Monthly Archives: July 2015

Freedom Makeup London: Mono Eyeshadows

I have made two orders from Freedom Makeup London since they opened this year and in each order I purchased a few of their mono eyeshadows.  They came beautifully packaged and when they arrived in the post to Australia from the UK they have been consistently well protected by layers of bubble wrap.

Freedom Makeup Mono Eyeshadow

Freedom Makeup Mono Eyeshadow

The range is characterised into seven categories including Bases, Nudes, Smokes, Smoulders, Gildeds and Brights.  They don’t have names, but rather shade numbers. The nine shades I own come from the Gilded, Smoulder and Brights categories.

Gilded mono eyeshadows: 218, 219, 216, 217, 220.

Gilded mono eyeshadows: 218, 219, 216, 217, 220.

Gilded swatches: 218, 219, 216, 217, 220.

Gilded swatches: 218, 219, 216, 217, 220.

The Gilded shades are really beautiful and are all very pigmented.  218, 219 and 220 are smooth in texture and shimmery.  217 which is a gold/cooper colour and is so metallic it is almost foiled.  The texture of this shadow is smooth and thick (for want of a better description) and works best when patted onto the eyelid.  It also responds really well to a damp brush wetted with a little makeup fixing spray.  The weakest shadow in this bunch for me is 216 which is a pale pink shade.  It has the same thick, foiled metallic texture of 217 but isn’t as smooth so it can be patchy upon application.

Smoulder mono eyeshadows: 212, 213, 214.

Smoulder mono eyeshadows: 212, 213, 214.

Smoulder swatches: 212, 213, 214.

Smoulder swatches: 212, 213, 214.

The Smoulder shades are darker in tone and more sultry.  These are very pigmented and quite unique colours I think.  I adore 212 which is a silvery, brown duo chrome shade.  212 is a very deep blue and 214, although it is not clear in the pan at first glance, is actually the darkest green.

Bright mono eyeshadow: 230

Bright mono eyeshadow: 230

Bright swatch: 230

Bright swatch: 230

The last shade that I own is 230 from the Brights range.  It is a gorgeous purple with blue duo chrome reflects.  This is a favourite shade for me too!

Overall, I think these mono eyeshadows are really lovely quality.  You get a good amount of product and they are only GBP1 which is approximately AU$2 each.  I am not a makeup artist, so I selected the individual colours from the collection that I really liked, but if you are a professional you might like to buy the whole collection of 30 shadows and Freedom offers the whole set for a discounted price which is a good deal.

I am so excited to have another cruelty-free brand on the market selling good quality products.  I would definitely recommend these mono eyeshadows.  If you have tried any of the mono eyeshadows from Freedom I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Have a fantastic day!

ELF: Prism Eyeshadow Palettes

I like ELF.

They are budget-friendly, cruelty-free AND they make beautiful products like these Prism Eyeshadow palettes.  I really enjoy these eyeshadows.  They are soft, buttery and very pigmented.  These are very good quality and are by far the best quality ELF eyeshadows in my collections to date.

There are currently three palettes in the Prism collection including Naked, Sunset and Smoke.

ELF Prism Eyeshadow Palette: Naked

ELF Prism Eyeshadow Palette: Naked

Naked swatches

Naked swatches

Naked is a neutral palette of warm, gold and copper toned colours.  The fourth and fifth shadows are quite similar but I love the colour so I am not complaining.  The second shadow is the most yellow gold colour that I own and I really do love this one all over the lid for a simple but pretty look.

ELF Prism Eyeshadow Palette: Sunset

ELF Prism Eyeshadow Palette: Sunset

Sunset swatches

Sunset swatches

The Sunset palette is actually my favourite of the three Prism palettes.  There are a number of colours here that I think are quite unique and they are ALL beautiful.  You really can make a sunset looks with these.  I love the peachy colour (swatch 2) – so pretty!

