30 August 2014

REVIEW: YSL Couture 5-Colour Ready to Wear Palette in 02 Fauve

 

 
For all the brown eyeshadow lovers out there - you must, must read this. I've been sent one of YSL's new palettes, the 5-Colour Ready To Wear Palettes, in the shade 02 Fauve and I come bearing good news! If you're interested in other shades, you can see them on YSL's website.
 
Packaging
The solid gold bar is lovely to look at, but boy does it attract finger prints. But it's slim, shuts perfectly and comes with a mahoosive mirror, and great quality applicators - an eyeliner brush, a thin sponge and a thick sponge. I noticed that the packaging wasn't as extravagant as many of their other products which often put me off paying their high price tag as I feel like I'm paying more for the packaging than I am for the product - but in this case, I was happily proven wrong.
 
Formula
Having revered the Chanel eyeshadow formulas since forever, I wasn't sure whether what the other designer brands offered really compared. Let's just say YSL does.
 
Initially the formula looks slightly shimmery, but in reality they're all more of a satin finish. They're quite tightly packed so you're going to need something rough, like the applicators they provide. These are roughed up sponges, so do amazingly to pick up colour. I'm usually one for using the MAC 224 for all over eyeshadow, and that works really well - but something like the MAC 239 doesn't pick up and blend out colour quite so well.
 
The blendability is bloody fabulous, and perhaps the most outstanding part of this palette. The colours play a role, but on the whole, the blendability of the shades is what lets you create the softest, glowy brown looks with the palette.
 
The staying power is also great, with it lasting much longer for me than MAC and Urban Decay, and lasting me a good 8 hours, but not looking as fresh as the ranks of Chanel and NARS - but still definitely there, just a bit faded.
 
Colours
My initial thoughts were that the colours in this shade were a bit dark for my every day looks, but this actually pushed me to experiment with mid-toned browns. If these are up your street, you probably can't choose a better palette.
 
You can tell these shades were chosen carefully, because despite the base shade being warm, the rest of the shades balance this out by being cooler. This gives it a bit of a lovely taupe hue. I also love that while the shades are different shades of darkness, that the intervals are quite small, which means any look can be super blended, gradient, and soft :)
 
YSL actually provide a little booklet with three looks based around using the base colour (the lightest brown) and the highlight (the cream shade) as the bare minimum. The three looks add 1, 2 and then 3 colours on top of this. Here I've shown you two - one which is the one with one added colour, and another which I whip up when I just CBA.
 
The #1 Day OR Night Look
 
 
This is my preferred look with this palette, and it involves just darkening the outer corner with the third darkest shade. The thick liner also adds to the drama of the look which makes it great for the nighttime. It gives a played-down smokey eye look which is perfect for either day or night time. To be perfectly honest, this is my first choice for my wedding day so far!
 
The "I CBA" Day Look

 
This is a common option for one of those "popping out" days. In addition to the base and highlight colours, I just simply lined my eyes with the darkest shade using the eyeliner brush included. It saves the faff of gel/liquid eyeliners, and creates lashes that look super full at the base! Because the eye colour is still light, your lashes still stand out great in front of your lid :)
 
Overall..
 
I'm sure everyone has their share of shimmery dark browns, but this palette offers the satin version that can be so much more classic and everyday-friendly. I don't use these words lightly, but if you love soft, easy, neutral looks - this palette is a must have.
 
This palette is available for £39.50 from John Lewis.
 
Yu
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25 August 2014

The Summer Base Collective


Left to Right: Make Up Forever Mat Velvet+, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturiser

Us beauty bloggers are most often times quite fickle - we'll confess our love for a product, but that love is often matched by another love to try new and different products. But I think if you ask anyone of them, they'll still have that handful of products that they come back to all the time. I definitely do anyway! After 2 summers in a row of busting out these three bases, it seemed wrong not to let you guys in on it.

