Unexpected Beauty Brands That Have Got Me Excited To Wear Makeup Again



For the past year, if and when I could get away with it, my everyday makeup consisted of a dab of concealer and a swipe of lipstick. The reality was there wasn't a lot of point in me wearing makeup for a few reasons - working from home, 50% of my face was frequently covered by a face mask and the small fact of having a nonexistent social life. I’m sure you can relate!

Oh, and the one time I used Zoom it was for a physiotherapy video call - worthy of going full glam, I think not. 

And while the ongoing 'situation' (the one I'm trying not to refer to) hasn't greatly changed, I think quite a lot of us are now getting back to a semi-normal way of living. Especially when it comes to being around others for more than 30-minutes while doing the weekly food shop. 

This has meant I’ve begrudgingly started to wear more makeup. At first, it felt alien, I forgot how to apply a steady line of liquid eyeliner and there have been a few occasions I've been overzealous with bronzer and foundation that I've had to wipe it off and start all over again... I wish I was joking! 

But then something happened, I began to enjoy applying and wearing makeup again - woohoo! The old me was back! Okay, that's a tad dramatic, but life feeling indifferent to makeup wasn't for me. It just felt a little bland. 

So of course once I got the bug there was no stopping me. Yes, I could have simply re-discovered old favourites but I wanted new fresh feeling products to try out to quench my thirst for makeup again. This is where the post starts and I stop telling you the most obvious and tedious story you've ever had to read. 

Cue the makeup brands I've loved buying from and using in the past six months that have contributed to the reason I returned to beauty blogging. 

RELATED POST: Why I Returned to Blogging

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Online Beauty Shopping 

Like most people, my online shopping spending shot up. Who am I kidding? It went through the roof (I have Amazon Prime and ASOS premier delivery, which explains everything) and erm, I'm kind of not mad about it. 

With online shopping becoming the default way to shop I've embraced shopping outside of my usual haunts such as Boots, ASOS and Superdrug when it comes to buying cosmetics. This has resulted in me finding new beauty brands I now absolutely love and also discovering makeup brands I should have tried years ago.



This leads me to my first huge discovery - Colourpop! 

You would have expected as a beauty blogger I would have tried Colourpop years ago but alas, no. To be honest, the import taxes that Royal Mail plonked on top of every order put me off. So when Colourpop decided to integrate them into the final order amount at checkout, meaning no hidden fees to pay on delivery, I became curious. 

So far my favourite type of product to buy from Colourpop has been eyeshadow; eyeshadow palettes and surprisingly single eyeshadows (simply because they are so creamy and pigmented). 

Like a magpie, the themed packaging was undoubtedly what drew me in, but I'm happy to report albeit more than typical eyeshadow kick-up in the pan all the eyeshadow palettes I've tried have been amazing. Below is a selection of Colourpop eyeshadows I'm thoroughly enjoying right now. 


Colour Pop Baby Got Peach Eyeshadow Palette ($14/£10)

Colourpop's Baby Got Peach palette was my first dip into trying Colourpop eyeshadows and I think I made the right choice. This summer-perfect 9-pan palette includes 5 mattes, 3 shimmers and 1 glitter in a selection of coral and neutral shades. 

I was immediately drawn to this palette as I find light coral shades flatter my pale skin tone, along with knowing that the matte shades would work nicely as crease shades with other eye looks. 

Both vibrant and pigmented ‘Baby Got Peach’ is the perfect holiday/summer makeup bag companion that can create both warm and soft looks dependent on the rest of your makeup. 

While 'Darlin' (pale peachy orange) has been a staple light wash of colour for in the crease, I've been loving all the shimmer shades, especially 'Get Even' (peachy pink with gold tones) and 'Glaze it' (metallic peach with a gold sheen).

As for the pressed glitter, as expected it’s a bit love/hate - the duo-chrome shift is amazing and the glitter does stick to the lids without needed glue but due to the glitter being an almost flake-type formula there is just no room for blending. It's a press-on-the-lid and hope for the best kind of deal. 


Colour Pop Bill Super Shock Eyeshadow ($6/£4.50) 

Over the past few months, I've built up quite the collection of Colourpop Super Shock Eyeshadows which has surprised me as I'm one for buying eyeshadow palettes over single shadows these days. But when you get an eyeshadow formula so buttery you just have to go with it. 

If you are new to Super Shock Shadows, trust me when I say the matte shades are some of the softest you will try. The formula remind me of buttery Urban Decay matte shadows, the type that feels so soft under the finger and that blend a dream. 

As a rule when buying single shadows I try to ensure I don't own a similar shade within any eyeshadow palettes, and with owning quite a lot of palettes that is no easy feat. But Super Shock Eyeshadow in ‘Bill’ did it with its unique dusty mauve tone.

