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Review | NYX Vivid Brights Liquid Eyeliner in Fire

People say that the best gifts to receive are the ones money can't buy. When that isn't an option and you actually have to buy someone a physical gift, I often find the cheapest ones are the best ones. Which is why, out of all of the lovely presents I received this Christmas, this product is one of my favourites.

I search the make-up tag on Instagram multiple times a day, which is where I got it into my head that I needed an eyeliner in my life which isn't the standard black or brown. What about yellow, for a change? Or orange!!? Fortunately my sister can take a hint and bought me a vivid, fiery red eyeliner as a stocking filler. The NYX Vivid Brights Liquid Eyeliner in Fire is my new favourite beauty product, and I'm about to tell you why it should be yours, too!

About the NYX Vivid Brights Liquid Eyeliner:
"Line your lids with vibrant colour with our new Vivid Brights Liners. Available in nine incredible shades, these pro-level liners deliver instant and intense colour payoff."

The NYX Vivid Brights Liquid Eyeliners come in nine lovely and vibrant shades, varying from acid yellow to a bright fiery red, also known as Fire, the shade I want to show you today. Each liquid eyeliner comes housed in a little box which shows the shade within on the front of the packaging, with the bottle sharing the same appearance. The eyeliner brush is very long and thin making for precise application but if you are used to more of a pen-style eyeliner like me then you will definitely need a little practice when it comes to application. I much prefer using eyeliners with nibs to them rather than this style of eyeliner, purely because I find application much more precise.

Fire is a gorgeous deep red with almost a pinky tone to it. When applied to the skin Fire is a deep red but when it dries it dries down to more of a muted red shade. Even so, it is still a vibrant red which looks absolutely beautiful on the eyelids. Whilst it isn't an eyeliner for perhaps every day work life, if you can pull it off then I would wear it all week long. When worn with a MAC Paint Pot underneath, the NYX Vivid Brights Liquid Eyeliner lasts all day without cracking, flaking or smudging. I've worn this every day since I received it and each day I have been complimented on it which is pretty good going.

I absolutely love the NYX Vivid Brights Liquid Eyeliner in Fire, so much so that I've bought a few more shades in the range. I absolutely love the vibrant colours within the range and whilst I think the applicator itself takes some getting used to, I think everyone needs to try a bright red eyeliner out for once in their life! They may not be shades for everyday life but they sure are fun.


Review | Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

You can spend all of the money in the world on foundations, concealers and creamy contour palettes but if you don't get your base correct first and your make-up just slips away throughout the day, there doesn't seem much point. I have tried so many primers recently. I find a lot of them rather hit and miss - some will work wonders, keeping my make-up on all day long, whereas some of them just do the complete opposite. I tried one out recently from NYX which was really greasy in formula so it just made my foundation slide off of my face. I also find the consistency and texture of some primers to be too thick and heavy so when you apply your make-up on top, it makes everything feel heavy and almost caked-on, especially when the primer contains sillicone. I much prefer my primers to be more lightweight so that my skin still has a chance to breathe, even though my make-up is applied on top of it. 

The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is a three-in-one product which is not only created to prime the face before make-up, but also to refresh the skin throughout the day as a cooling mist and to restore moisture and at the end of your make-up application as a setting spray. I really love the idea of applying a primer in this way through a spritz bottle, although the cynical part of me thinks that Smashbox could just put tap water in there and I would still think it was great but I can confirm it isn't just tap water - I promise.

About the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water:
"Think priming benefits, hydration and sheer radiance—all in just 1 spritz! Primer water is free of silicone, alcohol and oil, but it’s packed with revitalizing electrolytes to wake up skin and restore moisture—like a supercharged energy drink for your skin. Passed through positive energy fields during the production process, our enriched water instantly absorbs into skin for lasting hydration (and when skin is hydrated, makeup looks better). It’s everything you love about the original photo finish primer in our lightest, purest, most refreshing form imaginable. From the silky-smooth texture of the original, to the super-fine mist of this new water, now there’s a primer for everyone."

The Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water comes housed in a clear spritz bottle which makes application incredibly easy - all you need is a couple of sprays to the face and you are all set for the day. I really had my uncertainties about this primer water to begin with as how can a water based primer be just as good as a more 'obvious' creamy primer, such as the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer? Will it be more like a placebo in that I spray what is essentially water with a bit of a scent to it over my face and believe that my skin looks and feels better? Well I can firmly say I was wrong. It may look like water but it is so much better than that. 

As this product is multi-purpose, you can really use it in any way you like. I think it would be a wonderful product to use in the summer or on holiday as a refreshing, cooling mist, although I will be using this as a primer and as a setting spray. I like to apply it as a primer by spraying just a few spritz all over my face, letting is settle for a few moments then applying my make-up as usual. It leaves a really lightweight, refreshing feel to the skin and best of all, because it is so light, you don't have to hang around for a little while waiting for the product to soak into your skin. I then apply my foundation and other make-up just as usual then apply another light layer of the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water as a setting spray. If you weren't willing to use this product as a primer then it is definitely worth using it as a setting spray because the holes where the product comes out from are so tiny, the bottle releases a really fine amount of product each time meaning your make-up at the end doesn't get ruined, nor do you end up with a soaking wet face - something which has happened to me before when I last used a setting spray. 

