Makeup to truly match my skin

Makeup is, and has been, from a young age, a staple is my life. When I was younger, I got many comments saying I was “not natural” , was “hiding” or whatever. 

The good news is that makeup has evolved and it is easier to find products that will give you coverage that is natural, accentuating your beauty and skin.

I was very excited to try EX1 as they are the first makeup brand developed exclusively for olive skin tones, which is mine.

That might explain that, so long ago, when foundation shades were very limited, why I may have looked a bit off – friendly ghost or a bit pink.

The EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation (£12.50) is light in texture with a medium coverage, which is relatively buildable. 

Their colour matching tool on the site is amazing – I used to find my shade, based on known brands colours, and it matches perfectly. Finish is very natural, not matte or with a sheen. 

I finish it with their loose powder, which is in fact a foundation, in the oilier areas. The Pure Crushed Mineral Foundation (£13) powder is also great to use over SPF or a good day moisturiser, offering a very decent and even light coverage. 

Finally, the Blusher in Peach (£9.50) is just my shade: super pigmented and blendable, with minimal dropping, it sits pretty on the cheeks for that healthy colour flush. 

EX1 Cosmetics products feature a completely unique blend of olive tones ranging from very fair to deep tan, and are designed to seamlessly micro match olive skin tones or for those who just want to make their skin glow.

It’s parabens and cruelty free and was awarded the Best Breakthrough Brand 2019 by Superdrug at the Annual Superdrug Conference 2019.

And how great value for money is it? You can get EX1 products on their website and at Supedrug – online and in selected stores country wide.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. This review, however, is based on my experience and reflects my honest opinion.

A bit of everything – then some more

Do you ever, like me, go into TK MAXX and feel like a kid in a sweet shop, not knowing where to look?

That happens in most locations, but I always managed to find what I need: be my most convenient, London Stratford or my closest to work, Bank, but their new Oxford Street location just took that feeling to a whole new level, where big brands at small prices are spread across four floors.

Modern, spacious, organised, friendly and full of cute corners, with a killer stock!

You can find their usual accessories, beauty, shoes, women, children, toys and men sections, together with the coveted Gold Label, jewellery and also Pre-Loved, a small super luxury section where you can find big ticket second hand designer accessories.

Think original dream handbags, procured and authenticated. How great is that?

The beauty section is always fun for me – so many fabulous brands I love and worked with in the past and you can truly find some gems.

It is also a great place to discover new brands and products!

Now, the home section has my heart – so much that at my visit to the new shop I ended up getting most of my little visit haul from there, including a set of four beautiful iridescent glasses for £7.99 and a 15oz candle for the same price.

Where can you find great glassware at such good price? Cushions as fas as the eye can see? Towels so soft and so affordable? Kitchen utensils staples but also some you didn’t even know you needed?

Candles, for example, I will never pay through my nose for that again; they have so may options of excellent quality!

Not going to lie, I got this very seasonal Sea Salt Pumpkin (yum) there the last time, but I have at least two of the same brand, with more classic fragrances I like for my home, purchased a while back, stocked up and ready to go.

And the shoes? Have you ever paid attention to the calibre of the designers at the Gold Label section? It is INSANE. And the savings you get?

Add that to the rows and rows of the non- gold label footwear at even better value.

Talking about Gold Label, the same goes for clothes. Some gorgeous stock going.

I went a bit more modest and got this fabulous pink coat at a very affordable £39.99 that is going to see me through the autumn very well. I love a pop of colour, especially in the colder months where everything is so grey!

I have, apart from the goodies I got in this shopping trip, many a gems from TK MAXX.

My kitchen is full of amazing accessories from known brands which were purchased there for a fraction of the price.

Who remembers my gorgeous silver holographic glitter boots that look a million dollars but was purchased for £17 a few months back?

And who hasn’t got the heartache of not having bought something, just to go back a few days later to get it and not find? A black leather handbag, circa 2010, Clapham. My heart.

TK MAXX works with many designer brands – big and small – and are always procuring the latest in fashion.

You may think most of it stock is past season, but the vast majority comes from current season overproduced, overbuys from stores, and some especially manufactured stock for TK MAXX which negotiates volume and good prices, which are passed on to us, consumers!

Great for the pocket and also a good chance for surplus stock to actually get sold and used. Oh, and it does not hurt they look sooooo good!

