I was recently going through my make-up bag which mostly involves me tipping the contents of my 'most-used make-up' make-up bag upside down on my bed and saying "wow, I wondered where that went". Every now and then I like to move a few products from my make-up storage into my make-up bag and visa-versa, just so I get out of my little make-up rut and so I can rediscover some old favourites. Which is where I re-discovered this beauty, the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Soft & Gentle.

About the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Soft & Gentle:
"A luxurious, slow-baked, velvety soft, domed face powder with a radiant finish. Strategically buff on to add highlights to the high points of the face, or blend all over for a sheer luminous polish to the skin."

The MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Soft & Gentle is a beautiful peachy bronze shade with golden tones running throughout. I would describe it as a very natural highlighter, perhaps the most natural highlighter I own. It is just like its name suggests - it is soft and gentle. It is the perfect highlighter for 'no make-up' make-up. It isn't too shimmery or in your face, instead it gives a very natural glow to the face and looks lovely on the cheekbones.

Soft & Gentle is very easy to apply and blends lovely on the face. One dip of a brush is enough but I like to build the highlight up a little, just to make it more obvious rather than subtle. The highlighter gives a lovely radiant glow to the face which isn't too shimmery or glittery, nor does it have big chunks of glitter in it. I think if you were just starting to use highlighters and were a little unsure which products to try first, this highlighter would definitely be a great place to start.

I know MAC products can appear to be quite pricey but actually I think they are great value for money. All of the MAC products I have tried have lasted me for so long and this Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter is guaranteed to last you a very, very long time. Soft & Gentle is a very pretty, subtle, peachy highlighter which has golden tones running throughout. It really perks up the skin and gives a very subtle, natural glow. You can easily build the highlighter up to make the shade more intense but overall, it is a really nice highlighter, one which should definitely be swatched next time you are passing a MAC counter!


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Review | MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Soft & Gentle

At the moment I can't seem to stop buying make-up brushes - eyeshadow brushes in particular are my current obsession. I recently bought some Morphe brushes which I wrote a little post about declaring my love for and I haven't stopped using them since. They weren't very expensive at all - each brush I bought costing just £2.50. I use three of them every day when doing my make-up and they blend out eyeshadow beautifully. To begin with I did notice a slight bit of shredding from the bristles but it was only one or two here or there. Because I loved them so much, I decided to try some more but this time from the brand Spectrum.

Spectrum brushes have become so popular recently. They look pretty and the sets they offer are not only beautiful in appearance but they are also reasonable priced - even more so when they have a sale! Because I have seen so much of Spectrum on social media I really wanted to try out a few of the brushes and see how they compare to the ones I already own, and more importantly, to see if they live up to the hype. 

Spectrum A16 Precision Crease Brush
Small, flat precision crease brush with firm and rounded bristles. Use for precise application of cream and powder eye colour to the crease of the eyelid. This little beauty is perfect for creating an on trend cut crease look. The small head is also ideal for applying product to the lower lash line and inner corners of the eye.

Spectrum A13 Short Smudge Brush
This beautiful brush is the perfect tool for applying powder or cream eyeshadow around the lower lash line, to get a soft & smudgy effect. The short bristles are feathered, so you can build the colour to be as intense as you like.

Spectrum A07 Stubby Shader Brush 
The bristles on this brush are still soft and fluffy for blending, but the stubby shape means you can really pack on the colour. This brush is the perfect starting point for creating super smokey eyes or very pigmented colour.

I could have quite happily bought all of the Spectrum brushes on offer but decided to just limit myself to three. I have said previously that I would buy new eyeshadow brushes rather than just wash the ones I already have and I still firmly believe in that statement, which is why I chose three brushes I thought I would use the most, although I could have done with a couple more blending brushes, such as the B06 or the A18. 

When I received my order and opened it up, I was quite surprised at just how flat and fairly stiff the bristles are on each of the brushes I bought. I had expected them to be slightly more fluffy therefore making blending easier but the brushes I purchased are more for the purpose of application rather than buffing or blending. That said, they still work incredibly well. The A16 Cut Crease Brush is completely flat with the bristles packed tightly together, making it the perfect brush to pat on glitter pigments across the eyelids. The A13 Short Stubby Brush is wonderful at applying eyeshadow on the lower lash line and is the brush I have been hunting for. Before now I have been using a tapered blending brush to apply eyeshadow on my lower lash line but because the brush itself is quite thick, I find that I end up applying more eyeshadow to my eyeball and end up giving myself some sort of 'carpet burn' on my actual eye. The A13 makes it easy to apply eyeshadows underneath the lash line as well as on the inner corners of the eye so it is certainly a brush I have been using a lot since I bought it. And finally, the A07 Stubby Shader Brush which is perhaps my favourite out of the three. It is fluffier and softer than the first two brushes and is my current go-to brush for applying my base eyeshadows with. It also blends out a crease shade wonderfully well and it is the perfect every-day all rounder.

