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I was really excited to place an order at MAC for one of the new 'Eyes On Mac' palettes for £30 each, there are four colour options and I chose "Amber x9," a set of 9 warm toned neutrals. 
I find that there's constantly rave reviews about MAC eyeshadows on my Bloglovin' feed, so I had pretty high expectations. Let's just say, Cara's facial expression in the image above shows exactly how I felt when my palette arrived. The palette includes some of MAC's permanent shadows, some from limited edition products and some exclusive to the palette its self. 

It looked gorgeous, I was thinking about all the looks I could create and how excited I was to use it for the first time. That's until it came to using it...

The pigmentation of these eyeshadows is appalling, there's pretty much no colour pay off with any of the shades apart from 2 or 3.
The first 3 shades in the top row are swatched on the left side of my arm, believe it or not, it looks like there's nothing there, but I swear that I rubbed on the shadows so hard just to get this result.
If I didn't already throw away the packaging, I would of returned this palette.
None of the shades have a very nice texture to them, either. The mixture of matte and satin finished shadows feel all way too dusty and dry. There's absolutely no creaminess, making them a little hard to blend.
The amount of pressure I'm having to apply to my MAC 217 brush to collect ANY colour to put on my lid is shocking, I tweeted MAC about the issue and they suggested buying their eye primer.
Just stating that I have tried both the Urban Decay eye primer and the NARS Pro Prime and nothing makes these any better.

They really have not given me a good first impression, I'll stick to just buying lipsticks from MAC.

I'm left wishing I purchased an Hourglass blusher now.
I suppose there's a few pros to the palette, such as the size, which would make it perfect for travelling. There's a good range of shades with various finishes that can adapt to day or night.

Left to right: Cozy Grey, Kitties, Georgia Peach, Ricepaper, Creative Copper, Cork, Don't Tell, Aromatic, and finally Pepper Please.


Tarte's Answer To Anastasia DipBrow?

Everyone and their mother is raving or lusting after the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, having never tried it myself I don't understand what makes it so above the rest of the hundreds of brow products out there.

I have been loving my Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse (£25.00.) Unlike the Dipbrow, the Tarte mousse comes with a double ended brush, one for combing your hairs around and the other for applying the colour. I have found that the brush is the perfect size for drawing my brows in.

Yesterday I made another amazing discovery about this product, I usually have an issue with not being able to itch my eyebrow without wiping half of it off, but yesterday I accidentally went up to get rid of an itch and when I checked my brows in the back of my phone, still in place, exactly the same, no white nail line through the middle. Huge amount of brownie points for that.

The Tarte brow mousse comes in a range of shades just like the Dipbrow, ranging from blonde to black.
A little product goes a long way, I find it really easy to create that ombre effect by applying first to my tail and then using the left over product to line under my brow and give a little colour to the other side.
Since it's a mousse there's no problems with drop-down, and since it's waterproof I don't need to worry about it melting from my face if I get sweaty.

The cons of this are that the gel like texture can make it a little difficult to evenly get out of the jar.

As much as I love this and will re-purchase, I still want to get my hands on the Dipbrow just to see what the fuss is about and compare the two together.


Living With Anxiety

I've done a couple of posts regarding mental health, but today I would like to solely focus on the issue of anxiety. Anxiety is something I've suffered with for over 4 years and I can easily say it's took a huge toll on my life and pretty much ruined a lot of it. I think for anyone that's never had a mental health problem, anxiety will be hard to understand and a lot of it may seem ridiculous or petty, but when you suffer, you really suffer and it really can have a huge impact on your life.

Anxiety is living with a thousand worries, all day everyday, almost about absolutely nothing. All of these worries become huge fears that you just cannot face confronting because your mind is so set on something really bad happening. Therefore, you stop doing things. It's a course of a lot of over thinking a situation before it happens, focusing on all the negatives and the things that could happen, it's a series of 'what if's.' What if I fall over? What if someone speaks to me? 
If I am going for a Starbucks, I can't just be happy and excited like someone without anxiety could be, I'm just scared. What if I mess my order up? What if I drop the money? What if I spill my drink? I will imagine every little thing possible that could go wrong, and if I think too much I'll probably end up not going, or having a panic attack. The simplest tasks because so hard and so much of a big deal.

