Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Splits: Prosecco Pop and Amaretto

In January I snapped up one of these Champagne Splits from Becca’s collaboration with Jaclyn Hill. There was a choice of four split pans containing one highlighter and one blusher. I wanted to get the ‘Amaretto/Prosecco Pop’ split as I really liked the look of the blush colour ‘Amaretto! Plus, I hadn’t treated myself to a new blush in a loooong time.

I know I’m a bit late posting about this as it was Limited Edition, however, Becca have recently introduced ‘Prosecco Pop’ into their permanent collection so it’s still worth showing a swatch! Who knows, maybe even ‘Amaretto’ will be released as a separate, permanent blush in future.

Firstly, the packaging is gorgeous. It’s in Becca’s signature little ‘spaceship’ compact as I like to call it, but this time the outside is gold! How beautiful?! <3

Whilst this little duo swatched nicely, I’m sad to say they didn’t really impress me on the face.

Regarding ‘Prosecco Pop’, the highlight shade, I think it’s mostly a case of the shade just not really suiting my complexion! This is a true gold and I think it could look very pretty on medium-darker skintones but on my skin it doesn’t really show up much. It mainly looks like I’ve just got some glitter on my cheeks because, as with most Becca pressed highlighters, it’s pretty sparkly! However, I wasn’t really expecting to love ‘Prosecco Pop’ and I mainly purchased this product to try out the cheek colour – ‘Amaretto’. I do love their ‘Champagne Pop’ highlighter shade though which was Jaclyn Hill’s first release with Becca – that one suits me much better!

Unfortunately, I haven’t fallen in love with ‘Amaretto’. Whilst I do love the colour, it’s a kind of terracotta shade, I’ve found it quite hard to work with. It is highly pigmented so it’s best to use a light hand and build it up slowly to ensure you don’t go overboard – especially on paler skins! I also found it quite difficult to blend which means if you do go a bit over the top and apply too much, it’s not the easiest to blend out to tone down. It just seems quite dry and heavy! I think this shade will be pretty in summer when I’ll hopefully catch some sun. I’ll continue to use it of course but it’s not left me excited to try any other Becca blushes.

Love Nicole xxxx

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit – Surreal Light Review

While it’s still available, I wanted to do a quick review of the most recent Ambient Lighting Edit from Hourglass. You can still buy it from Space NK (£69).

hourglass ambient lighting powder palette edit surreal light review marble packaging (2)hourglass ambient lighting powder palette edit surreal light review marble packaginghourglass ambient lighting powder palette edit surreal light review marble packaging (4)hourglass ambient lighting powder palette edit surreal light review marble packaging (3)

To look at, the palette is undeniably gorgeous. Encased in luxurious, matte marble, plastic packaging are 5 different ambient lighting powder products. There is one all-over setting powder (that’s the largest pan), two blush shades, a bronzing shade and a strobe powder. Here is the description of the different powders taken from the Space NK website:

“• Surreal Light: a sheer nude powder evoking the magic hour of perfect lighting

Surreal Bronze Light: a neutral tan shade fused with Surreal Light, for a subtle, natural warmth

Surreal Glow: a pale peony pink blush mixed with Surreal Light for a delicate flush

Surreal Effect: a cool, pink rose fused with a soft, warm peach for a pop of flattering color

Surreal Strobe Light: a glimmering peach powder imparting an alluring highlight”

The palette is a perfect travel companion too as it’s got all you need in terms of complexion powders.

One thing I will say is the pans are pretty small so using big brushes is not the easiest. Especially with the setting powder and the bronzer, where you tend to use a bigger brush, you have to kind of squish your brush so you don’t pick up product from the neighbouring pans! It’s not a big deal though and I’ve gotten used to it. 🙂

hourglass ambient lighting powder palette edit surreal light review marble packaging (8)
L-R: Surreal Light, Surreal Glow, Surreal Effect, Surreal Bronze Light, Surreal Strobe Light

hourglass ambient lighting powder palette edit surreal light review marble packaging (5)hourglass ambient lighting powder palette edit surreal light review marble packaging (7)hourglass ambient lighting powder palette edit surreal light review marble packaging (6)

I really love this palette! When used all over my face as a setting powder, the Surreal Light shade makes me look so healthy and glowy – it’s beautiful. These ambient lighting powders are gorgeous because they don’t look particularly ‘powdery‘ on your skin. This means you can set your makeup without having to look completely matte or cake-faced.

