June 30, 2014

IMATS London 2014 Haul

I've already posted up an instagram photo of my haul but I thought some people would be curious to get a closer look on what I picked up at IMATS. I already mentioned that it's not too hard to make up the ticket price with the discounts available however I did purchase some non discounted items. The majority of the stuff I bought though are really only available online so when you take shipping into account it does cost less at the event.

NARS was the first stall I went to as I had heard they had some excellent discounts despite not having their full range. They're a brand I've not had much experience with so I thought I'd pick up the velvet matte lip pencil and sharpener set with shades Cruella, Cafe Con Leche and Bettina. From what I can tell this was originally around £30 but was selling for £15 at the event and considering how each Nars Velvet pencil costs £18 it's definitely the best bargain I picked up at the event. However, it's also the purchase I regret the most as I feel like I purchased it just for the sake of a bargain so I'm unsure what to do with it. 

Next, I hit up the Sugarpill stall as I was very keen to get my hands on their new limited edition Olivia shadow. It's a pretty gold green shadow that I'll be reviewing soon. I also planned on picking up some of their false lashes but sadly they didn't have any of them on show. I was also very tempted to pick up the new sparkle baby shadows but I'm holding out for the palette so I settled on picking up their blending brush as I find my only blending brush is bigger than I'd like.

Next, I stopped by the Violet Voss stand as I knew I wanted some glitters and I'd heard a fair bit about them beforehand. After much ooh-ing and ah-ing I decided on picking up the glitters in Paige (purple), Rose (red), Copperella (copper) and Victoria (pink). Then I headed over to the Love-Makeup stand to pick up Lime Crime's Chinchilla lipstick but it was sold out so I decided to pick up their Wicked Velvetine instead.

After those stops, I decided to wander around and take a look at what's available. I came across the Body FX stall from New Zealand who had some pretty cool prosthetics that would come in handy for potential cosplays or just for Halloween like flowers, a Poison Ivy brow mask and mermaid shells. I decided to go for a few gears for a potential steampunk night. I also came across the Bobbi Brown Pro stand whose only discounted item for the public was their Black Gel Liner for half price. Since I get some serious eyeliner envy from Lima of Fashionicide who uses gel liners quite often, I thought I'd retry using gel liner. 

Mehron was one of the first stands I had stopped by as their pastel paradise paint palette was on my must buy list but when I got there they said they didn't have it. Thankfully when I returned it turned out they actually did, I plan on using this for an Ursula cosplay along with a few other looks. I also picked up some black paint for outlining and the fleur prisma paint palette (top right) as I thought it'd be awesome to use for a Poison Ivy cosplay.

By this point I had already gone over budget and was playing around at the OCC stall (yet another bunch of lovely people) and was deciding between Black Dahlia and Rollergirl. Since I'd already picked up Lime Crime's Wicked, I thought I'd pick up Rollergirl, because I totally need another purple lip color right?

So that's my entire haul and I'm quite happy with most of it. Since I already own a lot of lipsticks and eyeshadows I did try hard not to add more to the collection and tried to add new things like the glitters and Mehron paints. The only product I kind of regret purchasing is the NARS set.

So what are you guys interested in seeing first? Let me know and I'll try and review it soon!

Read More »

June 29, 2014

Saturday at IMATS London 2014

It took me 4 years to do it, but I've finally managed to get myself to IMATS for the first time! If you've never heard of IMATS before it stands for International Makeup Artist Trade Show and is held annually in 6 different locations around the world! Since I didn't have a place to crash in London, I ended up waking up at 5 am with just over 2 hours sleep to grab a train to London.

I was really anxious the night before and stressed out about it though. You see, I didn't have anyone to go with but I decided to not let that stop me from attending but the main reason behind the unusual pang of stress is it was the first time I'd be travelling around London alone. I know it's not a big deal to most but I was very paranoid about getting lost or pick-pocketed. In the end, I managed to make it to the event without a single hitch.

I arrived at the venue around 9:15 and the line wasn't long at all! Within 10 minutes of queuing I managed to get in. I don't know how long the line was later on but I'd imagine it was shorter than previous years as this was the first time IMATS had an age limit to enter. I've also read via donotrefreeze that the focus this year was on Makeup Artists instead of 'Beauty Gurus' which worked well for me as I don't really follow any and crazy inspiring makeup is why I attended. 

