Monday, 30 December 2013

MAC Palette - Month One

Hi Beauty Lovers!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and getting ready to have a great New Year. I am so sorry for the lack of posts recently, I unfortunately do not have the type of job which I get the bank holidays off, so I've been trying to juggle Christmas, work, family and friends. But I have a few days off now so I'm back on track with blogging and wanted to share with you my amazingly pretty MAC palette.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you will have a sneaky peek of this palette all boxed up, that's because it was bought super early and I couldn't have it until Christmas. Well today is the unveiling of said palette and a nosey at the colours I chose.

I must say it was so hard not to fill this straight away, especially when Joe (my boyfriend) and the MAC girls were all encouraging me to, but I resisted and I'm going to add more each month, roll on payday!

I really want this palette to be filled with colours that I typically wouldn't choose, I seriously must own every neutral shade known to man. So I going to fill this with more experimental colours...wish me luck!

Top: Pink Freeze | Middle: Shale | Bottom: Trax
Left: Natural lighting | Right: Indoor lighting

 This is a gorgeous maroon red shade, it has little pieces of glitter in, as you can see in the swatch photograph. I loved this shade because its a pretend neutral, it looks a deep earthy brown in the pan, but when applied its a gorgeous reddy colour.

On first impressions you might think this shade is a flat boring slate colour, but in actual fact its a shimmery pearlescent colour. It was so so hard to photograph this colour because when it catches the light it transforms to a grey/lilac colour. It has shimmer to it, so really looks gorgeous.
Pink Freeze
I bought this colour to use as a highlighter more than a shadow, and it works fabulously. It looks white in the photographs but its actually a very pale pink, when applied on top of Benefit's High Beam it looks amazing. This also has a shimmer to it, so look gorgeous when it catches the light.

So these are my first additions to my palette, I'll be sharing each colour I purchase each month. I'm open to suggestions so if you have a favourite colour/colours let me know.


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Battle of the Highlighters - Round Two

Hey Beauty Lovers!

So todays post is the second instalment of the Battle of the Highlighters. If you didn't see the first round, then you can have a cheeky read here.

As I mentioned previously I have a love for benefit highlighters, they have the most gorgeous packaging and the products work like a dream. I use Benefit's High Beam every day under my eyebrows and if I'm wearing lipstick I dab a little on my cupids bow.

So like I said in the previous post I took advantage of the current high street offers and had a good old nosey at the high street shelves. One of the products that caught my eye was actually an eyeshadow stick, it was the most gorgeous colour that I had to test it out, and to my surprise it makes a damn good highlighter. The product I parted with my penny's for was Collection's eyeshadow pencil in 'Vanilla Sky'. I have later found out that Collection are selling the lighter shades as a two-in-one eyeshadow/highlighter pencil.

Before I start with the post I must apologise for the travel size 'High Beam', I've recently run out and I have it on good authority that Santa will be dropping me a replacement down my chimney, so I'm making do with a mini bottle I got in one of their gorgeous gift sets. If you've never seen Benefit's High Beam before, just imagine the bottle pictured below in a larger form.

Round Two - Benefit's 'High Beam' vs Collection's 'Vanilla Sky'

Left: Benefit 'High Beam' | Right: Collection 'Vanilla Sky'
If I'm being honest neither really wow my socks off, both have opted for minimal packaging. High Beam is enclosed in a bottle with a nail varnish style application brush, this is great when it's a spanking new bottle, but when your close to empty its so frustrating trying to get the last bits out. Vanilla Sky comes in a stick which can be sharpened and you can use every bit.
Winner - Collection
This one was a hard one, as one is in liquid form and one in solid, to make matters even tougher, collection do not document the amount on the packing or on their website. Benefits 'High Beam' holds 13ml which seems a measly amount. Its hard to estimate which is the most so not awarded a win to either products.
Winner - None
High Beam offers a pink/silver finish, which looks gorgeous when caught in the light. Vanilla Sky has a yellow/gold finish. Despite Vanilla Sky being in stick form it blends into the skin very easily. High Beam as you can imagine is very blendable as it comes in liquid form. If it wasn't for the slight, but subtle, difference in colour you would be none the wiser to what I was wearing.
Winner - Draw
Left: Benefit 'High Beam' | Right: Collection 'Vanilla Sky'
The price tags on these items are very different, High Beam will set you back £19.50, where as Vanilla Sky costs a measly £3.19.
Winner - Collection
Would I rebuy?
I would rebuy both these products. Vanilla Sky has made its way into my every day make up bag, and high beam is now used for evening looks. Although Collection has completely and utterly blown me away in quality, look and price, I will still continue to rebuy both products, mainly because they both of equal quality and also because I love wearing different makeup on evening occasions then I do in the day to work, if this is not an issue for you than Vanilla Sky will be your new best friend.
Winner - Draw
Well it appears we have a clear winner, it seems collection have released quite an under dog product.
Overall Winner - Collection 
Have you tried either of these products or have a dupe that's worth checking out?

