Thursday, 28 February 2013

Tag | Confessions Of A Blogger

Image: weheartit (edited by me)

Hello Lovely Ladies! There's not much more I love than the occasional tag post from fellow beauty bloggers - it gives you the chance to get to know the girl behind the words and the pictures. This is also my 100th post! I've recently seen this post circulating around my favourite blogs so decided to join in and do my own. This particular one is from the lovely Kayleigh over at Couture Girl (if you haven't checked out her blog already make sure you do, it's a good'un!), so without further ado I'll get started.

When did you start Your Blog?
I started writing my blog last June. I was bored one afternoon and always wanted to make one so I did. I'm so glad I did now! I've met some lovely girls through blogging, and I've also taken the plunge with products I'd never have thought twice about.

Have you Had any online presence before? Another blog, Youtube etc?
I did have an old blog but I didn't like it - all of the HTML codes were messed up, so rather than fixing it, I went ahead and made a brand new one. I've never really thought of doing a YouTube channel. Something about just sitting there and filming myself petrifies me. Plus, I absolutely hate the sound of my voice when it's recorded, not to mention I'd be worried incase nobody went to watch them either!

Why did you start a blog?
Ever since I was little I've always loved make-up and all things beauty. I used to raid my mum's make up when I was younger (I think were all guilty of that) and it developed into a passion as soon as I went into my teens. I started my own because after reading through countless other blogs it looked like something I really wanted to be involved in. Why do something if you don't enjoy it? As I've said in the past, if the passion for what you're writing about isn't there then there isn't much point in doing it. I'm passionate enough about beauty to write about it.  

When did you become serious about starting a blog?
I became serious about blogging as time went on really. Back when I first started it was more of just something to do with something I love to fill up time, but now I see it as a hobby and really do enjoy it. I think I must have become serious about blogging around last November when I started thinking more about how to take better photos, planning posts and talking to other beauty bloggers. 

What was your First Post?
Ohh I actually ended up deleting my first ever post! It was the most cringe worthy thing on the Internet. It went something along the lines of 'Hi my name is Kendal' and blah blah. Now my blog just starts with some random review, so not best but I felt I had to save myself from embarrassment!

What has been your biggest challenge about blogging?
I wouldn't say I've faced a particular 'challenge' as my blog is still small compared to others. Actually saying that, I think one of the challenges I've faced is comparing my blog to others. I do enjoy writing my blog otherwise I wouldn't do it, but I also admit that I sometimes feel pressure to buy new products if I see loads of people blogging about something in particular. 

Where do you see your blog in one year?

In a years time I definitely see myself still writing my blog, and hopefully people still reading and enjoying it. I'd like to have discovered loads of new products, and fingers crossed I also hope to have met some of my fellow bloggers in person too at an event or a meet up.

What is the most rewarding thing to you about blogging?

Although my blog is small, I love receiving comments or tweets from people. It brings a smile to my face to know people out there actually take the time out to read my ramblings and listen to me! Something else I see as rewarding is the fact I've met so many lovely girls with the same interests as me doing it. In my own group of friends, we all love make-up and all thins girly, but none of them are 'passionate' so it's so nice to know that my blogging friends are only a tweet or comment away.

What is the most discouraging thing that happens to you?

Like I mentioned before, I do admit that I do sometimes compare my blog to others. I think this is just out of habit and I know I shouldn't. I wouldn't say it discourages me so much but it does make me want to make changes to my blog. I suppose you could see that as something positive?

What is your lasting inspiration or Motivation?
My motivation are all of my friends who know I write this blog, although they don't write blogs themselves. They'll sometimes say to me "Oh I enjoyed your post last night" or "I'm buying so and so after reading your review". It sounds so cheesy but this kind of thing makes me so happy!

