My Top 5 Brow Products

“You must never underestimate the power of the eyebrow”- Jack Black

Brow products for brunettes

Brows continue to be king in the beauty world and I love nothing better than a well-groomed brow. I have naturally thicker brows than can veer into the unruly, due to the curlier nature of my brow hairs, so I like to keep on top of things. I have a few brow products I use depending on the look I want each day and the following are my favourites:

1. Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow (#30 & #40)- $22

Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow 30

Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow #30

I’d tried a few brow products before this but this has become my absolute favourite. It’s the most long-wearing brow product I own and it lasts for ages and ages. I’ve been using the tube pictured above for over a year and there’s still a good third left. The best part of all is that the tube design ensures that it won’t dry out. #30 is a perfect chocolate-brown shade for dark hair but I dabbled in #40 in the Winter when I wanted really dark brows. Check out how it looked on me here.

2. Tarte Amazonian Clay Volumizing Brow & Hair powder (Rich Brown)- $25

Tarte amazonian clay volumizing brow powder rich sand

Tarte Amazonian Clay Volumizing Brow & Hair Powder in “Rich Sand”

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I’d never been a fan of brow powders as they often didn’t give me the definition I wanted but I fell head over heels for this product late last year. This Tarte powder can easily be applied as lightly or as heavy as I like and I love the naturally defined look it gives my brows. It has very good staying power for a powder and it’s multi-purpose as it can also be used on the hair. I use this several times a week and I’m nowhere near hitting pan on it.

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (Dark Brown/ Brunette)- $21

Anastasia Brow Wiz brunette dark brown

Anastasia Brow Wiz in “Dark Brown”/ “Brunette”

The cult favourite from OG brow guru Anastasia lives up to the hype for sure for me. This is hands down my favourite brow pencil as it’s super skinny. This allows me to shape my brow exactly as I want and it pairs well with all my other brow products. The product itself is non-waxy and it’s more like a powder in pencil form, The addition of a spoolie on the other end is also a plus. HOWEVER, as much as I love my Brow Wiz, it’s terrible value for money. It often unexpectedly runs out on me if I use it daily for a month or so and $21 for 0.003 oz of product is pretty shocking. However, I love this pencil so much that I don’t feel comfortable unless I have one in my stash.

4. Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil (Dark Brunette)- $32 

Although I balked at the price of this initially, it works out to be a much better value that most other higher end brow products as you get 0.014 oz of product. The pencil has the perfect firmness and the triangular shape of the pencil allows you to choose whether you want a full-on brow, or a more natural looking brow. This also has an attached spoolie so you have everything you need in one product.

5. Anastasia Beverley Hills Dipbrow Pomade (Chocolate)- $18

Anastasia Dipbrow chocolate ABH

Anastasia Beverley Hills Dipbrow in “chocolate”

This is a solid gel/ mousse brow product that comes in an impressive range of shades to suit almost everybody. It took me a bit of time when I first got this to get the hang of it but the trick is to use the tiniest amount on your brush and it becomes much easier to control application. It also lasts a very long time (but not as long as the MUFE Aqua Brow) and it has yet to dry out on me. It’s easy to get the “Scouse brow” look with this product as you can easily use too much but practice makes perfect.

Honourable mentions:

NYX automatic eyebrow pencil ($4.99)- This was just nudged out of the top 5 but I love how hard this pencil is. It is the perfect firmness needed in an eyebrow pencil but it suffers from the “runs out far too quickly” syndrome for me.

MAC Fluidline in “Dipdown” ($16)- technically an eyeliner but most often used as a brow gel. Gives a great “power brow” but didn’t make the top 5 because it has a tendency to dry out very easily.

NYX eyebrow cake powder kit ($5.99)

Sleek eyebrow stylist ($8.99)- almost identical to the Hourglass pencil in packaging but this pencil is far waxier. Still an excellent product for the price if you don’t mind a waxier pencil.

What do you like to use on your brows? Are you a powder, pencil, or gel girl? Or do you like to mix it up like me? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

HUGE GIVEAWAY!

