Sunday, 30 September 2012

Diorskin Poudre Shimmer - Amber Diamond 002

One thing that I find with hightlighters is that there are very few drugstore alternatives and for that reason (with exception of my MAC eyeshadows and a few Urban Decay palettes ) I find that my most expensive make up items are highlighters. 

I have had Dior Amber Diamond Highlighter on my wish list for months and with rumours of it becoming discontinued I finally caved in and bought it.

Priced at £32.00 on the Debenhams website it's very much a luxury buy BUT you do get 5 colours ranging from a light champagne to a shimmery golden bronze, So if you include swirling your brush and mixing the powder you actually get 6 highlighters for your money working out at £6.00 per shade! Which if you compare this to my YSL Blanc Terriblement priced at £35.00 (which came out in the last Christmas collection) and contains three highlighting colours - making Dior's Poudre Shimmer slightly more purse friendly.

I had such high hopes for this highlighter and I'm pleased to report that it does live up to my expectations, my favourite way of using it is buy sweeping my brush over the three lightest shades on the left hand side.
I've also tested out these shades as eye shadows and the darker shades on the right hand side of the compact are perfect for a shimmery neutral eye.

The packaging is GORGEOUS. The compact case itself is everything it should be; its practical with a big mirror which is perfect for on-the-go touch ups, its also sturdy and luxurious - I have such a happy feeling even taking out this compact.
 I've had mine since the start of this month and still keep it in its velvet casing when I need to take it in my make-up bag and even go as far as keeping the outer cardboard packaging for storage in my drawers at home. It's just too pretty to throw away. 

I absolutely adore this powder not only because of its packaging but its the subtlety and staying power that makes it great. Each shade has just the right amount of shimmer, it's not overdone but has just enough to catch the glow from certain angles. I literally put the tiniest amount on my cheeks, nose, cupids bow and chin and this will last me all day without slowly shifting and ending up all over my face by the time I get home.

Yes its expensive, but it's the closest thing i've found so far that mirrors "Kim Kardashian's" famous highlighting glow.

Have you tried it yet?

Friday, 28 September 2012

Urban Decay Naked Palette Vs Urban Decay Naked Palette 2

I've had the Urban Decay Naked Palette 2 for a couple months, and after playing round with the palette and exploring the different eyeshadows I now feel confident in comparing and contrasting it to the original.
First Impressions
Urban Decay have certainly improved on their presentation for this palette. I love the nicely housed tin-case styled container (which reminds me of old pencil cases that I can imagine my parents using at school!). 
The case itself definitely seems sturdier than the velvet-type material used for the original and the solid tin framing also has the advantage of being far more practical at wiping away stains and staying clear from any dust like substances that were attracted to the velvet. 
I like that UD have changed the way the case is fastened. I found the original, magnetic fastener to be, at times, unsecure. That being said Naked 2 is definitely heavier, slightly bulkier in width and longer in length. 
I also like that they have raised the "Naked 2" lettering on the case, as some of the wording on the original palette has started to scratch off. Although, this is most likely "wear and tear" thats to be expected when travelling around.
Naked 2 comes with a sample of the Lip Junkie Lipgloss, In the colour "Naked". I personally would have preferred another sample of their primer potion. For me, I think it makes a huge difference on the stay power of the eyeshadows, but I can see why some people might appreciate the variation.

Inside the Palette
Once opened, the palettes are similar in terms of layout and the arrangement of eyeshadows (highlight/lighter colours on the left and crease/darker colours on the right). This is something that I was very happy to see repeated on Naked 2 as it makes choosing colours that complement each other that little bit easier.
One big difference I noticed were the sizes of mirrors. The Naked 2 mirror runs the full length of the top of the palette case, this makes applying the shadows so much easier to do, I didn't use the mirror on the original as I found it far too small.
Naked 2 also comes with a duel-ended synthetic brush; one end having a flat brush (similar to the original) and the other side having a blending brush. I think including a two-in-one brush was a great idea, as combined with the large mirror makes this palette definitely more travel friendly, but I don't think it was their best execution of it.
I found the flat shader brush hard to work with, and like the brush in the original palette, challenging to apply eyeshadow with - It took me ages to get a solid amount of product coverage on my eye, particularly if I was wanting to use it for an all-over lid colour.

