Thursday, 21 April 2016

Brand Focus - Urban Decay Face Products Part 1

Urban Decay. All make-up lovers recognise Urban Decay mainly for their best-selling eyeshadow palettes, the Naked series.. A bit of a scary fact the original Urban Decay Naked palette was released August 1st 2010... that was a lonnnng time ago. I remember being excited and eager for the release of the very first palette after reading countless bloggers sneak peek posts. Ever since then the brand has released more eyeshadow palettes into the 'Naked' range. With the Naked 2 palette joining the collection February 2012, Naked 3 in December 2013 and the Naked Smokey palette being the most recent release. Since then the palettes have been every beauty bloggers staple. Unfortunately other than the eyeshadow palettes I rarely see anyone try any other product from Urban Decay. Ever since 2013 I've slowly bought more and more from the brand and built up quite a collection of their products. 
Just to give you guys a heads up I have a separate post reviewing the Urban Decay Weightless Concealers, which will be coming soon! Due to this they are not included in this post as no-one wants to read no sir'ey!
Please note all the products pictured above I purchased myself with my own hard earnt cash.This is NOT a sponsored post. Every comment written in this post is my own honest opinion about my experiences with each individual product.
Face Products

The primer thankfully feels a-lot more like a serum compared to the typical silicone based alternatives on the market. I bought this primer after the sales assistant at the counter applied this onto my skin before I was tested for my foundation colour (which you will see later on in the post). What I instantly loved about it was its texture. It has a very light gel texture which slides effortlessly onto the skin, it light formula makes the primer sink more or less instantly into the skin. The best part being there is no sticky or tacky residue left on the surface, so much so you may have thought you had missed applying it to a certain area of the skin, the giveaway being the soft supple touch it gives the surface skin after application. 
The formula of this is pure gel if you will, it has no glitter or reflective particles within the consistency. Therefore it gives a fresh satin finish to the skin, not shiny or reflective. For this reason I think it is great for those who do not always apply foundation everyday as you could always put this on as a stand alone product to balance out the skin and to leave is soft and supple. I personally do not apply this everyday as I know I would run out far too soon. Instead I apply this on my long shift days or special occasions where I want my makeup to stay put and look smooth and even (which should really be everyday). I would recommend this to anyone as it is such a easy product to put on and simply the feel it gives your skin is addictive. It's worth a swatch on the back of your hand, trust me you'll be stroking it all day.

This is what I purchased for my Mum and I ended up stealing from her makeup bag. This product really interested me as it claims to 'optically blur' and  'repair DNA' quite big claims I'm sure you will agree. One thing I will say from the offset is that it does have a sort of silicone-ish texture which I have a love/hate relationship with. I hate the feel of the initial application but I like the finished result as again like the primer there is no tacky feel to the skin afterwards. 
Also it does have an odd smell its not horrible but just odd its almost florally which does bother me slightly for a 'balm'.  I bought this for my Mum as she is not one for applying foundation or any major makeup products on an everyday basis. I bought this for her as the product does a good job as balancing out the colour of the skin and also adding some moisture. Also it is a fool-proof as she could never accidentally apply too much of this and look cakey as there is very minimal coverage from this and it doesn't sit on the surface of the skin. 
For me personally I have found it can highlight dry patches on the skin which I do often get around the top of my eyebrows oddly enough (anyone else get this?). I use this for 'no-makeup' days as it still feels like you have something on the skin the plus being it also has the SPF 20 which is a must no matter what the UK weather is like. This is one of the products I wouldn't re-purchase as to me it's an unnecessary step in my routine and I much prefer using moisturiser and primer instead.