The Matte One
This of course is my trusty Make Up Forever Mat Velvet+ in 35 which really isn't a summer pick exclusively - I use this all year round. But I think that's just a testament to its consistent performance. It's comfortable to wear, it gives a nice medium to high coverage, it's creamy and easy to apply, and boy does it last.

Best uses: long days out, events requiring more flawless looks, self-loathing days resulting from terrible skin.

The Natural One
Every year, I can't wait to use this foundation - it's seriously getting to the point where I should just buy a lighter shade. The Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B40 is my natural go-to foundation, that is casual but polished. It's insanely easy to use and wear, it's got a buildable coverage which I usually wear at around a medium level and it leaves you with a skin-like finish.

Best uses: shorter outings including "lady of luxury" lunches and dinner dates.

The Glowy One
I still don't understand why the Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturiser (which I have in Light to Medium) isn't more popular - to me, it is beauty in a tube. The crazy blendable formula, light coverage (heavier than your average tinted moisturiser) and its magical abilities to blur out pores and give you a glowy, but not shiny (you can see how softly it catches the light in the swatch above), finish seems to go relatively unnoticed in the beauty world!
Best uses: "CBA but have to" days and "my skin is definitely always this amazing" days.

Needless to say, all 3 made the cut to come back with me to Japan this summer! :)


Yu
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23 August 2014

REVIEW: The TooFaced Chocolate Bar Palette



 
It's old news - I know. But after being gone for years, the eyeshadow bug has come back and bit me on the behind, and I'm 96% sure this is what brought it on! Since getting this palette, I've been on a bit of an eyeshadow whirlwind.
 
In case you've never seen this before, it's TooFaced's Chocolate Bar Palette, which came out earlier this year. I've been trying this for a good few weeks now, and I'm ready to share my thoughts!
 
Packaging
I love it. I'm usually not one for gimmicky packaging, so it's not the actual chocolate pattern that draws me so much to it. It's firstly the tin feeling, which is super sturdy and nice. I also like that it's a decent width that's sufficiently filled up with colour (i.e. not huge gaps between the shadows) and the height is also good.
 
Actually, for those of you with a keen eye for detail might have noticed that as time went by, the palettes being reviewed became skinnier - and no need to call the doctor, it wasn't your imagination. Be sure to look out for the pink sticker on the box as shown above to make the most of this new design. I have to commend TooFaced for doing that, because it's not often a brand reacts at all, never mind so quickly, to their customers' opinions. Trust me - the old ones were CLUNKY.
 
All of these things come together to give you a palette that just feels good in your hands. It's just so easy to hold and use, and the tactile experience is great.
 
My only negative would be the magnetic lid - I love magnetic lids, I think they're great and adds again to the nice feel overall but this one is a tad weak. This is why I've kept the box so I can use it travel with it! (and because it's a really pretty box..)
 
Colours
This is the part where I was the most sceptical - would I really like a palette that isn't as organised as other ones I've seen? For me, the colours are a little bit scattered and not grouped logically, and there's that crazy baby pink and purple hanging out that just look a little bit lost.
 
But look closer, and you'll notice that a lot of these colours are as odd and out of place as the pink and purple. Basically, most of the shades have some twist to the traditional shades you'd see in normal neutral palettes, and this is what makes this palette generally quite unique. Whether it's the very very warm, almost orange matte brown, or the almost olive based dark brown above it - these aren't your standard champagne, light matte brown, bronze etc., shades.
 
Yes, there are a few like that - the shimmery peach, gold and the two on either side of the gold are quite standard. But everything else seems to have a quirk, or some difference in tone that make many of these undupeable in my collection. To me, there's SO MANY differences between this and the Urban Decay Naked Palette, but that'll take a whole another post.. one thing that really annoys me is someone calling every neutral palette that has ever come out since 2010 a Naked Palette 'dupe'. I mean, come on.
 