One of the first stands I visited was Sugarpill's to pick up their new limited edition shadow in Olivia. I was lucky enough to be able to get a picture with Amy and Amelia Arsenic. Not only that but I actually had a conversation with Shrinkle without fangirling too hard. Next I picked up some Violet Voss glitters where EnKoreMakeup was selling some of his brush soaps. Both the Sugarpill crew and Koren were super friendly but honestly everyone working at the show just had an awesome and friendly vibe to them. 
Read More »

June 22, 2014

MAC Kelly Osbourne Bloody Brilliant Dupes

After purchasing Kelly Osbourne's Dodgy Girl lipstick, I kept going back and forth to Selfridges to look at the Bloody Brilliant quad. I wasn't 100% sure whether I wanted it or not as the palettes that generally tend to catch my eye are filled with bright colors. I've never gone back and forth between a palette so much and I was hoping the palette would sell out.

In the end, I caved due to my purple Achilles heel and I figured there must be a reason I keep coming back to it. I'll be doing another post focusing on the palette itself but I first wanted to compare the palette to a few things in my collection. When I first began using this, it reminded me of another palette I owned that I haven't given much love to, Illamasqua's Empower palette.

Bloody Brilliant vs Illamasqua Empower Palette
Spoonful of Sugar, Blink, Tickety Boo, Fervent, Fizzy Rose, Synth, Shadowy Lady, Slick

However when it came down to swatching, I realised they weren't exact dupes but still somewhat similar. The highlighter shade in the Empower palette has pinky undertones making it a closer dupe to Fizzy Rose than Spoonful of Sugar. A cross between Fervent and Blink would have made an excellent dupe for Tickety Boo. Illamasqua's only cream shade Slick is a lot more shimmery and has a grey charcoal feel to it whilst Shadowy Lady has a subtle dark plum feel to it.

The shadows in the Empower palette were all easily better quality than MAC's in terms of pigmentation. The shadows in the Empower palette each contain 1.5g of product whilst MAC's contain 1.4g. The prices are similar with the Empower palette priced at £34 and MAC's at £33.

Although they aren't perfect dupes, Illamasqua's Empower palette is significantly more pigmented than MAC's and contains more product per pound.

Bloody Brilliant Palette vs Makeup Geek Shadows
Spoonful of Sugar, Shimma Shimma, Tickety Boo, Prom Night, Fizzy Rose, Wisteria, Shadowy Lady, Drama Queen

Since Makeup Geek tend to compare their shadows to MAC's, I thought I'd find the closest dupes from my Makeup Geek collection to compare and as you can tell from above they were all almost perfect dupes. Shimma Shimma has a slight yellow/gold hint to it whilst Spoonful of Sugar looks like a basic white shimmery highlighter shade. Prom Night seemed like a lighter shimmery version of Tickety Boo. Wisteria when blended out/applied lightly came off as a slightly duller dupe of Fizzy Rose. Drama Queen is a shimmery version of Shadowy Lady.

All my swatches were done over Urban Decay Primer Potion and I found that MAC's shadows still required extra effort to get them to show up as well. Whilst all my Makeup Geek swatches were done with one swipe. Wisteria can be built up to a pale purple shade whilst what you see above is the brightest you'll be able to get Fizzy Rose without a white base. Makeup Geek's shadow pans all only cost $5.99 (Just over £3.5) and contain 1.8g of product as well. You could easily purchase these 4 shades and a mini Z-palette and it'd still be cheaper than this quad.

 Makeup Geek's range of shadows contain excellent dupes for the Bloody Brilliant Palette, not only do you get more product for less but the shadows are highly pigmented. 

Read More »
1 Comment

June 20, 2014

Stila Countless Color Pigments in Light Show, Tie-Dye and Melody

During the post Christmas sales period, I decided to pick up three of Stila's Countless Color Pigments shadows that had released summer 2013. I adore the tie dye shadow concept they came up with and had been eyeing them long before they were available in the UK. When I saw these on sale for just over £5 each, I finally thought I'd indulge in them. The three I picked are Light Show (green), Tie-Dye (blue) and Melody (purple).