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Battle of the Highlighters - Round One

Hey Beauty Lovers!

It seems recently that highlighters are invading the high street makeup shelves. I thought I would take advantage of the Christmas offers and purchase myself a high street highlighter. For as long as I can remember I've always used Benefits 'High Beam' and a few years ago I added 'Girl Meets Pearl' to my collection.

I use my high beam absolutely every day, I use it under my eyebrows, on my cheek bones and my cupids bow. I use Girl Meets Pearl for my evening look, I mix it in with my foundation to give my skin a fabulous glow.

So I bought two high street products and tested them out to see if they matched up to my beloved Benefit products.

This first post is round one in the battle and will focus on Benefit's 'Girl Meets Pearl' and Seventeen's 'Glow & Prime'. My Second post will focus on Benefit's 'High Beam' vs a high street dupe.

Round One - Benefit's 'Girl  Meets Pearl' vs Seventeen's 'Glow & Prime'.

Left: Benefit 'Girl Meets Pearl' | Right: Seventeen 'Glow & Prime'

Lets be honest, Benefit was always going to win this round, just look at the gorgeous packaging, its metallic pink casing with the moonlit backdrop oozes glamour and girlyness, its something you just want to show to everyone. Seventeen have gone for the minimal look and tried to make the product the selling point, you cant see it on the picture but the bottle shows off the shimmery product inside, I'm sorry Seventeen but I wouldn't be itching to show this packaging off.

Winner - Benefit

So the next thing I looked at was the amount, and we have a clear winner, Benefit's huge bottle holds 12ml, whereas Seventeen's holds 30ml. This actually shocked me, because I'd actually never looked at the amount before today, I assumed they'd be roughly same because there similar sized bottles, boy was I wrong.

Winner - Seventeen

Finish - when mixed with foundation
When mixed with my regular foundation Benefit feels no different, just the dewy complexion I'm left with gives it away. When I mixed Seventeen's in with my foundation, it became thinner, I was left with less coverage, and my skin felt very oily, I did however have a nice shimmer. You may not be put off by the oiliness and the change to coverage, but I like my foundation matte and my cover full and flawless.

Winner - Benefit

Finish - when applied on top of foundation
I applied this with a stippling brush so my foundation was not moved, or dislodged shall we say. Benefit's applied with a gold/pink finish, Seventeen's was more silver/pink. On look alone I loved them both equally, however the oiliness of Seventeen's formula showed itself again. I found benefit's highlighter much easier to blend into my skin as the formula was much thicker, Seventeen's was very hard to blend due to the thinness, by the time I had finished, my entire face was nearly covered with the product. Overall Benefit's product ticked all the boxes yet again.

Winner - Benefit

I am basing this section purely on the look it gives my skin and nothing else. I loved the look that both products gave my skin, I defiantly saw a difference. Benefit gave me a subtle highlight, whereas Seventeen made me more shimmery, which I don't mind as a one off for an evening look.

Winner - Draw
Top left: Seventeen 'Glow & Prime' unblended | Top right: Benefit 'Girl Meets Pearl' unblended
Bottom left:  Seventeen 'Glow & Prime' blended | Bottom right Benefit 'Girl Meets Pearl' blended

I'm basing the price on all the above sections, so lets start with Benefit, I paid £24.50, there's nothing I do not like about this product, the price tag seems very steep, however if I told you I'd being using this product since December 2012 would that change your opinion? Moving on to Seventeen, I paid £5.99 which is a very good price, however there's a lot of major things I do not like about this product, so for me even though it was cheap as chips, it was a waste of £5.99!

