Anastasia Self-Made Palette

He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.” – Joseph Heller

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Self made palette dark skin swatch NW45 WOC NC50

From L-R Top: hot chocolate, spirit rock, Isla, sherbert, hot & cold, treasure, deep purple From L-R Bottom: buttery, blossom, blush, witchy, self-made, metallic plum, pink champagne

Anastasia self made palette dark skin swatch WOC NW45 NC50The Anastasia Beverly Hills “Self-Made” eyeshadow palette is my second Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) palette after last year’s Tamanna palette and I’m in love. Actually this technically my third Anastasia palette as I purchased the Artist Palette but quickly returned it after swatching. I was so unimpressed with most of the shades (particularly the mattes) and it put me off ABH for a while. This in addition to the general (and at times baffling) hype of most ABH products left me completely uninterested in the Self-Made palette… until I swatched it.

The Self-Made palette is in my opinion the best palette released by ABH. All the colours are so incredibly pigmented and buttery and there’s not a single dud in the palette. I’m a sucker for shimmers and I always gravitate towards them over matte shadows. This palette only has 2 1/2 mattes so that may be something to think about if you prefer matte shades.

I won’t detail every shade but my favourites are “pink champagne”, “self-made”, “hot & cold”, “deep purple” (almost an exact dupe for Urban Decay’s “urban” from the Electric palette), and “blush” (not to be confused with the “blush from the Tamanna palette). “Pink champagne” is described as “a rose gold with a titanium finish” and it looks absolutely stunning on my skin. It was the shade that first convinced me to even give this palette a look.

The packaging of the Self-Made palette feels sturdier than previous iterations and canvas/ plastic feel makes it feel much more durable than cardboard alone.

The palette has 14 shades rather than the usual 10 found in Anastasia palettes and the prize has increased accordingly. However, $35 for 14 shades is still a fantastic deal and you do also get a capable double-ended brush thrown in.

I really recommend the Anastasia Beverly Hills Self-Made palette for everybody as you get a wonderful mix of neutrals and colour that will be sure to spice up your make up collection. The palette can be found at all the usual Anastasia stockists and on their website. It is limited edition so grab it early if you’re interested.

Have you tried any Anastasia palettes before? Tempted by this one? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

(Look out for a FOTD featuring this palette very soon!)

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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

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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

Collective Haul ft. NARS, Make Up For Ever, MAC, Kat Von D, Cover FX, Smashbox and more!

“You’re either in it for the long haul or you’re not” – Crystal Gayle

I filmed a haul video over on YouTube and wanted to share. Look out for reviews on a lot of these products soon!

Nana Adomah

Best Makeup of 2014

IMG_19412014 was a great year for beauty. I discovered new brands, I fell in love with old ones and I become more discerning about the products I purchased. I tried to avoid unnecessary hype where I could and I also learned to “shop my stash”. I’ve been trying to compile this best of 2014 list for a few weeks now and I’ve been struggling to cut the list down to a manageable length. I love sharing beauty discoveries and I also love to read recommendations from other people so I’ve decided to split my list into makeup and skincare.

Without further ado, here are my favourite makeup products of 2014:

Foundation: I tried a LOT of foundations this year and I have to say that my number one pick has to be the BECCA ultimate coverage complexion creme. This one-pump-wonder has the most amazing pigmentation and coverage, stays put the whole day, and still looks like skin. I will definitely be doing a dedicated review very soon.

Honourable mentions: Cover FX natural finish oil-free foundation, Dior Star foundation, Lancôme nude miracle, Make Up For Ever HD foundation.

Concealer: This was my easiest pick out of my list and the honour goes to the NARS radiant creamy concealer. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this. It covers blemishes beautifully without looking cakey and it has great staying power. My only gripe is the price but this is definitely one product that lives up to the hype.

Honourable mentions: Amazing Concealer, MAC studio finish concealer, Smashbox BB for eyes

Eyebrows: I flirted with MANY brow products in 2014 but the one that rose to the top is the Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow. The tiniest amount of this gel fills in brows perfectly and it really doesn’t budge once it’s dry. Anastasia Beverly Hills’ dipbrow pomade got all the hype but this old faithful is a better product imho. It does everything dipbrow does but better. Anastasia’s brow wiz was another product I loved but I couldn’t give it the top spot because there’s far too little product in the pencil for the price.

Honourable mentions: Hourglass arch brow sculpting pencil, Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Wiz, Tarte Amazonian Clay waterproof brow mousse

Eyeliner: For pencil eyeliners, my heart unequivocally belongs to the Marc Jacobs highliner gel eye crayon in “blacquer”. I’m a contact lens wearer so I don’t muck about when I’m looking for an eyeliner. This liner is deliciously creamy, intensely black and Does. Not. Budge. once it dries. I used to carry my eyeliner in my makeup bag so I could touch up during the day but that is now thankfully a thing of the past.

For gel/ liquid liners, I have to give the nod to Benefit’s They’re Real push up liner. I HATED this with a passion when I first got it but something told me to give it another chance I couldn’t be more pleased. Once I learned how to use it properly, it made doing a winged liner so easy and it truly does not budge until you want it to.

