Tag Archives: Reviews

(top - bottom) Crime, Rebel With Cause, Depraved)
Nov. 25.

Tried Tuesday: Random Bits from Makeup Revolution

MUR-Swatches-thMakeup revolution is a budget brand that has been making quite a splash since its launch at the end of last year. Pitched in the same price point as brands like MUA, they want to make professional quality makeup affordable by all, and from reading numerous reviews online, they seem to be succeeding in that regard. But, I always prefer to try things out for myself. So, in a case of needing some retail therapy a couple of weeks ago, I placed an order, which arrived last week. That means that for Tried Tuesday today, I have a selection of swatches to share with you.

I bought essentially two categories of product, lips and eyes. We’ll look at the lip products first.

Lips

I bought three lipsticks to try out, all of which were £1 each. Two came from their “Scandalous Shades” while the third was a “Vamp Shade”

The first thing I noticed upon opening them was that a couple of the lipsticks appeared to have impacted on the top of the tube at some point. This is especially noticeable on the deep red (vamp) lipstick, a shade called “Rebel With Cause”, and to a lesser extent on the purple (scandalous) lipstick “Depraved”. The pink, “Crime” was unaffected. As they were still in their tamper proof plastic seals, I know they weren’t used, but it does slightly concern me as to the quality if this is allowed to happen. I’ll be honest in saying that I’m less concerned about it in a £1 lipstick, compared to something more expensive, but it does bother me a little.

Though, I said I have swatches, so here are some swatches. The top is the three tubes, the second is swatched on the back of my hand, and the third is on my lips.

(l-r) Crime (Scandalous), Rebel With Cause (Vamp), Depraved (Scandalous)

(l-r) Crime (Scandalous), Rebel With Cause (Vamp), Depraved (Scandalous)

(l-r) Crime, Rebel With Cause, Depraved

(l-r) Crime, Rebel With Cause, Depraved

(top - bottom) Crime, Rebel With Cause, Depraved)

(top – bottom) Crime, Rebel With Cause, Depraved

These were all done after a single application on the lips using a lip brush, and there is fairly good colour payoff. You could of course reapply to bump up the colour.

I’m most intrigued by Depraved. It is a curious colour, that I actually quite like, but I’m trying to figure out how to actually wear it. I’ll have to have a think about that.

Eyes

I also have three eye products to show you. The first two are a primer and a pigment. I’ll get to the third in a couple of moments.

The primer is one of three in their Focus & Fix range of primers. The one I have here is Brighten, which I’m told is suitable for metallic shades. The other two are original, and matte (for matte shades). These cost £2.50 each. Alongside it, I have a loose pigment Eye Dust shadow (£1) in a shade called “Grandeur”, a metallic bronze/copper. There are 25 shades of pigment available, so you should be able to find one to love!

In the pictures below you can see the primer by itself on the left, the pigment in the middle, and then layered over the primer on the right, both without flash and with.

Witout flash

Without flash

With flash

With flash

I can understand how the primer is designed for metallics, as you can see the metallic sheen from it. The pigment itself is a little lacking on its own. While that can be useful if you want to go subtle, I always think of pigments as being for intensity. That problem is greatly alleviated by layering it over the primer. It really makes the pigment come to life in both pictures. I wouldn’t mind picking up another couple of pigments to see what else they can do.

Awesome Eyeshadow Collection

Awesome Eyeshadow Collection

The third and final eye product I picked up, really deserves its own post, so I will keep it brief. It is the Awesome Eyeshadow Collection, a palette of 100 shadows, covering nudes and smoky shades, in a mix of matte, shimmer and metallic colours. What’s more is that it is only £12! That leads me to why it should get its own post. I have to wonder just how good the quality can be, to offer 100 shades for such a low price. We are talking 12p per shadow. Just out of curiosity though, I chose 10 random shades from the palette to swatch a couple of evenings ago. With no special preparation, and no primers, these were done using a cotton bud on the back of my hand. The shades I chose are outlined in pink below, and correspond to the colours on my hand, reading left to right.

Awesome Eyeshadow Swatches

Awesome Eyeshadow Swatches

For such a quick test, I think there is some promise there. Yes, a couple of the shades do look a little weak by themselves, but I would need to do something more thorough to test this out. I can see it being a quick and easy way to build up a collection of different colours though, as the shades are quite varied.

