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!

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.

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!

Interview Makeup

So this week I have an interview, and no matter the outcome, I look forward to being able to wear my ‘interview makeup’. What is so different to everyday makeup I hear you ask? The main difference is the confidence that it can instill in you.

You want your makeup to be professional yet give the coverage to get you through the process without the need to touch it up.

Below are my top 5 interview proof makeup favourites:

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation (my shade is 5 medium).

This foundation is full coverage and sits beautifully on the skin. Once setting has occurred, the oxidization leaves your complexion looking matte with a slight dewy finish. I love this foundation. It plays really well in the interview mix.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (I wear a mix of light and light medium):

Still the best and the coverage is photo finish filtered. If, like me, you spend the night before a big interview laying awake pondering all the different scenarios, then Shape Tape is the way forward. The consistency is light yet full coverage and really does cover dark circles and imperfections.

Urban Decay Naked Palette:

My go to palette for interviews or big days at work. The gorgeous array of neutral browns in matte textures, blends beautifully and you can create a professional yet dynamic eye with this palette alone. No need to dip into anything else. It also lasts all day and stays fresh looking.

Highlight!

No matter where you are, you can never have enough sharp and blinding highlight. My new favorite is the ABH Amrezy highlight. You can tone it down, or if you need an extra little pop, layering it on. An alternative if you don’t have the inclination for something quite so striking is the Huda Beauty Pink Sands 3D highlighter in Santorini.

Lip stick!

A slick of good lipstick can make anyone feel confident. In my interview I want my lips to feel hydrated and look awesome! My interview lipstick of choice is a Mac lipstick in the shade ‘Angel’. It’s a gorgeous shade and isn’t too much.

There we have it!

An interview is obviously so much more than just a face of makeup, but it sure helps the process along!

Get Ready with Me – Brunching!

Living in Dubai means one thing when it comes to a Friday … Brunch! Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t brunch every week, my waistline and bank balance wouldn’t allow it. Not to mention all the other amazing things you can do here on a weekend with the February weather the way it is. However, this week is different … my in laws are in town and wanting to do a brunch, so a brunch is what they are going to get.

This got me thinking about day time glam. Especially in the heat, as you don’t want your makeup to look like you are off clubbing, but equally, you do want a bit of a glam. Albeit a bit softer.

So, read on for the way I created the following look. Get ready with me, brunch style.

Base:

I know I said I didn’t want to be full on with my makeup today, but I still wanted a full coverage look, so I picked the Huda Beauty Faux Filter foundation in toasted coconut, after priming with the Huda Beauty primer.

Today was also a big day for me in the world of concealer as I finally got to use the long awaited Tarte Shape Tape in light medium. I ordered it on QVC a few months ago, but had to wait for a visit to the UK to collect it from my Mum’s house (aka, the delivery hub). I have to say typing this six hours after application, it is pretty awesome. It hasn’t moved and my under eye area still looks flawless.

As always, the entire base is set in place with my Laura Mercier translucent setting powder.

Brows:

I used the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Medium Brown. I love this product so much. A little goes a very long way, and it takes a bit of practice to get it right.

Eyes:

Base is the Mac Paint Pot in Soft Ochre and I’m ready to go. I am so excited to be using a new (to me) palette today. I have watched so many tutorials on YouTube with the Jeffree Star Androgyny palette, and I really wanted to try it. So I ordered it on Beauty Bay and again had to wait to go home to the UK to collect it. I started with working ‘safe word’ into the crease of my eye and blending it out, taking the product up towards my brow bone. I then darkened the outer corner with ‘Dominatrix’ and blended that out as well. Taking it along the crease line to darken it up a bit. I then added ‘frosting’ to the lid and inner corner to give it a bit of bling. This I found added some warmth to the overall look and gave it a glammed up feel to a pretty nude look. The mascara I used for my bottom lashes (my top lashes are extended at the moment) was Smashbox Full Exposure in black.

Cheeks:

I used the Huda Beauty highlighter palette in golden sands to contour and highlight my face today. I didn’t want a harsh contour. I wanted an almost diffused look. So I used the ‘Tahiti’ bronzer to contour and then ‘Seychelles’ to highlight the temples, end of the nose and cupid’s bow. Then finally I used ‘Zanzibar’ to blush.

Lips:

I wanted to use a nude gloss, so I picked a Kylie Cosmetics gloss in the shade ‘so cute’. It’s a beautiful nude pinky colour. I love the scent of the Kylie lip glosses, and they stay on for ages. Setting spray: Morphe setting spray That’s it! Look complete. It stayed out for the entire brunch, despite being sat outside in 28 degree heat.

Have a great day!