My Experience With Lip Masks | Do They Really Work?

Would I consider myself a vain person? Probably not, but I’m sure many of my friends and family would disagree. Being a beauty enthusiast means that a number of assumptions are attached to your title. For me, it’s not about vanity. I enjoy beauty products and all the glory that comes along with purchasing them. Despite their obvious intentions, beauty products, for me, aren’t all about how they can alter my appearance.

I’ve lusted over the notion of bigger lips for quite some time. Not so much a ‘trout pout’, but a perkier set of smackers that would enhance my facial features (I promise that wasn’t vanity). I wouldn’t say that I have thin lips, in fact, they’re already fairly full, but like many women, they are uneven and have an undefined outline. 9 times out of 10 that problem can be rectified with a good lip liner, but who has time to line their lips every day?! I certainly don’t and if I can alter my lip shape without having to layer on the makeup every morning then I’m all for it.

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Lip masks are a fairly new concept to the beauty community; which is strange considering that Hollywood starlets having been sporting ‘enhanced’ lips for quite some time. Pop culture icon Kim Kardashian paved the way for lip masks after she posted an Instagram picture of her favourite weekly treat, KNC lip masks. Whether you love her or hate her, everything that Kim Kardashian touches becomes instant phenomenon and this has certainly been the case for lip masks.

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So what is a lip mask I hear you ask. Well imagine a facial sheet mask for your lips. Most lip masks mimic the look, feel and packaging of a traditional sheet mask, but in the form of a cute little ‘lip-shaped’ style. Some masks, like the Nugg Lip Mask, offer the same service in the form of a lip balm. Others, like the KNC lip mask, offer a thick hydrogel ‘sticker’ infused with a serum.

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Like many great beauty products available in the western world, the idea of lip masks originated from the Korean beauty market. We all know how I feel about Korean beauty products, so trying out a lip mask was a natural progression for me. What I want to know is – how do the Koreans do it?! I seriously can’t keep up; which may be a good thing as I would be seriously broke if I lived over there.

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Applying a lip mask is very similar to that of a traditional mask. The cloth/hydrogel patches can be applied just like a sheet mask – peel off the inner and outer lining and smooth directly over the lips. The ‘lip balm’ versions can either come with a tiny brush to paste onto your lips or can be applied directly with your finger. If you plan on eating, drinking, talking or breathing with these masks on…think again. They’re mainly meant for overnight use or for the obligatory #lipmaskandchill selfie. The great thing is that 10-15 mins with lip sheets is all you need to achieve maximum results; which means you can slap it on along with a face sheet mask, add some under eye patches and freak your husband out as you sit and wait for him in a dark room (no? just me?). Lip masks like the Nugg Lip Mask require pasting on and allowing to absorb overnight. The ‘lip balm’ style lip masks aren’t particularly uncomfortable to wear overnight, in fact, they feel like a very thick layer of Vaseline on your lips. However, if you like to move around or you’re a dribbler you may find remnants of it on your pillow case the next morning. In my opinion, lip sheet masks like the KNC, Tony Moly or Starskin options offer a great excuse to take 15 minutes out of your day to wear and they’re more suitable for travelling or whipping out whilst you browse your wardrobe for your night out.

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The main question here is – do they work? Well yes and no. It all depends on what you’re looking for from a lip mask. If you’re looking for a lip mask to fulfil its promise of needle-free plumping then you’re going to be massively disappointed. Here you can see my result from using the Starskin Dreamkiss lip mask and as you can tell, there’s not much difference in terms of lip shape. If you’re looking for intense hydration then lip masks will be your best friend. Most masks are infused with collagen, Vitamin E and essential oils. The Starskin Dreamkiss lip mask contains molasses, pomegranate, honey and flax seed; which all serve the purpose of nourishing your lips. You certainly get a deep level of moisture from lip masks; which is always a welcomed feeling, particularly in the winter. However, you would need to maintain a weekly routine with these and top up with lip balm in between sessions in order to maintain suppleness. That might be too much to ask for from the average Joe, but if you like to treat and pamper yourself (like me) then upholding a routine with these shouldn’t be a problem.

