Thursday, August 27, 2015

Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights: review and swatches

I've been super into highlighters lately! This is unusual because I've always heavily favoured matte skin and abhorred any sort of shimmer on my face - maybe it's all the 'strobing' stuff influencing me. Whatever the reason, I now own four highlighters (three bought recently). The one I'm reviewing today is from Makeup Revolution, bought in the UK as I was over there visiting my grandmother. I also picked up their dual brow pencil-pen thing and a 'Radiant Lights' higlighter but they'll be reviewed in a separate post. 

I'll address packaging and all that stuff here because I did order it online and I'm attempting to be thorough. No photos, but it arrived in a plastic envelope type thing with bubble wrap. Golden Lights came with a slight chip in the corner (visible top right section of the highlighter) and there was a little bit of powder fallout for both highlighters. My other highlighter had a small scratch on the lid. Golden Lights did not come in a box, though the other two products did.

The actual powder packaging doesn't seem at all flimsy, the hinge is sturdy and it closes with a satisfying click. It's not the most visually exciting packaging but long as it does the job, I'm not complaining. Can't ask for something like the Guerlain Rouge G metal behemoths for £3.

Honestly, it's kind of a weird colour. There's a very strong golden reflect on an almost cool base - this mismatch is especially evident in the flash photos where you can see the gold flash against bluish-white. On the face, this coolness isn't really evident though, so it's more of a curiosity than a practical issue. The texture is perfectly fine, I had no issues picking it up with a brush or fingers and it went on smoothly. Building it up to different levels of shine is easy.

Swatched over light layer of foundation + powder in daylight:

With flash:

For the face swatches, I went pretty heavy-handed so...don't think of this as a day-to-day application. I basically just smashed it all over my face. It's a fairly strong highlight and would be better suited to someone who..really loves shimmer and shine. I'll generally use it on my cheekbones only, with another highlighter for any other areas. It does emphasise skin texture if you apply it too heavily, so that's why I avoid my forehead.
The wear is acceptable by my standards but I find that when it does wear off, the effect becomes more of a dispersed sparkle than a unified sheen. This doesn't really bother me as by the end of the day it's less visible due to low light and...I'm tired and not overly preoccupied with my highlighter's look. 

Terrible/filtered photos of this highlighter in action:

As in above photo, this really shines when applied heavily.



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Coloured Raine liquid lipsticks in Sugar, Marshmallow, and Mars: review and swatches


I was so excited to get these - my first foray into liquid lipsticks had mixed success, so I really wanted to try a different brand. I did the whole waiting for the restock at 11pm (China time) thing so, you know. Dedication. Of course, I went a little overboard and now own six liquid lipsticks (three Coloured Raine, two Stila, and an old Kat Von D sample from Christmas).

I was very hesitant about buying Sugar because often I'm...too pale to pull off paler nudes? It just looks like concealer lips and I resemble a sad, sedate clown. For reference, I can *just* about pull off MAC Myth, though I don't ever wear it without a darker lip liner, and I wear MAC Prolongwear concealer in NC15. Sugar is totally fine on me! Go forth and buy it.

Top to bottom: Marshmallow, Sugar, Mars

I'll go through the colours one by one, but first the general formula! In terms of texture, it's a little thinner than I was expecting but still easy to apply.There's zero transfer when doing things like drinking water, and the longevity is very good. It never flakes or smears on me. It'll wear off if you have a meal because of the oil (who eats an entire meal that doesn't have any oil in it..? Are you eating plain bread and lettuce?) but otherwise it's staying on.

However, when it does wear away it leaves bare skin - with the Stila liquid lipsticks, you can kind of press your lips together to redistribute as oil...melts it slightly. With these, you just have to apply more as it won't even out in the same way. Applying further coats doesn't seem to affect the texture and it never turns dry and crumbly on me. Like, it's super easy to just fill in the spots that have worn away and continue on with your day.

Honestly, it's probably my favourite liquid lipstick formula so far. It's a lot more versatile than my others in terms of opacity due to the thinner texture as I can spread a little across my lips for a translucent look or apply a normal amount and get full coverage. I even wore it to my school's Leaver's Ball (I guess it would be the equivalent of prom) in a mix of Marshmallow and Sugar!

Wearing Sugar, no other makeup:

Sugar is way warmer than I expected and a lot more orange-y. It's not approaching a pale Sixties orange or anything, but it's more..colourful than I thought it would be. I really like this shade! I might do a 'nude/natural' lipstick round-up again as I've acquired a few more since the last one, in which case there'll be comparison swatches for reference. 

                                                Wearing Marshmallow, no other makeup:

Okay, so I'm really bad at describing colours. I guess this is brown? But it's pinkish too. And sometimes a little grey. It's lovely and fairly unique among the lipsticks that I own. Plus I feel like it harmonises with my colouring pretty well so it's kind of a 'throw it on and go' colour.