I'd love to see all of your answers to these questions so I tag all of my lovely readers!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Professional Beauty 2013 | London ExCel

Hi Ladies! So as I mentioned in my 'Tangle Angel' post (read it here), I was fortunate enough to attend the annual Professional Beauty exhibition at London's ExCel on Monday, and this was my third time going. I promised to tell you all about it so here it is! I really did have an amazing day and spent a whole 6 hours having a look at what was on offer. There's just something about being under one roof surrounded by like minded beauty enthusiasts which gave me a buzz - countless make up, fake tan and skincare stands is definitely my idea of heaven. I got to ExCel as soon as it opened, so going into an almost empty exhibition room was great as there wasn't the push and shove to get to the more popular stands. On arrival I bought one of the event guides which was so handy throughout the day. It had all the stand locations and information along with the timetable for live exhibitors on stage - it came in so useful! I made sure I got to the Sleeprollers stand straight away as I knew exactly what I was getting and then I'd be free for the day to have a look at whatever I wanted. As some of you may know, I'm a huge fan of the Sleeprollers velcro hair rollers and their huge XXL bun ring, but I wanted to pick up the black and gold glitter ones which are gorgeous. Along with those I also picked up the 'Massive Fringe Brush' and their 'Roller Hood' which are guaranteed to give me big hair for nights out. I'll be posting a review of these soon, so if you're interested or are thinking of picking some up for yourself then be sure to check back.

As a huge eyebrow fan, I dashed over to the HD Brows stand which was already packed. I've used samples of their infamous brow palette but couldn't part ways with my trusty Benefit 'Browzings' set up until now. I'll honestly never look back again! Again I'll be doing a full review of the Vamp palette sometime soon as I'm so in love with it. I also noticed a crowd around a tiny brunette at the stand so went over to see who it was. It was Billi Mucklow from TOWIE, and she is absolutely stunning in real life. She was so lovely too! That was just the beginning of celebrity spotting of the day - turns out celebs love beauty just as much as us bloggers do! I was also signed up to something pretty exciting - the Guiness World Record for the 'Most People Receiving Spray Tans Simultaneously'. Before you ask, yes, we broke the record! How exciting. I was sprayed almost stark naked infront of hundreds of people which was so daunting but it was a great experience and I'm so glad I done it. The girl next door to me was sprayed by Amy Childs and she was speaking to me afterwards. I've met her in the past and she really is sweet. Each time I see her she gets darker and darker, but I suppose that's her trademark!

Being a Katie Price fan, I also made sure I went over to her make-up artist Gary Cockerill's stand. Gary's a renowned celebrity make up artist and has his own range of eyelashes and was launching his new beauty supplement drink (which was really yummy by the way!). Gary was so lovely and was telling me all about his make up masterclasses in London which I'm thinking of going too. I also met his husband Phil and both of them were so nice. I couldn't have gone to Pro Beauty without stopping at Crownbrush either. They had such a huge collection of their brushes at a discounted price that I managed to fill my plastic box quicker than I thought. I also spotted Lauren Pope stocking up next to me which was quite surreal. I'm currently struggling with storage space in my bedroom for all of my products so when I spotted a stand selling vanity cases I was jumping for joy. Ideally I wanted a leopard print case but they'd sold out of the one I wanted so I ordered one which should be with me in the next few days which is exciting - I love deliveries! 

As I'm a bit of a self confessed tanorexic, I made sure I went to see Victoria who's the head of Fake Bake speaking on the exhibitor stage. She was lovely, and I've now decided to train in spray tanning and then go mobile. So if you live in London and want a cheaper spray than in salons get in touch after Summer! I took full advantage of Dermalogica's face mapping service too and got some great samples too. The woman informed me that the skin underneath my eyes is really hydrated so I'm now on the lookout for a good eye cream. Any suggestions please let me know! I love Nubar and Essie nail polishes - something about their price puts me off buying them online and from Boots, but because it was trade only at the show, they were trade prices. Each polish cost me £4 which is half the retail price, so I stocked up on loads of Summer colours! I was given so many samples from loads of stands, but what impressed me most was the Crazy Angel tanning stand. I'd heard of Crazy Angel before as they're always at trade shows and noticed they'd bought out a new mousse tan really similar to St Tropez. After a quick swatch on the back of my hand (which was a silly idea considering I'd just had a spray tan) it needed to be mine. It's such a gorgeous colour and I'll be reviewing it in full sometime next week. 

