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).

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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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Latest Makeup Empties with Mini Reviews

I am back with another makeup empties post! I never know how popular these are but I personally find it really interesting to see what people think once they’ve finished a product. Finding out whether they would buy it again, or not, is surely one of the most indicative pieces of info to help you decide whether something is worth buying.

First up is a trio of base products.

Let’s start with the Essence Stay All Day 16h Concealer (£2.50). I was hoping this would be an affordable gem but I did not get on with this. In fact, I didn’t even finish it because I found it did nothing, but I did give it to my sister to try to see if she likes it; we all have different preferences so who knows, it might work for her. I used it under my eyes and I personally found it to have very poor coverage! It was quite a liquidy, watery formula and I do tend to prefer concealers that are quite creamy and thick. It was a fail for me.

Next up, the bareMinerals Illuminating Mineral Veil (£21). I bought this to use as an all-over setting powder and I actually quite liked it! However, if I were to buy it again I think I would get the non ‘illuminating’ version. I didn’t find it ridiculously ‘sparkly’ or anything, but it was just a little bit too much for me. However, the formula is great and it helped my makeup to last all day and it didn’t look cakey. I also like the packaging, which has a twist closure to keep the product locked in so it doesn’t go everywhere like many loose powder products are prone to.

Something I was very sad to find in my empties was the eye wateringly expensive Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (£40) in the shade Diffused Light. These are truly gorgeous powders and I used it all over my face as a setting powder, similarly to the bareMinerals one I spoke about above. It ensured I never looked too matte or powdery but it helped my makeup to last. It did give a luminous effect, I won’t go too crazy with hyperbole because it’s not a complete miracle worker, but it does give you a pretty, natural looking glow and doesn’t look too ‘made up’. If I was feeling flush I would buy again but I would probably try a different shade, just because I love trying new stuff! If you saw my recent Space NK Haul you’ll see I bought the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette which has a new shade of the Ambient Lighting Powder, so I’m covered for the time being. 🙂

I think I discussed this NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray (£7) in a previous post I did on my NYX Collection, so I’ll keep it fairly brief. I did really like this setting spray. I haven’t tried loads of others so can’t say it’s the best in the whole world but for the price it does pretty much everything I would want it to. The main thing for me is to keep my face looking as fresh as possible and not too powdery which I felt this did. It helped my makeup to all mesh together. I probably would repurchase!

Onto mascaras I’ve finished and I’ll begin with the best – the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (£19. I’m not one to venture frequently into high end mascaras as I don’t think it’s a product you need to spend loads of money on for results. However, I will definitely buy a full size of this in the future! It is a brilliant mascara that makes your lashes so thick and full! The brush is pretty big and it took me a while to get to grips with, but once I learned to apply it and not get it all over my eyelids I fell in love. If you love big lashes then I definitely recommend trying this.

An affordable mascara that unfortunately did not impress me and I would not repurchase was the SEVENTEEN Falsifeye HD Mascara (£6.99). I like big lashes and this didn’t give me them. I feel like the brush just doesn’t pack enough product onto the lashes and the plastic bristles are quite short and insubstantial.

I bought this Kiko Unforgettable Mascara (£7.20) last year when they had a deal on their website. It was okay. I had high hopes for it as the brush looked promising however it didn’t wow me and I wouldn’t repurchase. I think the brush was maybe a little too dense so that it couldn’t quite grab and completely envelope the lashes to make them reach their full potential.

I’m pretty sure I’ve raved about this next product before on my blog. NYX Micro Brow Pencil (£7) is an excellent, fuss-free eye brow pencil. It’s twist up so no need to sharpen (perfect for the lazy among us, *guilty*) and has a brush on the other end to tame your brows. I had the shade Ash Brown which was a pretty perfect match for me and I have already bought another one.

The next product is very similar and equally as good. The Soap & Glory™ Archery™ 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush (£8) is likewise a twist up pencil with a brush on the other end. The application and formula is just as good as NYX’s. The only downside is that there is only two shades so unless one of these suits you, you’d be stuck.

Last up, I’m afraid it’s another Seventeen product that I really thoroughly disliked and didn’t actually finish because I just couldn’t bare to use it. The SEVENTEEN Make Your Mark Soft Eyeliner Pen (£3.99) is just not comfortable to use at all! The tip of the pen is just far too stiff and rigid and scrapes against your eye! Eyes are sensitive things and I don’t want to feel like I’m scratching my eye out, it was genuinely painful at times! Additionally, it was not super black either and I couldn’t bare to press any harder to see if I could get better colour pay-off. I definitely wouldn’t buy this again, but I do actually like Seventeen as a brand so despite having a bad experience with two of their products I’ve talked about in this post I will continue to keep up to date with things they release and try new things.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these products I’ve finished and make sure you sign up to my email subscription or follow me on Bloglovin!

Love Nicole xxxx

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Makeup of the Evening – FOTD

This is a bit of a rushed post as I had nothing scheduled or planned for today, but I’d been doing so well so far managing to post every day in October I didn’t want to let a day slip by with no post.

