Friday, 29 October 2010

Skincare – What I use/Regime!

Following my last post on my Skin history – Journey to clear skin (found here), I’m going to let you all know what I’ve been using religiously for the past two years to keep my skin in good condition.

FIRSTLY – I am VERY funny about what I use on my skin now, I don’t like trying new products, although I’m always tempted.  I’ve also become very aware of the ingredients in skin care products and always check the ingredients up against this website - http://www.zerozits.com/Articles/acnedetect.htm(Amazing website, tells you which ingredients are comedogenic, which block pores etc).  A few products I have used since my acne ordeal have bought me up in spots but I just stop using them as soon as I get a spot and they go. 

SECONDLY – I am aware that I may get a lot of telling off for what I use on my skin now, just because its not ‘right' and ‘good’ for the skin, but after having been through angry acne, I am not going to start using another ‘three step regime’ just because I’m ‘supposed to’ or because its right.  What I use now works really well for me so I am not changing unless I have to.

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So my regime is as follows -

  • I always take my make-up off before bed, no matter what the circumstances.  And I do this with Johnson’s babywipes.  Controversial eh!?  Cleansers bring me up in spots, full stop, and they’re more of a hassle to use than baby wipes.  It does the trick of removing makeup and it doesn’t give me spots so I’m sticking to it.
  • If I’m wearing lots of eye makeup, then I will use a cleanser on my eyes – not on my whole face.  I will rub the product on my eyes gently, and remove the makeup and cleanser with a baby wipe.  At the moment I have been using either Simple’s gentle cleanser, or The Body Shop’s Natrulift Cleanser (neither pictured) on my eyes.  Both are good for removing eye makeup, especially with the help of the baby wipe afterwards.
  • I use a moisturizer when my skin feels dry and always after I exfoliate.  The only moisturizers I would ever use now is The Body Shop’s Vitamin E night cream or Vit E facial oil.  These two moisturizers don’t give me spots, and I don’t want to risk it by trying others.  I use the Vit E night cream in the morning as well, if I need to (also controversial!) because its a lot thicker than the day cream and my skin does get very dry.
  • I exfoliate once a week with St Ives Apricot Invigorating Exfoliator.  Its amazing at removing dead, flaky skin and it doesn’t irritate me at all.  I adore this exfoliator, it really is incredible.
  • If I do get a spot, I will apply Freederm to it before I go to bed.  By the morning the spot has reduced in colour and size OR I find that it will bring the spot out more quickly, meaning its gone quicker!

That’s it!  I’m not using any expensive creams or liquids to keep my skin in good shape.  I’ve realised that using simple products (that don’t claim miracles or life changing results) are so much better for my skin.  This is also great because it means all my products are affordable and easy to find in shops.

I have been a bit naughty recently though, and I’ve been very tempted to purchase new skin care products (its always hard reading blogs and skin care reviews and trying to resist all the great new products on the market) and recently I’ve started using a Liz Earle Cleanser (for review purposes) and a Sebamed cleansing bar.  I’ll be writing reviews on each in the next few weeks and I’ll let you know how my skin has been getting on with those!! 

I will also write up in depth reviews of each of the products in this post – I’m thinking Freederm and St Ives reviews would be handy for you guys?  Let me know if you’d like this!

Do you use any of the same products as me in your skin regime? Do you think its bad that I use babywipes to remove my makeup?

xxxx

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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

MAC Zoom Fast Black Lash Mascara Review & FOTD!

I’ve always been pretty funny when it comes to mascara – I can’t seem to ever find one that I like and that gives me exactly what I want.  I’ve been using my favourite – The Body Shop’s Super Volume Mascara for the past year, but since receiving this in September I haven’t stopped using it!

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I’ve only ever tried one other MAC mascara and I wasn’t that impressed (Fibre Rich Lash Mascara), it just didn’t do much for my lashes, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with this product and would recommend it to my friends and to you guys!

THE WAND

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The wand is nothing special, reminds me of Rimmel’s Extra Super Lash wand, kind of cone shaped but it gives me exactly what I want with my lashes!

