January 29, 2014

Recent Sale Purchases

As we're approaching what I think is the end of sale season, I thought I'd share some recent bargains (ie any item on discount) that I've grabbed my hands on during the Black Friday, boxing day and recent January sales. I admit I'm kind of overwhelmed with some of the things as I have a lot of makeup inspiration but struggle to find the time to put makeup on and take photos especially as the sun's not out as much and I don't own any professional lighting as some other bloggers tend to apparently. So here's a peak at some of the things I've picked up, DO let me know what you would like to see in a review or incorporated in to a makeup look.

Black Friday Sales
Whilst a lot of people in the states may dislike Black Friday for ruining the spirit of Thanksgiving, I personally love it as a load of indie companies tend to offer discounts, providing the perfect opportunity to finally try out some wonderful indie makeup items from all the way in the states. I ended up going a little purple lipstick crazy and ordered these two purple lip glosses by Dose of Colors in Purple Fusion and Toxic. Since my order, they've added two more gloss shades to their range along with a lipstick range. The other purple lipstick was from Coloured Raine and is called Arabian Nights, they're one of the more affordable indie companies that specialise in crazy coloured lipsticks. The last thing I picked up was a crazy bright royal blue shadow from Concrete Minerals' pro matte shadow collection.

Boxing Day & Christmas
If you read my Christmas post, you'd know I picked up Illamasqua's Bat Lash duo that was released for Halloween originally at a bargain price, I'm really thrilled I stopped myself from impulse buying this when it first released since it was over 50% off. I also never revealed the little presents I received over Christmas, it turned out they were some pretty paperself lashes to encourage some more creative makeup looks from my partner, which I totally didn't expect.

Clothes wise I got myself this awesome devil tarot tunic by Killstar Clothing during their sale. They have a lot of flamboyant pieces which isn't really my kind of thing but I tend to play it somewhat safe and simple when it comes to clothes. I laughed when I received this, the gimmicky upside down cross and all of the random swearing on the labels made me laugh. Even the back of the label said 'satan is super kawaii', it all definitely added a lot of personality to the piece.

January Sales
This month I went a wee bit crazy with beauty products but there were so many discounts I couldn't help myself. Love-makeup had a few Sugarpill items on discount so I picked up a few loose pigment shadows along with Elemental Chaos which is the purple shade from their new cold chemistry collection. I also finally grabbed my hands on these Stila Countless Color Pigments that I've had my eyes on these since they were announced last summer but I didn't agree with the price. Illamasqua also had a few items on sale and I couldn't resist getting a few blushers. As a bonus, it was my birthday this month so I received a discount code so I grabbed myself one of their rich liquid foundations. The last item I got was Revlon's matte balm pencil in Shameless which wasn't part of the Boots sale but for some reason Boots sent me a discount code (not a blogger exclusive one mind you) and I was like hell yeah I'm totally gonna use this.

I loathe flat ballet shoes in general but when I came across the range that TUK had, I was instantly reeled in by the wonderful detailing on the shoes. The metal broken heart with black stitches combined with the green lace corset detailing is what instantly attracted me to thes. When these arrived, I was surprised by the heart patterned soles. I didn't instantly purchase these because at £40 these are rather expensive for flats, so the second I saw these on discount I purchased it instantly.

Is there anything you would like me to review first? Have you picked up anything good recently?

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January 26, 2014

Urban Decay Nail Polishes in Zodiac & Blackheart

If you follow me on Instagram, you'd have noticed I posted up an image featuring a whole bunch of Urban Decay products I got on discount (which I did not use to purchase a Naked 3 palette) and more recently an image featuring a nail swatch of one of their newest nail polish colors, Zodiac. Zodiac and Blackheart are both the newest shades in the Urban Decay lineup of what is now 4 nail polishes in the new revamped packaging.