 Naked 2's flat brush has the same synthetic hair but narrower in width and smaller in size. 
The blending brush is fantastic, It's soft, flexible and has just the right amount of density to fit nicely in the crease and blend multiple colours.

Eyeshadow Colours
The original Naked palette is far warmer in tone compared to the cooler more metallic shades in Naked 2. I find Naked 2 to have more choice in converting from day to night looks with a wider variety of greys and taupe colours to choose from. Not to mention the colour blackout (a pure, matt black) being included.
This palette features five new eyeshadow colours; Bootycall, Tease, Snakebite, Pistol and Busted.
I was a little bit disappointed that Half Baked was repeated, although, It was a colour I reached for often with the original, so can see why it has been re included - perhaps changing from a shimmer to a satin finish would have been interesting.
Naked Colours:
Naked 2 Colours:
Foxy - Cream / Pale Yellow Beige: Matt Finish
Half Baked - Metallic Coppery Brown with a Golden Glitter Sheen: Shimmer Finish(featured in original Naked Palette)
Bootycall - White Beige tinted with Peach/Champagne: Satin Finish
Chopper - Rose Gold toned Brown with Silver Glitter : Shimmer Finish
Tease - Mauve Brown : Matt Finish
Snakebite- Dark Bronze/Brown with Golden Glitter Sheen: Shimmer Finish
Suspect- Light Taupe with Metallic Glitter Sheen: Frosted Finish
Pistol - Medium Steel Grey with Slight Brown Undertone: Frosted Finish
Verve - Pale Metallic Grey with Pink Undertone: Shimmer Finish (Featured in The Roller Girl Palette)
YDK - Taupe/Medium Brown with a Coppery Glitter Sheen: Shimmer Finish
Busted - Plum/Burgundy Brown with a Golden Undertone Sheen: Frosted Finish
Blackout - Intense, True Black:Matt Finish

Being two neutral colour palettes, obviously both are going to bare some similarities to each other. (This is going to be the same for every palette; two smoky eyeshadow palettes are going to have some similar colours.)
Both palettes have the same formulas and are both extremely pigmented with an excellent staying power (once primer potion is applied!)

What would I change?
I would have loved to see the repeat of the primer potion in Naked 2, or at least have had the ability to choose this rather than the Lipgloss.
I would also liked to have seen more matt colours, as only three of the twelve shadows provided are completely without any form of shimmer.
I also noticed that some original Naked palettes contained the 24/7 eyeliner and I was disappointed that they changed this to a brush, perhaps this is something that Urban Decay can bare in mind when producing the Naked trilogy!

Is it Worth Buying Both Palettes?
This all depends on whether you are a lover of neutral shades or a collector.
If you prefer brighter colours and already have the original Naked palette its probably not worth the investment, but if you don't have either and are looking at purchasing one or other then I would advise you to think whether you prefer warmer or cooler shades. If you favour more golden brown tones then I would recommend the original, likewise if taupe silver colours are more your style then the Naked 2 is probably best.

Have you tried Naked 2?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Snap Happy | Cannon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i

I was given my new camera as a collaborative labour / early birthday present from my boyfriend and family.

I had previously used a Nikon D3000 (which I would highly recommend - especially if you're not all too familiar with DSLR's) in my older blog posts.
I shared this camera with my mum, but since leaving home I hadn't been able to use the camera as often as I liked - hence the absence of blogging! 

I've always believed that you don't need an expensive DSLR camera for blogging (these photos are even taken from my iphone!) but I've always loved photography, and I've really missed not having my Nikon to hand, and with wanting to take photographs of Amelie - it made sense for this investment.


I've just purchased the "Canon 600D book for dummies" for some light reading before bed & hope to do a review once I've got to grips with all its functions.

