Category Archives: Wakeup to Makeup

Makeup tutorials when I feel like it.

In Review: Illamasqua Glamore Lipsticks and Nail Varnish

illamasqua glamore
You guys know I love Illamasqua. Each collection is like an aesthetic holiday for my brain, and the Glamore collection is no exception.

Having played around with four of the products for some time now, I am review ready.

The Nail Varnishes

I am not a ‘nail girl’ by any stretch of the imagination, but these chip-resistant micro glitters (meaning instead of just throwing some glitter in an existing varnish – something a lot of brands do – you are painting actual glitter onto your nails) are amazing. I have been wearing Trilliant (a very pale silver/pink) all week with Marquise (a gold-flecked coral) as an accent nail. Though they haven’t budged, they are really easy to remove if you soak the nail in remover for a few seconds.

The Lipsticks

My bread and butter. As the campaign imagery shows, they have released three colours that suit every skin tone you could imagine. Luster is a Barbie-looking pink and garish until you get it on the lips. Because of a rather blue undertone, it actually warms up the skin and stays on the wearable side of becoming too pink. Soaked – on the other hand – is a deliciously bright coral red. Behold, M’Orange wearers…this is the orange obsession you’ve been dreaming of.

I wouldn’t call the texture of the lipsticks moisturising but I am really pleased with how comfortable they are to wear. They also get brownie points for fading into a stain rather than peeling and smudging as so many other lippies do.

Thankfully, I’ve been given the heads up that Illamasqua plan to develop a full, non-limited edition collection of Glamore lipsticks for release later this year. Time for a make-up bag clearout to prepare.

Tip: I’ve been putting Luster on my top lip, Soaked on my bottom, and rubbing them together quickly to make a gorgeous burnt pink colour.

illamasqua glamore
illamasqua glamore
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Drugstore Dupes: March 2014

drugstore dupes
When it comes to drugstore dupes, MUA (Makeup Academy) is a brand I’ve come to rely on. Having recently emptied the tube of one of my favourite lip products, I was due a trip to Superdrug to find a replacement and was immediately taken by the MUA display.

First unnessecary grab? Two MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers in Reckless (a blue-toned red) and Atomic (a coral). I cannot believe these are only £3. I have spent £20+ on comparable products that don’t last half as long. MUA’S velvet lacquers are matte, smudge-proof, long-lasting (even through two cups of coffee!), and non-drying.

Tip: The shade ‘Kooky’ is a perfect dupe for Lorde’s omnipresent deep purple lipstick.

To restrain myself from buying all the lacquers I ‘compromised’ (ahem) by taking the MUA ‘Undress Me Too’ Eye Palette home, as well. With this very review in mind, I swatched and brushed and dipped and blended to my heart’s content, finally deciding to create the eye look you see below.

Get The Look:
Shy – a pearly-hued nude used over my entire lid. main shade, pearl
Lavish – a sheer brown (more matte than other shades), blended throughout the crease
Wink – a shimmering deep purple, used in the outer corner to lift the eye
Exposed – a duotone grey/purple used to blend ‘Wink’ into the crease and lid
Corrupt – a soft, matte black, used wet as liner

(Shades in the palette – left to right, top to bottom: Naked, Devotion, Shy, Fiery, Lavish, Dreamy, Tranquil, Exposed, Reveal, Wink, Obsessed, Corrupt.)

For £4, I can’t think of any eyeshadow – let alone eyeshadow palette! – that offers better value. MUA have earned themselves a true fan in me.

drugstore dupes
drugstore dupes
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In Review: The Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

naked 3 palette
No-one will ever know for sure if Urban Decay predicted the record-breaking success of The Naked or Naked 2 eyeshadow palettes, but now that The Naked 3 Palette release is upon us, the legacy has become a particularly manic discussion point in the beauty community.

I’m simply here to answer one question for you…

Should I buy the Naked 3 Palette?