I was an Elemis virgin before Pro Beauty which is awful considering I'm a beauty blogger. I've heard nothing but great things about their Fresh Skin range so I took advantage of the available discounts and picked up the skincare kit and the moisturiser. I haven't yet used them but I can't wait until I do, they look amazing. I ended up splurging most of my wages on Monday which has left me skint for a while but it was so worth it. I'll show you all of the products I bought sometime soon as I can't take photos at the moment because the lighting is so awful! I had a great day and eyed up loads of products I'll be buying once I get paid. Halo hair extensions anyone? I'm also looking forward to going to IMATS London in June which I think will be absolutely amazing. 

Were you at Professional Beauty 2013? Did you have a good day and pick anything nice up?

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Review | Tangle Angel Professional Detangling Brush

Tangle Angel Brush £14.99 (Link here)

Hey there lovely ladies! Hope you're all well. If you follow me on Twitter then you'll know that I was lucky enough to attend the Professional Beauty show at London ExCel yesterday - I had the most amazing time and picked up bags and bags full of stuff. I've planned to do a little haul in the next few days to show you all what I managed to get my hands on and more about the day itself, but until then I had to show you one of my favourite purchases and tell you all how in love with it I am. 
Up until yesterday I hadn't actually heard of Richard Ward as a haircare brand (slaps wrists) which is weird as I'm sure you may have gathered I'm quite the haircare whore. I somehow own a collection of hairbrushes ranging from grooming brushes for up-do's to tail combs for styling. At first glance from the back this looked like a regular hair brush, but it turns out it's a brush with the same concept as the infamous 'Tangle Teezer' only larger with a handle and of course the gorgeous design of angel wings on the back. Don't get me wrong, I do love my trusty Tangle Teezer but felt that this had my name written all over it. As it was trade prices and VAT free, I picked this beauty up for only £10.00 which saved me £4.99 in total. Considering Tangle Teezers range from £10-12, I reckon I picked up a bargain. 

It's a no brainer I instantly fell in love with the look of the brush - anything boasting Victoria's Secret-esque angel wings in pink is a winner to me. I love the metallic finish of the brush, and because it isn't paint there's no need to worry about it chipping. The heart shape of the actual bristles also add a really girly touch, and the fact there's also a handle attached to the base makes it alot easier to use than your average Tangle Teezer. On the back of the box, it claims that the brush has anti-bacterial properties for hygienic use, boasts heat resistant bristles along with anti-static technology and can stand upright to maintain storage space - what's not to love?! When I wear my hair extensions, I need to brush them through during the day to keep them looking smooth and sleek, and this brush really does work wonders. I've had this only a day but I'm already in love with it and genuinely notice a difference in the look and feel of my hair when I've used it. It's not the most compact brush for on the go but it looks lovely standing up on my dressing table. I haven't yet tried this as a blow dry brush which it says it's also ideal for, but when I do I'll update you with my opinions!
Have you tried the Tangle Angel by Richard Ward? Or did you attend Pro Beauty?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance | Leave In Conditioner

Miracle Hair Insurance Leave-In Conditioner 200ml- £4.49 (Link here)

Hey there lovely ladies! If you're a regular reader of my blog then you'll know I define the phrase 'Haircare Product Whore' - I own countless shampoos, conditioners, treatments and everything in between. One brand I've been obsessing over recently is Aussie, I'm sure I don't need to tell you all how amazing each any every one of their products are. I'm a die hard fan of their 3 Minute Miracle (review coming soon!) and I've been using it in my haircare routine for as long as I can remember. I love my hair to feel soft and hydrated, so using a leave in conditioner is essential in maintaining the moisture of my hair in between washes. Step aside Batiste, I've found a new love for Aussie's 'Miracle Insurance' leave in conditioner! 

