Wednesday, 31 July 2013

More Crownbrush Love - Duo fiber Face Brushes Review

As mentioned in one of my previous posts, I was lucky enough to win the beautiful duo-fiber face collection of brushes from my faves, Crownbrush UK. As always, they came with immaculate packaging, and super-speedy delivery just a couple days after I had passed my address onto them. I used three of these brushes on my birthday, and everyone commented on how lovely my skin looked, as well as the complete adoration of my flawless face make-up myself. (That sounded completely big-headed, and it was the only way to get my point across, I apologise, but it was totally unintentional!)

The brushes from left to right are; Bronzer C442, Face Powder C406, Liquid Foundation C404, Blush C436.

Despite that this is stated as a bronzer brush, I found this brush worked best at buffing in my foundation. With it being my birthday, and having a little more time to spend on make-up, I applied two shades Laura Mercier's silk creme, to lightly contour, and my foundation was left twice as flawless as it usually would be with a Real Techniques Buffing brush, or my triple-the-price Urban Decay Optical Blurring brush.

I have used this brush for applying both cream blush products, and cream highlighters, and have loved the finish created with both. It is a similar size to the liquid foundation brush, but thanks to the shorter length of the bristles, this brush is a little more dense, and I find moves the product around less, which is ideal for getting a more precise application either on the apples of the cheeks, or the tops of cheekbones, depending on what it's used for. I hadn't realised that I already had the liquid foundation brush, and have already reviewed it in my previous Crownbrush post (here) but I've chosen to use this brush for applying my radiance primers, as I found the application with a brush makes the product work into my skin easier, and I can use less product than I would normally.

This face powder brush probably hasn't seen as much action as the others, as I tend to favor a natural finish to matte. But whilst we had the horribly sticky and warm weather, I applied my powder with this, and applied a little MAC Fix+ afterwards, and I have to say, it left a much nicer finish than without the powder. My makeup stayed put, even after a long country walk and a few wine and sodas.

I'm completely thrilled with these brushes, and once again Crownbrush has knocked every other brush company off my radar thanks to their incredible customer service, speedy delivery and more than perfect professional quality brushes.

If there was an angel and devil sitting on each shoulder, even the angel would be telling you to treat yourself on the Crownbrush site. I promise you won't be disappointed, go, go, go! I currently have a 10% code off for all my followers too, which is FINJA13, and my link in the sidebar will take you straight to their site.

Thanks so much Crownbrush. You have once again, completely revolutionised my make-up routine!!


Sunday, 28 July 2013


My MAC Eyeshadow Collection

Hey everyone! So the birthday celebrations are more or less over now, so I thought I'd get to work on a post I've been planning for quite a while now, a very much overdue eyeshadow collection to join my previous lipstick collection. This one is forever growing, but at the moment, this is my MAC x15 eye palette, in all of its beautiful glory.

The colours in this palette, with the finishes from left to right are:

Vanilla (Velvet)
Brule (Satin)
Quarry (Matte)
Omega (Matte)
Cork (Satin)
Woodwinked (Veluxe Pearl)
Patina (Frost)
Satin Taupe (Frost)
Charcoal Brown (Matte)
Embark (Matte)
Sumptuous Olive (Veluxe Pearl)
Club (Satin)
Cranberry (Frost)
Sketch (Velvet)
Carbon (Matte)

All the swatches in this post have been done using a blending brush, to create a more realistic view on what the colours will look like when applied.

MAC shadows are easy to blend, last well, especially when used with a primer, and some are more pigmented than others, but overall, their shadows are pretty damn incredible, and the colour selection is perfect for beginners and professionals.

The "mattes"- (Left to right, Vanilla, Brule, Quarry, Omega, Cork, Charcoal Brown, Embark, Carbon)

Both Vanilla and Brule were very hard to photograph, because they are so pale, and don't show up a lot on your lids anyway, but both are ideal as base colours, or very subtle highlight colours, depending on your skin tone.

