July 30, 2013

Jasmine Inspired Makeup

It's been a long time since I've posted up a look of the day post. The truth is, I had been dealing with severe dry skin around my eyes, which turned out to be eczema, and it just made it impossible to apply makeup on at all. Thankfully my skin seems to have completely healed finally! So after a 2 months+ hiatus on makeup looks, I've been relearning how to apply makeup. My earlier works have been super sloppy but I've been improving. Anyway, I thought that after posting up some swatches of the Sephora Jasmine palette last month, that I should finally start do some looks using the palette. Hence, today's look is a Jasmine inspired one using the Sephora palette. 

I actually ended up not using any eyeshadow primer for this but I used NYX's Jumbo Pencil in Milk and Urban Decay's 24/7 pencil in Deep End as bases. With the former smudged on the lid and the latter on the bottom lid. I was half tempted to wear gold earrings and a gold headband with this look as it seemed like the kind of makeup I would be able to get away with if I were dressing up as her for a cosplay or Halloween. Since the eye makeup was super colorful, I thought I'd go somewhat neutral on the cheeks, so I went for the Golden Sands bronzer from the palette rather than the dusty pink Thrilling Chase blush. I'll probably end up doing two more makeup looks using shadows from this palette, one neutral one and one Sunset inspired one most likely. So look out for those in the upcoming weeks! 

Products Used
NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk
Sephora Jasmine Storylook Palette
- Blue Oasis, Friend Like Me, Lapis, Sand in the Glass shadows
- Golden Sands Blusher
Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Deep End
Lime Crime Uniliners in Quill & Rhyme
Illamasqua Sophie Pencil
YSL Mascara
Smooch Cosmetics lipstick in Naughty
NYX HD studio powder in Honey Beige
Vitage cosmetics Spiced Coffee Eye Color
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in No 9

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July 29, 2013

Sugarpill Limited Edition Eyeshadow in @#$%!

In case you don't know, I am a huge fan of indie brand Sugarpill! They have recently released two different limited edition eyeshadows, Asteria and @#$%!, which have only been available at IMATs and a few other trade shows. Sadly, I wasn't able to attend IMATs this year but I'm hoping to buy myself an early bird ticket for next year. Anyway, thankfully, love-makeup, had a few limited edition shadows left over after the London IMAT show, so I went out of the way to grab this beautiful shadow that has easily become my ultimate favorite red shadow.
I would not say this is a must have. Red is such an uncommon color, the only red shadows I own are from Sugarpill too strangely enough. Not only is it uncommon but it can be quite hard to work into a makeup look, it's much easier for theatrical, artsy makeup though which is what I hope to use this with. So, if you're just a casual makeup wearer, this isn't a must have there are definitely some easier colors to work with out there.

"An exclusive release just for you! Available only to our most dedicated friends. This limited edition color features the same rich pigmentation and velvety texture you love about Sugarpill products."

If you haven't tried any Sugarpill pressed shadows before, I highly recommend them! They're super pigmented and sell for a reasonable price. Their bold color range is definitely not for the tame! A single shadow retails for $12, alternatively, you can buy a palette with four shadows for $34 on their website. For any UK folk who can't be bothered waiting too long for their orders to arrive, I recommend you check out love-makeup who currently have a sale on their Sugarpill pressed and loose eyeshadows! 

It's less obvious in natural lighting, but you can tell that @#$%! is much more vibrant than Love+ in the flash photo with some added sparkle. I really do like this shimmer finish and hope that we'll be seeing more shimmer finish pressed powders from Sugarpill in their upcoming collection releasing at the end of this month. Which is just a few days away now! The formula on this seems to make it so easy to apply compared to their usual matte finishes. I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing what they come up with next!

Have you tried out indie brand Sugarpill? What do you think of their bright and bold products?

