June 26, 2015

IMATS London 2015 Wishlist

There's less than a month until IMATs 2015, so let the countdown begin! I already purchased my ticket well over a month ago. I'll just be attending on the Sunday as I currently spend my Saturdays completing a makeup artistry course. I was originally not keen on attending however, there are quite a few interesting brands on this year's exhibitors list. I'm trying to build up my own  professional makeup kit and I'm also not currently spending much on makeup for myself, so I need to make sure that whatever I get isn't for me and for the kit.

IMATS London 2015 Wishlist

So for myself, I'm currently lusting after Makeup Forever's HD Foundation, we've been using this in class and it really blurs over my large pores and it has really good coverage that can be built on. I'm super excited for Lit Cosmetics glitters having a stall here in the UK! I used to watch so many American Youtubers and Bloggers rave about them. I'm hoping to pick up any unique mix of blends there. 

For a long time, I've also had my eye on  NARS Strada single eyeshadow. It's a beautiful grey lilac shade with gold shimmer. As it's such an unnatural colour though, I don't think I could possibly justify paying full price for it, I really hope that this year they have it available at IMATs as they didn't last year. The final thing on my personal wishlist is the Zoeva Mixed Metals palette. I really can't justify another palette or more eyeshadow right now. Realistically, I don't think I'll be able to get it as the stockist, love makeup, seems to only sell their brushes. 

Kit Wise, I'm thinking of purchasing a bunch of Zoeva brushes as my rose gold set have easily become my favourite. While I personally am not a fan of lipglosses, and don't own many. I'm considering getting a few of Urban Decay's Revolution Lipglosses to fill in the gaps with this. Realistically, I'll end up getting a few nude shades and a red.

Another thing I'd like for my kit, are some primers/bases. Particularly, a few colour correctors. Makeup Forever's Skin Equalizers seem like a perfect fit. Unless there's a really good discount, I'll probably only pick up the redness-correcting base and the anti-dullness base. Last on my list, I'd like some sort of light-reflecting product in my kit, as YSL will be there, I have my fingers crossed for their famous Touche Eclat to be on a good discount.

Are you attending IMATS this year? If so, what's on your hitlist?

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June 23, 2015

Top 5 Favourite Purple Nail Polishes

If you follow me on Instagram you may have come across an image where I realised my purple lipstick addiction also happens to be a purple nail polish addiction. The amount of purple polishes I own could easily last me a lifetime. So my favourites, in no particular order are...

If you were to tell me that I'd ever be in love with a Claire's nail polish, I'd laugh in disbelief. However, glitter and purple is a winning combination with me. Naturally as a glitter polish, the only issue with it is trying to remove the polish as it's incredibly long lasting.

Models Own Chrome Mauve is a debatable one. Some may argue it leans pink. I'm unsure how I never heard of the chrome range as the liquid metal finish is such an awesome finish. It's quite similar to my Nails Inc Primrose Hill polish which is a grey purple that leans more grey. I find Chrome Mauve to be a grey purple that leans more purple.

Illamasqua's Jomina is described as an electric lilac, which is really spot on. It strikes me as the shade of purple Barbie would be branded with if they had gone for purple, Barbie purple. As with all Illamasqua polishes, this applies easily and effortlessly and does not chip for almost a week. Easily a must have!

Picture Polishes' Imperial is the most unique nail polish I own. Which is standard for so many indie nail polish companies. Imperial has a purple base (duh) with scattered holographic blue flecks and small gold glitters.

Illamasqua Baptiste is described as a deep royal purple with shummer finish. My older photos are much better but Baptiste is a gothy, rich and elegant shade of purple. The clincher is the metallic / shimmer finish.

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June 21, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury's Birkin Brown Matte Revolution Lipstick

Move over Velvet Teddy, there's a new brown lipstick in town. Well, it's not particularly new now and in all honesty it reminds me of a lipstick version of Lime Crime's Salem liquid lipstick. After enjoying my first matte revolution lipstick by Charlotte Tilbury, I knew I'd have to try out another. If you're unfamiliar with the matte revolution lipstick range, it's a set of 10 lipsticks that coordinate her 10 looks and are created with specific celebrities in mind.

Birkin Brown is a gorgeous soft chocolate cream lipstick that is inspired by the likes of Naomi Campbell and Jane Birkin. As it's part of the sophisticate look, it's not naturally as dark as it appears here. However, when you pair it with Charlotte Tilbury's Foxy Brown lip cheat it turns into a super intense dark brown. A closer look at it, you can see the 3D glowing pigments create a slightly shimmery almost metallic look up close. 