Now, the good news, for those of you who absolutely must play with your makeup before buying, is that Makeup Revolution are available in Ireland! The bad news at the moment is that they are only available in Superdrug in Omni Park, Santry. But, if you are in the area, it would be a shame to not go in and have a look. My spies tell me that the price differential between the UK and here is only about 35 cent in the pound. If, however, you are unwilling or unable to make that trek, you could always do as I did and order online from Superdrug or the Makeup Revolution Store, and then Parcel Motel the parcel.

Have you tried anything from Makeup Revolution? Is there anything that is tempting you? Or do you believe that the price is just too low to be good quality? The comment line is open!

Robyn

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vaseline-front
Oct. 07.

Tried Tuesday: Vaseline Spray and Go Moisturiser

vaseline-thI’m lazy. If I can get away without doing something, I guess I am not going to do it. Things like using a body lotion. The time and effort it takes to slather it on, rub it in, and then wait for it to sink in. No thanks! It seems though, that there is no longer a reason for me to be lasy in this regard with the Spray and Go moisturisers from Vaseline.

vaseline-front

The concept behind this is simple. It is a big spray can, with a wide action nozzle. It says that it lets you moisturise in seconds and that it is non greasy. It is meant to be really that simple, but is it?

vaseline-back

Well, I’ve been trying it, and my uneducated thoughts are that, yes, it is simple. I get out of the shower, hold this 10cm away from my body and spray all over in a continuous motion. Well, I haven’t actually been spraying it in a continuous motion. I have been doing an arm, topping, doing the other one, stopping and so on. Mainly because I am spraying it in my bedroom and don’t want to coat everything else in too much of it. I am not sure if it really makes much of a difference though.

vaseline-lid

The nozzle is described as being wide angle, and it really is. It does distribute the product exceptionally well. Maybe this is part of my concern with spraying it too long, that the nozzle is too good at spraying everywhere. It’s not necessarily a bad thing though.

I’m actually thinking that this does stand up to its claims. From my few uses of it It does absorb in seconds, partly because the mist is so fine. It does dispense evenly, so don’t bother trying to spray stripes of it, and it is not sticky or greasy. As for my skin being instantly soft. Well, it has made my hide softer, so that has to be a good start.

Vaseline Spray and Go is €6.99 and is available in supermarkets and pharmacies nationwide.

Robyn

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balmi-close
Oct. 02.

Tested Thursday: Balmi Lip Balm

balmi-thWinter is coming! Unfortunately I have to say that. It is October, and that means cold weather is descending on us. It also means that it is time to stock up on hand creams, wooly hats, scarves, gloves and lip balms. Y’know, for all the parts that are going to generally suffer in the cold. Handily, this week, for Tested Thursday, I am looking at the Balmi Lip Balm Range.

balmi-carton

Let’s start, as always, with the first thing you see – the packaging. This comes individually packaged in a blister pack. It means that you don’t get to see and sniff what is inside, but it also means that you know that nobody else has been near what you are considering smearing over your lips (I’m not even going to think about how nasty that would be). You can also see the unique cube packaging, which I will talk about in a moment. Coming in 4 flavours (coconut, raspberry, strawberry and mint) each blister and cube is colour coordinated, which is very handy as aside from on the carton you don’t have any other indication of which is which.

balmi-back

The back of the carton extols the virtues of the product within, telling us that:

Your lips are constantly on show to the world around you and you want them look good and feeling protected against the elements. Balmi Lip Balm has been designed to not only provide moisturisation to your lips but also protection from harmful UVA rays. Balmi Lip Balm provides SPF 15 Sunscreen and UVA&UVB protection. Tested to SPF 15 European Standards

So far, so good. Yes your lips are always on show, yes you want them looking good and feeling protected and yes you want moisturisation and sunscreen for your lips. Sounds like just the ticket, right. The carton goes on to tell us even more.

Balmi Lip Balm is a perfect blend of ingredients to give your lips long lasting daily care and protection. Our special blend of Balmi moisturising goodness containing anti-oxidant rich Vitamin E, soothing Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil help leave your lips moisturised, soft and super smooth.

