Urban Decay Ammo Palette

I am one of these girls that seems to stick to the more neutral shades of shadows – give me a 100-pan palette of nudes, taupes and golds and I’m set for life. The Ammo Palette from Urban Decay looked a little scary to me at first sight – my eyes instantly darting to the end, golden toned shades. The thing is, I have brown eyes and I know that greens and purples are good colours for me to wear – it’s just hard to step out of that zone I have got so comfortable in for every-day make up.
When I swatched the shades from the Ammo Palette I had a nice surprise – for these are such beautiful versions of green, pinks and turquoise that it made me want to give them a go. The ten shades are all best selling Urban Decay shadows, and it’s easy to see why.
The palette is a thin, compact (easy to transport and put in your make up bag) mirrored palette, which comes with a travel sized 11ml sized Primer Potion – which is a great, colourless eyeshadow primer which helps to show the intensity of the colours, and helps them to last longer without creasing. There is also a small synthetic Good Karma eyeshadow brush inside the palette, which is a nice tapered shape making it easy to use (although not that great for blending),

 I had to do two lot of swatch photos – my kids are off school and wanted to get involved, natch!

There are some truly amazing colours in this palette. My favourite has to be Maui Wowie – it looks so metallic, like no other powder shadow I’ve seen before. Mildew is an amazing mossy green colour with hints of gold – just beautiful, and Last Call is a gorgeous cranberry shade – those are the stand out shades for me, although I think I can get good wear from all of the colours.

I like that there are neutral shades thrown in there with the colours – it means you can shake up a neutral look, or go for full-on colour. The colours have been laid out in a way that the shade opposite it compliments it perfectly – all of these pairs could be used with the lighter colour on the inner part of the lid, the darker on the outer part, and a little Oil Slick in the crease or outer V for definition. You could add some Polyester Bride to the tear duct and under the brown bone too – there are so many options!

The palette has been around for a while, but it has recently been re-released with a new formula for the shadow – they feel really creamy and velvety and really do pack some punch colour-wise. You do have to be careful when you apply – there is micro glitter in a few of the shades, which can fall down when you apply, so apply in thin layers rather than loads of product in one go – they’re so pigmented anyway that you really don’t need much.

Here are a couple of looks I created using the colours from this palette

For this look I used Maui Wowie all over the lid, then added chopper to the middle of my eye close to my lash line and blended it out to the outer corner of my eye. I then did the same with Last Call a little further over, and added black eyeliner which I blended out with a brush. I added Last Call under my lower lash line too.

For this look I applied Sin to the inner third of my eye, then Smog in the crease of my eye and blended out. I then added Mildew all over the rest of my lid and blended the colours together, then a small amount of Oil Slick in the outer corner. I used Mildew under the eye and finished with liquid liner and mascara.

There are really so many combinations that could be created with this palette – for £23 I think it is amazing value for money!

Urban Decay is available at House of Fraser, Debenhams and online at lookfantastic.com and beautybay.com

Laura Mercier Spring Summer Releases

As part of their new Spring Summer Collection, Laura Mercier have added 14 new shades to their Créme Smooth Lip Colour range, and eight shades to the Caviar Stick Eye Colours. I tested out the new lipstick in Strawberry Sorbet, and Caviar Stick in Grey Pearl.

The casing of the Créme Smooth Lip Colors is gorgeous – it feels really sleek and solid, and the lid closes with a satisfying clunk. The colour of the lipstick in the bullet is a rather tomatoey red, although it looks different once it’s applied – a warm-toned sheer red with a hint of pink. It feels very moisturising and leaves a semi-lustrous finish – almost like a very highly pigmented balm, just not quite so slippery. It contains Olive Oil and Vitamin E, so it really is doing good to your lips while you wear it. Camp Laura Mercier claim that these will last for 6-8 hours, which this one didn’t on me – it came off once lunch happened.
The Caviar Eye Sticks are one of my favourite Laura Mercier products – they are so easy to work with, easily blendable (even with your finger), and super long lasting. Grey Pearl, I thought from the bullet, would be a light taupe colour, but again, once it’s applied, it looks a different colour and is definitely grey (with maybe a hint of taupe). It has a subtle shimmer to it which adds a lovely dimension to the eye. It can be worn alone or acts as a great base for other eyeshadows, or to lay the foundations for a smokey eye. I swatched this on my hand this morning, and now, a whole day after with numerous hand-washes, it’s still there!

I’m really pleased with both of the items I tried. I normally shy-away from grey and silver toned shadows, instead opting for the golden alternative, but I think this is really pretty. The Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Grey Pearl can be used lightly for a sheer wash of colour, or heavily for more colour impact. After 7 hours on my oily lids it has started to crease slightly, but this is a far better result than any of the usual eye products I use.