I'm not going to deny that the skull on the bottle wasn't one of the main features that attracted me to these polishes. I adore the little skulls on the handle but I can definitely imagine it putting a fair few people off. Despite the pretty packaging, I stopped myself from trying out Vice and Addiction back when they first released as I already owned a dark purple shade that was very similar and I knew I wouldn't get much wear with a silver. So when these two beautiful shades released, with Zodiac having glitter in it and Blackheart just seemed like a delightfully odd and dark shade to wear, I decided to grab both shades. Ever since purchase, I've only been applying these on my nails.

Zodiac is described as a smoky green with gold, green and blue 3D-micro glitter. Emerald is probably so 2013 but I couldn't resist this polish especially with the glitter finish. Urban Decay also have the same shade in their moondust eyeshadow range. I found the polish rather sheer so you will have to give it an extra 2 for full opacity. I'm not entirely sure what 3D micro glitter is but this is the only glitter nail polish that is easy to remove, normally I have to really soak up my nails in acetone to remove polishes with any kind of particles and even then there's always some bits left over on your nails.

Blackheart is a smoky 'greige' with red and multi-colored shimmer. This was a really difficult color to photograph, I tried so many angles and flash but I couldn't capture the duo-chrome like effect it has. It's a really beautiful but odd color. I believe one of the shadows in the Naked 3 palette and the double-ended liners is also called Blackheart and it has the same grey-beige with red shuimmer aspect to it. I've actually worn Blackheart far more times than Zodiac as it's a neutral shade that doesn't tend to clash with my makeup and is an interesting alternative to the stereotypical black nail polish, it's also much more interesting to stare at in sunlight too.

Both Blackheart and Zodiac are super durable and dried really quickly. I had minimal chipping but there was still a little of it after a few days of wear without any sort of top coat for protection. I felt as though Blackheart applied better than Zodiac as it's more opaque. Each bottle retails for £10, but I was managed to get mines for a little under £8 each. It may be a little too pricey for some but it definitely makes a beautiful gift at the very least and for any hoarders out there, the good thing is there's only 4 shades in the entire collection so it won't completely destroy your bank balance.

Have you tried Urban Decay's new polishes? What do you think of them?

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January 22, 2014

Sephora Give Me More Lip Set | Nudes

If you don't already know, I've managed to get my hands on the Sephora Give Me More Lip Set and have decided to give a detailed review on each of the items in the set. Although the set is no longer available for purchase, making a review of the whole set useless, you can purchase each item individually so you may get some use out of this review. I'm going through the whole collection by color sets and have already reviewed the reds and pinks, today I'm going through my least anticipated color set, the nudes.

Top: Smashbox Nylon Nude, Laura Mercier Bare Naked
Bottom: Buxom White Russian, Stila Dolce

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Nylon Nude I've not tried anything by Smashbox before so I was looking forward to trying this out. My first thoughts were this lipstick is so gosh darn nude, it barely shows on my lips! It's not even a 'my lips but better' shade, it's just very sheer and although it has a lovely creamy texture it doesn't seem to last particularly long and disappears within a meal or even just a drink or two. Overall, it's definitely a 'meh' shade.

Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bare Naked I wore this gloss over the above Smashbox lipstick and felt as though this was more opaque than the lipstick! Which is a little bit ridiculous. After a bit more testing I think they both just have similar coverage and it's just easier to layer this gloss than the lipstick. It's unscented and leaves your lips feeling lovely and moist throughout the day only when worn alone but the color fades shortly after application.

Buxom Full On Lip-Cream in White Russian I've been given the impression that Buxom are rather popular in the states but I don't hear many people here wishing these were about. The first thing I noticed that surprised me was that this gloss had a minty feel that gave off a strong tingling sensation for up to 3 hours. It gives no coverage but definitely moistens the lips quite well and keeps them hydrated for a while.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in 02 Dolce This is yet another matte liquid lipstick that I've been curious to try out. It does have a sort of sickly vanilla scent, some people may like the smell but I found it rather off-putting but after using it a couple of times I stopped noticing the scent. Either way, the first few times I wore it, I stopped noticing it in a few minutes. Once it 'mattified' on my lips, my lips definitely didn't feel dry compared to all the other mattifying lip creams I've tried. It's also a lovely shade that I've worn so many times, I've even worn it in one of my look of the day posts. I definitely plan on repurchasing the full product when I finish off this sample. My only issue with this is that when applying I find that it always without fail gets on my teeth but a quick clean up and the problem is solved.

