Jaclyn Hill X Morphe Vault

I recently visited the UK Morphe store at Westfield Stratford City and picked up a variety of palettes and other goodies to try. As I was heading to the cashier, I saw the Jaclyn Hill Vault collection and as a last minute thought, I picked it up. Spontaneous but I was curious.

Anyway, fast forward to last weekend and a night out beckoned. So I decided to crack the vault open and have a go with the greens and golds in the ‘Dark Magic’ and ‘Armed & Gorgeous’ palettes.

I have to admit, I tried not to be swayed by the negative reviews on the first batch that were slated for the way they blended and applied, as I assumed these palettes would not be from this batch. But … I hate to say it, but it was probably one of the hardest palettes I have ever had to work with to build! The brown transition shades (smooth criminal and Shhh) were fine, but as soon as I started with the greens (Potion, Top Secret), it became patchy and really hard to build. But I persevered and ended up with the look below.

I did add some extra green glitter to the lid with the Huda Beauty Emerald Obsessions palette. I popped the top left green glitter in the middle of the lid and blended it into the other colours.

The rest of the face was as follows:

  1. Huda Beauty Faux Filter Foundation and concealer
  2. Huda Beauty Setting powder
  3. Jeffee Star Highlighter in King Tut
  4. NARS Climax Mascara
  5. Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk on the lips
  6. NARS orgasm blush

Disclaimer: I have to come clean and let you know that I had quite a severe allergic reaction to the palette. I know it was the Morphe palette as I’ve worn all the other makeup on my face previously. Also, the blistering on my eyelids were in the exact shape of the Morphe application. I will post the picture below of what happened to my eyes. I’m not sure what the allergy was, but it was not pleasant. It went down after 24 hours and a dose of Claritin.

A real shame, as I liked the finished look. I am sure I can emulate the look with different palettes.

Morphe Haul

So, I am back in the UK for a few days on a surprise birthday visit for my sister in law, brother in law and my mother. All having big birthdays this month, and we didn’t want to miss out.

Anyway, due to need to be stealth-like in the run up to the events this weekend, we needed to get out of the house and somewhere no one would find us. Therefore, we decided to head on down to Westfield Stratford City to check out some shops. Needless to say that my reason for suggesting this shopping centre was so I could visit the new Morphe shop that’s opened there. I was not disappointed!

The shop is gorgeously laid out and so spacious. Lots of friendly shop assistants/MUAs who are on hand to help, but leave you be if you just want to browse. They also had all the Influencer makeup brands, which was so nice to see in real life rather than ordering on the internet and hoping for the best.

I spent a good hour in there browsing all the palettes and just enjoying the vibe.

Anyway, onto what I purchased.

James Charles Artistry:

I have wanted this palette for a while, but it was constantly sold out online. I just didn’t think I’d get it. However, as I walked into the store there were 4 palettes just sat there on an end of aisle display. I grabbed it and just couldn’t believe I had it. I cannot wait to play with the colours in this palette. So much to choose from, I don’t know where to start. It helps that the palette is organised into little colour stories, so I will have a go with that as a starting point.

Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Vault:

I was never ever going to buy this. It just didn’t appeal on the internet and what with all the bad press over the pigment and payoff, I just laid that one to rest ages ago. However … standing in that store, under those lights, something came over me. I swatched the bling boss palette and then the dark night, and I couldn’t believe how pretty they all were. I was sold. There are some truly gorgeous colours in this vault and I hope I don’t regret my purchase. I’ll keep you posted as I plan on playing with one of these palettes this weekend.

I drew the line at the brush set though! £165 for the brushes is insane! I picked them up and handled each brush. Yes they are pretty, but I just cannot see the rationale for this price when the hundreds of brushes around them in the Morphe display were absolutely fine. Madness!

8C Colour-Pro Cool Blush Palette:

This caught my eye as I wandered around. So pretty and a mix of pink and peach blushes. Some are shimmery, and some matte. All very very pretty and lovely colour pay off. At £12 for 8, you can’t go wrong. I am more of a matte girl when it comes to blush, but for the price, I am more than happy to play with the shimmer blushes in this palette and see where it takes me.

