Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Splits: Prosecco Pop and Amaretto

In January I snapped up one of these Champagne Splits from Becca’s collaboration with Jaclyn Hill. There was a choice of four split pans containing one highlighter and one blusher. I wanted to get the ‘Amaretto/Prosecco Pop’ split as I really liked the look of the blush colour ‘Amaretto! Plus, I hadn’t treated myself to a new blush in a loooong time.

I know I’m a bit late posting about this as it was Limited Edition, however, Becca have recently introduced ‘Prosecco Pop’ into their permanent collection so it’s still worth showing a swatch! Who knows, maybe even ‘Amaretto’ will be released as a separate, permanent blush in future.

Firstly, the packaging is gorgeous. It’s in Becca’s signature little ‘spaceship’ compact as I like to call it, but this time the outside is gold! How beautiful?! ❤

Whilst this little duo swatched nicely, I’m sad to say they didn’t really impress me on the face.

Regarding ‘Prosecco Pop’, the highlight shade, I think it’s mostly a case of the shade just not really suiting my complexion! This is a true gold and I think it could look very pretty on medium-darker skintones but on my skin it doesn’t really show up much. It mainly looks like I’ve just got some glitter on my cheeks because, as with most Becca pressed highlighters, it’s pretty sparkly! However, I wasn’t really expecting to love ‘Prosecco Pop’ and I mainly purchased this product to try out the cheek colour – ‘Amaretto’. I do love their ‘Champagne Pop’ highlighter shade though which was Jaclyn Hill’s first release with Becca – that one suits me much better!

Unfortunately, I haven’t fallen in love with ‘Amaretto’. Whilst I do love the colour, it’s a kind of terracotta shade, I’ve found it quite hard to work with. It is highly pigmented so it’s best to use a light hand and build it up slowly to ensure you don’t go overboard – especially on paler skins! I also found it quite difficult to blend which means if you do go a bit over the top and apply too much, it’s not the easiest to blend out to tone down. It just seems quite dry and heavy! I think this shade will be pretty in summer when I’ll hopefully catch some sun. I’ll continue to use it of course but it’s not left me excited to try any other Becca blushes.

Love Nicole xxxx

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Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette – Swatches & Review

I’ve had this palette since Christmas so I’ve had enough opportunity to test it out and gather my thoughts. This is the Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette (£9.99) that you can buy from various retailers like Superdrug, Boots and Feel Unique. It contains two baked powders, one cream formula and one shimmer powder.

I love all the shades but I must admit I’ve not actually used the cream formula on my face yet. Creams are not really something I reach for on a daily basis but it swatched nicely so I might get around to using it one day! My favourite is probably Subsolar (the shimmery, yellow shade) closely followed by Hemisphere (the pinky shade). I’ve found that they last well on my face.

As you can see in the swatches, this palette has some pretty intense colour payoff! However, the swatches are with my finger so of course this is not the effect you get on your face when you use a makeup brush. I use a fan brush from EcoTools to apply these highlighters and I find that works really well and picks up enough pigment to still deliver a very intense highlight but not leave a ‘stripe’ of product. I’m sure some people would find it too much but for me I love the finish!

The highlighters are encased in a beautiful gold case which is quite unusual and luxurious for an affordable, ‘drugstore’ brand! Yes, it may be prone to finger prints but it’ll look beautiful on your Instagram feed. 😉 Speaking of which, follow me @nicolelauraxo!

If you want an intense highlight for an affordable price and that is easy to get hold of in the UK, then you can’t really go far wrong with this palette from Sleek.

Love Nicole xxxx

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit – Surreal Light Review

While it’s still available, I wanted to do a quick review of the most recent Ambient Lighting Edit from Hourglass. You can still buy it from Space NK (£69).

