Worth The Hype? – Urban Decay Sin Highlighter

First of all, hi everyone, I’m writing this from the plane to San Francisco! I’ve got 11 hours to kill so of course blogging was going to be involved! I wanted to talk about something today that I’ve had in my collection for a while, but for some reason, I’ve never got round to blogging about it! As you can probably guess from the title, it’s the Urban Decay Sin Highlighter! So many bloggers went mad for this when it first came out, so when my brother asked me what I’d like for Christmas, I knew I wanted to give this a try!

My newfound love for highlighter is no secret and since the first one appeared in my collection, I’ve been slowly adding more. The Urban Decay highlighter comes in three shades and retails for £21 but by far the most popular is sin. It’s definitely a beautiful shade and is, in my opinion, very similar in tone to The Balm’s Mary Lou Manizer. It’s a frosty golden toned highlighter that is surprisingly quite cool toned, making it quite a strong and bold highlight.DSCF0116_Fotor

One of the things I love the most about this range of products from Urban Decay is the packaging! It is incredibly beautiful, with the gunmetal chrome effect covering the majority of the square compact. The added mesh detail that displays the Urban Decay logo just makes it feel extremely luxurious! For me, they’ve got this packaging spot on and it makes it really stand out against other brands.

In terms of the pigmentation of the powder, it’s pretty good! As I mentioned, it’s quite a frosty pigment so if you want it to be more subtle, you do have to have a light hand. In my opinion, it’s a little too frosty and chunky for highlighting the nose or the cupids bow, but on the cheekbones it really is lovely! I don’t use this everyday, but I do like to opt for it when I’m going out or if I want my highlighter to pop more than normal.DSCF0115_Fotor.jpg

Overall, this is a really lovely product and looks beautiful on. The pigmentation is great and the packaging is beautiful but I would say it still doesn’t beat my beloved Becca Opal! That just beats it because of the softer texture of the powder and the more glowy (rather than frosty) finish. Have you tried this highlighter? If so what did you think?

Much Love

xoxo

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The Unsung Hero| Urban Beauty United Brushes!

A couple of weeks ago, I was kindly sent some of the Urban Beauty United brushes* to try out. I wanted to give them a real test with a few different products before I let you know what I thought but over time it’s become clear that these really are pretty fabulous brushes! I’m going to go into what I like to use each brush for and why I think it’s good but as an overview, these are amazing!

First of all, lets just discuss the fabulous appearance of the brushes! A cream handle with a rose gold barrel and then beautifully topped off with hot pink bristles. I mean could you get more instagram worthy if you tried?! In total I was gifted the Smoke Screens Eye Set*, The Berry  Blush Angled Blusher Brush* and the Picture Perfect Professional Stippling Brush*. The one that drew my attention the most was weirdly brush No. 36 which was the pencil brush from the eye set. I’ve been looking for a good pencil brush for ages so I was ecstatic to see this in there as eye brush sets often neglect a good pencil brush, hence why I’ve never got my hands on one! I’ll start with that brush first and then follow on with each of the others.

No. 36 – Pencil Brush

This is quite densely packed, yet the bristles still have a good amount of movement to them. I’ve found it perfect for smudging shadow under the lower lash line and it blends the shades out beautifully. The only thing I would note is that the very tip of the brush can occasionally feel a bit sharp on the delicate eye area so perhaps use the side of the brush instead when buffing the product out.

N0. 11 – Berry Blush Brush

This is my second favourite brush out of the five and is absolutely perfect for applying blusher. I frequently use MAC’s Crisp Whites Blusher which is more of a subtle blush shade, yet this brush has really released it’s full potential and I notice the pigment much more than I have done with any other brush! The synthetic bristles are not overly soft and silky so it means product is actually picked up and retained on the brush so you can apply product with ease! For only £6 this is a total bargain!

N0. 31 – Eye Defining Brush

I’m assuming this brush is meant for eyeliner, yet I adore it for filling my eyebrows in! I have been looking for a brush that is firm enough to apply product yet thin enough to be able to simulate real hairs when I’m applying my brow product. I’ve been using this daily with Benefit’s Ka Brow and it’s 100% made me fall back in love with that product as i’ve been finding it a bit too messy with all the other brushes as they were too thick! It allows me to define my brows yet fill them in quickly and I’ve been incredibly pleased with this brush.

