Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Review: Nanshy Luxury Makeup Brush Set

As you may know I discovered Nanshy when they were advertising for some bloggers to review their face brushes which it turned out I full on ADORED. They literally revolutionised my makeup application (you can read my review here) and I can't recommend them enough to any novices like me. As time passed Nanshy have been hard at work and have produced a couple more collections; one of which is the Luxury Makeup Brush Set* which is a set of 13 brushes of all different types which come in a pretty ivory carry case. I've been lucky again and have had the opportunity to review them here!

As aforementioned, the set comes in a silky, ivory, check-stitched, tri-fold carry case. Every brush has it's own little slot and comes with a protective plastic cover. I really love all the attention to detail in here, particularly the textured lining material. It also has a slightly plastic feeling to it so it can be easily wiped clean which is handy.

If you've seen my previous Nanshy review post you'll be able to tell that these are much slimmer than the face collection and the shape of the handle is different; they are more ergonomically designed and have a pearlised coating which extends over the ferrule. I think this design is even prettier than before and I love that they've kept everything white, it's so clean and crisp looking and a nice change to the usual black of most brushes.

These really are just ridiculously soft to the touch. The face brushes in particular are so gentle and densely packed with bristles. They blend powder and cream products effortlessly. One of my favourite brushes is the slim angled face brush which is ideal for using in the hollow of your cheeks for contouring or even for precise blush application. Admittedly the eye brushes are slightly stiffer which can sometimes scratch the surface a bit too much on pressed shadows so there is occasionally some wastage. I'm happy to report that this doesn't affect their use on the lid though - they still feel very soft and blend beautifully. As an added bonus, these brushes are PETA approved and are 100% cruelty free and vegan, woo!

This collection is the same price as the previous one at £29.95 and can be bought here if you like the look of them!

Final Verdict: Another hit from Nanshy and an ideal kit for travelling with. There are some slightly better eye brushes on the market but not by much!

What do you think to this set? Do you have a favourite brand for makeup brushes and accessories? Let me know in the comments!


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Review: Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

Rather than have an entire post dedicated to the fact that I've been M.I.A for the best part of two months I decided to jump in with a big ol' review and have just a smidge of exposition as an introduction...

I am officially now a resident of LONDON! I'm at the University of Westminster and am a whole week into my BA Journalism. I've been a total whirlwind of emotion and activity recently and it's so good to finally sit down and just breathe. Right up until the moment I left my little East Midlands town I was working as an Assistant Manager at Coral. I was literally doing 40-45 hour weeks in a desperate attempt to save as much money as possible for university and whilst it has really helped me financially, pretty much everything else fell by the wayside. I hardly saw my boyfriend or my family and organising and packing was left until the last minute (much the aforementioned boyfriend's irritation.) Needless to say I all but abandoned my little corner of the internet and it's looking very sorry for itself at the minute. But! I have a ton of time to myself now so I shall be getting creative with my new frugal student lifestyle and start producing some fun content in the very near future.
But for now...

As a celebration of my new freedom and the beginning of what should be the best time of my life I decided to take a wander to the Debenhams on Oxford Street to see some Urban Decay products in real life, something I'd never been able to do before. In a total contradiction to my insistence that I wasn't going to be spending any money I ended up walking out with the truly lovely Naked Basics Palette. Shout-out to Rickie who served me at the Urban Decay counter as you were super sweet and helpful. Go you.

First things first, I do love the packaging and presentation of this palette. It's neat, sleek and a great size for just slinging in your bag for top-ups during the day. The design and colours are sophisticated, grown-up and seem ideal for a whole host of simple, neutral looks. 

I genuinely wanted to adore this. I mean I spent £20 on it! But I think I may have expected a bit too much. No matter how I tried, I just couldn't get the pigmentation I'd seen elsewhere in my swatches. I don't think the variation between colours is great enough and the fall out is substantial in the darker colours. 

The above is a single, dry swipe on clean, bare skin without primer. I found that the shades could be built up with two or three heavy swipes but that's not how I usually do my swatches and I wanted a fair representation of what I was actually getting. Don't get me wrong, this is by no means a bad product. The pigmentation is fair and I think with a really good primer I could get a much better colour pay-off. However, I personally feel that when it comes to £20 for six shades, I shouldn't need to buy a great primer just to get the shade in the pan. The fact that these are matte shades (bar Venus which has a light shimmer) was always going to mean that they were a little dryer but I still can't help but be a touch disappointed.

It's not all doom and gloom though, as I say, these can be built up to produce better pigmentation and they do work well on the lid. They blend easily and the shade range means that you can pretty much put anything together and it won't look ridiculous. They're ideal for a range of daytime looks and the deliciously dark Crave can smoke out any look for a gorgeous night transition (but do have some tissues/wipes on hand to deal with fall out!) These also wear extremely well, no creasing or migration and easily 8+ hours of wear so they're ideal for a busy working day.

Final Verdict: A compact, neutral palette that may require a bit more effort than expected. Great if you're looking specifically for more matte shadows, but by no means essential.

I would LOVE some advice about how to work with this palette and please let me know if I'm doing anything wrong! What did you think of the Basics? Do you agree that it may have been a touch over-hyped and therefore a touch disappointing like me?