Alone in the crease, it creates a lovely feminine contour to the eye that can easily be worn alone, but it equally works well with lilac and light brown shades too. 

'Bill' has fast become a staple eyeshadow in my makeup bag that I feel I'll be in love with for years to come. 

colour pop-its-a-princess-thing-palette

Colour Pop It’s A Princess Thing Eyeshadow Palette ($24/£17.40) 

Lastly, for Colourpop eyeshadow favourites, I wanted to share my latest purchase which I picked up when Colourpop were last offering free worldwide shipping (something to look out for!). 

This was maybe more exciting than my first Colourpop order as I do have a penchant for Disney merchandise - it almost feels a bit magical.

For me this is what I like to think of as 'grown-up Disney' it's chic yet still fun. Not only did the neutral line-up pull me in but the shade names (think: 'Grumpy', 'Thingamabob' and 'Chip' to name but a few) are cleverly done and strengthen the enjoyment for me. 

In this 15-pan palette, there are endless eye looks you can create and while I instantly assumed I'd be obsessed with the seven shimmer shades, I'm equally as in love with the top row of soft mattes that all blend a dream and look lovely, especially when going for an all matte eye. 

This purchase certainly has been one of my favourites of 2021 so far - I can't get enough of it! 

RELATED POST: Pretty Makeup Without The Price Tag 


Pat McGrath 

If you had told me a year ago I’d be adding another premium beauty brand to my list of ‘products I have no restraint with’ I wouldn’t have believed you. Solely because I presumed Pat McGrath was out of my price range. And on the whole, it is. But the Xclusive Offers section on the Pat McGrath website is an incredible treasure trove of affordable makeup - I’m talking prices starting at only £10 with free delivery. I know, right?! 

Since this finding I’ve been thankfully gifted quite a few products from a friend, along with making a few orders of my own, meaning I now have quite the assortment. 

While I was totally new to Pat McGrath both the products themselves and the packaging cried out premium quality and once I tried a few products I wasn’t disappointed.

Pat McGrath for me has early days of Charlotte Tilbury vibes, I guess from the makeup artist origins but also the attention to detail with each product. But I must confess, Pat McGrath products trump those of Charlotte Tilbury on formula alone. Below is just a selection of discounted Pat McGrath products I cherish and that are currently still available in the sale. 


Pat McGrath Eye Ecstasy Sublime Eye Shadow Palette (£11)

I struggle to comprehend how a brand as premium as Pat McGrath have a product reduced to only £11, a full eyeshadow palette at that - surely this is drugstore prices! 

Okay, let me compose myself a little! I’m just a huge fangirl of the brand, it’s still a fresh discovery for me, and this was one of the first products I tried and instantly loved. 

With five shades all with a metallic or duo-chrome finish this is one sparkly eyeshadow palette - dare I say it gives me Christmas party vibes? Okay, it gives me 'throw everything shimmery and jewel-toned on my eyes in the lead up to Christmas' feels and I love it! Of course, this is a palette suitable for use any time of year and I do find myself reaching to use the top row the most as a lid shimmer quite often. 

As for the formula they are supposedly a hybrid cream-infused powder formulation, which I’ll be honest and say I feel Pat McGrath may have totally made up, but that’s fine as these shades are buttery smooth and highly pigmented - one swipe across the lid with your fingertip is all that is needed. 

As for the packaging, it’s plastic and ultra-lightweight which gives me makeup artist vibes rather than feeling flimsy and cheap. However, I know some may expect something more substantial from Pat McGrath. But I really do like it and wouldn’t mind more makeup products adopting this kind of semi-transparent lightweight packaging design - ideal for travel. 

If are wanting to dip your toes in the water with Pat McGrath then this is the product I’d recommend because at £11 with free shipping it’s pretty amazing! 

Pat McGrath Mthrshp Limited Edition Eyeshadow Palette in Rose Decadence (£30)

Another eyeshadow palette I’ve been adoring is this limited edition offering that’s currently on sale for £30 (RRP £50). This for me is makeup at its most exciting; glamorous packaging, a range of finishes and stunningly pigmented, that simply makes you want to use it as often as possible. It’s basically a palette I already consider as one of my most special

I feel the swatches online speak for themselves but as this is a beauty blog and I’m here to gush about makeup let me tell you about my three favourite shades from this stunning palette. 

The first is 'Pink Champagne' (top left) a warm frosted pink that may not look anything special in the pan and is the most subtle of the shades but oh, it’s soft and so beautiful on the eyes. With an almost soft golden shift to it, it picks up the light beautifully and really enhances any eye colour. 

