Make-up Reviews

Urban Decay; a review of the Alice Through The Looking Glass palette *plus inspo for looks*

Considering I have an undying infatuation with both Alice in Wonderland and Urban Decay cosmetics, it seemed almost fitting if not slightly obligatory of me to purchase the UD “Alice Through The Looking Glass” eyeshadow palette within a good hour or two of it launching.

So this post is about how I have found the palette in comparison to other UD palettes.

Firstly; here is a photo of the palette in all its glory. 


As you can see, the shades and their titles are inspired by the characters from the movie. It costs £43.00 and comes with a free double ended application brush. 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t as blown away by this palette as I assumed I would be. The majority of the shades are incredible, but some are a total write off – no pigmentation at all. Much to my dismay, ‘HEADS WILL ROLL’ ‘DREAM ON’ and ‘BANDERSNATCH’ just don’t seem to colour my eye lids, and I wear a really good NYX eye primer, so it should definitely stick. 

Aside from the small number of shades that lack any pigmentation, the most part of the palette have the ability to create magnificent looks. 

Here are some of my personal favourites – 

Snow White 

This is my most daring look to date with this palette, as I’m evidently as white as a sheet of standard A4, so red lipstick and dark eyes have a tasteless knack for making me appear only half alive. Bad genetics aside, it worked out fab nonetheless.

Barbie


This is a really girly look, and I felt like a total brunette Barbie. Love. 

By using the ‘MIRROR’ shade on my crease, ‘ROYAL FLUSH’ in the centre and ‘CAKE’ in my tear duct, it created an effortless & lush look. 

I really enjoyed this look, so I took it and played with it, giving it a touch of scandal..

With this look, I removed the pink from my tear duct and replaced it with the slightly deeper ‘PARADOX’ orange. I also used ‘LOOKING GLASS’ as opposed to ‘ROYAL FLUSH’ in the centre of my lid as it’s much more pigmented and therefore appropriate for an edgier look. I used the same ‘MIRROR’ grey shade on my crease and blended it all in alongside the Urban Decay highlighter in the shade ‘Sin’ on my brow bone. 
I decided to thicken up my liner for this look to really enhance the edge. I especially thickened up my liner towards the corner of my inner eye – only towards NOT the corner! – to create a look of a more oval eye, hence why when my lid is closed on the above picture, it isn’t a perfectly straight/even line. 

Top Tip: This is great if your eyes aren’t that big as it appears to really open up your eyes while also being able to use liner. 

The good thing about UD is that all of their palettes seem to compliment each other. The ‘BAKED COWBOY’ gold shade from the UD Shadow Box palette is the most pigmented gold I have ever come across.

I used this gold with some colours from the Through The Looking Glass palette.


This look needs a respectable aspect, as gold can easily be led astray down a very classless route.. So I added a simple liner & wing. No funny business.

It also blends nicely with the Naked – Smoky palette.


The smokes in this selfie are from said Naked palette.

All in all, Through The Looking Glass is a fabulous palette, and I’m so very pleased to have it in my possession. Small disappointments aside, you did it again UD!

Would you like to see anymore looks? Just ask! 🙂 

Love Elle x

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Make-up Reviews

The importance of correctly highlighting for your skin tone.

Recently, I started noticing that the skin of my cheek bones was looking a little powdery and I thought oops.. Need to chill on the highlighter.

After I noticed the same problem a few more times, bearing in mind I had taken a chill pill on the highlight, one of my best friends visited me at work and commented on it. I knew at this point that it wasn’t just me scrutinising myself; but using the same product, my brow bone, the bridge of my nose and my Cupid’s bow weren’t powdery. Just my cheekbones.. 

Whatever the reason, I knew I had to change something. The problem with make-up application is you have about ten layers of different product on your face to create the end result. Primer, concealer, foundation, contour, bronzer, highlight, setting spray… Which one was causing it? 

Turns out, pretty simply, it was the highlighter. I identified this by (begrudgingly) opting to remove highlight from my cheekbones for a day. No powdery look. 

So I’ve changed highlight, but the last thing I want people to think is that my previous product is a bad product. It’s not; it just is for me. Everyone is different.

The reason why I am sharing this with you today is to educate my fellow girls (and guys) on the tremendous difference the correct highlighter can make to your appearance, and in more detail; which shade you should go for.

Now as you may be aware, as I’ve said a thousand times, I am Ukrainian and therefore as white as a crisp white sheet straight out of a Vanish wash. Due to this, I’ve always naturally opted for a lighter highlight, I’m not sure why, but I just assumed it was the right thing to do. I was wrong. Pale people can have a summer glow too, y’know!

Here is a selfie of me (obviously), wearing my previous highlight; Urban Decay in the shade ‘Sin’ – this costs £19.00.


