Thursday, 29 November 2012

Recent Budget Finds: Maybelline The Falsies Flared Mascara and Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

A couple of weeks ago I popped into Boots on a mission to buy a new mascara and concealer. My intention was to pick up old faithful Max Factor Masterpiece Max and the Bourjois Healthy Mix concealer but neither was available in the shades I needed. This threw me somewhat, I'm terrible at making decisions in store especially when I'm accompanied by the whole family (I'm sure you can imagine how much my husband and 3 children love browsing the makeup aisles!). So, in my haste to pick something and get out of there, I bought Maybelline The Falsies Flared in Black and the Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer in Light 2.


Buying in a rush is usually a recipe for disaster but I'm very pleased to report that both of these products have been good budget finds. I was especially pleased about the Maybelline The Falsies Flared as the packaging prevented me from checking the wand first.

The brush is quite large but not so big that I end up with blobs everywhere, it also has slighty curved 'banana' shape. What I particularly like about this mascara is that it's very black and does a good job of winging the lashes out on the outer corner of my eyes. I have small eyes and puny lashes, so the winging out is good for making my eyes appear bigger. My lashes don't feel as flexible as they do with something like Hourglass Film Noir but the formula isn't brittle or flaky either.


I do have one minor grumble and that is the fragrance. I seem to recall my Maybelline Lash Stiletto was similarly scented. It's not an especially nice scent and my nose says nappy cream for some reason. Personally, I dislike the practise of adding fragrance to products like mascara as it is likely to mask the smell of contamination. Anyway, moving on...

I tend not to look at the Collection stand very often. Collection 2000, as it was, is a brand that I associate with my teenage years and not my 30-something self. However, I've seen this concealer used on Pixiwoo videos a few times and I was intrigued to see how I'd get on with it. It comes in a selection of four shades and I chose Light 2.

It has a doe-foot applicator which I use to dot the concealer on and then pat it in with my fingers. It has a liquid consistency not dissimilar to MAC Select Moisturecover and I find it easy to blend. It gives good undereye coverage, especially if I push it gently into the skin rather than rub from side to side. I also use this around my nose to cover winter redness. I don't find it lasts all day despite the 16 hour claims however, I do think it lasts better than some of my other concealers and I haven't noticed any creasing.


L-R: YSL Touche Eclat in #1, Ellis Faas S202 and Lasting Perfection in Light 2

I bought both of these from Boots, the Maybelline Falsies Flared Mascara cost £7.99 and the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer cost £4.19.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Update on Operation Use it Up

Despite every intention of updating you once a month on my 'Use it Up' progress, it has been three months since my original post which you can find here. Although I haven't posted updates, I have been sticking to it pretty diligently but my progress has been slow, particularly with respect to the lip products.

As yet, I still haven't used up a single lipstick or lipgloss from the original eight. The lipglosses and the Lip Chic in Zinnia have hardly budged because I keep forgetting to use them. Although the Guerlain lipstick was close to hitting the plastic when I first started this project, I haven't had the heart to finish it off. I never realised I could be so precious about a lipstick. I think the fact that it has been discontinued has a lot to do with it.


I have pretty much concentrated on using the four lipsticks pictured centre: RBR Irreverence, RBR Murmurings, Hourglass Fresco and Chanel Bonheur. They are some of my most favourite lipsticks anyway, so this hasn't been too hard and both Bonheur and Murmurings have the most obvious use. Despite being good to begin with, I've obviously become forgetful about reapplying during the day again, as I really ought to have seen a bigger dent in these lipsticks over the three months. At the rate I'm using things up compared to the size of my stash, I'm going to have to start eating lipsticks in order to get through them!

I seem to have fared a little better with the non-lipstick items. I've used up the Max Factor Second Skin, RBR Sketches on Water and Hourglass Primer. I've also finished both Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter pots and the Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre.


I keep forgetting to use the PK Elasticizer. I'm sure this is because you have to apply it pre-shower and as I wash my hair in the mornings, this is simply impractical. The Bourjois Healthy Mix has become harder to tackle too as it's just too dark for my skin in the winter months. I have taken to using it on the outer edges of my face to try and put it to use. I have toyed with the idea of purchasing a bottle of white foundation like Face Atelier Zero Minus or Mac Face & Body White. It seems extreme to do this just to finish off this one foundation but I suspect it might come in handy for the inevitable any future foundation purchasing errors.

