Soap & Glory Archery 2-in-1 Brow Sculpting Crayon & Setting Gel

So I messed up recently.

In my eagerness to reorder the Soap & Glory Eyes Box in Boots’ half price sale, I failed to realise that I wasn’t receiving my beloved tint and crayon, and was instead receiving a mascara and crayon. In similar packaging. With similar names. Genius.

Once I restarted my heart from the initial panic of being stuck with something I didn’t want, I figured I was pretty excited to try the Archery 2-in-1 in Brownie Points out.

I absolutely love the packaging; it’s pretty damn nifty, but it does have a design flaw in that the twist mechanism on the crayon end is so hard to avoid when actually applying it. Try harder Soap & Glory.

The pencil is shaped so that it keeps a fine point for filling in smaller areas and a broader base for covering lots of ground at once, which is very similar to how Benefit designed their Goof-Proof Brow Pencil, but I really prefer the formula of this as it’s much less waxy.

Unfortunately that does mean you have to work a bit harder to get it to show up; the swatch above required going over multiple times and as with any brow pencil, drawing in individual hairs is a no go. But the end result is softer, far more natural looking and rather flattering.

The real star of the show however is the brow gel. Never have I experienced hold like this! The product is so quick to apply but makes you look so much more put together instantly. I have never been a fan of brow gels but I feel naked without this product now.

I struggle creating natural looking tails on my brows with this product because I have very few hairs there and that’s why I probably wouldn’t buy this product again. But the start of my brows look amazingly full, yet almost completely natural.

If only Soap & Glory would have paired the gel with the tint, they would have created the perfect brow product.

But they didn’t. So nevermind.

Emily

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Morphe 25b vs Revolution Ultimate Eyeshadow Collection

Last year I promised I would post some swatches of my shiny new Morphe 25b palette. I was lazy and I didn’t.

But I’ve finally gotten my bum into gear, and you deserve better, so boy am I gonna deliver.

I’m not gonna show you all of the amazing colours in that palette, I’m also going to compare the quality with that in my Revolution Ultimate Eyeshadow Collection which I haven’t stopped raving about since spring.

Don’t say I don’t ever do anything for you lot.

So, for all of the people that skip the text and get straight to the pictures, here are the Morphe 25b swatches.

Swatches were applied using a damp Real Techniques Detailer brush and photographed in crap English weather. Sorry.

All of the colours are pretty vibrant, but they take a while to build up colour and with a dry brush are very sheer indeed.

So then, are they worth the mid-tier price tag?

Let’s see. Below I’ve chosen some similar colours from each palette.

I chose a matte taupe…

A beautiful pinky maroon…

And a burnt orange shade from each.

Here’s how they compare.

All swatches were applied with the same damp Real Techniques brush as above, cleaned in between each, and the brush was swiped across the pan twice on each side, with no returns to pick up more colour.

The Revolution shades (upper) are noticeably more shimmery than the Morphe underneath, which results in the colours being slightly lighter than they look in the pan. Morphe formulates much better true mattes, hands down. Although if check out my original post for the Revolution palette you can see that some of the darker mattes are still incredible.

But the vibrancy is impeccable from both brands once you have built the colours up, which I will say is much harder to do with the Morphe shades.

I think Revolution struggles to formulate warmer mattes hues, they always lean a little bit on the cool side and can appear a little muddy once blended with other shadows, but the shimmer shades are of identical quality from both brands.

The verdict? You’re not going to regret buying either of these brands. If you’re after a shimmer, don’t think twice about paying the premium for Morphe; Revolution has you covered.

If you want a good set of mattes however I would go for Morphe, but expect to have to work a little harder on your creations.

Emily

Nyx Professional Makeup Pore Filler 

We need to talk about Nyx.

Obviously, this should not be my first foray into Nyx. The brand is loved by many, and the prices aren’t too shabby; it’s certainly not the cheapest brand but it isn’t out of place next to the L’Oréal and Max Factor. Unfortunately, that is not where I found it; it took a little too much effort to find a physical stockist.

At Christmas I decided Santa Claus was going to bring me the Ready Prep Go kit. I’d love for you to have a good oggle at it, but I’m not actually going to review it as a set.

Instead, I’m gonna focus on this little gem, the Nyx Pore Filler primer.

Now this is a travel version, but you can buy the full 20ml version here at Boots for £11.

(Note that the full version thankfully doesn’t feature this annoying lip gloss type applicator).

Is it worth the money?

Well I think this product is quite obviously trying to dupe Benefit’s Porefessional, which is poo anyway.

This product is a million times better than Benefit’s!

With Benefit, I never noticed a difference to my makeup application, the results didn’t look any different and the longevity of my makeup remained unaffected.

But with Nyx, I’ve been blown away by how silky smooth it feels and makes my skin look.

