Friday, September 30, 2016

The Estee Edit: The Barest Bronzer in Light Medium

Love a bronzer.  And this one from The Estee Edit is my latest obsession.

I love the packaging, the compact is a huge flat disk with a large mirror and the pan itself is really beautiful with its embossed ridges.  The 'splash' of the lighter, shimmery shade is an overlay that sadly disappears after the first use-I really wish it was embedded deeper.

I chose the light/medium shade and it's the perfect shade for my pale skin.  It has a matte yet radiant finish and the compact isn't chalky in the slightest.  It never looks orange or muddy and it applies really seamlessly to the skin.  I really like the warmth and glow it gives to the skin.

I bought mine from Sephora in the US when it launched and initially this was not one of The Estee Edit products that launched in the UK.  But it's now on Selfridges for £22 which I think is a great price for such a large amount of product.

I picked up some other products from The Estee Edit-not all of them are as good as this I have to say.  This is definitely my pick of the bunch!

I'm on such a bronzer kick at the moment-let me know what your favourites are!


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Giant skincare empties

You may have seen my giant make up empties post here now it's time for the skincare!  I'll use the same format-what I would and wouldn't repurchase and mini reviews on all.

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Foaming Cleansing Wash-would repurchase

A really good morning time cleanser-it's not heavy enough to remove make up.  I've written a full review here.

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil-definite repurchase

A brilliant, basic cleansing oil that will get all your make up off without drying out your skin or irritating it.  I picked up a couple more at duty free on my way back to Dubai.

Niod Low Viscosity Cleaning Ester-would repurchase

I recently reviewed this cleanser-it's an amazing make up remover for dry and sensitive skin-my skin has never felt so soft after using it.  Read my full thoughts here.

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser-wouldn't repurchase

I haven't loved Tata Harper products so far despite all the hype around them.  I thought this manual exfoliator was ok-the granules are finely milled and didn't irritate the skin.  I had no problems with this cleanser breaking me out but I just didn't love it.  Read more about it here.

First Aid Beauty Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser-would repurchase

This is another basic cleanser but it's not heavy enough to remove make up effectively.  But it's a brilliant second cleanser or morning cleanser, leaving skin clean and comfortable and without any residue left behind.

Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser-would repurchase

The only Tata Harper cleanser I really love!  This was such a great cleanser to use as a second cleanse after my make up removing cleanse.  It contains AHA's to chemically exfoliate within the creamy base and it left my skin really clear and hydrated.  It is expensive at £49 but this was a cleanser I really enjoyed using.

First Aid Beauty Vitamin Hydrating Mist-would repurchase

I love a good facial spritz and this is a great one for using in the morning because it has a nice powerful spritz to it, the toner isn't too wet and it feels cooling and soothing on the skin.  The mist is infused with aromatic extracts that claim to energize and invigorate skin.  I have the 50ml size so it's perfect for throwing in your handbag or gym bag or in your travel bag if you're taking a flight and FAB say it can be used to set make up too.

Hylamide Sub Q eye-would repurchase*

A soothing eye serum that targets just about every eye concern possible-read my full review here 

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads-would repurchase

Pre soaked exfoliating pads that you swipe over your face after cleansing containing lactic and glycolic acid to exfoliate gently and improve skins clarity.  These are gentle and have a good price point for a chemical exfoliant.

Sephora Waterproof Eye Make Up Remover-have repurchased several

A very good, cheaper alternative to the Lancome Bi Facil biphase eye make up remover-I actually prefer this one over the Lancome because it doesn't leave behind the greasy residue I find the Lancome version does.

Bioderma-constant repurchase

Bioderma is something I always have a bottle of-but I never use it to remove my make up-unless I am on a long flight or I am getting home from a very late night out.  What I do use it for almost daily though is cleaning up under my eyes any left over mascara smudges-it does a brilliant job.

Simple eye make up remover-constant repurchase

I use this exactly like Bioderma and this is a great, cheaper alternative.  Having said that, the UK formula is very different to the US formula, the US formula stings my eyes like a bitch.