Results wise, I cannot fault the product. It does what it claims to - it keeps my make-up in place all day long and I can confidently go to work and not have to worry about my make-up fading away throughout the day. I love how this product feels on the skin when applied as a primer. It feels as if it is really hydrating and really prepping and preparing my skin for the application of make-up. If you were after a really lightweight facial primer come cooling mist come setting spray, then I would definitely recommend you check this primer water out next time you are at a Smashbox counter!


Review | Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Double-Ended Mascara & Primer

When I recently made my Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Collection order through QVC, I was looking forward to trying out everything within the collection but one of the products I was most looking forward to trying was the mascara. I have a real love/hate relationship with mascaras. None of them really live up to my expectations, nor have I ever purchased the same mascara twice. To me, they are all pretty much the same and don't really deliver amazing results but this time, I may have have just found a mascara that I would happily own twice - the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Double-Ended Mascara & Primer.

About the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Double-Ended Mascara & Primer:
"Because two is better than one, Tarte is pairing everyone's favourite Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara with an exclusive deluxe premiere of the new opening act lash primer for an instant bombshell boost in one perfectly portable tool. With naturally-derived lash volumizing and conditioning agents, Tarte's Opening Act's high-performance formula works to instantly increase lash volume and comes perfectly paired with its best-selling deluxe co-star, Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in1 Mascara."

The idea of the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Double-Ended Mascara & Primer is that you apply the Opening Act Primer first to the lashes which is supposed to dramatically increase lash volume, then define the lashes with the other end of the product which has the mascara within. The Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara is supposed to make the lashes appear full and fluttery. I absolutely love the idea of having both products within one end as it makes it great for travel as well as for general ease - I am forever losing my mascara in my make-up bag!

I will start off by saying how much I love the packaging and the general design to the product. I think it is a really great idea, although it does mean that you get less of each product then you usually would do if you purchased them individually, in which case it would probably be more beneficial to buy a full-sized bottle of each of the products. I was really intrigued by the Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer as I had never used one before, nor had I really seen the point in it. The primer is supposed to increase volume within the lashes and prepare them for the application of the mascara. The product and wand itself is white, which can discolour if you haven't removed all of last nights mascara - something which I am incredibly guilty of!

I applied the primer to my eyelashes in the same way as a mascara and it immediately lengthened my lashes without making them look spidery. I then applied the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara which separated and lengthened my eyelashes further without making them appear clumpy, something which I thought might happen what with having to layer the products up on top of each other. With just one coat of mascara you could tell a big difference, something which I haven't really noticed too much of before with other mascaras. The mascara is a deep black in colour and isn't too wet either - I am tired of buying really wet mascaras which transfer onto the skin as soon as you blink after application! I was really impressed with this mascara as I loved how it separated and really lengthened the eyelashes without clumping or flaking and I think it is the only mascara I have tried which I can see myself repurchasing!

That said, I do think I will just buy the mascara as a stand-alone product. As much as I like the primer, I don't think it is entirely necessary considering the mascara itself does such a great job on its own. I think the double-ended wand is a great way to try out two new products and if you can get hold of one, definitely give both products a try but if you were after a new mascara to really lengthen the lashes then I really recommend the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara!


Other | My Favourite Makeup Brushes

At the moment I can't stop buying make-up brushes, which is actually pretty great as the more eyeshadow brushes I buy, the less I need to wash. Or something like that. At the moment I seem to buy a whole set of makeup brushes each month and because of this, I can't remember the last time I washed my old brushes which is really bad but I will try harder, I promise.

I was sat organising my makeup brushes the other day and realised that all of my favourite makeup brushes aren't high-end or expensive at all. In fact, most of them cost less than £5 each. Don't get me wrong, I am sure the Artis brushes are incredible, as are the likes of MAC and Zoeva but as they are quite a lot of money per brush (eye-watering when it comes to the likes of Artis), I thought it would be helpful to show you that not all incredible brushes have to be expensive. I firmly believe in the saying 'you get what you pay for' but sometimes you don't have to spend out a lot to get high quality products in return. Which leads me onto today's post - my favourite makeup brushes.

"Expertly blends multiple eye shades while softening dramatic edges and fine lines."
ELF makeup brushes were the first brushes I bought post crappy brushes which come free with makeup sets etc. When they arrived I was absolutely thrilled to own some "proper make-up brushes!" and to be fair, they have served me well. This brush blends wonderfully, is incredibly soft and I have never encountered it to shed its bristles which is incredible considering it only costs £2.

"Morphe Brushes Tapered Crease Brush is a pointed eye shadow brush for defining the crease."
I only bought this brush recently but I think I have used it every day since. It is the perfect brush for applying a shadow into the crease of the eye and whilst I have noticed some shredding of the bristles, it is now a brush I could not live without!

"Morphe Brushes Large Pointed Crease Brush is a pointed brush exclusively shaped for defining the delicate lash line and for blending eyeshadow."
Another great blending brush from Morphe. I tend to use the M139 a little more because of the tapered bristles which gives a more precise application but the M322 is excellent for blending out shades and I find I use it a lot to apply eyeshadow to the outer corners before blending out.