Oh, and they have plenty of Halloween stuff at the moment!

TK MAXX has many stores across the UK, Europe and Australia – so easy to find one near you. Visit the new one at 203-207 Oxford Street, just a few minutes from the tube station.

Oh, and don’t forget they also put some of their stock online, so visit their website – you can use gift cards and even click and collect at the shop!

written by Dani

Please note that this was a PR offered opportunity. I was invited to visit their new shop and given a gift card to buy some tempting items, but the above is based on my experience on the day and general, asa customer, with TK MAXX.

Photo ready, protecting make up

The past few years have been full of “protecting” skin products – mosturisers, serums, masks and makeup.

Revlon is a brand close to my heart – my proper first foundation was from them: a liquid and the one-step compact makeup, a bit too long ago for me to want to share the year!

I had tons of good feels when I was sent their new PhotoReady Candid line: a foundation, concealer and powder, and the happiness kept going when I actually tried.

The foundation has a very good coverage. Because the PhotoReady Candid Natural Finish Anti Pollution foundation has natural on the name, I thought it’d be a very light cover. To my surprise and delight, it has a solid medium coverage with some buildability.

The consistency is creamy, it blends well and has a comfortable finish that is indeed natural, with decent durability.

It has anti-pollution, anti-blue light and antioxidant ingredients to protect skin, has no parabens, oils, phtalates, synthetic dyes and comes in 31 colours.

The PhotoReady Candid Antioxidant concealer has a medium coverage, which I’d put under light medium. I picked the Banana colour to help camouflage under eye unpleasantries, and it contains caffein for thats awakeness boost.

It also has the same properties as the foundation, and comes in 18 shades.

Finally, no one can pass on a setting powder and the PhotoReady Candid Anti-Pollution one in translucent is a great addition to any make up bag.

Loose and fine, it applies well to create a gorgeous air brushed finish and even skin tone, as well as helping to keep the makeup in place, without interfering with the shades applied – not chalky, not white washed. The only drawback is the sifter – it is a bit hard to get the powder through to the top.

It comes in 3 shades, all translucent, but two have a light tint for darker skins.

Overall, a great surprise with a hint of nostalgia, but reliant of today’s tech.

The PhotoReady Candid Natural Finish Anti Pollution foundation and the PhotoReady Candid Natural Anti-pollution setting powder cost an affordable £9.99 each, the PhotoReady Candid Antioxidant concealer, £6.99, they can be purchased at major retailers and you can find more info on the Revlon website.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a PR samples and this product was GIFTED, with no obligation to post. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on it.

Flexing those beauty muscles

Not too long ago I tried the Kohl Kreatives makeup brushes and talked a little bit about the company and how amazing it is, on top of having great products. 

Recently, I was sent their new range: the Flex Collection, on which not only do the brushes have super soft vegan bristles, easy grip and stand up, but they also have a flexible tip. 

Why, you ask? I am fortunate not to have any restrictions in the way a move, but for lots of people with motor disabilities, the fact they can be positioned in many ways can make a huge difference in every day life. 

Kohl Kreatives as a brand is always trying to empower people, regardless of gender, through makeup and this collection is a sheer reflection of that. 

I like that the shapes of the brushes in this set is a bit different – a large square, a large thin triangle, a diamond – all designed to get to places that other brushes with a stiff body may not cover. And because of the super packed soft bristles, it gives you an airbrushed finish quite easily.

Although there isn’t a guideline on how each brush is meant to be used I find that for me, the square makes for a great foundation brush, while the triangle is great for foundation and concealer and contouring.

Diamond is great for concealer and powders, such as eyeshadows, the thin triangle great for concealer, eyeliner or even lipstick and the small round is handy on powder and creamy highlighters and blushers. 

The set of five brushes costs £44.99 which is great value and every set generates proceeds to their charity, Khol Kares, which a spoke about in my previous post.

In short, they run workshops to help people recreate their features cosmetically, primarily offering transgender support and working close with cancer charities, but also working with people who suffer from conditions like alopecia and vitiligo, scarring caused by accidents. 

As I said before, a brand with a beautiful soul, led by a young woman  very passionate about the work she does. 

