Monday, 27 July 2015

Sunday Swatches: Illamasqua Dusk Collection

Following my last post featuring my Eid Makeup Look which used the new Illamasqua collection, it's only right I follow up with a review and swatches post to show you just how awesome this collection is!
Dusk Collection (minus the Illustrator Pen)
Dusk is inspired by the middle east and the art of skin sculpting and contouring; I love how the shades in this collection compliment medium/warmer skintones perfectly, (but can equally be worn by fairer and deeper tones too). 

My first impressions were of course surprise and adoration; firstly at the wearability of this collection for my own skintone and secondly the new products I'd never seen before by Illamasqua - the Slick Sticks and the Sculpting Palette. I'm used to their colouring pencils and the quad palettes so this was new territory for me and I couldn't wait to dig in.

Sculpting Palette
top: with flash; bottom: natural daylight
I had to review the star of the show first - the Sculpting Palette.
It boasts 6 super pigmented powder contour and highlight shades (5 matte, 1 shimmer).. a very light handed single swipe is all that's needed to get full in depth colour.
I was a bit dubious about the one shimmer highlight shade as it looked quite dark in the pan, but it translates into a much lighter champagne gold which I absolutely adore on my skin and have received compliments on wearing it!
top: swatches with flash; bottom: swatches without flash
Colour/Shades: The palette contains a few anomaly shades you don't really see in most of the usual contour kits going around these days; the ominous grey looks daunting at first but I tend to use it either to build depth to my cheekbones with the other browny contour shades, or ever so lightly around my nose to give more shadow to the parts I want to push in. I do however like the rest of the shades and was pleasantly surprised how the shimmer highlight translated on my skin much more beautifully than expected.
Pigmentation: Even though the packaging is different, the quality of product remains the same high pigmentation that Illamasqua deliver, if not better than the usual Quads and with a smoother finish.
Price: At £44, it's £5 more than the famous ABH Powder Contour Kit; however I have to say the pigmentation on this is so worth the money as a little goes a looooong way; I apply my makeup very lightly generally and this Sculpting Palette I go even lighter handed with, which means this will last me forever!

FrootiFactor: I can't fault this palette at all, it ticks all the contouring boxes and more; it's worth the splurge for me as a makeup artist as I know it will be better value for money in my kit, therefore it gets a full 5:

Limited Edition Powder Blusher & Lipstick 
Powder Blusher in "Cherish"
Lipstick in "Born"
The next product I was excited about was this gorgeous peachy-apricot Powder Blusher in "Cherish" and then the nude-rose Lipstick in "Born" (both limited edition).
Colour/Shades: On first swatch I thought the Cherish blush was too pastel-y for my skintone (visible at the top of the blusher swatch); it seemed like it would be something for fairer skintones, but on blending it further, it turned into a beautiful peachy apricot shade (bottom of the swatch) which warmed up my skintone, giving a flush of colour. I love the golden flecks in the blush too; they don't translate onto the skin garishly at all.
The Born lipstick looked as though it would be too light for me on first impressions in the bullet, however it translates a nicer warmer colour on my arm; it was however slightly colder on my dark pigmented lips as in the previous blog post.
Pigmentation: As always, both the blush and the lipstick are intensely pigmented.

Texture: The blush has a slightly drier/powdery texture which I imagine is because of the Rice Starch ingredient, however it does serve well to apply smoothly.
The lipstick, although matte in finish, it does not feel too drying on the lips alone; I wore the lipstick with the slick stick underneath for my previous look and felt it was too drying with the combination.
Price: Though these products are limited edition, they remain the same price as a normal blusher (£22) and lipstick (£19.50).

FrootiFactor: I love this "Cherish" powder blusher now that I've figured out how to use it and the "Born" lipstick is dubbed a universal nude so in theory everyone should get it!
I give both products 4.5 as they translate differently on the skin but still look beautiful:

Slick Sticks - Eyes and Lips
Slick Sticks for Eyes
Slick Sticks for Lips
As aforementioned, the Slick Sticks are a new product from Illamasqua; usually their eye and lip liners come in a typical "Colouring Pencil" form, but these retractable crayon style liners are cute and dinky and actually do not budge once set; perfect for humid or wet climates!
Colour/Shades: I absolutely love the wearability of these lip and eye shades; if there wasn't a black eye shade or a red or nude lip shade I would be disappointed but Illamasqua have done good bringing out these basic shades to start with and I hope they bring more!
Pigmentation: The slick sticks have great colour payoff; I found the lip Slick Sticks were more pigmented than the eye sticks.

