Collection Eyes Uncovered Nude Bronze Palette | Review and Swatches

 

 

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Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Nude Mauve | Review and Swatches

I love a new release, but there are only certain occasions when I will stalk the counter until I have one in my hands. Max Factor have recently released a stunning new line of blushes (that I’m sure you’ve already seen all over the blogging world) and I really could not pass this one up…


The Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Nude Mauve is a shimmery brown-toned mauve. These blushes are baked and marbleised, giving a soft and glowy finish. For me, this has the perfect amount of pigment – it is strong enough that I don’t need to layer it up to create my desired intensity, but not so pigmented that it becomes hard to blend and looks over the top. The colour reminds me of my all-time favourite blush, the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed, but a shimmery version. It has the same sculpting effect while still adding a healthy flush to the skin. It is one of those shades that goes with everything. I’ve found myself reaching for this when I don’t know what blush to wear, and it has become a fail-safe option. 

What has impressed me the most about this blush is the way that it wears. I don’t know if it’s just me, but most budget cheek products have the tendency to go patchy on my skin by the end of the day and just don’t sit or wear well. This blush, however, seems to be an exception to this trend – it still looks perfect after hours of wearing makeup.























I loved this formula so much that I actually went and purchased another shade the other day that I’m yet to try. There weren’t actually too many colours that caught my eye, but Nude Mauve is definitely worth checking out. Have you tried any of these blushes yet? 

RachelElizabeth

Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette | Review and Swatches

Nars do always produce the most swoonworthy palettes, don’t they? This is, surprisingly, my first palette from the brand, and ever since they announced that they were releasing it I knew it had to be mine. Continue reading for a full in-depth review and swatches of this beautiful palette…

A somewhat recent release from Nars were their Dual Intensity Eyeshadows. These were a pretty big release as they were eyeshadows that were marketed as a sheer wash of shadow when used dry and as an intensely pigmented product when used wet. When you use regular eyeshadows wet, the eyeshadow then becomes unusable unless you always use it wet as it creates a hardened film over where the water has touched it. These, however, promise that they are versatile enough that using them wet will not affect, or indeed ruin, the texture of the eyeshadow. The single versions of these will set you back £21, which is rather steep for only one shade. The Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette is £45 for eight shades, and although the shadows are are slightly smaller (1g vs. 1.5g) it is actually far better value for money (£5.63/g vs. £14/g). All of these shades, with the exception of Ursa Major, are part of the permanent line as a single eyeshadow, so if you like, or would consider purchasing, more than two shades from this palette, then it is definitely worth the investment. 


The packaging on this palette does feel really expensive. The top is mirrored which does attract fingerprints, but is much easier to wipe clean than the original rubberised packaging that Nars is infamous for. It is plastic but it feels very sturdy and protective of the shadows. The palette also comes with a travel size #49 Wet/Dry Eyeshadow brush, which I personally found much better to use when the shadows are wet as opposed to when they are dry. This is definitely a decent brush and not one that you should immediately disregard like many brushes that are included with palettes. 









































Top Row: Europe, Himalaia. Bottom Row: Andromeda, Lysithea





















Top Row: Ursa Major, Subra. Bottom Row: Giove, Sycorax

As for the eyeshadows themselves, there is varying quality throughout this palette. Some were definitely more pigmented than others, and there were some that needed to be used wet to have decent pay off. 

Europa is described as a ‘Gossamer pink peach’. As you will be able to see in the swatches, this is pretty sheer when used dry, however it could be used as a pretty wash of colour all over the lid for a natural, understated eye look. It is still not the most pigmented when used wet, but it does leave a pretty iridescent pink sparkle. 

Himalaia is described as a ‘Shimmering topaz’. This is probably my favourite shade in the palette as it is great both wet and dry. It is shimmery and pigmented when dry but becomes metallic and bold when wet. It is similar to Mac Tan Pigment in the sense that it’s a slightly rose gold-esque shade. Love.

