Testing, Testing... New Makeup

thebalm, Antipodes, Stila, Smashbox, Clinique

Happy 1st of December everyone! Can you believe it?! The year has actually gone by so quickly especially in the past couple of months. I'm not really complaining though because Christmas couldn't come any quicker this year, as I am super excited to be going back to visit my family & friends for the festive season. Today I'm back with a post focusing on some new makeup bits & pieces that have either been introduced to me, won or bought myself. Technically this isn't really 'new' makeup (nothing here is new in the beauty market or anything like that), but it's new to me in my makeup collection. Some of the products I've had for a few weeks now and others I've only had for less than a week, but after playing around with everything, I'm definitely ready to share my first impressions. I've also created a makeup look using the products I have here as the main focus, which I'll talk about quickly at the end of the post. Considering there's quite a few products to get through and knowing how much I love rambling on about makeup... let's get started.

thebalm, Antipodes, Stila, Smashbox, Clinique

First up I've got the Antipodes Performance Plus Mineral Foundation* along with the Kabuki Brush* for a super natural complexion. I actually had no idea Antipodes even offered makeup, I mean I have tried their skincare products in the past which I've loved, but I was completely unaware of this foundation option from them. I'm glad to have been given the chance to try it out because it's not only a great product but also my first introduction to loose mineral foundation. I've always worried that my dehydrated skin just wouldn't be suited, but with this Antipodes option there's no need to worry about that. I applied this by gradually building up the coverage using the kabuki brush in circular motions (love this little brush, it's perfect for applying this kind of foundation). The finished result was a light/medium kind of coverage with a surprisingly glowing finish to my skin (considering this is a powder I had expected it to be a matte finish but that wasn't the case). The foundation has an SPF 15, which is great for this time of year as it still provides a bit of sun protection. The most impressive thing about this mineral foundation is that it contains Vinanza Performance Plus, which has been scientifically proven to improve skin's health. I haven't been using this long enough to back up the claims, but so far my first impression are good because despite the fact that it's a powder foundation, it still leaves my skin feeling hydrated. This kind of natural coverage is perfect for me, but if you prefer a full coverage from you foundations then it may not be for you. 

thebalm, Antipodes, Stila, Smashbox, Clinique

Next up is the Stila In The Moment Shadow Palette, which I was lucky enough to win in a recent giveaway from fellow blogger Jodie (check out her blog Jodie Melissa). This is my first introduction to Stila as a brand so I was super excited to get playing with all the gorgeous shades in this palette. I love the packaging, quite slim yet sturdy so it's great for travelling. What I love most is the selection of shades available because purple tones are right up my street, especially this time of year. There's also a gorgeous selection of bronze/golden shades, so it makes the palette overall quite versatile. The quality is not the best I've tried so far, have to be honest here just because I experienced quite a bit of fallout & it took me a bit of time to pack on the shades for a more intense look. However the blend-ability factor is there because I found the shades to be quite soft & buttery. I think once you're aware of the slight pigmentation issue and you take your time applying the shades, you'll enjoy using the palette overall. One of my favourite things from the palette is the Smudge Stick in Tetra, which is included instead of a brush (hallelujah to that because there's nothing more annoying than having crap brushes included which you tend to chuck in the bin). This shade is gorgeous, a deep shimmering purple which is super creamy to apply with fantastic colour pay off. I'm definitely looking forward to trying more from the brand and I especially have my eyes on their liquid lipsticks next, because I've heard amazing things.

thebalm, Antipodes, Stila, Smashbox, Clinique

The focus next turns towards the Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara*, which I briefly talked about in my Stocking Fillers post (just saying if you wanna check it out). I have a bit of a love/hate with this mascara if I'm being honest. I really do love the results I get when using this, I'm talking about long & voluminous lashes in an instant. But I just wish the application process wasn't as messy. Due to the large fibre wand, I end up with more mascara on my eyelids & just generally around the eye area, which is a pain to clean up especially when you're in a rush. Maybe it's my lack of experience when it comes to fibre brushes, as I usually prefer using plastic wands, but I just wish application process was easier & fuss free. 

Next up I've got my free mini Clinique Nude Pop Lipstick (this was included in last month's Glamour issue, which I'm sure you all know by now). I still haven't had the chance to try out the full sized version, even though I've been lusting after Grape Pop for a while now... So I was very excited to have the opportunity to pick this up with the magazine for only £2. I love this beautiful rosy beige nude shade with subtle shimmers, it's perfect for everyday wear. The most amazing thing about these lippies though has to be the formula, I love that it's creamy and so comfortable to wear, plus it doesn't accentuate any of the fine lines in my lips. However this also means that it doesn't last on the lips for a long time, but with a nude shade like this I don't really mind re-applying (when I actually remember to do so)

thebalm, Antipodes, Stila, Smashbox, Clinique

Last of the bunch is probably my favourite, theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer which I also won in Jodie's giveaway. I was chuffed to win this because it's been on my wish list for such a long time & it was definitely worth the wait. I've actually used this in my latest video tutorial (you can watch it here if you'd like to see this highlighter in action). I love the golden, champagne shade as it creates the most beautiful glow on the skin, in a shimmering way but there's no chunky glitter in sight. A little bit goes a long way with this highlight because it's extremely pigmented and it just gives you an instant wow factor. There's not a single thing I don't love about this highlighter and I can see myself wearing it all throughout the festive season. 

thebalm, Antipodes, Stila, Smashbox, Clinique
thebalm, Antipodes, Stila, Smashbox, Clinique

As you can see with the makeup look I focused on creating a dark smoky eye using the shades Glance & Improvise as the main focus of the eye look. The rest of the face was kept quite natural and toned back, paired with glossy nude lips. Along with these new makeup products, I also used some old favourites such as: 
Mac Pro Longwear Concealer
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Benefit Coralista
Benefit Gimme Brow
theBalm Put A Lid On It Shadow Primer

I hope you enjoyed getting to know what new makeup products I've added to my collection recently and I would love to know if you've tried any of the products? Do you love them as much as I do? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below...

*PR samples

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