The peachy, paste-type goo goes so far on the skin, it melts in and the first thing you’ll notice is how you can barely feel anything on your fingers because it’s so soft and velvety.

The colouring disappears on contact with the skin, so fellow fair skinned beauties should not be put off.

But the real selling point is how this looks underneath foundation. I’ve never seen my skin looking so flawless!

In the photo I’m about to show you, you can see my unfortunate lack of eyebrows. And my premature crows feet.

You can even see a few of my beautiful chin hairs.

But what you can’t see are my humongous cheek and nose pores!

Here, I’ve used a drop of my (free sample vial of) Estee Lauder Double Wear mixed with a sizeable dollop of Maybelline Fit Me Foundation Matte and Poreless (which totally exaggerates my pores something awful; it’s flaky and powdery looking when used alone and definitely not responsible for my glow).

Both foundations are notoriously matte (shocker) but when used with the Nyx Pore Filler are magically brought to life.

Unfortunately I don’t think the longevity of my makeup is improved with this primer, but that’s why we have setting sprays and quite frankly, this little guy already works so hard, what more could you possibly ask for?

Emily

MUA Luxe Radiant Illumination Highlighting Kit

For £3, I shouldn’t complain. But money is time spent at work and I could do with less of that.

It’s not that I hate this, I just don’t love it.

The Radiant Illumination Highlighting Kit can be bought at here at Superdrug for just £3 at the moment. And it is beautiful. And sturdy. And promising.

The palette comes packaged in a pretty white and gold box, and is itself a chunky black and gold plastic hinged case. It’s gorgeous, and very compact.

Inside you’ll find 6 large square pans, ranging from white to bronze. There’s also a yellow hue which I think is a rather odd choice for a highlighting shade and looks noticeably off on my skin but anyhoo, the rest of the shades are all very wearable.

But this is where it goes downhill. The colours aren’t that noticeable on the skin.

Believe it or not, the white shade has been swatched in the picture above twice upon my hand. Although the product doesn’t pick up much on camera, it’s also rather underwhelming to the naked eye.

This is definitely not a blindingly sparkly highlighting kit. In fact I find it hard to tell which are the matte and which are the shimmer shades, it’s that subtle. The silver glitter is very very fine, there are no globs of shiny plastic falling out here, there and everywhere unlike other highlighters I’ve tried which can be a plus or a minus depending on how garish you are (or how much you care about marine life; glitter is BAD).

Personally, I know I will use this kit despite it being subtle even on my incredibly pale winter complexion.

You don’t have to believe me, but in the photo above I’ve combined the bronze shade and both the leftmost peach and white shades to contour my cheeks. And I used a fair bit of bronze.

Lazy blogging cop-out yet again here, but in person the colours really were noticeable, yet natural looking and understated and I actually enjoyed the finish as opposed to the tacky metallic finishes I see people wearing on the daily.

I’m just bummed out that I now have to buy yet another highlighter for Saturday nights when I want to look like a cheap glitter ball.

Emily

Morphe 25b Bronzed Mocha Palette 

Can I just say, it’s Morphe as in dwarf, there is no ‘eee’ on the end and I don’t care how many beauty vloggers try and tell me otherwise.

Now that’s been said, I wanna talk about this little cutie.

I’ve heard tonnes of great things about Morphe for a while now but have been put off buying one of the 35 colour palettes due to my fondness of darker browns and warm tones that lean just a tad cooler than the majority of those that have been included in their massively popular range.

But when I set my eyes on this 25 colour palette earlier this year I was convinced I was gonna own it one day; it’s the perfect mix of shimmer, satin and matte peach, gold, brown and purple all wrapped up in a petite and simple little square of black plastic. I knew it would be the only palette I needed to take anywhere with me, as opposed to this summer’s kerfuffle of grabbing 4 different palettes per trip.
And since Beautybay basically gave the thing to me, selling it for only £13…!!! I had no choice but to fall in love. I’ve been obsessed with this thing. The usual retail price however is £19, and can be bought here.

The pans are bigger than ones that I have in my Revolution and MUA palettes, but surprisingly I didn’t find much of a step up in quality in comparison, but I did only have minor issues with the cheaper brands I own.

Actually I find the colours need a fair bit of building up to show on my skin which doesn’t happen with the other palettes I own, but as someone who has been known to overdo it a bit occasionally I don’t find that to be much of a problem at all. Plus there is considerably less fallout and chalkiness with the matte shades than that which cheaper brands are notorious for.