Check out their website to buy the Flex Collection as well as the 3ss3ntials range. 

written by Dani

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

A (chocolate) pocket rocket

I heart revolution mini chocolate eyeshadow palettes

Many a times I wrote about how I like a compact makeup product and these Mini Chocolate Eye palettes from I Heart Revolution are the perfect example of on the go beauty.

I got my hands on the Nude and Rose Gold which are, like their bigger sisters, super versatile, but with an added bonus: they are so slim that they are guaranteed to become a permanent feature in any makeup bag. 

I heart revolution nudes mini chocolate eyeshadow palette

Nude is my favourite as the colours really complement my complexion.

There’s a mix of shimmery and matte, including gorgeous light gold for superior highlighting, some darker golds and coppers for mid tones and some selection of browns for shading. Many day and night looks in one tiny palette. Perfect. 

Rose Gold has a shade selection that pulls on neutrals with pink undertones. I miss a lighter highlight shade here, but the browns are super strong, and there’s a solid gold and peach shade for a pop of colour. 

I heart revolution rose gold mini chocolate eyeshadow palette

What’s really impressive if that these little palettes cost only £6 and the quality is amazing: high pigmentation, buttery soft and exceptional colour pay off and durability.

The colours are so versatile; in fact, all I Heart Revolution palettes – big or small – have a fabulous colour selections and there’s one for everyone, on a budget.

And oh, they so smell of chocolate, which is not something I find great, but a nice little touch. 

You can get the Nude and Rose Gold Mini Chocolate palettes from the Revolution Beauty website and Superdrug online and instore!

written by Dani

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

Strong is beautiful!

One of the best things about being a blogger is discovering brands you’d probably never come across weren’t for the blog. And Reina Rebelde is one of them.

Not long ago FeelUnique invited me to an indi brand event, ahead of the IndiBeauty Expo. Don’t get me wrong – I am a lover of all types of beauty brands, big or small – but there is something special about independent brands and the individual(s) who managed to instill they point of view, passion and dreams, onto the brands. It is a very personal outcome a lot of the times.

When I looked at Reina Rebelde, I knew the brand would resonate with my personality. Latin connections aside, the aesthetic and range of products are really “my thing”. And it does help they are great products too!

The Bold Lip Color Stick in Brava could not be more “made for me”. A bold neutral classic red compliments many a complexions and I am sold. Durability is great, pigmentation fantastic and application good – you do need a lip liner for a sharper finish. Obviously very elegant but fierce, as all good reds.

My daily eye makeup is made of neutrals. And the 4 Play Wet Dry Color palette in Azteca hits the spot. The quad has chocolate, rose gold, metallic gold and bronze hues for sophisticated day and night looks. I think it could do with a lighter gold for highlight, but overall, this palette is super versatile.

Pigmentation is fantastic, they eyeshadows are buttery soft and super blendable with great durability. And it takes you from desk to dancefloor effortlessly.

Finally, a the Rebel Eye Definer Liquid in Zapatista is a fine jet back liquid eyeliner. Now, you will now liquid is not my favourite type of eyeliner as I can make a huge mess but the a hard tip fine applicator makes the job easy and precise.

It dries super black with a slight gloss finish and durability is exceptional. It does not budge once dry.

I don’t often go on about the brand itself, but I feel I have to on this one. Products are made in the U.S. (proudly as they state!) and are cruelty free. They endeavour to use vegan ingredients; however, products are not created in a vegan-only facility, and some products (not the ones reviewed here) may contain trace amounts of carmine.

“For today’s mujer” (woman) is their motto and I feel they meet that – beauty that is, well, beautiful, but edgy, a bit tough and a slight retro touch. It is a mix of a woman mixed background that makes her so special and unique – it talks from experience and I really like that.

Dani Dutra wears Reina Rebelde lipstick in Brava, eyeliner in Zapatista and eye shadow quad in Azteca

Reina Rebelde lipstick in Brava, eyeliner in Zapatista and eye shadow quad in Azteca

Regina Merson, the founder, grew up in Mexico and got inspired by a telenovela “Rosa Salvaje” (which also made it Brazil) and her mum’s makeup rituals. The brand embodies that heritage as well as an American existence. Being from Brazil and living in the UK, I totally understand the beautiful, and sometimes conflicted balance of not losing where you came from, but at the same time shaping the person you are based on your environment.

Currently you cannot get products individually in the UK but you can get gorgeous kits from FeelUnique.

written by Dani

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

Value alert: highlighter and blusher in one!

