Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette – Review

I had resisted buying this palette for so long! But there is such fuss (and it is frankly unavoidable on Instagram) whenever it is restocked that the latest time it was restocked on Beauty Bay I caved and paid my £41 for this hugely hyped palette.

So, what do I think of it and do I have any regrets? It’s not exactly a cheap palette after all!

The short answers to those questions are: it’s beautiful and no, I have no regrets.

I would say this is predominantly a warm toned palette and the colours very much appeal to me. I think it is a very thoughtfully put together palette; it has a fantastic range of colours that can be used to create all sorts of different looks. There are plenty of matte brown-y shades that make great crease colours or all over lid colours for a neutral look. Also, there’s the dark brown ‘Cyprus Umber’ if you want to make things a bit darker and more smokey. Then you have non-neutral options in the form of the reds, pinks and purples. Finally, there’s ‘Tempera’ and ‘Vermeer’ which are gorgeous ‘highlight’ type shades. ‘Tempera’ I find is beautiful under the brow and ‘Vermeer’ is a lovely inner corner highlight. But of course, you can do whatever the hell you want with each colour!

The formula of the shadows is quite powdery however I don’t find this a problem when applying them to my eyes. I don’t find I get much, if any, fall-out under my eyes after I’ve applied them. They are a gorgeous texture and super pigmented; the swatches were so easy to do, that is what they look like with one swipe! I don’t think there are really any ‘dud’ shades as such, I initially had a few problems blending ‘Warm Taupe’ but I’ve learned it’s better to build that one up slowly. Overall they are pretty dreamy eye shadows!

A word on the packaging: I bloody love it! I don’t think it can get anymore ‘up my street’ than pink velvet (give me pink velvet boots, skirts, cushions…) so this palette is a thing of beauty to me inside and out. I can see how it can potentially get very dirty and be difficult to clean but I am going to treasure mine and keep it as clean as possible in its box.

The only downside I can find with the palette is that it says it has a 6 month expiry. What is that about?! That seems really short for a powder product so I don’t know what’s in the shadows that has warranted such a short expiry date. However, I view the dates on products as a guideline and if there’s still plenty of shadow left in this palette after 6 months, which I suspect there will be, I’ll just be using my common sense as to whether it’s still okay to use. I’m not going to just chuck a £41 palette in the bin! However, it has made me conscious to use this often and not be precious about it.

So, do I recommend buying this palette? If you like the colour range and have the funds, then absolutely! I was prepared to be disappointed after all the hype I’d read/seen about this one but I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I love this palette!

Love Nicole xxxx

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P.S the brush that comes with it is actually not half bad! A usable brush in a palette for once – shocker!

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Cult Beauty Haul

As you may or may not know, if you have an account with Cult Beauty, they will email you a 15% code to use during your birthday month. I, of course, wanted to take up this offer, and this is what I chose to buy. As with my previous post, this post is mainly just to show you what I’ve bought and I will do some detailed review and swatches posts in future when I’ve tested out the products. 🙂

zoeva en taupe palette charlotte tilbury magic foundation ouai texturizing hair sprayzoeva en taupe eyeshadow palette

I absolutely love trying new foundation and I’ve been eager to try Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Foundation (£29.50). Unfortunately, the discount code does not apply to Charlotte Tilbury products (there is a selection of brands that Cult Beauty don’t allow discounts on) so I paid full price still, but for a high end foundation it’s not too badly priced. I found it very difficult to pick a shade and was deliberating for ages on which one to go for. I eventually went for Shade 3 and it’s not an awful match, but it’s not perfect either, I think one of the others may have been better but hey ho, I’ll make it work. I’ve used it a few times and I actually really like it! I’ll explain more in a more dedicated post.

Next, I’d been wanting to try a Zoeva eyeshadow palette for a long time. They have an amazing array of choice, but, trying to sensible I tried to think what I was lacking in terms of eyeshadow shades. I realised I had very few cool toned sort of shades, so I ended up going for the En Taupe Eyeshadow Palette (£18). It is such a gorgeous palette and I love the colours!