Ursa Major is described as a ‘Chocolate glaze’. It is a cool-toned brown with silver shimmer. What is nice about this shade is that when it’s dry it can be used to build up intensity in the crease or the outer corner without being too intense, but when used wet it is a deep rich brown, perfect for smokey eyes or even to be used as a liner. 

Subra is described as a ‘Black orchid’. When applied dry it is a deep blackened plum shade, which is semi-opaque, much like Ursa Major. But it transforms when it is used wet into a pigmented plum-toned purple. When used in the latter way, this is another of my favourite shades in the palette.

Andromeda is described as an ‘Alabaster’. Because I am quite fair, this barely shows up on my skin when it is used dry, except when it catches the light. It is another shade that really differs when used wet as it then becomes quite an intense, shimmery, slightly pink-toned white. This is a very versatile shade as it can be a very soft and subtle highlight or it could be really amped up to create a lot of drama and intensity and looks especially gorgeous on the inner corners of the eyes. 

Lysithea is described as a ‘Shark grey’. When used dry it is a muted and sheer grey with an intense silver shimmer running throughout. It is fantastic when used wet as it is a metallic true silver. Although silver is not my favourite shade to wear, if I am ever in the mood to rock a silver smokey eye, this will 100% be my go-to. 

Giove is described as a ‘Navy’. This is the brightest and arguably the most hard to wear shade of the palette, but it is truly quite stunning. It is much darker and smokier when used dry, which is great for those who are new to colour in their looks. For those who are far more daring and bold, it is a vibrant but deep navy shade when wet and would make for a stunning and striking blue makeup look. I can also see this working great as a liner for both the upper and lower water lines to add an unexpected pop of colour to your look without straying too far from black. 

Sycorax, the final shade in the palette, is simply described as ‘black’. When used dry it is a really great black eyeshadow as it is not so pigmented that it is overwhelming. It is extremely opaque and intense when used wet, so would also be perfect as a liner, or if you were going for a really dark smokey eye this would be stunning. 






















(Dry Swatches)


























(Wet Swatches)

I am absolutely in love with this palette, and it is definitely something a little different than the average. The wet/dry formula may mean that it takes a little longer than usual to apply your eyeshadow, but trust me, it is worth it. This is limited edition so if you like the look of this, make sure you snap it up fast! What do you think of the palette? Is it something that you would splurge on?

RachelElizabeth

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette | Review and Swatches

With the exception of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes this palette has to be one of the most hyped and talked about in the blogging world. It combines many girls two favourite things: chocolate and eyeshadow. How could that not be a bestseller?

The Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette contains 16 eyeshadows, with varying finishes. The first thing that you will notice when you open this palette is the smell. To me it smells like really sweet chocolate, something along the lines of Milka or anything Kinder. The eyeshadows are infused with cocoa powder which not only makes this palette smell delicious but has somewhat of a special quality to it. The tin packaging feels fairly robust and protective, but the closing is only magnetised rather than a click which is slightly unsatisfying. 




When it comes to the eyeshadows themselves, the formula is stunning. Beginning with the left half of the palette, pictured below, there are three matte shades and 5 shimmers. Gilded Ganache is a deep blackened brown with a golden shimmer running throughout. White Chocolate is a creamy beige which is perfect for highlighting. Salted Caramel is a warm mid-toned brown, the perfect warm transition shade for your crease. Marzipan is a champagne shade with a gorgeous metallic finish. Semi-Sweet is another great crease shade – a neutral medium slightly darker brown. Hazelnut is a shimmery bronze which really catches the light. Creme Brulee is a metallic true gold and finally Haute Chocolate is a shimmery cooler taupe-brown. 























