Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Review: Ecotools Face Brushes - Favourites!

Last year I wrote a rave review of the Ecotools 6 piece brush set. Since then I've been so impressed with the brand that I've picked up three of their face brushes. All made of synthetic fibres - super soft taklon infact. I'm really liking all of them and have been really impressed with the quality for the price so wanted to share them all with you guys! 

The Basics
In the UK these brushes are available in Boots, they're not cheap as chips, but still have a pretty decent price on them considering the quality. As I've already said they're cruelty free being made from the super soft taklon hairs. The brushes I have here are the Bamboo Bronzer Brush, Retractable Kabuki Brush and the Retractable Foundation Brush. The last two are great for travel! 


Bamboo Bronzing Brush (£9.99)
I've spoken a bit about this brush in one of my monthly favourites. And I still continue to use it everyday. It blends colour out really nicely and is dense enough to pick up just the right amount of product. The shape is also really nice and actually works really well for bronzer. But it's also really nice for applying mineral foundation, or any loose powder for that matter! 


Retractable Foundation Brush (£9.99)
Being retractable this is really great for travel, it is round in shape and tapered towards the middle. It is very firm and actually on the smaller side, but this makes it great to get into the more awkward areas of the face, such as around the nose. One thing that annoys me a bit about it is that it holds onto foundation quite well which can make it rather awkward to clean! 


Retractable Kabuki Brush (£12.99)
This for me is like a larger sized blush brush. It's not particularly firmly packed, but does pick up a decent amount of product. Personally this is my least favourite of the three Ecotools face brushes I have, but still take it away for travel for blush/bronzer as it is retractable and protected in your make-up bag! 

So that rounds off my thoughts on the Ecotools Face brushes, I'm always tempted to buy more Ecotools face brushes when I'm in Boots as they really are fab. Big fan here! But as always if you have any questions/comments then don't hesitate to contact me! 

But now I better get ready to go to work. Hello 11 hour shift! But anyway thanks for stopping by, I hope you liked it, H :)

Monday, 27 February 2012

Review + Swatches: NYC Sun 2 Sun Bronzing Powder - Bronze Gold

Cheap Bronzers that don't pull too orange can be a little tricky to find on the highstreet, but I think this one has passed for me! And I've used it for both bronzing and contouring, even though it has a slight shimmer. And what makes this product even better is that it has shimmery side, which can be used to highlight or make the bronzer appear shimmery. Anyway I have this in the Bronze Gold shade, which is available from Superdrug for £4.09

As always I've included a summary at the end :) 

 The Basics
This bargain bronzer duo comes with a bronzer and highlight shade with a beautiful sun imprint and a push on lid. As you can see the lids clear, meaning you can see exactly what's inside. There's 6.2g of products, so I'm guessing that's 3.1g in each side - not the largest amount, but I've had worse! There is also another shade available in the UK called Terracotta Tan, they also sell a mosaic style bronzer - next on the hit list?! 


The Formula 
I've actually had some strange problems with the bronzer formula. When I first got it, it was really nicely pigmented, but then it turned so that I couldn't get much out of it at all. I'm not sure why this happened as I didn't use it wet and I'd only swatched it a couple of times so that shouldn't have done much. I scrapped the surface off now though and it's got a bit better. Aside from that it blends nicely, but doesn't have the smoothest/finest milled texture. And I find it lasts around 6 hours on. 

The Colours
Bronzer - This is a matte slightly orangey tan shade, which isn't too dark. It does have some very small silver glitter particles in it. But I find that these don't show so much on the face. Infact I even find that it works as a warmer contour shade to add some summer colour to my face. Not too orange!

Highlight - This is quite a goldy highlight, but the colour in it is quite sheer. Which I don't see as a bad thing in a highlighter. However this has a fair amount of microglitter in it, which isn't something I go for. I prefer a pearly sheen as a highlight. So for being golden and glittery it's not quite for me! 

I'm wearing the bronzer on my forehead and a contour shade on the cheeks in the picture below. 