Oskia Renaissance 360*-would repurchase

I love Oskia as a brand and when they sent me their new moisturiser to trial I was over the moon.  But I worried that the texture was too heavy for my grumpy and over sensitive skin-this is a relatively intensive cream and I was worried it would clog my pores-I usually go for a water based, gel textured moisturiser.  My fears were totally unfounded though and my skin felt calmer, non greasy and plumped.  I had no problems at all with it breaking me out or it interfering with my make up-I hate it when skincare causes make up to 'pil' on top of it but that doesn't happen with this cream.  The Renaissance 360 Supreme cream is a moisturiser specifically targeting concerns about ageing such as fine lines, loss of elasticity and dullness.   The formula contains Oskia's signature MSM (here's a link to the benefits of MSM) and the Nanobright complex that is in the serum.  It also has Cactus extract to calm irritation and hyaluronic acid to attract and retain moisture.  My skin literally drank this moisturisor up.

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanilla Body Butter-on the fence

This is an intense body moisturiser that smell divine.  But it's so so rich that it takes an absolute age to massage into your skin.  But the Laura Mercier products smell so good!  I'll probably stick to the bubble bath from the range as it's so good and leaves the skin deliciously scented.

Have you used any of these skincare products?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Lip Six

lipstick swatches

Happy Monday!  If you follow me on snapchat (Stadybelle) you might know that I am currently again on a business trip in Cairo and my mum is 'visiting' me in Dubai-or should I say Grandma is looking after my cat children.  My job involves frequent travel and putting my cats in the cattery every 3 weeks is something I hate doing because it's so stressful for them and they hate the journey in the car.  Once they are there they are very well looked after and whilst Chesney and Fizzy adapt pretty quickly, Ali has always been a bit of a (very loveable) oddball and doesn't like strangers at all.  So my mum very kindly offered to come over and babysit to give them a little break as since the end of June my schedule has been insane and they've spent a lot of time going up and down to the cattery.

I'll be back in Dubai on Wednesday and so will have 3 days with my mum before she heads back to the UK.  Then it's just a few weeks until I am home again for Xmas.  Insane in the membrane.  This year has gone so incredibly fast.

Let's talk lipstick-here are my last six lip picks:

Top row (L) Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Love Liberty (review!) (R) Dior Fluid Stick in Vertigo 689 (review!)

Middle row (L) Kylie Lip Kit in MaryJo K  (R) Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy lipstick in Rebellious Rose

Bottom row (L) Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Kingston (review! I'm actually so proud of that post!) (R) MAC Amplified lipstick in Chatterbox

Which is your favourite?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The review: Niod Low Viscosity Cleaning Ester

If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know Niod is one of my favourite brands-not only their products but their whole ethos as a company really appeals to me.

Low Viscosity Cleaning Ester is a really unusual product-I don't think that I have tried anything quite like it in texture.  I was expecting this to either be a cleansing oil or a micellair water-yes I didn't really do my research before I bought it from Look Fantastic but I felt like I'd read good reviews about it.  It retails for £30, you get a massive 240ml and it lasts for ages.

The instructions are to massage onto a dry face and rinse off-so I expected a cleansing oil texture but when I used it, I felt like this didn't rinse clean and left a residue on my skin-but at the same time my skin felt softer than after I had used any other cleanser before.

It's a really really effective skin cleaner and it dissolves every scrap of make up, oil, dirt and grime on your face.  When you apply it to dry skin, it feels like a normal cleansing oil.  When you add water it feels more like a gel, the texture slightly thickens and softens.  But I did find it really difficult to remove, even with a damp flannel.  But then I discovered that actually, that 'residue' is fine to be left on the skin and it evaporates from the skin in time.  It's an unusual feeling for me but the residue left behind absolutely did not break me out and when I swiped my face with toner after cleaning there was zero make up residue left behind.  This would be the absolutely perfect make up remover for dry, sensitive skins because skin is left so comfortable afterwards.

Another huge plus for those with dry, sensitive skins is that this is fragrance free and contains no plant oils, detergents, alcohol, acids or water and uses isolated sugar and avocado esters to give that effective cleaning of the skin.  There is a full breakdown of the product and how it works here.

I love the almost clinical looking packaging and the fact that so little went such a long way.  If you're looking for a make up remover rather than a 'cleanser' with skin benefits, you'll struggle to find anything more efficient than this cleanser.  My love for Niod products continues....

