Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Chanel Fauve Eyeshadow - Review & Swatch

Hi Everyone!
I decided to treat myself to a luxury eyeshadow this week and went for Chanel's Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Fauve which was recommended by Tiffany D in one of her recent YouTube videos. Fauve is a beautiful taupe colour with a hint of purple and some beautiful shimmer. I have brown eyes and this looks beautiful.

As you would expect with a Chanel eyeshadow it is really good quality. The powder has a silky smooth texture and applies really nicely and evenly. The shadow is beautifully pigmented and looks exactly the same colour on you eye as it does in the pot. The colour is pretty unique, it is similar to MAC's Satin Taupe but is slightly more purple and contains more shimmer. I have used it a couple of times as an all over lid colour and found no problems with creasing or fading.

Swatch shown on NW20 skin:

To conclude, this is a truly stunning product. Is it worth the high price tag? Well no probably not! It is really good quality but £21 is a lot of money to pay for one eyeshadow, saying that, I love the colour so I don't regret buying it and I don't think you would either! Sometimes it's nice to splash out and treat yourself and this is an ideal product to do that with!

I hope that you have enjoyed this post, please feel free to recommend any other Chanel products is the comments section below.
I purchased my eyeshadow from House of Fraser for £21
Maz x

Monday, 27 February 2012

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Biscuits

Hi Everyone!
I fancied doing some baking today but wanted something pretty quick and straight forward to make so I chose to make chocolate chip shortbread biscuits. I haven't made shortbread in a long time but this recipe is great and is definitely one I'd use again!

The recipe makes around 12-18 biscuits depending on how big you make them!

225g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
225g Unsalted Butter
100g Caster Sugar
125g Chocolate Chips
60g Chopped Walnuts

1. Pre heat oven to 150C/ Gas Mark 2 and line 2 baking trays with non stick paper.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy and then gradually add the flour mix.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
5. Form walnut sized balls of the mixture and place them onto the baking trays and press down slightly. Make sure to leave a gap around each one.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until light golden brown in colour.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for around 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool thoroughly.

These biscuits are great! They are really rich and buttery just how a shortbread biscuit should be! Give them a go!

I found this recipe on All Recipes
Maz x

Sunday, 26 February 2012

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation Review

Hi Everyone!

I am a massive fan of MAC and have far too many of their products but for some reason I have never purchased one of their foundations. I have heard good and bad things about their foundations and as I had a gift voucher to spend I thought I'd give one a go and see for myself! I have several foundations in my collection including L'Oreal True Match, Revlon Photo Ready, Smashbox HD and Make-up Forever HD, all of which I like, so how would the MAC one compare?

I had a chat with the MAC consultant and she suggested that I try the Studio Fix Fluid as I have combination skin and this foundation is said to absorb and distribute oil. It also has a matte finish which is great as I hate shine, is oil free and contains SPF 15.

I applied 2 pumps of the foundation which was enough to cover my face and neck. I used my Sigma F84 brush to apply. The consistency is quite thick compared to L'Oreal's True Match for example, but applies easily and evenly. It blends into the skin well and doesn't sit in any lines or imperfections. I have quite large pores on my cheeks and it covers those well. The foundation is said to be medium coverage which I think is pretty accurate as the finish is fairly natural looking.

I wore the foundation for around 9 hours over my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Light and set it with my MAC Blotting Powder and it held up pretty well. I have to say that I like this foundation. I didn't break me out at all which some foundations do and I like the finish, the biggest negative point for me has to be the smell! It has quite a strong, distinctive smell which does last a while, it isn't a particularly horrible smell but it's not pleasant!

You can purchase this foundation from MAC for £19.50
Maz x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Nails Inc Gossip Girl Overglaze Duo's - The Serena Collection - Review & Swatches

Hi Everyone!
This is a review of the Nails Inc Gossip Girl Overglaze Duo's in the Serena Collection. I purchased the Blair Collection a few months ago and loved it so when I saw the Serena Collection at a discount price on the ASOS website I just had to grab it. The Serena Collection comes with the following 2 polishes:

(L to R) Serena, It Girl

Serena: Patent Black Polish
It Girl: Electric Blue Overglaze Top Coat.

All of the Gossip Girl sets come with one solid, opaque nail polish which can be worn alone and one of the 'Special Effects' Overglaze Top Coats which you can layer over the polish for a really cool and different effect.

I began by applying my usual Seche Base Coat followed by 2 coats of the Serena polish, this polish applies really well and dries pretty quickly to a solid, opaque finish. I then applied 2 coats of It Girl, this is really easy to apply and the glitter pieces are distributed evenly with very little effort. I finished off by applying a coat of OPI's Rapi Dry Top Coat.

