Sunday, 11 December 2011

MAC Make It Perfect Mineralize Brush Kit Review

When the Glitter & Ice press release came out, I was really thrilled about the brush sets, I thought the choices of brushes were good and I liked the look of the handles. I basically decided I was going to get a set or two and this one, the Mineralize set was a definite. Now I have buyers guilt because they just do not live up to my expectations at all. I've had two brush sets in the past, before Glitter & Ice, one from Digipops and one from Wonder Woman. Both, while they aren't on par with the full size brushes were decent and I use them, especially for travelling as they have shorter handles thus more travel friendly. These are just utter disappointments for me. I've held off writing reviews on them because I wanted to test them fully and fairly and didn't feel I could before giving them a full test drive.

L-R: 187SE, 130SE, 282SE, 286SE
I expected these brushes to be of a similar quality to my previous sets. I didn't expect any more than that as I know they will never meet the standard of a full size hand made brush.

The outer box is white with silver foiling all over it which resembles ice skating marks on the ice with a spotlight beaming down in the middle. The bag is quite tacky, it is clear plastic with a silver circle glued onto the side. I don't understand the point of the stuck on circle. To me the bag looks silly and unfinished. I found the zip really stiff and hard to open and the long piece of plastic attached to the end of it makes it even harder to open. All of the brushes have clear handles filled with silver glitter. I quite like the handles and think they are really pretty.

Outer box
Clear bag (different brush set inside pictured)

The 187 is one of my favourite brushes from MAC but it is bulky and impractical for travelling as it doesn't fit into a standard sized make up bag. I thought the smaller one would be perfect for weekends at my boyfriend's house. So not the case...

First impressions, it is less dense than the full size and the white fibres feel different - thinner and not as soft. The black and white fibres are blended together through the brush more than my full size one so it doesn't really give that duo fibre feel where the fibres split apart as you use it. It is hard to explain but if you get hold of a full sized 187 and swirl it in the palm of your hand you will see what I mean. I was not too bothered about these things, as I mentioned, I knew it wouldn't be the same as it should. In use it isn't that bad, it doesn't perform as well as a regular 187 but it does the job.

L-R: 187SE, 187 regular (sorry about it being dirty!)
You can see how in the full size version the bristles split apart but in the
SE version, they are more blended.
L-R: 187SE, 187 regular
All was well and good until I washed it... UGH! What the hell?! Why is there dye all over my sink?! Why are black fibres coming out in clumps?! Why are the white fibres in my brush now GREEN?! I thought it might stop after a second wash so used it a few more times and then washes again. Nope. Same thing happened (although less than the first), if it keeps happening, there will be no brush left!

I don't own the full size 130 brush so can't compare the shape, density etc. In use, I really liked this. It is brilliant for applying cream highlighter such as my Illamasqua Lies blush which I rarely used before but now have a great brush to use it with. It works really well at stippling the colour and softly blending for a soft focus finish. Such a good brush.

However... this brush also has a dark side. It also had leaking dye issues and left the bristles very green tinged. It didn't shed like the 187SE though which was good, although it did occur. I may buy a full size of this brush though because I loved how it worked but don't want the issues.

A new brush from MAC. I'm really not sure on this brush. I just can't seem to find a good use for it. I assume it is to be used with Mineralize Eyeshadows as it came out with a lot of MES but I found it really hard to use. It kicks up the MES all over the place and makes it drop all over my face. I tried using it wet but it didn't apply nicely so tried it wet straight into the pan but it didn't pick up the colour properly. I had to pretty much scrub at the pan to get the colour on the brush. It is also a really big brush so would only work for washes of colour. My eyes aren't big although they're not small either and I find it hard to use in my lid space. Someone with a lot of lid space may find it easier. What I can imagine it being used for is cream products. The dual bristles would be good with emollients and blend nicely. It still isn't ideal for me though due to the size of the brush. I'm not sure if MAC will bring this out in a full size in the future. If they do, it would be nice for them to be clearer on how they perceive it to be used. Again, this brush had issues when washing, it leaked dye so badly, it was the worst of the bunch for leaking.