Overall, I am really pleased I tried out some of the Spectrum Eyeshadow Brushes. I know they have a lot of hype around them but the hype is warranted. Plus, they look pretty damn good in your brush holder! I could have lived without the A16 Brush, purely because I already own three brushes like it which very rarely get used as it is although I will try to use this more often than my previous, but I really do love the A13 and the A07 Brushes. They are incredibly inexpensive at just a few pounds per brush and they are vegan as well which is incredibly important. If you were wondering if Spectrum Brushes were worth the money then yes, they most definitely are.


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Review | Spectrum Eyeshadow Brushes

With Christmas nearly here, it is time for us all to panic about what to buy friends and family and whether or not you believe in the gift so much that you say no to the mighty gift receipt. Has anyone ever received a gift and taken it back because you didn't like it? I haven't, although I have bought someone a gift and had them take it back in exchange for the money. Ouch. Yeah, it hurt. But, it is the thought that counts - apparently. 

I am always stuck as to what to buy people for presents. My Mum in particular being incredibly hard to buy for, especially since she doesn't like make-up or candles, aka, my favourite things. On the other hand, I find my twin sister incredibly easy to buy for - if it's make-up and I like it, she will like it - it it's clothes and I don't like it, then she will love it. That is how we work.

This post is a little inspiration for stocking fillers and gifts under £20. I find some gift guides rather unbelievable, especially when some people think a £200 bag should be considered a stocking filler. We don't all have that kind of money, we aren't all Zoella! So instead, sit back and read a very realistic stocking filler gift inspo, with each gift £20 and under.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Experience - £15.50 / Urban Decay Vice Cream Lipstick - £15.00
Fanella Smith Flamingo And Pineapple Mug - £17.50
Charlotte Tilbury Party Eyes Kit - £20.00  / Nails Inc Gift Set - £20.00
Joules Hare Print Mug - £9.95 / Charlotte Tilbury Lip Kit - £16.50
SJP Lovely Perfume 50ML - £14.99 / Katie Loxton Sweet Dreams Candle - £20.00
Dose of Rose Tiny Star Ring Set - £15.60
Dreaming Of Unicorns Pillow Case - £13.95 / Real Techniques Core Collection - £14.69
Invisibobble Hair Ties - £3.75
Joules Blossom Diffuser - £19.95 / Fanella Smith Pug Ring Plate - £15.00
This Works Bedtime Bliss Collection - £15.75 / Bando Luggage Tag - £13.00
Dr Lipp Nipple Balm For Lips - £8.40 / TheBalm Highlighter - £12.80 / Mario Badescu Drying Lotion - £11.05
New Look Bodychain - £6.50 / Vogue Colouring Book - £10.00
Faux Shearling Hot Water Bottle & Socks Set - £9.74 / Eyeshadow Palette - £4.99 / Bando Sip Cup - £11.20
Trio Strobe Highlighter - £7.99 / Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur - £18.00
Velvet Contrast Cosy Night In Cushion - £12.99
Liz Earle Winter Glow Gift Set - £8.00 / Charbonnel et Walker Sea Salt Truffles - £3.60
Crabtree & Evelyn Biscuits - £5.00 / Kate Spade Thermal Mug - £16.00 
Pink Watch - £12.99 / Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick - £16.00
Nails Inc Candy Cane Collection - £17.50 / Slogan Candle - £7.99 / Tangle Angel Brush - £13.95
Fanella Smith Pug Notebook - £8.50 / OCC Cosmetic Glitter - £11.00
Pixie Glow Tonic - £10.00 / Glow Highlighter Stick - £4.99 / Unicorn Slippers - £14.99

And finally, a few little personalised gifts from Not On The High Street..
Karma Necklace - £20.00 / Initial Double Disk Bracelet - £16.80 / Wishbone Earrings - £20.00
Star Ear Studs - £12.00 / Skinny Bar Necklace - £18.60 / Initial Disk Bracelet - £11.20
Personalised Make Up Bag - £16.00 / Sassy Mirror - £7.50 / Coffee Scrub - £15.00
Cocktail Lip Balm - £3.75 / Chill Pill Bath Bombs - £10.75 / Make Up Bag - £12.00

I hope this has been helpful to some of you struggling to find a little bit of inspiration gift wise, I know I am. Oh, and look! A gift guide without a Chanel or YSL handbag in sight!