The last time I experienced a panic attack was at college, which was the main reason I was dismissed from my course. I had quite a few in a short amount of time, it was incredibly exhausting, embarrassing and it really really got me down.
The first time, my teacher told the class we had to stand up in pairs and show the rest of the class a poster and speak out, and as she got closer and closer to me and my partner, I couldn't breathe, I was stopping myself from crying, my entire body was shaking, my chest felt like it was closing up, I was sweating and I HAD to get out, so, very embarrassingly, I stood up in the middle of somebody speaking and got out as quickly as I could. Everyone must of been super confused. I got out into the corridor and cried my eyes out, I couldn't walk because my legs were like jelly, my nose started to bleed because I was so distressed.

As much as I wanted to face my fear and stand up in that class, I couldn't, it was so infuriating because I had NO control over it. Anxiety is the work of the brain, fight or flight. 
Fight or flight is what our body does when it thinks you're in danger, it's a natural way of humans protecting themselves, but when you have anxiety, let's say your brain thinks that almost every little thing is a hazard, when in actual fact it's really not.
The only safe place when you have anxiety is alone, in bed, doing nothing. There's nobody home, you can fall asleep and when you're asleep you are finally at peace, sleep is so amazing when you suffer because it's the only time you get to escape from your worries. Which is why anxiety often leads to depression and also links closely with it.

Because I had so much bad experience at school and college with panic attacks I now have a huge fear of classrooms, school buildings etc. If you asked me to walk into a classroom, I would cry my eyes out and run away. I honestly don't know if I will ever be able to walk into a classroom environment again because after one bad experience, my brain now thinks that it's a danger, so it'll kick into fight or flight, build up and then I'll burst and panic.
It really does ruin everything, the enjoyable things like going shopping? Not enjoyable. I dread it. Yes, I love buying things and that makes me happy, but the general idea of walking around a shopping centre, being looked at, having to speak to people, have people see what I'm doing, that makes me so so uncomfortable to the point I want to disappear.

Nothing is fun, everything is scary. Everything is blown out of proportion and you have no control over it. It stops me from doing SO many things. People are terrifying, shops are terrifying, a bus is terrifying, walking down a busy street? Almost seems impossible. 

I'm not just "shy", or "quiet," I don't speak. I am generally terrified to open my mouth in front of new people, I sweat and fill my head with "what if they secretly hate me," "what if they ignore me", so I find it impossible to make new friends or sometimes even say things to the very few I have.
Being a teenager, house party? Sounds fun to your average teenager right? To me, a nightmare. All of the people, all of the talking they could be doing about you, all the ways you could embarrass yourself, how is there any fun in that? No thanks, I'll stay at home in bed in order to avoid as many thoughts as possible. 

Anxiety has left me very lonely, I have never ever had a proper friend group, nor many friends. I'm too terrified that the world is against me and everyone hates me. 

A social life isn't 'fun' when you're riddled with worries, going out isn't fun, it's full of dangers.

The worst part is that there is no cure, yes medication can aid and lessen some of the shaking, but nothing can fix your brain and knowing I might be like this for the rest of my life makes me want to not live it.

Make Up Tricks

There's loads of hints and tips out there to help you out with your make-up, I've tried and tested a few and here's what works when I want to achieve perfection.

Fixing that fake lash issue- It took me a long time to master applying fake lashes, I tried the tweezer thing and I still wasn't 100%, until I learnt about cutting the strip in half. It's honestly fool proof. Cut your strip lash in half with some sisscors, apply the inner corner lashes first with tweezers, and then the outer lashes. It makes the entire process a lot more less stressful and a lot easier.

Using sticky tape to achieve a sharp eyeshadow finish- It's not as painful as it sounds. If you're opting for a dramatic, heavy, smokey eye or night time look, start with your eyeshadow. Place some sticky tape up in a diagonal line from the bottom of your eye to the tail of your eyebrow. The result is a super sharp finish on your eyeshadow, that drag inspired look. It also reduces the amount of drop down on your face!

A better contour- When contouring your cheekbones, make the section nearest to your ear dark, and gradually lighten the intensity down your face, an ombre effect almost. Don't have it all one shade of brown.

Bigger lips? - Highlight your cupids bow. That little space and dip above your top lip, it'll instantly make your lips look fuller.



There's been quite a hype around Benefit's Gimme Brow, (£15-18,) for a while, and I jumped on the bandwagon in duty free on my way home from Disneyland.
After running out of Gimme Brow I wanted to try another product that was similar, but from another brand so that I could see what worked best for me.
That's when I found myself on the MAC website, looking into the Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set (£13.50.)
I had no idea this product even existed, I've never seen any posts about it, nor have I seen it on a MAC counter.
The first advantage of the MAC option is obviously that it's cheaper, and for a larger amount of brow gel.
As the name states, the MAC brow gel is also waterproof, and I'm pretty sure that the Gimme Brow is not.

