Review: Sophdoesnails Makeup Revolution Eyeshadow and Highlighter palettes

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I’ve been a long time watcher of sophdoesnails over on YouTube so I knew when she announced her collaboration with Makeup Revolution I needed to try these palettes out.

I ordered them on the day they came out from Tam Beauty, I think it was a Wednesday. I received them the following Monday which is a pretty quick turnaround. I think I might have received them earlier but I had them delivered to work.

Firstly the packaging on both is really impressive. Considering these are drugstore palettes they feel really sturdy. Quite substantial. The packaging for the palette that Soph designed herself is adorable. The only thing that bugs me about the packaging is the colour of the highlighter palette. The fact that it isn’t the same colour as the eyeshadow palette is a little annoying. It makes it seem like the highlighter palette was a last minute edition. Not as carefully curated as the eyeshadow.

That aside, I do really enjoy these palettes. It was a bit of an adjustment from using my Juvia’s Place palette but its important to judge these palettes as drugstore makeup.

The eyeshadow palette

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The eyeshadow palette comes with 24 shades, 10 shimmers, 13 mattes and one matte/glitter shade.

I instantly loved the variety of colours in this palette, unlike Soph I’m not typically a warm/cranberry tones kind of girl. I love out there colours and I think this palette offers the best of both worlds. There are plenty of neutrals for every day looks, warm tones and a few funky colours. A very versatile palette.

As usual the shimmer/metallic shades are fab, you get a decent pay off (for drugstore) without setting spray but its show stopping with a cheeky bit of spray. My favourites are the bronze and purple shades. I don’t think I’ll get much use out of Petrol but its a nice shadow with decent payoff.

The mattes for me are a little hit and miss. The neutrals in the top right hand corner don’t, for me, work well together. I feel like when on the eye they don’t look all that different from each other. If you’re going for a neutral look I’d use one of them and one of the darker browns or you’re not going to get much definition.

That being said the darker cranberry and pinky shades are lovely and really buildable and the dark mattes are lovely to work with for adding shadows and definition.

Overall I’m glad I purchased this palette I think it will be a great addition to my collection. As I said I don’t tend to drift towards warm/redish shades so having a cheaper alternative to some more expensive palettes is hand incase I’m ever inspired to do a warm look. I love the greens, purples and oranges in this palette and I think it will be a create palette for the Autumn/Winter seasons.

I’ve done some swatches for you so you can make your own mind up, the first is the top two rows and the second the bottom two.

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The highlighter palette

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The highlighter palette has received criticism for the darker shades, I agree that they’re probably not going to work for deeper skin tones, though I know thats what Soph wanted. I just think you’re probably not going to achieve that with cheaper highlighters.

I have read that some people feel that these shades are therefore redundant in the palette as paler girls wont use them. This is far from the truth, as a pale girl with warm undertones I love a darker highlighter. I am a bit of a blusher fiend so I prefer a highlight that blends with my blusher over a bright white or pale highlight.

I enjoy that this palette gives you options, though I probably wont really use the pink and lilac highlights. I might use the palest one in the dead of winter but for now the second on the top row and the third one on the bottom are my faves. I like that she included baked and pressed options for those who prefer a subtler highlight.

My one criticism is that these highlights are quite glittery and I tend to prefer a more metallic/wet look highlight.

Again I’ve included swatches:

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Some of the shades remind me of the Sleek Solstice palette, especially the first quad and the deeper shades remind me slightly of the New Look glow highlighter. Both of which I love.

I think both Soph and Makeup Revolution did a fantastic job with these palettes. Are they perfect? No. But are they enjoyable? Versatile? Buildable? Yes.

In total these palettes are £18 and well worth it. If you get the change pick these beauties up.

Did you order the Sophdoesnails palettes? What did you think? Let me know!

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Slimming World update: dealing with your first gain

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I wanted to quickly update you guys on my progress with my weight loss journey. I’ve been really enjoying trying new food and losing weight with Slimming World, but what happens when you get too over confident? 

With Slimming World, Weight Watchers or any other diet plan, lifestyle change or hell even hobby you will have a moment when it all gets too much. You either get too confident and the rules you have set for yourself are bent or you find yourself meandering off course. This is normal. You are human.

Nobody is perfect, everyone who has ever tried to make a lifestyle change or challenge themselves have had a moment where they fail.

Now, let me interject. I don’t think putting on weight it failing, I just mean not sticking to your plans.

I’ve now been doing Slimming World for about 3ish months and I recently experienced my first gain and my first lapse in momentum. This is normal, and the most important way to tackle a set back in any capacity is to not beat yourself up about it.

The moment you get disheartened when you have a “bad” week is the moment you fall off the ladder. Thats the moment you give up.

The important thing to remember when you are on a journey such as Slimming World is that life happens and you have to live it.

