Function of Beauty Experience

This post is not sponsored. I purchased these products myself and all opinions are my own.

Over the past year or so I have heard the name Function of Beauty crop up numerous times in the YouTube and blogging world. Function of Beauty allows individuals to decide what goes into their own custom hair products.

The site quizzes you on hair type, hair structure, scalp moisture and allows you to select up to five hair goals that you’d like your unique formula to deliver. You can choose a fragrance and how strong you’d like the scent to be but there is a fragrance free option too. You can name your formula, choose the colour (there is a dye free option) and the size you want to purchase. Shampoo and conditioner comes in 8oz (236ml) and 16oz (473ml) bottles and you can purchase a product individually or as a set. Pumps are included but if you re-order you can opt out of getting new pumps each time and re-use your existing ones. Before the checkout process there is the option of adding custom hair treatments like a mask or a serum to your order and you can even choose how frequently you’d like to receive your formula. I chose the one off option as it takes me a while to get through shampoo and conditioner and if I like the service I can re-order later on. I decided to try Function of Beauty when I was beginning to get low on my previous shampoo and conditioner and it sounded fun to be able to choose what was going into my formula and tailor it to my needs.

Function of Chanelle

Unique formula number: 2984668
Hair profile: Coarse + Wavy + Normal

The hair goals I chose:

1. Deep condition Moisturise and deeply condition dry damaged hair from the inside out, restoring hydration lost from heat and/or chemical processing.
2. Fix split ends – Smooth and coat your split ends for a sleek hair surface while building moisture content to minimise future split ends.
3.
Straighten – Relax and style unruly hair with a biolipid complex that leaves a sheathing film which naturally disciplines hair even in humid conditions.
4.
Anti-frizz – Hydrate and soften hair texture while protecting strands from frizz, static and breakage.
5.
Replenish hair – Replenish damaged, nutrient-depleted strands and protect your hair from environmental stressors.

Size: I purchased the 8oz shampoo and conditioner set without any additional hair treatments. I basically just wash my hair and let it air dry. Occasionally I’ll dry it with the hair dryer or straighten it but I don’t mind my natural hair and tend to keep things simple.

Fragrance: I was going to get a fragrance free formula but Strike a (r)ose sounded nice so I opted for the light strength of that. Strike a (r)ose has top notes of rose, black currant, sandalwood and orange blossom. Function of Beauty describe it as, “a cool, modern rose fragrance with a bit of edge.” When placing the order I selected the peach fragrance by mistake. I got in touch with the customer service team who switched the scents for me straight away. I love the rose scent and I’m glad I went for the lightest strength, I can still smell it the days between hair washes and it’s nice and subtle.

Colour: I couldn’t decide on a colour for the shampoo so I went for dye free and chose light purple for the conditioner.

As the products are custom made, from the time I placed my order to the time it arrived it took about three weeks which is not bad at all. When my order arrived it was well packaged, there were no leaks and everything matched what I ordered. Inside the box are stickers to decorate the outside of the bottles and a brochure with details about your formula. The box everything comes in is personalised too which is a lovely touch.

I ordered my shampoo and conditioner last August and started using them in November. There’s still about one third of product left in each and I wanted to share my thoughts once I’d had a chance to use them for a decent amount of time. Do I think it’s the best shampoo and conditioner I’ve ever tried? No, but I do like using these and my hair feels clean without feeling stripped and dry afterwards. I got my hair cut at the end of November and I do notice quite a few split ends, one of the hair goals I chose was to help with split ends. I will see if I notice less when I finish this shampoo and conditioner and go back to Wella. I also don’t think the products by themselves provide as much anti-frizz as I would like. I have been using a hair mask from Toni & Guy after conditioner and massaging in a hair oil when my hair is almost dry. That’s what I think actually makes my hair look straighter without having to reach for my GHD. My hair is naturally a little wavy but the frizz is more noticeable if I don’t use the hair mask and oil.

Once I finish these up I am on the fence as to whether I’d purchase from Function of Beauty again. Doing the quiz is fun and perhaps I’d change the hair goals a little bit to see if that made a difference. The products can be pricey if you don’t find a good offer or coupon but if you pick the right hair goals it’s worth it. I’m glad I tried the brand and I’m not disappointed, the shampoo and conditioner are pretty good. My mind will be made up about whether I’d repurchase or not once I try the Wella Elements products I’ve got waiting in the wings to use next.


Would you be interested in making your own shampoo and conditioner and trying Function of Beauty? What hair goals would you choose?

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MAC Laissez-Faire Love Me Lipstick Review

Last year MAC launched their Love Me range of lipsticks and I hadn’t really heard much about these until recently when I saw a YouTube video of someone swatching and trying on a bunch of shades. The Love Me lipsticks have been made to express the love and respect you have for yourself and come in 24 shades – a mix of nudes, purples and reds. I will talk more about the formula later but what sets it apart is that it’s infused with argan oil and represents a new type of sensation and texture from MAC. I think this range will appeal to a lot of people.

I purchased the shade Laissez-Faire which is described by MAC as a muted greyish pink. This shade has a neutral undertone and it doesn’t pull cool on the lips. Read on to see me compare Laissez-Faire to other lipsticks in my collection and point out similarities and differences.

