Monday 20 June 2016


Happy Monday beauties <3 I thought what's best to start your gloomy and rainy Monday with, than an awesome new ish release from Makeup Revolution :) I'm a huge fan of their Chocolate palettes with Death By Chocolate, Naked Chocolate and Salted Caramel being close favourites (CLICK HERE FOR REVIEWS: NAKED CHOCOLATE, SALTED CARAMEL & PINK FIZZ). When Chocolate Vice landed I knew I'll be getting it at some point, as I love warm tones and there were few peachy shades that interested me from the first look.  Was it worth it? Stay with me to find out :)

The packaging is what always convinces me to buy a palette and I Heart Makeup chocolate design is the best. I honestly prefer it to the original Too Faced packaging. I love the melted chocolate design. Plastic is of better quality than your standard MUR packaging too. It holds good quality mirror and double ended sponge applicator. I don't understand why companies still put those in, as you can't really use them, can you? They're rubbish. All the names of the shadows can be found on the plastic sheet covering the shadows. This is a small minus as it would be better, if these were printed next to shadows. Trying not to lose the name sheet, as I call it, it's always a drag. However the price of the palette being mere £7.99, you can forget and forgive easily.

Inside you'll find 16 eyeshadows in 3 finishes: mattes, shimmers and satins. Although it's mostly warm toned palette, there's still few shades borderline neutral to cool. Shimmers are the most buttery with satins holding their place too. Mattes are mostly semi mattes and lighter shades don't show pigment as well as the others. Two highlight shades are as per usual in this range larger than others, with one being a shimmer highlight and other semi matte. It's a well composed palette in my opinion with only two shades I'd personally change in terms of the finish, not the colour itself. 

Vice - white with yellow gold shimmer, great pigmentation
Sway - light beige matte, great pigmentation
Satisfy - light champagne shimmer, great pigmentation
Require - light peach with lots of gold shimmer, great pigmentation
Convert - medium camel warm tone matte, great pigmentation
Treat - dark cool tone brown matte, great pigmentation
Habit - yellow gold shimmer, great pigmentation
Persuade - copper shimmer, great pigmentation 
Need - medium ashy cool tone brown, near taupe, great pigmentation 
Crave - dark brown with copper and gold shimmer, great pigmentation
Lust - dark charcoal with silver and navy shimmer, good pigmentation
Reason - peach satin, great pigmentation
Must - true coral satin, great pigmentation
Maleficence - dark camel with orange undertone matte, great pigmentation
Fancy - medium coral with pink tones satin, great pigmentation
Appeal - off white matte, little chalky, good pigmentation

The winning shades are Satisfy, Require, Convert, Reason, Must and Fancy with few mattes like Sway, Convert, Treat and Need. This is one of the best quality chocolate palettes Makeup Revolution ever came out with. There's not a single shade that lacks pigmentation, their all either great or good. Only one shade came out chalky when swatched but still transferred to lid with no fallout or lost pigmentation. They all wear nicely on the lid, up to 12 hours with primer. They blend nicely and I must say, mattes are really holding their own in this one. Normally mattes are what Makeup Revolution doesn't get quite right, but I must say I love the mattes in Chocolate Vice. I like my warm tones for daytime as they empathise my eye colour and Chocolate Vice has been the only palette I've used for couple of weeks now. There's plenty of looks you can create here. What's lacking is matte black shade. Not for me, as I have plenty of black mattes to choose from, but for someone who's buying only one palette to suit all their needs. Lust is ok but I don't understand the need of adding micro glitter shimmer to it, it should have been simply left as dark matte charcoal.

To sum up, I really enjoy using this palette and it's a brilliant value for money, so if you're looking for great quality satin and shimmers and warm tones of plenty - this one is definitely worth checking out :) It completes my chocolate collection and easily takes the lead when it comes to quality and palette composition. Have you tried Chocolate Vice? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments section below. If you haven't and would like to give it a spin - it's available here.

Thank You For Reading,

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Wednesday 8 June 2016


Talking about MAC Vibe Tribe Collection last week has made me think about the allure of MAC Limited Editions and how, I'm more likely to buy these over the standard products. Is it the hype that makes me want it more, is it the well thought design of the packaging or the senseless following of anything with LE (limited edition) in the name? 

Limited editions with MAC sell out in minutes sometimes. If you are truly after something you lust, you need to be super quick, as you never know, if it will be available after couple of hours. MAC has been pretty good lately, with more stock LE launching every time, so it's available for at least 24 hours, sometimes more. This window doesn't give you a lot of time to re-think your purchase. MAC LE collections are normally very hyped up months, if not seasons, before the launch. The sneak peeks of the packaging become available making any enthusiast go in to a frenzy. 

I don't buy the whole collections. The reason is simple, with so many launches, who has the money? I always try and grab at least one item though. For me it is purely the allure of the packaging. On the beginning of my beauty journey I owned one MAC lipstick and I was happy with it, I own 20+ now. It's not purely for estethic reasons, I'm not that crazy. I may not be the biggest MAC fan in general, I shop around more, but I can't deny the quality of MAC lipsticks. They aren't only better in formula, only some are, there's really a combination of factors that go in to a purchase. The saying "once you for MAC, you never go back" has some true tones to it.