Overall, Stila's liquid lipstick is a definite repurchase and might just be my new everyday lip color. Although the other products are nice-ish I don't care too much for them.

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January 19, 2014

6 Partition Storage Box By Muji

While certain things in my makeup collection have a specific place on my shelf, I also have a lot of loose bits and bobs that are scattered everywhere. Most of it being small bits and bobs. So I made a stop by my local Muji store to see if there was anything suitable enough to help organize the mess.and I came across this great low rise storage container that you could use not only for makeup items but even stationary, jewelry, hair-care, skincare and perfumes. 

The box comes with 6 equal compartments for you to store whatever bits and bobs. I've used it to organize mostly small everyday items like my eye drops and primers. I've lumped my eye primers and lip primers with my samples of hydra veil and NYX jumbo pencils that I use as an eye base. I also finally have a decent spot to place all my lip balms and concealers. I've also used it to store a few things that I've just been hoarding without using like my many perfume samples and face cleanser samples from events. I'm not really a perfume kind of person, I'll mostly only wear some for special occasions.

If you find six partitions too restricting, you can take out the dividers to alter it to something more suitable. I did the above as an example but am still sticking to the first original layout but may consider getting a second so I could use it for my hair products and makeup sponges as above. It's rather affordable at £5.95 at Muji but just be weary that it's not huge. On the other hand there is also a similar item double the size for £8.95 if you want more space for less. Either way, I'm really happy I got this as it's made my makeup area so much neater.

What do you use to store your makeup? Particularly small bits and bobs?

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January 15, 2014

Sephora Give Me More Lip Set | Pinks

As I've mentioned before, I managed to get me hands on the Sephora Give Me More Lip Set Sampler and have used each item a fair few times to give a more detailed review. I figured the whole set review may have been useless but you can still buy each individual item so these mini reviews may interest some. I've already gone through the reds last week, today's post is on the pinks in the collection.

Top: KVD Backstage Bambi, Smashbox Pout
Bottom: Too Faced MarshMallow Bunny, Bare Minerals Never Say Never

Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi This was one of the main reasons I had to get this set, I've been quite curious to try out KVD's liquid lipsticks for a while and as it's not a brand that's available in the UK for an especially decent price. It wasn't particularly drying but I did feel mild tingling the first time I wore it but never again after that. You do need to layer it for full opacity. It's not drying initially but after a couple of hours it feels slightly drier and lasts through a few meals before it begind to fade in the center at all.

Smashbox Lip Gloss in Pout I was expecting this to be a really opaque gloss and considering the strawberry milkshake shade, I'm really glad that it's not especially with my skin tone. Even when you apply a thick layer, it doesn't come out too pink, I prefer spreading the gloss to a sheer layer. I was amazed to find how moisturising it was, my lips felt conditioned for at least 6 hours. I now layer this over matte lipsticks to give that glossy finish and found it doesn't change the lipstick color as long as you apply a little.

Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Marshmallow Bunny This is a full sized item of a lipstick I've been quite curious to try for a while, admittedly more so because of the pretty shiny packaging (terminal magpie). I am honestly gutted to say that I was incredibly disappointed, because the one shade that Sephora decided to add to this set was a sheer lipstick. It feels like lipgloss instead of a lipstick except gloss won't tug on any dry patches and can apply everywhere easily. I can't really see myself getting much use out of this, so don't be surprised if this ends up on the blog sale soon.

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Never Say Never I've never owned anything by Bare Minerals and for a first product by them, I'm really impressed by this. I love the formula for this lipstick it's creamy without sacrificing durability and lasts a fair few hours instead of fading away. The first time I wore this I felt that it was too neon but it was just cause I was wearing it at night and the yellow lighting made it look...icky. When I wore this again in daylight, it looked much better and it's brighter in real life than in any of the photos I've taken of it. The bright pink lip has definitely grown on me.

