 actually matches my skintone, and despite being a serum, it performs pretty much the same as the original Healthy Mix but perhaps slightly less coverage.

I’ll be keeping my 52 Vanille, and 53 Beige Clair originals (plastic bottle, black pump), and the 51 New Radiance Reveal Healthy Mix for the Summer. For the remainder of the year, it’ll be the Healthy Mix Serum in 51 Vanille Clair.


Splurge or Save? NARS Luster vs ELF Peachy Keen vs MAC Margin

(Left to Right – MAC Margin, NARS Luster, ELF Peachy Keen)

All three of these blushes are a gorgeous golden apricot colour. A colour that I tend to wear throughout the year as it’s one of my favourites, but best suited to Spring and Summer. Luster, Peachy Keen and Margin are all very similar and it’s probably isn’t worth buying all three however there are some differences, and not just the price tag.

NARS Luster is the most expensive, £21.50. It’s also soft like silk, and it’s one of the denser, creamier blushes I’ve ever used. It’s remarkably versatile, a sheer wash of colour that can built up to suit both paler and darker skintones. It’s also just that tad more pigmented than MAC.

MAC Margin was my first ever blush from MAC – it has a soft spot in my heart and I love it so much I’ve hit the pan twice. NARS Luster is a relatively new purchase for me, so time will tell which one I prefer, but the £17.50 pricetag is cheaper, and the packaging is sturdy. Ever dropped a NARS Blush and seen it smash into a million pieces on your tiled bathroom floor? Heartbreaking! There’s no difference between Margin and Luster on the cheeks.

ELF Peachy Keen is the bargain of the bunch, £3.75 but ELF often run promotions so you could get it even cheaper. The colour pay-off isn’t as good as the other two, you really have to build it up for mid to deeper complexions but you also run the risk of it becoming chalky. Peachy Keen is probably best left to those on the paler end of the spectrum.

ELF Peachy Keen net weight is 4.75g, NARS Luster is 4.8g and MAC Margin’s net weight is a purse friendlier 6g.

ELF HD Blush in Headliner and Superstar Review & Swatches

I’ve never considered ELF to be much of a contender in my makeup collection. With such good, affordable brands on our doorstep (Sleek, MUA ect) why do I need to bother with ELF? Their products aren’t available in shops, and whilst I don’t mind buying my makeup online – 9 times out of 10 I’ve already seen the product I’m buying instore. Taking a leap of faith, and trusting online swatches I added both Headliner and Superstar to my shopping basket.

And I’m rather glad I did.

Initially I was surprised by how dinky, and small the packaging is. That aside, it’s cute and functional. The product is quite runny so a pump dispenser is the best option, unfortunately you nearly always end up with too much product on your hands. As these blushes are so pigmented, you really don’t need much at all. Unless you’re opting for a clown face. They apply wet, and need some blending but as they begin to dry they become matte and less “dewy” or “sheeny” although not completely a cream to poweder formula.

Pigmented, cheap and long-lasting these HD blushes from ELF are a sure winner. If you like using cream based blushes then I’d really suggest trying these. If you’re more of a powder girl you may find these messy, but it’s worth a shot with a pricetag of £3.75 if you’re looking for something more pigmented.

I wish they offered more natural colours, as I can’t see myself wearing any of the other shades available and already rarely reach for these two. Fantastic product otherwise.

Splurge or Save?: ELF Gotta Glow vs NARS Albatross

(NARS left fingertip, ELF right)

There’s no denying that I love my NARS Albatross highlighting blush. It’s got an iconic status, and spends alot of it’s time atop my highlighters stash. Despite this, and I’m not going to lie, £21.50 caused me emotional pain to aquire this. That’s more than I spend on petrol in a week.

£21.50 buys you a gorgeous, golden shimmery highlighter that’s soft, buttery smooth. It’s finely milled, no flaking and no fall-out. It looks gorgeous on, and works universally with all the other NARS blushes.

When I heard about ELF’s Gotta Glow being compared to my beloved Albatross, I starting hoping for an amazing dupe. It costs just £3.75. That’s a £17.25 saving! Which is all the more important as NARS have hiked up their prices, two years ago Albatross was under the twenty quid mark. And my question is, is NARS really worth that £17.25 extra? What more am I getting for my money?