Friday, September 23, 2016

Airport make up haul!

See how restrained I was at the airport?  Five things.  You can barely call this a haul to be honest.

Here's a rundown of the five things I picked up at Manchester airport.

1-Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze

Laura's friend Christie had this on her cheeks at Laura's birthday and it was so so beautiful on her I had to buy it.  This is the original shimmer brick and it is for sure shimmery but it's so pretty and I absolutely love the glow it gives.  It's not chalky or glittery but there is a fair bit of powder kick up in the pan.  I use it mainly as a bronzer topper, this isn't something you would apply all over your face but it adds the nicest luminosity to the cheeks.  The mini brush that comes with the duty free version is actually really good as well; dense, soft and the perfect size to not over apply.

2-Estee Lauder Doublewear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Make Up

I love the original formula and this looks like a handbag/travel friendly version.  It had been on my wishlist for a while but then Simone's review cemented I would be picking this up in duty free.  I always find foundation wears off around my nose and chin as I am a chronic face toucher when I am deep in thought or concentrating so hopefully this will be good for mid afternoon touch ups in the office.

3-Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in 339 Gorgeous

I've been lusting after this gloss since seeing it on Lydia's youtube which luckily coincided with a small nude lipgloss obsession.  I absolutely love Dior lip products and I love the packaging and the formula of the Ultra Gloss-it's super shiny and non sticky.  Gorgeous is a sheer golden peach without any sparkle (a lot of the Dior Ultra Gloss have sparkle, the shade Princess is the best selling gloss worldwide and contains sparkle) and it works well on it's own or over one of the nude liners I love-Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk, L'Oreal Beige a Nu or Huda Beauty Bombshell all work perfectly.

4-MAC Trip The Light Fantastic Powder in Luna Lustre

Part of the MAC Star Trek collection which I have absolutely zero interest in, I could tell you nothing about Star Trek at all, I've never seen one episode.  But these powders were so pretty when I swatched them so I bought them.  Although called 'trip the light fantastic' powders I assume these are like the MSF powders/highlighter powders and despite looking pigmented in the pan, impart more radiance than colour.  Luna Lustre is so pretty in the pan with it's marbled peach and pinky tones-it's such a pretty highlight or blush topper.  I'll never get through the pan as they're huge but oh so pretty.

5-MAC Trip The Light Fantastic Powder in Strange New Worlds

Strange New Worlds is more golden and coral and looks so pretty with a light tan.  I love MAC MSF's and have quite a little collection and these are without doubt very usable.  They're even super pretty as eyeshadows.

What have you been buying recently?


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I actually finished a lipstick (and other make up items)

I've actually managed to get through a fair few make up (and skincare) items in the past few weeks so I thought I would do a round up post giving you the low down of what I liked, what I loved and what I wouldn't repurchase.  There'll be a skincare post coming up too but this one focuses on the make up products that are all done and dusted.

MUFE Ultra HD stick foundation-on the fence.

Loved the convenience of this but it took me several attempts to get the application right-I actually talked about my struggles here.  But I did nail it-swiped on the skin and then buffed in with a short, wide, dense kabuki brush spritzed with a setting spray (Smashbox Primer Water was my weapon of choice) and I did start to love it.  But probably not enough to run out and repurchase.

Estee Lauder Double Wear-definite repurchase

This is probably my all time fave foundation-it always looks good and is literally foolproof.  I prefer the heavier coverage and this never lets me down.  Best applied with fingers or beauty blender

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops-liked but not a must have

The theory behind these drops is that they can be added to a foundation to amp up the pigmentation and I really liked them because they did exactly that without affecting the formula of the foundation.  What isn't great about them is the packaging-the dropper mechanism doesn't work well with the formula (although I get why they have used it) and the formula gets quite cloggy quite quickly.  These are good and brilliant for a professional make up artist but I don't think they are an absolute must have for me.  An amazing shade range is a definite plus though!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light-a great all rounder

I mainly used this brightening powder under my eyes to set my concealer.  Hourglass describe it as 'An opalescent sheer, cool white powder that mimics a moonlit glow, even in broad daylight'.

I've done a full review of this powder here with all the details of why it's so good!