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To look at, the palette is undeniably gorgeous. Encased in luxurious, matte marble, plastic packaging are 5 different ambient lighting powder products. There is one all-over setting powder (that’s the largest pan), two blush shades, a bronzing shade and a strobe powder. Here is the description of the different powders taken from the Space NK website:

“• Surreal Light: a sheer nude powder evoking the magic hour of perfect lighting

Surreal Bronze Light: a neutral tan shade fused with Surreal Light, for a subtle, natural warmth

Surreal Glow: a pale peony pink blush mixed with Surreal Light for a delicate flush

Surreal Effect: a cool, pink rose fused with a soft, warm peach for a pop of flattering color

Surreal Strobe Light: a glimmering peach powder imparting an alluring highlight”

The palette is a perfect travel companion too as it’s got all you need in terms of complexion powders.

One thing I will say is the pans are pretty small so using big brushes is not the easiest. Especially with the setting powder and the bronzer, where you tend to use a bigger brush, you have to kind of squish your brush so you don’t pick up product from the neighbouring pans! It’s not a big deal though and I’ve gotten used to it. 🙂

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L-R: Surreal Light, Surreal Glow, Surreal Effect, Surreal Bronze Light, Surreal Strobe Light

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I really love this palette! When used all over my face as a setting powder, the Surreal Light shade makes me look so healthy and glowy – it’s beautiful. These ambient lighting powders are gorgeous because they don’t look particularly ‘powdery‘ on your skin. This means you can set your makeup without having to look completely matte or cake-faced.

The blushes are beautiful shades and give a pretty, healthy pop of colour to your cheeks with an added glow.

I actually really love the Surreal Bronze Light shade! I’m fairly light-skinned so what I love about this shade is that I find it almost impossible to go overboard with. I know it’s pretty pale as far as bronzers go but that’s what I like about it. It just warms up my complexion and has no orange-ness to it. It looks so natural and gives me such a gorgeous, healthy colour! However, I can see this being pretty useless as a bronzer on medium-dark skin tones.

The last shade to talk about is Surreal Strobe Light, which is my least favourite in the palette unfortunately. It’s a gold toned shade to be used as a highlighter. My problem with it is how glittery it is! There is a lot of glitter in here. I feel like when I apply it to my cheekbones there’s not all that much colour pay-off or sheen, the overriding effect is glitter, which is not really my vibe for highlighters. I’ll still use it, it’s not terrible, it’s just not my ideal highlighter.

Overall, I am very happy with this palette and don’t regret buying it! Hourglass’ powders are beautiful and I love how convenient this palette will be for when I’m staying overnight at my boyfriend’s or going on short trips and need to pack light.

Love Nicole xxxx

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A January Space NK Haul

As I also did last January (see what I got in 2016 here), I had a little spendy time on the Space NK website to spend some of my Christmas and Birthday money. This post is just to show you what I got really, but I’ll be sure to do some more detailed posts, with swatches, at a later date when I’ve had a proper play with the products.

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Firstly, try as I might I just could not resist the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit in Surreal Light (£69). The palette is absolutely stunning and encased in gorgeous marble packaging. It was ridiculously expensive but I have tried one of Hourglass’ powders before (in the shade Diffused Light) and it was gorgeous and I had recently run out of it. So as well as a new setting powder I also get to try some of the ambient lighting blushes, a bronzer and a highlight. So far I am loving it.

Secondly, I had been wanting to try the Amaretto + Prosecco Pop duo of the BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Splits (£32) for ages. I was really happy to see it was in stock when I was browsing the Space NK website so it was a must-buy! The packaging, again, is so pretty. It’s the same as their permanent Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlight packaging, however, it has gold casing – so gorgeous! The colour of the blush is lovely and I don’t own anything else like it.

Lastly, because it was on sale for about £24, I bought Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book Vol. 1.0 (£47). I thought it was a good opportunity to try a number of Kevyn Aucoin products as I’d never tried anything from the brand before, and particularly The Sculpting Powder which is a favourite of many. The pans are relatively small so using a big-ish brush can be difficult but I’ll make it work. The ‘book’ comes with some step by step guides which look very helpful and informative as I’m still definitely not a contouring expert.

As I said, I am sure I’ll do separate posts on each of these products in future to give my thoughts on them. Thankfully, so far though, I have no regrets!