Claims

  • Instant hit of powerful colour
  • All day moisture
  • Weightless feel
  • Lighter than air texture

Packaging

Each lipstick has MAC’s distinctive bullet style packaging with a shiny ombré effect. The outer packaging of each shade is matched to the colour family it belongs too; the nudes have a nude and black bullet, the purples a purple and black bullet and the reds a red and black bullet. The packaging is very pretty and probably the nicest in my lipstick collection! I like how these have been given a different design to MAC’s regular lipstick line, it makes them easy to distinguish in your drawer or makeup bag. The packaging doesn’t look cheap or feel any less luxurious.

Formula

The formula has been enriched with moisturising argan oil and nourishing lychee fruit extracts to keep lips soft and nourished all day long. The texture does feel very lightweight on the lips and it can be layered without feeling heavy. I would describe the Love Me formula like a cross between MAC’s satin and lustre finishes. They have the pigmentation and look of a satin lipstick and glide on effortlessly like a lustre. I find the formula fades evenly throughout the day and you will get a good amount of wear time before needing to reapply. I feel I can’t always test how long lipsticks last fairly as almost every colour lasts a long time on my lips. However, you will easily get more staying power than a gloss or lustre.

Application

Laissez-Faire applies like a dream. The colour goes on smoothly, is not streaky and 1-2 layers is perfect for even, pigmented coverage. The lipstick doesn’t feather or sink into lines. With the mauves and lighter shades I wouldn’t say you need a lip liner. The lipstick applies true to how it looks in the bullet and can be re-applied without disturbing the existing colour underneath.

Wearing Laissez-Faire

Swatches & Comparisons

Blankety is the lightest of these shades and the most beige. Hug Me is the closest match to Laissez-Faire but it is more sheer due to the lustre finish. Bois de Rose is the most similar in texture but it is more of a rosy pink. Brave is the brightest pink and also the most pigmented.

Other ‘Love Me’ Shades I’m Interested in

  • Hey, Frenchie! (deep mauvey nude) – Purples
  • Pure Nonchalance (lavender) – Purples
  • Très Blasé (light peachy beige) – Nudes
  • Under the Covers (dusty rose pink) – Nudes

I do have a knack for blind buying lipstick and I’m lucky that the colour in the bullet tends to be how that shade applies on me. There are a handful of other shades I like the look of and would consider picking up but before committing to them I’d like to watch more swatch videos or preferably, swatch the shades in store (lockdown permitting).

Summary

I am very happy to have Laissez-Faire in my collection and the pink tones remind me a little bit of Syrup which is my all time favourite MAC lipstick. The packaging is absolutely gorgeous and the formula lives up to the claims. The lipstick feels extremely soft and weightless on the lips and you get a decent hit of colour with the first swipe. I’m not really interested in the darker shades and the reds but it would be interesting to know if they perform as well.


Have you tried any lipsticks from MAC’s Love Me range?

What’s your favourite MAC lipstick?

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Trying False Lashes For the First Time

In February I purchased two pairs of false lashes from xoBeauty. xoBeauty is New Zealand YouTuber Shaaanxo’s brand and a brand I have purchased quite a bit from over the past couple of years. I have watched Shannon apply lashes numerous times in her videos and recently I was curious to give them a go myself. I’ve read glowing reviews praising how easy the lashes are to apply and how affordable they are for the quality.

Along with the two pairs of lashes I purchased lash glue and special xoBeauty tweezers. The tweezers are nicely weighted and have a non-slip grip. The prongs are shaped in such a way to aid application and really let you get the false lashes to sit flush with your natural lashes and clamp the two sets of lashes together.

xoBeauty have a range of different styles of lashes on their website from natural to long and fluttery as well as faux mink styles for when you want extra drama. xoBeauty’s lashes are cruelty free and are 100% handcrafted with soft, synthetic hairs. Pairs of lashes can be purchased individually or in value packs of five. There are also sets of mixed styles available if you want to try more than one. I purchased two individual sets of lashes; The Heiress and The Innocent.

“The Heiress” lashes are beautifully natural and are a medium length. They give a fluttery effect to your lashes, and have a gorgeous curl to them. Perfect for adding volume and subtle length!

“The Innocent” were designed for the utmost natural girls in mind. These are lightweight, natural, and not too long. They have a criss-cross pattern in order to blend with any natural hairs you already have and this pattern will give the perfect amount of volume! If you already have semi long lashes, these will amp up the volume of your lashes and they look almost undetectable.

Close up of “The Heiress” lashes I applied

Application

I kept my eye makeup simple to balance out the effect The Heiress lashes would give. I applied two coats of mascara prior to the lashes and didn’t go in with another coat afterwards in order to prolong the life of the lashes. I want to be able to reuse this set as much as possible. I held the first lash with the tweezers and checked the size of the lash band against my eyelid to make sure it wasn’t too long and to see if I needed to trim the end. No trimming was required so still holding the lash with the tweezers I applied Duo’s clear, latex-free eyelash glue to the band and let it set for 30-40 seconds. I guided the lash into place and managed to place it correctly on the first go which I was very impressed with! I used the tweezers to adhere the centre of the lash band first before making sure each end was also attached. I then clamped the false lashes and my own lashes together and I was done! From applying the glue to the lash being on it would have only taken 90 seconds. The other lash went on just as easily and I couldn’t believe how little time it took.