Oh, lets talk about the ingredients. In fact, let me show you the ingredient list.

balmi-ingredients

If I were browsing through lip balms in the chemist and saw that long list of chemical compounds, I’d throw the product across the store, and run away screaming. It doesn’t look all that pleasant, especially when compared to the likes of Burt’s Bees, or my current favourite Hyalogic Lip Balm, where the top three ingredients of a much shorter list are olive oil, aloe and beeswax. In all honesty, that sounds much friendlier! However, having time to sit at my desk and do some googling, I can see that the ingredients are very run of the mill, safe compounds, including waxes to make up the product, moisturisers, 5 different sunscreen compounds, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E, with a couple of preservatives in there to make sure it doesn’t go bad on you too quickly. But, as I said, I had time to look these up. Someone browsing may not, and would just see it as a chemical factory in a cube. It is perfectly safe, but it may not look the very best at a glance.

balmi-cubes

Now, on to the product. Here we have the raspberry (dark pink) and strawberry (light pink) cubes. You can also see a keyring attachment coming off the back. Personally, I don’t know what it is doing there, because the cube is bulky, and so are my keys. It would just be too much to hold all that up to my mouth to use the product. If you had one or two keys, then maybe, but to me it’s useless, and the cube is big enough that it is (probably) not going to get lost in my bag.

In terms of flavour and scent, when they say they are raspberry and strawberry, they really are. You can tell that from sniffing them, but they are not overpoweringly smelly. They are really quite pleasant, with the slightly sweeter strawberry being my pick of the two.

And finally, we get to the product itself, which the packaging tells us is easy and convenient, further stating:

You need a lip balm that fits your lifestyle. The Balmi Lip Balm has been designed with active people in mind. Our unique conical applicator lip balm creates zero hassle to apply on the go with maximum ease.

balmi-cone

With the conical applicator I have to agree with them. It really is easy. I just put the tip between my lips, swipe it back and forth a couple of times and it’s done. It feels soft and smooth going on, feels comfortable, and for the most part sinks in, though it does leave a slight residue. The residue doesn’t bother me at all though, and is not in any way sticky.

So, in short. If you car conscious and concerned about using too many chemical products on your skin, look elsewhere. This is not for you, and there are a wealth of more natural options out there. Balmi though, should last through the rigours of winter while giving your lips the protection they deserve. They’re available from McCabe’s and McCauley’s pharmacies nationwide for €5.95.

I know that these were in the September Chic Treat Club box, so if you got one there what do you think of it? Are they a good purchase, or would you generally choose a more natural product?

Robyn

* Product was provided for review

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nyx-powder
Sep. 30.

Tried Tuesday: NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder

nyx-thWhen it comes to my brows I normally have two things for them, one more often than the other. One is getting them professionally tended to, which happens about once a decade. The other is Maybelline’s Brow Drama. That said though, I am always willing to try something else out, and that brings us to today’s Tried Tuesday. It is a brow product (if you haven’t guessed already) and it is from NYX. Specifically it is the eyebrow cake powder from NYX.

nyx-product

NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder is available in 6 shades, running the gamut from blackest black to ash blonde, covering many stops for brown and one I have here for auburn/red. The packaging is uninspiring but solid. It’s a thick rectangle of black plastic with a frosted lid that has clear sections to see the product. It is easy to open, but still closes with enough of a click for you to feel that it is secure. I can hear it snap closed while I am wearing noise cancelling headphones, so it’s nicely done. I hate getting products that refuse to open, or that you feel will never stay closed. Kudos for that.

nyx-spoolie

nyx-brush

Inside the package you get a clear wax, two complimentary shades of powder (you can mix the right shade for you) and tools, in the form of a mini spoolie brush and a mini angled brush. The spoolie brush doesn’t feel too bad run across the back of my hand, but the angled brush is a different story. It feels hard and scratchy, and while it will probably always be in the kit, will not be getting much use beyond today’s swatches. I much prefer using my own proper brushes for these things and would rather not have scratchy brushes on my face. That’s just me though.

nyx-wax

nyx-powder

Here we have the three products, the clear sealing wax, a matte red brown and a matte brown with slight red undertones. The colours don’t look at all bad, and I like how you can mix them to get the right shade for you. The wax also feels smooth, soft and easy to use.

nyx-swatch

And finally, now for some swatches. Working left to right you have the wax (it picked up some residual powder from the brush) the red brown and the brown with red. The pigmentation of these is really quite something. There is a lot of colour in there. I’m also liking the look of the brown more so than the red brown, but I am sure with work I can find the right mix to suit.