Swatched over NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk, Top to Bottom: Light Show, Tie-Dye & Melody

I was naturally drawn to the more colorful options that were offered but Stila also has more subtle options and 10 shadows in the full range. As you can see above there are more than just 3 shades per pot but how easy it is to get multiple colors really depends on which option you go for. The monochrome shadows like Melody were the most disappointing. Despite their being a bit of magenta in the pan, it was impossible to get that shade to show.

To an extent Light Show was also disappointing too as even though it was easy to get the yellow to pop on the arm swatch, when it came to using it on the lid it just turned out more lime. However the look still came out better than Melody's did which almost looked like I had only applied a single color on the lid. Tie-Dye was the obvious winner as I managed to get 2 shades of blue, 3 purple colors and a pink. 

Although these swatched wonderfully over NYX's Jumbo Pencil in Milk, I found that they weren't as vibrant over the jumbo pencil when on my lid. I really had to put in extra effort for it to look as vibrant as in the images above which you can see isn't particularly vibrant. I found it impossible to get the darker shades to be...dark. These also didn't blend well for me either.

I'm glad I bought these on sale as I would have felt cheated if I had paid the full £14 on each. These don't seem to be available on Sephora anymore so I assume they are or will be discontinued, however if you're curious you can still grab these on the Stila UK site. If you do try them definitely go for the non-monochrome ones.

TL;DR Stila's countless color pigments are excellent in concept but the execution and quality is average at best.

Read More »

June 19, 2014

Beauty News | US Makeup Brand Motives Cosmetics Launches in the UK

Last week, I, along with Louise and Zoe, was invited to the Cube in the Mailbox by Motives local brand ambassador Kirsty Lo for a mini launch party where I finally got the opportunity to try out a couple of products. The brand has a huge following in the states and I've read many positive reviews by American bloggers, so I was very excited to play around with them.

Blushes L-R: So Peachy, Pretty in Pink, Flushed, Naughty, Lust, Sun Goddess

Out of the beautiful display of makeup that greeted us the products that immediately caught my eye were Motives' nail polishes (£6.50) and the eyeshadows (£12). What's really cool about the shadows in particular is that they are magnetic, allowing you to depot them into a palette if you're not a fan of singles. 

However what stood out most to me was their blush range which I was very surprised to find were only £10 each. The compacts for both the eyeshadows and blushes felt very sturdy, something I knew would be safe if I just threw it into my bag. For hygiene reasons, we weren't able to touch the products with our fingers so my blush swatches were done with cotton buds, hence why they came out lightly.

After we played around a bit, Kirsty began giving us makeovers which I sadly couldn't take a decent picture of myself due to the lighting when I was done. However, I did get to wear the lipstick Magenta, that I had my eye on along with trying their Jennifer Lopez approved 10 years younger makeup setting spray, I definitely felt as though my foundation lasted longer than usual wearing it. More importantly though, I was surprised to find that Motives Liquid Powder Mineral Foundation didn't worsen my patch of dry skin on my face caused by eczema. 

Another cute product that caught my attention though was their black gel liner. As someone who hasn't really used enough to say weather it was good or bad quality, but has been meaning to try out gel liners, I think this will be the one I end up purchasing and trialing. Why? Because they named their black gel liner Little Black Dress. D'aww.

I know a lot of my followers love lipsticks, so I saved these for last! For some reason, the lipstick shades that appealed to me the most on the day were brighter than what I've been wearing lately. My top 3 picks are Magenta, Pink Sand and Red Coral. Again, as we weren't able to directly apply them, you can see how pigmented these are. At £12 each, they won't break your bank balance either. Motives also has a second range of lipsticks that are tailored for women of color however we were only shown the main range on the day.

As you can tell the brand sells higher end quality makeup but at a fraction of the price. How is this possible? They basically don't do any advertising at all, keeping their costs and so prices low. Their major following in the US is all from word of mouth and social media such as Instagram. They also don't sell any of their products in any store, only online or via brand ambassadors.

If you're not a fan of online shopping and especially shipping fees, they don't charge for shipping at all on their UK website. No matter how little you pay, you get free delivery. As an added bonus, if you order by 12pm, you will receive free next day shipping as well.

Have you heard of Motives before? What product should I get first?

