Catogery 1

Catogery 1
REVIEWS

category 2

category 2
MENTAL HEALTH

category 3

category 3
HAULS

MY EXPERIENCE WITH AMITRIPTYLINE

I did a poll on Twitter asking if you would be interested in a series of posts on my experiences on several different medications that I'm taking to aid my mental health problems, 87% said yes so here's the first installment. (I've also just had my room decorated and I'm obsessed with the brick wallpaper.)

I used to sleep like a baby every night until I was about 16 when my anxiety really got severe, and since then I've really suffered with insomnia and night terrors. My mind is very active at night, I can't relax or really turn off my brain because I'm so anxious. It's a problem I've told psychiatrists and doctors about for years and nobody did anything about it, it started affecting my moods, my appetite and pretty much every aspect of daily life. 

When I turned 18 I was discharged from my adolescent mental health services, so if I needed any medication I had to now just go to my usual GP. I was first prescribed Beta-Blockers, (or Propranolol,) to help with my anxiety and my anti-depressants had already been doubled but neither helped my anxiety at night and I was suffering with night terrors. Night terrors are such weird experiences, I used to have really scary dreams and scream, like, I'd be screaming in the dream but I'd actually also be screaming out loud, waking myself up in a huge panic and sweat. 

After months of telling my GP about my problems she finally give me some medication, her excuse for not giving me some sooner was that she didn't want me on so many pills whilst I'm still so young, and sleeping pills are really addictive. I pretty much had to beg her for them but I was so happy and relieved when I got prescribed Amitriptyline. 

Amitriptyline is used to treat several mental illnesses, improve mood and relieve anxiety. It's mostly used for depression but it can be used to treat Insomnia. It's a special type of anti-depressant called an tricyclic. I was prescribed 10mg a day to take a few hours before bed time. Annoyingly I'm only given 2 weeks supply each time I go for some because they can be fatal even if I was to overdose on the fourteen, and I'm still classed as a risk to myself. 

I usually take my tablet at 9pm and get into bed around 10:30, but I have to bare in mind what time I need to wake up, because If I take it at 9pm and have to be up for 7am, it's nearly impossible because I'm still so drowsy. But most of the time I don't ever have to be up for a certain time so it makes life easier. I'm now in quite a healthy good sleeping pattern of falling asleep around 11-12 and waking up at 9/10.

I was so overjoyed that this medication worked for me, (and still does,) but my GP was right and I am already very dependent on them and I definitley feel the difference in my mood, sleep and energy when I run out. I've not had a night terror since I started taking these and I can fall asleep so easily, I feel so relaxed and generally tired so some nights I pretty much fall asleep as soon as I hit my pillow, which is a miracle for me.
I'm already taking another type of anti-depressant called Fluoxetine, I take 40mg a day of that, and with the added bonus of the Amitriptyline I feel very happy and elated on a morning, I find myself feeling more productive and getting out of bed is so easy. 


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10 SASSY QUOTES FOR WHEN YOU'RE NOT FEELING SO BADASS

I'm a sucker for a good quote, I literally live by them and I think when you read enough positive things, your brain just becomes happier. I've picked out 10 quotes I like to think about when I'm not feeling very confident, y'know when you want your superwoman sass back instead of sitting hating yourself and feeling fat. 

1. "Wake up every morning and tell yourself you're a badass bitch from hell and that no one can fuck with you, and then don't let anybody fuck with you." - Kate Nash.

2. "If you can't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?" - Ru Paul.


3. "You're not going to tell me who I am, I'm gonna tell you who I am." - Nicki Minaj.

4. "Bitches get stuff done." - Tina Fey.

5. "Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." - Marilyn Monroe.

6. "Don't get bitter, get better." - Alyssa Edwards.

7. "When in doubt, freak em' out." - Sharon Needles.

8. "The most courageous act is to think for yourself. Aloud." - Coco Chanel. 


9. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

10. "Unless they paying your bills, pay them bitches no mind." - Ru Paul.


Sending love and positive vibes.
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PORE PRIMING PERFECTION

My experience with any primer targeted at reducing pores isn't great, they are usually solely made for oily skin, why?! Us without oily skin have pores too. I've tried the likes of Body Shop Instablur and Tarte, both of which are very thick and dry and not right at all for dryer skin types. 