Lastly, I decided to go for a fancy hair product. I don’t very often invest in hair as I find makeup and skincare much more exciting, but Jen Atkin’s new brand ‘Ouai’ has been all over instagram and the blogosphere so I wanted to give a product a try! My hair is often pretty flat so I thought a texturising spray would be a good choice. I bought the Ouai Texturising Hair Spray (£22). It’s okay so far, but I’m not sure it’s going to live up to my expectations of its high price tag.

Love Nicole xxxx

This Evening’s Face

This is a bit of a rushed post as I had nothing scheduled or planned for today, but I’d been doing so well so far managing to post every day in October I didn’t want to let a day slip by with no post.

So I thought seeing as I’m going out tonight I’d share what makeup I’m planning on wearing. It could change but this is what I’m planning on trying and hopefully it’ll look good! My partying and drinking every Saturday is behind me but tonight I am going for a meal with my two best girl-friends to celebrate their birthdays (which are a week apart). We’re going for an Indian so I’m looking forward to that!

Here’s what I’m planning on chucking on my face…

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Nars Semi Matte Lipstick in Scarlett Empress
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Nars Semi Matte Lipstick in Scarlett Empress

For my face I’m going to use Becca Backlight Priming Filter (£32) all over face and then some Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer (£24) on my nose and apples of my cheeks, as this is where my pores are largest and most noticeable. For foundation I’m going with Nars Sheer Glow (£31) which I have in the shade ‘Mont Blanc’. My favourite concealer is still Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (£4.19) in the shade ‘Fair’ so I’m going to use that under my eyes and on any redness that’s still peaking through. I’ll then set my under eye area with the NYX HD Finishing Powder (£8) in the shade ‘Banana’ which is brightening. I’ll then set the rest of my face with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (£40) which I have in the shade ‘Diffused Light’ (this is virtually empty now, can’t bring myself to repurchase it with that insane price tag)!

To add some colour and life back to my skin I’ll use the Nars One Shocking Moment Cheek Studio Palette (this was a limited edition palette). It has the  Laguna (£28) bronzer and a great shade for contour. My favourite blush is the palest pink one so I’ll probably go for that one. For highlight I think I might go with this one called ‘So Hollywood’ from Anastasia Beverly Hills. This too was unfortunately limited edition and I can’t find it anywhere linked online, sorry!

For eyes I’ll go in with the Urban Decay Primer Potion (£16) and curl my lashes with these cute eyelash curlers from Primark. To line my upper and lower water line I use the Lily Lolo Eyeliner Pencil (£6.99) in black. I don’t like faffing around with eye shadow so I think I might go for my fanciest eye shadow stick which is By Terry Ombre Blackstar (£29) in ‘Misty Rock’. I’ll then probably just define my crease with Makeup Geek Eyeshadow (£5.50) in ‘Creme Brulee’ which I always do as it looks so pretty and defines the eyes beautifully. For mascara I am absolutely loving theBalm Mad Lash Mascara (£15) which I wrote a whole post about which you can read here if you would like! I might add some falsies but we’ll see how I am for time! Got so much to do… paint nails, straighten hair, do makeup, choose outfit! And I can never be without some eyeliner, so I’ll just line my upper lash line with some Soap and Glory Supercat (£6).

For eyebrows I absolutely love NYX Brow Pomade (£5.50) which I use in ‘Brunette’. This stuff is awesome and can still look really natural or you can go bolder. Great stuff.

I’m still very unsure on which lip colour to rock, but I’ve yet to don a dark, berry lip shade this Autumn (how criminal of me) so I am considering going for the Nars Semi-Matte Lipstick (£20) in ‘Scarlett Empress’. But, let’s be honest, no lipstick is going to last the course of me eating an Indian meal anyway so a top up will be essential!

So that’s my current thinking for tonight’s makeup… What do you think? I hope you enjoy your Saturday night whatever you’re doing.

