Friday, 30 March 2012

FOTD + New Hair!

Ello lovelies!
So today i had one of those impulsive moments and decided to change up my hair.
Well originally, i planned to just do my roots and slap my usual red on top but noticed i had a slightly different Wella dye in the drawer and thought, why not?! If i don't like it i can always shove a semi on top!

Well... i kinda like it! 
Giving the porosity of my hair I'm not sure how long it'll last, but if i can find a good gingery semi i might be keeping this for a while. And inspired by my new hair i decided to give my Naked Palette another go. Its been sat unloved since i was first sucked in by the hype. Until now i couldn't never really get the colours to work on my pasty skin, but after today I'm sure it'll get a bit more use!

Benefit - Stay Don't Stray
Urban Decay - Sin, Virgin, Toasted, Hustle.
Urban Decay - Zero 23/7 Liner
Smashbox - Felt Liner
Inglot - AMC 67
MUFE - Smoky Lash Mascara
Revlon Lip Butter - Peach Parfait
Skin Food - Red Bean BB Cream
Elf - HD Powder
Collection 2000 - Lasting Perfection Concealer
Elf - Shimmering Facial Whip - Persimmon
Nars - Laguna Bronzer
   So when this fades do i keep it up? Or go back to my usual red? Or even try blonde, i really know know!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Recent Rediscoveries: Elf Shimmering Facial Whip

 Ello lovelies!
On a bit of a mission to curve my spending I've decided to start a little series. Recent Rediscoveries is my way of sorta "shopping the stash" if you will. Over the past two years I've acquired a bit of a collection of makeup goodies and some don't get the love they deserve. So in an attempt to save my pennies I've decided to hook out some of my unloved products and give them another bash!

Last year i went on a little bit of an Elf binge when they had their 50% off sales. I've also been getting into cream products lately, with the weather warming up i thought it was the perfect time to give this another testing. As their name implies the Shimmering Facial Whip is just that, shimmery, so it won't be to every ones taste. But having quite dry skin and being a bit of a glitter addict its not exactly a problem for me!

The only shade i have is persimmon, but its available in 7 shades in total if pinky hues aren't your thing. In the tube and first swatched it does look a little scary, but it sheers out pretty nicely. I honestly wasn't expecting too much from this but I'm really happy i dug this beauty out, as it looks gorgeous on the skin!

Priced at £1.50 its extremely affordable too. The website implies this can be used on the eyes and lips too, i personally wouldn't put this near my eyes but funnily enough my Mum confused this for a lip gloss and said it looked lovely! Ha!

The only downside is i really want to buy a few more...

What are your favourite cream products? Have you tried these?


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Makeup Forever - Smoky Lash - Review

So I'm eventually reviewing some of my IMATS purchases.
I'd put off opening my Smoky Lash since i already had atleast three other mascaras open... But eventually i caved!

Makeup Forever isn't the easiest to get hold of in the UK. As far as i know there are only two stockists, PAM and Guru Makeup Emporium which are both based in London but both do have an online store.
With the normal price of £18 here in the UK, it isn't the most purse friendly of products. But IMATS did have quite a steep discount on MUFE products so i only paid around £9. Bargain!

The brush itself is a little larger than I'm used to. I'd probably compare it to about the size of Benefits Bad Gal. I'd been using a combination of two mascaras over the past month, using L'Oreal's Volume Millions lashes for its volume and Smashbox's Hyper Lash for length. Not really a combo I'd be happy to repurchase with the combined price of the two!

So now for the before and after. Excuse the wonkily sized images... ooops!

I'm pretty damn happy with this mascara. It wasn't until i reached for my old combo i really realised how much of a difference it really makes. It adds both volume and length without becoming clumpy. I wouldn't go as far as to say a "false lash effect", since lets be honest, there's not many of us who have super duper amazing lashes to begin with. But this does a pretty good job. And the thing that pleases me the most... no annoying smudges a few hours in! Hurray!

The downfall is the price. Luckily (and in a little bit of a spending frenzy) i picked up two of these, and will not be opening the second one until every other mascara i own is dry or used up. So I'll make a pretty good effort to make them last! I don't think I'd personally pay that much for mascara, i used to get my Bad Gal for birthdays and could never muster up the courage to spend that much on it. I'll definitely be on the hunt for a cheaper alternative!

Whats your holy grail mascara?