Texture: These crayons go on very well once warmed up, however there is a slight tug as they are waxy in consistency due to their waterproof-ness and so can be quite drying.
Price: At £18.50 each, they're a fair bit pricier than the usual pencils in their waterproof category, however they are very long lasting and would not wipe off with a wet wipe at all, so in terms of something that won't budge without oil, this is that product!

FrootiFactor: I'd give these pencils a 3.5 to start with as the shade range is pretty good and the longevity is amazing but the texture is quite drying when combined with a matte lipstick and also I'm worried about the products breaking when retracting, so I'm not sure on the packaging just yet!
Lastly, the lashes in this collection are pretty dramatic so I'm not sure how they would fare on my smaller eye shape, but I do love that they have a hint of brown to them, giving them a softer, endearing finish.

All in all, as much as I love how quirky Illamasqua are, I have to say I'm quite loving these easier-to-wear products that are in line with the current makeup trends; as long as they keep bringing out their quirky products to play around with every now and then, I don't see any harm in catering to the demands of consumers, especially when Illamasqua do it ever so beautifully (and better) with higher quality pigmentation!

The collection is out now in selected Illamasqua stores and online.

What are your thoughts on this collection? 
Which products have caught your eye and which will you be purchasing?
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Friday, 24 July 2015

FFF: Teal Eid Makeup Look

Hi guys!

So sorry about the lack of posts, I've been uber busy with baby and the month of Ramadan but now that it is over, I thought I would get back on track with my backlog of posts and start with the Eid makeup look I wore last week to compliment my teal kaftan (from StyleMeLondon) as posted on my Instagram:
I didn't get to get a close up of the eyes as usual but I got pretty clear face pictures so you can see that I went for a soft glam with a hint of colour on my lower lashline to tie in with the kaftan as I felt teal on the lids would be too much!

I also got to use my newest makeup products from the Illamasqua Dusk collection (review to follow!)

Here's a breakdown of products used:
Illamasqua Brow Gel - Strike & ABH DipBrow Pomade in Chocolate
Smashbox Full Exposure palette: shimmery golds on lids and matte nudes and black to blend in crease and above
Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner in Infinity
UD 24/7 Pencils in Covet and Flipside
Huda Beauty Lashes: Giselle
Maybelline Fit Me foundations in shade 210 and 220
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger (slightly darker for me so added HOGD (next) on top
House Of GlamDolls GlamBase Wheel for contouring and concealing under foundation 
Illamasqua Sculpting Palette
Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Cherish
Illamasqua Slick Stick for Lips in True
 Illamasqua lipstick in Born
Lansinoh (for moisturising lips on top)

The first two pictures are without any balm but I felt the lip slick and matte lippy combo was a tad drying for me, so I added a bit of Lansinoh which is visible in the third pic.
I don't use my Smashbox palette very much as I was slightly disappointed with the pigmentation of the shimmery shades however I reached for it for this look and it seemed to work fine!

Hope you liked this look, would love to see some of my readers Eid looks too, feel free to tweet me or write on my facebook wall sharing your pictures and hope those of you who celebrated had a wonderful one!
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Monday, 8 June 2015

Sunday Swatches: Make Up For Ever HD Foundation and Aqua Products

[picture heavy post!]
Although this is a belated "Sunday Swatches" post, it's better late than never!

After attending the MUFE UK event 2 weeks ago, I knew people were dying to get their hands on some products so here's my review of the ever popular MUFE foundation and swatches of some of their Aqua range.
MUFE HD foundation has been a firm favourite of mine and it has been a staple in my kit for brides (and one that I actually do repurchase seeing as it works so well!)
I also love the HD Powder to use on clients so I was happy to get a full size in my goody bag at the event.

MUFE HD Foundation
MUFE foundations are quite puzzling to figure out as the numbers don't necessarily go up in foundation shade order. 
This is because MUFE HD foundations work with undertone ranges including: pink, beige, beige pink, yellow, dark yellow, dark beige, dark pink, coral, peach etc.. you get the gist!