ELF Prism Eyeshadow Palette: Smoke

ELF Prism Eyeshadow Palette: Smoke

Smoke swatches

Smoke swatches

The last palette in the Prism range is called Smoke.  The colour that drew me to this palette is that stunning green (swatch 3).  I have used the Smoke palette the least out of the three but I am trying to experiment more with dramatic smokey looks.

As I said in the introduction, I think these Prism eyeshadows are beautiful quality.  As all the shadows in these palettes are shimmery I feel like these work best in partnership with matte colours from another source.  I don’t notice fall-out with these and I find them to be very pigmented.  These shadows last well, but I do always use them with a primer.

I would definitely recommend these Prism Eyeshadow Palettes from ELF – they are totally shimmery, pigmented goodness 🙂

ColourPop: Mondays in Malibu Collection

ColourPop is an American makeup brand that is cruelty-free and quite budget-friendly as well.  The brand makes coloured face products including blush, bronzer, highlighter, lipsticks and lip pencils as well as eyeshadows in a number of finishes.

ColourPop - Cruelty-free!

ColourPop – Cruelty-free!

I had heard so much about these products that I eventually caved and placed an order.  Quite a large order…  Ordinarily I would like to trial new products before placing a large order but I have to say that the postage to Australia was pretty pricey so I don’t think I’ll be putting in another order any time soon – so of course I had to make it worth my while 🙂 (Have I justified myself?  Probably not.)

If you have heard the buzz about ColourPop you will know that the interesting thing about this brand is the very unique texture of their eyeshadows.  Like all of those bloggers and vloggers who have come before me I will attempt to describe the texture – but it is really something you have to feel for yourself.  I would describe the texture as a mixture between a very fine powder and a cream shadow but without the wetness of a completely cream product.  Confused?   You can use a firm synthetic brush to apply these shadows, but the best pigmentation comes with using your fingers.  The closest product that I would have in my collection to the ColourPop shadows are the ELF long lasting lustrous eyeshadows.  These have a similar texture to the touch but I feel like the ColourPop shadows set to a drier finish than the ELF lustrous eyeshadows which is a plus in my book.

So – onto the Mondays at Malibu set.  It comes with six eyeshadows in a mix of finishes for US$30.  Single shadows sell for US$5 so you don’t get a discount for buying in a collection but the shadows are supposedly special addition – although I notice that some special edition shades have made it into the permanent range. The colours in this collection are lush. Period.

Mondays in Malibu - top row: Gecko, Snakebite, Sand Swoon.

Mondays in Malibu – top row: Gecko, Snakebite, Sand Swoon.

Swatches: Gecko - Pearlized Finish, Snakebite - Metallic Finish, Sand Swoon - Satin Luxe Finish.

Swatches: Gecko – Pearlized Finish, Snakebite – Metallic Finish, Sand Swoon – Satin Luxe Finish.

‘Gecko’ has a pearlized finish and it has the most stunning green and pink duochrome which really hasn’t shown up in the swatch photo at all.  And it didn’t matter how many pictures I took so you will just have to trust me – ‘Gecko’ is stunning.  ‘Snakebite’ is a really gorgeous antique gold that is so pigmented and is just beautiful  This is a metallic finish and I think that this is my favourite kind of finish from the ColourPop range.  Finally for this row is ‘Sand Swoon’ which is  described as a Satin Luxe finish but looks to me like a soft, matte pink with gold glitters.

Mondays in Malibu - Bottom Row: Prickly Pear, Mirage, Hot Tamale

Mondays in Malibu – Bottom Row: Prickly Pear, Mirage, Hot Tamale

Swatches: Prickly Pear - Metallic Finish, Mirage - Pearlized Finish, Hot Tamale - Satin Luxe Finish.

Swatches: Prickly Pear – Metallic Finish, Mirage – Pearlized Finish, Hot Tamale – Satin Luxe Finish.

The second role of the Mondays in Malibu collection include ‘Prickly Pear’ which is really soft plum shade with lots of gold and pink glitter.  This shade did arrived very slightly broken, but I just pressed it back into the pan and it was like new.  The next shade is ‘Mirage’ which I just love.  It is a pearlized finish and a lovely sage green.  It has a gorgeous sheen without actual glitters.  Lastly, we have ‘Hot Tamale’ which is a rich, deep, red-toned colour in a Satin Luxe finish.  It is delicious all over the lids with a brown matte in the crease.

