Makeup Brushes And Their Uses

Makeup Brushes And Their Uses

Fragrance Direct are here with all you need to know about your most essential beauty tool! Read about what makes a great make up brush, which brushes to use for what and how to clean them properly! The way that you apply your make up can have a huge impact on the final look, so don’t hesitate!

Foundation brushes

So, let’s start with the base… a foundation brush is so important. You need to get the basics right before you even begin to attempt the rest of your makeup. There are several different types of foundation brushes you can use depending on the finish you prefer and the type of foundation you use.

– Flat top foundation brush. A flat top foundation brush is usually quite small, and the bristles are flat (obvious right?!) and usually come to a pointed tip. These types of brushes are perfect for applying liquid foundation as they create a smooth and flawless base. They also offer good coverage as they don’t tend to buff the product into the skin, they layer it more. Our favourite flat top brushes are the Body Collection Foundation Brush and the So Eco Foundation Brush.

– Stippling brush. A stippling brush has more bristles, usually rounder and puffier, and has a flat top. A stippling brush is perfect for liquid or powder foundations as it buffs the product into the skin creating a more natural effect. Some of the best quality stippling brushes are the Real Techniques Stippling Brush and the Guerlain The Foundation Brush if you’re looking for something super luxe.

Cleaning tips: You need to clean your foundation brushes regularly as it’s so easy for product to build up. If you have excess product on your brush from previous uses it won’t give you the desired effect. The best way to clean your foundation brush is to use a cleaning mat that you can swirl your brush on to remove clogged up product. Try using the Derma V10 Makeup Brush Cleaner, this stuff really looks after your brushes.

Bronzer/Blusher Brushes

There’re a few different types of brushes you can use for bronzer, blusher and powder. It depends on what you feel more comfortable using. Once you have your foundation in place, it’s best to set it with a powder, then add your bronzer and blusher in layers.

– Kabuki brush. A Kabuki brush is a soft, fluffy, synthetic brush that can come in all different sizes. A kabuki brush can be used for both powder and bronzer. It will distribute the product evenly over your face to give a subtle dusting. For powder and bronzer, I would recommend a Kabuki that is quite large to make sure too much product doesn’t end up in one area. When applying bronzer, you want to it to look like you’ve been sun-kissed rather than any harsh lines. One of our favourite Kabuki brushes is the Sunkissed Bronzing Brush.

– Blush brush. Blusher brushers are also quite fluffy but tend to be a bit denser than a kabuki brush. They are also often angled, this makes it easier to sculpt out your cheeks and add a pop of colour onto the apples. But they’re still super easy to blend out the product too! Try the W7 Angled Professional Blusher Brush.

Cleaning tips: same as above!

Eyeshadow Brushes

Eyeshadow brushes can be a bit of a minefield because there’s literally so many different types. If you have a mild panic at the thought of doing your eyeshadow then you’re not alone! When it comes to eyeshadow brushes you just need a couple of basics in your collection.

– Fluffy brush. When it comes to nailing the perfect eyeshadow look it is all about blending! A perfectly defused shadow is what we all strive for and to create that you need a good fluffy brush. A fluffy brush will be rounded at the top and have quite a few bristles that aren’t densely packed. Use this to blend out your edges. We love the Artdeco Eyeshadow Blending Brush, it’s a gorgeous, soft brush made from goat hairs.

– Dense brush. To lay shadow down with more pigment you need a dense, flat brush. This will pick up more product and apply it more compactly to your eyelid. These are perfect for applying cream shadows, glitter or creating more dramatic eye looks. A handy tip: if you wet a damp brush and apply shadow you’ll get way more pigment. Try the Royal Cosmetics Prismatic Eyeshadow Brush.

– Liner brush. Liner brushes are really handy to have for when you want to apply liquid liner. They have tiny bristles that are densely packed to you can achieve a super sleek wing or line. You can also use them to apply darker shadows to the base of you lashes or lower lash line to achieve a smokier look. The Daniel Sandler Liner Brush is great and can also double up as a small concealer brush.

One of our favourite eyeshadow brush sets is the Real Techniques Eye Shade & Blend set. It has the perfect brushes for applying colour and blending it out.

Cleaning tip: to clean eyeshadow brushes you can do it the same way as your other face brushes but just make sure you’re super gentle with the bristles and don’t end up pulling any of them out. To dry, lay them flat on a piece of kitchen towel and leave them to air dry, preferably overnight.


