Barry M Does Make-Up Brushes?!

L-R: blue eyeliner brush (£2.99),  pink powder brush (£5.99), purple blush brush (£4.99),  green eyeshadow brush (£2.99).
Make-up brushes, a girl can just never have enough of the useful tools of the trade. I, for one, own a great many make-up brushes, from the unnamed brands that I used to buy in my teenage years, to MAC brushes, and of course, nearly all of the Real Techniques. For me a good brush really transforms the way I apply my face in the morning. I don't like applying makeup with my fingers, sponges soak up too much product and can drag across the face, but a good brush will really ensure a beautiful flawless finish. My own quibble with good brushes is that they usually cost an arm and a leg, especially all of the amazing MAC numbered brushes that I wish to own. Even the Real Techniques brushes, while more affordable, can add up to many £££ in my virtual Boots shopping baskets.

Last time I was at home, in Devon (around August time), I went into Superdrug and spotted that Barry M, a trusted and affordable make-up brand that I really do like, had produced a range of make-up brushes not retailing for more than £8. In fact, five of the seven brushes were under £5, with a mini brush kit for on the go touch ups retailing at £9.99. I thought this must be incredible good value, considering how much I enjoy using their Dazzle Dust and nail polish, and snapped up the brushes that you see above. (Aside from the brushes above there's also a kabuki brush, foundation brush and a concealer brush).

I really love the packaging and the design of these brushes. For one they're all a different colour, which appeals to me greatly and ensures that I know exactly which brush does what job - they don't have their names written on the brush handle like Real Techniques brushes, so remembering that purple is for blush and not foundation for example is grand! The design is simple yet girlie, I love the floral/leaf pattern on the clear plastic packaging. I know that had I not go a pot specifically for my brushes I would definitely be able to reuse the packaging to store the brushes in a nice neat way.

While the packaging is fabulous, the use of the brushes is, in my opinion, questionable. They pick up product well, and application to face is fantastic, but the biggest issue for me is bristle fall out. I just don't understand why they shed so much. To be honest I am glad I didn't pick up the foundation brush because I don't know if I'd be able to cope with bristle shedding mixed in with the my choices of liquid foundation - hairy female face is not a good look! I can't even fully work out what kind of hair the brushes are made out of, there's nothing on the Barry M website about their range, and Superdrug's site goes back and forth between synthetic and natural (but does not specify what kind of 'natural' hair).

For brushes so cheap I am going to rate Barry M's range a 6/10. I usually like to collect the entire set of something I like (e.g Real Techniques brushes) but to be honest I will stop with these Barry M brushes that I already have. I even had to throw away the purple blush brush after I washed it for the first time because almost all of the bristles fell out in my hand. Cue unhappy Louise.

Perhaps I bought a duff few brushes? Or is this a case of you really do just get what you pay for...

Did you know Barry M made brushes?
Have you tried any of them?


Silent Saturday - Sharing Inspiring Things

Credit: Somewhere on Tumblr, if it's you, let me know and I'll say so.

I am feeling weird today. Do you ever have one of those days where you seem to get nowhere fast? Like, I have a million and one things to be doing on my Wunderlist app, written in my Filofax and even tacked to the wall written on post-its but I just can't seem to do anything of significance today.
I found this image while searching for 'motivation' on Tumblr and really liked the message behind it. If there's one thing I have been taught throughout my twenty-one years, that's think about the future, but live for the now. No use in worrying too hard about something that might not happen, worries only accelerate fear and nerves and that won't get you anywhere!

I don't really know why I am particularly writing this to be honest, maybe to feel like I've accomplished something. Inspiration can pop up from anywhere and I am all for people sharing inspirational images, quotations and stories. Perhaps I'll make this a weekly feature, I love the edits that people make on Tumblr for inspirational messages and it's only right to share them.

I hope you're having a happy and productive weekend thus far :-)

Insta - Week

 I <3 Boux/Want this Ikea bedroom!/Bunny jumper/Lush haul
Just me and Tatty/Primark eyelashes!/Love froyo/MUA & Models Own

My lecturer said she liked my lipstick/FOTN/Rainy uni day/New Barry M glitter
Ask dinner/Kim K pleather dress/Lunch/Going to try this out this week

Caviar manicure/New addition to the house/Dyed my hair :-)/Outer space Louise
Bought matching stationary/Many colour in the sunlight/Dissertation nightmare/Best wrapping ever!

Come over and follow me on Instagram and I'll follow you back :-)
I'm louisekwilliams.

What've you been up to this week?


MUA Nail Constellation - Gemini

MUA Nail Constellation - Gemini
Paired with 'Pink Friday' by OPI
Now, I am no artiste but I know a thing or two about creating fabulous works of art for my nails and this week is the turn of MUA's recent take on the Ciate 'Caviar Manicure' - 'Nail Constellations'. I haven't tried a Caviar Manicure, and I would very much like to, so I was very excited when MUA brought out their magically colourful beads earlier this month. MUA say, 'Be inspired by the stars and get creative with your nails'. 

