Review

Kat Von D Alchemist Palette | REVIEW

The Kat Von D Alchemist Palette aka the ‘Looks Like Nothing in the Pan but Looks Amazing When Swatched’ palette – but I guess that’s not quite as catchy. Back in July, I was lucky enough to receive some Debenhams vouchers for my birthday and I knew there was only one thing I wanted to spend them on. I can’t see it on the Debenhams website now though, so I’ve linked the KVD website here where you can see some awesome swatches (much better than mine!).

The palette cost me £25 which I actually think is very reasonable considering you can buy one highlight from some brands for that price. For something a bit special and unique, I definitely think it’s worth the money.

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If you just saw this described as a highlighting palette you’d probably be quite disappointed when you see the pan size as they look much more like your usual eyeshadow pans. I had already seen some reviews before buying so I was expecting that anyway and to be honest, I’m not likely to use these shades for highlighting my face.

The packaging on this is beautiful, very holosexual yet gothic. I love it. It’s very dinky and compact but some might find the shape awkward for storing. It’s got a cute little mirror in too. It feels like really good quality, durable packaging and has a very satisfying magnet closure.

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I’ve mainly been using these shades to highlight my inner corner or add an additional pop of colour over other eyeshadows. I’ve seen loads of pictures of people using this over lipstick to give a duochrome metallic look, which looks incredible but that’s not really a look I’d go for personally but it’d be good for photography if that’s what you’re into. When I have used it on my eyes, it’s lasted really well. I often find that inner corner shades seem to fade really quickly on me but that wasn’t the case with these ones.

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I mean just look… how pretty?! Honestly, if I wasn’t such a hermit, I’d wear these all the time for nights out. If you’re into hitting the club you need this palette, or if you’re one of those very creative MUAs for that matter. You could create some amazing looks with this.

I did find that this is available on Sephora who do ship to the UK so if you like the look if it, definitely check it out here.

Do you like the look of this palette? Have you tried it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Thank you so much for reading

Rhi xx

 

 

Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Eyeshadow Palette | REVIEW

When it comes to eyeshadow palettes, in my opinion, you can’t beat Morphe for the quality vs affordability. So when their collaboration was announced with Jaclyn Hill, I knew I had to have it. After some Beauty Bay website drama on launch day, I did manage to order one. Now as you’d expect, the palette sold out straight away, hence the chaos on the BB website but I did think it was worth still sharing my review in case it comes back in stock soon.

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The palette was priced at £37 which is quite a lot more than the usual Morphe palettes which are usually £22.50. I can’t see how they can justify charging almost £15 more for it, other than the packaging being a sturdy cardboard rather than the black plastic they usually use. I think the name Jaclyn Hill has bumped up the price, which is a bit cheeky really as she’s just a YouTuber, it’s not like they collaborated with Beyoncé. Don’t get me wrong, I like Jaclyn – she’s very successful and extremely talented but still… not Beyoncé.

Jaclyn has said that the increase in price is due to Morphe using new machinery and more expensive colourants in creating this palette but as I started off by saying, Morphe are some of the best shadows I’ve ever tried so I don’t really think this investment was necessary, especially at a cost increase to the consumer.

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More on packaging… I have to say how well packaged it was to prevent damage in transit so I was quite impressed by that. Not only was there thick bubble wrap around the outer box, but also around the palette itself within the outer box. Maybe that’s where the extra £15 went, on bubble wrap?!

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Inside there’s a cute little dedication to Jaclyn’s subscribers, but I’d rather have seen either a mirror or the shade names to be honest. In fact, the shade names don’t feature anywhere on the palette, they were on an insert which I’m sure most people will just get rid of, like I did. If they’ve gone to the trouble of naming each shade, why not show them off? The shade range, as you’d expect if you know anything about Jaclyn, has a lot of warm neutrals but then also some pops of colour in purples and greens. There’s a good mix of mattes and shimmers.

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When swatching all the shadows, I don’t think any of them were any trouble to work with. I’ve also been using this palette every single day since I received it and so far, I’ve not had any problems with any shade. My favourite shades are M.F.E.O (which stands for Made For Each Other – I knew that before Jaclyn mentioned it in her video, because I am old enough and cheesy enough to remember the single that Kavana released of the same name! Anyone else?! #cringe), Sissy, Pooter, Jacz, Hustle and Cranapple. The only shades which I don’t think I’ll ever use are Royalty and Twerk because I really hate the way purples look on me.

