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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Review: Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer

Recently, for the first time in my life I have been suffering with terrible dry skin. My skin has always been quite oily, particularly on my T-zone so I was pretty surprised and upset this winter when I noticed dry, flaky patches on my forehead, nose and chin. While I have been trying a combination of different techniques and products to solve my new skin issues, I decided to try the Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer when I saw a set of three Smashbox primers on sale in my local store. 

This primer is different to the type of primers I am used to using before I put on my make up, in that it doesn't give that soft, blurring effect. It does however leave a nice dewy look on my skin instead.

The real question for me is whether it combats my dry patches which are heightened by my foundation. 

I've tried this product out for a few days now and I would say, while it doesn't completely cover up my dry skin on a bad day, it definitely helps and can cover it completely when my skin isn't doing so bad.

I don't think I would splash out the full cost for a regular tube of this primer but I also don't regret purchasing it at a lower cost and can see myself easily using it up this winter. 


Keep an eye out for upcoming reviews of the other two Smashbox primers featured in the set.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Tutorial: My Sleepy Concealer Routine (for those pesky dark circles)

One of the problems with being a sleepy beauty enthusiast like me, is those pesky dark circles that never seem to go away! 
So today I decided to share with you my current everyday routine for concealing the dark circles under my eyes. 

Here we go!


In this photo I have already applied a day cream, face primer and a light foundation

Step 1.
I begin my concealing routine with this cream eyeshadow from No 7 in Pretty Pink! I find the light pink colour and the shimmer give a great brightening lift to my under eye area. I apply it in a triangular shape underneath each eye (about 3 strokes of the applicator per eye) and also on top of the eyelid as an easy eye primer. (If I'm not feeling like wearing a lot of eye make up I can go out just with this on my lids and it looks great. If I want a really refined eye make up look, I usually add another primer on top of this one)

Then I just blend it with my finger!

In this photo I hope you can see the shadow has brightened up my eyes and the shimmer in it reflects the light in this area.

Step 2. I still need a bit more coverage on my dark circles and also I don't want it to look too glittery! So next I apply a thicker concealer over the top.

It's usually this Dermablend Corrective Stick in Opal but sometimes I use my MAC concealer in NW15 instead.

Blend it out with a beauty blender! 
(Please excuse the condition of mine!)

Step 3. Set it with powder

I'm using this loose one by Lancome (poudre majeure exellence) in 01 Translucide

Et Voila! All done with the concealin'

My finished make up look today
(I just went to the shops)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and maybe found it useful if you need a little extra help in the under eye area like me!


On a side note, today I got dragged in to a skincare shop by a sales assistant and was told that I had wrinkles and that my face was sagging past my chin and so I needed her £115 face scrub. I found it pretty amusing but at twenty-two, I didn't take that kindly to her suggesting my face has had it already, especially as I try to take pretty good care of my skin. Any similar funny experiences out there?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Kiko Cosmetics: Eyeshadow Review

102 Dark Pearly Gold

128 Macropearly Whipped Cream

132 Pearly Bronze

137 Pearly Copper

Let me start by saying, these eyeshadows are a steal at only £2.90. I find Kiko Cosmetics a bit hit and miss. All of their products are a bargain but some are of a much higher quality than others. 

 I was really looking for a nice red/burgundy shade when I purchased these colours and so was most excited about Pearly Copper. 

The claim on the Kiko website is that these shadows are highly pigmented and should last up to 12 hours. Highly pigmented is definitely not a phrase I would use for these. 
The photo below shows swatches of the four shades, with no primer underneath. Each one is two or three layers of shadow. 

From left to right: 132, 128, 137, 102

128 Macropearly Whipped Cream is the most pigmented on it's own, although I find this shows up less on the eyes than it does in a swatch on my hand or arm. It tends to get a bit lost, especially in the inner corner of the eye which is where I like to wear it although I do find it works pretty well as a highlighter under the brows, even if it's a bit over the top. It's the most chalky of the bunch and has a fair amount of shimmer.

From left to right: Over Pixie Epoxy, No 7 Smoothing Eyeshadow in Pretty Pink, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original

The white is hard to see on my deathly-pale skin so you'll have to take my word for it. This chalky shadow doesn't do very well over Pixie Epoxy. Over Urban Decay it looks pretty matte and it's at it's most chalky. I think this one works the best over the No 7 shadow (in the middle), probably because it is already quite white and shimmery underneath and so enchances these two effects. Ultimately though this shadow doesn't show up that well on any of them.

102 Dark Pearly Gold is my favourite, and the only one I really tend to use. It has the second-richest pigment and is a nice yellow-toned gold. It makes me think of Aztec gold. The pigmentation is still not great on it's own. 

From left to right: Over Pixie Epoxy, No 7 Smoothing Eyeshadow in Pretty Pink, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original

Primer brightens this shadow up wonderfully although I do find you have to pack on the colour. The Urban Decay gives the deepest, richest colour until it almost becomes a copper instead of a gold. Pixie Epoxy gives the second strongest colour but really brings out the shimmer which I love, and stays truest to the colour of the shadow on it's own. The No 7 eyeshadow (which I like to use as an eyeshadow base among other things) is the least vibrant and turns the shadow into a highly reflective rose gold. I like to use this shadow as a cheaper alternative to some of my favourite gold shadows and, over a primer, it lasts pretty well. 

137 Pearly Copper isn't really a copper at all. It's a slightly shimmery red/burgundy and the pigmentation is pretty poor. I very rarely use this shadow even though it was the main reason I purchased all of these.

From left to right: Over Pixie Epoxy, No 7 Smoothing Eyeshadow in Pretty Pink, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original

As you may be able to tell, this shadow didn't really work at all with Pixie Epoxy. This shadow is more metallic than shimmery like the others and this primer doesn't really bring out the colour much at all. On top of the No 7 the colour goes even paler but it is at it's most shimmery on top of this primer. It also goes quite a nice brown-y-pink colour. The shadow works the best on top of the Urban Decay primer which brings out the metallic quality and really ups the pigmentation too. I've since found some much better quality burgundy shadows (although not for a price like this!)

132 Pearly Bronze I wouldn't call a bronze. This is more a shimmery medium-dark brown. I'd like to use this in the crease and outer v of the eye but it just doesn't work that well. The colour is quite murky and not a rich brown like it appears in the pan.

From left to right: Over Pixie Epoxy, No 7 Smoothing Eyeshadow in Pretty Pink, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original

Over Pixie Epoxy the colour is at it's richest but it looks quite a mess (perhaps it wouldn't look as bad patted carefully on to the eyelid on top of this primer). The shadow acquires a grey tone over the No 7 shadow and has a nice shimmer to it. Over Urban Decay the colour is dark and richer but ultimately I find it quite boring (Hey, maybe that's just me).

So there's an extremely in-depth look into four of these budget shadows from Kiko. I hope this was helpful to some, and if you know of any other shades in the Kiko collection that you think stand out like I think 102 does, I'd love to hear about them!