This Seventeen Eyeshadow Brush stands out in my brush holders because of its violet handle and its soft but firm and dense bristles. I would say this brush is an all-rounder. I use it to apply my base shadows, as well as applying colour to the crease. For £1.99 I wasn't expecting the world out of this brush (nor the rest of them if I am honest!) but it's a great and handy little brush to have in your collection.

"This beautiful brush is the perfect tool for applying powder or cream eyeshadow around the lower lash line, to get a soft & smudgy effect."
I use this brush every day for applying eyeshadow on my lower lash line and blending it out. Its short and stubby bristles makes blending a dream and its bristles don't irritate the eyes either. If you were looking for a brush to use on the lower lash line for smudging colour out then this is the best I have tried so far!

"The bristles on this brush are still soft and fluffy for blending, but the stubby shape means you can really pack on the colour."
This brush and the Morphe B77 brush are my current favourites to use for applying base eyeshadows. The Spectrum Stubby Shader Brush is perfect for packing on the colour onto the lid because of its packed, flat bristles. I couldn't really choose between the Spectrum A07 or the Morphe B77 as they are both wonderful and you can't really have too many.

"A soft, round tipped brush for applying eyeshadow. Soft, natural bristles are packed into a round topped, tapered design which is ideal for applying a highly pigmented wash of colour to the eyelids."
Like above, the B77 Oval Shadow Brush is perfect for packing the colour onto the eyes and is a brush that everyone needs one or two of in their collection.

"Zoeva 142 Brush is an innovative makeup tool which flawlessly applies and blends concealer and correction makeup."
This is my one and only Zoeva brush and I love it. It has so many uses to it but I mostly use it for buffing out concealer underneath the eyes before blending out further with my beauty blender, or I use it for applying my MAC Paint Pots which it does wonderfully well due to its dense bristles.

"Use on the face to apply, blend or contour powder products evenly and flawlessly. The soft rounded corners deliver a light blend of color on the face."
I use this brush everyday to apply my blusher with and whilst it may not be the best quality out of the bunch, it does the job well and blends the product out evenly. The bristles have shed a little since I bought it but overall, I don't have many complaints about it and it has served me well for a very long time.

Earlier on in the year I bought a Real Techniques Bold Metals set dupe on eBay for £4.89 for a 7-piece set. It came all the way from China and was so much better than I ever could have expected! My sister bought me a Real Techniques Bold Metals Triangle Foundation Brush and I really did not like it at all. For the price of it - over £20, I thought the bristles felt like plastic, it was scratchy on the face and it applied my foundation streaky. Well, somewhat surprisingly, the dupe version is 10x better. It is softer that its original which, to me, makes it more useable. The tapered blush brush is my favourite out of the set and it is the brush I use for applying my highlighters each day. If I ever lost this brush I would buy the whole set all over again which I think is saying something.

And finally, there is no foundation or base brush featured in this post, purely because nothing can beat a beauty blender. I was really slow on the beauty blender hype and didn't really understand why everyone was going mad over an expensive bit of sponge but wow - I totally get it now. With each use of the beauty blender, I get beautifully flawless foundation applied each time - something which no brush has ever given me!

So, those are all of my favourite brushes, which are yours?


Other | Last Minute Gift Guide For Her For Under £50

Whilst I have managed to do the bulk of my Christmas shopping, I know there is lots of people out there who haven't even thought about present buying yet - and we're less than 2 weeks away from the 'big day'! As I work in retail, every day we get closer to the December the 24th, the more people I see dash around the shops and panic buy anything and everything just so they have presents to give out on Christmas Eve. If you still haven't thought about buying presents for family or friends yet and want some inspiration as to what to buy and even better - a direct link so you can buy without even stepping foot outside the house, then take a little look at my gift guide below. I've tried to include a whole array of gifts that would suit all ages, including some lovely face creams and masks from L'occitane. I really don't think you can go wrong with body care and skin care when it comes to gifts, albeit Christmas or birthday. Everything always comes in to use and I love receiving luxurious body and skincare products which I would never usually buy myself.

Take a little look at my last minute gift guide for £50 or under. I love reading gift guides for inspiration as I always run out of ideas as to what to buy for friends and family, although I do find some of them rather unachievable. As much as I would love a Chanel Handbag, Jimmy Choo shoes, or a Rolex watch, I don't neseccarily think they should be put on gift guides. Yes, we can all dream but for now, have a little read of my more realistic guide below!
L'occitane Delicate Cherry Blossom Collection - £49.00 / Bobbi Brown Brightening Brick - £35.00
Michael Kors Wonderlust Parfum - £42.50 / Selfish Mother Super Woman Jumper - £45.00
Hotel Chocolat Classic Christmas Sleekster Box - £22.50
Chan Luu Turquoise Earrings - £39.00 / Diptyque Figuier Candle - £42.00 / Tom Ford Lip Colour - £39.00
Kate Spade Silver Compact Mirror - £30.00 / Kate Spade In Ear Headphones - £39.95
Daniel Wellington Classic Cuff - £39.00 / YSL Touche Eclat Blur Perfector - £32.50
Clarins Eye Makeup Collection - £21.50 / Selfish Mother Winging It Jumper - £45.00
Liz Earle Winter Hot Cloth Cleanser - £22.75 / Marc Jacobs Stud Earrings - £40.00
Charlotte Tilbury Eye Shadow Palette - £38.00 / Ted Baker Notebook - £15.00
Iconic London Rose Gold Brush Set - £43.00 / Katie Loxton Keyring - £12.99
Alexander McQueen Book - £45.00 / Marc Jacobs Bracelet - £50.00
Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow Palette - £37.50 / Ted Baker Rose Gold Pen - £48.00
GHD Travel Hairdryer - £49.00
Estee Lauder Modern Muse Parfum - £49.50 / Philosophy Radiant Skincare Gift Set - £29.25
Marc Jacobs Earrings - £45.00 / Nars Highlighting Blush - £23.00
Converse Mesh Trainers - £30.00 / Le Cord Rose Gold Charge Cable - £28.00
Diptyque Solid Perfume - £30.00 / Diptyque Pillar Candle - £48.00
L'occitane Rebalancing Face Mask - £20.00 / Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics - £38.50