I've found something L I F E changing guys, I haven't heard anyone talk about this primer, ever, and when I swatched it I was so impressed and excited to buy it. Say hi to the Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer, my new holy grail, (that is a huge statement, I have a lot of primers.) I'm genuinely so shocked that I haven't seen anyone raving about this stuff, I've been so impressed by it and it does the job so much better than some of my more expensive primers. Coming in at £19.50, it's not that bad really considering there's a lot of product and a little goes a long way, and the packaging is so unique and gorgeous - it's not your average boring tube or lid, I love the whole vampy sassy theme. (Even applies to the box it comes in.)

I don't know about anyone else, but if I'm wearing a dewy foundation that's not really high coverage, pores really stick out and look bad, and throughout the day it ruins your make up completely and your pores are standing out like hell, and this is where this primer saves the day - because pores are my ultimate pet hate.
This primer will totally smooth out your skin and give it a velvety, cushion like finish and totally blur all your pores, your skin pretty much looks airbrushed, it's amazing.

I apply such a thin layer over areas like my chin and around my nose where pores are the most visible, despite having normal/dry skin it doesn't flake off or feel dry, it actually feels quite comfortable. Obviously oily skin types would need a thicker layer, but I'm so glad I've finally found a primer that WORKS for my pores and suits my skin! Obviously I use a moisturiser underneath as always. 



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GIMME (FREE) BROW

What's better than getting a new 'high end,' beauty product? Getting it for free.
If you aren't already aware, Glamour have free miniatures of the new Benefit Gimme Brow in the latest issue. No it isn't full size, but I've had a proper Gimme Brow before and it lasted well over a year, so considering this is free and probably half the size, it's going to last a few months- AND IT'S SO PRETTY.

In fact the entire new range is gorgeous, the only product I've tried from Benefit is their famous Gimme Brow, and I went through phases of loving it and then hating it. I think when you first buy Gimme Brow the formula is very wet, so it's very easy to make a mistake and then you've got dark brown gel smudged all over, it's not great if you want the gradient look to your brow either, best wait until it dries out and goes a little lighter. I find that too much gel sticks in the bristles too, so sometimes your first stroke turns out to just be a huge clump.

The new packaging is so much nicer and makes it look more expensive, but I'm not keen on the shape of the wand. The original was just a simple round wand, easy to hold stable, where as this is a queer little shape and for me who wears acrylic nails and probably has coffee shakes when doing my make up, the shape makes the job a little more difficult.

For me this isn't worth paying full price for, but it's a freebie so you might as well go and try it, maybe it'll be more for you than me. I suggest the MAC Brow Gel, I purchased it after Gimme Brow and I much prefer it, (and it's cheaper.) 

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READY, SET, AUTUMN EYES

Here I am sitting in the garden this Tuesday morning of what is supposed to be the hottest day of the year, and what am I doing? Writing a post about Autumn make up. Can you tell I hate Summer? I just want it over, I want jumpers and fluffy coats.

Last Autumn I tried to rock MAC's Cranberry eyeshadow but it just wasn't for me, against my skin tone it just looked like pink eye to be honest, but after bronzing up and using the pink and reddish shades in my ABH Modern Renaissance palette, I decided to try again. This time I got something more on the purple cool side, say hello to NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in the shade Phoebe. 
I knew this was a shadow that wouldn't let me down quality wise because I already own and love the Dual Intensity palettte they released about a year ago (limited edition, soz to tease you.) They are such versatile little squares of goodness that can be used and worn amazingly wet or dry and for £21 they promise the following...

"Mesmerizing new Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow features a luxuriously smooth transformative texture. It goes on dry for a sheer soft touch of sensual colour may be applied wet for mind-blowing impact with dramatic luminous matte and high shine finishes."

The shade I chose is described as a deep shimmering amethyst with a metallic finish. I'm thinking dry for winter, so it's more crisp and cool, and using it wet during Autumn for a deeper purple.
I find that these work well if you spray the shadow with some Mac Fix+, it makes the pigmentation mega intense and it's easier and less messy than using water. When used wet, it's best to use a flat brush and pack on the colour and then quickly do any blending before it dries and it's quite stiff to work with. I personally use the NARS Wet/Dry Eyeshadow Brush that came with my Dual Intensity palette and a MAC 217 to blend. I don't find that using an eye primer makes any difference, the colour pay off is exactly the same with or without.