Gucci Golden Glow Bronzer-love, love love

I really loved this bronzer from Gucci and I dedicated a whole post to it here.  It's quite pricey at £39 but it lasted for ages and gave a beautiful matte yet not flat, glow to the skin.  I would definitely repurchase this if I didn't have a crazy large bronzer stash right now-it's my current fave make up item!

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Perfecting Powder-would be HG if I didn't go through it so quickly!

Another powder I have dedicated a whole post to-you can read my thoughts here.  This is my fourth compact and I do keep repurchasing it but I go through them like lightening-and it's not a cheap powder.  My MAC Studio Fix powder foundation is my holy grail pressed powder because it lasts an amazing length of time and has a much better price point.

Clinique High Impact Mascara-would repurchase

Really enjoyed using this mascara from Clinique and I would definitely repurchase if I didn't have an insane mascara stash!  Really black, lengthening, volumising, smudge and flake free, it definitely ticked all my boxes.

Colour Pop eyeshadow in Glow-probably would repurchase

This shadow was part of the Kathleen Lights original collab collection and can't be bought separately but I highly recommend picking up that set of four shadows because they are so beautiful!  The formula of these eyeshadows is quite unique, it's too dry in formula to be a cream but it's not a powder either.  I find it best applied with my fingers and pressed into the eyelid-once it's on though it will not budge or crease all day.  But what I love it for the most is an eyeshadow base.  Glow is a matte vanilla shade so it's such a great primer for eyeshadow with a great price point.  The only downside is I find that I go through Colour Pop eyeshadows quite quickly-but they're only $5 each

Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen-would not repurchase

At £43 this liquid eyeliner certainly isn't cheap but I did find mine lasted about a year with very regular usage.  It is dual ended-a thick felt tip at one end and a smaller finer tip at the other end.  I tended to use the thicker tip most and found that it was great for someone like me who isn't great at applying eyeliner.  I found my lines were smooth and the pen was easy to control.  I also found on me that it rarely migrated or smudged.  But having said that, I wouldn't repurchase because I think that the Kat Von D Trooper liner is a better liquid liner at a much cheaper price point.

Sephora Colorful Shadow and Liner in 04 Taupe-already repurchased 

I absolutely love these chunky eyeshadow sticks from Sephora.  They're cheap, the colour pay off is great, they last hours, they look lovely as a standalone shadow but also make an amazing base for eyeshadow-I rate these way higher than the Charlotte Tilbury equivalent.  My lovely friend Kirsty has written a fabulous review of these here.

Chantecaille Lucky lipgloss-definite repurchase

I love love love this lipgloss, it's a nude gloss lovers dream!  I love layering it over a nude liner-you can see it paired with Marc Jacobs Honeybun here and with Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk here.

Kat Von D Studded lipstick in Lovecraft-would repurchase (if I didn't own about 200 lipsticks)

I finished a lipstick!  I've dedicated a whole post to this lipstick formula here and for a matte lipstick I find them really comfortable.  Lovecraft is a very neutral, Kylie Jenner-esque shade that is perfect for the office.  The only downside of this lipstick is the packaging.  Firstly it's bulky but the most annoying thing is that the lid kept coming off in my make up bag.

NARS The Multiple in Portofino-would repurchase

The NARS Multiple sticks are a brilliant all rounder product-they come in a huge range of shades in both matte and shimmer finishes and be swiped on lips, eyes and cheeks.  They also last an absolute age so they're really good value for money.  Portofino is a beautiful pinky peach shade that works well on cheeks and lips.  The only downside again is the packaging-the NARS packaging just attracts dust, dirt and fingerprints and is virtually impossible to keep clean.

What make up have you finished up recently?


Monday, September 19, 2016

Lip Six

lipstick swatches

Happy Monday!  I'm back in Dubai now after a brilliant break and 9 days off to recharge and relax and I now feel ready to hit work hard again-it's crazy how fast this year has gone by!

This weeks Lip Six is pretty muted when I have put it together-here are my last 6 lip picks.

Top row (L) Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Lost Cherry (review!) (R) MAC Amplified lipstick in Craving

Middle row (L) Bite High Pigment Pencil in Chablis (R) Bite High Pigment Lip Pencil in Rhubarb

Bottom row (L) Burberry Lip Cover in Blush (now called Burberry Kisses) (R) Tom Ford lipstick in Spanish Pink (review!)

