Farsali Jellybeam Illuminator

Having seen this all over the internet, social media and YouTube lately, I really wanted to try it. Getting it to Dubai was a task, but I managed. I already have the Rose Gold Elixir and Unicorn Essence that I love, so the Jellybeam was the missing piece of the puzzle.

Wibble Wobble

When I opened the jar it looked a little weird, wobbling around. The colour didn’t really look like it would have an insane glow just sat there all gloopy in its little pot. However, when I dipped my finger in and swatched it on the back of my hand, the glow was indeed insane! It looked a little rose gold on the back of my hand but with a silvery sheen undertone. **update: after a few hours on the back of my hand it looks a little patchy. However I am aware that it’s not designed to sit on the back of my hand.**

The description on the website says ‘apply to the face for an illuminated look. Can be mixed in with foundation or moisturizer’. This is something I am going to try. I have seen some amazing glow pictures on Instagram of influencers doing this. I also notice that a lot of reviews tell you to use your fingers to apply and tap it to blend it out. There are very mixed reviews on using anything other than your fingers. So I’m going to stick to that.

First impressions of this product is positive. It’s very pretty on the back of my hand and when I dipped my finger in. I hope that translates to my face.

Blue Honey Palette First Impressions – Kylie Cosmetics

It finally arrived! After a very long shipping process (not the fault of Kylie Cosmetics, it was my end). Is it worth the hype? Read on to find out.

I have purchased a few of the Kylie palettes over the last year, and I’ve noticed some subtle changes in the formula that makes it more longer wearing and the pigment in the brighter colours has definitely improved too. This palette is a mix of more vibrant with some muted colours to compliment, so I am excited to try them out.

The Blue Honey palette is what it sounds like: nine ultra-pigmented shadows (of both glitter and matte finishes) with wearable shades like rust, burnt orange, metallic blue, and a lovely teal.

The blue teal (royal jelly) is just a stunning metallic in the pan and the swatch too. I was worried about the transferral to the eye, but I shouldn’t have worried, it built beautifully. It was a little patchy at first but I think that was down to me being very wary of how much pigment was involved.

Another favourite is the Busy Bee colour.

A gorgeous peachy rust that blends beautifully and really warms up an eye look. I used it to warm up my crease and it just wore so wonderfully that I’m going to use it often in many of my makeup looks.

I am yet to create a full look with the palette. It just arrived and I wanted to play with it first. However, I have a brunch this weekend and I will most certainly be giving it the first proper outing it deserves.

First impressions for this palette are very positive. I look forward to showing some new looks soon.

Charlotte Tilbury Haul

I love Charlotte Tilbury products! The quality of them and the way they look and feel on the skin is just pure class. Therefore I was so excited to have time this week to visit the concession stand in Selfridges (London) and check out what’s new and what I’d like to try. I would have loved to get to the CT boutique in Covent Garden, but it wasn’t to be this time. Selfridges is a great second to the actual store though, and the service is second to none.

I’ve used the Magic Foundation in 5 medium before and loved it, but I had recently run out. So I decided to pick up another bottle of that. I love the coverage this foundation gives me, and they gave me some free samples of the primer to try with it too. I will do a day test of both the foundation with the primer very soon.

I also was drawn to the Magic Cream. It is an iconic part of the Charlotte Tilbury brand. Some would say what made the name a household name. I’ve always wanted to try it, but at £70 a jar I had to wait. It is boasted on the website as being loved by models and celebrities and claims to lift your complexion. I’ve tried many samples of the cream and the hyaluronic acid part is what interested me being over 35 and always looking for the next best thing to beat those pesky wrinkles. So I decided that I was going to invest in my face for research purposes (at least that is the story I’m sticking to if my husband asks). I have purchased the cream and I can’t wait to blog on how it works out for me.

The other items I was keen to get my hands on were the new lipstick shades. I adore the gold luxurious packaging of the Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks. They have a special edition shade to commemorate the Queen and her long serving monarchy, called, funnily enough, ‘The Queen’. It is a rich warm pink matte revolution shade that I cannot wait to try. I also purchased the returning favourite of the limited edition

K. I. S. S. I. N. G. Lipstick, ‘The Duchess’ (which you can see me wearing in the photo below). This is a beautifully buttery lipstick with a gorgeous sheen. It is named after the stunning Kate Middleton. I wore it to a glam event last night and loved the way it finished my look. I also picked up a couple of the soft lip pencils. These glide on and are the perfect compliment to the lipsticks.

