Laura Mercier – my new favourite brand!

I must have been hiding under a rock, as I know that Laura Mercier has been around forever. I also know the brand is a firm favourite with makeup artists and online influencers. So why has it taken me so long to get on the band wagon? Truthfully, I think it’s because they only just started stocking it here in Sephora (Dubai) and so I only just started to pay attention to it.

I started with the translucent setting powder, this was upon recommendation from a makeup loving friend. I absolutely adore this powder. I reach for it most days to set my under eye, bake when I am doing a particularly heavy look and just to touch up throughout the day. Being over 35, we all know that the creasing under the eye, around the nose and in the laughter lines can be real, so finding a powder that doesn’t sit in the lines and creases is amazing. This powder is amazing!

So, following on from this, I saw on Sephora online a link to the Laura Mercier Brightening powder. The reviews were good, and so I thought I would give that a go as well. This I don’t reach for daily. It’s used more when I’m going out somewhere and I’ve had a hard week, and my under eye needs an added boost of brightness after the concealer and setting powder has gone on. I tend to pack it under the eye with a damp beauty blender and then brush away the excess. It gives a lovely amount of brightness, and can add another dimension to your contour, bronze and highlight. It pulls the focus into the middle of the face, so if you have a particularly wide face, or are creating a look where you want all eyes front and centre, then this is a good idea for a brightening powder. It’s also made from that same finely milled powder consistency as the setting powder, so you know it’s not going to be too heavy.

Onto my absolute favourite product of the moment. The Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation. This stuff is everything! The way it blends, the flawless full coverage it gives, the colour choices, the texture! Everything is just right with this foundation. My favourite up until finding this was Too Faced, Born This Way in the day time (amongst others, but mostly this) and Huda Faux Filter Foundation for going out out. At the moment I’m using Laura Mercier for both day and night as it’s just so buildable. I can layer it on for more full coverage if I need to. It’s light in texture and doesn’t smell of anything. It also doesn’t really oxidize, so you know you are safe with the colour build. I use this with the Guerlain L’Or primer, a match made in makeup heaven.

Below is a picture of me taken in a restaurant wearing the all the products listed above. It doesn’t have any ring light or clever positioning going on. It was a selfie with my phone. I had been wearing the products for about 4 hours without a touch up when it was taken.

So, if you are looking for a foundation, setting powder or brightening powder, I would highly recommend the Laura Mercier products.

Have a great day!

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.

My favourite foundation at the moment is the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation. I have been wearing it everyday with the Guerlain underneath, and I have to say, the combo is absolutely stunning. I’ve had so many comments on my skin and complexion. 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.

A review of the Laura Mercier foundation is coming!

Have a great day!

Laura Lee Los Angeles – Nudie Patootie

First impressions

The anticipation for a palette to drop had never been greater. I love Laura Lee as a YouTuber and influencer, so I was keen to see what she had come up with after the first palette, Cats Pajamas. I have Cats Pajamas, and I have to admit I really only bought that because I wanted to support Laura. I have used it, but not as much as other palettes I have in my possession from YouTubers (Jeffree Star and Kristen Leanne).

But this palette, Nudie Patootie, I really liked the look of. Irrelevant of who it was produced by, a nude palette is something I love.

I ordered it from the USA and waited for it to arrive. In the meantime I binge watched first impressions and some of the look videos floating around too. I was alarmed by the reports of some of the pans falling out, and hoped this wouldn’t be me.

It arrived on Thursday and all the pans are in tact apart from Jaybird, which is very loosely packed in the pan and cracked around the outside (see below). I’ve managed to save it though, for now. So I hope it stays put as it is a gorgeous copper foil, that I know will look awesome on the eye.

My favourites so far from just swatching and that caught my eye in the palette are topless (shimmer chrome pink) and reveal (a gorgeous matte brown). I know I will be dipping into nakey nakey and uncover very soon too, as they are screaming out to be blended into a smokey eye look.

The formula is really well constructed (apart from the loose jaybird) and the matte shades are smooth and almost silky (which I hope makes sense, as they aren’t actually silky in look). I don’t think there are any colours I won’t be dipping into with this palette. I am a neutral kinda gal, so this palette works for me on so many levels.

The packaging is pretty as well. It’s classy in appearance and the palette feels substantial in weight, which is probably the biggest difference from Laura’s first palette. It is cohesive, all coming together into an atheistically pleasing look. The big mirror is also a blessing. You know you can take this palette away for the weekend, and it has all you need to create the looks you want.

One thing I would have liked to see though is the picture that comes with the palette (of Laura) could have had instructions on how to construct it. It’s a really pretty look and I am going to try and work it out.

So, overall, first impressions of Nudie Patootie is very positive. I was really looking forward to getting this palette, and I even woke up at 4am to order it when it went live in LA on the day of launch. That’s commitment for you. I will share some looks as soon as I get the chance to play with it.

So, if you are a neutral lover and have the $45 to drop on a group of really pretty shades, I would recommend it. Yes, we all have versions of these colours in other brands, but having them grouped in this one beautifully presented palette I personally live for.

Have a great day!

KKW x Mario Bundle – first impressions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lips: NARS Orgasm Gloss

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

Have a great day.