Winner - Benefit

Would I rebuy?
Benefit, yes, yes and yes again, I continue to rebuy this product and until something else blows my socks off I will continue to rebuy. Seventeen, not a chance, I'm sorry I just really didn't get on with this product. You will be happy to know that I haven't binned it, I've given it a loving home in my sisters makeup bag.

Overall Winner - Benefit.

Have you tried either of these products? Have you got a dupe for Benefit's primer that I need to try out?



Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Wing it - a guide to eyeliners

Welcome back Beauty Lovers.

Two posts in one day my my I have been a busy bee. As you may or may not already know I've participating in the December Makeup Challenge, and todays challenge was winged liner. So I thought I would share with you my thoughts on liquid, gel and kohl eyeliner.

Liquid Liner
Miss Sporty Studio Eyeliner

This is my favourite of the lot, this is the type I've always worn, ever since I started wearing makeup. The thing I love about liquid liner is that a cheap one is just as good as an expensive one. I use Miss Sporty eyeliner, I think its probably around £3 and it lasts forever. I've repurchased this brand for years.

For beginners liquid eyeliner is no easy task, its not easy to correct so you have to add more to cover your mistakes and before you know it, your entire eye is covered with liner, been there done that. But once you've mastered liquid eyeliner you can create sharp edges and precise detailing.

Gel Liner
Seventeen Black Lash Gel Liner

Gel liner is the newest edition to the crew, its seems to have soared in popularity this past year. Its kind of the middle man of liners, its got the blendability of a kohl liner, but the intensity of a liquid. With this type I find the cheaper ones tend to dry out and do not apply as smooth as the more expensive brands. This liner is applied with a brush, I recommend using one of your own as the one you get free doesn't tend to be all that brilliant. I use mine with a brow brush, I find I can create a simple winged look this way. I also use this liner if I'm creating a dramatic cut crease shadow.

I would recommend this liner to some one who knows there way around a kohl eyeliner. Any mistakes can easily be removed, but you do need a steady hand when applying.

Kohl Liner
Back Left: Benefit Bad Gal Eyeliner
Front Centre: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil
So last but not least is the eye pencil's or the kohl eyeliners. These are perfect for beginners, as they glide on so easily and mistakes can easily be removed. Kohl liners are super blendable, so can be made as dramatic or subtle as you want. The other bonus to this liner is you can use it on your upper and lower waterline to really set your eyes off. If you want to create a soft cut crease then a soft handed application of a kohl liner will start you off nicely. With kohl eyeliners I haven't used a cheaper brand that I can actually recommend, I find the more expensive brands to glide on easily and to have more intensity.

If your wanting to create a winged eye liner look then this is not the eyeliner for the job, I find it quite hard to create a sharp and precise flick with this type. This is a perfect starter eyeliner, there super easy to apply and any mistakes can easily be removed.

Gel | Liquid | Thick Kohl | Thin Kohl
Left to Right

Let me know which is your favourite liner and if you've created and looks using it.



Real Technique Brushes - Review

Good Evening Beauty Lovers!

Todays post is one I've been itching to do for what seems like forever. For those of you that follow me on instagram 'porcelainqueen1' you will have seen a while ago I posted a picture of my gorgeous brand spanking new Real Techniques brushes.

I like to use a brush/set of brushes for a while before I decide whether I like them or not, because on the first go they probably seem like the best thing since sliced bread, then after the first wash all the bristles fall out, and alas its cast aside.