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July 28, 2013

LUSH Oatifix Face Mask Review

So last year I decided to try out three different Lush face masks, (Love LettuceCosmetic Warrior & Brazened Honey) I carried on with two of them because they suited my skin. However, last month I decided to purchase Oatifix as it was meant to be hydrating, my skin had dried up a fair bit over the rough winter and I had never really done anything about it. Why? Because it was the first time I was in the UK during a hardcore British winter and I had no idea how important it was to moisturise in winter.

"A mask for dry skin.


Bananas are a very rich oily fruit - so are perfect for a mask that is trying to get goodness into dry skin. Also in here is illipe butter to moisturise the skin and leave it supple. Oatmeal, ground almonds and kaolin bind the ingredients and act as a very gentle scrub to lift dead skin away and leave the face looking brighter. A soft fragrance based on vanilla absolute finishes off this nourishing mask." - lush.co.uk

First Impressions:
First thing I noticed with this was that the tub was actually full to the brim! The above photo was after a fair few applications, in retrospect, I probably should have taken a photo when I first opened it up. So what else? It has a lovely faint vanilla scent. I also found it rather difficult to apply, it's rather clumpy and I'd imagine it to be even harder if your skin was even drier. However, overtime, I found I got used to it and it became easier to apply each time. After my first use, I also noticed that aside from leaving my skin smooth as the other masks have done in the past, this mask left my skin feeling extra oily. So I wouldn't recommend this for those of you with an oily T-zone.

Ingredients
Oatifix as you may guess, contains fine oatmeal, to soothe and relieve skin irritations, bananas, that work as an emollient and moisturiser, almonds, for a gentle exfoliate, kaolin, which works as a mild cleanser, vanilla pods, for the scent, sandalwood oil, to coat the skin with a protective layer and illipe butter to soften skin.

Pricing
These retail:
1. in the US for $6.95 (£4.5).
2. in the UK for £5.95 ($9.2). 

Would I buy again?
Not immediately but during a harsh winter, most definitely. My skin tends to be much more oily and seems to have healed up completely from the winter damage. If you're a fellow eczema sufferer, don't expect this to fix it and see a GP so he can prescribe you something much more suitable. I admit, I did also buy this because I avoided the GP like the plague (the irony) but it has all thankfully been sorted out and I couldn't be happier. Overall, it is a great moisturising face mask and is simultaneously great for scrubbing the black heads away.

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July 25, 2013

Concrete Minerals The Blackest Black Set

Carrying on from my last post, today I'll be reviewing the second half of my recent haul from Concrete Minerals which is essentially just the blackest black stack collection. The brand sells 3 different stacks, the Blackest Black, which is great for dark smokey eye type looks, the Rainbow Bright set, which actually contains all of the colors of the rainbow and Nudie-Pie which offers a range of neutral shades. Out of all three, the Blackest Black collection is the one that appealed to me the most and I had my eye on it for ages, so when Concrete Minerals announced their discount code, I instantly had to grab it for myself.

"Introducing color stacks! 7 luxurious Mineral Eyeshadows, expertly-paired in 3 unique collections! Whether you're a warm neutrals kinda-gal, bright, bold and beautiful unicorn queen, or you're seeking you're eternally seeking that perfect smokey eye, the BEST of the best is crammed into these fun tubes of wonder!" - concreteminerals.com

Whilst the eyeshadows were all packed up, you couldn't see much difference between the shades, but once you've opened them all up you could tell easily that the collection wasn't just full of the same black shade.

A single color stack has 7 shadows which sells for $40 (over £26) so you get each shadow for less than £4 each which is great! Especially considering how you can only purchase a select few shades in the UK at cutecosmetics.co.uk for £6 each.

Colors from L-R: Sabotage, Seance, Souljourner, Kinky, Nocturne, Ether & Black Metal

Sabotage is a black with pink sparkle and sheen. This is also one of the only three non vegan shades in the entire range. It seems pinky black but is essentially just black with pink glitter.

Seance is a beautiful deep purple with lavender sheen. I love purple, I love black, put the two together and you get this super awesome shade. Definitely going to be one of my favorite all time colors!