I love the simplicity of the packaging with all Aussie products. They don't scream 'Buy Me'  when you walk past them, and you'd probably had to have heard of them to notice them. This little bottle of glory carries the classic kangaroo Aussie logo on a white plastic bottle, so pretty bog standard when it comes to hair products. If you've ever tried any of the Aussie brand, you will instantly associate their products with smell. Oh the smell, each any every product carries the most amazing scent without being somewhat overpowering. This particular product smells like what I can only describe as bubblegum, which is weird as it's infact Australian Jojoba Oil. I love the fact that the ingredients are all natural too. It's proof that nasty chemicals found in some professional brands aren't always the way to luscious locks! This isn't like anything I've used before, people tend to think that serums or creams are better in terms of leave-in conditioners but being a liquid spray, it provides good if not better results. You can never overdo it and leave your hair greasy because it comes in a pump form, which makes application a dream. It isn't a greasy formula at all, I think of it as a conditioning spray rather than a heavy duty leave-in conditioner. I can honestly feel a difference when I use this, the ends of my hair are left moist and hydrated beyond belief. If used after the infamous 3 Minute Miracle, you can just imagine how soft to the touch your hair is, and it sits in the hair without weighing it down. I also find this a life saver when it comes to blow drying. I spray this into damp hair just before I fry my hair with a hair dryer and it makes the world of difference. It's perfect for everyday use providing you don't get a bit spray happy around the root area, and takes away that awful feeling you get with using a dry shampoo. 

As you may have gathered, my hair care routine is constantly changing so I think it's only right I do an updated hair care routine sometime in the near future. I've fallen head over heels for this product and I can't rate it highly enough. Are you a fan of Aussie hair care? What are your favourite products?

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Review | Soap and Glory | Smoothie Star Body Buttercream

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Buttercream - £10.50 (Link here)

 Hi Ladies! There's nothing which stands between me and my Soap and Glory products as I'm sure you already know. I was in Boots over the weekend and noticed they had a 3 for 2 offer on indulgent bathing, so took it upon myself to stock up on products which I was running out of, and to try something I hadn't yet used. If you had the 'Best Of All' giftset over Christmas, then you'll know it contained the Smoothie Star Body Milk, which has quickly become one of my favourite S&G products. I noticed there was a body butter from the same range neatly stacked up on the shelves, so quickly took it to the till so I could get home and give it a go. I'm pretty content using my tub of 'The Righteous Butter' (read my review here)  as a heavy duty moisturiser but there was just something about this little beauty that made it that bit more special. First off, I absolutely love the packaging of this. Soap and Glory really know what they're doing when it comes to their product packaging, but I particularly like this. I think the combination of old school cream and candy pink colours caught my eye along with the witty tagline around the nape of the tub. This retails at £10.50 for 300ml of product which may be a little pricey for a body butter which can be purchased in a drugstore, but it really is worth every single penny. Because this size is the same as my 'Righteous Butter' cream, I'm expecting it to last me just as long after which I'll definitely be repurchasing it.

What I love most about this product is the smell, oh my goodness. I have a real thing for almond, vanilla, pistachio and shea butter scents, I can't get enough of them. This carries the exact same scent as the Smoothie Star Body Milk only stronger, so it definitely isn't for the faint hearted! I've also been using the Soap and Glory 'Rich and Foamous' body wash which also carries the same smell, so as you can imagine the scent will linger on my skin for hours on end. It's also really similar to 'Whipped Clean' in terms of smell, which I've recently rediscovered my love for. Although this is technically a body butter, it feels quite different to 'The Righteous Butter'. It's still a very creamy formula, but alot less thick which feels amazing when applied after a long hot bath or shower. I don't find myself having to wait a few minutes before getting dressed as once rubbed into the skin it sinks in pretty fast. I had a dry patch on my right elbow and this sorted it out after the first use, so it really does give you an idea of how great it is. I've used body creams in the past which annoyingly separated or fell off my skin before I'd even rubbed it in, but this physically sticks itself to the skin so there isn't a worry of product wastage. I couldn't choose between this or The Righteous Butter as I love them both as much as eachother, but in terms of body butters this is definitely amongst my favourites. 

Have you tried Soap and Glory's Smoothie Star Buttercream? Or do you know of any amazing body butters?

Monday, 18 February 2013

Urban Decay | Naked Palette | Review & Swatches

Naked Palette - £36.00 (Link here)

Hello Ladies! If you follow me on Twitter (@MissEssex) then you'll know that I treated myself to a shopping day on Saturday at Oxford Street, which was heaven. As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. This is something I know to be true as I finally managed to get my mitts on Urban Decay's infamous Naked palette! I can't believe I didn't take the plunge sooner. There was just something about the £36.00 price tag which put me off up until now, but after buying the Naked Basics palette (read my review here) it gave me all the better reason to see what I'd been missing out on this entire time. The price covers the palette itself and two lovely extras, the sample size Primer Potion and the Urban Decay eyeshadow applicator. 