So as you can see from the above picture I didn't do things by halves, myself and my bank card dived right in and purchased practically every type of brush sold. Although saying that they didn't cost the earth, I paid £30 including delivery from Amazon.
Before I start with the review I thought I say a quick few lines about the origins of this brand and the brushes them selves. Im sure if you use YouTube for makeup tutorials you will at some point come across 'Pixiwoo', well the talented Samantha Chapman from those tutorials helped design and create Real Techniques. The brushes 100% synthetic and 100% cruelty free!
So now you have a bit of insight, lets start the review...
I purchased the 'Starter Set' and the 'Core Collection' and got the blush brush thrown in for free...always a bonus. They come in a black case which you either open and close like a book or you can split it horizontally down the middle and secure it with a drawstring making a stand (the is shown in the pictures).
The Core Collection
1. Blush Brush - not included in the Core Collection
2. Contour Brush
3. Detailer Brush
4. Pointed Foundation Brush
5. Buffing Brush
Blush Brush
My new best friend! I used this with my mineral face powder and literally 3 sweeps and my entire face is set for the day. This brush is huge, but works to my advantage, its saved me a precious few minutes in the morning.
Contour Brush
I found this brush a tad too small to contour anything if I'm being honest so I mainly use it to apply extra powder where I really want my make up setting, mainly around my nose and under my eyes. It works perfectly for this, I suppose if you were using it too apply a powdered highlighter then fair enough less is more in that situation, but for powder and bronzer I find it way too small.
Detailer Brush
This little fella has revolutionised concealer for me, its so small and light weight that it helps cover all your imperfections. The size of it helps reach right up to your lash line, and glides round the sides of your nose with ease.
Pointed Foundation Brush
This is one of the brushes that has got cast aside unfortunately, since discovering the buffing brush. It works perfectly well as a foundation brush, no doubt about that, but I love the finish I get from the buffing brush
Buffing Brush
This is hands down my favourite brush of the bunch, it applies my foundation like an absolute dream. It isn't technically supposed to be used for liquid foundation, its sold a brush to apply mineral foundation, but it does the job perfectly with my liquid foundation. I find the fibres are so dense that it doesn't easily get clogged up, like a typical shaped foundation brush. The foundation brush I was previously using I needed to clean every week because the bristles started to move as one, but with this brush I didn't need to clean I wanted to clean it, which makes a tremendous change. When I first opened these brushes the sheer size of the intimidated me, but after using it for a while I'm used to the larger size, and must say I prefer it.
Starter Set
1. Deluxe Crease Brush
2. Base Shadow Brush
3. Brow Brush
4. Pixel-Point Eyeliner Brush
5. Accent Brush
Deluxe Crease Brush
This brush I only use to highlight my brows with, I don't know if its the short, dense fibres, but my highlighter seems to looks a lot better after applying with this brush. Again sadly I'm not using it for its intended purpose, but due to the size I don't think I could contour my eye with this.
Base Shadow Brush
How big is this brush?! This is one of the brushes I use the least, mainly due to the size of it, I only tend to use it when I want to sweep a single colour from my lid to my brows. If I want to apply a base colour just to my lids I have to use a different brush, which is a shame really. I do find it works quite well as a blending brush though. So again like the buffing brush its been used for a different purpose.
Brow Brush
A must have for anyone really, its a lot larger then other eyebrow brushes I've previously used and its actually saved me time when filling my brows in.
Pixel-point eyeliner brush
Again another brush that I've rarely used again due to the size of it, its such a shame its so big because it really would have been the perfect gel eyeliner brush.
Accent Brush
This is the underdog of the entire brush set, its small size makes you just glance over it, but this has become my best friend when creating a smoky eye or a cut crease look. Its also small enough to run under your lower lash line perfectly.
Overall my favourite brushes of the set are the 'base' ones, they just leave my skin looking flawless and I love the size and the feel of them. As for the starter kit I wouldn't say I regret buying it, but when I'm doing my eyes I don't reach for this kit.
I would recommend the buffing brush, blush brush and detailer brush to anyone, because they honestly are the best of that type of brush I have ever used. As for the rest, you can decide your self after reading the review.
Let me know if you've used these brushes and what you think to them. Is there any that you use for a different purpose?


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Getting Lippy - My Favourite 3 Lipsticks

Merry Christmas Beauty Lovers!

I can officially say it, now I'm feeling all festive and done all my shopping and wrapping *pats self on back*, trust me that's a huge accomplishment for me.

So day 10 of the makeup challenge was 'Favourite 3 Lipsticks', and I wanted to share them with you and just explain why they made it to the top 3.