I Heart Revolution Dragon's Blood Highlighter

Isn’t it great when you discover one item of makeup that covers a couple of bases on your routine and is very light on your pocket?

Enter I Heart Revolution’s Dragon’s Heart Highlighter. Part of Dragon, one of the brand’s magical lines of products, this highlighter has superior pigmentation and great staying power.

Five intense warm shimmery, but not glittery colours stripes – the light cream, light gold, deep gold, pink and red can be used individually or all together to create a rose gold shimmer suitable for face and eyes.

I Heart Revolution Dragon's Blood Highlighter swatchesHowever, I love using the mixed golds as highlighter and the mixed pinks as a blusher. The effect is gorgeous and so practical to have such beautiful shades – in fact the perfect ones for my skin tone – together in one product.

And the best thing? The price: only £5! I mean… how could you even go wrong with that, but in all honesty, it delivers amazing value for money.

You can explore the Dragon range on the I Heart Revolution site – it includes eye palettes, lipsticks and lipglosses and is luscious with fiery shades!

I Heart Revolution Dragon's Blood Highlighter on faceAlso worth checking the other ranges: Unicorns, Mermaids and Angels, each sticking to a colour palette of beautiful magical shades and you’re certain to find a great selection that will not break the bank!

You can buy the I Heart Revolution Dragon’s Heart highlighter, which is vegan and cruelty free, directly from their site or from major retailers nationwide, like Superdrug!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains a GIFTED PR sample. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them. Laters!

Makeup brushes with a soul

Kohl Kreatives brush review How great is it to come across a brand that is pretty cool, created by a lovely young woman and does some charity work?

That’s how I felt when I met Kohl Kreatives founder Trishna Daswaney. And I could not wait to try.

Kohl Kreatives brush review I got The 3ss3ntials set, part of the Shapes collection, with three standing brushes that include possibly my favourite foundation brush: the big circle.

It applies foundation smoothly and evenly with only a few sweeps. I noticed I even use less foundation!

It’s packed with vegan bristles that are ever so soft and feel great against skin. The ergonomic shape means it is easy to hold and manoeuvre and they are very pretty in white and rose gold.

Kohl Kreatives brush review The square is great for concealer and the rectangle great for lining – eyes and lips!

Now, Kohl Kreatives really got to my heart with their charity Kohl Kares #MyArmour campaign, which looks to help men and women recreate their features with makeup, including transgender individuals transitioning, cancer patients, sufferers of skin conditions and people with scars that resulted from severe accidents.

Kohl Kreatives brush review Proceeds from every sale goes towards the Kohl Kares charity which runs free workshops and are generally very open to help if you reach out to them!

Kohl Kreatives brush review In all honesty, a huge pleasure, and honour to have been exposed to something like this – that marries a passion, a taltented female and the will to help others – and be able to share the news!

You can get the lovely Shapes Collection now on the Kohl Kreatives website, from £15.99 an individual brush. The 3ss3ntials set costs £34.99.

Launching soon is their Flex Collection, where the brushes have a flexible head, making application even easier. Pre order now: £35, for five lovely brushes.

written by Dani

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

The make up of dreams: it’s a Winky World of wonder!

Makeup is certainly one of the keys to my heart, up there with food and shoes. As a lover of all things pretty, I would obviously fall head over heels for Winky Lux, a gorgeous free from parabens, sulfates, gluten, phthalates, animal testing and any cruelty brand from NY, that lives up to their “addictive beauty” strapline.

I went to their magical event that gave me not only unicorn lattes, flower explosion and cuddles with their mascot, but also (and best part) exposure to their fabulously extensive range of downright pretty and excellent makeup.

It is hard to pick my favourite from the items I brought home, but I will start with one of their best sellers, the only one on this post that is not a launch: the Flower Balm, which is clear on the bullet, and works with your won pH levels to create the perfect-for-you lip stain.

To top off the prettiness, there is a real chrysanthemum inside, in different colours, and coconut scent. No wonder I love it! It’s so lovely to wear and gives lips that very healthy colour and a boost of

Brand new is the Watermelon Jelly Balm, a pretty translucent pink bullet and pretty watermelon seed packaging. Smells and tastes watermelon, so a delight for the summer.

And, as the Flower Balm, it is pH activated, so it creates the perfect pink for you.

