ColourPop: Element of Surprise Palette

I’m a little bit compulsive so I suppose it was only a matter of time before I decided that I need to collect all the 12 pan ColourPop eyeshadow palettes as a matter of principal.

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The ‘Element of Surprise’ palette is by no means new, but it is a relatively new purchase for me.  I was attracted by the purple and pink pops of colour and when it was on sale I thought, why not?

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Straight up I can tell you that this palette was indeed a surprise.  It is WAY more purple toned than I realised from looking at the colours in the pan.  And this is PRETTY.  Overall I very much enjoyed the quality of these shadows and I think the shadows are actually well curated to give multiple complete and different looks.  I like that there are an even number of mattes and shimmers and that there is a good range of light, medium and deeper tones.  I am (again) surprised that this would make a good travel palette for me.

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Row 1 swatches.  Feels (duochrome), Late Night, Silk Street and Rayon (duochrome)

I loved the looks I got out of this palette including the bright pink which I initially felt was a bit daunting but actually turned out to be a lot of fun.  I think the mattes blend well and the shimmers are gorgeous applied with my finger or a wet brush and they really do shine and LAST on the eye.

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Row two swatches: Go with the flow, Subdue (duochrome), Opulent, Labyrinth

There were four shadows that I think are worth mentioning particuarly in relation to formula:

  1. Late Night (row 1, shade 2) is a bit flakey so definitely pat on with your finger or use a setting spray to avoid fallout.  This is listed as a duochrome.  The colour is dynamic but it isn’t a super noticeable colour shift.  It is BEAUTIFUL though.
  2. Subdue (row 2, shade 2) lacks pigmentation.  Boo.  You really need to build this one up which is a bummer and as a result the colour shift really isn’t noticeable.
  3. Details (row 3, shade 3) is a matte that contains hot pink glitter which is my least favourite formula.  If you want to use it as a straight up matte I recommend you do your eyes first and then you can brush away any of the glitter that falls out.
  4. Labyrinth is literally the most delicious, perfect crease shade for me and I love it so much.  It is a dusty pink and it is beautiful.
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Row 3 swatches: Blank canvas, Sea stars, Details, Peace of Mind

So to roundup, I think this is a super fun colour story.  I love that there is enough variety for a range of looks as well as a few pops of colour.  I picked this palette up on a whim but it really lovely.  ColourPop is always having a sale so keep an eye on their Instagram for good deals and if you are placing an order I’d say stick the ‘Element of Surprise’ in your cart too!

Have a wonderful day.

2018 makeup use up – update!

I have surprised myself with my progress using up makeup products this year. Some things I have gone through quicker than I thought. Other things have taken me FOREVER when I thought they would be easy to finish. I have learnt a few good lessons from my ‘use up’ project this year:

1) Loose powder products like blush and bronzer literally take forever to use.  In a project like mine, that is a bit of a drag BUT in real life that is awesome! You really do get a good bang for your buck!

2)  Focusing on getting through foundations that need to be used up is definitely a good thing. Although I love trying new things I don’t want to waste stuff either so it’s been good to crack through some cream products that needed to go.

3) Lastly, I had a baby in April. In retrospect this project is probably best suited to people who aren’t on maternity leave and who DON’T have two kids under two, lol!

So, how am I going so far?

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Products I have completely used up – eight in total including two I tossed by accident.  Woot!

I have used up these products! Woot! From the original products I have also used up the Nude by Nature mineral concealer and the Eye of Horus Bio Lash Lift Mascara, but I threw out the packaging without thinking.

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Eye products update

I have made good progress on the eyebrow pencil, the under eye primer, and super shock shadow but I keep forgetting to use the eye refresh roller ball… which is a shame really because I am surviving on a sniff of sleep with two kids under two and this mumma could use some eye refreshing roller ball action most days!

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face base products update

As you can see above, I am making good progress with the two remaining foundations in my use up. I mix them for colour but I definitely prefer the ELF foundation as a stand-alone product. The pot concealer is never ending! The finishing vail hasn’t had much use as I have been focusing on the ELF tone correcting powder but it will hopefully get more use moving forward. As for the under eye setting powder – I have about 1/4 of the pot left.