By embracing the days when you physically can’t avoid over-synning and not dwelling on them you will be able to refocus and get back on plan the next day. If you spend the rest of the week bemoaning that one (or two) bad day(s) you put your head in a negative space and negativity breeds a lack of motivation.

Keep yourself motivated by embracing the bumps in the road, riding them out, enjoying them and re-focusing.

You are human and you deserve a goddamn treat now and and again, we work too damn hard not to. The more time you spend telling yourself no or beating yourself up the less time you will spend being focused, motivated and inspired.

Basically, down with negativity and up with positivity. Celebrate the little, positive, things you do to better your journey, be that weight loss or some other endeavour. Be proud of yourself!

I am half a pound away from hitting 1 1/2 stone lost and I am so proud of myself, though I have recently had some hiccups I know that to tackle them I need to stay positive and stay proud!

How do you handle setbacks? Got any advice? I’d love to hear from you!

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Review: The Saharan Palette by Juvia’s Place

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I’ve been hearing so many good things about Juvia’s Place eyeshadows and I knew I needed to try one. So when Beauty Bay emailed to say that they were back in stock I jumped at it.

I decided to go for the Saharan palette. The colours in this one appealed to me more than the others and I’ve been looking for a warm palette for a while now, not fancying the splurge on the ABH Modern Renaissance just yet.

I did not know what buttery meant until I tried this eyeshadow palette. These eyeshadows are so damn pigmented, soft and blendable. They are a dream. An absolute dream.

This palette is user friendly and almost fool proof. You could create a number of looks quite easily with this palette and the size means it can travel with you too.

Here are a few swatches for you so you can get a gage of the pigmentation. Bare in mind this is a one finger swatch from the top left to the bottom right.

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I have had no real problems with any of these shades the mattes are pigmented and blendable and the metallics pack a punch. You can use them with or without setting spray quite easily, spraying the brush only means you can pack more pigment on.

I did think Iman was going to be whiter than it is based on pictures online, it is more of a silver though. I don’t know how much I will use this shade as its not blinding enough for an inner corner highlight in my opinion. Though, I find this is true of most palettes.

Chad probably isn’t as black as I would like, it comes off a bit more navy blue on the lid. Would be perfect for adding that bit of depth to the outer corner but it isn’t a true black if thats what you need.

My favourite shade so far has to be Sokoto, its such a vibrant and gorgeous colour.

Here is a little look I created from the palette using Katsina in the crease followed by Sokoto and Jamila, then I used Lulu all over the lid and Senegal in the centre of the lid. I went under the eye with Sokoto and Jamilla and used my Sleek highlighter as my inner corner shade.

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I am pretty much obsessed with this palette and I can’t wait to play around with it some more and see how many looks I can create with this.

Keep your eye out for this palette in my makeup looks in the future!

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The makeup library: Homegoing

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I’ve spent a few weeks putting off this edition of The makeup library, only because I wanted to treat this book with so much respect. It deserves the best treatment. But finally here is my eye look inspired by Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing.

When I was trying to come up with a look inspired by this book it was a no brainer to me that I had to use my Juvia’s Place Saharan palette. So, firstly I went in to my crease with Katsina on a fluffy brush.

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The I went in with the tiniest bit of Chad, also in the crease and also on a fluffy brush. You have to spend a little bit of time blending this out so its not so harsh. My attempt this time ended up looking a little crazy but I’ve done this before more successfully.

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Then, again in the crease, I took Jamila all over the back and up a little higher too. This create a warmer crease with a touch of orange to carry through to the rest of the look.

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Then I cut my crease using Tarte shape tape and a small flat brush. After finishing up with my concealer I ever so carefully went back in with Chad and Jamila to darken those colours up. I also brought Chad down to my outer corners and blended with the concealer edge there. Then I brought out the old faithful NYX Ultimate Brights palette and went in on the centre of my lid towards the outside with the second to last mustardy/yellow shade with a flat brush.

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Again with that flat brush I went back to the Saharan palette and went in with Sokoto on the inner portion of the lid.

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Then I took Wodaabe on my finger and dabbed that over the yellow to add a bit of shimmer.

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Then I brought Sokoto and the yellow from the NYX palette down on to my lower lashline and went in with highlighter from the Sleek Solstice palette in my inner corners. I applied mascara and chucked on a winged liner and boom.

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I wanted to keep this look classy, not too gimmicky. I really wanted to respect this book because I think everyone and anyone should read it. It really makes you think. Find my review here and watch out for a Juvia’s Place review in the week!

As always let me know what you think in the comments and let me know if you give this look a go!

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Barry M current favourites

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I’m a strong believer in gel polish, but to save money I’ve recently been painting them myself. Barry M is an affordable UK nail varnish and makeup brand so I’ve ended up with quite the collection. 

