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.

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?

The Signature P-Louise Palette

I have seen this palette on Instagram a lot, and when a MUA friend recommended it to me after she did a course, I had to get it.

Credit for the look I created goes to Alice Louise Makeup who gave me the colours to try.

The palette colours and arrangement is so pretty, and the pigment is insane! I would say that if you are new to makeup, it could be a little more challenging to work with as you have to have your blending down to get the looks you crave. But, if you are not afraid, then get stuck in and go for it.

For the look below, I did the following:

  1. Sun kissed in the crease
  2. Burnt in a V in the corner
  3. Trippin on half the lid
  4. Tapping slay over the top

So pretty!

The rest of the look was completed using:

  1. Dior Backstage foundation in 2N
  2. Huda Beauty overachiever concealer in coconut flakes
  3. Laura Mercier setting powder
  4. NARS blush in Madly
  5. NARS Climax mascara
  6. NARS orgasm lip gloss
  7. Wet n Wild highlight in rosy

A lovely fresh look for brunch or a lunch date.

Huda Beauty Melted Matte & Metal Shadows

I haven’t written in so long, mainly due to having so much on at work and not finding any time for me. Well, the balance is shifting due to an amazing conversation I had this weekend. When you are feeling insecure about something, find the person who you can sound off to and gauge their feedback, it really can help.

Anyway, back to the makeup …

I finally got around to trying the new Huda Beauty Matte & Metal shadows. I purchased this a while ago, and it had just been sitting on my dresser waiting to be used. I bought the shade ‘Private Jet’ from Sephora at the cost of 116AED (approx £22).

The formula is pretty easy to work with. It goes on wet and dries down quick enough to work with as a shadow, and you can blend it out from there. With the matte, you are meant to put 3 dots on your lid and then blend it, but I just painted my entire lid with it as I wanted to layer on top of it. It worked well enough.

I then went in with the colour ‘love bite’ from the Huda New Nude palette, to deepen up the outer corner and and add some interest. Once this was completed I put the metal shade in the inner corner of the lid and worked it towards the centre, blending the purple into the metal. This worked to a point, but looked a little messy where they met. So I grabbed my trusty Stila magnificent metals in the shade Kitten Karma and popped it in the centre of the lid, blending it through to the purple and the gold.

The wear time was pretty good, although I did notice after a few hours that the gold metal shade flaked a tiny bit. I have seen this reported in other reviews, and it seems that I could have layered too much on in one go. I will have another try with less of a heavy hand.

I was happy with my finished look, which involved the following other products:

  1. NARS All Day Luminous foundation in Santa Fe
  2. Shape Tape concealer in Light
  3. L’Oreal Lash Paradise mascara
  4. Jeffree Star liquid lip in Soft Serve
  5. Charlotte Tilbury contour
  6. Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
  7. NARS orgasm blusher

Overall, the Huda Melted shadow worked and was pretty quick and easy to get a look with. I do think they are quite expensive for what you get, and I don’t think that I would ever use them on their own without backup from a palette.

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!

Laura Lee Los Angeles – Liquid Lipstick

Sorry for the radio silence, work has been ridiculously busy. However, this does mean I have many items to review, and with a holiday fast approaching I will get to them all.

This is my first impressions of the Laura Lee new liquid lipsticks. I ordered the bundle and you get 3 in the set for currently $38 on her website. It works out at a $10 saving if you get all 3 together.

The shade names are typically Laura in style:

Nakey Nakey is a beautiful light beige that looks stunning on everyone’s lips.

Jaybird is a darker warm brown shade, it would be the perfect nude on a darker skin tone, but equally is a stunning brown on me.

Topless is the one shade I’ve seen all over social media. It is a gorgeous pink nude. Probably my favourite of the three. I have already worn this to both work and out for the evening. It is very versatile with all types of makeup style.

The lipsticks dry down very quickly and don’t feel like they are drying my lips. The work wear test was also excellent. I applied Topless at 7am in the morning and touched it up at around midday.

The smell of the lipsticks are also really subtlety perfumed and smell sweet. Like cakes. Not over powering, just a nice scent.

Overall, I am really happy with my purchase. I know I’m going to wear all 3 shades a lot. I’ve already decided they are making the cut for my travel makeup later this month.

Have a great day!

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!

KKW x Mario Bundle – first impressions

So, I am not loyal when it comes to makeup. I will try anything and everything. I often have more than one foundation on the go, and when it comes to lipsticks, glosses, liquid lips, matte, velvet etc. I am going to put on what I’m feeling that day. Makeup palettes are no different. I don’t have a favourite brand. I own high end all the way down to cheap drug store palettes, bought because I liked a colour or the formula.

However, one palette I have adored since I got my hands on it was the Mario and Anastasia Beverley Hills one. I love the formula, and that rose gold colour, can we just take a moment to fully appreciate it please. So when I heard about the KKW x Mario palette and lipsticks/glosses, I knew I just had to get my hands on it.

The PR unboxing I had seen on YouTube left me craving a blue smokey eye like never before. So when it launched a couple of weeks ago, I jumped online and managed to get the bundle. I had to wait a couple of weeks for it to arrive here in Dubai. But arrive it did, and I. Am. Loving. It!

The palette quality is lovely. The shades feel buttery and soft to the touch. There are so many looks you can do with the palette. I cannot wait to try the blue, as it is stunning in the palette and the swatch throws some serious pigment. Blue is a really hard colour to get right, but this one is so right!

