Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Highlighter Review – Blogging March Day 17

Highlighters have quickly become a huge part of my daily routine because of that amazing fresh and awakening glow they give to my face. I think this contour and highlight makeup craze is one of the best that has ever come about in the beauty industry (with a close second being big and nude lips… If you can’t tell by my previous blog posts). Highlighters add such a brilliant look to the face and they’re amazing at making a dull makeup look with dark colours, look a little more perky which, I think looks better with glow-y skin rather than matte. I have had a lot of highlighters in the past with some of them being the really popular ones but, when I found Urban Decay Naked Illuminated highlighter just before my wedding, it was life changing. I wore this and it made my skin look so radiant and I think I looked as fresh as a bride should. This is so good on so many different skin tones, I just HAD to share it.
The packaging of this is huge and one of the only downfalls because of its bulkiness however, it’s a key to remember that it does have a section where a really good sized and quality brush is housed and there is also a mirror in the lid. The packaging itself is made from cardboard and has a silky nude coloured theme. It’s not the most glamorous packaging and doesn’t reflect the price but, I am really impressed by the shade and dual toned highlight within it. This comes in two shades and mine is Aura which is slightly more pink-based.You can see from the swatch which I wanted to show on my finger to show the intensity of, that the actual highlighter is very pigmented and definitely gives a glow but, still lets your skin shine through. It’s not overly glittery and doesn’t have artificial glitter in it which flakes down. Although, whenever I use this, I like to mix it with a spray or wet it and then apply it because it looks even more dewy and has much more of a glow then. I like how it picks up and blends effortlessly and it looks very good on top of blusher if you really want an impactful highlighter.
The image above shows how the highlighter looks in different lights. It is very pink in some, giving a natural blush look to the face and in some lights, looks wet and almost like a sheen running across skin. It look good in pictures too and doesn’t have a tonne of flashback apart from when used with a spray as this gives it even more power and then BANG! You have a lightbulb on your face in pictures. I have used with with synthetic brushes and real hair (cruelty free only) and have found that the real hair brushes work out better… may be because it picks up a fair amount of product and blends more evenly.I definitely wanted to show how chalky the product can be, though. In the image above, it shows what the pan looked like after the swatch I had done. However, depending on what brush you use, this doesn’t happen and from my experience, it never has fall down on my face when I apply it. I really like this highlighter and having used it last on my wedding, I was delighted to start using it again when I found it a month ago. I love the way it makes my skin look and the way it transforms makeup is just amazing  because of how real it looks. I find highlighters are always an off colour for me because I really like to pack on the blusher, but then highlighters which are too gold, cut across my blush and make it look patchy. Because, this has pink reflex in it, it looks very natural and blends in with my blush. If I could recommend any highlighter to anyone with a medium- dark skin tone, it would definitely be this.

What’s in my bag? – Blogging March Day 16

With the half way mark of March here, I thought I’d keep it nice and easy here today with a picture friendly post on all the goodies I keep in my bag… Enjoy!




Bag from a boutique



MAC Cosmo

LA Girl ‘Natural’

MUA ‘Brooding Plum’

Baby lips ‘Berry Crush’

DKNY Card Holder

Boots key ring


The Best High End Nude Lipliners – Blogging March Day 15

I just had to get one last post in about nude lips before Blogging March ended and I thought I’d close on a good one with my favourite high end lipliners. I’ve been into lipsticks and such for quite a while now and I’ve been experimenting with so many different shades and tones that I want to show you them all. Alas, that is impossible cause we’d be here for years but I’ll definitely keep you updated with the odd one or two that stand out to me by leaps and bounds as well as those that just don’t cut the mustard. When I first started buying lipliners, nude colours were the hardest to find as they were always way too dark or way too light and they tended to be off shades with pearl finishes and really hard pencils etc. Basically, they weren’t my cup of tea and as time has gone on, they have come a long way with their different promises such as long-lasting, waterproof and richly pigmented. Take a look at some of my favourites below which I love for all different reasons (N.B. As with all lipliners, the ones below are all mega drying on my lips so I would advise moisturising lips before using them).
From these, the Makeup Forever lipliner is 2c is the one that stands out to me the most. These are now available in a lot of main city Debenhams stored in the UK, making them more accessible for us Brits. I love the formula of this which is creamy to apply and lasts all day. It claims to be waterproof and it really is because no amount of rubbing or scrubbing can get this stuff of easily. One of the creamiest in formula is the Laura Mercier which is amazing for using on its own for a flash of pink. This shade looks so lovely on and makes your lips look super pouty with a hint of colour and I can see this looking good on a lot of people.

