November 29, 2013

Sleek Makeup Blushers

Boots and Superdrug have been hosting a 3 for 2 deal this past month, so I used this chance to grab myself three of their single pan blushers as without the offer it never really made sense to buy the single pan ones when their Blush By 3's were better value. This review is much more of a first impressions post, but you will see a more in depth review in the future sometime once I've used these enough.

The three shades I ended up choosing were 923 Pomegranate, 926 Rose Flush and 935 Flushed. Pomegranate wasn't my first choice as there was a third shade I wanted but it wasn't in stock (I really dislike how empty Sleek Makeup stands always tend to be), so I figured I'd just grab this as it seemed like a lovely shade but when it came time to swatch, I didn't like the metallic kind of finish on it, it looks like  something I'd put on my eye not on my cheeks, but we'll see how I get along with it.

Rose Gold is the stand out shade out of all three easily. It is easily the most unique shade I've ever owned. The name is so fitting as well just look at those swatches! I love how it changes from rose to gold depending on what angle the light hits it. I've read that it's meant to be a dupe for Nars' ever so popular Orgasm blush but I don't recall thinking it was ever as pretty as this any time I finger swatched it, I'll have to go and look one more time now that I own this and compare.

Flushed was the second one I had actually settled on as it had swatched beautifully in store and seemed like a lovely everyday shade I'd be able to wear and was most excited for this when I first bought these. After using these, although flushed looks lovely on my cheeks, I'm too busy obsessing over Rose Gold to really appreciate this shade for now.

A single pan contains 8g of product which is rather generous, especially when you compare these to other blushers. My Illamasqua blushers, as lovely as they are only contain 4.5g and my NYX ones are still more expensive than these and still manage to contain less product. Madness. Although these do contain more product, they aren't as long lasting as some of my other blushers I find, I also managed to rub off these arm swatches using nothing but my hands quite easily as well. So you will probably find yourself needing that extra product.

You can grab one of these at your local Superdrug for just £4.49 each or on the Sleek Makeup site. Have you tried Sleek Blushers in the past? What do you think of them? Let me know below!

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November 24, 2013

Thor Inspired Makeup

I know the new Hunger Games film is out and people are probably expecting Hunger Games looks but I didn't feel particularly inspired by the movie and I'm still getting over how fun Thor the Dark World was. Admittedly, I know nothing about the Thor comic verse which prevented any potential nerd rage making it a fun and enjoyable watch. What I enjoyed most about the film, was the banter and general relationship between Thor and Loki. So, I thought I'd make two different looks, one on Thor, the other on Loki. Today's look, is based on Asgard's most arrogant warrior, Thor.

Arrogant may be harsh, I definitely got the impression Thor was that and rather stupid in Thor 1 and Avengers Assemble. It seemed as though they down played these qualities in the Dark World though. Anyway, moving on from all that, this look was based on the general grey, silver and red outfit we see Thor wearing, I thought it looked like I had just worn too much makeup, especially with the red lipstick, so I threw in some lightning in there as he has some connection with thunder and lightning sometimes. I'm not entirely sure what they are as they've not made it very clear. Anyway, I was very tempted to just scrap this look entirely as I wasn't too pleased with it but maybe some of you may feel differently? I find myself feeling very meh with makeup at this time of year because of the lack of lighting.

Products Used
Illamasqua Hydra Veil
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation 10
Illamasqua Powder Foundation 200
Illamasqua Precision Ink in Scribe Abyss
Concrete Minerals mineral eyeshadow in Ether & Black Metal
Sugarpill pressed eyeshadow in Love+
Vitage Cosmetics Shadow in Spiced Coffee
Yves Rocher lipstick in Grand Rouge
Illamasqua Powdered Metal in Thalia

Did you catch Thor: The Dark World? What were your thoughts on it? Lemme know below!

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November 20, 2013

Benefit POREfessional*

This is officially my first post with a * at the end of it ever since I've added a disclaimer policy on the blog. If my memory serves correctly, I received this sample of Benefit's POREfessional at a Benefit event. This is, as I just said,  a sample size product, so it's not the item you would receive if you actually purchased the item. So this is meant to be one of Benefit's most popular products, especially in the UK. If you're not too familiar with Benefit cosmetics in general, Porefessional is a primer that is meant to minimise the appearance of pores and fine lines.

Aside from concealing pores and fine lines, POREfessional is oil-free, contains Vitamin E and also helps makeup last longer. It's won multiple awards in the last few years. It's also rather versatile as you can apply it either before or after applying makeup but it is recommended you use it after moisturising. If you suffer from dry skin from time to time, I would definitely moisturise as I woke up one morning with especially severe dry skin and this ended up irritating my skin by causing a stinging sensation. That said, I've never otherwise had a negative reaction to POREfessional and I don't really regularly moisturise (aside from a bit of Hydra Veil). 