I've included swatches of the MUFE HD foundation shades N120 (Soft Sand) and N123 (Desert) below, with my bare arm (no foundation) to show you coverage of my veins:
N120 blended swatch + straight from pump; N123 straight from pump, swiped with finger and blended
I also did a before and after on my face, first with only concealer and brows, then just with MUFE HD foundation on top, then both HD Foundation and HD Powder:
before (only concealer and brows)
after MUFE HD Foundation
MUFE HD Foundation + Aqua lip liner in 19C
Shades: I'd say N120 is for NC25-30 skin tones; it's described for medium light skin with yellow undertones and I find it suits my inner arm pretty well, however my face is definitely darker at the moment.
N123 is the most popular shade in my kit for around NC30-35 skin tones and is described for light skin with olive undertones; I have more yellow than olive tones but also have peachy undertones sometimes so I'm a bit of a mix, however N123 does give me an all over olive tone which I don't mind.
Coverage: As you can see, my veins are pretty well covered up; I'd say the foundation is medium coverage, but can be buildable to full coverage if needed.
Texture: It's smooth and fairly thick when pumped out and I'd say ever so slightly stringy? in texture but feels lightweight on the skin.
Longevity: As always I set foundation with an appropriate powder and setting spray so I've not had issues to date but I imagine this foundation is built to last as it is oil free and made for on screen.
Price: At £29, it is on the slightly pricier side and around the same price as the Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation, however if you require moderate coverage and want/need to look flawless on camera, then this foundation is worth it for you!

FrootiFactor: As aforementioned, I'm a fan of this foundation anyway and it's been a staple in my kit for a while with no issues, so it definitely gets a 5 from me:
MUFE HD foundation is available from Debenhams (or even better, it's best to check in store at the counter on Oxford Street).

I also received some products from the "Aqua" range which I have always wanted to try as they are waterproof and as you may know, I'm a fan of waterproof products not only for myself but also for my clients who genuinely need their makeup to last through sweat and tears! 

Below are swatches of some of the Aqua products including their Lip Pencil, Liquid Lip Color, Eye Pencil and Liquid Liner:

I also did a quick look with these Aqua products below, nothing fancy mind you, first with just the lip liner, second with both lip liner and liquid lip colour as there is a slight variation of colour between them:
I have to say the Waterproof Lipliner Pencil is a new favourite of mine, I've received a fair few compliments wearing it and a lot of people have asked me what I'm wearing so I would definitely recommend it and give it a FrootiFactor of 5:
The Waterproof Liquid Lip Color however is a bit more red toned as opposed to the blue toned lip liner (despite them both being "Pomegranate Pink"). I'm not really keen on the liquid lip colour though as I find the consistency too sticky when it dries on the lips, much like glue, and although it leaves a beautiful stain, it did peel off on my lips a tad bit making it a bit messy to reapply/fix, so I'd give it a 2.5:
All in all, I am definitely happy a MUFE counter has come to London now; up until now I've had to wait for a makeup show (UMAE, IMATS etc) to view the foundations/products in person and now I don't have to guess what shade I am in a rush!

Make sure you do visit the Debenhams Oxford Street counter if you can, otherwise the products are available to buy from the Debenhams website of course.

Have you tried Make Up For Ever products? Which would you recommend?
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Friday, 5 June 2015

FFF: Too Faced Chocolate Makeup Look

My last post featuring the Too Faced Bronzers spurred me on to do a makeup look, so I thought I would include some of my newest acquisitions in this look including two of the bronzers from the previous post and a Make Up For Ever electric blue Aqua liner. The smell of the Chocolate Soleil bronzer made me want to reach for my Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette too so I thought I'd do a neutral-ish eyeshadow with a dramatic liner.

Products used:
Illamasqua Brow Gel - Strike
Too Faced Chocolate Bar: Milk Chocolate (above crease), White Chocolate (blend above crease), Salted Caramel (above crease), Semi Sweet (crease), Champagne Truffle (brow bone), Marzipan (inner corner).
NYC Liquid liner
MUFE Aqua Liner in Diamond Turquoise Blue
Huda Beauty Lashes: Giselle
MUFE HD foundation in shade 123 
Motives Liquid Correction Concealer in Light
House Of GlamDolls GlamBase Wheel for contouring and concealing under foundation 
Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit - Fawn for contour & Sand for highlight
Too Faced bronzers: Endless Summer (all over) and Chocolate Soleil (cheeks)
Motives liner in Pink Lady
Motives All Day Lipstick in Tantalize

I'm not usually a fan of the inner eye style eyeliner on myself (I just don't think it suits my eye shape) but I thought I'd switch it up a bit so I could make use of my MUFE Aqua liner (and Huda Beauty lashes!) so I opted for this Arab style eyeliner.. Hope you like!