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coloured face products update

Now we get to the products I have used SO much but feel like I’m getting nowhere with! I have about half the liquid illumination left and about half the mineral blush. I have about 1/5 of the mineral bronzer left and probably 1/4 of the loose highlighter.  As for the Thin Lizzy pressed bronzer – I can see the circles on the base but haven’t hit pan yet.

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primer update

As for primers, I’m making good progress with the liquid mineral primer and although I forget about the moisture stick, I have gotten through about half.

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Products I’m decluttering from the project

Now, I am decluttering these products. The two eyeshadow primers are drying out and even though I could probably get a bit more use out of them I’m calling it done. The stick concealer really doesn’t work for me so I’m decluttering it.  As for the tone correcting powder, I have made great progress but I have decided that this gives too much of a white cast and it just isn’t my favourite as a result.  It is really finely milled and great quality but I have gotten my money’s worth out of it and it is going too. I also decluttered the ELF mineral primer and the Hanami lipstick to a friend. The primer just didn’t work for me and the scent of the lipstick was too overpowering.

Final roundup:

8 products used up

6 products decluttered

16 products remaining in the project 🙂

What do you think? Am I doing ok?

Have a great day!

 

Juvia’s Place: The Nubian eyeshadow palette

This year I tried Juvia’s place for the first time.  Juvia’s is owned by Chichi Eburu, a Nigerian-born American.  Her products are designed to be inclusive but certainly are pigmented enough and with a broad enough range of colours for the darkest of skin tones.  A fact that must be SO refreshing for those dark skinned beauties who are so often under represented in the makeup industry.  Her palettes also pay tribute to her African roots with simply stunning cover art.

I started with an order of three Juvia’s eyeshadow palettes during a 30% off sale where the total of the discount gave me the palettes at a cheaper cost while also completely covering the cost of the international shipping – winning!   If you know the Juvia’s Place brand then you know they have lots of beautiful colours in their range but I wanted to start safe when testing the formula and I was well in my comfort zone with the very neutral Nubian eyeshadow palette.

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The packaging is sturdy cardboard with stunning cover art.  There is no mirror if that matters to you and the palette contains 16 shades with a mix of metallic, satin and matte finishes.

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really like this formula.  The shades are very pigmented, creamy and blend so well.  The very shimmery, metallic shades (eg. row 1, swatch 4 below) are a little crumbly in the pan so I either tapped them on with my finger or wet the shadow on my brush before application to avoid fallout.  But look how reflective it is!!!!  Stunning.

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Row one swatches.  The first shade is actually a duo chrome which has a champagne base and a very strong pink shift which didn’t pick up in this photo unfortunately.

The mattes are really lovely.  They are super pigmented and blend SO well but they aren’t powdery and there is pretty minimal kick-up in the pan.  Impressive.  I think the balance of mattes on offer in this palette is dynamic and allows for very basic, everyday looks as well as for a deep, smokey, dramatic look.

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Row two swatches

I enjoy the fact that there are some berry tones on offer here too.  It really allows for you to get multiple distinct eye looks from this palette.

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My only complaint about The Nubian is actually to do with the shade selection of the third row.  The two satin shadows in this row (shade 1 and 3) are very similar in tone to the mattes in this row.  Although the formulas are different I would have preferred for the shades to be distinctly different.  I do, however, appreciate that the darkest shade in this palette is actually a deep brown rather than a black which can be a bit harsh for me.

Overall, I am so happy with this.  The Nubian palette is compact, beautiful and great quality and I would recommend it for sure.  Juvia’s Place is cruelty free and budget friendly.  Their own website ships internationally but you can also pick them up online at Beauty Bay as well as other stockists world wide.   A word of warning though for those of you looking to purchase from a local seller outside America – they can really mark up the prices!  Juvia’s Place often has sales on their website which would cover the cost of shipping and it may end up being much cheaper for you even with the exchange rate.