The blushes are beautiful shades and give a pretty, healthy pop of colour to your cheeks with an added glow.

I actually really love the Surreal Bronze Light shade! I’m fairly light-skinned so what I love about this shade is that I find it almost impossible to go overboard with. I know it’s pretty pale as far as bronzers go but that’s what I like about it. It just warms up my complexion and has no orange-ness to it. It looks so natural and gives me such a gorgeous, healthy colour! However, I can see this being pretty useless as a bronzer on medium-dark skin tones.

The last shade to talk about is Surreal Strobe Light, which is my least favourite in the palette unfortunately. It’s a gold toned shade to be used as a highlighter. My problem with it is how glittery it is! There is a lot of glitter in here. I feel like when I apply it to my cheekbones there’s not all that much colour pay-off or sheen, the overriding effect is glitter, which is not really my vibe for highlighters. I’ll still use it, it’s not terrible, it’s just not my ideal highlighter.

Overall, I am very happy with this palette and don’t regret buying it! Hourglass’ powders are beautiful and I love how convenient this palette will be for when I’m staying overnight at my boyfriend’s or going on short trips and need to pack light.

Love Nicole xxxx

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A January Space NK Haul

As I also did last January (see what I got in 2016 here), I had a little spendy time on the Space NK website to spend some of my Christmas and Birthday money. This post is just to show you what I got really, but I’ll be sure to do some more detailed posts, with swatches, at a later date when I’ve had a proper play with the products.

Firstly, try as I might I just could not resist the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit in Surreal Light (£69). The palette is absolutely stunning and encased in gorgeous marble packaging. It was ridiculously expensive but I have tried one of Hourglass’ powders before (in the shade Diffused Light) and it was gorgeous and I had recently run out of it. So as well as a new setting powder I also get to try some of the ambient lighting blushes, a bronzer and a highlight. So far I am loving it.

Secondly, I had been wanting to try the Amaretto + Prosecco Pop duo of the BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Splits (£32) for ages. I was really happy to see it was in stock when I was browsing the Space NK website so it was a must-buy! The packaging, again, is so pretty. It’s the same as their permanent Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlight packaging, however, it has gold casing – so gorgeous! The colour of the blush is lovely and I don’t own anything else like it.

Lastly, because it was on sale for about £24, I bought Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book Vol. 1.0 (£47). I thought it was a good opportunity to try a number of Kevyn Aucoin products as I’d never tried anything from the brand before, and particularly The Sculpting Powder which is a favourite of many. The pans are relatively small so using a big-ish brush can be difficult but I’ll make it work. The ‘book’ comes with some step by step guides which look very helpful and informative as I’m still definitely not a contouring expert.

As I said, I am sure I’ll do separate posts on each of these products in future to give my thoughts on them. Thankfully, so far though, I have no regrets!

Love Nicole xxxx

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Ending Blogtober with a Beauty Haul!

I’ve made it to the end of October and have managed to get a post up every day bar three, which I’m very satisfied with! Having the time and ideas to blog about something everyday is quite a feat and respect to those who do it every day, all year long! If you’d like to catch up on all my Blogtober posts then you can do so here. 🙂

Anyway, onto the haul. I’d actually gotten through most of October with very minimal spending. I think I bought some things at the start of the month and then when it got into the last week of the month my addiction was kicking in and I needed some deliveries to my door. Beauty Bay released a discount code and I knew it was time. Here’s what I got.

beauty bay haul milani baked blush dolce pink foundation and concealer light beige mario badescu face mist zoeva wing liner brush makeup gerard cosmetics skinny dip hydramatte lipstick

I got one of the Milani Baked Blushes in Dolce Pink. These are so pretty! The gold packaging is cute and the pigmentation is insane. You have to be very careful not to put too much on, literally just a dab in the pan with a brush is enough.

