August 04, 2015
When it comes to eyeshadow, I like to use a cream eyeshadow everytime I wear shadow either as a base for powder shadows or just on their own. I’d read endless rave reviews of the Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks, so I decided it was time that I gave them a try for myself. I don’t have any Kiko stores anywhere near me so I placed my order on their website after searching for swatches online, and opted for a range of neutral shades, although I got one shade within my Latest In Beauty Glamour Spring Edit Box. The Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks are £6.90 each and are available in an impressive 40 shades.
Golden Beige: a light metallic gold.
Light Taupe: a matte mauve toned taupe.
Bright Ivory: a warm toned matte cream.
Golden Taupe: a taupey brown with golden shimmer.
All four shades are very pigmented, with an amazingly soft and creamy formula that glides across the lid without any tugging or dragging. The shades need to be blended almost immediately after application as they do set very quickly, and once they’ve set, there’s absolutely no budging them so I always blend them as soon as I’ve applied to ensure there are no harsh edges and the shadow is nice and even. My favourite shade from the four has to be Golden Taupe as it’s such a beautiful multi dimensional shade that looks stunning when worn alone, but gives the appearance that you’ve used more than one shade. I think Bright Ivory makes for the perfect eyeshadow base for any makeup look as it’s so light in tone, so it does a great job of evening out the skintone and prepping the lids for shadow.
The longevity of the Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks is amazing, and I never notice any creasing or fading during the duration that they’re being worn.. even after 10 hours there are no signs of any wear whatsoever, so if you have oily eyelids which are prone to creasing, I recommend trying these shadow sticks out as they’re so good. I particularly love how blendable they are once I’ve drawn all over my lid with them, as I can use my fingertip or a blending brush to blend them out which takes a matter of seconds. I definitely need to add some more shades to my collection as I am so in love with my first four shades, so if you can recommend some others I’d be very grateful…
August 03, 2015
If you saw my large Essence Haul, you’ll have seen that I bought the Essence Heatwave Blush Up Powder Blush alongside the Sun Club 2 in 1 Bronzing Powder. Essence have two different Blush Up! Powder Blushes, which feature a beautiful ombréd design and they cost just £3.50 each. I chose shade 10 which is Heatwave, but there is also a pink and lilac shade called 20 Pinky Flow. The Essence Heatwave Blush Up Powder Blush is packaged within a clear, square compact and contains a generous 8g of product. Heatwave contains almost a sunset design of a bright orange, which blends into a bright fuchsia pink, and you can use the orange side singularly, the pink side singularly, or you can choose to use the middle section or use a brush swirled around the whole pan to mix the shades.. so there’s essentially four shades in one.
The blush is matte, but as you can see from the swatches above, the blush imparts a subtle sheen to the skin which looks really pretty, but it’s not too much or a sheen as I’m not the biggest fan of shimmery or super sheeny blushes. The pigmentation of the brush is pretty intense, so a light hand is definitely necessary unless you prefer your blush to be quite vivid. Heatwave isn’t the best in terms of blendability, as it is a little chalky with a fair amount of fall out, so it requires a fair bit of blending but I feel the extra work is still worth it as the shades are so pretty, and summery. Once you’ve blended the blush into your cheeks, it does last for quite a long time, with my blush still being visible after six hours which I think is pretty good going considering how affordable it is. I will definitely be getting my hands on Pinky Flow, as it looks just as pretty as Heatwave..
August 02, 2015
Before I started beauty blogging, I used to own only a few makeup brushes but after discovering the benefits from using good quality brushes, my makeup brush collection has grown considerably and I love discovering new makeup brush brands. The newest makeup brush brand that I’ve tried is Fancy Witch, which is a Bulgarian brush brand which are stocked on Beauty Crowd. There are eight brushes within the Fancy Witch Black Magic Makeup Brush Collection, which vary in price from £6.95 to £11.95 per brush with three eye brushes, and five face brushes. Each of the brushes are packaged within plastic, zippable wallets similar to those of the Zoeva brushes which are really handy for keeping the brushes protected and clean, especially when travelling.