Souljourner is a midnight blue with copper sparkle. Cool factoid: this shade was inspired be prog-rock band Souljourners!

Kinky is a black based teal shade with rainbow sparkle. This was one of the main reasons I bought this collection, swatches of this shade just seemed so pretty, I had to make it mine!

Nocturne is a deep sparkling moss green with silver sparkle. I definitely don't own anything like this shade. It's super unique and definitely has a swamp like vibe to it.

Ether is described as a gunmetal silver. I've yet to try the grey/silver type smokey eye that's quite popular, but I think with this new shade I'll definitely be giving it a go.

Black Metal is a black shade with silver sparkle, a name that really suits the color. I especially love how the name was actually named after the grim metal subgenre from Norway!

Compared to the other shadows I had bought, I defintiely felt as though all the shades in the set applied easier, I'd imagine it would be due to their darker nature.

All in all, no regrets! This set is super pigmented and provides a beautiful range of unique black based shades that you can easily get a lot of use out of.

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July 22, 2013

Concrete Minerals Swatches Part 1

It felt like ages, but I've finally received my very first order from concrete minerals! They were hosting a sale on July 4th so I thought I'd finally go ahead and try the brand out. The brand is 100% cruelty free and the majority of their products, 98% are vegan friendly. The only items they sell that aren't vegan friendly are their electric eye primer and 3 of their mineral eye shadows (source). They are working on changing the formula apparently to make sure the whole line is vegan friendly. What appeals to me the most is that they exclude cheap fillers like talc and bismuth oxychloride. To top it all off, they don't include parabens or any other 'scary' preservatives. I definitely think it's great that an indie brand puts in so much effort into their products to prevent any sort of skin irritation.

I thought I'd divide these swatches into two because there's a fair amount of product and I really wanted to talk about each shade and half of them were bought together as a set. Four of today's products were bought with Concrete Mineral's special Blogger/Guru discount. The other two, Saint and Bang-Up, I added on to be able to get free delivery. I was surprised to find that I had also received two sample sachets with some neutral shades, White Rabbit and Blitzkreig.

Each jar contains 1.5g of product which isn't especially generous but for $7 (over £4.5), it'll do and let's be honest there are plenty of makeup brands out there who've charged much more for less. Each jar contains a sifter which is great as I'm rather clumsy so it'll prevent a lot of spillage if I were to drop any of these. Mind you, you'll have to shake the jar around a bit to get any product out. When I ordered these, I never expected them to look quite so pretty. Out of all these, I was genuinely surprised by how bright Bang-Up looked in the jar.

Over Urban Decay Primer Potion - Flash
Foiled with Illamasqua's Sealing Gel - Flash

Infinity is described as a smooth aqua blue of the Tiffany variety. Personally I see it as a mute greyed turquoise. I love the shade as I don't own anything like it.

Charm School is a bright, glittery green with golden undertones. It definitely seems somewhat muted down too, a bright but light faded out acid green, almost pastelish. It is most definitely a unique color and I can't say I own a shade like this.

Sweet Catrina is a pinky-neutral with silver sparkle. It is a lovely pink-champagne and part of the Sugar Skull collection but it was a bit of a disappointment for me as I had imagined it to not be very pink and I own something quite similar, this is what happens when you don't read product descriptions before purchase!

Bat-Breaker is a steel-grey with flashes of turquoise and red. It's from the Arkham collection released in 2011 and unfortunately is the only one still available for purchase whilst the rest has been discontinued. I just had to own it. Why? Because...Batman. I'm not entirely sure what I'll be doing with this, but I'll make sure it is Batman related somehow.

Saint is described as a navy-blue purple and is also from the Sugar Skull collection. In the jar it looks more on the purple side but once applied it seems to be much more navy blue.

Bang-Up is an electric blue with gold sparkle, it is a super bright blue. However it looks a lot brighter in the pan than how it actually turns out, but I'm fine with that personally.