As you can see, it’s a very light shade. It looks nice but overall, I look very, very white. Now that’s great, if you want to look very, very white. 


This is a selfie I took today wearing my new Illamasqua Beyond Powder highlight in ‘Epic‘ – this costs £32.00.


As you can tell, I look a lot more sun kissed. I didn’t even realise how washed out I looked before, until I switched to this. I love it. I feel like I actually look healthier and I feel much better about myself.


Moral of the story: don’t be afraid to switch up on your usual routine, you could look tonnes better. If you’re confused about picking a highlight shade for your appearance, try to take into consideration your skin tone, hair colour and brow colour. If you need anymore help, either message me or visit a beauty counter for some professional advice.

What do I have on my face today?

• Nars pore perfecting primer

• Illamasqua Skin Base foundation (using a beauty blender)

• Urban Decay naked concealer

• NYX contour palette 

• Smashbox bronzer

• Illamasqua highligher 

• Urban Decay highligher (brow bone)

• Urban Decay brow colour 

• NYX brow set

• NYX setting spray 

• Illamasqua Masquara mascara

• Kiko Milan eyelid base colour 

• Victoria Secret lip plump

• Urban Decay lip liner

Elle x

Make-up Reviews

How to look girly, when you’re not that girly. 

Ok so I have pretty dominant facial features due to my Eastern European heritage. With grandparents having Ukrainian, Romanian & Polish blood, I’ve inherited some pretty noticeable foreign characteristics. But nothing that make-up can’t fix! 

While many girls would jump at the idea of a overly-defined jaw line, I hate mine. I also have a bump in the top of my nose, and fiercely blue eyes. My cheekbones are extra high and I’m as white as snow. I am quite literally, a vampire. 

The cheekbones come in handy, but the nose (will be amended one day properly) and the jawline can pack their bags and leave my life forever. Well, for a few hours. 

I’ve recently been working daily on perfecting a really simple, softer, pretty make-up look. It looks effortless, but believe me when I say there’s effort. 

So here it is; the Viking girl, looking all sweet ‘n that.


So what have I done? 

Well firstly, I got my lips done, but that’s another kettle of fish. Make-up wise, I’ve engineered a super innocent look using 3 key aspects.

1. Pink lips. If you don’t like pink, please leave now, you have no hope at attaining my post goals. Why can’t you just use nude? Because, my friends, nude is often used with smoky eye looks, and therefore can impose a look of sexiness. We’re not going for sexy, we’re going for pretty. Cute. Pink is the softest colour you will find; it can make any girl look less aggressive. 

2. Cheekbones. So obviously, I’ve had a head start here, but if yours are none-existent, you just need the right products! For a decent price, NYX Cosmetics have a fab contour palette. There’s a variety of colours in the palette to suit all needs and the pigmentation is really soft. Remember; BLEND. This is a soft look, I repeat a soft look. I blended my contour in for a few minutes longer than I would usually.

3. Keep your eyes bare. Yes, lashes are imperative, and to be honest, the bigger lashes the better. I was stumped for time so my lashes are average, but do not apply eye liner of any kind. Keeping your eyes bare excentuates your lips, as as your eyes appear slightly smaller, your lips appear slightly bigger. Plus, it makes the pink stand out. 

Here is a list of products I’ve used today:

• Nars pore perfecting primer (just using my fingers)

• Illamasqua Rich Liquid foundation (using my fingers at first to slightly heat the liquid as it spread across my face and then perfected with a beauty blender)

• Urban Decay Naked concealer

• NYX contour palette 

• NYX eyelid primer 

• Kiko Milan high pigment 02 shadow (used very lightly)

• Urban Decay ‘sin’ highligher (on my cheekbones, temples and brow bones)

• Smashbox dark bronzer (used lightly)

• (After a quick eye lash curl) Illamasqua ‘Masquara’

• Urban Decay lip liner

• NYX matte lip gloss in the colour Tea and Cookies

• NYX silky setting spray 

• A dark brown colour from the Urban Decay Smoky palette on my brows 

• NYX brow setting liquid 

Top tip! Soft curls goes lovely with this look 🙂

Elle x

Make-up Reviews, Skincare reviews

Illamasqua Masquara, the cruelty-free answer to lush lashes.

As of late I’ve been on a dedicated hunt for a new mascara. The one I was using, don’t get me wrong, is an amazing product. If you’ve been keeping up to date with my blog, you’ll know of my refusal to use any products that have had any involvement with animal testing. Unfortunately, my fabulous mascara was one of these items, amongst pretty much everything else in my make-up bag.

So if you’re on the same page, I’ll make it super easy for you. Illamasqua ‘Masquara’ in Raven Black (£18.00)


To be blunt, the mascara I was formerly religiously using is the best selling mascara in the world and has been for a long time, so I knew replacing it was going to be a serious task. Fortunately, I found a pretty ace one, pretty quick. 