The brushes of the two products are also very different, the brush from Gimme Brow is a lot smaller, where as the brush in the MAC gel is longer, thicker and holds a lot more product. 

Benefit Gimme Brow only has two colour options, which are light and dark, which may be a problem if you have awkwardly coloured hair, bright hair or jet black. The MAC Brow Set has a total of 6 shades ranging from light blonde to ebony- I think personally that this is a huge advantage. 

The formula of the Gimme Brow feels pretty dry, sometimes it feels like I'm just combing my brows and not actually applying any gel. Where as the MAC option feels very wet and therefore takes an extra minute to set in place. 

Overall, I'd say MAC won this battle, there's the advantage of the colour options, more for your money and it's waterproof. Great for the Summer season in which you may be in a swimming pool or at the beach.


A Hidden Gem, Urban Decay Supercurling Mascara

We've all seen a post about NARS Sheer Glow and other cult favourites, but I recently used up a very well loved product that I think is more than worthy of a spotlight.
Urban Decay's Supercurling Mascara, (£15.50,) has been on my dressing table for a very long time, and only recently did it run out.
Remember the Benefit Roller Lash hype? Then we all read about the drugstore dupe which was the Maybelline Lash Sensational? This is part of the family. It's less expensive than Roller Lash, but more expensive than the drugstore option.

I've never seen one review of this in the blogsphere, everyone just talks about Urban Decay for their Naked palettes but this is the second mascara I've had from the brand that I can praise highly.  Years ago I tried out Big Fatty, which I loved. 
Both the formula and the brush of Supercurl contribute to the amazing result, super curled lashes that stay curled all day. It totally does what it says on the tin. 
It's easy to remove, and one coat is enough. 

It's jet black and the formula isn't too dry, or too wet, so it never makes a mess, I never had any issues with clumps, either. The brush also separates the lashes out perfectly.
Paired with a volumising mascara, you've got long, curled right up lashes.

It's such a hidden gem and I know that if more people tried it, they would love it as much as I have. 


Updated MAC Lipstick Collection

My MAC lipstick family was one of my first ever posts on Lipstick Full Of Optimism, today marks my blogs 5 month birthday so I thought I'd throw it back and revisit some old posts and improve on them. I personally love lipstick collection posts, I always see another bullet I want to buy and it saves me going out and swatching all over my hand.
I only have seven in total, but they aren't my favourite brand of lipstick compared with my YSL shades and my new found love for the NARS Audacious lipsticks, MAC lipsticks are justifiable because they're only £15 compared with the £25 I pay otherwise.

 I find myself using the same ones over and over again, and there's one I have completely neglected (Please Me.) My collection is made up of satin finishes and mattes, I do prefer satin bullets because I find that the MAC matte lipsticks are incredibly drying and become uncomfortable to wear. Satin also has that little sheen to it that helps to make my lips look fuller.

The Mattes (£15.50)

Please Me- A soft, but dark undertoned baby pink, with amazing staying power but ultimate dry-up-your-lips-power, too. A lovely powdery pink that fits my pale skin perfectly. A very subtle but pretty shade.

Ruby Woo- Part of the retro matte collection, this is the red everyone has. It's my perfect shade of red, it's not too dark or too orange, it compliments my pale skin pretty well and the staying power is great, but yet again, dries up your lips after a couple of hours immensely. A statement bright red that compliments a cat eye look.

Taupe- My new favourite, so easy to wear, versatile to match any make-up look. It's a very dark nude beige with cool undertones. I don't find it to be as drying as Ruby Woo.

The Satin Finish (£15.50)

Viva Glam II- A perfect light nude with cool undertones, non drying and amazing staying power. Paired with a nude lipliner, this gives a Kylie Jenner look. A very soft, subtle colour but extremely easy to wear without making me look washed out.

Myth- This is a weird one, it's a colour that's very similar to my actual skin colour, but a little more orange tinged. Dependent upon what make up I'm wearing, it can make me look very washed out, pretty much dead. I pair this with a very light, almost invisible lipliner. It's not drying at all, and yet again staying power is a 10/10. It would look a lot better on the more darker skinned of us, maybe around NC30-40, (I'm 10.)

Twig & Armorous- The reason I put these two together is because they are very similar on the lips, I bought them at the same time and the swatches on my hand in store looked different, but now it's come to wearing them and I can't tell which of the two I have on. On swatches below they are next to one another, they both look plummy, but Twig has more of a brown tinge to it, and Armorous has a tiny little red/pink. I wouldn't say either of them are nudes, but they aren't obvious vibrant pinks or reds. Armorous looks very plum when on my lips, and twig looks like a red version of Velvet Teddy.

