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Make-up: The Empties

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

I have been SO looking forward to sharing this feature. As I’m still semi on maternity leave any available “work” time I have is dedicated to behind-the-scenes business-y type adventures which to be honest, are not always that exciting.

But now I get to talk about game changing cosmetics! and enable you to buy some! Those of you that follow me on instagram, or have followed along with the brand for some time, will know that I’m a slave to beauty products. I just can’t help it, it’s my “thing”. I am often completely sold on marketing hype, fancy packaging or limited edition releases (because, what happens if I don’t buy it quick enough and they sell out?!) but in the grand scheme of things, rarely do I repeat purchase. Why do I need to when there is always something, newer, shiner and potentially better to try?

My favourite beauty blogger/vlogger features are when they talk about their “empties”, the bottles, jars and palettes of magic that they thought were so good, they will inevitably purchase them again. And again.

I do find the make-up I wear changes slightly depending on the season (and at the moment it’s really bloody HOT) and also my phase of life. My current phase is: zero time to get ready due to a 3 month old, a 4 year old and juggling all the balls. I still want to look like “me”, but definitely not a potentially smudgy/melty me due to the heat situation.

Here are my quick application, not at all heavy, won’t fade or smudge make-up must haves for busy folks that like to put their face on. I have hit pan on all (some several times over).

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter £30

I don’t like foundation. No matter what I’ve tried (and I have tried many) it always feels too much, emphasises my dry patches or just feels uncomfortable. I’ll be honest, I thought Charlotte Tilbury’s flawless filter was just yet another slightly glowy overpriced primer. But no. It has won me over entirely. I use a small amount all over my face and not only does it impart a lovely ethereal sheen, it somehow evens out skin tone whilst somehow remaining entirely translucent and non oily.

I actually use the medium shade as it’s very yellow based and warms my complexion up a little for summer. I imagine it would also work really well mixed in with your foundation of choice to create a more glow giving finish.

Max Factor Clump Defy Mascara £11.99

If you are looking for thick blacker than black Bambi lashes then this mascara is not for you. If you are however looking for soft, fluttery and completely clump free lashes in a jiffy then you should definitely give the Max Factor Clump Defy Mascara a whirl.

It applies so quickly and easily. And it doesn’t flake or go brittle even after multiple coats.

Nobody likes a crunchy lash.

Essie Nail Polish in Cute As A Button £8

I love Essie. It’s inexpensive, wears really well and they offer such beautiful shades, Cute As A Button isn’t the greatest name I’ve heard but the colour is the perfect pink coral for fingers and toes.

I have bought a bottle every summer for at least the last 4 years. You should probably buy one too.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner £14

As per the Max Factor mascara, this is not the inkiest most seductive liquid liner out there (try Marc Jacobs for the ultimate feline flick) but it goes on like a dream, doesn’t interfere with your other eye make-up (I’ve tried some ace liners in my time but they don’t half stick to your lashes) and it doesn’t flake or smudge. Ever.

After about 10 hours of wear it does fade a bit but I find I can easily touch up – the pen nib is so fine and easy to manoeuvre. I also find the Stila liquid liner is the best for a REALLY thin line – which is all I need for a day outdoors in the sunshine.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow £15

I’ve worn this for years. In terms of pigment and colour pay off I’ve never experienced a more impressive formula. You can buy the single eye shadow compact for £15 each or the infamous Naked Palette for £39.

Spendy for an eyeshadow admittedly but they last such a long time. I wear a particular shade (now discontinued – but Half Baked is similar) every day and probably only have to replace it once every 6 months. I like to apply it by pressing it on with my finger for maximum sheen.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow £49

Thought I would save the best (and most expensive) until last. I was late to this particular party, I just didn’t think I needed yet another bronzer and highlighter.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow has been a game changer for me, I wear it every single day without fail. The bronzer is perfect for my skin – it has golden undertones and a non sparkly finish but isn’t in any way matte. It’s just a lovely “finishing” powder – I sweep it over the aforementioned Hollywood Flawless Filter and I’m good to go (and glow).

I use a tiny dab of the highlighter on the end of my nose, under my brow bone and the tops of my cheekbones. The compact is very luxe and the mirror is satisfyingly large, I genuinely enjoy whipping it out of my handbag for reapplication.

So there you go, my six best make-up products for summer and beyond.

What I have missed out on recently is many of the new releases, I just haven’t had time to go shopping or peruse online as much as I normally would. Please do leave a review of your favourite finds in the comments box below.

P.S The header image is a little peek at my new office/dressing room. The panelling has a secret cupboard at one end and is painted in Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue.