I have found these ColourPop shadows to be very unique, but surprisingly easy to work with.  I enjoy these with a brush when blending and for a really pigmented pop I pack the colour on with my ring finger. I am looking forward to continuing to play with these eyeshadows.  They are certainly different to anything else I have in my collection.  If you were wondering whether these were worth a try I would definitely say yes!  These shadows are totally worth the hype 🙂

Have a fantastic day!

Makeup Revolution – I Heart Makeup – I Heart Passion and I Heart Sin

Makeup Revolution has recently placed the I Heart Makeup eyeshadow palettes called I Heart Passion and I Heart Sin into their ‘Last Chance to Buy’  folder on their online store.  At just GP3.99 or about AU$8 they are a really great price for good quality, cruelty-free eyeshadow so I thought I would review them here for any of you who might like to give them a go before they are discontinued.

Makeup Revolution - I Heart Makeup: I Heart Passion and I Heart Sin palettes

Makeup Revolution – I Heart Makeup: I Heart Passion and I Heart Sin palettes

Firstly the packaging of these palettes is really cute.  The black case has a glossy front with a pink or purple jewel heart.  It is certainly pretty kitsch but they do quite appeal to me.  Inside is an impressive mirror which is super handy for travel.

Neither of these palettes are what I would describe as neutral.  This was the reason I actually purchased these palettes – I am keen to experiment with a pop of colour and some smokey shades, but really don’t have much of either in my collection.  On the inside these are set out similarly to the chocolate palettes from Makeup Revolution where there are 16 shades in a mix of matte and shimmer with two larger highlighting shades.

I Heart Passion is a smokey palette with a mix of primarily cool toned colours.

I Heart Passion - left side of palette

I Heart Passion – left side of palette

Swatches: Love is the Drug, Limber Up, I Believe, Dangerous Liaisons, In My Heart, Missing a Beat, Never Never and Catch Your Eye.

Swatches: Love is the Drug, Limber Up, I Believe, Dangerous Liaisons, In My Heart, Missing a Beat, Never Never and Catch Your Eye.

Looking at the left side of the I Heart Passion palette first you can see there is a lovely mix of purple toned colours here with a large creamy, matte highlighter.  I adore the shade ‘Never Never’ (swatch 7) which is such a gorgeous blue but to be honest I really like all the colours here.  The mattes here perform really well and are both lovely in the crease (‘I Believe’ – swatch 3; ‘In My Heart’ – swatch 5).

I Heart Passion - right side of palette

I Heart Passion – right side of palette

 Swatches: Rumba Down, I Say Go, Guess the Rest, Heartbreaker Romance, Takes Over, We Are Going Home, U Need More and Easier Affair.

Swatches: Rumba Down, I Say Go, Guess the Rest, Heartbreaker Romance, Takes Over, We Are Going Home, U Need More and Easier Affair.

Looking at the right side of the I Heart Passion palette you are faced with some dark, smokey shades.  There are three matte shades (swatch 1, 3 & 4)  and five shimmery shades.  The large creamy shade called ‘Easier Affair’ is quite unusual in texture but is very pigmented.  There is one glitter shade in this palette called ‘We are Going Home’ (swatch 6) and it has a black matte base and silver glitter.  The swatch doesn’t do this shade justice – it was actually very glitter-dense but it hasn’t translated in the photo.  My favourite shade here though is ‘I Say Go’ (swatch 2) which is just divine all over the lid.

I Heart Sin is a much brighter palette which feels to me like it is perfect ‘party’ makeup.  It seems to capture all the colours that you wouldn’t really need on a daily basis but are so fun to have for a special occasion.

I Heart Sin - left side of palette

I Heart Sin – left side of palette

Swatches: Once an Angel, Glorious Envy, It Works for Me, Jealous Eyes, Future Proof, Colour Crime, Cross the Line and Want it all.

