Friday, January 31, 2014

Naked 3 Palette - Review and Swatches!

Hi everyone! I'm back with another swatch and review post which I know so so many of you will be interested in. It is, of course, the hugely anticipated Naked 3 Palette. I've had this palette for a little over a month now, so I've been able to get a feel for my favourite colours and really get to know the palette. I've done a mini-review and demonstration for a makeup look on my YouTube channel, so definitely go check that out if you're looking for makeup inspiration. (Link to video)

The Naked 3 Palette is a beautiful rose inspired palette with blush tones and golden hues. The packaging is a beautiful rose gold metal box with the logo in elegant golden font. The box clasps shut, which I find way more secure than the magnet closure on the Naked 1 Palette!

Unfortunately I threw away the box it came inside, but it basically had ingredients and images of the shades on the back. The back of the palette itself is rose gold and patterned with this dented metal look. 

Opening the palette you've got the shades and the huuuuuuuuge mirror I always love in the Urban Decay palettes! In total there are 12 gorgeous shades, which as you can see run from a pale, creamy pink to deep, rich black. The palette also includes a brush. I've mentioned in a previous post that I'm not too keen on 'freebies' with eyeshadow palettes or brow kits; I think they are unnecessary. Even so, I guess it is always good to add to your brush collection!

The shades are all considered neutrals; none are out of this world crazy! This also means they are totally wearable. Urban Decay's website says of the palette: NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN (and insanely beautiful) rose-hued neutrals—from pale, shimmery pink to deep black matte with rosy red micro-glitter.

As usual, the shades work in order from lightest to darkest. 
Strange: A matte pale shade with a slight pinkish undertone. A perfect inner corner highlight from this palette.
Dust: A pale shimmering peach shade, with a whole heap of shimmer! 
Burnout: A satin finish shade whose peachy pink tone is gorgeously natural.
Limit: A matte pale to mid-tone mauvy pink. A great transition colour that I love.
Buzz: A beautiful mid-tone pink with loads of shimmering glitter.

Trick: One of the most unique eyeshadow shades ever! A true rose-gold shade which is absolutely packed with a beautiful golden shimmer.
Nooner: A mid-tone to darker-toned mauvy pink. Your typical dusty rose colour.
Liar: A silvery-purple shimmering shade.
Factory: A bronzy, deep shimmering shade with rosy glitter.
Mugshot: Another silvery shade with plum undertones.

Darkside: A satin-finish taupe with loads of deep plum as an undertone.
Blackheart: A black shadow which is actually packed with red micro-glitter, which gives it the purplish look. A very dramatic shade!

Side note: I'd like to comment that the texture and pigmentation of these eyeshadows surpasses any I've seen (Included the naked 1 palette!). The colours glide on faultlessly; their textures are very velvetty and the colour payoff is incredible. The shades are so opaque!

So these are the shades swatched in order, out of direct sunlight. These were done in a single swipe; such amazing pigmentation ahhhh.

(above) Swatches with flash. The shimmering colours really sparkle under flash. They are so packed with beautiful glitters.

These are the shades in direct sunlight. I actually find most of them to be really gorgeous, and more importantly, wearable in daytime looks!

This is the swatched shades next to the palette itself. As you can see, the shades in pan are pretty true to how they come out!

My favourite shades are definitely Dust,

Trick (so unique, so incredibly pretty!)

aaaand Mugshot. Which isn't actually one I liked so much in the pan, but once its on my NW15 skin, I absolutely adore it.

So overall I am in love with the palette. I got this as a gift for Christmas but my Dad got it from Debenhams for 37 GBP, which I think is definitely an investment, but well worth it. I am in love! It has become my go-to palette for my day to day looks, and definitely compliments spring/summer make-up. 



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

MAC Twist Of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette - Review and Swatches!

Hi guys, so I'm back with this review of a gorgeous MAC eyeshadow palette from their limited edition Tartan Tale range (which I believe you can still track down on eBay if you want.) This one is the 6 Twists Of Tartan one and I have to say, I really like it for the colours and quality of the eyeshadows!