So I thought seeing as I’m going out tonight I’d share what makeup I’m planning on wearing. It could change but this is what I’m planning on trying and hopefully it’ll look good! My partying and drinking every Saturday is behind me but tonight I am going for a meal with my two best girl-friends to celebrate their birthdays (which are a week apart). We’re going for an Indian so I’m looking forward to that!

Here’s what I’m planning on chucking on my face…

nars sheer glow foundation mont blank collection lasting perfection concealer fair nyx banana hd powder nars steven klein palette hourglass ambient lighting powder diffused lightanastasia beverly hills illuminator so hollywood nars steven klein face palette collection lasting perfection concealer fairnars sheer glow mont blanc becca backlight priming filter hourglass ambient lighting powder diffused light nyx hd banana too faced primed and poreless primernyx brow pomade make up geek creme brulee eyeshadow the balm mad lash by terry ombre blackstar misty rock soap glory eye liner supercat lily lolo urban decay primer potionnars semi matte lipstick scarlett empressnars semi matte lipstick scarlett empress swatch

For my face I’m going to use Becca Backlight Priming Filter (£32) all over face and then some Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer (£24) on my nose and apples of my cheeks, as this is where my pores are largest and most noticeable. For foundation I’m going with Nars Sheer Glow (£31) which I have in the shade ‘Mont Blanc’. My favourite concealer is still Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer (£4.19) in the shade ‘Fair’ so I’m going to use that under my eyes and on any redness that’s still peaking through. I’ll then set my under eye area with the NYX HD Finishing Powder (£8) in the shade ‘Banana’ which is brightening. I’ll then set the rest of my face with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (£40) which I have in the shade ‘Diffused Light’ (this is virtually empty now, can’t bring myself to repurchase it with that insane price tag)!

To add some colour and life back to my skin I’ll use the Nars One Shocking Moment Cheek Studio Palette (this was a limited edition palette). It has the  Laguna (£28) bronzer and a great shade for contour. My favourite blush is the palest pink one so I’ll probably go for that one. For highlight I think I might go with this one called ‘So Hollywood’ from Anastasia Beverly Hills. This too was unfortunately limited edition and I can’t find it anywhere linked online, sorry!

For eyes I’ll go in with the Urban Decay Primer Potion (£16) and curl my lashes with these cute eyelash curlers from Primark. To line my upper and lower water line I use the Lily Lolo Eyeliner Pencil (£6.99) in black. I don’t like faffing around with eye shadow so I think I might go for my fanciest eye shadow stick which is By Terry Ombre Blackstar (£29) in ‘Misty Rock’. I’ll then probably just define my crease with Makeup Geek Eyeshadow (£5.50) in ‘Creme Brulee’ which I always do as it looks so pretty and defines the eyes beautifully. For mascara I am absolutely loving theBalm Mad Lash Mascara (£15) which I wrote a whole post about which you can read here if you would like! I might add some falsies but we’ll see how I am for time! Got so much to do… paint nails, straighten hair, do makeup, choose outfit! And I can never be without some eyeliner, so I’ll just line my upper lash line with some Soap and Glory Supercat (£6).

For eyebrows I absolutely love NYX Brow Pomade (£5.50) which I use in ‘Brunette’. This stuff is awesome and can still look really natural or you can go bolder. Great stuff.

I’m still very unsure on which lip colour to rock, but I’ve yet to don a dark, berry lip shade this Autumn (how criminal of me) so I am considering going for the Nars Semi-Matte Lipstick (£20) in ‘Scarlett Empress’. But, let’s be honest, no lipstick is going to last the course of me eating an Indian meal anyway so a top up will be essential!

So that’s my current thinking for tonight’s makeup… What do you think? I hope you enjoy your Saturday night whatever you’re doing.

Love Nicole xxxx

Blogging every day on October! (Or trying to)

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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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My Glowy Makeup Arsenal

glowy makeup nio anastasia beverley hills the balm mary loumanizer bareminerals hourglass ambient lighting powder pixi flawless beauty primer 2glowy makeup nio anastasia beverley hills the balm mary loumanizer bareminerals hourglass ambient lighting powder pixi flawless beauty primeranastasia beverley hills so hollywood illuminator thebalm mary loumanizer hourglass ambient lighting diffused light

Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer

This is a nice primer for glow and hydration. It’s a thick, creamy formula and is not OTT in terms of glow. It doesn’t really help pores and I’m not sure if it prolongs makeup but it’s a nice base to give your face some life if you have dull skin.