I'm not the biggest fan of these shadows used dry, for me it's too sheer and glossy looking, and I like to always be rocking a pretty bold and dark eye look- and for me Phoebe almost looks like two different eyeshadows when it's wet and dry.
I just wish that the pattern on top didn't disappear so quickly from your wet brush being dunked in because I think it adds a really luxurious looking touch, but still the compact is very sturdy and has the classic NARS matte black finish.



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10 REASONS I'M A CRAP BLOGGER


It's totally normal for us to feel inferior sometimes, blogging is a huge community that can be very competitive, we constantly compare our work to others, photography, writing, ideas, followers etc and recently it really got me down, to the point I wanted to quit. I'm back bitches, and to make some light heartedness out of a crap situation, I decided to put together a list of reasons I'm a shit blogger, hope you can all relate. Or maybe it's better if you can't relate, means you've got more confidence than me ha.

1. After 1 and a half years blogging, I still haven't mastered the flat-lay.
I just can't do it, I get all the items wonky, it's never straight or perfectly aligned. I don't have enough of the same stuff that's 'themed,' and I end up throwing in a fork or some shit to fill in empty spaces.


2. I only just downloaded Photoshop and began to edit with curves, dodging and levels.
Big mistake I've been doing all these years, just upping that exposure and highlights, no Courtney, it's time to move up. I've brought the big guns out now, Photoshop. I'm just learning my way around but already I've seen improvement, (you'll see it gradually, hopefully...)


3. I still haven't mastered perfect composition. 
Maybe I just don't have the eye for it, but I can't take images like some bloggers with peonies and blankets in the background looking perfectly placed, doesn't matter where I put products, they still look boring.


4. I never schedule Tweets.
Just nah, so boring and tedious. I don't have a full time job anyway so I've always got my phone around to make a few Tweets in the day promoting my blog, but past 10pm when I go to bed? Nah, nothing, views stop there- I only promo between 11am and 10pm basically.

5. I very rarely comment on other blogs.

To be honest I just don't really like reading, I do read a few posts but it's always on my phone and commenting is sometimes impossible to do on your phone. If I can comment easily on my phone, I've probably got nothing to say that somebody hasn't already.

6. I still haven't purchased any 'props.'
Every time I'm in town I walk past the likes of Tiger and Paperchase knowing I should go and buy props, but I just can't bring myself to spend money on them, there's so many other things I want like clothes and make up so I can keep my blog going, I don't have enough spare cash for fancy props like mini baskets and peonies.

7. I can never properly articulate what I want to say.
When it comes to mental health and lifestyle posts I just feel like words aren't enough and I wish I could make words up or make you feel a feeling to get my point across.


8. I'm super awkward at responding to comments.
I appreciate comments, but sometimes it's just really awkz because I never know what to say, for example if someone comments on a product post with something like, 'this looks so nice,' like, there's nothing for me to really respond to, I've said in the post that it's fabulous, and 'haha i know,' sounds so ew.

9. I never reach out to brands/companies etc.
Never know what to say and how to contact the right person, and even if I did I think they would just laugh at me or ignore me.


10. I rarely have posts scheduled or photos took in bulk, if I do it's only one.
So sometimes comes a week I actually have plans and there will be no post for days, other weeks I do nothing all week so I have all the time to upload a post everyday. I'm very inconsistent. Oops.


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A VOLUNTARY DRUGSTORE PURCHASE

Guys, I went into Superdrug to buy make up...is my make up snob dying? I can't remember the last time I walked into a drugstore to buy make up, but this palette was something I could no longer deny myself. Nikkie Tutorials uses and loves it, so if it's good enough for her, good enough for me. Not just her, but every beauty blogger I follow on Twitter is raving about this, I can confirm its worth all the fuss. 
I usually pay anywhere from £20 to £45 for a single or double highlight pan/palette, so being able to get almost  the same pigmentation and four shades of glow for £9.99 is daylight robbery.

