Clarins Colours of Brazil Summer Collection

Clarins have come out with another beauty of a collection for this summer – Colours of Brazil, which consists of a gorgeous bronzer, eyeshadow quartet with eyeliner, 6 lip balm crayons, and a black waterproof mascara. All of the pieces are limited edition other than the mascara which is part of the permanent line.

As the name of the collection would suggest, they have drawn inspiration from the colours of Brazil – the sandy beaches, the sea and reflections of the sky, which in terms of make up equals beautiful bronzey summer gorgeousness.

The eyeshadow quartet comes in a velvet pouch and has a gorgeous reflective casing with a Brazilian inspired pattern on which comes into full effect when you are holding it in certain lights.
The same pattern has been embossed onto the eyeshadows. It almost seemed a shame to start using them, they look so good! 
The eyeshadows are a nice range of neutrals; a satin finish golden taupe, matte mushroom, matte chocolate brown, and a pop of colour with a satin finish coral. There is also a cobalt blue eyeliner, and two applicators; one double ended with a fab eyeliner brush on one end, and the other a standard sponge applicator. 

They have also included ideas for two ways to wear the colours. They have numbered the eyeshadows so that is the order in which I have swatched them below. 
The shadows are designed to be used either wet or dry, and are really creamy and easy to apply. 
I also have three of the Lip Balm Crayons, which I am just loving! They feel so so hydrating on the lips thanks to the Shea Butter in them, comfortable to wear and the perfect amount of colour in one quick slick of the crayon. They have the feeling of lip balm, but the colour intensity of a sheer lipstick.

I tried the eyeshadow using one of the inspirations from Clarins, and have tried to photograph it from different angles, with each of the different Lip Balm Crayons, starting with 02 Creamy Pink.

04 Sweet Cherry

06 Soft Coffee

I think the colours of the eyeshadow palette work really nicely together, the coral shade blends seamlessly into the bronzey tones, giving a nice punch of colour to an otherwise neutral look, but without being too much that it’s whacky. Same with the blue eyeliner – it is very wearable.

I am definitely going to check out the other Lip Balm Crayons as I love the formula so much! There’s one in the range called My Pink which works with your own pH to create your own unique shade – can’t wait to give that a go!

What do you think of this collection? Big thumbs up from me!

e.l.f. Eyeshadows

It’s been a while since I used any makeup from e.l.f… for no particular reason… so when I was sent a few of their products to try out, I was intrigued as to how they would perform. They are a relatively inexpensive brand, which can sometimes mean poor quality – but I was pleased to see that wasn’t the case here.

I tried the Baked Eyeshadow in D30 (£3.75), Studio Matte Eyeshadow in D20 (£3.75) and Waterproof Eyeliner Pen (£2.50).

My favourite of the trio was the baked eyeshadow – I will definitely be getting some more of these; it’s really pigmented and makes a gorgeous, almost wet look on the eye without looking frosty. I smudged in some black liner on the lash line and added mascara and then Bob’s your uncle – it’s really easy to create a simple yet effective look with. There’s a very bronzey collection of colours on the site all which look gorgeous.

The Matte eyeshadow in D20 is very cool toned, and I’m really not used to wearing such cool tones, so I added some bronzer to my socket to warm it up slightly. That said, it’s a nice eyeshadow with a great creamy texture and gave an even coverage. It comes as a loose product which can be a little fiddly, but if it’s a good value proper-matte shadow you’re after this will tick the boxes.

For £2.50, the eyeliner is fantastic value, but I personally like my pen-liners to be more tapered to get really thin lines. It lasted all day on my eyes, but the swatch came off my hand after just one wash.

This little bundle has definitely got my e.l.f. sensors twitching, I’m off for more of an explore!

NYX Gel Liner & Smudger – Danielle 05 Teal

I am really enjoying playing along with SuperGorgeousOctober… I know I set the themes myself, but it’s making me try things I wouldn’t normally. Like wearing a really bold green on my eyes. I’m normally a neutrals or smokey kinda gal – but today, the theme was green, so I dug out my NYX Gel Liner & Smudger in 05 Teal (Danielle) to have a bit of a play.

It’s a really blendable gel eyeliner that you can use as a standard liner, or, as I wore it, smudged out to create an all over colour. It has a slight iridescence to it which really shines through once it’s blended out giving a really pretty effect.