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
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32 thoughts on “Make-up: The Empties

  1. Hey Charlotte and welcome back! I love a make-up post and since I’m also on maternity I’m looking for new products to make me look a little like I’ve had more sleep! I also have the filmstar bronze and go which I love and a few ppl have recommended the Hollywood flawless filter so I’ll be sure to check that out too! One of my fave products (also Charlotte Tilbury) is her light wonder foundation, it’s so light and illuminating, it’s the only foundation to turn my head from my trusty Chanel that I’ve worn for years because of the dewy effect. I’ve also spent years looking for the perfect mascara and although I quite like the much hyped about YSL one, I’ve realised the only brand that really makes a difference to my rubbish eyelashes is No 7. So back to No 7 I go!

    1. Hi Jess *waves* oooh which No 7 mascara is it that you love? I’ve tried a few over the years but never found them that impressive, I’ve not tried any recently though. Definitely try the hollywood filter – it’s amazing x

      1. I use the extreme length one but I’ve tried a few and they have always been good for me. Where I’ve gone wrong is buying any mascara I can when I see how amazing it looks on someone else. I now know most people have better eyelashes than me so I need to test the product if I can (not always possible eg for maxfactor, L’Oréal etc) before I buy. A friend just recommended benefit they’re real so I’ll probably end up with another mascara when really I should stick to No 7! Haha!

        1. Ha ha! they’re real is quite heavy, I prefer a more defining/longer lash, much like the mascara you use I think x

  2. Same here – loving a Friday make up post! Please oh please can someone recommend a light tinted moisturiser for combination skin?! I’ve been trying a Clinique one but not convinced by it.

    1. YES!! Honestly try the Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser (I use shade Nude) it’s been my game changing product this year, it blends so well and really evens out skin tone,

      I’m obsessed with it. I used to wear quite thick foundation every day but haven’t bothered since switching to this, I love it!

      Has been super hard to get hold of recently in shade Nude but John Lewis online had some recently (though says sold out online – boo)


    2. Sarah S have you tried the Chanel gel foundation compact? it’s the only thing “foundation” wise I will wear (sometimes my skin is red/blotchy so I need some coverage) and it is very much a light gel/moisturiser. Spendy but refills are not too bad and it has an SPF 20/25 x

  3. Hello! Not make up but I’ve been using this since January –

    It’s a serum from Kiehls that aids dehydrated looking skin and plumps. Not cheap but I’ve had loads of compliments on my skin and how healthy I look. At first I thought it was because I was pregnant, chubbier in the face and sober! But the compliments have continued still after three chaotic, sleep deprived months so I’m definitely going to repurchase. It’s still not empty after almost 6 months use so it does last a while.

    Another thing I’ve inadvertently discovered are the hair texturing benefits of baby sick..

    1. Jennifer this sounds wonderful! I will investigate straight away 🙂

      Also with you on the baby sick – I swear Iris manages to vom in my hair no matter how many muslins I have prepared…… x

    2. Oh I can absolutely second this serum! I got a tester of it with my last Kiehls purchase (read: blowout) and fell in love immediately. It’s now up there with their Midnight Recovery Concentrate for me.

  4. Ooh this makes me want to order it all (especially as it’s payday and I’ve been pretty frugal in June to recover from two holidays in May). Jennifer a bit of me wants to try that serum as that’s an amazing recommendation! I’ve cut right back on toiletries and have been using Aldi’s serums!

    I’m also interested in a tinted moisturiser as my Double Wear feels a bit heavy (and light now I’m freckly). Would prefer something high street though.

    1. I used to use Double Wear Light but it was too heavy and when I had my first child I tried to find cheaper brands where I could so I swapped to No 7 Stay Perfect foundation and am on my third bottle. It’s half the price and I like it just as much!

    2. Bunny I have actually heard really good things about the Natural Collection tinted moisturiser, also the one by No.7 x

  5. Bronze and Glow Palette:
    Expensive – yes
    Lasts ages – I’m on my 3rd in 3 years and I use everyday
    It wears fabulously – perfect for everyday wear but can be Kim K if you fancy!

    I’d also like to throw into the mix the Huda Beauty Highlighter palettes, not cheap at £45 (I got mine for £37 in the US) but the pigments are amazing, there’s different textures, it’s great all year round. If you’re into highlighter it’s the one 😍

    P.S. welcome back Charlotte, hope you’re well and Iris is a beauty!