Love Nicole xxxx

Highlighter Collection

Compared to many I’ve seen on YouTube and blogs I don’t have as many highlighters as some, but to me, I feel I have more than enough lol! It’d have to be a really unusual colour or exceptional formula for me to be able to justify getting another one… That doesn’t mean I won’t be buying a new highlighter in the near future as I am weak but what I’m trying to say is you really don’t need that many so maybe I can help you to decide whether any of these ones I own would be up your street! Wanting more is a whole other ball game though lol, they are so pretty to look at ❤

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NYX Illuminator in Ritualistic | The Balm Mary Lou Manizer | Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured in Moonstone | Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator in So Hollywood | Sleek Contour Kit in Light | Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop

 

NYX Illuminator in Ritualistic – £8.50

I got this one as I really wanted a pale, almost white highlighter. I liked the look of Pearl by Becca but I couldn’t bring myself to splash out the £32 at the time so when I saw this I impulse bought it on the spot! It’s a nice colour that I would say is a white gold although it is not the most pigmented and takes a bit of building up (I use a fan brush to apply highlighter). It’s not the smoothest of formulas and is slightly chalky, but this is compared to formulas like Becca’s which are a lot more expensive. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a highlighter this would not be a bad choice! It catches the light, can be built up or worn more subtly, it does all you need.

theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer – £17.50

This purchase was completely induced by YouTube and blogs as it is so popular and raved about! I can see why as it’s a beautiful colour and can give a rather intense sheen to your skin! This one is more pigmented than the NYX and you don’t need to apply much to get the highlighted effect. A very pretty highlight which almost gives a  ‘wet’ look. The Balm do the best packaging too.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured in Moonstone – £30

I bought this in the summer thinking I would get loads of use out of it but the truth is I’ve barely touched it. I think my preference at the moment is for powder highlights as they pack much more of a punch. That being said I do love how natural this can look, it’s like a glossy sheen, but it’s one of those things where I get carried away and I know I can be so much more glowy so I reach for a powder highlight and this one is left redundant. If I ever fall out of love with the more obvious highlight look then this is really pretty, but until then I think it’ll just be sitting in a drawer… 😦

Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator in So Hollywood – £28

This was the first expensive highlight I ever bought and at the time I couldn’t believe I’d spent £28 on one. Because of this, I had super high expectations and these were unfortunately not met. I think a lot of this was to do with first impressions and packaging; the packaging is virtually the same as the NYX Illuminator packaging just with the different branding so it just felt really cheap for the £28 I’d spent on it. The product itself now I’ve gotten over the splurge (I hadn’t bought that much high-end makeup before at the time so I was adjusting LOL) is actually really pretty. It’s a sheeny, pale gold that also provides that ‘wet’ look. I think this was the first illuminator ABH brought out and it is almost impossible to find this shade anywhere online now. However, ABH seems to be bringing out hundreds of highlighting palettes at the moment so you’re bound to find one you like. Packaging: cheap, product: good.

Sleek MakeUp Face Contour Kit in Light – £6.99

I’ll be honest and say I’ve not used this highlight from this palette much as I get distracted by all the prettily packaged separate ones I have. However, upon swatching I remembered how nice it actually is. In colour it’s probably most similar to the Mary Lou Manizer which means it’s a gorgeous colour for highlighting. It is however, more glittery which some people really don’t like but it’s nothing that bothers me too much. For travelling or if you’re on a budget, this 2 in 1 is a good buy. The contour powder is great btw.

Becca Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop – £32

This colour is gorgeous and who doesn’t love Jaclyn Hill – she’s infectious! Becca’s pressed formula is smooth and very pigmented and I love it. This is probably my favourite highlighter that I own. I think that’s for a number of reasons. Firstly is that it was so hyped up and coveted that by the time I got my hands on it I’d already given it such a great value I had to love it, secondly everything about using it just feels good and luxurious, from the packaging to the way it applies to just staring at it in the pan. And thirdly, it’s Jaclyn isn’t it! When someone you love loves something, you love it too ya know, especially when it looks like Champagne Pop. 😉

So there are my highlighters! What’s your favourite highlighter?

Love Nicole xxxx

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