Have a GREAT day!

Hanami – Cosmetics with Conscience: Mineral Lipstick and Cream Blush review

I like everything that the Hanami brand represents.  Hanami is a Japanese word for their traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers.  How perfect is that for a cosmetic company name?!  Hanami are vegan, cruelty free, palm oil free, Australian Made and Owned and they are focused on natural ingredients and being kind to the planet.  I love these ideals and wish every brand could be like this.

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I have tried two products from the range including one of their vegan mineral lipsticks and also one of their vegan cream blushes and to be honest we have one hit and one miss here for me.

Lets start with the product that hasn’t worked for me.  The Mineral lipstick that I have is in the shade Valley of the Dolls which retails for $31.95 AUD.  It is a baby pink shade and is a semi matte formula.  There are a few issues here for me.  One is that this shade really doens’t suit me 😦  but more importantly the scent of this lipstick is sickly for me.  It contains Citrus Aurantium Duulcis Peel oil (sweet orange) and the scent is quite strong and it lingers on the lips for me.  I imagine that this wouldn’t be a deal breaker for most people but it bothers me.  They also claim it is really long wearing, but I can’t comment on that as every time I have put this lipstick on I have ended up removing it within the hour due to the scent.

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Mineral lipstick in Valley of the Dolls

The other issue is that this formula is quite streaky.  I find it really sinks into the lines on my lips, even if I totally fill in my lips with a liner first.  The formula contains Jojoba oil and shea butter so it feels balmy and moisturising, but it doesn’t look flattering on my lips at all.  It may just be an issue specific to this colour, I don’t know, but at AU$32 I won’t be trying another shade to find out.  To be honest I desperately wanted to love this as I love the ideals of the brand but this lipstick didn’t work for me.

On to a product that I do love and that is the cream blush which retails for AU$29.95.  I have the shade Sunset Boulevard which they describe as being a deep rose with orange undertones and best suited to dark skin tones.  I actually have fair skin but I find this works perfectly when applied with a light hand.

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Cream Blush in Sunset Boulevard

This blush comes in a very small, screw top compact (smaller than I expected to be honest – around the size of a AUD 50cent coin).  The formula is quite dry but it does blend out easily with a small stipple brush.  (I use the small stipple brush from E.L.F.).  I layer this on top of my foundation and before powder.  I live in the tropics and even in the hot, humid summer months this wears really well for me, particularly when layered with a powder blush.

Overall, I am intrigued by the Hanami brand.  I received both of these products in “Flora and Fauna” beauty subscription boxes so I’m not sure I would have purchased them otherwise as they are quite pricey.  I’m so glad I got the opportunity to test them out though as I love everything about Hanami’s ideology and out of the two products I have tried one has been a fantastic addition to my collection.

Have you tried anything from this vegan brand?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations if you have.

Have a glorious day!

 

Nude by Nature: contour palette

Nude By Nature is a cruelty free, Australian brand that is formulated using 100% natural ingredients and without preservatives or harmful synthetics.  They are PETA certified and are widely available in stores in Australia, as well as through their website.  I believe they are also sold throughout the UK, Europe, Canada and New Zealand.  Although Nude by Nature is a “drug store” brand it is certainly at the upper end in price.  I’m a girl on a budget so I was slow to try their makeup until I discovered their bundle kits which are MUCH better value and a great way to try out products from the brand.

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I purchased this contour kit as part of a 2016 Christmas set in the 2017 January sales for a GREAT price and I have been very impressed.  The packaging is stylish with a rose gold outer plastic compact and good quality mirror and the overall size is great for travel and storage.  Each pan contains 4g of product.

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Unlike other contour kits that I have tried there are not a mass of shades on offer here but it is everything you need for a matte contoured look: a cool-toned contour shade, a warm bronzer shade and a yellow-toned matte, highlighting shade.  The powders are soft, blendable and not SO pigmented that they are hard to work with.  I really enjoy these powders, so much so that I decluttered my other, larger contour kit once I had this in my collection.

