Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette

I am not one for a bandwagon, normally. I hate hype, especially if it's unjustified, and I hate/simultaneously love beautiful limited edition things that sell out in three seconds flat (usually as I'm not quick enough/motivated enough/rich enough to buy them!). I have to say when it comes to Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow palettes, I've always been a little put off by two things: limited edition status, and lack of decent matte eyeshadows. I have relatively small lids and borderline hooded eyes, so I am all about that matte life. Beauty industry, y u no cater for tricky eyelids?!

Those frustrated days, however, are gone. This little beauty has changed everything.


Mattes? Tick. In fact, almost all of the shades are matte or satin, and the two true "classic" shimmers (Vermeer and Primavera) are totally wearable, as smooth as butter and ultra-forgiving on older/hooded lids. Antique Bronze is more satin-y and extremely wearable, and everything else is in a rich, creamy, blendable powder formula. These powders make blending an absolute doddle. they are super-pigmented, word to the wise, and will kick up some powder in the pan as they are really soft - but I don't find I get crazy fallout or any patchy spots to deal with when applying these eyeshadows. You've probably seen about a zillion swatches of this by now, but if you'd like me to add swatches to this post, let me know in the comments!

Limited Edition? NO. This wee wonder is here to stay. I cannot express to you how happy I am about this - I can see myself tanking through a few of these shades and needing (read:wanting) a replacement/backup STAT.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette

Sure - it's pretty bright and warm-toned overall, but try not to let this put you off. the six shades on the  left hand side of the palette are totes-appropes for every day with a little Cyprus Umber in the outer corner; and Warm Taupe is a perfect socket-defining shade for with a fierce cat eye, or those of us who have no defined crease (I feel you pal. I am that guy.). I was amazed at how versatile and wearable this palette is.

I'm going to quickly skip over the slightly weird, velvety pink exterior - it gives me the heebie jeebies - but the inside is luxe; there's a good sized mirror; and the brush included is actually surprisingly decent. Well done Anastasia Beverly Hills on that one. The shade names are non-cringe inducing, and some have a lovely little Renaissance-related nod (Vermeer - pearly - Girl With A Pearl Earring. I see you Norvina. Hats off.).

I always use a primer due to oil-slick lids (NARS Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, in case you were wondering) and find that these easily last a solid 9 hours, even in Italian summer heat. (Yup, this is the one palette that made it to Italy with me. It's had a proper test. I am nothing if not thorough.)

You can find this dreamboat at Cult Beauty in the UK. As it's permanent, there's no insane rush on to get hold of it. I'd still make it a priority, though - If you like matte shadows, you'll love this.

Some links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned bought with my own pennies.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm - Yep, even for oily skin!

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

No. Seriously.

Cleansing balms have been around for a while. Lisa Eldridge is a huge fan, particularly of Clinique's Take The Day Off balm, and anything she loves is pretty much guaranteed to be a really lovely product. I'd agree - to an extent. if you are dry - normal skinned - I bet at least one of these are in your lengthy Holy Grail product list.

However. If you are an oily-skinned person like myself, chances are you've maybe tried a cleansing balm, thought "ooooh this is LOVELY" at the time, and if you're not too amazing at getting rid of any left over balm residue (residue is a horrible word, isn't it?!) ended up with a pretty greasy complexion, and even a breakout or six, afterwards. Gutted. I am definitely in this camp, and tend to find a lot of balm cleansers are just too heavy and balmy for my poor pores to cope with. I do, however, love how amazingly they just dissolve even the smokiest of eyes, and how gloriously un-stripped my skin feels afterwards.

It's a first world problem.

Enter Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. I picked up a little 3-set of small pots that I found on Cult Beauty - the beauty of this is that if it doesn't work for you, you've got two pots to give to people that you really like; and if it doesnt, you've got travel-sized joys to accompany you wherever you go - so please bring this set back, Emma Hardie/Cult Beauty!

The packaging is pretty - but it DOES NOT BOUNCE if you drop it. You have been warned. Shattered plastic ahoy. I find the pots to travel just fine as long as they're well protected, and they do look pretty on the bathroom shelf.