Named after star signs, I might go so far as to say that Nail Constellations are out of this world (poor, I know, but you laughed didn't you?!), I really love the colours of this particular selection, metallic gold, green and purple. Even the application, although a little messy, is a little bit of fun for your average Wednesday afternoon (and not too difficult either, I went for the pour-it-on-and-hope-for-the-best approach). 

MUA's Nail Constellations won't break the bank, they're £3 for the little bottle which doesn't hurt me when I can't find the time to pop the remaining beads back into the bottle (you can though, I tried). Superdrug are having a meltdown, well they are near me anyway, and can't keep restocking the stands quick enough to cope with the demand for these beauties, so I say put your best elbow forward and hunt out a Superdrug that might be a little quieter than the massive shops, they should have some left!

Are you a fan of the idea of 3D nail art? I didn't think I would be, but these little beads are tastefully sweet!


Topshop 'Dark Side of Nude' - Wicked

Image Taken From The Topshop Website
I was browsing in Topshop in the Gateshead Metrocentre yesterday and got rather excited about this particular collection. I am very much into all things vampy and gothic at the moment, the amount of studs and skulls in my wardrobe is a small nod to my late teenage years when a black ra-ra skirt and a pair of black high top Converse were my ultimate outfit essentials. I wasn't too much into makeup back then, but I know that had this collection been around I'd have snapped it all up.

Topshop says, 'Gothic goes glamorous with our decadent capsule make-up collection, Dark Side of Nude. Vampy-claret lips are teamed with metallic mushroom eyes and an icy pale base for a high shine and high impact look'. With inspiration taken from the 'ultimate gothic' and 'horror heroines' of popular films like Carrie and Black Swan, the Dark Side of Nude brings together an amazing palette of colours that would make any face look glamourously gothic. I particularly like the fact that each product in the collection complements the other, yet wearing one piece as a standalone pop of colour would look equally amazing. The packaging is delightful too, all sleek and matte black with edgy geometric triangle shapes, very classy.

That being said, I fell in love with the claret/burgundy coloured 'Wicked' lipstick, priced at £9 and available at larger Topshop stores that stock their makeup stands. I haven't yet found my perfect red lipstick. I have such a small mouth that I think really bright bursts of colour look a bit strange on my face. However, a deep red wine colour is on the way to discovering what kinds of red colours I can find that suit me and my skin tone/teeny mouth the best. When I first took Wicked's cap off I was a little bit afraid of the colour, it looks so dark! But then I swatched it on my hand and knew I had to buy it and try it out - safe to say I'm in love!

The camera picks up the colour to be a little more pink, and brighter than I think it actually is, but nonetheless won't you agree that this is such a pretty colour? The lipstick's colour payoff is brilliant, even after a few glasses of my current tipple of choice last night (vodka, lime, and lemonade) it stayed on beautifully. (I can't remember what it looked like at the end of the night, I fell into bed!) I know this may sound odd too, but I really like the way the formula glides onto your lips when applying the lipstick. It doesn't drag or even need many coats (for want of a better word). Wicked is an overall perfect colour for winter, and definitely adds a more feminine edge to the studs and skulls in my wardrobe!

Are you a lover of the vampy gothic trend at the minute?
Anything from Topshop's new collection catch your eye?
And of course, if you have any preferred brands for red lipstick please let me know, I'm on the hunt!



Duck face/ Fave MAC lipstick of the moment, 'Sunny Seol'/Bad ass shoes/bad ass books
Krispy Kreme is coming to Durham!/New ring/Best cider ever/Tiniest Jammie Dodger ever. 
Breakfast/Winger eyeliner/Moustache socks/Strawberry lemonade
Feeling like I look like Barbie/Book rubber from Uni/Those are my natural eyelashes!/Too true.

Me To You with a bow!/Always a princess/FOTD/OOTD 1st day of 3rd year
Free donuts!/Manicure/I'm soppy/Prize for the biggest hair of the day goes to...me!

Filofax, new BFF/Gunmetal FOTD/Handbags in John Lewis/Treated myself to a Cath Kidston
Sleepy time/Hello from me!/Jack Wills treats/Bedtime reading. 
Pink FOTD/Bunny Ring & Dissertation/I now smell delicious!/Pretty Ballerina hair
Yummy Greggs cupcake/Long hair & animal print/Jewellery in River Island/Horsin' around :-P
Just a visual snapshot of the past fortnight in the life of Confetti Letters :-)
Please come and follow me on instagram: louisekwilliams
I'll follow you right back!

What've you been up to lately?


Vivo Cosmetics Blush - Rosy

Hey team! I think I'm a bit late to the party when it comes to discovering Vivo Cosmetics, the make-up brand exclusive to Tesco. To tell you the truth I've never really shopped at a Tesco big enough to stock cosmetics until I moved into my current student house, whereby I live so close to a two floored Tesco Extra megastore that I practially live inside the bloomin' shop! 

Anyhow, please tell me that I'm not the only girl who ends up with £10-£15 of cosmetics and toiletries in her shopping trolley when doing the weekly shop? I just can't stay away from those aisles when I pop in to buy the essentials! I was especially excited the other week to see that Tesco had redecorated it's Vivo stand and I could now see what the brand truly had to offer. I'm very much loving blushers at the moment, particularly baked blushers, which is exactly what Rosy is. I find that baked blushers apply more evenly and smoothly than cream or solid blushers because they're a cross between solid and a mineral powder consistency that just apply like a dream to my brush, and then on to my cheeks. 

Rosy is described as 'A stunning blush with pink undertones to give all over warmth and colour to your complexion'. I love the warm flush of colour this blush creates on my cheeks, especially as I have quite pale skin that needs a good warming up. I find some bronzers to be a little too dark (or maybe I'm not applying them in the right kind of way...) on my face so blush really works well to complete my make up for the day. 

Vivo Cosmetics 'Rosy' is available in most larger Tesco stores, priced at £4 for 8g of product, which is entirely affordable and definitely worth every penny.

Do you have a favourite blusher?
Do you say blush or blusher? (I always wonder what's what!)


Weekend Wishlist #1

From left to right:

1) I have been eyeing up this Tinkerbell palette for absolutely ages but thought the £32 price tag was quite on the pricy side. I was perusing ASOS and saw that they have the palette on offer...c'mon student loan, enter my bank account already!

2) I'm really loving lipsticks at the moment and MAC's lip offerings are high on my lust list. I'm keen to add a multitude of colours to my collection, St. Germain is a perfect 'clean pastel pink' and one I could very much like to try out.

3) I absolutely love the colour of this dress, in fact I just absolutely love this dress - Topshop  have some absolute crackers at the moment.

4) Halloween is coming and I like bats. What can go wrong with this jumper? Maybe the price, it's £69.99 - gulp!

5) I bought my bf a pair of Beats for his 21st birthday and now, having listened to his headphones and drooled over them, I want a pair. Naturally they would be pink.

6) My eyelashes are really important to me, I know it sounds odd, but aside from filling in my eyebrows, making sure I have perfected my lashes really completes my face for the day. I want to try some proper Eylure lashes, these look amazing!

Are you lusting after anything that I should be lusting after too?


Good Things 5 Minute Facial Face Mask

Hey team! Let me introduce you to my favourite face mask of the moment, Good Things 'Five Minute Facial' - available as part of the fabulous Good Things range of skincare in Boots, Superdrug and Sainsburys. The products are entirely affordable at £3.49-£7.99 and the range includes moisturisers, face wipes, face washes, body scrubs among other things, and, in my honest opinion Good Things are one of my most favourite brands purely because, as is an incredibly important factor here on Confetti Letters, each product smells delightful!

Good Things is a brand created by beauty writer Alice Hart-Davis, and is known for its 'super fruit booster' ingredients like pomegranate, strawberry, grape, papaya, lychee to name but a few. I like to believe in natural ingredients, the fewer parabens and chemically compound-like things that touch my skin the better I say. So naturally (pardon the pun) I love the fact that Good Things is free from animal ingredients, mineral oils, parabens, and sodium laureth sulphate, as is detailed on the packing of every product.

The packing of the Good Things Five Minute Facial itself is simple, yet exciting, it conceals the face mask solution in a squeezable tube with a click top lid. I like this style of packing, there's no need to put grubby fingers in a pot to scoop out the product (hurrah for no contamination!), simply squeeze the desired amount onto your fingers and apply to your face. The motif design on the front is also lovely, it definitely appeals to my inner strawberry and flower loving self! The back of the tube details the ingredients list and the directions for use. (Now, I get complacent about product directions, especially if it's a cleanser or face mask, I always thought they'd all want you to slather the product on to damp skin and then rinse off. When I bought my Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish this is what I did until I realised that I had to put the cream onto dry skin. Note to self and warning to all, read the instructions!!)

What the packaging says: 'Five Minute Facial makes skin clearer, brighter and smoother. There's green clay and kaolin to draw out impurities, avocado oil to moisturise, goji berry extract to soothe and willow bark extract for radiance.' I absolutely agree with the packaging's claim that your skin feels 'clearer, brighter and smoother'. To achieve this I like to layer on the face mask and sit in one expression for five minutes (I normally find that my face goes really tight and hard, that's when I know the mask is drying!). The product comes out of the tube as a cream and dries into a chalky clay like consistency that washes off very easily with warm water. Then, once I've removed all traces of product from my face I like to marvel at the wonder ingredients and my now smooth and soft skin. Seriously, you won't be left disappointed at your face's new found strokeability (not a word, I know, but this best fits!).

Available from Boots, Superdrug and Sainsburys at £5.99 for 100ml this face mask will last you for quite some time as it is advised to be used weekly. I will definitely be repurchasing this face mask when it runs out, for an easily available, and highly affordable product I cannot find fault with it at all!

Have you got a favourite face mask? Or even love any of the other products by Good Things? As ever, let me know!