Blush’s Top 10 Makeup Products + Brushes

With new launches dropping every day, it’s often hard to decipher the good from the great.

I’ve tried a tonne of products over the last few months and will be bringing you my ultimate faves in the coming weeks.

First up are some of the makeup products and tools, I’ve been reaching for this month. There’s plenty more to come, so keep your eyes peeled.

Nanshy Buffed Base 01

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Working at Slapp, has meant I’ve been pretty much glued to YouTube. Anyone who’s watched a makeup tutorial will know that brushes are a serious business, and you often hear Sigmas, Morphes and Artis’ bandied around. All I know is there are a lot of numbers and I’m not sure if any of them are actually good; and whether vloggers are just saying they have a sigma, to say they have a sigma. Much in the same way you wanted a Celine tote, just to have a Celine tote. Anyway I digress. One type of brush that seems to rule supreme when it comes to makeup, (and more specifically, foundation application,) is the flat topped Kabuki brush.

Being from the old school tribe of flat foundation brushes, the wildest I’ve become, is getting a beauty blender; which turned out to be worth the comfort zone abandonment. So… when I discovered cool UK brush brand Nanshy, I was keen to try their own take on the flat topped Kabuki. I obviously can’t compare it to any other kabukis, but this brush is insanely good. I use it to apply my Tom Ford Foundation and it blends it beautifully. The word on the street, is that Kabukis are best used for heavy foundations, but I’ve been using mine with sticks, bbs and anything else I can get my hands on. What I love about this is that it’s super soft, and dense enough to really lay my base. This is best applied in circular motions, and cherished for ever.

Nanshy, Buffed Base 01, £9.95, Nanshy

Estèe Edit – Beam Team Bronze Hydrate + Glow

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Estèe Lauder’s cute younger sister, is a great brand. I love a lot of it, but sadly the skin glowing balm which I really thought I’d like, is far too heavily perfumed. What they do excel at though, are priming products and oil controllers.

As we list the Estèe Edit on Slapp, I was really keen to try the Hydrate + Glow, as it seemed like a great 2-in-1 product. Inside is an illuminating cream, whilst the lid houses a topical highlighter. Hydrate + Glow, comes in two shades: Bronze for darker complexions, and a regular, for fairer complexions. The Bronze is excellent at giving my skin a much needed pep me up, after a busy week of meetings and parties. I tend to use the highlight, under my powder and on top of my foundation, to give my skin a mega-watt glow. I can sense that this is going to be a summer staple

Estee Edit,  Beam Team Bronze Hydrate + Glow, £34, Estee Lauder

Iconic London – Pigment Stick

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I stumbled across Iconic London at the House of Fraser Press Day and couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of the brand before. They specialise in mammoth kabuki brushes, liquid highlighters and pigment sticks. The pigment sticks- like most multipurpose products these days- can be used to contour and highlight, as well as providing you with a base.

This is the first ofundation stick I’ve used in a while, and I must admit I love their ease. There is something so satisying in swiping a stick across your face, blending it with a beauty blender and being on your way. I’d say, two applications are more than enough for a full and perfectly natural looking finish. This is great in that, (especially when blended with a bb), it doesn’t look at all cakey, and feels like you have nothing on. I see the light.

Iconic London, Pigment Stick, £25, House of Fraser

DHC – Double Protection Mascara

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As far as I know DHC do face oils and they do a very good job of that, so when I was introduced to their mascara, I knew I just had to try it. The onslaught of replies to my InstaStories, made it clear that this was going to be a great product; and it is. Housed in a super slim silver tube, this mascara, is so easy to carry around and slip into the most miniature of clutches. The brush head is small but surprisingly full and one application is enough to give you great length and lift. Like all mascaras it is a bit wet to start with, but despite that, it gives really great results. I was truly, pleasantly surprised.

DHC, Double Protection Mascara, £15.90, Escentual

Real Techniques – Point XXXL

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To say that Real Techniques have a cult following, is like saying McDonalds have a few restaurants. YouTuber’s Sam & Nic, have really dominated the makeup brush market, and show no signs of stopping. I tried most of the new Multi Tech brush range and this, tied with the new blender, is a favourite. What makes this brush different is the tapered end, that makes sure all product is picked up, always. I got the little stubby, which is seriously cute and sits pretty on my dresser. I use it to apply the Estèe Edit Flash Photo Powder, which is the last step in my makeup routine. I love the way this soft and bushy brush feels on my face; and how it just seals the deal after a long makeup session.