Fancy Witch Black Magic Foundation Brush £10.95
The Foundation Brush contains vegan, taklon synthetic bristles which are incredibly silky and soft and are shaped into a round dome, which is similar in shape to the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. The brush is described as being a multi-tasking brush which can be used for applying and blending cream, liquid and powder products, and it can also be used for foundation, bronzer, blush and highlighter. This definitely is my favourite brush from the collection.. it’s amazing for applying liquid foundations, and it really does give a streak-free flawless finish. I really like how dense the bristles are, but they’re not too dense that you can’t blend the product in. I particularly love well the bristles have been cut, as they’re all the same length and of really great quality.
Fancy Witch Black Magic Bronzer Brush £10.95
The Bronzer Brush has handmade, vegan taklon bristles which are shaped into a tapered dome similar to the Real Techniques Blush Brush except this brush has a more rounded shape with a little more density within the bristles which makes applying and blending so quick and easy. I love the slightly pointed tip for bronzing the face, and then use the brush in circular blending motions for blush. I’ve also found that this brush is great at applying powder as it’s so fluffy, so it doesn’t leave the skin looking cakey.
Fancy Witch Black Magic Powder Brush £10.95
The Powder Brush has vegan taklon bristles which have a slightly rounded dome on the top, but they’re very fluffy which is perfect for blending powder, but the domed shape works well for applying loose powder or powder foundation. In all honesty, I use this brush for applying powder, blush and bronzer as it does a great job and I’m sure you could even use it for applying a lower coverage base such as a BB cream or tinted moisturiser so it’s a real multitasking brush.
Fancy Witch Black Magic Blush Brush £11.95
This brush is the only brush within the collection which features natural (goat) bristles which are supposedly shorn from goats twice a year. In all honesty, I think they should have made the whole collection vegan as it just doesn’t make sense that they’d use natural bristles for one of their brushes. If anything, I’d say the bristles of this brush aren’t as silky and soft as the taklon bristles on the other brushes and I don’t feel that the natural bristles make the brush any better application wise. The shape of the brush is similar to the Sigma F40 brush, with the bristles being cut at an angle so it works well as a contour or sculpting brush as the angled shape fits well within the contours of the face. I think this brush is nice enough, I just think that the brush should have been made vegan as I feel it would have been a great selling point for the collection to be completely vegan.
Fancy Witch Kabuki Makeup Brush £11.95
This is another vegan brush, with pink and black bristles which are slightly densely packed just like all kabuki brushes. Kabuki brushes are designed for applying mineral makeup, but I don’t use mineral makeup myself so I sometimes use them for blush or powder and carry one in my handbag at all times. As far as kabuki brushes go, this is a nice one but I wouldn’t say it’s any different from any other kabuki brush that I’ve tried, and I think that perhaps £11.95 is quite pricey for a kabuki brush.
Fancy Witch Flat Top Concealer Brush, Fancy Witch Round Eye Blending Brush and Fancy Witch Tapered Eye Crease Brush £6.95 each (all vegan)
The Flat Top Concealer is a small, rounded brush with a flat top like the name suggests which is designed for applying concealer under the eyes, and for stippling concealer over blemishes and other imperfections. I find it to work better for concealing blemishes than I do for under the eyes, as I prefer a more tapered brush for under the eyes. I like that this brush allows me to build up good coverage on my blemishes due to the flat design of the brush.
The Round Eye Blending Brush is my favourite from the eye brushes, and is a nice rounded dome shape which is great for both applying and blending eyeshadow – but it also works amazingly at blending concealer under the eyes due to the rounded shape. The brush is the perfect size for fitting underneath the bottom lashes for precision concealing, or for fitting within the crease of the eye for precise blending too.
Lastly the Tapered Eye Crease Brush is similar to the aforementioned Blending Brush, except it has a tapered head instead of a rounded one. I prefer to use this brush for blending shadow, which it does seamlessly and using the Round Blending Brush for concealer under my eyes.