Anyway, for this reason, I find this palette to be much more advanced than the Naked Palette. It has shades that really deserve some creativity on the part of the user, unlike the Naked Palette which really address the basic shades that most people should have if they like doing neutral looks. This gives the scope for choosing the tone of neutral colours, and actually offers a choice - four matte browns, and four medium browny tones - there's so much choice. It also gives you a bit more flexibility to adjust looks you may usually go for to make them more warm or cool depending on your skintone, mood, eye colour etc.,
 
Ultimately, this palette is why my eyeshadow bug came back - because it reminded me how fun it can be to just experiment a bit and not stick to a mold. Sometimes it's hard to be creative when there's so many tutorials and how-to's out there that tell you exactly what to do (they're great but obviously can cause some complacency on the viewer's part), and when it isn't really encouraged to try different looks - many magazines just seem to either do very basic eyeshadow looks or something that's just not acceptable for everyday wear.
 
I also want to give TooFaced another set of kudos for doubling the size of the two highlight shades - they're always the ones that go first for me in palettes, so super hugs for that one, TF.
 
So overall, I adore the colour selection in this palette. I think it's so refreshing to see something that isn't trying to be your necessity, but something fun that you can enjoy and really play around with.
 
Formula
To me, these rank quite similar to MAC and Urban Decay. They have great pigmentation, easy to blend and apply evenly and beautifully. I do think they're a touch harder than MAC or Urban Decay, and so require a bit more motion and friction from the brush to break the colour apart and load your brush.
 
But they're just not up there with the NARS and Chanels - they'll wear after a full day of use (I look at around 6-8hrs depending on which shades), and will start looking tired and muddled together towards the end. BUT this is quite normal for me generally - I have very unforgiving eyelids so if MAC and Urban Decay last well on you, I imagine these will too. Overall, great formulas and nothing to complain about from me.
 
Some last thoughts..
I love this palette - I'm sure you can tell. But I have to be honest and say that I had decided not to buy it, and a month or so later, was sent it and tried it. I didn't quite "get" it until I used it myself. Knowing what I know now, would I shell out £45? I definitely would. The fun I have with it would've been worth it because it's a collection of shades that are SO useable but just aren't as mainstream. It's like you don't have to branch out to neon greens and electric pinks to jazz up your looks - these different tones can make a world of a difference.
 
You can get this palette in Debenhams for £45.
 
Yu
 
*PR Sample
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19 August 2014

Giveaway! TechnoShape Sessions


In the last Wedding Preparations, I spoke a bit about my experience with TechnoShape - i.e. the Matrix meets wrestling belt weight loss programme. It's 12 sessions of 40 minutes of walking over 4 weeks with the belt, which targets blood flow around your stomach and therefore helps to lose some of the fat around that area. When you sign on, there will be a personal trainer to help you get familiar with the machine, and they will also talk you through some of the food and drink suggestions that would help you progress further. The best results are obviously when you lose the alcohol and continue other exercise regimes!

I went on 6 sessions myself and saw decent progress despite not being able to cut significantly on alcohol or particularly watch my food. For example, I lost 2cm off my waist, 2cm off the area 4cm below my belly button and 1cm off the area 4cm above my belly button. I was surprised because it was so easy - I walked at a pace slower than my usual walking pace, and read a book or watched beauty videos for 40min! I went to NKD Ambitions in London to do my sessions, and their record for weight loss around the waist is.. 24cm!

So here's the great bit - TechnoShape are giving away 6 free sessions in the UK for one of Let's Make Yu Up's readers! I'm thrilled to be hosting this, and all you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter below..

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to TechnoShape for hosting the giveaway, and best of luck to you all!

Yu
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12 August 2014

First Impressions: The YSL Fusion Ink Foundation


Yesterday's Boot's trip was quite a successful one, culminating in me getting my hands on the free 7 day sample of the brand new YSL Fusion Ink Foundation that are currently being given out at counters nationwide. While the official release date is not until next week (although I believe Debenham's have won the exclusive release until then), I gave my sample a go today and have been so mesmerised that I had to log my first impressions..