Yes, granted I know this has been out for absolutely ages. But somebody had to be last! I stood deciding between the original or Naked 2 for quite some time, but went for Naked as it has shades which are more brown toned rather than silver. I also read countless reviews on both palettes before deciding, and I'm so glad I did because I'm completely obsessed with it. One thing that stood out for me was the packaging. The twelve shadows are cased in a chocolate brown felt material palette, which I think is lovely. It may be prone to become covered in make-up, but for the time being it's stunning. I love the inside just as much, especially the metallic 'Naked' motif on the spine of the palette. 

The Naked palette is a dream to use as all colours have organisation to them, i.e they go from lighter beige shades to dark greys and navys. I think this was more of an investment for me, as beige is my go to colour for an everyday eye. I know MUA's 'Undressed' palette is a great dupe for Naked, which I also own, but the quality of these are absolutely to die for. 

Virgin - A pearlised off pink shade, ideal for highlighting

Sin - A shimmer/metallic pink shade

Naked - A matte light beige, perfect for a base colour over the lid

Sidecar - A shimmer/metallic darker beige

Buck - A matte biscuit colour, ideal for shadow in the crease

Half Baked - A gorgeous gold shimmer shadow, essential for brown smokey eyes

Smog - Slight darker colour than 'Half Baked', also with shimmer

Darkhorse - A beautiful chocolate brown with a hint of shimmer

Toasted - A light burgundy shade with a hint of metallic

Hustle - A metallic dark off-purple shade

Creep - A shade close to black with brown undertones, with a hint of shimmer

Gunmetal - A grey/navy colour with a small amount of a metallic undercoat 

Swatches as they appear in the palette 

Left to Right: Virgin, Sin, Naked, Sidecar

Left to Right: Buck, Half Baked, Smog, Darkhorse

Left to Right: Toasted, Hustle, Creep, Gunmetal

As I found with the Naked  Basics palette, every single shade is so pigmented and of such good quality, one swipe of shadow is all you need. Depending on the look you want to achieve, all of them are buildable and offer the best staying power imaginable. I don't necessarily need to use the little Primer Potion as I don't find they crease as easily as other shadows. That brings me nicely onto the extras which came with the Naked palette.

I've been pretty content using my MUA eyeshadow primer, purely for the fact I've never really branched out and tried others until now. I think the 3.7ml size is so cute, and I love the purple metallic finish on the bottle. The texture of this stuff is to die for, it isn't too thick but it's definitely creamy enough to do its job. This definitely helps colour stay put throughout the day, and once I've gone through the sample size, I'll be taking myself down to the Urban Decay stand and buying the full size. I'm aware there are other types of the Primer Potion, but right now the original suits me just fine. I've also developed a bit of a love for the eyeshadow applicator, it's a lovely item to have sitting at the bottom of the palette screaming to be used. I've never used any type of brush from Urban Decay but since discovering this I feel I may need to invest in some. The handle carries the same purple metallic finish as the Primer Potion, and has synthetic bristles so there's not a worry about it shredding and leaving those dreaded stray hairs on the tops of my cheeks. 

All in all, I'm super happy and impressed with the Naked palette and I still can't believe I didn't pick it up sooner. I'm hoping this will take me through the next year or so and I'm still hoping to pick up the Naked 2 palette soon to complete my collection. 

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Righteous Butter & Flake Away | My Skincare Saviours

Soap & Glory Righteous Butter and Flake Away (Link here & here)

I've made it no secret that I have an unecessary interest obsession with Soap and Glory; my products have now somehow managed to spill over three Ikea storage boxes without me realising (see the post on my collection here). Who doesn't love a bit of S&G to add some luxury to their bath time? They're reasonably priced, easily available at Boots, smell amazing and carry the most gorgeous packaging ever. I won't bore you with the details on how fabulous the products themselves are - if you've tried 'Hand Food' or 'Peaches and Clean' then you will definitely already know! I've also made it no secret that I love to indulge in a bit of 'me time' on Friday evenings and have a good old pamper session. Something I religiously include in these is using a body exfoliator and butter to achieve silky soft skin ready for the weekend ahead, whatever I'm up to. I begun using Soap and Glory years ago, and these were actually one of my first ever purchases. I can't count on my hands how many times I've repurchased these little tubs of magic, but I go through them rather quickly so tend to stock up quite regularly. 

