Thursday 22 December 2011

Xmas MakeUp Look #2: Bright Eyes and Bold Lips

Evening my lovelies!!
Blogging late again tonight. Not a good habit to get into but i overdid it a bit over the weekend and have been sleeping a LOT in the day over the last couple of days. As a result..... Insomnia at night. Silly silly me ignoring my doctors orders! 
Anyways, to combat this insomnia i have spent quite a bit of time in my PJs, watching CSI and playing with my makeup stash, trying to come up with some festive looks for you all. In my previous post i concentrated mainly on the eyes (as it was all about the eye palette) so tonight i am blogging to show you a look in which the lips are the main feature. This morning i received the Sleek Berry Collection that i had ordered and i couldn't wait to play with it. I will post a full review with swatches in due course but I thought i'd share with you this look first....

I wanted this set because i've been so scared of reds and berry colours for so long, but have been so curious lately and when i saw this gorgeous little Christmas set from Sleek i just HAD to treat myself to it, Little gift to myself i suppose. For £10 i think it's a BARGAIN!! As you will see from the photos i am still practising and, despite using the pencil to line my lips the colour HAS bled a little, but for a first attempt at such a bold colour i don't think i did bad. I am a virgin after all!
(NB. Ignore the eyebrows, they are due for de-fuzzing along with the rest of my face on Xmas eve haha)

Here's what i used...

Face: Max Factor Xperience in 75 (Brown Hessian)
MAC MSFN in Medium Plus
Cheeks: Sleek Blush in Fenberry (Berry Collection)
Sleek Contour Kit in Medium (highlight shade only)
Eyes: Sin, Buck and Hustle from the UD Naked Palette
VIVO Cosmetics Black Kohl pencil with Smudger
Rimmel Day2Night Mascara (lengthening wand)
BeneFit BrowZings in Medium
Lips: Sleek Kohl pencil in Mossberry (to line the lips)
Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Cranberry (Matte)
Too Faced Lip Injection (as a clear gloss over the top)

For those of you without a Naked Palette, this eye look would work just as well with the MUA Heaven&Earth palette. I wanted to keep the eyes simple, neutral and bright to keep the focus on the lips. I'm thinking i might wear this look for Christmas lunch with the family as we are going out for it this year, but this could just as easily work as an evening look, with a little extra eye kohl or winged gel liner and false lashes. I still don't think i'd go too OTT or dark on the eyes though as the lips really carry the look. I think it looks better that the rest of the face is kept natural with glowy cheeks. Perfect for winter!

What colours are you going crazy for this festive season?? What have you treated yourself to?? 


Tuesday 20 December 2011

MUA Immaculate Collection: Review, Swatches and Xmas PARTY Eyes!

Afternoon ladies!
I'm blogging today to show you the second part of my little MUA haul from last week. If you missed my first post all about the 'Out There' Plumping Glosses you can find that post HERE! 
As we probably are all aware now, with all the posts popping up everywhere about it, MUA are currently giving their 24 shadow Immaculate Collection palette away for FREE when you spend £8 on their products. This is available right through until the 3rd of January so any spare Xmas pennies are definitely well spent on the MUA site. 
For this post i have had a thorough play with the palette and come up with a review, swatches and a fabulous purple/gold Xmas party make up look using the colours. Hope you like!!

Ain't it a BEAUT!!! There are 24 shadows here, which is WAY more than you would get in any Urban Decay palette AND this baby will only set you back £8 (or nothing if you take advantage of the current offer). There's something for EVERYONE in here. Matte shades, shimmer shades, neutrals, brights, metallics.... Nothing has been left out. They have included a colour key on the back of this palette with all the shades represented by numbers, which makes it a LOT easier in terms of blogging and tutorials! And i have swatched them ALL for your viewing pleasure.... (please note i have not numbered the swatches as they are swatched exactly as they appear in the palette so i figured numbering to be a pointless exercise).

 Top Row
 Middle Row
Bottom Row

On the whole these shades are highly pigmented and the consistency is not to be grumbled at. I was pleased that, just like my Heaven&Earth palette, they were no effort to swatch or apply with a buttery texture. I really like MUA as a brand because i think they are just such AMAZING value for money yet can rival most higher priced brands with quality and pigmentation. However i DO have one quite major RANT about this palette...