As I was lucky enough to get my paws on the palette a few weeks prior to its UK release, I have had more than enough time to learn the palette inside and out.

Before we get to the shades themselves, it is worth nothing that the Naked 3 comes with a dual-ended brush (one side a relatively flat shader, the other a fluffy blending brush) and a week’s worth of samples for each of their primers – both serving their purpose with no cause for complaint.

While the first two Naked palettes are beautiful, these twelve never before seen shades have slipped on some proverbial rose-coloured glasses, creating a more unusual and sensual selection of neutrals. For my eyes – a hazel/green/moodring sort of thing – and pale skin tone, it is the best out of the three.

Shade breakdown:
Strange – A pale neutral pink matte-satin. Very finely milled and what I am sure will become a nice alternative highlighting shade for many women.

Dust – A pale metallic pink shimmer with iridescent micro-glitter. The only one I will be steering clear of. Though the colour is pretty, the texture is too powdery to use without a dampened brush. The ‘micro-glitter’ doesn’t feel quite as micro as it does in other shades.

Burnout – A light pinky-peach satin. Like a pearl! It has an above-average colour payoff, making it a staple neutral if there ever was one.

Limit – A light dusty rose matte. Quite a cool undertoned matte, and a shade very unusual to any in my current colour. The kind of shade you’d use to pump up a basic smoky eye.

Buzz – A metallic rose shimmer with silver micro-glitter. I love the micro-glitter in this one; it turns the coppered shade quite metallic and has none of the fallout I expected. In fact, it is almost buttery to the touch.

Trick - A light metallic pinky-copper shimmer with tonal micro-sparkle. Something kind of wonderful. It’s brown… it’s gold… it’s destined to be your Night Out BFF.

Nooner – A medium pinky-brown matte. The kind of shade I would imagine Cara Delevigne keeps in her handbag for a quick swipe of cool.

Liar – A medium metallic mauve shimmer. Very similar to MAC’s Smokeluxe (which I love). There is a very pretty sheen of gold and grey on this one.

Factory – A pinky-brown satin. Very rich in hue, with a slight red undertone that makes it a gorgeous crease shade for pale girls and all-over eyeshadow for darker skin tones.

Mugshot – A metallic taupe shimmer with slight pink shift. The special brand of multifaceted shade that will make brown eyes sparkle (not easy to do with a brown eyeshadow, pals). Excellent colour payoff.

Darkside – A deep taupe-mauve satin. It blends perfectly and – thanks to its purple tones – brings out all sorts of aqua green colours in my eyes. It looks lovely when used as an eyeliner.

Blackheart - A smoky black matte with rosy red micro-sparkle. ABSOLUTE MAGIC. I am always inclined to abandon the darkest colours in eyeshadow palettes (I don’t really have the lid space to stop them from looking gothic), but Blackheart is the exception. Like a juiced up version of MAC’s Black Slip, it’s the sparkly burgundy of your dreams.

The official release date for the UK is December 16th (at House of Fraser, Debenhams and online stockists of Urban Decay), so if the US release is anything to go by*, I would suggest setting your alarms now.

*Chaos. Sold-out chaos.

naked 3 palette


Christmas Gift Ideas 2013: The Beauty Lover

beauty christmas gifts
Here’s to no more powdery unbranded eyeshadow palettes and lip gloss ‘sets’ that taste like chalk and eggs, Beauty Lover.

Christmas Gift Ideas for The Beauty Lover
Get Started Kit from Bare Minerals (this is an unbelievable buy for the value, and an ideal gift for anyone who wants to experiment with natural/mineral beauty products)
Sequin Shimmer Brick Eye Palette from Bobbi Brown
Cinnabar candle from L’Objet
The Naked 3 Palette from Urban Decay (it’s a given…)
Kate Raspberry 2014 Desk Calendar from Sugar Paper (every beauty lover I know has an ‘area’ they get ready in and this calendar would make that area just a little bit more special)
Replica Funfair Evening eau de toilette from Maison Martin Margiela


Tried and Tested from Bath and Unwind

bath and unwind
Few beauty retailers do natural beauty like Bath and Unwind (and you know how I feel about natural beauty). With a carefully handpicked stock of superproducts, there are just a handful of websites that can rival their repertoire. You find something you want to try and you can rest assured, you’ll love it.

