Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Review: Makeup Forever Aqua XL Liners

If you caught my IMATS haul you'll know I purchased three of the Aqua XL eye liner pencils by Makeup Forever. I had planned to stock up on Zoeva pencils which are pretty lush but as I walked away from the busy counter intending to go back and grab them later in the evening I spotted these beauts. They were good enough to make me forget Zoeva altogether.

Seems like it's a bit soon to write about eyeliners again after THIS post but at least I can directly compare the two products now, because everything is always a competition apparently?

[M-10 Matte Black // M-14 Matte Charcoal Grey // S-50 Satiny Taupe]

I chose three neutral (some may say boring) pencils which are the only shades I really use on a regular basis in my kit.

I love MUF branding, it's so simple and professional looking. I shy away from anything too quirky or girly when it comes to my kit so I enjoy having MUF on display.

The pencils themselves are very creamy so they glide onto the skin effortlessly. As you might be able to tell in this last image, the taupe has a very slight shimmer to it being that it's a satin formula whilst the other two are mattes.

I found that once applied you needed to work relatively quickly if you wanted to blend them out with a brush because when left to air dry for a couple of minutes they became pretty much smudge proof. I was pleased to find they were stubborn when removing with water also which is always a good sign for anyone who cry laughs as much as me.

I have to say that using these has made me reevaluate my thoughts on the ELF liners which honestly aren't bad, but these are a dream. Right now I'm obsessed and can't imagine wanting anything else.

I really am impressed with all three and I think next time I need to stock up on eyeliners I would go straight back to MUF. There's also twenty shades in total which is fantastic for anyone who gets use of the bright colours as well as the more natural tones.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

IMATS London 2016 - Pro Kit Haul

Another trade show, another empty wallet. I've just spent three days at IMATS and it's left me equally inspired and exhausted.

I love the makeup trade shows not just for the shopping but also for the talks and demos. This year I got to hear a ton of incredible artists discussing their work and careers and also got to catch up with loads of friends and colleagues some who I'd never get to meet in person usually.

So after the UMAE haul the plan was to be restrained and only get the few things I really needed at IMATS. I had intended to do all my shopping at the pro night on the Friday then just go to talks all of Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately I found myself with half an hour spare on Sunday and did some more damage.

This haul probably isn't as exciting as my IMATS one unless you're into the FX side of makeup but I'll run through everything I got anyway.

PS Composites - I picked up a small bottle of Telesis 8 and the new remover, it's just been released and after seeing some great artists raving about it online I had to grab some to try. These glues are mega expensive but will hold an appliance on all day. I also picked up some large mixing sticks, a set of rasp tools and a couple of tubes of a one-part silicone that I sometimes use for painting other silicone pieces. There's also two nice, thin angled brushes you can hardly spot in the picture which I picked up at the counter when I went to pay, can never have enough of these for fine lines.

Neill's Materials - All I got from here was the pack of 6 silicone pigments, I have a lot of pigments already all by a brand called Mouldlife but not many in skin tones so this was a great find and was a great show price.

Tilt - I knew I wanted to stock up on some Pro-bondo and Tilt seemed to be the only place selling it, so I grabbed a big pot of that. I also raided their selection of Bluebird products which are alcohol based meaning that they're waterproof and also perfect for colouring prosthetic appliances.

bdellium - You may remember the FX brush set I got at UMAE, well I couldn't resist stopping by bdellium and grabbing their second set. I tend to use a lot of cheap brushes and paintbrushes for FX work as it doesn't matter if they get ruined but I'd decided to be brave and work with some nicer ones from now on.

Makeup Forever - I'd been wanting to try their brush cleaner for ages after an artist assisting me earlier this year told me it's great for spot cleaning as it dries so quickly...we shall see if it passes the test. I also bought three of the Aqua XL liners, my intention had been to stock up on Zoeva ones but these were such a lovely creamy consistency.

PAM - I told myself not to get anything else from Le Maq Pro for a while but I fell in love with their highlighter palette which I'd never seen before, the shades are so striking and I am very excited to use it now. I also picked up their FX palette while I was there because I get annoyed lugging grease palettes about for small things with all the pans popping out as I travel, these will do the job nicely in these situations.

GURU - At Guru I bought the Makeup Forever brush tube which was another thing recommended to me by that same artist, she was full of great ideas. It's a really nice shape and though I'm not entirely sure which brushes will go where I can never get enough things like this as I'm always swapping my kit around depending on the job. I also grabbed a couple more Vueset palettes, one of the small Makeup Forever magnetic palettes and a RCMA transparent powder.

Crown Brush - I picked out a selection of their affordable brushes to update my face and body painting kit. Some of mine were getting to be a little worse for wear and I always find I lack in fluffy brushes in this kit.

