Friday, 31 May 2013

Collective Mac/Nars Haul

Over the last four or five weeks i've gradually accumulated a few new make-up items, but have been insanely busy with exams etc, so haven't really had time to blog about them. However, now i'm FREE (for a while), so here we go...

Since I live in the middle of nowhere and I don't have any decent make-up shops or department stores near me, I ordered all of these products online from and

Firstly, with summer approaching I decided that finally giving in to the hype and purchasing the Nars Laguna bronzer was justified. I was shocked to discover just how much product you get, I can tell that this is going to last me a very long time and I was also extremely impressed with the large mirror inside the case, as mirrors are always handy for on-the-go touch ups.The laguna shade itself is a lovely shimmery golden brown, which catches the light but is not 'glittery', like some bronzers can be, so is perfect for everyday use. It warms up my ghostly pale skin wonderfully and also helps to give the illusion of more defined cheekbones, which is always nice!

When I ordered my laguna bronzer, Nars also sent me a free sample of their famous Orgasm Illuminator (what a name, eh...) Although it is only an 8ml sized tube, I can tell that this is going to last me forever because with this product a little really does go a long way. Unfortunately it isn't very pigmented and so the glowy bronze colour you see in the tube doesn't transfer well onto the skin at all. It does add some light-reflecting particles, which look pretty on the top of the cheekbones and cupids bow, but after a couple of hours this wears off and I much prefer my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle for highlighting. But hey, it was free!

Next, onto MAC. My eyebrows are a constant source of irritation for me, I can never seem to get them right. I've been trying out the MAC Veluxe Brow Liner for a while and although I love it and would definitely recommend it, sometimes it looks a little too dramatic for everyday wear. Therefore after a little research I decided to try out using eyeshadow to fill in my brows. I purchased a matte MAC eyeshadow in Charcoal Brown and the 208 angled brow brush to apply it. The colour is a perfect...well...charcoal brown! It is a great match for my natural eyebrows and so gives a naturally fuller look to my brows once filled in and helps define their shape. I'm also excited to try out a smokey eye with this shadow as it is such a pretty colour.

The handle of the 208 is very thin, almost pencil-like, giving you maximum control over it and the brush itself is perfect at applying the shadow carefully and precisely.

I also ordered the 168 large angle contour brush to use to apply blush/highlighter/bronzer etc. The bristles, though dense, are SO soft and are great at contouring the cheeks really naturally, without any fallout of product. Like most MAC brushes, this brush is GREAT quality and I can tell that it'll last me forever.

Although i've been investing in good brushes lately, I am AWFUL when it comes to taking care of them, cleaning them is always so laborious. So, I got MAC's Brush Cleanser in the hope that it would make the process a little easier. I can genuinely say that this product is AMAZING. I pour a little onto a tissue and then rub the brushes over it and even the dirtiest brush looks brand new in about 30 seconds!  Yes, it is expensive, but it cleans, disinfects and conditions the brushes and if you're going to invest in high-end brushes, you really ought to try to make them last as long as possible!

After hearing many great reviews of MAC's Fix + online, I decided to try it out. I opted for the smaller travel sized bottle so that I didn't have to buy the big bottle and end up never using it if I didn't like it. I've found that it helps set my makeup and reduces the 'powdery' look of some face products and is definitely great at refreshing your skin during the day, but i'm not sure whether or not there is a noticeable enough effect to warrant buying it again.

Finally, I bought the Viva Glam Nicki lipstick. I LOVE MAC lipsticks and this shade just really appealed to me! It is a bright, almost fluorescent pink, but can definitely be toned down for everday wear, I just use a lip brush to apply it so that it isn't so bright and it creates a lovely barbie pink colour. The packaging, as per usual, is lovely, particularly with the red detailing and Nicki Minaj's signature scrawled across the tube. The full RRP of these lipsticks goes to charity too, which is great and makes me feel a little better about spending so much on a lipstick!

Thanks for reading, I hope my ramblings haven't bored you too much! Have any of you tried any of these products too? Let me know what you thought of them! :)
Talk to you soon xoxo

Barry M Spring 2013 Launches

Hello again!
I was lucky enough to win a competition on the Barry M Facebook page a while back. I thought I had just won their new 'Lash Vegas' mascara, so you can imagine how happy I was when I received a parcel containing all of their 2013 spring launches, including a mascara, three gel eyeliners, four gelly nail paints and four of the new textured nail effects nail paints.

Okay, first up-the 'Lash Vegas' mascara, which retails at £6.49. Barry M clam that it "has been specifically designed to separate, define and reach the smallest of lashes giving exceptional length and unrivalled definition". The brush is quite small, meaning you can get close to the roots of your lashes and its definitely great for creating long, fluttery lashes. The only downside is that you do need quite a few coats of this in order to build volume, so unfortunately I won't be straying from my beloved Maybelline One by One Volum'  Express mascara just yet. ;)

Barry M's new range of gel waterproof liners are available in black, silver and champagne and retail for £5.49. I've never really been one for liquid or gel liner, purely because i'm awful at applying it! However, after trying out the black gel liner I was actually very pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to apply. The brush, which comes in the lid, clips back in place to the lid of the pot, meaning the brush is a reasonable length, giving you far more control than the silly little mini brushes most drugstore gel liners come with. The liner is very well pigmented, stayed on all day and i'm actually really excited to try out the other colours.

(l-r Black, Champagne, Silver)

The gelly nail paints were probably the thing I was most excited about as i'd been wanting to try them out for ages but had never got around to actually buying some. The nail paints, which retail for £3.99 are already available in an array of colours, but Barry M brought out four new colours for spring;  Papaya (a lovely orangey coral), Dragon Fruit (the only way I  can describe it is 'Barbie' pink!), Lychee (beigey nude) and Greenberry (a vivid mint green). I recommend using two coats for maximum opacity but you don't need to use a topcoat as they really are incredibly shiny. I wore lychee for over 5 days before my nails started to chip, which is amazing for a £3.99 nail varnish. I really am extremely impressed with these nail varnishes and will continue to wear them way after spring has ended (Papaya in particular will look great in summer with a tan!)

 (l-r Dragon Fruit, Papaya, Greenberry, Lychee)

Finally, perhaps the most exciting things I received were the new textured nail effects nail paints. I struggled to come up with a way of describing the textures of these polishes, which i've heard are Barry M's attempt at OPI's liquid sand polishes, but Barry M describe it pretty accurately as a "grainy, matte formula". These nail paints are also £3.99 and are nostalgically "named after famous haunts where Mr Barry Mero began his early working days in the markets of South and East London". The colours are all great spring pastel shades; Atlantic Road (a pale baby blue), Ridley Road (a very pale mint green), Station Road (spring yellow with flecks of gold glitter) and Kingsland Road (ballet/baby pink). I've found that using a clear base coat and then two coats of this polish creates the best effect. The texture won't be to everyone's taste, but personally I think its great and makes a nice change to crackle or croc skin effect polishes.
(l-r Ridley Road, Station Road, Atlantic Road, Kingsland Road)

(I painted my nails quickly in Atlantic Road to show you the texture.)

PHEW, longest blog post ever!
Hopefully you liked some of these products, they're all available now at and most Boots/Superdrug stores.
Talk to you soon xoxo