Thursday, 4 February 2016

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

(L-R: Blonde. Bathwater, Skimp, Steady, Punk)
(L-R: Baby, Anaheim, Stark, Zone, Serious)
(L-R: Pop, Harajuku, Danger, 1987, Blackout)

About a couple of weeks ago while innocently browsing Feel Unique, I somehow stumbled across the new Limited Edition Gwen Stefani collection from Urban Decay. I adore UD, everything I've tried from them has been amazing and I didn't doubt that this collection would be any different. Naturally being the eyeshadow fiend that I am, the eyeshadow palette grabbed my attention straight away and was quickly added to my cart. I'm also eyeing up the gorgeous blush palette *adds to wishlist*

Let's start with a few things you might be interested to know about this palette. It retails for £40 and contains 15 full sized eyeshadows. Out of the 15 shadows, 3 of them are part of the core collection (Skimp, Stark, Blackout) and rest are all new created by Gwen Stefani. I read a review that said the palette had half shimmer shades and half matte shades but that's not the case, 5 of the shades are matte (Punk, Anaheim, Stark, Zone and Blackout) and the rest are shimmery/metallic shades. The packaging looks gorgeous, it's made out of hard plastic that feels quite weighty and closes magnetically - which I personally love even if bobby pins get stuck to it. It also comes with a huge mirror which is great.

As a fellow neutral lover this palette is right up my street, I adore and wear every shade. I'll admit I was unsure about the shades Harajuku and Danger as I'm not a fan of pinks and blues but to my surprise they are extremely wearable even though they don't look it in the pan. The shade Harajuku is very sheer so it's perfect for a wash of pretty pink and the shade Danger is a very deep royal blue that makes a nice replacement for black and looks great for a subtle pop of colour. If you are in crazy vibrant eyeshadows I probably wouldn't recommend this palette to you.

As you would expect from UD eyeshadows they are buttery soft and extremely pigmented - even the matte ones. Some of the shades look slightly similar, take Steady and Baby, they only difference is that Steady is warmed toned and Baby is cooled toned. The same goes for Anaheim (cool toned) and Zone (warm toned). But as a neutral lover you can never have too many different shades of brown and it's nice that this palette has options for those who like warm toned and those who like cool tones.

My favourite shades from this palette are Blonde, Baby, Anaheim (get for contouring pale skin), Zone, Pop and 1987 (basically all of them?). This has been the only eyeshadow palette I've been using since I got it, it's great for minimalist eye looks which I like for a day to day basis. I think Urban Decay have really outdone themselves with this collaboration with Gwen, every shadow is just as gorgeous as the one next to it and I think Gwen has done a great job at creating the shadows.

Have you tried anything from the Gwen Stefani collection?


Sunday, 31 January 2016

New To The Skincare Stash

Do you ever have one of those months where your skin just looks... bad? It looks dull, dry and any base products you put just doesn't sit right. Welcome to the past month of my skin life. Anything I do to help just doesn't work so I decided to invest in some new skincare and here are the products that have made it into my stash.

After finishing my The Body Shop Cleansing Oil - which I love but started to feel heavy on the skin - I decided to invest in the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. I've been using this for a over a month now and I really love it. Since I've been using it I've noticed some improvements in my skin and I think that is due to the amazing ingredients - I mean look at all those vitamins! I especially love using this in the morning as it is so lightweight. Equally it is just as good at removing make up and giving a deep clean in the evenings. Also it's pink which makes me happy!

My second purchase to help my suffering skin is the Mask Of Magnaminty (Self Preserving) from Lush. As the name would suggest this mask smells very minty which personally I like but it is quite strong. I've been using this mask once to twice a week and it has done wonders for my skin. After using this my skin is felt feeling and looking fresh, clean and bright. It has aduki beans that gently exfoliate the skin and the peppermint makes your skin feel cool and fresh. It's great for zapping those pesky spots!

That's everything that has made a permanent place in my skincare stash. What skincare have you been loving recently?

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Bye-Bye Brushes, Hello Beauty Sponges

I’ve never jumped onto the ‘beauty blender’ bandwagon as it’s something that never grabbed my attention. After seeing the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge on Amazon for a day light robbery price, I decided to try it out and see what was so 'great' about applying your base with a damp, bright orange, egg-shaped makeup sponge.

I’ve never been one to use sponges for my makeup, I’m much happier using my RT brushes to apply my base so I was pretty skeptical to say the least. The sponge can be used damp or dry to apply and blend in your base products. It sort of feels like a stress ball – it’s very bouncy and firm. There are three sides to the sponge a round side for the whole face, a flat side for the larger areas and pointed tip for all nooks and crannies of your face. The shape is great and covers all bases.

Tapping it onto your face to blend can be a bit of a drag if I’m honest, it definitely takes longer to blend into skin rather than just slapping it on with a brush. BUT, the coverage and finish of it a lot better than using a brush and it doesn’t give that brush streak-free finish. I feel like it really gets the best coverage out of my foundation and concealer. I used my current favourite foundation, Nars Sheer Glow and I feel like the foundation sat better on my skin using the RT Sponge. Although it did give me a really full coverage look which could be a pro or con. Personally I don’t like too much full coverage but it’s great if you need/like that full coverage base.

A plus to this though is that you can really get the best out of your concealer. When I use a brush I never tap my concealer in, I tend to wipe it around my face so the coverage isn’t amazing. Whereas with the sponge you automatically tap it in and it gives amazing coverage. Covering up my late night bags and pesky, red blemishes. I’d much rather have a high coverage concealer to cover what I want rather than a high coverage foundation.

I have one small gripe with it and that is that it is such a pain to keep clean. I have lucky found a full-proof way to clean it but it’s still a faff as it soaks up product, which means you have to clean it regularly

It’s a win-win for me. Especially for concealer. I’ve been using this to apply my base products ever since I got it and I’m loving it. Bye-bye brushes, hello damp, orange egg-shaped make up sponge…

Do you use any beauty blender type sponges?



Thursday, 7 January 2016

A Mini Mac Haul

I haven't bought anything from Mac in a while and I got an email saying there was free shipping so I took the opportunity to buy a couple of things I have be lusting over for a while. I get overwhelmed at Mac because of the massive selection so I stuck to one eye shadow and one lipstick.

One of my favourite products at Mac is the eye shadow, I love the colour selection, I love the different finishes and, I think they are really good quality. I ordered the shade 'All That Glitters'. It is a Veluxe Pearl so the finish is a shimmery metallic. It is a beautiful champagne, rose gold which I think will make my blue eyes really stand out. It fairly sheer compared to some of other shadows I have, but it is still really buttery texture and blends beautifully.

I only have one Mac lipstick, Plumful, which I love but I don't get a lot of use out of it. So I wanted to invest in a lipstick that I would to wear everyday. After looking up loads swatches I decided to get 'Velvet Teddy'. It's a Matte finish which is what I love to wear. Velvet Teddy is a gorgeous pink toned nude with a slight brown hint to it. I was a little unsure if this would suit my ghostly complexion but not to toot my own horn, I think it looks lovely. The formula is really amazing as well especially for a matte lipstick. It glides into the lips without tugging and it doesn't dry out my lips either.

What are your favourite products from Mac?

© Lucy Sprowell

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