Thursday, 31 January 2013

January Empties

I finally have some empties for you! I will be the first to admit that I am terrible for finishing products. I get bored of the scent and move on really quickly. Particularly with shower gels and moisturisers. However, since Kat from Tales of a Pale Face talked about her savings idea of putting away money for every product she finishes, I've been feeling inspired! No more will half used products sit in my bathroom! 

From L-R: Soap and Glory Hand Food, Soap and Glory Clean on Me Shower Gel, The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter 50ml, VO5 Treat Me Right Hair Mask, VO5 Gloss Me Smoothly Conditioner, The Body Shop Dragon Fruit Lip Butter, Boots Conditioning Nail Polish Remover

Soap and Glory Hand Food and Clean on Me Shower Gel
Okay, confession time. I've actually had these since December 2011. I got them in the big S&G case. I'm not normally this bad when it comes to using up products but I actually got so sick of the smell of these that I couldn't bare to use them! They just reminded me so much of working at Boots (as a very miserable Christmas temp) and they gave me a queasy feeling of dread every time I smelt them. A few months ago I decided that I was going to try to reacclimatise myself to them so they didn't make me feel sick. I didn't do too badly! They're still excruciatingly sweet but meh, I finished them. I know that for a lot of people these are like Holy Grail products, particularly the Hand Food. But I wasn't wowed. I personally much prefer the smell of the Sugar Crush range. The quality is excellent though. They last forever and you don't need much. The Hand Food is very moisturising but it doesn't sink in quite as quickly as I'd like. Still very fast, but not by any means perfect. (P.S. the shower gel has lost it's colour because it was shoved on the window sill for months, it's supposed to be a happy pink!)
Repurchase? No way. I gave away my last Hand Food and Righteous Butter to my giveaway winner. I would have given her the shower gel too but it was too darn heavy!

The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter 50ml
Ahh, let me count the ways I love thee... One of my all time favourite products are the body butters that The Body Shop make and this is possibly my favourite scent. It's very true to a Satsuma smell and it sinks in insanely fast. It's a bit lighter and creamier than the other butters that I have tried so I would prefer to use this in the Spring/Summer. I actually finished this around Christmas time and it's my oldest empty out of the lot! I like to layer the satsuma mist over this for an extra long lasting scent. Smelling like a satsuma isn't for every one, but I love it.
Repurchase? Already have. The 200ml version sits proudly on my drawers.

VO5 Treat Me Right Hair Mask and VO5 Gloss Me Smoothly Conditioner
I'm very fickle when it comes to my hair. I'd like to say I'm loyal to a certain shampoo and conditioner but I'd be lying. I'm actually the type that buys whatever is on offer a the time! *bad beauty blogger* Regardless of my bizarre swapping and changing, I have noticed a slight improvement in my hair recently. I think it's a combination of these and my Tresemme heat defence spray. It looks much shinier than it usually does! I've always been quite lucky with the condition of my hair and I've never suffered with particularly bad dryness or split ends but shine and volume is something I'm always looking for. Here's my hair a couple of days ago (sorry for the long image):

This is after using Colour B4 (which didn't work, but that's a story for another day,) applying the VO5 mask and Tresemme heat defence. Very shiny and healthy looking! I do recommend these products if you're looking for cheap glossy conditioners.
Repurchase? Yes, so long as they're on offer ;)

The Body Shop Dragon Fruit Lip Butter
All hail the holy grail! I love this product. I rave about it whenever I get a chance. Being of dry skin variety I also suffered with dry and chapped lips which would split and bleed (gross but true.) Well no longer. This product is an intensely moisturising, thick, pale cream. I slather it on at night and wake up to fabulous soft lips. Can't recommend it enough. Particularly in Winter.
Repurchase? YES! Already have. I'm trying a new scent though, hello Mango!

Boots Conditioning Nail Polish Remover
Always an essential. I picked this one up months and months ago and it's lasted forever (despite me tipping it over and losing some!) Would I say it was conditioning? Hmm. It certainly wasn't drying and cuticles always felt soft after using so to an extent I'd say yes. Also worth noting is that this is the nicest smelling nail varnish remover I have ever smelt. It doesn't make me wince with the acrid fumes. And on top of all that it even removed my nail varnish with a small amount of effort! Win.
Repurchase? I probably would. I recently bought a strengthening one from Sainsbury's so I'll see how that compares first.