The lovely thing about Charlotte Tilbury is the freebies you get when you purchase a substantial amount from them. Good size travel items too. This time I got a mask, a primer and a cleanser to try out. I also got some little sachets of magic eye rescue cream that I am keen to try. I’ve said this before in my previous blogs, but always ask for free samples. Some of my favourite products have been discovered through free samples.

So there we have it and I can’t wait to try it all out. Keep your eyes on the blog for future looks and tests of all these products.

Have a great day.

Too Faced Cosmetics – London Haul

Being in London this week, it seemed rude not to visit the new Too Faced store on Carnaby Street. I am not going to lie, as I got ready to leave the hotel to find the store I was very excited. I had seen the lavish launch all over Instagram back in December, and I was keen to see it in person.

The store itself did not disappoint. You can’t miss it gleaming and glittering in the dingy February gloom. I have to say that Carnaby Street is the perfect location for the brand, it is trendy and laid back in the same breath. The narrow pedestrian style street allows for the wow factor to sink in as you aren’t disturbed by the general hustle and bustle of London. Although I did visit at 10am on a Thursday morning, so Carnaby street was still pretty much sleeping.

The shop itself is beautifully laid out with all the products clearly categorised by theme and I particularly liked the ‘Jerrod Blandino favourites’ at the back of the store, that weren’t Too Faced, but products by other less known brands that were being promoted. This certainly worked on me as you will find out later!

The staff welcomed me warmly. I was served by a lovely Canadian MUA, who didn’t follow me around, but asked if I needed any assistance. I asked her for a couple of products I wanted to look at and she helped me immediately. My main reason for being there was to get colour matched for Born This Way foundation. The lady asked if I would like my whole face done with the product. This was fantastic and I got the opportunity to try some of the other products too, which in turn lead to me buying extra products. She talked me through what she was using and why it was good for my skin tone, texture etc. she used some of the rose oil that was in the Jerrod favourite section as well as the hangover primer. My skin felt and looked amazing, so this little bit of detail had me sold on the product. The MUAs in the store were both so knowledgeable and represented the brand professionally. A definite plus to my experience in the shop.

The Born This Way foundation was matched perfectly and I have to say, having worn it for the rest of the day it stayed flawless. It has more of a natural coverage to it, rather than full coverage. However it is very build-able and so it could be made more full coverage. The setting spray was the hangover 3 in 1 product, which has a light fresh smell and also found its way into my shopping bag.

I had a wonderful time in the Too Faced store. I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who is looking for a lovely shopping experience. We spend our time online so much, sometimes some interaction with other makeup lovers is the perfect way to discover new products that we might not have known about. I would also recommend this to both experienced makeup lovers as well as anyone new to makeup and who wants a really good steer on what to get.

My final purchases were:

⁃ Born This Way foundation in Light Beige

⁃ Hangover 3 in 1 spray

⁃ Too Faced Chocolate Gold palette

⁃ Better Than Sex Mascara

⁃ Glow Job Face Mask

⁃ Aerin Rose Oil

– Peach Perfect Matifying Loose Setting Powder

Travelling light … what’s in my travel makeup bag?

Following on from my last blog, where I talked about my top 5 makeup picks, I got to thinking about my upcoming trip to London and what I’m going to take with me. I always carry a little makeup bag in my hand luggage wherever I go, and the mini makeup kit I’m about to share actually was all I had when I went to Baku late last year. I travelled with just a back pack and this makeup bag saw me through the 4 days I was there.

SOS … send supplies.

Iconic pigment sticks are my first absolute life savers when it comes to traveling light. These little beauties can be used as foundation, concealer and contour. That’s exactly how I used them in Baku, and the coverage is just right. To deepen up that contour and give some definition, a teeny tiny Hoola soft matte bronzer from Benefit does the job. It even comes with a tiny little brush applicator (not that I would use that, I took a mini Sephora brush kit instead). Blush, I travel with a Sephora own brand duo in a pink and a apricot colour, they also double as eye shadow and work a treat. My eye pencil is a mini from Makeup Forever called Aqua XL in jet black. It’s soft and blend-able, so you can still get that smokey eye.

The little palette you can see in the picture is just lush! It’s one of the Tarteist pro to go palettes in mini version. The colours are beautiful, with a mix of neutrals in matte mixed with some shimmer shades to pick up a day to night look. Totally blends out and you can create more than one look with this little palette. She may be little, but she is fierce! For mascara I have a couple of minis in the bag, one being the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes in black, and the other being the Benefit Roller Lash, also in black. You can never have too many mini mascaras in your travel bag.