Swatches, left to right.Ruby Woo, Taupe, Viva Glam II, Myth, Twig, Armorous, Please Me.

If I buy another MAC lipstick, I'll be searching for more nudes, preferably a soft brown.
Any recommendations please do comment.


Beautiful, Brilliant & Bold

The few brushes I have (for now,) from the new Real Techniques Bold Metals collection I love. I love the look, the feel, and how they apply my make up. The bold metals collection brushes are slightly more pricey than the original collection, but still not as highly priced as brushes from say Bobbi Brown or NARS which reach the £40+ mark. It's totally understandable that a lot of people don't want to pay that much for bristles on a stick, so Real Techniques give you that amazing quality, for about £15 less. These brushes are dreamy to have on display, a few are silver, a few gold and a few rose gold, I want the entire collection to stand upright on my dressing table just to look pretty.  

The first Bold Metals brush I purchased was the Triangle Foundation Brush (£22.00,) also known as 101. 
About three years ago I tried applying foundation with a brush and I hated it, it would not blend, and it looked streaky as hell, so it put me off for all these years until I decided to try again, and that's when I bought this. Thank God I give it another go! 
Funnily enough, I actually love this most to apply my NARS tinted moisturiser, it gives it a tiny little extra coverage than I get with my fingers, it also blends the cream faster and smoother. The shape of the brush is very clever, the triangle makes side of the nose application less of a hassle. The only downside to this brush is that I feel the need to wash it every week, you can see all the products building up on it that turn it orange, which makes me feel like I'm spreading germs all over my face. Nasty. 

I then shortly after added a silver finished brush to the mix, which is the Pointed Crease brush, for only £12.00.
This was so hard to get my hands on! I visited several Boots stores and it was always out of stock. I wanted it so much I ended up ordering online, paying £3+ to deliver such a tiny weightless package. Nevertheless, it's become one of my favourites, must have brushes and it's made my smokey eye game strong. As you can see, it needs a good wash, the poor thing is supposed to be white.

Only a week ago I purchased the Tapered Blush brush for £24.00. Honestly I only bought this because I was bored of the original pink handled blush brush from RT, and who can resist rose gold? Brush porn. This applies my blusher heavier than my previous blush brush, it gives a more intense look that may require a little blending if you don't like a lot of colour. The brush being tapered makes it great for bringing it up towards your cheekbones and under your highlight. Not to mention how soft the bristles are.

I can't wait to expand my Bold Metals family, if you have any of these brushes, do you love them and why?  


The Line Up

I've been wearing eyeliner for years, as long as I can remember really, so through that time I've tried out my fair share of eyeliners in different brands, price ranges and tools.
I hate being without a flick on my top lid to finish off a smokey eye, or if I'm going for something a little more low key I like a thin pencil line across my lid.
I tried a drugstore liquid liner pen from Soap And Glory 'Supercat', which was great, I've tried Yves Saint Laurent's liquid eye pen and I wasn't impressed at all for the price tag.
Nothing compares to my trustee Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner (£13.00.)
I find it incredibly fool proof to use, the nib is both the perfect width and length for precise application and perfecting an on fleek flick.
This liner stays jet black all day long, nor does it smudge, crease or leave you with half moons on your lid, the price is somewhere between drugstore and high end and it's totally worth it.

If I'm aiming for a more soft and subtle eye I prefer to use a pencil to draw a thin line across the lid, and for this job I am loving the NARS Larger Than Life Eye Pencil, (£19.00.)
I find that for a pencil, this performs like a liquid liner. The colour is jet black, it applies incredibly smoothly and doesn't budge all day. I usually hate pencils, but this has been a game changer.

Last of all, is the Urban Decay 24/7 Black Velvet Glide On Eye Pencil, (£15.50.)
This I use for my bottom lash line, I don't often wear a black line under my bottom lashes but when I do this is what I reach for. It's not such a bold intense black as the NARS pencil, so it doesn't make you look like part of the Addams Family. The downside to this pencil is that it requires sharpening too, something I'm really not a fan of. There's nothing velvet like to it, it sure glides on like the name states, but it's not as gentle and smooth as the NARS pencil.


Stuck In The Middle With You

I recently jumped on the Charlotte Tilbury hype and ordered myself one of her Luxury Eyeshadow Quads (£38.00) in 'Rock Chick.' It's my first product from her range and after reading so many positive reviews I had to try one for myself.

First of all, the images online made this quad look very black, grey and silvery, and when it's come to using it, it's more taupe, brown and black, which was a little disappointing because I really wanted a black grey and white palette.
The packaging game is strong, I adore the inside of the compact especially, give me some gold and some engraving and I'm sold!

