Welcome to my world of makeup, sweet scents and real talk. You should always have a cuppa to hand and sit back and enjoy a little snippet of my world! A beauty and lifestyle blog for all, but as I like to say it's also 'brown girl friendly'. As a brown beauty myself I ensure that all product reviews that are complexion based really show what works on a deeper skin tone as well as showing what's being catered for brown beauties!

Friday, 9 December 2016

MUA COSMETICS BURNING EMBERS PALETTE & HIGHLIGHTERS | UNDER £10 DRUGSTORE DUPES?!

My love of budget beauty this past year has been wavering and to be honest I can't seem to put my finger on the reasons why. However, 2017 I really want to rekindle my love of affordable products, and this new release by Makeup Academy Cosmetics (MUA) have got me excited again!

The warm palette trends have definitely been doing the rounds this year and to be honest they all start to look quite the same after a while. BUT I'm a sucker for warm tones, so despite this knowledge I'm forever falling for the latest warm palette release.

MUA have recently released their new eyeshadow palettes and highlighters and I, obviously couldn't resist. Let's start with the most exciting release for me - the eyeshadow palette Burning Embers. This palette is described as 'a shade catalogue that includes natural, pretty, earthy tones that are universally flattering'. The palette itself contains 25 eyeshadow pans, with a total weight of 17g, that is 0.68g per pan (a Makeup Geek eyeshadow pan is 1.8g, however a single MUG pan is also about £6 which is nearly the price of this MUA palette!).

The palette contains a mixture of 13 matte shadows and 12 pearl shadows (that's how they refer to them - I consider them to be more of a mixture of metallics and shimmers). This palette is definitely one to be considered as a warm toned palette, as it contains browns, berries, golds, pinks and creams. I think the colours will definitely work well for those that like a bit more of a pop of colour but also for those that like to do more of a neutral / everyday look. I have to say that I love the packaging of the palette. With the usual clear front casing we're used to seeing with MUA, the presentation is very appealing. The square shape of the packaging also makes it stand out as it's a sleek design and easy to store away.

Now let's talk about the quality of the shadows. The matte shadows are my least favourite of the finishes in the palette - simply because I find it takes a while for me to build them to see them on my skin tone. They are soft and powdery and I sense they would be extremely pigmented on someone with a much lighter skin tone than me. I don't dislike them, but they just don't do much for me. I didn't find them difficult to blend - I just needed to layer them quite a bit for them to show. Below you'll see my swatches of some of the mattes (l-r: Sizzle, Blush and Char) with a finger swatch on the left and then a brush swatch on the right. For each I had to build the brush swatch up 4 times for it to show the level of pigmentation that you can see.


As for the pearl shadows (aka metallics and shimmers) I was pleasantly surprised by their quality. On the whole they are very pigmented colours with the deep berry shade Blaze standing out to me for its quality (very smooth and extremely pigmented in both swatches and application). They apply very well onto the lids and can definitely be intensified when applied wet. However, all of my swatches were dry and these did not disappoint. The most interesting shade was the shade Glint (second row in the palette, second shadow in from the left), as although it appears white in the pan, it actually translates as a purple shade! Another duochrome type shade I found was the shade Wild Fire, which appears like a peachy/bronze shade when swatched. If you get this palette - the metallics are definitely worth the full price of this!

 




If you're one that likes to see how palettes compare against each other then hopefully the picture below helps you out. I've placed the Burnt Embers palette next to the Anastasia Beverley Hills Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette  (I've got a review video of it here) and the Huda Beauty Textured Eyeshadow Palette (I've also filmed a review of this palette here) - a suggestion made by the lovely Annie from Musings of a Makeup Junkie. As you can see below there are some similarities in terms of colours. I'll be exploring this more in my video haul, but for now I'll say that the ABH palette resonates more with the MUA palette than the Huda one. However, some of the metallic shades are quite similar to the Huda palette!




As well as this palette MUA extended their highlighter powders in terms of their shade ranges. They have now included a very deep bronze shade called Golden Afterglow, a yellow gold called Golden Scintillation and a pink shimmer called Rosewood Glimmer. If you're familiar with the MUA highlighters, you know that these powders are quite pigmented and can give an intense glow if built.

I do find them a little dry to the touch and I'll be honest they aren't my most favourite of the more affordable highlighters that I have in my collection. My favourite colours are Golden Afterglow as it appears as a more natural shade on my deep skin tone, and Rosewood Glimmer is a beautiful pink tone highlighter that works great when wearing blusher. The shade Golden Scintillation is too frosty looking on my skin tone as it's much lighter than my skin tone and a cooler golden tone. These highlighters have been compared to the Laura Mercier Illuminating Powders, however personally I think the closest similarity they share is their wave pattern!

I hope you found this useful! You can find the Burning Embers palette here for £8 and the highlighters here for £3 each!

UPDATE: Be sure to check out Annie's review from MusingsofaMakeupJunkie as she shows swatches from on a lighter skin tone! 

Have a lovely weekend!
Vicky xx

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Sunday, 4 December 2016

GIFT OF THE GLOW | URBAN DECAY NAKED ILLUMINATED TRIO




So I've been away for a couple of weeks now and I have to say it's great being back into the swing of things! I've got a few goodies to talk about in the coming weeks, so definitely stay tuned!

Today's post is talking all about that glow (of course!). Urban Decay kindly sent me their limited edition NAKED Illuminated Trio - which are beautiful baked highlighter / strobing powders in the form of a palette. Each palette contains three baked highlighters and a double ended brush for easier application and the packaging also contains a decent sized mirror making it perfect for travelling.


Now if you know Urban Decay, you know they are quite risque with their products and this is no exception. This palette is designed to be used on the face and body which is perfect for the Christmas season approaching us. The palette contains three new baked illuminators - Pyrite (a gold champagne colour), Oasis (a marbled frosted taupe) and Twilight (an iridescent pink). Each shade contains light-reflecting particles that give the skin a luminous look.


I'll be honest, initially I didn't think these colours would work for me as I (mistakenly) perceived them to be quite sparkly. Now, when I swatch them alone they do appear quite shimmery - especially the shade Oasis - however, when applied to the face Pyrite and Twilight are a beautiful highlight with very fine (they refer to them as microfine) shimmer particles evident. As this is a face and body highlighter, it makes sense that some of the shades appear more sparkly than others.


I love the versatility of these highlighters. Urban Decay advise you to use these on your cheekbones, collarbone, legs, décolletage - anywhere! Although you can use these dry, they also suggest intensifying them with the All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray before applying or even using oil or lotion on your body.

My favourite of the three is the pink iridescent shade which gives me a pinky gold shift when on the face. It's very intense and has very little actual shimmer fall out which I think is perfect.


So if you're looking for that perfect Christmas gift or let's be honest you just want to shop for yourself - then I'd definitely recommend these.

They retail for £29 and you can find them here on the Urban Decay website.

Speak soon! 

Vicky x

*All products mentioned are gifted for the purpose of review




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