Lots of positivity in this months empties! What do you think to these products?


January Favourites

Since I've now been blogging for over two months I feel familiar enough with my stash to start my monthly favourites! What better month to start than January?  I have a bit of a mix here, there's few old favourites and some new products too. So here are my most reached for this month:

From L-R: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains in Honey and Crush, W7 Nail Varnish in 11, The Body Shop Aloe Gentle Foaming Face Wash, Naturals Mango and Papaya Lip Balm, Maybelline Dream Touch Cream Blush in Berry 06, The Body Shop Shea Body Butter, Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Liner in Black

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains in Honey and Crush
I was very late on the band wagon with these but I'm enormously happy that I finally jumped on! I've literally been swapping these back and forth for Day and Night. Honey is a pretty soft pink and Crush is deep berry tone. I find them absolutely ideal for the Winter since they're slightly moisturising. Matte lipsticks tend to dry my lips out in this weather. Swatches and full review here.

W7 Nail Varnish in 11
A beautiful powdery pastel blue. I've worn it twice already this month! I even accidentally bought an Illamasqua dupe but I find the slightly thinner formula of this polish works better for me. It's a great colour to take me into Spring. I love it!

The Body Shop Aloe Gentle Foaming Face Wash
I've been using this for a couple of months now and it's almost empty. It's super light and refreshing and I love using it. I always feel extra clean and my skin looks more radiant in the mornings. I can't sing it's praises enough. Colour, fragrance and paraben free, it's ideal for sensitive skin girls like me.

Naturals Mango and Papaya Lip Balm
A more recent addition to my stash! I actually won this from Jasmine and it came in a collection of four different scents. I love all of them but this is my current favourite. It smells absolutely divine. Really fruity and fresh. It has a slight orange tint to it which comes out as a very natural peachy shine on my lips. Perfect for day time. I haven't put it down!

Maybelline Dream Touch Cream Blush in Berry 06
I bought this all the way back in November but I've only recently started full embracing it. This is 100% my go to blush. I prefer a slightly dewy finish because I feel it looks much more natural on my dry skin and this is just perfect for a touch of natural colour. It only takes a very small amount and I buff it on using my round Nanshy brush for a flawless finish. Lasts forever, looks gorgeous. Review of Nanshy brushes and cheek swatch here.

The Body Shop Shea Body Butter
The very first Body Shop butter that I ever bought and still a firm favourite. It's the one that I reach for when I have very dry skin and I love it for some extra moisture in Winter. I have quite a few of the butters and there are an amazing selection of scents. They sink in really fast and you can smell them all day long. Perfect mosturisers.

Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Liner in Black
This is has always been my go to liquid liner and this is a brand new tube since I tragically lost my old one. It's ultra black, dries fast and doesn't transfer despite not being waterproof. It also has my favourite kind of applicator, a slightly firm point that doesn't splay or pull on my skin. Forever repurchase.

Quite a few this month that I wanted to feature! Have you tried any of these products? I'd love a link to your favourites this month!


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Review: Revlon Colourburst Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie

Raspberry Pie is the very first colour that I dreamed of owning when I first saw it on The Sunday Girl and is the last of the colours that I currently own!

Unlike some of the other shades you get exactly what you pay for with this one. The bullet is a rich raspberry pink (shock) and that's exactly what I get on my lips.

It's rich, glossy and completely opaque in one swipe. Perfection! There's no shimmer in this one, it just has a beautiful high-shine finish. It's very smooth and moisturising and lasts the longest of the ones that I've tried at around three hours or so. This is one of my favourite lip colours of all time and I don't wear it nearly as much as I should. It's so well pigmented that it will look great regardless of the pigmentation of your lips and I can't think of a skin tone it wouldn't work well with. I particularly think that dark skinned beauties would look gorgeous in this. I really can't sing the praises of Raspberry Pie enough.

Final Verdict: If you love the colour, get it!