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

The cleanser is, well, a balm. No surprises there. The smell is quite weird - a little old-lady-soap, a little citrusy to my nose. Not offensive, but I wouldn't pick it for the scent. But I'll forgive this any scent discrepancies for just how gloriously effective it is. Makeup literally just melts away - it's quite a soft-textured balm, though it looks quite solid in the pot (and if you go somewhere hot and take your pot, it'll be liquid when you arrive, word to the wise) and melts to a smooth oil texture on skin contact. the very best thing is though - this doesn't break me out. I wash it off with a warm flannel, and find it really easy to remove, with no greasy residue (cringe again) left behind. It doesn't strip the skin to within an inch of its poor oily life either - none of that tight, uncomfortable nonsense post-cleanse.

Whatever magic this is, Ms. Hardie has indeed bottled it and sold it. Hats off.

This post contains affiliate links. Products were bought with my own hard-earned pennies.


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

MAC Future Forward Mineralize Skinfinish - Otherearthly

MAC Future Forward Mineralize Skinfinish

I wish with all of my bones this wasn't limited edition.

This dreamy MAC Mineralize Skinfinish was part of the MAC Future Forward collection, released earlier this year. I really hope you managed to get your mitts on it, because it is completely beautiful both in the pan and on the skin. I really love that MAC went a little off-piste with this by adding in a bright, sparkling silver, making it a much more complicated, beautiful highlight than your average.

The pan holds a high-shimmer but finely milled bright, brass-bronze, a softer iridescent pink-peach, and a pure, full-on silver. swish your brush over the whole pan (and tap off the excess, it's a serious highlight) and you'll get a predominantly peachy-toned highlighter with a silver sheeny glow in sunlight - but the whole thing is grounded by the bronze-beige tone. Clever. Well done MAC. 

MAC Future Forward Otherearthly Swatch
Swirled together and swatched, then the three shades swatched individually afterwards,

If you're a fan of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in general, you'll find the texture of this pretty similar - less chunky and slightly finer than some of the more glittery shades. Make no mistake - this is a full on highlight - not subtle, but seriously gorgeous, especially over a relatively matte blush (I've listed my MAC picks here) and with a light hand, it can be daytime-appropes. Come evening - go wild my friend, you won't regret it.

If you didn't manage to get your paws on this, and aren't already a MAC MSF convert - the tried and tested MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle is a good place to start. Super beautiful peachy champagne - you can't go wrong.

Are you a fan of MAC MSF?

Some links above are affiliate links. All products in this post purchased with my own money.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

4 Flattering Post-Holiday Nude Lips

4 Flattering Post-Holiday Nude Lipsticks

Hello. I'm Becky, and I have a pinky-nude lipstick problem.

I'm not ashamed.

When you're sporting a bit of a bronze/fake tan/real tan in the summer months, however (I go from approximately MAC NC20 to NC40 in the summer, even with SPF - it's the genes) those winter MAC Myth/Creme D'Nudes can start to look a bit.. well.. weird. As ever, if you're into extreme concealer lips, go for your life, but it's not a look that I can pull off at all. I just look like the 60s threw up on me, and not in a good way.

So here is my little edit of my fave nudes for when you're a little more tanned, or if you're lucky enough to have a medium complexion all year round!

4 Flattering Post-Holiday Nude Lips

Illamasqua Starkers

Illamasqua Starkers is my number one favourite nude lip when I've got my bronze on. I am an Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick addict, as it happens (more on that later) and this is no exception. Illamasqua describe this as a "soft flesh pink" - I think it's got a little more of a brown base to it, personally, and is incredibly comfortable to wear. it's a satin finish, so is extremely wearable, and just goes with everything. Even when I'm a little paler, this is still a flattering, rosy take on the whole 90's brown-nude lip on fairer skin.

Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip in Echo Park

Echo Park is described as a "warm peachy nude" and I'd fully agree with that. It's a throw-on shade that's really easy to apply - don't be frightened off by the typical liquid lipstick packaging! The formula is really comfortable and flexible to wear - I don't find that this cracks at all on my lips, and can be re-applied without having to remove the original coat underneath. I much prefer this formula to other, more matte formulas, and the colour is just spot on. A little more classic nude than Illamasqua Starkers, but equally beautiful. Oh, and Colourpop have launched UK shipping now too! woohoo!

Flattering Nude Lipsticks Medium Skin Tone
L-R Illamasqua Starkers, Colourpop Echo Park, Bobbi Brown Uber Pink, MAC Velvet Teddy

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Uber Pink

Bobbi Brown's Uber Pink was my wedding day lip colour, and I still absolutely love it. Don't be fooled by the name - it's a completely wearable satin pinky-nude that looks great on tanned and fairer skin tones alike - albeit much more pink on the latter. Again, it's super comfortable to wear, and more often than not you'll find this in my handbag. It's an old favourite (with obvious sentimental value for me now, too!) and I think I'll always have a tube of this kicking around somewhere!