The MAC Lipsticks have a lot going for them. Firstly, it's the choice of shades. Nowhere else, you find so many colours and finishes in one place. Going in to a MAC store for a lipstick is like visiting Santa's grotto. Second very important factor is the scent of the lipsticks. The sweet vanilla is the most recognisable lipstick scent for me and it makes wearing it a lot more special. It feels and smells luxurious. Third reason must be the formulas and finishes. I prefer mattes to any other, with satin finish being a strongest contender for a second place. There are multiple finishes to MAC and everyone can find one that suits their needs. 

Only then I look at the packaging and believe me, the packaging is amazing. The bullet form is incredible and I prefer if LE lipsticks stay within the norm of the standard bullet form. When it comes to LE collections there's also a factor of new and beautiful design. Just look at the newest MAC Poesia by Chris Chang - I have never owned anything this beautiful. It is truly a poetry in a design form. I prefer designer collaborations to those with celebrities, as normally they offer that something extra that not only catches the eye once, but becomes a piece of art on my vanity.

From left (swatched in natural light): Hot Chocolate, Plum Princess, Tats & Only You
I have quite a few LE lipsticks from MAC but today I wanted to stick to those in the standard bullet form with new design added to it. Let's have a look at them individually shall we?

MAC Vibe Tribe in Hot Chocolate - the beautiful beige packaging with tribal design and colours have taken the beauty world by storm. Amid controversy of not crediting the collection to the obvious Native American culture, MAC have released the statement, that the collection wasn't inspired by that, but by the outdoor festival fashion, art and the colour of the desert. Personally I love the design, it's perfect for summer time, stylish and fun. The shade Hot Chocolate (satin finish) is strongly inspired by the 90s trend and it will suit most skin tones.

MAC x Chris Chang Poesia in Plum Princess - The newest MAC collection to date and the most artistically pleasing. It's not just design, it's the whole painting of stretched flowers added to the bullet form. It's just beautiful. The shade again is something of a not in to the current "It" shade - greyish mauve purple of a matte finish is super similar to Jeffree Star Scorpio, NYX Embellishment and many more on the market at the moment. Grey cool toned lips are in and here to stay and the Plum Princess fits perfectly in this trend. Just gorgeous.

MAC x Giambattista Valli in Tats - From 5 shades released (all matte) I chose Tats as the packaging of a pink matte red has stolen my heart. The packaging of the entire collection was simple, with bullets covered in corresponding to the shades strong colours. It's minimalistic and beautiful. Tats is a gorgeous true pink shade, not too cool and not warm. It will suit any complexion but for us pale skinned, it will be a statement lip without the neon effect some pinks can give you. Simply stunning.

MAC x Ellie Goulding in Only You - There were only 2 shades released in this collection and I went for typical nude. The packaging is an another stunner, but somehow my least favourite of the ones mentioned above. It's shiny plastic, making it somehow cheaper to touch in my opinion. It's still super classy with Ellie Goulding logo in gold in the triangular shape.The shade itself isn't my absolute fave. I'm not that in to Creamsheen finishes as they haven't got the staying power of matte or satin. It's more of a gloss, although not sticky.

When it comes to buying a limited editions I only have one advice. Do your research, see if the shade is something you would go for in standard packaging or if it's purely a designer purchase. There's nothing bad in that either. I'm  lipstick hoarder collector and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I don't buy all limited editions as not every design catches my eye or maybe shades aren't something I would ever go for. If you decide there are bits in the collection you want, make sure you're peeled to your email notification from MAC advising you the collection goes live, as more often than not, you have to be quick with your purchase.

I hope you enjoy my today's ramblings and I'll see you on Friday with a new makeup look :)

Thank You For Reading,

Monday 6 June 2016


theBalm history is a simple one. Marissa Shipman (founder of the brand) worked in TV and lived in New York. She decided there's more to makeup than what meets the eye back in 2003. She wanted affordable, quality product that make every women glamorous in 5 minutes. With that philosophy in mind, she bought several "how to make my own makeup" books off Amazon and in her kitchen her first lip balm was made and company name theBalm arrived. 13 years forward and theBalm is a synonym of pin up beauty with Marissa inspirations behind every product taken from the real need, filling  the gap in the market. 

I like theBalm as a brand. The packaging is something that is important to me. When I first started in beauty, the idea was: the more, the better. I, now look for the originality, for that something extra that catches the eye and fills the need. I look at my vast collection and slowly realise it is too much, so when shopping for makeup I look for innovation, something to crab my attention. Enter theBalm. 

Packaging wise it's hard to find something cute, travel friendly and attention catching. theBalm does it in a very special way. Forget luxurious brand packaging, the pin up design, hardened cardboard is of great quality and fun at the same time. They're light and travel friendly without compromising on quality. There's always a mirror hidden inside. This is the product you are supposed to stuff in your makeup bag. It's your five minute miracle. During my time in the beauty world I accommodated several products in my collection. Some I love, some I like. There's no denying the beauty of them. 

