BECCA Afterglow Palette Review

“Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.” – Theodore Isaac Rubin

BECCA afterglow palette WOC

I’ve missed you guys so much! I’ve been away for a little while but I’m determined to get back into the swing of things. My makeup addiction has not abated in my absence and I have a ton of new stuff to show you.

First up is my newest addition and it’s the BECCA Afterglow palette. Now BECCA have released two highlighter palettes for the Christmas season with one being exclusive to Sephora and one being exclusive to Ulta. The Sephora palette is a trio of highlighters which includes “blushed copper, “champagne pop”, and the new “pearl” highlighter. Since I already own two of those highlighters in the full-size, it was a no-brainer for me to choose the Ulta exclusive.

The Afterglow palette consists of mini versions of moonstone”, “rose gold”, and “topaz highlighters in addition to blushes in wild honey” and flowerchild”. The palette is very small and it’s the same size as the usual BECCA eyeshadow palettes. This makes it great for travel but it may prove problematic if you like to use big brushes. The packaging is a dark rose gold plastic case which is definitely a fingerprint magnet but it is nice and slim, which is a bonus.

BECCA Afterglow

Becca afterglow palette

BECCA afterglow palette on dark skin swatches

From L-R: “moonstone”, “rose gold”, “topaz”, “wild honey”, “flowerchild”

I think this palette will be especially good for those who haven’t tried BECCA’s highlighters before or those who want something for travel. I actually intend on mainly using this in my makeup kit as I don’t really feel comfortable de-potting/ carrying around my full-size BECCA highlighters. However, my main problem is how small the palette is (each shade is the size of a typical eyeshadow pan) and I also think the colour selection is a little iffy. I don’t understand why having “moonstone” (the lightest shade) and “topaz” (the darkest) in the same palette would appeal to the average buyer. I do however intend to play around with mixing shades to see how it looks on my dark skin. I also definitely can’t use “wild honey” on my skin but I can just about get away with “flowerchild”.

Reservations aside, I really recommend this palette and I think almost everybody will get some good use out of it. You get to try 5 BECCA products for the price of 1 and you can’t really beat that! The BECCA Afterglow palette is available at Ulta for $39.50. 

It’s good to be back!

Nana Adomah

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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

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

A Tale Of Two Highlighters: BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured & Pressed Review

“All that glisters is not gold; often you have heard that told.” – William Shakespeare
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BECCA shimmering skin perfector poured

Yet another BECCA review today! I was so excited when I heard that BECCA was coming out with a cream version of their best-selling Shimmering Skin Perfectors (SSP). I already have topaz in their pressed version and I often mix the liquid version of their SSP with my foundation for some extra glow. So when the “poured” (cream) version of the SSP came out, I snapped up topaz without a thought.

However, I have to say that the “poured” version of topaz is the first BECCA product I’ve been disappointed in. I expected the poured topaz to be much more pigmented on my skin than it actually is- a cream version of the pressed topaz if you will. However, this is far more in line with the liquid version of their SSP as in it’s very sheer. This will be perfect for somebody who just wants a light and subtle highlight but that’s not what I’m looking for at $38. Highlighters are my favourite face products and I looooooove me a blinging glow. This just didn’t deliver for me personally.

On to the product itself: poured topaz comes in smaller packaging than the pressed SSP and it’s the same size as BECCA’s blushes. The colour in the pan initially looks very dark but it’s the same colour as the other versions of topaz when swatched. The cream is neither too wet or too dry and it blends very easily. It looks beautiful before blending but disappointment quickly sets in when you do so.

Topaz poured on dark skin

Poured topaz swatched and blended. Not very blingarific 😦

I took some comparison shots of topaz poured and topaz pressed and there’s just no contest. The pressed version just melts into the skin and blends beautifully. A little bit goes a long way and it just gives the most gorgeous golden glow. It’s my all-time favourite highlighter and I wear it almost every day. The dark gold colour looks stunning on dark skin and I don’t have a single criticism about this product (wish it was cheaper though!).

Becca topaz highlighters

BECCA shimmering skin perfector in topaz- pressed and poured.

BECCA topaz poured pressed on dark skin swatch

L-R: poured swatch, pressed swatch

BECCA topaz shimmering skin perfector on dark skin

L-R: poured swatch and pressed swatch blended out

So if you’re looking to nab yourself one of BECCA’s highlighter, I’d highly recommend any of the pressed versions. They come in 6 different shades and there’s one to suit every skin tone. If you’re looking for a cream highlight however, I’d give these a miss and check out the offerings from Cover FX or Benefit instead.

The BECCA shimmering perfectors can be found at Ulta or Sephora (poured is exclusive to Sephora) for $38. It’s pricy, but the pressed is worth every single penny and it will last you forever.

Has a trusted brand ever failed you? Let me know in the comments!

Nana Adomah

Blushing All Over: BECCA Blushed Copper Review

“Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.” – Mark TwainBECCA blushed copper packagingBECCA have added another fantastic addition to their wonderful line of pressed shimmering skin perfectors (SSP). The newest, limited-edition shade is Blushed Copper and it’s everything I’ve come to expect from BECCA. I can’t believe that this is my first blog post on a BECCA product since they’re one of my favourite brands and this is my second pressed highlighter from them after  my all-time favourite “Topaz”.

BECCA blushed copper

Textured surface

BECCA SSP blushed copper

Blushed Copper is embossed with the same pattern as their “Rose Gold” pressed SSP and I hope that this will become part of their permanent line as Rose Gold eventually did. It’s the same size as all the other BECCA pressed SSP however, the packaging is a silver and copper rather than BECCA’s usual silver and brown. The colour of Blushed Copper actually pulls a true rose gold on my dark skin and it’s a shade that I think will work better for women with darker-toned skin. It straddles the line between a highlighter and a blush and it can easily be worn as both. It looks great by itself or lightly dusted on top of a similar-toned blush.

Indoor swatch swiped once and blended out.

Indoor swatch swiped once and blended out.

Pictures really don’t do this product justice as it’s beautifully shimmery in real life. I’ve never seen a highlighter like this as it has true pinkish gold shimmer as opposed to the gold or silver found in other highlighters. The texture is ridiculously buttery and it almost feels like a cream rather than a powder. A tiny amount is all that’s needed for a gorgeous Summer glow and I received so many compliments when I wore this. I love the colour so much that I plan on trying this out as an eyeshadow in the future too.

BECCA blushed copper on dark skin

This is a definite must-have in my opinion. More so if you have darker skin and are a fan of highlighters. It’s not a colour I would wear everyday but I know I’ll be rocking it every time I rock any look in the pink/ rose family. It’s a truly stunning shade and let’s all keep our fingers crossed that BECCA make this permanent.

BECCA’s “Blushed Copper” shimmering skin perfector pressed is limited edition and is sadly not available in stores but it can be found online at Sephora for $38.

Are you guys as obsessed with BECCA as I am? Let me know in the comments!

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

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