Thursday, 22 August 2013

Illamasqua Facet Nail Varnish Review


Hi everyone!

As you might have gathered if you have been following me on Instagram (@sparklesoflight) illamasqua are fast becoming one of my favourite brands, the colours can be both dramatic or neutral yet all seem to perform well and often offer something a bit different, even with their neutral stuff.
Their new collection 'Scared Hour' is all based on the periods of dusk and dawn and I have to say I think this might be my favourite collection yet and I have already purchased most of it (sorry bank) and so far I am enjoying it.
So this is a review of the nail varnish in the new colour 'Facet' is a beautiful neutral grey/purple with a very fine golden brown shimmer through it which gives a stunning iridescence when the sunlight catches it.
If this collection is about dawn and dusk then to me this colour definitely says dusk. The colour of the shimmer against the grey/purple backdrop is reminiscent of the colour of the sun setting in a darkened autumnal sky, autumn is my favourite season and thus I think it makes me love this colour more.

At £14.50 for 15ml of product this nail varnish isn't the cheapest but being that illamasqua is a higher end brand I think the price is fair for what you get, I had a strong colour free of streaks in 2 coats and the varnish itself is long wearing, I have had it on for 4 days without a top coat and in those days I've washed dishes without rubber gloves, been to a petting zoo and generally been wreckless with my nails and so far I have no chipping or wearing down so I am very impressed as other nail varnishes I've tried in the past have chipped after one day of wear (essie I'm talking to you!) 
I would definitely recommend picking up this little gem if you pass a store or a counter, if not you can pick it up at www.illamasqua.com along with their full range. 
Now just for good measure here are some shots of my nails in the woods at dusk ;) 
Until next time, bye for now! 


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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Wet n Wild Palette Reviews - Petal Pusher and I Heart Matte

Hello Everyone!

If you are like me and you watch endless beauty videos on youtube, you will have noticed a lot of the American youtubers feature the brand 'Wet n Wild' a fair bit, as far as I can tell it is on par with the UK's featuring of Sleek Palettes, i.e. cheap, cheerful and (for want of a better word) good.
Wet n Wild are hard to get hold of in the UK, however I managed to get hold of these two through amazon uk, hurray :)
So without further ado, here they are:


The one on the left is 'I Heart Matte' and the one on the right is 'Petal Pusher' I will review 'I Heart Matte' first.

All the colours in this Palette are (as the name suggests) matte which can make shadows difficult to blend but they do tend to last longer.
The following is a picture of the shades swatched on my arm without primer and in normal daylight:
As you can see the shades are pretty pigmented, this is from one swatch and not building the colours, they feel buttery and smooth and I wore this swatch on my arm through the day and they lasted pretty well, around 6 hours, this is apart from the second shade in, the skin coloured one which is meant as a browbone highlight, that one had faded away after about 4 hours. I think with a primer on your lids you would get a good days wear out of these shades as as a cheap drugstore Palette I am happy with it.

Palette number two is 'Petal Pusher'

I have to say, out of the two palattes I bought, this one will be my more reached for. It has been compared online to the recent release by MAC cosmetics 'Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow: Pinkluxe' without the £30 price tag.
This one has a lovely range of shades that again I have arm swatched, all except the white one in the top left, I tried with about 4 layers on my arm to get it to show up and it still wouldn't show, so I wont be using that one, the rest however are very pretty and unlike the matte palette, they have a lot of sparkle. The wear time is about 4-5 hours without a primer but with a primer they seem to be lasting longer.
Here is the swatch, bear in mind where the first shade should be there is nothing but arm and a light sparkle, I did try to build it up:

These shades are very buildable and very pretty, I will be using these shades a lot and I'm thinking it will be my go-to palatte for a while and I'm currently sporting a look from 'Petal Pusher' today.