I'm personally kicking myself for not taking photos of this before switching up hair dye colours. I found Birkin Brown suited my green based turquoise a lot and dark lipsticks with this hair seem too harsh on me. 

As I mentioned during my Sexy Sienna review, I admit to being swept away with rose gold packaging and square lipstick bullet. As silly as it sounds, it really makes whipping it out and applying it such a treat to do. 

While the formula was alright with Sexy Sienna, it was a lot easier to see all the faults with the darker Birkin Brown lipstick. I found I absolutely could not apply this without prepping the lip and a lipliner as the lipstick would not stick to certain parts of the lip. I find with a lipliner it lasts around 6 hours before needing a touch up.

Overall, Birkin Brown is a mixed bag. If it weren't for the fact that I love this shade, I may have regretted this purchase. However, if you're not keen on splurging £23 on a lipstick, MAC's Paramount looks like a spot on dupe for it. 

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June 19, 2015

Too Faced Rock N Roll Palette Lookbook

Although Too Faced's Rock N Roll palette comes with it's own little lookbook, I thought I'd share a few of my own looks that I've created and tend to reuse whenever I use this palette.

To get this look I applied Glam Rock all over the lid then muted it down with New Romantic. I used Rockabilly on the brow bone and Punk along the lower lash line. After applying some eyeliner, I used glitter adhesive above the liner and applied the glitters. For full directions check out this post.

This is my most worn look, which I've previously paired with Illamasqua's Atomic lipstick. I applied New Romantic all over the lid and blended Ska into the crease and lower lash line. Then I added depth to it by using heavy metal in the outer corner. I used NYX's butter lipstick in Licorice on the lips.

I created this navy smoky eye by first adding a lot of kohl liner across the lid and blending it out a little. After that, I patted Heavy Metal all over the lid and then blended in pop on the crease bone.

This final looks is quite similar to the second one, but is less of a banana crease. I started the look by applying New Romantic into the crease and Rockabilly into the brow bone. Next I applied Rap on the lid and into the inner corner. I created a V shape on the outer corner with Ska and also applied Ska on the lower lash line. I deepened the V shape with Heavy Metal and finished off the look with eyeliner and mascara.
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June 16, 2015

Too Faced Rock N Roll Rock Eye Shadow Palette Review

Almost a year ago, Too Faced released two music themed palettes, the rock n roll palette and the country girl palette. Despite the obvious gimmicky theme, I couldn't help but get sucked in. I was obsessed with the palette and needed it in my life. The jewel toned, smoky eye shadow colours and the studded punk as hell palette cover reeled me in. The problem was, it was a website and Ulta exclusive, making it impossible for those of us outside the US to get a hold of. I managed to grab it on eBay shortly after it's release, but now? It turn's out the Too Faced finally ships to the UK!

Rockabilly, Rap, Ska, New Wave, Pop, Heavy Metal, New Romantic, Glam Rock, Punk

Similar to the Kat Von D palettes, Too Faced palettes, have 3 shadows in a larger pan than the rest that are meant to serve as base shadows. Once I received the palette, I was surprised by how small it actually was, but it makes it an excellent one to throw into your handbag or for travelling as it's so compact. The Rock N Roll palette is packed full of shimmery dark smoky shadows that are sure to satisfy anyone who associates themselves with alternative culture.

Rockabilly is a light matte cream shadow that I tend to use as a highlight shade. Rap is a metallic gold shadow with an almost sheer like quality to it. It may need a little layering. Out of all 9 shades in this palette, I can't see myself getting much use out of it. It's also my least favourite name in the palette and doesn't really feel like it belongs in there. Ska is a medium brown shadow with a pearl/satin finish to it and has a buttery texture.

New Wave is a subtle light pink shadow with white sparkle, it's my least favourite shadow of the lot, more so because I feel it clashes with my skin tone. Pop is a plum eyeshadow with subtle red undertones, I find it needs a little layering on it's own but with a primer, it's incredibly pigmented. Heavy Metal is a blackened blue with purple glitter.

New Romantic is a difficult one to describe, the best I can describe it as is a light sandy beige with a soft pearl finish. Out of the three base shadows, it's the only one I can see myself getting much use out of. Glam Rock is a khaki grey with white/silver shimmer. I was slightly disappointed with this shadow only because I expected it to lean greener. Punk is a forest green eyeshadow with shimmer, it requires a little layering to get the colour to look as deep as the pan. 

