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Another Ode To Another Dreamy Nude Palette

I know, I know, I JUST posted about an eyeshadow but I am so not sorry for producing another so quickly- just look at this beauty.
Another beautiful release from Tarte, this palette is special to QVC (uk) and also limited edition, of course I ordered it the day it was released because I would of hated to miss out on this.
It's yet another nudey day to night palette packed with 16 shades I wear everyday, despite the summery coloured packaging it's very autumnal. If you can get your hands on this, do it, you're set for every look you'll need for the rest of the year.
Highlight shades, tick, crease shades, tick, base shades, tick, shimmers, tick, mattes, tick. What more could you ask for? 

I did a post on the Tarte complete matte palette last month, I raved about it and I'd say the same review goes for this. It has all the same amazing pros.
  • Packaged lovely
  • Huge mirror
  • Good size, not too big, or too small
  • A decent brush is included, it's not great but it's not useless
  • Amazing pigmentation
  • Long wearing
  • Very little/no drop down or fall out
  • Velvety soft texture

Even the little details make such a difference, I love that the Tarte logo is graved into each shadow and each shadow also has such a cute name, I just like to know a lot of thought has went into the production of a product and it's something any brand would be proud to put out there.


Sculpting With Anastasia

I've finally got my hands on a "contour kit" from ABH, and to be honest I'm under whelmed.
I was expecting to get such a better, sharper contour with this but it's just giving me the same results as using my usual bronzer and highlight combo.
I got the kit in the light option (obviously) because I'm super pale so I expected this kit to be the least orange and therefore the most natural looking.
It's really not that often I do a negative review, because I genuinely get along great with most products I buy because I do a lot of research before purchasing, but despite seeing so much hype around this I'm just really not impressed.

First of all, I think the packaging looks super cheap- and this was by no means a cheap product and it is from a more high end brand. It's essentially just thick black cardboard glued up, not great for £39.00. 
There's not even a mirror inside which I just think is really rubbish considering the size of the palette.

The 'bronzing' shades, Java, Fawn and Havana have great pigmentation but I find the staying power to be poor, and Havana is way too dark for any pale skinned person- I feel like this belongs to the medium palette.
'Fawn' (the central shade,) is by far my favourite and most used, it's got cool undertones and no orangey'ness to it like all of my other bronzers.
I find that they can apply patchily sometimes, and therefore require building up which leads to them looking too dark and thick.

I find the 3 'highlighting' shades, (vanilla, banana and sand,) I find to be pretty rubbish too.
Banana (again, the central shade,) is good for sharpening up your contour along your cheekbones, but that's about it.
The other two shades I find to be useless, they don't 'highlight' for me at all, they just aren't evident on the skin anywhere.
The pigmentation of the light shades seems to be pretty poor too.

When I've applied these at 7:30am, by the time dinner time comes they've pretty much disappeared off my face- I really wanted to like this palette but I just can't get away with it.
I'm planning to do a Sephora haul soon and get my hands on the Kat Von D Shade & Light palette, which I'm hoping is a little better.


My Palette Dreams Come True

Does this post even need words? Just look at it.
This brand new and limited edition NARSissist Matte/Shimmer Palette (£39.00.) From the AW15 collection.
The first palette I wanted so much I pre-ordered it two weeks before it was even released.
It's over taken 'And God Created The Woman' palette, (also by NARS,) as my Holy Grail eyeshadow palette. Meaning, if I had to throw away every eye palette and only keep one, this would be the one.

Featuring 4 matte and 4 shimmering shades of shadow, as well as a mini "Larger Than Life" eyeliner, which is also fabulous by the way.
Should I start with the gorgeous packaging or the smooth highly pigmented shades?!

This palette comes in the same beautiful packaging as the Dual Intensity Palette, (which I rarely use and really don't like.)
The mirrored front, it's chunky, black, smooth and modern, it looks and feels luxurious, and the signature logo and black rubber make this even sleeker, So simple, but so good- I couldn't of designed it any better myself. Sometimes I just don't want to use it in order to keep it looking so nice.