What I love about the beige formula is that it applies nude, making it a universal product for every skin tone. My issues with it? I don't really know if it's doing anything for me. I think it made my makeup last longer, but I'm honestly not sure. I'd say it may have concealed my fine lines but it definitely did not do anything for my pores at least no more than my foundation does. As an award winning product, I think I had too high expectations for this. It may be something to do with potentially not needing the product yet? I suppose it would react differently among various skin types.

So ultimately, will I be purchasing a full item? Sadly, no. I have almost used up my entire sample and I don't see the need to spend £24.50 on a product that doesn't really seem to be doing much to my skin. I would rather invest in something that would actually minimise pores rather than conceal them. That said, I would potentially try out a few more samples just to see if I am missing something or not.

Have you tried this item? Did it work well with you or am I missing something here? Maybe I'm applying it wrong? Do share your experiences/tips below! 

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November 17, 2013

Lime Crime Serpentina LotD

After recently reviewing a few Lime Crime lipsticks and feeling uncertain about them, I decided to just go ahead and test out the 'unusual' colors that intrigued me instead of spending money on the more common ones. Serpentina is one of those major ones I've had my eye on for ages but had to wait for months before I could try it out as it's a seasonal shade. It is currently in stock in most online stores that offer Lime Crime, but I had originally planned on purchasing this color way back in May/June when it wasn't even being made for restock. 

Needless to say, this was a ridiculously super easy look, I didn't even bother with eyeshadow, so I didn't take photos of all the products I used this time. It was basically, my usual face base stuff along with eyeliner and lipstick. I didn't even bother to prime, moisturise or line my lips. How green this looks obviously varies with lighting but I have to say I am in love with this color. I'm beginning to get much more comfortable with wearing strange lip colors out but so far only if it's in the evening, probably cause it stands out a lot less. I don't think I'm quite ballsy enough to wear this out in daylight quite yet. 

As I've said before, I adore this color and it applied beautifully, the only downfall is that it transfers so much! I drank water whilst I was out and quite a fair amount faded, so you'll have to reapply or wear some sort of lip primer to keep it sticking to your lips. Even though it fades it doesn't completely disappear either, it tends to sink in a few lip cracks and leaves patches of light green on your lips. I wish the quality was better but my love for the actual color makes these faults almost tolerable.

Have you tried any strange lipstick shades recently? Dare to try Serpentina? Lemme know below!

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November 13, 2013

Illamasqua Hydra Veil

I own many Illamasqua products, they're a brand that I'm happy to give all my money to but when Illamasqua launched Hydra Veil, I wasn't particularly sold on the idea and never picked it up. Months later, I was at an Illamasqua counter getting my makeup done and I loved how my skin looked, I'd never been happier with a makeup job. Turns out, she had applied Hydra Veil but still, I wasn't about to just go ahead and buy the full tub just yet. It wasn't until I had received a small sample that I had used daily that lasted just over two weeks that I finally knew that I was going to purchase a full sized tub of Hydra Veil.

There's been a lot of miscommunication about Illamasqua's Hydra Veil, a lot of people have been calling it a hydrating primer but Illamasqua has made it clear that it is most definitely not a primer. It also doesn't claim to provide any sort of long term skincare benefits so it won't be preventing wrinkles for example.

What IS Hydra Veil's purpose? Instant moisture and hydration for your skin.

Hydra Veil was formulated to go hand in hand with Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation by enhancing the makeup longevity and preps your skin pre-foundation by smoothing the skin. It contains no parabens, sulfates nor phthalates.

All that said, I will say, I did notice that my skin has had a lot less blackheads and I'm 100% sure it's because of Hydra Veil. As someone who has combination oily skin, I've avoided moisturisers as they've lead to a lot of break outs in the past. I found out recently that there's such thing as having dehydrated oily skin that tends to cause blackheads, which is the problem I'd been having for a while. As someone with oily skin, the reason I was breaking out was because I just needed to use a specific type of moisturiser. Thankfully, Illamasqua's Hydra Veil has come to the rescue and has vastly improved my blackhead problems thanks to it's instant hydration factor.

Will I be purchasing this again? Considering how a 3ml sample lasted two weeks and a full size pot (£27) contains 30ml of product, I will most definitely be picking up another tub when I'm done with it. I've had a few negative reactions to a few moisturisers as they've caused my skin to completely bloat, this, however, hasn't caused any sort of negative reaction and if anything, has improved my skin. To top it all off, I do like how it returns to it's initial smooth surface no matter how many times you stir it. The novelty of watching it return to it's initial state still hasn't worn off.