Both the Perricone MD Advanced Face Firming Activator and RBR Atlas Swallowtail have been in constant use over the three months. The tube of Atlas Swallowtail must be nearly empty and I am hopeful I can add this to my empties very soon. The Face Firming Activator will probably take another couple of months to finish as you only require a small amount per application and I can see there is still quite a lot left. I have no idea how long it would take me to finish off a full size bottle of this, the one I have here is only a travel sized bottle.


I thought it might be a good idea to add a few more foundations to the pile I want to use up. The BECCA Luminous Skin, NARS Pure Radiant tinted moisturiser and LMdB Peau Vierge are all part used and I would really like to finish these before I buy another foundation. However, I did mention the other day that I am feeling the urge to buy a new base product, so sticking to this will require some heavy duty willpower.

I have to admit that Operation Use it Up has had quite an interesting impact on my cosmetics purchasing. I have bought a handful of items since August but I have only allowed myself things that have been on very long term wishlists, like the Hourglass Illume compact for example. I've forced myself to ignore passing fancies, especially lipsticks. As we're approaching the end of the year, there's a part of me that would love to commit to a full on ban for next year or maybe something similar to Driveller Kate's project of sticking to only twelve new items over the year. I suspect I will still be dithering about this on New Year's Eve but I would be very interested to hear your thoughts.

Christmas Ideas: Jo Malone Christmas Cracker

Jo Malone™ is an excellent brand for gifting and last year my favourite items from their Christmas gift collection, the Christmas Cracker, was a rapid sell-out. I was a little nervous that I wasn't quick enough to post images of this year's cracker, it has sold out online already but my sources tell me that you can still find it in the boutiques.


The Christmas Cracker (£28) contains miniature bottles of Pomegranate Noir Hand & Body Wash, Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne and Orange Blossom Body Creme. The packaging is delightful and I don't know many people who wouldn't be pleased to find this under the Christmas tree, young or old. I confess that I have put mine well out of the reach of small hands so that I don't have to share.

Sweet Almond & Macaroon Deluxe Candle

Cologne Collection

Other lovely ideas from their Christmas Collection which I am coveting include the Deluxe Candle (£80) in Sweet Almond & Macaroon, the Fragrance Layering Collection (£38) and the Cologne Collection (£60). The Cologne Collection in particular appeals because there are so many Jo Malone™ fragrances that I would love to try but I am always hesitant about buying a full bottle in case they don't work with my skin chemistry. That and the fact that I am real sucker for perfume miniatures!

Disclosure: PR sample

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Taupe Cream Eyeshadow and Crayon Comparison

Not content with collecting taupe powder eyeshadows, I seem to have branched out into collecting taupes in cream and crayon form. They suit my needs well as I find cream formulas tend to be speed friendly and they also make a good base for eyeshadows for when I have more time.

The ones pictured below are, from left to right, Julie Hewett Hue in Mystere, RBR Atlas Swallowtail, Topshop Mystical Crayon and Sephora Jumbo Crayon in Taupe.




I would say that the Julie Hewett Hue in Mystere (£13) is the darkest of the four and has quite a cool silvery tone to it. I've talked about Mystere before and mentioned that the fact that it does have quite a dry texture and I find it can crease. Despite this, I would say it is my favourite if want to wear a cream it on it's own as I love the colour.

My favourite to use as a base for powder eyeshadows is the Rouge Bunny Rouge Atlas Swallowtail cream (£24.50). It has quite a more golden tone compared to the others and I find it gives my favourite taupe eyeshadows an extra dimension. I apply straight from the doe-foot applicator and as it gives a subtle wash of colour, it requires minimal blending (I use my fingertips to blend rather than a brush).

Swatches L-R: Julie Hewett Mystere, RBR Atlas Swallowtail, Topshop Mystical and Sephora Taupe


The Sephora Taupe Crayon (€9.90) is a good multi-tasker. It's creamy and deposits colour easily with no dragging. It works well on its own or as a base and I find it delivers the long-wearing claims. When I use this, I don't feel the need to use a separate eyeshadow primer. It does have a metallic shimmer to it as you can see from the swatch. I would absolutely love it if Sephora made a non-shimmer finish version of this crayon too.