Number 1

YSL Volupte Shine Lipstick - Number 19

So this is quite a newbie to my collection, its still at the stage where I put it back in its original packaging when its not been used...yes I know its weird! It my new Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine lipstick. I've had this less than a week and its been on my lips every single day, I just cant get enough of it! The colour is super pigmented, and it seems to stain your lips so each application is deeper in colour. Its so, so moisturising and feels like your wearing a balm or a butter. The packaging just oozes luxury, with its gold casing and a sneeky peek of the colour in the middle. It is a bit pricey at £24, but for me it is worth every single penny, I've already got some other shades eyed up ready for the boxing day sales.

Number 2
MAC Sheen Supreme - New Temptation
This is my go to red, I absolutely love this colour. I remember the day I bought this lipstick, I walked over to the MAC counter and just basically said, I want a red lipstick, I was sat down on a stool, and a few minutes later one of the lovely MAC girls brought over at least 10 red lipsticks, I nearly fell off that stool! But for all those reds, there was only this one that actually suited me, the experts say there is a red for everyone, and this is defiantly the one for me.
Its from the 'Sheen Supreme' collection so its in slightly different packaging to the others. There is just one teeny tiny thing I don't like about this lipstick, and that's the shape of it, basically it comes flat, which until you use it a few times makes it a very messy application, this is where the amazing pigmentation works against you because it makes it so hard to wipe off, needless to say I resembled the joker a fair few times.
Number 3
MAC Crème Sheen - Speed Dial

Last but not least Speed Dial by MAC, its a gorgeous shimmery pink. I've actually repurchased this shade, which I think is a big commitment with a lipstick, when I've been to repurchase others, by the time I've drooled over all the other shades, I've rarely walked out with the one I intended to buy. In fact when I bought Speed Dial, I was set on repurchasing Saint Germain, but had a change of heart. But who knows I might go back for it a third time and come out with something completely different. This one out of all three is defiantly the heaviest coverage, its a lot more matte, but its not drying and doesn't cling to any dry bits on your lips.
Left: Speed Dial (MAC) | Middle: 19 (YSL) | Right: New Temptation (MAC)
Let me know if you have any of these shades, of have any similar that you absolutely adore.


Monday, 9 December 2013

Winter Lips & Festive Eyes - Day 7 & 8 of the Makeup Challenge

Hi Beauty Lovers!

Day seven of the Makeup Challenge is 'dark lips', so I thought I would share my favourite dark lipstick and lip gloss. This time of year I tend to store my vivid shades away and get out all my deep and dark shades. I recently bought a drop dead gorgeous dark purple lipstick from Topshop, believe it or not there lipsticks are amazing and I've built myself quite the collection.

Day eight was a monochromatic look, so I thought why not make it festive? So I opted for a green eye look. I love getting creative with eye shadows, and trying to step out of my comfort zone, so I chose to do a green festive eye look.

I've already posted these looks on my Instagram account, but I wanted to share them with you in more detail.

On a completely unrelated house is finally decorated, well it was done yesterday but there was no chocolate for the Christmas tree *sad face* so today when the chocolate went up I was able to celebrate! Of course a lot of the chocolate was 'broken' in the process so couldn't possibly go on the tree, the evidence was soon disposed of eaten  ;)

Day Seven - Dark Lips

During winter I love wearing dark purple, dusky coloured pinks and deep reds, and when I saw this lipstick in Topshop I knew I had to have it. Like I said previously I find their lipsticks to be very good, their super pigmented and have the staying power of superglue! When I got home and added this lipstick to my growing collection I found I had a gloss in the exact same colour, the universe was obviously telling me something!

Left L'Oreal Glam Shine Reflexion - Sheer Cassis | Topshop Lipstick - Called Up
Left: Called up | Right: Sheer Cassis
When paired together these look amazing together, and its a perfect look for the winter!
Day 8 - Monochromatic Look
For this look, I chose green, I know its not a very wearable colour and some people, myself included, shy away from bright coloured eye shadows, so I tried to make this a wearable, subtle look...I also thought it was quite festive.
For gorgeous, pigmented colours it had to be one of my Urban Decay palettes. I rummaged through and found my Book of Shadows III had 4 greens so I opted for that palette. I used 'Maui Wowie' as a highlighter under my eyebrows. The picture doesn't really show it, but all four green shades 'stared' were used, and obviously had to have the falsie on, seen as its the party season.
Shades used from Urban Decay Book of Shadows III
Let me know if you've created any festive looks, I'd love to have a nosey!