I think that if you can find a NYX stand these are worth looking at. With a mix of shades you shouldn’t have much difficulty in finding one to suit, and, if you don’t care about the little brushes not being all too useful, you could be on to a little powerhouse brow product.

Robyn

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blankcanvas-brushes
Sep. 25.

Tested Thursday: Blank Canvas Cosmetics Travel Brush Case

blankcanvas-thI’m developing quite a collection of makeup brushes. I have them in many different sizes, different shapes and for different jobs. The great thing is, they also fit really happily into my Blank Canvas Folio case. But what happens if I am going somewhere and I need to bring some brushes along with me? Is there another option? Well, the Blank Canvas Travel Brush Case arrived on my desk recently, and it might be that option.

blankcanvas-case

The Blank Canvas Travel Brush Case comes in the form of a zip up, black faux leather soft case. When zipped up it really presents as a tidy package. It’s neat and takes up no space at all. It also makes sure your precious brushes are safe from damage. I would hate having to ditch a brush from making a mess from the bristles in not transporting it properly. In that sense I can really see the benefit of this case.

blankcanvas-empty

Inside the case is where things get a bit more questionable though. The inside has a soft polyester lining, and on one half of the case an elastic fastening, stitched into two sections. My thought though, is that why doesn’t it run the full width of the case? Keep it in the two sections on one side, but then have smaller sections on the other, suitable for smaller brushes?

blankcanvas-brushes

And here it is, seen with brushes inside. There are two large face brushes in here, along with one smaller eye brush. Looking at it, you can maybe get another small eye brush in there alongside the face brushes, and that’s it, unless you want to add in some loose brushes.

I think therein lies the crux of my problem with this travel case – it just isn’t big enough. I can quite easily go through 3 face brushes and a half dozen eye and lip brushes when getting ready. Unfortunately with this case I can see myself getting into the dilemma of do I bring the big case, or do I try to decide what to leave behind. In my world that is a very difficult thing to figure out.

One thing though that does hold up for it is that I can see a good use for it. It is a great size to keep brushes in my handbag for a night out. On a night out I will not need a huge amount of brushes, and this will certainly do a good job of protecting them! As for a travel case though, I’m not quite convinced.

Robyn

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cuticura-bottle
Sep. 23.

Tried Tuesday: Cuticura Anti-Bacterial Hand Serum

cuticura-thNormally I am not one to bother too much with anti bacterial serums and scrubs unless I need them. Usually, if my hands are washed regularly, it is not a problem for me. But, with being under the weather with a cold last week, and coughing and sneezing and still having to do things, I always had a bottle of this Anti-Bacterial Hand Serum from Cuticura close to me, just in case.

cuticura-box

Cuticura Anti-Bacterial Hand Serum is developed to be alcohol free (so it is kinder to your skin), to kill 99.99% of bacteria fast, and to last for up to 8 hours. Instead of using alcohol to kill the bacteria it uses the active ingredients poly(hexamethylenebiguanide) hydrochloride and dydecldimethylammonium cholride in a water based gel. It might cause an allergic reaction though, so be sure to test using a little of the product first. I don’t want you destroying your hands and blaming me, okay.

cuticura-bottle

The bottle is a small, compact 50ml, which is ideal for putting into your handbag or pocket without taking up space. The down side of the small bottle though, is that using Cuticura’s own recommended dosage of 3ml means that you are going to run out of it pretty quick. Regular handwashing, normal be careful with what you are touching and common sense should see you using it a bit less though.

cuticura-pump

On top of the bottle is a pump nozzle, allowing easy dispensing of product on to your hands. I find it easier to handle when you are juggling bits and pieces, as you are more likely to get it onto your hands and closed again without squirting it onto some unsuspecting passerby (hasn’t happened to me yet, luckily).

cuticura-product

Here you see the small amount that I would use, which is 3 pump loads of the product. I really shouldn’t have to explain it, but just rub it across your hands (as you would do if washing your hands) until it sinks in, which takes about 30 seconds. Avoid touching much for a couple of minutes afterwards while it dries in and you’re done.

I am quite liking this. It has been super handy to have about, as I have not been afraid to go about doing things. It was something that I was using on and off, but last week reminded me of the benefit of having it available more often. I think this, my second bottle of it will be taking up permanent residence in my handbag.

Robyn

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ziaja-tub
Sep. 16.

