Showing posts with label Eyeshadow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eyeshadow. Show all posts

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Beauty | theBalm Collective Haul

I've been trying to explore uncharted territory when it comes to beauty and theBalm is one of the cosmetic brands I've been experimenting with lately. The American beauty brand caught my attention with their multi-use products and "beauty in 5 minutes" philosophy, not to mention the super cute packaging.

Over the past few months a couple of the Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipsticks, two Batter Up Eyeshadow Sticks and the How 'Bout Them Apples Lip & Cheek Palette have been added to my makeup collection. The liquid lipsticks are firm favourites and have been used regularly over the last few months (no surprises there). I have the shades Committed (a pretty baby pink) and Adoring (a deep red). The pigmentation is just stunning on both of these and the formula dries fairly quickly after application, lasting well on my lips throughout the day. I love both and plan on grabbing a few more shades soon.

I don't use eyeshadow often and I tend to prefer easy-to-apply formulas so the Batter Up Eyeshadow Sticks are a perfect fit. The formula is so smooth and creamy, blends well (providing you work fast) and is so beautifully pigmented. The eyeshadow sticks dry quickly and once applied don't slip or slide off the eyelids. I have two shades, Moonshot and Dugout. Both shades have a shimmery feel to them, especially Moonshot (the lighter of the shades) which looks more like glitter when blended into my skin. As Dugout is a lot deeper this shade complements my skintone better and I would definitely get a few more of the darker Batter Up Eyeshadow Sticks. 

I've had a very small blush collection for some time so I've been collecting a few products lately like the How 'Bout Them Apples Lip & Cheek Palette. The product formula is really creamy and dries matte on the skin. I love the colours in this palette but I have found that the formula is not pigmented enough for my lips, especially the lighter pink tones which don't show up on my lips at all. My natural lip colour is dark brownish pink but as the other theBalm products have been so pigmented I kind of just expected this would work for me. I have a lot of lip colours so I actually only intended to use this palette for my cheeks anyway but it's definitely something to bear in mind if you're thinking about purchasing this palette based on it being multi-use. 

You can find theBalm online in the UK at , and

Have you tried anything by theBalm?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Nudestix Magnetic Eye Pencils

I blogged about a few Nudestix pencils I received from Look Fantastic last monthand since Nudestix sent over more from their range including 10 shades from their Magnetic Eye collection. Ideal for oily lids, the Magnetic Eye pencils are stated to provide intense colour and prime the lids for all day wear. It's quite a claim but when I first received these I quickly swatched a few of them () and was stunned when the shades wouldn't budge at all when I tried to rub them off with my finger. I haven't worn them all yet, but I have been playing around with a couple of simple eye looks to get a feel for these.

Satin shades - Queen Olive, Twilight, Rustique, Copper Foil, Angel & Gilt

The Magnetic Eye pencils now come in two finishes - satin and matte - with the matte range newly launched across the pond in Sephora this month. Each pencil comes in an individual tin with a built-in mirror and a pencil sharpener. As mentioned in my last review, the brand's whole concept is using makeup to enhance rather than cover up your natural beauty and the crayons are intended to be foolproof - so you don't need to be a makeup pro to use these. I'm trying to experiment more with makeup in general but I always find blending eyeshadow shades tricky. I find powders in particular difficult to work with and I don't have the patience to take my time when applying eyeshadow.

Matte shades - Chocolate, Fig, Army & Taupe

Usually eye pencil products of this type tend to slip and slide around on my oily skin but, like the swatches I made on my arm, these colours don't budge once on my lids. They are so easy to use too. I was a bit dubious at first at whether I'd get the hang of these, but all I've been doing is scribbling the colour onto my lids and blending in with my fingertip or a brush. The result looks like I've put in far more work and the pigmentation of the shades are stunning. All of the colours I have could flatter a wide range of skintones and work great mixed together too. These pencils work as an eyeshadow, eyeliner and lid primer. The satin finishes have a metallic feel to them too so also double as a highlighter. Win.