The Estee Lauder and Elizabeth Arden shade are so similar in texture and when worn, they’re very similar in shade too. These two are just perfect for dark skinned beauties because they’re the perfect dark without being too dark. If you mid-toned, these are excellent for using very lightly outside the lip before blending in, to create even bigger looking lips. They are a bit funny in texture whereby they are easily breakable when sharpening and they’re quite thick and so feel a  bit funny when you initially wear the, but once worn in a little (after an hour or so), they’re lovely and long- lasting.

Charlotte Tilbury is definitely the one when it comes to natural yet classy makeup and her lipliners are a reflection of that. I recently done a post on her beauty products where I showed this on my lips in more detail. You can find that post here. This is relatively comfortable to wear however, it does sink into fine lines and cracks in the lips fairly more easily than the rest of the pencils. These come in some superb nude shades too so if this one isn’t right for you, definitely check out some of the other shades she does.

Too Faced Melted Lipstick Review – Blogging March Day 14

Last year, the beauty world was taken by storm by some of the new lip colour inventions and one of the most important ones are the Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipsticks… A long name for essentially what is a liquid lipstick.  These come in a tonne of different shades and are very buttery and soft lipsticks that come in a tube. The packaging comes with a doe foot applicator from which you can squeeze the liquid out. I have some of the more nude shades, however, I will definitely pick up some other shades next time I see them around.
  In terms of pricing, these are not by any means the cheapest and coming un at £16, I actually find them quite overpriced. I really do however, love the formula as they go on incredibly nice and are very long-lasting as the name suggests. They leave a stain behind but because they’re so moisturising, it’s a very soft and gradual fade of colour, which looks nice and natural. Applying the product with the applicator is very easy too and although you can’t get the most precise line, it is pretty accurate if you want that natural lip shape although, creating larger looking lips is quite hard. With some of the darker shades, I would have to recommend using a lip liner or a brush to make the application neater. You can see from the swatches above that the colours are richly pigmented and shades that I have are both lovely nude tones which I often mix together for a nice lip combo. However, having not used ‘melted nude’ for some time, I found that the product had separated in the tube and I had to ‘moosh’ it around in the tube to mix it up however, it still came out of the applicator as a very strange liquid. I am a big fan of these lipsticks, though and they’re just so easy to carry around and top up without worrying. They’re a very handy size to keep in your handbag and because the application is easy, it makes them even more desirable. Highly overpriced though and with drugstore rivals like Revlon ColourStay Moisture Lip, I think it’s up to you guys to choose whether these are worth buying or not.

Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette Review – Blogging March Day 13

The last of my Maybelline new collection reviews ends on a banging post of these eyeshadows from one of the first palettes that I’ve seen Maybelline release. I’m not usually a fan of large palettes like this from anyone other than Sleek from the drugstore but because these had an air of Urban Decay’s Naked 3 palette, I wanted to test them out and see what they had to offer. This ‘Blushed Nudes‘ palette comes with 12 shades which have 10 shimmery and 2 matte shades. There is also a double headed applicator thing which you may as well throw in the bin as soon as you buy this (I don’t understand why companies still put these in). The colours have a very warm tone to them and they are generally quite spring like and perky colours, which I think would make these perfect for the warmer months arriving. The packaging is housed in a plastic casing with a lid showing all of the shades… A far cry from the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette however the price also has a difference of £30 or so.
Initially, when I dip my finger into these pans, it picks up a large amount of product and the shadows are creamy and buttery to feel. Some are a little more softer than other however, the overall feel of the palette is really buttery and creamy. I swatched these on my hands and began blending them into one another and they blend seamlessly, although there are some shades which are less pigmented than others. In particular, the first shades which are the lightest in colour, don’t have a lot of pay off and are frosty in colour which, I don’t really like in an eyeshadow. I prefer full on matte, sheen-y or full on glittery. However, I can see them being a good base or a very subtle highlight shade in the inner corner and under the brow bone, with some even looking like they’d work well as a cheek highlight.The image below shows the pan before I had touched the eyeshadows and after and you can see that there are no ‘artificial’ films of textures on the top and it also shows you how creamy these are to touch. I haven’t yet tried these on my eyes, but because I never go without using eyeshadow primer, I always get relatively good pay off of eyeshadows. For the shades in this palette which don’t have amazing pay off, I’m sure that a spritz of makeup spray to wet the shadow would intensify it. For the price of this palette, I’m very impressed with the quality of the shadows when I was swatching and mixing them on my hand. You can make some terrific colour combinations with these shades. There are a variety or earthy colours here and I like the combination that some of the most unlikely shades create such as mixing 10 and 11 slightly to create a duo chrome (which you can kind of see my beginning to create in the image above).This palette also comes in another version with more nude brown shades in too which is quite reminiscent of the Naked 1 and 2 palette by Urban Decay so I think there may be some eyeshadow dupes posts coming soon to show you them in more detail. In conclusion though, I really like this palette and for the price of it, I think it’s done very well. Sleek palettes are still cheaper coming in at £7.99 for the same amount of shadows however, the quality of them is slightly better. For Maybelline’s first proper launch of an eyeshadow palette, this isn’t a bad one to go and grab and I’m very impressed with the formula that has been created and the shades are just right up my alley. Definitely a must- swatch, if you ever spot these in your local drugstore.