* I do apologise, but I refuse to share with you which previous mascara I used, as I don’t promote products of which have been involved with any cruelty towards animals. * 

At first, I tried Urban Decay ‘Perversion’ (£17.50), but I found the brush to be too big for my eye – and my eyes aren’t particularly small – which made it hard to apply the product without getting it on my lids as well. That’s just irritating. Especially when you have done your actual eye make-up. Nobody enjoys that tactical cotton bud try-not-to-ruin-everything manoeuvre, do they? 

I also found this product to be extremely wet. Due to this, every single time I applied it, my lashes clumped together. It’s almost like there’s no catch on the neck of the tube to give the brush that slight shave of product as you pull it out. I literally couldn’t hate anything more than clumpy lashes. I knew I had to make a change, and quick. 

I did what any cosmetic obsessed mid-anxiety-attack young lady would do; I marched myself directly to a high end brand of which I hold a level of trust with. I went to Illamasqua and requested their cleverly named Masquara. 

I’m very happy with this mascara. Although not as lengthy as my previous mascara; my lashes are dark, separated and luscious. This mascara, or ‘masquara’, also semi permanently dyes your lashes darker over time. How cool is that? 

Over the last few days, I’ve been super tired, rushed off my feet and stressed about the lack of time I have to myself and to get organised for Milan in 3 days. Due to this, my facial pamper time in the morning has been cut in half. I’ve rarely applied my full eye make-up, but rather settled for mascara alone. And I’ve had so many compliments. 

If you’re into the ‘natural look’, give my previous post (Illamasqua & Nars; why they go hand in hand) a read & pair that knowledge with this post. I’ve never looked so natural in my life; and I’m loving it.. Besides the 3.5ml of lip filler, of course. 


Elle x

Make-up Reviews

Illamasqua & Nars; why they go hand in hand.

So I have a mild to out-of-control infatuation with thicker than thick foundations.. It started when I found the consistency of Mac Studio Fix slightly more enjoyable than let’s say, most people; but upon my life decision to become a vegetarian (some time ago now) I decided to also eradicate any products from my over flowing make-up bag that have been involved in the cruelty of animals. This however, appeared to take out a solid 90% of my cosmetic empire, and I had to re-build what felt like my life.. 

It’s not been easy. I’ve invested in a lot of make-up I’ve found no happy ending with. Until now.

As Illamasqua are both a well-known luxury make-up brand and point blank refuse to be involved in any cruelty against animals, I’ve tried both of their foundations; the Skin Base and the Rich Liquid foundation. 

Illamasqua have a reputable name for ‘dramatic’ make-up looks; borderline drag queen. (Nothing wrong with drag queens in my opinion by the way, there’s a reason they have queen in their title, you slay sistaas). But anyway, I love the creativity that comes with this brand. Some people choose to wear make-up merely to cover slight imperfections, but let’s be honest, I’m a Selfridges girl, and I love that heavy caper. 

Exhibit A: Skin Base. This sells for £32.50 straight from Illamasqua. I loved this at first, but I found it a touch too thin and the packaging of the brand ineffective. It actually hurt my hand to squeeze out, and it seemed to come out in the thinnest little line of foundation, so you have to keep squeezing and just hope you don’t end up in A&E with a fractured thumb and index finger.


Exhibit B: Rich Liquid. Yeah I know, the front has no writing on it besides the Illamasqua logo. I thought that was strange too. The going price for this is £31.00. This foundation, no lie, changed my life.


So I finally found it? My dream foundation?

One problem; after a few applications, I came to the soul destroying realisation that it was actually too thick. With Skin Base slightly too thin, and Rich Liquid too thick (thus creating pores bigger than Mount Kilimanjaro) would I literally ever find something that would sit on my skin well, and provide me with the fullest of full coverage? 

YES! 

Thank you Nars!

Once again, Nars pulls it out the bag. I found the perfect primer. This sells at £26.00.


This Nars primer goes hand in hand with Illamasqua Rich Liquid. It literally creates a veil between my skin and my make-up, so guess what? My skin is flawless now. Yeah, it’s as white as the skin of the hidden vampires of Transylvania (nice one for that gene, granddad), but it’s sooo clear. And I personally pin this on my new primer. It was like an instant life changer. 

I think it might be because Nars are a very collected, classy brand and Illamasqua slightly more wreckless and daring, that when they unite, they create flawless harmony. I think so, anyway. 

If you love your foundation thick, I literally couldn’t recommend this duo more. And of course, Nars don’t animal test. 

Elle x 

Make-up Reviews

If you’re thinking of using Nars, here’s why you should.