Tried Tuesday: Ziaja Natural Olive Cream

ziaja-thI’m notorious for hopping about different face creams. I’ve never been able to settle on the one for me. In a way it’s great as I get to go through so many of them, but having so much choice can be a curse. However, as I was suffering from an attack of dry skin on my forehead over the past few days, I was glad to have one of the new Natural Olive creams available to me from Polish brand Ziaja.

Firstly, a side note. I have no idea how to pronounce Ziaja. If anyone can leave me a comment explaining how to pronounce it I would appreciate it.

ziaja-box

But now on to today’s product, the Natural Olive Cream, part of the new range of products that includes a top to toe line of shampoos, conditioners, face creams, lip balms, body creams, hand creams and more. It is also great that no product in the range costs more than €9.99, so it is not going to hurt your pocket. The packaging is simple, nothing special, but not awful to look at. It is not something I would be proudly displaying on my dressing table, but it is not something that I would use then immediately hide away either. For a budget range it isn’t bad looking, and I do find the green used in the packaging to be quite pleasant.

ziaja-directions

The directions on the box are delightfully clear, explaining what the product is suitable for, how to use it, and how much of it there is. This can, at times, be so small and hard to read that it is just a pain, so I am quite happy about this. It is then repeated in other languages on the other sides of the box, again, in a clear, easy to read way.

ziaja-insert

Once you open the box though, you hit my big bugbear. Can you tell what it is? Okay, I’ll tell you. It is the smaller tub perched on top of the clear plastic filler. I can understand why this was done. The bigger box does look quite impressive, but I can’t help but be disappointed when there is so much empty space in the box once it is opened. That is a fairly minor thing though, as it is still in line with the usual 50ml size of other brands of face cream.

ziaja-cream

Inside the tub though is the thing of greatest interest, the actual face cream. It is a rich, firm cream that has a light, neutral scent, smelling slightly of well, olive. It sinks in, mostly, within a couple of minutes, but I did feel that for a while there was still a slight residue on my skin. It is possible that I was applying a little too much in trying to tackle my dry skin, and it was not a total oil slick, but I can understand why it is billed as being for normal/dry skin. I’m sure that once my skin calms down and I can use it more sparingly it will become less of an issue, and as it stands I am not overly concerned by it.

Overall, for a budget brand I can’t overly fault this. Yes I do think that the small tub/big box thing is a little disappointing, but it is me being pedantic. I have used a couple of Ziaja products before, but never took much notice of them. I think now, however, I may have to pay more attention to them.

Ziaja Natural Olive Cream is €4.79 (rrp) and is available from pharmacies nationwide

Robyn

* Product was provided for review

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aussie-product
Sep. 11.

Tested Thursday: Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo – Mega Instant

tt-aussie-thIf you’re like me you hate the hassle of washing your hair. It can take forever to get it washed, conditioned, dried, styled and looking fabulous. And if you’re like me, you like finding ways to get just one more day out of your hair between washes. So, for today’s Tested Thursday I am hoping for a miracle in the form of Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo.

aussie-can

The one I have here is the Mega Instant variant, one of three that are available, he other two being Colour Mate (guess what hair this is best for) and Aussome Volume (for fresh and fulsome locks packed full of boing and bounce). The Mega Instant variety though, is:

“The hair reviver to refresh your mane for the day ahead – a spritz, a quick brush through and a “jjujj” and you’re ready to roll”

Firstly, what on earth is a jjujj? (Shake your hair a little, Google tells me) But this does sound like a nice little thing to get another day pre wash for your hair. I am told that it helps to reduce nasty residue, build up and that leftover white dust that you can get with other dry shampoos. But, does it?

aussie-frontblurb

Okay, design. It looks like a hairspray can. That’s about all I can say about it. It has a huge Aussie logo and the words miracle dry shampoo at the top of the can, so you wont mix it up with your other hair cans. That’s good, but yeah, don’t go expecting bells and whistles and all that from it. Further down, after it tells you it’s for normal to greasy hair, we are proudly informed that it contains Australian Jojoba Seed Extract, and that it wards off grease and revives your hairs general fabulousness in a matter of minutes (so THAT’S what it does!)

On the back there are more reasons why you should use it, another mention of jojoba seeds, and the directions. As they wrap halfway around the can I couldn’t photograph it, but it says to:

“Shake and shake again before use (it, not you). Spray into the roots from about 30 cm, massage in and brush out well”

You can also use it with an Aussie leave in conditioner, if you’re so inclined (but that takes more time). I wasn’t so inclined (I’ll be washing and conditioning my hair tomorrow anyway) so I just got on with it.

