NATURAL COLLECTION – GLOSSIER FOR THE DRUGSTORE?
Natural Collection is an overlooked brand in Boots. There was a time, a few years ago, that beauty bloggers were talking about the Peach Melba blush, but nothing has really cropped up since. I thought it was probably time for me to test some products out and get to the bottom of things once and for all – what’s worth picking up?
links are affiliated but opinions are my own
Natural Collection’s name isn’t to do with ingredients apparently – there are a long list of decidedly unnatural ingredients on the packaging – but rather the effect of the makeup itself. The brand targets itself to those who prefer to enhance their natural features rather than cake on the full glam every day (guilty) and makes sure to do so at an affordable price. In fact, everything is under £3. Another, more popular brand that is more on the natural side of things is Glossier, so is Natural Collection the affordable version of them?
I didn’t manage to get everything in the brand’s selection (because I’m still poor, even when most things are £2) but I did try and get everything from each category.
Although I didn’t pick up a foundation from Natural Collection (the palest shade, Porcelain, was way too dark for me), I did choose a primer. I love an illuminating primer, so I chose the Hydrating & Radiant Primer, which is £2.99. It goes on the skin like a strobe balm, but with added glycerin to get your makeup to stick. It gives a nice glowy, dewy finish to the skin without looking like you’ve put pink shimmer all over your face! I really like the way it looks and it seems to work quite well. I’ve been using this on the outer portions of my face and on my cheeks, then using a more anti-oil primer in my T-zone.
The concealer stick I chose (Correct & Conceal, £1.99) is infused with Chamomile to soothe and protect the skin, which means it doesn’t feel dry out your undereyes and feels creamy and smooth to apply. I got the shade Fair which is a little too dark for me but not too bad. There isn’t much coverage at all – my dark circles didn’t get covered enough for my liking – but the result was a natural-looking finish. If you don’t have a lot to conceal, this concealer might work for you. It did crease a little, but only before powdering.
Speaking of powder, I’ve hit pan on the Setting Powder in the shade Cool (£1.99). This is a really easy powder to quickly set everything down when I need something fast, and it also doesn’t seem to leave any sort of cast on the face – so if you are looking for some coverage, I wouldn’t recommend! The formula isn’t chalky nor too fine, so I’ve loved reaching for it over the past few months. I do think I’ll choose Neutral rather than Cool next time, though.
The Highlighter Stick (Rose Glow, £2.49) is so small and cute! Perfect for travelling with as it’s only a few centimetres high. It’s also infused with Chamomile, which means it’s creamy and cooling to the skin, so fairly easy to apply without disrupting your base. It’s not a blinding highlight, so don’t choose this if you don’t do subtle (actually, if you don’t do subtle it’s probably worth skipping Natural Collection altogether). It is quite glittery too, but micro glitters rather than chunky glitter, so it still applies smoothly and not textured. I struggled to see this on my face when using my fingers, but that improved when I applied it directly to the skin.
Bronzer is always a little tricky for me, being so pale. I got the Bronzing Powder in the shade Copper (£1.99) as that was the palest shade, but I was expecting it to look awfully warm and muddy on my skin tone, as it looks quite dark in the pan. However, it’s not very pigmented, which sounds like a bad thing but in this case definitely wasn’t! The result was something a little like Hoola Lite from Benefit, rather than the deep muddy brown I thought it would be. It does take some expert blending (I recommend a small brush to do so) but the colour can’t really be faulted.
For blush, I knew I had to get Peach Melba (Powder Blusher, £1.99). It’s a classic from Natural Collection that so many people loved back in the day and although I’m several years too late – when am I not? – I was excited to try. It wasn’t the most magical thing I’ve ever used in my life but it was pretty, did blend out well and again wasn’t so pigmented that I looked ridiculous. I also have the shade Rosey Glow which is like a more mauve version of this blush and I also love that one. I think the blushes are my favourite thing – after the primer – from the whole collection.
Eyebrows weren’t quite as successful. I’m not a fan of using pencils to do my brows, but I fancied a change and mistakenly thought it would be a good idea to try the Brow Pencil in Dark Brown (£1.99) rather than the brow gel or brow kit. It does have a spoolie on the end which is useful (and not often seen on standard pencils) but the pencil itself is too thick to work with. It doesn’t give me as much precision as I would like, and it isn’t pigmented enough to do brows easily. I much prefer a micro pencil or pomade to work with.
Natural Collection don’t have any palettes to play with, but do have a fair selection of Mono Eyeshadows (£1.99 each). I grabbed two, knowing that I probably wouldn’t use them after I had filmed the video (I’m more of a palette girl) in the shade Milk Chocolate and Champagne. Unsurprisingly, the Milk Chocolate is a matte chocolate brown and Champagne is a satin champagne shade. I was expecting a little more shimmer in the Champagne shade but I suppose that wouldn’t be too natural. The shades weren’t pigmented (a running theme…) which is not really want in eyeshadow, but was welcomed with the bronzer and blush. However, they did feel soft and blended nicely.
Finally, lipstick! I went for the shade Sweet Pea in the Moisture Shine range (£2.49) which have more of a lipbalm texture and high-shine finish. The lipstick was a lot pinker than I thought it would be, and also gave me early 00s vibes with the frosty finish! It’s definitely more frosty or icy than high-shine but the lipstick went on creamy and pigmented, so I can’t fault that.
So whilst I don’t think that the quality seems as good as Glossier, it is miles cheaper, and still gives you a fairly natural look (except the lipstick, perhaps). I think this range is suited towards school-age people (who aren’t old enough to get their glam on but are still allowed to spend their pocket money on makeup) or those who need a little something on their face, but don’t want too much, nor to spend much either. However, the shade range is abysmal if you’re pale or deeper than a medium skintone. If you’d like to see what the makeup looks like on me, check out the video below!