    1. Hi Beckie!!! Ooooh I do love a highlighter. Iris is just sat next to me as I type 🙂

      You are right about Bronze & Glow, it really is about price per wear (!) and it is such excellent value! x

  6. *sigh* so now I need all the Charlotte Tilbury, the Chanel gel foundation compact, the Kiehls serum and I have to repaint my house in Oval Room Blue! The comments are almost as expensive as the post itself. Not that I need much encouragement…

    1. I need the serum as well Tracy – these posts end up being really expensive for me too 😂 The foundation is gel touch – part of the Les Beiges range. I use shade 30 as even though I’m fair, I find the shades come up really quite pale in this particular product x

  7. Hi Charlotte, love a make up post! Can I just say. You are looking fab despite having a teeny tiny one and a 4 year old! I LOVE the Hollywood flawless filter mixed in with the Charlotte Tilbur tinted moisturiser, makes you look SO MUCH better without looking like you’re wearing much st all and takes 10 seconds to rub in with your fingers!
    Can also recommend a spritz of the EVE LOM face mist to wake yourself up and feel fresher and can also be used told make up in place
    Also LOVE cute as a button, wear it and it ones with everything! Xx

    1. Hi Rochelle! Ah bless you, thank goodness for make-up eh, without it I look knackered 😂

      And yes the nail varnish does go with everything doesn’t it – even though it’s bright it has a kind of neutral tone to it somehow x

  8. Welcome back lovely!!
    What no new lipstick recommendations…..??? I live by and airport buy your recommendations for many summers past. Help! Xxx

    1. Gosh I know right?! I really need to go to a big department store and have a grand old swipe of colours and textures. Because it’s so hot my fave Tilbury lipsticks are a bit thick/opaque but sheer stuff just seems a bit greasy and doesn’t last five minutes….so I’m on the hunt myself! x

  9. Do you go for light or medium in the bronze and go Charlotte? This has been on my wish list for quite some time along with the Instant Look in a Palette. I am such a fan of the empties videos too. My greatest find was due to RMS comments and that is the Nyx black ink eyeliner – just amazing!! X

    1. Hi Sarah! As far as I can tell they only do two shades light/medium and dark – I use the light/medium. You can really build it up for a more bronzed look, for every day I just sweep on one “coat” (!) if you see what I mean x

  10. Ooh and another question, who are your favourite vloggers? I LOVE a vlog! I like Emily Norris, Charlotte Taylor, Kate La Vie, and I can’t remember any more right now. The Happy Pear are fab for 5 minute vegan recipes. I’ve gone off the vloggers that have become huge and use really expensive products because they are out of my price range.

    1. Bunny I am rubbish with names, but I do like In The Frow (similar colouring to me) and I’ve watched quite a few of the Pixi Woo and Lisa Eldridge videos x

  11. I’m late to the discussion today, however I’ve a few weeks ago I ran out of my nars sheet glow foundation that has been my staple for nearly 10 years. However I’ve recently dropped a lot of hours at work and couldn’t justify replacing it again and then I found the ordinary serum foundations in fenwicks. It’s not as creamy as nars but I’m really liking it. Evens out my complexion without being heavy. and the best part? It was £5.70. I’ll definitely be repeat buying.

    1. Yes! I switched from Bobbi Brown intensive serum foundation (finally had enough with the stupid dropper application)to the ordinary serum foundation and I love it. Great colour (I use 2YG) and a nice coverage. I have dry/dehydrated skin and find it is dewy enough without being all off your face by the end of the day. Have tried the Chanel vitalumiere and The nars which often get recommended for dry skin but I can honestly say this is just as good! Means I have more money now go spend on Charlotte tilbury 🙈

  12. Like I told you, I was looking forward to your post so much despite the enabling! The nail varnish looks lush. And the Kiehl’s serum from the comments sounds great too. Have you seen the new lipstick from Guerlain? You get one of these amazing cases of the Rouge G range with integrated mirror and can buy any colour as a refill! Obviously I had to get one ^^

  13. Oh gosh now I am even more tempted by the Flawless Filter than I was before! I’ve got a growing CT wish list the length of my arm now.

    I’m also a huge fan of Urban Decay eyeshadows and Half-Baked. I personally love Virgin and Sin for everyday eyewear and for an extra pigmentation, it works so well with their primer.

    My recommendation would be the Nars Tinted Moisturiser – this is my go-to product everyday as I find my foundation quite heavy especially in the hot weather. It’s so lightweight and not oily at all, but evens out skin tone without being heavy and gives a flawless base. I find myself applying it in the car with my fingers and then just buffing it with a sponge and a sweep of powder! I’m a complete convert now x

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