Overall I am incredibly impressed with the Fancy Witch Black Magic Makeup Brushes. Every single brush is amazingly well made, and I’ve not experienced any shedding whatsoever even with washing, and they all work very well. There aren’t any disappointing brushes within the collection, and they all wash well too. If you’re looking for some new brushes, I really recommend checking these brushes out as they’re affordable but of impressive quality. I honestly didn’t expect to love these brushes as much as I do, but I really have been blown away by their quality and how lovely they make my makeup look.
*This post contains a PR Sample or gifted item.
August 01, 2015
When it comes to skincare, I’m not particularly loyal to products or brands as I love trying new things. However there are two products which I am extremely loyal too, and I’ve repurchased them both countless times as I can’t bare the thought of not having them within my skincare arsenal. The first product is the Bioderma Hydrabio H20 Solution Micellaire and the second is the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads – both products are incredible, and are definitely worthy of holy grail status in my opinion. I absolutely love the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Pads as they’re really effective at exfoliating my dry skin and they really do help with my acne scarring too. When I saw that Nip + Fab had launched a new extreme version of the pads, I was beyond excited and I couldn’t wait to try them out alongside the Nip + Fab Glycolic Scrub Fix.
The Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme £14.95 are described as being a more potent version of their bestselling Glycolic Fix Pads. The Extreme Pads contain their highest level of Glycolic Acid at 5%, and have been further enhanced with the addition of Salicylic Acid to make them the ultimate night time treatment to refine the pores, brighten the complexion and de-congest the skin through exfoliation. Unlike the ordinary Glycolic Fix Pads, Nip and Fab recommend using the new Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme only 2-3 times a week, and those with sensitive skin should only use them once a week which really emphasises how potent they are.
The 5% Glycolic Acid works to gently exfoliate the skin, whilst helping to fade discolouration on the face such as acne scarring and pigmentation issues. The Salicylic Acid penetrates into the pores to unclog them as well as helping to combat blackheads and reduce blemishes. Lactic Acid removed dead skin cells and toxins from the skin for a smoother and more even toned surface, whilst Hyaluronic Acid improves the skin’s hydration and keeps the skin plump and soft.
Appearance wise, the pads look exactly the same as the original Glycolic Fix Pads except the Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme have a very different scent as they smell strongly of grapefruit, whereas the original pads smell more medicated. I personally love the grapefruit scent; it’s so fresh and invigorating, which might not be a scent you want before bed but I love it. Now I know they recommend using them 2-3 times a week, but because I’ve used the original pads daily for well over a year, my skin appears to love me using them every night. The result? Incredibly smooth and clear skin.. I honestly cannot recommend them enough if you’re plagued with acne scarring like myself, they really do make a significant difference to how quickly my scarring fades, and the exfoliation from the acids means any blemishes aren’t left dry and flaky (grim I know) so they’re a lot easier to conceal. I think they’re such fantastic value at just £14.95 considering you’re getting 60 pads in a pot, making them just 24 pence a pad (I love breaking the price down) which is amazing considering how effective they are.
The Nip and Fab Glycolic Scrub Fix 75ml £9.95 is a 3-in-1 micro exfoliant which is packed with 3% Glycolic Acid, and Salicylic Acid to refine, brighten and renew the skin. The scrub works deep into the pores to thoroughly cleanse whilst polishing, to reduce blemishes from the very first use. Now I generally don’t use face scrubs any more since I discovered the magic of chemical exfoliants, but I was intrigued by this particular scrub as it contains the chemical exfoliants I’ve grown to love. A lot of manual scrubs can be too harsh for the delicate skin, but this mask contains shea butter, sweet almond oil and aloe vera to soothe and hydrate the skin.
The scrub itself has the same lovely and fresh grapefruit scent that the pads have, and the exfoliative particles are very fine.. I’d describe them as being as fine, and small as sand. The scrub particles are suspended within a thick white cream which I massage into damp skin in circular motions, paying particular attention to my problem areas. Once I’ve massaged it into the skin for a minute, I like to leave it on for another five minutes or so as a quick mask before rinsing. It’s possibly the most gentle mask I’ve used granules wise, but also one of the most effective as it leaves my skin feeling amazingly smooth. I would really recommend giving this scrub a try, even if you don’t like using manual exfoliators as it’s such a good scrub and it offers immediate results, with blemishes looking a lot less prominent and inflamed and I’ve noticed a definite improvement to my pesky blackheads.
