We try products so you don't have to!


This page is dedicated to all things make-up, but check out the rest of our 'Tried & Tested' reviews for a host of other products. Don't go shopping without it!

On this page:

1.  Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation
2.  Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
3.  Barry M 'Nude' Nail Paint

Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation  £12.49  (November 2012)

Claiming to be high performance, water resistant, oil free, suitable for all skin types, with a naturally occurring SPF and active antibacterial ingredients AND suitable for vegetarians and vegans, this product had a lot to live up to.

For the minerally uninitiated, the foundation comes in powder form which you apply by 'buffing' into the skin with a special brush. This means that you can customise the coverage, building it up on problem areas - perfect for less-than-perfect skin days.

We were impressed with the results but did find that it looked better after leaving to 'settle' for a few minutes.

The foundation also stood up well in the 'shine test', requiring only a little blotting in the late afternoon - result! The only negative is that it did take a bit longer than normal to apply at first but it doesn't take long to master the technique. We also found the eyes a bit difficult to start with and our heavy-handed application lead to caking and creasing which is never a good look! Our tip: leave this area until the brush has hardly any of the powder left to avoid overdoing it.

Lily Lolo offer sample pots of all their foundations so if you're not sure of the shade you need, or you're new to mineral foundation, this is a great way to dip your toe in the water! It gets our thumbs up! 

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil  £13.00  (October 2012)

Eyeliner is a make-up bag staple, particularly if you want that smoky eye look. But, for many people, applying it is akin to carrying out brain surgery with a spoon! Enter Urban Decay's range of eye pencils, which come in a rainbow of colours including white, yellow, pink, brown, blue and black. Our favourite is the very black Perversion and the aubergine Rock Star, which is great for a subtle change to the usual darker eye colours and looks fabulous with blue eyes.

The pencils are rich and creamy and go on really well without dragging your eyelids, so it's easy to draw a clean line. The key to a great finish, though, is blending and smudging, and we found that, after about 30 seconds, the colour dries and then it's impossible to smudge so you need to get it right within that time. Because of this we also recommend you completely finish one eye before moving on to the next.

Urban Decay claims this durability is also the case for the inner eyelid, but we found it was not quite as effective there. However, if you don't blink for 30 seconds after applying it, you will get a better result. The colour does last much longer than a standard eyeliner and the range of colours is great, so we think that this is enough to justify the price tag of £13.

Barry M 'Nude' Nail Paint  £2.99  (September 2012)

We love Barry M's range of bright and funky nail paint colours, so we were intrigued to see if their 'Nude' would live up to our high expectations - and it does!

Just like all the other colours in the range, it goes on easily and evenly and definitely does what it says on the tin! It's such a perfect nude shade that it just looks like you have really healthy and clean natural nails.

By taking the colour over the tips and applying a fresh layer of top coat every 1 or 2 days, we were able to wear this for around a week before we had to admit defeat, take it off and start again. Perfect for everyday wear (especially if you can't wear bright colours for your job) and we think it would make an ideal bridal colour.

In the photo, the right nail has been painted with two coats of Nude Nail Paint and a top coat; the left nail has just one coat of the Nail Paint.

All opinions given are our own and are based on testing of the actual products. Prices and product information correct at the time of publication. Please check with the brand/stockist for up to date details.