All the compacts have different colour themes on the front. I absolutely adore the packaging for this one though; the green, red and golden yellow are so traditional looking yet edgy. The gold MAC logo is so cool, and so sophisticated.

The box clasps firmly shut, which is brilliant because I love to carry eyeshadow palettes around in my bag and hate when they accidentally open because their clasp isn't very secure (think the magnets on the Naked Palette). On the reverse side of the box is the name of the palette and the names of the shades.

Opening up the palette we can see 6 beautiful shades of eyeshadow, all in keeping with the colour theme on the front of the box. The shades are (top L to R) Lady's Prance, Rolled Gold, High Spirits, (bottom L to R) Vainglorious, Set To Dance and Bows and Curtseys.

The shades, like in most palettes, run from lightest to darkest. The palette also comes with a small brush, however I usually stay away from the brushes in these tiny palettes because they're never much use to me. Even so, it is kind of a nice touch to include a little brush.

Lady's Prance: A beautiful creamy off-white matte shade of eyeshadow. Perfect for an understated inner corner and brow bone highlight. 
Rolled Gold: A lustre finish eyeshadow with a lovely shimmer when on the skin (see swatch below). A true, polished gold colour.
High Spirits: A fresh, summery, cool green with a frost finish which gives off a subtle shimmer in the light. This isn't a shade I would typically pick but it will definitely give me some inspiration for garden themed looks.
Vainglorious: The most intense and rich burgundy/maroon shade with a frost finish which gives it a glamourous sheen. This is the perfect shade to put a spin on your everyday smokey eye.
Set To Dance: A deep velvetty matte navy. This dark shade could also be a cool addition to your smokey eye, instead of keeping it black. The navy blue is a classic shade and can be very wearable.
Bows and Curtseys: This blackish green shade is again, not a traditional colour I'd pick for my eyes, however it is in good keeping with the tartan theme. Intensely pigmented, when applied to the skin it comes out completely opaque in a single swipe, though does tend to look more grey/black than when it is in the pan.

These are the shades swatched on the back of my hand near a window. Can I just take a moment to comment on the amazing texture of the eyeshadows! They have such a creamy feel and are very rich and pigmented. I'm really impressed by MAC's eyeshadows; these are the first I've ever tried!

Also, I had these on my hand all afternoon and they only faded slightly. They were removed completely when washed with soap and water. Very impressed by the longevity of these shadows!!

As always, I pick favourites from the palette! This time my absolute favourites are Rolled Gold (I am a sucker for a shimmering gold eyeshadow, so sophisticated and elegant, yet summery and fun!) and Vainglorious (the most beautiful deep reddish purple I've ever seen; the shimmer sets it off and I'm desperate for an evening event where I can rock a sexy, smoldering burgundy smokey eye!)

All in all, I'm totally impressed by not only this palette, but the MAC eyeshadows too. So rich and creamy in their texture, with such longwearing shades that last for hours. I'd recommend any of these Tartan Tale palettes if you can get your hands on them still. I am in love with these!


Monday, January 20, 2014

MAC Fleur Power Blush - Review and Swatch

Hello everyone! I'm back with another swatch and review post, this time with the MAC powder blush in Fleur Power. 

Fleur Power is a 'soft bright pinkish coral' shade on the MAC website. It is definitely darker than the baby pink and peachy shades I usually go for, but I was looking for a great coral shade and this one is highly praised.

The packaging is a typical compact style, and has a window on the front so you can see the colour. I definitely like being able to see the colour through the front (unlike NARS blushes where you just have to guess).

On the back of the compact, which is about 5 or 6 cm in diameter, there is a sticker with the name and weight of the product. I want to say how much I like the packaging. It feels very sturdy and snaps into place. The hinges are solid and the overall packaging looks clean and isn't over complicated.

Then opening up the compact you've got a large amount of product. I'd say you have about 5cm diameter of product, which I find huge! Though, for AUD$41, you'd expect a generous amount of product. 

The shade is definitely bright and pink. Though it doesn't seem orange toned enough for me to consider it a coral shade, so I'll call it a VERY pink coral. It is quite vibrant and intense as a blush shade, which means you'll have to dust it on ever so lightly to avoid that china doll look!