Another new brush from MAC. This brush will be released as a full size permanent edition brush with MAC's Naturally collection next year. It is a blending brush and works quite nicely although I still prefer MAC's other blending brushes such as the 217. It has a nicely tapered tip so you can get right into the crease and gently fluff the colour out. It would also work nicely for cream products and be a good addition to MAC's range as they do not have a synthetic blending brush (as far as I know). 
It still leaked dye unfortunately.

Top: 282SE
Bottom: 286SE
All in all, these brushes STINK. Would I recommend them? Errm... NO!

Jennifer x

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Stamping - Peacock Nails

I got my nail stamps out again for another go. It didn't come out quite as well as the last go but I still really like it. I also wore this for a week and it lasted really well with no chips at all.

Here are some more pictures.

What I used:
Nail Envy x 2 coats
OPI Yodel On My Cell x2 coats
Seche Vite x1 coat
Barry M 319 (silver foil) for the stamping polish
Bundle Monster plate BM-212 (this is from the second set, available from Amazon)
OPI Plugged in Plum to fill in the spots
Seche Vite x1 thin coat

What do you think?

Jennifer x

Urban Decay to release Naked 2!

Oh I cannot tell you how excited I am for this! I adore Urban Decay's Naked palette and they have just released version 2 in the USA today! It is slated for release in the UK (and I would assume Europe) in January and I cannot wait! I know... exclamation mark overload haha but I really am that excited :D

Lets take a quick look. (Photos from Temptalia)

Isn't it lovely!?

It includes 12 shades of eyeshadow, 5 of which are exclusive to this brand new palette (Booty Call, Busted, Pistol, Snake Bite and Tease). The rest of the shades are either permanent or were released with other palettes but not available individually, plus there is one discontinued shade.

It also comes with a dual ended brush which has the Good Karma Shadow brush on one end and the crease brush on the other. Plus a mini Lip Junkie gloss in the shade Naked.

It is in a new type of palette too, more like a pencil tin than the velvety case from the original.

It retails for $50 in the USA and will be £36 in the UK.

Check out viviannadoesmakeup for swatches and reviews. It looks smashing :)

Jennifer x

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Konad Stamping - Blue and Gold Swirls

I decided to pull my Konad Stamps out again as I hadn't used them for a while. I also wanted to use one of my new China Glaze colours from their Holiday line. I decided to pop into Superdrug to pick up the two new Barry M foil effect polishes as I thought they would work well for stamping. From what I have seen, foil finish polishes seem to work really nicely for this. Oh I am glad I did because they are perfect stamping polishes and also can be used for painting nails so no need to buy the silver or gold Konad stamping polishes which are actually rubbish and not very opaque. I was so pleased with how this came out, it was really quick to do the stamping. I quite like how none of the stamps are in the same position and I'm also pleased at how neat my painting has gotten since I started this blog :)

What I used:
OPI Nail Envy x2 coats (this is my regular base)
China Glaze Blue Years Eve x2 coats
Seche Vite x1 coat (to aid drying before stamping)
Barry M 320 (gold foil) for stamping
Konad image plate M64
Seche Vite x1 coat

I wore this manicure for a whole week before starting to get small chips. China Glaze's polishes always seem to last really well on my nails. I also love this colour and highly recommend it. I purchased my bottle from for $2.99, absolute bargain!

Jennifer x

MAC Glitter & Ice Mineralize Eye Shadow Review

MAC's Holiday collection offered six mineralize eye shadows. I initially bought two of them and then later went back for two others after seeing lots of swatches. The last two ended up being my favourites of the four.

L-R: Fresh Ice, Shimmermint
Fresh Ice
This is a frosty white with a very slight pink tinge. It has some lavender pink veining in the pan to go with the white. I bought this to use as a highlight shade, particularly in the inner corners of my eyes. When used dry it is slightly sheer which makes it perfect for me to use as a highlight as it is not full on frosty opaque white. It has lovely sparkle to it but it isn't so chunky that I experience lots of fallout. To make it more opaque, using it over a primer gives more payoff and holds the sparkle more. It is even better wet, which is the general expectation for mineralize eye shadow - they work in a similar manner to pigments, when foiled the payoff is really good and has a metallic finish. It is really sparkly used like this but can still drop some sparkle once it dries.