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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Too Faced Bronzer Wardrobe

Hi my lovelies!

Today's special post is another one of my favourite brands that I've been a fan of for years.
Since the days I used to work in Debenhams, Too Faced was a brand that caught my eye when it used to be on a stand with Urban Decay (they now have their own allocated counter spaces thankfully!). 
It was the very girly and pretty packaging that caught my eye back then, and being the girly girl I am, the Too Faced Mood Swing lipgloss (colour changing lipgloss) had me all excitable.
It's a brand that I've always paired with Urban Decay (probably because they shared the stand), but also because Too Faced had very similar products to Urban Decay like the Too Faced Shadow Insurance, their waterproof eyeliners and their pigmented eyeshadows.

Of recent times Too Faced have released some pretty awesome products like the Melted Lipsticks and the Chocolate Bar palette which I sometimes open just to inhale.

This post is semi chocolate related; I was very kindly sent an absolutely amazing Bronzer Wardrobe which features 8 (yes 8!) bronzers and a beautiful Kabuki brush because Too Faced believe there's a bronzer for all occasions, moods and outfits (and I don't disagree either!).
top to bottom: Sun Bunny, Endless Summer, Pink Leopard, Snow Bunny, Beach Bunny, Milk Chocolate Soleil, Chocolate Soleil and Dark Chocolate Soleil
All the gold packaged Too Faced bronzers are included in this wardrobe as well as face charts to create looks and a retractable synthetic Kabuki Brush.
The luxurious and super pretty gold packaging makes me feel like a true princess and the girly pink retractable Kabuki is perfect for on the go bronzing (or keeping little hands out of!).
As you can see all these bronzers laid out is pretty overwhelming, so I've categorised them below so it's easier to understand:

The "Bunny" Bronzers (shimmery): 
Sun Bunny, Beach Bunny and Snow Bunny
Sun Bunny: 
Duo bronzer with slight pink undertone to mimic the flush of a real tan.
Beach Bunny:  
Four golden shades that can be used individually or swirled together.
Snow Bunny
Four luminous shades with pink, bronze and highlighting shades for more of a glow.

The "Chocolate Soleil" Bronzers (matte):
Dark Chocolate Soleil
The newest bronzer Too Faced have released, a darker version of Chocolate Soleil, great for sculpted contouring, creating a more dramatic, deep matte bronzed look, or for darker skintones.
Chocolate Soleil: 
The original of the chocolate bronzers released, smells like chocolate because it's infused with cocoa powder, good for everyday contouring and creating an all-over deep tan.
Milk Chocolate Soleil: 
The lighter version of Chocolate Soleil; creates more of a subtle tan, best for lighter skintones.

Also included are the "Endless Summer" bronzer and the "Pink Leopard" bronzer:
Endless Summer
Formulated to last 16 hours, this stay all day bronzer looks more like a highlighter compared to the others, but actually bronzes my NC30-35 skin ever so slightly, with not as much shimmer as I initially thought would show up.
Pink Leopard
As the name suggests, the bronzer is patterned in a leopard print of 3 colours - a bronzing shade, a pink and a brightening shade.

My favourite so far has to be the Chocolate Soleil (obvs), I'm a fan of sweet smelling things and a chocoholic (hence why I bought the Chocolate Bar palette) so this was going to be an obvious favourite of mine. I also quite like the Endless Summer bronzer as it gives a subtle glow.

Now that I've showed you how awesome this wardrobe is, let me share the bad news first: unfortunately this wardrobe isn't available to buy as a set in the UK, however you can buy each individually (£25 each) from Debenhams (currently on sale with 10% off!).

Altternatively, the ever so cute Little Black Book of Bronzers holds all these bronzers in mini size and is available from the Too Faced website (however shipping and tax charges are added as it will be coming from the US).

You can also enter the lovely Annie's competition where she is giving away the full wardrobe on her blog, enter here.

Have you tried any of these bronzers? What is your favourite Too Faced product?

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