Tartelette Tease Palette- A Review

“Why do we have this desire to tease the innocent? Is it envy?”- Graham Greene

Tarte tease palette

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Tarte Tartelette palette on dark skin NW45 swatch

From L-R, top to bottom: “whisper”, “crush”, “heartbreaker”, “wink”, “first kiss”, “BFF”

“Tease me tease me tease me tease me baby, till I lose control….” Aside from reminding me of this iconic Chaka Demus and Pliers tune from the halcyon days of my youth, Tarte have another winner on their hands with their Tartelette Tease palette.

The Tartelette Tease is a mini version of their Tartelette In Bloom palette, with just 6 shades in a palette about the size of a credit card. This is my second Tarte palette, after the original Tartelette palette, and I find the quality and performance of these shadows to be pretty consistent across all three “Tartelette” palettes.

The palette consists of 4 matte shades and 2 shimmers, and the layout is such that each row gives you a complete eye look. The mattes are buttery and pigmented but I find that they definitely need a primer underneath them. The staying power on my oily lids was disappointing without a primer but perfectly fine with my Urban Decay primer.

Of the two shimmery shades, one is of notably higher quality than the other. “Crush” can be a sparkly mess if not applied extremely carefully and I found that it worked best with a glitter glue. “First Kiss” is much less sparkly and thus didn’t give me any problem on application.

Whisper” and “wink,” the two lightest shades, appear a tad chalky in swatches but they can be easily sheered out for a good brow bone highlight on the eye. The best-performing shades were the two darkest shades- “heartbreaker” and “BFF.” These made great crease colours and I see them performing equally well in a smoky eye.

The price for what you get in the palette is a very affordable $21 (but bear in mind that each pan contains less product than the pans in the regular Tartelette palettes) and I think this is a great palette to take on the go.

If you are new to Tarte products, the brand claims to be natural, cruelty-free, and vegan-friendly. If these things are important to you and you’re looking for a portable makeup palette, I highly recommend giving the Tarlette Tease palette a look!

You can find the palette at Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s, and on the Tarte website. The palette is apparently limited edition so hurry if you want it!

Nana Adomah

 

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Lancôme Teint Idole Foundation Stick: A Review

“You know how it is when you get back with somebody you’ve loved. It felt better than it ever was, better than it ever could be again.”- Junot Díaz 

Lancome teint idole 510 530

Hello my name is Nana and I’m a foundation junkie.

I absolutely did not need to make this purchase but boy am I glad I did. I’ve used it almost everyday since I bought it over a month ago. I’m having a bit of a stick foundation love-in at the moment (as seen in my last post) and they’re so easy and mess-free to use.

The Lancôme stick is the most weightless foundation I’ve used. It really feels like I have nothing on my skin but the coverage is excellent. I would characterize it as a medium-coverage foundation but it can be easily built up to full coverage depending on how much you use and the tool with which you use to blend it. I’ve tried it with both a brush and a sponge and I like the finish I get with the beauty blender best. It gives a lovely natural, skin-like finish that’s perfect for all times of the year.

Lancome teint idole stick swatch 510 555

“510” and “555” in sunlight (L) and indoors with flash (R)

I bought the stick in “510”, rather than the “530” I usually am in Lancôme foundations since Winter means that my skin has lightened. I was also given the stick in “555” after I had already bought the “510” and since “555” is much too dark for me, I’ve been using it as a contour shade and it works well for that purpose too.

The stick comes in 20 shades, which is fewer than the 35 shades available in the liquid teint idole ultra foundation, but there is still a good range for most skin tones.

The stick also comes with an SPF of 21 and it’s oil-free. The stick formula ensures precise application and it glides beautifully onto the skin.

My only con is the size of the product. It’s 0.31 oz, which is significantly less than the 0.44 oz of the Make Up For Ever foundation stick but puts it on par with the Bobbi Brown foundation stick (which I also think could be bigger) and at $42, it puts it in the same price range.

Lancome teint idole foundation stick 510 555 on dark skin

The foundation in action

Continue below to find out the rest of the products on my face:

Continue reading

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

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

The Great Cleanse

“We need deep cleansing of our thoughts on and often so that we can recharge our energy for our own health, happiness and purpose”- Kishore BansalIMG_1857

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IMG_1863In what seems to be a running theme, I’ve had this cleanser set from Sephora for a while now and I thought I’d share before they get rid of it for good.