How they feel

The outer lashes are curled and beautiful and the lashes do look natural and fluttery. The lashes are incredibly lightweight and it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing anything. The length is perfect and the lashes don’t touch my glasses which is what I wanted. I can’t see a shadow from the lashes when I’m going about normal activities, they seem like my normal lashes. The glue doesn’t weigh the lashes down and I can’t feel it on my eyelids. The glue doesn’t have an odour which is good and it dries down clear. The Heiress lashes have a clear band so they blend in effortlessly and look pretty much invisible.
Left: Just mascara vs one lash applied
Right: Full face of makeup
 

Other products used:
  • Olay Complete UV Sensitive Lotion
  • Becca First Light Priming Filter
  • Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel
  • YSL Touche Éclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation in B10 Porcelain
  • MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW10
  • Milani Eyeshadow Primer
  • Zoella x Colourpop Brunch Date Eyeshadow Palette
  • YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils The Curler Mascara
  • theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
  • Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 10 Nude Mauve
  • MAC Viva Glam III Lipstick

I am extremely happy with my first lash trying experience! I didn’t anticipate it would be such a simple process from start to finish and how light the lashes would feel once they are on. The lashes don’t look dramatic, they add a lovely curled effect and natural length. The quality of these lashes is outstanding and they are super affordable. I will reach for these on special occasions or when I want to feel extra glam. I can definitely see myself checking out other lash styles from xoBeauty in the future too.


Have you tried false lashes before? Do you have a favourite brand or set that you use?

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Testing Four New Foundations

If you’re a regular viewer of The Anna Edit’s YouTube channel you may have seen her video testing six different foundations over the course of six weeks. She shared thoughts and opinions on each and I’m doing something similar in this post. I have purchased a couple of new base products recently and have two drugstore foundations that have been sitting unused in my collection for a while. I will be mentioning the claims of each foundation, how each one applies and performs, doing a shade comparison and ranking the foundations from my favourite to least favourite.

When it comes to foundation I like a lightweight formula that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. I like a foundation that offers natural coverage, evens out redness and is easy to blend. I prefer a finish somewhere between dewy and matte and one that is suited to dry skin types and doesn’t sink in to or accentuate lines.

The four foundations being put to the test are:

  1. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair
  2. MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NW10
  3. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in 010 Light Porcelain
  4. Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation in 40 Light Ivory

Claims

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream

  • SPF 50
  • Hydrates skin while diffusing the appearance of imperfections
  • Full, flawless coverage that won’t crease or crack
  • Anti-ageing benefits
  • Delivers seven products in one

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation

  • SPF 15
  • Medium, buildable coverage
  • Natural matte finish that is smooth and blendable
  • Oil production, shine and visible pores are kept under control by specially treated micronized pigments
  • Up to 24 hours wear time
  • Ideal for all skin types

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation

  • SPF 20
  • Instantly reawakens skin with a healthy, radiant glow
  • Light, moisturising texture applies smoothly and leaves skin feeling soft and comfortable
  • Gives a flawless natural-looking finish
  • Visible anti-fatigue effect with peptides and vitamin moisturising complex

Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation

  • Enhances the look of skin for a healthy-looking finish
  • Hydrating formula creates a natural, dewy complexion
  • Blurs imperfections
  • Lightweight texture for seamless blending
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Oil free

Shade Comparison

Left to right: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream – Fair, MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid Foundation – NW10, Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation – 010 Light Porcelain and Max Factor Miracle Match – 40 Light Ivory.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream is the most yellow toned but this blends out well and the product is designed to be colour correcting so it works on my skin tone and doesn’t look too dark once it is applied.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation is the one I feel matches my skin tone the best. It is quite pink in contrast to the IT Cosmetics CC Cream on the left but you can still see the neutral tone coming through. MAC’s shade system is really useful if you aren’t strictly warm or cool toned.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation looks orange-pink and this is what makes it my least favourite colour match. 010 Light Porcelain looks similar to NW10 but the more I stare at the two middle swatches the more I notice how much better NW10 blends into my natural skin colour.

Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation is probably the most neutral toned swatch and this neutral tone also translates onto the face. This shade isn’t the lightest that Max Factor do but it doesn’t pull overly warm or cool and I can get away with it. I need a touch of warmth so I don’t look washed out.

Application/Formula

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream – This blends easily, a little bit of product goes a long way and product feels lightweight – like a soft mousse – as it is being blended into the skin. The finish is the perfect amount of matte and dewy and can easily be made to look one way or the other depending on your preference. For example, I don’t use powder often as I’m a dry skinned girl but if I was using a glowy primer with a bit of slip and this CC Cream I would powder. Alternatively I could use a primer that is not glowy and not powder as the CC Cream would add a natural dewiness to the skin on it’s own. This doesn’t have a typical foundation scent, it’s zesty and reminds me of laundry powder but fades quickly and doesn’t put me off using the product.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation –  This is the only one of the four foundations that claims to be matte and it still looks nicer on my skin compared to a couple of the others. It is a very soft matte finish that does not cling to dry skin and covers well. I use 1 and a half – 2 pumps to cover my face, the pumps are quite small and I find that extra half pump gives me the finish I like. The formula doesn’t feel heavy and drag across the skin and is comfortable to wear. I had a sample of this foundation last year in NW13 so if you’ve read this post you’ll know the formula is one I enjoy.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation – I purchased this foundation towards the end of 2018 but was focused on finishing up a couple of others first so it has sat mostly untouched since then. Upon initial application this does feel a little heavier than the previous two foundations and I feel like more buffing is required to get this blended into the skin. In comparison to MAC Studio Fix I only need one pump of Wake Me Up as more product comes out at once. This foundation is certainly the most dewy of the bunch but what I find lets this down is lack of coverage. Going in with another layer doesn’t necessarily fix it and as product feels heavier the brush soaks some up.

Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation – I can’t go past the scent of this foundation, it is the most unpleasant out of these, it’s like a cross between feet and corn chips (it’s weird). This test has taught me pricier foundations tend to have more of a lightweight formula and blend into the skin more easily. The product itself doesn’t feel heavy on the skin but the brush does soak a bit of product up. The formula feels quite thin and light and I need 2 pumps to get the coverage I like but this foundation does layer. Miracle Match is billed as hydrating and dewy but upon initial application it can be a little drying.

Performance

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream – This CC cream can definitely be built up to full coverage and it does conceal and cover imperfections whilst still looking natural. The hydrating element of the formula means it doesn’t settle into lines around my nose and mouth. After a full day at work my face looks exactly the same as it did 10 hours earlier, there’s no fading or excess shine and my skin doesn’t feel like it’s caked in makeup. I can see why people love this, it lives up to the claims and delivers in spades!

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation – This foundation claims to last for 24 hours and whilst I don’t wear makeup for that long this does have good lasting power. This stays put without breaking down or fading and keeps my skin looking nice and naturally made up. I think this will make such a lovely everyday foundation for work.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation – Where this foundation falls down for me is the lack of coverage. It barely looks like I’m wearing anything on my skin and doesn’t work unless I’m having a good skin day. It is very light coverage and doesn’t build all that well either. This can almost make me look too pink and washed out. This foundation does perform better over top of Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Primer as it is slightly more matte and combats the slipperiness of the dewy formula.

Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation – This performs better than the other drugstore option in this test. The formula feels a little drying when it is freshly applied but once product has sat on the skin for a while and my natural oils come out it looks fine. I can build this up to medium coverage which I struggled with with Wake Me Up and I also think this has decent lasting power, I don’t think it would break down too much after a day at work. I definitely think this needs to be worn in conjunction with a creamy concealer, my little pot concealer from MAC does accentuate spots and dry patches with this foundation.

Summary and Overall Ranking

Testing these four products together made me realise what I like in a foundation and put me in a better position to evaluate how they perform. Being able to compare and contrast has been useful and there are elements of each foundation I like. I will definitely be keeping two of the foundations and I want to do further testing and see how well the two foundations I didn’t enjoy as much blend with a sponge and how they perform with a different concealer applied on top. Foundation is an important step in my makeup routine and if I have to spend more to get a nicer result I’m not mad about that. I think price will be less of a factor in future foundation purchases.

The results:

1st place = IT Cosmetics CC Cream
2nd place = MAC Studio Fix Fluid
3rd place = Max Factor Miracle Match
4th place = Rimmel Wake Me Up

I ranked each foundation on six different criteria using a points system. The highest number of points, 4, was awarded to my favourite in each category, 3 points to my second favourite and so on.

(Click the image to make it bigger)

Rimmel’s Wake Me Up and Max Factor’s Miracle Match both tied on 10 points but Miracle Match has the edge as the overall look on the skin is nicer.


Have you tried any of these foundations?

I hope you enjoyed this post. I know it was a wordy one and well done on making to the end!

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xoBeauty Haul + Mini Heaps of Sweets Palette Review

xoBeauty was my favourite brand discovery of 2018 and The Remix Palette from Shaaanxo and BH Cosmetics is what I currently enjoy reaching for most. I have tried to keep myself on a low buy in 2019 but there have been certain products I can’t stop thinking about – the Heaps of Sweets palette is one of those!

This is xoBeauty’s first palette and Shannon describes it as “the perfect blend of warm and cool tones, colourful shades and every day neutrals, a one stop shop palette for day and night.” On first glance a few shades look similar to those in The Remix Palette but Shannon describes Heaps of Sweets as The Remix Palette’s cousin and it’s nice the two palettes compliment each other. I can already tell this palette has more of a purple focus and the formula of the shimmers looks a lot more intense than those in The Remix Palette.

Heaps of Sweets is vegan, cruelty free, talc free and comes housed in light purple cardboard packaging adorned with gold foil detailing and cute illustrations of sweet treats. The palette contains a mix of 12 incredibly pigmented, super soft, blendable mattes and shimmers and also features a mirror. I don’t mind if a palette has a mirror or not but it does add to it being travel friendly along with the fact the palette is compact, lightweight and promises versatility.

Shades & Swatches:

Top row:

Gumdrop – A matte medium, warm purple with bright undertones. A fun pop of color for the lower lash line or crease.
Sugar – A pale champagne shimmer with pink undertones. Perfect for highlighting or brightening any look.
Brownie – An essential matte chocolate brown. Use this to darken the outer corners or to create a smokey eye.
Vanilla – A light cool toned neutral matte that leans purple. Perfect for an all-over look or in the crease.

Middle row:

Lollipop – Shannon’s dream purple. A medium/deep purple shimmer with slight cool undertones.
Bonbon – A medium/deep indigo matte purple. Perfect for smoking out any eye look.
Pretzel – Shannon’s dream copper shimmer that makes any eye color pop! Apply all over the lid for a gorgeous look.
Caramel – The perfect all-over matte to make your eyes pop. Apply in the crease and outer corner to deepen your look.

Bottom row:

Macaron – A light warm neutral matte. Perfect for in the crease or all over for a simple look.
Cupcake – The perfect taupe shimmer that goes with any skintone. Gorgeous all over the eye lid for a smokey look.
Apricot – A medium coral shimmer. Gorgeous paired with warm shadows and a bronzed complexion for a summery look!
Hokey Pokey – A bright yellow shimmer with warm undertones. Gorgeous on any skin tone for a golden finish!