If you suffer with burning, cracked or sore lips then a good lip mask would be a real treat for you as most of them offer cooling properties. This usually entails a tingling sensation when applied to your skin, but I didn’t experience that with the Starskin Dreamkiss lip mask. They also offer a reduction in fine fines and wrinkles around your mouth; which is normally exaggerated by age, smoking and consisted pursing of the lips (that’s right ladies…kerb the pouting). Do I think that this claim is true? Can be! Fine lines and wrinkles are normally remedied by deep conditioning (i.e. moisturising) and although they can’t be completely eliminated, lip masks can certainly help along the way (just be sure to apply a lip mask outside of the perimeter of your lips if you’re going for a ‘lip balm’ style mask).

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So where can you get these masks from? Well ‘lip balm’ style masks are readily available in the UK beauty market (Nugg and Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask are some great options). The lip sheet/hydrogel masks, however, are a little hard to come by on this island. The Starskin Dreamkiss lip mask is the most widely available in the UK; which is why I chose it to test for this blog. The more ‘Korean’ brands (if there is such a way to describe them) such as Tony Moly or Etude lip masks require a little searching around the net. I’ve found a great site called Yesstyle.co.uk; which offers a lot of the Korean brands with shipping to the UK.

Wow – I didn’t realise that I would have so much to say about lip masks! On that note I leave you with my final review on my experience with lip masks. Are they life changing? No. Are they essential in your skincare routine? Probably not. Do they offer a quirky gimmick to make you feel special when indulging in a pamper night? Most certainly yes. Finally, would I continue using them? 100%. When I’m indulging in a face mask, sheet mask or any other pamper session, I see no reason why I wouldn’t include a fun lip mask to my routine. They certainly offer the short-lived hydration that I look for when I’m treating myself and they give me the perfect excuse to take a silly #lipmaskandchill selfie. So pucker away ladies! Lip masks are here to stay!

ESQIDO Companion Long Lasting Bond Lash Glue

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I love being fake…on my lashes of course. Falsies get more stick than they deserve. What’s not to love about a good pair of false lashes? Men automatically associate fake lashes with fake personalities. News flash guys – you couldn’t be more wrong. False lashes are the perfect accompaniment to any eye look, turning a basic wash of colour into a glamorous work of art. Falsies take precision, patience and perseverance to master, so associating them with anything other than hard work is criminal.

Slightly melodramatic I hear you say. Well I know how hard it can be to perfect the application technique. I’ve stabbed myself in the eye, got lash glue in my contacts, been subjected to the humiliation of having a stray lash rested upon my cheek (half way through dinner) and found a perfectly destroyed pair of lashes stuck within the nest my friend’s hair after a night out (that one was alcohol induced). Getting your technique, more importantly, your eyelash glue down ensures that your lashes stay exactly where they need to be.

Having spent years devoted to the Duo Striplash Adhesive, I found myself straying. I wanted more out of a lash glue, mostly because I was sick of seeing the remnants of it buried deep within my own lashes the next day. I’ve never been desperate enough to use those tiny pot of white crap that are including in the packaging of many drugstore lashes, but I was edging on that sentiment. I couldn’t find a lash glue that had the ease of use as my Brush on Duo glue, but with more staying power and safer for my eyes. That was until I discovered ESQIDO Companion Long Lasting Bond Lash Glue.

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Esqido are an American brand who pride themselves on cruelty-free Mink lashes handcrafted from the softest, naturally shred hairs available. Not only are their lashes beautifully packaged, but the durability and comfort factor are a big hit. If you’re looking for a suggestion on which pair to try, the Lashmopolitan style is by far my favourite to add a soft flutteryness to the corners of my eyes. It was only natural for Esqido to add their own brand of lash glue to their portfolio as mink lashes require a little more TLC than synthetic.

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Much like their lashes, the Companion Long Lasting Lash Glue is very aesthetically pleasing. With its frosted tube and rose gold twist cap, the packaging design can easily be mistaken for a high end lipgloss. You get 0.18 fluid oz of product within the tube, just like the Duo glue, however, the brush tip applicator is much thinner therefore reducing the amount of glue that is required. Brushing the glue directly onto the lash band ensures precise application and avoids you getting sticky fingers.

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The biggest selling point for the Companion lash glue is that it’s completely latex free. That means two things – it’s safer for your eyes (latex contains a high concentration of harmful chemicals) and it doesn’t contain a smell. For anyone who is familiar with the Duo lash glues, you will know the unpleasant smell that comes along with it. The Companion glue maintains its elegance through to the formula and certainly trumps over the Duo glues.