In general, there are some shadows which seem slightly powdery in texture but are actually very pigmented. If not, they can easily be layered for a more intense colour. However, I would not describe any of them as chalky and you won't experience these problems with a primer. If you're looking for a dark smoky palette, I would definitely recommend picking this up.
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June 14, 2015

5 Things for couples to do instead of Love Locking in Paris

I've mentioned in my life lately posts that I plan on slowly creeping in some non-beauty related posts. With the recent removal of all the love locks in Paris, I thought I'd finally weigh in my thoughts and offer some alternatives. Earlier this year my partner and I decided to visit the city of love for our anniversary. I wouldn't consider us a particularly romantic couple but we do have our moments. Before the trip, we considered taking part in the tourist tradition of love locking but was put off after hearing about how much damage it was doing and even caused a partial collapse to a bridge.

Source - aol.com
Despite not wanting to take part, we did decide to check out the state of the bridges where we played a game of spot the oldest padlock. The majority were dated 2015 and the oldest one we could find was 2013. This didn't come as a big surprise as the locks get removed regularly. It was difficult to see the romantic aspect of the act as I felt like the locks really uglified the bridges. The number of locks were ridiculous. There was so little space on the bridge people had even attached bike locks, and even those were full of padlocks. The locks had snaked beyond the bridge and on to fences surrounding the area. So here are a couple of ideas of things to do with your special someone instead.

1. Stroll along the Seine
Sunrise or sunset may make for a more picturesque walk. However, you can take a walk at any hour and you'll find a lot of activity around the Seine both below and above the river. Above the river it's a bit too hectic with traffic but we spotted a lot of brides and grooms, some getting married and some in the middle of photo shoots. Below, or more aptly put, along the river, you'll find a lot of couples taking part in PDA. However, couple or not, it's definitely worth walking along it as there's plenty of things to discover under the bridges, food huts, hidden restaurants and even speakers that you connect your phone to and play your own music.

2. Climb up the Sacre Ceour at sunrise (or sunset)
There are plenty of places with stunning views of Paris. Since we stayed in the Northern quarter, we headed to our local Boulangerie early one morning and carried our pastries all the way up to the highest point of the city to enjoy our breakfast while watching the city's sky change colours over the hour. While it's more convenient to catch the sunset, you have the bonus of enjoying the empty steps during sunrise as it's packed for most of the day.

3. Learn to say I love you in a new language at 'le Mur de Je T'aime'
Walk a few roads down the Sacre Ceour and you may find yourself at Le mur de je t'aime, which translates to 'the wall of I love you'. The phrase is said to be repeated 311 times in 250 languages, it's definitely worth stopping by for fellow linguaphiles. We enjoyed trying to guess which language each phrase came from. Multi-linguals may have fun simply trying to find the phrase in their own languages.

4. Watch the Eiffel Tower glitter on the hour.
While few may think it'd be more romantic to get a kiss on top of the tower. However, there is little joy from waiting in line to buy a ticket so you can queue up in another line to go up the lifts. God forbid you've paid more money to go to the summit so you can queue up for another lift. I much preferred finding a decent view of the tower and watching it sparkle on the hour. Although, originally, I didn't know that this was a thing and was caught by surprise making the trip slightly more magical.

5. Dinner for two
As a food lover, dinner for two wasn't something I expected to be particularly special as it's something we do quite often. However, the excellent hospitality and ambiance in some of the places we ate made the difference. Ignore the stereotypes of the French being rude, they're excellent hosts and at best, too polite. For those on a budget, you'll find you'll get better value for money on a set menu in many places.

What's your stance on the recent love lock removal? Are you sad to see them go or are you team #lovewithoutlocks?
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June 12, 2015

Illamasqua Matte Lipstick Roundup

Since I've finally managed to go through all 12 of my Illamasqua lipsticks, I thought I'd give a bit of an overview for those that want a general opinion on their lipsticks. I've also included some side by side swatches making it picture heavy.

Maneater, Atomic, Fable, Test, Climax, Immodest, Resist, Magnetism, Shard, Kontrol, ESP, Pristine

Maneater - Classic Cherry Red

Atomic - Fuchsia Violet

Fable - Bright Rose Pink

Test - Soft Pink Chocolate

Climax - Dusty Rose Pink

Immodest - Vivid Pink

Resist - Deep Rose Pink

Magnetism - Deep Raspberry Pink

Shard - Red Violet

ESP - Vivid Violet

Kontrol - Blue Violet

Pristine - Pure Black

The biggest criticism that Illamasqua's matte lipstick range face is that they're very drying. However, I find this varies with each shade. Shades like Immodest and ESP are some of the worst offenders and are quite drying. Others are on the creamier side and apply smoothly and evenly without any effort like Maneater, Pristine and Atomic. If you suffer from severely dry lips then I'd recommend applying a lip balm and even using a lip scrub for certain shades.