Friday, 6 December 2013

December Makeup Challange - Day 5 & 6

Welcome back Beauty Lovers!

Todays post will be sharing days five and six of the December makeup challenge. When I committed to starting this challenge I thought it might entail a few late nights, but my goodness its been hard work keeping up with doing the challenge and getting products ready for review, but I've kept my head down and cracked on, so be on the look out for some exciting product reviews this month.

Day Five - Neutral Lips

When I saw the word neutral my mind instantly jumped to nude lip, like a good old game of word association, and when I want a nude lip I grab my trusty Benefit lipstick. For me this is the perfect nude as its lovely and glossy, I don't suit a matte nude lip, I simply do not have the complexion to handle it.
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Colour - Wing Woman
Day Six - Favourite Foundation
This was a bit tricky for me, because I could not decide which of my foundation products was my number one favourite, I know, I know, I'm such a cop out. Basically I have four foundation products that are my absolute favourites and each one for a different reason. Please prepare to read the word 'favourite' a lot...
1. No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation
2. MAC Studio Fix Powder
3. Benefit 'Hello Flawless' Powder
4 MAC Prolong Wear Foundation
5. Real Techniques Buffing Brush
No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation - this is my favourite everyday foundation, it covers absolutely everything and I love the fact you can see how much product you have left.
MAC Studio Fix Powder - this is my favourite travelling powder, or should I say this is the only pressed powder I haven't managed to break, clumsy me! I take this powder everywhere with me for emergency touch ups.
Benefit 'Hello Flawless' - This is my favourite everyday powder, it sets my makeup and dries out any pesky oily areas. This unfortunately now has to stay at home as it's in a million pieces, boo hoo.
MAC Prolong Wear Foundation - This is my favourite 'going out' foundation. Its slightly too dark for an every day look, so it relegated to evening looks only.
Real Techniques Buffing Brush - My favourite foundation brush, need I say more?
'Favourite' count = 8
Check out my instagram for the daily December Makeup Challenge looks.
Let me know what your go to nude lipstick is, or which foundation you simply couldn't live without...if you can choose just one!


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

December Makeup Challange Day 3 & 4

Welcome back beauty lovers!

Here are the next two instalments of the December Beauty Challenge, I have finally caught up to date. From tomorrow I will try and blog my looks daily, so keep your eyes peeled. So without further delay here are days 3 and 4.

Day Three - What's in your bag?

I found this one a tad confusing, mainly due to the fact I had seen people posting images of them creating a look with only the products they were carrying in their bag, but the question mark on the end makes me think you want to be nosey and rifle through my bag?! So I decided on the latter...
Like most of you I have a big bag with hardly anything in it, or a small bag that's bursting at the seams, at the time it makes perfect sense I can assure you. This is the bag I took to work with me last night, so gives a true reflection on my day-to-day bag contents.
There's all the essentials in there...a nice hat for winter... kindle...lipsticks...concealer...
So now you've seen inside my typical working day bag, you nosey parkers ;) I love reading this type of post because I pick up loads of tips and ideas just by seeing what other people cart around with them.
Day Four - Coloured Liner
I decided to keep it simple, I fear bright colours all over my eyes, because I somewhat resemble a clown! So if I wear a coloured liner I make damn sure I have a perfectly primed and nude eye, this makes it less circus like and more colour pop. Again like with day 2 of the challenge, for any colour I immediately rummage through my Urban Decay collection. I settled on a deep purple for the top lash line and half the lower lash line, and a bright in-your-face green for the second half of the lower lash line.
For this look I used the Urban Decay, 24/7 glide-on eye pencils in 'Ransom' and 'Graffiti'.
Left: Graffiti | Right: Ransom

I hope you enjoyed the second helping of my take on the December Makeup Challenge.
Let me know if your involved in anything similar.

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