Makeup sponges can be used for lots of different areas of makeup but the main places tend to be for the base/concealer. Using a sponge has huge benefits when you’re applying foundation as the finish they give you is totally flawless. You can use them damp to achieve a more natural coverage or dry to get a full coverage base.

You can also get smaller spongers that are perfect for getting in the tiny areas like around the nose, under eyes and the chin.

Try the Real Techniques 6 Miracle Complexion Sponges, in the pack you get two large sponges for your base and then a selection of smaller sponges to choose from too!

Cleaning tips: Ok so sponges need cleaning all the time! They are a breeding ground for bacteria and dirt, definitely not something you want to be smearing all over your face! In an ideal world you need to be cleaning your sponge after every use, simple run under the tap and apply a brush cleaner or some antibacterial soap and rinse and repeat to keep them as hygienic as possible!

Beauty Tips for Students on Freshers Week

Beauty Tips for Students on Freshers Week

Your mum’s bought you your first ever set of pots and pans, you’ve finally sorted your student loan and you’ve had your last night out with your schoolmates – you’re officially on your way to university.

Your first week in university – or Freshers Week – will be filled with meeting new people, playing every single drinking game ever created and witnessing some of the most impressive feats of fancy dress you’ll see all year.

And while the most important thing is to have fun and make new friends, you should also remember to look after yourself (trust us, Freshers Flu is a real thing).

We’ve put together some of the best health and beauty tips and tricks, so that your skin can survive freshers week – from simple skincare to affordable beauty products that will have you looking gorgeous in no time at all, we’ll help you look and feel your best all week.

1. Design your party look
First things first – you’ll be going on a lot of nights out and will probably be attending lots of parties. This means cultivating a makeup look that’s as individual and exciting as you are. The Marco By Design Complete Palette contains gorgeous eyeshadows, several different highlighters and brow definer to take your look to the next level.

Add a playful colour pop to your look with this set of three pigment-rich, Matte lipsticks from NYX, made to make you stand out.

2. Sort your Hangover Makeup
9 am lectures and freshers week parties mix about as well as vodka and orange cordial (which you may have consumed the night before). If you have to be up bright and early but you’re not exactly feeling your best, the right kind of makeup is going to be your best friend.

This Sunkissed Beautiful Bronze Beauty On The Go! kit is perfect for those early mornings. The very affordable kit includes an award-winning Perfect Primer, Intense Colour lip crayon in Hot Coral and Big Lash mascara, along with 4 beautiful eye shades and a Kohl liner. You’ll look like you’ve had your full eight hours of sleep (even if you’ve only had 8 minutes).

3. Take your makeup off
Now that you have your makeup sorted, you need to remember to take it off each night (no matter how drunk you get), or you’ll be prone to breakouts and blemishes – never a good look.

Before you go out, leave a pack of Nuage Make-Up Removal Wipes With Aloe Vera on the side of your bed – they’re great for removing even the stubbornest of makeup if you’re not feeling 100%. If you have a little more time, use a gentle exfoliating wash like Witch Gentle Exfoliating Face Wash every morning and evening when you wash your face.

4. Brush Your Teeth!
If you want to lead with a smile then dental care is of the utmost importance. To make sure your smile is always looking tip-top, add a mouthwash to your routine such as the iWHITE Instant Teeth Whitening Mouthwash. The triple-action whitening technology will strengthen and remineralise your teeth, and leave them with a pearly shine. If you want to splash out then why not invest in the Cougar Ultimate Teeth Whitening Trio Set? The 30ml Post Treatment Rinse, 50ml Peppermint Extreme Whitening Gel & Bamboo Toothbrush will help to absorb plaque, reduce stains and leave your teeth with that thoroughly clean feeling.

5. Stay Hydrated
Your mum might not be around to tell you any more, but try to get your eight glasses of water every day. Bring a reusable bottle in your bag with you daily, and try and break up each alcoholic drink with a glass of water.

You should also remember to keep your skin hydrated, and some of the best moisturisers out there are the most affordable. Use Derma V10 Q10 Innovations Day Cream every morning to moisturise, tone and protect the skin against the damaging effects of everyday life. Each night, apply Simple Vital Vitamin Night Cream to help restore and replenish skin throughout the night (no matter what you’ve been up to!).

