Women empowerment and flawless makeup

Now, in my book, makeup and women empowerment go hand in hand. Makeup makes my outside look like I feel inside and ready to take on the world.

Think what you like of that. Haters will disagree and say that too pretty cannot be powerful. Thing again. It comes from within so suck it up.

And EcoTools is not only supporting female empowerment but also enabling it via their Women’s Empowerment Collections raising awareness (and money) for women’s education.

The #MyTrueBeauty campaign continues the brand’s commitment to Global Education by supporting Glamour’s The Girl Project with a $100,000 donation and the launch of 3 limited edition makeup brush collections raising awareness to the project’s work.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Glow for it collection, which comes with all the tools to unleash your glowing true beauty.

It comes with an angled powder (great for bronzer, blusher or highlighter), eye shadow applicator, pointed concealer (for spot on application), highlighting fan (glow, glow!), eye shading brushes and a pretty mini mirror reminding you to, well, just Glow for it, girl!

The EcoTool brushes are super soft, durable and extremely efficient tools. Their light-coloured bamboo handle is comfortable and the pink ferrules make this set super sweet.

Also, they are made of renewable and recyclable materials (such as tree-free paper and RPET clamshell packaging), to help reduce the amount of waste into the environment.

See? Prettier on the outside and the inside!

Eco Tools, the gorgeous eco-minded brand, is celebrating 10 years young and has re-vamped their extensive collection. They called it New Modern Eco Collection and the brushes have been redesigned, featuring tapered light-weight handles, ombre bristles and brighter ferrules.

The limited edition Women’s Empowerment Collection is composed of three sets: Glow for it, Prepped for change and Eye am courageous, each £19.99, available at ecotools.com and selected Boots and Superdrug.

And go on, support a woman like yourself (or like one in your life), by supporting The Girl Project. Only $5 will help provide school supplies to take a small – or big – girl through education.

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

One shape, many ways

Many a time I have raved about multi-use products. And every time I find one, well, I rave about it.

It is no secret I am a big fan of Real Techniques makeup brushes and the amazing women behind it, Sam & Nic Chapman, so it is always a pleasure to try their new creations.

The new MultiTech line is very different from all the lot. First, all the brushes have the same shape, called Point, in different sizes, from XXXS to XXXL, plus a sponge.

What really sets them apart from the brushes we know is that they are not specific for one area of the face/body or type of product. Because they all have the same shape, you use them as you find fit, and all brushes can be used with powder, liquids, creams and gels.

Now, the design is sleek: monochrome with the brand in bright pink. The bristles are ever so soft, the brushes are packed with them and the shape really works in a multitude of ways. Plus, they are comfortable to grip.

For the ones I have, L and XXXL, powder seems to be the preferred medium. But don’t be fooled. Point L is amazing with foundation, with good buffing action.

The versatility of the shape really works: the L Point, a bit more tapered, will do well for highlighting and also blusher if angled.

I will stick with powder for XXXXL Point: one sweep covers a huge area. Great for a healthy sweep of bronzer. I see this being my hero for subtle body shimmer application in the summer, especially legs! It will fare really well with shimmer cream, and for those who use it, body foundation and cover ups.

The Real Techniques MultiTech small Points come is a pretty set of four in a metal holder (£29.99 for XXXS, XXS, XS and S, all can be used on face, eyes or lips) and L (£15.99), XL (£17.99) and XXXL (£17.99), as well as the sponge (£9.99), can be brought separately.

You can get all the information on the brushes from the Real Techniques website, where you can also find the amazeballs tutorials on these brushes, and many more, from the ladies behind the brushes!

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

Beauty treasure trove

I must start this post with the admission that I fell out of love with beauty boxes a while ago but the March Glossybox really made me see the excitement with these monthly beauty delights.
The March edition came brimming with some of my favourite brands and two full size products I truly love (and *may* even have graced the blog before!).
I have said before that their hand cream are second to none, so it is only fair that I start with the superb Crabtree & Evelyn Somerset Meadow Hand Therapy Cream.
Of course, the formula is the amazing one we know and the Somerset Meadow fragrance is light and fresh: a sunny summer morning in green fields in a tube. And in its 25g, it is the right size for your handbag.
Then, comes the Sleek Eye & Cheek palette which I raved about before. It has everything for the flawless transition from day to night in a compact form for the makeup bag. I got probably the more party-like of the lot, slightly more tricky to use (but with a killer gold shadow and blushers).
The other three versions are much more neutral and I have the Midsummer’s Dream one and I am seeing the pan on most shades.  Amazing pigmentation and price. What’s not to love?
Now, I am a huge fan of this works. I don’t think there is a single product they do that doesn’t work for me (because, well, this works!) and I do have the full size of the versatile in transit camera close-up primer, moisturiser and mask.
It is reportedly a must have on Mrs Beckham’s travel bag so if it is good for her, well, I am in. That aside, it is a great product; a fantastic moisturising base for makeup which I use quite often, so glad to have a travel size.
Another brand I like a lot, Schwarzkopf is present in the form of the BC Bonacure Oil Miracle Brazilnut Oil Pulp Treatment, a rich hair mask to restore shine and nourishment.
To be used twice a week for 5-10 minutes for manageable, shiny hair.
Finally, a brand that is new to me (shock, horror): Oolution. The eye love is 100% natural and 65% organic.
It contains antioxidants and it is very hydrating to help banish puffiness and dark circles, morning or night! Behaves well under makeup and you just need a little bit.
Glossybox is available through monthly subscription for £10/month (+ P&P). Always five products, at least a full size one and they always bring special editions that sell out pretty fast!
You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