The right hand side of the palette has a lot more of the colourful shades. Milk Chocolate is another great transition shade, but it is much more neutral than Salted Caramel. Black Forest Truffle is a deep plum with silver and gold shimmer – I actually found this one to not be as pigmented as some of the other shades. Triple Fudge is the darkest shade in the palette, but it is a deep cool brown which is a softer alternative to black. Strawberry Bon Bon is a matte baby pink shade, which can be really pretty when used as a lid shade. Candied Violet is an indigo shade with pink and silver glitter – this was another shade that ran a little sheerer but it is pretty to layer over a base due to the amount of glitter. Amaretto is a really metallic bronzey-burgandy shade. Cherry Cordial is a matte red-toned brown with tiny (almost unnoticeable) flecks of silver glitter. The final shade in the palette is Champagne Truffle which is the other larger highlight shade – a gorgeous metallic pearl. 
























Overall, I think this palette performs really well. There are a few slightly worse shades, namely Black Forest Truffle and Candied Violet, but they can be built up for higher opacity, or as I mentioned above, they can be intensified by wearing them over an eyeshadow base. I don’t think that the layout is the best that I’ve seen in a palette – the shades that are next to each other aren’t necessarily the best colour combinations in the palette. If it’s overwhelming, then it is useful to look at the palette as having two separate halves, like it was separated in this post as then you have a more neutral side vs. a more colourful side. 

Despite the negative aspects I managed to find, I really do love this palette. For the most part, the shadows are buttery and extremely pigmented. It’s also nice to see a neutral palette that has a few unique shades thrown in – it encourages us neutral lovers to experiment a little and get out of our comfort zones. Have you tried this palette? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

RachelElizabeth

Mac Viva Glam Miley Cyrus | Review and Lip Swatches

I am the biggest fan of the Mac Viva Glam campaigns. In case you weren’t aware, Mac has a line of lipsticks of which all of the profits made go towards HIV and AIDS programmes. They regularly team up with celebrities and in the past they have included the likes of Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga to produce limited edition lipsticks to go along with this collection. I have been anticipating the Miley Cyrus collaboration ever since I had heard about it, especially as it promised a bright pink shade, which is right up my street…


Mac Viva Glam Miley Cyrus Lipstick is described as a ‘hot pink’ with an amplified finish. The amplified lipsticks are usually incredibly pigmented and have enough slip that they glide easily onto the lips but aren’t too creamy that they are nice and long lasting. I have to admit when I first swatched this I was a little disappointed with the pigmentation, but it built up opacity in a few swipes. The formula is beautiful; it is very comfortable on the lips and stays around for a good while, and leaves a stain when the sheen has disappeared. 

Let’s just say that the colour is all that I had hoped for and more. When you think of Miley, you think of bold and fun shades and this definitely fits that bill. It has slightly blue undertones so great for making your teeth look whiter, and also perfect for brightening up the face. This shade would work amazingly on fair all the way up to dark skin tones. In terms of dupes in my own collection, I would say that it is fairly similar to Mac Impassioned but that leans a little more red. It is certainly not a unique shade, but if you’re into your hot pinks then this is definitely a good option, especially as it helps such a good cause.

So it’s a huge thumbs up for me for this lipstick – Mac are definitely top for me when it comes to lipsticks. What did you think of this collaboration? 

RachelElizabeth

The Perfect Nude Lip Liner? Makeup Forever Aqua Lip Liner 3C | Review and Swatches

We probably have Kylie Jenner to thank for everyone’s recent obsession with lip liner. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have lips like hers? A nude lipliner is a must for any makeup lover – they’re not just for over-lining either. If you’re like me, and your lips lack a definite line or are slightly asymmetrical, a nude lipliner will be your best friend. It will also do wonders for longevity, and trust me, when you find your favourite lip liner, you will never turn back…

When I picked up the huge Sephora Give Me More Lip Set while I was in New York, I was so excited to try out the Makeup Forever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lip Liner Pencil in 3C. It is a ‘medium natural beige’, which is quite similar to my natural lip colour, but slightly more brown. It isn’t so brown that it looks unnatural, but it mimics a shade that could be someone’s natural lip shade. The texture is impeccable; I have never tried such a creamy lip pencil. This makes it so easy to apply and fill in the entire lips. Like a usual pencil, it has a matte finish, but it doesn’t feel drying. It is also possibly the longest lasting lip product I have tried, and I really want need to get my hands on some more shades.
