I was so pleased that this palette contained both shimmer AND matte shades and some of the shades which REALLY caught my eye after just looking at the colours were shade 13, shade 16 and shade 23 because they were matte. But can you get a swatch out of them?? Can you HECK!! These shadows REFUSE to leave their pan. I couldn't get a swatch with my finger, with the sponge applicator OR with a brush. I tried it wet, dry, you name it. In the end i had to REALLY rough them up to get a semi decent swatch, which has ruined the look of my palette a little but i'll live with it for the sake of my blog. I probably dont need to point out which ones they are from the above photos because they look PATHETIC in comparison to the others. Similar on the eyes too. For the look i have done for this post i tried to use shade 13 but it just didnt deposit any colour onto the eye so i gave up on that one. 

BUT for 3 shades out of 24 i still think this palette is a MAJOR winner and well worth it's money!! 

And here's the Purple/Gold Christmas Party Eye look that i created with it last night....

MASSIVE LASHES!!! Bit OTT but i wanted drama hehe... These photos were taken using flash as i was short of light. The true result is still dramatic, but a bit softer and not quite so RAWR haha.

Sooooo here's what i used....

 Urban Decay Primer Potion
MUA Shade 14 (all over the lid)
MUA Shade 24 (on the outer lid and through the crease - blended as i went along)
MUA Shade 7 (right in the crease and to line the outer parts of the eyes - winged out slightly then blended into the purple)
I then blended all three shades along the lower lashline and added Avon Supershock Gel liner pencil in the waterline and upper lashline (avoiding the inner corners)
I finished off by adding more shade 14 to the inner corners and a couple of coats of Urban Decay Curling Mascara.
The Eyelashes i used (just in case you're feeling dramatic) were Eylure 101

I really love purples at the moment and, as i have green eyes i am happy to use them as they make them go POP!! The shadows were very easy to work with and very blendable. There is a little fallout, especially from the gold shade (as you can see from the close up photo as that was BEFORE i had cleaned up) but you get fallout from even the most expensive of palettes, in my experience. A bit of foundation or concealer is all that is needed to restore harmony to the under-eyes.

To buy this palette and view the AMAZING full range of MUA products go to their website....

Also click the box in the top right of my blog as MUA are hosting Giveaways EVERY DAY in the run up to Christmas, as well as showing Christmas inspired makeup and nail tutorials by the lovely Karla for you all to recreate and get in the festive spirit.

What colours are you loving this Xmas?? What have you been wearing to your Xmas parties??

Thursday 15 December 2011

December Feel Unique Box: My Thoughts

Afternoon all! 
Think this is the earliest i've blogged in... FOREVER!! After being woken up at the crack of dawn by my window cleaner trying to smash is way into my flat (well thats what it sounded like to me, ever heard of GENTLY??), and then a phonecall from uni about my DSA assessment (BLEH), I realised i was up in time to trek to the post sorting office to retrieve my Feel Unique Beauty Box which was delivered, then taken away yesterday while i was still at my parents' cutting hair. 

And here it is!! FINALLY!!

Very first impression of this box was "Well its not very Christmassy, is it!!" , and to be perfectly honest it doesn't feel like a Christmas themed box at all. There's nothing in here that just SCREAMS December. But here's what's in it......

Perfume samples are always a bit "Hmmmmm" for me when they appear in beauty boxes. I think perfume is such a personal thing and one person's heaven is another person's MIGRAINE!! 
Having said that, this is a MASSIVE sample of Annick Goutal's 'Mandragore'. In the description of this fragrance they rave about bergamot, boxwood, ginger and all that jazz but, to me, this smells incredibly citrussy, like oranges.The other notes do seem to come out a bit once you've had it on a while. Its probably the closest thing to Christmas in this box but it will NOT be to everyone's taste. However, for me, the size of it and the fact that i actually don't mind the scent will probably see it in my handbag over the festive season. 

This confused me a little bit before i realised that you don't actually have to take out the second mortgage and buy a Clarisonic to use this Nourishing Care Cleanser. Its a cleanser so there's not really anything much i can say about it until i've used it, which probably wont be for a while as i'm still happily scrubbing along with my Liz Earle C&P. This is for normal/dry skin and i have normal/combination skin so i'm not sure how i will get on with this BUT, its a decent sized sample so i'm willing to give it a shot. 

This Nails Inc Oxford Circus mini sample size is perhaps what has disappointed me the most. Not least because, having previously been subbed to GlossyBox (only cancelled in order to save a few quid - Student, blah blah blah) I am used to a full size polish in my box. Its a candy, pastelly pink. For me, these colours are shut away in winter and then brought out again with a flourish as soon as Spring arrives again. A nail polish for this time of year should be a berry or wine kind of shade, or at least a warm colour. Baby pinks aren't always my cup of tea at the best of times but i will probably get some use out of this next year. 