So that wraps up my mini series of lip butter reviews! See the others using the links below:


NOTD Barry M Black and MUA Nail Constellation in Libra

I was very lucky recently and won a giveaway from the lovely Jasmine at Oh So Flawless (thank you!) Included was one of the fairly new MUA Nail Constellations which are a high street dupe of the Ciaté Caviar manicures. They come in a few different colour mixes and I got Libra which contains mostly black beads with a few turquoise. I figured that it would look best over a plain black background and I found a Barry M one in my collection that I hadn't tried yet.

The Barry M Black was streaky on the first application but fully opaque on the second coat. It also dried fairly quickly which is great. The Nail Constellation managed to thoroughly confuse me. It literally couldn't figure out how to open the damn thing! I pulled off the tip and nothing came out... turns out I was being an absolute fool. The entire cap comes off (with a bit off effort) and there is a small piece of plastic sheeting covering the beads. Despite there being an applicator tube I decided it would be easiest to go for a dipping method and promptly poured some into a bowl. The hard part came later when I was trying to put the excess back in the bottle!

I decided to opt for an accent nail rather than a full manicure because it just seems so much easier to wear! The beads themselves stuck very well and I loved the black on black. I think the amount of turquoise beads wasn't very well thought out though. It's practically impossible to achieve even spacing so they just look a bit random and out of place. Not that the colour even mattered, because within a couple of hours the turquoise beads had turned silver. As soon as I got them wet the colour disappeared which is a bit disappointing. Despite the issues I actually really did like the look and they lasted much longer than I thought they would. I always imagined caviar manicures to be more of a one night deal but these lasted a good few days until I took them off (because the Barry M polish had chipped.) I did lose a few on the first day when I pulled something out of my pocket but they mostly stayed put when the polish solidified. I think this pot is going to last absolutely ages, you need hardly any for the look. I'm not sure if I'll buy any more though simply because I'm not sure how much I would wear them. I'm very happy that I got the chance to try them out though, thanks again Jasmine!

You can buy MUA Nail Constellation at Superdrug or on the MUA website for £3. (Bargain!)

Have you tried these or the Ciate manicures? Would love to know what you think!


Monday, 28 January 2013

Review: Illamasqua Powder Eye Shadow in Angst/How To Wear Red Eyeshadow

Red eye shadow is one of those products that can be extremely intimidating. Matte colours in particular can be difficult to work with in brights but with a few tricks all kinds of red can be very easy to wear and they really make eye colours "pop". I've always enjoyed using orange and rust coloured eye shadows but I'd never really tried to use bright red. It's always something that's been on my "must find" list so I was ecstatic when I found Angst in the Illamasqua sale for just £5! I know it's a bit 2010/11 trend-wise but I think there's always a place for red.

Angst is a bright, matte, red shadow packaged in Illamasqua's signature plastic container. If I'm absolutely honest it was a little less pigmented than what I was hoping. On clean skin it appeared quite pink. It is however, very soft and has minimal fall out. Wear time can't be faulted either. It was pretty much perfect until I removed it. I found that it was best used over a white base such as the NYX Milk pencil to get a true colour. I personally used the e.l.f Sheer Eye Primer and MUA eyeliner in Snow White respectively for my looks.

 Block Colour

"Peeking" Liner
(please excuse brows in above looks. Oops)

I personally find that when it comes to using red like this, trying to create anything hazy or smoky will result in making you look a bit tired/self medicated (not great.) Obviously combining red with browns/blacks will combat this and there are some great tutorials out there for red smoky eyes but for mattes it's best to go for clean, simple looks. The best and most wearable, in my opinion, are block colours and using it as a liner. Obviously mine aren't perfect and I'm no make up artist but these are both looks that I'd be happy to wear out of the house.

Block Colour:
Think about the shape that you want to create. Pick something that will be flattering for your eye and face shape. I personally have a round face so I always like to wing my liner and shadows upwards to elongate my face. Gently sketch out your shape using the shadow until your happy with it. It's then just a case of filling in your design and adding any liner or mascara you wish! A super simple and fast way to a wearable high-fashion look.

