Sunday, April 26, 2015

MAC Amber x 9 palette review

MAC Amber x 9 palette review

Sometimes things get released that make me swoon and this is one of them!  MAC has launched/is launching four compact eye palettes in colour co-ordinated tones-Burgundy x 9, Purple x 9, Navy x 9 and the one I purchased, Amber x 9.

The compacts are the size of a regular 4 quad from MAC but pack in 9 mini shadows with a good range of both matte and shimmer, limited and permanent shades-it's lightweight and portable and this will probably now come with me everywhere.

Amber x 9 was the one that stood to me the most.  As someone who owns more than 75 (I know I know) single MAC shadows it only contains one shadow that I already own-that's pretty impressive in my book.  I was tempted by Burgundy x 9 too but I already own 7 of the 9 shades in the compact so my reasons for buying it would be driven by the ease and convenience of having complimentary shades altogether and used for travelling mostly.  It is well put together though and as a taster palette from MAC it's ideal.  I think Navy x 9 looks interesting as a smokey eye palette and contains an all time favourite in the shade Club.  It seems more grey toned than navy toned to me though and the shades seem mainly limited edition.

I am however extremely happy with Amber x 9 though and here's a run down of the shade selection.
MAC Amber x 9 palette review

MAC Amber x 9 palette review

Cozy Gray-Not in the permanent collection but included in the MAC Cool Toned palette which I own.  This is a matte stone colour, only a shade darker than my natural skin tone so great for a defining crease colour or even eyebrows.

Kitties-Limited Edition.  Great name for a shadow, Kitties is a warm light gold with a slightly shimmery texture.  This is a really beautiful shade alone but also over other shadows to give them a more metallic, sparkly finish-recently I wore this over NARS Brousse and loved the finish.

Georgia Peach-Limited Edition.  Matte, medium peach toned brown with good colour payoff for a matte and another creasework/transition shade.

MAC Amber x 9 palette review

Ricepaper-Permanent.  Yellow toned, frosted light gold

Creative Copper-Limited Edition. Golden bronze with a coppery undertone-good colour payoff for a lustre finish and easily buildable with a sparkly metallic finish.

Cork-Permanent.  Satin finish, medium almost golden brown.  The three middle colours work really well together for a golden smokey eye.

MAC Amber x 9 palette review

Dont tell-Limited Edition.  My favourite in the pan.  A warm rosy brown with slight sparkle-very versatile and rich in pigment.

Aromatic-Limited Edition.  A medium brown matte shadow that pulls quite grey on me.  This can be a little patchy and difficult to blend out.

Pepper Please-Limited Edition.  The sparkle in this shade is very obvious in the pan-the golden glitter sparkles against the dark grey toned brown backdrop.  Once swatched however the sparkles are much less visible on the lid and again the shade pulls greyer on me than it appears in the pan.

I know I will get a lot of use out of this palette-it's a no fuss/the colours are right there/they all work together compact that would suit most skintones.  My favourite MAC release in a while!

In the US this retails for $40, in the UK I would expect it to be around the £30/35 mark when they launch and apparently this will be a permanent line!

If you like neutral palettes you might like these reviews too:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Currently Loving

A short and sweet currently loving this month but I just wanted to touch on some things that I can't stop using!

Benefit Roller Lash

This is the free sample that came with Elle magazine that I procured via Tasha who very kindly sent it over to me.  I really like it as a mascara.  My lashes don't really curl even with lash curlers but I do find that this mascara gives my outer corner lashes a natural boost.  For the rest of the lashes I find it separates, lengthens and volumises-pretty much everything I want from a mascara.  It doesn't flake or smudge, lasts all day and is easy to remove which is a revelation after using Chanel Inimitable.  I find I can get an even bigger boost to my lashes if I pair it with the Estee Lauder Little Black Primer.  This is the sample size but luckily for me, my god daughters bought me the full size version for my birthday!

