Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Blogmas Day 3:Budget Christmas Party Make-Up

So it's the most glamorous time of year, with multiple opportunities for us ladies to adorn ourselves head-to-toe in glitter, sequins and bling galore. 

For me, picking out something to wear for work's Christmas party or New Years Eve is the easy part. Make-up is where I usually struggle. Now you may remember a while back I reviewed the MUA Undressed Palette as well as some other MUA products in a haul that I did (which you can read here). 

I waxed lyrical about the MUA palette because at only £4, it's a carbon copy of the Urban Decay Naked Palette in terms of shades, and the pigmentation is dense and rich. 

So I decided to knock up a few eye shadow looks using the palette to give you some budget beauty inspiration. 

You'll notice that the shades actually come in pairs made up of a matte shade and a metallic shade. Each of these looks consist of a pair, with the matte shade covering the lid all the way up to the crease, and the metallic shade blending outwards from the crease up, to create a winged shape. In all of these looks, I have used shade No.1 as a highlighter for just below my brow and the inner corner of my eye. 

Shades 1 & 2

 This is the gentlest of all the looks. Even though I use shade 1 as a highlighter most of the time, it also works really well on the lid, accompanied by shade 2. If you're going for a natural make-up look but want just a little bit of colour and highlighting, these shades are perfect. These icy pinks are great for both day and night winter looks. 

Shades 3 & 4

This is a very gentle combo. I like to think of these shades as rose gold in hue. They add a little bit of warmth and depth to the lid but are at the same time are quite natural in tone. If you've got quite a dramatic outfit, something like this would work really well. 

Shades 5 & 6

Everyone needs a bit of gold on them somewhere at Christmas, and gold make-up can be the perfect sparkly Christmas accessory. These shades are subtle, but work to add a warm glow to your eyes, 

Shades 7 & 8

I like to think of this combo as a bronze smokey eye. Both the matte and the metallic are two differing depths of bronze, and they work so well together. This combo will look amazing on anyone with brown eyes, as it really makes them pop. 

Shades 9 & 10

 I love the pinky metallic with the chocolate brown here. The brown gives depth to the eyelid and the muted pink makes for a good contrast. 

Shades 11 & 12

This look is one of my favourites. The metallic blue gives a nice twist to the smokey eye, and helps to create a defined wing. This is the most dramatic look of them all. This is a statement look, and would work well with a subtle and understated outfit. 


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

MUA Haul: Bargain or Bin

(wearing Flawless Primer, Luminating Foundation, Gel Eyeliner and Lip Lacquer)

 (wearing Matte Lipstick in Wilde Berry)

  (wearing Matte Lipstick in Lilac Belle)

(Wearing Intense Colour Eyeliner in Forest Green)


The acronym grabbing the attention of everyone remotely interested in make-up.

For me, it wasn't to much the products themselves that caught my attention, but rather the buzzword 'bargain.' Having tested so many beauty products, I've learnt that expensive doesn't always guarantee you quality, and that there are some hidden gems to be found in bargain brands.

So this haul all started when I signed up to The Sun+ online for £1 to receive a £20 Superdrug voucher (you should check it out, they have amazing offers, and you can cancel the subscription shortly after). Now we all know make-up can be expensive, and I wasn't expecting the voucher to stretch very far, until I heard about MUA. I walked away with a whopping 8 products!!

Undress Your Skin Flawless Primer - £5
Primers are one of those products that cost a lot, yet the result is very subtle. One of those products you convince yourself you can do without. Now when I say subtle, I don't want to demean the importance of a primer. When you find a good one, you'll never be without it. In regards to this particular product, it does do the job. It creates a smooth, even and matte layer upon which you can apply your foundation. This product gives you what you pay for, and no added extras like colour correction or luminosity. It's not the best primer I've tried, but I was really happy with the result considering how much it cost. My only issue is that a little doesn't go a long way like others I've used. The bottle's quite small, and you will go though it quite quickly.

