March 27, 2016

Beauty | Makeup Revolution Mermaids VS Unicorns Palette

If you hadn't heard about Makeup Revolution when it first launched, that would be quite the accomplishment. I don't think there was a single beauty blogger or makeup addict that wasn't talking about it. The brand had so many dupes for so many cult beauty products at drugstore prices. It was so tempting to pick up a good 20+ items on my first order but in the end, the one item I picked up by them wasn't even a dupe of a well known makeup item (as far as I'm aware).

The palette has 12 pans with one half of them filled with mermaid blues and greens and the other half is filled with what is meant to be unicorn shades. While the blues and greens are what sold the palette to me, I find some of the mermaid shadows to be a bit too similar to each other. Aside from the pinky purple shadows I find the selection of 'unicorn' shadows a bit odd, especially as they're generally quite dark shadows but I find they make the palette more wearable than more bright shadows would have done. 

The shadows are surprisingly pigmented for a drugstore palette. I was genuinely impressed by the quality when I first swatched the palette. It even translates reasonably well on the lids as long as you use an eye primer and are patient enough to build the colour on to the lids. To really make the colours pop, I'd reccomend using a white base like NYX's Jumbo pencil in white or Urban Decay's Eden eye primer.

I'm surprised by how much I actually liked this palette. It's not perfect but because it's so affordable at £4, I can't fault it. It's been a real struggle not to buy a ton more Makeup Revolution palettes (especially their chocolate palette range) but until I use up a few palettes, I will have to resist for now. 
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March 22, 2016

Holy Grail Beauty | An Apology To Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner

Almost a year ago I compared my drugstore, midrange and luxury eyeliners against each other. In that review I may have bashed my Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. I couldn't get it to work. Fast forward a few months later and  after finishing up all of my liquid liners, I ended up picking up the one eyeliner I was so sure I would never purchase again!

When I first used the eyeliner, it was a big watery mess. Instead of a black line, I would get clear liquid with random clouds of black. Needless to say, it was impossible for me to use. My frustration with the liner grew with each raving review that I read.

What was I missing? After turning to the almighty Google, I found my fix that changed everything. Instead of storing the liquid liner felt tip side upwards, it needed to be stored downward. A simple solution that I wouldn't have ever thought of. The result, one of the blackest liquid liners I've ever used.

So what made it Holy Grail worthy? The eyeliner isn't just a felt tip eyeliner, it's actually a brush. Which means that the liner doesn't dry up as quickly and lasts longer. Out of all the different eyeliners I used up, Kat Von D's the trooper liner lasted months longer than the rest. The brush also allows you to do very fine and precise lines which is great for those less daring who just want a thin line of liner or those of us who prefer to experiment with different styles of graphic eyeliner.

The major drawbacks to the liner is the price and lack of availability. Originally Kat Von D's range was only available in the US Sephora but is slowly becoming more available in other countries like Australia, UAE and Spain. At $19 it's not the most affordable but it's still cheaper than some midrange and high end alternatives. Personally, eyeliner is that one part of my makeup routine that I feel somewhat naked without and am happy to spend that extra bit of money on. 
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March 20, 2016

Makeup Rehab | Pan That Palette Tips

I genuinely have no idea how we're already a quarter of the way through 2016. I'm in the middle of my most successful no buy and have managed to not make any makeup purchases this year. Instead of keeping my eye out on the beauty industry's latest offering, my eye is on my own clutter with hopes of downsizing the collection via ebay and finishing up a few products.

The biggest hurdle is the mountain of eyeshadow that'll take another lifetime to finish. Currently it's one of the most difficult things to part with so I've been taking part in r/makeuprehab's pan that palette challenge instead. I'm currently working on my 2nd palette and I've been making progress a lot faster than my first. So here are a few tips on successfully completing your first pan that palette challenge.

1. Start small
Try to start with a palette that has less product. It might seem easier to start off with a quad. Personally it drove me insane and I found it limiting and moved to a palette with more shadows but smaller eyeshadow pans. While panning you'll realise that just because it's better value for money paying for 2g of shadow per pan instead of 1g, doesn't mean you should as it takes a lifetime to use up.

2. One eyeshadow at a time
Instead of randomly choosing different eyeshadows each day, focus on an eyeshadow you want to use up and try to incorporate that shadow in all your looks for a certain period of time. You'll be making a dent in the shadow faster and seeing the progress will motivate you to carry on.

3. Set Goals
The main hurdle with pan that palette challenges is the idea of using the same palette for so long. Especially when you have so many others that need to be used. Instead of limiting yourself, set a goal of using it just 3/4 times a week.

4. Think Outside The Box
Just because it's eyeshadow doesn't mean you have to use it on the eyes. Pinks and peaches can double up as blushers. White shimmery shadows could be used to highlight your cheek, not just your brow bone. It is possible to use bright shadows as Dark shadows pair well with eyeliner, particularly on the lower lashline area and even make decent eyeliner replacements. If you have dark hair you could use them on your brows. I've managed to use a dark plummy shadow on my brows in the past as the purple tones didn't show at all once actually on the skin.

5. Layer eyeshadows
The one drawback of eyeshadow palettes is that there'll be at least that one eyeshadow you can't stand. There is no palette out there where every eyeshadow complements every skin tone. When in doubt, finish the offending shadow by layering it with others. 

6. Take photos!
It seems over the top but photos are the best way to record your progress. Whenever you're feeling cynical and feel that it's not going anywhere, refer back to your photos to compare the palette to back when you started off.

7. Lacking inspiration? Lookup reviews & tutorials specific to your palette
Instead of checking out that new palette every beauty blogger ever is currently raving about, research the palette you already have. Create a pinterest board for that palette so you can refer to it whenever you lack inspiration. Even if a look wasn't created using a specific palette, you could still pin looks with very similar colours to the palette in question.

Hopefully that was helpful to some, happy panning!
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March 08, 2016

Beauty | LA Splash Studioshine Lip Lustre in Tiana

Some time last year LA Splash went viral for their Disney and Harry Potter liquid lipstick lines and of course, I couldn't help but get reeled right in. Eventually, they gained enough attention that they were forced to change the names of the liquid lipsticks as they weren't officially licensed with Disney and Warner Bros. Luckily, I managed to come across some of the liquid lipsticks that still had the original names during my US travels and picked two, Belle and Tiana.

From online swatches, I can't say Tiana, now called Selene, interested me at all. However when I got to play with it in store I couldn't help myself. I'm guilty of having way too many purple lipsticks but Tiana is one of the more unique purples out there. Although it seems like a pinky purple in the tube, it's very plum when applied on the lips. Once it dries down and mattifies, you're left with a slight sheen to it.

LA Splash's packaging isn't particularly inspiring. There are a lot of liquid lipsticks out there that seem to be sold in the same tube. The doe foot applicator feels cheaper compared to some of the other liquid lipsticks I own. It's too thin/weak and feels ready to snap when applying.

To make sure this sits well on the lips without flaking off, avoid layering and applying too much. As far as liquid lipstick formulas go, this is definitely on the drier side but I think these may be the most long wearing liquid lipsticks I've yet to try. They're so durable and budge proof you need something oil based to remove them from your lips. Naturally, you'll want to avoid and oil based food if you didn't want to retouch. 

LA Splash liquid lipsticks are £9.99 in the UK or $14 in the US
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