Unfortunately, it isn't obvious from my swatches (curse the winter lighting) but the Topshop Mystical crayon (£7.50) has the most spangly finish of the bunch, containing flecks of warm coppery glitter within the cream base. Mystical is still relatively new to my collection so I haven't used it as much as the others. I can't really offer a full run down of its pros or cons but one obvious advantage is the twist up pen format. Price wise, it's similar to the Sephora crayon but more accessible if you're in the UK.

I realised after I had edited all of the pictures that I made some omissions, namely Chanel Ombre d'Eau in Splash and Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes E105 (I've included links to previous posts). I would say that both of these are darker than the taupes I've mentioned here and, more importantly, they are both trickier to apply. The other taupe cream that I have often considered adding to my collection is the MUFE Aqua Cream in Taupe, however, I believe it is a little warmer than I usually go for.

Sephora Jumbo Crayon in Taupe with GOSH Truly Brown liner

Do you like cream eyeshadows or crayons? Have I missed any of your personal favourites here?

Monday, 26 November 2012

November Empties


I've had another flurry of finishing products off recently. Unfortunately, it only includes one makeup item which reminds me that I must update you on my progress with project Use it Up.

The first item that I finished off was my tube of Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre. I quite like the Embryolisse as a fairly bland moisturiser that I turn to if my skin is upset or used in conjunction with other more active products. I know it has a garnered rather a cult status but I wouldn't refer to it as a must have. I can see why it's very useful for makeup artists but I can also understand the 'huh, is that it?' anti-climax from people expecting a wonder cream. I may ask my Mum to replace it when she's next in France but for now, I'm concentrating on using up other products.

The Kneipp Pure Bliss Bath* is something that was actually adopted by my children. I like to think that it helped calm them down before bed. It certainly calmed my nerves whilst bathing them and left them smelling beautiful. They were also quite keen on the fact that it turned the bath water pink. We've replaced it with the Kneipp Lavender Bath product which I find needs to be used more sparingly for the children than the Pure Bliss.

I was really sad to finish both the Live Native Essential Mist MSM Toner* and the Rahua Conditioner. The Live Native has such a beautiful fine misting action and I've appreciated it even more now that I'm using something with a much more vigorous spray. This is something I will definitely replace. The Rahua Conditioner was the first bottle out of the shampoo and conditioner to go but the shampoo isn't far behind. It's not unusual for me to use up two bottles of conditioner to every one shampoo, so I think it's lasted very well. I've loved using the Rahua but in the run up to Christmas, I can't justify the expense of replacing it. I won't rule out repurchasing when I'm feeling more flush though, as it's the nicest 'clean' haircare that I've tried so far.

The last item to go was my Max Factor Second Skin foundation*. When the pump stopped working towards the end, I took to using the tube inside as a spatula. I've always liked this foundation as the finish was between a tinted moisturiser and a foundation on my skin. I believe it has been discontinued now so unfortunately there's no option of replacing it. I do feel a strong urge to try a new winter base but I'm still working at finishing off various bottles of half-filled foundation and tinted moisturiser, so hopefully I will stay strong instead of adding a new bottle to the pile!

Disclosure: Items indicated with an asterisk were originally received as PR samples for review.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Beauty Spotlight 25/11/12

Pammy Blogs Beauty has a new blog series: Check out MAC Matters: Building a Core MAC Collection with less than $21 per month!

Obsessed with her hair, Teri constantly tests and tries the latest hair tools. On Beautiful Makeup Search this week, she has the hottest hair tools for the hair you want this Holiday season.

Wouldn't it be great if you could indulge in your chocolate cravings without the calories? Prime Beauty shows you how with the LORAC Sweet Temptations Holiday Collection!

The Pink Sith has gone plum crazy over her MANNA Cosmetics Plum Crazy Eyeshadow Palette!