Sleek tried with the packaging, I love that they've made it gold for a highlighting palette, but it still feels cheap, not helped by the pathetic and awful rough "brush," that's slotted down the side, that went straight into the bin. But for £10 and 4 good highlighters, you can't slate the packaging, it is drugstore after all and it could be a lot worse. Perks are that it has a huge mirror, but I reckon if you dropped this it would very soon be in a million golden pieces.

Inside are four highlights, one cream and three powder, and I love the variety of colour, I certainly don't have a pinky/purpely toned highlight, but now I do and I love it.
The cream shade looks way too dark for my skin, but once I actually swatched, it's totally fine and this palette works amazingly with pale skin. The pigmentation isn't 'wow,' like the likes of my beloved Champagne Pop, but it's half the price and for drugstore the pigmentation is really unbeatable, I don't know how they've managed to create such four beautiful highlighters with great pigmentation for only ten pound.

The powders are more pigmented than the cream, but if I use the cream it'll be solely as a base for a powder, to really blind everyone with my highlight.
The hype around this really hasn't let me down, I'm so in love with it and I'm really impressed by the quality- I don't have any shades like this that are so gleaming and iridescent, I'm so glad I put my snob aside for five minutes and purchased this, and if you're still on the fence about it- get off and go and buy it now. (It's literally sold out everywhere,) I actually got the last one in my local Superdrug, phew.

I did have to 'double dip,' with the swatches to get them to this intensity for a picture, but I think if you're using a good brush it should work great first time around. (Also bare in mind I have fake tan and scars on my arm that might make them look different to others.)

Until now my only drugstore 'must haves,' that have really impressed me are the Soap & Glory primer and the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams, but this has definitley earned a place on the very tight list, so it must be good
.

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MORE DISAPPOINTING PRODUCTS

Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than paying out the big bucks for high end make up only to find that it's rubbish, it's times like this that I wished I was happy buying having and using drugstore, but I'm not, so 50% of my make up purchases are hit or miss. I usually do a lot of reading up on reviews before buying, or just buy what everyone's hyping about, which was the case with two of these disappointing products.

I read so many rave reviews on the Body Shop's Instablur Primer, it promised to smooth the skin and make my pores invisible as well as improve the way my foundation looked. It isn't a drugstore product, but it's not high end, it's in that weird middle, so I wasn't too upset about wasting my money, (it's now been handed down to my mum, no idea how she is managing to use it.)
Let me tell you, I have tried a huge bunch of primers, and this is worse than all of the bad ones put together, what an absolute disaster.
I couldn't even get this on my skin to be honest, it just rolled off like a really dry clay face mask would after fifteen minutes, I tried with different moisturisers, no luck. 


Another primer that was completely rubbish comes from my favourite high end brand, so it kills me to say this but, NARS, this is utterly useless. The Pro Prime Pore Perfecting Primer, (what a mouthful,) costs £26.00 so I expected it to do what it said it did, but it didn't do what it said, or anything at all to be honest, so again this has been passed down to my mam. It didn't blur my pores at all, if anything I think it made them look worse.

Now, I must admit I am very picky with my mascaras, the only one I really like is Too Faced Better Than Sex, topped up with dramatic false lashes. But there was a time months ago I was running low on my holy grail and QVC happened to have an offer on where you got two Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara's for the price of one, so I couldn't really resist. All of the reviews on the website were five star, I watched the broadcast of the product and when it was modeled it looked amazing, but for me it was rubbish. I found the formula of this very very dry and clay like, I couldn't apply more than one coat because it made the lashes so stiff and dry, and my first tube dried out within a few weeks. 



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HOW I FLICK

I've been winging it since I was about 13, started from the bottom and now we are kind of there...I think I've tried almost every liquid eyeliner under the sun. I've tried everything from Collection to Yves Saint Laurent to find my perfect match, and I think I've found my soulmate in the Stila Stay All Day liner, which annoyingly, I don't even have at the moment. Of course there's still more I want to try out, like the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner which seems to be promising. Anyway, here's a run down of the three I currently have in my stash and what I think about them, let's start with the worst...