I'll begin explaining why 'The Righteous Butter' is a staple in my bathroom cabinet. It's one of those classic products by S&G that has been around just as long as the brand has, so pretty much something impossible not to have come across. Everyone needs a good body butter, something more heavy duty than their everyday moisturiser to use every so often and this ticks that box perfectly. What I love about this is that it comes in three sizes - a miniature perfect for travelling, the standard 300ml tub and even an entire litre if you buy it online. I know it also comes in a pump, so if you can't stand product getting stuck behind your nails then it's perfect. It holds the infamous Soap and Glory scent of shea butter, almond oil and peach and costs a mere £10.50 for a standard tub. Because its a butter rather than a moisturiser, it has a gorgeously rich and cream thick formula which as you can imagine works absolute wonders on dry skin. I find that it sinks into the skin with ease, although not as quickly as regular moisturisers so is perfect for use just before you throw on your PJ's. I also find it a dream to apply, and a little goes a long way. I can finish a tub in a month easily, so I think it may be a good idea to invest in the litre size to save a few pennies and treat myself to an extra tub of Flake Away, which brings me to my next skincare saviour product. 

Just like 'The Righteous Butter', 'Flake Away' is a classic Soap and Glory product and has been part of the range for as long as I can remember. Now although I do love my trusty St Moriz Dark tan and use this to prep my skin, I have stopped being so religious with the tanning process every week. That definitely hasn't stopped me using 'Flake Away' as an exfoliator though! I have quite sensitive skin on my body. No scrap that, very sensitive skin. One scratch will send me bumpy and red in no time (I have Dermatitis in case you were wondering which comes and goes as it pleases). For this reason, I cannot stand overly gritty exfoliators as they irritate my skin and leave me with red skin for days - not a good look! But if you've used Flake Away before then you'll know how thick and oily (in a good way!) this really is. To me, it feels like a moisturiser mixed with a face exfoliator but for the body, so as you can imagine feels amazing. This comes in two sizes, a miniature travel size and a standard 300ml tub - I haven't yet seen a litre version of it! What's also great is it's £7.00 price tag. £7.00 for a product which will see you through a month or two is hardly ever going to be bad. This also carries the signature Soap and Glory shea butter, almond oil and peach scent. I find when I use these two products together the scent lingers for hours which makes them even more loveable. Flake Away is perfect for use two or three times weekly as it isn't as heavy duty as others (yes, I'm looking at you Breakfast Scrub) but I only use it the once. Once you wash it away, you'll notice the difference in your skin immediately. It leaves skin unbelievably smooth and conditioned and makes a great canvas if you happen to be false tanning too. I'll continue to repurchase these beauties until I find something just as cheap which works wonders which is highly doubtful! I'll definitely label these as my 'holy grail' body butter and body exfoliator of choice and if that changes you'll be the first to know about it!

Have you tried Soap and Glory's Flake Away and The Righteous Butter? 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

MAC | Viva Glam Nicki Lipstick

Hey Everyone! Hope you're all well! I've recently found myself becoming slightly addicted to MAC lipsticks which is slightly worrying both on my bank balance and storage space. I wanted to take the time to gush over this lipstick and tell you all exactly what I think, even though it's a product which has been out for some time already. I'd been lusting over 'Viva Glam Nicki' for quite some time before I took the plunge and finally bought it a few weeks back. Now I'm not exactly a fan of Nicki Minaj's, but that's not to say I didn't completely fall in love with the colour and the formula. What made it an even more satisfying purchase was the fact that 100% profit made goes to women and men living with HIV and AIDs. It's so nice to see cosmetic companies giving something back, and it was definitely £14.00 well spent. 