N0. 35 – Tapered Blending Brush

This is a fantastic brush for packing eyeshadow onto the lid, yet the way it has been cut means it’s pretty good at blending in the crease too! I’ve noticed that all the brushes have been cut incredibly precisely to make the most of their different shapes. Recently, I’ve been preferring an extra 20 minutes snoozing to doing excessive eye looks so this brush has been brilliant for packing on one shade all the way across the lid whilst simultaneously blending the edges. It’s quick, easy and effortless and that’s exactly what I’m looking for at the moment!

No. 13 – Professional Stippling Brush

This has probably been my least used brush of the five as I tend to use sponges to apply my base. I did give it a go with one of my foundations though and it worked pretty well, I am a complete beauty blender/miracle complexion sponge convert though so it’s hard to persuade me otherwise. However, yesterday I decided to use this with my MAC Studio Fix Powder and it performed amazingly! My powder was buffed to perfection and looked really flawless on top of my other makeup. I think I’ve found it’s usage in my collection! This one is only £7 too which I think is really reasonable!

The main things I think stand out about these brushes compared to others I have are:

  • Lack of shedding! – Not one hair has dropped from any of the brushes in the two or three weeks I’ve been testing them.
  • Shorter Handle – These have shorter handles than most of my other brushes which means for once I can actually fit them in my makeup bag! They are still more than long enough to use comfortably though!
  • The precision of the cut – Even with my beloved Real Techniques brushes, I often find  hairs that have not been cut right but these are absolutely perfect and incredibly precise! Personally, I think this really sets them apart from others on the market.
  • Appearance – I mean look at them, they’re gorgeous!

A huge thank you to Urban Beauty United for sending these over to me to try. As always my opinions are my own and it’s lovely to be able to be able to talk to you about a product that has really really impressed me! These brushes are available from Amazon, unfortunately I couldn’t find the eye set at the moment but I have linked to the other brushes for you. You can visit their website here to find out where else they are stocked near you!

Much Love

xoxo

*Products were gifted for PR purposes.

 

National Bed Month With Dr Botanicals

This month is National Bed Month, something that I can totally get on board with, and I was asked by Dr Botanicals if I’d like to try some of their overnight products to celebrate. As a skincare fiend I of course jumped at the chance and was lucky enough to be sent the Advanced Purifying Overnight Masque* and the Advanced 8-Hour Overnight Renewal Cream* to try out and review.  I’ve been using them for over a week now and so far I’ve been pretty impressed. The packaging of both products looks so chic yet simple – a brown glass jar with textured off-white labels, makes them look like they’re straight off the shelves at an apothecary! It reminds me a little bit of the packaging of Aesop skincare!

Lets start with the overnight cream first, which actually is more of a balm than a cream! On arrival I was actually quite surprised at how small the jar was, it is in fact 30ml but because its a balm/wax texture rather than a cream it is definitely more compact. The product has a gorgeous fresh scent to it which is down to the pomegranate and goji berries included in the formula. This cream is designed to combat skin stress and environmental pollution which can cause signs of ageing. Despite having the biggest baby face going, now that i’m heading towards my mid-20’s research has told me that it is actually about the right time to start thinking of using preventative anti-ageing products so I can maintain my baby face that bit longer! IMG_2536_Fotor.jpg

Using the cream feels a lot like using a facial oil, whereby it takes a bit longer to soak into the skin than a normal cream. I found that this just made my face feel hydrated for even longer. I would say that if you have oily skin this may be a bit heavy for you as I did find that in my oilier patches it felt a bit too much. However where my skin is dry, this worked absolute miracles! It alleviated some of the dry patches and made my skin feel more ‘normal’ than combination. Dr Botanicals use all vegan ingredients which naturally makes their products fit into the high end bracket. This cream retails for £95, however they were kind enough to give me a discount code, meaning that popping ROSEBLOG in the discount box at checkout takes this down to £47.99 instead. I’m planning on taking this to America with me next month as the balm texture makes it more travel friendly (no suitcase spillage for me!) and the extra hydration will be perfect to counteract the extreme post plane dry skin I often get!