I applied it all over my lid, then blended the edges out. I added a line under my eyes and smudged that too. I found it transferred a little under my eyes so next time I would set it with a powder to help keep it in place, but perhaps that’s just my eyes.

I added some MAC Vanilla pigment into the inner corners of my eyes – I think it goes so nicely with these greeny blue kind of colours… then added black liner to my waterline and finished off with black mascara.

The green really makes brown eyes pop – I think I shall be wearing this more often. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Would you dare to wear?!

The NYX Gel Liner & Smudger costs £8 and is available from the NYX website and selected Next stores

Bella Pierre Mineral Eyeshadow – Earth & Calm

Bella Pierre Mineral Eyeshadows come in a variety of shades, and can be used for a multitude of things. As well as being general eyeshadows, you can use them wet for more intense looks, or for eyeliner, or you could mix them with nail polish, or use them for the body, or highlight (colour dependent!) 
I tried Earth, a shimmery pale golden copper, and Earth, a browny purple.

Both colours are really highly pigmented and can be built up well for added intensity. They are fairly shimmery, but frosty rather than sparkly.

The colours work really well together as a highlight and a smoked out edge – for this look I applied Earth all over the lid with a flat eyeshadow brush – packing it on to avoid fallout, then with a different flat brush, applied Calm to the outer corners of my eye. I blended the two together, and the edges, using a blending brush. I then added a thin line of kohl liner to the upper and lower lash lines and went over the bottom lash line with Earth on a small brush, then finished with mascara.

They are really easy to work with and I will definitely be checking out more of their range.

You can find Bella Pierre eyeshadows at Beauty Expert for £12.99 each.

NARS At First Sight Palette

At First Sight is a new, limited edition palette from NARS, housing two of their best selling complexion products – Deep Throat Blush, and Laguna Bronzer, and a quad of bestselling eyeshadows – All About Eve, Bellissima, Nouveau Monde and Cordura, all contained in a sleek, mirrored palette.

Deep Throat and Laguna are favourites of mine, and them being paired up for this palette ticks major boxes for me. Deepthroat is a coral with golden shimmer, and Laguna a not-too-bronzey bronzer with subtle golden shimmer in it.

The eyeshadows are all wearable shades – three neutrals – All About Eve; a flesh toned shade with a hint of shimmer, Bellissima; a perfect matt mushroomey taupe, and Cordura; a deep brown with flecks of golden glitter. Then, in case you fancy to take it up a notch and break through the neutral barrier, Nouveau Monde is in there too – a satin lilac colour, which is really pretty, and nice to use as an inner corner highlighter.

I’ve really enjoyed playing with this palette and creating different looks, it really is very versatile – you can get lots of different effects from the one palette and as there is a blusher and bronzer inside too, I have found my make up bag over the past two weeks has really slimmed down! This is ideal for travelling with for that very reason.

Here is one of the looks I created with the palette:

I started by adding All About Eve to the inner 1/3 of my eyelid with a flat eyeshadow brush, then using a fluffy brush, added Bellissima onto the rest of my lid and into my socket. I then took a pencil brush and added Cordura into the crease of my eyelid, blending it across and downwards to meet my eyelashes. I used the end of my flat brush to add Cordura under my eye too.

I used a black eyeliner pencil to line my waterline, and used it very close to my eyelashes on my upper lids. I finished by adding some Nouveau Monde into the inner corners of my eye with a small brush, and then added mascara to my lashes.

For this look I applied Bellissima to the crease of my eye using a fluffy brush, then added All About Eve to my eyelid and blended the two together. I lined the my waterline with a black pencil, and used black gel liner on my upper lid, then finished with mascara.

You’ll have to excuse my eyebrows in this photo – I was testing out a new brow product and didn’t realise quite how dark they were until I saw this photo!!

For this look I used Nouveau World all over my lid, and under my lower lash line. I added Bellissima into the crease using a fluffy brush, and added eyeliner to my upper lid and waterline, then finished with mascara.

For reference, I am wearing Deep Throat as a blusher in each of these looks, with a little Laguna bronzer.

There are three totally different looks I have created, but the possibilities go on and on. I am definitely going to keep experimenting! The quality of NARS products has never let me down, and I continue to be impressed with At First Sight.