After seeing so many positive reviews I also got a foundation from Milani – the Milani Conceal and Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation and Concealer. I’m always really wary of buying foundation online and despite obviously looking at swatches the shade I bought – 03 Light Beige – is not quite the right shade for me. The lighter shade 01 was not in stock so my options were limited. 03 Light Beige is just a little bit too dark for me and it’s slightly too yellow toned despite the description saying it was for “light skin with neutral undertones”. Notwithstanding the shade issues, the foundation does seem to give good coverage and last all day. I might buy some of The Body Shop’s shade adjusting drops to use with this and see if that improves the shade match. Has anyone tried them and if so, are they any good?

The only skincare item I bought was the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater. I love a good face spray but I don’t like spending a lot of money of them so this one seemed like a nice one to try out!

I also bought another Beauty Blender just so I’ve got one in stock for when my current one gets too manky. Another beauty tool I got was the ZOEVA Rose Golden Vol.2 317 Wing Liner Brush. I already have this brush but in the black and rose gold colour scheme and I love it; it’s such a good shape. I use that one for brow pomade but I wanted to get another one to use for eyeshadow and liner.

Lastly, I finally got a Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick after toying with buying one for so long. I went for the shade ‘Skinny Dip’ and it is gorgeous and I’m so glad I finally bought one! I’ve only worn it twice so far but so far I love the formula; it’s not drying at all and is creamy and pigmented with good lasting power. So pretty much everything you could want from a liquid lipstick. The packaging is cute also, gotta love anything in frosted glass.

That’s everything! Now Blogtober’s over I’ll be back to my usual routine and just posting as and when I can, but hopefully that’ll be at least once a week.

Love Nicole xxxx

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Beauty Splurges

After Christmas and my birthday on boxing day, I was feeling pretty flush after generous gifts from family, soooo I thought after that it’d be as good a time as any to purchase some very expensive makeup I’d been wanting to try for ages! I bought these about 2 months ago so I’ve used them numerous times up to now.

nars steven klein blush face palette hourglass ambient lighting powder diffused light niod photography fluid (3)

Nars One Shocking Moment Cheek Studio Palette

It’s not hard to understand why this palette was so tempting. It LOOKS gorgeous and I really wanted it. I hadn’t tried any Nars powder products so it was actually a good value way to try lots of different products. I have no regrets buying it as I love using all the pans in there; my most used is probably the palest pink blush as it’s just so pretty! The contour and bronzer are good shades for me and the matte highlight makes for a good setting powder. In theory, they’re probably not anything life changing, but it’s an amazing collection to have all in one gorgeous palette.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

This was very much a blogger induced purchase. The Hourglass powders are much hyped and raved about for giving a beautiful luminosity and pore-refined, airbrushed finish, along with beautiful packaging; I just couldn’t wait to try one. I went for Diffused Light as I thought the yellowy tone may help with redness and flatter my skintone. It is a really nice product, not super pigmented (I do a lil swatch here), with a silky, finely milled formula and definitely delivers in terms of glow! I use it mostly all over as a setting powder however sometimes I feel that gives just too much glow so I only use it in certain areas. My pores were unaffected; they weren’t blurred but neither were they emphasised. I don’t regret buying it, however now I’ve tried it, I don’t think for £38 it’s one I’ll replace when it’s finished. It will however last me absolutely ages! 🙂

NIOD Photography Fluid

This purchase came about after seeing Laura from buynow/bloglater post about it on Instagram I think it was, describing it as an “Instagram filter for your face”… She’s since written a full post on it here which, since having the product myself, I completely concur with! I was happy with the price:hype ratio; £20 was easily parted with for what sounded to me like a great product. Base products (along with lipsticks) are my weakness. It’s a sheeny yellowy liquid (kind of like a liquid Hourglass Diffused Light!) that comes in a bottle with a pipette. The packaging is not fantastic, I just wipe it on my face from the stick rather than squeezing it. I use it all over my face as a primer before foundation, and it really does have a pretty effect! It’s a luminous glow that evens out dullness and redness in my face, and helps slightly to hide my humongous cheek pores! If you want a glowy primer to even out your skintone then this is definitely worth a shot.