Love Makeup - Last but not least, although I bought a brush tube from Nanshy recently but when I saw Love selling these Monda ones for a tenner I had to have one. In fact maybe I should have gotten more. Again I'm not sure which brushes will end up in here but it will no doubt come in handy.

The awesome Bluebird products I picked up for making actors look sunburnt and dirty. The bottom two tubes are actually concealers which are fantastic for tattoo cover as once on, they don't budge. As all of these products are alcohol based they have to be cleaned off with proper removers.

Isn't it beautiful, I love that rose gold shade SO much, and although my work doesn't call for using highlighters on a regular basis I'm gonna really enjoy using these when it does. It's tempting to book in some beauty tests just to have a play.

I also wanted to share the free gifts I was given due to being a gold pro card holder. Guru was kind enough to give me the two Makeup Forever bags, which are really great quality and feel nice and luxurious, I actually started using them straight away. bdellium gave me the two packs of angled liners which are apparently the same quality as their other brushes so not disposable, which I'm sure will come in handy. Tilt popped in a pizza wedge which I have a couple of from them already and are always useful. Lastly, Makeup Forever threw in another aqua liner in this lovely teal shade.

Not bad really, but I mustn't buy any more makeup for a while after these two events. I am excited to get using all my new bits in some upcoming jobs now, it's always nice to freshen up my kit and new products forces me to experiment slightly which is always fun.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Nude lipsticks by Kate Moss for Rimmel

I've mentioned countless times on here my fear of lipstick. I'm thin lipped and I don't want to talk about it! I jest, it's annoying but I've come to terms with the fact that I'll never be able to get away with a purple lip.

As far as lip products go I generally rely on just a touch of balm or I'll use something sheer like a YSL Glossy Stain. It definitely makes life easier without that extra step to maintain. However sometimes you just need a little bit more, and a recent wedding finally called for lipstick.

I knew I wanted something nude, in fact I didn't want to stray too far from my natural lip shade so after heading to Boots in search of NYX and discovering they don't carry it yet I opted for these two Kate Moss lipsticks by Rimmel.

I've got a few of the Kate Moss lipsticks in my kit so I knew what to expect regarding payoff and longevity. I grabbed a slightly lighter than natural peach-toned nude and a slightly darker dusky rose bordering on brown shade.

As I'm so pale, peach and coral tones can sometimes come out very chalky on my and I was fully expecting to prefer the darker lipstick however I actually ended up choosing the lighter one for the wedding and have also worn it a couple times since.

I think the other lipstick potentially looks a little dated and ends up ageing me but maybe I'll try mixing it down with a touch of pink and see if that makes any difference.

Despite that, you can't go too wrong with these lipsticks, they're a great price with a wide range of colours, they apply smoothly and strongly, and they last well without drying your lips out.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Pro Makeup Kit Organisation With Vueset

You can usually spot the makeup department arriving on set because they'll be laden down with cases and bags weighing half their body weight and are generally more kit than person. I may love my job but my back doesn't, so I'm always trying to keep things as light and compact as possible.

One great way of saving space is by depotting what you can into palettes. I've tried a wide range of different palettes in the past but a couple of years ago I found some new favourites which I still swear by, hello Vueset.

I recently stocked up on a few more so I could transfer all my Le Maq Pro fard creams into the superior, sturdy Vueset palettes. The Tahiti palette has 24 spaces and is the perfect size for lipsticks or smaller amounts of other cream products, like the mini Le Maq Pro palettes whilst the Viking Jack palette is better for larger amounts such as foundations or blushers.

As you can see I still have some space in my corrector and lighter skin tones palette and I can't wait to get them filled, it bugs me that there's empty sections.

I labeled all my Le Maq Pro palettes with individual shade numbers on the bottom which I did in Sharpie with a swipe of clear nail varnish over the top to stop it rubbing off. What's really annoying is that I never did that with my lipsticks, thinking I would remember the brands...of course I don't anymore. Everything is being labeled in the future!

I find it really satisfying having everything in the same size palettes so they can be stacked and easily packed into cases. Being entirely transparent makes it easy to find the product I want quickly for both myself and those working with me. I remember when MAC eventually changed their palettes to have transparent lids and suddenly shoots became a lot more efficient, it makes so much more sense.

Vueset also do a few other styles of palettes and they can be bought from a few different stores such as PAM, (who I've linked to above) TILT and Love Makeup. They're generally between £10 and £12 which I find reasonable, though I'm going to try and grab some discounted ones at IMATS this year.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Review: E.L.F Sparkling Eyes

I'm not a big user of E.L.F but I had spotted that they recently returned to the UK, though I don't recall why they ever left? As far as I know you can only get their makeup online over here but they seem to have as wide a selection of products as before.