I would say my favourite product out of the two would have to be the Overnight Masque as I feel it is most suited to my skin overall. Overnight your skin is most susceptible to regeneration so Dr Botanicals are trying to celebrate this with products that are going to pack your skin full of amazing ingredients to aid this regeneration process. This masque includes Papaya, Vitamin C, Jojoba Oil and Sweet Almond Oil to provide your skin with everything it needs to look healthy and rejuvenated! This is a really unusual texture as its quite runny yet almost a bit sticky in the tub. You apply a thin layer onto your face before bed and wait for it to dry. It does dry to be ever so slightly stiff so that is something that took a couple of days for me to get used to. Once it’s dried you just head to sleep as normal and wake up and follow your normal skincare regime, there’s no need to rinse it off! img_2534_fotor

I felt like this worked well at combating my dry patches and encouraging my skin to heal faster but also at controlling the oil in my t-zone. It’s easy to just pop on before bed and, because it dries so quickly, there’s no mess on the pillows either! This one didn’t have a scent which I personally liked as I don’t want a heavily scented product on my skin overnight as I’m quite sensitive to strong smells and it’s likely to keep me awake or give me a headache. This jar is 50ml which will last you ages as a tiny amount goes a very long way with this one too. The full size jar retails for £67 but again the discount code ROSEBLOG will take it down  to only £19.99 which is an absolute bargain!

Despite being a huge skincare junkie, I’ve never tried vegan skincare so it was really refreshing to try products that were all natural! A huge thank you to Dr Botanicals for letting me celebrate national bed month with them and I hope you all have some extra wonderful beauty sleep this month! Have you tried any Dr Botanicals products before?

Much Love

xoxo

*Products were sent for PR purposes and discount code is an affiliate code but all opinions are my own. I wouldn’t share items that I wouldn’t personally use with you guys!

My Favourite MAC Pigment | Old Gold

MAC pigments are a thing of beauty, but not something I regularly buy as they take an absolute age to finish up and I like to have a few that I know I’ll use regularly. I have three in total which I have collected over the last year and I love them all for different reasons. The first was Copper Sparkle which is a warm orangey copper that looks amazing on the lid and the second was Blue Brown which is the most unique colour and perfect for a bit of a pop. However, its my latest edition, Old Gold, that has been my most loved so far.

MAC describe this pigment as a ‘high frosted tarnished gold’ which to be honest, I don’t really understand. I would say it’s a gold with quite a lot of green to it and on the lids can appear to have olive or khaki undertones to it. This is the exact reason I bought this shade as I really love muted greens on the lid and mixing them with gold makes them much easier to wear. Throughout the entirety of my exams and revision I wore this pigment pressed over the lid and I had so many complements on it. The way I like to wear it is to buff a little bit of my hoola bronzer into the crease and onto the lower lash line and then simply wet my brush and press the pigment over the centre of the lid. So simple yet so so effective! Because it’s not too green in colour, you can add a bold lip too if you like, heres a picture of me wearing this look with Jeffree Star’s Sagittarius on my lips! img_2288

The thing I love most about these pigments are the way they almost look foiled when wet! They create this almost liquid metal look on the lid that lasts the entire day without creasing, even without an eyeshadow primer! I think that Old Gold would be a perfect shade for those of you who are trying to experiment a little bit more with colour but feel a bit uncomfortable about it. At £16 a pot these will last you a life time, unless I tip it over or use it every day, this pot is going to keep going longer than me! To put it into perspective, you get 4.5g of product for £2.50 more than a single eyeshadow that only includes 1.5g of product so it’s really good value for money!

There’s probably only one more pigment i’d like to get and it would be a toss up between Melon or Tan and then I think i’ve covered most of the bases! I would like to try some of the glitters as they look gorgeous and I can only hope they are even half as good as the pigments! Have you got any of the MAC pigments? Which shades do I need to take a look at?

