Max Factor Colour X-pert Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Being an avid winged eyeliner wearer (pretty much on a daily basis), I have mentioned a handful of my favourite eyeliners in various makeup posts here on BT. I go through stages of loving kohl, gel and liquid formulas, but always tend to stick with my trusty picks. Barry M Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner Pencil has without a doubt been a staple in my makeup bag for the past couple of years, but I only tend to wear it in my lower lash line. It is a super soft, long lasting, extreme back pencil sold at a budget price – highly recommend! Another favourite of mine is the L’Oréal Superliner, but after it being out of stock on several Boots visits, I had given up and was on the hunt for something similar. My want list included something super black, waterproof and with a very fine brush, and first impressions of the Max Factor Colour X-pert Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner fit the bill!
This eyeliner has a very precise dip-in tip which can be used to create bold, dramatic eye looks. Its waterproof formula gives an intense finish and fabulous staying power against humidity, rain and water. Encased within slim black and gold packaging, it is also available in 4 vibrant shades to compliment a variety of makeup looks. 
For those that struggle with winged eyeliner, begin with a kohl pencil to draw an outline on your eyelid as a guide to follow. Tilt your head back at a slight angle, and keep your hand steady using a flat surface (jaw bone is most convenient!). Gently lift your eyelid taut and apply the liquid liner in a continuous line from your inner to outer corner, following your kohl guideline. For a striking look, finish with a flick from the outer corner of your eye. Trust me when I say practice really doesn’t make perfect. 
I have been using this eyeliner religiously for the past couple of months and there is no sign of it drying out (a common problem with some liquid formulas). Priced at £6.99 it is super affordable, easy to use and has become a firm favourite in my makeup routine – a definite repurchase.

Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer

L-R Nude, Light

The summer is undoubtedly one of my favourite seasons and like most, my skin becomes much clearer. A touch of concealer, a dusting of loose powder (t-zone) and a generous swirl of bronzer is as complicated as my base gets. Before I jetted off on holiday, my Mum bought me the Maybelline Eraser Concealer as she had been using it for a few weeks, and was raving about it. I packed it in my make up bag alongside my holy grail Collection Concealer, as a precaution in case I didn’t get along with it!
My first impression was a little apprehensive as I struggled to click-release the fluid into the sponge applicator. After approximately 20 twists (or more!), the sponge filled with concealer and I applied it directly under my eyes. I used the tip of my Real Techniques Complexion Sponge to press the product into the skin and set it with loose powder. The colour ‘light’ suits my pale skin perfectly, but also works well with a (fake) tan to highlight and lift dark areas. Throughout the course of the holiday, I continued to use it under my eyes, and on several pesky ‘sun cream blemishes’- simply apply product to the back of your hand and cover blemishes using clean hands to avoid spreading bacteria. Its micro-corrector applicator allows for smooth, even coverage and its active formula of Haloxyl reduces the look of puffiness and fades the appearance of dark circles. 
I have continued to use this concealer daily since returning to the UK, and have just repurchased another two in the shades Light and Nude. I am in love with their colour (great for pale skins), formula, coverage and overall natural look. I apply following my Origins GinZing Moisturiser and haven’t found it to leave my skin feeling dry or cakey. In addition, after doing a little research online, I have read that they do a similar formula (and packaging) in foundation-form, and I am eager to try it out as we approach the cooler months!

Bourjois Glamour Max Waterproof Mascara

Regular readers of Beauty Toolkit will know that the Bourjois Glamour Max Waterproof Mascara is one of my all-time favourite make up products, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t actually written a full review on my blog! Seen as I have recently re-purchased a new tube (in new striking blue packaging), I thought I would take the opportunity to snap a few photos and share my thoughts. 
Bourjois claim that this mascara gives 10 times more volume than an ordinary mascara and an impressive 24 hours hold. Its large, full rounded brush with ultra-soft fibres visibly boosts lashes to give the ‘wow factor’. The formula is enriched with black pearl extract which gives deep black colour to the lashes, whilst still being suitable for contact lens wears and those who suffer with sensitive eyes. 
The large rounded brush was the main visual aspect that originally caught my attention. Although a little fiddley to begin with, larger mascara wands are much more effective at coating individual lashes from root to end (tip: use the very tip of the brush to coat the outer corner and lower lashes). The colour Noir is a rich glossy black that gives a bold dramatic look to those with naturally fair coloured lashes. In terms of formula, this mascara does have a bit of a reputation for clumping, but I find it useful to wipe away excess product off the wand and build up volume and colour with several coatings. I always opt for a waterproof formula as regular mascaras tend to transfer on to my upper lids throughout the day. The only downside is that they are often a nightmare to remove - I swear by the Garnier 2in1 Daily Essentials Eye Makeup Remover or any similar oil & water formula (oil is an extremely effective ingredient for breaking down and removing waterproof products). 
The only negative point I have concerning this mascara is the fact that it does leave my eyelashes feeling quite dry once removed. I have fallen into a regular habit of applying a thin layer of Vaseline to my upper and lower eyelashes each evening after my skincare routine to soften, nourish and rehydrate them overnight.

CND Shellac FAQ

I always get asked so many questions when sporting a shellac manicure - “how much does it cost?”, “how long does it last?”, “how is it different to ordinary nail polish?”, so I thought I would put together a post detailing the treatment and answering some of the above common questions. 
Shellac is a treatment that is much more durable than a regular manicure. It is often referred to as a gel manicure that promises smudge-proof nail colour that can last up to 4 weeks without chips or breaks. The special formula applies just like regular nail polish, but has specific preparation steps that must be adhered to achieve maximum results. Shellac is cured by UV light and the treatment takes approximately 30 – 60 minutes to complete - nails are fully dry by the time you leave the salon. There is no drilling methods present in a shellac manicure, meaning nails are not left dry, thin or torn. Shellac nail polish is an excellent choice for strong healthy fingernails and those willing to spare a few minutes each day for homecare. Applying cuticle oil daily will keep the nail bed hydrated, nourished, strong and healthy underneath the porous polish. 
Shellac is best suited for those who want to maintain their natural nails for 14 days or more (lifestyle dependant). New nail growth is often the only reason to head back to the salon, but users must be aware that cleaning products, chlorine and other household chemicals can cause the polish to peel or chip. It is not recommended for those who have extremely damaged nail beds, split or peeling nails. These issues will affect durability and should be corrected by a qualified Manicurist before discussing shellac application. 
It is recommended that shellac only be applied by a licenced and fully trained Manicurist, as improper tools, techniques or products will leave less desirable results. The average price for a CND Shellac Manicure can range from £25 - £35 depending on the detail of the treatment (simple file, buff & polish or a full length manicure). There are a wide range of colours available, which can be layered for a desired effect. 
I absolutely love CND shellac manicures, but personally like to give my nails a ‘breather’ every couple of months. During this time, I cut my nails fairly short, apply a nourishing nail strengthener (OPI Nail Envy is incredible) and use lots of luxurious thick hand creams/ mask to repair any dry areas of skin. Shellac does get quite a lot of bad press for dehydrating and damaging healthy nails, but if correct application and removal is adhered to with regular ‘pamper breaks’, there is no reason for nails to suffer.
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