Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Eyeshadow Swatches

When I was asking around about people's favourite matte eyeshadow formula, Anastasia Beverly Hills was one that was brought up again and again. And I've never tried them! So I decided I needed to rectify this immediately and went off to swatch and play with these at Sephora.

Each shade below was on my bare skin, with the pigment built up on my finger than swatched in the same spot twice.

L-R: Baby Cakes, Buon Fresco, Stone, Fawn, Ash Brown, Burnt Orange
L-R: Burnt Orange, Sienna, Noir, Custard, Warm Taupe, Caramel, Hot Chocolate, Smoke
L-R: Dusty Rose, Fresh, Birkin, Blazing, Orange Soda, Red Earth
Overall they are pretty impressive. Some of the shades swatched better than others (generally the darker shades were better than the lighter ones). Blazing in particular had fantastic pigmentation, as did Burnt Orange, Hot Chocolate and Smoke. Noir the matte black I'd pass on as it wasn't that great in terms of pigmentation and creamy texture.

The only shade they didn't have from the matte shades was deep plum, the whole tester was missing, making me think someone likely swiped it. I did include Dusty Rose in the swatches even though it's labeled a velvet because it didn't have any of the sheen of the other velvet shades- it looks matte to me.

Do you have any of the Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadows? Any favourites from the line?

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Disappointing Product: Nars Blush in Sin

Despite Nars Sin blush being a favourite of many, I have to say this blush is a huge disappointment for me. At $38 CND Nars blushes are pricy and because I lost it for I time I can't return it either.

Nars Sin swatched
The thing about this blush is that it sounds like it would be exactly what I'm looking for- a cool shade that has purple tones to go with my variety of cool toned looks that I don't want something warm-toned on the cheeks with. In fact Sephora describes this as a "berry with gold shimmer". Nars Sin is really pigmented, and the shimmer is minimal so it's should be more of a glow then a full on frosty shimmer. What isn't to like?

However, this blush just looks awful on me. Even used extremely lightly I look dirty and bruised. Like the bruise is in a stage of healing where there are multiple colours. For some reason the gold shimmer which is minimal highlights my cheek wrong and gives this multi-toned bruise effect. The shimmer didn't emphasize my pores any more than they already are noticeable, but that's about all the good I can say about it.
Nars Sin applied lightly
It's true I'm very pale, as pale as you can get and still have a yellow undertone to the skin. But I honestly didn't think this blush would clash as badly as it does with my face. This blush looks so bad I'm now wary of trying any more berry or cool toned blushes.

I do think this blush will look fine on other people, just maybe not someone quite as light as I am.

Do you have any cool toned blush recommendations for me? Do you have any products that work for others that majorly failed for you? Let me know! Until next time.

Hebridean Sprite

Disclaimer: The widget at the beginning is a affiliated link. I get a whole cent if you click it.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Blue Face of the Day

I just wanted to show you my outfit and my make-up for today. I got this beautiful shirt and necklace both from my mother for Christmas and it's my first time wearing them.

Here are the products I used:

For eyes:
Hedgerow eye shadow by Scaredy Cat Cosmetics
Craving eyeshadow by Nyx
Brûlée eyeshadow by Wet n' Wild
Purple mascara from Blinc
Midnight Gel Liner by Mac (from when they were still cruelty-free. There are some other cruelty-free  options available now instead. Meow Cosmetics has one in blue called Oceanic. I plan on reviewing the purple eyeliner soon from that line).

For Face:
Becca Ultimate Coverage Cream Concealer in Banana
Jaydancin Mineral Foundation in shade 1
Laura Mercier blush in Rose Petal

For Lips:
Tarte Lip Crayon in Hope
Notoriously Morbid Changling topcoat in Siren

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Most Used Ecotools Brushes

Good brushes really do make all the difference when I'm applying my make-up. And I'm really quite particular about my brushes. They need to be super soft because I've got sensitive skin, they need to be shaped correctly for the purpose that I plan to use them for, they need to not shed when I use them or wash them and of course I want them to be cruelty-free.

Because of this my go to brand tends to be Ecotools. They're fairly easy to get ahold of here in Canada, they're reasonably priced, they're sturdy and the are completely cruelty-free with 100% synthetic bristles.

One of the nice things about synthetic bristles is that they don't hold bacteria as easily as natural hair brushes do. They still need to be washed of course, as any product build-up can harbour bacteria but it's still a bit of piece of mind for me at least- especially as I don't wash my brushes as much as I should!

My first set of brushes are mainly used for my face. Above is my retractable kabuki brush from Ecotools and the only brush I use to apply my powder foundation. I love this brush and use it just about every time I do my make-up. It's thick, soft, doesn't ever shed, spreads and buffs powder products well and on top of all that is perfect to travel with as it retracts into the metal case so that none of the bristles are at risk of being bent.

The next two brushes (the two left) are both from different Ecotools' sets and are both meant to be either blush brushes or all over face brushes. I use the smaller of the two (middle) exclusively for blush application and the right one for both loose finishing powder application and blush. They're a little different in shape from one another but both work well. I wouldn't buy them on their own but I'm glad they came with some of the other brushes in a kit. The nice thing about the kits is that they usually come with a travel bag for the brushes too.

