NYX Tame and Frame VS Benefit Ka-Brow!

Even when I’ve run out of time/can’t be bothered to do my makeup for the day, my eyebrows are normally a must. I don’t have bad eyebrows, in fact I think I’m pretty lucky that I don’t really have to do much to them at all, but I just feel so much better with everything nicely filled in and looking a whole lot more together.

For the last couple of years, my go-to product has been Benefit’s Ka-Brow (shade 01, if anyone’s interested) and its never really let me down, but I’m trying to make an effort to switch out my remaining non-cruelty-free products for more animal friendly alternatives, and also trying to cut down what I spend on some makeup, and a friend of mine suggested I tried the NYX Tame and Frame pomade, so I’ve been comparing the two.

The reason I’ve always used Ka-Brow is because its really convenient. It has a brush built right into the packaging, meaning that I can throw it in my bag, or take it in my hand luggage when I travel, and never have to worry about whether or not I’ve remembered a brush. I’ve also always used it because its never failed me. The formula is more cream than gel, so its not at all sticky feeling and applies smoothly and its buildable – my one annoyance is that sometimes if I apply it too heavy at first, it doesn’t blend out particularly well, and often by the time I’m coming to the bottom of the product, it starts to dry out and get a little bitty.

I knew that my NYX shade would be Blonde as I have a NYX pencil in that shade, so I didn’t have to worry too much about knowing which one would match for me, although its possibly slightly lighter than its Benefit counterpart, not that it bothers me. As with many other NYX products, the packaging it pretty simple but its nice and does the job – I particularly like the fact that its a frosted glass effect rather than being clear. The formula is more gel-like than Ka-Brow, but is also soft and creamy and not at all sticky. It glides on like a dream and builds up nicely, blending better than Ka-Brow – because its a bit lighter in shade I do have to build it up a little more, but its not like its hard work!

Obviously there’s no brush built into this little jar, but the product holds all day with no problem at all, so its not like I need to be reapplying throughout the day, and its the same with Ka-Brow – all day brows, no fuss. The big difference between the two, however, is of course the price tag: for a Benefit product you’ll be paying Benefit prices of £18-20, compared to NYX’s £6 a pot. For that price, plus the bonus of being cruelty free, Tame and Frame is getting my vote on this one!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

My Beach Makeup and What Stayed Put

Its the classic dilemma for girls. Summer poses a whole new problem when it comes to makeup, because gone are the days of winter drying out everyone’s skin like there’s no tomorrow, and instead its the challenge of finding products that won’t melt off your face during the warmer summer days, but can also stand up to a bit of water, whether that’s from swimming in the sea on a beach day, or just the Great British summer showers (read: heavy rain that shows up right when we think its finally getting good).

This year, I was faced with this issue a little earlier as going to Hawaii in April meant I had a little less time to perfect my product choices, but it also meant that I could test run some products before the little summer that hits the UK – which seems to be happening right now – actually kicked in. Some of what I took with me were items that are regulars from my makeup stash, and others I took on recommendation from the Twittersphere, and they all went through a somewhat rigorous test in the 27C heat of Hawaii. But would they all make the cut for future wear?

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

I bought this on recommendation from a number of people – I actually bought the travel sized one, y’know in case it wasn’t any good and I didn’t get stuck with a big bottle that I’d spent a lot of money on, but actually the travel sized one is still pretty sizeable which made it seem like pretty good value for money! This product is an absolute trooper. I sprayed it over products that I know aren’t waterproof and knew would probably wash off within minutes and amazingly they held up so well, leaving me bronzed and highlighted even after a whole day on the beach.

NYX Proof It! Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer

I took this with me because I know how well it works. This is the eyeshadow primer that I use every day and I actually believe it to be a miracle product – it turns any eyeshadow waterproof and I’ve even tried running swatches under a tap before and saw absolutely no shadow movement with this badboy, plus at £6 a tube its a steal.