Love Nicole xxxx

Blogging every day on October! (Or trying to)

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NYX Collection, Swatches & Quick Reviews

Since NYX has become more readily available in the UK I seem to have amassed quite a collection. I think they offer great products at an affordable price, as well as being cruelty-free unlike so many other affordable high street brands.

The below picture shows most of the products but I discovered a few more I’d forgotten after taking it lol! I didn’t realise how much NYX stuff I had oops. xD

nyx collection and reviews

I’m going to start with Lip Products as they are probably my favourites!

nyx soft matte lip cream liquid suede matte lipstick lip liner

nyx lip swatches 2

nyx soft matte lip cream in monte carlo
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo
nyx soft matte lip cream stockholm (3)
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm

These two are in the Soft Matte Lip Cream Formula. This was the first lip formula I tried from NYX and it’s pretty good. They’re a light, fluffy, velvety texture which means they don’t dry to what I would consider a fully matte finish, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They retain a light sheen and don’t dry out the lips. Longevity is not their strong point; they will wear off much like a normal lipstick and because of the way they dry they wear off evenly and are less likely to leave any horrible flaky patches. They surprised me with the intensity of pigmentation however and they have a lovely colour range. I feel they’re a good product for beginners or people that just want easy application and minimal upkeep.

 

Would I recommend? Yes

nyx liquid suede lip cream tea and cookies
NYX Liquid Suede in Tea and Cookies

 

nyx liquid suede soft spoken
NYX Liquid Suede in Soft Spoken

 

These are in the Liquid Suede formula and I really love these! Unlike some other formulas you definitely don’t need a lip liner underneath these as the formula is so lovely and creamy that it doesn’t cling to any dry patches. I think this is my favourite formula for comfort and the finished look; however it does seem to take ages to dry down and because of this it is open to smudging. I wish Liquid Suedes came in the colour range of the Lip Lingeries because I just love my nude colours ❤ Similar to the Soft Matte Lip Creams, I wouldn’t say they dry completely matte but I’m discovering I prefer this to extremely matte products which can look so harsh and dry.

Would I recommend? Yes

nyx lip lingerie liquid lipstick lace detail
NYX Lip Lingerie in Lace Detail

 

This is from the Lip Lingerie range which has the most amazing shades that are right up my street. In the image I am just wearing the product without lip liner; I definitely think this product fairs better when layered on top of balm and lip liner as it looks and feels very dry otherwise! Alone this product has a much more matte appearance than the Soft Matte Lip Creams and Liquid Suedes which is probably why I feel the need to layer it over liner to escape that flaky, dry finish.

Would I recommend? Yes, for the beautiful shade range and as long as you’re willing to take the time to layer liner underneath

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NYX Matte Lipstick in Natural
nyx matte lipstick euro trash
NYX Matte Lipstick in Euro Trash

 

Next are these Matte Lipsticks in Natural and Euro Trash. It confuses me slightly how on earth ‘Natural’ is in any way, shape or form a natural lip colour; I expected it to be a nude colour but it most definitely leans towards being purple! Euro Trash is a gorgeous colour and the closest dupe I’ve found so far to my beloved MAC Velvet Teddy. However, it falls short on the formula compared to MAC’s beautiful creamy consistency. That’s not to say I dislike these lipsticks though; they have good colour, easy to apply and have a pretty, non-drying finish. I am not a fan of the packaging, I’ve got a feeling I’ll be likely to hit the top of the bullet on the lid as it’s just so flimsy and twisty somehow! Definitely cheap packaging but they’re hardly an expensive option so we can’t be too fussy 😉

Would I recommend? Yes, they’re worth a try

nyx sugar glass lip liner
NYX Slide on Lip Liner in Sugar Glass

 

Here we have one of the Slide on Lip Pencil Liners. I really love these! They are so smooth and creamy so you can fill your lips in with relative ease. I don’t know if I would personally wear it on its own but you definitely could. I think the Lip Lingerie I have would work well over the top of this. Something I worry about with pencils is how well they will sharpen but this one sharpened well, no problems!

