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

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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

It’s Electric!- Urban Decay Electric Palette Review

Urban Decay Electric Palette

FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real condition, I’m convinced. I snatched up this beauty about 3 weeks ago when I saw it on the shelves at Sephora and I’ve worn it almost everyday since. Yes the Naked palettes are nice and they have been stupendously successful for Urban Decay but I’m so glad that they’ve gone back to their roots with their new Electric palette. My very first quality eyeshadow palette was the original Deluxe Palette from Urban Decay about 7 years ago and I haven’t looked back since! Urban Decay were originally known for their crazy brights and bold pigments and they are back in full force with the Electric palette.

Urban Decay Electric Palette

Look at all of those glorious colours! I’m very impressed with this palette and the pigmentation is excellent. We are presented with 10 shades in the palette and they are:

revolt– a glittery silver, gonzo– a matte blue with a hint of turquoise, slowburn– an orange red matte with floating micro shimmer, savage– a hot pink matte, fringe– a metallic teal, chaos– a matte cobalt blue with floating micro shimmer (one of the standouts of the Vice palette), jilted– a slightly shimmery fuchsia with a blue shift, urban– a metallic medium purple, freak– a metallic neon green, and thrash– a chartreuse matte with floating micro shimmer (an exact dupe for NARS ‘rated R’).

Slowburnsavagejilted and urban stain the skin slightly and they required more effort to remove. Urban Decay included a little note about these colours in the box which indicates that they are not intended for the immediate eye area. As usual, people have kicked up a fuss about nothing and I’ve used all these colours with no ill effect so just use your own judgment is what I say. Here is the company’s official statement regarding this issue:

We created the Electric Pressed Pigment Palette with artistry in mind. Using pressed pigments was the only way for us to create heavily saturated brights with the intense pigment load we craved. Traditional eyeshadow formulas just wouldn’t cut it. To achieve shades like these, we started with our existing Eyeshadow formula and modified it to create a new Pressed Pigment formula.

Everywhere but the U.S., the Electric Palette is an eyeshadow palette. Because of a technicality, in the U.S. it’s considered a multi-use artistry palette. To get the most out of this palette, experiment and see what works for you. You can use the Electric Palette all over (and that’s where the creativity comes in!).

A few shades contain a colorant that has not yet been approved for the use around the immediate eye area. However, this restriction only applies in the U.S.; in every other country where Urban Decay is sold, these shades are approved for use around the eyes.

Bottom line? We didn’t want to limit the Electric Palette to eyeshadow. It’s an artistry palette with unlimited possibilities! How you use these shades is up to you. (And no matter where you use them, you’ll get insane color payout.)

So there you go.

Urban Decay electric palette dark skin swatch

The colours swatch easily on my skin, even the mattes which can tend to disappear on darker skin tones. I think the fact that most of the mattes have a slight floating micro-shimmer contribute to their creaminess. The micro particles don’t really show up on the skin but they do contribute to a happier blending experience. I own the original Vice palette and the chaos in this palette is better in my opinion. I have no idea if they reformulated the colour but I feel as though it’s slightly more pigmented here. Chaos is a beautiful colour but I do wish that they’d only had chaos OR gonzo. The palette has quite a few blueish shades and I think that gonzo is one blue too many. I wish they’d replaced it with a bright yellow and it would have been just about perfect. I was initially unsure about the purpose of revolt as well but I’ve seen a few people do some interesting things with the shade.

The palette also comes with a very decent double-ended brush and the smaller end works really well as a liner brush. Both ends have quite stiff bristles which is great for the nature of the eyeshadows as they lay down colour better.

The packaging is also a winner in my book as it’s non bulky and the case opens up to a large mirror. The hinge ensures that the mirror stays where you want it to and the magnetic closure is very secure.

Now on to how the colours look on my face!

Urban Decay Electric palette FOTD dark skin

“Urban” all over the lid, smoked out with a matte black shadow and “fringe” on my lower lash line. I also added Urban Decay’s moondust eyeshadow in “glitter rock” on the centre of my lid for some added sparkle. Lips: “Vento” lipstick (Bite Beauty) Foundation: Cover FX cream foundation in N100 Powder: Mineralize Skin Finish in “dark” and “dark deep” (MAC) Brows: Aqua Brow #30 (Make Up For Ever) Eye liner: “blacquer” liner (Marc Jacobs) Mascara: Diorshow New Look mascara in black (Dior)

Urban Decay FOTD ELECTRIC dark skin swatch

Are you as in love with the Electric palette as I am? If you’re undecided, the palette is a permanent addition so you have plenty of time to make up your mind. The palette retails for $49 and can be found at Sephora, Ulta, and on the Urban Decay website. Let me know your thoughts!

Nana Adomah