‘The Great Cleanse’ is a collection of 12 of Sephora’s best cleansing products and in my opinion, it’s a steal at just $48. I’d already tried almost all of the cleansers in the kit before purchasing it so I pretty much knew what I was getting. The set consists of larger-than-sample sizes of the following:

  • Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover(1.69 oz)- I use this regularly and it’s a great eye makeup remover in the same vein as Lancome’s Bi-Facil.
  • Caudalie Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water(3.38 oz)- A micellar water from a trusted brand. You get a sizable amount of this and it should last a while. I’m really looking forward to trying this.
  • Nude Skincare Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Cleansing Oil(0.5 oz)- I’ve had a sample of this before and found it hard to remove but maybe I’ll fare better on a 2nd try.
  • Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil(1.7 oz)- Never tried this before but looking forward to it
  • Fresh Soy Face Cleanser(1.7 oz)- This cult classic non-foaming cleanser is one my faves and it’s extremely gentle on the skin.
  • Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash(1 oz)- Never tried this before either.
  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple(2 oz)- A nice basic cleanser. I’ve tried it before and it was perfectly fine but nothing spectacular.
  • Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser(1.5 oz)- I love the foaming action of this cleanser but I prefer to use it in the Summer as it’s too drying for me in the Winter.
  • Glamglow Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment(0.5 oz)- I own the full-size of this and it’s a lovely cleansing mask.
  • Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser(1.5 oz)- I LOVE this cleanser and it’s one of my favourite cleansing oil/ gels. Leaves the skin feeling so soft.
  • Boscia Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder(0.36 oz)- I also the own the full-size of this and I love to mix it with a cleansing oil for some extra oomph.
  • Boscia Mini Konjac Cleansing Sponge– Check out my review of the full-sized sponge here.

If it’s not obvious by now I’m completely won over by this set. It’s a great way to try some of the hottest cleansers around and I love the fact that there are so many different types of cleanser included in the kit. The Caudalie and Glamglow cleansers are on sale individually for $14 and $19 respectively so you really are getting a fantastic deal. You can still snag this on the Sephora website for the great price of $48.

Let me know in the comments if you’d like more of an in-depth review on any of the featured cleansers.

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

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette- A Review

“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” – J.R.R. TolkienIMG_0970I ummed and aahed over this palette when it was first released two Christmases ago and I kicked myself when it sold out before I could buy it. Hourglass then re-released it and I decided that I really didn’t need to spend $60 on makeup I didn’t necessarily need. However, I snapped it up when a 30% off discount code was made available to me. Bargains for the win!

Hourglass ambient lighting palette on dark ksin

From L-R: Dim Light, Incandescent Light, Radiant Light

Hourglass’s ambient lighting powders are legendary in the beauty world and I love to use them when I do makeup for other people. They are quite pricy so you typically wouldn’t buy several shades at once but you get three (smaller sizes) in the ambient lighting palette. I don’t think that most of the shades are friendly towards very dark skin tones but happily, this palette includes the one shade that I think is perfect for us- radiant light. The palette consists of dim light (a peachy beige shade), radiant light (a light gold shade), and an exclusive shade- incandescent light (a silvery pearl shade).

Carisa Janes originally created the ambient lighting powders to recreate the look of skin under soft lighting and these powders definitely do the job. They are very soft without being powdery and they almost melt into the skin. They can be used as a general setting powder or as a highlighting powder depending on your preferences. Dim Light is the best for all-over setting purposes whilst radiant light and incandescent light would work better as highlighters in my opinion. However, the shimmer in both of these powder aren’t prohibitively glittery so I think you could definitely get away with an all-over application.
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My pictures (taken over a year ago eek!) were taken in bright sunlight so be aware that the powders are slightly darker in person. The palette is free from fragrance, parabens, talc, gluten and is also vegan-friendly.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette can be purchased at Hourglass or Sephora for $58.

Have you tried any of the legendary ambient lighting powders from Hourglass? 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

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