The pigmentation is great, and although they look different on the internet, the colours are still gorgeous and the colour pay off is amazing. I think the four shades are very versatile and could take you from day to night. You can create a simple five minute look, or spend half an hour with all four colours perfecting a smokey eye.
The shadows blend easily and don't require too much build up, however I find that I get a lot of fall out and drop down. With the darker shades especially, after a couple of hours and during application I find myself with black dust under my eyes.
Without an eyeshadow primer, they're pretty rubbish too. I took this to A&E to do my make-up in ten minutes in the back of an ambulance, and obviously I didn't bother priming my lids before applying these, but it just seemed to fade so quickly, it creased like hell and made my eyes a dusty black mess.

I don't find myself reaching for this very often because I can't be bothered with the mess, but if I have a lot of time to create an intense smokey eye and apply primer, it's great.
I don't love or hate the product, I think I will remain undecided, however it will not stop me trying some more Charlotte Tilbury products in the future, I'm currently eyeing up a lip cheat and matte lipstick.


Going Large

I love a mini, and recently I've found myself with a few minis out of palettes and limited edition items that I really love. These are a couple of items I need to buy in their full size.

After using Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion for years, a change was on the horizon, and thankfully in my NARS 'And God Created The Woman' palette, was the NARS Pro Prime Eyeshadow Base
As great as the Urban Decay primer is, this is even better. There's a few pros that make it better, like the fact it's clear, not as thick and keeps things looking bolder, for longer. The full size of this primer is on my to buy list at £19.50.

Another item I need to buy full sized is another from NARS, the 'Larger Than Life Eyeliner', again, I got this with the NARSissist Smokey Eye Compact , It's a jet black liner perfect for days I don't want a dramatic flick with my pen. It's the most dramatic pencil liner I've come across, it gives the colour and look of a liquid liner, plus it doesn't drag along the eye-lid because the formula is so creamy, and the bonus, it stays put all day.
Not only do I want to purchase this in full size in black, but also in the bright white shade for the inner corners of my eyes. The pigmentation of this is amazing, so it'll look a lot more dramatic than applying a white shadow. The Larger Than Life Liner is £19.00.


Lip Lovin'

 Everyone's crazy about a huge pout at the moment, whether you achieve the look from fillers or sucking on a shot glass is up to you, but are we taking care of our lips too? Your lips go through a lot, the weather, eating, drinking, kissing, and chapped lips can easily become a problem. Nobody wants to be walking around with sore, bright red lips with skin peeling off of them, it's not a good look.
To take care of my lips, I use four products, (one being Lip Voltage which isn't included in the image.) Two of which are from The Body Shop and the other from Lush. Your twenty five pound Chanel lipstick aint gonna look too great on chapped lips.

Thinking of my lips as I would with  my face, I use the Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub (£5.50) to 'exfoliate'. This lip scrub from Lush not only exfoliates the lips well, but it smells (and tastes) absolutely amazing.
If my lips feel extra dry I'll apply some of the Body Shop's Lip Butter (£4.00.) 
I'd say this is the Emma Hardie mask to my lips, it's more moisturizing than your average lip balm.
As my everyday lip balm I use the Body Shop's Born Lippy,(£2.00.) I sometimes like to apply a small amount of this before using a matte lipstick, or on cold days that I feel my lips will become dried up.


A Little NARS Shopping

A small but expensive bit of online shopping was delivered this morning in the form of new NARS products, and haul posts are one of my favourites both to read and write. I'll be doing reviews individually in the future.

The first thing I added to my basket was the limited edition Inoubliable Coup d'Oeil Eyeshadow Palette (£29.00.) It's a little different from the type of eyeshadow palette I would usually go for, but there's nothing wrong with mixing things up and trying something new, I want to learn how to pull of the purple and green shades.

The highly talked about Laguna Bronzer.
I've hit pan a lot with my compact so I got my hands on the Tahiti compact (£39.00), which is surprisingly huge. It's a lot bigger and heavier than the eyeshadow palette. It comes with a mini Ita Kabuki Brush, (£38.00 full size.) A brush designed specifically for precision contouring. (It's adorable)

Last of all, another shade of blush. As much as I love Orgasm, i'm really into blush more than I ever have been at the moment, I don't know if it's the Summer getting to my head or what. I got this in the shade Lovejoy (£23.00.)

I can't wait to try these new products out and share my thoughts on each with you.

Enjoy your weekend!

Edited by Courtney for for Blush and Blend. Powered by Blogger.