The Magnetic Eye pencils are available for £24* from a few places in the UK like ,  or  and in the US on the brand's website  (you can get 10% off orders with the code 'FRESHLENGTHS10')

*samples - read my disclaimer .

Have you tried Nudestix pencils before?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 27 December 2015

Review | Hi Impact Brows

I used to over pluck what were already sparse, wonky brows and now I’m left with a patchy duo above my peepers. As a result I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect product to plump and define my eyebrows which looks natural and lasts. I’ve tried a lot of brow kits, some with great results, though none quite perfect. I usually have to use a combination of products to get the results I’m after.

I was sent Hi Impact Brows (£18.99)* recently and the company claims this product functions as an eyeshadow, eyeliner and eyebrow palette with shades to suit a variety of hair colours and skintones. The palette contains four highly pigmented powders - (from left to right) ash, spice, mocha and charcoal - all in beautiful glossy black packaging. There’s also a small black slanted eye brush included. It has soft bristles and is small enough to define eyebrows and eyeliner shapes.

On brows
When filling in my brows I prefer to use waxes as they're easier to control and products which are dark brown as I think black tones are too harsh for my face. This palette took me out of my comfort zone though I was pleasantly surprised. Whilst I'm still not convinced I'll solely rely on this product to shape my brows, I am impressed that when only using the powders here the makeup lasts extremely well and doesn’t budge at all. As there’s not a dark enough brown in this palette for me I’ve been using mostly the charcoal shade and toning down the colour with a little of the tawny brown powder. I still found the result just too bold for me. There definitely needs to be a greater range of tones for those with darker hair.

On eyeshadow & liner
I loved the shades here as a way to add some dimension to the eyes whilst still keeping the look natural. All of the tones here work beautifully as a neutral wash for a the lids and I think I'll rely on this palette more for eyeshadow than anything else. The powders are easy to blend together making them very wearable. If I’m wearing eyeliner I usually stick to black but for an everyday look the tawny shade works particularly well swiped across my lower lids.

I love the concept of a multi-use product though I think Hi Impact Brows could have done more to really deliver on what they claim is unique about this palette. Including an eyeshadow brush, maybe 1 or 2 more colours and a wax or gel to tame brows for example would have given this palette the edge. I probably won't continue to use this product alone to shape my brows and would combine it with the products I already have. Whilst the effect isn’t as natural as I would like this palette does boast high quality powders which last and would recommend it to those using solely powders already. I love this as an eyeshadow palette too, especially for finishing off natural everyday looks (like the one above).

This palette is available on Amazon  and for those of you in the US it will be sold at  in 2016.

*sample - read my disclaimer .

What brow products do you like?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Review | Glowwbox December 2014

There's various subscription beauty boxes on the market currently (like Glossybox, Birchbox and Jolie Box) and though I'm a self-confessed beauty lover they're pretty uncharted territory for me. I was contacted by , a monthly beauty subscription service for women with darker skin tones, and I was excited to be sent December's box - the 'Party Season' Edition*.

Inside this month's box is Black Mascara (£7.31), two  products I received Motions Natural Textures Deep Conditioning Mask (approx £5) and Motions Natural Textures Moisturising Cleanser (approx £4), Mineral Eyeshadow in Celebration (£12.99), Face Glove (£4.50), Super-food Face Mask (full size £44) and Absolute Intensity Lipstick in Raspberry (£12).

The subscription costs £10 per month plus £3.95 postage and packaging, so you get quite a lot for the price. Glowwbox is a UK company but also ships to Ireland and EU companies at an extra cost. At least 5 products are included in each box which can be a variety of sizes including sample, trial and full size. In this particular box I received 7 items and the only product which wasn't full size was the Inlight Super-food Face Mask.