I'm in love with the texture of this blush. The powder is very fine and glides on really nicely due to its satin finish. The product does actually have a tiny amount of shimmer which is barely visible both in the pan and when on the skin, however I'm sure during wear these pigments catch the light.

The product, when swiped with my finger came out really intensely and really opaque. Especially as I tested it on the paler side of my arm. Obviously this isn't how intense the blush would look when on your cheeks, but it gives you an idea of the tone you would build when dusting it on the cheeks.

Though Fleur Power isn't a shade I'd usually reach for, I do like the warmth of it and its vibrancy would make a nice change in my makeup routine. I love the opacity and texture of the blush, so perhaps a dolly pink MAC blush would be my perfect shade. 


D.I.Y Spa Day! - How To Pamper Yourself

If you are anything like me, you get stressed out. I let myself get really worked up about work, university, money etc etc, you name it, I worry about it! To combat this stress, I have looked into going to get massages or facials, because beauty services and going to the spa are such relaxing and relieving things. However, they come with a huge price tag! $130 for a 60 min massage? $80 for a facial?

I've been doing these at home D.I.Y spa days for ages, but only recently have I made them a 'thing', where I set aside time for myself, like an entire evening, I turn off my phone and laptop, play some music and retreat to my bathroom...

You will need:

  • Your favourite skincare products: Mine are my Clarisonic and the Neutrogena Tangerine and Lime face wash (smells amazing).
  • A moisturising, amazing smelling body wash or bath soak: I've chosen the Radox Nourish Body Wash with Shea Butter and Ginger. My skin will be completely soft and silky after that!
  • A luxurious fake tan (if you like): I know not everyone does fake tan but it kind of fits in well with the whole pamper day theme for me! I picked the Dove Summer Glow Gradual Tan Lotion, which is a body moisturiser than develops overnight to a subtle bronzey tan. I love this because it's failproof; I'm not great at fake tanning so this one works really well for me!
  • Your desired leave-in hair product: This is for after you've rinsed everything off. It's to keep your hair shiny and smooth long after your pamper session is over. I chose the Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti-Frizz Serum (seriously my favourite hair oil EVER).

If you're not fake tanning with a moisturising gradual tanner (I'm not this time as I'm pretty tanned naurally at the moment), choose a body butter or moisturiser to use instead. These are my top favourite ones at the moment -

  • Body Shop Body Butter: I love pretty much every scent of their body butters. For Christmas I got this Candied Ginger scented body butter which smells just like Christmas! The Body Shop butters are always so creamy and rich, and will leave your skin feeling and smelling gorgeous.
  • Wilko Body Butter: A good cheaper alternative is the Wilko Coconut Body Butter. This is surprisingly good for a cheaper moisturiser. It is non greasy and really makes your skin soft. Plus it smells lush, mmmmmm coconut.
  • I'm not entirely sure where the three body butters came from to be honest! They were a Christmas gift too, but I'm halfway through the mango one at the moment and I'm impressed with their silkiness. Not as rich as the other two, but definitely great smelling and softening on the skin.

These next two items are definitely the main event for me! The hair mask and the face mask. I loooove these two items so so much, I look forward to using them and love how my skin and hair feels afterwards. So I narrowed it down to my current top 3 for both.

So, in the hair mask department we have

  • Goldwell Rich Repair 60 sec treatment for dry and distressed hair: This is my ALL TIME favourite hair care product. I know it says 60 seconds but I leave this on for hours; it makes my hair incredibly silky and soft, which is amazing because my hair is usually very straw-like due to the bleach. This is a higher end salon product, though I got this one as part of a deal. It's usually quite expensive but I'd argue that it is extremely worth it!
  • TRESemme Keratin Smooth Keratin Treatment Masque: This is another one I love a lot, but this one is significantly cheaper than the Goldwell one. Obviously, its effects aren't as good as the higher end product, but it does impress me considering its price. This one does stop my hair from frizzing and leaves it pretty smooth. Great for your D.I.Y spa!
  • Herbal Essences Bee Strong Strengthening Intensive Mask: This one is a wonderful smelling product with a waxy feel to it. It is like honey and drips over your hair, making it feel softer and stops it breaking as much once it is dry. This is another cheaper one; when I was in England I got this for 1.96 pounds. Great if you're on a budget!