I actually rather LIKE the Figs&Rouge Sweet Geranium Balm. I haven't really experienced many of these multi-use balm products before but i still can't think how they would work on anything but the lips. I don't suffer from particularly dry skin so, for me, this will probably remain a lip balm, but i'm happy with it for that. It's got a whiff of turkish delight to it (although i'd prefer my turkish delight covered in choccy) and i've got a dab on my lips at the moment and it feels very pleasant. 

Lastly, is the Tigi Bed Head: Candy Fixations Sugar Dust. I had suspected that there may be a Tigi product in this box, but i couldn't help but groan a little when this popped out. I have thick, heavy hair and products like this just do not cut it. I tried the Schwartzkopf dust and immediately handed it over to my finer haired friend. I'm hoping this might perform a little better but i'm not holding out much hope. I'd had my fingers crossed for at least ONE product that i would get tons of use out of. 

All in all, i'm not blown away by this box at all. I think that they could have gone to a LOT more effort to make it a bit more Christmassy. There's nothing in this box that i would go out and buy out of my own choice BUT, there's nothing in here that i probably won't use either. For the £9.50 you pay you get what are, generally, VERY good sized samples (if not a full size product). I think a little more attention could have been paid to this box, if i'm honest. 

I'm NOT, however, going to unsub just because i'm a little bit BLEH about the first box. I'm going to keep it up for at least January just to see what else they can come up with, although i am tempted by the Carmine box as i've heard so many squealy tweets about how pleased everyone is with their boxes. I think my main advice for Feel Unique (if they're bothered) would be to allow subscribers to note their product preferences when they sign up. Not everyone wants a new cleanser every month. Not everyone has hair that is in need of extra body. 
If you saw the contents of my box and were blown away and want to subscribe for the next one, you can do so HERE

Which boxes do you subscribe to?? What did you think of this box??


Sunday 11 December 2011

Putting it 'Out There' with MUA

Evening lovelies!! 
I am officially dodging Xfactor tonight in favour of CSI, blogging and uni work. I'm sure my twitter followers will be aware of my disgust after last night's final and i can't BELIEVE they cocked up AGAIN with Amelia's voting line! Nuff said.... not a happy bunny..... end of.
ANYHOO.... I'm blogging tonight with lots of pretty pictures of my new MUA Pro 'Out There' plumping lip glosses. 

MUA are fast becoming one of the most popular budget make up brands on the block, and I'm definitely a fan. I've tried eyeshadows and bronzers of theirs and been consistently impressed every time. The formulation and pigmentation of their products is hard to fault and, for the price, i think they're a WINNER!! 
These new Plumping Glosses with 'Maxi-Lip' give a GORGEOUS pop of colour while giving the illusion of a fuller pout. 
Now, I'm most definitely NOT a lipgloss lover. I find them sticky and annoying and i do NOT like the feel of them on my lips but these don't seem to FEEL like a gloss at all. To me they feel like a cross between and lipstick and a gloss. The pigmentation is more akin to a lipstick for sure. I usually find glosses too wishy-washy for my liking. The effect that these beauties give is more like if you had applied a lipstick and then applied a layer of gloss over the top. 

There are 8 colours in this range. I picked up 4 of them. They also do a Nude, two other shades of pink, and a peach shimmer. 

Swatches L-R: Shocking Pink, Pin Up Pink, Sienna, Buff
The pigments really are stunning and these swatches were only a single sweep of the product straight off the applicator so it really is no effort to apply. 

L-R: Shocking Pink, Pin Up Pink

Weird that its the two PINKS i picked up that have got me the most excited. I've been nuts for nudes ever since the weather went colder but, now that we are approaching the party season, i have found more brights catching my eye. Gotta love a good red lip for Crimbo (although i've never really, successfully pulled off a red lip. MAC's Impassioned is the closest i've ever got). However, i think that Pin Up Pink will be my Christmas Day lip colour. It's really different and looks red in some lights and then pink in other lights, as you'll see from the photos. Shocking pink is more of a Fuchsia shade and definitely has more blue tones to it, although not too much so, which for me is a good thing.

L-R: Sienna, Buff
Colour-wise, these two would be my automatic choices and are well into my comfort zone. Sienna is a pretty orangey coral which reminds me of a softer version of my Vegas Volt lippy and a glossier version of my BeneFit ChaCha Tint. Buff is a lovely brown toned nude shade that is extremely wewarable for every day. I actually wore it to work today and it stayed put. I don't think these will be glosses that you constantly need to reapply, although i haven't really truly tested them for longevity yet.