Before: Three day old hair, a bit untidy, a bit unruly but not entirely awful

aussie-before

After: Followed all the instructions. Shook and shook again. Held about 30 cm away and sprayed into the roots in bursts. Massaged it in and gave it a “jjujj” and brushed out with a fine bristled brush.

aussie-after

I will say it. It does look better. Not entirely fabulous, but sleek, shiny and tidy-ish. For me and my birds nest that very nearly is a miracle, so Miracle Dry Shampoo, I do believe you passed. I can’t feel much of a residue of it in my hair, it doesn’t leave white powderyness, and it doesn’t smell too bad. I think I will be using it again when I need another day out of my hair.

Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo is widely available in pharmacies and supermarkets for a RRP of €5.85 for the large 180ml can.

What do you think of dry shampoos? Are you a follower of the way of Batiste, or is there another dry shampoo you recommend?

Robyn

* Product was provided for review

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mua-closedpalette
Sep. 09.

Tried Tuesday: Makeup Academy Undressed Palette

tt-mua-thI actually have very little experience of Makeup Academy products. I was given one of their blushes some time ago as part of a gift, but had never tried any of their eye products. So, when I was in Holyhead recently, I picked up some bits, including this, their 12 shadow Undressed Palette, and today I have some thoughts and swatches to share.

mua-closedpalette

The packaging is nothing at all special, but it is a nice compact palette, which stays firmly shut. The clear lid allows you to quickly identify what palette is what, or just look at the colours at a glance, which is handy if you have a number of them all together. The back of the palette has a label with a list of ingredients, a “masterclass” listing which shades to use where (but why have that on the back when you are tryin to use the shadows on the front) and a picture diagram showing shades and the numbers used in the masterclass. Unfortunately though, two of the pans seem to be backwards in the palette as opposed to on the diagram. It seems like a minor thing but these minor things bother me, as it makes me wonder how the rest of the quality is, if a simple task goes wrong? But anyway, as I don’t follow their shade numbers, lets just crack the palette open and get inside.

mua=openpalette

Here we see the palette sans lid. It’s very simple. There’s a double ended sponge applicator (does anyone with a makeup brush use these) and 12 shadows. The shadows are quite small, at 0.8g each, but they should last a while, depending on how often you see yourself using a particular shade. I have them numbered here to assist you in tracking shadows to swatches, but they don’t follow the shade guide on the back, and will be showing them in groups of 4, both close up in pan and as swatches without primer (left) and over MUA’s own Pro Base primer (right)

Shades 1-4

mua-14pans

mua-14swatch

  • 1: A very pale, milky pink. There’s very little pigment here, either on its own or over primer you will be hard pressed to get much payoff with this, but I use it on my browbone mainly.
  • 2: Somewhere between a copper and a bronze shade, this is more like it. A decently pigmented shadow, and nicely intensified by the primer.
  • 3: A richer pink while still being pale, you can at least see this one.
  • 4: One of the better matte shadows here, which becomes very intense when added to the primer.

Shades 5-8

mua-58pans

mua-swatch58

  • 5: Sure it’s there, but why? A slightly yellowy tan flesh colour, it looks awful both with and without primer.
  • 6: Looks more pinkish in the pan, but comes out to this quite nice rusty red earthy colour.
  • 7: More bronze than shade 2 earlier and with a tempting little sparkle this is one of the more standout shades in the palette.
  • 8: A super deep matte brown, this has pigment in abundance. If you were looking for a not black liner, judging by the swatch over primer, this could be just the job.

Shades 9-12

mua-912pans

mua-swatch912

  • 9: A kind of coffee brown. It is more pigmented than most of the mattes here, and would be perfectly suitable for daytime use.
  • 10: Seems to be somewhere between deep green and black, I’m pleased by how much pigment is in this one.
  • 11: Metallic gold. Looks pretty on its own, but is gorgeous over the primer.
  • 12: Looks more intense swatched as opposed to in the pan, I am not one for blue eyeshadows, but I could get on with this.