In addition to the eyeshadow palette I picked up two lip colours and three makeup brushes.

1. Luxe Liquid Lipstick  – Aroha

I have spoken in the past about my love for this lipstick formula and if like me you don’t like matte liquid lipsticks I can’t recommend it enough! The formula is soft and feather light and dries down to a comfortable cream finish. If colour needs to be reapplied the product layers easily and doesn’t cling to any dry skin. You easily get 4-5 hours wear before reapplication is needed, more if you avoid greasy foods. Aroha is a muted deep plum and is a cross between a berry and a red, it’s got more of a pink tone which I like. This is the fourth liquid lipstick I have purchased from xoBeauty and I think these are even better than their regular bullet lipsticks.

2. Creme Lipstick – Rescue Me

The regular lipsticks come in two finishes; matte and creme. Rescue Me is a creme which I prefer out of the two and is a wearable soft pink. I was looking at my lipstick collection recently and I was missing a pure pink, I have bright pinks, mauve pinks, brown pinks but not a lot in the way of soft pinks. The best thing about this lipstick is that for each sale 50% of the profits go to HUHA which is an animal shelter. HUHA stands for Helping You Help Animals and is a charity close to Shannon’s heart.

Lip colour swatches:

Left to right: Rescue Me and Aroha.

3. Crease Detail Brush

This brush is perfect for precise application of powders, creams or liquids. The brush is tapered to allow for more precision when applying colour and the small size means application can be more concentrated. I have small eyes so I also thought this would be great for packing colour onto the lids rather than a flat eyeshadow brush which is too big to use on my eyelids.

4. Crease Blender Brush

This is a dense, less fluffy version of the next brush which makes it great for applying eyeshadow through the crease and blending it out. This brush can also be used to apply shades in the outer V and on the lower lash line.

5. Blender Brush

This brush is good for adding a soft wash of colour over the eyelid or through the crease. The bristles are longer and fluffier than the Crease Blender Brush which means it will give a more diffused, blown out look. All three brushes are made using synthetic hairs and feel super soft.


Share one of your favourite makeup brands in the comments below! Also, let me know if you like the look of anything in this haul and if you’d be interested to see me create a couple of looks with the eyshadow palette!

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First Impression Friday: YSL – Touche Éclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation

Up until a short time ago I had never tried a foundation that wasn’t considered drug store. In the past I haven’t wanted to spend a lot of money on foundation shades that don’t match me as my skin is fairly pale. I’m now starting to think that by investing a little more money into nicer foundation I will be happier with the overall look of my makeup. Often higher end brands have more shades available to cater to more skintones and the quality of product is better.

I purchased YSL’s Touche Éclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation on a whim after reading a review from a fellow blogger and spending the entire day watching reviews of it on YouTube. This foundation appealed to me through it’s claims and the fact it is ideal for drier skin types.

Claims

  • Reduces the look of fatigue and creates flawless, buildable coverage
  • Improves skin’s brightness and luminosity
  • Weightless finish – foundation feels and looks invisible on the skin
  • Conceals imperfections

When it comes to foundation I like natural looking coverage that helps even out redness in my skin and product that doesn’t feel thick to apply. I prefer foundation not to lean too matte or too dewy and sit somewhere in the middle. I believe this foundation does live up to its claims. Keep reading to find out why.

Shade

I purchased this foundation online and wasn’t able to swatch or test shades in store before I bought it which is risky but I am pleased to say the shade I purchased is spot on! The Radiance Awakening foundation comes in 30 shades and I purchased the shade B10 Porcelain.

YSL cater to different undertones similar to MAC; B = neutral undertone, BD = golden/yellow undertone and BR = pink undertone. The lower the number following the undertone, the lighter the shade. I selected B10 as I have warmth and coolness in my skin but I am still on the fair end of the colour spectrum. One shade lighter BR 05 Cool Milk, may have worked for me but I wanted a neutral shade for my skin.

When this foundation arrived I automatically compared it with the sample of MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid foundation in NW13 and this is a touch lighter which is better. I wasn’t able to wear bronzer with NW13 but I think I will be able to get away with bronzer with this YSL shade.

Top: YSL
Bottom:
MAC

Application

I used a clean Zoeva 102 Silk Finish brush to apply the foundation and product felt lightweight and easy to blend into the skin. Foundation didn’t drag or apply in streaks and felt silky smooth when being blended/buffed. The foundation blends out seamlessly and it’s not easy to detect where foundation stops and skin starts. The first time using this foundation my skin was drier than usual as I was getting over a cold but the formula didn’t cling or accentuate any dryness or settle into lines. Usually I like to apply one layer of foundation and touch up areas on my cheeks and around my nose if needed. This foundation had decent coverage after one layer and did allow me to build up product where I needed to without disturbing the layer underneath. The brush did soak up some of the product but I was still able to use the brush to really buff foundation into the skin.

Performance

The foundation is a nice consistency, it’s not thick and it’s not runny. Product will stay on the back of your hand between blending out layers. The foundation doesn’t feel heavy and glides over the skin. I’d say initially the coverage with one layer is light-medium which I like but you can build up coverage if you desire. The colour doesn’t oxidise after application and other makeup sits nicely on top. I used MAC’s Strobe Cream as a primer underneath and I didn’t find my face looked too glowy – it was a radiant, healthy glow which again is what I like. I will be testing out other primers to see how they perform with this too.

