Sunday, 19 October 2014

British Beauty Blogger for M&S: Review & Swatches

British-Beauty-Blogger-M&S-range

It’s been amazing to see a number of beauty bloggers launch their own collections recently - I love to see their hard work paying off and the impact of bloggers acknowledged - it gives the rest of us something to daydream about! From a personal point of view, the most exciting launch for me has been British Beauty Blogger’s collaboration with M&S - a limited-edition collection of beautifully presented nail and make-up sets.

I have great fondness and respect for BBB editor, Jane, and appreciate her support since I started my blog 3.5 years ago. Despite being one of (if not the) top UK beauty bloggers, she is extremely grounded and genuine. If you haven’t yet discovered her blog, it’s BritishBeautyBlogger.com - just don’t go there until you’ve read this post or you won’t come back!

I have 3 sets from Jane’s new collections, which I’ve only been playing with for a few days, so this is very much my initial impressions, but I couldn’t wait to share pics and swatches!

 

Packaging

British-Beauty-Blogger-M&S-packaging-Juno

If you’re familiar with Jane’s blog, you’ll recognise these gorgeous illustrations by the same artist who designed her blog header, fashion and beauty illustrator Nuno Da Costa. The stunning packaging gives the collection a real edge and makes these sets an extra special gift (self gifting totally acceptable, obvs). I love how the focal point of each box reflects its contents: eyes, lips and nails… I certainly can’t bear to part with mine!

Eyes

British-Beauty-Blogger-M&S-eye-liner-pencil-set British-Beauty-Blogger-M&S-eye-liner-pencil-set-swatches

The set of 8 kohl pencils includes 3 shimmery brights - lilac, peppermint and sky blue; 2 mid tones - matte dark grey blue and metallic maroon (my favourites); 2 darks - matte charcoal and black and a WOW glittery black. I’d describe the pigmentation and texture as medium, which makes them very user friendly, particularly if you’re a beginner (or colour shy, like me). These are not the type that deposit an unnerving amount of colour unexpectedly; they allow precision with a single stroke, which is buildable to more intense colour with a second layer. I used two layers for these swatches.

Eye Pencil Kit £15

 

Lips

British-Beauty-Blogger-M&S-lipstick-set British-Beauty-Blogger-M&S-lipstick-swatches

This Lip Trio is my favourite of the collection, with 3 wearable shades in nude (Cami), coral (Selfie) and red (Heartful). The formula of these lipsticks is incredibly creamy and perfectly pigmented. The cherry red is a total beaut and I’ve been wearing it all weekend - expect to see it on my lips very soon! The only thing I’d change about these is the clear lids, but at least I can see which shade I’m looking for (the base is also colour coded).

Lip Trio Set £15

 

Nails

British-Beauty-Blogger-M&S-nail-polish-set British-Beauty-Blogger-M&S-nail-polish-set- British-Beauty-Blogger-M&S-nail-polish-shades

These aren’t your run of the mill nail polish shades and I like that: two brights, three pastels and a shimmery top coat to give a pearly finish. I’m a fan of the Butter London/Chanel-esque packaging and clever shade names.

British-Beauty-Blogger-M&S-nail-polish-swatchesBritish-Beauty-Blogger-M&S-nail-polish-top-coat

I’ve swatched my four favourites (from top): Pop, Mull, Melted and Milky Pink - on their own above left - and with the Ice Fall top coat above right. The top coat turns the bright colours into pastel metallics - an effect I liked way more than I expected to - the colours remind me of Perfume Bon Bons… anyone else remember those? I used two coats and no top coat so that you can see the actual finish, which is very glossy! Although described as ‘mini’, the bottles are the same size as regular polish and each contains 8ml. Eight polishes for £14 is pretty amazing!

Mini Nail Polish Collection £14

 

I have loved reading about Jane’s personal journey in all of this and am impressed by how incredibly hands on she has been, from choosing the shade names in half an hour to training the M&S floor staff. The bit about sending a set to her mum brought a wee tear to my eye. The Behind the Scenes story is on BBB here.

You can find the full British Beauty Blogger Collection at M&S HERE, where it’s part of the pre-Christmas 3 for 2 gift offer!

Congratulations to Jane on her products hitting the shelves and kudos to M&S for their vision - here’s to many more BBB/M&S collabs in the future!

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