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Like many other glues on the market, the formula applies in a white, almost paint-like substance, but dries completely clear. I’ve been on a new kick lately, forgoing the eye liner completely. The Companion glue ensures that I don’t have those horrible white lash-band lines and everything looks as natural as possible (as natural as it’s going to get with a dramatic pair of false lashes). The staying power is as long lasting as it says on the package. I put the glue through a gruelling challenge of a wedding during one of the hottest months in the summer and it didn’t fail me. The best part about it was that when it came to removal, it didn’t rip out my natural lashes and it didn’t feel like I was ripping off my own skin.

ESQIDO Companion Long Lasting Bond Lash Glue is available on their website, marked at $10.00 (approx £8.00). The company, although an American brand, have a UK distribution centre where their UK orders are dispatched. Therefore when you place an order on their website, the shopping cart automatically converts the price into UK pounds and doesn’t sting you with a customs charge upon delivery. Shipping costs $5 (approx £4.00) for orders under $50 (£40.76) and free thereafter. You can, however, order directly from Rose’s Beauty Store. The markup is slightly more expensive (£17.94), but that includes taxes and shipping costs.

You can purchase the ESQIDO Companion Long Lasting Bond Lash Glue from:

Esqido website here and Rose’s Beauty Store here

Asavea Hair Straightening Brush | Review And First Impressions

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The struggle is real – the hair vs straightener struggle that is. Curly haired girls know it all too well. Spending valuable ‘getting ready’ time trying to maintain some sort of normality to an otherwise unruly head of hair. Hair straightening doesn’t take a genius to work out, but it takes the patience of a saint for someone like me whose hair slowly but surely starts to twist and turn moments after spending my best efforts trying to straighten it.

Hair straightening has come a long way since my day. Being a teen in the late 90s/early 2000s meant that poker-straight hair could only be achieved using extreme methods. Hair straighteners didn’t exist back then…or at least weren’t available to us mere mortals. Straight hair was simply achieved with a towel behind the hair and a clothing iron directly on top. Yes you read that correctly…I once straightened my hair using an iron! Of course, I knew it was an utterly ridiculous idea back then, but what could I do?! The Jennifer Aniston look was in and I was certainly too cool (or at least I thought I was) to pass up on a trend.

Thankfully beauty lovers of today need not succumb to such extremities in order to achieve a sleek mane. From Keratin treatments to steam pods, there are so many options available on the market, we’re now spoilt for choice. However, the beauty world has welcomed a revolutionary new product; which promises to surpass any hair straightening expectations without the hassle. Enter the hair straightening brush…

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With so many brands jumping onto the ‘hair straightening brush’ phenomenon, it was hard to pick just one to test out. I stumbled across the Asavea range whilst browsing the pages of Amazon (typical I know). There are hundreds of brands out there, all mimicking the same design, style and concept of each other. The difference between the brushes was not apparent, except for the DAFNI, the original OG and the one which all other hair straightening brushes acquire their design concept from. The DAFNI also comes with a hefty price tag of £140. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve spent more money on my GHDs, but considering that I have a mini collection of GHDs at home, it seemed almost pointless to invest that much money into something which will give me the same results (here’s hoping). The point of a hair straightening brush is that it delivers the same results as a straightener with less fuss, better transportation and a more affordable price tag. With that said, I decided upon one of the dupes to test out and saved my money for more important things in life (pizza and makeup).

So what is a hair straightening brush I hear you ask. Well it’s exactly what it says on the tin. It’s an electronically powered hair brush; which delivers intense heat through ceramic ‘bristles’ therefore eliminating the need for a hair straightener and brush/comb. They claim to reduce hair styling time dramatically and provide you with a perfectly sleek mane without any hassle. Genius idea if I do say so myself, but definitely not original. This concept has been around for some time. Perhaps not for poker-straightening, but hot brush rollers have been around for many years promising salon-esque blow drys with minimal effort. Unfortunately they never worked for me, perhaps more suitable for someone with a shorter do.

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The Asavea Straightening Brush is priced at roughly £35.00 (depending on what colour you go for). They come in a selection of black, white and baby pink. I opted for the white as I’m not a fan of baby pink. There are cheaper alternatives on the market, with prices starting from around £20.00, however, I decided to go for this one taking into consideration the positive reviews. The price point doesn’t break the bank and together with Amazon Prime, it means that you can enjoy your new tool the very next day without any delivery charges.