Undress Your Skin Luminating Foundation (Medium) - £5
I was really surprised by this foundation. I've never really got on with high street liquid foundations. I usually find them too drying for my skin and being olive toned, it's a right old hassle trying to find a match. The first thing I noticed about it was how runny in consistency it was. I saw this as a good thing, as the YSL and Estee Lauder foundations I've used were of a similar consistency and were very moisturising. The shade was a perfect match so I didn't have to faff around with neck and chin blending (I bloody hate that). Coverage wise, it wasn't as matt as I would have liked, but MUA do a Matt foundation, so I can't really complain. It left me with a nice and natural dewy look which for Summer I think is perfect.

Gel Eyeliner - £3
I actually used this gel eye liner before the Jane Iredale one that I reviewed HERE so this was my first experience of it. For me, gels have the best elements of both pencil and liquid liners. You have the intensity in colour of the liquid, and the control and precision of the pencil (depending on what brush you have of course). The brush on this product is quite short and square, which I really liked. The gel itself is more of a paste so you have to make sure there aren't any lumps on your brush or you'll get in a right state. To my surprise, there wasn't much smudging and my wings lasted longer than if I'd used a pencil. I have actually almost finished the pot, so for £3 this is more than a bargain, it's a bloomin' steal.

Intense Colour Eye Liner (Forest Green) - £1
I don't think there's much you expect from a pencil eye liner other than vibrant, sharp lines that last. This pencil is creamy in texture and has a gorgeous metallic, dark green hue that is perfect for adding a bit of drama and depth to an evening look. Just a thin line on the top lid is all you need. It also works well for blending with eye shadows. Now that I know how brilliant they are, for £1 I'm gonna get the whole lot. Oh, and the fitted sharpener in the lid is soo handy.

Matte Lipstick in Lilac Belle and Wild Berry - £1 each
I was so excited about trying these when I bought them. Now if you've ever been to an MUA counter in Superdrug, you'll know they're always an absolute mess ( which I can only put down to popularity). It's like someone's set loose a fashion conscious yet penny-pinching honey badger. So when I went to get the products, there were only a scattered few of these lipsticks left, but luckily in the shades I wanted. I thought Wild Berry was perfect for a moody red whilst Lilac Belle was cute and kitsch. However I was a little disappointed. The shade of Wild Berry once it's been applied differs quite drastically to what you see. It's a much brighter red, which clashes with my olive skin tone, but would definitely suit someone fairer.  The Lilac Belle isn't as deceiving. I knew it would be a risk choosing such a light shade, and it doesn't suit me as much as I hoped. They also have that cheap, plasticy texture that means no matter how hard you rub it on your lips, you barely get any colour. I've managed to get some use out of them however by manually scraping off a bit of lipstick and massaging it into my lips, and mixing both colours together to get a wearable shade. For £1 I can't say it's too much of a surprise, and I'm happy to continue using them the way I have been.

Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquer in Kooky - £3
When I saw the word 'Velvet' I knew I had to try this. I'm a sucker for purple lips anyway, and I loved the pictures I'd seen all over Instagram of matte lips. In the short term, this product doesn't disappoint. The colour is gorgeous and slightly cooler in tone than my MAC Cyber lipstick. It's wet to the touch at first but in a matter of seconds dries to create a brilliant matte look which I adore, despite the fact the coverage isn't as even as I'd like. Now this lacquer is fine if you don't plan on eating/drinking anything whilst wearing it. The first time I discovered this, I ended up with camo style lips, and looked down to find most of the product on my burger. Despite this, I do love this product. A cheap price to pay for quite a dramatic statement, even if that statement does need a top-up or two every now and then.

Undressed Palette

I was very eager to try this palette as everyone's been raving about it. If you're into reading beauty blogs then you've probably heard the word 'dupe' thrown around a lot. If not, this basically refers to a product that is very similar to a more expensive counterpart. In this case, the Undressed Palette is the dupe for Urban Decay's Naked palette. I've never tried the Naked palette but being a beauty blogger I've heard so much about it. The colours in MUA's palette are stunning, and I love how each matte shade is paired with a metallic. It saves you trying to figure out what colours work together (I mean, of course you can experiment,but for beginners this makes life so easy). The pigmentation is incredible for a product so cheap, and the shades blend together really well. I'm going to do a separate post just for this palette, so I can show you the variety of ways in which these shades can be used, so watch this space. 

Until then, go grab yourself some major beauty bargains (if the stand isn't too much of a mess.)