15 Minute Beauty shares which beauty products the founder of Tavarua Skin loves!

Marcia from Beauty Info Zone seems to be obsessed with subscription boxes. She’s constantly on the hunt to find the latest and greatest. Since there’s a new nail polish box, Color Me Monthly, she just had to see what it was all about.

Looking for No-Fail Beauty Shortcuts? Check out what Helen from Lola's Secret Beauty Blog had to say in her REDBOOK interview!!.

Perilously Pale has found the perfect traditional grey toned smoky eye palette with a kick. Taupe and sparkle! Check out why she's so smitten with the Yves Saint Laurent Pure Chromatics Palette in #12 released as part of YSL's Holiday 2012 collection.

Whilst it’s all about the holiday collections at the moment, the Becca Fall Smoke & Grace collection has made a quiet appearance. Beautiful soft smoky eyes paired with a nude lip, Visionary Beauty thinks this is definitely not a collection to be missed.

Jessika from polish insomniac shows us her favorite polishes from the China Glaze Holiday Joy collection.

With all of the talk (ie, jokes) about the new Chanel No.5 commercials with Brad Pitt, Paula from Older Girl Beauty wants to remind you of the history of this iconic scent.

Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed gets a chance to take the new MAC In Extreme Dimension Mascara for a test drive. Y'all can't buy it until after Christmas but until then, feel free to admire her lashes!

Friday, 23 November 2012

BECCA Ultimate Colour Gloss in Hummingbird

I'm not the biggest lipgloss wearer but I was intrigued to try the BECCA Ultimate Colour Glosses after seeing a selection of colours showcased on their Facebook page. I'm also a bit behind the times because I believe they have released three more colours in this formula with the Autumn collection.



I think Hummingbird isn't particularly representative of the pigmentation of the other Ultimate Gloss shades as it is quite sheer, and I was aware of this disparity from looking up swatches on other blogs. However, sheer autumnal berry shades are one of my favoured lip looks so this colour is perfect for me. The texture is very comfortable to wear and not especially tacky. I do find that I have to take care when applying to ensure an even coverage. I think this is probably the only downside to it being a gloss as opposed to a sheer lipstick.


The Ultimate Colour Glosses are scented and I presume all the shades share the same creme caramel fragrance as Hummingbird. I find it rather pleasant (I have a very sweet tooth) but I know scented lip products aren't for everyone.

The BECCA Ultimate Colour Glosses cost £18 each and come in a total of ten shades. I purchased Hummingbird from Zuneta.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Christmas Ideas: Nourish Golden Glow Toning Soufflé

Sorry to be mentioning the C word already. Although, having said that, I get the distinct impression that I am a little odd in my refusal to start planning Christmas until the last minute. A friend confessed today that she already has her tree up and frankly it's cold enough here for me to pretend it is December for a short while.


I've received a few things recently which I would definitely put in the Christmas gift ideas category so I thought it might be useful to do a short series on stocking filler ideas. The first item I want to mention is Nourish Golden Glow Toning Soufflé. The Nourish Skin range is an organic line which has a good selection of facial skincare staples (I have some long overdue reviews coming soon) as well as shower gels, hand wash and body moisturisers.

The Golden Glow Toning Soufflé has a nice creamy texture, sinks in well and contains a beautiful white gold shimmer. Unlike many shimmery body moisturisers, the shimmer doesn't disappear to nothing as you massage the moisturiser in. It does leave a visible sheen on the skin which I hope you can see in the image below. I wore this on my decollete when I dressed up for Halloween and found it really did give my skin a lovely glow.



As well as the party appropriate golden glow, I think the scent choice is rather festive too as it is fragranced with frankincense and myrrh oils. Unfortunately, for me the scent is a slight downside and I've mentioned before that I'm not a big fan of frankincense. However, this is just a personal thing and probably more evidence of my Christmas Bah Humbug!

The Nourish Golden Glow Toning Soufflé costs £24.95 for a 150ml pot. Nourish skincare products are available from and also from Being Content.

Disclosure: PR Sample

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The one where I pretend I'm 'Lost'!

It's my turn to do the Beauty Spotlight Team's Desert Island post and you're about to be subjected to my Lost fantasy. Of course, I have cast myself as Kate Austen (I have a very active imagination) and in order to maintain the interest of the two men in my life, I figured some of my favourite beautifiers might come in handy. Yes, I know they'd fallen from the sky, had no access to a bathroom and were running from a smoke monster but please don't try and tell me that Kate was going completely au naturel. I've seen those lashes!