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The brush comes complete with a travel bag, swivel cord which rotates to 360 degrees and a nifty little velcro fastener to help tie up the cord when the brush is not in use. I was a little disappointed that the box didn’t include a heat proof glove; which I think is necessary particularly when attempting the smaller baby hairs around your hairline. I purchased a separate glove from Amazon costing £4.06 so it wasn’t a big deal, but it certainly would have been a nice touch if it had been included.

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The brush itself is fairly weighty. It’s heavier than a traditional GHD so it requires a bit of bicep muscle. The temperature can be adjusted much like other hair straightenerst. GHD’s traditionally operate at around 230 degrees Celsius, however the brand claims that optimal heat styling should be set at around 180 degrees to avoid hair damage. I have fairly thick hair so setting the temperature to 230 degrees on the Asavea brush seems ideal in order for it to work to its potential. The temperature is displayed on a LCD screen at the front of the brush and takes around 1 minute to reach its maximum peak.

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My biggest gripe with the brush is that the operational controls are located at the side of the handle. Fairly easy in concept (there’s a button to switch it on or off, a temperature increase and a temperature decrease button). When gripping the brush, I found that my fingers would constantly get in the way and adjust the temperature or even switch the brush off completely without my knowledge. I would have preferred the buttons to be located away from the handle grip to avoid such nuisance, but I suppose there wouldn’t be anywhere else on the brush to place them.

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The brush head itself feels fairly harsh against the scalp so a light hand is advised. The bristles are ceramic so definitely not soft like traditional brushes. I do appreciate the fact that the ‘bristles’ are fairly long; which means that I can run the brush against the top of my head without causing third degree burns to my scalp. If you have fairly thin hair, I would suggest, however, to avoid the scalp area completely to be safe.

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Regardless of the claims, I wouldn’t forgo a brush to detangle the hair before going in with the straightener. The heated plate and bristles do run the risk of frying your hair follicles if it is left too long on the hair or gets caught in a web of knots. Detangling your hair before use will not only make the process pain-free, but will also ensure that you have a head of hair to straighten next time once you’re done.

I noticed two alarming points when using the brush for the first time. One being the smell – a hybrid of burning plastic and rubber. Not the nice kind (I actually like the smell of rubber), but the kind that leaves a horrible lingering smell on your hair. The second was the mist of smoke coming from the brush head once it was heated. I’m no stranger to hot hair tools so it didn’t really bother me much, but it can be a cause for concern for those with already damaged or brittle hair.

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So the real question here is – does it actually work? Well as you can see from the results – it does! I was actually shocked myself when I saw how well the brush straightened and tamed my naturally frizzy hair. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s on par with GHDs, but it certainly gets the job done. The finish is slightly different to what you would get with a traditional straightener. Firstly, it leaves you with stupidly static hair and secondly, it gives you a little bounce and a little fluffiness that you wouldn’t get with a normal straightener. However, both are easily overcome with a smidgen of serum/hair oil on the ends of your hair.

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I wasn’t expecting to like the brush in all honesty. Many of the adverts that I’ve seen demonstrate the straightening brush on already tamed hair. I didn’t feel like it would benefit me in any way, but I was so wrong! I quite liked the finish it gave my hair and the style lasted a lot longer than normal. Detangling my hair before straightening meant that my styling time was less than 5 minutes; which is excellent for thick hair like mine. I would normally section off my hair in parts when using a traditional straightener, but the brush aspect meant that I could run the tool over my hair like a traditional brush and get into the parts of my hair that are quite hard to reach with a traditional straightener. Running the brush underneath as well as on top of the hair ensures that all sides of the hair strands are covered and eliminates the possibility of frizz.

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Many of the reviewers on Amazon felt that the brush tore at the hair strands therefore creating a collection of broken hair in the brush. I didn’t really experience much of this myself. As you can see from the image above, there was very little fall out and certainly no comparison to the kind of fall out I get when i use a traditional paddle brush. I will say, however, to wait until your brush is completely cool (about 10 minutes) until you go ahead and clean the brush. Sounds like an obvious statement to make, but it’s very easy to forget that you’re not using a normal hair brush (I have the burn marks to prove it).

Would I suggest this brush to anyone looking for a hair straightening technique? Yes I would. I found that the brush worked well with my difficult hair and virtually cut my styling time in half. I would say, however, that if you already have a perfectly good straightener and you’re comfortable with the process then you won’t need this straightener. I am (as we all know) a beauty hoarder and love anything gimmicky, so for me, this brush was a pleasant surprise. It won’t give you the versatility of a traditional hair straightener (curls,waves), but it does give you straight hair with a little oomph. It’s perfect for those looking to style their hair in a short space of time or for those looking for a great travel alternative. It fits snug into a toiletry bag and is perfect for on-the-go styling when you need a little refreshing. Overall, it’s a massive thumbs up from me and I will certainly be using my Asavea Straightening Brush on occasions to come.