"Peeking" Liner:Even faster is this fun, easy look. Usually I would always use black liquid against my lash line but since I had the Illamasqua Havoc liner to hand I thought I'd try it out! It's simply a case of applying any dark liquid or pencil to your lash line and then, using a small brush, follow the line just above using your shadow. I was unsatisfied with the pigmentation the first time I tried this so I went back and applied a white pencil liner under the red. This improved the colour 100 fold and I'm very happy with the result! This technique can make any bright colour very easy to wear. I often do this using black liquid and neon orange pencil and always get complimented.

Essential Tips to Make it Wearable:
1. Always use some kind of primer. Not only will it improve the pigmentation and staying power but it will prevent the staining that is very common with colours like this
2. Try to remove as much redness from your face as possible. Any blemishes or red pigmentation will clash with the look. This includes particularly blood shot eyes - red shadow doesn't go great with a hangover. Brightening eye drops can help.
3. Simplify the rest of your make up by using nudes or products in the same colour range. Red eyes and nude lips look great.

Obviously you don't have to use red like this, it's just a suggestion!

So what do you think to these looks? I hope you liked my tips and I'd love to see any red looks that you've created.


Sunday, 27 January 2013

Review: Illamasqua Precision Ink in Havoc

Another lovely bargain that I picked up in the sales is the Illamasqua Precision Ink in Havoc. I love liquid liner and almost always would choose liquid over pencils (I haven't tried gel though!) because I just love the effect it gives. I've only ever worn black before and I thought that this would be a nice change. The colour is described as aubergine but it definitely leans more red than what I was imagining.

I really like the packaging. It's neat, sleek and the applicator has a nice long handle which makes it easy to manoeuvre. I love the simple, black packaging that Illamsqua use but it's a bit nondescript and I'm not sure if I'll be able to find this in my collection very quickly!

The nib is my favourite kind of liquid liner applicator. I find that brushes separate and I can't control them, but felt nibs are too hard and it takes me ages to do my eyes. This nib picks up a nice amount of product and it's flexible enough to do whatever shape you fancy.

Believe it or not this is actually dry! It dries to a high shine finish which I find rather strange. I've never seen a liquid liner dry to anything other than a matte finish. I'm not sure how I feel about it! It's certainly unique. As I said the colour is much more red than I thought it would be but I actually love the colour. It's a very safe way to wear red which can be extremely intimidating. Reds look absolutely amazing against green eyes (if in doubt, the opposite colour on the colour wheel will make your eyes pop the most. I might do a post on this in the future after some more colour research) It was really easy to use and it does live up to it's waterproof label. It stayed on all day and I didn't notice any smudging, flaking or transferral. It will require some proper make up remover to get it off. I used my No7 eye makeup remover and it came off quickly, but I used a make up wipe on my hand and it required a good scrubbing to peel it away from my skin. Just thought of doing that to my eyes made me cringe! For £5 I'm very happy with my purchase. Would I pay £17 for it? Probably not. The wet look is going to take some getting used to and it's not a colour I've ever seen before so if this looks like something you'd be interested in snap it up on the website! The sale ends at 12pm on 29th January.

Final Verdict: A truly unique look that's not for every one. Try it while it's in the sale!

What do you think to this product? Do you know of any high street brands with a wide range of liquid liner colours?


Saturday, 26 January 2013

Haul: No7, Models Own and much much more!

On Friday morning I woke up to my bank account looking plump and healthy after my very last pay cheque (boo.) I decided that I was going to go out in style. I passed a lot of it onto my boyfriend to cover some bills and to put some into savings. The rest was for me to spend on things that would make me happy. Queue teen movie style shopping. I've grouped the items into purpose.
First up, Skincare:

From L-R: The Body Shop Absinthe Hand Cream (sample), The Body Shop Mango Lip Butter £4, No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Make-Up Remover £8.50, No7 Beautiful Skin Hydration Mask £12.50, No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Balm £9, Nivea Daily Essentials Express Hydration Primer for Dry & Sensitive Skin £4.99