YSL Volupté Tint in Oil

I have dedicated a whole post here to this lip gloss but I just can't stop using it!  I love the glossiness and shine, it leaves a stain behind that lasts hours, it's light and nourishing and basically I ordered 3 more shades which you will have seen in my haul post on Wednesday.  Oh and the packaging is beaut.  Check out my review for swatches and the full low down.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer

I picked up two shades of this concealer (from the Sephora counter in Dubai Mall where the service was horrendous)-one shade matches my skintone exactly and the other is a lighter, brighter shade for under the eyes.  I have heard many a comparison of this to the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer but I feel like the only blogger who wasn't a fan of the NARS concealer (my thoughts here).  However I can see where the comparison gets drawn-the concealer is quite a thick texture but I find that the Urban Decay version blends easier, sits nicer and is just better to work with all round.  It offers very full coverage but doesn't crease or move.  I also prefer the wand-the NARS concealer has a short doe foot applicator whereas the Urban Decay concealer has a much longer, more flexible applicator.  I can see an immediate repurchase when I finish this.

Japonesque Gentle Goat Milk Cleansing Balm

I had to wrack my brains to remember when I bought this and I have concluded that it was in the 'at the carousel/counter' in Space NK impulse purchase and I think I picked it up in Manchester at Xmas.

I only own one other thing from Japonesque and it's a kabuki brush that I use almost every single day and have done for years.  I had heard nothing about this brush cleanser and still haven't.  But it is uh-mazing.  The reason I started using it is because baby shampoo was just not efficient enough to get MAC Pro Longwear foundation out of my foundation brushes.  It was leaving the bristles tacky and stiff and just wasn't working.  So I opened this up on a whim and it works a treat.  It's a solid cleanser, I just quickly swirl it under the running tap, wet the brush under the tap and then swirl it in the solid cleanser a few times.  I then work the brush into my palm to get the cleanser to penetrate deeper into the bristles.  If I am cleaning foundation brushes I do add some baby shampoo for extra cleansing power but for anything lightly used such as blusher brushes, eyeshadow brushes etc it's brilliant on its own.  It also seems to cut down the drying time of my brushes (weird but true) and it also leaves the bristles really nicely conditioned.  I definitely want to repurchase although I have been using this loads and I don't seem to have made a dent in it at all!

Let me know if you have used any of these products or indeed you feel enabled to go out and buy them!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gigantic Nordstrom/Sephora online haul!

My sincere apologies if this post appears somewhat thrown together-it is!!  Truth is I am currently on a business trip in Cairo and tapping away in my hotel room.  I took these pictures in a rush over the weekend before I flew here-we had family in town and so the weekend was swallowed up too.

But I wanted to quickly share my recent US hauling before I start jumping in to testing and posting reviews of what I picked up!  I think there is some really good stuff in here that I am excited to try!

First up, I have bought all three of the new Jo Malone 'Blue Skies and Blossoms' collection-I am still waiting for one to be delivered but it's the Osmanthus Blossom which is a re-promote and I have had before.  I love the coloured caps on the traditional bottles but was disappointed that the bottles didn't come with the ribbons that were shown in the online picture.  Having said that, I saw the bottles in Duty Free in Dubai on Monday and they didn't either so it's possibly just a UK thing.  These sort of scents are utterly up my street!

I also can't resist anything smelling of lemon so I threw in this new body souffle from Philosophy-iced mint lemonade sounds perfect for the hot and sticky summer months on the horizon in Dubai.

On to make up.  Firstly I picked up four of the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Sticks and a replacement Trish McEvoy 24hr eyeshadow and liner stick.  My love for the Trish McEvoy formula is widely documented on my blog but you can read my full ramblings here.  I also picked up Tuxedo, Violet Plum, Goldstone and Taupe from Bobbi Brown-I have high hopes!

Next a product I fear is going to be a dud from my initial swatches-the YSL Full Metal Shadows in Onde Sable and Aquatic Copper.  I bought these because I have been loving the Armani Eye Tints and thought these would be a similar concept.  But the initial swatches seem poorly pigmented and very glittery.  I'll report back.

Also sneaking into the picture is the Tom Ford Lip Shine in the shade Chastity.  This has been on my wish list for the longest time but seemed permanently out of stock-I feared it had been discontinued.  When I saw it online I nabbed one.  Love the packaging of the Tom Ford lipsticks-so sleek!

I loved the formula of the first YSL Volupte Tint In Oil I purchased and so I bought three more!  These are uber glossy, light, juicy 'first gloss then stain' lip products and I can't wait to try these three shades! 

I picked up a couple of things from MAC-firstly the MAC Amber x 9 mini palette which is totally totally swoon-worthy!  This is the sort of product that makes me smile so much!  I believe these are yet to launch in the UK but they come in 3 variations and I chose Amber because I only own one of the shades in the palette already-and given I own over 75 MAC eyeshadows that is no mean feat.  I'll have a review up asap!  This is a brilliant neutral quad though with a great balance of matte and shimmer shades.