Then onto the face masks, which I have been collecting for years upon years so I consider them my area of expertise (and I had a lot of products to narrow down!)

  • Garnier 3 in 1 wash, scrub and mask: I love this product and always have and always will. It is so great that you can change how you use it to get different benefits. The mask in particular is really effective. It is a mattifying mask which I desperately needed a few months ago when my skin went through a really oily phase. The mask is cool and refreshing on your skin, and it would make a great choice as your spa facial!
  • Formula 10.0.06 Deep Down Detox Ultra Cleansing Mud Mask: Another of my favourites, and it is just a drugstore brand and is affordable! This is the only one from the range that doesn't tingle on my face, which I find a let down, but this mask really does clean deeply and leaves my skin refreshed. This one usually causes a breakout after I use it, which is annoying at first but it is only because it has cleaned my skin so well!
  • Montagne Jeunesse Deep Cleansing Blemish Mud: These are so brilliant as face masks because they come in these sachets, which are pretty cheap to buy, and there is a whole load in them so I don't feel guilty about slathering them all over my face. The blemish mud is my favourite, I'd have to say, because it smells like the inside of a day spa and tackles my breakouts. Another benefit of these is that if you buy a sachet but don't like the contents, there's a huge variety to choose from instead and you don't have to feel guilty about wasting a whole tube. 

Grab your nail file and your favourite nail polish! Give yourself a mani-pedi while you wait for your hair and face mask to soak in! My current favourite nail polish is Revlon's Blue Lagoon (092), which is a beautiful pale frosty blue. 

So I usually jump in the shower, wash my hair, then jump straight back out. I choose my fluffiest dressing gown then wash my face using my Clarisonic. Then I apply my face mask while my pores are still open, then immediately apply the hair mask.

Then there's nothing else to do but stick Breaking Bad on and wait for a while, or light a lush smelling candle and read for a bit, relaxing and not stressing.
Then after I've rinsed off those products in the shower I'll wash everywhere else using a nourishing body wash, then moisturise and/or fake tan.

Afterwards I'm feeling so zen I can't even think about worrying! I love D.I.Y day spas! A fraction of the price but a freak-load of relaxation. Ahhhhh.


Make Sure You Check Out My New Video! - Stila In The Light Palette Look

This is my latest makeup tutorial video, it's a Pink - toned Clubbing Makeup Look & Outfit. It's definitely a soft clubbing look, and one I'd probably also use for a dinner date or evening occasion. It's one of my favourite looks I've done recently and it was done using the Stila In The Light palette I recently reviewed (click here to see review).

Benefit POREfessional Pro Balm - Review and Demonstration (Before and After pics)

Hi Everyone! Today's review is on a new product of mine, this is the Benefit POREfessional Pro Balm, which has such a following, it really doesn't need much of an introduction! It's one of Benefit's best selling products and can be used with or without makeup to minimise the visibility of pores on the face. 

This is me pre-POREfessional with a clean face and no makeup or moisturiser. To be honest, I never really had a problem with my pores. They haven't been something I've ever noticed or found to be troublesome, however, after seeing the before and after pictures on the internet and instagram, I noticed real changes and was really interested to see if it could smooth out my skin in the same way. 

The POREfessional comes in this very cute packaging which has a kitschy 50's feel, typical of Benefit products. The tube has most of the information you'll need, such as the life, a brief description and amount. The rest of the information, such as ingredients, can be found on the box which I unfortunately threw out in my excitement (woops).

The POREfessional resembles a thicker, pastier, gluey foundation. It has a definite visible shade to it, but this doesn't add any coverage or pigment to your skin. 

The POREfessional works to minimise the appearance of pores and smoothes the surface of the skin to allow for flawless application of foundation on top, so decide where you think you need it. For example, after looking closely, I saw that my nose, forehead, chin and inner areas of my cheeks had quite large pores, so this is the area I decided to concentrate on. The tube is only 22ml and quite pricey so be sure to only use what you need. 