Real Techniques, Point XXXL, £17.99, Superdrug

Estèe Edit – Flash Photo Powder

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Another product I discovered through Slapp, the Estèe Edit Flash Photo Powder, is the king of oil control. It’s quirkily blue, but thankfully translucent enough to suit all skin tones. The only problem with this is that it doesn’t come with a puff or brush, but thankfully I have my Point XXXL for that (I’m so YouTube right now!). Once I’ve set my face and am about to leave the house, a couple of sweeps of this on my oily bits, ensures my makeup won’t budge.

Estee Edit, Flash Photo Powder, £24, Estee Lauder

Pixi – Makeup Fixing Mist

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Talking of things that won’t budge… I’m a real lover of all things setting spray. My problem is that a lot of them tend to stop working after a few months. I think my skin somehow finds a loophole and figures out how to beat the system. Urban Decay’s All Nighter, was an absolute hero of mine for a good 9 months, Estee Lauder’s Set + Refresh lasted about 4 and the L.A Girl Pro Setting Spray, is a failsafe for half days. However! I recently tried the Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist and it seems to be triumphing where the others have failed. To be fair to my darling All Nighter, I’ve been using Pixi for a month; but on the days I do, my makeup goes nowhere. This may in part be due to the incredible Tom Ford Foundation, that I’ve been using, but so far so great. I’ll let you know in 9 months how it holds up!

Pixi, Makeup Fixing Mist, £16, Cult Beauty

Tom Ford – Traceless Perfecting Foundation SPF15

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It’s no secret that I’m a Tom Ford fanatic. Tom Ford perfume, palettes, nail polishes, lipsticks, I will, and do, have them all. I love the packaging, the decadence, the all round luxuriousness, that comes with having anything Tom Ford. So, being a self-acclaimed foundation connoisseur, it was only right that I tried a Tom Ford foundation. It wasn’t easy to choose which one to go for, but once I saw the Traceless bottle it was love. The twist up lid, is like everything Tom: insanely chic (and practical). 1-2 pumps of this is plenty, and when blended with a flat kabuki brush (i.e my new Nanshy) the finish is sublime.

This isn’t a thin foundation. It is liquid but it is rather thick, so you’d think this wouldn’t be good for a Summer’s day. Shockingly, it is actually perfect, I was wearing one of my favourite bbs (Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue, in case you were curious) and whilst this gives me a gorgeous natural glow in winter; on a summer’s day, it’s gone within a couple of hours. So, in hopes of having a base that would last the day, I tried the Tom Ford with trepidation.  This foundation, saw me through 5 press days in a heatwave and two parties; and by the time I got home, was still on and in place. I could ramble on about the benefits of this beauty for pages, but suffice to say, this is a serious hero. If you’ve got summer functions, weddings or big days ahead, this needs to be on your dressing table, now.

Tom Ford, Traceless Perfecting Foundation SPF15, £66, John Lewis

Buxom – Full On Lip Polish in Sarina

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Buxom are fairly new to the UK. I actually went to their launch a couple of months ago, where Ella Eyre, played a stellar set at the Scotch of St James. They showcased all of their incredible glosses and shadows. As you may remember, I recently fell back in love with lipgloss, upon trying the Elizabeth Arden gloss in Diamond.  So, being the bold new lipgloss lover I am, I knew I had to try one. For me, full colour lip glosses are a bit much. They seem great in theory, but with full lips, I find them a bit over the top, so I always stick to a clear, or tinted gloss.

As a brown lipstick lover, I opted for Sarina, a mink tinted sheer gloss, packed with shimmer. What sets Buxom’s glosses apart, is that they are formulated with a lip plumper, that tingles as you wear it. It seems like something you wouldn’t like, but it’s surprisingly refreshing; and super handy in reminding you of when you need to re-apply. This is a great day-to-night product that’s fuss-free.

Buxom, Full On Lip Polish in Sarina, £15-18, Debenhams

Benefit – Watt’s Up

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Last but not least, is the Benefit Watt’s Up. By no means is this new. It’s actually what Kim K used to use back in the day; garnering it huge attention, when she featured it in her strobing tutorial with Makeup by Mario. I was a little hesitant to try it, as it looks a little pearly for my skin tone. In all honesty, it is a little light for my cheeks, but for some reason, it makes the bridge of my nose come alive. Whenever I swipe on this super easy to use stick, I find myself checking out my nose in the mirror, my phone, the back of my spoon, you name it. The sponge, on the other end, is definitely not needed, as the stick makes application, surprisingly precise. If you’re new to highlighters, this is where you should start.

Benefit, Watt’s Up Highlighter, £25.50, Benefit

Jamila x

Smashbox UK


Fashion Journalist and Beauty Blogger from London

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