Makeup Forever Aqua XL Waterproof Eyeliner

Call me crazy, but blue eyeliner is my jam, and I’ve always been a Barry M girl but have never been able to find a suitable replacement for my now discontinued favourite shade of pencil, but I stumbled across this one in Sephora last year, and when it claimed to be waterproof as well it was like killing two birds with one stone. The pencil itself is surprisingly soft, so very little pressure is needed on application, and it also blends well which can be fab, but I worried seeing how soft it was that it wouldn’t survive in the water, but was thankfully proven very wrong – in fact, when I swatched it in Sephora before buying, it was several days before that blue line faded from the back of my hand even with daily showering and handwashing.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

So this was another recommendation, and having never tried the cult favourite in its non-waterproof form either, I thought now was a great chance to see what all the fuss was about. Again, I bought this in the travel size tube to save a bit of money until I decided whether or not I liked it. The mascara itself surprised me as I’ve religiously stuck to Eyeko Black Magic for a number of years now and had never found another mascara that gave my lashes the same natural but wow look that Black Magic does for me, but despite being a very different shaped brush, I really liked how this product made my lashes look, so I was buzzed to test it out in the water. Unfortunately, that’s were it fell flat on its face. I felt like just looking at water had it running, and although I wasn’t crying black or anything like that, on more than one occasion I left the poolside looking a bit panda-ish. I’d probably buy the mascara again in its normal formula, but I felt a little let down by this one..

Benefit Gimme Brow

Gimme Brow is not my every day eyebrow product, but I do use it from time to time, and as I feared a little that my usual dipbrow wouldn’t hold up, I took this out with me as well. Now my Gimme Brow was pre product recall, so I don’t know how it differs from the new formula that was re-released recently, and I don’t think either claim any sort of waterproof capabilities, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well this did. I still used my regular dipbrow, but then went over it with this, and I still had decent looking eyebrows at the end of each day, even after being in the sea and the pool, and what more could I ask for?

Other shoutouts go to my current favourite foundation, The Ordinary Serum Foundation, for being SPF 15 so keeping my face a little more protected, and Benefit’s Dandelion Shy Beam and Sun Beam liquid highlighters for giving me a subtle shimmer and glow which held up well thanks to the UD setting spray!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Things I Didn’t Buy In Sephora

This post is a little belated, given that my Florida trip was back in November, and I almost wasn’t going to write it, but that was until I saw the lovely Roxie’s anti-haul post based on a similar concept, so I decided to bite the bullet and publish it.

Every time I go to America I think about the Sephora trip, whether its because I’ve already planned a million things I want to buy, or I’m dreading the credit card bill that will inevitably come following the trip, and the last trip was no different. On this trip, I hadn’t really thought too much about products I wanted to buy, but that’s because its Sephora – there will always be things that I want.

That said, however, there were quite a few products that I rushed towards, but that didn’t end up in my basket in the end for various reasons, and here’s a few of those..

Too Faced Peaches and Cream collection

When Too Faced announced that they were releasing a full range of products following on from the Sweet Peach eye palette, glow kit (which I own) and a handful of blushes and lip glosses that they had before, my heart skipped a beat. I adore the glow palette, I’m a sucker for anything peach scented and Too Faced packaging is always the cutest, so that was the first stop when I entered the store. That said, however, I was a little disappointed. The packaging of some of the items felt a bit cheap, and I didn’t anything smelt as good as the original products, so for what they would have cost me, I just felt like my money could have been spent better elsewhere..

Anastasia Beverly Hills Sugar Glow Kit

This was the first ABH glow kit that I actually wanted, but as it had been out of stock when I was there in February, I opted for the Nicole Guerriero kit instead, which I was actually really happy about at the time because I love that palette. But this was in stock again, so I picked it up, looked at it, tilted my head and put it back. The fact was, the shades were just very similar to the ones in the kit I already had. Sure, none were exactly the same and I loved them all, but I just figured that I already had a pretty great set that still has plenty of use left in it, so I decided to stick with it.

Fenty Beauty

Firstly I was a little taken aback by how tucked away in the store the Fenty collection was, but nonetheless I did have a quick glance. The problem for me, however, was that the range had only been out for about 2 months, and I hadn’t seen that many reviews on the products to know where to even start. Its probably something that I’ll go back to, but it just wasn’t on the cards this time.

