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!

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!

The problem with YouTube Influencers

I love makeup, it’s no surprise to anyone who knows me to read this. I have become more and more enamoured by makeup as the years tick by. This is probably down to two reasons.

  1. I’m getting older and need all the help I can get, and
  2. I view makeup as an art. I always have and the more I see of highly talented people creating amazing things with makeup, the more I fall into the rabbit hole

So I spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos to hone my own skills and I really enjoy the tutorials. I’m not going to name all my favourite influencers, as there are many and that’s not what this blog is about. But it’s safe to say that I do have some goto channels and some real favourites on Instagram too.

However, recently things are getting ugly (for want of a better word) in the beauty community. Over the last few months I watched influencers have very public melt downs, have their past twitter posts come back to haunt them and launch full scale war on each other. In the last few days alone I don’t think I’ve actually watched a tutorial on YouTube, as my feed is clogged with drama channel synopsis and viewpoint and apology videos (some a little more authentic than others) from some of the most popular influencers. Businesses are literally crashing and burning as a result of everything that’s happened.

So, what is up with the beauty community at the moment?

Beauty influencers and other YouTube famous celebrities are a brand new generation of fame and entertainment. They don’t know how to deal with what they are dealt. They don’t have the training and they didn’t have big management teams around them when they were starting out. Most of them were sat in their bedrooms 5 years ago uploading their thing to the YouTube platform and still living their own everyday existence on the side. Much like normal celebs, sometimes their past will come back to bite them. In some cases, bite them hard. Now they have to deal with it, very publicly.

However, the monster that is social media that made them, can destroy them in just the same way. There are people willing them to fail, just as there are people willing them to succeed.

A lot of the influencers have made their name on ‘honest’ reviews of products and this probably means stepping on the toes of those around them that are favouring other products or even bad mouthing another collaboration or product by another influencer. It’s a dangerous and risky business to be in, and in the past the YouTube money was worth it. The problem is that, everyone is brave behind a keyboard and there doesn’t seem to be any repercussions for those that go too far.

Examples of this culture would be an influencer we will call JK (as I don’t like to give him any air time at all), an influencer who thought it appropriate to name another YouTuber as a paedophile, despite knowing this person worked with children and could destroy him. He did this without any proof at all, and the ‘proof’ he did have was heavily doctored. Did this have enough severity to end JKs YouTube channel?

No.

Despite thousands of complaints and people unfollowing him, he is still going and still being allowed to repeat what he did, to others.

My second example is of course, Logan Paul. He got away with filming a dead body (from alleged suicide) in Japan. His actions should have cost him his channel, but instead gained him thousands more subscribers and he’s still going strong.

It seems that anything goes in the YouTube world, and influencers these days know that anything is fair game, including their own reputations and dark and shady pasts. Yet they still continue to defame and use underhand tactics to get more subs.

There is no place in this world for racism, sexual discrimination, child abuse,fat shaming, ageism and any other nasty, vile ‘ism’ you can name. Yet, in the world of social media, it seems rife. It seems that if you can ‘prove’ something in your own little world, then it’s fair game to say out loud in front of a ring light and video camera, or in 40 words or less on social media. It seems that our influencers want to hit send on pictures that speak a thousand words to send a ‘message’ to their fans and to their ex friends. It seems that they want to rile their fans into going after their competition (despite saying they don’t want you to do this). This is a dangerous game and one that will surely end in real life tears or tragedy at some point.

It’s sad. I’m sad. I love YouTube tutorials and the news of new products coming soon that I login to watch. Yes, I do enjoy the drama channels ‘take’ on certain things, but not to the extreme we are seeing at the moment. I’m sad that influencers are making these dramatic mistakes and not owning them. I’m sad that they put out ‘apology’ videos that don’t seem sincere, when they should have known better in the first place to commit the issue they did.

I want to go back to watching makeup reviews, playing with makeup, enjoying the chit chat that the influencer has when applying the products.

Is that too much to ask?

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.

Violet Voss Holy Grail Palette

I bought this palette on a special offer code with Beauty Bay (UK). I wanted to try it for ages, but I had most of the colours in other palettes and the mixed reviews didn’t make me reach for it. So when the discount code was offered, I took it as a sign and purchased.

The mixed reviews ranged from people absolutely loving the palette (naming it as their ‘go to’), to absolutely hating it, and saying the pigment was off, the fall out was chalky and the pay off not that great. I was therefore a little anxious, but still wanted to try it.

The palette consists of 20 colours, 12 of which are shimmer. It is very warm toned with not too many cooler options. The shimmer shadows are the ones that took most of the flack in regards to no pigmentation.

So, I created a neutral look (see below) using a mixture of the browns and beiges. ‘Thanks a Latte’ was used as a base, ‘Bestie’ was used as the transition and ‘Teddy Bear’ was used to give the outer corners a little depth. Nothing spectacular, but I was off to a day BBQ and wanted something subtle. The sun was out so the test of keeping my whole face in place was on!

I was pleased with the application, I didn’t use any of the shimmers, so there was no problem with pigment. Teddy Bear was really rich and buttery and blended really well. The base colour of Thanks a Latte was a little more dusty to apply and took some time to build. However Bestie sat really nicely on the base colour.

I wore the makeup for about 8 hours (mainly outside) and I walked home (about 3km) in the warm evening air. I was pleased with the staying power, but I did blitz it with Cover FX setting spray (so that probably made a difference).

Overall, the 3 colours I tried were very good. I am going to try another look later with some of the shimmers. I will report back on that shortly.

Coming soon … review of Jeffree Star’s ‘Blood Sugar’ and ‘Thirsty’ palettes.

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!

Kat Von D 10 Year Anniversary Palette

I bought the palette purely because I love Kat Von D as an artist, and I actually love her makeup too. It is made to stay (especially the tattoo liner, which doesn’t shift for anyone or anything) and this pleases me.

The palette is absolutely beautiful. The design on the front (that Kat drew) is stunning. She is known for portraits, and so actually having a piece of her work on the front of the palette makes it stand out from the rest. The palette itself is heavy and feels quality. The finish is very good.

It is also really nice to see a big mirror inside the palette without any cutout patterns, just nice and big with no obstructions.

This brings me onto the colours … the arrangement is very pretty and works well. The colours don’t jump out as bright and vibrant, but then they don’t need to be. The pigment is fierce and the green colour top right (leafar)is particularly striking. I cannot wait to use it in a look. The matte browns are perfect for transitions and even though they didn’t swatch well, they transferred well onto the eye. They are also build-able. They also stay on so well. Melanie is a good base and brow bone shade, I liked the look of this on the eye.

The pigment in the blue is good. Blues are hard to do well, the last one I used was the KKW x Mario blue, and that was beautiful. So it was always going to be hard to beat it. It doesn’t in my opinion, but it is still a beautiful blue and the colour payoff is immense.

I will work on a look with this palette this week and post it. At the moment I am just playing with the colours and enjoying the prettiness of the overall presentation.

Have a great day!