All in all these palettes are cheap and cheerful and for the price tag that you would pay in the states they are fantastic quality, buttery and easy to blend. They make a welcome addition to my make up collection and I'm looking forward to trying more from Wet n Wild in the future!
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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Illamasqua 'Hype' and 'Dance' powder shadow dupes

Dance (blue) and Hype (yellow) are two highly pigmented, brightly coloured powder shadows from Illamasqua. I have seen both shadows used in various tutorials but I think I may have found a cheaper dupe for both of these shadows in the Ultra Matte V1 palette by Sleek.
If you can see the last shadow on the right on the top row, you can see it looks ver similar in pan to Hype,bottom row second from the left is the dupe for Dance, but even if they look similar in the pan, do they look similar on the skin? Well in short -yes! In both the following pics the illamasqua swatch is the bottom one an the sleek swatch is on top:


As you can see they are pretty much identical on the skin, the only difference for me is that the illamasqua shadows are much more finely milled so they feel less scratchy and they do blend easier, however the sleek palette is £7.99 for all the shades you see in the picture whereas the illamasqua shadows retail at £15.50 each.
Wear time on the illamasqua one is longer but both shadows can hold up well for about 5 hours with no primer but with primer they can be stretched all day with the sleek yellow being the first to fade.

Hope you enjoyed this little dupe information! Bye for now :) 





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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Illamasqua Gleam in Supernatural Review

Hi Everyone,

Today is a review on Illamasqua's Gleam in the shade Supernatural.
Illamasqua never seem to fail to deliver on their products and that is why this gleam called to me when I was browsing their website a week ago. I know this product has been around for a while now but being fair skinned I wasn't sure the orangey brown highlighter would compliment my skintone, however as I have a little bit of a tan at the minute I thought I would give it a try and I'm glad I did.


As usual the packaging is the standard illamasqua curved sided square made of plastic, the product feels nice in your hands and the black colouring is chic and expensive looking, yet the curving of the box sets it apart in design from other products I have seen on the market, however, packaging is all well and good but it is the product inside that counts.

As you can see I've been a little swatch happy with this bad boy and that is one of the pluses of this product, it is very soft and creamy, other cream highlighters I have tried have been clumpy and hard to apply due to the consistency, however gleam is soft and so very easy to blend in and also very easy to pick up on a brush, you can use this product as a highlighter as stated or also as a shimmery Bronzer, personally I like my bronzers matte so I have been using this as a highlighter along the tops of my cheekbones and down the bridge of my nose after applying my Bronzer beforehand.
I found that using fingertips with this product will get the job done but I did find that my fingers picked up gleam a bit on the heavy side and I found that if you apply this heavily it can make your pores look huge! Not a good look, however, applied sheerly this looks fantastic, it adds a spot if colour and a little bit of iridescent shimmer.
Gleam is also a long lasting product as I had it on for 7 hours and it was still going strong by then with no signs of fading.
I applied this to my face with the illamasqua highlighter brush and I think the product works really well with this brush. Below I have a picture of 3 swatches of gleam done on my arm and applied with fingertips, getting more sheered out each time, that way you can get an idea of how strongly or sheerly you can apply this to yourself :)


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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Benefit 'They're Real' Mascara Review

Hello All!

I thought I would do a quick review on benefit's most famous mascara, 'They're Real'

This mascara claims to give your eyes the false lash effect without false lashes being applied, now I have tried many mascaras over the years and I've had some hits and misses but I think I can safely say that this mascara is a hit.

At £19.50 for a tube containing 8.5g this isn't a cheapy and this is one of the main reasons it took me so long to buy it, however I am a complete addict for beauty products and once I set my beady eye on something I usually find it in my collection within a couple of months and that's exactly what happened as I stood at the Benefit counter asking for this product.

The packaging itself is rather nice, I like the mirror effect and the way the tube gets wider at the top. It's not as sleek as, for example, a YSL mascara tube but it does have a certain 'je ne sais quoi' about it.
Inside the wand is plastic, some people love plastic wands, others hate them, personally I tend to think plastic wands give a bit more lift to your lashes than a bristle one but that's just personal opinion. 

One of the main complaints of this product is how quickly it dries up, I have been using this product for around four months now and it is still going strong but has certainly seemed a tad clumpier the last 2-3 times I have used it, it still performs well despite this and the wear time hasn't been affected, nor have I noticed any flaking with wear.
Being a waterproof mascara it can be somewhat difficult to remove but I find using a wipe followed by my Liz Earle cleanse and polish seems to remove it all in the evening. 

I find that with one coat of this I have a dramatic difference in my eyes, I don't curl my lashes beforehand when I use this mascara as it seems to curl them nicely for me for a day look, I have a couple of before and after pics below to show you what I mean.

So here is before: 

You can clearly see my lashes are a bit flat and boring, certainly nothing to write home about, and below you will see how they look with one coat of the mascara, no curling or eyelash prep.