First thing I noticed was how thin the formula was. If anything, it was more along the lines of the oil-based foundations from Giorgio Armani and L'Oreal. I was apprehensive, never having been attracted to the notion of such a formula.

I tried two ways of applying - buffing it in with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, and painting/blending with the Sigma F84. To be honest, the former was probably more suitable given the formula's light consistency - there was no need for the stiffness of the latter. I also found that I used more of this foundation than I usually do of other foundations, perhaps because it's so light.

My first impression is that this has a light to medium coverage which is buildable to a medium coverage. It covers light, non-spot/all-over redness in the first layer and evens out my skintone generally. On more problem areas, I tried the stippling method which worked really well to dilute other all-over redness and some acne scarring. Ultimately, I decided to go for the concealer to maintain the light finish of the foundation.

Which, coincidentally, is my favourite part about this foundation. You've got a natural matte finish that you'd really expect more from foundations with heavier consistencies, but with a "lit from within" glow as if you'd highlighted Kim K style. It catches the light softly over larger spaces, which means it doesn't have that wet touch look. It simply glows where it should - the inner cheeks, forehead, chin etc., I was surprised because the current moisturiser I'm using is quite dewy, but this seemed to mattify that too.

Upon close inspection, I find that it does well to glide over minor dryness, but that it does tend to cling to flakes that have already come off the skin (luuuurvely).

When I move my face around, I literally feel nothing - it feels truly weightless.

And the shade.. the shade! It's perfect! I've got BD55 which is from the yellow-toned line (Beige Dore). It fits perfectly with my current NC35-ish shade. I'd go so far as to say it's probably the best matched foundation I've tried in a very very long time.

To me, this feels like the equivalent of the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation for oilier skintypes. The one summer when I had crazy dry skin, that foundation gave me a similar finish to this but I haven't been able to go back since because I've just consistently been combination skinned since then. With this one, I actively didn't want to powder it because I felt like that might give my skin too dry of a touch.

Overall, I'm feeling like we're onto a winner here, and looking forward to the next 6 days! (That being said my YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation lasted me a month or so..) Did I mention in Boots, it comes with a voucher for £10 worth of points if you buy the foundation between the 20th of August and the 16th of September? WIN.
For now, you can get a bottle at Debenhams!
Yu
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[Video] Review Series: Exfoliators #1

 

So here's an experiment - I've decided to give a video version of the Review Series a go!

If you've never read one of my Review Series, they're posts with mini reviews of products from the same category. I number them so that it's easy for you to find all the mini reviews if you're, for example, shopping around for an exfoliator. You can find all of them here.

I'm not sure how this will go down but I thought it was worth a try - let me know what you think! Without further delay, here are my thoughts on 4 exfoliators I've been trying. You can find the link to each product on the information bar on YouTube.


Yu
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10 August 2014

Wedding Preparations #2: The Venue, Ben Learns Japanese etc.,

Bath map from Lonely Planet

It's funny how time is so contextual, and I can't quite get my head around the fact that Ben and I have now been engaged for 5 months! It doesn't seem so long ago that friends and I fist-pumped when a relationship lasted longer than a month.. (just me then).

The Venue..
Things seemed to slow down a bit after my first update - we'd missed an opportunity to go visit venues in Warwickshire due to other commitments, and then my exams happened which meant nothing really happened, quite literally, until mid June.

But then it all seemed to go lightening speed when we visited a few venues around Bath (including an old school cinema with a civil wedding licence, and an orangery with an ancient jukebox!), and narrowed our choices to two. After lots of deliberating, confirmations and quotes, we officially secured a date at our venue of choice, and will be getting married in September 2015! The 13 month countdown so begins.

The venue is a small country hotel with a very rustic feel to it. The decor is very homely, cozy and down-to-earth, and has several cute touches like a games room and a garden where the head chef grows his veg and smokes his fish!