The Good - cheap, bronze side can be used as a contour (just!), lasts 6 hours (good for me!), warms the skin up without looking too orange, blends nicely. 

The Not so Good - I've had a bit of a problem with the powder hardening, not so keen on the glitter in the highlight, packaging could close more securely.

Would I repurchase? Probably not, but it is something that I'll still use.

Who might like it? I think if you had a pale tan or more warmer undertones this could work for you.

The Bottom Line -  I'm not 100% sold on it, but it was cheap and the bronzer does look nice enough once on. 

Have you ever tried anything from NYC? I've only recently discovered the brand - well I knew it existed I just never had any of their stuff. I've got a few bits now though, so expect some more NYC reviews coming up! But thankyou for stopping by! If you have any questions then don't hesitate to ask. Thanks again, H :) 

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Review + Swatches: MakeUp Academy (MUA) Heaven & Earth Palette

This is where I apologise for being a slow blogger! If you've been around for a while at Midnight Violets you may remember that I hauled on this about 4 months ago! I've even being using it a fair amount so theres no excuses! But better late than never as they always say. Especially for such a great value product. Anyway on with the review!

As always I've included a summary at the end :)

The Basics
Not so recently now MUA extended their £1 range to include some slightly more expensive but still ridiculously cheap products. This included this palette which costs just £4 from Superdrug/MUA Website and comes with 12 different shades. In total there's 9.6g of product which equates to 0.8g per shade. The packaging is pretty cheap looking, but still practical as you can see whats inside through the clear lid. And if these colours aren't to your liking there's a fair few other options too! 

The Formula 
I've tried eyeshadows that are a fair amount more expensive than these and not nearly as good. It does make you wonder what they're upto! But anyway these are soft and really pigmented - the swatches are taken with just one swipe - impressive right! They are possibly a little too soft and so can give a little fallout and I'd be scared to travel too much with them - but overall very impressed. Especially since they'll last an 8 hour shift!    

The Colours! 
I know I usually describe each colour individually, but to put it bluntly, I'm not feeling it today! They also have no names, so can't be bothered with all the referencing to the palette with swatches. But anyway as you can tell it has a lot of natural everyday shades, with some gold and bronzes going on in there too. It does have a slight warmer feel to it, but nothing a cool toned girl like me can't pull off. So nothing to warm like some palettes can be! It would be nice to have a darker shade for a more defined crease, but apart from that I'm really enjoying the colour selection! 

An Urban Decay Naked Palette dupe? 
No. In a word! Unlike the Naked palette this contains only shimmery shades (of varying levels) but no matte shades. I also couldn't find any dupes for individual colours. But all is not lost as I do feel this has the same kind of feel and colour scheme as the Naked Palette - and at a much lower price! But feel free to own both - I do and don't regret it at all! 

The Good - cheap, value, see through lid, colours to suit pretty much everyone, pigmented.

The Not so Good - most Superdrugs that stock MUA don't stock their Professional range :( would be nicer with a deeper crease shade (being picky here!)

Would I repurchase? Yup, the MUA palettes have given me Pokemon fever - gotta catch them all!

Who might like it? Those that like a bargain! And anyone that likes subtle and work friendly make-up - just remember there's no matte shades!

The Bottom Line - Great value, great quality and would suit most people! 

I'd heard a lot of rave reviews of this palette before I got it, but didn't quite understand. But it is a very versatile and easy palette to pick up. I'm thinking of getting some more of the MUA Palettes - do you guys have any suggestions? Also their £1 single shadows are really great too. Check them out! Anyway thanks for stopping by, H :) 

Friday, 24 February 2012

ELF Haul with Open Box Video!

If you like ELF and haven't signed up for their newsletter I strongly suggest you do! Well unless your trying to save money! They are always sending me offers and deals, with the most recent 30% of everything one. Which drew me in for a slightly naughty haul! Overall I'm actually really happy with what I got and will get reviews up in due time - although I have so much I want to review at the moment! Must. Stop. Buying. I also got a Studio Blush Brush which I forgot to photograph, but I've talked about it in the video at the bottom :) Hope you enjoy :)

Studio Blush - Mellow Mauve (£3.50)
Like a lot of these blushes I got, I haven't tried it before. First impressions are that it's well pigmented (not as much as Sleek though!) and has a shimmery finish. It's a very everyday shade and will work well for work etc.