Swatches: Once an Angel, Glorious Envy, It Works for Me, Jealous Eyes, Future Proof, Colour Crime, Cross the Line and Want it all.

The left side of the palette has two very bright mattes.  One in neon yellow called ‘It Works for Me’ (swatch 3) and a bright purple called ‘Future Proof’ (swatch 5).  The pigmentation of these isn’t amazing on the first swipe but you can build them quite easily (the photo above is three swipes).  The swatch for the matte highlighter shade called ‘Once an Angel’ (swatch 1) is a perfect match for my skin and isn’t really visible in the picture – but it is pigmented!

I Heart Sin - right side of palette

I Heart Sin – right side of palette

Swatches: Bad Habit, Slave, Bad Boys, Full Throttle, Golden Gun, Greed is Good, Self Indulgent and Do it For Me.

Swatches: Bad Habit, Slave, Bad Boys, Full Throttle, Golden Gun, Greed is Good, Self Indulgent and Do it For Me.

The right side of the I Heart Sin palette provides some more neutral matte colours as well as the BRIGHTEST pink matte shade called ‘Full Throttle’ (swatch 4).  Again, it has pigmentation that needs to be built up but WOW.  The right side of the palette also provides some metallic shades including a silver, gold and copper colour (swatch 2, 5 & 6) which are very pigmented and beautiful.  The highlight shade here called ‘Do it For Me’ (swatch 8) is so much more lovely than these photos show.  It is such a gorgeous inner corner highlight colour.

I have one final point to make before wrapping this one up – be aware if you are going to purchase both these palettes that there are four double-up colours across the two palettes.

Colours from I Heart Passion are on the left and I Heart Sin on the Right: Purples: Dangerous Liaisons - Self Indulgent.  Greens: Catch Your Eye - Glorious Envy.  Charcoal Matte: Guess the Rest - Bad Boys.  Dark Taupe Matte: Heartbreaker Romance - Bad Habit.

Colours from I Heart Passion are on the left and I Heart Sin on the Right: Purples: Dangerous Liaisons – Self Indulgent. Greens: Catch Your Eye – Glorious Envy. Charcoal Matte: Guess the Rest – Bad Boys. Dark Taupe Matte: Heartbreaker Romance – Bad Habit.

Having identical shades across palettes in the same range is a bit of a pet peeve for me.  They are very different palettes holistically so it isn’t that much of an issue, particularly for the price, but if you own a lot of Makeup Revolution eyeshadow palettes (I am guilty as charged!) you will recognise the purple and green above from many of their palettes.  These seem to be standard colours that appear regularly across their range.  I do like these two colours, but they aren’t ones I would regularly reach for and I shudder to think how many pans of these two colours I would now own across my collection 🙂

Overall I think these I Heart Makeup palettes are really great quality.  I purchased them specifically to add to my collection of smokey and bright colours and they are excellent examples of those categories.  I can’t think of anywhere else in Australia where you could buy something comparable to these in terms of quality for such a great price.

If you like the look of these palettes I would recommend you pop over to the Makeup Revolution website and grab yourself a bargain before these are discontinued.

MUA: Undress your Skin Highlighting Powder

MUA is a cruelty-free brand based in the UK.  Their line is budget-friendly and I have found some really awesome products from this company including their Skin Highlighting Powders.  I own the Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powders in two colours: Iridescent Gold and Pink Shimmer and directly from the MUA website they retail for GBP3 (approximately AU$6).  The packaging of these highlighters looks a little cheap to me – I think because it is white plastic – but they are sturdy and close securely.  The product itself is beautifully presented though, with a delicious swirl pattern on the top which looks so luxurious.  Love it.

swatches: Iridescent Gold (top), Pink Shimmer (bottom)

swatches: Iridescent Gold (top), Pink Shimmer (bottom)

As you can see above, I have pale, freckled skin with yellow undertones, but I still like both of these colours with my complexion.  They are a shimmer without chunks of glitter and the pigmentation is buildable and blends nicely.  These are not a powdery product so you can swirl your brush in the pan without getting any kick-up.

MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder swatches: Iridescent Gold and Pink Shimmer

MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder swatches: Iridescent Gold and Pink Shimmer

I feel like the Iridescent Gold is more of a POW kind of a highlight – it is brightening and glowy and gorgeous.  The Pink Shimmer, while very beautiful, seems to be a little more natural on my skin, which I also love.  On the MUA website they suggest that these can be applied all over the face for an added radiance, or with more specificity to just highlight key points of the face.  I would contest that by saying that these products are much too shimmery in my opinion to be applied all of the face like a finishing powder.  I suspect your face would become a bit ‘disco ball’ if you were to attempt that.  However, I wear both of these highlights for everyday purposes applied to the cheek bones, a little down the bridge of the nose and on the cupid’s bow, and I think they look lovely.

If you are reading this review while considering whether these products are suitable for your everyday makeup, I would say YES – go for it!  I have a large collections of highlighters and I think these perform just as well, if not better, than anything else that I own on the ‘cruelty-free, budget-friendly’ market.  Highlighter is one of my favourite makeup products and I love the radiant glow they give my, often very tired, face.  I think these Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlighters are very good quality, they last well throughout the day and look so pretty.  I would absolutely recommend them.

MUA has recently released a third colour in this range called ‘Opalescent Amber’ which looks like a darker, warmer, rose gold colour.  I am quite sure it was designed for people with richer, darker skin tones than mine, but I can’t wait to try it out for myself!

If you have tried Opalescent Amber I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!

Makeup Revolution – I Heart Makeup: Lip Geek

Lip Geek Collection: Dare to be different and make Barbie jealous!

Lip Geek Collection: Dare to be different and make Barbie jealous!

I ordered these gorgeous lipsticks from Makeup Revolution – I Heart Makeup, in my last order.  I am not normally about pink things but there is something about these pink and purple shiny bullets that I can appreciate.  Plus I have always thought of myself as a bit of a geek so the name of this range, Lip Geeks, resonated with me.  Makeup Revolution has a deal going at the moment where they are selling these Lip Geeks in collections where you get 6 shades for GBP8 (about AU$16) which is the equivalent of two free lipsticks – so who could resist!

I chose the collection called ‘Dare to be different and make Barbie jealous!’ but there are a total of four collections to choose from in this deal.

Lip Geeks: Total Diva, Totally NOT boring!, Dare to be Different, Marshmallow Kiss, Barbie is Jealous, Pucker Up and Kiss it.

Lip Geeks: Total Diva, Totally NOT boring!, Dare to be Different, Marshmallow Kiss, Barbie is Jealous, Pucker Up and Kiss it.

As I have already touched on, the packaging of these is really great.  They look impressive!  The colours in this particular collection are nice range of shades so I was happy with the selection offered in this particular deal.  These lipsticks are very creamy and are quite hydrating on the lips.  The pigmentation is nice but you need to layer it up a little if you want a vibrant look.   They aren’t super long wearing, but I feel like they do wear away quite evenly so they don’t seem to be high maintenance.  At times they seem to gather in the lines of the lips a little but a lip liner seems to address this issue.

Lip Geek swatches: Total Diva, Totally NOT boring!, Dare to be Different, Marshmallow Kiss, Barbie is Jealous, Pucker Up and Kiss it.

Lip Geek swatches: Total Diva, Totally NOT boring!, Dare to be Different, Marshmallow Kiss, Barbie is Jealous, Pucker Up and Kiss it.

I must say there is one lipstick in this collection that has been very disappointing.  The shade Marshmallow Kiss is a bit of a fail for me.  It is hard to tell from the swatch above, but this shade, unlike the others here, is pretty patchy and streaky.  I was really looking forward to this colour but I just can’t wear it.  Even with a lip liner it wears very strangely on the lips and gets patchy and collects in the lines of my lips 😦  In comparison the other shades are smooth and creamy and apply really easily so I am not sure why Marshmallow Kiss is so different, but there you go.  As I officially received two of these lipsticks for free as part of the deal, I am not too devastated that one of them hasn’t worked for me.