Which is your favourite?


Sunday, September 18, 2016

UK haul!

So my flatlays definitely need work.  Definitely have a new found respect for instagrammers who churn them out perfectly day after day.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

3 places to breakfast in Dubai

breakfast places in Dubai

Confession time.  The only real kind of breakfast I like is the sweet kind.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What happened in August

A bit of a self indulgent post but a little diary post of the best of last month-a reminder of good times!  I've pulled lots of these from my Instagram (expatmakeupaddict) and linked any relevant reviews.  You can follow me on Snapchat as well for daily ramblings, my username is Stadybelle.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Lip Six

lipstick swatches

Happy Monday!  And it is a happy Monday because I am having such a brilliant time in the UK!  This has been exactly what I needed, I've had lots of fresh air, quality time with my family and lots of cuddles from my nieces.  So happy I decided to come back, albeit for a short time.  And of course it's flown by and I am heading back to Dubai tomorrow but I still have a 4 day weekend to enjoy before getting back to the grind on Sunday.

Here's my last 6 lip picks!

Top row: (L) Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Sweet Stiletto (review!) (R) Guerlain Kiss Kiss lipstick in Baby Rose (review!)

Middle row: (L) Armani Rouge D'Armani lisptick in 512 (R) Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Lost Cherry (review!)

Bottom row: (L) Dior Rouge Dior lipstick in Sterling Red (review!) (R) MAC Satin lipstick in Faux (review!)

Which is your favourite?


Sunday, September 11, 2016

By Terry Sun Designer Palette in 2 Light Tan Vibes

By Terry Sun Designer Palette in 2 Light Tan Vibes review

This palette has been my summer crush.  Spotted first on Latasha's blog, I was absolutely suckered in by the layout of the palette.

I've had a relatively positive experience with skincare from By Terry but some of their make up has left me a bit blah and it's one of the most expensive brands on the market-Densillis foundation did nothing for me, I'm the only blogger ever who hates the Ombre Blackstar (so overrated) and the Baume de Rose irritates my lips.  I'm using the Cover Expert foundation now and there is nothing wow about it and the Cellularose Blush Glace cream blush barely shows on my skin.

But there are some epic products too that I have tried-By Terry Terrybly Densillis blush in Platonic Blonde (review) is one of my all time favourites-mine is literally empty.  The Hyaluronic Hydra powder (review) is one of the very best.  The Rouge Terrybly lipsticks (review)-also amazing.

So this palette could have gone either way!

By Terry Sun Designer Palette in 2 Light Tan Vibes review

There are two versions of the palette-I chose the lighter one of the two.  Even so this is a really pigmented palette offering huge amounts of versatility.  Split into a larger bronzer section with three matte tones and a pinky coral toned blush section that has a fair amount of shimmer, especially from the bottom, lightest tone.  I tend not to try and pick out the individual strips of colour, preferring to just swirl my brush across the pan.

The blusher is what I absolutely love-it gives cheeks an amazing glow and warmth and there's no need for a separate highlight.  It reminds me a little of the Urban Decay/Gwen Stefani blush palette-particularly the shade Hush which I absolutely adore.

The bronzer is great for paler skintones like mine and the shades can also double up as eyeshadows.

The formula of the powders is flawless: soft and incredibly finely milled yet they don't kick up any powder in the pan and the palette looks the same as the day I bought it.  I hate it when make up gets all messed up.  They have fantastic pigmentation and lasting power and blend seamlessly.

The packaging is sleek and sturdy but I have to admit that I am not a fan of the weird tribal style orange and white pattern on the outer palette.  Overlooking that, this is a fantastic palette and despite the super luxe price point, this is something I highly recommend.

By Terry Sun Designer Palette in 2 Light Tan Vibes review

By Terry Sun Designer Palette in 2 Light Tan Vibes review

I bought mine from Space NK where it is listed as an exclusive to them, however, I picked up two more as gifts from Harrods in London.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Coming home

So this is a little impromptu post after a relatively rash decision I made at the end of last week.  As this post goes live I'll be boarding a plane to the UK, having just got back from Cairo 12 hours ago.