I also bought the Beauty Powder in Pearl Blossom from the MAC is Beauty collection.  I was really hoping it would be a re-promote of the Maleficiant collection Beauty Powder that I loved so much but it's much much pinker in the pan.  I thought initially it would be a 'sheen-y' pink blusher but when I swatched it, it looks quite 'highlighter-y' and silvery which I was quite happy with.

I bought a NARS Dual Intensity blush!  I was so excited about these but then when they were released I looked at online images and was a bit meh about them but I had to try one, so I have gone for Adoration.  Am excited to read some reviews about these as I am sure they will be popping up everywhere now.

I absolutely love the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy formula and I picked up another one of the original formula and one of the new 'Shine' formulas.  I am expecting the 'shine' formula to be similar to the Dior 'Rouge Dior Baume' or the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks.  My thoughts soon.  Both are nude/pink/slightly coral shades.

I also grabbed one of the new YSL Pop Water Glossy Stains in 'Wet Nude'-quite possibly one of the worst named lipsticks ever.  I wasn't a huge fan of the original glossy stain so lets see how these newer updated versions perform.

At I was relatively restrained (pity I wasn't at Sephora Dubai on Sunday).  I picked up 3 of the new Colorful Duo Reflects eyeshadows-I love the Sephora eyeshadows and these new limited edition versions are all duochrome which I have a bit of a weakness for.  Below is Mermaid Tail,  Sirens Charm and Iridescent Shell.

Finally I picked up two of the new Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme lipsticks in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Infamous.  I am hoping this newer formula will be a lot less 'slippy' than the original and not migrate outside lip lines.  I have heard it is improved.   The last thing I picked up was from Bite and it is their monthly limited edition lipstick shade in Dragon Fruit.  Bite are producing an exclusive shade each month for Sephora which is in very limited quantities and I managed to grab this on the first day it was released-sadly it's now out of stock but Bite is definitely a brand I highly recommend.

Let me know what you are interested in hearing about first and also what you have been buying recently!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Lip Six

Happy Monday!

Quite a neutral week this week....

Lipstick swatches

Top row (L) Guerlain Kiss Kiss Lipstick in 521 Red Strass (R) Dior Rouge Dior Baume in Spring

Middle row (L) NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in New Lover (R) Bite Beauty Luminous Creme lipstick in Fig

Bottom row (L) Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy lipstick in Intense Nude (R) Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy lipstick in Rebellious Rose

Pick of the week?  It was the rediscovery of the NARS Velvet Gloss lip pencil in New Lover that was my favourite!  The colour is sensational for spring-a mixture of pink and coral with a very glossy finish.  I also love the formula of the Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy lipsticks-watch out for a review coming soon!

Which is your favourite?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Three hot pink lipsticks for every budget

This post came about because I was scrolling through instagram (obsessed) and I saw one of the accounts I follow (Mandycon) post her Girl About Town from MAC and I was like 'OMG I used to love that, I need to dig mine out'.

And I did.   

During the day I topped up my lipstick 3 times but with three different lipsticks which I realised were all actually the same colour!

So here are three hot pinks that are all essentially the same shade, for every budget!

The high end luxe-YSL Rouge Pur Couture Le Mat in 208 Fuchsia Fetiche// £26

YSL Rouge Pur Couture 208 Fuchsia Fetiche review

I have written a full post on this beauty here and I think it is limited edition but it's still definitely available online right now.  This is an extremely comfortable, semi matte vibrant pink with excellent lasting power.  It's so good! 

The mid range option-MAC Amplified lipstick in Girl About Town// £15.50

I own more MAC lipsticks than I do pairs of knickers and socks put together and this is one fabulous fuchsia.  The Amplified finish is slightly waxy and has good lasting power and this is the glossiest of the three.  All three have a blue base which is great for making teeth look brighter and whiter.  MAC do a matching nail polish too!

MAC Girl About Town lipstick review

The budget choice-Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Ping Pong// £8.99

Terrible name, fantastic formula.  I have written a whole review here and-fun fact-this is the lip colour I wear in the blog photo you see on my home page.  This is the most matte of the three but is extremely comfortable and long lasting and by far the best drugstore matte formula I have tried.

Bourjois rouge edition velvet pink pong review

Three hot pinks, three finishes, three budgets-which is your favourite?