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

Giveaway

I’ve been wanting to do a giveaway for a little bit now and there’s no time like the present. You guys have been showing ReadBetweenTheEyeliner a lot of love lately and I wanted to celebrate getting over 100 dedicated followers. I’ve been really enjoying blogging this year and I really appreciate those of you who take the time to read, comment, and “like” my posts.

I’ve decided to give away a little bit of makeup, skincare, and literature- everything my blog is about!

I’m giving away:

I included these two novels because the Bildungsroman (a coming of age novel) is my favourite literary genre and these two are a fine, fine, example of the genre. I chose ‘Purple Hibiscus’ partly because Chimamanda is one of my favourite authors and partly because I believe more people should be reading African literature. ‘I Capture The Castle’ is a classic that made me fall in love with Bildungsromane and it’s superbly written by Dodie Smith (of ‘101 Dalmations’ fame).

How to enter:

1. Follow ReadBetweenTheEyeliner, if you haven’t already, either here on WordPress or via Bloglovin’

2. “Like” my brand new Facebook page

2. Leave a comment below telling me either your holy grail makeup product or your all-time favourite book (along with your name and e-mail address).

This giveaway is open internationally to persons over 18 years of age and no entries will be considered after  June 30th. One entry per person only. One lucky person will win everything so good luck!

Hope you all have an excellent week and I can’t wait to read all your entries.

Nana Adomah

Make Up For Ever Magnetic Palette: A Review

The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” –    Paulo Coelho

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makeup forever empty magnetic palette

Make Up For Ever empty magnetic palette

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First things first (I Poppa…), this palette absolutely puts the Z-palette to shame. Oh how I wish I’d discovered this before investing in my Z-palettes. The Make Up For Ever Magnetic Palette is all metallic and it has the strongest magnet I’ve ever seen on any of these types of palettes. Your shadows will. not. move. And just to ensure the safety of your products even more, MUFE have added a clear plastic film in addition to a thick foam insert so everything’s wedged in securely.

The palette is surprisingly heavy but I don’t mind sacrificing weight for security. The foam insert can be a bit tricky to remove as it fits very snugly but I don’t tend to put it in unless I’m traveling with the palette. The palette comes in a few sizes but only the XL one seems to be readily available for sale. It holds up to 28 MUFE eyeshadow singles and, as you can see from the pictures, it holds any other type of makeup in a metallic casing.

You can feel the quality in all aspects of this palette and I haven’t even told you the best part: this baby is only $14! Yes, you read that right. Compare that pricing to the $28 you can expect to pay for the much smaller Z-palette and I really don’t know how MUFE managed to do it.

The only thing the Z-palette has over this is that the Z-palette has a clear window so you can easily see the products inside the palette. However, this isn’t a deal breaker at all for me and it’s nothing a simple label won’t fix.

Unfortunately, the palette is continually out of stock but if you sign up for the e-mail notification at Sephora, like I did, you’ll be able to snag it as soon as it comes back in stock. I love having my makeup securely in one place and I can’t recommend it enough!

Nana Adomah

The Girl On The Train: A Review

‘There’s something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home.’ – Paula Hawkins

The Girl On The Train Review

Unfortunately, I no longer have the opportunity to take public transport but I’m sure that if I was still living in London I’d have seen numerous copies of The Girl On The Train’ on my morning commute. This books has been everywhere this year.

If ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ had a baby, ‘The Girl On The Train’ would be the mewling result. It’s hard to avoid comparisons to ‘Gone Girl’ (which I loved despite it’s maddening ending) but ‘The Girl On The Train’ (TGOTT) definitely stands on its own. Gillian Flynn is the better writer, in my opinion, but Paula Hawkins gives us a nicely plotted novel.

TGOTT tells the story of Rachel, the titular “girl on the train”- an alcoholic divorcée, who’s having trouble moving on from her failed marriage, Anna- the woman who is now married to Rachel’s ex-husband, and Megan- whose disappearance is the catalyst for the events described in the novel.