I warmed the product by applying it to my finger, then spread it with my hands. I rubbed it in circular motions to ensure all my skin was covered, then waited around 20 seconds for the product to dry/sink in and took a picture of the results.

I was extremely happy with the results! I didn't even realise I had a problem with pores before I tried this (I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing, ha!), but now I know how to control them. My skin felt immediately smooth and almost velvety. In the mirror, my skin looked airbrushed.

Here are my before and after pictures to compare!

My pores on the sides of my nose have probably had the most visible change, and you can also see some deep pores on my cheeks which were filled nicely. Also, underneath my nostril I had some noticeable pores, however in the second image they are gone. 
Now for a gory close up!

Well, the results are in! The POREfessional clearly makes a huge difference to facial pores. Believe the pictures you see on the internet! I'm so impressed with this product which works instantly and noticeably improved the texture of my skin. I can see why the POREfessional is such a best seller; it really is a wonderful product and I look forward to using it in place of my primer for an extra flawless finish. I absolutely recommend this product!


Stila In The Light Palette - Review and Swatches!

Hi Everyone! I'm back from my holidays and I'm getting straight back into the swing of posting on my YouTube Channel and my blog. Writing is a real passion of mine, and while I love filming and talking and demonstrating makeup techniques, I miss the photography and writing side of things! So, here to begin a series of review and swatches posts, the Stila In The Light Palette!

The Stila In The Light Palette comes in this brown, natural cardboard box with the Stila logo on it. The box opens at the short edge and protects the palette inside from bumps. I like the packaging, I think that it is simple and the neutral, beige toned colours compliment each other, and on top of this, the card box is completely recyclable.

On the reverse side of the packaging is a full colour sticker which shows the colours included in the palette, their names, the ingredients, the life of the eyeshadows and some other information.

The palette itself, once out of the packaging, is light as it is also made from card. The logo on the front is a rose-gold metallic colour which reflects the light. This palette is actually quite wide compared to the Naked palettes, but flatter and shorter. It is around the size of an a5 notepad. 

I absolutely love the colour of the palette; the muted beigey pink fits really well with the contents. The back of the actual palette has a line diagram of the colours too. It is basically a black and white version of the sticker on the back of the outer packaging.

When you open the palette, it has a mirror on the top side, and the colours are below. Can I just say here, how gorgeous these shades are! They run mostly from lightest to darkest, starting with 'bare' and working down to 'ebony'. Below the shadows is the smudgestick waterproof eyeliner in 'damsel', which comes with the palette instead of a brush or applicator. The colours range from a pale nude matte, through metallic shimmering shades ideal for special occasion looks and nighttime looks, through to deep and dark matte colours which are great as a crease or outer v accent.

The shades, in my opinion, are a wonderful range! This palette is such a perfect one for more glamorous evening looks. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves sophisticated, shimmering eyeshadow looks.

BARE: Bare is the first shade in the palette. I would describe it as a pale, yellow toned bone shade, which would be ideal for a highlight for the inner corner or the brow bone. It is a matte shade and due to it being so pale, requires slightly more of a build than the other colours to show up on paler skin tones like mine.

KITTEN: This is probably the most famous colour of the palette, with it being Stila's number one award winning shade! I can see why, now I have tried it. This one is going to disappear from my palette extremely quickly! Kitten is a warm toned dusty pink shade with a golden shimmer. I found it to be highly pigmented with a great colour payoff after just one layer of application. This is something I don't find much from shimmery shades. I'm completely in love with this shade now!

BUBBLY: Bubbly truly is the colour of champagne, the shadow fits its name extremely well! This shade is quite similar to Kitten in its shimmering finish, however, has more of a golden beige tone. Bubbly is the perfect shade for an effortlessly glam look, after creating a darker crease, simply press this shadow all over the eyelid and finish with a winged liner. I am in love with this shade!

GILDED GOLD: This shade is a mid to dark toned warm brown with a fine golden glitter through it. I love this colour for a deep dark crease on a natural, daytime, bronze smokey eye.

BLISS: Bliss is a pale mauve shade. I can only really describe it as a natural purply pink. It is a matte shade and very very pretty. I'd use this shade for natural day time looks, and use it as a transition colour when using more vibrant pinks or purples.