The Fitness..
A big change this past month has been me going to a gym near Oxford Street called NKD Ambitions to take on a bit of Technoshape. It's a belt that you wear while you walk for 40 minutes, and it connects to a machine which inflates and deflates it (think Matrix meets wrestling belt). This increases the blood circulation around your waist and concentrates fat loss in the area. Now I know everyone says it's a myth that you can focus fat loss, and to be fair, Technoshape has to be combined with healthy eating and other moderate exercises.

However, over my 6 sessions (a full course is 12 sessions) I lost 2cm off my waist, 1cm at 4cm above my belly button, 2cm at 4cm below my belly button. Truth be told, I wasn't being militant about what I ate/drank, so I was so impressed! I mean, the record loss at NKD Ambitions with a Technoshape is 24cm lost!

Other than that, I've finally got myself a pair of Nike Free Runs in the ASOS sale that I've been eyeing for months. When a £85 pair of shoes is up for £57.. it'd be rude not to, right?!

Ben Learns Japanese!
He's always been a smart guy, but the pace at which he's learning to read, write and speak since he started lessons at International House is absolute madness. It's only been 5 lessons but we can now have very basic conversations about our days, what we did, what we ate (typical couple, needing to know everything), what our plans are etc., I'm so proud of him and I think it's so sweet that he's put in this effort so he can speak to my extended family in the future. If we ever have kids, I really hope they get his linguistic abilities cuz mine, is, shite.

The Other Stuff..
Some things have started to take shape, although not set in stone - we've found a photographer we've been speaking to, I've found a ring I like, and Ben might be getting his made by a guy we met at Greenwich Market last weekend. Unfortunately for the groomsmen and bridesmaids, we still haven't decided on a colour scheme! My plan is also to go back to Japan next week, take in all the crafty cuteness and decide on what to do for invitations. Ben is also responsible for sorting out music, and has been checking out a few bands online.

Not that there was much doubt even before we got engaged, but the thought of life after marriage has really started to play a big role in our lives. We have so many exciting ideas for what we want to do, and it's so exciting share a life with someone else.

Until next time! (Read the first Wedding Preparations here)
Ben & Yu
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9 August 2014

Save or Splurge: Eye De-Puffers


The last of the SoS! :( But let's just say this was the category I was least confident about - I don't generally use eye de-puffers, and most of the time it's more the feeling of heavy, tired eyes and dark circles that I hate and expect these kinds of products to revive! Also, unsurprisingly, eye products don't come cheap so it was a bit difficult to find many things under the lower categories, but hopefully this will give you a bit of an idea of what's out there in the market - and what to avoid!

Under £5: Simple Kind to Eyes Soothing Eye Balm
£3.99 from Boots
Truth be told, I am in general a product snob - I like to spend on beauty products. And it definitely made me nervous to put something which was under £5 on such a sensitive area like my eye and to be honest this feeling never went away.

My subconscious aside though, I felt like this product was a nice, refreshing gel to lightly hydrate and cool under your eyes but only on a very temporary level. It didn't make a huge difference to how my undereyes looked so I'd recommend it more for people who just want a budget eye cream more than anything!

Under £10: Boots Botanics Refreshing Eye Roll-On All Bright
£8.99 from Boots
I love the packaging of this, with the roller ball at the end of a tube - super practical! This is one of those products that truly reflects its price point, in the sense that it's a good product for what you pay.

When you apply it, the metal ball is really cooling and lightly massages your undereye which is a great addition to the experience - this also then brightens up your eye just a bit. The liquid is like a gel and as you rub it in to your undereye area, it really cools things down and your eye does feel more awake. This also lightly moisturises which is nice.

I'd recommend this if you also want a moisturising effect in addition to a waker-upper! To me, the cooling and brightening wasn't the strongest, but it's also the most multi-tasking one because it also moisturises.