Overall, my excitement about purchasing these products was well rewarded and not a hint of disappointment. I had better add that, in my opinion, they actually DO plump the lips a little. I do not suffer from thin lips but i noticed they did stand out more than without the gloss. Because it is a lip plump product this WILL STING YOUR LIPS! If this isn't your cup of tea and you can't put up with it for 5mins then i would say to skip this product. I'm a weirdo and rather like tingly products. Carmex and the Two Faced Lip Injection are both valued items in my make up collection. 

You can pick up MUA Pro products in selected Superdrug stores, but they have recently launched their own website. Click HERE to view and buy the full range of glosses for ONLY £2 each and any other MUA products. As of TOMORROW they are offering international shipping so you really wont have a problem getting hold of these beauties! As an added BONUS they are currently offering up their 24 shadow "Immaculate Collection" palette for FREE when you spend £8 on the site up until the 3rd Jan. Time for some last minute Christmas TREATS!

What colours are making you feel festive this year?? What are your MUA favourites??

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV: First Impressions

Evening my lovelies!!! 
I made a little purchase that i shouldn't have last week. Okay okay, so it was a pretty MAJOR purchase (given my current budget) but i'd spied it whilst shopping in Meadowhall the previous day and, although having previously been EXTREMELY pleased with myself for just picking it up, fondling it for a couple of minutes and then putting it BACK, I just couldn't stop thinking about it. Anyhoo, to cut a long story short i ordered the bugger from the House of Fraser website the next day. Queue MUCHO GUILTO! I adore it, but my Mastercard has now condemned me to HELL for it....

And it was THIS.....

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV

Ain't it a BEAUT!! This is the first Book of Shadows i have ever purchased. My only UD palette up until now is my beloved Naked palette. However, i am GUTTED i never purchased the Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows as i am just in LOVE with that story. 

Unlike my Naked palette, this set not only contains 16 beautiful shadows but ALSO a full size 24/7 Liquid liner and travel sizes in the Supercurl Curling Mascara and the much loved Primer Potion, which comes in a squeezy tube this time rather than the screw top vial as featured in Naked. I think i prefer it in this as i feel that there is a lot of potential for waste with the previous packaging. This will be so much easier for squeezing out every last precious drop. And i just cant wait to try out the mascara and liner. I've been scraping by on a dodgy liquid liner for a while now and 24/7, when i swatched it briefly on my hand, would not wash off!! Can't wait to test its staying power. 

This palette contains 16 shades and 10 of those are brand new, never released with any other palette. It does contain the shades Sin and Gunmetal which are included in the Naked palette but i will forgive Urban Decay for that because i am just so EXCITED to start playing with the other shades!
When i was cooing over this in Debenhams last week i was originally taken with the Blue Bus and Gravity shades and intrigued by Cobra and Bender. I feel that purple/blues and dirty greens are very much missing in my eyeshadow collection. I do have a tendency to stick to taupes, browns and golds (which this palette does also contain), but that just means that this palette will be even more LOVED!!
I haven't touched the shadows AT ALL yet. Not one swatch. This is because i wanted to wait until i have at least a couple of hours where i feel well enough, and focused enough to devote my attention to playing with it. And i can't wait to post about it!! 


What i don't really get is the whole QR reader/speaker/video/USB thing they've done with it. I think its a nice idea but it all seems a bit faffy and gimmicky to me. Maybe i'll give it a bash one day if i get bored. 

Look out for a more detailed post on this beautiful item with full review, swatches and an eye look VERY soon on this blog!
Do you own this Book of Shadows?? What are your favourite shades/products?? How do you wear them?? 

Saturday 3 December 2011

Tasteful Nude (Nail Polishes)

Good evening ladies!!
Tonight I am blogging to express my current obsession for all things NUDE (noooooo not like THAT). For some reason, as the temperature drops and the woolly jumpers come out, my corals and fuchsias of summer go into hiding and my browns, nudes and neutrals come out to play! I don't know if it's because I find them comforting, or whether they remind me of a hot mug of coffee or cocoa but I just LOVE THEM!! And I thought I'd share with you the ones I've been reaching for the most this season. Photos aren't amazing as im blogging from my iphone but you get the idea.....

As you can see I've stuck mainly to my Nails Inc and OPI for this one. Not because I'm a high end junkie (budget doesn't even BEGIN to allow for that lately) but they're just colours which have attracted me recently. And they are...