My love of glitter is never ending, so I was happy to see the Disco Gloss (£13) in my little bag. I got the Foxy shade which leans towards orange-gold iridescent glitter.

Winky Lux Flower Balm, Watermelon Balm and Disco Gloss in Foxy tested However, as another pH activated product, the base turns into a darker shade of pink just like that. And it not sticky or gritty! I was very surprised at how much I love this gloss!

Another launch is the Matcha Lip Treatment (£13), with real green tea powder and food grade vanilla, as well as coconut and avocado oils, vitamin C and caffeine.

It is clear and works to soften, repair and protect lips. Smells good enough to eat and applies so well, giving the lips a very soft sheen.

The Pucker Up lip plumper in lemon cake (£17) is a very light gloss that delivers a light pink sheen and slight tingle for that extra plumping.

Finally, a non-lip product, equally pretty: the White Tea Tinted Veil (RRP £19). A very light tinted moisturiser, it is infused with calming white tea and contains pomegranate extract and vitamins A and E which together help protect and nourish skin.

And the best thing about it: it has that very important SPF 30. A downside is that it’s only available in 5 shades. I have medium-deep which is ok for me when tanned, but I suspect usually I’d be bang in the middle medium.

Also, if you are not a fan of scented makeup products, this might not be for you. As for me, I love the delicious smell. Texture is light, it applies very well and sits nicely on the skin, with average durability if not set with a powder.

For a light coverage product, I feel it offers decent evening out of colour and cover, especially bearing in mind I am a full coverage foundation person. Thumbs up!

Winky Lux Flower Balm, Watermelon Balm, and Disco Gloss in FoxyI need to point out that packaging is absolute stunning – I live the lip balm/lipstick bullets, and the outer packaging is a work of art in every product.

A must see is their eye palettes and powders – I cannot wait to get my hands on them! And it does not stop there; for example, their Steal My Heart lipstick pills and highlighters are gorgeous. This selection is such a tiny dent in the Winky World of Wonders!

I love that they are trendy and indulgent, but use luxurious, interesting ingredients, the design across every single product is fabulous and the price point, in my view, fair. I am now a confessed Winky Lux fan – it does seem It’s a Winky World indeed!

And you can get Winky Lux products at Boots (including in-stores), FeelUnique, ASOS and Harvey Nichols. Also worth checking their website to see how much amazing stuff they have!

written by Dani

 

Indulge on beauty!

Beauty. Heaven. There is no other way to describe the haven that is Indulge Beauty at Westfield Stratford.

Think makeup, nails, fragrance skin, hair and body care for men and women from over 120 cult, classic and emerging brands under on roof. For all tastes, all budgets.

I was really impressed with the quality and selection of the brands present. Being a beauty blogger, obviously I knew many, but there was a lot still to discover.

Also, the dedicated male beauty area caught my eyes – a comprehensive and approachable offer even for the shyer men starting to get into skincare and grooming.

And their fine fragrance section? To die for. Got me all in love with Eight & Bob (the Original) and I shall get my claws on it at some point.

I left the shop with a gorgeous Capsule box, which only lightly touches on the breadth of the beauty offering from Indulge; from well know Urban Decay, Glam Glow and Beauty Blender, to cult Skin Laundry and classic Clarins and GHD; this just a tiny sample of what you can expect from a place which seems to have it all.

The idea behind Indulge Beauty makes me even fonder of it: a place where the real YOU is celebrated, with their mantra: Be bold, Be brave. Be you.

The best thing? At Indulge Beauty you can get a routine tailored for you – think a shampoo from one brand, conditioner from other, mask from a third; eyeliner from brand A, mascara from B; day cream from brand X, day cream from Y… you get the idea.

Most importantly, advice is neutral, focused on your needs and you can get all in one place!

What better than killer beauty to highlight that bolder and braver you?

From the guys behind The Fragrance Shop, Indulge Beauty is located at Westfield Stratford (Unit 20, The Arcade, Montfichet Road, E20 1EH), in London (soooo close to me, how lucky am I?).

I also popped in (I do all the time) yesterday and was received with friendly, but not obtrusive or pushy smiles, great advice and fun chat (I talk too much so I always initiate).

You can also shop online at indulgebeauty.com, as well as read a bit more about them and what beauty revolution they are plotting!

written by Dani

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