Studio Cream Blush - Flirt (£6.50)
A bit pricier than the other products. But oh so totally worth it, especially with 30% off! They have a pretty unique texture, very moussey but sets to a powdery finish. This shade is a very girly pink and reminds me somewhat of Pixie Pink by Sleek.

Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder - Matte Bronze (£1.50)
I originally thought this was a little dark, but once swatched it seems a little better. And if you watched the video you'll know I wasn't impressed that this 'matte' bronzer has gold shimmer in it. It's not too bad once swatched, but still! Matte?

Mineral Blush - Rose (£3.50)
I must say, I'm loving this colour! And it's really pigmented too! And has a matte finish, so is going to look slightly more natural on the skin. I can't wait to try this on my face - too many new blushes at once was a bad idea! It's a loose powder though so be careful of it being messy!

Studio Warm Bronzer (£3.50)
I'm not entirely sure why I got the warm one, as obviously it's pretty warm toned! It has quite a lot of golden tones in it though so should probably work for those with a tan! I'll give it a try and see what I think of it on me, but I have a feeling they're going to end up as eyeshadows! Pretty ones at that though :)

Studio Single Eyeshadow - Purple Passion (£3.50)
In my open box video (at the bottom) of this haul I was stupendously excited to swatch and try this. But after the initial excitement I wasn't so impressed. This is a lot sheerer than I'd like and I also had problems applying it evenly. I have only tried this once, so won't judge it too much yet - we shall see!

Cream Eyeshadow Duo - Eggplant (£1.50)
I've tried these before and wanted a purple/green as they're colours I tend to wear a lot. I do find that they crease on their own, but once set with a powder they're fine. So work well as a cheap base. Always handy to have!

Eyeshadow Duo - Mocha Swirl (£1.50)
I haven't actually tried these duos before, but have heard good things so decided to pick up a nudey one so that I'd be able to throw it on in the morning before work. Colour wise it is similar to the Mocha Swirl cream version - but not identical!

Brightening Eye Colour - Brownstone (£1.50)
This is one of the better quads I've tried from the range. Not too powdery and not really sheer either. The finishes are all matte - or close to and would work well for everyday wear. So far so good with this one :)

Plumping Lip Glaze - Fire Coral (£1.50)
I haven't really worn this, but on first wear it's not too sticky and the coloured end doesn't have any stinging effect on the lips. The clear shimmery end has a bit of a sting to it! I'll be trying it out more and letting you know though!

Super Glossy Lip Shine - Party Peach (£1.50)
This is sheerish, but has enough colour to subtley tint the lips, it also has some gold shimmer in it. I can imagine it looking good with a tan! I haven't worn this on the lips yet, so we shall see how it works on the tanless me!

Luscious Liquid Lipstick - Raspberry (£1.50)
I already have one of these in strawberry and liked it so picked up a different colour. I would say they apply more like a pigmented lipgloss than a lipstick, but still really nice and glossy. They don't last the longest, but they're cheap and have nice packaging, so no complaints here!

Mineral Moisturizing Lip Tint - Berry (£3.50)
This is a new product and being the lover of tinted balms that I am I had to give this a go! I've worn this a few times now and am really really liking it. It has a strong pigmentation to it and seems to last for hours and hours on the lips. I think I'll definitely be going back for more!

Phew that was a post and a half! Sorry if it was a bit long guys! Have you tried any of these things before? What did you think? I'm looking forward to playing with these all! If you wanted a review on anything or just had a question then don't hesitate to ask me. 

And as always thanks for stopping by, I really hope you enjoyed the post and my venture into Youtube! I promised a top 10/least liked ELF post and I promise you it's still coming but I wanted to wait to try these out a bit first, I hope you'll understand. Thanks again, H :)       

Thursday, 23 February 2012

2012 Empties: No.3 Too Faced Primed & Poreless Face Primer

Another empty! Not doing too bad at the moment - I need to keep it up though! This time around I've finished a primer and actually I'm a bit gutted it's gone as it's something I used pretty much every single day I wore foundation. It was a smaller size - 5g that I got as part of a set last summer, but it seriously lasted for ages! Anyway on with my mini review! 