Under £20: First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller
£18.50 from Feel Unique
This comes in a glass bottle with a metal roller ball and again, it's cooling and lightly massages your undereye. But compared to the Boots Botanics one, the formula blows it away.

Firstly, it's a watery liquid so it's not a moisturiser per se. You also only need a little bit, and one or two rolls is more than enough. As soon as you apply it, even before you start rubbing it in, you feel this tingling and coolness that just revives your eye almost instantly. My eyes looked brighter and felt awake, and I was amazed! The product uses antioxidants and are free of parabens and a few other nasties.

The Verdict: Splurge!
The eye area is so delicate that I really care about what I put under there, which is why First Aid Beauty's ingredients were more appealing to me. The effects were too! If you're looking for something that really delivers, go for the FAB. If you're looking for something that's good but also moisturises, the Boots Botanics will be your best bet :)

Other SoS Posts:
Save or Splurge: Bronzers

Thanks so much to the Vouchercode.co.uk team for making the SoS posts happen! :)

Yu
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Origins Make A Difference (Serum, Treatment Lotion, Moisturiser and Treatment)


This range has always caught my eye - is it the colour? Or maybe it's the promise of hydration, which is something I always want in my skincare routine. But I've had the chance to try these four products from the Make A Difference range, and was intrigued by my findings!

Make A Difference Rejuvenating Serum - £35 for 30ml/£47 for 50ml
I bought this in a blog sale so I didn't even use the whole bottle - yet I fell in love. It's an amazing light serum that sinks in beautifully and leaves your skin hydrated, moisturised and soft. I found that it was so hydrating that my skin didn't produce any excess oils throughout the day. Near the end of the bottle, I was impressed that you can also twist off the lid to get the last bits. At the risk of sounding very nerdy, I'd rank it as my third favourite serum - it didn't prevent hormonal spots as well as the Dr. Jart Water Up Serum or the IndeedLabs Hydraluron, and it's also quite a bit more expensive. However, it's a great product overall and you can't question the hydrating properties and its product design!

Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Treatment Lotion - £20
This is another favourite from the range, as you guys know my love for amazing toners. The treatment lotions from Origins are more like the toners you find in East Asian cosmetics, as you apply them more than 'wipe' with them. This Make A Difference one really softens your skin and adds another level of hydration to your skin. It also removes anything left over from your cleanser, and prepares your skin to make the most of what follows! Since using this I find that serums sink in much faster, and my skin feels much more hydrated.

Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Moisturiser - £34.50
The Moisturiser was an okay product for me. It's quite a wet textured gel/cream that moisturises more than hydrates. While it does hydrate well, the dewy finish that it left my skin with wasn't great for my combination skin, that only has a few patches of dry skin. I'd recommend this more for people with dry and dehydrated skin - which is who the Origins website recommends it for anyway! I bought this in a blog sale so I had bought this thinking, why not! But it's good to know that the recommendations on the Origins website is accurate!

Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Treatment - £34.50
*Repeat the last sentence from the Moisturiser here*. The website recommends this for dehydrated yet oily skin, so for me, it was a little bit dry on the surface. The texture is interesting - it's almost like a silicone-based primer? I imagine for oilier skins, this regulates the oil quite well but I couldn't personally see the hydrating properties which was slightly worrying! I thought maybe oilier skins don't need as much hydrating, but I would've thought hydrating would've controlled the oils as it does on me.. I'm not sure?! Either way, I don't have the right skin type to be a great judge for this one!

Overall, I think this range is great - the products seem to really nail down the hydrating aspect, and I love how they have different moisturisers tailored to different skintypes. Judging from the website description though, the best moisturiser for me would be.. the night cream? They also have a moisturiser for very dry skin but not for normal/combination skin.. shame! The only other product I haven't tried is the Cleansing Milk.. as a gel face wash person myself, I'm not so sure this is something I'm keen to try, but it's there if that sounds up your street :)

Yu
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8 August 2014

July Favourites & Fails 2014


A whole week and a day of delay - I can only apologise (although let's face it, I've done worse). My internet has suddenly taken a turn for the worse, and I was told a full HD video will take 4 days to upload.. not a chance. So unfortunately, here's a non-HD version but hopefully you get the idea! Before we move on to the video, here is a not-so-mini update of what happened in July..