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

MUA All In One - BB Beauty Balm

Ello lovelies! 
I'm going to start off by saying one thing. I LOVE BB Creams. So if this review is a little critical, that would be why. Since jumping on the bandwagon last summer I've collected a few, mostly Asian branded creams. The Skin79 Hot Pink is one of my holy grail products, i love it so much I'm on my third one already! I've been noticing, well i think everyone has, the mass of BB Cream products crashing onto the UK market. The ones Ive tried, well ones in my price range, i haven't been all that impressed with. But being a lover of MUA i was delighted to have spotted this in my local Superdrug and was eager to give it a whirl!
One of my favourite things about BB Creams is that they generally have a high SPF and many are choc full of ingredients that beneficial to the skin. But here in the UK we're lucky to get a few weeks of sun, so the lack of SPF isn't really issue. It may even been seen as a plus since SPF can cause a white cast in photos.  

The Beauty Balm comes in three shades: Light, Medium and Dark. Having tried their Matte Foundation and had an epic oompa loompa crisis i was a tad cautious at first. But i was assured by their more than helpful Facebook team that the shades had been reformulated and were much lighter, which I'm pleased to say they actually are! Just a shame I'm abnormally pale eh?

Okay so its not an exact colour match, but its not awful and I was determined to give it a bash! I did find it on the dryer side of a liquid foundation, nothing a bit of moisturiser or primer beforehand wouldn't fix.

A brave before and after pic... My skin has quite a lot of pink in it and on top of that i have some broken capillaries, evidence of my spot squeezing/picking stupidity! I was actually quite pleased at the coverage, medium and build able, which gets a thumbs up from me. And even though the shade wasn't a perfect match it blended pretty well into the skin. I set mine with Elfs HD powder and did notice a little shine a few hours in. It doesn't have the longest wear, but survived a whole day of uni without looking too shabby.

Overall i think its a pretty decent product. It wont be replacing my Skin79 any time soon but they are so different you can't really compare them. I wouldn't really class this as a BB Cream as such, but its certainly the best UK offering I've tried so far. It's priced at £4 for 30ml which is pretty bargaintastic if you ask me.

If you're looking for an affordable medium coverage foundation and you fit in the shade range, i really recommend giving this a bash! But in terms of BB cream, nothings yet to top my Hot Pink!

You can check it out in your local Superdrug or online here.

Have you tried any BB Creams yet?


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Illamasqua's Alex Box - Demonstration

 Ello lovelies!
During the week i was contact by one of my besties and fellow blogger Jane who was excitedly telling me about a demonstration that was amazingly happening at our very own university. Back in November last year Alex Box, makeup artist and creative director of Illamasqua was award an Honorary Doctorate of Design from Southampton Solent. On top of this she was voted by as the second most influential women of the last 100 years, what a title!

Here's what said…

“Alex Box has been voted the second most inspirational woman over the past 100 years. Alex is a highly creative make-up artist with a flair for the exotic, the extreme, and the flamboyant. She's the Creative Director of cult make-up brand Illamasqua which takes its inspiration from the roaring '20s club scene. Box has worked with fashion heroes such as Nick Knight, Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney, but beyond her stellar credentials, she encourages women to look and be different. One of Alex’s top makeup tips is that there are “no rules” when it comes to makeup, and that “you are your own creation”. Inspiring stuff.

Alex strikes a special cord with many woman, and some of her voters described her as being a “daily inspiration”, “empowering” and that Alex helps women "dare to be different".”

I love Illamasqua. Unlike a lot of current brands they only release two collections a year, so an extreme amount of thought and passion goes into not just the products, but the story and meaning behind them. The imagery isn't your average “beauty” shots, they're ridiculously creative, out of the box, art. And it definitely works, not sure any other brand could have me lusting after a teal lippie! So needless to say I was pretty damn excited to get the opportunity to watch her work.

“Illamasqua is for the bolder person hiding inside all of us. It is an act and an attitude. A symbol of tolerance. A celebration of idiosyncrasies. A confident statement of self-ownership.”

So the lighting was terrible and my camera had a bit of a tantrum, but here's a few pictures.

Above is quite possibly one of the most unflattering pictures of me, ever. But i really couldn't leave this one out. Its not every day you get to meet someone as inspirational as Alex Box!

It was really magical to watch her work. Over a hundred girls fell silent at the raise of her brush and watched in awe for over an hour. I've never seen a lecture room so full! She works to music and said that if given another hour to work the look would of progressed to something much darker as the music did.

Illamasqua have released their newest collection, Human Fundamentalism, just a few days ago. And there's a few beauties catching my eye, not to mention the gorgeous teal lipstick again! So a massive thank you to Dr Box for putting on a truly inspirational demonstration.

You can visit the Illamasqua website here.


Monday, 12 March 2012

Bargain Beauty - Brush Holders

Hello lovelies!

Just a quick post from me today!
I'm always on the hunt for cheap brush holders, and apart from making my own I've not had too much luck. My sigma Make Me Blush holders and my small Elf brush holder were getting a tad full when i spotted these in Ikea.