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Now, this is where we get to the cons about this product.  I have fair skin and these tones work well for me… but this is the only contour kit that they sell and it obviously won’t work for medium to deep complexions.  They certainly need a medium and deep version of this kit to properly meet the needs of the market.

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Secondly, this product has a 24 month recommended shelf life but I found that after 12 months I started to get hard pan on the contour and bronzer shades which was disappointing.  Admittedly I have a large makeup collection that I rotate so I don’t use this product every week, and I live in a very humid climate so both of these factors may have contributed to the problem but it is not an issue I have generally encountered in my other powder products.  I have been just using a spoolie to lightly remove the affected areas but it is a bit of a bummer.

The Nude by Nature contour kit retails for AU$39.95 which is pretty expensive in my books and I don`t think I could justify paying that price​.  Saying that, I do think it is a lovely product and if these tones will work for your complexion they are definitely worth trying.  Nude by Nature frequently goes on sale at Priceline so I`d recommend waiting for a good deal if you are interested or try one of their value sets.  (They do amazing, seasonal makeup kits on their website which will save you 50% off the retail price and would be a great way to sample from across the brand.  Anyway, I digress)

Have a great day!

ColourPop: Sol and Mar

I live in the tropics so even though it is winter here at the moment I’m always ready for a summery colour story and ColourPop’s 2018 summer collection which is inspired by the sun and sea doesn’t disappoint.  Sol is a very warm, red toned palette with pops of coral and Mar has blues, a green and a selection of bronzes and browns.  The colour selections are smart for a summer release and very on trend.

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Unlike previous ColourPop releases these are 9 pan palettes.  They have square, white plastic packaging and come with a mirror.  It is compact and sleek but I do wish that ColourPop sold these in their original cardboard style packaging because I’m all about reducing plastic consumption and this seems like an unnecessary move away from a more environmental packaging choice.  The quality of the shadows in these two palettes is excellent.  These last really well on my eyes with or without primer.  The shimmers really pop when applied with a finger or with some fixing spray but regardless they are beautiful.  The mattes are super pigmented and blend beautifully but will give you plenty of kick-back in the pan so be warned: dip into them gently.

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Sol Shadow Palette

The Sol palette has a very clear colour story which I appreciate in a palette this size.  Everything is very warm and red toned and everything goes together seamlessly.  You don’t need to be a creative thinker to make a look.  Initially I was worried that all my looks would turn out the same regardless of shadow choice as a result, but actually it is possible to get something extremely bright, fiery and dramatic as well as something much more neutral.

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Sol swatches left to right: New Digs, Anthem, Dynamite, Hotel, Motel, B+B, Floaties, ooo, Unwind

There are 4 mattes and 5 shimmers in Sol which is a good balance but New Digs and Dynamite are actually very similar when blended out on the eye so I would argue that you only need one and rather this palette would benefit from a deeper, darker matte shade to allow for more dimension – everything is pretty mid-toned.  I did get some minor staining when using the coral matte, ooo, and the red shimmer, Motel, but it was nothing major and these two shades are the stars of the show!

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Mar Shadow Palette

In relation to the Mar palette, there are 3 mattes and 6 shimmers, one of which has glitter (Gridlock).  Even though there are only three mates, it has everything you need to do a nice crease including that delicious cobalt blue, Detour.  Surprisingly, this palette can get very smokey, very quickly if you blend the blue matte over the dark brown matte Top Down.  This combination can get very muddy so beware, but you can end up with a grey shade that is dark and grungy.  Detour is such a stunning colour though and I was shocked at how pigmented it is and how well it blended.

The real stars of this palette for me are HWY and Gridlock.  These are both beautiful and quite unique.  Boozy is also a gorgeous shade but in comparison it is really pretty flakey.  I would definitely recommend using some fixing spray with this one to avoid fallout.