The lipstick feels so comfortable to wear and is a great way to ease yourself into wearing bold colours because of the finish. The moisturising properties mean it’s a fab, and much more colourful alternative to lip balm. I’d never normally apply a red lipstick without a lip brush, but this glided onto the lips so smoothly – it was a dream to apply, and no lip brush was needed!

Do you like the look of these products? I really want to check out the Illuminating Eye Colours which are also part of the new Spring Summer Collection – they come in three golden earthy tones but are limited edition – I must get to a counter soon to give them a go. Luckily the new Créme Smooth Lip Colours and Caviar Stick Eye Colours are all now part of the permanent line.

Laura Mercier is available at Harrods, Selfridges and Space NK – let me know if you get anything from the new collection!

Sleek – i-Divine Bad Girl Palette

Sleek Make Up have recently launched two new palettes – the Good Girl, and the Bad Girl. The Good Girl palette is various different shades of pink, and was made because of inspiration from a fan. I can’t really pull off the pinky-eyed look without looking like a character from Pinky and The Brain character unless it’s got shed-loads of brown in there too, so I decided to leave it and instead plumped for the Bad Girl palette. The Bad Girl is much more suited to me – with 12 shades perfect for creating smokey eyed looks and really impactful make up.

I am yet to actually try them on my eyes, but from swatching them there are a few which immediately jump out to me. Twilight is stunning, a really highly pigmented black toned purple. Abyss looks to me like the eyeshadow equivalent of OPI’s Ski Teal We Drop. Intoxicated is a gorgeous forest green shade.  Underground seemed a little hard to work with, I needed a lot more of it to get any colour from it. Gunmetal is quite similar to Urban Decay’s Gunmetal – are they allowed to do that?! I really like that this time round they have decided to give the shadows names, some how it makes it feel like much more of a pricey product rather than it sitting among the likes of the 88 nameless shades in the cheap as chips 88 palette.

While I’m on the subject of cost – this palette will set you back a mere £5.99 – that works out at almost 50p per colour, can’t really go wrong can you!? Yes the shadows aren’t quite the same quality you’d expect from the likes of MAC but this is a fantastic way of playing with colour inexpensively. The shadow is a little chalky but it’s highly pigmented and teamed with a primer I bet they will look fantastic on the eyes. I was at a photoshoot for Marie Claire recently and the make up artist had a range of Sleek palettes in her kit – if they’re good enough for her, they’ll do me fine!

in case you can’t read the names –  top row, L-R: Innocence, Gullible, Blade, Gun Metal, Underground & Noir. Bottom row L-R: Intoxicated, Envy, Obnoxious, Abyss, Twilight & Rebel.

Neutral with a Twist

I joined Twitter on Friday (come and follow me @Super_Gorgeous), where one of my fellow bloggers, Modesty Brown was involved in a conversation with a few other bloggers saying that they would all post a picture at 9pm on Saturday night of a neutral eye with a twist. Kenneth Soh mentioned purple and bronze, and with that, I was inspired! I hadn’t even realised it until I was getting ready to go out for the evening and deciding what make up to wear, it popped into my head.

I know I’ve not had all that good things to say about The Original Sleek palette, but I actually rather like it now. It’s a great way to try out colours you want to play around with before buying a high-end brand.

I should mention I did have a bit of MAC Sable still left on my eyes that I’d been wearing during the day.

First I swept the lid with the purple from The Original Sleek palette, then patted a bit of the gold to the middle third of my eyelid. I then used a light shimmery pink (shade 09) by Paul & Joe in the inner corner of my eye using a thin brush.

I used the same brush to take a small amount of the purple under the outer part of my lower lash line. I used a blending brush and dusted some of the dark brown Sleek colour into the crease of my eye, then adding some of the black, lightly went over the outer V.

I then lightly swept all over the colour with the pinky gold Sleek colour.

I applied Smoulder kohl liner by MAC to the upper lid, then using a wet eyeliner brush, some of the purple Sleek colour over the top. I finished off by lighty lining under my lower lash, and then applying MAC Zoomlash mascara in Lofty Brown.

Thank you for the inspiration guys, this is something I probably wouldn’t have tried if it wasn’t for your Tweets!

Guerlain Ombre Perlees 409 Palette

Excuse the scrappy photos, I have used this before, if you hadn’t noticed!

This eyeshadow quad by Guerlain comes in a little velvet pouch within its box, adding to the feeling that you have bought a luxurious brand. The casing is silver with the logo to the front of the rounded square. Inside you are presented with four eyeshadows with a sunburst pattern imprinted into them. The two shadows on the left of the palette have a very pale shadow with a very slight shimmer in it built into them forming part of a floral design.