I had the foundation on for about 12 hours and it wore well during the day. Product didn’t fade or break down. My face didn’t look oily or shiny and the foundation kept my face looking natural and skin like. I do think it brightened up my complexion and made me feel more like my usual self despite the remnants of a cold.

Only wearing foundation and concealer:

Unedited photo taken in natural lighting.

Wearing the foundation with a full face of makeup:

Other products used:

  • Olay Complete UV Lotion Sensitive
  • MAC Strobe Cream – Pinklite
  • Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer – 1 Fair
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • Colourpop BYOP, shades used: Hear Me Out, Wake Up Call, Feathered and Ringer
  • Zoella x Colourpop Supernova Shadow in OG
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara in 003 Blackest Black
  • NARS Orgasm Blush Duo
  • Kathleen Lights x Colourpop Scorpio Moon lipstick
  • MAC Fix+

Summary

Pros:

  • Shade matches me well
  • Lightweight, buildable coverage
  • Seamless and natural looking on the skin
  • SPF 22

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Not as many shades available as other high end foundations (still a fair selection at 30)

Overall, I am extremely pleased with YSL’s Touche Éclat Le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation after only one use and can’t wait to wear it again! The product lives up to it’s claims and applies and blends like a dream. The formula is extremely comfortable and lightweight and virtually undetectable on the skin. If this is what all luxury foundations are like, I’m a convert!


Have you tried this foundation? Do you own any foundations you consider luxury?

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Colourpop Strawberry Shake Palette – Review + 3 Looks

When the Strawberry Shake palette launched it flew under my radar and my initial thoughts were ‘it’s nice but I don’t need it.’ The more I saw the palette I realised I actually didn’t have shades like this already and the way all the shades work together is seamless. The versatility this little palette has is incredible, there’s mattes and shimmers, brights and neutrals, pinks, reds and even peachy tones. The strawberry theme appeals to me as strawberries are one of my favourite fruits and whilst I haven’t worn a lot of pink on my eyes in the past the pink tones Colourpop have used here are really lovely.

Colourpop also have the Ooh La La palette which is full of bright pinks and are the type of colours I love but a number of shades in that palette are similar to The Remix Palette by BH Cosmetics and Shaaanxo which I already own. I see myself reaching for Strawberry Shake a lot over summer and I know I will have fun creating both bold and wearable looks.

Strawberry Shake is comprised of three shimmers and six mattes. All of the nine shades are pigmented, blendable and long-wearing. The shadows aren’t powdery and I haven’t experienced any fallout or kickback. The shimmers are all super smooth (especially Delish) and none of the shades are patchy. This palette does come with an eye safe warning, three shades, My Milkshake, Take a Sip and Daiquiri, are pressed pigments and shouldn’t be used near the immediate eye area but I haven’t experienced any irritation or sensitivity.

Swatches:

My Milkshake – Vibrant berry pink. A nice mix between the lighter pinks and the red pinks in the palette. This makes a great transition shade.

Whipped – Rosy pink with silver and pink sheen. This type of shimmer shade applies best with a finger.

Woke – Baby pink. A nice soft neutral.

Paper Straw – Soft coral pink. The perfect base shadow colour.

Take a Sip – Vivid hot pink with gold and pink sparkle. The sparkle doesn’t translate onto the eyes. I need to play with this shade more to be honest.

Delish – Icy pink. This shade works as an inner corner highlight or a nice pop of shimmer when worn with a couple of the darker shades applied through the crease.

Berry Fine – Bright peach with golden flip. This is kind of like NARS Orgasm in eyeshadow form.

Daiquiri – True red. This shade isn’t as intimidating as I thought and pairs surprisingly well with the others. This looks nice along the lower lash line.

Shake It Up – Mauvey berry. A great shade to use all over the lid or more concentrated in the crease.

I have been putting the palette to the test for about a month now. Each combination I come up with I love and I really feel like this palette doesn’t have any bad shades, they’re all beautiful! Each shade works with the other eight and deciding on three looks for this post wasn’t easy.

Look #1

Woke is applied all over the lids as a base eyeshadow. I then go in with Shake It Up to darken the crease before Delish is applied over the lids to finish off.

Look #2

Paper Straw is used as a base shadow before going in with a mixture of My Milkshake and Daiquiri in the crease. My Milkshake is applied all through the crease whilst Daiquiri is concentrated on the outer half. Daiquiri is also applied to the lower lash line. Berry Fine is patted over the eyelid to tie in with the peachy tones of Paper Straw.

Look #3

Woke is applied as a base shade all over the lids. My Milkshake is used to deepen the crease followed by Take a Sip. Whipped is applied on top of Woke. Delish is applied as an inner corner highlight to finish off the look.


So, how does Strawberry Shake compare to the other nine pan palettes I have from Colourpop? This is definitely up there with Sol and I do prefer this over It’s My Pleasure. There is versatility with light and bright shades and two different finishes (shimmer and matte). The pigmented, blendable formula is a dream to work with. This palette is the guilt-free sweet treat you need!

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Thoughts on MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation

Last month during my time off work I went shopping with mum and was excited to stop by the MAC counter in one of the shops we visited. There’s not a MAC counter in my city – which is probably a good thing as I’d want to visit it all the time – and the nearest one is an hour away. I wanted to pick up a 30ml tube of Studio Moisture Cream but found out MAC don’t make that size anymore. A sign advertising a free sample of the Studio Fix Fluid Foundation containing a week’s worth of product caught my eye and a few minutes later I was being colour matched by the sales assistant. I don’t know whether I use a small amount of product or have a small face but the sample has lasted me 20 uses and counting at the time of this post!