The shades all go so beautifully together, and can be played up dramatically for evening wear or used a little more subtley for day wear. Or vice versa. You can do what you want, you certainly have a lot to play with.
Now although it’s neat and compact, the packaging isn’t gonna set your heart aflutter. It’s practical and sturdy but it’s also very similar to the ridiculously cheap, generic and unbranded Chinese palettes you can buy online for pennies. But there’s something attractive to me about raw functionality that doesn’t beat around the bush, I can’t think why that is…

A lot of other people have been slating this palette for the lack of highlighter shades, but there is a beautiful champagne shimmer that works wonders on my pale skin so I think this is probably more just people trying to find something to pick holes in, because there simply aren’t any significant issues with this thing.

It’s almost goddamn perfect.

I hope to update this post with some swatches but finding daylight is becoming increasingly difficult so for now just use your imagination.

Emily

L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara 

Straight to the point here, this is the only mascara you need to own.

Available at every L’Oréal stand, no matter how small, this little drugstore beauty is used by make-up artists worldwide and has been since its release. It’s an old favourite and best of all it can be found here, for just £9.99 (I’m totally scoffing at that price, it can be found much cheaper online). There are tonnes of different formulas but I’ve stuck to the original throughout my experience so we’ll stick with the one pictured for now.

The brush is a simple fluffy one, no plasticky torture sticks here and no lollipop sized gimmicks either; I’m a firm believer that thicker brushes actually hinder lash coverage. With this product you can apply mascara the proper way, by wiggling up from the root.

And you don’t need a great deal of the stuff either; two coats as seen above is enough to blow any high end mascara I’ve ever used out of the water. And yes. That includes the oh-so coveted They’re Real by Benefit.

Here’s another photo that’s moreless exactly the same.

Mixing it up a bit now.

The formula also wears extremely well; if I could be bothered to curl my lashes beforehand the mascara would keep the curl all day, and there is no flaking whatsoever (but there’s flakes in your photos! Shush, that’s from my spoolie).

The original version isn’t waterproof but of course L’Oréal have got you water babies covered too with a washable formula that I’m keen to get my hands on soon. If it’s anything like this mascara I’m sure it won’t be a disappointment!

Have a faboosh Halloween,

Emily

MUA Luxe Precision High Definition Felt Liner

What a mess.

1.5 years after opening my MUA Luxe Precision Felt Liner (similar names, don’t let it confuse you), I found myself in need of a new one.

Sure, that’ll be easy, I’ll just go and buy the same product again.

Nope.

Apparently it’s been replaced with this deceptively beautiful “high definition” version.

At £4.00, it’s £1 more expensive than its predecessor and it’s not hard to see why. Everything about this packaging suggested the product had had an upgrade. It’s sleek, weighty and metallic; I was more than happy to pick this up without thinking twice about it.

Wrong decision. Here’s my issue.

Shine!

This stuff is reflective as heck, it looks awful on my eyes! I use eyeliner to make my lashes appear denser and to elongate the shape of my eyes. That all goes to pot when the slightest bit of light causes the line to look broken.

This is bad enough, but the application has also gotten 50 times more difficult.

The swatch shows how dry the tip of the pen is, trying to draw a thin line results in a scratchy, patchy mark that requires going over a couple of times, which usually results in me messing up the whole wing and taking all of my makeup off. Every time I’ve worn this I’ve wanted to cry my eyes out and lock myself in my house.

The pen is also a lot more stiff than before, it drags the skin instead of gliding over it as the felt version did.

I really wanted to like this product, especially given the staying power. You can pour water on this stuff and scrub it with your thumb and it will not budge a tiny bit!

I hope that MUA decide to change the pen tip and create a matte version of this; it would be a holy grail product. But for now, I’m genuinely considering throwing this in the bin.

Emily

H&M Smoky Nudes Eye Colour Palette 

Click here to waste some money.

And that’s not a dodgy link to some shady looking page asking for card details.

It’s actually a link to buy what looks to be a promising little palette by H&M.

The sleek, slim and glossy black and cream packaging has the look and feel of a very high end brand; it wouldn’t look out of place in a Tom Ford collection despite only costing £9.99 (or £3.99 if you wait for the company to want rid, as did I). And it only gets more beautiful when you open the lid.

You’re greeted by 9 stunning, cool toned neutrals ranging from cream to cocoa.

But that’s where the feelings of exultation end.

My main gripe? Oh, nothing major. Just the minor, easily overlooked fact that the colour payoff is pretty much non-existent…

Shock horror, this isn’t a swatch of just 8 colours. This is the full set of 9, all swatched wet multiple times over.

The colours are all crumbly and all produce a year 2003 level of fallout, most notably in the 5th and central shade which is a shimmery light brown that reduces to a type of pretty matte poop stain colour with the slightest bit of wear.

This palette has so much potential, beautiful colours, a good mix of mattes, pearls and shimmers, and a huge, easily useable and positionable mirror, all wrapped up in beautifully high quality yet petite and portable packaging.

But it feels like all effort has been put into appearances and sadly this just doesn’t deliver.