Overall, I do like the Lip Geeks.  I feel like they are low maintenance lip colours that are really easy to slip on as you are walking out the door to look a bit more put together.  From this collection my personal favourites are ‘Total Diva’ and ‘Barbie is Jealous’ which are bright colours that are so fun.  Now that I have tried these Lip Geeks I can say that I actually prefer the Icon Pro Lipstick range from Makeup Revolution, but if you see a colour or collection from the Lip Geek range that you really love and are curious to try, you can buy them from Makeup Revolution at a really amazing price.

Australis – AC on Tour: Contouring and Highlighting kit

AC on Tour: Contouring and Highlighting Kit

AC on Tour: Contouring and Highlighting Kit

I was VERY late to the trend of contouring.  It just seemed a little too complicated and ‘professional-makeup-artist-like’ for someone with my level of makeup naivety.  For this reason (in addition to my general reluctance to spend a lot of money on makeup items… or any items really), I put off buying a contouring kit.  When Australis came out with its version of the now famous contouring and highlighting kit though, the temptation to give it a try overcame my anxiety about stuffing up my face 😉  Australis is a great Australian brand that is cruelty-free and budget-friendly.  They clearly state on their website that ‘we love animals’ which gives them a big thumbs up from me!

AC on Tour: Contouring and Highlighting kit from Australis.

AC on Tour: Contouring and Highlighting kit from Australis.

The ‘AC on Tour: contouring and highlighting kit’ from Australis is said to be a duplicate of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit.  I can not speak to this claim myself in terms of how the powders perform as this is the only kit of this type in my collection, but looking at the Anastasia kit online, there is an unmistakeable similarity in how these two kits look.

The Australis kit has a light vanilla powder, a banana powder, a champagne highlighter shade (the only shimmery shade in the kit), a dark brown, an ashy brown and a very warm brown.  The kit offers a helping hand to the novices in the audience, like myself, by providing a set of contouring instructions on the back of the palette.

Contouring instructions are provided on the back of the AC on Tour: Contouring and Highlighting Kit.

Contouring instructions are provided on the back of the AC on Tour: Contouring and Highlighting Kit.

I tend to not use the suggested process on a daily basis.  In my kind of work, this level of put-togethered-ness, isn’t really required, BUT, I have used these instructions for more formal nights out and it is easier than I thought it would be with flattering results.

AC on Tour: Contouring and Highlighting Kit - swatches

AC on Tour: Contouring and Highlighting Kit – swatches

The powders in the ‘AC on Tour kit’ are generally very soft and silky and the brown shades are very pigmented.  The softness of these powders does mean they will kick up a bit of powder if you aren’t careful to be gentle when tapping in your brush.  I would recommend tapping off the excess and applying a small amount of product at a time as the darker shades can be a bit fussy to blend out and if you apply too much at once they can look a bit patchy.  The highlighter is a pretty colour but is a little chalky. It does look quite nice on the skin though. The banana and vanilla shades are lovely quality.

On a general day I tend to use the vanilla or banana powders (swatch 1 & 2) to set my under-eye concealer, I use the ashy shade (swatch 5) to gently contour under my cheek bones and then I use the dark or warm toned shades (swatch 4 & 6) to warm up my face.  I really do like the shimmery, champagne highlighter for work as it is pretty, but subtle, and I use this on the tops of my cheek bones.

I like this contour palette.  As I don’t often do a ‘proper’ chiselled contour it is probably more sophisticated than I really need for what I use it for on a daily basis, but its handy to have all these powders together in one place.  This palette retails for about AU$16.95 but I got mine on sale for AU$13 which makes it really good value.  If you would like to try contouring but aren’t sure that you want to invest big money in a palette, the ‘AC on Tour: contouring and highlighting kit’ is a budget-friendly option but I think that there may be more user-friendly kits on the market in this price range. I wouldn’t recommend the E.L.F contour kit above this one from Australis – it is easier to blend, I prefer the powder tones and it is cheaper!