Wearing Mars:

This one was hell to photograph. I'd take three photos in a row and they'd all come out looking like totally different colours. This is the closest I got but again, it can look super different depending on lighting. It's also warmer than I expected and deeper too. I'm not even going to attempt to describe the colour. 

I grabbed a few photos of me wearing some of the shades! For reference. Because my descriptions are incredibly unhelpful and I think real-life photos can be good to see how they look in different lighting situations. 

Below is Mars - it can look very dark, though the filter did make the contrast between the colour and my skin a little more stark. This also shows how red it can look.

Below is Marshmallow on the outside and Sugar on the centre of my lips. You can kind of see my (vague approximation of a) real lip line but eh, wasn't noticeable in person. 

And again, Marshmallow on the outside and Sugar on the centre. It's a cool effect. Lip contouring. 

And finally, an unflattering photo of me wearing Marshmallow totally alone: 

Overall: buy these! They're great. If you like liquid lipsticks, you'll like these. I recommend all three of the colours I picked up because they're versatile and also really nice when mixed. Marshmallow + Sugar is a great darker nude lip for pale skin. Sugar + Mars is a pretty pink. Etc. 



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 06 Pink Pong: review and swatches


This is another post with super old pictures! I bought this lipstick not that long after it was first released, when I was in the UK visiting family. 

First, the good: I really like the finish and colour of this lipstick. I'm actually not much of a pink lipstick-wearer (not for any particular reason, I just generally prefer red) but this shade is so fresh and pretty that I had to get it. It doesn't look garish or too much despite my paleness. The finish is a soft matte with a hint of translucency - kind of like matte cellophane? I love it because the natural blurriness of the edges means its a little more casual, but you can still create a precise line with a lipbrush if needed. Plus the aesthetic of like, skin through colour. That's probably nonsensical, sorry.  It can be built up to full opacity but that point I'd just reach for another lipstick. The appeal for me lies in the not-totally-opaque finish.

However, I actually barely wear this. Outside of testing it, I've worn it maybe three times. This is because, though the weartime is on par with a regular lipstick, the comfort level on my lips is low. 

I can handle certain types of dry feelings on my lips - for example, the liquid-to-matte opaque lipsticks that really set (think Stila, Coloured Raine, Kat von D, etc.) are super dry on the lips and I'm totally cool with them. I wear them all the time! The difference is that you can feel that you're wearing lipstick with them. With the Bourjois, it doesn't really feel like I'm wearing anything so the dry feeling translates uncomfortable, chapped lips sensation. It's so thin and weightless that I don't register it as lipstick and it just feels like I need to put lipbalm on.

Bare lips

Wearing Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Pink Pong 
(I laugh in the face of natural lip lines)

Wear time is on par with normal lipsticks, for me. Most lipsticks don't last very long on me though, so I'm not sure how helpful that is as a measure. It doesn't fade evenly but, again, literally nothing fades evenly. I honestly don't know how anything would - if you're eating something, only your inner lip is touching the food so why would the perimeters of your lips fade alongside the centre at the same rate? Maybe I have weirdly shaped lips. 

So. Would I recommend this? Yeah, probably. I'm guessing a lot of people won't mind the texture and/or won't have lips as dry as mine. It's a very pretty colour with a cool finish that can be sheered out or built up and it lasts an acceptable amount of time. I'll likely see if any of my friends want this because I have weird hang ups about certain textures and this is a nice lipstick that shouldn't go to waste!  Do bear in mind that if you're also weird about certain textures or have issues with dry lips, it might not be the best choice. 


Monday, May 25, 2015

Suqqu Kozuecha eyeshadow quad: review + swatches


This is a proper post, unlike the last one. School got very busy with university applications and the demands of A-Levels BUT university applications are over and I'm currently avoiding revision. 

Life updates! Feel free to skip ahead to the makeup photos. The next paragraph or two is just university rambling. 

I was rejected from Cambridge after an awful, awful interview in which I totally blanked on the entire concept of Marxism and displayed zero knowledge of the Scottish independence referendum (which, to be honest, seems like a slightly unfair topic to bring up to someone who doesn't live in the UK). Happily, I did get offers from all my other universities: UCL, AAA; St. Andrews, AAB; Manchester, ABB; Edinburgh, BBB. Currently agonising over which to firm. I've decided that I don't want to go to St. Andrews, leaving me with three choices. It doesn't help that I haven't been to Manchester, Edinburgh OR London.  

I *should* be able to get the grades for any of the offers, so it's mainly about where I want to live. Lots of my classmates will be in London but Edinburgh seems lovely and Manchester looks fun too. I'd be worried about UCL feeling impersonal, as described by someone going there for engineering. Although I'd be doing Anthropology so he might not be having the same experience I would. 

Anyway, I was sick of this post sitting in my drafts so I'm resurrecting it. It might be a bit rushed sounding because, to be honest, I mostly just want to get the photos posted so that there are more Suqqu swatches on the internet to help with online buyers.This is going to be a very picture heavy post because I'm of the opinion that if you're spending this much money on eyeshadow, you should be able to have access to all the information/pictures you could ever want.