You can tell by the product selection in this box that it's all about the prep that goes into a big night out. The Lord & Berry Lipstick is my favourite item included. The shade I received - Raspberry - is richly pigmented and leaves a smooth buttery finish. The lipstick fits into my makeup collection perfectly and is definitely something I would personally buy. Another favourite from the box is the Bellapierrre Eyeshadow in Celebration, a shimmery gold mineral eyeshadow. I'm a bit of an eyeshadow novice but the colour is absolutely gorgeous and perfectly apt for the makeup looks I'll be donning this season. I'll be pairing the mineral shadow with the Mehron Black Mascara also included in the box which claims to thicken lashes without dreaded clumping.

2 Motions Hair products from their Natural Textures range are also included in the box out of 4 options - the Deep Conditioning Mask, the Gloss Serum, the Smoothing Conditioner or the Moisturising Cleanser. It was really hard to find accurate pricing for these products online in the UK but generally the Motions Hair products retail for between £2 and £8. I've been familiar with the brand for years but I've never really been interested in using their products until recently as the brand has finally stepped up it's game with a recent packing revamp and more of their products now contain decent ingredients. I've not yet tried the Natural Textures Deep Conditioning Mask or the Moisturising Cleanser so I was excited to see that the full-sized products were included in this box, especially as I get through so much product due to the length and thickness of my hair.

I'm also excited to try the products by British organic skincare brand Inlight. I've had so much success using the  I'm curious to see how the Inlight Face Glove, which helps gently exfoliate the skin, will compare. The Super-food mask boasts a pretty impressive ingredients list too so I'm hoping this will give my winter-beaten skin the pick-me-up it needs, though it's a shame the sample sachet wasn't a little bit bigger.

Overall, I'm really impressed with the contents of this particular box as the product selection was well thought out and good value for money. I love that Glowwbox seeks to cater for women of colour as this really sets it apart from the plethora of beauty boxes on the market currently. If every box was like this I would definitely get myself a subscription. My only criticism would be that this box aims to please all women with darker skintones 'whether you're Black, Asian, Mixed or another beautiful brown hue' - a great concept but very difficult to deliver on. With this particular box for example I think the Motions hair products, which are marketed towards women with Afro-Caribben hair, won't appeal to many asian women with fine or straight hair. Beauty box subscription services in general need to offer more options to tailor the products included as it's impossible to appeal to everyone, regardless of skin colour. It looks like Glowwbox are working on 'a feature' to help better tailor each box to the buyer which makes the subscription service more appealing to me, though I have to admit it is exciting to try products I wouldn't ordinarily pick for myself.

*Sample. See my disclaimer .

Have you tried Glowwbox or other Beauty Box Subscription services?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 5 January 2014

Urban Decay Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette & Swatches

I feel like I'm a little late to the party with this post as so many of my favourite bloggers have already posted about the Urban Decay Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette before it even came out! I didn't get the third palette from Urban Decay's Naked collection until Christmas but I was so happy I did. I'm so excited to play around with this palette. This is my first Urban Decay palette. Ever. I've had their eyeshadows in the past, which I loved, but currently I do not have any other products from this brand.

At a quick glance, the colours in this palette are so gorgeous. I wasn't sure how these would suit my skintone (medium with a yellow undertone) but the rose-gold tones are so flattering. There's a mix of matte and glittery shades in the palette. From swatching I think Trick, Factory and Darkside are going to be my favourites. I found the right side of the palette which contains the darker shades a lot easier to swatch than the left side and coincidentally they showed up better on my skin. Dust in particular I found really hard to pick up and I think this would be hard to work with. In all though, considering I don't generally like to wear pink unless it's on my lips, I'm really surprised how much I like the shades in this palette.

The palette comes with a useful double ended brush so you can apply your eyeshadow and blend them out. It also comes with samples of the Urban Decay Primer Potion in the 4 different formulations. I really love the packaging of this product, which feels very durable and is similar to the Naked 2 palette. A lot of the eyeshadow palettes I own already are on the cheaper side and the packaging has broken or feels quite flimsy.

Overall, my initial impressions are that this is a great palette with a wide range of shades that work well together. I can now sort of understand the huge hype around the release of this product and the previous Naked palettes.

Have you tried anything by Urban Decay?

Christine Stewart x