The 'dry' quality of Illamasqua lipsticks mean they tend to really cling on to the lips, making them some of the most long wearing lipsticks that I own. Naturally, this also varies with each shade with Resist being the most long lasting. 

What initially drew me to Illamasqua lipsticks were their unique colour range, with teals, purples (although those are now popular), black and blues, they easily stand out compared to other brands you'll find in your standard beauty department. There are even some more common shades that have a unique edge on them like Atomic which seems like a standard fuchsia lipstick but has a violet sheen or Shard which looks different depending on the wearer.

At £18.50 they aren't the most affordable ones out there. However, they do a web exclusive deal of 2 for £32 online and often have sales and discount codes floating around. I think I only ever paid full price for my first 2/3 lipsticks back when they cost less than £15 each.

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June 09, 2015

MAC Makeup Student Pro Discount Kit Picks

As I've mentioned a few times now, I've been doing a makeup course during the weekend. Our school was able to get us a one off pro discount at a local MAC Pro Store to purchase items to start up our own makeup kit. It was very tempting to go and pick up a whole bunch of makeup items for myself. However, I'm currently trying to streamline my personal makeup collection so I made extra effort not to give in to temptation. A lot of the items in this post aren't available on MAC counters and only in Pro Stores.  

The first thing on my kit list was the MAC Pro Conceal and Correct Palettes. Considering how each concealer costs at least £15, the palette is incredibly cost effective at £35. There are 4 palettes for different skin tones, light, medium, medium deep and dark. The shades on the left of all these palettes are for cool yellow toned skins and the right for warm pink toned skins. All of this makes it an excellent product for budding makeup artists.  I wanted to pick up the light, medium and medium deep palettes but they only had medium in stock.

The next thing I knew I had to try were the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots to use as eyeshadow bases. A few shades were sold out but I managed to pick up Layin Low for medium skin and Painterly for light skin tones with a pink undertone. I also wanted to pick up Soft Ochre which would have worked on Olive skins or as an eyeshadow brightener on medium skin tones but it was sold out.

I picked up a few items that I could easily use on anyone despite skin tone such as their Transparent Finishing Powder. For the lips I picked up a Lip Liner in Spice, which is meant to be one of their more popular items and the Prep + Prime Lip Primer. Since I already own so many black and brown eyeliners, I went for Technakohl Liner in Risque which is a nude light beige shade for the waterline to enlarge eyes.

The only other niche product I picked up was MAC's Face Protect Primer which has oil-control and includes SPF. I also picked up a Double Sided Palette as I wanted to depot my NYX macaron lippies into one side and I've still not decided what to do with the other half. However, when I went into the store I was told they only sell their lipstick wells in Covent Garden so I just made an online order as the 12 Well Insert only costs £2.50 anyway.

The last thing I picked up that was more of a personal one, is the No. 4 False Eyelashes, I asked for a pair that would look natural as everytime I try to find something subtle, they end up looking too dramatic.

Is there anything else that I should have picked up to start up a makeup kit? Let me know!
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June 05, 2015

Top 5 Illamasqua Lipsticks

Having reviewed all 12 of my Illamasqua lipsticks, I thought I'd round up the ones that I felt are the best ones. Tc clarify this list isn't a list of my personal favourite shades but the ones I felt had the best formula. While it was easy to eliminate certain under-performers, I found it difficult to choose just 5 lipsticks with what was leftover.

Maneater (cherry red) isn't a particularly unique shade and I'm surprised at myself for adding Atomic (fuchsia violet) to the list. I've disliked it for so many years but have only appreciated the colour in the last few months. Illamasqua's lipsticks can receive a lot of criticism for their dryness, both Maneater and Atomic don't have that problem at all and have somewhat creamy finishes to them.

Resist (deep rose pink) is a must have, not only is it my all time favourite pink lipstick but it's easily the most durable and long-lasting one I own. Magnetism (deep raspberry pink) is discontinued unfortunately. The formula is creamy and as it wears away, it still retains a stain effect.

If you're ever looking to push yourself out of your comfort zone, I can not recommend Kontrol (blue violet) enough! Purple lipsticks have been really popular for the last year or so. If you're a fan of this trend, this is one purple lipstick you don't want to miss out on.

Pristine (matte black)  deserves an honourable mention.The reason why I didn't include it was because the formula was too creamy that it caused it to break in the tube. It's currently the only lipstick to have ever done that too.

Illamasqua lipsticks are pricey at £18.50. However, if you're willing to splurge, these 5 are the one's I'd recommend picking up.
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