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Mar swatches left to right: El Rey, Wild One, Detour, Boozy, Gridlock, Sorbet, HWY, Top Down and My Way

I would have actually preferred to see Mar be a cooler-toned palette as I feel like that would have helped make these two palettes a more interesting and dynamic set.  I very much enjoy the blue and green shades HWY, Gridlock and Detour, but among the remaining shades there are certainly three shadows which are extremely similar to shadows in Sol – perhaps not exact dupes but close enough that you would be hard pressed to see a difference once they are on the eye.

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Top row Sol palette: B+B, Hotel and Anthem, Bottom row Mar palette: El Rey, Wild One and My Way.

Mar’s El Rey is very simiar to B+B from the Sol palette, Wild One is similar to Hotel from the Sol palette and My Way is similar to Anthem from the Sol palette.  Considering that you can purchase these palettes as a bundle it is a real shame that out of your 18 shadows 6 are so similar to one another!  If the Mar palette had been more cool-toned this could have been completely avoided or ColourPop could have just selected ANY OTHER COLOUR to avoid the double-ups – perhaps yellows inspired by the beach sand?

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ColourPop palettes Yes, Please and Sol

Lastly, if you own the Yes, Please palette also by ColourPop then you really have everything you need to make very similar looks to the Sol palette.  I would say that you don’t need both BUT they are very affordable and because Motel and ooo are such gorgeous, bright coral/red shades which are unique to my collection, I’m not mad that I own both.

Overall, I really like these.  They are fun, summery and great quality for a very affordable price.  At just US$12 (approximately AU$16), these are a steal.

I really can’t recommend the ColourPop pressed shadows enough.  I’m having so much fun with this brand at the moment.

Have a glorious day!

 

ColourPop: Give it to me Straight

As you can probably tell if you follow my blog, I’m a little bit addicted to the 12 pan eyeshadow palettes from ColourPop.  The quality is typically really good, the colours are pretty, they are cruelty free and the price is right.  So, when ColourPop released the ‘Give it to me Straight’ palette, I purchased it impulsively.

I would say the quality of this palette is in keeping with the other pressed eyeshadows in ColourPop’s range.  I have seen comments from people online who were a bit disgruntled with the release of yet “another” neautral, warm toned palette, but I actually really like the way this palette has been curated.

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Firstly, I feel like the range of formulas is really balanced between matte and shimmer.  There are 6 matte shades ranging from a pale cream to a dark, chocolate brown with a nice range of depth in between.  There is 1 matte-based glitter shade (BS), which is my least favourite formula, and then 5 shimmery shades.  In terms of shade selection there are some more neuatral browns, some very warm tan and copper shades and then some deeper berry tones.  I can get some very diverse looks from this one little palette which makes it great for travel.

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Row 1 swatches: Matter of Fact, Up front, Straight Up, BS

I have found the darker shades to be the weakest in the palette.  There are two shimmers which are a little flakey to the touch which are ‘Forthright’ and ‘Be Blunt’.  They are beautiful colours and very pigmented but I think they are best used with some fixing spray to avoid fallout.  Also the matte colours ‘TMI’ and ‘Actually’ are dry to the touch and kick up quite a bit of powder when you dip into them.  They are pigmented but can be a little patchy if you over-blend them.  Saying that, this is me being REALLY picky for the purpose of this review.  I love this palette and find it works so well for every day wear.  I have no problem using just this palette every day.

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Row 2 swatches: Frank, Candid, Forthright, Downright

If I were to compare this to other palettes in ColourPop’s range I would say it is a combination of the types of shades offered in the ‘Double Entendre and the ‘You had me at Hello’ palettes so if you own either of those palettes you probably don’t need this one.  I do own all three palettes but I don’t regret the purchases at all.  I have packed this for travel and loved it and will be taking it with me again on my next trip in a few weeks.

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Row 3 swatches: Truth Hurts, Be blunt, TMI, Actually

Look, this is a US$12 palette.  We aren’t talking sheep stations here so if you are looking for a pretty little palette and you like these shades, then I say it is well worth the money.

Have a glorious day!