A little while ago, I introduced you all to the Dirty Works skincare range
– and I really am still using that moisturiser and face scrub all the time! When they asked if I’d like to try out their brand new makeup range, I managed to word a politer response than ‘gimme!!!’, but that’s definitely what I was thinking.
A box of complimentary goodies arrived at my door, containing a nude eyeshadow palette, set of lip crayons, a brow kit, a blush/bronzer/highlighter kit and a couple of brushes. I used all of the products to create this face*:
Not bad! Some products I liked more than others, but the great thing about all of them is, like with the skincare, they’re really reasonable, so find just one thing you like and you’re laughing. Here’s what I thought about each product…
Back to Basics Eyeshadow Palette
This looked like a version of the Urban Decay Naked palettes, so it was definitely the one I was most excited about. If it worked, for £8 it’d be a significant bargain over those! I’ll admit, my hopes weren’t high because I’ve bought many a cheaper palette and found the eyeshadow had so little pigment I couldn’t even tell I had it on half the time. I prepped my lids as I always do, with foundation, concealer, powder and a layer of eyeshadow primer (they’re veiny and gross, trust me they need all that). Then I used the second shade from the left in the picture as a base over the lid, and the third from the left in the crease (a matte light brown). I then added fifth from the left (a darker matte brown) and I was quite pleased with the subtle, but definitely there finished look. I know from experience that what is subtle in real life doesn’t always show in photos, so I used the matte black in the corners and crease to darken the brown down (there’s a good picture of the shadow later on in this post).
What really impressed me with this set was firstly – they maybe don’t have quite the pigment of the Urban Decay shadows, but it really wasn’t bad at all. I’ve had much worse from big drugstore makeup brands. Secondly, they applied really smoothly, blended like a dream and wore well all day. Thirdly, there’s a full-size double-ended brush in this kit, and the soft, rounded brush was fantastic for both applying and blending. I would have paid £8 just for that brush alone!
Re-purchase? I haven’t tried all the shades yet and I tend to find I take several goes with a palette before it becomes a favourite, but it has the makings of one that I reach for for a more subtle look, for sure.
Wow Brows Eyebrow Kit
You get a tube of brow gel, and then a little kit of two brown powders, a highlighter powder, and miniature tweezers, brow brush and angled powder brush in a compartment underneath. That’s some kit – it’d be great for taking on holiday! I found that combining the two powders, one which is ashy, one which is warmer, came closest to my shade. I found the powder wasn’t as pigmented as I wanted – I’m used to my Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade which is the definition of a pigmented brow product, and I just don’t find fine powders my favourite for filling in my brows. I’ve got weird naked patches and one of my eyebrows has to be overdrawn to be more symmetrical and cover up the direction the hairs grow in (the wrong flipping way) and the finished effect was ok, but it wasn’t as sharp as I personally like my brows to be. I also couldn’t see the highlighter powder on my skin whatsoever – which has happened before, I think I’m so pale I sometimes match highlighters!
Re-purchase? I love all the little extras, but brow powders just aren’t my bag and I needed more pigment. If you like a more natural brow and want a travel kit this would no doubt be a good choice for you. Also, the tube of brow gel I rather like and am still using!
Blush & Glow Palette
I was excited by this product because I’m always on the lookout for my perfect blush and bronzer shades. I don’t hate what I currently use, but it’s easy to be really heavy-handed with them. These powders were quite different. In fact, when I was putting them on I couldn’t tell where they were going in my poorly lit bedroom. I was using the brush Dirty Works sent me for the job and I realised that it wasn’t really picking up a lot of product (more to come on this). I switched to my regular cheek brush and got along much better. I still couldn’t really see what I’d done though.
But then I took these photos and I can clearly see the bronzer and blush! And I really rather like them; it looks like a healthy, rosy glow rather than like I’ve painted my cheeks (which is how I feel I usually look with my normal blusher on). I did put the highlighter on too – I think you can actually see evidence of it in the first photo as it’s reflecting light off my cheek, but I couldn’t see it much in the flesh again.
Re-purchase? I’m still using the lovely blush shade daily, but find I prefer my Nars bronzer for the colour. The highlighter I really can’t see very much on my pale skin, but might work better on someone darker than me.
Lip Service Luxe Lip Crayons (set of three)
I read these were glossy and have to say, wasn’t hopping with enthusiasm. I am really just not a glossy lip girl – I hate the feel of it and I mostly hate the look. I don’t really like shiny things anywhere near my face to be honest. So, it was with some trepidation I tried the red crayon. Top marks for colour – I was expecting it to be a little weak, but it was punchy and applied smoothly and easily. I overdraw my lips a little to correct a wonky bow and a lot of crayons can’t handle this and it looks really fake – this one managed just fine with this challenge! It is a little glossy, but it’s not sticky and it’s little enough I didn’t really mind it. It does transfer though, as you’d expect. It also has a bit of a plasticky smell which thankfully didn’t hang around for too long.
Re-purchase? I like the red and the sort of mauvey pink in the set, but the light pink is too light for me. The two other colours, I find myself picking up on days I want a more toned-down look – the pink one I’m wearing pretty much daily for work. Admittedly I have so many lip products it takes something very special to require me to repurchase it!
The eyeshadow brush and blusher brush
£4 – https://dirtyworksbeauty.com/product/dirty-works-eyeshadow-brush/
& £6 https://dirtyworksbeauty.com/product/dirty-works-blusher-brush/
I’m always up for trying new brushes, particularly eyeshadow and cheek brushes. I’m quite fussy about my shadow brushes and I wasn’t expecting to like this one, but actually, it did a great job of picking the shadow up for my base layer. I don’t use flat-head brushes like this one for crease-work, but I do like it for depositing a lot of powder over my lid. The blusher brush, though, was a bit of a fail. It felt amazing on my skin, it was so soft, but it turns out it wasn’t as great at putting product on my face as it was stroking it. Hence why I did resort to my normal brush in the end. I think the bristles were just too soft – I actually think it would be quite a good blender potentially, but I tend to get by with the one brush for everything because I’m pretty darn lazy.
Re-purchase? Yes to the eyeshadow brush, but the blusher brush wasn’t for me.
All-in-all, for a very cheap makeup range, there’s some good eggs in here! I’m not sure what my favourite is, but the brushes are fantastic and I do very much like the blusher and eyeshadow palette. If you see the range in your local Sainsbury’s I suggest you check it out.
*Note, I’m wearing my usual foundation/concealer/powder base, mascara and false eyelashes in these photos, but everything else is as per the products mentioned!