Superdrug has recently reformulated and relaunched their entire B. makeup line, so of course I had to get hold of some, put it through its paces for at least a couple of weeks and get an in-depth review together. Is it any good? Does it represent value for money? Read on to find out…
The old makeup line was okay, but I found many of the products too perfume-y, and some of them were a little overpriced for the formulations that they contained. The new line is all very different, all vegan, not full of fragrance, and they’ve definitely raised the bar with the quality while keeping the prices about the same for most things (the lip products are a little cheaper now, if I remember rightly).
The first product I tried was the Flawless Matte Foundation with SPF15 in shade N1. The N presumably stands for ‘neutral’, and it’s a very close match for my skin tone in the Autumn and Winter (I struggle to find a good match even with designer ranges so this is a good find for me). There’s a slightly yellow neutral undertone, with no unflattering pink or orange tint, and the colour didn’t oxidise during wear which is a real bonus. There are ten shades in the range which is pretty good for a drugstore line. It’s described as medium coverage, although I’d say it’s probably more light to medium, but it’s buildable and enough to cover light freckles and slight redness. As with most matte foundations it dries fairly quickly so it’s best to apply to one area on the face at a time and blend in with a beauty sponge.
The finish isn’t completely matte and flat, it has a touch of satin in it which looks more natural and it avoids that artificial and cakey look that you get with some similar products. It lasted a while on my T-zone on days with cooler weather, but needed blotting and re-touching by lunchtime on warmer days, so it’s probably best suited to normal to combination skin types. It’s reasonably priced at £9.99 and is definitely worth a test if you’re in a Superdrug store with a B. makeup stand. For a more radiant, moisturising finish, there’s another line of foundations called Flawless Silk in the range.
I also tested a B. Sculpt & Highlight Contour Stick in 01 Light. This is a double-ended contour pen or crayon, priced £8.99, and it’s very, very creamy. I found it reasonably easy to blend and use, and the highlight end of the stick was a nice shade. I’m not really all that into contouring so I don’t think it’ll get much from me to be honest, but I know a lot of people do like it, and it might suit someone who’s got a dry skin type or be fun to use on holiday.
The next thing up for testing was the Brow Styler pencil in blonde. These are good value at £4.99 if you can find a shade that suits you, they’re an angled twist up stick that you don’t need to sharpen and they come with a spoolie on the other end to blend for a natural look (a bit like an Anstasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, or a Benefit Goof Proof brow pencil but a lot cheaper). As you can see from the picture above, the blonde shade leans a fraction warm, but I still found it suited me fairly well and it’s an easy product to throw in your makeup bag for a bit of glam on the go.
I also tried the Long Wear Gel Liner pot in metallic bronze, which is £6.99. It doesn’t look like much in the pot, but it goes on a lovely flattering deep bronze with a slight metallic gleam. There’s a bit of a learning curve with applying it, but that’s the case with all long wear eyeliners. Once this is on there’s just enough slip in it to give a quick smudge at the edges if you want to soften the line. Then it pretty much sets like a rock and lasts for hours and hours. I LOVE this, but do be warned it’s a fraction dry and you need to provide your own brush. It reminds me of one of the original formula Bobbi Brown eyeliners, and I found I needed a waterproof makeup remover to take it off.
Next up we have the B. Lip & Cheek Tint in bashful, coming in at £6.99 for a generous sized pot. This is fairly creamy, and it gives a nice healthy flush to the cheeks or lips. For the lips I found it was best to dab it on over some clear lip balm to get the right level of moisture, but I liked the level of pigmentation. There are six attractive shades in this range, and I think they’d be a handy multi-tasking product for more casual makeup looks. Bashful is a bright orange-coral shade that sheers out a bit, but I might try crimson caress next time as the deep rose shade might be good for Autumn.
And now on to the lip products. I tried two of the Velvet Matte Liquid Lips and two of the Velvet Matte Lipsticks. These are from a much wider range of colours, so if you want something much brighter or a bit more edgy then take your pick. The swatches are in the picture below.
Let’s talk about the Velvet Matte Liquid Lips, priced £6.99. These are fairly much as you’d expect, soft liquid lipsticks with doe foot applicators that dry down to a completely matte finish. They are slightly slow to dry down, so I found it was best to just apply a fairly small amount and then gently pat it into the lips so it didn’t feel sticky. The first one was by Cassie Lomas, shade ‘all about me’ and it’s a warm toned nude with a touch of dark peach in it – this would probably look good with a tan. The second was the standard version in ‘pinky promise’, a warmish pink-nude colour that has a touch of salmon in it. I was surprised at how much I liked the colours, they weren’t too drying and didn’t need too much retouching through the day.
And finally we have the Velvet Matte Lipsticks, also £6.99. I tried ‘jinxed’, a raisin brown, and ‘snatched’, a tan nude shade that’s quite wearable and fortunately doesn’t give you that ‘concealer lips’ look. Both contain shea butter so they’re not as drying as some matte lipsticks and I found that made them a bit more comfortable to wear. I’d say the finish is actually half way between creme and matte, but I quite like that and I’ll probably be reaching for ‘jinxed’ in the winter for a change from the usual berry shades. The wear time is moderately good rather than stay-all-day, but I’d say that’s a fair trade off for the fact that they’re less drying than other similar products. The full shade range is gorgeous and I think these are great value for money and a big improvement on the old range.
There are plenty more products to try from B., and I’ll probably be testing out some more of their makeup goodies soon. Top of my wishlist are their Luminous Silk Lipsticks (I prefer something moisturising and a bit sheer for everyday use) and the Souffle Face Primer, so expect some more reviews in due course…
To sum up: This is a good range of cosmetics, it’s decent quality and not overpriced, with a fairly broad range of shades and finishes to suit just about every skin tone and type. My only gripe is that the colour cosmetics aren’t available in store yet, because it’s nice to be able to go in and swatch a few testers before buying. I love the lack of fragrance and the cruelty free credentials, and vegans will probably love it even more as it’s one of the few fully vegan makeup lines that’s relatively affordable.
Have you tried anything from the B. makeup range yet? Tempted?
Full disclosure: Samples kindly provided by PR. All opinions my own.