That liquid lipstick addiction…

collection-velvet-kiss-lip-cream-review-1So I spoke about how liquid lipsticks unexpectedly stole my heart and this is the culprit of this new found love: Collection Velvet Kiss.

As the name says, it has a fabulous velvety matte finish. Say what?

collection-velvet-kiss-lip-cream-review-2Yes, a liquid lipstick with a flawless matte finish. Trust me, I took a while to believe too.
Available in six colours, from naturals to bold, it packs a colour punch; pigmentation, finish and durability are great; application super easy.

It feels very comfortable on the lips and wears out very well – no bleeding or massive staining.

I got many compliments when wearing the red and someone in the office even said “Nooo! But it’s matte!” when I showed her the bottle.

Overall a fabulous launch!

The Collection Velvet Kiss Lip Cream costs only £2.99, available from Superdrug and Boots. At that price, you can collect them all!

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Party transformation: from desk to dance floor

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-1We’ve all been there: great party straight out of a stressful day in the office. And now with the end of year parties in full swing, it is likely you are finding yourself in that situation more often than not.

So you can shine from desk to dance floor, I put a few tips and saviour products together that at this time of the year are dead certain to give you that helping hand, especially when you keep it going a few nights in a row.

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-2For skin that has been in the office (and in party mode) the Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster is a god-send.

I love applying it lightly on my skin throughout the day to retain and maximise moisture; it is also great dabbed on top of make up for an extra glow and to take that powdery finish away from the skin.

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-12To refresh your makeup, invest in a little multi-tasking palette which doesn’t take much space and will go a long way.

This Sleek Eye and Cheek palette fits the bill and even has a sparkly shade to build on top of the neutrals after hours and turn up the party vibe!

I also decant my foundation into small pots to carry on the go, and use small makeup brushes to apply.

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-11For you lips, my newest obsession, liquid lipsticks are just perfect as they are quick to apply. At the moment, Kat Von D Vampira is my autumn go-to shade and scream edgy party look.

Taking about that, the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray is great to fix your makeup in place and keep it going all night long!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-4A small deodorant goes a long way – I love the little Dove Invisible Dry that ensures your black or colourful attires are free from marks. very important in a hurry!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-8Sore feet? Carnation has a fabulous range to maximise your heel-wearing span and I love this Anti-Blister Stick, which minimises the party-busting shoe rubbing.

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-5Make sure you always carry flats; I love these Sinderella foldable pumps as they are super comfy to walk on. Perfect for moving in-between parties if your Uber budget is getting close to exhausted!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-3For extra hair oomph use a good dry shampoo. I love the Swell Ultimate Volume Dry Shampoo as it has no nasties and refreshes hair as well as giving some volume!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-6I always carry a good brush with me, and this mini Wet Brush is brilliant!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-7Has barely made it home for a shower? This tiny Gillette Venus razor is perfect for shaving on the go. Showers in the office or the gym? Done! Just make sure you rinse the floor well :)!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-8And talking about those pins, at this time of the year nothing beats a little bit of fake tan. Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer is a fine dry mist that is easy to apply and you don;t need to rub in! It’s available for face too!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-9Finally, to smell good, nothing better than a roller ball fragrance. The Gucci Guilty is my festive one of choice at the moment – and perfect for the handbag! Many fragrances now have a roll on version available and I just love it!

Do you have any office to party hacks? Do share. And happy celebrations!

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a mix of products I have bought myself and PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Wearing my Subversion and Perversion a little bit everyday

urban-decay-carnaby-street-store-1Never thought I’d openly talk about wearing my subversions and perversions, but hey, here we are.

No, you dirty, dirty person… I don’t mean THOSE!

I’m taking about the Urban Decay eyelash primer Subversion and their mascara Perversion, which together give you the most decadent lashes.

urban-decay-carnaby-street-store-3Subversion is a classic eyelash primer, white in colour to coat all lashes previous to receiving the mascara. The formula is creamy and the brush is a medium size, with bristles the pick all lashes.

urban-decay-carnaby-street-store-4Perversion is the ultra black mascara with a large brush. Despite the fact the brush is almost on the too large side for my taste, it does work very well. The formula is creamy and thick, and it gives decent separation and superb volume, lacking a bit in lengthening.