I’m a neutrals and paleish/pastel tone kind of girl. I’ll sometimes wear a red or an orange but I’m generally more of a neutral gal when it comes to nails.

Firstly there is the Barry M Nail Paint in the shade Ballerina. This is a lovely dusty pink pink colour, really subtle and very trendy in the fashion world at the moment.

This next one goes out to all my Holosexuals out there. The Barry M Nail Paint in Diamond Glitter is a fairly good holo. It probably wouldn’t be pure enough for Cristine but its pretty good, though there are a few silver-only bits.

The Barry M Plumpy Hi-Shine Top Coat gives the nail a gel-look, it takes a while to fully try, being a bit squishy in the later stages but I like it as a top coat for a glossy look.

Next, the Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Pink Lemonade makes my neutral heart so happy. This one would be perfect for a french mani or just looks lush all over the nail.

A bit on the darker side we have the Barry M Nail Paint in Vintage Violet. I find that this is a lovely mink/mauvish purple colour. Suitably muted but a lovely darker shade.

And finally, the best of the bunch the Barry M Molten Metal Nail Paint in the shade Pink Ice. This one is making every white girl dream come true, a lovely rose gold shine. Goes fab with my iPhone (insert crying laughing emoji).

So there is a quick run down of some of my nail varnish favourites at the moment. Great Summer colours that can make that transition in to the autumn too.

Should I do a run down of nail shades for every season? Let me know! 

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Testing drug store mascara

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I recently finished off my holy grail mascara, the tarte Cosmetics Tarteist mascara. I won it in an insta giveaway and I just finally ran out! Not being able to bring myself to drop that kind of money on one mascara I hit up Boots and spent more money on four mascaras! Logic.

I wanted to put some drug store mascaras to the test so I could find one I could buy over and over again. I wanted to test mascaras from what I consider to be the big five drugstore makeup brands in the UK: Maybelline,L’Oreal, Max Factor, Revlon and Rimmel.

However, when I went to Boots the Rimmel mascaras all had broken seals etc and I didnt fancy getting an eye infection so I only had four to test out.

I wore one mascara for a full work day, checking in and taking a cheeky selfie at the start of the day, lunch time, and when I got home from work. I work at a computer all day and I wear contact lenses so I needed a mascara that would hold against tiredness, dry eyes and watery eyes.

I wear really minimal makeup in work, this includes forgoing eyeliner, so I needed a mascara that could stand up on its own and give my eyes the lift they need.

Here’s how I got on:

Day 1. L’Oreal Mega Volume miss Baby Roll

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I was honestly wowed by this mascara in the end. I wasn’t hugely keen on the application initially, the brush is a bit weird, it kind of looks like a heltaskelta, and the consistency of the product seems quite thick. I was worried it would apply gloopy, but I soon got over it.

I always use two coats of mascara; I will apply one coat, then do my brows and then come back in for a second coat. This mascara layered well and I got what I was after from the application.

This mascara held up so well throughout the day, every time I looked in a mirror I was wowed by the lift my lashes still had, even at the end of the day. I had no fall out from this mascara either, no bits to brush off my face and I wasn’t left with panda eyes after a day of staring at a computer screen.

I would definitely recommend the baby roll mascara from L’Oreal, in fact I have continued to use this one in the days following my experiment.

Day 2. Revlon Volume + Length Maginified mascara

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I really didn’t mind this mascara, I felt it was fairly run of the mill. I didn’t feel that this one gave me as much volume initially as the previous one did. The brush was a fluffy style mascara wand and the product wasn’t as thick as the L’Oreal, which I think is why.

I also noticed that the wand does malt a little bit, little fibres did come off the wand during application and I had to remove some from my face. I know you can get mascaras that are supposed to give off little fibres but I don’t think with this one that is intentional. At least, it wasn’t marketed as one of those mascaras.

The volume of my lashes definitely deflated throughout the day and I wasn’t left with barely any lift by the end of the working day. This mascara is delightfully average. Not terrible, it was easy enough to apply and didn’t give me panda eyes but it didn’t give me volume all day and I did get a bit of fall out.

Day 3. Max Factor Masterpiece Max High Volume & Definition mascara

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This mascara was honestly the most disappointing for me. I found that it applied nicely initially but didn’t wear too well throughout the day.

It has a thin applicator with dispersed and fairly rigid bristles which means you can get in the corners and get a full coverage application.

However, by the end of the day I felt like I had next to no lash definition. I also got a bit of fall out and felt like I had panda eyes from the mascara.

Thats not to say I wouldn’t use this mascara again, I would probably use this one for a night out as I like the volume it gave me initially and the slim size means it will fit nicely in a clutch to reapply throughout the night.