L-R: Dry, Over primer (UDPP), Wet, Over Pixie Epoxy

This is a glittery minty, silvery shade. I love shades like this and they seem very few and far between. They are often quite sheer too, I guess due to the lightness of the colour. This is also like that when used dry and... it is a complete glitter bomb. I first used this dry and it went everywhere, I mean everywhere. I was finding glitter all over my clothes as well as my chin and forehead. There was glitter flying off of the brush as I used it. This colour must be used wet, and carefully for it to stay put. Primer helps a little although not much, wet is much better but it can still drop. A sticky base is a MUST. Once finding out how to use it, it looks really nice on. On me it shows more green but I have seen it appear more blue on other people.

L-R: Dry, Over primer (UDPP), Wet, Over Pixie Epoxy

Snow Season
This is a peachy pink with pink and gold shimmer. It is a very smooth mineralize eye shadow and has good pigmentation even when dry. It makes a good wash of colour for quick application and could also be used as a highlight. It is the sort of colour which will flatter most skin tones. When used over primer it appears more pink and when foiled it is far more metallic and the payoff is much brighter. I really really like this shade and it will be getting a lot of use. I do not experience fall out with this shade.

L-R: Snow Season, Winterized
L-R: Dry, Over primer (UDPP), Wet, Over Pixie Epoxy
This is a smokey blue purple with a purple sheen. The base is a satin type of finish and then it has teeny purple sparkles. When used dry it appears more brown from the burgundy areas of the pan and applies smoothly with decent pigmentation. Like this it would work really nicely with khaki, olive and brown colours. When used over a primer it has more pigmentation but still retains the smokey quality. When foiled it becomes this amazing purple and much brighter. It has a gorgeous purple sheen when the light hits it with a slight pink tone. It works particularly nicely with Snow Season. I do not experience fall out with this shade. I love this one the most and it is definitely my favourite mineralize eye shadow out of all of the ones that I own.
L-R: Dry, Over primer (UDPP), Wet, Over Pixie Epoxy

I find the best way to use mineralize eye shadows is over a product called Pixie Epoxy, from a company called Fyrinnae. I will do a post on this product soon but it is basically like a 'glue' for pigments and works well for these types of eye shadows too. It holds the glitter or shimmer in really well and keeps the colour intense all day. I rarely get fall out if I use this product and I would advise using this to help.

Jennifer x

Monday, 21 November 2011

MAC Glitter & Ice Lipstick Review

Top - Bottom: Whirls & Twirls, Soft Sable
There were six lipsticks in MAC's Glitter & Ice collection, I picked up two of them. I wouldn't have normally bought these as I thought they would be really frosty but they aren't due to their glaze finishes.

L-R: Whirls & Twirls

Whirls & Twirls
In the tube it looks like it is going to be such a frosty light pink, I thought that it was going to look really old fashioned and unflattering, especially on my warm skin tone - not something I want to wear. Due to it being a glaze finish, it doesn't go on really opaque, it is more of a sheen on the lips. I really like lipsticks like this, I have bought a few like it in the past where they lighten my lips a little with a pretty sheen, such as Marquise'd from Wonder Woman and Secret Lover from MAC Me Over. It is really easy to wear for such a light colour. It would work really well with dark or smokey eye makeup because it lightens without going really really nude and it still lets the natural lip colour come through.

Soft Sable
This is quite a unique shade, I've not seen a lipstick like this before. I think the closest I have seen is Bobbi Brown's Vintage Rose but it is much more metallic and pinker. Soft Sable appears more pewter in the tube but once on the lips, my natural lip colour comes through, making it more wearable. I think this shade is more suited to warm skin tones. It works really nicely with brown and khaki shades of eyeshadow.

Both lipsticks applied really nicely and smooth. For these pictures, I quickly applied them so they don't look as nice as they should here and my lips are a bit red around the edges from doing a lot of lip swatches so sorry about that!