Still Liquid Lipsticks review – Blogging March Day 12

One of the biggest new products which have launched and taken the world by storm are liquid lipsticks. And if you love the look of matte lips, then look no further than the vast array now available from various different prices. They are the perfect cross between a highly pigmented stain with a lipgloss texture but often, they feel like lipstick on the lips. And I have had some in my collection for a very long time , never reaching for them… Until lately. With all this hype around them, I wanted to test my Stila Long Wear Liquid Lip Colour’s out to find out whether I found them a good recommendation to all of you guys.
I bought my stash from ASOS who I always buy my Stila products from because of the competitive price and easy availability. The colour range from a bright pink to a very deep nude. The product comes in a glass tube with really weighty packaging making it feel very exclusive and there is a doe foot applicator which is really easy to apply the product with. It occasionally grabs too much product but I feel this is more to do with the actual product in the tube, than the applicator.  The colours are ALL very pigmented and literally transfer in the shade they show in the tube. It’s very creamy to apply and all of these colours need 1 generous coat for an opaque colour. It feels very smooth when initially putting on the lips however, there is little play time and the product sets very quickly… So initial precision is key!I have been wearing these for years and have tried to test them in various situations to ee how they last. They are very hard to take off, even at the end of the day and I find mysef reaching for oil because conventional  make up remover doesn’t even make a dent. I find it very easy to overdraw my lips with these and because they’re so matte, you can’t even tell they’ve been overdrawn. All of the colours wear the exact same and there aren’t certain shades which out perform others. During the day, my lips get really dry with these on and I am tempted to top up with lip balm however, when I do, it bunches up on my lip and rubs off the colour leaving me with an uneven finish. Something which I have now resolved by applying lip balm beforehand in order to keep my lips going under the liquid lipstick. Generally, the lipstick lasts all day and no matter what you eat (from greasy food to wet), it stays on pretty well although, it will start wearing off from the corner and centre of the lips.

There’s no need to use lipliner with this because it doesn’t bleed and just one dip of the doe foot wand is needed to cover the whole lips. No matter what your skin tone is, the product will be super pigmented on your lips. There are some really wacky colours out there and no one gets crazier than JefreeStar who has become famous for his excellent formula and wide range of shades. Anastasia Beverly Hills has also got  a range which are popular as well as Sephora and Kat Von D but, these aren’t available in stores in the UK, so brands such as these will do (Sephora now ship to the UK for a flat rate if £6 when you spend £75 or more. But if you want to test them first, try these cheaper versions to see whether others are worth the investment. All in all, double thumbs up from me because these re lovely!

Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama (drugstore) Mascara review – Blogging March Day 11

When it comes to mascara, I like to think I know what is good and bad because I pile it on and really test it to it’s limit. If my lashes are not on ‘fleek’, I’m not going to use that mascara again. So when a lot of drugstore companies revamped their mascara’s, I just knew that I wanted to start including them in my reviews so I could test them out and show you what I thought. Revlon have probably had the biggest game change with a complete removal of their previous mascara’s being replaced with 4 key one’s, that all have different properties. However, one that slipped the attention of a lot of people is the Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara which is available worldwide at the moment. As a huge fan of The Falsies mascara previously, I really wanted to give this one a go.
The mascara claims to give lashes a curl and hold it there whilst the brush is supposed to pack on the product and give lashes a boost. I’m a fan of plastic bristles because I don’t have a lot of lashes but have length, so I always need to create a little bit of drama by adding a little more mascara than the average person. I like the spidery look lashes, although I realise that they’re not to everyone’s taste. When I initially opened the tester in the drugstore, I noticed how the liquid inside was thick and not too runny, meaning it would give my lashes a good solid coat without having to add a million layers. I also like that the wand has a good sized handle which isn’t too fat or thin to hold so that I don’t have to contort my hand to hold the brush.I really like the effect this gave my lashes. My lashes were coated really well and the outcome was almost as good as my all time favourite mascara – L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara. I do like the look of my lashes with veg little mascara too and it’s so voluminous that if you like that natural yet enhanced look, it’s perfect for creating that too! It adds a lot of volume to the roots and makes your lashes look very thick. It’s not waterproof in the slightest and it flakes when I wore as much as you can see in the image however, if you done a normal application, I can’t see it doing this. I’m a big fan of curling lashes after applying mascara and once it’s dry too and this held the curl really well all day. All in all, a really good drug store mascara!