Overall out of this color set I loved all but the Too Faced lipstick. I'm also kinda gutted that the only two opaque colors in this are bright fuschia pink instead of a mix.

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January 12, 2014

Melt Cosmetics Lipstick in DGAF

I love discovering new independent and cruelty free makeup brands. Melt cosmetics is a very new brand that officially began selling it's wonderful range of lipsticks back in May 2013. It's not even a year old yet! Out of the original 10 shades in the collection, I made an impulse buy and went for their blue lipstick called DGAF. At first I didn't realise it was an acronym and thought it was phonetic. Obviously I'm no longer down with the times. I know the concept of blue lipstick would weird many people out but a couple of days ago, I shared a sneaky preview on instagram wearing it and was surprised by the positive response it got.

One thing I definitely need to mention with this brand is their product descriptions and beautiful promo shots per lipstick. Melt doesn't define the color of each lipstick but each one has their own unique product description that gives each of them their own identity. DGAF's is relatively short: "Self Explanatory. This is how you feel when you wear her." The individual promo shots per lipstick are stunning as well, my only complaint is that they're so obviously photoshopped that you're unsure how true to color the pictures are. It seems to be a common feature for a lot of indie companies that specialise in unusual lipstick colors. The site kind of solves this problem by having a bunch of tagged instagram photos on each page but filters make it a bit difficult to tell what the actual color payoff it but overall, you can definitely make a guesstimate as to what the color ends up looking like.
Another thing that is especially common with indie makeup brands are the mini goodies they tend to give with your package. It's a lovely and thoughtful little extra to receive. Aside from the stickers pictured above, I also received a little mirror that I had originally mistook for a badge or pin. I just completely forgot to take a picture of it as I've kept in my coat. It's not anything extravagant but it's definitely handy as it really doesn't take up space and it's small enough to throw in to a purse or wallet without getting in the way. For now, I'm unsure what to do with the stickers, I may use it for a makeup bag? Or maybe on a blogging notebook.

Although the website clearly says 'ultra-matte' in big purple letters at the top of the page, I was still surprised by how matte these were. More so as I've been using a lot of creamier type lipsticks lately, so the texture felt really different. Because this color is a lovely cobalt blue, it did take my time to apply it on to get a decent shape and I did feel like I had to layer it to get full coverage but not much. If you want to wear a color like this you're going to have to put some effort into it, especially if you don't have matching lip liner. This lipstick is somewhat durable, it did not completely disappear after a meal and even after quite a few meals you're still left with a blue lip stain. Due to it's matte texture I felt I wasn't using too much product when I needed reapplying which is great as I feel as though I get through my creamier lipsticks really quickly.

Thanks to these gloomy 8 hour winter days it was dark when I took this so I had to use flash which I dislike as I don't like the way it makes me look. It was a really bad hair day too but the lipstick made me feel badass. I'll try and figure out some crazy looks to go with the lipstick and post some up in the future. I have a few ideas already that aren't just boring shades of brown.

For an indie makeup brand the lipsticks are definitely on the expensive side at $19 if you're in the UK you'll have to pay an extra $10 for shipping. That said, the packaging is fine, the quality is great and I honestly don't regret my purchase at all, and hope to get my hands on the upcoming shade of green, blow, even though I most definitely don't need another green lipstick. Eep.

Would you brave a blue lipstick like this? What would you wear it with?

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January 10, 2014

Koren Zander Pro Brush Soap

So way back in my June haul, I purchased myself this Jasmine scented soap for makeup brushes by Koren Zander in an effort to make myself clean my makeup brushes more. Koren Zander is a rather popular male youtube 'guru' which was news to me (I'm not really a Youtube fan). Now I admit I didn't get to brush cleaning until at least 2/3 months later but I've used it for a while now so I'll be able to give you guys an experienced and detailed enough review on it.

My soap is Jasmine scented but there are 12 different scented ones, each with their own designated colour. Personally, I loved the smell of my Jasmine soap but if you're not a fan of any of the scents there is an unscented option. That said, when I used this I didn't find the smell transferred to my brushes at all, if they did, it most certainly wore off over the drying period and was too faint for me to notice a scent at all.