The palette has a mirrored lid and comes with two sponge applicator brushes. One standard eyeshadow type brush and the other is thinner for using as liner.

 The first two colours are really quite light and neutral. The first on the left is the one that is top left on the palette, then the one under it, then the top right and then bottom right. The brown that is swatched last has tiny specks of metallic shimmer in it, but nothing like what the Sleek palette was like. It’s still mainly a matte shade with a hint of iridescence.

Here I used the top left colour all over my whole lid up to underneath my eyebrow, and under the inner corners of my eye, then used the bottom left over the lid and the bottom right in the creases.

Other make up used:

  • Sheer Cover Mineral Foundation in Buff
  • MAC Select Cover-Up in NC20 on blemishes
  • Sephora Corrector Palette under eyes
  • Natural Collection SunTint Bronzing Powder in Golden Glow
  • MAC Stereo Rose MSF as blush
  • MAC Hang Loose Mineralize Blush on apples of cheeks
  • MAC Smoulder kohl under lower lashes
  • NARS Liquid eyeliner in Angel Heart on upper lid
  • Diorshow Maximiser lash serum
  • Lancome Hypnose Mascara (black)
  • MAC Underage Lipglass

 The eyeshadows have a velvety finish to them and glide on to the eye really well and comfortably – there’s no dragging, but I found due to these being quite light tones you do have to load the product onto the brush. Lasts well and wears well – big thumbs up from me.

    Sleek i-Divine Palette – The Original 594 – Swatches

    I have wondered about the Sleek palettes for a while and this week I decided to go for it. For £5.99 it would be rude not to! At the time of writing there are six different palettes in the range. I bought The Original 594, and also wanted Storm, but tried 3 different Superdrug stores and didn’t have any luck – it must be popular!

    The palette is sleek, matte black, with the Sleek logo shiny across the top. It opens up as a compact with 12 different colours inside, a double ended sponge applicator, and a mirror on the inner lid.

    It’s really hard to take swatch pics when they’re on your own arm but I did my best! Here is the top row of colours

    The colours don’t have names but I will do my best to describe them. From L-R first of all there is a matte black which I guess I’d liken to Carbon by MAC. I mean, how many different shades of matte black can you get?! Then a really metallic purple. In fact all of these colours (other than the black) are really really metallic looking. The next along is a navy with a silvery teal shimmer to it. Fourth along is a really bright vibrant turquoise with golden tones. Then we have a teal, then more of an olivey green again with golden tones – really really pretty.

    The second row colours are as follows

    From L-R there is a light gold colour which annoyingly goes on quite speckled, it doesn’t look smooth when its on, in my opinion. The second along is my favourite of the palette, a gorgeous light pink and gold shade, so super feminine and completely worth the £5.99 on its own. The next is a metallic dark peach, then a real proper burnt orangey copper, a little of a dirtier copper then an olive green which is lighter and more olivey than the top.

    All of the colours are highly pigmented but seem quite soft. As you can see in the second photo there is already a bit of fall out from the pans, and once I’d applied them once to do the swatches each pan looked really powdery, apart from the black. Maybe that’s something to do with the finish of them, which as I’ve said before, are really metallic.

    Here is a look that I did using The Original palette

    I used the 3rd of the bottom row (metallic peach) over the lid of my eye, then brushed the middle of my lid using the gold (first of the bottom row). I then used the dirty copper (fifth along on bottom row) in the crease of my eye then blended the harsh line at the edge out with the light pinky gold colour (second of the bottom row) as well as applying a thin line of that under the outer corners of my lower lashes.

    Other make up used:

    • Sheer Cover mineral foundation in Buff
    • Sephora Concealer Palette
    • Benefit Stay Dont Stray eyeshadow primer
    • Benefit Hoola Bronzer
    • MAC Stereo Rose MSF as blush
    • MAC Smoulder kohl under lower lashes
    • MAC Earthline Technakohl liner on upper lid
    • Diorshow Maximizer lash serum
    • MAC Zoomlash mascara in Lofty Brown
    • MAC Hue lipstick
    • in the pic below I added MAC Call My Buff lipstick over the top as I felt Hue was a bit light on its own with this look

    Hmmm, I’ve just noticed my eyebrows are completely non-symmetrical!

    On the whole they are a nice, cheap range of shadows – if you have a limited budget, then go for it – they do the job, but in my opinion they certainly don’t come any where close to the quality you’d pay for a mid-range brand such as MAC. The shadows are powdery both on the skin and palette and I know Im going to get my bedroom carpet in a mess using these! They are very highly pigmented though, and seem to last. I will probably still search out the Storm palette, for interests sake but not entirely sure how often I will use these (other than that goldy pink,  it’s to die for!)