I purchased my polishes from ASOS for £16 a few months ago, the Gossip Girl sets are limited edition so if you like the look of them you may want to get them sooner rather than later! I have just checked the official Nails Inc website and they are still in stock there too for £20 each.

Click here to read my post about the Blair Collection.

Maz x

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Shop MAC Cook MAC Collection Lipsticks - Review & Swatches

Hi Everyone!

I have 2 of the new, limited edition lipsticks from the Shop MAC, Cook MAC Collection to show you today. The collection has not yet been released in every MAC store and counter here in the UK but is available online from Selfridges (and possibly in their stores, I am not sure)!

First up I purchased Dish it up which is described as a medium-dark fuchsia based plum colour. It has a lustre finish which I like as they are supposed to be moisturising and has a really nice buildable coverage. This is a gorgeous lipstick and as I like plum shades I think I will get a lot of wear out of it. I am a big fan of MAC's Plumful lipstick which is similar to Dish it up but not quite as purple.

Secondly I went for Make me Simmer which is a bright, true coral shade with an amplified finish which makes it really pigmented. This would look great in summer with a tan but is very bright so not for the faint hearted! It is similar, in my opinion, to MAC's Ultra Darling Sheen Supreme lipstick but much brighter.

(L to R) Dish it up, Make me Simmer


(L to R) Dish it up, Make me Simmer

You can purchase these lipsticks from Selfridges for £13.50 each.
Have you purchased anything from the Shop MAC, Cook MAC Collection? If so, let me know what you think in the comments section below!
Maz x

Monday, 20 February 2012

Essie Ole Caliente Nail Polish

Hi Everyone!
Today I applied one of the six new polishes from Essie's Navigate Her Collection for Spring 2012. This collection has some gorgeous colours in it and I went for Ole Caliente which is described as a 'spicy scarlet' colour. I love Essie polishes as they are such great quality. I have been wearing some light pastel colours on my nails recently but I fancied a brighter colour for a change!

I began by applying 2 coats of OPI's Original Nail Envy to my nails as my base followed by coats of 2 Ole Caliente. The lacquer applies really nicely and evenly and the polish is opaque after just 1 coat, I think that the colour looks better with a second coat added though. The consistency is quite thick, as with a lot of Essie polishes, but it dries pretty quickly. I finished by adding a layer of Seche Vite Top Coat.

This colour is a gorgeous hot, coral red colour that is perfect for spring! It is really eye catching and bright but not quite neon!

I purchased my polish as part of the mini collection for £11.95 from Beauty Bay. Have you purchased any of the colours from the collection? If so let me know what you think of them in the comments section below!
Maz x

Saturday, 18 February 2012

My Top 5 Contouring Powders

CLICK here to read my updated contouring post from July 2016!

Hi Everyone!
More and more of us like to contour out faces nowadays and this technique can be done using a variety of products, I would recommend trying out a few and finding out which one is best for you. Here are few of my favourite products that I use to contour my face:

(Colour guide: I have MAC NW20 skin)

MAC Harmony Blush:
This is my favourite product to use when contouring my face. MAC describe Harmony as a 'Muted rose-beige brown'. I really like to use a blush product when contouring my face as my skin has pinkie undertones and the pinkie undertones in the blush help me to blend the product in and avoid that over-done look! Harmony contains no shimmer or glitter which is great as it can look a little obvious if you have a lot of shimmer on one section of your face!

You can purchase this from MAC for £17.50

Sleek Contour Kit in Light:
This is a great product and very popular (it's always out of stock!) The kit comes with both a highlighter and contouring powder. The colour of the contouring powder is great for my skin and blends well, I slightly prefer Harmony over this one even though they are very similar in colour as the MAC powder is a little easier to blend and work with in my opinion.

You can purchase this kit from Sleek for £6.50

NARS Laguna Bronzer:
I am a huge fan of the NARS Laguna bronzer which is described as a 'brown with golden shimmer'. This powder does contain some shimmer but it is quite subtle. I tend to use Laguna as a bronzer for an all-over colour but it does double up really well as a contouring powder too. As with all NARS products, this is great quality and is really easy to work with. NARS also offer the Laguna shade in the cream, multiple stick form which would also be great for facial contouring.

You can purchase the Laguna powder from NARS for £25

Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder:
This is my most recent purchase from this post and I admit that I have only used it a handful of times so far. I have used this is a similar way to Laguna in that I use it more as a bronzing powder than a contouring powder but it makes a great contour powder due to it's lack of shimmer.

You can purchase Hoola from Benefit for £23.50

NYX Powder Blush in Raisin:
This Product is a lovely brown shade with a slightly red undertone. It does a great job at shaping your face and is really reasonably priced. The texture is silky smooth and applies brilliantly as all NYX blushes do!