Love, Nicole

xxxx

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Kiko Makeup Haul

When I saw some of the Rebel Romantic limited edition collection from Kiko on a few others’ blogs I fell in LOVE. It is so beautiful. I had been waiting for a while to find an excuse to purchase some more Kiko goodies since I bought an awesome lipstick from them whilst I was on holiday in Barcelona (I did a post on that here). Unfortunately when I placed my order I was gutted to find that the two lipstick shades I would have bought were out of stock 🙁 The lipsticks were probably the thing I was most excited about, however I’m hoping that I’ll be able to buy them in store as Kiko have recently opened a store in Bath, which is near my hometown! Their stores are heavily concentrated in the South East so far, so for one to pop up in Bath is brilliant! Hopefully they will expand further (Bournemouth please Kiko!)
kiko makeup haul unforgettable mascara bronzer blush nail varnish polish smart lipstick (3)kiko makeup haul unforgettable mascara bronzer blush nail varnish polish smart lipstick (2)kiko makeup haul unforgettable mascara bronzer blush nail varnish polish smart lipstick
 
This product looks stunning, and that along with the fact I don’t actually own a single bronzing powder, I felt justified in getting this. It comes in lovely rose gold packaging and the powder is embossed with a pretty print. The colour is a fairly subtle, terracotta shade (I have the light to medium shade); I think you possibly could go overboard with it and end up looking a bit orange, but you’d have to apply a fair bit! I’ve just read in the description on their website that it is slightly scented with wild rose, so I just sniffed it and it smells divine! Overall I really like it, it gives a light tan to your face where it’s lacking and is beautiful to look at!
 I got this blush in the shade Velvety Peach. I wouldn’t really consider it that peach-y, it’s still very pink to me but it does have that coral-ly accent that makes it very wearable and ‘comfort zone‘ for me. I didn’t realise that this would be a cream blush, when I first went to use it I got my blusher brush out and was disappointed when there was virtually no colour pay off on my cheeks lol! I then stuck my finger in and realised my mistake. When applied with your finger it is very pigmented but can be blended nicely into the skin. I’m not one for cream blushers generally, but I hope using this will convert me because again, it comes in the beautiful packaging, and is a lovely colour.
I really wanted a muted grey/green nail colour in my life, and whilst Jade Green is not quite perfect in that it’s not quite grey enough for what I wanted, it’s still a beautiful muted minty green. I haven’t tried the other one yet, it’s supposed to be for a French Manicure but I’m hoping it’ll be quite opaque and I can wear it on its own. I’m happy to have some brilliant nail polishes from a brand that doesn’t test on animals and has a fantastic shade range! I’ll definitely pick up some more in the Bath store whenever I eventually visit.
kiko makeup haul unforgettable mascara bronzer blush nail varnish polish smart lipstick (4)kiko makeup smart lipstick natural neige 901
I haven’t tried this yet as I only keep 1-2 mascaras in use at a time, but I think one of my current one’s will be all dried out soon so I have this is stock ready to go! I got it at a super discounted price too which made it even better. The reviews on the Kiko website are all positive so I hope its a good one. I chose it from Kiko’s vast array of different mascaras because I liked the look of the brush! It’s curved and has bristles as opposed to a plastic wand.
 
I bought this in the shade 901 Natural Neige, which is a pinky/brown nude. This was great value and I love the simple, sleek packaging. The formula is quite matte, but it does have a sheen which makes it more satin. I find it comparable to the Rimmel Kate Moss lipsticks, so these are a lovely cruelty free (and better value) alternative to those. I have loved the two different lipstick formulas I have tried from Kiko, so I think they may become a go-to for when I’m in need of a lipstick.
My experience with the Kiko website was a good one. I think I got a better deal as I was a first time customer on the website which gave me free delivery, or £2.00 express delivery, which is what I opted for. This meant my package should arrive within 3-5 days from me placing the order, which it did! I think it arrived on the third day… So it was a good experience. However I would definitely prefer to buy instore in future if I’d have to pay £7.90 for this service; I don’t like waiting 🙁 I’ll have to stock up every time I go to Bath ha 🙂
Nicole

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