The skincare routine I travel with is a mix of my favourite Lancôme goodies. Whenever I buy a new full size product, I ask for free samples and save them for travel purposes. Don’t be scared to ask when you buy products for samples. Some of my best beauty discoveries over the years have come from free samples. I would love to know what’s in your makeup travel bag. Any beauty hacks that you always use when traveling? One thing that isn’t in my bag (yet), but will be is a small tub of Vaseline. It acts as a lip balm, eye makeup remover and is great on dry skin after being in the aircraft cabin for hours. Have a great day!

Top 5 Makeup Products

I have seen lots of bloggers and YouTubers doing this lately and it got me thinking about my top 5 favourite makeup products. My absolute go to, hands down, desert island picks? It’s a really hard one, but I think I’ve got it … well, maybe.

I decided that I would split this into my top 5 makeup picks and then do a separate top 5 beauty picks in another blog (including skincare).

So, here we go.

Number 1: palette choice!

This took me ages, as I needed to think about day to night. A palette that could give me everything I need. I’m traveling to London this week, so I decided to go with which ever palette made it into my suitcase.

My choice? The Morphe 39A Dare to Create palette. This palette has everything you could want, from 7 amazing base/transition shades to 31 extra eyeshadows that you could literally create any look with. From a subtle pretty peachy day look to a hardcore dramatic cranberry smokey eye, this palette has it all. It’s not exactly small, so you couldn’t pop it in your handbag, but it is beautiful.

If you want to get this palette, you better be quick as it’s about to be discontinued.

Number 2: highlight/bronzer kit.

If I had more than 5, I would be going for separate pieces. However, sticking with the challenge of only 5 items, I have to go for the NYX Born to Glow highlighting palette. Totally affordable and has everything you could need to create a look. I use the darker shades to bronze/lightly contour and there is even a lovely champagne colour that looks gorgeous on your cheek bones and temple to give your face the perfect glow.

Number 3: Lips.

This was sooooooo tough. What do I pick? A gloss, a liquid lip, velvet, matt? The list is endless. In the end I went for a staple favourite of mine. This is what I reach for time and time again, mainly due to its staying power and how stunning it looks on the lips.

My choice has to be the Kryolan High Gloss in the colour Wave. This is stage makeup and favoured by drag queens too, so famed for its staying power and pigment. I picked this colour as it’s so versatile. A beautiful peachy/rose gold colour that matches both a natural day look or a dramatic eye. Just perfect!

Number 4: Mascara!

Easy. Too Faced Better than Sex (or Love as it’s called here in Dubai) Mascara. I love this product. I have such small lashes, and I know that if I pop a slick of this on, my eyes will pop and I’ll feel lovely. If it can make my lashes look good, then it is definitely worth it.

Number 5: Loose Setting Powder.

There are lots of contenders for this one, but in the end my old favourite won. Laura Mercier, Loose Setting Powder is everything and more. If you get just one product on my list, this is it. You’ll never look back. My makeup looks flawless when I use this. I get through tubs of the stuff!

So, there we have it. A mix of drugstore and slightly more high end. I think I’m going to take all these products with me to London this week and see how I get on.

I’ll blog my progress for you to see.

Ps. Don’t forget to grab the Morphe palette before it goes.

Have a great day!

Tom Ford Eye Shadow Quads – first impressions

Sometimes I watch a video on YouTube and get completely and utterly sucked in. I just know that I have to have that item in my life. This is exactly what happened when I watched Tati Westbrook review the new Tom Ford singles. However, it wasn’t actually the singles that caught my eye in that video, $35 per single was just a step too far for me. No, it was the eyeshadow quads that she produced on the video as a price point comparison. The Coco Mirage palette in particular. This palette is also pricey at $85, but that works out at just over $21 a shade. Again, expensive, but if they are as good as they profess to be (and how Tati says they are), then I’m in.

I apologise for the dollar prices in this blog, but I live in the UAE and if I quote in dirhams it will probably confuse even more.

So, I trotted off to Bloomingdales (they don’t sell TF makeup in Sephora in Dubai) and picked up the palette. I also discovered that I had about $50 on my loyalty card (result), so I decided to also purchase the 03 quad in Nude Dip. It’s absolutely stunning! A metallic sheen to the shadows that when swatched dry gives a pretty glow, but once the fixing spray hits – brings it into a whole new dimension of ‘wow’!

