Girl With Makeup


Are You a #Narsissist?

Nars, Narsissist

Last week I was casually scrolling through Twitter on my phone when up popped the most unexpected follow: @narsissist. Almost immediately after I got a DM saying that they would love to send me a little 'thank you' for being such a loyal #Narsissist. Needless to say I was shocked and also very, very excited. How on earth did Nars notice little old me?! In hindsight I guess I was talking about their products quite a lot - the Tinted Moisturiser and Concealer spring to mind - although I was never necessarily directly tweeting them. Either way they must have noticed me banging on about them enough to register on their radar. Crazy huh?!

About a week later a Fedex package landed all the way from America and inside was the note you see above (so nice!) and two beautifully packaged Nars products, namely the cult favourite Turkish Delight Lipgloss and the Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Iraklion from the Summer 2014 collection. Needless to say the lipgloss I love and I've worn it pretty much everyday since over either YSL Nude Beige or MAC Cream Cup - both beautiful combos. The eyeshadow pencil is a 'smokey rose quartz' colour which sounds just about heavenly and looks the same. 

On the surface this looks like a very clever PR strategy - and if it is, it's a great one - but when you consider Nars have been sending these 'thank you's' to non-bloggers too and aren't asking for anything in return you realise that maybe they genuinely do just want to give their fans something back. Best customer service ever? I think so. I feel very lucky and happy to be a loyal #Narsissist.


Cream Blush, I Love You

Cream Blush
It’s no secret that I love cream blush. I adore it in fact and cannot remember the last time I touched powder - it seems to old school to me now. Creams always manage to give such a wonderfully fresh, natural glow that powder simply cannot achieve and it's for that reason I own all of the above. As you can see to say I love me some pink would be a bit of an understatement but when it flatters my complexion far more than any other colour why would I bother with the other hues? To be perfectly honest I'm shocked and appalled that I've never done a post dedicated to one of my favourite bits of makeup before but it's finally time. In no particular order (OK so my most favourites are nearer the top) here's the gang:

See that reddy-corally blush that stands out from all the other pinks in the picture? Yep, that's Virgin Isle and it. is. amazing. I was wary initially because it's a seriously unusual and intimidating colour but it translates onto the skin as a really flattering pinky-coral that I'm certain would suit everyone. It's the most ridiculously pigmented product I've ever used but with the tiniest amount (I'm pretty sure this would last me a lifetime) it blends out so easily and lifts my complexion without being the usual cool pink that I go for. This was initially discontinued in the UK but MAC have made a wise decision and it's now available online along with the other Pro products.

If I'm not wearing the above then I'm wearing this (I've got it on right now in fact). The lilac-leaning pink suits me like no other and is probably one of the most flattering blush colours I've ever came across for my skintone. Bold statement I know but these cool tones brighten and lift my face like nothing else and this one especially is just perfection. The formula is pigmented (but not OTT like MAC), creamy (powder-free - love) and it lasts. Pink cheeks, pink lips, done. It's a total failsafe for me.

Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Promise £21.50
Promise is a medium candy pink and like MAC these are highly pigmented and very creamy so you need such a small amount for the perfect colour payoff - one dab too many and you're left with severe clown cheeks which has happened to me on more than one occasion. Not cool. It's a beautiful colour  and one I loved in the past but I don't find myself reaching for it these days because I sometimes find the colour a bit too intense for my pale skin.

DIOR Dorblush Cheek Creme in Capri £19.20
OK so this one isn't technically a cream but the texture is so unusual I just don't know how to categorise it. It has an almost gum-like texture that molds to where you press your fingers but it's not for its bizarre composition why I love it so. As you can see I've 'hit pan' on this because the colour is just so frickin' beautiful. It's a cool, light yet bright pink with the most minuscule of silver shimmer that makes for a real perker-upper. Is it a powder? Is it a cream? Who knows, but it works and I love it and that's all that really matters.

Paul & Joe Cream Cheek Powder in Marionette £18.50
This one is admittedly my least used of the bunch. The packaging is uber cute as is the colour in the pan but unfortunately it just doesn't translate too well to the cheeks. It's a cream to powder which aren't my favourite (I need the glow) and it also lacks in pigmentation kind of leaving me thinking 'what's the point?' It does leave the skin feeling very silky smooth though so, well, there's that.

Topshop Cream Blush in Head Over Heels, Flush & Afternoon Tea £7.00 each
Just look at those little round compacts of beautiful colours. Again, these are cream to powder in formula and although I've got lots of wear out of them if they were pure cream I would be head over heels (pun) because the colours are just exquisite and the pigmentation wonderful. I've learnt to stop buying cream to powders because I just can never love them in the way that I love creams. A perfect choice for oily skins but not for someone who craves the dewiness.