Do you love Nip + Fab as much as I do? Do you have any Nip + Fab product recommendations?
*This post contains a PR Sample or gifted item.
July 31, 2015
During the month of July, I’ve had the privilege of having Shireen as my Exclusive Advertiser. Shireen blogs over at Reflection of Sanity, and I particularly enjoyed reading which products make up Shireen’s everyday makeup products.
Hi everyone! I’m Shireen, the quirky writer behind Reflection of Sanity which is a beauty blog with a small dash of food and life in general. I’m a Malaysia born and Canada based middle age mother of two who had a beauty awakening in mid 2013. With a huge passion for beauty and food, I desperately needed an outlet to unleash all the little voices inside my head and thus, my blog was born.
I love writing with a wicked and sometimes twisted sense of humour because well, life is too short to be serious all the time, no? So come join me on my uphill journey to discover the good, the bad and the ugly of the beauty world and I promise you that we will share a laugh or two and maybe ten.
Special thank you to Gemma for allowing me to advertise here and for being one of the sweetest people I’ve ever interacted with! xx
LVBT is a UK based business offering a collection of beautiful and stylish accessories sourced from around the world, brought to you at affordable prices. Our range includes statement pieces, special finds and everyday items. We house some of the most exciting up and coming jewellery and accessory brands from various countries. It is our belief that everyone deserves to be able to treat themselves with beautiful and stylish accessories, whenever they want, without breaking the bank.
Hi everyone I’m Vicky from VixMeldrew.com. I entered the blogging world a few months ago but I’m already loving every minute! My blog is my space to write about what I love, which is mainly fashion, beauty and all other ramblings. I’m not afraid to cover any topic with hopefully a humorous approach. I hope you come and visit my blog and I’d love to interact with you all via Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (@VixMeldrew for all). Let me know what you think!
Hi, I’m Kara (aka Abracadabra Girl) I’m a MUA/beauty therapist, reiki Master and ex-salon owner. I started Abracadabra girl In March 2014 as a place to express my love of writing (blogging and fiction) and to share my knowledge and advice to anyone who thought it was useful. I’m so glad I did! I’ve met some amazing people along the way and found you all – the blogging community. So do pop by and say “hello” and introduce yourself and your blog. Finally myself in a few words: Londoner, mama, juice and smoothie addict, amateur photographer, writer and shopaholic.
Hi I’m Jo and my blog is A Little Pop of Coral. It features new products launches, reviews on make-up, skincare and haircare, current trends and beauty edits. I am from the UK but currently live in New York, which is so exciting, I love being in a city that is so vibrant! Since arriving here in the summer, I have become obsessed with Sephora and the drugstore where there are always so many new and exciting products, especially in the run up to Christmas! Make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss all latest beauty news from the US as well as a taste of New York life in my weekend lifestyle posts. I look forward to you joining me!
Tarnya ia 25 year old blogger from the UK, with plenty of interests outside of beauty, such as skincare, fashion, food, travel, photography, comics, gaming and many many more. So if you like a mixture of awesome things, I try to update 3 times a week, although of course I am human and sometimes other things take over. :)
The last of my lovely Large Advertisers is Jordan or Jordan Alice.
Hi everyone! I’m Jordan, a 22 year old beauty blogger, currently on medical leave from university with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My blog focuses mainly on beauty reviews and hauls, although in the future I’d like to try some lifestyle posts. I set up my blog mainly because I’m sure my friends and family were getting fed up of me constantly telling them about my new favourite blushes or the new products I was looking forward to trying! It has also helped me to deal with my illness a lot, being bed-bound for days on end can get very boring & lonely! Although I haven’t been blogging for long, I absolutely love it! I hope if you pop by you enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoy writing them! x