Read More »

June 16, 2014

MadeULook Makeup Brushes

Last year, a few of my 5 year old makeup brushes which began falling apart. It's not as bad as it sounds though, as I just needed to glue them back together. However, since they were old, I thought it was time to invest in new brushes. It turned out that one of my favorite Youtubers, MadeYewLook, came out with a 11 piece turquoise brush set, so I decided to try them out. Sidenote: I took these photos when I first received these so I apologise for the photo quality.

Eyebrow brush - I've never been a fan of brow brushes in the past as they've felt too stiff they'd itch my skin. This however is firm enough to use without scratching myself.

Powder brush - This is one of my favorite brushes in the set, it feels so soft whilst applying on my face. My previous powder brush, although originally soft became spikey and had a lot of fallout on my face. Safe to say I've had no fallout with this.

Angled brush - I love my angled blush brush by Illamasqua. I find this brush is a lot thicker than Illamasqua's though so I tend to not really use this one as much as it covers a bit more surface area than I'd like. I've yet to really find a use for it.

Blush brush - I tend to use an angled brush for my blush so for a long while didn't make use of it until I started using cream blushers.

Foundation brush - I've already had a decent quality foundation brush so I didn't rave over this but it was a nice addition as it's always useful to have one spare and it is excellent quality.

Large eyeshadow brush - Aside from just patting eyeshadow on a large surface area, I will occasionally use this as a primer brush as well.

Medium eyeshadow brush - This is pretty straightforward, although I find myself not using it that often. On the rare occasion that I can be fussed to use concealer I'll use this brush.

Crease brush - My most used brush out of the lot, great for precise application and getting into the crease. I also have a habit of just using this directly on the lid too.

Detail brush - This is the only brush in the set I'm not happy with. When I received this the brush was already frayed slightly which I think was because of customs but I have no idea.

Small eyeshadow detail brush - I'm personally a big fan of using this on my lower lash line however I've also used this as a lip brush too (after cleaning of course).

Small angled brush - This is an excellent multi purpose brush. I've used it on my brows, on my lower lash line and for gel liner, though I'm sure there are other uses for it.

I definitely think this makes for a great starter kit although I wouldn't say it gives you everything you need, I would have loved to have a blending brush in the set. I love that they're a bright turquoise color instead of a safe black one, they're super soft and even after cleaning them I've experienced zero fallout. Considering how makeup brushes can be really expensive on their own, the set is affordable ($65 for 11 pieces) without sacrificing quality.

My only main issue with this is that I received a customs charge shipping to the UK so it did raise the price more than I'd have liked. My minor problems are that it felt like it was packaged cheaply, it had small plastic covers on all the brushes that moved around a lot whilst being shipped here so it looked like a mess when I opened my parcel and the 'MadeULook' symbol does fade over time. The last bit is expected though as I can understand she wanted to keep the costs low to be able to sell them at a decent price.

As I purchased this around the end of last year, Lex now sells the brushes separately. If you're not interested in spending the money on a full set, my top 3 favorites would be the powder brush, the crease brush and the small angled brush.

Overall, I definitely don't regret my decision, you can purchase Lex's brushes on her MadeULook website.

Read More »

June 12, 2014

Game of Thrones Viserion Inspired Makeup

It's been a little longer than I intended to move on to my second Game of Thrones dragon inspired makeup. Today's is inspired by Viserion who in the show looks nothing like this book description. 

This look was influenced by the speckled eyeliner look from Illamasqua's Imperfection campaign last year. I kind of herped and forgot to prime my eyes but I forgot just how pigmented Inglot shadows are as they managed to last the night anyway. The eyeshadow work consisted of placing my usual highlighter shade all over the lid, then working a gold in to the crease bone and then blending in 2 darker shades into the bone as well. After lining my eyes I used Illamasqua's white eyeliner to add speckles and then went over the speckles not on the lid with Lime Crime's gold eyeliner as I felt like it wasn't really showing up on my skin tone without the white base.

Products Used
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation
Illamasqua Cream Blush in Zygomatic
Illamasqua Powdered Metal in Thalia
Illamasqua Skin Base Lift
Inglot Shadow in AMC Shine 30, Pearl 430, 405 & 452
NYX The curve eyeliner
Illamasqua Precision Ink in Scribe
Lime Crime Uniliner in Rhyme
Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in Perversion
YSL Mascara
Smooch Cosmetics Lipstick in Naughty

Read More »