The paddle foundation brush above (right) also gets a lot of use when I have a liquid foundation as this shape of brush is my preferred application method. It's thick enough that it blends the product well while small and flexible enough to get into the crease around my nose.

These next brushes I use entirely for eyeshadow application, even the brush on top which came advertised as a concealer brush. As you can tell I tend to use multiple ones at the same time so I don't muddy the eyeshadow colour I'm applying. These are easy to swipe clean on a kleenex between shades too, so I tend to use them nearly every time I apply eyeshadow. Some of these I received as part of a brush kit and some I purchased separately.

This brush again was part of a kit but I love how fluffy it is! Though tiny it's great for applying a setting powder to under-eye concealer or to blend out any harsh lines of a shadow. It's even good for applying a shadow lightly in the crease of the eye.

Please ignore the dent in this last one, it's been well loved. I adore my angled liner brush from Ecotools. It has long stiff bristles, and the slant is perfect. I use this to do fill my eyebrows with brow powder, put eyeshadow along the bottom lid of my eye, do detail work in the outer-v, and apply gel or powder eyeliner. Such a great brush.

So this is my rave about my Ecotools brushes. I love them as you can probably tell. I only wish they had a pencil brush I could use in my crease available as an individual brush, though I have seen some in the newer brush kits that are out.

You can get Ecotools at a variety of stores here in Canada, some of which include: Walmart, Rexall, London Drugs, Pharmasave, and they've been spotted in some Costco's. Online they're available through iHerb  as well.

In the USA they're avilable through Target and Walmart. I'm sure they're avilable at most standing stores as well, I just don't know which ones as I don't live there.

Remember if you order online to always check out retailmenot for coupon codes and use ebates at most major websites (like Target).

I hope you found this break down of some of my favourite Ecotools brushes useful! Take care until next time.

Disclaimer: All products in this post were purchased by me. The only affiliate link in the post is the ebates links.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Review

This is a review covering Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light. I know just about everyone has reviewed these but I had been sighing over this for years and now I feel I have to add my voice to the chorus.

Close-up of the powder in Diffused
The ambient lighting powders are supposed to be finishing powders that mimic different lights upon your skin giving your complexion the best possible appearance. There are six in total in the main line (there are some in palettes that were limited edition or only available in the palette) each representing a different light. Diffused the one I have is the second palest of the collection, and a very pale yellow supposed to represent clean morning light.

What the powder is said to do is not only slightly combat redness due to the slight yellow tone, but also add a glow to the skin and blur imperfections including pores and fine lines.

The packaging is light-weight plastic but it looks more expensive with the lovely bronze mirrored shade and sturdy design. That said I've tried to be very careful in the handling of my powder as it comes with a warning that the powder itself is fragile- which for me makes this something I won't be traveling with.

Hourglass description of the powder along with the ingredients list
In Canada these powders retail for $55 CND, and don't include a brush. The brush is sold separately and although it looks lovely I couldn't justify another $45 CND on a brush just for a powder. 

When I use this powder I actually find that I prefer to use this with a puff, rather than a brush. Personally I find that this gives the most product per area on my face but it easily can be used with a brush too if that is your preference for a less glowy look. One thing to make note of though is that this product is powdery, so either make sure you have a moisturizer on underneath, or blend well.

For the powder itself I broke down it's performance into four sections: the ability to blur pores, glow, colour-correcting ability, and longevity on my face.

First however here is the powder applied on my face where the only other makeup is a tiny bit of concealer on my under-eye circles as this isn't supposed to have an effect on them. I even left my acne and acne-scarring uncovered except for the hourglass powder so that you could really see any coverage.
Left is bare, Right is covered with Diffused light.
As you can see there is a slight difference when comparing the two sides, but it is subtle. It's not something you're going to be able to pick up really unless your looking for it. 

For it's ability to blur pores and fine lines I think is the weakest point for this powder. It does blur them the tiniest amount but not enough that if someone were talking to you they would be able to truly see a difference. As this was what I was hoping would be it's biggest strength I disappointed in this aspect.

I do think this product has fairly good colour-correcting abilities however, especially for a mostly translucent powder. If you look around the base of my nose you can see the redness I get on the left where it's much reduced on the right. Not perfect for acne by any means but for basic redness I do think it's decent.

As for glow this is another subtle one. I do like the subtle glow that this gives, and there definetly isn't a glitter problem which I know some people complained about, at least not with this shade. It does have a subtle brightening effect for the whole face, like you drank that water you were supposed to.

However the real kicker for me has to be the longevity of this powder. I'm still playing around with it but this stuff seems to disappear within about an hour for me. Yes, an hour. Granted this is with my combination-oily skin, but as I usually layer a foundation underneath this and concealer, I expect it to last at least three hours. It honestly just seems to disappear, it is very frustrating. 

I'm actually kind of broken-up about this powder. I want to love it. It was a gift from a loved one and the packaging is gorgeous. I like that it colour-corrects and adds a subtle glow. The fine-milled powder makes me feel decadent and special when I apply it with the puff. But it just doesn't hold up and the effect is so subtle I feel let down. Especially as you can't travel with it anywhere due to it's fragile nature, plus the price is so high. Overall I might have to return this.

Sprite Rating: 5/10
It lost two points for longevity, and a point each for minimal blur, fragility, and price (which I wouldn't have minded paying if the product lived up to it's claims).