November 29, 2014

MAC Keepsakes All About Beige Eyeshadow Palette for Holiday 2014

I've been making a lot of impulse purchases lately, one evening, I made the serious error of walking into Selfridges on the same night that MAC's Holiday collection had launched. Being the magpie that I am, I fell in love with the glittery victorian portrait packaging and how small it was. I currently have so many shadows that I feel like buying any more with too much product would just go to waste, and prefer smaller quantity shadows that I know I can finish up.

Although I wasn't completely won over by my Kelly Osbourne quad, I thought I'd give MAC one more chance to prove their shadows were decent quality. The palette comes with 8 shades in a variety of matte, lustre, satin, veluxe pearl and frost finishes. The shades on the top row from left to right include Her Mistress which is a soft pastel egg in a matte finish, Sweet Sovereign a frosty gold champagne with a lustre finish, Faire Maiden is a bright coppery gold with a lustre finish and Tempting is medium-dark gold brown with subtle sparkle.

The first shade on the bottom row is Omega which is a soft muted beige taupe with a matte finish. Next is Quintessential which is described as a dirty olive in a frost finish, then Mystery is a muted plum brown with a satin finish but seems matte and Night Whisper is a rich blackened brown with a veluxe pearl finish but seems very matte when applied. I find the matte shades to not apply very well, both the lights and dark shadows were a pain to use with just a primer. I did manage to create a lovely look with the matte shades over a white base (the look on the right). However, for a hyped brand like MAC, I honestly expect better. That said, all the shades with shimmer/frost applied effortlessly when I created a look with them (look on left with choker).

Ultimately, I have a bit of a love hate relationship with this palette. It's an adorable little palette that makes for a cute gift but the quality in some of the shadows are definitely lacking. It's not bad but it's definitely not great or even good, it's ok at best. From now on, if I'm ever considering purchasing a MAC palette, I'm going to make sure it has little to no matte shades. It's incedibly obvious that the petite NARS and god created the woman palette is much better quality. Although to be fair, that palette doesn't have any pure mattes, as even their more matte shades include very subtle sparkle in them.

The MAC Keepsakes All About Beige palette is still available at Selfridges for £32. You can get 10% off with the code SELF14 until Sunday 30th November.

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November 26, 2014

Is it worth picking up Sephora's Give Me More Lip Set?

As someone who doesn't celebrate really Christmas, I admit I love indulging in all the commercial holiday gift sets and limited edition makeup items anyway. Since it's that time of the year and the new 2014 edition of the lip set has already released, I thought I'd finally weigh in my thoughts on last year's Sephora Give Me More Lip Set.

Reds - Kat Von D Adora, Hourglass Icon, MUFE, Bite Beauty
Pinks - KVD Backstge Bambi, Smashbox Gloss, Too Faced, Bare Minerals Never Say Never
Berries - Stila, Buxom, OCC Lip Tar, Tarte
Nudes - Stila, Buxom, Laura Mercier Gloss, Smashbox

In both this years and last year's set, the lip products are split into 4 colour families, reds, pinks, berries and nudes. It includes four varying lip products (glosses/lipsticks/liquid lipsticks) from each family and this year's includes a lip pencil as well. While most are sample sizes it also includes 5 full sized products. The minis allow for less commitment while also giving you the satisfying feeling of using up an item. The only problem with having such a big variety of products in a gift set is that while I did find myself loving a fair few shades, I also really disliked a fair few of them too, there's no guarantee you'll love them all.

 Personally, I had already planned on picking up a few items in last years set. The kat von d backstage bambi liquid lipstick, a too faced lipstick, an OCC lip tar, the Stila stay all day liquid lipstick and the hourglass liquid lipstick were all already on my wishlist. Ultimately, it was the ultimate opportunity to buy all those products in one go and get a bunch of extra samples as well.