Would I recommend? Depends on so many factors. If you use Illamasqua's Skin Base and you feel that it's a bit too dry for your skin, then definitely. If you generally suffer from dry skin but find you react negatively to a fair few moisturisers out there, then I'd suggest you try it in store first before you apply. Truth is, everybody's skin is different. There have been many rave reviews on this but some people have reported a stinging feeling so it really just depends. My skin has been drying up a lot lately in this harsher weather so Hydra Veil has personally come to my rescue. If you've already figured out a perfect skincare regiment don't rush to change it.

Have you tried Illamasqua's Hydra Veil? Is it something you've been meaning to try out?

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November 08, 2013

Kat Von D Spellbinding Lipstick Set Swatches

I've been stocking up on a lot of lipsticks recently, this is only one of the two gift sets I've recently got my hands on to expand my lipstick collection. This Kat Von D mini lipstick set of 10 packaged in Miss D's artwork and has an awesome variety of colors, making it an awesome sort of starter kit for those of us who generally like to play it safe with lipstick and are looking to experiment more and also has a few safer and neutral shades too for everyday use. 

I had heard that these mini lipsticks were small but I think in my mind I still expected them to be rather big for some reason. When I finally received this item in the mail over a month ago, I was surprised by how tiny these were. They reminded me of a dolls' lipstick. I've compared my full sized Lovecraft tube with the smaller one contained in the set and the mini has a third of the amount of product as the full sized one. Which isn't too bad as you can still get a decent amount of usage from each set and actually finish a tube rather than leaving it to rot with all of the other lipsticks I own.

Backstage Bambi, Thin Lizzy (exclusive), Underage Red
Ritual, Mau5 (exclusive), A Go-Go
l.u.v. (exclusive), Bachelorette (exclusive), Vampira (exclusive)

Backstage Bambi, Lovecraft, Thin Lizzy, Underage Red, Ritual, Mau5, A Go-Go, l.u.v, Bachelorette, Vampira

Backstage Bambi is a hot pink
Lovecraft is a berry beige
Thin Lizzy is a metallic rusty red
Underage Red is a bright crimson
Ritual is a terracotta suntan
Mau5 is a deep pinky purple
A Go-Go is a reddish coral
l.u.v. is a rich violet
Bachelorette is a dark fuchsia pink
Vampira is a deep reddish burgundy

My favorite shades out of all of these are Backstage Bambi, it's a pink that I don't think looks too bad on me and that I'd actually try to wear, along with mau5 and l.u.v., it's nice that the set contains a purple lipstick that's actually purple rather than a pinky purple. I would include Vampira as a favorite but it's a new and exclusive shade that reminds me too much of Homegirl which I already own. Ritual is the perfect lip color for me as it's the perfect match for my natural lip color.

My least favorite shade out of all of these is definitely Bachelorette and I wish that Lovecraft wasn't in this as I already own a full sized one. Thin Lizzy is the only foil finish lipstick in the set and I do love the finish but figuring out what to wear with it will probably be problematic.

Like with the full lipstick sets that I've reviewed before, these lipsticks are quite creamy and all of them applied easily. That said, the creamy texture makes these lipsticks last anywhere between 2 to 5 hours. On the plus side, the lipsticks are enriched with Vitamins A, C and E to keep your lips hydrated so these really do not try out your lips at all.

If you'd like to grab one for yourself you can purchase the set for $39 on the Sephora website. For those of us abroad, you can purchase the set for £40 at Roses Beauty Store. The price has gone up recently as when I purchased mine it was for £37. The set is a limited edition set but I imagine next year the brand will release yet another set during christmas season as she's done in previous years.  

Overall, it's a great set and an awesome way to try out a decent range of Kat Von D's lipsticks. It would probably make an awesome gift for Christmas, alternatively the mini lipsticks would make for awesome stocking fillers.

Update: Most if not all the limited edition colors in this post are now available in full size at Sephora!

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November 03, 2013

75K+ Hits Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick Giveaway

Hey guys! I'm quite happy to be able to say that I not only just hit 75,000 hits on the blog (yes, I know it's not really that much) but this month I also ended up getting my highest monthly views ever as well, it was at least twice the amount of hits I generally expect in a month and I wanted to thank my readers, both old and new for the support and especially the kind words.

At first I was considering hosting the typical MAC lipstick giveaway but I thought it'd be silly to do as I've still not tried one yet. Also, Urban Decay are cruelty-free so it allows all of my readers to be able to enter guilt-free. It's also something I've actually tried and hopefully something you all will like too. I've done two different posts on these lipsticks before already if you'd like to check them out.

There are two prizes available to win in this giveaway, one full sized Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick for one person to win and the second prize for the runner up is a few Urban Decay samples. All you need to do to enter is be a follower and to leave a comment below letting me know what lipstick shade you'll like along with an e-mail address I can contact you with in case you win.

If the first prize winner doesn't respond to me within 4 days of the announcement, I'll give the first prize to the runner up and find someone else to forward the sample to. Competition is open to international readers too!

Giveaway ends on the last day of November! Good luck to you all :)

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