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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The Balm Mad Lash Mascara Review

Rather on a whim, I bought this mascara from The Balm on ASOS while they were doing their 20% student discount. I did a quick google to see if there were any reviews but I didn’t come across that many. One I did manage to find was positive and in another I think it was compared to Benefit’s Roller Lash which is a mascara I loved. I hoped ‘Mad Lash’ would be a cruelty-free alternative to it.

the balm mad lash mascara review (4)the balm mad lash mascara review (5)the balm mad lash mascara review (3)

I really, really like this mascara! I love the brush, I definitely do notice similarities to Roller Lash’s brush which I loved too. It’s a plastic wand which is slightly curved with lots of little spikes which act almost like a comb, it allows you to really get in there and coat all the lashes in the corners. It provides good separation and definition which is amazing but lashes can start to clump together if you apply too much. It adds volume and length without the clumpy look and can hold a curl well. For me, it’s worn well the day’s I have worn it, with no smudging or running. I haven’t quite got the knack of using it on my bottom lashes yet as I don’t like to coat them too much and this mascara distributes a lot of product, which isn’t a bad thing it’s just not ideal for bottom lashes! The brush also isn’t that well suited for bottom lashes but I’m happy using another mascara for this job. Additionally, I’ve found it easy to remove at the end of the day.

This was the first mascara I’d tried from The Balm and I am really impressed! It’s a fantastic mascara that I enjoy using as the brush is brilliant and you can see the transformation immediately in the mirror. <3 If you like Roller Lash I think chances are you’ll like this cruelty-free alternative – I know I do!

What is your favourite mascara? Have you tried any by The Balm?

Love Nicole xxxx

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Beauty Bay Haul | Makeup & Skincare

Some more products I’ve bought via Beauty Bay the past month or so that I thought I’d share with you!

 

pixi glow mud mask la girl contour stick eye of horus mascarapeter thomas roth max complexion correction pads first aid beauty 5 in 1 age delay eye creamla girl bronzer contour stickeye of horus goddess mascara

 

Pixi Glow Mud Mask

I’m still yet to try Glow Tonic as I have so many other exfoliants to use up first but I will try it eventually. However I really wanted to try something from the brand so I thought a mask would be fun! The tube was a lot smaller than I expected but upon using it I’ve found you really don’t need much per use so it’s hopefully not going to be as poor value as I first feared. It is an awesome black colour so it’s really fun to use/you look very scary. After leaving it on 15 minutes I can tell it’s got down into my pores as I can see lots of dots all over my nose and cheeks! I can’t credit this with any particular improvement to my skin but it’s nice to use and I think it does get into your pores and give them a clean.

L.A. Girl Velvet Contour Stick in ‘Suede’

This doesn’t appear to be on the website at the time of me writing this but there are some available on Amazon. I liked the idea of a contour stick as they seem like an easy way to contour and will be good for summer where I like to use less powder products. So when I saw this for a fiver I thought this was one to try. It’s quite a warm shade but the pigment is good and it blends out well enough. I need practice using it tbh, but I’m happy with it so far.

Beauty Blender Nude Sponge

This is my first beauty blender! I caved and just had to see what all the fuss was about. I liked the nude colour of this which means it doesn’t look as dirty so quickly. I’ve actually really enjoyed using this so far but I have much more experimenting to do! It’s true it’s very squishy and bouncy which is perfect for bouncing off your face. I’ve found it gives quite a sheer coverage which I’m not overly keen on as I like quite full coverage, however it’s great to go over your makeup with one of these once you’ve built up the coverage you want with your finger or a brush. It just pats it in and takes away any excess which gives a more natural finish. I’ve only used it with foundation so far but I want to try it with the L.A Girl Contour Stick (above) and see how it blends that in!

Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara

Again, I can’t see this on the website at the moment so it must have sold out. It’s available from here though. I’d never heard of this brand but I needed a new mascara and this one was reduced a bit so I just went for it. It has a plastic brush which I am not overly fond of; it’s quite rough on the lashes despite being a soft, flexible silicon brush. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the effect of this mascara, it’s fine and does the job but there’s something about the application I just don’t love.

Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads

My skin was playing up a bit so I wanted to try some stronger acid products as my skin seems to react well to them. What sold me on these pads was that they contain AHA (Glycolic acid) and BHA (Salicylic acid) so you get a real potent mix. They are very strong smelling and not for the faint hearted but I’ve liked them so far. My skin is behaving more lately and as this is the only thing I’ve really changed in my routine (aside from using face masks more regularly) I think they’re having a positive effect.

First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Eye Cream

The other eye cream I’m using will be running out in the next few weeks so I thought I might as well get another one before then. I like the concept of FAB as a brand and this product looked promising. I’ve been using this most mornings and I really like it! It has a soft, velvety quality to it that makes my eye area feel awesome and provides a beautiful base for makeup. Happy with this one. It doesn’t make my eyes water either which is always important to me and my stupidly watery eyes.

Love Nicole xxxx

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Too Faced Beauty Blogger Darlings Kit

 

For Christmas, one of my best friends was kind enough to buy me this Too Faced ‘Beauty Blogger Darlings’ collection. It contained four of Too Faced’s most popular products, famously hyped by beauty bloggers every where. Having not tried anything from Too Faced before, I was super excited to try out the cute collection of mini cult favourites! They’re a brand I’ve always been interested in, especially as they are cruelty free and have the cutest packaging. It used to be more difficult to buy products from the brand, but its much easier now that it’s stocked on Debenhams and Beauty Bay amongst other UK sites.

too faced beauty blogger darling better than sex mascara primed and poreless shadow insurancetoo faced beauty blogger darlings better than sex mascara shadow insurance primed and poreless face primer chocolate soleil matte bronzertoo faced beauty blogger darlings makeup better than sex mascara chocolate soleil matte bronzer shadow insurance primed and poreless face primertoo faced cocoa chocolate soleil matte bronzertoo faced eyeshadow primer shadow insurance primed and poreless face primer

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

This product has been so hyped by bloggers, so I was kind of prepared to be disappointed as that’s what often happens when your expectations have been set sky high. However, I 100% agree with all the hype and actually think I would possibly purchase a full size in future, even at the steep £19. It’s truly awesome and gives just the kind of lashes I like: thick, voluminous, lengthened and curled (applying it after lash curlers obv). Not much more to say other than I definitely think it’s one worth trying if you haven’t already and are feeling spendy.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance

Eyeshadow primers are not usually something I look for as tbh, I don’t usually wear eyeshadow. I find it a faff, but having this product has prompted me to wear eyeshadow more often so I can test it out. Makeup generally seems to lasts well on my face/eyes so I can’t speak much for longevity as I have nothing to compare to, however I do think this primer helped with the application of shadows. The colour went on much easier and more vibrantly, it looked so nice, so quickly! The primer alone I think looks nice and helps to neutralise the eye lid of any redness or veins.

Too Faced Primed and Poreless

This primer feels so lovely on the skin! It’s more creamy, which I prefer, to other very silicon-y primers I’ve tried (like NYX Pore Filler and Body Shop Insta Blur). My pores are hugely noticeable around the apples of my cheeks and on my nose and unfortunately this did not work miracles on hiding them, but I don’t think anything ever will. However it did provide for a lovely, smooth foundation application and is probably my favourite primer I’ve tried due to it’s texture.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

This is the one product I haven’t tried yet. I’ve tended to reach more for contour than bronzing the past year, and this is definitely not a contour shade as it’s too orangey. It’s quite pigmented so I can see it needing a slight hand on application as, with many bronzers, I think it’d be easy to go overboard and end up looking like you’re still wearing Maybelline’s Dream Matte Mousse in Nude (how did I ever leave the house like that… sigh). Something I can 100% confirm however is that it smells of cocoa bliss! Who doesn’t want their face to smell of chocolate right… Actually, wait, what? Regardless, it smells yummy.

I am very impressed with my first experiences of Too Faced and will definitely buy things from them in future.

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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