Using this is simple, dampen your brush and rub it on the soap to clean and condition it. So why bother spending £8.50 on this soap in particular? The loofah side on this soap is such a simple but genius idea. It really makes cleaning foundation brushes 10 times easier and quicker, I often find I spend ages trying to remove all the foundation off my brush only to have a lot of it still left on the brush. Although it got a lot of it off as you can see in the above pictures there still seems to be a little left at the roots of the brush, I'm not sure if that's something I can ever get rid of without destroying the poor brush so I didn't carry on with it.

Depending on your brushes you may experience fallout using this soap. No brushes aside from one had fallout but I wasn't surprised because with the particular brush in question (Inglot powder brush) I often find pieces of hair on my face whilst using it and I've recently invested in a new powder brush. It's a good way to figure out if any of the brushes you own are...crap. That said, I stopped using this particular brush with the soap as I found it really caused a fair bit of fallout on first use and thought I'd rather clean it a different way that won't destroy the brush although ideally I should just bin it.

You can purchase this soap through the original Koren Zander site. If you're in the UK though you may find it easier to purchase it at Beauty Chamber or on Cocktail Cosmetics where I bought mine for £8.50.

How often do you clean your makeup brushes and how do you get rid of stubborn residue?

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January 07, 2014

Sephora Give Me More Lip Set | Reds

A few months ago, I treated myself to the Sephora Give Me More Lip Set Sampler, sadly it was a limited edition item only around for Christmas time and even then it sold out long before Christmas time itself. Instead of just rushing in to swatch and take photos of all the products with a half arsed review I thought I'd take the time to go through each item and review them by color set then finish off with a final overall review of the set. I figure sure the set may be useless but some people may still be interested in the individual products. As long as one person out there on the internet finds one of these reviews useful, I'm happy. Today's color set is, obviously, the reds.

Kat Von D Foiled Lipstick in Adora I was incredibly disappointed with this lipstick, the promo images for the Foiled lipsticks are beautiful and although the shimmer finish is okay my issue is with the color itself, it's too light of a red for me, I prefer my deep ones. Although most people may like the subtle foil finish I personally wish it was more in your face and ultra glitzy with loads of sparkle. My lips have recently been in good condition but I'd imagine this would be really difficult to apply if your suffer from dry lips.

Hourglass Cosmetics Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon I've tried quite a few liquid lipsticks (they will be reviewed in time) and love how so many brands are embracing them. The Hourglass one's have been hyped up a fair amount especially for the blogger price but for the price tag, they're rubbish in my opinion. The reason I love liquid lipsticks is for their longevity and this isn't particularly durable so I won't be buying a full one unless it was discounted. That said I do like this shade the most out of all 4 of these and if you find liquid lipsticks dry out your lips more than you'd like then you may want to consider this as the formula I felt almost silky and didn't 'dry up' my lips.

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural N45 I've tried a few of these lipsticks in a sample pack quite a while ago and the experience is different using the actual lipstick. It's sheer, moisturising and has a rather glossy finish. Because of it's gloss finish, it doesn't last particularly long. Plus, it's without a doubt the most sheerest red I own. It seems like a decent red for those who haven't worn red before, a 'gateway' red even but I like to go bold or not bother at all and go for a subtle nude shade all together.

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate This was surprisingly the first item in the entire 16 piece set I used and was featured in the first Halloween makeup look I did last year. In terms of red shades, it's not my favorite, I prefer much deeper ones but the item itself was quite handy and easy to use. Since it is a pencil, it feels like a 2 in 1 lip pencil and lipstick. It was super pigmented and rather durable. Before this set, I'd never even heard of the brand, it's a shame it's not in the UK as I would definitely consider trying this out in other shades, I would buy other shades if it weren't for the high price tag though.

Overall, all 3 red products I was looking forward to try out didn't meet my expectations and Bite Beauty was the standout product for quickest and neatest red lip product.

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