SUNSET: Sunset is just one of those shades you discover and then wonder how you survived life without it. It is a warm copper toned eyeshadow with tiny bronze shimmering pigments through it. I love how pigmented it is, the colour is silky and glides straight on.

SANDSTONE: Sandstone is a very dark browny taupy colour. It's great because I've been looking for a shade exactly like this for a while now. Sandstone is matte and again, extremely opaque when pressed onto the skin using a shading brush. It blends out beautifully to a create soft smokey effect, so it's perfect for brown smokey eyes and a deep crease colour.

LUSTER: Luster is probably the only shade I didn't completely fall in love with when I opened the palette. I'm not saying it isn't a nice colour, because I think the deep brown toned grey matte shade is and would really suit some people. It's not one of the colours I'd reach for, being naturally quite pale, so I think it would look quite harsh on my skin. However, it may come in handy as a transition colour underneath a black smokey eye.

NIGHT SKY: Night Sky is gorgeous! I would describe it as a slightly more purple 'Gunmetal' (Naked Palette). It is definitely a highly metallic dark indigo/grey shade which I find absolutely beautiful. This shade is absolutely ideal for a blue or purple smokey eye. I'd also love to line underneath my bottom lash line with this colour for a really sexy dark vampy look.

EBONY: Ebony is a traditional matte black shade. I will love using it as a softer alternative to a liquid eyeliner and as the dramatic outer v colour in a smokey eye look.

So these are the swatches! They are in the order that they are in the palette. You can definitely see that the matte shades have a ridiculously good colour payoff, they are extremely opaque and solid once on, and this was using one swipe on my finger.
The pictures were taken out of direct sunlight, but with natural light.

I think that the variety of the different colours is great. They aren't traditional matchy-matchy colours you'd find in a lot of palettes. They're sort of mixed up and that helps inspire me when I'm using it to change up usual colours and go for something more interesting.

My favourite eyeshadows are always really clear to me, the leap out pretty much as soon as I open the palette for the first time. In this case, they are 'bubbly', 

'kitten' (big surprise)


and 'night sky'. To me, these are absolutely the most flattering shades from the palette and I can already tell they'll be the ones that run out quickly!

The palette also comes with the smudgestick in 'damsel' which is described by Stila as a blackish brown. It's a pencil eyeliner which twists to reveal the stick. I'm not usually crazy for pencil liners; I'll pretty much always reach for either a liquid or use an eyeshadow. I haven't yet tested this on my eyes, however I put it on the back of my hand to try to experiments with it's smudginess.

I just drew the lines in one swipe, and thought the colour was okay for a pencil liner but not opaque enough (maybe this is because I'm used to very opaque, dark liquid liners). I then tried to smudge the left hand side line using my finger, and I thought that it faded more than smudged.

I went back over the first line a few times, and as the line thickened and darkened, I was pretty happy with the opacity and darkness of the colour. However, after redrawing the line below and trying to smudge it out with a wet pencil brush by Sigma, the line faded and pretty much disappeared again.

I probably wouldn't recommend the use of the Smudgestick if you like liquid or gel liners. I really didn't find it to be my cup of tea and I feel way happier sticking to thick, glossy liquid eyeliners. I didn't understand how to smudge it, and found the line to fade on my hand throughout the day. But of course, if pencil liners are your thing, I absolutely respect that because everyone has different tastes!

The Stila In The Light Palette also came with this small leaflet called a lookbook. It contains pictures of potential eyeshadow looks and very basic instructions on how to emulate them. 

The looks are pretty but I think its so much more fun to experiement yourself than to read instructions. As well as this though, the instructions are pretty vague and unhelpful. The images themselves give you good inspiration though, which is always great!

Overall I'm so so pleased with the Stila In The Light Palette, I LOVE so many of the shades in it and feel inspired to create looks for special occasions or dinners or parties etc! However, I feel like the inclusion of the 'freebies' were kind of trying to tempt you to buy it, when it doesn't require them. In fact, the freebies, I found were a bit rubbish and irrelevant when compared to the gorgeous eyeshadow shades which should pretty much sell themselves! I'm really happy with this purchase and would 100% recommend!

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