I tried out the Absinthe hand cream in store and really liked it. It has a light nettle scent that's really refreshing. It's thick and smooth and also comes in a hand butter which I'm quite curious about. I'm glad the assistant gave me this because I'm going to try and collect the little pots and one day mix Sleek Pout Paints in them (I WILL HAVE THEM ONE DAY!) The Lip Butter is my Holy Grail. I just finished up my Dragon Fruit one and it's lasted me absolutely ages and smells divine but I really wanted to try something new. It has a slight shimmer and more of a neutral tone to it which means I'll probably be able to wear this during the day more than my other one. Here's hoping. No7 Eye Make Up Remover is to serve as a replacement for the body shop cucumber cleansing milk which I find leaves a residue behind on my skin. Ick. I'm really excited to try the Hydration Mask. I've read some reviews and they all sound really promising. I suffer from dry patches of skin so this should help. Cleansing Balm is again to try and help my dry skin. I currently use the body shop aloe foaming facial wash, which I do love and recommend to anyone with sensitive skin, but I'm hoping this will give my skin the extra push it needs for moisture. I asked the #bbloggers a week or two ago during the chat to recommend a primer and the Nivea Express Hydration cropped up a lot. Since it was only £4.99 in Superdrug I couldn't really say no.


From L-R: Models Own 3 in 1 (clear,) Golden Peach, Blooming Pink, In the Navy, Juicy Jules, Blizzard £5 each, Revlon Liquid Quick Dry £6.49

So I went a little crazy on the Models Own offers in Boots. I've never tried them before but they seem to be really highly rated by a lot of bloggers and I absolutely love the colours I picked up! The only one I've used so far is Blizzard which you can see here with Illamasqua's Caress. I've been a bit nail varnish mad recently and I think I'll be doing some collection posts soon which I'm excited about! Revlon Liquid Quick Dry is a product that goes on after the top coat to speed up drying time. It contains oils and vitamins which (apparently) help your nails stay healthy. I saw this and I was like omg if this works it will change my life. I'm one of those people that is just terrible for getting smudges and indents in my manicure. I've tried this once today and so far I'm pretty impressed. it definitely helped give me a rock solid mani. I'll give it a few more tries and review soon!


Colour B4 Hair Colour Remover in Extra Strength £11.99 each

Eye wateringly expensive. I resent paying full price for anything so this was a struggle for me. I've been thinking about doing this for over a year now and I've finally decided to buy the stuff and take the plunge. The issue is that I'm currently trying to grow out my chemical-laden coloured hair and I can't deal with the bizarre colouring any more. It's dark blonde/light brown at the top, dyed brown in the middle, and auburn at the bottom. It could look a lot worse but I'm very aware of it and that's all that matters to me. By no stretch of the imagination do I think I'm gonna be blonde again afterwards but I'm hoping that this will make the divides less noticeable. I will definitely let you know what happens!


The Body Shop Amazonian Wild Lily EDT 50ml £15, Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light £4.19

I'm always on the hunt for another perfume that I like and I gave Amazonian Lily a spritz on a whim and fell in love. It's very fresh and light and the floral notes aren't overly strong. I dislike exptremely sweet/floral perfumes and I wasn't expecting to like this. Perfume scents are very personal but if your tastes are anything like mine I urge you to give it a try! I bought this with 40% off. £9 for a perfume! Bargain. Believe it or not I've never tried the Collection Concealer.  I have the illuminating touch version and I really like it, but I needed something a bit heavier for pigmentation issues. I swatched the fair shade but it is very very pale. I think Light will do nicely!

So that's everything! I did also snag a couple of the Apocalips today but it was after dark so no photos I'm afraid! I'm sure you'll see them here soon enough.

Have you tried any of the products I bought? What do you think to them?


Thursday, 24 January 2013

Review: Illamasqua Liquid Metal Palette in Art of Darkness

I picked this little beauty up for just £10 when I went on my recent rampage through the amazing Illamasqua Sale (it's still on, go go go!) and it's probably the item that I was most excited for. It's a palette of four multi-use metallic cream pigments housed in sleek black plastic with a nice sized mirror. I don't usually include so many photos of a single product but I really want to show this off completely:

Top Left Clockwise: Stoic, Solstice, Superior, Resolute

I absolutely love Illamasqua's packaging. I love the signature shape and clean black plastic. It does get dirty easily because the plastic is just so smooth. I've already left a myriad of fingers prints and smudges all over mine but it's so easy to clean that it's not really an issue. The creams themselves are beautiful colours and I love the effort that Illamasqua have gone into with the pretty names. Stoic was the stand out for me and I was almost tempted to buy it on it's so I could have plenty in my stash. In the end I'm glad I didn't as Stoic is actually the least pigmented and the hardest to work with of all the colours.