While the mixture of minis and full sized products with different colours make it a great gift for both makeup newbies and addicts. If you have bought last years set are considering this one though, I wouldn't bother. In my opinion, there are too many similar-ish products, including Hourglass' Icon liquid lipstick and Buxom's Menace lipstick. They also include similar products from last year's but changed up the shades, such as Kat Von D's liquid lipstick and normal lipstick, Laura Mercier glosses, a Too Faced lipstick, a lip tar and a bare minerals lipstick. Unless there are specific shades you're excited about in this set, I wouldn't buy 2014's set as I own last years'.

One of my problems with the set is that it contained a few items that became discontinued shortly after. The Tarte lipstick was easily one of my favourites and the first product I managed to finish so it was such a shame that I can't ever pick up a full size version of it. 

If you'd like to see more indepth reviews of each of the products in the set, you can check out my review of the red, pink, berry, and nude colour families. The Sephora Give Me More Lip Set 2014 is still available on the Sephora website for $59.

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November 17, 2014

NARS And God Created The Woman Eye Kit

It's about time I tried something out by NARS. I've always been attracted to the eyeshadows whenever I'm at a NARS counter but at £18.50 per single shadow, I've never purchased one. So when I came across the adorable mini 'and god created the woman' palette I figured it'd be the perfect opportunity to replace my first ever eye palette which I used to use for smoky eyes.

Bellisima II, Kalahari I, Night Clubbing, Alahambra I, Galapagos, Coconut Grove

The palette comes with 6 gorgeous shades packed full of shimmer. Bellisima is a matte grey brown with subtle golden sparkles. Kalahari is described as a 'sugared cocoa'. Night Clubbing is a beautiful dark black with gold glitter/sparkle. Alahambra is a golden champagne, perfect for highlighting. Galapagos is a chocolate brown infused with golden shimmer. Coconut Grove is a deep taupe brown infused with gold. As you can see, while there is a lot of shimmer in the pan, they apply very matte but shades like Galapagos have subtle shimmer.

As this was an impulse purchase, I was slightly panicky that I had made a horrible decision picking this up as all online swatches didn't seem especially pigmented. I was expecting Night Clubbing to be the most disappointing shade. To my surprise, it barely needed any building up for an intense dark black. I'm incredibly impressed by the formula and quality of all of the shadows. All of the shadows have insane colour payoff and a gloriously smooth texture.

I know that with 15 shades, the Narsissist palette is obviously the better option to go for but there's something about large neutral palettes that turns me off. I guess the large choice of neutrals is too much for me for now but this tiny palette with just 6 shadows is perfect for me. I also adore how petite the palette is, you can easily carry it around in the smallest of handbags.

I was expecting the palette to be over £40, so when I was told it was £35 and that it also came with a mini pro-prime smudgeproof eyeshadow base which costs almost £20 alone, I decided to try it out. I had heard how amazing the NARS eyeshadow base was and it hasn't disappointed me so far. It also comes with a travel size wide contour brush which I don't personally care for but I'm sure will make use of.

Overall, if you've been considering trying out this palette or are looking for a starter palette, I would definitely recommend getting it. The God Created the Woman Kit is currently available at Space NK or Sephora for £35.

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November 03, 2014

Skull Mask Halloween Makeup

I know Halloween is over but I just wanted to share one of my looks this year, the half skull look, or skull mask look. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you've probably already seen this. If you also follow a lot of makeup artists on Instagram you've probably seen several different versions of the half skull mask look, mine was mostly inspired by Chrisspy and Eva. For the skull mask, all you need is a black and white face paint, and ideally a thin detail brush.

I started off by using white face paint to create the base of the mask, I used white Snazaroo face paint but I really wouldn't recommend it as it was so dry. It was impossible to move my jaws or mouth because it would cause the face paint to crumble off. I found it difficult to build up the face paint to a true white but eventually I got there. I used Mehron's black paradise paint to draw the lines of the mouth then drew in the teeth section. It was much easier to use and had a better formula. I then painted over the nose and outlines the mask and the jaw holes.

Wig is Mermaid by Geisha Wigs
White Snazaroo Face Paint
Black Mehron Paradise Paint
Zombie White Contact Lens
Vice LTD Palette Shadows in Perversion, Backdoor and Laced
Haute Couture Kiss False Lashes in Lust

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