6. Eat right
Try to avoid the cliché freshers’ diet of pizzas, burgers and kebabs during your first week. Now that you’re cooking for yourself, stock up on cheap vegetables from supermarkets and try to avoid heavily processed food.

If you feel like you might be missing out on some key vitamins and minerals, incorporate Nature’s Answer Calcium & Magnesium Liquid Supplement and Source Naturals Wellness Formula 45 Tablets which have been designed to aid a balanced diet to keep you looking and feeling great.

7. Smell good!
Freshers is all about making your mark and one of the best ways to do this is with the perfect perfume. During the daytime, choose a fresh and flirty scent like Nino Cerruti 1881 or Marc Jacobs Daisy Twinkle Eau de Toilette to brighten anyone’s day.

Liven things up a bit in the nighttime with exciting and daring scents. Agent Provocateur Eau de Parfum Purse Spray is an exotic blend of Saffron, Coriander, Moroccan Rose, Jasmine, French Magnolia, Amber and Musk – and the perfect size to pop into your bag on a night out.

So, whether you spend your Freshers week dressed in a dragon onesie or your hottest outfit, make sure you follow our top tips to look and feel amazing all week.

How To Pack For A Weekend Break

How To Pack For A Weekend Break

When it comes to packing for a weekend break, no matter how many times you write a list, start packing 3 days before and make many mental notes, you always end up forgetting something important. Whether you are heading off for a weekend in the country or jetting away for a city break trying to remember the contents of your beauty collection can be a nightmare. So, we’re here to help! We’ve worked out a failsafe packing list that will make sure you not neglecting your beauty regime for those days away.

1. SPF
Now I’m not going to bang on about how important SPF is because you already know, right?! If not, we have written many articles about it here and here. When you’re travelling and walking round all day you need to make sure you have a great long-lasting SPF that will see you through. The Piz Buin 1 Day Long Lotion is perfect as it gives you up to 6 hours of protection, it’s also 100ml so you can take it in your hand luggage! It’s also handy to have a SPF for your face that you can just keep in your hand bag for top ups, the Ambre Solaire Dry Mist works over makeup too, so you can mist away throughout the day!

2. Moisturiser
Moisturiser is essential for your skincare regime so don’t neglect it just because you’re away from home. Particularly if you’re flying, the air con on flights literally sucks any hydration out of your skin. Apply a thick layer of a super hydrating moisturiser or a night cream (they tend to be thicker in consistency) for throughout your flight. We love the Elemis Hydra-Nourish Night Cream.

3. Face Wash and Deodorant
You may be tempted to just stick to face wipes when you go away for the weekend, but they won’t do your skin any favours. Make sure you pack a good cleanser as well to keep your skin clear, clean and fresh. The REN Clean Skincare Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water is perfect for travelling as it acts as a toner and micellar water too! And deodorant just goes without saying…

4. Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is a must for refreshing dirty or greasy hair during your break. You can pick up lots of travel sized bottles that won’t take up too much room in your hand luggage. The Charles Worthington Style Setter Dry Shampoo adds plenty of volume and texture too!

5. Travel Size Perfume
You don’t want to be lugging around your big bottle of perfume on a trip (or be in danger of losing or breaking an expensive bottle!). So, pack a small hand bag sized version of your favourite scent. 30ml bottles are perfect for hand luggage or why not try a Pacifica Solid Perfume for layering on, our favourite is the Tahitian Gardenia.

6. Self-Tan
If you like to have a bit of colour when you’re away then fake tan is a must. We all know how a genuine tan is damaging to the skin, so you’ll need a bit of something extra to give you that glow. A gradual tanner is a great option as it can double up as your body lotion too! The St Tropez Gradual Tan Body Lotion gives a gorgeous bronze colour.

7. On The Go Palettes
Trying to streamline your makeup collection can be no mean feat. When you’re heading away for a couple of nights having a couple of handy palettes will help you keep everything in one place. The Marco By Design Complete Palette contains eyeshadows, highlighters, face powder and eyebrow products so you just need to remember your brushes!

8. Hand Sanitiser
Having a hand gel or sanitiser in your handbag is always handy but when you head away on a city break they are an essential. Particularly when spending a lot of time in public places/ eating gelato by the bucket load! They’re usually super small so don’t take up hardly any precious space. Try the Anatomicals Hand Sanitiser, it’s a germ killing machine!