So, what do I think, having worked through them all? Well, I’m not entirely convinced. There are some genuinely great shades in there, but the majority of matte shades feel like they’re just wasting space in the palette that could be taken by something beautiful. The other problem, that you might be able to see looking at some of the swatches, is that some are quite powdery, and if you are not careful enough,, you will end up with shadow scattered across you, your eyes and your face.

Would I pay £4 for it? I probably would. I wouldn’t be telling you to run out and get it right now, but it does have a number of shadows that I can see myself using, along with a couple that might see some action at some point. It’s just a pity that some of the shadows are so poor, and that some are quite powdery.

Do you have any of the Makeup Academy Palettes? What do you think of them, and what Makeup Academy products would you recommend?

Robyn

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luminizer label
Sep. 04.

Tested Thursday: Max Factor Skin Luminizer Foundation

luminizer thI am quite set in my ways with regards foundation. There is a very small selection that I reach for time and time again. It is about time to try something different though, so today for Tested Thursday I am looking at the new Skin Luminizer Foundation from Max Factor.

luminizer bottle

Max Factor’s new Skin Luminizer Foundation comes 100 years after Max Factor invented and released Greasepaint, their first foundation and the first makeup ever designed for motion picture use. It is “specifically created for women who are seeking subtle luminosity and a healthy-looking glow” and I am told it delivers medium coverage, with the added benefit of enhanced skincare properties. For example, it offers hydration through the VitaNiacan complex, including vitamins B3 and E, which replenishes skins natural moisture balance. It also contains elastomers, which “create ‘windows’ in the skin through which light can be reflected back to create a healthy looking glow and a wide awake look.”

This all sounds very interesting, and as they have been producing foundations for 100 years, you would expect Max Factor to know what they are doing, but how does it translate to real life? Of course, as it’s Tested Thursday, this is what I’m trying to find out.

Normally, I would be looking for a higher coverage foundation. I think that lower coverage ones really don’t do enough for me, but I am always willing to try something to see how it fares, and I would love to be able to find a barely there foundation that suits me. Made in Ireland, you would hope that out of the 6 shades available there would be one close match for “good Irish skin” and fortunately, the shade I have here – 40 Light Ivory, is. You can also choose from Warm Almond through to golden and bronze. I am yet to see side by side comparisons of how they look, but there should be an option for most people.

The packaging is nothing special, being a drugstore brand. It is a plastic bottle, with a pump top. The nozzle on the pump is quite narrow, and it doesn’t dispense much product each time, which is a good thing, as you have greater control of how much you are using. You can also see the distinctive swirl pattern in the bottle, containing the pearlised pigments and skin luminizers.

luminizer hand

What you see here is about half a pump of the foundation out onto the back of my hand, which is what I would normally do before applying it with a brush. It is quite a thick formula, which stays put and doesn’t spread out by itself. This is not really an issue, and  I find is quite beneficial, as you are not trying to coat your hand in the foundation, are you? It also means it sticks to my brush quite well, without soaking down the bristles.

luminizer swatch

When you do start moving it about though, it moves really well. It doesn’t sit in one spot, but with light movements of the brush gives even coverage, without looking thick or leaving brush marks. Even then with a light dusting of powder over the top (though It doesn’t really need it) you don’t feel as if you have a heavy coating on your face. Your face does feel as if the makeup is barely there.

luminizer flash

One thing I did notice was that under bright lights you can slightly pick up on the pearlised pigments in it. I have tried to capture them here, using my camera close up with flash, and you can kind of make them out. It isn’t going to make your face look sparkly though. More, like the name of the foundation would suggest, luminous. That you have a glow.

So, the results. I have been wearing this foundation consistently for the past three days, and I think I am a convert. There will still be times where I want something a bit higher coverage, but the Skin Luminizer Foundation has a number of things going for it, namely:

  • It feels really light on the skin, while still providing enough coverage to tidy up blemishes and even out skintone
  • It does provide a barely there or bare skin but better appearance
  • I find myself using less of it than other foundations
  • My foundation brush doesn’t feel clogged up after using this foundation. The foundation is going on to my face, and not my brush

I do honestly think I will be reaching for this more for everyday coverage. It provides quite a lot of power for quite a small price, at €16.39 for a 30ml bottle. If you are looking to save your high end or high coverage foundations for special occasions, this is well worth a look!

Oh, and I am going to be cheeky and say that while I am going to show you this in action on my face, you will have to wait for Face Friday tomorrow!

Robyn

* Product was provided for review

 

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