Have you done all of your Christmas shopping yet? What are you asking Santa Claus for? I keep asking him for some diamond earrings but he keeps telling me that I am getting a sat nav. Oh the glamour!

(*Post sponsored by L'occitane)


Other | My Favourite Fragrances

I still have the bottle of the first perfume I ever bought for myself. I saved up all of my pocket money and bought a bottle of Look by Vera Wang. I saw the box it came in first and thought it looked pretty, then smelt the perfume itself and fell in love. That was about 8 years ago. I loved it so much that I didn't want to use all of it up so I still have a few more wears out of it and it surprisingly still smells the same, after all of these years. It's been discontinued now, naturally, but I still keep hold of the bottle for nostalgia. 

In the photos above is my whole entire perfume collection but I just thought I would point out a few of my favourites out of the bunch. I love going to the fragrance section in Boots but I get slightly overwhelmed by all of the bottles on the shelves and always end up not bothering to try and rummage through them all in hope of finding a new favourite. Instead, I get a lot of my perfumes from reading reviews or by getting recommendations from family - at least then when I go to Boots to hunt for a new fragrance I know which bottle to look for! 

I remember begging my mum for months and months for her to buy me this perfume. I remember everyone raving about it and because everyone else liked it, I hadn't actually smelt it before I begged for it which is quite a risky move. What if I hated it? Fortunately I joined the 'Daisy by Marc Jacobs fan club' and it is the happiest perfume I own. I know it's a big old cliche but it does remind me of a warm, summers day. It is very much a floral scent without being overpowering or too sweet and I can really see why everyone has loved this perfume for a long time.

My favourite night time fragrance. I was actually sent this perfume earlier on in the year from Debenhams as part of a collaboration for Valentine's Day. I knew they were going to send me a perfume but they didn't say which one so when Euphoria by Calvin Klein popped through my door I was so excited. I hadn't tried it before so I wasn't sure what it was going to be like but my Mum and I both loved it instantly. So much so that I had to buy my Mum the biggest bottle they sell for Mothers Day as she kept asking to borrow mine. It is a really woody perfume with notes of amber, black orchid, lotus and green leaves, making it perfect for the evening. 

I can't believe that two of my favourite fragrances actually come from Victoria's Secret. VS is known for its lingerie, not for its perfumes and sprays but I can't tell you how much their perfumes and beauty section shouldn't be overlooked. With pretty bottles and pretty scents, I am yet to find a perfume or scent from them that I don't like.  Bombshell is my everyday perfume. At the moment this is probably my most used, purely because it is light, fruity, floral and sweet without being too overpowering or headache inducing. I actually have this perfume in a rollerball too so I am never without it!

The bottle was the first thing that attracted me to this fragrance and whilst it isn't to everyone's cup of tea, if you look past the slightly gaudy bottle then inside is a really fun, fruity fragrance with notes of pear, red apple, blooming gardenia and musk. Tease is a really typical girlie fragrance and has been compared to Viva La Juicy by Juicy Couture so if that is your fave then you will love this.

This is the cheapest perfume out of the bunch and definitely one of my favourites. Like all of my other faves, this perfume is fresh and girly made up from fresh green and floral notes. This perfume costs just £12. £12! For that price I don't mind travelling with it as if it got knocked in my case and broken, I wouldn't be too heartbroken or devastated at losing just £12 compared to my more expensive perfumes. I really love Next fragrances and there is a few more from their perfume range that I have my wishlist.

I have a whole list of perfumes on my 'to-buy' list to add to my collection. The next two I want to buy is Pop by Stella McCartney and Alien by Thierry Mugler. I recently received a little samle bottle of Alien and because I had never tried it before I doused myself in it and oh my goodness, it smells absolutely incredible. I really didn't think I would like it as it is so different to my typically girlie fragrances but it is just so different and unusual. What are your favourites?


Review | L'oreal True Match Liquid Glow Illuminator in Icy Glow

I hope we aren't over the highlighter trend yet because I have a brand new one to show you and boy, is it good. I first saw this product, albeit a different shade, in one of Lydia Elise Millen's Snapchat videos where she compared it to a ByTerry product which costs £100+. She applied the product to her face before applying her foundation and she said it made her face appear so much more radiant and glowy than before. I really wanted to try it out for myself but decided to get a lighter shade as I thought the shade she tried, Golden Glow, wouldn't suit me as much as the lighter shade, Icy Glow, would do. The product? The L'oreal True Match Liquid Glow Illuminator.