Together, they super charge the lashes, creating a good fan effect. Deviant thumbs up.

urban-decay-carnaby-street-store-5I got those (plus my all time favourite Eyeshadow Potion Primer) at the launch of the new Urban Decay shop at Carnaby Street, London.  The European flagship store in split in two floors of all UD colourful fabulousness.

Upstairs, the whole range in full glory, including UD Pro. Downstairs, a lounge with light ring, GIF “photobooth” with light ring (for FLAWLESS selfies), phone chargers and refreshments bars, a true beauty hangout with its own hashtag: #UDCARNABY.

The VIP launch was a star studded event with the likes of Denise Van Outen, Laura Whitmore, Josh Cuthbert, among others. We sipped on mini Moët champagne bottles and had the chance to have makeovers and take home some precious UD advice.

urban-decay-carnaby-street-store-2And I hear Urban Decays is opening three more stores in the UK by the end of the year: London King’s Cross (24 Nov), Nottingham (1 Dec) and Liverpool (9 Dec).

Oh, the black lippy, you ask? More Perversion – how not to love UD’s perverted ways?

Of course, you can get you Subversion and Perversion on at the Carnaby Street flagship store, but also at other Urban Decay shops as well online and stores like Debenhams, House of Fraser and Fabled.

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

You, Rockstar

sleek-rockstars-collection-review-2Sleek is bringing the sparkle back. And they don’t it by halves: living proof is their new Rockstars collection, just launched.sleek-rockstars-collection-review-14Perfect for Christmas and by that I mean all the parties soon to commence, the Rockstars collection has two sides.sleek-rockstars-collection-review-5On the lighter side, Diamonds in the Rough with a lot of rose, golds, champagnes and peach in their eyeshadow palette, with two rich cream shades; the golden one makes the best highlighter!sleek-rockstars-collection-review-6All metallic and beautiful, including the gorgeous Scandalous lipstick, a metallic deep red and a highlighting soufflé in pretty shimmery peachy pink, called Pink Opal.

The darker side has jewel tones. Highly pigmented and glistening metallic, the appropriately named Hidden Gems palette has eyeshadows ranging from silver to royal purple.sleek-rockstars-collection-review-10The Superstar lipstick is a metallic shade of deep warm purple with iridescent particles, also present on Scandalous.sleek-rockstars-collection-review-7The highlighting soufflé here is Smoky Quartz, a gorgeous slightly glittery light gold, perfect for cheekbones but even better for finishing the eyes with an intense shimmer on top of colour.

sleek-rockstars-collection-review-13The bullet on the lipsticks deserves a chapter to itself: faceted, they have a sculpted shape, cut as the jewels they are.

Now the prices? You know Sleek has a fantastic value in all their collections and this is no different.

The Diamonds in the Rough and the Hidden Gems eyeshadow palettes cost £7.49 each, the Scandalous and Superstar Lip VIP lipsticks, £5.50 each and the Pink Opal and Smoking Quartz highlighting soufflés, £7 each.

You can get the whole Rockstars Collection at the Sleek website or at Superdrug.

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

The torment of makeup brush cleaning

stylpro-makeup-brush-cleaner-dryer-review-1Cleaning my makeup brushes has always been torture to me. So much time is spent, it is a dull task that not even the feeling of a squeaky clean brush on your face is able to numb the pain.

Add to that the fact I am a bit lazy busy and it is really the thing nightmares are made of. Did I mention I am a bit dramatic? No? Ok.

stylpro-makeup-brush-cleaner-dryer-review-3When I first saw videos of the StylPro Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer, I knew that at some point I would get one, it was just a matter of time.

Fast forward to Olympia Beauty, the fabulous  yearly beauty trade show and there it was, staring me in the face and asking to come home with me.

stylpro-makeup-brush-cleaner-dryer-review-2Although there was no discount on the £49.99 retail price, I got a bottle of their fab brush cleaner thrown in as a gift, which is a saving of £14.99.

The device, another brainchild of the amazing (and lovely) inventor Tom Pellereau (from The Apprentice/Stylfile fame) is quite small and sleek.

stylpro-makeup-brush-cleaner-dryer-review-4The different sizes brush holders will cater for most brands (I have many and there was one for every single brush I cleaned). Attaching is easy and quick, just what you want when changing between brushes.

After swirling the brush around, rise it up a bit and let spin for a bit longer. This will fan the brush (which is what happens when it’s being cleaned anyway) and air it to dry, so not only your brush comes out clean, it’s also dry, pretty much ready to use again.