Jennifer x

I've got glasses

I work on computers all day and they take a strain on my eyes, I end up with headaches and sore eyes so I went for an eye test. Turns out, I am slightly long sighted and need glasses for concentration work - using the computer and reading. Specsavers do buy one get one free on a lot of their frames so I picked out two pairs. I went to pick them up today. I like them, I prefer one to the other so they will be my main pair. So far, I'm wearing them as I type this and they are giving me sore eyes but I'm hoping that is just due to me not being used to them yet and after a few days of wearing them they will get better.

What do you think?

These ones are from Jasper Conran.

These are by Missoni

Jennifer x

Saturday, 19 November 2011

MAC Glitter & Ice Dazzleglass Review

Back to front: Pleasure Principle, Love Alert, She-Zam, Spanking Rich, Dressed to Dazzle

There are six Dazzleglasses in MAC's Glitter & Ice collection. Some are brand new, others are repromotes or permanent so it is worth checking your collection to see if you already have any of them. Dazzleglasses are probably my favourite type of MAC glosses. They aren't too sticky but stay around for a while and you are often left with a bit of the glitter on the lips once the colour has worn off so you still have something of interest there. They tend to be on the sheer to colourless side with the colour coming from the glitter, although there are the odd few shades which do have colour in the base but they are far from opaque. They are popular to layer over lipsticks to add an extra something but I also like to use them alone as I find them pretty regardless. I bought five of the six colours available due my love of them and their versitality. The only bad thing about them is that they are a little pricier that the regular lipglasses and you get less product which is annoying. Debenhams currently have them in their 10% off beauty sale for £15.30 compared to their original £17.00. The price is inflated a bit compared to the regular dazzleglasses due to the special packaging they are in. I forgot about that at the time of ordering so should have ordered Love Alert in regular packaging as it is permanent and saved £1. Dazzleglasses have a brush applicator compared to the usual doe foot applicator in regular Lipglasses.

My photos do not do these justice at all, I found it so hard to capture the glitter in these accurately due to lack of daylight during my free time. Other blogs have much better photos of them, or check them out in person to get the full effect.

MAC Glitter & Ice Paint Pot Review

L-R: For Effect, Let's Skate

There are three Paint Pots in the Glitter & Ice collection, MAC's Holiday (Christmas) offering. All are quite neutral shades, a very pale pink, a taupe and a smokey grey. All are quite glittery and fall out can be expected in my experience. A primer or using some eyeshadow on top should reduce that. Bear in mind that if you hated the Cham-Pale Paint pots at the beginning of this year, you may also hate these. They are quite similar as they both have glitter but these are less chunky and apply much smoother. They are perfect colours for lots of eye looks for the holiday season. Really good as bases especially. I picked up two of the three as I felt didn't really like the third shade, Morning Frost, and felt that other brands made a shade like this which was nicer, such as Benefit.

L-R: For Effect, Let's Skate

For Effect
This is not the most pigmented Paint Pot, it is slightly sheer but it is buildable. It is an excellent base for a dark smoldering smokey eye or adding depth and sparkle to colours on top of powder eyeshadows. It is a dark grey, on a similar line to Night Divine Eyeshadow with silver sparkle but seems to have other shades of sparkle in it too in certain lighting. I see glimpses of blue and fuschia as the light hits it. I do wish the texture was a bit smoother however but I like it regardless for a dark shimmery base, which is why I wanted it in the first place. Therefore it serves it's purpose for me.

Let's Skate
This is such a pretty colour, again it applies a bit unevenly, clean fingers work best with both of these shades and a patting motion apposed to sweeping and flicking the glitter all over your face. It can be worn alone as a subtle colour, being light, uneveness doesn't show as much but the main colour, which is a pale pink, isn't obvious anyway. It is the shimmer in this which makes the colour beautiful. It has lovely pink and gold sparkle, looks very wintery and would look fantastic with a bit of black liner, mascara, a bold red or pink lipstick and a nice pink blush on the apples of cheeks. It also works as a nice base, the sparkle comes through the eyeshadow. Neutral shades, pinks and purples would look beautiful over this colour.