Would I recommend? Yes

nyx retractable lip liner in nude
NYX Retractable Lip Liner in Nude

 

Now onto not such a great lip liner; the Retractable Lip Liner… I love retractable products. They work well for my laziness when it comes to sharpening so I thought I’d grab one of these as well as a Slide on Lip Liner (above) to compare. The Slide on Lip Liner wins hands down. This retractable one is just annoying. It’s a lovely formula, similarly creamy and a nice colour. However it’s SO creamy that it just does not work well as a retractable product. I was getting really annoyed using this as it would just break off using the necessary pressure to apply it hence it’s been very wasteful. Now I know this I will try to be careful not to twist too much out at a time but you’d have to twist it up multiple times to do your whole lips because as it’s so creamy it goes down super quickly. It’s just not worth it tbh and you’re better off buying the sharpenable slide on pencil; it’ll be less hassle and last longer!

Would I recommend? No

nyx hot singles eye shadow zen heat illuminator ritualistic 4
NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadow in Heat | NYX Illuminator in Ritualistic | NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadow in Zen
nyx hot singles eye shadow zen heat nyx illuminator ritualistic
Wearing some of the Ritualistic illuminator on my cheek

 

So let’s move onto some powder products. Here we have some Hot Singles Eye Shadows and an Illuminator. It’s hard for me to say much about these at the moment as I haven’t really played around much with them so it’d be unfair for me to make any bold statements. My feelings so far however are positive; the eyeshadows have good pigment and seem to blend well. The illuminator is not the smoothest nor the most pigmented but it is a beautiful white gold which I’m hoping will be flattering on my quite fair skin.

Would I recommend? I’ve not used them enough to say either way at the moment

nyx tinted brow pomade brunette micro brow pencil ash brown
NYX Tame and Frame Tinted Brow Pomade in Brunette | NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Ash Brown

nyx tinted brow pomade tame and frame micro brow pencil brunette ash brown

 

Here we have some brow products; the Tame and Frame Tinted Brow Pomade and the NYX Micro Brow Pencil! I’m not going to spend too much time talking about these as the bottom line is I love them both! I know Anastasia Beverley Hills seems to be the holy grail of brow products for many but I honestly have no interest in trying those products at more than double the price of these ones when I love these NYX ones so much. They just do the job. The colour ranges are great, I think most people could find a shade to suit them. The pencil is great, I love to have a brush on one end. And the tinted brow pomade I probably prefer even more as I love the shape you can create with it. Just FYI, I use the Zoeva 317 Wing Liner Brush with the pomade to do my brows and it is PERFECT.

Would I recommend? Yes absolutely!

nyx hd concealer light fair wonder pencil fair
L-R the Swatches: NYX Wonder Pencil | NYX HD Concealer in Fair | NYX HD Concealer in Light

 

Next we have some complexion products. Concealers are one of my favourite things to try as we’re all always searching for products to give us that flawless base. These HD Concealer Wands however for me are just not good enough. I firstly bought it in the shade Light which is a completely off shade! It is not by any means Light, it’s so orange and definitely not flattering in my under eye! So I recently picked up Fair which is a much better shade for me, the difference in the two is stark considering Light is the next shade up from Fair! Anyway, even with this better shade I do not like this formula at all, unfortunately. I will still use it up of course as I hate to feel I’ve wasted my money but it’s really not good enough. The coverage is not high enough for my under-eyes and it dries in a horrible way that looks powdery and crepey which I actually feel ages me! It’s a thin, watery consistency compared to concealers I prefer (I tend to prefer creamy formulas) like the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer and the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I will not repurchase these which is a shame as I had high hopes!

As for the Wonder Pencil, also pictured, I don’t have much to report. I bought it to use as an eye-liner in my water line but I haven’t used it much even for that. When it arrived I saw it had written on it many other purposes so it’s actually a very multiple use product! It suggests you could use it as a concealer, an eye brightener and a reverse lip liner. I really need to give it a go as some of these options as it could be great. I like the sound of using it as a reverse lip liner and it might be great for spot concealing! It’s definitely not one for around the eyes though (other than water line) as it would tug the skin.