Night Master Palette:

I am a sucker for a decent nude and bronze palette. My husband actually picked this one up as it caught his eye (he’s well trained). The colour layout was really cute, and the bronze and golds that are included in this palette was what grabbed me. It’s not expensive and I know I will use this palette daily. You can travel with it easily, as it has a variety of colours that can compliment day and night time looks.

Morphe setting spray:

No explanation needed on this one, it’s a solid goto product and I had run out. Definitely does the job for all types of makeup looks and types of foundations. I love the fine mist, as it feels like it is coating everything.

Jeffree Star Makeup Sponge Set:

I just liked the colour pink and the sizes and angles of the sponges in the set, so I picked it up.

Morphe Lipstick and liner (Hey Sugar & Clingy):

Again, for £4.50 for a lipstick, I was attracted to the colour so thought, why not? It’s very creamy and goes on in one swipe. I will wear this colour with a lot of day time looks, as it is a nude that will work with most looks.

So, overall a very pleasing shop in Morphe. The relaxed atmosphere in the shop allowed me to really take my time over browsing and deciding what I wanted to get. I am very happy with what I picked up and cannot wait to share some of the looks.

Below is a look that I created with the Night Master palette on Saturday night.

Have a great day!

A full face of nothing new!

Last night I was on a ladies night, which is a great excuse to get on the glad rags and a full face of my favourite makeup.

I created the look below with some my tried and tested products (although reading this back, I realise that it’s mainly ABH and Huda Beauty).

Face:

I moisturized as usual with my Charlotte Tilbury Miracle Cream, and then primed with the Huda Beauty Matte Perfection makeup base.

I mixed a couple of the Iconic London original highlighter drops into the Huda Beauty Faux Filter foundation in ‘Toasted Coconut’, and using a flat top kabuki I worked on blending it out. The over achiever concealer made another appearance in this look in ‘Coconut Flakes’, and I baked with Easy Bake Loose Powder in ‘Pound Cake’. The scent of Huda can be quite intense if you are using a lot of the products, so if you are not a scented kind of person, then be warned about that.

Eyes:

I decided to get out the ABH Sultry palette, as I haven’t played with it for a while.

I primed my lid with some of the concealer I’d already used and then packed and blended the shade ‘fresh’ all over the eye (up to the eyebrow). I then deepened up the crease with the shade ‘twig’ and blended it out. Using a dense packing brush, I put ‘dystopian’ in the outer corner and inner corner, to create a halo eye in the middle of the lid. Using my finger I popped cinder in the middle and blended it out with the dystopian shade. I used ‘noir’ on the very outer corner, and added more impact to the centre with ‘cyborg’.

I used the Wet n Wild black kohl pencil in my water line and smudged it out. Keeping it simple.

I used Lash Paradise from L’Oreal on my lashes. I didn’t add any false lashes as I’m giving my lashes a break at the moment.

My brows were filled in with the Benefit Gimme Brow pencil. A trusty favourite and so easy to use.

Contour/Blush/Highlight:

To contour, I used the ABH Contour palette and highlight was a mix of Wet n Wild Mega Glo Highlighter in ‘Blossom Glow’ and the Jeffree Star Supreme Frost Highlighter in ‘Wet Dream’. I hit the high cheeks, the tip of the nose, between the eyes and Cupid’s bow. Blush was NARS blush in ‘Lovejoy’.

Lips:

I used the Wet n Wild lipstick in Mochalicious with a Huda lip pencil (a dark brown one).

Setting:

For Christmas, I got the limited edition prep and set from MAC with the light glitter particles, and so I tried that. It gave my skin a lovely glow with a little sparkle, which was perfect.

Conclusion:

Overall, I am really happy with my look and I got lots of compliments about how velvety my skin looked. I sometimes find the Huda foundation a little cakey, and so by mixing it with the Iconic London drops, it gave it a smoother consistency.

I hope you liked the look! What are your goto ‘night out’ faves?

ABH Sultry Palette

It’s been a while since I posted, I know. Just the usual of life and work getting in the way. However, I do have a lot of new products to review for you, and I am going to get started right now with the ABH Sultry palette.

You’d be right in thinking that it’s another bronzy palette with some brown and beige transition colours in matte. BUT it is truly beautiful, and the pay off from those shimmer/glitter colours is worth every penny. The palette is cool tone in my opinion, and there are enough colours in here to keep you playing with different combinations for a while.