I picked this up for the normal price of £14.00 from my local MAC store, pretty chuffed as it was the last one. What I love is the packaging - it still dons the sleek packaging like all MAC lipsticks, but with a reflective red hologram of Nicki Minaj's signature sprawled across the front which I think is a lovely touch. Rather than a silver band and logo on the casing it is also red to match the packaging. I personally really like it, and it's something really nice to add to my ever growing lipstick collection. 
When I swatched this in store, I noticed it wasn't a Cremesheen formula, but was a 'Satin' finish. I'd never tried one of these before because I'm so in love with my cremesheens, but I honestly can't believe I hadn't done earlier! Whereas Cremesheens have a tendency to be a little opaque with low to medium pigmentation, these require only one or two swipes for full colour pay off which is amazing. I'm so impressed with the finish this gives I'm going to pick up a shade or two from the Satin range and give them a bash. As you'll know if you own this beaut, it is ridiculousy pigmented. What's great about it is you can apply it with a light hand for a pop of colour for everyday, or you need only one or two swipes for full coverage.

I feel like I'm cheating on my Cremesheens! I secretly think I prefer the formula of a Satin lipstick. Not only is the pigmentation immense, but it also feels like my lips benefit from using it too. It's such a rich and creamy formula, very similar to Revlon's lip butters, and it carries the signature vanilla scent of MAC lipsticks. I also find that this doesn't budge throughout the entire day, so for a night out it is ideal. I know this type of colour is great for Summer. I've started stocking up on corals and neons to use when the weather warms up, but I have a feeling this may be the first I'll hit pan with. Other than Creme Cup, this is definitely amongst my favourite lipsticks.

Have you used Viva Glam Nicki by MAC before? What did you think?

Monday, 11 February 2013

Urban Decay | NAKED Basics Palette

Urban Decay Naked Basics - £20.00 Debenhams (Link)

Hello Ladies! Hope you're all well and Monday hasn't treated you too badly. I know this is one of those posts that has been done countless times; but I'm super excited to be adding this to my make up collection that I thought I'd put my own thoughts and feelings out there on the infamous 'Naked Basics' palette by Urban Decay. Unlike most bloggers out there, I don't own the Naked or Naked 2 palette, as I just can't seem to justify splurging £36.00 on 12 pans of shadow. I do think that all of the shades are gorgeous, so I've popped it onto my birthday list, but until then, I have this little beaut to get by with. 

When I first picked it up, I couldn't believe just how small it really was. It's less than half the size of the full sized Naked palettes, so something really compact which will be ideal for going away or popping into my handbag. For a palette containing six high quality shadows for an everyday eye, I personally think £20.00 is a reasonable price. The packaging itself is made from a rubberized plastic material, although not quite like NARS products, so it's easy to keep clean. There's also a cute little mirror in there too which is so useful. From seeing all of the palettes by Urban Decay, this is definitely my favourite. Something sleek, but simple and sturdy at the same time. What I love most about this palette is the fact that five of the six shades are matte, and one is semi-matte or a satin finish shadow. This makes it my idea of heaven when it comes to everyday eye make-up. It's definitely a palette I can work with every single day, plus it gives me more of a reason to crack open the MAC Paint Pots on nights out! 

I've come to notice with other palettes there are only a few shades I'll actually use, but this is different. I can definitely say that all six shadows are wearable colours. If like me you love neutral tones like browns and golds, then this is definitely for you. I know that four of the shades in the palette are brand new to Urban Decay, and two are used in the original Naked Palettes. 

Venus - An off-white semi-matte shade perfect for highlighting
Foxy -  A matte ivory tone ideal for the inner corners of eyes
Walk of Shame - A matte light nude perfect for an underbase colour 
Naked 2 - Matte taupe shade, ideal for blending into the crease
Faint - A dusty brown matte ideal for a brown smokey eye
Crave - Jet black matte perfect for lining lower lash line

Every single shade is a dream to apply and I can't rate the pigmentation of each of them highly enough. One or two swipes of each pan is enough to work with. Not only that, but the staying power of these is amazing. Although I use a primer everyday, these really do stay put without creasing or budging out of place. I reckon they'd still do so even if primer wasn't used. Each shade is silky to the touch and blends into one another with ease. Another great thing about these is the fact that none of the shades are flaky, so you don't end up with those dreaded specs on the tops of your cheek or underneath your eye.

Overall, I'm so impressed with this palette - the hype was all worth it! I can't believe I hadn't picked it up sooner, but now I have it I'm looking forward to trying out different looks using different shades. Have you tried the Naked Basics palette from Urban Decay? What did you think?