So, if I was Kate, these are the makeup and beauty items I would have packed in my backpack (prior to the handcuffs) then carefully retrieve from the plane wreckage. When I wasn't suturing Jack's wounds or hiking through the rainforest of course.


NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
This was my summer base and I think it would make an excellent desert island foundation. I deliberated over whether to take my BECCA Luminous Skin instead as it gives a sheerer coverage than the NARS but I find my skin gets upset if I wear the BECCA everyday (I suspect it's the sunscreen ingredients). The NARS tinted moisturiser also has an SPF of 30.

rms beauty 'Un' Cover Up Concealer
I spent rather a long time dithering over which concealer to take but I decided on the rms beauty concealer because it's creamy enough to use on the undereye area as well as blemishes. My old favourite RMK Super Basic Liquid Concealer would have been a good alternative too.


BECCA Turkish Rose or Hourglass Rouge Cheek Stain
I wanted to take a fairly natural looking blusher that would be easy to apply with my fingers. Turkish Rose immediately sprang to mind but after I had taken the pictures, I realised my Hourglass Aura Cheek Stain in Rouge might have been a better choice. The cheek stain has more of a translucent quality than Turkish Rose and is a little brighter, plus it's more likely to stay put in the heat and humidity.

Ilia Arabian Knights
Like the concealer, it was very hard to pick only one of my lipsticks. I have so many lovely sheer, moisturising lipsticks but I chose Arabian Knights because I felt it would keep my lips in the best condition and it's a nice bright berry shade. RBR Murmurings came a very close second.

The Maybelline Falsies Flared isn't particularly a favourite, it's just what I'm currently using, but there's no way I'm going to be stranded without a tube of mascara. Max Factor Masterpiece or Hourglass Film Noir are my personal favourites.

MAC Teddy Eye Kohl
Although I do have a great number of brown pencils, Teddy is the one I'd choose to be stranded with. It looks great worn as a smudgy line, pairs well with Solstice Halcyon and it also makes a good base for a smoky eye.


Customised eyeshadow palette
Aren't you feeling better about me de-facing all those pretty Rouge Bunny Rouge eyeshadow pots now? This palette includes some of my most favourite eyeshadows ever, namely RBR Solstice Halycon, Delicate Hummingbird and Kjaer Weis Wisdom. I've also recently discovered that Gracious Arasari is an excellent colour for blending out dark colours at the crease. Unfortunately, sticking to only 12 items meant that I have been restricted to the small travel brush that sits in my palette. It's a good job I'm going for a no makeup look really...

Pencil Sharpener
It was a shame to lose one of my items on such a practical necessity but as I'm no good at whittling, I figured it had to come along.

I had to do some cheating to get this into my bag. The tweezers fought off stiff competition from brow pencils and brushes. Without tweezers, I fear the rogue hairs would gradually start to take over my face and I don't recall Kate ever looking like a Yeti.


Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm*
I felt it would be pointless taking along all this makeup without remembering to pack something to take it all off again. I find this balm takes absolutely everything off, including eye makeup with minimal effort which is pretty convenient if you're washing your face in a rainforest.

We have another necessity taking up space that might have been filled with something else more exciting. However, if I pack the Emma Hardie, I need the flannel too.

Avene Antirougeurs Light Moisturiser SPF20
Like the mascara, the Avene Antirougeurs isn't necessarily a favourite product but it does contain an SPF. Plus, it would help to tame the telltale red cheeks once I started hitting the duty free bottles. Oh wait, maybe Kate didn't actually do that...

It was extremely difficult to stick to just 12 items, particularly when you realise that so many items require accessories to accompany them. Kate was a very resourceful girl though, so remaining in character, I can't promise I won't go back and rifle through other people's bags later to look for shampoo, razors and a couple of makeup brushes. Don't judge me!