You’ll see in the swatches that some shades are a little patchy (Hunts, Roxanne, Chip and Enchanted) but honestly this is down to my crap swatching technique, not the quality. All the ones which are patchy, do not perform that way on the eyes.

Jaclyn x Morphe row 1 swatches

Enlight – Cream. Beam – An off white. Silk Creme – Light beige. M.F.E.O –Tan.

Faint – Shimmering beige. Sissy – Salmon pink. Little Lady – A bronzed pink.

Jaclyn x Morphe row 2 swatches

Creamsicle – Bright yellow. Butter – Deep yellow. Pooter – Medium brown.

Pukey – A brown toned yellow. Hunts – Burnt orange. Firework – Shimmering orange.

Queen – Shimmering gold.

Jaclyn x Morphe row 3 swatches

Obsessed – Shimmering champagne. S.B.N – Shimmering light brown.

Hillster – Shimmering orange brown. Roxanne – Orange. Jacz – Auburn.

Buns – Pale brown. Cranapple – Shimmering brown toned orange.

Jaclyn x Morphe row 4 swatches

Royalty – Shimmering dark purple. Twerk – Dark shimmering navy.

Hustle – Shimmering beige. Meeks – Shimmering bronze. 24/7 – Shimmering brown.

Chip – Chocolate brown. Mocha – Light brown.

Jaclyn x Morphe row 5 swatches

Pool Party – Shimmering aqua. Jada – Teal. Diva – A shimmering blue grey.

Enchanted – Charcoal. Central Park – Dark brown. Soda Pop – Deep brown/black.

Abyss – Black.

 

Overall Thoughts – I absolutely adore this palette, it’s officially my new favourite. The shade selection is perfect for me, so it’ll definitely be a go to for nights away, travelling and holidays. The shadow quality is spot on, and the formula actually works better on the eye than in swatches. The only things I don’t like are the price hike, but it’s too late to complain about that now, the coin is spent, and the lack of shade names on the palette.

Did you manage to get your hands on this palette when it launched? If so, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments section.

Thank you so much for reading

Rhi xx

ABH Subculture Palette | REVIEW

When Urban Decay launched their Naked Heat palette there was some minor controversy caused by some dodgy swatches which appeared online. But as soon as beauty gurus and influencers started reviewing the palette the noise died down. Then along came the latest eyeshadow palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills and UD could finally kick back and relax with a cup of tea (and there’s been plenty of tea spilled). Anyone who tried the Modern Renaissance palette from ABH (read my review here) will know it always had a bit of a powderyness to it but damn are those shadows pigmented. Well it turns out that the Subculture palette is waaaay more powdery and is still pigmented but allegedly very difficult to blend. And the beauty world is shook. For every 1 positive review I’ve read / heard, there’s been 25 more negative reviews. Now normally this would put me off from buying but when I saw the collection of shades in the palette I fell in love, and they’re nothing like anything I already own (at least I don’t think, should really double check my collection). So I added to basket, I couldn’t stop myself. I bought my palette from Beauty Bay for £41 and it’s still available here.

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​OK, first things first… I fully expected the palette to be smashed up to filth when it arrived but actually it was perfectly intact – good work Beauty Bay!

The palette is in the same fuzzy wuzzy packaging as the Modern Renaissance palette which feels lovely but gets dirty real quick. If you’ve ever owned any clothing that’s remotely fuzzy, you’ll know that everything except money sticks to it and this palette is the same.

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As I’ve said, it was the shade range which drew me in, despite knowing I probably won’t be wild about the formula. Immediately I see autumnal smokiness but I also see some pretty spring looks with the left hand quad of shadows. I’m not the most adventurous when it comes to eye makeup looks but I think I could create so many looks with this palette. Plus I think these are exactly the tones I need to be leaning towards for my eye colour (I mean they’re brown, just brown, nothing fancy, but still).

But how does it perform? That’s the real question here isn’t it? Is it complete garbage or has everything been blown way out of proportion for some internet drama?