NARS At First Sight costs £45 and is available from HQ Hair

Clarins Splendours Palette

Clarins Splendours Palette is part of their limited edition collection for this summer – a collection inspired by South America in terms of colours and print.

The Splendours Palette looks fairly plain in standard maroon and gold colours – but once it catches the light, an amazing design appears within the lid, it is just gorgeous!

Inside are four neutral, complimentary eyeshadow colours all embossed with the Splendours print – gold, champagne, maroon/bronze and pinky gold. There is also a waxy, deep plum eyeliner which I adore! It goes so nicely with all of the colours and is perfect to wear smudgy or as strong liner. 

The eyeshadows are really highly pigmented and creamy – they glide onto the eye with ease and leave so much colour on the lid with just one swipe. The colours last all day too – my eyes tend to look the same by evening as they did in the morning!
Here are a couple of looks I did using the palette. 

I am loving using it – it is delicate, fresh, feminine and somehow, feels ‘sunny’ to me! The shimmer in the shadows isn’t too overpowering – it leaves a nice satin finish to the eyes, and that liner is absolutely amazing!
Clarins Splendour Palette is out now priced at £31 from www.clarins.co.uk

Lancome Hypnose Eyeshadow Palettes

Yesterday morning I was invited to watch the amazing make up artist Alex Babsky doing a demonstration of the new Lancome Hypnose Eyeshadow Palettes. There are 12 palettes to the range, from natural, neutral looks to dramatic smokey eyes and daring colourful colours.

Each palette contains five pearl-finish shadows which compliment each other – one main colour, one highlighting colour, two shades which work well as a gradient blended with the main colour, and a very dark colour intended to be used as an eyeliner – although could also be used to smoke-out the look even further.

Alex worked with Bain de Minuit – a gorgeous, intense blue toned palette. Here is the look he created on his model.

I recorded the demo, so if you’d like to see the steps involved – have a watch by clicking below.

Also at the event was Maja, the Lancome make up artist that did me up for my day at the EE BAFTA Style Suites earlier this year. She was wearing one of the more daring palettes – Menthe á l’O.

I was given the Vert Mystére palette to take home to try myself.

The Hypnose palettes come in a sleek mirrored compact with two applicators inside. Normally I chuck applicators straight away – but these ones are extra special – the handles and their housing are magnetic! No more dropping them on the floor of the tube when you’re touching up – hurrah! One of the applicators is a fluffy(ish) brush designed for sweeping colour into and above your crease, or to blend shades. The other is a double ended sponge applicator – one to pack on the colour – the other end is super-thin, to be used for lining the eye with shadow.

When you buy the palette, you also get a sticker which you can stick on your mirror as a guide of where to place what colours. The numbering system is like this…

They advise that shade 1 is the signature shade of the palette – designed to be worn over the whole of the lid. Shade 2 is the highlighter to be used under the brow bone. Shade 3 is the eyeliner. Shade 4 is to be used on the hollow of the lid and the outer corners of the eye to contour. Shade 4 is for the inner corner of the eye. 

Alex’s demo showed a different way of using the colours – he used Shade 1 under the eye and to map out the crease of the eye. Shade 4 with a wet brush over the lid, then with a dry brush to blend out the edges. A pat of Shade 1 in the centre of the lid, and Shade 2 in the inner corner of the eye.

I used Alex’s method when trying the palette out for myself. I added Shade 3 (dry) as liner and finished with Lancome Hypnose Star mascara.

The Lancome Hypnose Eyeshadow Palettes cost £37 available from Lancome counters nationwide or Lancome.co.uk – to see the full range of shades, watch my video above.

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

Wild About Beauty Safari Nights Collection

The first time I heard about Wild About Beauty I was working on a show for Nicholas Oakwell’s Couture collection – the head make up artist, Michelle Campbell had some of the products in her kit and was raving about how great they are.

Wild About Beauty is a range created by Louise Redknapp and make up artist Kim Jacob. After the birth of her son, Louise developed pigmentation on her skin – Kim made her skin look so good without the need of heavy make up, that they put their heads together and Wild About Beauty was born in September 2012. This isn’t your average line of make up that a celebrity has decided to endorse – this is high quality, gorgeous make up created by both of these ladies.

They have recently released a limited edition collection for spring / summer, focusing on sunkissed, natural hues – Safari Nights. The collection is made up of a multi-purpose palette ‘Safari Nights’ (£29), three nail polishes (£9) ‘Flora’ (coral), ‘Martin’ (bronze) and ‘Tanwen’ (green), and a coloured Nutrilips Balm ‘Camelia’ (£14).