The packaging, like all of this collection is white which makes a difference to the black lids of regular Paint Pots. Personally I don't like the white lids but it doesn't matter anyway. The bottoms of the pots are glass and quite weighty. Just remember to screw the lids on tightly to make sure they don't dry out, it is also better to store them upside down - you can see the colours easier that way too.

L-R: For Effect, Let's Skate
L-R: For Effect, Let's Skate
My swatches don't really do the colours justice but you may be able to see the gold shimmer better in the second photo of Let's Skate, it also shows some of the blue sparkle in For Effect.

Jennifer xx

MAC Posh Paradise Swatches

I totally forgot to review these products so I thought I would just post the swatches in case anyone still wanted to have a look. Some are still available in MAC's Goodbyes section and probably available on Debenhams/Selfridges/House of Fraser. I bought all of the Paint Pots from this collection and 4 of the Mattenes (I forgot to take swatches of the fourth, Rare Exotic). I simply love Paint Pots so that is why I got them all and I really enjoyed the Mattene formula but only some of the colours caught my eye.

Paint Pots

L-R: Pure Creation, Genuine Treasure, Idyllic, Imaginary, Nubile, Hyperviolet, Half-Wild, Treasure Hunt
Deliciously Forbidden, Naked Bliss, Delectable

Rare Exotic

My favourites: Deliciously Forbidden, Rare Exotic, Idyllic and Treasure Hunt.

Jennifer xx

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Bonfire Night Nails

I hope everyone enjoyed Bonfire Night. I love it, it is one of my favourite times of the year. Being British, the 5th November is an important historical date for us. To celebrate, my boyfriend and I went to a firework display which we have been going to for three years running. It is in Edenbridge Town, in Kent and they put on a fantastic show. They hold a procession down the high street with bands and floats. People dress up and all of the local children who take part seem to enjoy themselves so much. After the procession everyone makes their way to a nearby playing field where the fireworks will be held. There are stalls selling burgers, hotdogs, candy floss, toffee apples and hot drinks plus a teacup ride and fairground game for the littleuns. On the other side of the field stand two huge wooden figures, one of Guy Fawkes and the other of that year's 'celebrity Guy'. This year was the turn of Manchester City player Mario Balotelli, the footballer who managed to set fire to his bathroom with a rogue firework during a party... haha! After they have set fire to each Guy, the fireworks start and they are fantastic and enormous. I love going there.

As it was a special day, I decided to do a special manicure to go with it. I wanted to paint fireworks on my nails and this is what I came up with.

October Favourites

This month it took me a while to choose my favourites as I've been switching between products quite a lot. I'm fickle like that haha. Also, apologies for the quality of this photo, you may notice them not coming out so bright for the time being, I just don't get a chance to use daylight at the moment unless it I do my photography at the weekend. I'm going to try to take lots of swatch photos during weekends when I can take advantage of the daylight so that I have them done for when I post during the week. Anyway, here is what I picked this month:

Urban Decay Naked Palete
You have probably seen this thing everywhere, all over the internet but I truly love it. The colours are so easy to use and work well together in pretty much any combination. It is a foolproof palette and is very flattering. It is a really good staple to have in your collection and many people will find that these are the only neutral shades they need... unless you are a hardcore makeup fanatic!

MAC Lightscapade
This came from one of the recent collections from MAC. Mine isn't one of the most beautiful pans of this but it is still lovely. It gives me a nice glow to my cheek bones and has made it's home in my everyday makeup bag.

Enchanted foaming sugar scrubs (Gingerbread Ghosts, from the Halloween line is pictured but I have been loving the scrubs in general). I doubt many people have heard of Enchanted Bath and Body, if you haven't, I suggest you head over to and have a look. I've been a fan of Sarah's scrubs for a while, in fact a like a lot of her products. She is a one man band at the moment but she works amazingly hard to get her orders done to top notch quality. If you have heard of or are a fan of Isle of Eden, Enchanted makes a great alternative to anyone based in Europe. Sarah will ship further afield too however. The Halloween line will be discontinued soon so get in quick if any take your fancy. I will get a quick review of my latest order up soon.

I have been using bronzer to contour my cheeks a lot this month, mainly this one which is MAC's Golden. It is subtle and most suited to lighter skintones. It has a very subtle shimmer in it but is still fine to use for contouring. I've also been enjoying NARS Laguna.