Much Love

xoxo

Review: Clinique Superbalanced Silk Foundation

Despite being on a bit of a foundation finishing mission, I am always on the look out for ‘the one’. Nope, I’m not trying to replace Tom, I mean the perfect foundation. I’m talking good colour match;  good lasting ability; does it cover spots but still look like skin… the list goes on! So way back when at the Intu Christmas Bloggers Event, I received a foundation sample in my goodie bag. Assuming that the colour match would be awful as the bags were the same for everyone, I slapped it on my face prepared to have a good laugh…but the match was perfect! Realising I liked it, I bought the whole bottle with a voucher I had and I thought it was about time to tell you my thoughts.

On Clinique’s website this is the description for this formulation:

Slip on a silk-enriched foundation. Feel naked, yet covered to perfection. Control oil, yet hydrate where needed. Protect with SPF. Oil-free. Sheer to moderate coverage. Natural-matte finish. Ideal for Dry Combination to Oily Skin Types.

My skin is just pure combination, I have areas that occasionally get oily, like my T-zone, and the rest of face can suffer from being a bit dry and dehydrated. I can honestly say that this formula suits my skin perfectly! As it says it does seem to hydrate, or at least not stick to, my dry patches yet controls oil throughout the entire day in my T-zone. I do like the addition of a broad spectrum SPF although in the UK I don’t think sun damage is something high up on the list of worries with our rubbish weather!

I’ve always felt that oil-free foundations were a bit too heavy looking, however this one feels very light on the skin. Unlike some foundations, I do feel that this one sits on top of the skin more than others and can therefore transfer onto clothes easier, however I don’t find it looks cakey at all. For the same reasons as above, I normal steer away from matte finish foundations as they look a bit fake in my opinion. However, this really is a ‘natural-matte finish’, it almost verges on satin as it just looks like skin that is healthy and glowing rather than oily. This matte finish does last throughout the day though so if you do have more oily skin, this could work well for you!

IMG_2376.JPG
How the foundation looks on my skin. I was having a particularly bad skin day here too!
The one thing I don’t get in their description is that it’s sheer to moderate coverage! I agree on the moderate element as it’s definitely not full coverage but is certainly enough for the majority of us! However, there is nothing sheer about this foundation at all, if that’s what you are looking for then this definitely isn’t it. This is a medium coverage foundation to help cover blemishes, keep your skins condition looking even, and to last you throughout the day. None of these are descriptions of a sheer foundation!

Something I’ve always liked about Clinique makeup is the huge range of shades they have on offer and this foundation is no different. There are 20 different shades to help you find your perfect match! I wear the shade Silk Bare which I believe is the third lightest shade. Dependent on the undertones of foundations, I am usually the second or third lightest shade that a foundation comes in. Clinique have catered for everyone thought with warm and cool tones being covered and very fair and very dark shades included in the mix!

The one thing I really don’t like about this foundation is the packaging! The bottle is gorgeous but it doesn’t come with a pump and it definitely needs one as the foundation is quite thick! I’m sorry but when you pay £23 for a foundation, I would expect it to come with a pump nowadays! I can remember being 14 or 15 and refusing to pay extra for a pump at MAC so i’d tap the bottle on the back of my hand and end up with huge bruise so I can see that happening again with this one! Saying that, the frosted glass bottle is really nice and I do honestly think this is worth the price tag as I have loved how this looks on my skin!

Have you discovered any amazing new foundations lately?

Much Love

xoxo

New In Beauty | MAC Lip Scrubtious

Whenever MAC releases something new, I’m straight onto the website to see if I want to pick it up or not. I just find that their products are really good quality and they’re quite innovative with their ideas and that really appeals to me! So when the email dropped into my inbox that they were creating their own lip scrubs, I put my spending ban on hold for one afternoon so I could pick one up and give it a try!