Now this product you would have seen on my blog numerous times, I have re-purchased this foundation twice already. That fact alone tells you it's definitely a hit in my book. This foundation comes in a variety of shades which caters to many different skin tones. Also at the counter they have these shade cards which allow them to match you to your best shade by taking readings from three different points of the face, which I found gave the best match (which matched the shade I knew I would be). This foundation is almost like a typical airbrush foundation as you have to shake the can and it sounds like an aerosol in the inside to mix the foundation. 
The formula is very liquid and light with no glitter or sparkle in sight. I would say this gives a semi-matte finish, there is no overall glow from this which I like as it means I can add it to the specific high plains of the face, without looking like a disco ball. The coverage is a steady medium coverage however it is buildable to give more of a full coverage. I apply this with my Real Techniques buffing brush. 
I've found to get the best results with this is to first apply a really thin layer the equivalent coverage to that of a BB cream and really buff it into the skin. Then I apply one more light layer on top of that to give a even medium coverage which looks like healthy skin. This foundation is great it as covers redness like a dream, I even use this as a first layer in pinpoint concealing as this stuff really does take the redness out of the skin. The other major plus of this stuff it stay it stays in place, with this formula you can get away with not setting it in place with powder as it really stays put. I've found that I can last 8 solid hours without altering in its appearance and for that reasons it's my go-to foundation for long days where I know I won't have time for touch-ups. This is the reason why I really like to make sure that first layer I apply is really buffed into the skin so it provides the smooth canvas for the coverage layer I use a 20p sized amount total on each application a little goes a long way.
The shade 2.0 is my mid-spring mid summer colour, however it's at the moment it is too dark for me to wear (sad times) hence why I need to go and get a lighter colour. Out of all of the products I have bought from the brand this is by-far my favourite and the one I would easily recommend if you could only buy one item from the brand.

If you want coverage this is a good concealer for you. It has a very creamy consistency which you wouldn't expect from its crayon pencil form. When it gets warm as you can see from the swatch photo below it almost melts and becomes more malleable to move around to blend the coverage. The brand has a smaller range of colours here so make sure you pick the right one for you needs whether it for redness or under eye concealing.
As you can see from the swatch below this colour is too dark for me now I bought it before going on holiday it is for my tanned version of myself which only unfortunately gets used for about 3 weeks before the tan fades and I return to my pasty self. 
 I really like this concealer however for my light winter/spring skin-tone there really isnt a colour which works for me which is a shame as it gives a very good coverage and doesn't move around on the skin. 
No kidding this stuff is a pig to remove, it took me a long time removing that swatch from my arm alot of cleanser and scrubbing was involved. the only negative with this product is that you have to work quickly with it blending it out though-wise it will give you an uneven look with harsh lines. 

As you can see this little palette is looking a little worse for wear .It has definitely been used and has all the outer scratches and grubby markings *apologies* to prove it. I picked this up in the summer and I loved using it to lightly add more dimension to the face.
All of the colours are very pigmented the shimmery highlight shade being the most and the bronzer being the least. The highlight shade I initially expected to be very chalky as it looks packed full with reflective powder/glitter. However it is the smoothest colour out of all of them and my most used. The bronze colour is too orange toned for my winter skin so that isnt used currently, but will be picked up again in the warmer months. The blush colour is beautiful it is a true salmon pink shade which has golden iridescence running through it.
The blush very pigmented so a little really does go a long way, hence why it looks like it's never been used when it has. What I like about this palette which I've found most people overlook is the proportions of the shades. I like the fact that we have more bronze shade than highlight as typically the bronzer is used over a larger surface area than its counter part. Also the width of the blusher is ideal and fits my blusher brush into it seamlessly without any overlap awkward of the brush bristles .

So thats it for Face Products from Urban Decay. Have your tried any of these products, let me know Tweet me or leave a comment I'd love to hear from you?

Overall Rating

   Stay tuned for more Brand Focus on Urban Decay! 

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Monday, 11 April 2016

NARS Brow Gel Piraeus

This Spring I’ve been loving defined brows with no harsh edges in sight, this has easily been achieved using NARS Brow Gel in the shade Piraeus. 
NARS Brow Gel in the shade Piraeus is a great shade for light brown haired/dark blondes as it is not too orange or ashy in tone. The neutral colour of the gel matches my brows and doesn’t contrast with the tone of my hair. The applicator of the brow gel although good as its on the larger size allowing for quick application on unruly brows like my own, tends to pick up too much product. To counter-act this, before application I wipe off excess back into the barrel on one side of the brush. Once I have achieved the correct shape, I then go in with the other side to build up the colour to fill any sparse areas. Sometimes if I want a lighter brow I use disposal mascara wands to apply a light coat of product onto the brows. If I’m going for a more defined face I softly fill in my brows with NARS Brow Pencil in Kalamata.
NARS Brow Gel contains 7ml per container which is a larger amount compared to Benefits Gimme’ Brow or L’oreal Brow Gel. This NARS product however contains similar amount to M.A.C so in regards of value for money it's around the same price point for various designer brands. The plus point for NARS being the drugstore alternatives tend to carry a very limited shade range, so you have a greater variety to choose from with this brand.The durability of this shade is brilliant its sweat-proof (anyone else get sweaty brows?) and doesn’t crack or crumble hours into use. It truly holds the brows in place for a solid 10 hours (tried and tested people).
Overall I will continue to repurchase this brow gel from NARS purely because I cannot find a colour similar to this on the market at an affordable price point. The applicator could be improved by restricting the amount of product carried in the brush on removal of the wand from the base. Apart from this the product lasts well on the brows, without feeling heavy or cracking away over the hours of wear.