Blitzkreig is listed as a shimmery bronzy-brown. It's one of the samples and is most definitely a super pretty color of the neutral variety. It is also one of the only three non-vegan shades.

White Rabbit is a pale white with pink sheen. This is part of their previous Alice in Wonderland collection, it seems like a decent color to use for a highlighter, don't think I could get away with it being all over my lid.

Have you tried Concrete Minerals before? Look out for part 2 featuring the Blackest Black stack!

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July 19, 2013

5 Favorite Products To Beat The Summer Heat

It's been a while since my last post, life has kept me occupied and the heat has seemed to drain all of my motivation whenever I'm home. It's the first time I'm experiencing my first British summer. Sure summer in Dubai is far more brutal but air conditioning is a must in every house out in the desert whereas it's a rare thing over here. Apparently a summer like this hasn't happened in a while, to be honest, I'm not complaining... much. I find it's much better to deal with the heat outside in the shade than indoors. Anyway, my point is, I've found that my makeup routine has changed a little to deal with the heat. So this is my list of 5 products I'm using to deal with the summer heat.


1. Lime Crime Velvetines lipstick in Red Velvet
I really, REALLY love wearing this in the heat. I've generally been avoiding lipsticks and glosses because they can feel somewhat sticky in this heat. I really do love the whole matte drying liquid lipstick thing that a fair few brands have come out with. Lime Crime's Red Velvet is so far the only one I've tried and own for now but with this heat not really going away for now, I have been looking for other shades. I find I've been receiving a fair few compliments too wearing this, I think it could be because I'd imagine a lot of people might be going for the natural/minimalistic makeup look in this heat.

2. Benefit They're Real Mascara
So let me say, I've always worn eyeliner. My first real grown up makeup product (lipsmackers don't count right?) was eyeliner. Ever since, any day where I apply makeup I pretty much always use eyeliner but for some reason this summer I find myself avoiding it. Instead, I've been grabbing my Benefit they're real mascara. It's not even intentional, out of all makeup products, mascara has usually been the one I skipped out on quite often. I find the mascara definitely helps give the eye some sort of impact considering how I'm not really applying anything else.

3. Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation
If you've been following my blog for a while, (I'd be surprised if you were), you'd know I love Illamasqua's skin base foundation. I have tried using a BB cream this summer, admittedly it wasn't an Asian branded one but damn it really did not work well with my skin. It was giving me the strangest lumps of spots I'd ever had, I'm not sure whether to bash the product with a review only because what works well with one person's skin may not work at all with someone else's. Skincare is a very personal thing. Either way, my poor experience with that product has made me really appreciate my Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation so much more. No spots, decent coverage and provides SPF 15. It may not be called a BB cream but it was inspired by the original Asian BB creams before the western market saturated the industry with BB, CC & the like creams.

4. John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Agent
My hair in heat can be so intolerable. One of the reasons I prefer life in the UK vs life in Dubai is because my hair is so much more manageable here. Also there's the fact that the water in Dubai is known to cause a lot of fall out. Either way, I haven't yet picked up and Macadamia Hair stuff, they are wonderful products but rather pricey. So for now, this is the hair product I use whenever my hair is dry or on the frizzier side. I try not to apply too much as it can easily go from dry to super greasy that way.

5. Sunblock
Protect your skin. That is all I really have to say. I used to be terrible with sunblock and avoid it like the plague as a child. Admittedly, this was because I was told to apply it and had to throw Johnson and Johnsons baby powder on my face, making me look like a ghost so I avoided the entire process quite often but now I am older and wiser and realised that I don't have to throw white powder on my face just because I've applied sunblock on. I don't really have a favorite in terms of brand but in terms of SPF, I would say 30. Why? Because apparently anything higher than SPF30 gives a marginal increase in protection, as in not much. So my childhood filled with greasy SPF 100 sunblock was unnecessary. Not going to complain though, better safe than sorry.