So below is my look that I created with a mix of the 2 palettes, and some of my favourite ‘night out’ products.

Base:

  • Farsali unicorn tears elixir
  • L’Occitane precious moisturiser and eye cream
  • Mac plus fix primer
  • Then a spray of the loveliest Avene Thermal Spring mist. I cannot big this product up enough, it’s amazing! Hydrating and cooling. Great for sensitive skin.

Eyes:

  • Stay don’t stray from Benefit primes the eyelids
  • Crease: top right of the Coco Mirage palette. Deepen this up with bottom right. Take the bottom left onto the outer corner and blend, blend, blend. This palette takes minimal effort to blend!
  • I then cut the crease on the inner corner and used the bottom left shade on the Nude Dip, wetting the brush first

Nude Dip Palette

Coco Mirage Palette

  • Water line: Marc Jacobs black eyeliner and smoked out the under eye using the second two shades used in description above.

Foundation:

  • NARS weightless in Santa Fe
  • Concealer: Too Faced Born This Way in Fair
  • Setting Powder: Laura Mercier translucent

Highlight/contour:

  • Fenty Beauty Matchstix in Rum and French Vanilla. Becca in Champagne Pop.
  • Blush: Wet and Wild in Apri-Cot in the Middle

Lips:

Krylon (still the best stay on gloss ever, but then it is stage makeup) in Wave

Eyelashes & Brows:

  • Demi Wispies from Ardell (my right one didn’t sit properly so excuse that on the pic)
  • Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil.

Setting spray: Urban Decay All Nighter.

Verdict? I am really happy with this look. It’s sexy but not over the top. I get worried that being over 35, I could look a little too much. That’s the beauty of these palettes, they are designed for a sophisticated, don’t cake it on kind of look. It looks gorgeous on the eyes and the sheen is so wearable.

So, if you are looking for a high end yet wearable for day and night quad, this is a great option!

Have a great day.

Diversity in Makeup – reaction to Tarte Foundation Launch

Diversity in Make-Up

If we go back to the 1950s, makeup was advertised and promoted based on a very limited shade range. It was also aimed at housewives who had the time to perfect the thick ivory cream foundation base and pink lips. With the austerity of the 1940s on its way out, people had more money to spend and women were wanting to spend it on cosmetics. It was as if the industry was lifting the dreary harshness of war and women were literally painting on a new face.

Avon was launched in the 1950s and companies like Boots the Pharmacy were experimenting with concealer, all be it in one colour, an ivory stick to ‘mimic’ the flesh. As long as that flesh was ivory in colour. The advertising campaigns were predominantly pale skinned women or movie icons of the age, looking chic and coiffed with the look of the day.

Fast forward to 2018. I am a white woman and I love my makeup. I have no problem in creating looks with a vast choice of everything makeup related. But being on makeup brands social media and influencer pages, I recently see so many of my favourite influencers calling out brands, major brands, for their lack of diversity when it comes to shade range for women and men of colour. Rihanna and her Fenty beauty range have challenged the social norm in shade range in 2017, with the launch of 40 colours in foundation. There was a round of applause across the beauty community with this launch, and other brands are following suit. My question would be, why has it taken until now for this to happen?

A quick google search and it reveals hundreds articles written in top magazines about how to find your best shade match for foundation, there are product placement advertisements in magazines focused on top luxury makeup brands pushing their latest product to us. We can get our hands on anything we want in the world of makeup, thanks to international shipping, but still we see the diversity of makeup shades isn’t there.

Now, you may wonder what on earth I’m doing bothering to write this when I have clearly stated that I have no problem grabbing a shade to match my skin tone? The truth of the matter is that it bothers me that in an age where it isn’t acceptable to discriminate, the fact some people can’t access makeup is ludicrous.

Fenty beauty shouldn’t have to lead the way in 2018 and shame other companies into extending their range. The range should be all encompassing. I saw an influencer today say that they wouldn’t be reviewing the new Tarte Shape Tape Foundation due to the limited range, and someone said that she shouldn’t worry as another 10 shades are going to be released. In my mind I’m screaming ‘why do the other 10 shades have to be released later?’ An afterthought. If you haven’t got your entire collection together, don’t release it. It’s not OK to leave people out.

The beauty industry is worth a whopping estimated $445 billion dollars (based on statistics taken from May 2017), with women/men of colour spending more than twice as much than the general market on cosmetics. Yet the diversity in makeup and brand choice for them often leaves a lot to be desired.