The classic K lipstick I have been wearing most days since the bundle arrived, and I love the colour. It is the perfect nude, and I enjoy the fact that it is a traditional lipstick. I’m not 100% sold on the packaging if I’m honest, as it feels a little cheap. I love packaging and it just doesn’t look like anything. That aside, the actual formula is beautiful. It slicks on. It stays on and it slays!

The lip glosses I haven’t tried yet, that will happen this week. I will do a full update once I’ve tried a look with that blue in the palette.

In the meantime, here is a look created with the palette last weekend. It was a day time brunch and I dipped into Blam, Albanian and Miami.

Lips: NARS Orgasm Gloss

Standby for a gold and blue smokey eye for next weekend. I’m feeling brave!

Have a great day.

Items I’ve purchased after trying a free sample!

I’ve mentioned this in many of my blogs before, but thought it would be interesting to actually look at some items that I have then gone on to buy full size after trying a free sample.

Never underestimate the power of clever marketing. As a makeup or skincare brand, you are competing in a saturated market, with many of your competitors always trying to find that ‘next big thing’. You just have to look at the unicorn craze of last summer to see this in action. Most of the bigger YouTube influencers are sick of reviewing anything remotely unicorn related now, case in point of what I’m saying. However, there are still brands bringing out unicorn themed products, but looking for a twist. Be it ‘festival’ vibes or even slaying the unicorn to bring a darker theme to the products (unicorn blood, tears, snot as examples).

My blog isn’t about unicorns, mermaids or any other mythical character though. It’s about how clever marketing and product placement caused me to go big. The clever marketing in this case is the use of free samples and minis of a product. So which ones caused me to ‘go big’? Read on to find out.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream

Awesome product. At £70 I had to know it was good before I purchased. So I went into CT in London and I asked for a sample. They kindly gave me a few so I had a good 5 days worth of trying. I absolutely loved this cream. It is so luxurious on the skin, thick without being heavy and sinks in like butter. My skin glowed afterwards and my makeup glided on. Purchased without hesitation. Would I have bought it without trying it first? No. It’s too expensive to risk. Would I buy it again? Absolutely, I’m hooked.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye

A restorative concentrate that you apply to your under eye over night. You wake in the morning to less puffy and a smoother area. Hydrating and refreshing. This I am trying currently after being given some samples at the airport when buying something else. So far it feels lovely. It definitely leaves my under eye smoother and I feel fresher. I will keep you posted on this, but I think I will be purchasing the full size version of this.

Benefit Porefessional Primer

This was given to me in Sephora after having my eyebrows waxed. It sat in the back of my drawer for ages. Then I needed something small to pack in my bag for an overnight stay. I grabbed it and thought no more of it until the next morning. Then I tried it! Wow! This little tube of loveliness blurred my pores and my makeup glided on brilliantly. I used the little tube up over the next couple of days and then popped by Sephora and bought a full size product.

Too Faced, Better Than Sex Mascara

This little beauty was given to me at the Too Faced store in London. I used it and loved it. I have such small lashes and couldn’t believe how the formula grabbed the little wispy ones in the corner and gave them some dynamic. Some reviews I read said that it left their eyelashes clumpy, which had put me off. How glad was I that I got to try the sample for myself. I use this mascara most days now.

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel

After trying this as a free sample about 2 years ago, I bought the full size version and have never looked back. I use this every single day to wash my face. It makes my face feel really clean and cleansed. The lightness of the gel is perfect and it never irritates. This brand has my loyalty for life after just one little sample showed me the way.

So there you have it. Some of the samples that have made it into my full size products. Never say no to a sample! You never know where it will take you.

Have a great day!

Anastasia Beverley Hills Soft Glam Palette & Amrezy Highlighter

I recently purchased the new Soft Glam palette and Amrezy Highlighter from ABH, and have been using it regularly.

I have to say that I do love ABH and so I was determined not to be disappointed, but my determination was not needed, as the palette is possibly the best palette I have in my collection right now.

It says on the website:

“Featuring fourteen essential shades, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eye Shadow Palette is the perfect collection of easy-to-blend, full pigment shadow.”

I have to agree with this statement. The formula is so long lasting and blends beautifully. The mix of iridescent, neutral mattes and bronze metallics means that you can pretty much create day looks and night time looks without having to reach for another palette. This I really enjoyed.

My favourite colours are Orange Soda (a beautiful peachy matte ideal for the crease and transition) and Rose Pink (a shimmery soft pink with rose gold undertones). My other favourite shade is Mulberry (a deep matte) which sits beautifully on the outer corner of the eye and blends wonderfully.

The Amrezy highlighter I was a little more apprehensive about, as I couldn’t believe something could look that pretty in its packaging would look that good on the skin. How wrong could I be! It’s striking! The colour is a brilliant gold but the smoothness of the formula means the sheen on your skin is illuminated without being yellow. Amrezy says on the ABH website that it is ‘sun in a compact’ and I have to agree with this! Just beautiful.

I wear this subtly in the day on the temples and brushed across my nose. For nighttime, I will go in a little harder and make the illumination pop.

I bought one of the new bronzers as well this week, but am yet to use it. I’ll write my review of that once I’ve had time to wear it.

Have a great day!