Sometimes, as the brush fans out in the cleaning motion, which thoroughly cleans the inside bristles, it is difficult to clean the bottom of outside ones, which forms the outside of the brush; a bit of swirling around proves useful to get those parts clean.

The only thing for me is that is only seems to work perfectly and quickly with the StylPro Makeup Brush Cleanser Solution, which is rather fabulous but at £15 a pop, quite steep.

Overall, a lovely gadget for those looking to make their lives easier (me!) and make such a dull task a little bit of fun.

You can buy the StylPro Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer from the Stylfile website, and it costs £49.99. And it will be available at 180 bigger Boots stores from the end of November!

Mind you, the device is so popular that at the moment, you can pre-order for delivery which will start shipping in a few days time – that’s a common occurrence as this always sells out!

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All night long!

urban-decay-all-nighter-foundation-review-1Pretty much everything Urban Decay does is quite amazing. Proof is that not a days goes by without at least one UD item on my everyday makeup.

I am a huge fan of their All Nighter makeup setting spray so when I heard they were bringing out an All Nighter liquid foundation, I knew I had to try.

Being a night person, nothing makes me happier than a foundation that stays up with me, all night long!

Date got (nicely) out of control and you’re getting that Uber of shame? When they say it’s fit for scandalous activities, they weren’t lying. It does stay (fact) and the ride won’t be that shameful (who am I kidding? I am shameless).

The coverage is full. You need a small amount for the whole face and the finish is matte.

Admittedly, it can show over dry patches (I am on skin medication at the moment so my skin is dry and flaky).

I make sure you super moisturise underneath and have a handy mist to top up during the day, whenever I can. I found that adding a drop of dermalogica phyto replenish oil to the foundation does help in that front.

urban-decay-all-nighter-foundation-review-3

It does not sink on skin imperfections and the .0 shades with a yellow base have no hint of orange, which seems to be the case with some yellow based foundations.

I am using 4.0 which I find is probably a little bit lighter than the Naked Skin foundation 4.0, but still a good match for my skin, especially in the winter.

The formula is waterproof, paraben-free and it indeed blurs the complexion by diffusing light; it is also mattifying and oil-absorbing, thus reducing shine.

urban-decay-all-nighter-foundation-review-2And let’s talk about the packaging? I freaking love it. The steel-look cracked effect is NOT how your skin will look – or your mirror in terror of your reflection, for that matter.

This one came from the fabulous world of Fabled by Marie Claire, bought over Fabled.com and the delivery is free within the 1-hour nominated slot by our friends at Ocado when you spend over £15!

Of course, you can also get it at the Urban Decay website and their flagships stores and concession. The All Nighter liquid foundation costs £27 for 30ml and comes in 24 shades.

You can read more about Fabled – the shop, the online experience, the lot – on a previous post. And you are still on time for my 15% discount code VOU039323938, valid until the 26th October!

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

For plumper skin, just fill it up!

eucerin-hyaluron-filler-cc-cream-review-1Eucerin has an extensive range for all skin concerns, and you probably noticed that I do tend to love them.

The latest I tried was some products of their Hyaluron-Filler range, with advanced skin solution products designed to hydrate and plump the skin.

Not only do the products have high and low molecular hyaluronic acid, but it also has  a bio-active ingredient that helps promote skin synthesis of  the plumping, hydrating acid.

eucerin-hyaluron-filler-cc-cream-review-4This complete regime has all the basics – day and night creams, a moisturiser and eye cream, as well as targeted care, the Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate.

They have just recently introduced the Hyaluron-Filler CC Cream, which has all the goodness of their moisturiser plus light concealing and correcting properties.

It contains hyaluronic acid and bio-active glycine saponin and it has SPF 15. And it is anther example of skincare and makeup hybrid I love so much.

eucerin-hyaluron-filler-cc-cream-review-2For me, although I can clearly see the correcting properties at work, the coverage is too sheer to use alone.

However, it works fabulously as a primer; I did notice more even skin tone and better texture immediately on application. It is non-greasy and applies a treat. Even though I thought “light” was going to be too light for my skin, it blends very well.

Makeup applies very well on top of it and because of its advanced moisturising properties, it keeps skin plump and hydrated throughout the day.

The whole range is really fantastic: it delivers suppleness in a very gentle way, suitable for the most sensitive skins.

eucerin-hyaluron-filler-cc-cream-review-3Having said that, I do have to mention the Hyaluron-Filler Eye Cream in particular. It is rich but not heavy and it feels amazing on the skin.

You can really feel it sinking deep down in the skin and bringing it up. And it has SPF 15, all that is missing in other eye creams. Love doesn’t even cover it.

Particularly useful in the morning for a fresh look.

The Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler CC Cream retails for £28 and is available in light and medium; the Eye Cream costs £22 and both are available from major retailers natiowide, inclusing Boots and Escentual, together with the rest of the range and other lines from Eucerin.

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.