At the beginning of this article, I referenced the 1950s and how coming out of a war and austerity meant the beauty industry was starting to flourish. The shade ranges were aimed at pale complexions and housewives with time on their hands. Over time the housewife analogy has faded. We read the ‘Good Housewife Guide’ with a gleeful chuckle at how funny it was to be seen as the pretty little thing your husband came home to at the end of a long day.

“Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.”

Yet the way brands view their target market still seems to be stuck in a time where this was seen as the social norm for women. It’s not OK to be objectified in this way, yet it’s still OK for discrimination to be lavished in other ways? No. No it’s not. Makeup shouldn’t even be in this debate. Makeup is fun, it shouldn’t ever be political.

I work with teenagers of over 60 different nationalities, they are excited by makeup and are enjoying experimenting with it. It’s a right of passage if you like. We grow and we want to be able to wear makeup and high heels. Our expression and freedom of that expression is what makes us who we are. Yet as I sit in my classroom and look around at the students I teach, I listen to their woes for the future and more pressingly, their excitement for the party they are attending this weekend! They are discussing their skin colour, their choice of makeup and they are calling out the brands for the lack of choice. They are telling their friends what to buy and what not to buy. They are watching the beauty influencers on YouTube and Instagram and Snapchat, and they are taking on board what they say. They are scathing in their ridicule for reviews of products that don’t diversify.

They will make their minds up on makeup and the brands that choose to comply with diversity and those that don’t. A makeup revolution is coming, what took it so long?

Get Ready With Me … Date Night!

This is my first ‘get ready with me blog’ and it came about because I went out this weekend with my husband and I decided to make an effort! We work long hours and don’t often get the opportunity to get our glam and glow on. I posted on my Instagram a picture of some of the products I had selected (a few changed as I got going), and then the after shot. Let’s face it, no one needs to see the before shot!

So if anyone is interested, please see below my step by step guide to my date night look.

  1. I used the Farsali Rose Gold Elixir on my freshly washed and cleansed face. A few drops go a long way.
  2. I moisturized with my favourite L’Occitane precious moisturizer and eye cream. It’s so thick and luxurious. It hydrates my skin and leaves it plumped for a full face of makeup.
  3. Primer for this look was my Huda Beauty primer. Gorgeous smell and tacky (in a good way) enough to hold my full coverage foundation. I picked the Huda Beauty Faux Filter foundation in Toasted Coconut. Again, the smell of rose is just gorgeous and the full coverage foundation is lush! The concealer of choice was Too Face, Born This Way in Fair. I set with some Mac translucent powder.

I sometimes do my foundation and concealer after I do my eye makeup. It depends on which palette I’m using and the fallout that it gives. Tonight I knew it would be ok as I was using the Huda Desert Dusk palette and I wasn’t going hard on the glitter shadows.

  • Eyes: primed with Mac Pot in Soft Ochre.
  • Eyes (Huda Desert Dusk) crease musk, deepened the crease with Oud, cut crease with Mac pot in Soft Ochre and used Blood Moon to fill in. I then softened the under eye with a mix of musk and oud and blended out.
  • Waterline: I used Too Faced black eye pencil and smudged it in for a less harsh look
  • No mascara for this look as I have extensions on at the moment. I used Too Faced, Better than Sex on my bottom lashes to fatten them up a bit. I was going to add some Iconic London lashes, but I really didn’t need them with my extensions
  • Contour: I used a mix of the Fenty Beauty Matchstix in French Vanilla and Rum. I deepened up the contour with Benefit Hoola bronzer.
  • Highlight: Becca highlighter in Champagne Pop on cheek bones and end of my nose and Cupid bow
  • Blush: Mac blush in Blushbaby
  • I then popped a little of the Mac eyeshadow in Nylon into the corners of my eyes and along the brow bone to give it a little bit of definition
  • Lips: Mac lip stick in Really Me with the Stone lip pencil. I wanted to keep the lips nude as the eyes were warm and I felt it didn’t need anymore.

I didn’t use any brow products in this look either as I am healing still from microblading touch up. If I had, it would have been the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Chocolate.

My whole look was set with the Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray (amazing stuff).

That’s it! I was pleased with the outcome and my husband was very complimentary of the look. I’m training him well, he even asked me what palette I had used! Although I secretly think it’s his way of testing if I do actually use everything I say I need to buy in Sephora!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, it’s the first one I have done on a ‘look’. I’m hoping to start making some videos soon, so that should help with the visuals!

Dress: from Silk Fred.

Have a great day.