On her daily commute to London, Rachel develops an attachment to a young couple she observes through a kitchen window. Her train stops at the same signal each day and she grows fond of the young, loving couple she’s named “Jess” and “Jason”. They are a symbol of the life she had before her divorce and she grows ever more attached to them until one day she sees something that truly shocks her.

When Megan Hipwell (“Jess’s” real name) goes missing, Rachel finds herself in the middle of the investigation. Did she run away or was she murdered? Was her perfect life all it seemed to be?

It’s difficult to get into the plot without risking spoilers but this was an enjoyable and quick read. It’s a thriller that leaves you guessing till  well into the novel (or maybe I’m just slow) and Paula Hawkins does a good job of giving us plenty of insight into all the primary characters. However, all of the people in the book are generally terrible people. I don’t have a problem with unsympathetic characters but my gosh were these people awful. Rachel is the most unreliable of narrators and all of the characters are sufficiently bad enough for you to believe them capable of myriad horrible crimes.

I did like how Hawkins was able to describe the mindset of an alcoholic and I found myself rooting for Rachel despite neither trusting her nor feeling sorry for her.You find yourself trying to piece together the mystery whilst not even trusting the person presenting to you the evidence.

“I have lost control over everything, even the places in my head.”

Although I found the beginning a little slow-going, this is a tightly plotted novel that was a lot of fun to read. It’s thematically most similar to S.J. Watson’s ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ and I think it’ll appeal to fans of mystery with a sprinkling of psychological thriller. The ending felt a little flat for me but it didn’t really ruin my general enjoyment of the novel. I definitely recommend this for those of you looking for an engrossing, quick read this Summer.

“Life is not a paragraph, and death is no parenthesis.”

Nana Adomah

May Favourites

‘Lots of people go mad in January. Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June. But January is your third most common month for madness.’ – Karen Joy Fowler
Makeup to breakups BECCA songbird MAC peach lustremakeup to breakups bag I would cry but my mascara is designerMay favouritesI’ve never done a “favourites” post before and there’s no time like the present! Without further ado, here are a few of the products I’ve been loving the last month or so:

1. Breakups To Makeup cosmetic bag- The cult brand is now carried at Sephora and even though I wanted all three bags on offer, I restricted myself to one. Super sturdy and super roomy. I’ve even used it as a clutch!

2. Urban Decay “Enigma” Eyeshadow Primer Potion– I’ve been loving this neutral-toned eyeshadow primer as it really makes my matte shadows and my bright shadows in particular pop. The best part is 100% of all proceeds from this particular shade goes towards an initiative to empower women. Look out for a full review on this soon. Get it here.

3. Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er Precision Pen Waterproof Eyeliner– I got this as part of a 500pt perk from Sephora and I love it! I’ve waxed poetic about the pencil version of this since the inception of Marc Jacobs Beauty but I’d never tried the liquid version until now. It’s ridiculously pigmented with a glossy finish. This is high voltage liquid liner. Best of all- it stays put no matter what! I’m not sure if I’ll get the full-size one as it’s very expensive IMHO but grab it here if you’re interested.

4. BECCA Mineral Blush in “Songbird”– I’ve had this blush for about two years and after some neglect, I’ve fallen in love with it again. It’s a gorgeous coral shade that looks surprisingly fantastic on dark skin. I use it most often on the days I don’t want to look too made up. Grab it here.

5. MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in “Peach Lustre”– This is almost like the famous YSL Touche Éclat but for brown skin. I use it for gentle correcting but it can most definitely be used as a natural looking highlighter too. It stays on well throughout the day too. You can find it here.

6. Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix– I’ve been very lazy with my skin care this month and it shows. However, this has been great for whenever I feel a spot coming on. I don’t know if it’s in my head but it seems to stop the spot before it appears on the surface of my skin. Additionally, it doesn’t have that horrible sulphur smell that a lot of spot treatments do. Get it here.