You can purchase Raisin from NYX for £5.50

Swatches shown on NW20 skin:

So the big question, I am sure, is which of these products would I recommend if you are only going to buy one! I would probably go with the Sleek kit, it is very nearly as good as MAC's Harmony blush and is also great value for money especially if you are just starting to contour and highlight your face. Despite all of this, MAC's Harmony will always be my favourite, go-to contour powder!
In case anyone is wondering - my favourite brush to use when contouring my face is the Sigma F25!

I hope that you have enjoyed this post and found it useful. Please feel free to share your favourite contouring products in the comments section below.
Maz x


Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Balm Nude'tude Eyeshadow Palette - Review & Swatches

Hi Everyone!
This is the first purchase that I have made from The Balm cosmetics, I saw this fun palette being used during a tutorial by Xsparkage on YouTube and really liked it so I thought I'd give it a try! The Nude'tude eyshadow palette comes with 12 neutral eyeshadows and a small applicator.

The palette itself is made from a thick cardboard and snaps shut similar to the Urban Decay Naked Palette but it is much slimmer than that. There is a handy mirror on the inside of the lid and a compartment to store the applicator. The palette would be great for travel as it is so slim and lightweight. The palette comes in 2 variations, Feeling Naughty, which is the one that I have, and Feeling Nice which doesn't have the pictures of the girls on the packaging. Both variations contain the same eyeshadows.

Sassy: Frosted white
Stubborn: Light-medium peach
Selfish: Frosted taupe
Sophisticated: Dark brown with bronze shimmer
Selfish: Frosted taupe
Serious: Medium-dark matte black
Snobby: Gold shimmered medium-dark yellow
Stand-offish: Light-medium bronze shimmered brown
Sultry: Medium brown
Schitzo: Golden bronze-brown
Silly: Red-brown with copper sparkle
Sleek: Dark matte black-brown


(L to R) Sassy, Stubborn, Selfish, Sophisticated, Sexy, Serious

(L to R) Snobby, Stand-offish, Sultry, Schitzo, Silly, Sleek

Overall, I am really impressed with the palette! The shadows are really nicely pigmented which provides great colour pay-off and they all blend out nicely and evenly. I love that you have the choice of 2 dark matte colours ( Serious and Sleek ) which is unusual in many eyeshadow palettes.
Due to the massive success of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes a lot of cosmetic brands are bringing out neutral palettes including NYX and Sigma. So how does this compare and do you need it if you own either of the Naked palettes? Well they are quite similar,  but theBalm palette contains more matte shades and less shimmer so I think it is down to personal preference. The Nude'tude palette is cheaper than the UD Naked Palette (Naked palette 1 costs £35 and 2 costs £36 here in the UK) but the Urban Decay palettes come with a brush and wither a mini lipgloss or primer potion.
I purchased my palette from Cocktail Cosmetics for £26 and you can also purchase it from theBalm for $36.
Check out my review and swatches of the Urban Decay Naked Palette 1 by clicking here.
Maz x

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

OPI Pedal Faster Suzi - Review & Swatch

Hi Everyone!
We are coming into Spring soon so many nail polish companies are bringing out their new collections including the Holland Collection from OPI. I am a massive fan of OPI, as I am sure regular readers of my blog will know, so I was very excited about the launch of this large collection! I have picked up the mini set which is called 'Dutch Treats' and contains I Have a Herring Problem which is shimmery green-blue, Red Lights Ahead which is described as a coral-red, Kiss Me on My Tulips which is a hot pink and Pedal Faster Suzi which is a delicate lavender-pink with shimmer plus the full size bottle of Dutch Ya Just Love OPI? which is a red toned purple with red shimmer. Today I applied Pedal Faster Suzi to my nails.

OPI Holland Collection Mini Set

I began by applying 2 coats of OPI Original Nail Envy to my nails as a base followed by 3 coats of Pedal Faster Suzi. This polish is very sheer after the first coat but becomes much more opaque after the second although there is still some visible nail line. I hate applying more than 2 coats of polish but this needed a third in my opinion and it dries pretty quickly which is good. I finished by applying a coat of Seche Vite Top Coat.

This is a really pretty, girlie pink colour and is very shimmery and shiny. It makes a nice Spring/ Summer shade. It reminds me a lot of OPI's Princesses rules but is more pigmented and achieves a much more opaque finish. 3 coats of the polish makes it a pretty solid colour but there is still some visible nail line showing through.

Look out for more polishes from the OPI Holland Collection on my blog soon! If you have purchased any from the collection let me know what you think of them in the comments section below!