When it comes to theBalm, I mainly think face products. I fell in love with Mary-Lou Manizer the moment I laid eyes on it. It's a finely milled, champagne coloured highlight that's a beauty must have for any makeup enthusiast. You've seen it everywhere. It's this one highlight shade that suits all. I've seen it on palest on skins as well as medium tones - it gives the most beautiful shine to all. There's no glitter to it, it gives you the finish any highlighter should, the effect of wet skin. It stays put all day and it's super pigmented so if you're after a delicate daytime highlight, make sure you practice the application, as light hand is needed. Best brushes are either fan or duo fibres, however I use it with a dense brush. I don't mind the shine, in fact, the more the better. A year, year and a half ago the Mary-Lou Manizer taken the crown in the highlight world, as there were little to none products that worked quite like it and were on that medium price scale. Now a little forgotten in the world of strobing, it's still one I love and go for a lot. BUY IT HERE.

Contouring hit and there were only few matte bronzers at the time to fill the need for it. Bahama Mama has quickly became a staple for it's olive toned shade, not too warm and matte. You've seen it everywhere and for the good reason. It is still one of the best contouring products in the beauty industry. I don't use it nearly enough anymore as I discovered lighter and more cool toned shades now, that suit my super pale complexion better than Bahama Mama, but there's no denying, she was my first 'official' contouring goddess and still holds a spot near my heart. It's another super pigmented product and I can't stress it enough - you need a light hand using it, as if applied too generously, it's really hard to blend. I find fluffy and duo fiber brushes the best to tame the Bahama Mama. BUY IT HERE.

Swatches natural light no flash, from left: Mr Write Now Brian, Balm Desert,
Frat Boy, Bahama Mama, Mary-Lou Manizer
For a while Bahama Mama was the only bronzer in theBalm family, until early last year when Balm Desert was released. It is a satin finish bronzer of warm tones, but also lighter in tone to it's precedor. I only have a sample, but I really loved it in the summer. It's a great product, f you're pale and looking to warm up the complexion. It really gives that tan finish to the skin. BUY IT HERE

theBalm blushes taken the makeup world by storm and most shades became cult must haves really quickly. The quirky packaging, funny names as with other products help with marketing surely, but the quality of the product is what I'm here to talk about. I own many blushes and Frat Boy is one I seem to go for more often than others. It's a beautiful coral shade, super pigmented, but if applied with large duo fiber brush it gives only the flush of colour to my cheeks. The shade is just perfect for my everyday needs. BUY IT HERE.

I picked up Mr Write Now in the shade Brian on a recommendation by one of the beauty bloggers. I was on a look out for a quality beige waterline liner forever and having had no luck in drugstore I decided it was the time to spend just a little extra on a product that's beige, matte and has an actual staying power. I've never looked back. I've had it for a year now and I still use it. It has a creamy formula and applies evenly on the waterline. It sets pretty quickly, so couple of strokes is all you need to really open the eye with it. It's to date the most natural looking beige waterline liner I own. I'm sure to test more over the years, but until I'm done with Brian, I just don't see a need to try any others. I see mixed reviews of this liner and yes I agree to some extent. It's not the most creamy formula on the market, but it just works and stays put. I have quite sensitive and watery eyes so for me the longevity is the key with any waterline products and Brian has been the one for a year now. BUY IT HERE.

I saved probably the most disappointing product for last, as I tend to digress from negativity here, unless I really have to. theBalm Nude'tude was the first of the kind palette on the market and it's still a staple for many. I can see the allure. The packaging is to die for, it's super quirky with it's Naughty and Nice versions. I'm a grown ass woman - I went for naughty lol. I'm glad this palette was part of one of the beauty boxes I subscribe to, as I would probably skip on testing it otherwise. It's not a bad palette. All shades are pigmented and blend beautifully. However the lack of matte shades, as there's only couple here, does put a dent in it for me. I experienced a lot of fall out with all darker shades, mattes included and all shimmers. For that, I rarely go for Nude'tude. There are few special shades that I adore in there though with Sassy (white shimmer), Sultry (medium matte, warm camel brown) and Sexy (burgundy matte) leading the way. These are the only shades I go for in this palette, therefore I can't honestly recommend it as a whole. It's still a great palette, just not fully worth the investment in my eyes. BUY IT HERE.


theBalm will always have a special place close to my heart for it's innovative and fun products. I still love and use them all. It's now widely available in UK, be that in Superdrug on Feel Unique to name just a few. Is it still the brand to go for innovation? Not anymore. Beauty industry have caught up and many drugstore and luxury brands offer what theBalm used to offer. Don't get me wrong, there are still great quality, pigmented formulas and real pleasure to work with, so if you're looking for good quality at reasonable price, theBalm fills that void nicely. It's cheaper than MAC and slightly more expensive than your usual drugstore. If I could choose my personal heroes, it would be Mary-Lou Manizer, my first real highlighter love and Mr Write Brian - still the only beige waterline pencil I go for. 

Thank You For Reading,

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