Friday, 20 March 2015

Brows: Tarte's Answer To The Anastasia Brow Wiz?

Now, I love the Anastasia Brow Wiz but I've ditched the full-on bleach for more broken up, highlighted roots. So! I wanted to try a darker brow option (I used to use the shade Taupe) because I can get away with it again. I bought the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown ($21) (ahem, correction: my mom bought me the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown) and although the color is fine, it's not perfect. I find it a little bit too warm (not overly so, but a bit) so I randomly picked up the Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Pencil in Medium Brown ($20) at Sephora (oh oops, forgot to mention I'm in New York). Anyway, turns out I love it.

It is quite similar to the Anastasia Brow Wiz, in that it has a small, wind up pencil with a thin nib on one end and a spooley on the other end. The formula is seemingly fairly similar to the Anastasia too as it is quite waxy and it also doesn't smudge. Nothing worse than a soft, smudgey eyebrow pencil. NOTHING. The color is more what I was hoping the Brow Wiz in Soft Brown would be, it's more of a true, neutral/slightly ashy brown rather than a warmer, chocolatey brown. I'm trying to go for a more natural looking brow by filling them in a little bit less and so using a brow pencil that matches my natural brow color better helps achieve a more natural lewk. It says this is a waterproof and I have gotten caught in the rain before wearing a different brow product which smudged onto my forehead (cute look!). Other reviews that I have come across state that this doesn't smudge in the rain or in hot, sticky weather so that's a bonus but I can't say I have really tested the waterproofness of this myself. The only downside with these kind of brow products is that they don't tend to last too long...

All-in-all, this gets a big thumbs up from me!

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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

KIKO Universal Fit Hydrating Fluid Foundation

I feel like I said I would write a post about this foundation so here it is friends and foes! I am in New York right now and the flight totally dried my skin out so I'm having to resort to BB creams (poor, poor me, I know). When I was back in England however, this was one of my most used foundations and I think it will be a favorite in the summer. I am talking about the KIKO Universal Fit Hydrating Fluid Foundation which is not something I would've picked up on a whim. My friend was wearing this foundation and it looked amazing and I had also read positive reviews about it.

So why do I like it? First of all it is a hydrating foundation so it doesn't emphasize any of my areas that can be a little dry. It doesn't visibly sit in any fine lines or pores and it blends seamlessly. The texture of the foundation is really smooth so it creates a nice blurring illusion. It provides good coverage with one layer and full coverage with two layers. However I have the shade 5 which is a little dark for me so I can only really get away with one layer and with blending it down the neck. I think I picked up shade 5 because the lighter shades seemed a little pink for my liking but I sometimes mix in a paler foundation to get a better shade. I feel like this shade will be perfect for me in the summer when I have a little bit more color. I like to apply this with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush if I want a slightly sheerer coverage to make the color work better for me in my super pale state.

You get a decent amount of product for the £6.90 price tag and the packaging is light, compact and great for traveling. It also comes in 20 shades which is a great range for such an affordable product.

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Monday, 2 March 2015

Origins Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating Moisturizer

I feel like I don't often mention skincare products because I rarely switch up my skincare and I don't often try out new products. Now I'm closer to my mid-twenties my skin has gotten more temperamental and I can't just throw any old nonsense on it without a reaction. I have been using this moisturizer for just under a year now so I feel happy to tell y'all that I'm a big fan.

I have heard mixed things about the Origins Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating Moisturizer, but for my skin it is great. I have read that this has irritants in it but I actually like to use this when my skin is irritated as I find it really soothing. It goes without saying that what will work on my skin might not work on yours. My skin is prone to dryness as well hormonal cystic acne (which I have found this tends to soothe rather than aggravate). I do also use the Origins GinZing Moisturizer just because I am trying to use that one up - I don't dislike it per say, but I'm definitely not a fan. I find that the Make A Difference Plus + is a lot more hydrating and it helps to plump up really dry, dehydrated skin. I like to use this one in the mornings, especially because it has what I would consider as the typical awakening, citrusy smell that Origins products tend to have (from what I have tried). In terms of the texture of this moisturizer, I would say that it is light and absorbs fairly quickly so it's a great one to apply before foundation. It also doesn't leave any kind of film, which is great because I often find moisturizers that leave films then come off with foundation application and it all gets a bit messy. 

All-in-all, I really rate this moisturizer because whenever my skin needs that extra boost of hydration or the texture of my skin just isn't at its best, this tends to calm everything down and provide the hydration my skin is craving.

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Monday, 9 February 2015

Recent Favorites 02.9.15

It's about time I threw a few more recent favorites your way, wouldn't you say? I am kind of cheating with this because two of the products mentioned here are very recent purchases but when you know you just know, amirite ladiez?!

First up is a long lost love otherwise known as NARS Luster, which was really my first high end makeup purchase when I first started getting into makeup + blogging. I forgot how perfect it is on paler skin tones because it's quite a bronzey + warm blush so it stops me from looking like I'm just a bit unwell + craving dat Vit D. Also I love me some golden shimmer so it's basically perfect if you love a good statement cheek lewk. 

The second product is the KIKO Crystal Eyeliner in 03 Reflect Burgundy, which is a reddy brown slightly shimmery beauty. It has extreme lasting power - me + my good friend/best friend/partner-in-crime Ellyn (hi Ellyn!) swatched this on our hand in the KIKO store + it refused to remove itself even with some hardcore rubbing (pornographic?). 