On a recent trip to Canada the Mothership picked me up this eyeliner set at what I assume was a ridiculously affordable price given that E.L.F is cheap here, and everything's cheaper there.

The exact pencils don't seem to be available on the UK site, but there is a similar looking set called The Essential 5-Piece Shimmer Eyeliner Set with four of the same shades and then a gun metal instead of the ivory.

These are described as smooth, metallic eyeliners and I couldn't help but think of the Zoeva Graphic Eyes pencils as soon as I saw the box.

The pencils themselves are pretty standard, with the addition of built in sharpeners in the caps which is a great idea. I can never find a sharpener when I need one.

I also like the selection of shades, on myself I'm least likely to have a use for the green (she says having just worn green eyeliner to a tropical themed party) but I could see wearing the others from time to time, especially the black and copper.

Because the brand is so affordable I was expecting the liners to be quite dry and scratchy to apply. They weren't, they were surprisingly creamy though I did need to go over these swatches a couple of times to get this payoff which still isn't amazingly strong.

After swatching these I was no longer a fan of the purple, I was expecting it to look more like this but it's a little dull. The copper however has got me in love.

(Oh forward facing camera you always look so good until I see you actual size.)
In the first image I've used the black on my waterline and the copper underneath the lower lashes, I really like this shade and enjoy that I can use it to add a little hint of shimmer to an otherwise matte eye. I didn't find that I had to press too hard which is always a good thing when working around your eyes. The green however did seem to need slightly more going over to get this, like I said it's not really my style but I don't hate the shade and could see it working better for other people.

I've not worn them for any great length of time, but judging by how hard it was to get the swatches off my hand it gives me hope they'd have some staying power.

I'm not sure that I'll ever have a use for the purple but the ivory might be nice in the inner corner to brighten up a soft eye or something more feminine.

Overall I do enjoy these and when you consider the UK equivalent is £6 for the set it's always going to be a bargain even if you only end up using one. I probably wouldn't be as comfortable using these on an actor or model however and would stick to something like the Zoeva liners I mention previously because I know they glide on so smoothly.

Monday, 9 May 2016

United Makeup Artists Expo 2016 - Pro Kit Haul

You probably didn't think you'd hear from me again, but I'm back!! I've just finished a nice little stint of work ending it by assisting Stuart Bray at UMAE this weekend just gone. What better way to ease myself back in to blogging than with a product haul.

I did a similar post a year ago and that trip was equally as damaging to my bank balance as this one was. I did however pretty much stick to essentials only this time, these are all things that will get a lot of use but aren't the most glamorous of products to anyone not interested in special effects.

PPI - The place I always get most excited to visit at the trade shows because I can stock up on their amazing alcohol activated palettes at a big discount. I grabbed four this year, you can see I already labeled and used two during demos at the show on the Sunday. From there I also picked up one of their Glazing Gels in Bruise red and a bottle of Glazing Gel Mover to try.

PS Composites - I'm sure most of you have heard of bdellium, I love their regular brushes but their FX range is also fantastic. I have a few I bought a couple of years ago but I decided to get their full set as well to update my fx kit slightly. These came with the pouch underneath in the image which is always something that comes in handy. I also found them selling packs of scalpel handles and blades ridiculously cheap which is something I use a lot and always loose.

PAM - Probably my favourite UK makeup store, I popped by to see what they had on their stand and grabbed a couple of clear pouches, the empty magnetic Makeup Forever palette a new bottle of Maekup's Probondo sealer and very exciting..something for myself, the Makeup Forever HD foundation, I was surprised they had a shade light enough for me so I'm looking forward to giving that a go.

Screenface - I've been using the same set bag for a year and it's taken an absolute beating, so I upgraded to something a tiny bit bigger by Get Set Go, it's pretty deep so the clear PAM bags are to live inside it for any small bits and pieces.

Banbury Postiche - Last but not least I got these two huge boxes of matte hair grips which I'm always loosing to actors who go home with them still in their hair, I was very pleased to spot these and stock up while they were a little cheaper.

Other than the shopping, the show was an absolutely brilliant time, I really enjoyed working it this year, catching up with old faces and new, especially those I've know online for some time but never gotten to meet in person. The work that was being created in demos was incredible, it's always inspiring to see so many amazing artists in one place and leaves me raring to dive into my next projects.

I'll leave you with links to all of the stores and brands above:

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Canadian Sephora haul

Evening my bizarre beauties! How have my fellow Brits been fairing during our mini heatwave? I'm writing this at 2am and it's still a sauna in here, though I quite like it.