7. Laura Mercier Sponge– I’m a huge fan of the original Beauty Blender but I’d always see these fly off the shelves at Sephora and my interest was piqued. I took advantage of a coupon I had and bought a 4-pack of these last month. They make my foundation look amazing and because they’re a bit stiffer than other beauty sponges, they don’t soak up product. They’re very durable and they can be easily washed and reused. They work out to be $3.50 each so the price is most definitely right.

8. Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer– Another product I’ve had forever but ignored until recently. It’s a creamy concealer that’s not too creamy and it covers any blemish on my face while still feeling very lightweight. I especially like using it under my eyes when I don’t want the overly highlighted look. I wear the shade “sable”. Get it here.

9. Sephora Collection Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara in “Blue”– I’ve rediscovered my love for blue mascara and this is the perfect shade. It’s definitely noticeable but it’s by no means in your face. The brush and the formula also work well for my eyelashes so I have no complaints.

Let me know if you’d like an in-depth review of any of the products mentioned. What have you been reaching for lately? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

MAC The Matte Lip Collection- Part 2!

‘That always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on colour instead of taste.’ – John Green
MAC antique velvet lipstick dark skin

MAC whirl lipstick dark skin

MAC men love mystery lipstick dark skin

MAC men love mystery, antique velvet, whirl swatch on dark skin nw45 woc

L-R: Men Love Mystery, Antique Velvet, Whirl outdoor swatches in direct sunlight

MAC men love mystery, antique velvet, whirl swatch on dark skin nw45 woc black woman

L-R: Men Love Mystery, Antique Velvet, Whirl indoor swatches

mac antique velvet lipstick on dark skin nw45 woc swatch

Antique Velvet

MAC whirl lipstick on dark skin nw45 woc swatch

Whirl

MAC men love mystery on dark skin nw45 woc swatch

Men Love Mystery

As usual, MAC have gone into overdrive with their seemingly endless “limited edition” collections this year but The Matte Lip Collection is very welcome and best of all- permanent! Most of the lipsticks released in last year’s matte lip collection were limited edition so this is a very welcome change. I already own “Flat Out Fabulous”, “Ruby Woo”, and “Heroine” from the collection so I tried to be good and I limited myself to just three. I decided on “Men Love Mystery” (a pinkish violet), “Antique Velvet” (a reddish chocolate brown), and “Whirl” (a lipstick version of the best-selling pinkish brown lipliner).

I was so excited to finally get these in the post that I had to throw up some quick swatches on my lips. These are all without any sort of liner so you can see the true shade of the lipsticks. “Men Love Mystery” will definitely need a liner when I wear it out of the house and I’m thinking that “Whirl” will also benefit from one even though it’s not strictly necessary. “Antique Velvet” looks darker on me in person and I’m looking forward to rocking it in the Autumn/ Winter.

The three lipsticks I ordered are of the “matte” formula rather that the “retro-matte” formula so they are nowhere near as drying as Ruby Woo et. al. They feel comfortable on the lips but make sure your lips are nice and smooth before rocking them. I’m sure a few of these shades (“Whirl” in particular) will sell out but these are permanent so take your time if you’re willing to be patient.

MAC’s The Matte Lip collection can be found online now and in stores in a few weeks’ time. There are a whopping 22 shades and they retail for $16.

Are you planning on getting anything from this collection? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

Edited to add: Here’s a quick FOTD with me wearing “Whirl” today with “Chestnut” lipliner. Excuse the deer caught in headlights look. I can’t seem to take a good selfie these days :(

MAC Whirl lipstick on dark skin NW45 WOC

Face Of The Day: Shades Of Orange

“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being” – Hafiz of Shiraz
NARS persia fotd dark skin woc nw45 NARS persia on dark skin nw45 fotd swatch NARS Taj mahal Persia on dark skin woc nw45

I often used NARS Persia eyeshadow as a transition shade but I’ve never made it the focus of an eye look before. This Memorial Day weekend is blessing us with glorious weather and I decided to do a quick orange eye just because. I even wore lashes! This was a super simple look and it wore perfectly for the whole afternoon. Click below for a list of products used. Continue reading