WITHOUT

before

ONE COAT

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One coat is good but I think you definitely need a second just to lengthen more and to help separate the lashes – they can sometimes look slightly clumpy after one coat.  Gives you a great dramatic black colour though, perfect for night and day.

TWO COATS

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Love, love!  How lovely does it make my barely-existent lashes look!   Perfection in a tube I say.  A second coat really combs through the lashes to help separate as well as adding extra length and volume.

CONCLUSION -

This mascara does the trick of volumizing the lashes & darkening them but without leaving them looking too false or clumpy.  I hate mascara’s that are too subtle as much as I hate mascaras that are too obvious, and I find that this sits perfectly between the two, giving me gorgeous long lashes with my day-to-day smokey eye look.  A bit pricey at around £12.50 but I think its worth it!

A quick FOTD with me wearing the mascara!

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Eyes 

  • Boots 17 eyeshadow in Chalice
  • MAC Nylon eyeshadow
  • TBS Liquid Liner
  • GOSH kohl liner
  • MAC Zoomlash Mascara

Face

  • MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC15
  • TBS All in One Face Base 02
  • MAC Hipness Blush

Lips

  • MAC Chatterbox Lipstick

What’s your favourite mascara?  Have you tried this one? What do you think?

XXXX

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Friday, 22 October 2010

Skincare: An introduction to my skin type history!

I haven’t yet written many posts on skincare yet, but I have a few posts planned on my favourite skincare products/what I’m using at the moment, but before I can start telling you about that, I really need to tell you a little about my skin and its history!  After all, we all have different skin types and what's suited to me, may not particularly suit you, so this will be a brief history on my skin type.

Ages 1-14 – Perfect skin, never had any problems!

Ages 15-18 – Good skin, but had the occasional spot.  Didn’t use many facial products apart from spot creams, I never took my make-up off but somehow my skin was lovely!  I guess my skin was kind of dry as well, it was never oily.

Age 19 – Took a turn for the worse.  I just started getting into skincare and I wanted Clinique's Three Step Regime for my 19th Birthday.  I went to the counter with my Mum, got matched up and bought the regime for around £70.  Two weeks later, my skin was the worst it had ever been in my life.  I can’t describe how bad it got, my skin was red, irritated and full of spots.  I stopped using the products immediately.

Ages 19-20½ – Worst skin ever.  I was covered in red pimples and spots.  I had big spots, under the skin that had about another three spots inside.  How is that even possible?  I had just started my foundation course in art, and the following year started my photography degree and I feel like I became a shell of myself.  I wasn’t confident, I felt disgusting and was so upset that my lovely skin was now ruined because of Clinique – the spots never went after I stopped using it, they just got worse.  I still loved make-up and skincare so I was always trying to find something to take my spots down, I used Bio-oil for a good six months to no avail, I used an Aloe skincare range, I tried lots of products.  Wearing make-up really accentuated my terrible skin, but obviously that meant I just wore more.  I also had really terrible dry skin this whole time, meaning my skin was flaky as well as spotty and I always needed moisturizer to help.

Christmas Eve 2008 – I decided I had had enough and at 6pm Christmas eve I trotted down to my GP and demanded help.  He was stunned at how terrible my skin was and said that I should never have waited so long.  He was pretty shocked at how disgusting my skin was and prescribed me with the antibiotic Doxycycline. 

January – March 2009 I was on Doxycycline for three months and although it helped slightly, my skin was still bad.  I lost a few spots but my skin was still red and grose.

March – June 2009 – GP then prescribed me Minocycline, another antibiotic to help clear skin.  This pill saved me!  Wonder product, cleared my skin up within three months.  Finally my skin was back to normal.  I had never been so happy.

July 2009 – Went back to GP to get more Minocycline because I was worried that once I stopped taking it, my skin would get terrible again, but for some reason they prescribed me Oxytetracycline. I took this for a week but it made me really ill, sick ill, so I stopped!

August 2009 – Present Day (Oct 2010) (Ages 21-22) – Very happy with my skin.  It isn’t perfect by any account, I still get spots, especially when I am stressed, or if I start dating (I always get spots when I meet guys! Haha!) but after all I’ve been through I am just SO grateful that it is relatively back to normal.  Nowadays if I get a spot I don’t panic, I just try to cover it well and I try not to touch it at all.