What did I think?
I think this is awsome! It's smooooth and creamy and lasts forever. Well not forever as I've finished it, but blooming ages! This had about 5g of product in it and lasted me months! It also made my foundation glide on better and appear more even. And as for the pores, it didn't perform miracles, but I could notice a pretty nice difference :) 

Price & Availability - Boots, £22 for 35ml. 


Would I repurchase this? 
I want too, but £22 is a lot for a primer, even if it's going to last for ages and ages. It's the kinda situation where you have the two people arguing in your head over it! I'm not sure which will get the last say! I'm not going mad I promise, you guys know what I mean right? 

Anyway thanks for stopping by to read my mini review I hope you found it interesting/helpful. But if you have any questions/comments don't hesitate to contact me :) What was the last thing you finished up? How did you like it? 

Thanks for stopping by, H :)   

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Grab a Bargain! Free Soap & Glory Mascara with Elle Magazine

Just a quick one from me today! The current edition (March 2012) of Elle Magazine is offering the Thick & Fast Mascara from Soap & Glory which claims to give Super Volume! Although more on that in a minute! I thought I'd give you a quick review on what I thought of the mascara, to see if it's worth your hard earned money! The magazine costs £3.90, with the RRP of the mascara being £10.00. So a great deal pricewise! 

My Thoughts! 
I find this mascara alright, but wouldn't go out and repurchase it. It gives a nice black coat to the lashes and some length. But I really struggle to get much volume out if it, but looking at the brush it's not the style you'd generally expect from a volumizing mascara. It's quite a wet mascara too, which is a preference thing, but just remember it'll take a little time to dry! I also find that the brush comes out with a bit too much product around it, but that should improve with time! 


As you can see it adds some length, but not so much volume. I find this one better for barely there make-up days as it gives a nice natural finish. It's a reasonable mascara, but not what it claims to be - but does that really surprise you from a mascara?! 

I've never got Elle magazine before, but it did seem like a book of adverts though! Probably not my kinda thing, but I did only get it for the mascara! But anyway as always if you have any questions then don't hesitate to ask me and thank you for stopping by, H :)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Review, Swatches + Comparisson: Sleek Blush by 3 Palette - Pink Sprint

I was seriously excited when I first heard about these and literally power walked to Superdrug at the next opportunity I had. The rest of the world must have thought I was a mad woman! But I managed to pick up the one with the pinks in - Pink Sprint. I must say they wasn't much choice in peachy/nudey palettes that would have suited a cool toned lady like me! As far as I know these are available at Superdrug for £9.99 each. 

As always I've included a summary at the end :) 

The Basics 
For your money you get 3 different shades of blush - each named and not from the regular line - some are very similar though! In total you get 20g of product, which is just over 6.5g of each shade. This is slightly less than the 8g you get with the individual ones, but still very reasonable. They all have matte finishes and come in a palette a reasonable amount smaller than the eyeshadow ones. There are 4 other colour options available all with a distinct warm tone - from what I remember! 

Brighter in real life!

The Formula
The regular blush line boasts a great formula and amazing pigmentation. These have some great pigmentation too so you might need to use a light hand unless you like the clown look! I did find though that Pinktini wasn't as pigmented as the rest, but still good. I did actually have a little trouble blending them, but this is probably due to the matte finish and colour intensity. As for longevity I get about 6 hours from a heavier application, which is about average for me! 

Pink Parfait 
This is a deeper pink with tones of red in it. So basically a berry shade. I don't actually have anything similar to this, the closest I have is probably the ELF Cream Blush in Seductress. 

Pink Ice 
Super bright hot hot pink! I think the pictures speak for themselves here! It's not actually as scary once on, especially if you use a lighter hand! This is very similar to their previous limited edition shade Santorini. It's not an exact dupe as it's a touch less bright and believe it or not appears to have a touch of peach when you swatch them side to side. This doesn't really show on it's own though - more of an subtle undertone! 