Honourable mentions: NARS larger than life long wear eyeliner in “via veneto”, Stila stay all day waterproof liquid eyeliner, MUFE Aqua black, Kat Von D ink liner,

Blush: I stuck with my beloved NARS and Sleek blushes this year and my most used shades were NARS’ “Liberté”, “Torrid”, and “Dolce Vita”, and Sleek’s “sunrise” and “coral”. BECCA’s blush in “songbird” muscled its way in towards the end of the year and it’s definitely a shade I believe everybody should own.

Honourable mentions: Kat Von D ” heartagram”, Make Up For Ever HD blush #515- tangerine

Mascara: I went mascara crazy this year. I began to appreciate why higher-end mascaras cost so much after I flirted with Dior, Lancome, YSL, and Givenchy. MUFE’s smoky lash and old favourites like Benefit’s They’re Real did not disappoint. This category is very hard but I have to give the edge to the Givenchy Noir Couture 4 in 1 mascara over the Lancome Grandiose. It gave me length, it gave me volume, it gave me durability, and it gave me conditioned lashes. If only it was a little easier on the pocket….

Honourable mentions: YSL Babydoll, Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies, Dior New Look, Lancome Grandiose, Givenchy Noir Couture Volume

Eyeshadow: This was surprisingly easy for me as the eyeshadow I used the most was the old-stye Make Up For Ever eyeshadow in #162. I used it as a crease colour, as a transition colour, and as the star of my favourite brown smoky eye look.

Honourable mentions: ColourPop super shock eyeshadows in “cricket” and “so quiche”, MAC “woodwinked”, NARS “Persia”, NARS dual intensity shadow “callisto, UD “mugshot” and “blackout”

Lipstick: It’s extremely difficult to pick just one lipstick but I loved the hell out of my Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in “shame” (check out my review here) and my Hourglass opaque rouge liquid lipstick in “Icon”.

Honourable mentions: Bite “vento” lipstick, MAC “flat out fabulous”, NARS “damage” and “Dragon Girl” lipsticks.

Lipgloss: This has to be another tied category with the winners being the Dior Addict Fluid Stick in #575 “Wonderland” and the NARS “Priscilla” lipgloss. They both had great pigment and stayed really well on my lips without any stickiness (my pet peeve).

Honourable mention: They arrived too late to fully make it to the top but the Smashbox lip lacquers are fantastic. YSL gloss volupte #49, Buxom full-bodied lipgloss in “Dolly”.

So there you have it. This list was surprisingly difficult to put together but I have to say that I’m really loving my collection at the moment. I’m hoping to buy (FAR) less this year but I’m excited to see some truly innovative makeup. Let me know if you’d like an in-depth review of any of these products and keep an eye out for part 2 featuring my favourite skincare!

Nana Adomah

Collective Haul: Lime Crime, NARS, Marc Jacobs, MUFE, Carol’s Daughter and more!

I’ve been shopping way more than I should have been so I thought I’d make the best of it and film my first haul video.

It’s quite a long one so grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy!

Made any sneaky buys lately? Let me know in the comments below.

Nana Adomah

Dress Your Face: Anastasia Tamanna Palette Review

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Products used listed at end of post

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna palette

I went back and forth about whether or not to get this palette as I need another palette like a hole in the head. Of course it quickly sold out in store and I was hit with an acute case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Like the sheep I am, I snatched it up without a second thought when I saw it back in stock online.

Don’t be fooled by the blue. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna Dress Your Face palette is essentially a neutral palette. This is the 3rd palette released this year in collaboration with Instagram/ YouTube personalities and this is by far my favourite. This collaboration with Tamanna Roashan (a.k.a “Dress Your Face”) is perfect in that it will look good on almost anybody and a lot of thought has clearly gone into the colour selection.

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IMG_1380There are mattes, shimmers, semi-mattes, a gold, a brown, a black- basically everything you need for a successful palette.

Anastasia Tamanna palette swatch dark skin top row

L-R: fresh, blush, venezia, gilded, custom

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L-R: sangria, bengal, chocolate, china rose, noir

I’m not going to go through all the colours but my favourites are “noir”– a fantastic true black matte eyeshadow that reminds me of Urban Decay’s “blackout”, “gilded”– a beautiful dark gold shimmer, “china rose”– an orangey, pinky, goldish shimmer, and the reason I bought the palette: “sangria”– a cranberry shimmer that looks great on the lid, crease and lower lash line.

Quick note: I found both “chocolate” and “venezia” to be a little dryer than the other shadows.

The Tamanna palette also comes with a serviceable double-ended brush and 5 surprisingly useful “Get The Look” cards.

Products Used:

Eyes:

Brows: Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow #40

Main Lid- “gilded” and “china rose”

Outer V- “chocolate” and “sangria”

Crease- “sangria”, “chocolate” and Make Up For Ever eyeshadow #162

Highlight- “fresh” and NARS “Madrague”

Lower lash line- “sangria”

Eyeliner- NARS “subra” dual intensity eyeshadow

Mascara- Yves Saint Laurent Babydoll

Face:

Foundation- Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme in “sienna”

Concealer- NARS radiant creamy concealer in “amande”

Contour- Sleek contour palette in “dark”

Blush- Sleek “coral”

Lips:

Sephora ultra shine lip gloss #22 “Shimmery Deep Rose”

The palette is sold out in quite a few places but you can still find it at Macy’s and Nordstrom online for the great price of $29.

Nana Adomah