Nonetheless, they refuse to rest on their laurels and have employed a small group of beauty bloggers to conduct continual, unbiased reviews on products of their choice. Myself included (hence, ‘Tried and Tested’!).

For this round of trials, I thought I would review a few things that double up as bangin’ Christmas gift ideas.

First, the Ole Henriksen Ole La La Glow from Head to Toe Blockbuster Kit:
The £59 kit contains a bevy of glow-making products – get this – worth £129. As I can honestly say I’ve become obsessed with each product in the kit, this is an absolute steal.

The real highlights for me are the African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser (zesty, luxurious, antioxidant-rich, and filled with anti-ageing botanical extracts) and the Truth Serum Collagen Booster. Facialists always harp on about the magical properties of Vitamin C, but I haven’t had a smidge of solid proof until using the paraben-free Truth Serum. It is remarkably weightless (a short pump covers my entire face and neck) yet smoothes out wrinkles, hydrates, and smells like citrus cake. Potentially my favourite skin product of 2013.

Though I rate the full set of products, I found the Truth to Go Cleansing Wipes and Truth Is in the Eyes Peel Concentrate particularly strange and wonderful. As well as doing my morning ‘wash’ with the wipes (note: after fully cleansing the night before), I don’t seem to look ‘myself’ without a few dots of the Peel Concentrate anymore. Initially refusing to use a peel on the delicate eye area (associated thoughts: I AM GOING TO BURN MY EYES OUT), positive reviews encouraged me to try the super gentle formula, and I’m glad that I did. It could just as easily be named Dark Circles/Eye Creasing No More (and again, you need SO little).

Nuxe Love from Paris Cocooning Gift Set:
Anyone who has ever received a beauty box will be well aware of (and probably in love with) Nuxe. Their hair and body oil – Huile Prodigieuse - has reached cult status thanks to its hydrating, reparative plant oils and antioxidant vitamins. It also doesn’t hurt that the scent of featured oils like sweet almond and camellia are sexy as hell.

Though this particular gift set includes Huile Prodigious (sold!), it also features Nuxe’s Reve de Miel Lip Balm and Hand Cream. Products I wouldn’t normally purchase from a luxury brand, but as both are fragrance and paraben-free with no preservatives or artificial scents, they have become absolute godsends. Think buttery honey and grapefruit mixed with argan oil. Then try not to eat them.

Caudalie Vine Body Butter:
I remember first trying Caudalie’s magical skin products some ten-or-so years ago when Oprah was praising the brand’s serums to the high heavens. I’m not sure when they fell off my radar, but my reintroduction to the brand – via this natural body butter – has been a welcome treat. My skin is an absolute nightmare in the Winter and this is the only remedy I have tried that is actually a delight to apply (I can thank the fragrant orange tree, bitter orange, orange blossom and orange wood for that one). In addition to being soothing to the touch, it is packed with active ingredients that repair damaged skin and restore the natural hydrolipidic barrier for added protection against dryness.

Decleor Prolagene Lift & Brighten Eye Cream:
I’ve been swapping between the Ole Henrikson eye gel and Decleor’s eye cream because I:
A) …think both deserve a medal.
B) …am terribly indecisive.
C) (All of the above).

C, duh. Both products are gorgeous, but the Lift & Brighten eye cream has the added benefits of illuminating and tightening the eye area (what Decleor call their ‘L-Proline complex’). Though my twenty-something eyes aren’t the kind they’re targeting, the addition of an application spatula (helping to massage the eye area, increase drainage and minimise puffiness) means I’m holding onto this baby for future morning after and heinous box set marathons, if anything.

bath and unwind