Where to buy it if you don't have access to Suqqu in your country: Ichibankao, Selfridges
Price comparisons*
Ichibankao -520rmb £51 $86
Selfridges -  470rmb £45 $76

*at time of writing

The colours! Row by row, starting at the left, here are my shade descriptions
First row: pale golden peach shimmer, medium taupe shimmer
Second row: warm semi-matte brown & slightly cooler shimmery brown, pale matte cream

Which is probably totally useless because those are the vaguest descriptions ever. Basically, this is a fairly warm palette. The coolest shade is the beautiful shimmery taupe-brown and the warmest is the semi-matte brown. Before this palette, I didn't totally understand the difference between shimmer and frost but now I've seen the light. The shimmer in these shades isn't uniformly reflective in the way that my previous neutral shimmers (MUA Undress Me Too palette) were. There's a photo a little way down this post that shows swatches w/ flash where you can see the complexity of the shimmer in the Suqqu shades.

This is my first Suqqu palette and I was a little underwhelmed when I first received it. I think I was expecting something ridiculously pigmented and 'thick' textured and this is...not that. 
Which isn't a bad thing! It's just not what I expected. The formula is quite silky and dryer than I'd assumed it would be. Like, I was expecting velvet and was given chiffon, if you know what I mean. It's delicate and lovely but definitely don't go into this expecting crazy pigmentation. That's not really what it's about. Obviously it wouldn't be super easy to do any high contrast/high impact looks with this palette but, you know, you probably wouldn't expect a muted, toned down look from a Sugarpill palette.I did manage a Sixties-inspired eye look with it though.

In the swatches below I've used a brush (not a sponge-tip applicator) and no primer or anything, so these are the shadows entirely by themselves. If I'd used a sponge-tip applicator the swatches would obviously be more pigmented because those things really lay colour down. As it is, the arm swatches are probably not showing the highest level of opacity possible. 

Swatched in the same order as the shade descriptions (minus pale cream matte, which is essentially invisible). Afternoon shade.

Angled in mid-afternoon shade: 

Flash + shaking the camera to blur it to show the sparkles!

So, other aspects! The wear time is good, it doesn't fade or go patchy. It creases without a primer, but literally everything does on me. Blending is super easy due to the silky texture and it applies as nicely on the lid as it does when swatched. Aiding the blending further is the pale cream matte, which I love and adore. It's so fine that it never looks powdery and it helps everything over it blend out nicely. 

The photo below shows the differences in shimmer/shininess pretty well. The pale peach shade is the favourite inner corner highlight ever, so glowy and pretty. Straight gold/white shimmer always ends up looking so stark and out of place on my skintone. 

Also, I think some of the shimmer from the other shades fell onto the warm semi-matte (would satin be a better description?) brown in the swatches. 

Flash  but no blur: 

And here are a selection of looks featuring some element of Kozuecha. Most of these have been on the blog before because...I haven't taken photos of my own makeup in like, half a year. 

as liner and probably lid shade

this is the aforementioned sixties look, link above

inner corner highlight

inner third of lid and inner corner highlight

liner, lower lashline, possibly a little on the inner corner

Finally this post is finished! 


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Experiments in Contouring: NYX, Milani, Jouer, Detrivore

This is a super old post with super old photos  BUT I'm in the middle of my A2 exams and I need to do something to relax, so I'm resurrecting the blog a little. I've since acquired more contour powders/bronzers/blushes so I might do a second comparison post, especially since I'm pretty sure my face looks different now. My skin was definitely clearer when I took these photos. Ah, youth.

Left to right: NYX Taupe, Milani Sunset bronzer duo, Jouer Matte bronzer, Detrivore eyeshadow in Fortress

Buying that Jouer bronzer is one of my makeup regrets because THE COLOUR. Look at how orange it is. I was sucked in by a beauty guru saying it was her favourite bronzer. Never again. Although it might look kind of similar to the Milani in the swatch photo above, they're worlds apart on my face. The Milani is much browner and slightly pink, which works a lot better on me as a believable tan. NYX Taupe was my only proper contour when I took these pictures, and I'm pretty sure I threw in the Detrivore eyeshadow just for fun. It's much too finicky for me to consider using it to contour and the greyness makes it difficult to pull off.

(Very old) photo illustrating how terrible and jarring the Jouer looks on me IRL. 


These photos are so awful, I'm sorry. I have no idea why I'm glaring at the camera. I want to reiterate that these were taken like, a year ago. 




Ugh. It was so expensive too. Why must it look so awful. 


I actually got this one at Poundland! #noregrets

I'm not going to review them because it would be totally pointless; I'll do another post with my current rotation of contours/bronzers and hopefully less terrible photos. I'm mainly posting this to get it out of my drafts. My last post was August 2014, so I feel obligated to do something. BETTER QUALITY CONTENT TO COME.