If you need some inspiration for amazing city breaks then check out our blog from last week… Top 8 Must See City Breaks!

Guide to Cruelty-Free & Vegan Makeup and Skincare

Guide to Cruelty-Free & Vegan Makeup and Skincare

For a long time the biggest concerns about make up were how long it stayed on, how much it cost, and whether your sister would try to steal it. This soon changed when people became more aware of the animal cruelty that goes into making some products, and in response, called for more products that were cruelty-free (not tested on animals) and even vegan (cruelty-free plus no animal-derived ingredients).

If you want to reduce your impact on the environment without having to give up your makeup, Fragrance Direct have a range of cruelty-free and vegan products that are easy on the eye and your conscience.


REN Clean Skincare Clarimatte Invisible Pore Detox Mask 50ml
REN is listed on PETA’s cruelty-free list so you can be safe in the knowledge that all their products are created without any animal testing.

If you’re looking for soft, clear skin, add REN’s Pore Detox Mask to your weekly skin care routine. Designed to make blackheads less visible and to minimise pore size, it’s perfect for those with oily to combination type skin.

Face Wash

Urban Veda Purifying Daily Facial Wash 150ml
Urban Veda has received the internationally recognised Leaping Bunny certification for their commitment to cruelty-free products. As they use all natural ingredients such as Ayurvedic cold-pressed neem oil, they’re a great choice for those with sensitive skin.

Their Purifying Daily Facial Wash contains all the natural ingredients you need to cleanse and purify acne-prone skin and is an excellent way to treat blackheads and help oily skin that produces excess sebum.


Yes To Coconuts Ultra Hydrating Gift Set
YES TO is another brand that has been certified as cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny. Their Ultra Hydrating Gift Set is perfect for those who suffer from dry, flaky skin. Containing ultra-hydrating wipes, a creme cleanser and an intense moisturiser, it’s been perfectly formulated to feed the skin and keep it looking soft and smooth.

A perfect gift for any skincare fanatic who also wants to keep their routine cruelty-free!


Pacifica Dreamy Cover Foundation 30ml
Pacifica is committed to sourcing their products from natural ingredients, whilst never compromising on quality.

They have a range of different makeup products available, with our particular favourite being their Dreamy Cover Foundation.

The shade-matching minerals that make their foundation so good are made without animal testing and contain ingredients that are great for your skin. With SPF 20 and a feather-light, weightless cover, you’ll quickly find this a makeup bag must have!


Lily Lolo Finishing Powder Flawless Silk 4.5g
After you’ve applied your foundation, you’ll need the right cruelty-free power to set it perfectly. Lily Lolo is certified as cruelty-free by PETA, so you can feel guilt-free when ensuring your makeup sits right. Gentle on your skin and formulated to reduce the signs of lines and wrinkles, you’ll love the natural formulation of this powder.


Natio Cosmetics Pure Mineral Redness Corrector
Natio support, and have been accredited by, Choose Cruelty-Free (a non-profit organisation that advocates for the rights of animals). Their Pure Mineral Redness Corrector is perfect for those with blemish or rosacea-prone skin and will help cover imperfections and deflect light to even out skin tone.

Pacifica Natural Lipstick 20g
Choosing vegan lipstick doesn’t mean you have to skimp on colour intensity or pigmentation. The Pacifica Natural Lipstick is 100% vegan and cruelty-free and comes in five gorgeous colours including the intense red “Firebird” and the soft pink “Tenderness”. Take a look now for a lipstick that’s as soft on your lips as it is on nature.


Prima Makeup Prima Pressed Glitter
This highly-pigmented glitter will take your makeup look to new heights of glam. Best applied over an eyeshadow primer, this glitter comes in a wide variety of different colours and can even be used over lipstick if you’re feeling brave! And, of course, it’s cruelty-free.

The above products are just a small sample of the cruelty-free and vegan makeup and skincare that we have to offer. What’s more, Fragrance Direct are always looking to expand our range. So please check back for even more great products and offers on our site.

Autumn Makeup Trends

Autumn Makeup Trends

Goodbye summer, hello autumn! There are a few perks to shorter days and darker nights. One, it’s the perfect time to up your game and bring out the freshest looks. We especially love the excuse it gives us to indulge in some vampish makeup paired with our cosy autumnal wardrobe.