MAC Velvet Teddy 

MAC Matte Lipstick in Velvet Teddy is another classic shade. Much more brown-toned, this is usually a super-90's take on a nude lip for me - but when I am a little more bronzed, it's a really beautiful, natural, peachy-brown nude shade. It's a surprisingly comfortable, velvety matte (it's not nearly as matte as a typical liquid lipstick, but I'll forgo that any day for the comfort factor), and I don't find it in the least bit drying to wear.  

So there you have it! That's my little edit. What are your favourite nude lip shades?

Links above are affiliate links. All products mentioned bought with my own pennies.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

NIOD Photography Fluid : Your Complexion, But Better

NIOD Photography Fluid

NIOD Photography Fluid


A product that does what it says on the tin. or on the snazzy cardboard packaging, in NIOD Photography Fluid's case.

I first heard about this via The Sunday Girl's review and was pretty intrigued. A non-greasy filter-come-primer-YFBB? I'm in.

I also have acne prone, oily skin, so a lot of liquid highlight/glow/"filtery" products just make me look like I've been deep fried for a thousand years. Fit. not so with this little beauty. It's got a thin, serum-like, light consistency, though admittedly it looks like its going to be pretty creamy, and is completely weightless on the skin. It does act as a decent primer for me, and can be mixed in with your tinted moisturiser or foundation if you prefer. I have worn this once or twice on its own on a good skin day - it imparts a very subtle Touche Eclat radiance all over the face. You won't look like a disco ball either - think refined, well-looking, I-live-in-the-country-and-my-facialist-is-Caroline-Hirons complexion.

Yes. That good.

NIOD Photography Fluid Swatch

It's got a very slightly golden-champagne hue to it, which is almost universally healthy-appearance inducing, and supposedly evens out and perfects the complexion while it's at it. I don't find that the radiance factor in Photography Fluid settles in to/migrates into pores at all, and it is surprisingly forgiving over time - even after a full day's wear, this still looks pretty good and definitely prolongs normal makeup wear-time. For oily skins like mine who don't want to look flat-matte, but can't deal with a seriously glowy base - this one is for you.

 I've given this a thorough test - mixed with moisturiser, mixed with foundation, under foundation, with primer beneath, on it's own - and can give NIOD Photography Fluid a hearty thumbs up. I can also verify that this looks bangin' in photographs, even with flash photography - I'd imagine if you're a bride-to-be, this is one to check out.

NIOD Photography Fluid Dropper

My only gripe? THAT FREAKIN' DROPPER. Not ideal. It you're a bit gung-ho sticking the lid back on, your dressing table will also be extremely photo-ready for the rest of its life. Honestly though, I'll forgive the hated dropper packaging. I can't get enough of this stuff.

Some links in this post are affiliate links.

Monday, 4 July 2016

KIKO Milano Desert Dunes Trio Blush

KIKO Milano Desert Dunes Trio Lust Coral

Oooohhhhhhhh KIKO. You've done it again.

Isn't this just beautiful? I'm not kidding, I open this just to stare at how unbelieveably pretty it is. 

Not one, but TWO KIKO Milano shops have opened up in my hometown of Glasgow, and I am not ashamed to say I sent my younger sister in to make sure I picked one of these dreams up. I know, I know, I have a problem. 

This little gem of a blush is part of the Desert Dunes Summer collection, which is limited edition unfortunately. If I had one KIKO wish, it would be that this Blush Trio in Lust Coral would become permanent. It's just the right shade of coral, without being too orange, to make you look flushed and well - particularly on a tanned complexion. The three individual "slices" of colour are beautiful in their own right (though you would need a weensy lil' blush brush to use them separately) but swirled together create a lovely, subtle coral glow. If you're into insanely pigmented blushes, this may not be for you, but for blush noobs like me this is just right! It's very similar in tone (on my skin) to Milani Luminoso for reference - just a bit less sheeny. 

KIKO Milano Desert Dunes Trio 01 Lust Coral

Sadly, as with so many KIKO collections, this is limited edition and I can't seem to find it online in an official KIKO capacity (sob) but you may still be able to find this floating around somewhere!

Did you manage to snag this little beauty? 

Links in this post are affiliate links.

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