Shade

I was matched to shade NW13 which MAC describe as ‘fair beige with neutral undertones for light skin.’ I use the shade NW10 of StudioFinish Concealer so this is where I expected to sit on the colour spectrum. Personally I feel the sales assistant got my shade match spot on! I used to think I had a predominantly cool undertone but I do prefer neutral shades that have a bit of warmth as my hair and freckles warm up my complexion and I don’t get a lot of redness unless my skin is dry or I have a breakout. NW15 would have been a touch too dark but I could probably get away with wearing NW10. I haven’t been wearing bronzer with NW13 as I find the shade matches my skin nicely on it’s own. The first time I tried the foundation with bronzer it didn’t look right, perhaps if I had NW10, bronzer would be fine. Next time I’m at a MAC counter I’d like to compare NW10 and NW13 side by side out of curiosity.

For those who are unfamiliar with MAC’s shade system: C is for warmer undertones, W is for cooler undertones and NW and NC sit somewhere between either extreme. The great thing about this foundation is that it is offered in 60 shades and MAC cater to different undertones really well.

Formula

Studio Fix Fluid is billed as a medium-buildable coverage SPF foundation with a natural matte finish and an oil controlling formula made to suit all skin types. For reference I have dry, sometimes sensitive skin and this hasn’t affected my skin or made it oily. The formula is on the matte side but it’s a very comfortable finish, more like a demi-matte – it isn’t thick or heavy at all. Highlighter and blush layer nicely on top and the formula is designed so it doesn’t emphasise pores and imperfections. I find this foundation makes me look radiant and my skin appears smoother and more flawless than when I use my drugstore foundations. I have been using this sample each time I have worn foundation over the past month and it looks a lot nicer on my skin than my drugstore options.

Application

As mentioned previously the sample of this foundation has lasted me 20+ uses so far! The product applies well with all four of my face brushes (a couple are more densely packed than others) and one layer of product is the optimum amount for me. I dot foundation around my face before buffing it in using circular motions. Product feels lightweight and silky on the skin. It is super easy to blend and gives even coverage; I don’t need to go in with more product in certain areas and there are no streaks or brush strokes left behind. The product does have a slight chemical, paint scent (could be the SPF) but it does disappear once product is on the face. I only notice it when I open the little sample pot to apply product.

Longevity

Supposedly this foundation lasts for 24 hours but I don’t wear makeup for that long to test it out. Studio Fix Fluid does seem like a good everyday foundation option for me, it doesn’t break down or get oily and lasts well during a day at work. Weather is starting to warm up in New Zealand but I haven’t noticed my skin looking shiny when wearing this or product wearing away. I have tried this foundation with MAC Fix+ setting spray and face mists from The Body Shop and it stays put with both. Product doesn’t sink into lines on my face and around my nose like some other foundations which keeps it looking flawless and smooth.

Swatches:

Unblended

Blended

Wearing the foundation:

To sum up, I really enjoy this foundation and am a big fan of how my makeup and skin looks when I wear it! The formula and shade get a huge thumbs up from me and the foundation is super easy to blend and apply. I would consider purchasing a full size bottle of Studio Fix Fluid in future once I’ve finished a few other foundations.


Have you tried this foundation?

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Stila Magnificent Metals: Worth the Hype?

The Magnificent Metals by Stila are very much loved by bloggers and as someone who loves shimmer the thought of long lasting, sparkly eyes intrigued me. Magnificent Metals aim to be ultra smooth and give a sequin-like shine with plenty of glitz. For reference the set I am referring to in this post is the 3D Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow Set that was released as a limited edition festive trio in 2018. It contains the shades Golden Girl, Perlina and Kitten Karma.

The cost for one full sized shade wasn’t justifiable and the minis were roughly the same price as one full sized shade. They worked out better value for money too as I ended up with more product. One full sized shade contains 4.5ml and the set of minis contains 3 x 2.25ml – a total of 6.75ml.

Honestly, I’m on the fence over this set. I’ve been testing the colours out for four months now and the shades in the set perform differently to each other. I still haven’t found the way I prefer to wear these and the way the shadows perform best. I have tried applying the glitters to the eyelids on their own, applying them over top of a primer or a base shadow and applying a small amount as a glitter topper. I also can’t decide whether it’s more effective to apply and spread the shadows with the applicator or apply them to the middle of my eyelid with the applicator and spread the glitter with my finger. Personally I find the applicator is gentler and the glitters look more pigmented but if you’re applying the glitter over top of another eyeshadow the applicator picks up some of the colour underneath as you try to spread the product.

Top to bottom: Golden Girl, Perlina and Kitten Karma.

I’m going to rank the three shades from my least favourite to the best performing and give a quick rundown of each:

  • Golden Girl – The formula is drier, streakier and less pigmented than the other two shades. There is also less glitter and the shade is a little lacklustre. This would be so much nicer if the glitter was more prominent.
  • Perlina – This formula is more like what I was expecting and is more pigmented than Golden Girl. The formula gives you enough time to spread it without drying down as fast as Golden Girl. This shade is the most unique in the set and it tends to work best over top of other powder shadows. It pays not to wear too a pale colour underneath as the eyelids look washed out. Perlina will move the base colour and make it look like you’re wearing nothing on your eyelids and not in a good way.
  • Kitten Karma – If I could give a piece of advice it would be to forget about buying this set and just purchase the full size of this shade if you’re curious to try the Magnificent Metals. Kitten Karma is a beautiful champagne with silver and copper sparkle and one of the most popular shades in the range. This shade is the most pigmented of the three and performs the best on it’s own without the need for additional eyeshadow.