You can see the difference, I have full, dark and curled lashes that really make my eyes pop, as I said this is one coat. I only did the top lashes as this is personal preference again but you can do top and bottom if that is your look.
Wear time is amazing, I can literally pop one coat of this on at 7am and my lashes still look great at 9pm when I take all my make up off, so if you are in the market for a new mascara and the hefty price tag doesn't put you off, this is well worth a buy, just be warned, it could become an expensive habit. 
*tip* Debenhams often do 10% off days or weekends on all beauty so if you can wait, keep an eye out for one of those events and save yourself a few pennies.





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Thursday, 1 August 2013

July Favourites 2013

Hello Everyone!

So following on from all my recent hauls I thought it best to organise some favourites for this month, and there's been a few!


I will start with the foundation, I have been loving my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua this month. Now this foundation isn't my favourite that I own anymore but it is my perfect summer shade now that I have a tan, it is also light coverage which has been perfect for this heat wave we have been having here in the UK.
My shade is B30 though in winter I would be more B20.

For The Eyes:


  • Dior Peacock Palette:
This 5 shadow palette was part of the Summer 2013 collection and is hard to get hold of now but you can still grab one at www.houseoffraser.com at the time of publishing this. I have found the 5 colours blend effortlessly with one another and are the perfect summer brights, I do love a bit of green in my eyes and the colours in here -as usual from Dior- are beautiful.


  • MAC Bare My Soul Quad:
 From the recent 'Temperature Rising' collection this quad caught my eye, it is neutral with a pop and looks great on tanned skin, one of the better quads they have released of late as sometimes the quality in their limited edition collections aren't the best but these have been lovely.

  • Illamasqua Hype:
This bright yellow offering from Illamasqua can seem quite scary, and until this summer I would never have considered something so bright, however, if you have the balls to pull it off it can be quite showstopping! I have used it as an all over lid colour, as a gentle mix in with my Dior peacock and also mixed with water as a liquid liner and I have had loads of complements.

  • Benefit 'They're Real' Waterproof Mascara:
Waterproof has been very handy in this heat if you want to avoid that panda eye look. I also love the false lash effect this has.

  • Illamasqua Precision Liner in Scribe:
 This is a beautiful  white liquid liner and is perfect for adding a little something different to your regular eye colours or going with a statement look, check out my Instagram (@sparklesoflight) to see it used a couple of times.

For The Face:

  • Illamasqua Cream Blush in Dixie:
 A beautiful pinky coral perfect for summer and illamasqua blushes are very highly pigmented meaning you only need a tiny bit, perfect for summer wear.

  • MAC Bronzer in Nude on Board:
Again part of the recent Temperature Rising collection this is a gorgeous, buildable golden tan that has been an almost everyday staple!

  • 17 Instant Glow Shimmer Brick in Gold Bronze:
I use this as a highlighter as it is very shimmery and to use it as a Bronzer might look like you have had a fight with a glitter fairy. I find this to be a great cheap dupe of the similar one by Bobbi Brown.

  • Real Techniques Duo Fiber Face Brush:
This is a lovely brush for light application, see my previous blog post for a review.

For The Lips:

  • Revlon Lip Butter in 001 Pink Truffle:
Everyone and her dog has written about these but this is a lovely sheer nude shade and wears like a lip balm. 

  • MAC Viva Glam Nicki 1:
A lovely creamy lipstick, viva glam proceeds all go to the MAC AIDS Fund and so it's shopping without the guilt. It is a lovely bubblegum pink meets coral colour, loud and summery but can be muted with either a lip liner or a gloss on top.

  • MAC Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Midnight Mambo:
Part of the limited edition Tropical Taboo collection this is a lovely, easy wearing purple pink. The mineralize lipsticks are creamy and hydrating on the lips but the colour doesn't last too long, I think I only get about 2 hours out of this particular lipstick but I love the shade.

Multi-Purpose:

  • Illamasqua Medium Pencil in Debonair:
Illamasqua medium pencils can be used on the lips and the eyes. This one is a vivid blue colour so I have been using it as an eyeliner but if you check out my Instagram (@sparklesoflight) you will be able to see the blue used as a lip liner in an ombre lip look.

Well I hope you have enjoyed reading this there has been a lot this month! Till the next post, Toodles xx





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