My Skin Type – I’ll be honest and admit that although I work part time as a skin-care consultant and can easily tell what other people’s skin types are, I’m really not sure what my own skin type is!  My skin has started producing more oil since stopping the pills which I’m happy about, but my skin also always feel tight after washing.  So I guess that gives me combination skin? Except I’m also acne prone and also get irritated skin with certain products, so its sensitive as well.  Basically I have every skin type going? Weird.  If any one is similar, do let me know!

Pictures -

When I started taking Doxycycline, I started taking a picture of myself everyday on a film camera, as a project to see if my skin got any better.  I gave up after two weeks when I wasn’t seeing results but was left with a reminder of how bad my skin once was.  Whenever I feel down about my skin I look at these images and instantly feel better.  Bear in mind, my skin was worse than this – I had already started taking pills at this point -

1    Untitled Scary huh! (I’d never normally have shown these images, and feel quite conscious about showing them to everyone online so please be nice!!)

Fast forward five months - (May/June 2009)

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Fast forward another two months (August 2009) 

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My 21st Birthday, with my parents and clear skin!!!

(You can see my skin as it is now in my recent foundation post – HERE!!)

There you go, my skin history!  Sorry it was slightly wordy, but I felt I needed to let you girls know 1) What my skin is like for future reference, once I start reviewing products and 2) That if you have crappy skin, then don’t worry, you can overcome it and it will always get better!! I’m so much happier in general now that my skin is better.  One things for sure, I am NEVER using a Clinique product again as I feel that that is what started the whole ordeal. 

My next skincare post will be on what I have been using for the past two years to keep my skin in check, so stay tuned for that! 

Has anyone else been through a terrible acne phase?  What got rid of it?

X

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Friday, 15 October 2010

How to Create the Perfect Red Lips!

What's more glamorous, daring and stare inducing than a pair of stunning red lips? Not much!  Christmas is fast approaching and its become my favourite time of the year to wear red lips, its festive and mature for the seasonal parties.  I think anyone can pull red lips off, although the ‘type’ of red may vary for each person because of skintone and what suits you more.  I personally prefer red lipsticks with a more orange, yellow base, rather than blue based red lipsticks as I feel they brighten my pale skin up.

To create the perfect red lips from scratch you will need -

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A lip scrub - The Body Shop’s Lipscuff, Lipbalm - The Body Shop’s Shea balm, Red Lipliner - Prestige Lip liner in Tomango, Red Lipstick - Unknown brand Lipstick!

BARE LIPS (ugly!)

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STEP 1

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Apply a lip scrub or scuff to remove all the dead, dry, flaky skin that can completely ruin this look.  I use The Body Shops Lipscuff.  I adore this product, the fact that you apply it like a lipstick and then just rub your lips together to exfoliate.  This product has a minty taste and fragrance which is very pleasant and has small grains which help to gently remove the dead skin.  Also has marula oil in which is very moisturizing. 

Sorry for the unattractive photograph, but I wanted to show what the scrub looks like!

STEP 2

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Moisturize!  Apply your favourite lipbalm!  I use The Body Shop’s Shea Butter Lipbalm, its the most moisturizing balm I have ever come across and leaves my lips feeling juicy and soft.  The smell and taste is subtle but delicious and it doesn’t leave any residue or colour which is perfect.  These only come in a set of two at TBS stores and the proceeds go to charity.  If you are left with greasy lips, just pat off the residue with a tissue.

STEP 3

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Line the lips.  I only have one red lip liner and I use it with all of my red lipsticks.  Its by Prestige in the colour Tomango.  Gently trace the outline of your lips with the pencil.  Pay special attention to the cupids bow.  A little trick I learnt at the MAC event last month is to look down when focusing on the cupids bow, because looking at them from above in a mirror, allows you to easily see if they’re even.  After lips are lined, I always fill in my whole lips as it creates a nice base for the lipstick to hold onto.