You can purchase the Asavea Straightening Brush from Amazon following this link here.

Have you used a straightening brush? Comment below with your thoughts on them.

ABH Renaissance Palette

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“Don’t be a sheep Reena, be a shepherd” – that’s what I tell myself each and every time I’m faced with a purchasing decision. I consider myself an independent person who rarely follows the crowd, yet at the same time, I’m a completely self-indulgent fool. When it comes to shopping, I lose all sense of control. The mere mention of a ‘cult item’ from a complete stranger sends me into irrational, almost senseless thinking (almost the same sentiments when I order a pizza) and I will stop at nothing until it is mine.

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When I first witnessed swatches of the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Renaissance palette I fell head over heels. I’ve not felt this strongly about an eyeshadow palette since the release of the Carli Bybel collaboration; which I unashamedly spent nine long hours trying to purchase. Perhaps it’s greed or my insatiable need for excess, but this palette practically screamed out to me and of course, I wasted no time in placing that order.

Let me paint a little picture for you. It’s 6:15am, I’ve just woken from my usual 8 hour slumber and I do what most red blooded individuals do when they’re in bed – check my email. After a few minutes of superficial email scanning, there it appeared at exactly 6:23am – Cult Beauty’s announcement that the Anastasia Beverly Hills Renaissance palette had arrived in the UK and were offering free shipping on all ABH products. Without any rational thought or consideration for my credit card bill that was due two days later, it was purchased, paid for, boxed, shipped and practically at my door at exactly 6:29am. Damn those subscription emails!

So what makes this palette so special? Well aside from the fact that every beauty blogger/vlogger has practically wet themselves with excitement over its hype, this palette promises an endless list of possible looks with the same quality and luxury as most ABH products. Created by ABH President Claudia Soare, aka Norvina, the hues are all based on shades used in Renaissance paintings. To top it all off, this is the first ABH palette to be made permanent; which makes me feel slightly stupid for acting like deranged, makeup hungry fiend at 6:30 in the morning, but it’s great for those who actual value their sleep and have yet to get their hands on the palette.

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The palette is encased in a light pink velvet compact with embossed writing on the front and an external cardboard box to protect the product, much like the original Urban Decay Naked palette. If I’m honest, I’m not a huge fan of the packaging. The velvet texture collects a lot of dirt and is not very easy to clean (you should see the state of my Naked palette). The cardboard box is a pro point if you’re worried about storage, but I find the secondary cardboard boxes that most high end products come in a hindrance when getting ready in a rush, not to mention the additional room they take in your makeup storage. The palette also contains a mirror and a dual ended blending brush, like many other palettes on the market. The brush is not exactly life changing, but it does a mediocre job and does eire some resemblance to the ABH makeup brushes that they have available.

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What gets me is the price. At £41.00, I was a little shocked considering the Self Made palette was pretty much half the price. The eyeshadows bare a weight of 9.8g in total; which isn’t a huge amount, but in comparison to MAC shadows (which are 1.5g for £13.00), they’re a lot more value for money and just as good, if not better.

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When it comes to eyeshadow, consistency is key. There’s nothing worse than a patchy, powder-y mess. You certainly don’t get that with ABH shadows and this palette certainly lives up to that expectation. In fact, the matte shadows feel slightly creamier than usual, very similar to Lorac shadows. Due to the incredibly creamy texture, the shadows blend out very very well; which is perfect for creating that blown-out smokey eye. The formula is so buttery that fallout is expected as you swipe your brush into the pans. It doesn’t falter the blend ability, unless of course, you don’t tap the excess off your brush.

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In terms of lasting power, these shadows hold their own. The pigmentation is so strong that the shadows last a very long time without the need of a primer (obviously that’s madness, but I thought I would throw that out there). The pigmentation isn’t as strong as Lorac shadows, however, and don’t stain your lids; which is great when it comes to makeup removal, but I would definitely go in with a light hand with your brush.