The minis

I normally love choosing from the huge range of minis in Sephora, but the fact is I was already quite stocked up from two previous trips that year! I ummed and ahhed over one or two things, but eventually left with no tiny products at all.

I guess that by being good on this trip, it means I can be a little naughtier next time though, right?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Supershock with Colourpop

When it comes to the Colourpop hype, I think the products I’ve seen raved about the most is their Supershock eyeshadows, cue me adding them to my recent order.. I also came across the Supershock highlighter collection while in Sephora, and I think I’m in beauty blogger’s paradise.

As with most of Colourpop’s range, the packaging is fairly simple, which I have absolutely no gripes with as it just highlights the beauty of the product itself. The shadows are pressed with a gorgeous scale-like pattern, which I really hoped would hold out a little bit through use but as you can see below, I had no such like.

Top to bottom: Going Rogue, Flipper, One by One, Itty Bitty

While you can buy the eyeshadows individually, I chose a set of four called Phase Me Out, which saved me $2. The shades are a mix of finishes, with Itty Bitty being a matte/satin finish, Flipper is metallic and Going Rogue and One by One are described as pearlized, which is just a tad less sparkly than metallic. All of the shades compliment each other perfectly, and I chose them because I thought they were all right up my street in terms of what I would wear every day.

The formula is really creamy and super blendable, and in terms of pigment, just look at the swatches! The creaminess also means that there’s practically no fall-out and the shadows stay in place really well, even on unprimed skin, however the one thing that I did find slightly annoying was that because the formula is so creamy, I had to apply a lot of pressure to the product to actually get a good amount on the brush. This was fine for blending, because I prefer to start light and build if needed, it just meant that when trying to cover a larger area I kept having to go back for more.

Left to right: Wisp, Spoon, Over the Moon

The Supershock highlighters are all sold individually on the Colourpop website, but I picked up this set of three in Sephora – although the set was the same price as buying three individually! The packaging matches the eyeshadows, and the formula is just as soft to touch!

Over the Moon looks white from a distance, but as you can see from the swatch, its packed with purple-ish sparkle, giving it a unique duo-chrome finish which is also frost-like, perfect for Christmas! Spoon – which I think is a stupid name for a highlighter if you ask me – has a golden finish, although also has flecks of silver in it, and Wisp is similar, but has more of a champagne/bronze tone.

Again, I found that with the product being very buttery, it takes a bit of pressure to get anything on the brush, but the product is so vibrant that you really don’t need that much anyway!

The eyeshadows are $5 (£3.70ish) each or $18 for a set of 4, and the highlighters are $8 (£6), and yes if you order from the UK you’ll probably get stung with customs but I still think they’re so reasonably priced that its worth taking that hit – it’ll probably work out cheaper than some brands!

I’m well and truly on the Colourpop wagon, and I’m not at all ashamed!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Colourpop Yes Please Palette

I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally have my hands on this palette. It was love at first sight.

Its yellow, it contains yellow, do I need to say any more? And yes, its probably one of the most hyped palettes of the last few months, and now I know why.

The majority of the shades are matte, although there are a few metallics in there too, and they all compliment each other so well – I swear you could put any two shades from this palette together and be onto a winner.

As per Colourpop standard, the formulas are soft and blend like a dream, and I cannot flaw the pigmentation of any of the shades. I love the fact that the browns aren’t too dark, but they are buildable if you do want to created a deeper shade, and that actually goes for all of the shades, although I think they all go on well with a single application.

What I love about this palette is that I would never normally buy a palette of these shades; I was drawn in by the packaging and one or two of the colours, but now I’ve actually had a chance to use it I love all of them. Its actually turned me into a warm-tone kinda gal and going into winter I am very excited for this.

Have you jumped on the Colourpop bandwagon yet?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

Colourpop x My Little Pony Palette

Have you ever seen a product and while not being able to come up with an exact reason as to why, just knew you needed it? Yep, that was me with this palette.