My second favourite shade, 'Fuchsia Flame' (top right), is actually a true duo-chrome with an incredibly vibrant shift. This has to be the most sparkly duo-chrome I’ve ever used with the purple/almost blue flecks appearing to dazzle you in the right light - this is certainly a ‘party eye’ kind of shade! 

Lastly, I can’t get enough of the shade 'Golden Honey' (bottom right) which is described by Pat McGrath as a light antique gold metallic. This truly is the smoothest looking gold shadow I’ve ever applied to my eyes, it virtually looks like foil, really just remarkable. It’s also the perfect gold shade, nothing too bright or dark with a hint of a copper tone for warmth. 

If you love your eyeshadow palettes rich and well pigmented and want something that will really feel like a treat then this palette is well worth the spend.

Pat McGrath Blitztrance Lipstick in Lady Stardust (£18)

Onto lipstick now, which none surprisingly I’m also a huge fan of from Pat McGrath. While I’ve amassed quite the collection, a shade and formula that stands for me is 'Lady Stardust'. 

This rose mauve with champagne pearl lipstick is simply a beautiful pink shade to wear on the lips especially as it’s currently summer. The added champagne pearl flecks also give it a flattering finish, never allowing the semi-matte formula to appear dry but actually relatively hydrated and plump even though this isn’t a gloss finish. 

Plus, who wouldn’t love the gold glitter packaging? Again, this gives me Christmas party vibes and I’m here for it! 

Pat McGrath Mattetrance Lipstick in Celestial Divinity Amour (£18)

Because one lipstick recommendation isn’t enough I thought I’d tell you about another shade I’ve been reaching for and loving come sunny days.

This is a vibrant coral rose that is insanely pigmented, just one swipe across the lips is sufficient, and comes with a lovely fresh dewy finish. For me, this is as brave as I get as far as a bold lip is concerned and I’m delighted to have found such a pretty shade that brightens up a whole makeup look when wearing it.

It also doesn’t hurt that the packaging is very ‘Versace’ and glam. Compared to the first eyeshadow palette packaging I mentioned above, all the lipstick cases from Pat McGrath, from the original and limited edition ranges are extremely well-made and feel sturdy. 


Supermarket Beauty Buys 


Another discovery that although not new has been one I've been enjoying much more in recent months. 

When makeup shopping wasn’t possible due to you-know-what back in March 2020 I took to enjoying the smaller pleasures in life, namely supermarket makeup shopping. In fact, I switched Tesco for Aldi solely so I could peruse the middle aisle and pick up the occasional treat. 

While the Lacura brand is very much dupe-focused I feel most of their makeup and skincare products stand up on their own regardless of if you are aware of what the product is striving to dupe or not. I’ve picked up countless products that have become staples in my makeup bag and on the bathroom shelf so much I feel I need to devote a full blog post to them soon, but for now, here are a few of my current favourites below that you can find in-store at Aldi. 

Lacura Brow Gel in Medium (£2.79) 

Lacura’s range of makeup is pretty substantial for a supermarket beauty brand and while I’ve tried a lot, the one product I use without fail every time I apply makeup is their simple yet effective brow gel. 

Available in three shades and with a short spoolie type wand this very much reminds me of Glossier Boy Brow. It gives the same feathered effect to the brows which lasts all day along with a formula that isn’t stiff or crunchy feeling. I really couldn’t be without this product now - a true makeup staple. 

Lacura Watermelon Gel Moisturiser (£4.99)

Another Lacura product that has got me excited for skincare is this wonderfully summery gel moisturiser. This is a dupe for Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturiser, and while I can’t compare the two, I can say that the Lacura alternative is a true water-gel moisturiser that feels quite premium, especially with the jar being made of glass. 

The formula is light and hydrating and I’ve really been enjoying applying it first thing in the morning. The watermelon scent is also a really nice summery addition that really adds to the feeling of applying something juicy and fresh to the skin. 

Lacura has a full range of Glow Recipe dupes which I honestly need to check out further once they are back in stock. 

Lacura Healthy Glow Rose Oil (£3.99)

Keeping with skincare because this supermarket brand seems to know how to do it well on a budget, I’ve also been enjoying this Pixi Rose Oil Blend (£26) dupe. These two facial oils are extremely comparable in formulation and results. 

I personally like to add a few drops to my moisturiser in the evening which I find gives me the softest skin in the morning and also a more luminous look to my skin without breaking me out. 

For anyone with drier skin, the Healthy Glow Rose Oil could certainly be used alone but for me mixed with a gel moisturiser works wonders. The fragrance is also light and pleasant. A truly lovely product that is part of Aldi’s permanent range so you should be able to find this in-store or online for a bargain of £3.99. 

All of these brands have impressed and excited me in the past year and have made me rekindle my love of makeup and skincare. 

I hope you have found a few new products to try out from this post. 

Fee xo. 

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