Nars is nothing short of luxury. It really is a brand that prides itself on its dedication to sophisticated class. However, that class comes with a price tag. Nars is an upperclass brand, so you probably won’t find it in any department stores that don’t stock for example, Louis Vuitton. That’s a bold comparison, but I stand by it.

When I was 19 (I’m now 22), I got my first full time job in the city centre. This opened up a whole new world for me, and on my first pay day, I took a trip to Boots to buy all the essentials that I was running out of. Then I returned it all, marched myself to Selfridges and did the biggest make-up hoard of all time at Nars

I never looked back. Well, until I decided that I wanted to go back into education for a year and my budget dropped down to Mac (I felt like I was literally cheating, like I felt genuine guilt), but that’s not the case anymore.

Now, as I have developed over the years, creatively and make-up-ly (comments with an alternative word would be greatly welcomed), I have realised that I, personally, prefer a more dramatic make-up look. Don’t get me wrong, the nudes are timeless, but I prefer more of a media make-up brand, Illamasqua.

But this post isn’t about my personal preference. This post is about Nars, and why it’s just so damn good.

So, this is the foundation that I have used a countless number of times from Nars. I simply can’t fault it, it feels like silk on your skin. It isn’t thick or heavy, so if you like the lighter foundation, this is for you. It markets directly from Nars at £31.00. 

It also has powerful anti-oxidants that protect your face against damaging chemicals and help to enhance your face’s natural glow.


Nars Sheer Glow, 30ml.

  

Please note: the below picture was before I discovered the world of cosmetic surgery, therefore these are my natural, slimmer lips… Don’t hate.

Full face of Nars, no edit. Just flash. 

  
Any other brands you’d like me to review?

Elle x 

Make-up Reviews

MAC Studio Fix VS Illamasqua Skin Base

So this is a foundation comparison.

Today I’m comparing Mac Studio Fix and Illamasqua Skin Base.

I have been using Mac for pretty much a year now, on and off, switching between Nars and Mac a couple of times, budget allowing.

Mac Studio Fix is a fluid with an extremely thick consistency, providing its users with full coverage. It spreads nicely, which means you don’t have to use a tonne of it each day. It’s affordable, currently available from Mac directly for £22.00. (It used to be £21.50, not sure why they’ve put it up, could just be inflation or something)



Mac Studio Fix has SPF 15 included in the foundation, which means you can wear it on holiday (depending on how much you sweat) and it will protect your face. Not even just on holiday, but just getting around day-to-day with sun protection on your face is really good. Mac also offer a free lipstick for every 6 empty products you return, which I personally think is lovely, because if you’ve bought 6 products you’ve put at least about £60.00 into their company. At least.

But Mac aren’t all that Saint-like. They test on animals. If you’re okay with that, by all means, purchase purchase purchase. But if you have a conscience like me (I’m also a vegetarian, so I’d be a massive hypocrite if I bought this again), I’d probably swerve this product, and Mac all together.

I have good news. 

I have found an alternative for those who, like me, love that thick coverage.

Now, Illamasqua Skin Base is more expensive.. This product markets directly from Illamasqua at £32.50. If you’ve immediately thought “nah, too pricey for me that.” Just hold on..

I have noticed a few differences between Mac and Illamasqua. I did a bit of research into brands that animal test and brands that don’t, and then I marched my little self to Illamasqua and said, I currently use Mac, but I want to change, so please put your thickest foundation on me.

And boy did she.


The lovely lady at Illamasqua brought me their Skin Base foundation, plus a handful of goodies, (thanks!).

So what have I found while using Illamasqua Skin Base? 

Illamasqua is seriously thick. If you thought Mac was thick, this is a game changer. It’s so thick, it literally doesn’t require a primer – which I guess makes up for the price increase? This stuff does not budge. It’s actually so thick, that I struggle to spread it. Which means I’m using more. The nozzle is also really hard to get the liquid out because of the shape of the bottle – packaging error? BUT: the fact is even has a nozzle saves you money on having to purchase a separate pump, like you do at Mac.

This boosts the price of Mac to £26.00 with the nozzle – which only makes a price difference of £6.50 – minus the price of your primer.. So is Illamasqua cheaper in the long run?

I also found that while full of a cold, Illamasqua made me look normal. When I had a face full of Mac Studio Fix ft a runny nose, I looked like crap. But Illamasqua is thick enough to cover the hell out of that.

But please note! Illamasqua doesn’t feel as thick as I’m describing.. I mean you know you’ve got make-up on,  but it just feels like Mac. 

The bottles are both 30ml and in my cosmetic opinion, they really are both brilliant products. So what have we learnt?

  • If you don’t mind animal testing, stick with Mac.
  • If you do, and you like thick, full coverage, Illamasqua is perfect for you

Stay tuned for my Nars post…

Elle x