Disclaimer: This is my personal list and is in no way me dictating to any of my readers what to wear...except for maybe the sunblock if you're really enjoying this weather.

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July 06, 2013

Beautifuly Disney Enchanted Kiss Palette Review

So back in May, I made an order at the Disneystore to try out their new makeup brand, Beautifully Disney. Unfortunately, the Enchanted Kiss palette arrived in pieces so I got in contact with customer services asap and I finally received my replacement now in July. 

The Beautifully Disney collection has two palettes, one dedicated to the villains, the other to the princesses. I ended up choosing this one because a few reviews hinted that the villains palette had a few duds. Hence why I ended up with this one, also I figured, I don't really own much neutral shadows in general so why not? The palette has four shades, sadly, they haven't given them interesting names and have just named them eyeshadow 1, 2, 3 & 4. What's worse? They haven't seemed to have even placed them in a logical order either. Shade 1 is on the bottom left, shade two is on the top left, 3 on the bottom right and 4 on the top right. I'm not hating, but it's rather clumsy of them to do. The palette itself is rather thin compared to my Sugarpill palettes and mirror-less. 

In terms of eyeshadow quality, I was expecting the shadows to not show up at all without the help of a primer but was pleasantly surprised and thought they were rather pigmented. I think out of all four shades, number 2 (pink) would have been a dud. When you use a primer though, the color comes out much better. My favorite shade out of everything here is definitely number 4 with a primer, I just love how nice and dark it comes out. All in all, these four shades aren't special or out there shades and do surprisingly well, which is expected as this is meant to be a makeup brand for adults. I confess though that I genuinely expected it to be rubbish but have clearly been proven wrong. For £12, it's definitely a decent buy.

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July 03, 2013

Emerald Green Makeup

Hey guys! So a while ago Pantone declared emerald green to be the color of 2013, at the time of the announcement, I honestly didn't care. I'm generally a fan of blues and purples, but I've found myself being drawn to more green products lately. I'll admit partially due to the fact that I'm considering getting a Poison Ivy cosplay sorted for a future expo. I'll be honest though, in terms of clothing, emerald doesn't appeal to me at all, but maybe I'll feel differently towards the end of the year and then my fashion sense will just be outdated knowing my luck. I've given 5 recommendation for lip products, eye products and nail polishes.

LIPS

1. Lime Crime Candyfuture Collection Lipstick in Serpentina £11.50 - This is the only brand that I could find that had a shade like this in lipstick form. Sadly, Serpentina is a seasonal shade and will be re available in October.

2. Lime Crime Carousel Gloss in Hollygram £11.50 - Or £10 on the site I linked, I get the impression it's not especially opaque and a dark lipstick as a base would help. I'm pretty sure it's meant to be paired with Serpentina to complete the look with the glossy finish.

3. Barry M Touch of Magic Lip Paint £4.50 - This is a great option for those who want the fun of applying a green lipstick but don't want the actual green color. The Alkali levels of your lips determines how pink the color ends up, hence why it's referred to 'magic'.

4. OCC cosmetics in Power Plant £12.00 - Out of all glosses in this, this is probably the sheerest of the three. I can't really say much more about it though as I haven't tried anything by OCC but hopefully will one day.

5. Illamasqua Sheer Lip Gloss in Violate £7.50 - The original retail price for this is £14.00 but luckily enough, it's been put up on the summer sale. Even though it's part of the sheer lip gloss collection, I imagine it to be quite thick judging from my experience with other Illamasqua sheer glosses.

EYES
1. NYX Jumbo Pencil in Sparkle Green £5 - Sadly, these Jumbo Pencils are quite pricey here in the UK, I'm hoping one day we'll be able to get these for a more reasonable price. However, it is a cheaper alternative to another pencil on this list. This shade is one of the newer shades added to their range.

2. Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #22 Emerald Green £17.95 - These cream colours are waterproof and can be used as eyeshadow, liner, blush or lip colour! Essentially, if you wanted to go for only one thing on this whole list, you could probably stop reading any further and just go ahead and buy this.

3. Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Electric £14 - I suppose this is a cheat, this is probably the lightest shade of emerald on here. If you're looking for a sparkly eyeliner that'll last a while, this is your best bet.

4. Sugarpill Pressed Eyeshadow in Midori £6.50 - Original retail price is £8.50. If you're looking for a gorgeous, pigmented green eyeshadow, I would highly recommend Midori from Sugarpill, it is relatively cheaper compared to high end brands that charge £14 for a single shadow and has more product.

5. Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Clinic £14 - I love Urban Decay's 24/7 pencils, they really are super  high quality and last ages. Clinic is also a super gorgeous color, I honestly can't emphasize this enough. 

NAILS
1. Beautifully Disney Nail Polish in Ocean Mist £5.00 - Yet another cheat item, I just love the way this looks on my nails and how shiny it is. It will probably be my favorite nail varnish for the year. It's probably too light to be considered emerald but owell. Sadly, I can't give a direct link to the item because it's currently sold out due to the entire beautiful disney line being 50% off.

2. Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Viridian £7.50 - Again, this is also in the Illamasqua summer sale and the original retail price is 14.50, it's described as a peacock green on the site.

3. Models Own Nail Varnish in Emerald City £5.00 - This is a more legit glittery green nail polish. The polish  would probably be quite difficult to remove I'd imagine.

4. Nails Inc Bling it On Emerald Nail Set £18.00 - Nails Inc launched this set because because Emerald was declared 2013's color of the year. It contains the shade Victoria Street, a pot of emerald glitter, an application tray and a brush for applying.

5. Sinful Colors Nail Varnish in Envy £1.99 - The cheapest option, Sinful colors has recently hit boots stores in the UK. The closest emerald option out of their whole collection.

So that's that, did the emerald fad get to you when it first started? Recently maybe? Or not at all?

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July 01, 2013

Illamasqua Raindrops Polishes

Hey guys! So sometime last month Illamasqua had a buy one nail polish get the 2nd 50% off on their site. As the full retail price for one is £14.50, the price per bottle ended up being less than £10 (They offer a 10% discount from your 3rd order onwards). I thought I'd try out both of their raindrops colors, the original and the pink raindrops, which was released after Illamasqua hit 100,000 facebook fans earlier this year. The shade has been pretty hyped up but I can't say I especially cared for it as I don't find pink nails particularly exciting. In the end, the collector in me made me purchase these two.

Raindrops is a sheer light grey with what I wouldn't call glitter but shiny particles. I can't really describe the polish itself well as it's not glittery but still shiny anyway. I'd definitely say you'd have to apply 2/3 coats, 2 if you're lazy but definitely 3 for perfect/full coverage.

Pink Raindrops is described as a cool pink, it has the same kind of shininess to the original raindrops. I find that it's not true to the bottle though as once applied it has less shininess to it. However, I found that this gave decent coverage with one coat but applied the second as it was still somewhat sheer under bright light.

Which do I prefer?
Even though pink raindrops had better coverage, I just don't think I'll ever find a pink nail polish I'll especially love? Pink eyeshadow or lipstick is fine with me but there's just something about pink on my nails that makes me constantly think meh (unless it's in small doses in nail art). Personally, the pink raindrops is a miss for me but I can't say I regret buying it as I'm quite happy to add more to my collection. The grey nails are definitely something new to me as grey isn't a color I would have previously considered wearing but I definitely feel as though the original raindrops trumps over it's sequel.

I wish I could stop posting new Illamasqua items frequently but I am defintiely addicted to the brand. On top of it all they're constantly putting up offers lately so I'm just more and more tempted to give them all of my money. I've been meaning to try out some other makeup brands but Illamasqua now has a summer sale on that keeps calling me! XD

Which of these two nail polishes do you prefer? What are your thoughts on the pink raindrops?

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