Not the prettiest of holders, but they do the job! They easily hold most of my brushes and fit in with the girly theme of my room, so I'm happy! My next little project is to turn one of my Yankee Candles (when i eventually finish it) into a little eyeliner/pencil holder.

Available for just £3.29 for the pair from Ikea.


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Beauty From The Earth - Swatchfest!


Today I'll be swatching and reviewing some pretty shadows from Beauty From The Earth or BFTE. If you haven't heard of them they are a US based company that sell hundreds of shades of gorgeous loose eye shadows, blushes, foundation and other goodies. They have around 400 (forgive me if I'm wrong) shades in total in an array of different finishes from super sparkly to matte. And the magpie in me obviously opted for the latter.

I placed my order back on the US holiday Good Friday as they offered a generous 40% off everything sale. The reason this post is so late is because i did have a bit of an issue receiving my order. I hummed and hawed over whether to write about it and came to the decision that i wouldn't be an honest blogger without mentioning the odd negatives in a post or two. 

I placed two orders on that day (my lash obsession kicked in for the second) and the second i received in little over a week with no problems. The first order got a little bit muddled up to say the least. I received someone elses order a few days after the first package, so i emailed and they responded quickly and sent out another package. But that one got lost... It took quite a few emails to eventually get my order. Then when i received my order a few items were missing, but again they kindly sent a replacement. Turns out the missing package was missing my post code, simply human error, which sometimes can't be helped. But in the end i ended up with both packages so some doubles of things which they were nice enough to let me keep. So keep your eye out for my next giveaway! What i will say is that i think this is an isolated case, their Facebook page is full of glowing reviews, so although i felt i had to share my experience please don't be put off by this.

Onto the swatches!
Journey,  Deep thoughts, Pegasus, Hocus Pocus.
My camera REALLY didn't pick up how gorgeously shimmery any of these are. Bring on summer so i can swatch things in sunlight!
Mania, Illusion, Spruce, Ocean Mist.
Ocean Mist is one of my favourite shades. But apparently i was having an epic camera fail this day and yet again my photo fails to pick up the beauty of this. Ocean Mist is a gorgeous blue/green with a ton of gold shimmer/glitter, it really reminds me of mermaids.

Lava Moma, Karma, Oxford, Sugar Plum, Livid.

Big Ego, Panurple, Metro, Hopeless Romantic, Bliss.

Cocoa, Moonwalk, Copper Cauldron, Wizards Wand, Baked.

Gable, Autumn, Afterthought, Pebble.

Spring Fever, Satin sheets, Guipure, Bubbly.
Butt Naked, Naked Truth,  Kiss and Tell.

If you're a fan of loose shadows you'll LOVE these. They are highly pigmented, blend beautifully and can be applied wet to increase intensity. I love using the glittery shades over Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy to give it a bit of extra stick. Price wise they are pretty reasonable, at $6.50 each for the most part. They do sell samples and although they are on the smaller side come in jars and have enough product for a good few uses. Shipping to the UK is pretty damn cheap too, at only $6 for an order under $50 and $2 for anything over.

Overall although my experience has made me hesitate about ordering again, i really do love the products and will probably order again in the future. I just hope next time it won't take a couple of months to arrive. Mainly because i REALLY want full sizes of Sugar Plum and Satin Sheets. :P

You can check these out on the BFTE Cosmetics website here.

Do you have any favourite BFTE shades?


Sunday, 4 March 2012

NYX Cream Blushes

Ello again!

Nyx's Cream Blushes are often a hot topic in the blogging / youtube community and I'd been meaning to get my paws on a few for some time. But hating paying £4.50 shipping for things and not being able to see the products up close and personal REALLY put me off. So these were at the top of my list of things to check out at IMATS (I can't believe it was a month ago!).

Ideally my colour selection could of been a little better, but i do tend to loose all sensibility and just grab pretty colours (oops)! A more natural toned one wouldn't have gone amiss, but oh well! Just something else to go on my ever expanding wish list.

The two i picked up were Pinky (Left) and Red Cheeks (Right). These look pretty damn scary in both the pan and swatched as they are SO pigmented. But with a light hand (i use a small stippling brush) its easy to apply a flush of colour without looking like Coco the Clown. A little bit really does go a long way and they blend and melt into the skin beautifully.

There's not really a good offering of cream blushes on budget price end so I'm pretty pleased with these. And at just £5.50 each, makes them doubly appealing. The only let down is that you can only buy online through the NYX UK website, Ebay or Cherry Culture and shipping from any of these sites can be pricey.

These are currently available in 13 different shades on the NYX UK Website. But do have a look on places like Ebay because of the UK / USA pricing difference you can sometimes bag yourself a bargain.

Hopefully we'll see some quality cream blushes on the high street in the near future! Whats your favourite cream blush?

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