So how are you going to shake things up this autumn? Need a little inspiration? Then take a look through our favourite trending looks.

Flawless bases

There are more ways than one to achieve a flawless base. As makeup gets a little heavier than the summer fresh-faced spin, youƒ??ll need to pay special attention to your base. Trust us, whatever you do from there is bound to look extra gorgeous.

Start with a good primer over your moisturiser. W7’s Prime Magic Camera Ready Face Primer is just the thing to give you a glow. If you have great skin, you may still want to go for a BB cream from there, but for many of us, autumn is the time to use a foundation to give you a bit more coverage, like Rimmel’s Lasting Finish 25H Foundation. And don’t forget the concealer! The ultimate weapon for banishing blemishes and dark circles, a product like Calvin Klein’s CK One Mousse Concealer will go the extra mile.

Sparkling eyes

You may remember that sparkles were big in 2017. Roll on another year, and they still top the pops with beauty experts. Everything from diamantes around the eyes to colourful sparkling eyeshadows were seen on the AW/18 catwalks.

If you’re getting party-ready, a little shimmer along the eyelid can be the perfect way to make a statement without feeling too glam rock. We can’t get enough of Prima Makeup’s Prima Pressed Glitter in all shades. Dab along your eye line over a sweep of eyeliner for best results.

Lush lips

In a year where gender equality has been more than a hot topic, power dressing has seen a huge revival. So, it’s no surprise that dark, head-turning lip colours are part of the look for this autumn.

This is one of our favourite autumn trends, and although it certainly has a good retro feel, you can turn it up with new lip colours this year. Our top crushes include red shades like Maybelline’s Superstay 14H Lipstick in Non Stop Red, and gothic browns like Astor’s Color Last VIP Lipstick in Caramel.

Big lashes

It’s time up curl, elongate and accentuate those lashes! The polar opposite to laidback summery trends, this autumn is all about creating eyelashes made for batting. Day-to-day, you may just want to tweak your mascara to something like Technic’s Mega Lash Mascara in black.

For the evenings, get extra lash support and feel 100% glamorous with lovely extensions like Ardell’s Magnetic Lashes Double Demi Wispies.

Our Tips For Easy Eyebrow Maintenance

Our Tips For Easy Eyebrow Maintenance

Your eyebrows are a major part of your look. Although it might be easy to side-line brow maintenance while you primp and preen other parts of your face, beauty experts will tell you that a little brow TLC can go a long way.

The trick is finding which style suits you and getting all the right tools and products to help you care for your brows long term. To give you some inspiration, here are our favourite brow cheats.

Shape and style

Brow shapes and style has varied massively over the decades. Currently, big and beautiful is the flavour of the day. But what if you’re not blessed with bushier brows? Or, years of plucking, threading and waxing has already depleted your once-glorious eyebrows?

The best advice is to leave your brows to grow for at least six to eight weeks before creating your style. That way, you can see the natural shape of your brows and work from there. You can even encourage hair growth by rubbing a small amount of Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly on the brow area.

Preparing for plucking

Beauty pros will tell you to find the start of your brows by holding a pencil from the middle of your nostril. The end of your brow should finish at the outer corner of your eye, with the arch falling at the outer edge of your iris.

With that mapped out, youƒ??ll be ready to tweeze! But not before you’ve prepped the skin first. Using a facial oil like Bio Oil’s Treatment with Purcellin Oil will allow hairs to be tweezed easier, and it will moisturise that sensitive area of your face to reduce the stress on your skin. The rule of thumb is to always pluck one hair at a time, in the direction of the hair growth and in natural daylight.

Brow makeup

Perhaps your brows need a little extra help to look at defined as possible. If you do have lighter hairs or even holes in your brows a good eyebrow pencil like Technic’s Brow Pencil & Definer Brush can make all the difference.

With any brow makeup, always select a colour closest to your own natural brow shade. If you really want brows that pop, go over the pencil with a powder in a similar shade, with a product like Collection 2000’s Define & Perfect Eyebrow Powder. Then, finish with brow mascara, such as Bourjois’s Brow Design Mascara.

Minimalist gels

If you have brows to be proud of, flaunting them with just a little gel can dramatically improve your final look. Gels like Billion Dollar Brows’ Brow Gel are clear and give you a simple, effective way of keeping those brows groomed and in place. Or, you can go for a gel with a colour tint to even out hair tone and increase definition across your brows.