NIOD Photography Fluid

I’ll talk more about this in an upcoming post (which you’ll now find here), but this is really great! A yellowy liquid that’s a lot more watery than the Pixi Primer but I use it in the same way as a base for foundation. It evens out dullness and redness and slightly helps to blur my pores. I’d consider this a glowy, perfecting liquid more than anything else. It has been dubbed an “Instagram filter for your face”.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in ‘Diffused Light’

A pretty, light and finely milled powder I use for setting, sometimes all over my face if I’m feeling like a very dewy face, or just in targeted areas if I’m not. Expensive yes, not sure if it’s entirely worth it but if you like trying cult beauty products or love sheeny base products then its not a complete waste of money. I talked about it a bit more in this post too.

bareMinerals Mineral Veil in Illuminating Finish

Another illuminating setting powder but this time a loose one. I generally prefer loose powders over pressed as I find they offer more coverage and are more effective at making makeup last longer; plus I find them less likely to cake! This is a great powder from a brand that I really like and want to try more from. The packaging is great, with a sifter that stops it leaking every where. A reasonable price point for a good product (you can often find it on offer or discount codes).

theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer

A very popular highlighter, I was drawn into buying this from reading other blogs. It’s a pretty, gold, sparkly highlight that I use on my brow and cheek bones and down my nose. It’s quite an obvious highlight but I like that. There is a fair bit of fall out when you pick some up on a brush as it’s quite a powdery formula but I don’t really have an issue with this.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator in ‘So Hollywood’

Instagram made me want this. I can’t believe I spent £28 on it as I think that’s far too expensive, but that being said there are even more expensive highlighters out there! However, it is a very nice product once I’d gotten over the price and realised I might as well enjoy it now I’d bought it lol. It’s more sheen and less sparkle than the Mary Lou-manizer, which I think I actually prefer. It has more of a wet look effect on your cheek which is beautiful. It’s a truer gold than Mary Lou but that doesn’t translate to it being more intense; if applied in the same way it is probably the more subtle of the two. I kind of wish I’d purchased the colour Starlight instead as I would love to try a white-gold highlight! Unfortunately So Hollywood and Starlight seem to be hard to get hold of at the moment.

Any recommendations on other good highlighters? As I said, I’d love to try a more white/silver one!

Love, Nicole

xxxx

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Black Friday Feelunique and Amazon Beauty Bits

emma hardie moringa cleansing balm bare minerals mineral veil nyx micro brow pencil mary lou manizer the soft matte lip cream wonder concealer

I definitely treated myself, probably a bit too much, during the Black Friday weekend sales! I got beauty bits from feelunique.com and beautybay.com (which haven’t arrived yet sadly), as well as one beauty thing from Amazon. Every thing I bought here is from cruelty free brands in line with my aim to go cruelty free.

Everything I got from feelunique was from a brand I’d never tried before; how exciting!

bareMinerals® Illuminating Mineral Veil® £21

I got this to use as a setting powder on top of foundation as my current one is running out. I’m excited to try it, however I am slightly worried it’s a bit sparkly, but hopefully that will translate as a glow on the skin.

Emma Hardie Merrily Moringa Gift Set £10

This cleanser is so raved about and a favourite of many like Zoella and Caroline Hirons, so naturally I really wanted to try it. Cleansers are one of my favourite new things to try for some reason! I definitely didn’t want to splash out on a full size so this 15ml pot was perfect to give it a try. I’ve used it once already and it’s lovely, not sure I would ever pay the full price for this or any cleanser, but I sure am going to enjoy using it. It’s a perfect size for travelling in luxury.

(Edit: Upon further use, I frickin love this stuff! Why’s it have to be so expensive 🙁 It’s beautiful).

NYX Wonder Pencil in Light £4

While I was trying to find excuses to buy things, I thought how I don’t have a nude coloured eye liner to line my waterline! Shocking. So I got this, with the idea of it brightening my eyes and neutralising any redness. It’s good.

theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer £17.50

Black Friday was the PERFECT excuse for me to buy the much hyped about Mary Lou-manizer. I haven’t used it yet but it’s beautiful; I love the packaging. theBalm are such a cool brand and I am sure I’ll enjoy using this.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo £5.50

I think I am going to love this! I haven’t used it yet but if I like it I can see myself buying so many colours. I’m such a matte lip girl, I really don’t like lipgloss. I love all lipsticks, but gloss just doesn’t excite me. This colour was not my first choice, I naturally gravitated towards the nudes but all my faves were sold out so I thought I’d just go for it and go bold! I’ll report back.

NYX Concealer Wand in Light £5.50

I think I should’ve gone for the shade Porcelain instead as this one seems too dark and orange for me! However I’m always open to trying new affordable cruelty free concealers so we’ll see how we go. I tried it yesterday and initially impressions were not the best, however I think that’s a lot to do with the colour. Coverage was medium.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Chocolate £7

I wanted to get the brow pomade but unfortunately it was out of stock. So I thought I’d get this one to compare with Soap and Glory’s Archery pencil as they look very similar! I go through brow pencils fairly quickly so I don’t mind having a few in my stash as back up. I usually like to finish things before buying something new. So far so good, it’s so similar to Archery!

real techniques setting brush

Real Techniques Setting Brush

Amazon have some great deals on Real Techniques at the moment! I wanted to get this one as a dedicated highlighter brush as I didn’t have one; I was just using an eyeshadow one. It’s the perfect shape for highlighting them cheekbones!

There’ll possibly be a few other Black Friday posts, like the beautybay.com order which has yet to arrive. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some outfit posts soon, clothes are as much if not more of a passion for me than beauty, but showing them is so much more difficult 🙁 I’ll try.

Best wishes,

Nicole

xxxx

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