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The colour range is obviously what sells the palette and with great reason. Being a warm-toned lover myself, this palette is a dream. There’s a total of 14 individual pans; which consist of matte and shimmer shades. All of the shades are very neutral and wearable with the exception of Venetian Red (a deep, berry toned red), Love Letter (bright pink with purple undertones) and Realgar (a burnt, almost toffee apple hued orange). In all honesty, these shades stand out more than the others and give you the option of creating some very fun, yet cranberry-esque looks. What I love most about the colour selection is that transition colours, highlighting shades and pops of colour all co-exist without the need for dipping into another palette; which is my biggest gripe. However, if I really wanted to push the boat out and add some dramatic black into my look, I would need to look elsewhere.

If someone were to ask if I think this palette is worth it I would say yes…provided that you can pay the price tag and you don’t have something similar (Violet Voss Holy Grail has very similar shades, but less indulgent). I am slightly confused, however, why ABH would choose to release a palette of this nature at this time of the year as I would consider this more of a fall time selection, but regardless the possibilities are endless. My personal favourite is a deep, and seductive cranberry look as demonstrated below.

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You can purchase the Anastasia Beverly Hills Renaissance palette from Cult Beauty here.

Current Obsession | Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Stick Foundation

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So you’ve purchased a new foundation. It’s encased in a heavy duty glass bottle complete with fancy logo. You’ve remortgaged your home just to pay off the hefty price tag and then…it drops! I’m not talking a slight crack, I’m talking foundation, glass and a little bit of your soul splattered all over the bathroom floor. Rational minded people would clear away the mess, shrug their shoulders and move on. I am most certainly not a rational person. I resumed a squatting position and tried salvaging as much foundation as possible whilst picking out shards of glass from my finger tips. After realising that my face could one day resemble that of Freddy Krueger if I chose to apply the foundation, I threw away the remnants and wallowed in self pity with the help of my friend, vodka.

My love for stick foundations began many moons ago with Estee Lauder’s Minute Makeup Creme Stick. The sleek, beautiful gold casing and promise of quick, mess-free application made this a permanent staple in my makeup collection. However like many great things in life, the end drew close for this iconic product and it was discounted from the shelves.

Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Sticks came along and, if I may be slightly controversial, I didn’t like it as much. Perhaps I was in mourning for my first love, but the coverage wasn’t as great. I almost gave up hope on the idea of stick foundations and settled for the fact that I must live in fear when transporting my liquid jars. That was until Makeup Forever (MUFE) came into my life…

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Designed with high-definition technologies of the film and TV industry in mind, the ULTRA HD Stick Foundation (£29.00) is the direct descendant of their ULTRA HD Fluid Foundation. The ULTRA HD formula promises to give skin-like texture with buildable coverage, whilst maintaining complete comfort on the face. The ULTRA HD advanced formula looks invisible on 4K cameras and to the naked eye; which makes this perfect for both professionals and selfie connoisseurs like me.

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Priced at £29.00 for 45g, you actually get slightly more product for your money with the stick version as opposed to the liquid (30g). Despite this, the stick compact is very light compared to its predecessor. The weightless plastic casing makes this foundation perfect for travel or for those who like to carry their foundation with them for touch ups during the day. The lid has a click and close functionality, along with an additional cap which sits directly over the foundation. This ensures that no accidents happen whilst the foundation is swimming around your handbag and also ensures that the product doesn’t get squashed in the lid. Of course, the packaging cannot be mentioned without pointing out the ease of use with this foundation. Grubby foundation marks on your fingers and spillages are pretty much eliminated with this ingenious stick formulation and makes the application as absolute joy.

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What I love most about this foundation is how comfortable it feels on the skin. My skin leans towards the drier side and doesn’t normally agree with stick foundations or concealers. However, the incredibly creamy texture of this foundation makes it not only comfortable, but very moisturising on the skin.

The coverage can be varied depending on how much of the product you apply to your skin. I normally apply two stripes on each of the cheeks, one on the forehead and a dot on the chin; which gives me full face coverage. If I want to sheer out the foundation and give it a more glow-y appearance, I would pop a drop of facial oil onto my beauty blender before blending out the foundation. No matter the choice of coverage, this foundation works well at covering any imperfections on the skin to give a flawless base.

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There’s 15 shades to choose from; which gives a great range of options for women of colour. My shade is Y405 (Golden Honey); which translates to 153 for the liquid formula. The colour matches my skin tone perfectly and doesn’t oxidise throughout the day; which is always a bonus point for me.

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Makeup Forever, like many great makeup brands, are based in the USA, but the full range can be found at Debenhams online and in many retail stores.