Soap & Glory Supercat
 (£6)

Sorry but nah. All those people on Twitter that love this obviously haven't tired better liners, because to me this is pretty crap in terms of colour. To me this is light black/dark grey, it isn't bold or jet black at all, and over the day it just fades even lighter, not a good look. It's like it's constantly running out, even when it's brand new. Yes it looks pretty, and the nib is good, but when you use liquid liner you want intense jet black lines that wont fade, this isn't that, I've had kohl liners be blacker.

Collection Fast Stroke (£3)
Half the price of the last one and yet half way further to being perfect. For me this is the blackest of the black, you couldn't get a liner any darker so it's not going to fade through out the day, and even if it somehow did, it would still be jet black. For a £2.99 liner, the pigmentation is amazing- better than some high end liners I've tried. It's a shame that it looks and feels really cheap, but there is a lot in that pot so it's probably going to last longer than your average pen. The applicator on this is a strange one, it requires a very steady hand and a lot of flick practice otherwise it very easily goes terribly wrong. The nib is quite hard, and a lot of the time it picks up way too much product, making your line way too thick or totally ruining your flick- and it isn't easy to remove.

Tarte Tarteist Clay Paint (£19)
Ooooo girl, that price jump, nasty. Let's start with the obvious, it looks fabulous, I love the gold touches and the font, it definitley doesn't look like a drugstore product. However, just because it looks pretty, doesn't mean it's practical, this liner squeezes out of a tiny hole, which you can guess, most of the time ends up in an exploding mess. I squeeze, nothing, squeeze again, no, squeeze harder and woop it's all over the mirror and the floor and my face, waste of an expensive product.
It looks like the name makes it look, it does look very matte and 'clay,' like on the lid, there's no sheen and the pigmentation is amazing, it certainly doesn't budge all day because the formula is quite thick and heavy. 




What liquid liners are you loving? I'm clearly not very happy with any that I use at the moment, so a new one is on next weeks pay day list. What's your tool of choice for getting your perfect flick?

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BTS: QUITTING BLOGGING? LIFE, QUARTER LIFE CRISIS?



I’ve recently been struggling with everything, from my blog to my mental health, everything seems to be getting on top of me and I feel very out of control and pretty helpless. I felt like writing all of this down and sharing my ‘behind the scenes,’ might help me become motivated or even just assure someone else they aren’t alone. Although, I do feel like I’m the only one going through all of this and I probably won’t explain it properly.

First of all, I do love my blog, I’ve been blogging for a year and a half now and I think my progress is good, I’m happy with how my follower count has risen and how the general look of my blog has progressed. I love interacting with you all in the comments, I love getting great feedback or seeing a post get hundreds of views in a day, it all makes it worthwhile.
Recently I’ve had very little or no motivation at all to write, as much as I love getting new content up and out there, I just can’t bring myself to do it and to be honest I have literally no ideas right now. There are no posts drafted, no photos taken, there’s just no drive there. Yes, I’ve tried, I’ve looked for post ideas, but none of them seem good enough for me, I’ve sat with an empty post up staring at the screen, I’ve sat looking into my makeup collection hoping ideas would jump out at me, but nope.
I’ve been so unhappy with my last few posts, and I think it’s because the way I’m feeling is really showing in them, and if I can see it, so can my audience, and now my audience is growing, there’s no time for half-hearted shitty posts. So I am now at a point where I’m thinking about giving all of this up completely, but I’m too worried I’ll massively regret it. 

Something else that’s been really bugging me for months now is this whole, ‘who am I what am I doing,’ thing. I feel like I live so many separate lives.
I feel like on social media and my blog, I’m someone, and in real life I’m something else, I have days I scroll through my Twitter and think, ‘this isn’t even me, this is all to look professional for blogging.’
I feel like I see so many different types and styles of people, in the way they look and the way they come across, and I’m just not 100% sure where I fit in, in-fact, I don’t fit in anywhere, and I think the fact I have zero friends ‘in real life,’ proves that. 
I'm really struggling with finding and being sure of my personal style, both in regards to the way I dress to the way I act, I just never seem to want to be the 'same,' person for more than a week. 
I am extremely unhappy with myself at the moment, more than I have ever been, the amount of self hatred I'm full of isn't healthy, and I constantly feel confused and my thoughts are always conflicted.  I've had some really bad mental health crisis' recently, all of which have been around my fiancĂ©, (Callum) and he's the only person in the world that has half an understanding of how horrible I feel about myself. 
My weight isn't good enough, my make up isn't good enough, my style isn't good enough, my body isn't good enough, my blog isn't good enough, nothing.