Life..
Life tied itself together in July after 2 difficult years, and it's very exciting to be finally moving on from a very difficult stage in my life! July has therefore been quite relaxed - lots of 'popping out' for a walk or a spot of shopping, joining my amazing friend Ellie in her lunch hour in London Bridge, and after-work drinks - al fresco, of course.

Next week I'll be going home to see my parents and hang out in Japan until late September. It's quite a long time to be away, especially from Ben, but it's probably also the last time in a while where I'll get to spend so long with them as I start a job in October. Expect a lot of Japan make-up hauls coming up ;)

Holidays!
In early July, my friends and I went to Cumbria for a spot of glamping on Drybeck Farm. It was GREAT. We hired a car and drove up on a Thursday. The 6 of us stayed in a yurt, and went swimming in the freezing river, sipped bubbly in the hot tub, took a 5 hour bike ride, I built fire like a true pyro, and we all awww-ed over the piglets and fowl on the farm. I've been a bit of a fail and haven't yet made my vlog nor contents of everyone's make up bags but they're coming, I promise!

Films, Books etc.,
This month's cinema visits were for the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Both were very very good, and I highly recommend either. Although those who prefer to look at Bradley Cooper than to listen to him may be disappointed.. he's a raccoon.

We also visited the Bond in Motion exhibition at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden. As car lovers and 007 lovers, there was lots of ooo-ing and ahh-ing from both Ben and I, and it's triggered a month of making our way through Ben's 007 DVD collection again.. yes, he's got all of them. Twice.

As for books, I finished the latest instalment of Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy and absolutely loved it. I thought I'd hate it, being an avid fan of the last two but it triggered so many emotions in me, more so than the others, and I truly enjoyed it. After catching a bit of a romance bug, I finished The Proposal by Lily Zante, and have skipped over to and started the third of the series, Heart Sync.

Wedding..
A new Wedding Preparations post coming up in the next week, but as a sneak peek? The venue and date is set!

Beauty..
This past month had A LOT of concealers in it, which I mention in the video - the AmazingCosmetics AmazingConcealer and the Dior Diorskin Nude Hydrating Concealer have featured a lot. I also experimented a lot with eyeshadows, and have developed a soft spot for the TooFaced Chocolate Bar Palette and the YSL 5 Colour Palette in Fauve, as well as a craving for the Urban Decay NAKED Basics Palette (yes I am a few years late on the bandwagon, but I've been loving matte looks!).

Do I ever shut my mouth? No. Here's my favourites and fails!

 
 
Yu
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6 August 2014

Is the Amazing Concealer.. Amazing?





It would take some serious cojones to name something "AmazingConcealer" if it really wasn't amazing, as I imagine (sick) people like myself would quite enjoy the irony. Which is why I was both excited and relieved when I discovered that the AmazingConcealer from AmazingCosmetics was indeed.. amazing.

Formula
It's a very popular product in the US so really, my hopes were high. The thing that I believe most concealers fail on, is the balance of coverage and skin-like finish. A lot of the times, giving more coverage means getting more of a powdered finish. I absolutely despise that powdered look - I could not stand the MAC Prolongwear concealer for this exact reason.

But the AmazingConcealer truly dries into a second-skin finish, and is super emollient that it just blends onto your skin. Once applied, I didn't notice it to settle at all, and it'll last really well throughout the day. When it wears, it does so discretely without showing any kind of breakage in its formula.