A few weeks ago I realised Eid holidays were approaching and hit on the idea of having a few days at home in the UK-I would try and fly direct from Cairo to London after my work trip-but all the flights were full (Egyptians love London what can I say) so I ended up shelving the idea.

Last week, the longing and the need to take some time out was at the forefront of my mind and I couldn't get the idea out of my head.  After several hours wasted at work looking at flight combinations and at that time London hotels (if my boss is reading this I apologise profusely) I booked a flight to Gatwick for today.  I would stay at my best friends for two days then my mum would come to London for 3 days and we'd have some girlie time together.  But my plans weren't very well thought out and it wasn't convenient to stay in London with Dani and hotels were expensive and I started to stress that I had made the wrong decision.  In the end, and in an effort to streamline the stress I changed my flight to Manchester and am just going 'home' home.  To my mum and dads in Cumbria.

In reality if I had gone to London I'd have spent 5 times more than I will at my mum and dads and would have felt constantly like there were people I wanted to catch up in London with but couldn't fit into the 5 days I was there.  So I am going home, and have no plans apart from afternoon tea with my god daughters and oldest friend on Sunday.  But I desperately want to see my nieces as well.

I need this break.  Mentally I am exhausted.  Life is good-I am not denying that and I feel very happy right now and I absolutely love the freedom being single gives me.  I love being single.  But sometimes I also feel like I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders at the moment.  Since my break up I have taken on full responsibility for everything in my life-the upkeep of the apartment, I've sold two cars and bought one new one, I've balanced all my finances, taken on additional costs that were once shared, learned how to change light bulbs and unblock toilets and have full responsibly for making sure that the cats and I are fed and watered.  And to be honest I make a better job of looking after them than looking after myself.  But I've done it (and don't get me wrong, millions of people also do this every day), I haven't complained about it and I have taken everything in my stride.  Nothing really fazes me in all honesty.  I just evolved and adapted and I feel pretty strong.  But I have a need to be busy all the time, a fear of stopping and smelling the roses. I admit I am an over thinker and am over sensitive-conversations can weigh heavily on me for hours, sometimes days.  I have a stressful job where relationships are key yet some of my most important ones have been tested to the limits the past couple of months.  I am feeling the pressure mentally.  I am a perfectionist, I cannot bear failure.

I need a few days where I don't have to feel the responsibility for everything.  Where the only thing I really need to do is make the bed in the morning.  I'm so grateful that I have parents that never really question my decisions (unless it's a really really idiotic one) or question if I need to come home and rest up and it's never a problem-and I can basically regress back to my lazy teenage self where my angel mum does everything for me.

I'm hoping to return to Dubai refreshed and ready to take on whatever life throws at me.  To keep on living this little life I am creating for myself-and am actually loving.  I've really enjoyed the summer in Dubai when I have gotten out and about and as the weather cools down I am looking forward to more 'outdoor' time and making the most of Dubai.  Don't be totally fooled-behind the glitz and the glam you see portrayed about Dubai it can sometimes be a really difficult place to live-it's superficial and it's lonely and it's transient-but in equal measures it's also fricking  awesome and I am more than happy to focus on the positive rather than the negative!

Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends and enjoy your celebrations!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The review: Violet Voss Holy Grail palette

Violet Voss Holy Grail palette review
Violet Voss Holy Grail palette review

Let's lay cards on the table here.  There's no fancy photography in this post.  No filters. Just a bold statement from me that this palette is absolutely incredible and deserving of its self titled Holy Grail status.  This is the sort of palette that makes me want to order a back up the second I used it.  I don't even know who Violet Voss is.  Is she a person or a brand?  Whatever, I love.

I bought this and the Drenched Metal palette as a bundle offer direct from the Violet Voss website and both arrived from the States well packaged and totally intact.  The packaging is basic, sturdy cardboard but no fancy closing or casing.  I think the two palettes cost $84 in total (about £60) but there are 20 shadows in each palette and the pan size is very generous.

Initially I thought Holy Grail was pretty warm toned but actually it' a good balance of warm and cooler tones with matte and shimmers.  I'm definitely learning to appreciate a good matte shadow.