I like keeping this in my bag mainly for the the mirror and it would also do if I needed to touch up some wayward eyeshadow, but I would never create a look with this palette; the lighter shades are completely invisible and the darker ones create such a mess that it’s much easier just to use my old faithful Revolution palettes.

Feedback on this palette seems to be unanimously negative so I’m hopeful that H&M will listen to the consumer and that any new releases will be dramatically improved but yet retain the stylish design the made me want this one inparticular to work so much.

Emily

Freedom Peach and Baked Pro Blush Palette 

I look disgusting in pink.

I’m still trying to work out my skin’s undertones and while I keep getting matched to cool shades by counter girls who shoot me with weird glue gun type things, I definitely think I suit warmer colours.

And since I’ve purposely given blush a wide berth since I came downstairs one day in my early adolescence looking like a lobster, as my mother didn’t hesitate to tell me, unsurprisingly I don’t own more than 5 blush products.

But ever since I received a sample of the Benefit Dew The Hoola I’ve been a little bit curious, so I thought it was time I splashed out on a shiny new palette! Not that it took any convincing whatsoever, especially at just £6, available here.

I knew I wanted matte peaches and corals, and the Freedom Peach And Baked practically put itself in my basket. The brand does sell the same palette in bronze, and pink (but honestly it’s offensive they even market such bright colours).

Although these colours are marketed as matte, there is a tiny hint of shimmer in the 6 shades other than the highlighters, but this seems to disappear once you break through the first layer of powder and is completely unnoticeable on the skin, as you can see below (bottom to top: highlighters, top left shade in palette to bottom right shade). Don’t let it put you off!

The powders themselves have a tendency to be a bit crumbly, and the swatches took a bit of building up but once on the cheeks you start to think that maybe this is deliberate…

The first time I applied these shades I almost choked; so much pigment!

A little goes a very long way. After a few uses I managed to master a more subtle look (below) using the matte dusty peach (right middle) and pale shimmer shade (middle top). I use these blushes with a less dense, fluffy powder brush along my cheekbones and apply just a teensy bit of highlighter along the top, although even the paler pink shade swatches as a more vibrant pink on the skin and therefore I don’t think these are most effectively used as highlighters. I will however use the shades to experiment with shimmer blusher.

I don’t believe that I can accurately describe the longevity of these blushes as it depends on multiple factors, such as foundation, primer, fixer sprays etc as well as what you’re comparing it to, but with my experiences I’ve found it to last much longer than many other blush products I have encountered. 4 hours and a crisp white bedsheet after swatching the shades for this review and I can confirm that there has been no transfer and a surprisingly miniscule amount of fading from my arm, with similar results yielding from the product I applied to my face 9 hours ago.

Revolution do a very similar palette, the Hot Spice Blush Palette, but in person I noticed a lot more glitter, especially in the orange shades so opted for the (currently) more expensive palette.
Overall, this is not gonna be my most used purchase; I’m not a die-hard blush fan but for £6 I’m glad I chose this to experiment with because it’ll take me from classy, professional daytime Emily through to hogging the microphone at karaoke, nighttime Emily. Fabulous.

Emily

Revolution Ultimate Iconic 144 Colour Eyeshadow Palette 

Don’t even read this post, just click here to buy the damn thing.

Today I have the absolute pleasure of writing about this little beauty.

Despite being just £10 in the sale (RRP £22.96), it still took my tight-arse self 3 days to decide on buying this; only was I convinced by the promise of free samples.

It’s absolutely beautiful, there are a few variations of this from previous years but I chose this due to wanting to try some warmer shades, and a few punchy brights.

I’m spoiled for choice with this baby!

The shades range from pale shimmering whites and champagnes, matte peaches, glowy golds, oranges and burgundies to navies, olives, 8 kinds of black/grey and every neutral you could imagine.

So, what do I think of the quality?

I’ll start by telling you that although you’re supplied with 2 well made sponge applicators, they’re still awful and you’re never gonna use them.

As per with Revolution most of the shades are simply stunning. They’re creamy, super pigmented and long lasting, however some of the lighter mattes are very chalky, there’s a lot of fallout and poor colour payoff. Luckily I’m so pale that the only light ones I’d really use are the shimmers which are again top-notch.

Obviously I’m too lazy to swatch all 144(!) colours so you can make do with these 13.

(Flash)

(No flash)

So that’s that, all done, it’s fab, you probably don’t need it but can you afford not to buy it?

Also check out the free samples I received as part of an offer with this purchase below (Shout out to TAM beauty, you are my absolute fave, who even does this?)

Emily

Freedom duo brow powder in medium brown – £4.59, available here.

Revolution salvation velvet lacquer in What I Believe – RRP £4.06, available here.

Freedom contour brush, unavailable to buy, estimated RRP £3-5.