If you’re from the UK and you are really annoyed at me mentioning Make Up Forever which is notoriously difficult to source, I have heard that it is coming to Debenhams in the near future! I for one am very excited for that day to come…

RachelElizabeth

Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette | Review and Swatches

Admittedly, one thing I was so excited about when I was heading to New York was the prospect of going to American drugstores. It’s not even an exaggeration that I spent a good few hours of our trip popping in CVS and Duane Reade – especially when the one a few blocks away from our hotel was open 24 hours! I had accumulated quite a wish list thanks to all of the amazing stateside YouTubers that I watch, and this particular eyeshadow palette was especially difficult to source. It was sold out everywhere. When I finally saw one I snatched it up immediately, and boy am I glad I did…


The Wet n Wild Color Icon Palette in Comfort Zone is a neutral and green-toned eyeshadow palette retailing at $4.99(!). I knew it was going to be affordable, but when I saw the price my jaw dropped. Understandably I was a little skeptical about the quality, but the rave reviews it receives are definitely deserved. Firstly, the colour selection is gorgeous. The left hand side of the palette would be a great neutral quad on its own. The ‘browbone’ shade on this half is a stunning highlight shade; the eyelid and crease are really nice shimmery warm shadows which are perfect as lid shades, and the definer is an interesting deep blackened burgundy which could create a really striking smokey eye or could easily be used to line the eyes. 

However, I really fell in love with this palette because of the right half. I’m not the biggest colour-wearer, but these are really wearable yet interesting shades, that I can definitely see myself rocking. The browbone shade on this half is actually quite neutral, and this is one I have worn quite a lot all over my lid. The eyelid shade is a green with slight gold undertones, which I find make it far more wearable. The final shades are stunning – the ‘crease’ shade is a deep dark green with gold shimmer running through and the definer (arguably my favourite, and a dupe for Mac Club) is a warm brown with a bright blue duochrome. That shade worn over a black base is such a stunning smokey eye without being too garish and colourful. 

The formula of these are really quite amazing, regardless of the price. They are smooth, buttery and incredibly pigmented – I think the swatches really do show how great the quality is. There are some downfalls but nothing that would make me discourage anyone from buying this palette. The first is the packaging; it is obviously not luxurious or robust. It feels as if it could break very easily, but at this price-point you can’t really expect much more than that. It also is lacking in matte shades but these are easily supplemented with other palettes and eyeshadows that you may already own (check out my review of the Makeup Revolution Essential Mattes Palette for an affordable option). Yet as a set of shimmery eyeshadows, you really can’t beat this for the price.























I am thoroughly impressed with this palette, and am actually so shocked at how affordable it really is! If you live in the States, and I envy you strongly, you have to pick this palette up if you haven’t already. Have you ever tried anything from Wet n Wild? Let me know your experiences and faves!

RachelElizabeth




Nars Audacious Lipstick in Raquel | Review and Swatches

So let’s talk about the most talked-about and instagrammed lip launch of the year… the Nars Audacious lipsticks. Nars shocked everyone by bringing out a huge line of reformulated lipsticks that all have female names, and let’s just say that they are stunning…

When deciding on which side I wanted out of this huge collection, Raquel was immediately my first choice for two reasons: a) many people in my life have nicknamed me Raquel, and b) it looked like the perfect nude. I was lucky enough to receive this as a christmas present from my mum, and on swatching this, this was definitely the perfect choice. It is the perfect mix of pink, beige, peach and tan, creating my ideal everyday shade. This works for me when I’m both at my palest and when I fake tan, proving its versatility. 