Not a lost cause but I probably wouldn’t buy this one again.

Day 4. Maybelline Lash Sensational lash Multiplying Mascara

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I was really impressed by this mascara. Much like with the L’Oreal one I was really impressed with the volume I had from this mascara.

The wand on this one is is curved, which I think is great for the top lash but can be a bit tricky for the lower lash. After a bit of fiddling around I managed to get a nice application from this one.

I loved how the volume held up throughout the day and I didn’t get any fall out. I think this one is even pegging with the L’Oreal one.

My ranking would be: Joint 1st place for the L’Oreal Baby Roll and the Maybelline Lash Sensational, 2nd place for Revlon’s Volume + Length and 3rd place for the Maxfactor Masterpiece Max.

I will definitely be using the Maybelline and L’Oreal in the future and would probably repurchase. I will use the other two until they run out but I won’t be rushing to buy them.

Whats your ride or die mascara? Let me know in the comments!

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Confessions of a binge watcher: 5 Netflix UK series to fill the void

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Now that Game of Thrones has ended and we generally have nothing else to look forward to until Christmas, here are my top picks to help fill that gap in your heart until 2019. 

I want to throw in a little disclaimer here. These are not recommendations based on “good” TV. These are based on pure entertainment value. Some are pretty damn good, some are so bad their good.

Also, a working title for this post was “Netflix shows to watch that aren’t Stranger Things.” So there you go.

Anyway, lets get in to it.

Shameless USA

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This show is huge in America and on Tumblr, but for us Brits getting our head around an American Frank Gallagher is tough initially.  Don’t expect this show to be like the UK version, though it uses the same characters and initially follows the same story it quickly becomes its own. Swapping cheap laughs for actual good TV. I 100% recommend this show. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry etc.

The first 5 seasons of the show are on Netflix UK so there is plenty to keep you occupied. As for seasons 6 and 7… well I’ll leave that one up to you.

Season 8 of Shameless USA is due to come out in the US in November.

IMDB synopsis: “An alcoholic man lives in a perpetual stupor while his six children with whom he lives cope as best they can.”

Orphan Black

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The fifth and final series of BBC America’s Orphan Black finished airing on Netflix UK last week. Which makes it perfect binge material. Available on Netflix UK in its entirety this show will keep you hooked and keep you guessing.

Spend all 5 seasons being absolutely outstanded by Tatiana Maslany’s acting prowess and forgetting that all the sisters are played by the same damn woman.

Orphan Black is a modern mystery that brings out so many underlying fears of science and evolution. An absolutely must watch.

IMDB synopsis: “A streetwise hustler is pulled into a compelling conspiracy after witnessing the suicide of a girl who looks just like her.”

Shadowhunters

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Do you love a bit of cheese and supernatural teenage melodrama? Me too! Shadowhunters is based off of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series and trust me, is way better than that awkward movie version.

Shadowhunter’s is easily accessible by folk who haven’t read the books (like myself) and from what I’ve read online fans of the books don’t mind it either. I love it but it definitely falls under the guilty pleasure category.

The cast are all shockingly pretty and the show is quite visually appealing.  Will it go down in the history books? Probably not. But is it worth binging? Hell yeah!

IMDB synopsis: “After her mother disappears, Clary must venture into the dark world of demon hunting, and embrace her new role among the Shadowhunters.”

Borgia: Faith and Fear

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Now I promised you a real guilty pleasure and I’m going to come through for you with this one. Not to sound cliche but if you looked up “guilty pleasure” in on Wiki there should be a link to watch this series on Netflix.

An alternative version to the over romantisicised Jemery Irons version of the history of the Borgia family, this show is wrong in so many ways.  No one sounds like their from Italy, the accents are a mess and the acting isn’t fantastic either.

This series is a French-German-Czech production brought to our world by the good grace of Netflix. It has longer seasons than the Showtime version which allows for slower plot development, more detail and slightly more historical accuracy.

IMDB synopsis was too bloody long so I’ve linked you to it instead.

Riverdale

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Back on that teenage melodrama hype, the first season of Riverdale, which came out this year, was so good! Based on the Archie comics, that not many of us Brits know, a lot this show offers us something completely different and allows us to meet characters we would otherwise be unfamiliar with.

Also, relive your youth by watching Cody from the Suite Life of Zack and Cody be far too grown up and far too angsty.

Riverdale has a kind of mysticism to it, its visually gorgeous, and the plot will keep you guessing. This show, though centred around a group of high schoolers, offers a lot more that the usual drama and in fact, subverts a lot of stereotypes. And there’s a bit of murder, which is always nice.

IMDB synopsis: “A subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small town life, the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.”

Let me know if you plan to check out any of these series, or if you already love them. I’m also open to recommendations myself. Let me know below!

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