I was so amazed and excited when I swatched these! Ahh, look at them! Beautiful, luminous metal. Solstice is definitely the most pigmented and being gold I feel that it's something that I'm going to get a lot of use out of. Resolute and Superior were about the same (very smooth and pigmented) and sadly, as I said, Stoic was a little more patchy and awkward. Still nice and well pigmented though. One of the things that I'd noticed when I was looking for other reviews of these products is that no one had really tried to push the limits of these products. When I was playing with them the first thing I wanted to do is start mixing and painting and see what they could do! Which led me here:

The pigments are very easy to blend and mix which means that despite there only being four colours in the palette, the colour possibilities are a lot higher! Superior and Resolute created a rich violet, Solstice and Resolute created a coppery/orange and Solstice and Superior created a pretty olive tone. Obviously these are just three options and there are a lot more (I'll let you know if I find anything else really special) but how exciting! There's such a wonderful capacity for experimentation and creativity with Illamasqua products which the company actively encourages. I am a happy bunny.

But of course, regardless of how good they look on my arm, it's how they stand up on my lids that matters. And this is where it all falls apart.

This is the first look I tried using Solstice and Resolute. I always try out any eye products without primer to begin with just to get a feel for the lasting power and quality. I'm very sad to say that this lasted even less than a single hour. The second I started blinking the pigments settled into my crease and started disappearing from the rest of my lid. The photo you see above is immediately after applying and you can already see the look dissolving. Not to be beaten though, I decided to try again.

I know this look using Superior and Stoic isn't amazing, it was simply thrown together to check lasting power. I applied e.l.f eyelid primer and used a little powder to ensure a completely matte base. And for a moment I thought it might work! It didn't immediately settle into my crease and it was still very easy to apply. However an hour later it was just the same. The look is fading away quickly and just looks an absolute mess. I look like I've been clubbing for twelve hours straight and suffer from extremely oily lids. As someone with dry skin I very rarely experience creasing like this. I knew that there would be some creasing due to the texture but this is ridiculous! I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I'll ask Illamasqua for advice and see if there's anything that will salvage my beautiful pigments. I'd be heartbroken if they sat in the back of my drawer for the next two years. Sigh.

What do you think to this palette? Have you got any secrets to stop creasing? I'd love to know!


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Favourite Blogs #2: Misellyre

Another offering from my ever-expanding blog roll! I actually discovered Misellyre after being directed to her  giveaway on Twitter. In a wonderful twist of fate I ended up winning it! As soon as I started following Ellie's blog I found myself going through all her posts and just loving everything she does. She's a beautiful, lovely girl who's just so kind and sweet and it's a joy to go exploring in her corner of the internet. Take it away Ellie!

Introduce yourself Ellie!
I'm Ellie, a 22 year old born and bred in Leeds! My blog is my own little place where I can share reviews about beauty products, tidbits about what I get up to in my day-to-day life and occasional fashion posts. 

Ellie's amazing shoes from her Sales Haul. Probably my favourite photo from a blog ever. I actually already creepily had this in my inspiration folder because I just love it so much.

Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging after following several others for a few months, and wanted my to have my own input in the beauty world. I also wanted to talk to other girls like me that are just as obsessed with beauty, as none of my friends are into it quite as much as I am!

What's your favourite thing about blogging?
It's got to be the community; I've never been part of one before where there is so much support when you need it. I know that there is always someone out there who is just as happy nattering about the latest beauty product as they are with helping others with their blogs. Everyone is welcomed right from the beginning and that is pretty special.

If you could choose just one holy grail product, what would it be?
Ooh, difficult! It would have to be my Revlon Colorstay, since I discovered it last year I haven't stopped using it. It's the only foundation I've found my perfect colour match in and lasts all day!