This is the one that has less pigmentation to it. It's still pretty good compared to other blushes at this price point, just not quite upto the normal Sleek standard! It again has a matte finish and is a pinker berry shade, with slight plum tones. 

The Good - value, packaging, big mirror in lid, 20g product, pretty colours, pigmented, good for travel.

The Not so Good -Pinktini isn't as pigmented as the rest, limited edition, would be nice to have a range of colours not just pinks.

Would I repurchase? Actually even though I'm a huge HUGE Sleek fan, probably not! I dunno I'd just prefer it to have a mix of colours say a nudey one, a peach and a pink. So more choice!

Who might like? Those that like pink! Also as it's matte it won't show up your pores as much as a shimmery finish would.

The Bottom Line -  Great colours, lovely packaging, could do with more colour variation. Still like it though! 

I tend to try and point out the positives and negatives of all products I review. Which can sometimes seem like I don't like something. But I still think these are great and will be selling out fast! So if you want one I'd suggest picking it up fast. 
And a little guilty self promotion - If you haven't checked out my first youtube video please check it out here! I'd really appreciate it. Thanks, H :)  

Monday, 20 February 2012

Video Tutorial: Gold Glitter Make-up - with NYX!

So I finally took the plunge (after some encouragement from you guys!) to set up a Youtube to work alongside my blog. I must say I did feel a little silly talking to myself, but in a way I actually really enjoyed it! I'll be honest and say it's not the best, but now I've had a taste for it I'm going back for more with the aim of improving! Feel free to leave any feedback so I can make it better for you guys! I hope you enjoy! 


Primer - Too Faced Primed & Poreless
Foundation - Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum - 51
Concealer - Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer - Fair
Powder - ELF Mineral Foundation - Fair
Blush - Collection 2000 Blush - Bashful 
Bronzer - ELF Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder  

Primer - Too Faced Shadow Insurance 
Brows - Natural Collection Eye Shadow - Milk Chocolate 
Base - Urban Decay Eyeshadow - Half Baked
Lid - NYX Glitter Mania - Gold & ELF Lock & Seal 
Crease - Stila Admire Eyeshadow, Urban Decay Black Dog Eyeshadow & Venomous Cosmetics Pressed Shadow - Sydney Harbour @ Night. 
Inner Corner - Topshop Crayon - Equinox
Upper Lashline - BarryM Wink Black Marker 
Lower Lashline - No7 Metallic Eyes Pencil - Smoky Blue & Venomous Cosmetics Pressed Shadow - Sydney Harbour @ Night. 
Waterline - Topshop Kajal Pencil - Crushed Charcoal
Mascara - Too Faced Lash Injection & 17 Peep Show  
Highlight - Marks & Spencers Safari Palette (pale shimmery shade) 
Lipstick - ELF Mineral Lipstick - Rosy Raisin 
Gloss - LOOK Double Hit Lip - Red Alert (gloss side) 

Phew! I have some serious respect for the Youtube girlies! It's hard work! Totally worth it though, I really enjoyed it! I'd love to hear your feedback though - good or bad! But mostly I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by, H :) 

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Review + Swatches: Soap & Glory A Great Kisser - Chocolate Cherry

I'm sure it's no secret how much of a fan I am of tinted lip balms. So when I heard that Soap & Glory had released a line of three of them I hunted them down in Boots and came home with the pink one - Chocolate Cherry as it smelt so amazing. I must say I haven't really tried Soap & Glory much before but I'm actually really liking the things I'm using at the moment! But anyway onto the review! 

As always I've included a summary at the end. 

The Basics
As I said in the intro this is a tinted balm that comes in 3 different shades a pink, peach and shimmery clear colour. They each come in a tin, similar to the Vaseline ones with a cute retro picture on the front - I do like the packaging! Inside the tin theres a whopping 18g of product - so enough to last a good while! These are available from Boots for £5 each - so not the cheapest, but not ridiculously expensive either. 