This is also one of the nicest, most luxury formulas I have ever come across. It applies so smoothly, much like what you would expect from a lipstick with a much more glossy finish. What makes this stand out is the fact that it is a semi-matte finish but is unbelievably comfortable. It also lasts for ages on the lips, especially for a light-coloured lip. Somehow this withstands eating and drinking, acting almost like a liquid lipstick. I have been so blown away by this formula and I will be undoubtedly picking up a few more shades in the future.


Have you tried any of the audacious lipsticks? Enable me…

RachelElizabeth

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads | Review – Blogmas Day #12


























If you didn’t already know, I am little obsessed with skincare, and this rather unfortunate for someone who has a somewhat limited student budget. I am all for the philosophy that you should invest in skincare – and I also think this is important for any age. Looking after your skin and making it look its best is not only hugely confidence-boosting, but also makes the application of makeup that much more flawless. After quite a bit of experimentation, I am really starting to learn what my skin does and doesn’t like, and I have come to the conclusion that it just can’t get enough of acid exfoliation.


The First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads are essentially thin pads soaked in a liquid exfoliant with its main acids being lactic acid and glycolic acid. Within my skincare routine (stay posted for a full updated post coming soon), the liquid exfoliant comes after cleansing the skin. I was really intrigued by these pads as it seemed like a convenient way to do this step. The pads come incredibly saturated with product, more than enough to use all over the face and the neck. The way I like to use these is to gently rub in circular motions, and I especially like to concentrate the product on any active breakouts. 

After using these for a while now, I definitely find that they help with calming and ridding of breakouts, as I find that many exfoliating toners do. I also feel that they leave my skin looking brighter and fresher, and feeling ultimately a lot smoother. They claim that these are suitable for sensitive skin (which I personally think means absolutely nothing) but if your skin isn’t used to exfoliating toners then I would probably only suggest to use these daily. I personally like to use these in the morning as, for some reason, I think its easier to grab one of these than soak my own cotton pad in another toner… I will then use a different toner at night. 

Overall I think these pads are a great way to exfoliate the skin without using those really intense and vigorous manual scrubs. If you’ve got acne-prone skin, I think you definitely need to give some sort of liquid exfoliant a go – since I’ve started using them they have done absolute wonders for my skin. Have you tried any acid toners? Leave your recommendations below! 

RachelElizabeth

Tom Ford Leonardo | Review and Swatches – Blogmas Day #9






















Tom Ford created a bit of a frenzy recently with the release of his Lips and Boys collection. 50 lipsticks only available for a few days… How could I resist? Since I am trying to save money right now (and I am constantly reminding myself that I am a student) I limited myself to just one shade. After way longer than I wish to admit, I had analysed every shade in the collection and finally picked myself up the gorgeous deep red that is Leonardo
Leonardo is a very me shade, and that’s probably why I ended up picking it. It’s a dark red that’s a little bit of the blue-toned side, but less so that your typical deep red. I only have two other lipsticks from the brand, but I just can’t get over the formula of these. They come with a hefty price tag, but I don’t think it’s until you actually apply them that you really understand why. Obviously the packaging is truly drool-worthy, but these are probably the most creamy and luxurious lip products out there. The pigmentation is great and the lasting power is decent considering the formula (not that I mind whipping it out and reapplying).
The only thing to bear in mind about this collection – I believe it’s coming out again on the 26th December fyi – that the lipsticks are a bit smaller than the originals. They are 0.07 oz as opposed to 0.10 oz, which does actually make them better gram for gram, but it’s important to remember that you aren’t getting as much. The Lips and Boys lipsticks are £26, whereas the original lip colours are £37, so it is a considerable saving.

I for one will definitely be stalking the Selfridges website on Boxing day for these lipsticks. There were so many shades that I wanted and I am considering giving myself a nice post-christmas treat! Did you manage to snag any of these? What were your favourite shades?
RachelElizabeth