I mentioned cheating and I thought I better explain myself as this was an integral part of my desert island preparation! Rather than use up one of my 12 items with my Shu Uemura brow pencil, I decided to dye my eyebrows. I can credit Pixiwoo's Evangaline Lilly tutorial for planting the idea in my head. I've never dyed my brows before and I was nervous that it could be a disaster but I'm actually very pleased with the results. If I could have added a 13th item into my bag, I would have taken the kit with me to top up. I used the Eylure Dylash kit in Dark Brown for reference.

* I received the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm as a press sample.

Friday, 16 November 2012

I'm still here!

I'm sorry about the lack of posts so far this week. Mr MB is away with work and things have been hectic. By the time I've got all the children off to bed, I've just wanted to flop and catch up on films on my laptop. I have so much respect for solo parents who manage this all the time.

However, I haven't put beauty things on the back burner. I seem to have hit another pocket of using lots of products up at once and I did a spot of beauty DIY that I'm looking forward to sharing with you in the next couple of days. I'm also really excited about my upcoming Desert Island post for the Beauty Spotlight Team.

For now, I wanted to wish you all a wonderful Friday evening. Have fun whatever you're up to!
MB x

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Beauty Spotlight Roundup 11/11/12

Perilously Pale is excited to share her brand new site design with you AND the amazing new Fyrinnae Samhain 2012 collection. I know, I know. The Fyrinnae is prettier, but it's still worth checking out both. ;-)

Teri from Beautiful Makeup Search took COVERGIRL's latest mascara out for a test drive. How did it perform?

15 Minute Beauty has been using way too much mascara! Check out what 30 layers of Clump Crusher looks like.

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog is madly in love with the Giorgio Armani Nude Lip Set featuring Rouge D'Armani Beige 103 and Gloss D'Armani Beige 103.If you love a gorgeous nude lip- then this is a must-have set!

The Pink Sith Blog tells you all about Literal Linda and the Lise Watier Portfolio Corrector. She is also giving one away, so enter today!

Over at Prime Beauty, poor Cindy is befuddled (it doesn't take much) trying to pick which bareMinerals Holiday Gift Sets to keep and which to give. I'm all for the 1 for you 2 for me method!

Sparkle and Gold, it must be the holiday season approaching, Visionary Beauty shows us the Dior Night Golds palette.

Pammy Blogs Beauty's Holiday Shopping Guide 2012 series continues with her review of Laura Mercier's beautiful Color-To-Go Palette

Beauty Info Zone not only has a fabulous Cult Nails purple lacquer to share with you but they've joined with bloggers all around the world to say STOP BULLYING. Come see the gorgeous glittery Seduction polish as well as to read our message.

Modesty Brown shares swatches of the Make Up For Ever Black Tango palette along with a quick face of the day.

Beauty Crazed is giving stuff away and wants everyone to enter - if you are looking to update your makeup bag with some Burberry Beauty, shu uemura, Veil Cosmetics, Revlon and more be sure to come and enter!

London MakeUp Girl shows us what Dior Addict lipstick in Londres looks like on her, and what other colour cosmetics she likes to wear with it. She had to buy it for the name!

Paula, from Older Girl Beautyreceived some exciting news this week - her BFF is pregnant! Now she just needs to learn about pregnancy beauty products, starting with the Mama Mio 9 Month Stretch Kit.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Hourglass Neo-Classic Vol.6 Eyeshadow Palette

It's not often that I'm stumped on how to begin a post but this is one of those rare occasions. It's probably because this is neither a rave review nor a slating and often they are the hardest posts to write. The Hourglass Neo-Classic Vol. 6 palette is a mix of positives and negatives and although it isn't easy to write, I imagine it will probably be quite useful for anyone considering a purchase.


The eyeshadows come in the stylish signature Hourglass packaging complete with the reversible swivel lid. The palette includes six eyeshadows; the lightest two 'base' colours come as slightly larger pans than the darker eyeshadows (2.5g instead of 2g). All of the eyeshadows have a matte finish with the exception of the flesh toned peach which has a fine shimmer running through it.

The eyeshadows have quite a powdery texture and this does lead to the darker colours catching fallout from the lighter shades within the palette. The eyeshadows are well pigmented but they are not as smooth in texture as the Hourglass duo formula. I think you can probably see this from my swatches. However, when used on the eyes with a primer, I don't experience any patchiness.