I absolutely love my new toy.

(For those interested This is the exact bundle pack I went for)


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Amelie's 1 Month Update | Baby Blog

I can't believe Amelie is officially one month old today! Time really has flown by - it literally seems only yesterday that I was arriving home with her from hospital.
It honestly has been a beautiful and very exhausting last few weeks since Amelie entered the world on Thursday 9th August and I thought I would let you all know how we're both getting along - Already I can see such a change in her!

Her arrival has definitely been a lifestyle change and a huge wake up call (punn intended!).
My life is divided into three hour instalments of changing nappies - feeding - winding and then the almost impossible task (especially at 3am) of sending her off to sleep again.

Measurements - 4 weeks 1day old.
           52cm tall
Amelie is gaining weight steadily, I must admit we haven't weighed her this week but last Wednesday (29th August) she was 3660g that's about 8.1lb an increase of nearly a whole lb!

Eye Colour - Blue!

Hair Colour - When she was first born she had very fine,  dark, brown hair. Now though it seems to have lightened in colour to a light, mousey brown.

Feeding - Amelie has a big appitite and feeding is something she demands immediately (or sooner if it was humanly possible!) once she has woken from her snooze! 
Her hunger level is something that has dramatically increased in the short time of being home. In the first two weeks she was given a 90ml bottle each feed but after regularly finishing her bottle and being left still hungry, this was soon changed to 120ml (each feed). She's fed roughly every 2.5 - 4 hours. Averaging about 7 120ml Bottles a day.

Winding - *Touchwood* Amelie has always been relatively good at being winded - as of yet I've never had to stay up all night with her crying in pain. It's weird, I find in the night she very rarely needs winding after being fed. It's also much easier to tell when she has burped - she has definitely inherited that one off her father! 

Sleeping - In the last few days I've started to see a pattern in her routine. My boyfriend and I usually start to go bed around the 9pm mark (he commutes to London and therefore has to get up at 5am during the week and I'm usually exahusted with the early morning feeds). By the time her bottles are made and we've got everything we need for her during the night, she usually wakes up and we give her a bottle. This sends her back off to sleep for a few more hours - stirring around the 1-2am mark for a change, wind and another bottle. 9 times out of 10 she'll wake just as Connor's leaving for work, between 5-5.30am for another feed, wind and change (if she needs it.) This is the time she's most hardest to get back to sleep and can take anything up to 4 hours until she finally decides to give in! From here on she falls asleep as and when she wants - 9/10 we finds she's always asleep if we go out for the day but that's most likely the result of motion from either the car or her push chair.

Outings - I must be honest I haven't really taken her out on my own as of yet, part of that is building up my confidence and partly to do with recovering from my labour and feeling physically strong enough to go out. I took her to our local GP last week because she had a really horrible cold and was being sick after every feed - fortunately she's recovered now. I'm also not well enough to drive (I have to wait 6 weeks to give my c-section time to recover - so I've been quite limited on what to do!) As a family we have been out a few times to mothercare etc and we even ventured into Frankie & Bennys last Sunday!

Date days/nights - We left Amelie in the capable hands of my mum while i went for a check up at hospital. On the way home though Connor put petrol in my diesel car so we had to wait for the recovery man to drain my tank! I could have found a better way of spending £100 but at least its a mistake he will not be repeating!

Highs this month? - Coming back home from hospital, my mum had decorated the house in banners for our arrival! Oh, and my first birthday as a mummy yesterday!

Lows this month? Connor returning back to work - Two weeks paternity is far too short :(

Funniest moments? - Every day Amelie does something funny! Funniest has got to be the time when she weed on the floor and the health visitor while she was being weighed!

Looking forward to? - Being able to drive again & making the most of going out in nice weather.

Least looking forward to? - Amelie has been referred to an Orthopaedic Centre next week as when she was examined to be discharged from hospital, they found she had a 'clicky hip' on her left leg.

Amelie's updates will always be on the 9th of each Month.

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