Pros:

  • Good value for the three piece set.
  • All shades are wearable and go with a number of looks.
  • Smaller size means less product to finish up and less risk of product drying out.
  • Can easily see how much product is left.

Cons:

  • Pigmentation of all shades is not the same.
  • Not sure of the best application method.
  • Applicator picks up eyeshadow underneath and can get dirty.
  • Product doesn’t last all day.
  • May not be good for sensitive eyes – the first couple of times I used these I experienced stinging for a few seconds. Thankfully the stinging went away quickly and didn’t cause any lasting irritation.

So, the important question: Are Stila’s Magnificent Metals worth the hype?

In my opinion, they aren’t. That’s not to say all the bloggers that rave about these and swear by them are wrong, products work differently for everyone and we all have our own preferences. I definitely think the shades I tried aren’t a good representation of the rest of the line and I’d hope there are more shades that perform like Kitten Karma in the range; pigmented shades that contain a decent amount of glitter/shimmer and don’t fade throughout the day. I don’t think I’ll be picking up any more of these to try. I am glad I got to give the product a go, even if it’s not something I reach for often. I will endeavour to use up each of these and hopefully by that time I have discovered an application method that works for me!


Have you tried the Magnificent Metals, if so which shades? Are you a fan?

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Claire Richards My Wildest Dreams – Album Review

My Wildest Dreams Quote

Quote from the liner notes inside the album.

For those of you who have read my blog for a while now you probably know that I have a huge passion for music. My passion for music is bigger than my passion for makeup. I am one of those people that always has music playing and has done ever since I was a young girl. I could talk about music and what it means to me all day long but to sum it up, music is my favourite thing in the world. Whenever I listen to it, I’m happy – even if I’m listening to sadder songs.

Each person has a genre or two they gravitate towards as well as certain bands and artists that are their favourites and they never tire of. Personally, I’m very much a pop girl! By pop I don’t always mean chart music and top 40 hits, I mean uptempo songs that make you feel happy and have catchy beats but still have reflective lyrics and a message, e.g. ABBA, Spice Girls and coincidentally the band Claire is from, Steps.

Steps are one of the most successful pop acts to come out of the 90s. To date they have had 14 consecutive top 5 singles in The UK (including two #1’s) and have sold over 20 million records worldwide. In 2011 Steps became the first British boy/girl band to have #1 albums in three consecutive decades (90s, 00s, 2010s). After the release of Tears On the Dancefloor in 2017 and touring the album, Claire decided to go full steam ahead with her own solo effort My Wildest Dreams.

My Wildest Dreams was released on February 1st 2019 and debuted at #9 on The UK albums chart. From start to finish the project took around three years between finding songs, writing songs and recording them. It wasn’t until the latter half of 2018 that Claire announced news of her solo album and began releasing her own music. Claire is known for her powerful vocals and has often been called the voice of Steps. Her musical influences include Karen Carpenter, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston and these influences are evident in Claire’s delivery and tone. Certain voices make you feel something and give you goosebumps and Claire’s is one of those. She is part of the reason I want to sing and a line from track two on the album sums it up beautifully, “I wanna live so my heart can learn to sing.”

Without further ado, let’s get into the review!

Hardcore Steps fans won’t be disappointed but if this is not completely like a Steps album. There are your standard uptempo pop songs that follow the pattern of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle 8, chorus in the form of On My Own, 7 Billion and Shame On You. These songs all have a great message behind them as well as being highlights that you’ll be singing to in no time!

One guarantee with a voice like Claire’s is that there will be big ballads, it’s a no brainer and she does them so well. Claire especially shines on Ruins and Don’t Leave Me In This Love Alone (written by Diane Warren). My favourite vocal run on the album comes from End Before We Start at the end of the second chorus. (Listen *HERE*).

Singles may not always be a listener’s favourite on an album and that is the case here. Title track, My Wildest Dreams is one of my personal highlights and it sums up the whole experience for Claire. She never expected she would get to make this album but she has been in the music business for over 20 years and has more than earned her stripes. There’s even a line in Brave (another of my favourites) which reflects this, “I’m a fighter, I’m a tiger”. Claire co-wrote Brave with her children in mind and it’s a gorgeous song full of raw emotion.

Albums also usually have tracks which grow on a listener the more they hear them, These Wings and Liar fall into this category for me. These Wings makes me want to sing along and have my diva moment and Liar showcases a beautiful depth to Claire’s voice. I find the lyrics poignant and relatable to a situation I was going through last year.

Overall, this is a beautiful album and one you can tell Claire is proud to call her own and has put her heart and soul into. The songs suit Claire’s muscality and she’s playing to her strengths. She has been true to herself whilst living her dream of recording a solo album. Each song has a story and I will be listening to this album and these stories for years to come. Standout Tracks: On My Own, 7 Billion, Brave, Shame On You, Ruins and My Wildest Dreams.

You can listen to Claire’s music on YouTube and Spotify. My Wildest Dreams is out now if you want to buy a copy!


This style of post is different to what I usually share but I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you think of the review!

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