About the L'oreal True Match Liquid Glow Illuminator:
"Our 1st multi-use liquid highlighter for a lit from within glow to enhance key features or create subtle contours. Use as a primer for a radiant complexion, blend with foundation for an all over glow or use to accentuate your features by applying where light naturally hits your face."

The L'oreal True Match Liquid Glow Illuminator in Icy Glow is a gorgeous frosty pale pink illumiator which isn't shimmery or glittery. It definitely gives more of a glow rather than a full on, shimmery highlight, which makes it perfect for using under foundation, mixed in with foundation and on top of foundation placed where the sunlight naturally hits the face. The illuminators are more pearlescent in colour rather than glittery and when dotted along the cheekbones above foundation it leaves a really lovely, dewy glow.

When I first tried Icy Glow, I thought I would apply it underneath my foundation to see if it would perk up my skin and give a glow I was hoping for so I placed a few dots of the product on my face, blended it in with my fingers then applied my foundation. I could definitely tell a difference as my skin had a really subtle glow and a luminous shine to it and I absolutely loved it. So much that I then applied Icy Glow to my cheekbones for even more of a glow. Because the formula is so lightweight, it is really easy to build the illuminator up to get a more 'in-your-face' shine, especially when you just dot it along the cheekbones and blend it out just a little.

What I love about the L'oreal True Match Liquid Glow Illuminators is that they are so pigmented, blendable and they make such a difference to the skin. They aren't shimmery or glittery, instead they are more frosty and pearlescent in finish and because they are really lightweight in formula, they are incredibly easy to build up on the skin. I really love this product and have used Icy Glow underneath my foundation ever since I bought it. I would say Icy Glow was more suited towards paler skintones whereas Golden Glow is more suited towards medium-toned skintones. That said, I really want to try Golden Glow to see what it would look like on the cheekbones as a highlight as it is a really pretty, golden shade.


Review | L'oreal Paris Color Riche Nude Eyeshadow Palette in Rose

I own so many eyeshadow palettes now, perhaps too many. I don't know how many eyeshadows I have, but I do know that I needn't buy any more ever again for as long as I live. After all, how often do you use up every single eyeshadow out of every palette you own? There is always one or two shades which you won't ever use. I was looking through my palettes recently and what struck me is just how alike they all are. Nearly all of them look the same or have very, very similar shades in. After all, a nude palette with matte and shimmery shades ranging from golden caramel to a deep, muddy brown is hardly revolutionary, is it? Which is exactly what I should have told myself when I recently went out and bought yet another one.

My current favourite eyeshadow palette is the Mophe 3OS Palette and I can honestly say that I love and will use each and every 35 shades within it. It is the perfect Autumnal palette with its pomegranate hues and terracotta shades, I can't remember life before it. The only downside to it is that it is quite big and due to its plastic packaging, I don't think it is very travel friendly so I wanted to get a more sleek and slim-lined palette with similar shades within. Whilst this palette doesn't have the terracotta shades within it, it does have some lovely plummy and pink champagne coloured shades which is why I decided to buy the L'oreal Paris Color Riche Nude Eyeshadow Palette in Rose.

About the L'oreal Paris Color Riche Nude Eyeshadow Palette in Rose:
"Perfect for every mood, outfit or occasion, the L'oreal Paris Color Riche La Palette Eyeshadow Palette combines ten complementing shades in a variety of matte and shimmering hues to expertly define your eyes. From light, dusky pinks and nudes to smokey shades of purple, the eyeshadow can be worn alone or blended together for endless make-up looks with superior colour longevity. Melting effortlessly onto the lids for smooth and even application, the palette is complete with an integrated mirror and dual-ended brush, allowing you to achieve show-stopping results."

The L'oreal Paris Color Riche Nude Eyeshadow Palette in Rose features 4 matte shades and 6 shimmery shades, with colours ranging from a pretty ice white to a deep plum with lots of pretty and wearable neutral tones in between. The whole palette is rather slimline and travel friendly meaning the eyeshadows themselves are rather small but as the price for the whole palette is cheaper than that of just one MAC eyeshadow, this doesn't bother me too much. When I buy a palette I am not buying it because I like just one shade out of the bunch, I am buying it because I want to try out a whole array of new shades which compliment each other. I'm actually rather fond of the fact that this palette is rather compact, small and sleek meaning it is incredibly travel friendly and the mirror inside is a really handy addition. It also comes with a dual-ended eyeshadow brush with a sponge on one end and a fluffy flat brush on the other which is okay in an emergency but I would still prefer to use my own brushes rather than the one that came with the palette.

On first appearance I really like the look of every shade within this L'oreal Eyeshadow Palette but when swatched I found it to be slightly disappointing. It took an awful lot of work to get the swatches above, especially with the matte shades. The matte shades are rather chalky in texture whereas the shimmery shades are a little easier to work with but they do take some work to get to the level of pigmentation that I would like. And by that I mean visible, ha ha. When actually applied to the eyelids with a brush, I found them easier to apply and wear but I felt like I had to put a lot of the product on my brush to get the level of pigmentation you can expect to find from a Morphe eyeshadow with just one swipe of the brush. I really enjoy using the beige shade fifth from right as a base shade on top of my MAC Paint Pot in Painterly then build up a neutral toned eye with the lovely shimmery rose gold shade second from right with the deep plum shade in the crease. Longevity wise I find that the eyeshadows last all day long but I do think that is down to my Paint Pot which makes everything stay put until you decide it should come off. I noticed a little bit of fallout with the shimmery shades within the palette but it's nothing major.