Swatches below are on my very pale skin-I match up to MAC NW15/ NARS Mont Blanc/ Estee Lauder DW Ecru.  The pigmentation is flawless, not one shadow is chalky or difficult to blend and the shimmer shades are utterly divine.  Hashtag buttery.  The second and third rows spark absolute joy in me.

Violet Voss Holy Grail palette review
Violet Voss Holy Grail palette review
Violet Voss Holy Grail palette review
Violet Voss Holy Grail palette review

If you can get hold of this palette you must.  It's genuinely genuinely so beautiful.  I've stolen Aimee's photo from her review because she does incredible eye make up and I love everything about her and this look.....

How awesome does she look???  I love that she has taken the shadows I would probably find the hardest to use and made something I want to wear immediately!!

What Aimee did...

Trish McEvoy cream shadow in Glamorous-I own this and LOVE it, the Trish McEvoy cream shadow pens are amazeballs-I reviewed them here  
Violet Voss Holy Grail palette- Bestie in the crease, Wine and Dine in the outer corner and So Jelly in the inner two thirds (on a wet brush)
Huda Beauty Scarlett lashes 

I would love to know your thoughts on this palette-are you as in awe as I am?


Friday, September 2, 2016

Currently Loving!

Favourites posts are probably my favourites to read because they make me want to buy all things.

Here's what I am currently loving in the hope I have the same effect on you!

Sadly limited edition but my first fave is Jo Malone Osmanthus Blossom which was re-released last year.  This was the second time it was released so I am hopeful it may come back again.  It's light and fresh and perfect for a hot sticky summer.  It's lightly floral with peachy tones and has a very (very) subtle cashmere wood tone that adds a little depth.  It's clean and crisp and I have been wearing it every day for work for weeks now.  I love the mint green bottle top too!

I don't often include haircare products in my favourites but I really like the Kevyn Murphy Anti Gravity Spray which was recommended to me by my hairdresser (Pollyanna at Ted Morgan in Dubai-she's amazing).  It adds volume and hold to my fine hair without weighing it down or making it stiff.

So many Youtubers that I watch love the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder but I was sure I had used it before and not liked it but I caved to the hype and it's so good!!  My skin looks matte, poreless and diffused when I use this.  It's practically colourless so doesn't affect your foundation and it means I can then go in with my bronzer on top (I am big into bronzer right now) to add a bit of colour to my Casper like skin.

Corner lashes are bae.  Because they are so freaking easy to use compared to full strip lashes.  I'm totally hooked-I bought the set above from my local supermarket-I think the brand was Kiss but I literally just plonk them on with the same ease Laura plonks on a full strip.  I am still not at Buy Now Blog Later skills level.  Applying false eyelashes and doing eyeliner will forever be my make up nemeses.   The corner lashes you see below are from Shu Uemura and I have had them years-I highly doubt you can buy them now but the concept is the same-corner lashes rock.

The surprise entry in my favourites (well to me anyway) is the Avon Super Shock Gel Eye Liner pencil.  This is the best eyeliner pencil I have ever used.  I am shockingly shit at eyeliner but this makes me look like I can give it a decent shot.  The formula is soft and fluid but doesn't migrate or transfer.  It's the blackest pencil I have ever used and the thickness of the nib is just the perfect width for a dramatic but non goth look.  Once it's on it doesn't move, transfer or smudge and I'm now using this for every evening make up look on my upper lash line.  I rarely wear black liner on my lower lash line because I find it very harsh on me but on the waterline it's a total winner.  Top marks Avon! (and thanks to my god daughter Leah for getting me this!)

My final faves come from Colour Pop.  I've been going out a lot more recently and am loving putting together more dramatic eye looks and the pigmentation and lasting power of Colour Pop shadows are perfect for that.  Two of my absolute favourites are Amaze (the golden shade) and Partridge (the peacock green shade).  Partridge has that multifaceted green/brown/blue/red tone to it that something like MAC Club or Make Up Geek Havoc has but Partridge is more pigmented and more wet look.  Colour Pop apply brilliantly with fingers, just tap the shadow directly onto your lid-they won't move or crease once on.  They're shiny and shimmery and everyone will ask you what your eyeshadow is.  Amazing products at an amazing price.

Have you used any of these products?

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