Nails Inc: Basil Street and Fashion Fawn
OPI: Steady as She Rose and Barefoot in Barcelona

I have to say that BOTH of the Nails Inc polishes were mag freebies, although I'm pretty sure Basil Street is in their permanent line somewhere. It is the palest of my current brown/nudes and is so easy to wear!! Fashion Fawn was available in InStyle mag over the summer and I said then that that would be one I'd jump on as soon as the temperature plummeted. It's a lovely warm chocolatey brown colour almost like melted Dairy Milk. NOM!!

OPI Steady as she Rose was part of the Pirates of the Caribbean collection over the spring and summer but I'm still loving it as a soft, icy kind of pink and it goes with almost everything. I think a couple of others from that collection are still bang in for this season too so the collection is a great investment!!

But here's my current FAVOURITE of the bunch!!

(URGH, photo fail... think zooming in mushed it up a bit)
OPI Barefoot in Barcelona has been around for quite a while now as part of the Spanish collection and I. ADORE. ITTTTT!!! It's a gorgeous warm pale brown with almost a terracotta tint to it in some lights. I find most OPI polishes a dream to apply too and two coats is plenty to get you on your way. This one is no exception.

This is my idea of comfort, curling up in a MASSIVE snuggly jumper, slippers and a cuppa and painting my nails one of these colours. Maybe towards the party season I will switch again and go for full on GLITZ for my nails but, for now I'm happy being NUDE!!

What are your must have nail colours is season?? Do you go for warm browns or icy pastels??

Thursday 1 December 2011

My First Illamasqua Experience (and Blush Purchase)

Afternoon girlies!!
I am blogging today to tell you all about my first visit to an Illamasqua counter. I have read, seen (and drooled over) many a blog post, photo and press release about this dark, yet sophisticated brand but, until recently I have had ZERO access to the products myself. Boo hiss!!
Well that all changed back in October when my nearest Debenhams ( Meadowhall) announced that they were adding a new Illamasqua counter to their beauty portfolio. Queue much excitement and squealing on my part (on my own and in private I can assure you). So when my mum asked if I fancied a trip to Meadowhall this week to treat ourselves before the christmas rush my first thought was "Get me to Illamasqua, STAT!!" Illamasqua are famous for dramatic and gorgeous pigmentation so I really was like a rabbit in the headlights, not quite knowing where to look first until the MUA took me under her wing.

And this girl really was lovely. Her name is Vicky and, to anyone going to Meadowhall and wanting to know more about the products, this is your girl.
My first questions were about the Skinbase foundation and she took me through it with ease and picked a pretty PERFECT match for my skin in no9. I didn't purchase this yet as I'm still using my beloved MAC Matchmaster and it's gonna be hard to pull me away from that I think. They are almost identical in price though so I may swap to this in the future just for a change.
The main event for me was always going to be the cream blushes. I've been lusting after 'Rude' on people's blogs for a long time. In the flesh it is just as beautiful but Oh. My. God it's SCARY!! She let me swatch as many as I wanted and I finally settled on 'Dixie' for her to put on my face. The colour is BEAUTIFUL and I'm just in love with the formula. I haven't been the biggest fan of cream blushes in the past and have had issues with certain formulations but I did purchase this and I put it on myself this morning with an angled blush brush and it went on and blended a treat!!

I'd describe it as a slightly reddened peach/pink. Certainly more subtle than ' Rude' but the pigmentation is excellent and its perfect on my medium skintone one (NC30 for those of you wanting numbers). I adore the colour and will be wearing this A LOT!!

This was the only actual purchase I made on that day as I had a couple of items I wanted from MAC and I had the whole of Meadowhall to browse through and didn't want to spend all my cash in one place but other products she used on me were the Precision Ink liner, lipstick in 'Test', and eye pigments in Lestat and Wolf (she full on smoked me out).

I did, however, pick up a sample of "Freak", which is the newly released perfume from Illamasqua. I am aware a lot of you got this in your Glossybox for November but, as I unsubbed to them just before that box was due to be sent out I did not receive it. I have to say that I'm now a little obsessed with it and WANT the full size bottle. I've always been a fan of strong, dark fragrances and this ticks all my boxes. Not sure my spelling is up to this job so so I have included a photo of their description of the fragrance.

I left the counter with a new blush, a voucher for a complimentary makeover next time i attend and an invitation to a workshop they are doing there in January to demonstrate and then test out all the fab products. I will be there with BELLS ON!!
VERY pleased indeed with the experience, the products and the service I received. The girls really were lovely.
Ps. If anyone sees an Illamasqua Skinbase Foundation in Shade 9 in a blog sale PLEASE give me a shout because I want it in my life!!

What are your favourite Illamasqua products?? Anything you're DESPERATE to try out??
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