Firstly, lets just discuss the packaging, it’s so ‘MAC’ and so cute! A chunky satin finish matte lid on top of a coloured little pot to match the product inside. Maybe it’s not for everyone but I love it! In my opinion these are reasonably priced at £12.50. Yes LUSH do a cheaper one, yes you could make it at home but you get 14ml here that I can guarantee you will last you ages and unlike LUSH’s this one is good to use for at least 2 years so there’ll be no wastage!img_2487

There are five flavours in the range: Sweet Vanilla, Fruit of Passion (the one I picked up), Candied Nectar, Summer Berry & Sweet Brown Sugar. After smelling them all to make up my mind, I found that there really is something to appeal to everyone. Naturally they are all pretty sweet as they are sugar scrubs, but the scent is definitely distinguishable between the flavours. The brown sugar flavour would be perfect if you’ve been wanting to try Fresh’s offering as its the same concept and flavour at a cheaper price! Fruit of passion was my favourite as it was still sweet but not sickly and had a slightly fresher element to it than some of the others. If you like fruity scents though, summer berry was incredible and the dark colour actually made it look like you’d been eating berries when you put it on your lips!

So finally, does it work well and is it worth the money? The short answer – yes! For the first time in years, winter has really played havoc with my lips and they have become incredibly chapped. Tom’s answer is always vaseline but I absolutely hate it as it’s so greasy so I’ve been looking for alternatives. I was finding that putting balms on wasn’t doing anything, I really needed to get the dead skin off! The MAC scrub does it beautifully without being too abrasive. It doesn’t take long either, a quick 10 second scrub and your lips are back to their soft and beautiful self again! I’ve been using this at least twice a week just to keep on top of any dryness and i’ve notice my lipstick applies better and even lasts longer! It’s particularly great if you’re using a matte formula as it looks a hell of a lot more even! The final thing to point out is that this leaves no residue on the lips! There’s no greasiness but it does leave them incredibly soft and smooth so it’s a win win!

I am so glad I picked this up, it won’t be like the lipsticks though – one shade/flavour is definitely enough when it comes to this product so pick your favourite! Have you tried these yet?

Much Love

xoxo

A LUSH Valentines Day |Lover Lamp Review!

Now I am not really a LUSH kind of girl, I find the products a bit too heavily scented for me and I spend longer scrubbing the bath clean than I do enjoying the actual bath! That was until the Valentines Day special Lover Lamp Bath Bomb came into my life! I was lucky enough to receive it at the CrossEyes Nottingham event and putting it to the test was an absolutely joyous experience!

The first thing you notice with Lover Lamp is that it’s not actually packed full of colour like other bath bombs, it’s a nice white shade with little red hearts inside. For me this was a real plus as I found due to the colour, there was minimal bath cleaning required post-relaxation! Perfect! Obviously because of the subtle colour, you’re not going to get an explosive bath like you see with some of the more crazy bath bombs! This just turned the bath a lovely milky white shade with the tiny red hearts floating on the top before eventually dissolving into the water!

Speaking of those gorgeous hearts, they are actually made of cocoa butter so you can rub them into your skin to receive a lovely moisturising effect! Sadly, I didn’t realise this until after the bath, however I found that my skin was still incredibly moisturised and soft afterwards, something which I really didn’t expect! As the hearts dissolve into the water I really felt the texture of the water change into something that felt more luxurious and nourishing. It was quite similar to putting a bath oil in the water without having all the slippy, greasy residue remains! The tiny hearts did have a tiny amount of glitter in which I found left my skin looking glowing rather than sparkly! I was really impressed that these particles didn’t stick to the bath too!

Finally, onto the scent, this is by far my favourite LUSH product I have ever tried! The scent reminded me of chocolate orange without being sickly sweet! This is down to the cocoa butter, vanilla and Brazilian orange oil included in the bath bomb! It was a really calming and relaxing scent rather than being invigorating and I found the scent did linger on my skin for the rest of the day in a subtle way. By no means was this scent overpowering but I could still smell it every now and again which I liked!

This is quite an expensive bath bomb in my opinion, at £4.25 per bath bomb. However, if you are looking for a treat or you’re adding it to a present then I think this makes a lovely gift! If I wasn’t such a poor student I would stock up on these before they go out of stock again until next Valentines Day! I did feel like a princess when I used this and it’s an experience I’d love to have again! Lover Lamp is still available here but hurry as now that Valentines Day is over, I don’t think they’ll be around for much longer!

Much Love

xoxo