With 3 nudey shadows, and the rest quite medium/dark, this palette would  be perfect for achieving a day or night time look, or if you're me, just 24/7 dramatic, whatever the occasion.
The shadows are just SO smooth and soft, you know when you stroke your legs after a good shave and exfoliate and it's super pleasing? This give me the same feeling.
They are quite powdery  over creamy and have quite a thick texture- so letting my eye primer dry in completely is a must-do before applying these to the lid, otherwise they do tend to get a little stuck and patchy.
Having said that, the pigmentation is as good as it's going to get really- the swatches above are just after 1 swipe across each colour with my thumb (without primer.) I recommend using a fluffy brush such as MAC 217 to apply the matte shades- I found that if I use a stiffer brush they can apply a little roughly.
The shades included are as follows:

  • Nassau 
  • Maya Bay
  • Ithaca 
  • Dogot II 
  • Mandchourie I 
  • Bonifacio 
  • Zagreb 
  • Heraklion
  • Night Clubbing (Mini Eyeliner)
If you're looking for a new palette, get this whilst you can!


A New Launch From Giorgio Armani

A new launch from the Giorgio Armani beauty range is the Fluid Sheer (£36.50,) which comes in an amazing 15 colours. (I want ALL 15 of them!)

Described as a "liquid illuminatior", this product is totally multi-use, particularly the shade I chose- It can be used as a blush, highlight, bronze, on your eyes, or mixed with foundation. Yes, it's pricey but it's such a versatile product you cannot go wrong with, you're going to like it one place or another on your face.

The Sheer formula mixes well with foundation or just with spot application, t
he shimmer isn’t obvious in a way that it just looks natural.
It  works lovely as a subtle highlight, but the sheerness of the product makes it a lot less obvious than say using a powder highlight.
I found that it didn't emphasise pores, which a lot of liquid products like this tend to do. 

I like to apply this with my finger tips and dot up my cheekbones with product before tapping gently to blend in, I found that is looks less cakey and just generally a lot nicer when applied this way. 

One pump goes such a long way because I find this shade to be incredibly pigmented- so taking into consideration the size of the bottle, this is going to last a very very long time. (Value for money? I think so.)
I don't need to say much about the appearance of the product- it's gorgeous and luxurious, anything in a glass bottle makes me cave.


Nars Craving Dual Intensity Blush

Nars Craving Dual Intensity Blush is a blush/bronzer/highlight duo that can be used both wet and dry dependent upon how intense you want your strobing and bronzing.
The highlight shade is a pink-tinged iridescent white with a metallic shimmer, and Craving is a medium-dark orangey brown with warm undertones plus a gold shimmer. The highlight shade is by far my favourite highlighter of all time (so far, anyway.)
One of these gorgeous matte black sleek looking compacts will set you back £30.00. 
(The packaging makes me all heart eyes, matte, black, chunky, monochrome.)
The look of the actual powders is also beautiful- they carry the same geometric like square pattern the same as the dual intensity shadows- which I think is such a lovely little touch that adds a little more luxury- it's just a shame mine now looks a mess and I've rubbed that pattern away.

The pigmentation really couldn't be any better, which I was totally expecting hence the "dual intensity" name.

What I love most about this is the texture, unlike my other highlighters/blushers and bronzers- the formula and texture aren't too powdery, therefore they don't ever cake, feel dry and it's fine to build the colour up as much as you desire.
Saying that, I am NOT  fan of these shades used wet.
I used them wet only once and I never would again, I found that they seemed to wipe my foundation away, the pigmentation lessened by a mile and the highlight emphasized pores I didn't know I had in places, horribly.

Despite that, to use dry, I will be buying another one of these, in another nude like shade such as Jubilation. I'm not a fan of using any product wet so it wasn't a surprise to me and definitely doesn't put me off this product at all.
I'd just LOVE it if NARS released some of the highlight shade powders in full sized compacts of their own since their highlighters are all liquid based which I'm really not a fan of!

Prep With Laura

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know I love me a good primer and I really love looking after my skin. I actually find it really difficult to write a decent sized post about primers because I feel like I say the same things about all of them, but that's because I've had such great experiences with them all.

I've never tried any Laura Mercier products, but after my recent experience with NARS Sheer Glow foundation which I wrote about a few days ago, the words "hydrating" on this primer lured me in quickly.
This primer works a miracle with Sheer Glow and I am so overjoyed it does so, because now I LOVE Sheer Glow as much as everyone else seems to.