Quarry is an ideal crease colour, a lot cooler in tone than most, so looks very natural, making it ideal for a "pin-up" 50's inspired eye look. Cork is also amazing for this, but it's a lot warmer, so I tend to use it if I'm a little more tan, or if my makeup look is a lot more bronzed and Victoria's Secret-esque. I also like to use Cork all over the lid, and under the eye if I decide to go for a bohemian/grunge Cara-esque look.

Embark and Carbon tend to be used as liner, as powder colours are a lot more subtle than liquid and gel liners for certain occasions. Embark is a lot more subtle than Carbon, which is a true black. The red undertones in Embark are truly beautiful, and make this one of my favourite shades in this palette.

Both Omega and Charcoal Brown are brow colours for myself, depending on how intense my makeup look is, and because I dye my brows, Omega is good for the days where it has faded, a mixture of both in between, and Charcoal Brown for when they are darker. (Girl problems, ey?)

The "shimmers"- Left to right (Woodwinked, Patina, Satin Taupe, Sumptuous Olive, Club, Cranberry, Sketch)

Woodwinked is a beautiful colour to be used alone, as when blended out, it seems to come across as two colours, starting as a deep bronze/gold shade, and leaving a very warm red/brown on the blended edges. Quite similar to Sumptuous Olive and Club, which when blended also have the effect of two shades. Club is completely multi-tonal, it appears brown in these pictures, but has tones of green running through it, similar to Sumptuous Olive, making them a perfect combination.

Sketch is quite similar to the darkest shade in my Estee Lauder Raisins palette (review: here) a deep plum, which is very flattering on pale blue/green eyes like my own. Cranberry is similar in finish, but more of a deep red, than deep purple, it's very obvious to see why this is such a favourite, it is beautiful, and so different to the usual eyeshadows on the market.

Patina and Satin Taupe are also beautiful shades, with Patina being what I would call a very subtle bronze, and much more appropriate for daytime wear for anyone nervous about having too heavy of eye makeup in the day. Satin Taupe is quite similar to Woodwinked I'd say, but as the name suggests, it has tones of Taupe running through it (too obvious?!)

I'd say my favourite finish would be a toss up between matte and frost. I like mattes as they are so easy to wear on a day to day basis, and blend well, however frost is almost like a shimmery version of matte, without having huge shimmer particles that make you look like Edward Cullen, it's a subtle way of doing shimmer, and making your lids look more glossy, rather than sparkly.

My favourite combinations, are; 
-Brule across the whole lid, Quarry in the crease, with cat-eye liner flick for the perfect 50's inspired look.
-Patina across the lid, Embark used as liner, and blended a little. Embark is a brilliant alternative to black liner, and the red tones are so flattering on pale blue/green eyes like my own.
-Sumptuous Olive and Cork through the crease, with a little Carbon dabbed as close the lash-line as possible to thicken the lashes.

I feel as if I've waffled on for what feels like a lifetime now, if you want to see any looks, or anything reviewed in depth, please let me know! I'm going to post about my two MAC quads next week, I think.


Friday, 26 July 2013

One of them things you don't REALLY need - Velvotan Fake Tan Folding Back Applicator Review

Whilst ordering some more of my favourite fake tan the other day, I saw this little contraption come up on the same page, and I thought, despite how much of a novelty product it seems, how kind of brilliant the idea behind it was. 

But what did I really think of it? The concept, and the idea is pretty good, and I can imagine, quite the money-maker! However, the design just isn't quite there yet, it's too flimsy and small to get an even finish on your back, and takes so long to use, that by the time its even, your tan has actually dried, and gone a little "crumby" - it wasn't pretty!  I like the fact that it folds, and has a replacement pad, for ease of storage and use, but out of storage, it just isn't worth the money.

So I'm pretty sure you can all guess whether or not I think this is a total novelty? So much so, I wish I'd have spent my money on five bars of Dairy Milk from the pound shop. But let's be serious, chocolate is welcome anytime, anyday. (Is that some Dairy Milk in the fridge??? BYE!)


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Favourite Things #3

(Insert typical British comment about how brilliant this sunny weather is...) Thanks to the much welcome sun finally making it's appearance, I thought I'd fill up my little wicker basket with tons of beauty products, my camera and get outside to take some pictures. This time my favourite things post seems very much summer orientated, and has more fake tan than I think most people own. Hey, the things you'll do when you aren't blessed with olive skin...