STEP 4

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Apply your lippie!  I’m using one of my Mothers, I have no idea who its by but I love the colour (named Red Stiletto), its a perfect classic red shade.  (Before I run out of this I will take it into the shops to find another red lippie that matches the colour exactly). Blot the lips on a tissue after and add another thin layer, this will ensure that your lipstick lasts longer.

STEP 5 - EXTRA BONUS TIP!

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Using your concealer, go around the outside of your lips just to make sure its all even and that there aren't any red smudges anywhere.  Your concealer will also emphasize your lips and the whole thing will just look neater!  Please note that in the photograph above, I hadn’t yet blended in the concealer so it looks messy!

ET VOILA!  (queue cheesy-catalogue-laughter-shots)

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You are left with delicious red sultry lips.  Its up to you how you wear the rest of your makeup with your bright lips, many people say its a sin to wear dark, smokey eyes with red lips but I completely disagree.  I feel comfortable and pretty with smokey eyes so I will mix both looks.  I find that a brown smokey eye looks best with red lipstick on me.

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So be bright and brave when it comes to red lips, they look glam and sexy so wear them proud and be confident.

Was this helpful at all? What's your favourite red lipstick & do you have any bonus tips of your own?

XXX

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Thursday, 14 October 2010

Favourite Multi-Use Products – Makeup and Other!

I have a proper thing for multi-use products, weird as it sounds.  I just love products that can be used for more than one purpose, I feel like I’m getting my moneys worth and I like experimenting with how I can use what I’ve got… I’ll write a little on what I like about each product and will bullet point the ways that I use it -

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L-R Sudocrem, TBS Vit E Facial Oil, TBS Monoi Miracle Oil, TBS Pomegranate & Raspberry spray, Peppermint essential oil, MAC Vanilla Pigment, MAC Bare study Paint pot

SudoCrem – I’ve grown up with Sudocrem and I use it for practically everything.

  • Spots - This is pretty great for pimples, just slap it on to the spot and leave it on overnight and it should look a lot better in the morning
  • Burns - Oh my gosh, I am the most accident prone person ever in the kitchen at burn my hands at least 5 times a year (the last time was yesterday grilling bacon!).  I have found that this is a little miracle worker on small burns.  If you cover the burn in Sudocrem straight away, it really takes the sting and pain away.
  • Eczema – I don’t use this much for eczema because its quite messy and my whole arms and legs are eczema prone so I’d look like a ghost covered in it.  But a little bit on small patches of eczema helps.

The only downside to Sudocrem is how much it kills when you accidentally get it in your eye, which I manage to do every time I use it! Haha! And also the fact that its very thick and white, it can transfer on clothes and bed sheets easily which doesn’t look very attractive!

The Body Shops Monoi Miracle Oil – Probably my favourite multi use product ever!

  • Moisturizer – I use this almost everyday as a body moisturizer.  I have dry skin and this oil is so luxurious and moisturizing but sinks in really quickly, and just leaves me feeling smooth and smelling gorgeous.  I find it hard to describe the smell but it is really beautiful and light.
  • Hair oil – Because I bleach my hair I try to do a hair mask at least twice a month to put moisture back in.  I like to run handfuls of this oil through my hair and leave it on for ten minutes or overnight and then wash it out after.  Hair is left feeling soft, just make sure you wash it out properly after with shampoo and conditioner otherwise you’ll be left with greasy hair.
  • Bath oil – Whenever I treat myself and have a bath I always drop a few drops of this oil in when the water is running.  I don’t know why but it just leaves my skin feeling really soft after and it also makes it easier to shave!
  • Massage oil – An obvious one, but people seem to forget that you can also use it as a massage oil!

This truly is a miracle oil – I love it!  I can’t express how lovely it is, just go and sniff it in store and try it out for yourself!  It lasts ages as well, I’ve only just purchased my second bottle.

MACs Vanilla Pigment The most versatile piece of makeup I own, and the first MAC product I EVER bought!  Should be a staple in every make-up addicts kit.