Bourjois Cream Blush in Rose Tender & Bourjois Blush Exclusif £8.00 each
Now these are some cream to powders blushers I can get on board with. I don't know how but Bourjois just has a knack for having me love everything they produce. Blush Exclusif is one of those 'colour adjusting' types that I'm not convinced on, all I know is that on me it produces a flattering light, candy pink that I can never go wrong with. I went through a bit of a phase with Rose Tender where I wore it non-stop as it gives such a natural flush of colour that you can never go OTT with. It's a fab one for beginners to the cream blush world.

So there it is, my cream blush collection as it currently stands. I think people think cream blush is a lot more difficult than it actually is because it's so easy. Seriously, grab yourself a stippling brush, dab on that cream and blend out. Flushed, dewy cheeks in seconds. That's why I love it so much.


Beauty Haulin'

After buying basically nothing for the first half of the month (why does it feel like such a long time when it's only two weeks?) the next thing I know I find myself in Boots thinking 'how did I get here?' And so the spending begins. This isn't everything I've bought this month  - I could have included my Bourjois lip products amongst other things but you gotta draw the line somewhere so I'm showcasing only my more recent purchases along with the damage I done today.

Let's begin with the product I have wanted for so. long. and have finally, finally bought. Yep, it's the Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser. It's more sheer than I was expecting after being so used to using the slightly higher coverage Bourjois CC Cream and it also gives much more of a satin, skin-like finish which makes everything look very natural. After much uhming and ahhing I went for the shade Finland, one of the lighter shades which is still darker than my natural skin colour (and this is absolutely not a bad thing at the minute as my body is tanned but my face still white as a sheet. It's a problem). It's also very yellow toned, more so than my Bourjois CC Cream which looks positively pink in comparison.

This brings me on nicely to the next product: Revlon Photoready Skinlights in Bare Light. I bought this expecting it to illuminate my skin when mixed with my base but I've ended up using it for a different purpose. Those bases that are a bit too yellow? Add in some of this stuff and everything starts looking a lot more natural and normal on my face. An accidental discovery and not its intended purpose but I'm happy about it, especially since it doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot in the way of illuminating anything (having dry skin means I want all the glow).

Now we're onto today's buys so it's all very much first impressions but I love these kinda 'what I bought' posts. The Garnier Miracle Skin Cream which I've been after for a while (but there's no way I was ever paying £12 for it) was reduced to £8.50 odd so into the basket it went. I'm a bit obsessive over really lightweight, illuminating tints and glows at the minute - seriously, just give me all the tinted moisturisers and BB creams and CC creams - so this appeals to me immensely. It's one of those 'rub and release the colour' creams and if it's anything like Origins Vitazing - although I can say it definitely doesn't have Origin's amazing smell - I'll be very chuffed.

Not that I need any more brow products but... I bought two anyway. In fairness my Blinc Eyebrow Mousse has basically ran out and trust me, I need something to tame my eyebrows else they end up sticking up in all kinds of directions. The Maybelline Brow Drama in Medium Brown is only £4.99 so if it does a good job I can't see myself ever spending the money on a more expensive one (it's just   an eyebrow gel after all, I'm looking at you Benefit Gimme Brow). For the second brow product, well, we all know of my love for Seventeen and you can add something else of theirs to my favourites list because their Brow Sculpting Pencil is great. Like really, really good. Firstly Natural Brown (the only shade I believe) is an ashy brown with zero red tones and secondly it's really pigmented, something I find the a lot of brow pencils fall flat on. After using a mini version I got the full size today (£2.50, come on) and in short it's the best brow pencil I've found to date.

I just had to throw a nail polish in there, didn't I? The Essie stand is just too enticing and Sunday Funday jumped right out at me. It's your usual summertime pinky-coral with silver shimmer and while I may have similar colours (definitely do) I don't have anything that's quite as pretty as this. You know when you've got a new colour on and can't stop staring at your nails? That. It's definitely one to check out if you're after a shade for summer (I say as it pours down with rain).

Phew, that was a round up and a half. It's basically been bases and brows galore with a nail polish chucked in there for good measure. 


Palettes, Palettes, Palettes

Eyeshadow Palettes MAC 15 Pan MAC Quad Nars Narsissist Pleasures of Paris Palette Urban Decay Naked 1 2 Soap & Glory Lid Stuff Inglot Freedom System

After recently having a good old and much needed sort out of my makeup I realised that I have a lot of eyeshadow palettes, too many for one person in fact. There's just something about having a whole array of complimenting colours all housed together that is so appealing and is the reason I'm forever coveting more despite the fact I have enough to last me a lifetime. And then some. Today I'm giving you a rundown of my eyeshadow palette 'collection' shall we call it (although I have accidentally missed off my & Other Stories palette, woopsie) with my faves, not so faves and everything in between. 

Let's begin with what is undoubtedly my most used and there'll be no prizes for guessing. Dun dun dunnn, it's the Urban Decay Naked Palette. Bought when it first came out (what was that, a good three years ago?) I've used it consistently ever since. My absolute favourite shades are Virgin (great inner corner highlight), Sin (my go-to eyelid shade) and Hustle (my go-to nighttime crease shade). Everyone seems to love the two matte brown shades Naked and Buck but they're too warm on my skin; if they suited me more it would probably be the most perfect palette in existence.

