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!

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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!

Un-Concealing the Truth about Concealer

At my age concealer is a really important stage of my makeup routine, and believe me I have a few to choose from that I have collected along the pathway to a photo finish under eye. So read on if you would like to see my holy grails for crease proof, seamless concealer, as well as those that will never be worn again.

Benefit Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer

I really wish I could say I liked this concealer, but I can’t. It was hyped so much online and boasts being able to brighten up tired eyes, hide dark circles, and conceal imperfections. It also says the creamy concealer has melon undertones to camouflage discoloration.

Upon first swatch, it does feel creamy and rich. Maybe a little too rich. It felt quite thick. It does say to dab a little under the eye, so that’s what I did. Unfortunately for me it just didn’t work. It was just too heavy under the eye and dragged when I tried to blend it out. It sat on top of the skin, even when I tried it with a couple of different foundations. For me, it is a hard no.

Too Faced, Born This Way Naturally Radiant Concealer.

This is a yes from me. I bought it as a dupe for Shape Tape until it arrived. It says online that it is an oil-free concealer that minimizes the appearance of imperfections while leaving skin with natural-looking radiance.

It’s light in texture, and I love drawing it on under my eyes and then using a damp blender to buff it into the skin. It sits beautifully with nearly all my foundations, whether it be full coverage or not.

Becca Ultimate Coverage Concealer.

This one is a mixed review from me. On the internet it says it is a richly pigmented, weightless concealer that completely covers dark circles, imperfections, redness, and hyper-pigmentation.

On one hand it works really well with a full coverage foundation, but with a more lightweight foundation it sits too heavily on the skin. It wears for a really long time as it says in the online Sephora description, but it does crease unless really well set with translucent powder.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer.

I absolutely love this concealer. It is my go to everyday product. It’s affordable and you can literally colour in your under eye with the eraser top and blend it out with a sponge or a small brush.

It says online that this concealer is for dark circles and fine lines and will instantly create a radiant, refreshed looking eye area. Infused with goji berry and Haloxyl™. I don’t really know what the trade marked ingredient is, but I do know that the whole concealer product is a really good one.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.

Lush! Creamy, lightweight, full coverage and just gorgeous. I really enjoy the way this feels on the skin.

It says on Sephora that it is ideal for all skin types, Radiant Creamy Concealer is a multi-action formula that instantly masks imperfections, blurs the look of lines and wrinkles, and hides dark circles and signs of fatigue. It does every single thing it says and then some. This one gives my Tarte Shape Tape a run for its money.

Only con is that it does crease a little bit after a while and might need a touch up.

Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer.

Yep! I don’t think I need to tell you anything about this concealer. It’s awesome and amazing and is basically an airbrush in a tube.

It says online that it is Tarte’s best-selling, full-coverage, vegan, blendable concealer that instantly brightens, smooths & shapes skin. It does this perfectly. I have a few different shades of this product and use it most days.

The only con about this is the applicator is sometimes a little difficult to coat in product.

LA Girl Pro Concealer.

This one is OK if you are looking for an affordable easy wearing product. It says online that it is crease-resistant with opaque coverage in a creamy, yet lightweight texture. The long-wearing formula camouflages darkness under the eyes, redness and skin imperfections. These are big boasts for a $5 product and it mostly delivers.

It does crease after a while but it is opaque in coverage. It does camouflage dark circles to a point, but I don’t find it corrects redness and skin imperfections.

A good product for its price point.

So there you have it. 7 concealer’s at a variety of price points. Don’t forget, what might not work for me, will work for someone else. These are just my tried and tested honest reviews.

I would love to know what concealers you enjoy.

Have a great day!

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!