I've been working my butt off the past couple of months which is why the blog posts are still a very rare occurrence but I got back from a little getaway last week which was very much needed. I spent 12 days in Canada visiting family and friends, eating way too much and spending all the money I don't have. When I wasn't buying more (and more) black clothes, I was grabbing makeup and beauty products that aren't available over here.

I'll probably do a couple of hauls but I'm going to start with the most exciting one, Sephora. I managed to spend about an hour in the store, I'd say 45minutes of that was shopping and the other 15 was spent being stopped by strangers telling me they liked my hair and consequently my accent when I said thankyou. I guess colourful hair isn't the norm over there. I spent a lot of money yet still feel like I was pretty reserved, I definitely expected to come out with more makeup and less perfume anyway. So here's what I bought.

I was pretty strict and stuck to brands that were hard to get hold of over here, or at least way more expensive. Most of these were things I knew I wanted before arriving so was very happy to find them in stock. I swatched a couple of other items I was after and didn't actually like them which allowed me to grab some extra things and of course they chucked in a ton of samples.

The Elizabeth & James perfumes were probably the biggest surprise expense I did not expect to be spending, coming in at £40 each. Not a lot for perfume in the great scheme of things but an £80 sneak attack nonetheless. I never thought I'd be buying fragrances designed by the Olsen twins I can tell you that, I'd seen Claire mention them in a video and recommending combining the two opposing scents to create a superior mega-scent, and given that I've currently been mixing 5 Inglot cream perfumes in this way I was instantly intrigued and knew I wanted to check them out. I just didn't expect to like them enough to buy. It seems rather redundant telling you how good they are, I bought them, duh. The black bottle has a much richer, muskier, masculine smell whilst the white is lighter and more feminine. Together they're just gorgeous, I like the masculine notes coming through without smelling full on Abercrombie & Fitch.

The rollerball is a perfume by Repetto, it's completely different to my usual taste in fragrance, being overly feminine and light, but there's something very fresh and wonderful about it so I grabbed this small size. The salted caramel lip balm is by Tokyomilk and I picked this up in the queue. I'd tested all of their fragrances as their bottles are actually amazing and I was determined to find one I liked, alas they were all a bit too potent for me. This seemed like a good compromise to have something by the brand but not spend out unnecessarily.

Some of my favourite purchases are in this next batch. These are all the eye products I grabbed. I had intended to pick up the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow whizz but after trying it I realised it wasn't going to work for me and I chose the brow pomade instead which I adore. I find it very hard to get the correct brow shade because browns look very unnatural, but this is the perfect taupe. The one product I wanted to get above everything else was the Kat Von D tattoo liner, which I am now obsessed with and wish I'd bought a few. I got one in brown too, not sure why, but I'm sure it will come in handy. I grabbed one of the Stila felt liners too as it's also a very strong black but with a thinner tip than the tattoo liner.

The Shade & Light eye palette was not something I planned to get but I'm always looking for decent all matte palettes for my personal kit and this has such a nice selection of shades. I've been using it a fair bit and it has to be one of the strongest colour payoffs I've ever got from eyeshadows. Bordering on TOO pigmented, I have to be careful to just lightly dust my brush over the pans and not pick up too much. I'm not complaining though, it makes application effortless and means it will last a long time. Lastly because I'd already gone a bit Kat Von D crazy (there's more to come) I figured I'd give her mascara a go as well. I never really have a signature mascara for myself and tend to try something new every time mine runs out, I really like the brush on this, it can be a bit sharp and spiky but it applies the product very nicely avoiding clumping.

The colours aren't great in this last photo to be honest, but I'm sure I'll end up talking about these again in the future with swatches so you can see them in more detail. The Buxom lip foundation is a creamy balm to be worn under gloss or on it's own, it's a dusky rose, nude shade. I had my eye on quite a few of the lip foundations which come in a variety of nudes (I blame Kylie Jenner) but decided this one was probably most flattering on me. I'm not a great one for lip products, I have quite thin lips and find most colours look a little ridiculous, which makes the Kat Von D lacquer I picked up a completely bizarre purchase but I just LOVE the formula of these. The one I got is a pink coral, now I just have to work up the courage to wear it. The last item, and this is another one by Kat Von D, is this pink blusher. Again the colour isn't too representative of the actual shade which is far less pastel. It's quite a standard pink tone, it's great for summer and nice to have something a little stronger than my usual very natural ones. Again this is super strong so you only need to touch down lightly with the brush.

So that's everything, like I said at the beginning of the post I did a fair bit of shopping elsewhere so keep your eyes peeled for a second beauty haul soon. I'll leave you with all the links to the products, I'd love to hear what you think of the products I chose.