You can purchase the ULTRA HD Stick Foundation here

Have you tried the MUFE ULTRA HD Foundation Stick? What are your thoughts?

Setting Your Masterpiece With Skindinavia

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Whenever my husband asks ‘how much longer is your makeup going to take?’, I flash a look of disgust at the question. I feel a sense of accomplishment after completing a full face of makeup. Sad, I know, but it’s hard work! After all, blending, contouring and highlighting all contribute to, what I like to refer as, my work of art. So when my makeup starts to fade and melt away several hours later, a little piece of my heart goes along with it.

I first stumbled across Skindinavia whilst watching one of my favourite YouTubers, Laura Lee rave about its long lasting results. Being a self-confessed beauty hoarder, I knew I had to try it out.

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Skindinavia was founded by cosmetics veteran Allen Goldman. Before establishing the company in 2005, Goldman found inspiration in a Miami nightclub of all places. He noticed that many women in the club were unable to prevent their makeup from melting under the scorching Miami heat. He quickly established that there was a gap in the market for long lasting makeup setting sprays. Together with the help of expert Cosmetologists, Goldman built the technology for a temperature controlled formula that allowed for time-released cooling when in contact with the skin. In 2007, Skindinavia began its journey in the makeup kits of film, tv and theatre artists and has now become a firm favourite for makeup artists worldwide.

So what is the science behind it?

Skindinavia claim that there is a direct correlation between the skin’s moisture levels and the longevity of your makeup. The heat from your skin causes moisture to evaporate, taking your makeup along with it. Extreme moisture loss causes the skin to dry out, therefore causing excessive oil production to counteract the dryness. As a result, your makeup begins to fade and cake in some areas due to frequent touch ups. Skindinavia’s patented technology forms a lightweight and breathable barrier between your skin and your makeup. The time-released formula slowly evaporates throughout the day and reduces the temperature of your skin. Your makeup is guaranteed to last up to 16 hours leaving you feeling fresh and cool. The formula is also hypoallergenic, oil-free, paraben-free and non-comedogenic; which means that skin breakouts are controlled.

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The Makeup Primer Spray

Since discovering my first fine line and open pores, I’ve never applied a full face of foundation without a primer. The Makeup Primer Spray promises to provide a fresh and weightless base for your foundation as an alternative to the traditional silicon based gels/creams. The spray bottle is revolutionary and avoids the problem of cross-contamination when using fingers to apply a product. It’s recommended to spritz 2-4 pumps of the bottle in a ‘T’ or ‘X’ shape to ensure full coverage. The ultra-fine mist dries within seconds and doesn’t leave my skin feeling drenched. Infused with vitamins and antioxidants, my skin feels nourished and prepped for the next stage of makeup.

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The Makeup Finishing Spray

The final act to this amazing duo is The Makeup Finishing Spray. This is where the temperature controlled technology comes in and keeps the surface of your skin feeling cool and refreshed. Described as the ‘original authority’ of finishing sprays, it promises to give you that ‘just applied’ look along with a healthy and natural glow. The spray promises to reduce the need for makeup touch ups through out the day so that you can avoid that feeling of ‘cake face’. Applying this product in the same direction as the primer, gives an instant boost for my makeup. Unlike other products, MAC’s Fix + for example; which leaves my skin feeling sticky, this spray does not cling onto any bumps or fine lines.

My first impression?

My first impression upon applying foundation was the smooth application. My skin felt comfortable and non-slippery; which prevents my foundation sliding off my face. As far as staying power goes, my makeup did not budge all day. I’m usually the girl who’s face melts off as soon as the temperature rises, but even testing the formula under the extreme humidity of the London Underground seemed no match for this powerful duo. The oil-control formula was the most impressive in my view. Despite having dry skin, my t-zone usually looks like it’s been slam dunked in a vat full of frying oil by 3pm. This time, however, I didn’t feel the need for blotting sheets or pressed powder touch ups. The formula is very comfortable to wear and the spray bottle reduces my makeup application time.

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You can purchase both sprays directly from the Scandinavia website. Each spray is priced at $29 (approx £19) each, however, Scandinavia have great value sets and promotional offers all year round. They are currently offering free international delivery for items over $50 and two free travel sized sprays; which is perfect for keeping your makeup in check whilst on the go.

Check out the Skindinavia website here.

Have you tried Scandinavia or any other makeup setting sprays? Leave me your first impressions below!