So I found the swatching process to be dead easy. Each one (except Cube…yes, there is a swatch there, you just can’t see it on my pasty skin!) was just one light press of the finger and swatch. From other reviews I had expected the palette to be a complete mess after daring to touch the pans but mine looked just fine. The only one that felt quite powdery was Axis which is a very dark forest green and it felt very soft and I did have to blow away a bit of fallout.

I haven’t delved into the palette properly yet, but I did have a bit of a play around with it last night and did a very quick eye look that I would usually do. I used the shades Roxy, Fudge and Adorn. Having seen so many reviews where people have swirled their brush around or dunked their brush in a few times creating a massive dust cloud, I knew I had to be really careful.

I very gently tapped the fluffy end of the brush which came with the palette into Roxy and there was some immediate indents in the pan showing just how softly pressed they are. That one tap was enough to apply enough colour on the crease of one eye and it blended out pretty easily.

I then tapped into Fudge to add some dimension to the outer corner. I’d seen people struggle to blend Fudge so I was a bit weary of adding too much. I think the trick is to add very little amounts and blend until your wrists are sore, then build up until you’ve got the intensity you want. Never forget just how pigmented these shadows are despite their powdery texture. Even though I was only having a quick play, I didn’t think the result looked too bad.

Then I took the flat end of the brush and patted Adorn all other the lid. I’ll be honest, I’m used to the metallic / foiled shadows these days being really smooth but this definitely took some building to make it show up at all. In the end I spritzed the brush with some setting spray and it did apply better but it still wasn’t as amazing as it looks in the pan.

 I definitely need to use it a couple more times to make my mind up, but so far I don’t hate the palette… I just don’t love it either. Am I suffering buyer’s remorse? Maybe a teensy bit. I just don’t think something which costs so much money should be such hard work. I don’t want a palette where I feel like I’m walking on egg shells and scared of messing up. Makeup is supposed to be fun, not stressful!

 That being said, I really feel like some reviewers are just milking it and going completely over the top for some exposure. Of course if you jam your brush in the pan and start swirling frantically, you’ll make a right bloody mess, but what do you expect?! People seem to love to watch brands make mistakes and that’s just sad.

 From what I’ve seen Norvina from ABH has admitted that the palette isn’t right and has offered refunds to anyone who is unhappy with the quality. Apparently it’s down to a new formula and an automatic pressing machine so you’d expect some teething problems with new processes. I’d just expect those issues to be ironed out pre-launch. I seem to remember that this palette was leaked early on, so maybe there was some rush to release earlier than planned which could explain some things.

 Anyway, I’ll keep playing around and update you in a later post – could it be a favourite or a disappointed? Watch this space! Have you tried the palette at all? Or are you avoiding it at all costs? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below…

 

Thank you so much for reading

Rhi xx

 

L’Oreal Paradise Extatic Mascara | REVIEW

You could have figured out by now that I’m a mascara addict. I’ve always said that if I was stuck on a desert island and could only take 3 things, 1 of them would most definitely be mascara. So when I suddenly saw everyone talking about the new mascara from L’Oreal, I had to snap it up.
L'Oreal Paradise Extatic Mascara Lash Paradise wand brush review
L’Oreal are one of those drugstore brands which I know I can always rely on to deliver on the mascara front. So many of my old faves have been by them, the most recent being the False Lash Sculpt (which I reviewed aaages ago here). In fact, I don’t seem to remember a L’Oreal mascara which I’ve tried and haven’t liked.
This mascara has now launched in the UK and is available in all your usual places, but I bought mine from Boots (available here).
My first thoughts on seeing the mascara are that the brush looks very similar to the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, which, even after saying how much I love mascara, I haven’t actually tried! But I have seen pics of it all over social media and t’internet. The wand isn’t as large as the Too Faced one, but I reckon that’s the vibe they were going for with with this mascara.
So, whenever I see a mascara review pop up on Bloglovin’, I click on it immediately. Helpful as the reviews are, what I’m always looking for is a before and after picture of the reviewer’s lashes and more often than not, there isn’t one. Therefore I’ve decided to include a before and after here for the first time on my blog. For reference… my lashes are long-ish but uneven and spiky. They’re really not looking their best at the minute as they’re going through a shedding period. Also… not quite mastered taking an ‘eye selfie’ as you’ll see!