The look I created below was for a ladies night I went to last night. I didn’t want to go to crazy, but I really wanted to go in on the colour teak and also pack on some of the dystopian brown to the outer corner. This is the one colour that I would suggest you spend some time with buffing and blending as it does go on a bit patchy on the first go. However, it blends out well with a bit of time. If you want a quick swipe and buff in your deep drown, then this is probably not the one for you.

The crease is the colour birch and I started off with putting fresh all over my lid as a base. My inner corner and brow bone was picked out with pearl. This is s really nice glittery beige. Very subtle, and I want to play some more with it at a later date. Finally, I smoked out my under eye with birch and dystopian, and popped a little bit of blue eye liner (morphe pencil) in my waterline.

I have to give a special mention to the shade cyborg (below), as in the palette it doesn’t really do much. However it is absolutely beautiful. It looks silver but it has a lilac undertone to it that is really unexpected. I can’t wait to play with that shade too.

Rest of my face:

  • Dior backstage foundation
  • L’Or Gold Primer
  • Tarte shapetape concealer
  • Huda Beauty baking powder in poundcake
  • Jeffree Star highlighter in King Tut
  • Fenty Beauty Diamond Bomb highlight
  • ABH Bronzer
  • NARS Orgasm blush
  • Jeffree Star liquid lip in Mannequin

Would I recommend ABH Sultry? Oh my yes! It’s a lovely palette with a lot of options.

Have a great day!

My favourite primers of the moment

It’s safe to say that this time 3 years ago I didn’t wear primer under my foundation. In fact, I don’t think I even knew it was a ‘thing’ in a makeup routine. However, now I couldn’t be without primer. It truly makes my makeup sit beautifully and last longer than without.

I’ve tried many primers, some a lot more successfully than others. Some a lot cheaper than others and some ridiculously expensive ones. This blog is about my go to favourites and why they work so well for me.

Tatcha Silk Canvas:

This primer I kept seeing on YouTube and Instagram, constantly being praised by the beauty influencers and MUAs that I follow. I did some research and found you couldn’t get it in Dubai or the UK yet, so I bit the bullet and ordered it to be shipped from the USA. It was a risk as it’s not cheap ($52) and the shipping wasn’t either.

When it first arrived I couldn’t work out what the little scraper it came with was good for. It just seemed to dent the product and scoop too much onto the skin, leaving it a little oily. So I abandoned this method of application and instead used my fingers to apply or a beauty blender. Both work well.

The product is very silky and smooth and does blur my pores as promised on their website, allowing for my foundation to sit well. I have some uneven texture on my chin and it worked well to smooth that. I have tried the primer with both drug store and high end foundations, and so far I haven’t found anything it doesn’t work well with.

I recommend this product and dread the day it runs out that I need to repeat my US order.

Tip: let it sit for about 30 seconds before applying the foundation. It just makes it easier to work with.

Guerlain L’Or 24-carat gold primer

So, this is not the cheapest of makeup bases, but oh my goodness, it’s the best! Tati Westbrook made me buy it after seeing her using it on her videos. I decided to splash out and see what the hype was all about.

On the website it says, “Guerlain l’Or is an embellishing make-up base sprinkled with pure 24-carat gold flakes”. Gimmick aside, this is actually the smoothest primer I’ve ever used and every single one of my foundations that I’ve tried with it becomes so easy to work with and it truly enhances the wear time.

I’ve had so many comments on my skin and complexion when wearing this primer. This can’t be a coincidence, I look in the mirror and everything just seems to work. I’ve got no creasing under my eye, and my problem area of foundation breaking up on my chin and end of the nose is dramatically reduced.

So, yes, this primer is expensive at around 300AED (£55) a bottle, but a little goes a very long way.

Tip: make sure you put your foundation on quickly after applying the primer. This seems to give the best results.

No. 7 Laboratories Line Correcting Booster Serum (£38, boots.com)

Greetings! This blog is a little different from my others. I asked my Mother (aged 69) to try out some products aimed at a more mature age demographic. Below is her account of using the No.7 Laboratories Line Correcting Booster Serum.