Overall, I am a little unsure about this L'oreal Color Riche Nude Eyeshadow Palette. I like the sleekness to it and the fact that it is great for travel but the lack of pigmentation within the shades bothers me. If you want a big hit of colour then you really have to build it up with your brushes but if you want a really natural look then you may prefer this palette more than I do. I can see myself using this palette when I want a 'no make-up' make-up look but otherwise I think I will stick to my trusty Morphe 35OS Palette.


Review | MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Soft & Gentle

I was recently going through my make-up bag which mostly involves me tipping the contents of my 'most-used make-up' make-up bag upside down on my bed and saying "wow, I wondered where that went". Every now and then I like to move a few products from my make-up storage into my make-up bag and visa-versa, just so I get out of my little make-up rut and so I can rediscover some old favourites. Which is where I re-discovered this beauty, the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Soft & Gentle.

About the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Soft & Gentle:
"A luxurious, slow-baked, velvety soft, domed face powder with a radiant finish. Strategically buff on to add highlights to the high points of the face, or blend all over for a sheer luminous polish to the skin."

The MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter in Soft & Gentle is a beautiful peachy bronze shade with golden tones running throughout. I would describe it as a very natural highlighter, perhaps the most natural highlighter I own. It is just like its name suggests - it is soft and gentle. It is the perfect highlighter for 'no make-up' make-up. It isn't too shimmery or in your face, instead it gives a very natural glow to the face and looks lovely on the cheekbones.

Soft & Gentle is very easy to apply and blends lovely on the face. One dip of a brush is enough but I like to build the highlight up a little, just to make it more obvious rather than subtle. The highlighter gives a lovely radiant glow to the face which isn't too shimmery or glittery, nor does it have big chunks of glitter in it. I think if you were just starting to use highlighters and were a little unsure which products to try first, this highlighter would definitely be a great place to start.

I know MAC products can appear to be quite pricey but actually I think they are great value for money. All of the MAC products I have tried have lasted me for so long and this Mineralize Skinfinish Highlighter is guaranteed to last you a very, very long time. Soft & Gentle is a very pretty, subtle, peachy highlighter which has golden tones running throughout. It really perks up the skin and gives a very subtle, natural glow. You can easily build the highlighter up to make the shade more intense but overall, it is a really nice highlighter, one which should definitely be swatched next time you are passing a MAC counter!


Review | Spectrum Eyeshadow Brushes

At the moment I can't seem to stop buying make-up brushes - eyeshadow brushes in particular are my current obsession. I recently bought some Morphe brushes which I wrote a little post about declaring my love for and I haven't stopped using them since. They weren't very expensive at all - each brush I bought costing just £2.50. I use three of them every day when doing my make-up and they blend out eyeshadow beautifully. To begin with I did notice a slight bit of shredding from the bristles but it was only one or two here or there. Because I loved them so much, I decided to try some more but this time from the brand Spectrum.

Spectrum brushes have become so popular recently. They look pretty and the sets they offer are not only beautiful in appearance but they are also reasonable priced - even more so when they have a sale! Because I have seen so much of Spectrum on social media I really wanted to try out a few of the brushes and see how they compare to the ones I already own, and more importantly, to see if they live up to the hype. 

Spectrum A16 Precision Crease Brush
Small, flat precision crease brush with firm and rounded bristles. Use for precise application of cream and powder eye colour to the crease of the eyelid. This little beauty is perfect for creating an on trend cut crease look. The small head is also ideal for applying product to the lower lash line and inner corners of the eye.

Spectrum A13 Short Smudge Brush
This beautiful brush is the perfect tool for applying powder or cream eyeshadow around the lower lash line, to get a soft & smudgy effect. The short bristles are feathered, so you can build the colour to be as intense as you like.

Spectrum A07 Stubby Shader Brush 
The bristles on this brush are still soft and fluffy for blending, but the stubby shape means you can really pack on the colour. This brush is the perfect starting point for creating super smokey eyes or very pigmented colour.

I could have quite happily bought all of the Spectrum brushes on offer but decided to just limit myself to three. I have said previously that I would buy new eyeshadow brushes rather than just wash the ones I already have and I still firmly believe in that statement, which is why I chose three brushes I thought I would use the most, although I could have done with a couple more blending brushes, such as the B06 or the A18. 

When I received my order and opened it up, I was quite surprised at just how flat and fairly stiff the bristles are on each of the brushes I bought. I had expected them to be slightly more fluffy therefore making blending easier but the brushes I purchased are more for the purpose of application rather than buffing or blending. That said, they still work incredibly well. The A16 Cut Crease Brush is completely flat with the bristles packed tightly together, making it the perfect brush to pat on glitter pigments across the eyelids. The A13 Short Stubby Brush is wonderful at applying eyeshadow on the lower lash line and is the brush I have been hunting for. Before now I have been using a tapered blending brush to apply eyeshadow on my lower lash line but because the brush itself is quite thick, I find that I end up applying more eyeshadow to my eyeball and end up giving myself some sort of 'carpet burn' on my actual eye. The A13 makes it easy to apply eyeshadows underneath the lash line as well as on the inner corners of the eye so it is certainly a brush I have been using a lot since I bought it. And finally, the A07 Stubby Shader Brush which is perhaps my favourite out of the three. It is fluffier and softer than the first two brushes and is my current go-to brush for applying my base eyeshadows with. It also blends out a crease shade wonderfully well and it is the perfect every-day all rounder.