My social media surrounds me with powerful, strong and 'together,' women, who are all girl boss and full of confidence and work ethic etc, and I look up to every single one of them.
I just want to be sure of myself, sure of my style, what I stand for, and sure of where my future is going and who is in my life. I want my mental health to be better, everything just needs to be so much better but it all seems so impossible. I suppose a big factor is being scared too, scared of peoples judgments and worrying about people not liking me, which probably stems from the bullying I encountered
 during my school years.
I do hope you're all okay, though.
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REBOOT, REFRESH & RENEW YOUR MASCARA

I've had this product for just over a year now, and I always seem to completely forget about it, and when it was first released Urban Decay made such a fuss of it, but yet nobody else did. I've not seen one blog post about this since it's release over a year ago, yet it's one of a kind, I don't know any other product from any other brand that's the same as this, I thought it was a really great idea.

The said product is the Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection, priced at only £10, (cheap for 'high end.') This is essentially something like Mac Fix+ but for your lashes, the tag line 'Reboot, refresh, renew,' sums up what this is all about. Y'know when you're out all day, maybe say at work, and your mascara's just looking a little worse for wear and dull? Your curls cropped or the volumes gone? If so, this is perfect for you. Or perhaps you like to layer your mascara, but your lashes are prone to spider syndrome and go all clumpy, this is also for you.

This pretty glittery purple tube contains something like a clear eyebrow gel, but in mascara form. The wand is smaller than your average mascara but the head is curled perfectly to get right into the root of your lashes and boost a curl. It's designed to go on top of mascara you're already wearing, as a sort of primer before adding another layer. Usually applying a fresh coat on top of mascara you've had on for hours is a very difficult task with usually bad results, your lashes clump together and they're all stiff and dry, but this product takes away all that, it literally feels like you're applying your first bit of mascara in the morning.

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A TRAGIC LOVE STORY

I'm sorry that this is just another post on the palette that's probably all over your feed at the moment, but this is kind of a big deal for me. When this was first released, I was convinced I didn't like it and wouldn't use 99% of the shades, so I waited and waited and watched the blog posts and Instagram's roll in and every picture pushed me further, and further, and snap. I suddenly turned from, 'nah, not fussed about that,' to 'Oh my God I need money now I NEED THIS PALETTE OR I'LL DIE.' 

So I expressed my burning need for this palette to my fiancé but he wasn't having any of it, I eventually realized there was zero chance of me getting this out of him and I'd probably have to wait another week until I got some money, and it was more than likely to then be out of stock. But, when there's a Courtney, there's always a way...


I took to Instagram and Twitter and managed to sell my Kat Von D Shade and Light palette, yes, half way there. Nothing else sold so I was deflated again, lusting over pictures of the pink suede goodness. I saw Callum again the day after, told him about my little sale and then took to Beauty Bay, I finally convinced him to give me the rest of the money despite his grudge against it. Next day delivery too? Happiness overload.

I get a lot of beauty products delivered, but the excitement of this arriving was triple any of the rest, I think it's because I actually had to really wait for this. How could you not go crazy for this? Dusty pink suede packaging with gold embossing? Gimme more, I just want this palette in every flat lay I ever take.

The shades are so different for me, so first time using it was a little scary and difficult to get used to but I got there and loved it. My eyes are always dark brown and golden, this palette consists of oranges, plums, pinks, everything but what I always wear. For my first use I used a pinky plummy shade 'love letter,' mixed and blended with the champagne shimmer on the inner corners and brow bone, very different for me and I felt a little 'out there,' but it's a look I'll definitley be wearing again.

I'm so glad I finally caved, this palette is a great addition to my collection as it allows me to adventure more and go a little out of my comfort zone, I can also justify the price because it's full of shades I don't already have a million of. I've never tried Anastasia eyeshadows but I'm really impressed, they might just be replacing my number one, Too Faced eyshadows. It's definitley worth the price tag. So if like me, you're still on the fence about this one, I highly suggest you go and order it right now.
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