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Other | Stocking Fillers For Under £20

I recently shared with you how I placed a QVC order for a whole load of the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea make-up products whilst it was on offer on their website. For less than £40 I managed to pick up a foundation, a foundation brush, eyeshadow palette, lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, make-up bag and a lash primer, all for just under £40. I literally could not resist that deal, especially when the foundation alone is worth £28 and the double-ended brush having a value of £26.. The whole collection is currently on sale on the QVC website for £44.88 which is still a massive bargain, especially since it is usually on there for £70 so if you want it then be quick as it does seem incredibly popular.

The first product from the collection which I wanted to share with you is the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Foundation. I hadn't tried a water based foundation before so I thought it was going to have the constiency of water, be really loose and sheer and not give much coverage at all. I could not be more wrong and whilst this may be a bold statement, I would say it was definitely one of my favourite foundations.

About the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Foundation:
"This luxurious, lightweight foundation is designed to give full coverage while hydrating your skin, to leave your complexion looking radiant and flawless. Infused with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and features an innovative pipette dispenser."

The Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Foundation comes in 12 shades, ranging from Fair Neutral, the palest shade in the range, to Deep Honey, the darkest. I think this foundation has a great selection of shades for lighter skin but only one shade for darker skin which I think is really disappointing. That said, I do like how on Tarte's website it tells you which shade to get based on your skintone, for example, I chose the shade Fair Neutral because not only was it the lightest shade they offer, but also it is best suited towards people with fair skin but with yellow and pink undertones, which is the perfect description of my skintone. Because of this I found that the foundation matched my skin perfectly which is incredibly rare. I just wish they had a darker shade range to cater for a wider customer audience as I think having just one darker shade is rather disappointing.

I absolutely love the dark purple to gold ombre which is stretched across the whole range on the packaging so I absolutely adore not only the foundation bottle, but the absolutely beautiful Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Double-Ended Foundation Brush. I mean, just look at it. So beautiful. I will talk about the brush a bit more later but not only do I love the look of the foundation bottle, I love the 'innovative pipette dispenser'. The first time I came to try the foundation I was a bit stumped as to how to get the product out. I thought it was a regular pump as it has a push-down button on the top but in fact it is more like a big dropper. You have to unscrew the lid, revealing the dropper then push out a drop using the button at the top. I love this way of dispensing the foundation as I guess it is a bit of a novelty although it can be a bit messy pulling the dropper out of the bottle so you have to be careful not to waste product when you pull it out. 

I find that I need 2-3 drops of the foundation to  cover my entire face which doesn't seem too much considering they are rather small drops. Like I said before, I was really expecting this foundation to be really runny and loose in consistency considering it is a water-based foundation and whilst it is probably one of the runnier foundations I have tried, it is in no way the consistency of water. It isn't thick and creamy, instead it is lightweight and thin but definitely not in a bad way. This makes the foundation incredibly easy to build up to more of a higher coverage as I prefer a full coverage but I would say just a couple of pumps applied to the entire face gives a medium coverage. When built up, this foundation gives a completely flawless, almost airbrushed appearance on the skin which I really was not expecting. It is not heavy, it is not cakey, it doesn't sink into fine lines on the face nor does it show up any dry areas on the face, something which a lot of foundations seem to do. I found the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Foundation to be incredibly lightweight and buildable, leaving the skin with a really lovely dewy semi-matte finish. I really wasn't expecting this foundation to be this good!

I mentioned before about the Tarte Double-Ended Foundation Brush which I absolutely adore for its appearance but I am ultimately a Beauty Blender kind of girl. I tried applying the foundation with the larger end of the brush but I found that I was itching to get stuck in with my Beauty Blender to save time on blending it out with the brush. As beautiful and pretty as the brush is, I really can't see myself using it that often which is a shame but I am sure that if I hadn't been on the Beauty Blender bandwagon then I would probably really enjoy using it.

When I first placed my Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Collection order with QVC, I was really worried that I had made a mistake with the foundation and hated the thought of wasting my money on buying the wrong shade which I couldn't use but I am completely over the moon with it. I bought the whole collection for less than £40 and now I can see what a great bargain I had, especially when the brush and the foundation alone are worth £54. I can't recommend the foundation from within the range enough and whilst I can't see myself getting a lot of use out of the foundation brush, it sure does look pretty in my make-up brush holder! If you really wanted to try out something from the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Collection, or just anything from Tarte in general, it is really worth checking the QVC website regularly as they often have really good deal on. Like now for example, where you can get the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Collection for just £44.88. You definitely won't end up regretting it, that's for sure!

(Usual price but often half price)

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Review | Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Foundation in Fair Neutral & The Tarte Double-Ended Foundation Brush

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