Maybelline Dream Velvet (drugstore foundation) review – Blogging March Day 10

 I have been looking a evolutionary new foundation ever since my Armani Luminous Silk foundation finished. It was the foundation I ended up choosing for my wedding day because I was obsessed with the finish so much. I adore the packaging which is so classy and decadent and the actual foundation looked flawless and had an amazing weightless texture to it. There is something very special about it but it comes in at a whopping £42 and not something which I would choose on a regular basis (although it lasted me 6 months and never changed in texture). But, I was on the hunt for something similar and because I always described the Armani as being velvet like in texture, I thought it was perfect for me to try the Maybelline Dream Velvet foundation.

The texture of the foundation claims to be a soft matte with a velvet like finish that keeps the skin hydrated. I’ve been testing this for the past few days and luckily, I’ve had a vast array of activities occurring the past few days with all different events everyday and so this product has been through its paces!

I first tested this with a primer which was illuminating (Hocus Focus by Soap and Glory) and I then tried it by itself. I’ve also tested with a setting spray and a setting powder on different occasions. The foundation itself is very thick but blend able in texture and it’s quite easy to use a beauty blender or brush to disperse the product.

When I used the foundation with a primer under it, during the day, my skin became very oily and the foundation highlighted all of my dry patches and clung to oily areas. It also sunk into all my fine lines and I had to keep a blending brush on me, to keep blending it around my nose, my frown lines and around my mouth. It lasted all day on the rest of my face and my blusher remained although, I was shinier than a night sky by the end of the day.

When I built up the product, rather than apply it all and then blended it out with a sponge, I found that the finish was a lot softer however, it took me a while to build up the layers. Because I had put so many layers of foundation on, I was sceptical about getting oily throughout the day and so i used a setting spray. During the day, the makeup remained very similar to the initial application stage but, I found my skin oiling up around my nose. When I used a very fine powder, even using a light hand to set it turned out to make the foundation looking very dusty and my skin looked cake-y with the layers.

The final method I applied the foundation with was with a fluffy brush which I dampened with some Urban Decay De Slick and the finish was incredible. The colour is slightly dark for my skin tone and as with all Maybelline foundations, on me it looks very ashy and I’m not very surprised that this was the same. I’m not holding that against it as the shade lower than this was sold out however, it would have been perfect. The foundation remained looking the same the whole day and I was really pleased with it. Because I had applied the setting spray, it generally lasted longer than without the use of it.

In conclusion, I like the finish of this foundation and think it would suit a lot of people, however, I’m not very keen on the method with which I have to apply it. When I go back to London, I like to pack light and having to take a larger brush than I normally would and a setting spray seems a bit unreasonable to get the best from the foundation. I think it would work very well for a dry skin (as it does tend to oil up) however, if you’ve got dry patches, give this a miss. For the price, you can’t go wrong.