Whats your favourite brow products?

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Friday, 1 April 2016

March Favourites

So we have finally reach the end of another month. This post will summarise all the beauty products I've been loving and using religiously throughout the month of March.
Hourglass Ambient Eyeshadow Palette Obscura £56- An oldie but a goodie. I love the golden brown tones in this palette on my brown eyes. The eyeshadows themselves are buttery soft and are highly pigmented. Plus I love the packaging Hourglass knows how to make a girl swoon, especially with the waved emboss of the shadows themselves (insert a million heart emojis here). This is my go-to eyeshadow palette when I want an easy effortless eye as all the colours you need are all in one place. Hourglass has a wide range of palettes and have a palette to suit each and every eye colour. The price tag is slightly steep, but in my eyes was worth the splurge.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation £29.50- This is my second bottle of the foundation, I honestly love it so much. It really is a beautiful foundation it really gives the look of healthy skin whilst still providing a fuller coverage hiding all uneven patches and skin imperfections. The only downside is the packaging. Frosted glass isn't the best for me personally, I'm clumsy. However I can overlook this as the foundation sits well on my skin and lasts a solid eight hours with no touch-ups necessary.

Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Colour in Nude Beige £20.00- This shade is my perfect everyday colour a medium brown toned pink. As the name suggest the colour doesn't last long on the lips two hours max, however the texture of these make them worthwhile. They are very moisturising on the lips whilst providing a full opaque colour to the lips. The finish of the lipstick is similar to that of a creamsheen from MAC, without the dry lips afterwards. Overall I'm very impressed with Bobbi Brown's Lipsticks and am considering buying more from the range, another great one is Ballet Pink if you like true pink toned lipsticks (similar to MAC Angel).

Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Mascara in Black £7.99 - Finally got around to sharing this with you all. I've been trialling this mascara for awhile now both the Waterproof and the original formula. I personally prefer the original formula pictured above as I can get more volume and length with it as it has a thicker consistency.Anyway, a full review of this mascara is coming soon so you can here my thoughts. Overall this mascara has a great plastic wand with a fine comb on one side and a lengthening fatter side, which is great for separating and adding volume to unruly lashes like my own. Highly recommend if you're looking for a new mascara to try.

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder £19.50 - This is my all time favorite setting powder. I've tried many both high-end and highstreet and I always come back to this one. I love how soft this powder feels when applied, it really makes the skin smooth and even in texture. I mainly use this to set my undereye area to ensure I have no cakey-ness or fine lines appear throughout the day. I also love that is comes with a sifter so you can shake out the exact amount you want to apply compared to other brands where the product is completely loose with no packaging. Overall a great setting powder with a good ingredient list.

Charlotte Tilbury Bronze and Glow Palette £49.00 - Everyone and their dog already owns this palette, I'm abit late on joining the bandwagon- but I totally agree with all the hype. I love the bronze shade in here it's a great shade for lighter skin tones, it doesn't look ashy or too orange on the skin which I love. Its also really buildable shade, a little goes a long way but you can build up the colour from a light wash to add definition to full on bronzing of the skin. The highlighter is yellow-toned which I personally like as it appears more natural on my paler skin. Overall it's a beautiful palette but I wished Charlotte Tilbury created a palette for darker skinned ladies as I feel there isn't any great colours for them and no-one should be excluded from such a beautiful formulation!

So that's it! What are your March Favourites, I'd love to hear in a comment below or chat with me on Twitter @simply_naturale !
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