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  • Eyeshadow – Probably the most obvious way to use this product, its a gorgeous white gold with slight red gold tones.  A gorgeous base colour and perfect for doing brown smokey eyes with.
  • Highlighter – I often pop a tad of this under my brow bone, on my cheek bones and on my cupids bow, just to delicately highlight each area.  Leaves me looking natural yet defined, especially when used with a bit of contouring!
  • Illuminator – Add literally a touch of this into your moisturizer or foundation to create a glowing base!  Gorgeous and easy, just don’t add to much or you will look like EdCullen!  You can also add a bit to your favourite body moisturizer for nights out for a shimmery, summer glow.
  • Lipgloss – Again, add a sprinkle of this onto the back of your hand, add a slick of your favourite lipgloss and then pat this into your lips to create a customised lipgloss.  Vanilla will add a gorgeous rose gold tint!

There are so many pigments available from MAC, this one being one of the most versatile in the ways you can use it because of its natural neutral colour, but you can obviously create your own lipgloss with any pigment.  Amazing product.

MACs Paint pot in Bare StudyAnother makeup kit must have.

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  • Primer – Add a thin layer of this to your eye lids and then apply your eyeshadow, it should keep your eyeshadow crease-free all day.
  • Eye cream colour – I like to add a smidgen of this over the top of my favourite base shadow, Nylon (also MAC).  It really brightens the eyes up and the shadow underneath almost intensifies this cream gold base.  Alternatively just use this all over the lid for a natural shimmer.
  • Highlighter – Very similar to the Vanilla Pigment, just rub the tiniest bits of this underneath your brow bone and on top of your cheek bone for a subtle but pretty glowing shimmer.

Essential oils – Peppermint and Lavender - My two staple essential oils. (Lavender not pictured!)

  • Back Ache – Not sure if anyone on my blog knows, but I have scoliosis – curvature of the spine, and even though I had major spine surgery when I was young, I still get bad back aches especially when I’m standing for long amounts of time or if I’m lifting/carrying lots of stuff.  When I do have a back ache I mix a few drops of both lavender and peppermint oil together (with a drop of the monoi oil) and rub this into my back and it feels just incredible.  I can’t explain how good it feels.  It works well because the peppermint oil adds a strong cooling, tingly sensation to the back, and the lavender soothes the back, so the ache isn’t noticeable for at least 20minutes after! (Please don’t use lavender oil if you are pregnant, its harmful for the baby!)
  • Bath oil – When I feel ill I sometimes have a luxurious, relaxing bath and I will add a few drops of either lavender or peppermint oil into the bath.  The smell instantly fills the room and really relaxes me.
  • Sleeping aid – I’m also a terrible sleeper.  I have insomnia and find it very hard to sleep because I’m constantly thinking and worrying about everything!  I try not to take too many prescribed sleeping pills because I don’t want to have to rely on them, so when I remember I will add a few drops of lavender to my pillow to help me relax and rest.
  • Energizer – You can add a drop of peppermint oil to your pulse points when your feeling lazy or unmotivated and it will get you going again!

Obviously there are loads of essential oils that you can purchase from chemists, from camomile to orange blossom and you can use them all for various uses!

The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Facial Oil – I can’t explain why, but I have about five of these sitting around my bedroom and I do love this little bottle of goodness.

  • Face oil – Obviously this is its main use.  The lid opens as a pipette so you can use as much or as little as you like.  I only use this once a week now as my skin has become quite oily this summer, but its normally after I’ve exfoliated as my skin feels tight after.  I put one drop of this on my finger and massage it into my whole face and neck.  One drop goes a long way and it leaves you feeling soft and it smells beautiful – like roses.
  • Scar healer – If I get a new scar then I will apply a drop to the scar everyday.  This oil contains wheat germ oil which is amazing for fading scars and evens out skin-pigmentation well.

This facial oil contains so much goodness for such a small bottle.  It also contains rose oil and organically grown soya oil, along with the wheat germ oil, all which are great for repairing and nourishing your skin.

The Body Shop’s Pomegranate & Raspberry Spray A fragrance that was designed to be used in many ways.