Overall, I am really pleased I tried out some of the Spectrum Eyeshadow Brushes. I know they have a lot of hype around them but the hype is warranted. Plus, they look pretty damn good in your brush holder! I could have lived without the A16 Brush, purely because I already own three brushes like it which very rarely get used as it is although I will try to use this more often than my previous, but I really do love the A13 and the A07 Brushes. They are incredibly inexpensive at just a few pounds per brush and they are vegan as well which is incredibly important. If you were wondering if Spectrum Brushes were worth the money then yes, they most definitely are.


Other | Stocking Fillers For Under £20

With Christmas nearly here, it is time for us all to panic about what to buy friends and family and whether or not you believe in the gift so much that you say no to the mighty gift receipt. Has anyone ever received a gift and taken it back because you didn't like it? I haven't, although I have bought someone a gift and had them take it back in exchange for the money. Ouch. Yeah, it hurt. But, it is the thought that counts - apparently. 

I am always stuck as to what to buy people for presents. My Mum in particular being incredibly hard to buy for, especially since she doesn't like make-up or candles, aka, my favourite things. On the other hand, I find my twin sister incredibly easy to buy for - if it's make-up and I like it, she will like it - it it's clothes and I don't like it, then she will love it. That is how we work.

This post is a little inspiration for stocking fillers and gifts under £20. I find some gift guides rather unbelievable, especially when some people think a £200 bag should be considered a stocking filler. We don't all have that kind of money, we aren't all Zoella! So instead, sit back and read a very realistic stocking filler gift inspo, with each gift £20 and under.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Experience - £15.50 / Urban Decay Vice Cream Lipstick - £15.00
Fanella Smith Flamingo And Pineapple Mug - £17.50
Charlotte Tilbury Party Eyes Kit - £20.00  / Nails Inc Gift Set - £20.00
Joules Hare Print Mug - £9.95 / Charlotte Tilbury Lip Kit - £16.50
SJP Lovely Perfume 50ML - £14.99 / Katie Loxton Sweet Dreams Candle - £20.00
Dose of Rose Tiny Star Ring Set - £15.60
Dreaming Of Unicorns Pillow Case - £13.95 / Real Techniques Core Collection - £14.69
Invisibobble Hair Ties - £3.75
Joules Blossom Diffuser - £19.95 / Fanella Smith Pug Ring Plate - £15.00
This Works Bedtime Bliss Collection - £15.75 / Bando Luggage Tag - £13.00
Dr Lipp Nipple Balm For Lips - £8.40 / TheBalm Highlighter - £12.80 / Mario Badescu Drying Lotion - £11.05
New Look Bodychain - £6.50 / Vogue Colouring Book - £10.00
Faux Shearling Hot Water Bottle & Socks Set - £9.74 / Eyeshadow Palette - £4.99 / Bando Sip Cup - £11.20
Trio Strobe Highlighter - £7.99 / Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur - £18.00
Velvet Contrast Cosy Night In Cushion - £12.99
Liz Earle Winter Glow Gift Set - £8.00 / Charbonnel et Walker Sea Salt Truffles - £3.60
Crabtree & Evelyn Biscuits - £5.00 / Kate Spade Thermal Mug - £16.00 
Pink Watch - £12.99 / Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick - £16.00
Nails Inc Candy Cane Collection - £17.50 / Slogan Candle - £7.99 / Tangle Angel Brush - £13.95
Fanella Smith Pug Notebook - £8.50 / OCC Cosmetic Glitter - £11.00
Pixie Glow Tonic - £10.00 / Glow Highlighter Stick - £4.99 / Unicorn Slippers - £14.99

And finally, a few little personalised gifts from Not On The High Street..
Karma Necklace - £20.00 / Initial Double Disk Bracelet - £16.80 / Wishbone Earrings - £20.00
Star Ear Studs - £12.00 / Skinny Bar Necklace - £18.60 / Initial Disk Bracelet - £11.20
Personalised Make Up Bag - £16.00 / Sassy Mirror - £7.50 / Coffee Scrub - £15.00
Cocktail Lip Balm - £3.75 / Chill Pill Bath Bombs - £10.75 / Make Up Bag - £12.00

I hope this has been helpful to some of you struggling to find a little bit of inspiration gift wise, I know I am. Oh, and look! A gift guide without a Chanel or YSL handbag in sight!


Review | Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Foundation in Fair Neutral & The Tarte Double-Ended Foundation Brush

I recently shared with you how I placed a QVC order for a whole load of the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea make-up products whilst it was on offer on their website. For less than £40 I managed to pick up a foundation, a foundation brush, eyeshadow palette, lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, make-up bag and a lash primer, all for just under £40. I literally could not resist that deal, especially when the foundation alone is worth £28 and the double-ended brush having a value of £26.. The whole collection is currently on sale on the QVC website for £44.88 which is still a massive bargain, especially since it is usually on there for £70 so if you want it then be quick as it does seem incredibly popular.