Conversely I don't love the Naked 2 Palette nearly as much as the original. Despite the fact it's cool-toned which theoretically should suit me much more I've found myself using it only a handful of times as I much prefer the shades in the original and I think it's for that reason I haven't bought myself the Naked 3 Palette yet. Maybe in this instance original is best? Those rosy hues do look amazing though.

Next up: Nars. Yes I went crazy over the Narsissist Palette, yes I got it as soon as it came out and yes... I've barely used it. I know, it's shameful. It's more to do with the fact that I don't wear eyeshadow regularly rather than disliking it because I do still think it's totally beautiful, it's just that my nights out are few and far between nowadays and most of the time I tend to reach straight for my Naked Palette without thinking. I've made a vow with myself to use it next time I have the occasion to because that brown in the middle row is just calling my name. A Nars palette I can say I most certainly have got a lot of use out of is the Pleasures of Paris, a purchase in the midst of an exam haze in my second year of uni and one that holds a special place in my heart. This is the palette that made me realise how well purple goes with brown eyes (Violetta and Demon Lover) and has an amazing highlight shade in the form of Abysinnia. The very popular shades Nepal and Fez aren't so great on me because again, too warm toned which pains me because they are just so pretty.

I have a bit of a confession here. For all I was absolutely dead set on creating a 15-pan palette I now think MAC shadows are really quite overrated especially when you compare them to the incredibly pigmented and buttery smooth shades you get from from Urban Decay and Nars. That said I have a lot of love for Cranberry and Twinks which remains my favourite MAC shadow even though it smashed a long time ago and I still haven't repurchased. And yes, it does bug me that I am one shadow short from having a complete palette. That little four pan quad next to the fifteen pan is the Pink Freeze quad which I bought expecting to love (obviously) but it only confirmed what I already suspected about MAC shadows being overrated for the quality and price. Anyone agree?

Finally we have a couple of standalone palettes that don't have a second pairing. The Soap & Glory  Lid Stuff Palette in What's Nude is just great and I love it if only for the matte brown shade Mudhoney which is the most perfect everyday crease colour and that shimmery taupe? Beautiful. It's really a very good quad and for a tenner I'd recommend it to anyone.

Ahh, Inglot. Coveted by so many and so difficult to get hold of. I couldn't even begin to tell you which shades I've got in the Freedom System Palette as the pans are seemingly impossible to get back out but I can tell you that for such an affordable brand the quality really is comparable to the higher end. As beautiful as the shades I chose are I only wish I hadn't played it so safe as the colours are all  fairly easily replicable and I can't see me getting to an Inglot store again anytime soon, sadly.

You may think that in doing this post and reflecting on all my palettes I might have thought 'jeez, I most definitely do not need anymore eyeshadows' but no, not so because in the middle of writing this I've gone and bought myself the Nars Fairy Kiss Palette from Amy's wonderful blog sale. But tell me, at £15 (hello bargain) how could I not?!


Pink Lips and Pink Tips

Bourjois Colour Boost Fuschia Libre

Pink and me, we're having a bit of a love affair. And I mean pink pink, not baby pink which is my usual go-to but a brighter, more in-yer-face kind of pink which is so not me. The whole thing was spurred on by the purchase of the Bourjois Colour Boost in Fuchsia Libre and I plan on buying every single colour from the range because they are that good. I'm smitten.

I'm usually really averse to bright pinks because I've never before (well, until now) found one that really suits me. Take MAC Pink Nouveau and Speed Dial: both decidedly not for me and from then I wrote off any kind of bright pink. Fuchsia Libre, though, I can totally get on board with. It's bright but it's also slightly deeper (fuchsia you might call it...) and it instantly livens up my face without being an OTT Barbie pink. It gets bonus points for making my teeth look whiter too. Win.

I've already raved to the high hills about these Colours Boosts (just check my Instagram and Twitter) but let me just repeat myself quickly in saying that they're pigmented, glossy, and hydrating. Basically it's a combination of a perfect formula with perfect colours and that is why I love them so much. I also recently bought the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Ole Flamingo while on my pink lip kick (and after seeing how gorgeous it looks on Faye) and I'm not totally sold on it yet. Gorgeous colour but I find it difficult to it even around my lips - a lip liner in a similar colour underneath is definitely a necessity.

Even my nails have been seeing pink with Nails Inc Shoreditch which I'm enjoying so much I took it off and put it right back on again. And by the by I think Nails Inc is probably my favourite nail polish brand. Yep, even beating out Essie.

P.S. I've literally just finished watching Lisa Eldrdige's video and hello, she's totally rocking matching pink lips and nails. We're on the same wavelength. Also I now absolutely need the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Pink Pong. Need it