First of all, my skin has been looking gorgeous after using this for just a week- make up products that also have skin benefits are the best things ever. It quenches my skins thirst from 7am till 5pm everyday at work, as well as doing a brilliant job of keeping my make-up in place.
I've used this with both light and medium coverage foundations and was a lovely base for both, it helped my foundations apply very smoothly and evenly, resulting in a faultless finish.

The formula is super light weight, therefore easy to blend when it glides on, and it absorbs quickly, the creamy gel texture means that a little goes a long way, and once applied, you're left with a baby soft face.

If you've had issues with any foundation like I did with Sheer Glow, being drying or emphasizing any dry areas, you need to get your hands on this product!
This will definitely be the primer I turn to in Winter when my normal skin turns dry.
First impressions of Laura Mercier, all well, good job.



Every blog I follow seems to be ranting and raving about NARS Sheer Glow foundation, it's definitely a beauty blogger cliché product widely used as a photography prop...
Until now I've never considered buying it, but I finally took the plunge last week and forked out over thirty pounds for this foundation that DOESN'T HAVE A PUMP. 
Despite the lack of pump putting me off straight away, I still gave this a go, having read so many mixed reviews, I didn't know what to expect.
Here's how my week with Sheer Glow turned out like...

First ever application- first impressions were all good until I realised how much I need  pump for my foundation, it was pretty awkward to get out- I know I'll waste so much of this!
On Monday I used Le Blanc De Chanel as a base for my Sheer Glow.
The colour match was noticeably the best I've ever had, this is definitely the palest foundation with cool undertones which suits my skin colour absolutely spot on, and so far I've only had 1 foundation ever to perfectly match.
Application was okay, it didn't feel hydrating, look 'sheer' or 'glowly', it give me a medium coverage.
By the time I got to work an hour later, I went to check up on it in the bathroom and noticed it was disgustingly dry and cakey around my nose- which I never ever usually experience.
It made me look dull, pasty and just ew, I couldn't wait to get home to get it off my nose because it felt so tight on my face all day, almost like it was sucking the hydration out of my skin.
So obviously on Monday I was left super disappointed and felt like I'd wasted a lot of money because I wouldn't want to be using it again in a hurry.

Determine to make this not a complete waste of money, Tuesday I opt for a different base and used my trustee Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ,and the night before I used a micro dermobrasion mask  to ensure that I really didn't have any dry areas.
It must've been the primer, because today it felt a lot less dry and cakey, however still enhancing dehydration more than I would like.
By dinner time again my face felt shrivelled up, dry and just really generally uncomfortable.

Thank God I didn't give up and kept on trying to find a good combination, because on Wednesday I finally found a way to make Sheer Glow a much nicer foundation.
Le Blanc De Chanel was used to prime and protect first of all, then I had a few spritzes of Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, I then went in and used a pea sized amount of NARS Radiant Tinted Moisturiser on the back of my hand, then added a few drops of Sheer Glow- I noticed straight away even the application was so much nicer.
My foundation stayed in place all day- there was no cakeyness around my nose- my face didn't feel tight and uncomfortable even at 5pm when I went home.
There was definitely a radiance and glow that wasn't there before when I used this combination, this is the way I'll be using Sheer Glow in the future, it's just a shame it requires so much prep and other products to perform well when it's so pricey.

Despite having thought I had found my perfect base on Wednesday, I still had products left to try and mix up on Thursday, so I used the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer - which is a lot thicker and heavier than the primers I've used previously, so I had a horrible feeling it would go awfully wrong with Sheer Glow, but the application was actually second best. It was very smooth to apply, blended well and stayed put all day long.
I added some Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer into the mix in attempt to brighten up and add the 'glow' the foundation wasn't giving- it highlighted well but didn't lend Sheer Glow any help.

Over all, I honestly couldn't give you 1 or even a few words to describe my conclusion on Sheer Glow, it's definitely a hit and miss product. I'm also finding it increasingly difficult to dispense everyday without a pump when the amount in the bottle is decreasing.

I feel like those with oily skin would benefit from using this with a primer, people with normal/dry skin like myself, it's going to require a lot of prep and prime before application, and it's really a shame because NARS is my favourite brand and I hate to say anything negative!
I was thinking about trying the NARS Luminous Weightless Foundation next, but I've heard that's super drying so I think I'll give it a miss.

Tell me what you think of Sheer Glow

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