The other thing that I loved about this that most concealers can't do, is that you can use it for both under eyes and around the face for blemishes and redness. Most concealers I've tried are either too dry for under the eyes, or too brightening or dewy for the skin. That being said, keep in mind your concealer's undertone. I think mine is a tad better for making redness disappear, just because mine has a yellow undertone that corrects and covers the red.

Coverage
Although I have to admit - the coverage is enough to get rid of 85% of my dark circles, which is amazing considering you can't expect to get rid of 100% of something without some sort of correction.

Speaking of coverage, this isn't as full coverage as it's made out to be - it's a layering product. You'll find that if you don't need that much coverage, one layer will do. But the great thing is that layering it doesn't seem to affect how it looks. I can easily build to a full coverage in about 2-3 layers and it'll still look like skin. It is a truly versatile product in this way.

Packaging
I do have 1 niggle - the packaging. It comes in a tube which I find quite difficult to control. I squeeze some out, but try not to squeeze too much so I end up spending quite a lot of time going back and squeezing some more. My preferred option would be a doe-foot applicator, although I imagine some people would be concerned about the sanitary aspect of that.

Price
This product definitely comes with a high-end price tag, where the smaller 6ml tube retails for £19.50 and the full 15ml goes for £29.50. To put it into context, my Dior Diorskin Hydrating Concealer was £22 for 10ml. However, I think the fact that it's dual purpose does justify it quite a bit, as well as the formula - it is pretty much flawless!

Shades
While the States have the full range of 25 shades, the UK currently only sells 10. At around NC35, my shade is Tan Golden. Here's a chart I saw that shows the undertones for each shade - sorry about the quality (please note that some of these are not in the UK yet):


Overall, a truly fantastic - or should I say, amazing product that delivers on its claims!

You can get the AmazingConcealer exclusively from Your Beauty Marks & Spencer.

Yu
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Save or Splurge: Bronzers


Collection

Sleek

Liz Earle


The Bronzers
Under £5: Collection Shimmer Shades in Way to Go
£4.19 from Boots
First things first - mine arrived shattered which obviously means it's very, very breakable and perhaps not the best for travelling. Beyond that though, I was really quite impressed! It has a dark shade to give yourself a bit of a shadow, as well as a peachy colour that can be mixed in with a tan for a lovely bronze glow. Fortunately, it doesn't come off as shiny on your face so it's really quite natural looking with a touch of shimmer! The only thing I wouldn't suggest is mixing all the shades together - as you can see, it gets a bit taupe!

Under £10: Sleek Face Form Palette in Fair
£9.99 from Boots
This is such a great little kit with a matte, taupe-based powder, a highlighter and a blusher with a mahoosive mirror. The pigment on each of these are great, and I love that they come in a range of darkness. However, this is not a 2-in-1 contour and bronzer - it's a straight up contour, and the taupe will make you look muddy if you try to bronze yourself. But if you're more of a contour gal, this is the perfect kit for festival season. I have no complaints about the gorgeous pearly highlight, but I think there's a bit too much frost in the blusher and not enough colour. But this actually gives the product a potential for glow as well as contour!

Under £20: Liz Earle Radiant Glow Bronzer
£19.50 from John Lewis
Hands down, this has been my favourite out of the three. I love using the darkest shade to give myself a bit of a contour, and using the other 3 as a blusher/bronzer around my face. The sheen mimics the natural glow of your skin and gives you an all 'round, "bronzed goddess" look (or as close as I'm going to get anyway). The staying power is fantastic, it comes with a big mirror for on the go and I can't imagine this going wrong on anyone!

The Verdict: Splurge!
My vote has to be with the Liz Earle Radiant Glow Bronzer (unless you're more interested in contouring in which case, go for Sleek). It's just so much more natural than the Collection Shimmer Shades, and I think it's foolproof. Although the Collection is by no means a bad product - if you're saving pennies, it's still a great option at 1/5 of the price.

Other SoS Posts:
Save or Splurge: Dry Shampoo
Save or Splurge: Eye De-Puffer

Yu
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