The Safari Nights palette is a sleek, compact mirrored palette housing two powder shadows (Aine & Polly), two creme shadows (Edna & Buster), one multi-purpose tint (Sandra), a Nutrilips gloss (Sasha), an Ultra Dewy Glow Stick (Benny) and an Ultra Sheer Powder Blush (Kitty).

The products are all very nicely pigmented and a gorgeous range of metallic and earthy tones, perfect for a smokey or sunkissed look. I love that all the shades have human names too! As a make up artist, this is an expertly designed product for putting in my kit as it’s so versatile and has such a wide range of products inside. I found that the blush pan size was a little small for my usual blush brush, so I swirled the tip round a little more gently to pick up the product.

For the look above, once I had applied my base, I used Kitty blush with a dab of Benny glow stick above it to highlight.  I used Sandra all over my lid up to my socket then blended the edges. I used Polly in the crease and outer corner of my lid, and a little Aine in the middle and under my lower lash line. I added black liner to my inner eyes, applied some mascara, and finished with the Sasha gloss.

I am really pleased at how much of my face I have managed to get done with only one palette and 3 extra items – for travelling this will be a massive space-saver! The products applied and blended really well – the creme eyeshadows act as the perfect base for the powders which cling to it beautifully without creasing.

I also tried out Flora from the nail polish range – I was really impressed with the formula – it’s nice and thick without being gloopy and applies evenly. The brush is medium thickness and easy to use. The colour is coral with a slightly whitish undertone – it’s really pretty and will look even better with a tan! I think it’s one of those shades that would look great on any skin tone.

For my first delve into Wild About Beauty, I am thoroughly impressed and look forward to exploring more of the range.

Wild About Beauty is available at wildaboutbeauty.com and selected House of Fraser and Debenhams stores.

Lord & Berry

I was recently sent some Lord & Berry products to try out. It’s a brand I’ve never tried before, but I’ve always admired from a distance – their packaging looks nice and their products seem high in quality and reasonably priced, so I was excited to give them a go.

I was sent a Stardust loose eyeshadow – ‘Gold Black’, Seta pressed eyeshadow – ‘Premier’, and INKglam waterproof eyeliner in black.

The Stardust Loose Eyeshadow in Gold Black is my definite favourite of the three products. Firstly – as a loose pigment it is so versatile that I really feel you get a lot for your money. It’s only a small pot (1g for £9.50) but a little goes a really long way. The colour pay off is fab and the effect it leaves is gorgeous – it’s black in some lights with a hint of gold, and in other lights its gold with blended black at the edges. The particles of golden shimmer really make it special – this is divine.

The Seta Premier Eyeshadow is from the Black Wardrobe range, and costs the same as the rest of the eyeshadow ranges (£10). I was sent a palette refill, however it normally comes in a proper individual pot with sleek black packaging and a screw top lid. The colour ‘Premier’ looks lovely even in the pan – a frosted grey black – and one sweep of it over the back of my hand shows you just how pigmented it is. The only issue I have with this is that it’s very soft – some of the edge of my pan had crumbled off after doing one eye make up with it. Besides that, it’s a great product.

The INKglam eyeliner (£9.50) I have mixed feelings about. It’s meant to be shiny, long wearing and waterproof – this it definitely is. It looks glossy and lasts really well – it takes some getting off! The thing I don’t like is the applicator. I like a soft applicator to line my eyes, this is very stiff with barely any movement in it at all. The pointed end makes it great for fine detail work like the inner corners of the eyes – but when you are drawing a line, if you put any pressure on it, the pointed end rubs off a line of the product. The formula of the liner itself is great – the applicator just doesn’t work for me. I will definitely continue to use it by transferring the product from the applicator to an eyeliner brush.

I have added a couple of swatch photos so you can see the products at different angles.

I did a smokey eye using the pressed eyeshadow over my lid and, as it’s slightly darker, the loose shadow in the outer corners and under my eye. I used a kohl liner on the inner rims of my eyes, but didn’t use the INKglam for this look.

Have you tried any Lord & Berry products before? I am really impressed with the intensity of the colours and will definitely be checking out more of their range.

Lord & Berry is available from Beauty Expert.