Thank you so much Ellie! I'll definitely have to try out that foundation. I think a whole ton of people should immediately go and see Ellie's blog. Her pictures are literally stunning, she's my photography inspiration. I dream of photos like these! 


Monday, 21 January 2013

Review: Revlon Colourburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie

I promise these are almost over! Today I'm showing off Berry Smoothie. This is another shade that was a must-have for me when I first started looking at the lip butters.

In the bullet this appears to be a deep berry pink shade but I actually found this to be the sheerest of the four that I picked up, and it ended up being a very soft, flattering colour. It's quite similar to Macaroon but this leans more pink than peach. It doesn't have much shimmer in it either, it's just a very soft pretty sheen.

I definitely think that this shade looks a little glossier than the others but it's still fantastic for every day wear and I think it'll be a lovely shade for Spring. I can see this going beautifully with some pastel coloured clothing and light eye makeup. This felt really lovely and smooth on my lips. The lack of shimmer made this the lightest, smoothest one I've tried so far! Gorgeous formula. I have to say one note on the packaging, I know I've been singing it's praises, but I actually quite dislike the clear window in the top. It's really strange. I  know it's to help see what the shade is and it's a great idea, it's just looks so bizarre to me! I think Macaroon is still my favourite so far. Let's see what the fabulous Raspberry Pie has next time!

What do you think to Berry Smoothie? Are you as surprised as I am about how sheer this is?


Quick Update: This shade can be built up to more of a berry tone with a few layers :)

New Year Giveaway Winner!

This is just a quick post to let you know that my giveaway is now closed and that the winner has been chosen!

Congratulations to the beautiful Hareem from iheartmexo!
Here's everything you won:

I really hope that you like everything and that it gets to you in one piece!

I wanted to say thank you to everyone for entering, I was totally overwhelmed by the amazing response and I so wish I could have given prizes to everyone! I had a lot of fun running this and look forward to doing some more in the future. I know for certain that I want to do one to celebrate 500 followers (I should be so lucky) and I may do some mini flash giveaways on Twitter too!

Thank you again!


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Purple Duochrome Make Up with the MUA Immaculate Collection Palette

I posted the swatches from this palette here the other day and I absolutely fell in love with the very last shade in the palette.

It's an utterly beautiful purple based duochrome that shines electric blue.  I really hope that MUA decide to release this and some more duochromes in the single shadows. I know I'll be snapping some up! There were a few other colours in the palette that I was really drawn to but none so much as the duochrome. I've never used a shade like this before so of course I immediately had to whip out my makeup bag and start experimenting!

This is definitely more of an evening look but I just love it so so much! The camera isn't picking up the blue shimmer quite so well as I would have liked, this is definitely one that needs to be seen in person. This look was unbelievably simple but it gives such an impact. I think that this will be a go-to look for sudden invitations, it's very quick and perfect for a pop of colour. Ideally I would love to add some dramatic lashes to this, but I didn't have any! Boo.

Products Used:
MUA Immaculate Collection Palette

Soap and Glory Arch de Triumph
e.l.f Eye Brightening Pencil Liner in Black
The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara in Black

Step 1.
Load the purple duochrome onto an eyeshadow brush and gently pat all over the lid. There is a bit of fall out so I do recommend applying your base afterwards or at least using some tissue under the eye to avoid that lovely purple concealer look.

Step 2.
Lightly trace out where you want your wing to be and bring it under the eye in one seamless line. Blend the wing  in towards the lid to connect up the design. 

Step 3.
Take a tiny amount of shade 7 on the same brush and blend very lightly into the crease for definition. 

Step 4.
Take the highlight pencil from the Arch de Triumph and smudge onto the brow bone and into the inner corner. Gently blend the edge of this with the shadow using a clean blending brush. It will create a lilac haze and soften the look.

Step 5.
Apply the liner to the upper lashline. Press the purple duochrome over the top to lightly define. The black alone looked quite harsh.

Step 6.
Add a couple of coats of your favourite mascara!

Et voila, a simple, easy to wear, evening look that can be applied in minutes. And using a super cheap palette! It doesn't get much better than that.

