I'm going to come clean: Over the last few weeks, I've been experiencing what can only be described as product fatigue. Of course, one of the best parts of my job as a beauty editor is getting the chance to try out the latest beauty products, but every now and then, the sheer volume of newness can get a little overwhelming. After all, we're creatures of habit at heart, and having to constantly switch in new products and pass along ones that aren't quite right can feel like a lot—especially when you're about to embark on testing your 17th new moisturiser of the month.
Suffice to say, I've been dealing with some product burnout lately, particularly with regard to my makeup bag, where I just can't seem to summon the enthusiasm to test out new things. Like many people, I'm still working from home, and when the majority of my days revolve around hunching over my dining room table–slash-desk or taking my toddler to the park, I can't find much real-life inspiration for trying out a colourful eye shadow or trending lipstick. That is until a delivery from Sculpted by Aimee Connolly landed on my doorstep last week.
Since lockdown restrictions have eased in the UK, I've definitely noticed a shift in the types of makeup launches that have been arriving at my house. Whereas the peak of the pandemic saw a flurry of new skincare and tinted-moisturiser launches, the latter half of 2021 is all about audacious eye shadow palettes, bold blushes and vibrant lipsticks. And I get it. While many of us are more than happy to continue with our more pared-back makeup routines, there are plenty of people who want to experiment with new colours and textures now that we can go out and show off our looks IRL. However, the thing that drew me to the Sculpted by Aimee Connolly collection was its obvious skin-first approach to makeup. By that I mean the focus is on great base products (foundations and concealers) and sheer, dewy creams that add a natural flush of colour to your cheeks.
Founded by makeup artist Aimee Connolly in late 2016, Sculpted by Aimee Connolly was initially only available in Ireland before landing in the UK via Boots last year. And while I have heard a couple of beauty editors raving about the products, I had yet to try anything for myself until a few weeks back. Honestly? Since discovering it, it's been basically the only makeup brand that I've been wearing on my face. And despite currently experiencing the mother of all hormonal breakouts, I have been absolutely amazed at how good my skin looks when wearing these products. In fact, I've even had compliments from people on my skin since using this range, and I can you assure that underneath the foundation, I am dealing with blemishes galore. In fact, it was even my makeup brand of choice for a fancy press dinner at Claridge's last week. High praise indeed.
Ahead, keep scrolling for my full review of Sculpted by Aimee Connolly and to shop my favourite products from the collection.
If you buy one product from the range, make it this foundation. It's exactly what it says on the bottle—a dewy-finish, medium-coverage foundation that leaves skin glowy, even and healthy-looking. I prefer to apply this with my fingers or a makeup sponge (I find that a brush can make it look a little streaky) and love how hydrating and comfortable it feels on my skin. It blends beautifully over dry patches and spots, so there's no risk of it looking heavy or cakey. It's a holy-grail product for me.
There are two concealers in the collection, and while this one does offer decent coverage, it's my weapon of choice for under-eye circles and bags rather than spots. It has a light, creamy texture that blends easily into skin and instantly makes eyes look brighter and more awake. And while it hasn't quite knocked my beloved Glossier concealer off of the top spot, it's come pretty close.
I recently asked on Instagram for high-coverage-concealer recommendations for spots, and I got a couple of suggestions for this. It's thick (in a good way) but very pliable, so it can easily be pressed over spots or any other areas that you might want a little extra coverage. The thing that impressed me most about this was its staying power—even on days that I haven't set this with loose powder, it's stuck around for most of the day.
Unless I want my makeup to last all day, I don't really bother with primer, but I'm into anything that promises to make my skin look glowier—and this certainly does that. Enriched with hyaluronic acid and pearlised pigments, this is a really nourishing primer (in fact, it feels like a moisturiser) that leaves skin looking so bright and radiant. When I'm just hanging around the house, I've been wearing this alone with concealer, and it makes my skin look really dewy and healthy. But it also works brilliantly layered under foundations for a more luminous finish.
Cream blushers have become my go-to formulation of choice lately, and this one is really good. The texture isn't as creamy as some that I've tried, which sounds like a bad thing but is actually a positive, as it means that once it's on, it stays put. I tend to pat it on with my fingertips then blend out the edges with a brush, and I just love how it adds a sheeny pop of colour to my skin.
I'm not sure if it is possible to be in love with a highlighter, but I adore this one. It's ultra-creamy and delivers a pearly, golden wash of goodness to your skin. I press it onto cheekbones, down my nose and onto my Cupid's bow for glowy skin in a flash, but I'd be more than happy to apply it everywhere if left to my own devices.
Although matte foundations used to be my jam, in recent years, I've opted for satin or glowy formulations instead. However, during breakout gate, I was tempted to give this a go, and oh my goodness, it just might have converted me back to matte foundations. I love it because it isn't too matte—yes, it takes down excess shine, but your skin still looks fresh and healthy—and it has amazing lasting power even on oily skin like mine.
Finally, this translucent setting powder. While I really think that most of the Sculpted by Aimee Connolly range delivers when it comes to staying power, this lightweight powder really helps to extend the wear of the products without weighing the skin down or dialling down the radiance of any of their glow-boosting properties. Bravo.