The Formula
This balm isn't one of those ones that are really hard to get product out of from being too firm. But not too soft that your going to stick your finger right into it either! It feels nice and smooth and mostly non sticky on the lips though, so great for everyday wear. It find that it has a good moisture adding effect on the lips, but not the best I've tried. I do find that it can slightly stain the lips if you're reapplying all day. But only slightly and nothing obvious! As for how long between applications, I'd say I get about 2-3 hours wear from a coat. 

The Colour 
In the pan this looks like a rich, muted bright pink. Can rich and muted both be used to describe the same shade?! I have anyway! But once on the lips it has a very sheer and glossy finish. With the pink only being slightly visible on the lips - and that's if you look for it! But it's still a really nice product to carry around and add some gloss with! 

The Good - moisturising, amazing fruity scent, lasts 2-3 hours on the lips, cute packaging, 18g product, lovely and glossy.

The Not so Good - Not the cheapest for what it is, could be a touch more pigmented.

Who might like it? Those that like to wear balms everyday and want some gloss. Great for anyone that likes nice smelling things too!

Would I repurchase it? Probably not, I prefer the Sleek Pout Polishes - although the Sleek ones don't smell nearly as good!

The Bottom Line -  Really glossy and great fruity scent. But could be a touch more pigmented. 

Have you tried these balms yet? What do you think? Definitely worth a look at to see if you like it? Or like the smell! Oh and I almost forgot to mention if you're a fan of the Soap & Glory stuff, you might be interested to know that you get one of their mascaras free with Elle magazine at the moment. I'll do a post on it in the week though! Thanks for stopping by everyone! H :)     

Friday, 17 February 2012

Review + Swatches: 17 Instant Glow Bronzing Powder

Just in time for spring 17 have added some new additions to their bronzing line. So with my new found love of bronzer I headed into town with the plan to pick up one of the Oversized Animal Print Bronzers. But once I'd seen it in real life I decided it was far too warm and shimmery for me. So instead I picked up this paler matte one. If anything too pale for me - is that even possible?! This is available from Boots for £4.59.

As always I've included a summary at the end :) 

The Basics
This bargain bronzer comes in a nice matte black packaging, which makes the product look a lot nicer than the price suggests. For your money you get a great 10g of product. But it's not all about how much you get, but the choice as well. That being said there are two shades - light and medium. The one I have is in light, but I kinda wish I picked up the medium one as it is actually really light even on my pale pale skin! 


The Formula
I was expecting this to be somewhat powdery, but actually it really doesn't fling up much powder at all. And I'd love to tell you how long it lasts once on, but I'm going to struggle here as it barely shows up on skin. It's a very pale bronzer! I think it blends nicely though! I feel like I've failed you a bit here! And I know this has nothing to do with the formula, but I'm loving the abstract sun pattern in the pan!

I know it's hard to see but the swatch is right through the middle.
The Colour
This is a slightly warm toned but not really orangey. And also really really pale, too pale even for me - the girl who always heads to the palest foundation in Superdrug! The pigmentation is actually there, which is great, but if it was a smidge darker in shade I'd reach for it more. But being matte I can swirl it all over my face without a worry in the world! Infact if your skintone matches it you could even use it as a face powder! 

17 Instant Glow on forehead and contour (can't see!) Blush is Natural Collection

The Good - cheap, smooth, not powdery, is an option for those that are really pale, nice packaging, 10g.

The Not so Good - Too pale even for the ghost that is me, only comes in light and medium - no dark.

Who might like it? Those with REALLY pale skin. It could also work as a face powder if it matches your skintone - I've worn it as this applied sheerly.

Would I repurchase this? Not in this shade, but I wouldn't rule out getting a darker shade as the formulas nice. 

The Bottom Line -  Not the colour for me so I probably won't get much use out of it, but the formulas actually really nice. 

I don't really know what to say? I think the review and swatches speak for themselves! But I hope you're all having a great weekend, I've got a rare day off (working two jobs is tiring!) so will be enjoying it to the max! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed it, H :)  
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