  • Body Spray
  • Linen Spray
  • Room Spray

This spray can be used for the three points above and come in about 6 different smells from TBS.  Pom & Rasp is my favourite, followed very closely by Sandalwood & Ginger and Green Tea & Lemon.  All of them are delicious smelling and I always spritz my room, my bed sheets and myself in one go!  It saves you buying multiple bottles of linen spray or room spray and cluttering up space.

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Hope this post isn’t too boring, I understand that probably not everyone cares about multiuse products, but it interests me!  Another obvious multi-use product is Vaseline, but I’ll admit that I’ve never really used it or ‘got’ the hype about it!

If anyone else knows of anymore multi-use products then do let me know so I can try them out! 

Do you use any of the products above or in any different ways?

XXX

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Friday, 1 October 2010

MAC Venomous Villains Event & Haul!

I don’t know about you, but I have been waiting for MAC’s Venomous Villains collection for a good few months now, so when I heard that MAC were having a Villains Blogger event, I jumped at the chance to go.

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It was MAC’s first Blogger event so I count myself very lucky and I’m so grateful that I received an invite to go.  I met some amazing beauty bloggers that I’ve admired and looked up too for a long time, and it was quite surreal to be in a room with so many familiar faces off the internet! 

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The event took place in MACs High Street Kensington store and we were first shown how to create the look of Cruella DeVil by one of MAC’s senior artists who was fabulous and created this stunning look in just under half an hour.  We sipped on raspberry cocktails and nibbled on macaroons and cupcakes whilst watching this stunning look transform and develop.  I will definitely be attempting this look at home (along with the quiff!).

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We were then let loose in the store to play with the new collection and other products to our hearts content.  The new collection features four Disney Villains; The Evil Queen, Maleficent, Cruella De Vil and Dr.Facilier. 

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I wanted to try the purple Maleficent mineralized eyeshadow in My Dark Magic and one of the lovely makeup artists gave me a makeover using it.  She painted my eye lids with Blackground Paintpot and then put the mineralized eyeshadow on top to create this smokey, vamp look on me.  I love it!  Although I did get a few odd looks on the train home, ha!  She used the new Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Overtime on my lips – a gorgeous creamy pink which glides on like silk and doesn’t budge!

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I already had a wish list of what I wanted from the collection when I went to the event after lurking Temptalia’s swatches and reviews of the range – found Here, and I managed to purchase exactly what I was after!

SO, do you want to know what I picked up out of the collection?

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Evil Queen Bite of an Apple Blush

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Gorgeous coral pink blush. Very pigmented but I adore it and can’t wait to wear it out this winter to brighten the cold days!

Maleficent My Dark Magic Mineralized eyeshadow

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Stunning in the pan, sadly not as pigmented as it looks.  Goes on quite gritty and sheer but to get the best application, use it wet or over a dark paintpot as seen in the makeover pics above!  So pretty though, I love it.  And I love Maleficent.

Evil Queen Toxic Tale Lipstick

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This was the product I was most looking forward to and I adore it.  A red coral which instantly brightens my face.  Love the packaging, love the colour, love love!

Evil Queen Strange Potion Lipglass

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Another biggie on my wishlist!  Peachy lipgloss.  Its very pigmented and glides on the lips like velvet.  I’m hoping this will last me a long time because it’s so pigmented I won’t need to use much!

Dr.Facilier Cajun Magically Cool Liquid Powder

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I kindly got given this as a freebie in my goodie bag and I’m pretty impressed with it!  You will never believe this until you try it out yourself, but it turns into liquid when you touch it… I really can’t explain it, its crazy.  It literally melts onto your fingers which feels crazy but looks gorgeous.  If you pick up the tiniest bit it remains as a powder and sparkles in the light.  The liquid feeling dries as its blended into the skin.  So glad I got this, I can’t wait to play around with it as a bronzer, highlighter and eyeshadow!

There we go!!  I had a fantastic night, I’d do it all over again if I had to!  The Venomous Villains Limited Edition range goes on sale online on Monday, and in stores on Thursday!  Be fast to get everything you want as I have a feeling everything will sell out very quickly!

Do you like the look of the collection?  What do you think of the packaging?  What will you be getting!?

Thanks MAC for a great evening! xo

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