I purchased the mini nail polish kit from Amazon for £11.95 and the full size bottle from Beauty Bay for £11

Maz x

Monday, 13 February 2012

Cherry & Oat Biscuits

Hi Everyone!
It's been quite a while since I last did a bit of baking so I thought that I'd break myself back in gently by baking some simple biscuits! I love cherries and oats together so I picked this biscuit recipe! Here's how I made them:

3oz/ 75g Plain Flour
1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2oz/ 50g Glace Cherries, chopped
65g Caster Sugar
3oz/ 75g Rolled Oats
4oz/ 112g Butter
1 tbsp Golden Syrup
1 tbsp Milk

1. Pre heat oven to 150C/ 300F/ Gas Mark 2 and line a baking tray/ sheet.
2. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda together into a mixing bowl.
3. Add the cherries, sugar and oats and mix thoroughly.
4. Put the butter and syrup in a small saucepan and heat until the butter has melted. Stir in the milk and remove from the heat.
5. Pour the butter mix into the flour mixture and mix thoroughly.
6. Place the mixture into the fridge for around 5 minutes.
7. Divide the mixture into 12 balls and place onto the baking tray, pressing down slightly.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking tray for around 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool thoroughly.

This biscuits are delicious! They are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle plus they are quick and easy to make too!

I found this recipe on Cook it Simply
Maz x

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Essie Borrowed & Blue Nail Polish

Hi Everyone!
Spring is around the corner so I decided to break away from the dark, winter colours that I have been wearing on my nails recently and go for a nice pastel colour! I chose Essie's Borrowed and Blue nail polish from their Wedding Collection from 2011. Borrowed and Blue is a light, sky blue colour with a cream finish.

I began by applying 2 coats of OPI Matte Nail Envy to my nails as a base followed by 2 coats of Borrowed and Blue. The consistency of the lacquer is quite thick, which is pretty much the norm with Essie polishes but it applies evenly and smoothly. The polish is fully opaque after 1 coat but I always like to apply 2! Despite being quite thick it dries pretty quickly. I finished off with a coat of Seche Vite Top Coat.

I love this colour and think that it is the perfect soft, pastel blue and great for spring and summer. It's like a blue version of OPI's Mod About You!

You can purchase Borrowed and Blue from Beauty Bay for £8.50
Maz x

Friday, 10 February 2012

Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow Sweet Fire 07 - Review & Swatch

Hi Everyone!
I decided to try out one of the Armani Eyes to Kill Intense eyeshadows recently as I have heard so many good things about them via online reviews. These shadows are very expensive and a true luxury product. I choose number 7 which is called Sweet Fire. Armani claim that these shadows are long wearing and are suitable to be used wet or dry.

Sweet Fire is a really pretty metallic, rose colour in the pot but is slightly lighter and more pink when swatched. The shadow is very smooth and silky and easy to apply wet or dry. I have used it both wet and dry and preferred it wet as you get a little more shine and more of a true metallic finish. I used my MAC 242 brush to apply it and had no problems with fall-out. The shadow looks great on the eye and blended out well. I applied it over my Urban Decay Primer potion and it stayed crease free all day.

Swatch shown on NW20 skin:

Overall this is a really nice shadow and great quality. The colour is gorgeous and is a bit of a cross between a true pink shadow such as MAC's Swish and a more red toned pink such as MAC's Cranberry. The biggest (and only) negative thing that I have to say about it is it's price. These shadows retail at £26 in the UK which is a lot of money even though you do get a large amount of product. I think if you really, really love one of the colours in the range then go for it, for me I don't think that they are any better than a MAC pigment which are much cheaper. In a nutshell - I love this shadow but aren't convinced that the price is valid!

You can purchase this eyeshadow from Giorgio Armani Beauty for £26
Maz x

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Benefit Hervana Face Powder - Review & Swatch

Hi Everyone!
I am such a sucker for cute packaging and new beauty products so I was really drawn into Benefit's new beauty powder, Hervana! This product is supposedly 'heavenly' hence the packaging design! The powder comes in Benefit's usual box design that snaps shut, there is a mirror on the inside of the lid which is really handy.

The blush itself is made up of 4 different shades that Benefit describe as 'lucky shell, divine peach, heavenly rose and berry delight' which are designed to be swirled together to create an 'orchard blossom blush'. The 4 colours are really pretty and complement each other well. They are too small to use alone so have to be used together. The result is a really flattering, classic pink shade which would be great on most skin tones. The colour pay-off is pretty good but not too overly pigmented which makes application easier.

Swatch shown on NW20 skin:

I have never really liked the brushes that come with Benefit's powder but I have to say that they are definitely getting better, as you can see from the picture below the brush is angled which makes application much easier. It's also a lot softer than I remember their previous brushes being!

Overall I really like this product, the packaging and design in general is really nice and the product is great quality, in my opinion this is a great 'every day' blush! It reminds me a little of MAC's Well Dressed Blush which is one of my favourites but it's slightly rosier than that. The blush is expensive but great as a gift or treat for yourself!

You can purchase Hervana from Benefit for £23.50
Maz x


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