I don’t even remember being that into My Little Pony as a kid (this is the point where, when my mother reads this post, she’ll text me to tell me if this isn’t true), but my infatuation with Colourpop has only just begun and you may be pleased to know that there are more swatch and review posts coming over the next few weeks, and I have been having the most fun playing with these products!

Obviously I don’t have to tell you how cute the packaging is, that goes without saying really. I’ve heard a few people complain about a lack of mirrors in the eyeshadow palettes but personally that’s not an issue for me – I’ve cracked so many mirrors by accidentally leaning or stepping on palettes before that I’ve probably earned enough bad luck to last a lifetime, plus I’m not one to do my eye makeup with such a little mirror anyway!

The palette consists of primarily metallic shadows, with a few soft mattes thrown in for good measure. They’re best applied using a soft brush as I found when I tried a stiffer brush the shadows went a bit crumbly, but also didn’t apply as evenly.

I was pleasantly surprised at the lighter shades in the palette and how well they stood out, as I often find pale shades either don’t show up at all or just disappear as soon as a darker shade is blended, but the four lightest shades – Butterscotch, Bluebell, Flutterbye and Snazzle – all really impressed me.

In fact, all of the shades impressed me with their pigmentation and staying ability, with my one let down actually being one of the darkest shades in the palette, the deep teal shade, Princess Sparkle, which looks great in the palette but for me just didn’t fit in with the rest of the shades, and also came out a little too grey for me, rather than the metallic turquoise I had hoped for.

But hey, 1 bad shade in 12 ain’t bad, right? And for $16 I’m not complaining one bit! I’m a big fan of the pinky/peachy shades, and I think I’ll be using those along with the more berry-toned shades a lot over the coming months!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

The Benefit Boi-ing Erase Case

I think we can all agree that when it comes to packaging, Benefit never fail to impress, and every time they release new products, I just want to snap as many photos of it as I can because it’ll just be so damn Instagrammable. The problem with that, however, is that it can get very expensive buying full sized products, and when a whole new range is released, you do always run the risk of there being some products that just don’t do it for you.

Well that was me with the new Boi-ing concealer range. I’ve never seemed to have any luck with concealers in the past, so when I was in Sephora a few weeks back and saw this adorable case of minis for only a little bit more than one full sized product, this felt like the ideal way to try and test each one properly!

The Erase Case was $26 (about £19), and contains each of Benefit’s newest concealers: Industrial Strength, Brightening, Hydrating and Airbrush in baby form, as well as this cute pencil case – which I’ve found is perfect for carrying brushes in when you travel! So what did I think of the products?

Hydrating Concealer

So this is the only sheer coverage concealer in the case, but personally I’m not sure it did anything for me and my dark circles other than a bit of moisturising.. I also like to keep things fairly matte when it comes to my skin, so the sheer finish just doesn’t really suit my look, but if you prefer a dewy finish and don’t have that much to conceal, this may be the one for you!

Industrial Strength Concealer

This was definitely more my cup of tea. High coverage, matte finish and super soft formula meant this was easy to work with and actually did a decent job of covering my dark circles but not looking too cakey and blending into the rest of my makeup nicely.

Airbrush Concealer

I found Airbrush very similar to Industrial Strength in terms of formula and shade, and despite being sold as a medium coverage concealer, I thought it covered just as well as its full coverage counterpart. I think this one is my favourite out of the bunch, smoothing over uneven patches with ease and its light formula means it doesn’t sink into creases like so many other concealers I’ve tried can.

Brightening Concealer

This was an odd one for me. On first opening the pot, I was adamant that I was not going to like this one. For starters, it was a much darker shade than the other concealers in the case, but also the formula was a lot stickier and I feared it would be too heavy for me. However, when I did actually give the product a proper try, I was pleasantly surprised. This is also a full coverage, but also has colour-correcting properties to help hide dark circles and blemishes, but it has a slightly sheer finish to it.

I bought the kit in shade 01 light, but as I mentioned earlier there are some differences between each of the products, which I thought was slightly odd, but they did all still work for me so I can’t complain too much about that!

Given that each product retails for about £17.50 at full size, and this kit is little more than that for all four, albeit minis, I think this is great value for money, and at least now I know which ones I’d buy again!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram