Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

By Adrienne, Scotland Contributor

Adrienne lives in Scotland, and she writes for The Sunday Girl, which is mostly beauty but with a little life thrown into the mix. She was born and bred in Scotland, still resides in a damp Scottish town, and jokes that she sees about three days of sunshine a year–but it’s a lovely place to live. She is currently attending university studying both English and French with hopes to become an English teacher.In her free time, she loves to shop and hang out with friends–and beauty blog when she can!

MUA Pro Heaven & Earth Palette

5 Holy Grail Products from the UK

Today, I am going to share with you some great British products that I use on almost on a daily basis. These are products that have become great staples in my ever growing make-up bag. I thought long and hard about my five choices and whittled my list down by asking myself, “What would I recommend to a friend?”

MUA Pro Heaven & Earth Palette (£4.00) is a palette of twelve neutral eyeshadows that has almost reached cult status, and rightly so, as it is a really pretty selection of neutral shadows as well as it is an extremely good dupe for the often hard to source Urban Decay Naked Palette. The main differences aside from price, (MUA Pro palettes cost £4, Urban Decay Naked Palette retails around £35), is that MUA Pro palette is constructed wholly of shimmer and frost eye shadows compared to the Naked Palette, which has more of a variety in finishes. Heaven and Earth leans towards the cool end of the spectrum but each eyeshadow is finely-milled and packs a punch pigmentation wise. For £4, it is a wonderful neutral palette to add to your stash, but you may want to skip it if prefer matte formulas.

Barry M Lip Paints (£4.49) have a huge selection of shades–thirty one at last count–and they are always adding new shades to the line.  There really is a shade for everyone! I am a huge lipstick fan; I’d go as far as saying it is my favorite thing to purchase cosmetic-wise. For me there is no better UK high street brand for lipsticks than Barry M. Each shade is intensely pigmented and wears extremely well.  On average, I get around four hours wear per application. Unlike some high street/drugstore brands, these do not have am artificial smell nor are they overly drying in formula. There is one down side to Barry M lipsticks, though, and that is they all have the same semi-matte satin finish. Barry M lipsticks are well known for being great dupes for famous brands that are hard to get or of popular sold out shades. For instance, Barry M #147 Peach Pink is a wonderful dupe for MAC’s Ever Hip!

SleekMakeUp Blushes (£4.30) come with a low price tag but perform just as well, if not better, than some of the leading high-end brands out there. With the huge array of blushes available on the market, you grow to have high expectations regardless of the price tag! Why should you pay top dollar for a lackluster product? What I personally enjoy about SleekMakeUp blushes is that they are insanely pigmented, so much so that I urge all light skinned ladies to approach these with a light hand. The reason all SleekMakeUp products carry a high dosage of pigment is due to the fact the line was originally created with dark skin tones in mind. In my experience (and I have a stash of around ten), each one of the blushes is highly pigmented but also so finely milled and well pressed that the shades are never chalky, apply well with minimal fallout, and are a dream to apply and blend. My personal recommendation is Rose Gold, which is similar to a very famous shade with a rude name–yep–NARS Orgasm!

17 Wild Eyes Mousse Eyeshadows (£3.99) are a new addition to the Boots 17 line and come in six shades.  They are a semi-soft cream eyeshadow that works equally as well as an eyeshadow base or as a subtle all over wash of color.  I have been preaching about these little leopard print pots of cream shadow to all that will listen!  17 Wild Eyes Eyeshadows dry down to a powder finish. They are extremely easy to apply and wear best with a primer of some kind. I have oily lids, and with a primer, I can get eight hours of wear. Some have likened these to Chanel, but I see them as more a rival to MAC Paint Pots as this is what the texture most emulates and wears most similarly to. If you do try these out, I highly recommend the Wild Nude shade.

Collection 2000 Ultimate Wear Concealer (£3.99) is excellent! It is very seldom that you come across a budget buy concealer that performs well. On first inspection, it looks like any cheap drugstore buy, and you would be forgiven for not having high expectations, but this is certainly a case of not judging the book by the cover. Inside the tube houses a doe foot applicator and a thick, yet creamy, concealer that blends exceptionally well and hides all imperfections from dark circles to blemishes. It is a little on the thick side but not so much so that it can’t be used on the delicate eye area, and it doesn’t crease either. The only downsides of this product is the lack of shade variety as there are only three shades. My one tip for any potential buyers would be to choose one shade lighter than you would usually purchase as they have a tendency to oxidize throughout the day. I am an NC37 in Mac and wear shade two – light, if that provides any help!

Check out more photos & swatches!

MUA Pro Heaven & Earth Palette

MUA Pro Heaven & Earth Palette

MUA Pro Heaven & Earth Palette

Barry M Lip Paints

SleekMakeUp Blushes

17 Wild Eyes Mousse Eyeshadows

17 Wild Eyes Mousse Eyeshadows

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34 thoughts on “5 Holy Grail Products from the UK

  1. Great review!
    Have you tried the Louise young palette would love your thoughts!

  2. Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll have to look for these the next time I’m in the UK.

  3. elizabeth

    wonderful … :) im def going to buy the palette and the eyeshadows they seem awesome and in such a low price 😀

  4. Gala

    Thank you !! I always shop for UK makeup brands, thank you for introducing me to the 17 mousse eyeshadows!

    I use and love my Barry M lipsticks,and in general – rarely am I disappointed by a British beauty buy :)

    • Hi Gala :)
      you are more than welcome!
      I think you will love the 17 Mousse shadows they make for great bases!
      Yes I am with you on the Barry M lipsticks I hope they bring out a few more new shades in 2012.

  5. Ehm

    I love this! As a European, I often have a hard time finding American brands at reasonable prices, if at all. British brands are way easier and cheaper to get a hold of, but they don’t get talked about as much by make-up gurus. So this is a huge help!

    • Hey Ehm :)
      I know what you mean (I pay through the nose for wet n wild and milani) but I think the Americans have the same problem only vice versa as I send a lot of British make-up overseas to american friends :)
      I’m so glad you found this helpful :)

      • I feel like British brands that are cheaper tend to be better quality than our american brands + wayy cheaper. Even our pharmacy products can be expensive :/

        • Hello Kristine :) I feel the same when browsing US sites such as Ulta, I’m always like whoa US stuff is so cheap haha! I honestly think it is a case of the grass is always greener :)

  6. selina

    i wear shade 3 medium in the collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (the name is incorrect in the title) and i’m nc35, and i probably need shade 4 deep..

    • Hello, I use it under foundation and have found it to oxidise quite badly so I go for a lighter shade, I guess it depends on what you prefer. You are right it is called lasting perfection – ultimate wear concealer.

  7. ana

    These seem like great products at amazing prices. Is it possible to get them anywhere in America or shipped to America?

    • Sarah

      MUA have an online store now and ship internationally –

      Sleek ship internationally –

      Barry M do too –

      17 is a Boots own brand so I don’t know how easy that would be to find. Unfortunately you can’t buy online on the Collection 2000 website so I’m not sure how to go about that one (it IS my HG concealer though!!)

      Hope these links are okay to post 😉

      • ana

        Wow! Thank you for all the information. I appreciate your time.

        • wow sarah thank you for helping ana out :) most kind!

          I have heard that some ulta’s now stock boots no.7 so perhaps the 17 range will make it overseas in time too!

          Collection 2000 is a pest to source online even in the UK haha!

    • Hello Ana :)
      I’m afraid the only brand that I have wrote about above that ships internationally at the moment (as far as I am aware) is SleekMakeUp but the shipping is apparently very pricey. I think you best bet would be to get a British friend or blogger to ship some over for you. I hope you get to try some British goodies soon :)

      • ana

        I hate paying an arm and a leg for shipping! I try to avoid it at all costs. Conveniently my husband’s boss is in London with his family right now for the holidays and I asked them to pick me up 3 of everything. : ) i hope that they will be able to get the items for me. However, if you want to switch US products I’d be glad to help you. Let me know if you need anything from out here.

  8. Jo

    I love Sleek’s blushes! I seem to get myself a couple every 3 for 2 offer. Their Pout Paints are also really good!
    One of my first steps into lipstick was Barry M’s touch of magic lipstick- the one that is green but turns into a pink flush that never looks overdone and I still use it now…!
    I might have to check the MUA palette. And then maybe get one for my mum because she keeps ‘borrowing’ my Naked palette :( I already own all of the single eyeshadows in the pearl finish from them because they are so good and even better value at £1!
    P.S. Loving the UK posts :)

    • Hello Jo :)
      haha I do that too! Yes I love the pout paints they are a great cheaper alternative to OCC tars aren’t they :)
      Haha at least you have a cool mum with good taste it could be worse 😉
      Yes the MUA palettes are wonderful value at £4 :)
      Aww thank you so much :)

  9. Veronica

    UD’s Naked Palette retails for around $70 USD in the UK? Jeez. I’d be looking for dupes, too.

    • Sarah

      I think it’s more $60… So not *that* much more than buying it from the US. It was cheaper before our VAT went up again, I got mine for £25 (which is like $38). Personally I do think it’s overpriced for what it is but I also think that MUA single eyeshadows are way better than their palettes. I had such high hopes for Heaven & Earth but it didn’t live up to the claims :( Their trios are nice though.

      • Ah cool :) I don’t really pay any attention to US prices as it only depresses me haha! Ah what didn’t you like about the mua palette? I have only one of the solo eyeshadows at the moment so I don’t have much of an opinion yet :)

    • Sadly yes :(
      and with next months Naked 2 release quickly approaching
      I can’t say it fills me with joy!

  10. Tade

    I also love Sleek’s blushes. I’m black and I can’t stand it when blushes look ashy on my skin. But not sleek! I have 8 blushes and I can’t wait for them to release more. I live in the US and I got my cousin to send me the Sleek Christmas 2011 edition because I wanted the blush.

  11. omg adrienne, i need everything! this mua palette is amazing!! thank you :)

  12. Anika

    i think in most cases US stuff is deffo cheaper… however this is one of the rare cases when UK actually beats US at prices +quality! super delighted :D!!!
    ps. Check out Barry M pigments/loose eyeshadow… they’re heavily pigmented and looks stunning!!