 

L'Oreal Paradise Mascara before and after
In short… I absolutely love this mascara and can totally see why there’s been a lot of hype around it. The formula isn’t too wet so doesn’t clump up really easily. I find it adds plenty of volume but still separates my lashes. The brush is really good at manipulating my lashes into the right place. And for me, the true test is when people actually ask what mascara I’m wearing, which a few people have done since I started using it.
One negative point which I have to mention is that it does transfer to my under eyes throughout the day which is not really something I’ve found with other mascaras I use. I always use a waterproof mascara on my lower lashes (MAC Extended Play Gigablack) but I did try this one out – it made my bottom lashes look awesome but they did transfer quite a lot. It’s probably a combination of the mascara itself and the fact that I’ve been skipping setting my concealer to fit in with the more dewy makeup I’ve been enjoying lately but I’ve definitely noticed some dark circles of mascara by the end of the day. Today I’ve tried adding a tiny bit of powder under my eyes to see if it makes a difference, and so far so good!
I also find this quite difficult to remove with my usual micellar water, which again, isn’t something I usually find with my other mascaras.
All in all, this has definitely become my new favourite mascara and I highly recommend checking it out for yourself. It looks like Boots currently have it on 3 for 2 at the minute so why not treat yo’self?!
Have you tried this mascara yet? If so, what are your thoughts? And what is your holy grail mascara? Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you so much for reading
Rhi xx

 

Benefit Cheek Parade | REVIEW

Can you believe I’ve never tried a Benefit blusher or bronzer before? As a self-confessed makeup addict, I thought it was a bit shocking really. Benefit blush and bronzer boxes are cult favourites so when they launched the Cheekathon palette (last year?) I really wanted to get my hands on it. Unfortunately I never got around to purchasing it and then it seemed to be limited edition so I missed the boat.

For my birthday back in July, I got a very generous voucher for Boots from my Nain (aka Welsh grandmother). Whenever I receive a voucher or birthday money, I don’t like to waste it on lots of little bits which I could just pick up myself so I wanted to splurge on something I wouldn’t usually buy. I was just browsing online and I remembered that they sell Benefit and remembered that they had launched a new palette like the Cheekathon. One side note, did you know you can’t pay with vouchers online with Boots? How stupid is that?!  Luckily they had plenty in my local store so I went to pick one up.

The palette is priced at £49.50 and is available here. As I said, I wouldn’t have bought this for myself but I was really happy to treat myself using the voucher. That being said, I think it’s actually a pretty decent deal. The palette contains 5 full sized products and a brush (not a brush that I’ll ever use, but it’s in there). Individually they are £24.50 so you really are getting a bargain.  Two of the products are brand new too, Galifornia and Hoola Lite. The other products are Hoola, Dandelion and Rockateur.

My first thoughts about the palette is how great it’d be for travelling, even though it’s pretty bulky, because it has everything I’d need to go with several different looks.

 

Benefit Cheek Parade blusher bronzer palette brush review

 

From swatching, it looks like Hoola is going to be a good bronzer shade for me so I’m looking forward to trying that out. Hoola Lite though, I think that’s going to be way too light but I can definitely use it as an eyeshadow transition shade and for blending out other shadows. Again, I love that it’ll be a multipurpose palette so it’ll be good for travelling. I’m actually away this weekend so I will be taking it with me. I have actually used Dandelion and loved the fresh flush of colour it gave me. Plus I found that it lasted all day, when blush is usually the first thing to wear off me. I’m yet to try Galifornia and Rockateur but from the swatches and other reviews I’ve seen, I just know I’ll love them. Galifornia has a NARS Orgasm look about it and Rockateur looks like something I’ll get a lot of use out of in Autumn / Winter as it has a brownish undertone on my skin.

 

Benefit Cheek Parade blusher bronzer palette brush review swatches

 

Overall first impressions on this palette are very, very good! I’m so glad I finally have it in my collection and I’m looking forward to using all the shades.

Have you tried any Benefit blushes or bronzers? If so, which would you recommend I try next? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you so much for reading
Rhi xx