Halo Beauty – 30 day update!

Halo Beauty – Hair, Skin, Nails Booster

As promised, here is my 30 day checkin for the Halo Beauty hair, skin and nails booster. So, the container is empty and I’ve had some time to reflect on the verdict. I have not taken anything for 12 days since finishing the bottle to see any differences as well.

Disclaimer

As mentioned in my first blog about this product, I have a severe vitamin B12 and a minor vitamin D deficiency. I also have an autoimmune disease that causes me problems in absorbing vitamins. So I was going into this trial with that firmly against me.

Nails

However, I have to say, of all the vitamin supplements I’ve taken in the past, I did notice a difference in my nail growth, strength and quality. I didn’t wear any gel nails whilst doing this experiment either, as that weakens my nails, so I can safely say that I noticed a difference.

Skin

My skin is always pretty good to be honest, so I wasn’t really looking for any results there. However, I did actually notice that my skin was very soft on my face. I don’t know if I can credit that to the vitamins, or to the fact I have a new primer, which I’m loving (I’ll be reviewing that in another blog).

Hair

My hair is very thin and weak, but I have been managing to grow it with the help of extensions. I don’t have any in at the moment, so I kept an eye on the quality of my hair this month. I noticed it was shinier than usual. I am very happy with that. In the 12 days I’ve stopped taking the vitamins, I have actually noticed that shine dull a little bit. I haven’t changed my hair routine at all, so I can only really equate that to the vitamins.

Verdict

Overall, I am very happy with the vitamins and I am going to continue to take them. I have had no adverse effects from them, so why wouldn’t I.

Always consult your doctor before taking any form of supplement.

Have a great day!

Hair Oil

Sorry it’s been a little while since I blogged, life has been hectic to say the least. However, I have some fab blog content on the way. I’ve been trying out quite a few new things in the land of beauty. Not to mention my 30 days are now up for trying Halo Beauty vitamins. I’m looking forward to updating everyone on that.

However, today is all about the hair! My hair is incredibly fine and there is not much of it. I have a vitamin B12 deficiency and I also lack in vitamin D. So aside from getting a B12 shot once every 6 months, I’m always on the lookout for something to help my lackluster hair a little bit.

I’ve tried extensions, and I loved them so much. I am on a little break at the moment, but I was so impressed with how my hair grew underneath the extensions. My hair is actually at the longest it’s been in years at the moment. The amazing Tammy Better Than Natural is to thank for that. Check her out on Instagram @tammybtn.

When I had my extensions I used to put a little oil through the ends of the extensions to just keep it soft and untangled. So when I took them out, I carried on with a little oil through the ends.

So here are my top 3 favourites if you like an oil over anything else.

Elvive Extraordinary Oil

This is my absolute favourite. I have tried so many and I always come back to this. It’s light enough even for my thin hair, and it doesn’t leave it greasy.

I pop a pea amount through after washing and can leave my hair to dry on its own, or blow dry. It leaves my hair silky smooth and I can get a straightener through without any resistance.

Dove Pure Care Dry Oil

This is another go to for me. It’s not as light as the Elvive oil, but it does the job. Smell is lovely and a little goes a long way. The dry oil tag means it is not a greasy as some of the other oils on the market. I recommend this in close second to the Elvive.

Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil

This one irritates me (not literally) and I also like it in equal measure. I cannot put it in my hair, it is just too greasy. I’ve tried it numerous times, but alas it is not to be. It is just too heavy for my hair type. It’s a shame as it smells divine and it’s not cheap. It would suit thick hair.

So why is it on my top three I hear you ask? Simple. I use it on my body. It is lush as a body oil. My skin feels supple and smooth after applying it. Be warned though, as a little goes a very long way. You have to be careful not to turn into an oily mess.

So, there you have it. My favourite hair (and body) oils. Give them a try and let me know how they work out for you.

Have a good 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!

Halo Beauty- Hair, Skin, Nails Booster

So, they’ve arrived. I have read so much about them on social media over the last couple of months that I feel like I’m meeting a celebrity. Anyone would think that Tati Westbrook had committed a crime the way people are dragging her over daring to release a beauty supplement rather than the usual palette or highlighter! So, obviously when millions of wannabe doctors and nutritionists (keyboard warriors and haters) decide they have an opinion on something they went to pretend medical school for, I just had to try it. I prefer to trust what actual scientists have to say and I trust Tati too.

I’ve consulted with my physician (as recommended) and he didn’t really care as there isn’t anything in it that’s going to kill me! He said if they disagree with my Ulcerative Colitis, then I should stop taking them. Sensible advice. He also said that if I get pregnant off the back of taking them (as some people are worried about) then it will be a flipping miracle and he’d market them as a fertility wonder drug (my doctor is a part time comedian).

So here we are. The packaging is so cute. The pills are pink (they are also the size of a house to swallow). It says on the back, to take two daily and ‘results may improve with regular use’. Vague to say the least, but I’m still trying them.

My 30 days start tomorrow. My nails are weak, my hair is thin and limp and my skin is a bit dull. So things can only get better, right?

I shall check in with this experiment in 15 days. Stay tuned for my honest review. It won’t be instant, but good things come to those that wait.

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!