Packaging wise it’s easy to see similarities. NARS is all rubbery, which gets icky and dirty very quickly, and ELF just looks like a cheap imitation. But does packaging really matter? No. Not to me. It’s my face, and the makeup on it, that’s on show to the world. Not the inside of my makeup drawer (thank goodness, it’s a mess!)

Then comes the formula comparisons. Gotta Glow is chunkier, less finely milled and has major fall-out. To avoid looking like a glitterball, I tap my brush. Simple. And once blended, no matter how hard I look, I can’t find a difference between the two on my face at all. It’s only noticeable when I swatch on my fingertip. But for £3.75 I wasn’t expecting an amazing texture.

If a single tap of the brush before application is the only realy difference between how these two look on my face – count me in. That’s worth £17.25 to me, and another week’s worth of petrol paid for.

Gotta Glow net weight is 4.75g, Albatross is 4.8g – a bargain if I ever saw one.

MAC Face and Body Review & Swatches

(MAC Face and Body in Shade C1)

MAC face and body is a water based foundation that provides sheer, lightweight and long lasting coverage. The majority of foundations are 30ml. This foundation is 120ml and costs £26.50, which is a total bargain. You’re getting FOUR times the normal amount of foundation in your average bottle.

The coverage is really really light, but incredibly buildable. I like using concealer first on the areas I need coverage and then topping up with a light coverage of Face and Body to even out the rest of my skintone. I’ll add another layer if needed once the first has set. You’ll barely notice that you’re wearing foundation as it’s so lightweight.

Typically I will get 6 hours wear out of this before it starts to fade. It’ll last longer with a bit of powder/setting spray. C1 can at times look a little too orange for my pale skintone, but after blending, blending and more blending it works well for me. The finish is mostly matte, but with a hint of a glow. No glitter, no shimmer, just enough dewy goodness to keep it from looking flat.

This foundation is quite runny, and that can make it difficult to work with. If I was a really sheer coverage, applying it with my fingers will do it justice. I tend to find your typical flat fouantion brush leaves me with streaks, so a rounded brush, or a stippling brush. My favourite is the MAC Duo Fibre Face Brush (187), simply swirling and patting the product onto my face until it’s blended.

It’s by far my favourite, most loved foundation. I don’t use it very often, mostly in the Summer, but everytime I do use it I’m reminded of how brilliant it is.

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush Review & Swatches

I bought this highlighting blush some time ago, but only recently started to using it. I use it to highlight my cheekbones and down my nose using the Real Techniques Contour Brush that came in the Core Collection set.

Albatross is described as a “sheer, light golden sheen,” and I couldn’t agree more. It looks white in the pan, however once applied it leaves you with a golden, illuminous sheen rather than frosted or shimmery. On its own, it’ll make warmer, darker skintones look washed out. Although when it’s paired with another blush it almost becomes universal. It works especially well with other NARS blushes, or at least those with a golden shimmer to them.

I manged to get an excellent seven or eight hours wear out this highlighting blush too before it started to fade. The price tag is a little off-putting. £21.00 is excesive. I got mine with a 10% discount at John Lewis, when they had a price match offer going on. Even better, get your NARS from Asos and enjoy 10% for students all year round (sometimes more).

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder Review & Swatches

Everybody seems to be talking about this pressed powder from Rimmel. At £3.99 it’s budget friendly and has received rave reviews. I don’t have oily skin, in fact at the moment it’s quite dry and flaky which makes this powder, Stay Matte, an odd choice. However I like to wear powder to set my makeup, making it last longer rather than use it for it’s mattifying purposes.

I picked out the shade 001 Transparent, which judging from my photos is actually not at all transparent. Luckily this powder is available in 7 shades, and I’d really reccomend picking one that suits you best as 001 Transparent definately isn’t a translucent one-shade-suits-all kind of deal. Luckily, I’m a pale British girl.

Compared to my favourite MAC powder, this offering from Rimmel does indeed feel powdery and chalky. It tends to look more cakey on my dry skin, and highlights/gathers in my very dry patches. I have to use a light hand, but otherwise it’s actually a really nice powder considering the pricetag.

It does ensure my makeup lasts longer, but I really need something that doesn’t cling to my dry skin too much. Shame, as I’d really reccomend this to anybody with oily skin.