Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Naked 2: The Review

For my second post, I thought it might be time to divulge and possibly indulge in my latest make-up fetish: nude palettes. Now, I'm a little late jumping on the bandwagon with the Urban Decay Naked Palettes but you'll have to forgive me as until recently, I barely EVER wore eyeshadow. Yes, I'm 19 and for the first 18 and a half years of my life I must have only willingly worn eyeshadow about 4 times. To be frank, I was much more into liquid eyeliner and bold lipstick, eyeshadow seemed too scary and hard to apply for a long while, not to mention I was always a little scared of making myself look like a drag queen (nothing against drag queens!). This is why I LOVE all of the new nude eyeshadow palettes on the market lately, they're subtle, great value and most importantly incredibly handy! 

So without further-or-do I progress onto the review of my latest favourite nude eyeshadow palette: Naked 2 by Urban Decay. 

Needless to say, I'm impressed. I owned the original Naked palette for a few months before it's successor was released, and it was my go-to palette for everyday eyeshadow. Amazingly, the Naked 2 has upheld the high standard set by the original if not improved upon it. This palette is much more suited for cooler toned skins (I'm pale to the point of fluorescence so gold-toned colours don't work so much for me, making the selection of muted pinks, taupes and grey-silvers in this palette perfect for me and any pale compadres!). 
I love the fact that there are both matte and shimmer finishes in this palette and the diversity of the colours within it are amazing -who knew there were so many ways to go nude? 

My favourite part about the palette is that you can use it with the first Naked palette to generate and endless number of colour combinations. As you can see from the light swatches, all of the shadows are beautifully pigmented and finely milled. They are also very buildable but I would recommend using an eye primer (if not the Primer Potion from Urban Decay) for extra long wear. Considering the high pigmentation of the shadows, the 12 x 1.3g of shadow you get in the palette for £36.00 ($50.00) it's totally worth it, coming in at  only £2.31 per gram, in comparison to the £6.67 per gram for a MAC eyeshadow. That's not even including the good quality duo shadow and tapered blending brush you get free with the palette!

and a free lipgloss:

FYI, my favourite colour combos are:
  • Foxy all over the lid with Tease, Suspect or Half Baked in the crease 
  • Tease all over the lid with YDK in the crease and Busted in the outer corner
  • Verve all over the lid and Pistol in the crease
  • Bootycall all over the lid and Suspect in the crease
  • Blackout on an angled brush on the top lash-line for the effect of fuller lashes (I find this is much more subtle than my previous liquid liner)
Lastly, the sturdy packaging means the palette is perfect for travelling and easy to clean. I really do struggle to find negative things to say about my new baby (*cringe* haha). 

Does anyone else love this palette as much as I do or is anyone thinking about buying it? How do Urban Decay shadows compare to other brands in your opinion?

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A Quest for the Perfect Summer Foundation?

As a newcomer to high-end foundations, I'm finding it quite hard to find my feet in terms of finding the best foundation for my skin, especially now summer has arrived!

In the past I've always been an avid user of MaxFactor's foundation range, specifically their 'Lasting Performance' foundation which has high coverage and,  in my experience, actually does last on the face for the 8 hours it claims. However, as I've become more money-wise and able to save a little extra money to throw in the cosmetics pot, I discovered the divine appeal of high-end foundations through my first Chanel purchase - their VITALUMIÈRE AQUA  foundation in B10 - this product had such backing from the online beauty community - I wanted to see what all the fuss was about!

Needless to say, after my first feel of this silky-smooth beauty on my skin I was a changed woman, and it's fair to say it will take an out-of-this-world product to tempt me to go back to drugstore foundation products again! I would definitely recommend trying this out if you have dry to combination skin as it's so moisturising and gives you that healthy, dewy glow that seems to be so in fashion nowadays (a proper review on this delight to come soon). 

However, although I LOVE the finish of this foundation and it's buildability, the red pigmentation and breakouts that often invade my cheeks in the oily summer months do somewhat miss the high coverage that their old Max Factor friend offered. In light of this cosmetic nostalgia I am on the market for the perfect summer foundation that offers the beautiful finish of the VITALUMIÈRE AQUA but with a little more coverage. After some research I've decided to go for one of the following:

Estée Lauder Stay-in-Place Makeup: For a look that stays vibrant and fresh whether it's a workday, a workout or a weekend. Smooth it on once and don't think twice about it. 
- Nars Sheer Glow Foundation: A glowing, satin-finish foundation with sheer and buildable coverage. Replete with skincare benefits and the NARS Complexion Brightening Formula, skin is hydrated, more luminous, softer and smoother.
- Chanel Perfection Lumiere: Effortless to apply, with seamless blendability for a naturally flawless effect, this breakthrough foundation is the ideal all-day, everyday formula – suitable for all skin types in a diverse range of 20 shades. 

They all seem to offer longevity and buildable medium coverage, which one would you go for?