The reason why I was at the KIKO store in the first place (because lets be honest, it's pretty hellish) is because my aforementioned pal Ellyn's skin was looking absolutely flawless the other day so naturally I was like 'hold up! I need whatever is on your skin immediately'. We've both noticed how our foundations just haven't been sitting on our skin properly so I thought I would give the KIKO Hydrating Fluid Foundation a go because at £6.90, it's pretty affordable too. I tried hers out, loved it, got it. We both have it in the shade 05 Light Beige, which is a tad too dark for me but all the other paler shades were a bit on the pink side + I can just make it work with the right amount of neck blending etc. I will do a post on this so I won't go on too much about it but it's excellent. OK? OK.

OK so the last thing is the By Terry Touche Veloutée - a product I picked up a while back because Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup used to be a big fan. This is something I tend to forget about + then go back to when I remember how great it is. It gives a good amount of undereye coverage, it sits really naturally on the skin, doesn't crease + it has that whole flattering yellow tone thing going on.

Also this pouch is by Pamela Barsky - I have a few variations of this that I buy from Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market in New Yawk citaaay. (I think you can maybe get these on Etsy though?)

What are your favorites? Hmmmm?

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Review: L'Oréal Paris Brow Artist Genius Kit

Before I started using the Anastasia Brow Wiz, I was a powder girl when it came to my brows. MAC Omega + an angled brush was my ish. I saw this L'Oréal Paris Brow Artist Genius Kit (£9.99) when I popped into Boots the other day (I was really there for tights + a travel sized sewing kit but ok). This comes in two different shades so I got the Light to Medium.

It comes with a tinted wax (left) + a powder (right). You're supposed to apply the wax first to create the shape + make sure everything sticks in place, followed by the powder in any sparse areas. What I am actually quite impressed by is the shades because they are quite ashy, especially by drugstore standards. The kit also comes with a mirror in the lid, a little angled brush/spooley + tweezers, so it would be great to put in your makeup bag if you're going traveling or on vacation. I still use my MAC 266 to apply this because hey, I bought it so I might as well use it but the small brush it comes with isn't half bad - it's just a wee bit small. 

All-in-all, I am pretty impressed by this little kit. I've been using it everyday since I bought it about a week ago. It's great if you don't want to spend too long doing your brows in the morning because powder is a really quick way to get them browz filled in.  

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Top Five Nude Lip Pencils

I just wiped these swatches off of my hand + one is refusing to come off which is a great sign (HMMM I wonder which one?! The suspense is real). I did a post on my favorite nude lipsticks + because I'm a long time lip liner wearer I thought I would share my favorite nude lip liners with you too. I remember going shopping with my friend two years ago looking for the 'perfect nude lip liner' but I honestly don't think it's easily found! I have quite pink/mauve lips + I find a lot of liners to be too dark or warm for me. The below liners are in the following order (in the top picture it is from top to bottom + in the swatches image they go from bottom to top - sorry!).

This is probably the darkest, brownest lip liner that I own but I actually quite like this one with my more brown lip liners. Also if applied lightly it can look quite natural. Somehow.

This was the lip liner I got on that shopping trip (mentioned above). It's a lot more mauvey pink than Boldly Bare so it matches my natural lip shade quite well. I find that the MAC lip liners are quite satin in finish so they stay on reasonably well.

This one would be an absolute favorite if it didn't have dem tiny glitter particles :[ The formula is really nice + creamy but it lasts really well + the shade is pretty much identical to my natural lip shade. I can still work with it but because of the glittery bits I do have to put it all over my lip. The glitter really isn't that bad, I just don't understand why it is necessary...

This is by far the best drugstore lip liner that I have come across. It's a really nice natural shade + it's not too dark. The lasting power is nothing to shout about but for the price it is really nice.

Aha! You made it. This is the one that refuses to budge. This is my current love - it stays on even after 17 glasses of wine, 8 filet-o-fishez + kissing every boi in LDN town. The color works great with all of my nude lipsticks + it somehow manages to mimmick the texture of my lips which I think makes all the difference. I do like to pull a bit of a Ky Jen + overdraw my lips (shhh don't tell anyone slash if you follow me on instagram you might have guessed) + this one is the best for it!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

My Skincare Saviours

Now that I am older, I don't like to switch up my skincare too much. It's not a case of trying new colors + formulas as it is with makeup, it's all about what makes your skin look + feel it's best. These are some skin favorites that I have been using for a while (bar one product) + that I don't see changing in the foreseeable future. Because why fix what ain't broke?

The first product is the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, which has become my new Bioderma. I love Bioderma but I simply can't afford to splash the cash on it anymore when this is basically the same thing. The Garnier version is by far the best drugstore micellar water I have come across + it's really good value for money. I usually take off the majority of my eye makeup with this + then use the Una Brennan Vitamin C Cleansing Oil with a hot cloth. This is a more recent addition to my skincare routine - I think I picked it up in Boots about two or three months ago as I saw Vivianna had mentioned it that she liked it. Not only does it smell really zingy + uplifting, but it does an amazing job of taking off any makeup + leaving my skin feeling super soft. 

I don't exfoliate everyday but when I do (probably 4 x a week), I like to use the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. I find that these are gentle enough to use regularly + I do have stronger thangz that I use if I want something a bit more exfoliating. I like to use use these when my skin is feeling a bit lumpy bumpy. Another treatment-esque product is the Glam Glow Thirsty Mud Hydrating Treatment which I've had for about a year now + I can honestly say this stuff is amazing. It smells delicious aka I want to devour it + it is the best facemask for the day-after-the-night-before etc. Great for hydrating + plumping up dull skin. It isn't cheap but a little bit really does go a long way I promise.

Last but not least is the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate which I don't think I will ever stop using (don't hold me to it though please!). It seems to speed up the fixing process of any skin issue. Dry skin? Ok let me fix that. Scabby blemishes? Ew but okay I'll make that go quicker. Inflamed skin? Let's just calm that whole situation down shall we. It's a miracle worker.

What are your skincare must-haves?

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