Hopefully you can just make out the swatches of the bone and shell colours despite being so close to my skin tone


The palette contains a slightly curious mix of colours in my opinion which I don't think I fully appreciated until I tried to use it to create a look. In essence, it provides good base/highlighter shades and liner/defining colours but not much in the way of mid-toned or transition colours. The only mid-toned shade is the rosy pink, which I wouldn't consider to be universally flattering on the eyes. On the SpaceNK website this shade is listed as a taupe, which it most definitely isn't. I think a taupe or mid-brown might have been a more versatile inclusion.

Just because this isn't a 'look in a box' type palette doesn't mean it isn't incredibly useful. For me, the beauty of this palette is that it provides staple matte colours which work well to supplement my existing eyeshadow collection. The lightest colour has been a perfect replacement for MAC Brule and I've been using it everyday for the last couple of weeks. I've regularly use the black, navy and brown to define my lashline and have even used the brown as a brow powder.

The bottom line for me is that your mileage may vary when it comes to the Neo-Classic palette. If you're looking for a travel palette or a palette that will provide multiple looks on its own, I would hesitate to recommend it. However, if you're looking for some staple matte colours and don't mind switching between palettes when applying your makeup, you may well find this very useful. You could of course buy these sorts of colours from MAC as single pans and create your own custom palette but you wouldn't have the lovely Hourglass packaging to admire then, would you?

Hourglass Cosmetics are available from Zuneta, Liberty and SpaceNK in the UK and the Neo-Classic palette costs £42. This palette was passed on to me by a very lovely fellow makeup fan.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Swatches: MUFE Black Tango Palette

I had a request from the lovely Leanne of Do Not Refreeze for some swatches of the Black Tango palette I showed you yesterday. Thankfully the sun was on my side today.


Slightly out of focus so that you can see the reflects



The darker three colours all contain shimmery reflects and the base colour sets to quite a matte finish. All three are well pigmented too. The plum colour has a brown undertone with stunning red reflects. The blue and green both have quite a black base however they do read as a colour rather than an off-black, if that makes sense. The ivory highlighter shade has a frosty finish and is more sheer than the other eyeshadows in the palette.

This is the result of a quick play with the palette from yesterday. I applied the plum shade as a base from lash to crease and then applied Ikat from the LMdB Silk Road Kaleidoscope over the top. I used the blue along the lower lashes, the green on the upper lashes and the ivory on the brow bone. I lined both upper and lower waterlines with Kevyn Aucoin Basic Black pencil.


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

First impressions of the MUFE Black Tango Palette

I'm currently in the grip of a major smoky eye phase and I spotted the stunning Make Up For Ever Black Tango palette whilst browsing the website. After checking they had the palette in stock at Cite Europe (such a useful function), I sent my Mum instructions to pick it up on her travels.



It's just as beautiful in the flesh as the promo pictures suggested. It's essentially a set of four mini Aqua Creams: three dark, one light, and I love the fact that each individual cream has its own lid within the palette. I managed to hold off long enough to take pictures before I started using the colours but I confess it was touch and go!

Post photoshoot, I allowed myself a little play this afternoon and I discovered the double brush included in the palette works very well at applying the creams. I often get frustrated with synthetic brushes that remove as much product as they apply but this deposits and distributes colour evenly. The creams work well as a base for powder eyeshadows just as I'd hoped but I've yet to try using the colours on their own. So far, I've had no creasing either.

In my head, this palette is going to allow me to create an edgy Berenice Marlohe style smoky eye (yes, I went to see Skyfall this weekend and I have a new Bond girl crush). In reality, my looks will be more subtle and probably not as low or smudgy. Whatever the outcome, these dark creams do work very well at bringing intense colours to life and I look forward to experimenting.

My Black Tango palette came from Sephora and cost 39.50€, the palette is also available from in the UK.

Image of Berenice Marlohe from

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Beauty Spotlight Team stranded on a desert island, part 1

One by one the Beauty Spotlight Team members are being stranded on a desert island. Poor Marcia from Beauty Info Zone drew the short straw and has been airlifted there. Will the items in her whimsical bag reflect what she took with her?


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