The first product from the collection which I wanted to share with you is the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Foundation. I hadn't tried a water based foundation before so I thought it was going to have the constiency of water, be really loose and sheer and not give much coverage at all. I could not be more wrong and whilst this may be a bold statement, I would say it was definitely one of my favourite foundations.

About the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Foundation:
"This luxurious, lightweight foundation is designed to give full coverage while hydrating your skin, to leave your complexion looking radiant and flawless. Infused with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and features an innovative pipette dispenser."

The Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Foundation comes in 12 shades, ranging from Fair Neutral, the palest shade in the range, to Deep Honey, the darkest. I think this foundation has a great selection of shades for lighter skin but only one shade for darker skin which I think is really disappointing. That said, I do like how on Tarte's website it tells you which shade to get based on your skintone, for example, I chose the shade Fair Neutral because not only was it the lightest shade they offer, but also it is best suited towards people with fair skin but with yellow and pink undertones, which is the perfect description of my skintone. Because of this I found that the foundation matched my skin perfectly which is incredibly rare. I just wish they had a darker shade range to cater for a wider customer audience as I think having just one darker shade is rather disappointing.

I absolutely love the dark purple to gold ombre which is stretched across the whole range on the packaging so I absolutely adore not only the foundation bottle, but the absolutely beautiful Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Double-Ended Foundation Brush. I mean, just look at it. So beautiful. I will talk about the brush a bit more later but not only do I love the look of the foundation bottle, I love the 'innovative pipette dispenser'. The first time I came to try the foundation I was a bit stumped as to how to get the product out. I thought it was a regular pump as it has a push-down button on the top but in fact it is more like a big dropper. You have to unscrew the lid, revealing the dropper then push out a drop using the button at the top. I love this way of dispensing the foundation as I guess it is a bit of a novelty although it can be a bit messy pulling the dropper out of the bottle so you have to be careful not to waste product when you pull it out. 

I find that I need 2-3 drops of the foundation to  cover my entire face which doesn't seem too much considering they are rather small drops. Like I said before, I was really expecting this foundation to be really runny and loose in consistency considering it is a water-based foundation and whilst it is probably one of the runnier foundations I have tried, it is in no way the consistency of water. It isn't thick and creamy, instead it is lightweight and thin but definitely not in a bad way. This makes the foundation incredibly easy to build up to more of a higher coverage as I prefer a full coverage but I would say just a couple of pumps applied to the entire face gives a medium coverage. When built up, this foundation gives a completely flawless, almost airbrushed appearance on the skin which I really was not expecting. It is not heavy, it is not cakey, it doesn't sink into fine lines on the face nor does it show up any dry areas on the face, something which a lot of foundations seem to do. I found the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Foundation to be incredibly lightweight and buildable, leaving the skin with a really lovely dewy semi-matte finish. I really wasn't expecting this foundation to be this good!

I mentioned before about the Tarte Double-Ended Foundation Brush which I absolutely adore for its appearance but I am ultimately a Beauty Blender kind of girl. I tried applying the foundation with the larger end of the brush but I found that I was itching to get stuck in with my Beauty Blender to save time on blending it out with the brush. As beautiful and pretty as the brush is, I really can't see myself using it that often which is a shame but I am sure that if I hadn't been on the Beauty Blender bandwagon then I would probably really enjoy using it.

When I first placed my Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Collection order with QVC, I was really worried that I had made a mistake with the foundation and hated the thought of wasting my money on buying the wrong shade which I couldn't use but I am completely over the moon with it. I bought the whole collection for less than £40 and now I can see what a great bargain I had, especially when the brush and the foundation alone are worth £54. I can't recommend the foundation from within the range enough and whilst I can't see myself getting a lot of use out of the foundation brush, it sure does look pretty in my make-up brush holder! If you really wanted to try out something from the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Collection, or just anything from Tarte in general, it is really worth checking the QVC website regularly as they often have really good deal on. Like now for example, where you can get the Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Collection for just £44.88. You definitely won't end up regretting it, that's for sure!

(Usual price but often half price)


Other | Yankee Candle Christmas 3 Small Jar Gift Set

I don't usually do posts like this but I thought that if you were struggling for a little bit of inspiration as to what to get friends or family for gifts this Christmas then maybe this will help you. If everyone you know likes candles, that is.

I recently saw this little Yankee Candle Christmas 3 Small Jar Gift Set in my local Yankee Candle store and I just thought it would make a lovely gift for someone, or for three people if you wanted to split them up and give them out separately. Included in the set is three small sized jars, each of which have a Christmas scent to them.

Within the set you get Berry Trifle, Sparkling Snow and Spiced Orange. I hadn't smelt any of them before and whilst I can't say Berry Trifle is my cup of tea, I absolutely love Sparking Snow and Spiced Orange, the latter being my favourite. It just smells so festive and so Christmassey.. it is definitely one I will be buying in a larger size, that's for sure.

I found this set in a Yankee Candle store for £11 which is great value for money when you take into consideration that the cost for one small jar is around £8.99.. Which is why everyone I know will be recieving candles for Christmas this year. Everyone likes candles, right?