Xen Tan Moroccan Tan- Okay, the story behind this tan, I bought it WAY back in Winter '12 when it first came out, and being nervous that it was going to be way too dark, I ended up sticking it in a storage box and overlooking it everytime I applied a fake tan. So about a month ago, I thought sod it, I need to give it a go, right... So I did. I left it on for about five hours, when the tube says three. However, it hardly developed and I was left the same colour as I was previously. I tried it again a couple weeks ago, and decided to sleep in it, and after a doctor's appointment the morning after, it had been left on for about 14 hours, and this time, once washed off, I was left with a beautiful olive, natural deep tan (not as dark as most people make it seem, however.) with zero streaks, and I smelled like a holiday, thanks to it's lovely coconut scent. It wore quite well too, and lasted about a week. I'll get a full review posted of this at some point...

This Works Perfect Legs Gradual Tan- To keep up a tan, I moisturise and exfoliate regularly so that the colour fades evenly, and to keep it looking glowing, about 4/5 days into the tan, I top up with a gradual tan. This Works Perfect Legs products are packed with vitamins and other fancy-shmancy ingredients which help even out skin tone, and cover bruises and blemishes. I often get a little nervous about fake-tanning my legs, as after shaving it often settles in pores and just looks horrible. This doesn't, and makes me feel as confident as those women that seem to jump around like kangaroos in Veet and Bodyform ads.

LDN: Skins Lotion TONE 1- ANOTHER TAN? GOD, SHE MUST LOOK LIKE AN OOMPA LOOMPA? No, I use this one for the upper half of my body in the middle of the week. It has a slight tint, making it easy to apply, and it smells divine, leaving me smelling my own shoulder all night when I've applied this. It is a gradual tan, and just leaves your skin moisturised, and keeps up the "moroccan" olive glow which comes from the Xen-Tan offering.

(Just to add, I apply tan ALWAYS with either a mitt or latex gloves, which I buy from my local chemist. This avoids stained palms, but always remember to use the remaining product leftover to graze over the tops of your hands...)

Diorskin Forever Foundation in 020- Another product which got slightly abandoned from fear of it being too dark, and guess what, it wasn't! I've rediscovered this baby, and I'm loving it even more this time round. It's a wonderful foundation, definitely not popular enough for how brilliant it is. It's a medium coverage, long-lasting, natural matte foundation which manages to blend in perfectly, and makes your skin look fantastic! Another Dior product getting raved about from me... I just LOVE Dior!

Clinique Chubby Stick for eyes in Ample Amber- I bought this after seeing it on LLYMLRS' blog, as I thought when they first came out that none of the shades were very wearable, but this is a gorgeous shade, described perfectly by it's name, Amber. It's a lovely warm shade, and looks amazing on its own, but also works fantastic as a base colour, for the rest of the shadow to cling to.

MAC Art of the Eye Collection (Rimal Dahabia palette)- In particular, the shade I've been using the most is Shroom, a colour in MAC's permanent collection, but a new discovery for me, and it makes the most perfect inner corner highlight colour, and seriously finished off any eye-look, by brightening the eye area and making it look just a little more glamorous. (I feel like that whole statement came off a little "I think I'm a Kardashian." but just to clarify, I very much dislike the Kardashians, so I apologise...)

John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3 Day Straight- Being a curly girl with very thick hair, it does become occasionally hard to manage, but I've started using a very small amount of this spray with my usual Neal and Wolf Heat Protectant, and it manages to keep my hair a lot less frizzy, and minimises styling time across several days. 

Avene Thermal Spring Water- Technically an empty bottle now, but it shows how much I've been loving it! I won't waffle, as the review is here.

Bourjois 1 Seconde Polish Remover- Yes, I'm very late to the party with this one, but I must admit, that I'm kind of loving this. Despite the weird sensation of sticking your finger in a foamy hole (avoid giggles!) and its one second claim this is quite the revolutionary product. It's much tidier and easier to use, as well as minimising the need for packs of cotton wool and nail polish remover, it's kind of brilliant... 

Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File- Another anti-waffle product, as the review is here.

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