What do you think to this look? Will you be trying it any time soon? Also, I'd love some recommendations for some other cheap duochrome eye shadows!


Saturday, 19 January 2013

NOTD: Illamasqua Caress and Models Own Blizzard

As promised, my NOTD featuring Illamasqua Caress. Feeling inspired by the recent weather I decided to pair this with a glitter top coat by Models Own. Aptly named Blizzard.

Sorry about the random piece of glitter stuck to the lid. That stuff gets everywhere!

Caress is a beautiful powdery pastel blue. I'm wearing two coats here, the first one was mostly opaque but there were some small patchy areas. It has a fairly shiny finish but I used my Barry M 3 in 1 to create a high gloss shine. It's slightly thicker than some of the polishes I'm used to and I ended up putting too much on and had to wait an absolute age for it to dry! It was literally still squishy and susceptible to dents 6 hours later. That was totally my fault though and I'm prepared to admit that. The size of the brush is very comfortable. I utterly detest skinny brushes and this one was thick enough for me to get full coverage in 3 strokes, perfect!

Models Own Blizzard is a glitter topcoat containing silver and iridescent hexagonal and square glitter pieces of varying sizes. Application was okay. I had to blob it on a bit to get even coverage and it occasionally dug into the polish where it wasn't quite solid (I know, I know, my fault) which is how I got that sexy lumpy effect. I actually started on my right hand and put this over every nail but it was just too much! So I now have one full hand of blizzard and one hand of just index finger blizzard. It's an interesting look that I don't think I'll sport again... but oh well. I actually really like how cute it looks with just one nail! The colours are very pretty and cool and go well with Caress. Definitely a match made in Wintery Heaven.

As I was painting away I realised that I may have a potential dupe in my collection...

W7 in shade 11 is almost identical! It has a slightly thinner formula and leans a fraction and I mean just a tiny teeny bit, darker. Caress is a full on pastel blue. Both utterly beautiful and practically impossible to tell apart. W7 is of course a much cheaper brand than Illamasqua so it's well worth keeping an eye out for shade 11 if you like the look of Caress. I actually picked it up in a box set of pastels at TK Maxx in the Boxing Day Sales. Caress is still available in the Illamasqua Sale for £5. It looks a touch more grey to me in the stock photos which is why I was surprised to find a dupe. I was hoping for it to be more accurate to what was on the website but ah well, it's still a beautiful shade!

What do you think to this shade? Will you be buying Caress or looking for some cheap dupes like 11?


Friday, 18 January 2013

Illamasqua Sale Haul

I predict a lot of these posts popping up in the next few days! The Illamasqua sale is amazing. I literally could have bought triple what I did but I tried really really hard and restrained myself to just six beautiful items. Technically these could be considered my very first high end products and the best thing is, I got them with a drugstore price tag!

I never intended to take a photo of the box but when I saw how divine and luxurious this looked I couldn't resist! The delivery was really fast (3 working days) and I was sent an email telling me the exact hour that my beautiful goodies were due to arrive. It doesn't really get any better than that!

You'll have to excuse me in the mirror. I tried to get out of it to no avail. 
I have to immediately mention the utterly stunning packaging. I love the distinctive, signature shape of Illamasqua products and find the black and white colour scheme simple and beautiful. As you can see I decided on some stand out brights since originality is, afterall, what Illamasqua are famed for.

I chose:
Precision Ink in Havoc A beautiful aubergine/plum shade liquid liner
Powder Eyeshadow in Angst Classic matte red
Liquid Metal Palette in Art of Darkness Contains metallic cream pigments in Stoic, Solstice, Superior and Resolute
Illuminator in Slay Pearlescent white liquid highlighter
Nail Varnish in Caress Pastel blue
Nail Varnish in Blow Pastel yellow

Art of Darkness Palette 

Angst Powder Eyeshadow

These are such beautiful items and I can't wait to start reviewing them! I'm actually already wearing Caress and will be featuring it in tomorrows NOTD so stay tuned for that. I only paid £35 for all of this and got free delivery which is amazing since the palette alone was originally £34!

Has anything caught your eye in the Illamasqua Sale? What do you think to my picks?