Would I recommend (HD Concealer)? No

Would I recommend (Wonder Pencil)? Hmm it’s okay! Not much to say so far

nyx pore filler primer

I have huge pores (in my opinion lol, they’re probably quite normal xD) on my nose and cheeks so anything that claims to get rid of them I am interested in! So in walked Pore Filler to my life. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan and I do not find myself reaching for this very often despite having it a while. It is very very siliconey and I prefer a more creamy primer. As well as this I didn’t find that it did anything miraculous to hide my pores either; its slippery nature means your base goes on smoothly yes, but I could still see my pores through it hence I think I could get the same effect using primers I prefer the feel of which are creamier. It’s quite mattifying which as someone with normal/dry skin I didn’t really like, it just made my skin look so flat, but maybe an oilier complexion would get on better with it. But as far as the name suggests, I was not impressed.

Would I recommend? No

nyx dewy finish makeup setting spray

Right, the last product I have to share is a Setting Spray! I have it in the Dewy Finish but it also comes in a Matte Finish; I’m not sure how much difference there is between the two. I use a setting spray mainly because I like the way it makes my makeup look afterwards; it tends to soften any cakiness and makes the finish look less powdery by meshing everything together with your skin. So if you’re interested in setting spray for the purposes of making your makeup last longer I can’t really offer an opinion. I’m lucky that my makeup lasts well when I do my normal base routine using primer, foundation, concealer where necessary and then I set my entire face with powder every time without fail. Powder for me really is the key to longevity. So who knows if this product helps my makeup last longer! But I do know I like using it and it’s a lot more affordable than other options available. I do want to try other brands though just to see if there’s any difference or if it is just a fancy bottle of water!

Would I recommend? Yes, I’d recommend just to try a setting spray in general and see if you like what it does for the finish of your makeup

And there we have it, my collection of NYX Products! I haven’t really got my eye on any other things from NYX so in theory my collection shouldn’t be growing anytime soon but ya know, these things just happen sometimes so never say never 😀

Best wishes, Nicole xxxx

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M&S Beauty | Alpha H & Rosie for Autograph

M&S had an offer a few weeks ago with 20% off everything in their Beauty department so this was the perfect opportunity to grab the things I had on my ‘to buy’ list.

alpha h liquid gold rosie for autograph eyeshadow sticksrosie for autograph eyeshadow stick almond eyes sparkle and magic

rosie for autograph almond eyes sparkle and magic
Rosie for Autograph Cream Eye Shadow Sticks in | Sparkle & Magic | Almond Eyes

I had wanted to try these Rosie for Autograph Cream Eye Shadow Sticks ever since their release. The collection is beautiful with rose gold packaging ❤ I wanted to pick up a lipstick too really, but there’s just not many swatches around and I’m pretty particular with my nude shades – I didn’t want to buy yet another lipstick online that just wasn’t what I hoped. I can’t find the collection in any M&S stores near me but I’m hoping it’ll become more widely available in store soon.

The colours I chose are ‘Almond Eyes‘ and ‘Sparkle and Magic‘ and they’re very pretty. Almond Eyes I was hoping would be more pink but it definitely errs on the side of gold. Sparkle and Magic likewise I assumed would be grey, which it is but it has hints of green and brown also.

Alpha H’s Liquid Gold is a repurchase for me and I LOVE this supersize 200ml bottle! So great! And I got it for £32 which is basically the same as the price for the standard 100ml – WINNING. I love this product and had really missed it once my first bottle ran out months ago. It’s a fantastic treatment and lazy product that contains liquorice extract and glycolic acid. When I just can’t be bothered with a long-winded skincare routine in the evening, I can just cleanse my face and wipe Liquid Gold over it and I’m done. It can act as a toner as well as a moisturiser. This shouldn’t be done more frequently than every other evening though. It’s quite strong so I don’t know how sensitive skin would cope but I, with combination/dry skin, get on well with it. It’s brightening and helps clear and keep spots at bay. It’s one I think I’ll always go back to if my skin’s in a crisis.

Love Nicole xxxx

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