“I have been using this product for 3 weeks now. Every day, twice a day. Morning after cleansing and before moisturisers. Evening after cleansing & before night cream.

I specifically targeted the areas most in need: furrows that had started to appear between the eyebrows, marionette lines side of nose to mouth and lip line. Although blessed at aged 69 with very good skin I have just begun getting fine lines (inevitable fact of ageing however good your skin).

After first couple of uses my skin felt and looked smoother. At two weeks my skin was noticeably plumped. Beginning of 3rd week I had a full CACI face and neck treatment and continued with the serum afterwards (my facialist actually questioned the need for a full face treatment but I was determined it was the day after my birthday and a present from my husband!).

I would not say the treatment has been spectacular, more a slow improvement. To be fair it is suggested that a full three months usage is advised – which is about right as it takes that amount of time for cell turnover, without intervention skin peeling, laser treatments etc, which are not for me.

So would I recommend to serum – yes I would, but with an open mind and a willingness to go the whole 3 month journey. And of course once started you have to keep using it. Therefore, I will report back in three weeks on my progress.”

Laura Mercier – my new favourite brand!

I must have been hiding under a rock, as I know that Laura Mercier has been around forever. I also know the brand is a firm favourite with makeup artists and online influencers. So why has it taken me so long to get on the band wagon? Truthfully, I think it’s because they only just started stocking it here in Sephora (Dubai) and so I only just started to pay attention to it.

I started with the translucent setting powder, this was upon recommendation from a makeup loving friend. I absolutely adore this powder. I reach for it most days to set my under eye, bake when I am doing a particularly heavy look and just to touch up throughout the day. Being over 35, we all know that the creasing under the eye, around the nose and in the laughter lines can be real, so finding a powder that doesn’t sit in the lines and creases is amazing. This powder is amazing!

So, following on from this, I saw on Sephora online a link to the Laura Mercier Brightening powder. The reviews were good, and so I thought I would give that a go as well. This I don’t reach for daily. It’s used more when I’m going out somewhere and I’ve had a hard week, and my under eye needs an added boost of brightness after the concealer and setting powder has gone on. I tend to pack it under the eye with a damp beauty blender and then brush away the excess. It gives a lovely amount of brightness, and can add another dimension to your contour, bronze and highlight. It pulls the focus into the middle of the face, so if you have a particularly wide face, or are creating a look where you want all eyes front and centre, then this is a good idea for a brightening powder. It’s also made from that same finely milled powder consistency as the setting powder, so you know it’s not going to be too heavy.

Onto my absolute favourite product of the moment. The Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation. This stuff is everything! The way it blends, the flawless full coverage it gives, the colour choices, the texture! Everything is just right with this foundation. My favourite up until finding this was Too Faced, Born This Way in the day time (amongst others, but mostly this) and Huda Faux Filter Foundation for going out out. At the moment I’m using Laura Mercier for both day and night as it’s just so buildable. I can layer it on for more full coverage if I need to. It’s light in texture and doesn’t smell of anything. It also doesn’t really oxidize, so you know you are safe with the colour build. I use this with the Guerlain L’Or primer, a match made in makeup heaven.

Below is a picture of me taken in a restaurant wearing the all the products listed above. It doesn’t have any ring light or clever positioning going on. It was a selfie with my phone. I had been wearing the products for about 4 hours without a touch up when it was taken.

So, if you are looking for a foundation, setting powder or brightening powder, I would highly recommend the Laura Mercier products.

Have a great day!

Guerlain L’Or 24-carat gold primer

So, this is not the cheapest of makeup bases, but oh my goodness, it’s the best! Tati Westbrook made me buy it after seeing her using it on her videos. I decided to splash out and see what the hype was all about.

On the website it says, “Guerlain l’Or is an embellishing make-up base sprinkled with pure 24-carat gold flakes”. Gimmick aside, this is actually the smoothest primer I’ve ever used and every single one of my foundations that I’ve tried with it becomes so easy to work with and it truly enhances the wear time.

My favourite foundation at the moment is the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation. I have been wearing it everyday with the Guerlain underneath, and I have to say, the combo is absolutely stunning. I’ve had so many comments on my skin and complexion. This can’t be a coincidence, I look in the mirror and everything just seems to work. I’ve got no creasing under my eye, and my problem area of foundation breaking up on my chin and end of the nose is dramatically reduced.