L'Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream
My skin especially on my legs is very dry. It gets worse after shaving but I normally hate using body moisturisers as they take ages to sink in and they make it hard to get dressed after using them which is not good if you like to wear skinny jeans like me. This one is different, it sinks into my skin so quickly even though it is so thick. You can hold the pot over your head and it wont come out. It has 25% shea butter in it which helps so much with my skin. My skin is much more supple and glowy than it was before and best of all, it no longer flakes!

Chanel Coco Mademoiselle EDP
This was a birthday present from my Grandad. It is such a beautiful and sophisticated yet youthful perfume. I always thought that Chanel perfumes were a little too mature for my liking but I adore this one. If you have smelt Miss Dior Cherie, it is on a similar line to that but it doesn't smell the same to me. I find this one more sophisticated and elegant, not as sweet and the end of the perfume has a lovely muskiness to it. I find that it smells different on me every day, I never know exactly what I'm going to get so it makes it even more enjoyable to wear. Amazing thing, skin chemistry!

Jennifer xx

Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Hope you enjoy whatever you're doing tonight. I don't celebrate Halloween but wanted to do some Halloween makeup. This is the first time I've ever done anything like this and I don't have any products such as liquid latex or spirit gum etc to do anything really creative so had to make do with what I had in my makeup collection. As per usual, I leave everything to the last minute and ended up doing this last night. I didn't know what I wanted to turn myself into and ended up making it up as I went along. I think it looks a little bit zombish although could have done with some more cuts and veins and rot haha - maybe next year.

I already had my makeup on from the day, my eyeshadow was very neutral in skin tones with a tiny bit of shimmer. This was mostly covered up. Because I didn't want it to look perfect, I just added more on top of what I already had on.

What I used:
  • White eyeshadow (MAC Gesso) applied all over with a small foundation brush, packed onto my skin and 'scrubbed' in to get it to look a little patchy. I couldn't find a very light foundation to use cheaply yesterday so made do with eyeshadow but you could use a light foundation instead.
  • Taupe-grey eyeshadow as a contour on a round eyeshadow brush to sketch out the shape and then blend downwards. Soften with a fluffy contouring brush. I used MAC Copperplate through my cheekbones, around the top of the nose to add shadow and depth to the eyes and along the jaw bone.
  • Brown-red eyeshadow under the eyes to make them look sore, I used MAC Folie. I also used this colour in areas where I wanted my skin to look bruised.
  • Grey eyeshadow under the eyes and on the lids to make them appear deeper set. I used MAC Scene.
  • Matte black eyeshadow all over the lid and underneath for a dead and smudged makeup appearance.
  • Reddish plum purple eyeshadow, I used the one from Sleek's PPQ palette to use around the bruised areas to darken and deepen the look of the bruises, I also used it in areas around the mouth and also smudged the excess on the brush around the nose to make my skin look blotchy.
  • MAC Cream O Spice lipliner all over lips, use something brownish.
  • For the blood I used MAC's Kissable Lip Colours in Love Peck and Strut Your Stuff. Fake blood would be ideal, liquid and gel based would give the best effect.

I also did a Halloween nail design.

I already had the base colours on for this, they are one of the new Nails Inc Gossip Girl kits (the Lily set). It is a deep plum black creme finish with a flake polish on top which flashes red-orange-green. I added China Glaze's Ghoulish Glow (glow in the dark nail polish) over the top of all fingers except the ring fingers. I used Illamasqua Gamma (neon orange) for the pumpkin and OPI Jade is the New Black (medium green creme) for the stalk and swirly leaves. I then added the face in China Glaze Liquid Leather (black creme).

I wasn't able to get a photo of the polish glowing in the dark, my camera just wouldn't pick it up, I probably need to figure out the correct settings. It is subtle but does glow. It needs to be in the light for a while to 'charge', it will eventually fade out and not glow, just like children's glow in the dark stars do. It also mutes the colour down but I like it for this as it makes it a swampy greenish colour.

Enjoy your Halloween!

Jennifer xx
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