Urban Decay Setting Spray vs. MAC Fix Plus – Blogging March Day 9

I like to think of myself as being a prepared person and although it’s absolutely freezing here in the UK, I’m still getting ready for summer. One of the worst things that can happen to a beauty obsessed person is doing a makeup look that created new and exciting boundaries, until it melts off your face because it’s SO HOT.. And there’s no better way than to invest in a setting spray to keep your makeup at bay. I have never tried any drugstore sprays (mainly because I have never seen them, however, I have always had a MAC Fix plus bottle in my collection ever since I can remember but for my wedding (my wedding was spread over 2 days), I knew I needed something more hardcore, so, I changed my investment to the Urban Decay de-slick which is more focused on oil-control and something I really wanted on my wedding day. I used one on each day but which one cut the mustard?
  Let’s look at their similarities first. The packaging has a different vibe for both of the products with MAC using their traditional black lid packaging and a spray that looks closed, making it safer for travelling with. The Urban Decay spray has a matte finish which gets dirty a lot quicker but the bottle has a separate lid closing it which comes in 2 sizes as standard. The spray on the Urban Decay is a lot smoother and doesn’t interrupt the packaging however, the MAC spray is almost a little too harsh and literally leaves a wet canvas, disturbing makeup almost. The Urban Decay spray is created by Skindinavia and they have some really famous setting sprays used mainly by makeup artists. The Mac Fix plus spray doesn’t claim to have any skincare benefits on the packaging but rumour has it that it does have some vitamins and minerals.Something about The Urban Decay spray really does make makeup stick to your skin without it looking odd or feeling uncomfortable. Whenever I use this on my makeup, I find this to have a really nice finish which isn’t matte, rather, it does help prevent oil from occurring on my face in a very natural and satin-like way. But because it does set fairly quickly, you can’t use this to blend out product and trying to do so, makes makeup look so patchy and uneven.
 The MAC Fix Plus spray has a more dewy finish to the skin. This one is a lot easier to easier to blend out product with which one a wedding day, is what you want in order to create that ‘glow from within’ look. Fix Plus isn’t the best for keeping makeup on the skin though and it can almost slip off the skin, which obviously isn’t the best for a day when you want to look your best for a long period of time. However, if you’re only getting married for a few hours (lol), this would work perfectly!

So my verdict? I think that both sprays have their positives and they both have their negatives. But for the first time ever, especially for something as important as a wedding day, I think this one is a tie. The dewy finish of MAC is perfect for that glowing bride look however the Urban Decay spray is perfect to keeping makeup at bay. I would recommend choosing one for the look you are going for and if you want a medium, perhaps both of them together would be a good option.

The best drugstore Kylie Jenner inspired nude lipliners – Blogging March Day 8

  In keeping with the Kylie Jenner lips, I’m ending this series with perhaps the most important post of them all. When questioned about her larger lips, the first thing Kylie ever said that contributed to them, was lipliner. Although she proclaimed they were from MAC, I have definitely found some drug store dupes over time and I couldn’t wait to share them with you. Before I start the post, my main point that I would stress about all of these lipliners are that they are all very drying and they all highlight dry areas and lines on lips. But lipliners are amazing for creating that pouty look to lips and they often look very natural when done correctly. I love all of these lipliners I’m about to show and I can’t choose a favourite but if you’ve tried any, do let me know which one!
Maybelline’s Color Drama lip pencils caused quite a stir when they first came around to the drugstore and it was because they are the perfect formula which combines lipsticks and lipliners. The colour range is amazing and there are some lovely nudes (although make sure you test them if you can as some have pearl and shimmer finishes which are not to everyones taste). The formula of this shade ‘Nude Perfection’ is buttery and creamy and evidently from the images above, you can draw a little out of your natural lip shape without it looking odd. This lipliner is such excellent value for money and also some of the most earliest lipliners that I can remember trying. I love that this lipliner from Rimmel’s Exaggerate line is a twist up which means it doesn’t need sharpening and makes it a lot easier to carry around with me during the days I use this. The colour is super pigmented and the finish is very matte. It’s buttery and creamy to wear  and it really glides on. It almost flattens the look of your lips because it’s so thick and because of that, you can draw outside of your lips as much as you like without it looking silly. They have quite a few nice shades in this range though so, so make sure you find one that suits you best.
Maxfactor is one of the most oldest beauty brands and they’re often given the cold shoulder with being on tend and modern because of that. However, they have some gorgeous lipliners and this shade in Brown n Nude is an amazing shade to outline lips. It’s actually quite creamy to wear however, the colour is a lot harder to pull off for some skin tones because it has a very grey based undertone. This also tends to gather up if you try to build on it however, if you wipe off and then reapply, it does look very nice. If you’re very fair ( NC15 from MAC fair), then really use this nude because it’s amazing.Low and behold my favourite lipliner from Rimmel which comes in the form of this Lasting Finish lipliner in ‘Tiramisu’. I think this is fantastic for using on a very long day and I think the very orange based tone of this lipliner looks amazing on olive skin. It’s very complimenting and the texture is perfect for not sinking too deep into lines in the lips. It’s one of Rimmel’s most famous shades and I think a colour that I see Kylie Jenner wearing a lot. This one is definitely up there, with some of my most favourite shades.
And last but not least is this GOSH lipliner which is available readily to people of the UK. This is the most Kylie Jenner nude lip that I can think of from the drugstore, and I spent a long time trying to find the right one. I love that this lipliner is so underrated because it means you’ll be the unique one with the perfect pout. This is really easy to use because it’s a little more hard in texture and so gives a more precise and skilful application. This shade would suit anyone and would look gorgeous with any make up look as well! This one is too good not to miss.

So, which one is your favourite?

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