So, yes, this primer is expensive at around 300AED (£55) a bottle, but a little goes a very long way.

Tip: make sure you put your foundation on quickly after applying the primer. This seems to give the best results.

A review of the Laura Mercier foundation is coming!

Have a great day!

Halo Beauty – 30 day update!

Halo Beauty – Hair, Skin, Nails Booster

As promised, here is my 30 day checkin for the Halo Beauty hair, skin and nails booster. So, the container is empty and I’ve had some time to reflect on the verdict. I have not taken anything for 12 days since finishing the bottle to see any differences as well.

Disclaimer

As mentioned in my first blog about this product, I have a severe vitamin B12 and a minor vitamin D deficiency. I also have an autoimmune disease that causes me problems in absorbing vitamins. So I was going into this trial with that firmly against me.

Nails

However, I have to say, of all the vitamin supplements I’ve taken in the past, I did notice a difference in my nail growth, strength and quality. I didn’t wear any gel nails whilst doing this experiment either, as that weakens my nails, so I can safely say that I noticed a difference.

Skin

My skin is always pretty good to be honest, so I wasn’t really looking for any results there. However, I did actually notice that my skin was very soft on my face. I don’t know if I can credit that to the vitamins, or to the fact I have a new primer, which I’m loving (I’ll be reviewing that in another blog).

Hair

My hair is very thin and weak, but I have been managing to grow it with the help of extensions. I don’t have any in at the moment, so I kept an eye on the quality of my hair this month. I noticed it was shinier than usual. I am very happy with that. In the 12 days I’ve stopped taking the vitamins, I have actually noticed that shine dull a little bit. I haven’t changed my hair routine at all, so I can only really equate that to the vitamins.

Verdict

Overall, I am very happy with the vitamins and I am going to continue to take them. I have had no adverse effects from them, so why wouldn’t I.

Always consult your doctor before taking any form of supplement.

Have a great day!

Hair Oil

Sorry it’s been a little while since I blogged, life has been hectic to say the least. However, I have some fab blog content on the way. I’ve been trying out quite a few new things in the land of beauty. Not to mention my 30 days are now up for trying Halo Beauty vitamins. I’m looking forward to updating everyone on that.

However, today is all about the hair! My hair is incredibly fine and there is not much of it. I have a vitamin B12 deficiency and I also lack in vitamin D. So aside from getting a B12 shot once every 6 months, I’m always on the lookout for something to help my lackluster hair a little bit.

I’ve tried extensions, and I loved them so much. I am on a little break at the moment, but I was so impressed with how my hair grew underneath the extensions. My hair is actually at the longest it’s been in years at the moment. The amazing Tammy Better Than Natural is to thank for that. Check her out on Instagram @tammybtn.

When I had my extensions I used to put a little oil through the ends of the extensions to just keep it soft and untangled. So when I took them out, I carried on with a little oil through the ends.

So here are my top 3 favourites if you like an oil over anything else.

Elvive Extraordinary Oil

This is my absolute favourite. I have tried so many and I always come back to this. It’s light enough even for my thin hair, and it doesn’t leave it greasy.

I pop a pea amount through after washing and can leave my hair to dry on its own, or blow dry. It leaves my hair silky smooth and I can get a straightener through without any resistance.

Dove Pure Care Dry Oil

This is another go to for me. It’s not as light as the Elvive oil, but it does the job. Smell is lovely and a little goes a long way. The dry oil tag means it is not a greasy as some of the other oils on the market. I recommend this in close second to the Elvive.

Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil

This one irritates me (not literally) and I also like it in equal measure. I cannot put it in my hair, it is just too greasy. I’ve tried it numerous times, but alas it is not to be. It is just too heavy for my hair type. It’s a shame as it smells divine and it’s not cheap. It would suit thick hair.

So why is it on my top three I hear you ask? Simple. I use it on my body. It is lush as a body oil. My skin feels supple and smooth after applying it. Be warned though, as a little goes a very long way. You have to be careful not to turn into an oily mess.

So, there you have it. My favourite hair (and body) oils. Give them a try and let me know how they work out for you.

Have a good day!